Gunmen kill three foreign doctors Suspected bombers arrested in Kaduna
unmen yesterday killed three North Korean doctors in Yobe State, beheading one of the physicians in
Vol. 3 N0. 554
the latest attack on health workers in the northern part of the country. National Mirror gathered that six gunmen attacked the residences of the deceased doctors at about 1:35a.m. in the T-
junction area of Potiskum Local Government Area of the state and killed them by slitting their throats. The killing of the doctors came after gunmen CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>
BUSINESS SECTION Master Mariners rs back FG on concession THE
FAAN reiterates determination to upgrade infrastructure P.A6 Free ree iinside nsiide nside de
Monday, February 11, 2013
Victorious Super Eagles with the trophy at National Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa, yesterday. More pictures and stories on pages 2,3 and 55.
IKENWA NNABUOGOR AND ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI IN JOHANNESBURG
igeria had to wait for 19 years to win her third Nations Cup title and interestingly, Sunday Mba, spotting jersey No. 19, scored the lone goal as the Super Eagles beat Burkina Faso last night at the National Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa. Super Eagles’ coach, Stephen Keshi, also made history as the second coach
Super Eagles lift Nations Cup ...beat Burkina Faso 1-0
Break 19-year jinx, win third title paid N254bn to APC: Tukur woos 2009 agreement: FG import inspection agents Varsity workers PDP governors in 8 years –Report mobilise for strike CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>
N1.5bn loan: N’Assembly threatens to sue NNPC
Keshi: Man of history
uper Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi, may have demonstrated that legends are born and not made. As the longest reigning captain of the national team from 1981 to 1994, he attained what no other player has attained till date in the history of NiCONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>
Monday, February 11, 2013
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Super Eagles lift Nations Cup CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
after Egypt’s Mahmoud ElGohary, to win the AFCON title as a player and a coach. It was indeed a double honour for Keshi as he became the first indigenous coach to win the AFCON title The last time Nigeria won the title was in Tunisia in 1994 when Keshi lifted the glittering trophy as Eagles deservedly beat Zambia 2-1 in the final. The Eagles had also reached the AFCON final six times before scooping the title last night at the magnificent National Stadium in Johannesburg. Keshi’s team was without the tournament’s top scorer, Emmanuel Emenike, who tore a muscle in the semi-finals against Mali and was replaced by Ikechukwu Uche, otherwise, it was the same team that battled Mali. Burkina Faso on the hand, featured Rennes midfielder Jonathan Pitriopa, who had his red card in the semis against Ghana over-
turned and was listed in the starting eleven by Belgian coach Paul Put. Eagles were not done with their excellent tactics of keeping ball possession, taking things easy and spraying beautiful passes and hitting on the counter attacks as they continued to frustrate the Stallions. Eagles were just too good for their opponents and continued to create chances but were thrown away by the Eagles attack that was conspicuously missing the injured Emenike. Ukraine-based striker Brown Ideye was the worst culprit as he threw away at least three good chances in the first half. One of such missed chances was in the 24th minute when Diakite dropped the ball onto his path but the Dynamo Kiev hit man chose to blow the chance away from just six yards. It was Ideye’s painful miss again when he failed to get to the end of the quick inter change of passes invol-
Sunday Mba (19) after scoring the goal.
ing John Obi Mikel, Moses and Uche. What would have been the first goal for the Eagles was also thrown away by Ideye who failed to accept a gift from Marseille defender Charles Kabore who miscued a back heel onto Ideye’s feet but typically he blew the chance away again. Eagles never left the feet off the throttle as they continued to overwhelm the Stallions whose first real chance in the first half was wasted by Aristide Bance after he was fed by the intelligent Pitriopa in the 34th minute. Moses’ intelligence on the dead ball was evi-
dent again moments later as he forced a brilliant save from Diakite from 20 yards. But it was Mba who put a stop to Eagles’ catalogue of misses in the 40th minute when he finished off a move started by Uche in the Burkinabe’s 18-yard box, for the Eagles’ lone goal. The Rangers midfielder collected the rebound off Moses’ shot, drove the ball with his right foot, and looped it over an onrushing Burkinabe defender before finishing with his left foot, leaving Diakite stranded. The Stallions’ chances
were pitifully few as the game headed for the break and Bance’s effort in the 42nd minute just went over the bar. Ideye continued missing chances in the second half and with just two minutes after the break, he almost broke his final duck but his powerful shot was fingered into a corner by impressive Diakite. Moses would have finished off the spirited Stallions just moments later but his tame effort was only handled by a Burkinabe defender after one of the Eagles’ numerous counter-
attacking forays. Eagles continued to contain the turbo-charged Stallions as the game hit the home stretch and despite the close calls and Eagles’ near misses, they effectively ran down the clock to clinch their third AFCON title. Eagles Line Up: Vincent Enyeama, Efe Ambrose, Kenneth Omeruo, Godfrey Oboabana, Elderson Echiejile ( Juwon Oshaniwa 67’), Ogenyi Onazi, John Obi Mikel, Sunday Mba ( Joseph Yobo 89’), Victor Moses, IK Uche ( Ahmed Musa 53’), Brown Ideye.
President Goodluck Jonathan (2nd left) with the First Lady, Patience, celebrating Super Eagles victory at the African Cup of Nations) with other Nigerians in London, yesterday. PHOTO: STATE HOUSE
Stephen Keshi: Man of history
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
gerian football. Keshi is the second black coach to win the Africa Cup of Nations since Yeo Martial won for it for Cote d’Ivoire in 1992. But it was more for his leadership quality than his skills on the field of play, it would be on record that although he was a defensive midfielder through his playing career, he scored vital goals when regular strikers failed to deliver. Little wonder he commanded huge respect among his mates in the national team and till date as a coach. Before yesterday’s victory over Burkina Faso in the South Africa 2013 Nations Cup final, only former Egypt international, Mahmoud El Gohary, had achieved the feat of lifting the AFCON trophy as a
player and as a coach. Yet, the experience he garnered in both West African countries would stand him in good stead to shine in South Africa. Togo evaded him along the line. Not Mali, whom he strategised to whitewash in a somewhat onesided quarter final affair. Yet, Keshi did not sail smoothly to the stardom he attained in Johannesburg yesterday. When he was appointed to the Eagles’ helm in November 2011, hostility and doubt welcomed him to the saddle. But he soon got on the track and clearly had an eye on his the target as well as the players he hoped to help him get to his destination. No one was prepared to dare his decision, knowing he had seen it all as a player who gave his all to Nigeria. He practically hit
the ground running, selecting Daniel Amokachi, Ike Shorunmu, Sylvanus Okpalla and the Beniniose Valere Houandinou as his assistants. He tinkered so much with players in the Nigeria Premier League and many doubted his sincerity in placing his hope on the lads to deliver. Keshi endured threat of sack throughout the tournament from the Nigerian sports officials who apparently did not believe in his ability to take the Eagles all the way. Indeed, matters got to a head when he also threatened to resign from his post today whether or not Nigeria won the trophy. “I’m never against a white coach in Africa because I have always worked with white coaches,” Keshi thundered
while pouring his heart to journalists last week in Durban. “What I’m saying is, do not bring a mediocre coach from Europe and tell me he’s better than me. That, I will not accept,” he added. “We in Africa have quality ex-players and coaches but the administrators aren’t giving them the opportunity,” he also lectured. It remains to be seen whether Keshi would actualise his quit threat and whether the officials would dispense with his services. But no one can take it away from the 51-year-old that he has earned himself respect as a coach, as well as helping to accord to indigenous African coaches the respect that they deserve. For him, no victory can be more meaningful.
Super Eagles Stephen Keshi when he won the cup as a player in 1994. PHOTO: ADEMOLA AKINLABI
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Nations Cup victory
Monday, February 11, 2013
Super Eagles players celebrating with the team’s assistant coach and former player, Daniel Amokachi.
Nigeria’s head coach, Stephen Keshi (c), being carried shoulder high by players as they celebrate winning the 2013 African Cup of Nations
Players celebrating after the match
Burkina Faso’s Kone challenging Nigeria’s Ideye.
Burkina Faso’s Prejuce Nakoulma attempting to shoot past Nigeria’s goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama.
Senate President, David Mark (left) celebrating with the team
Monday February 11, 2013
Celebrant and author, Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye (left) and Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, during the launch of the book: Guided by His Hands, as part of activities marking Durojaiye’s 80th birthday in Lagos, at the weekend.
L-R: Former Executive Vice-Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe; ViceChairman, Riverbank Technologies, Chris Obi Chikelue; General Manager, CADD Centre, Lagos, Vijay Baskarb; Managing Director, CADD Centre Training Services, India Saravanan Karaiadselvan and Executive Director, Riverbank Technologies and Engineering Services, Mr. Ayoola Jolayemi, during the commissioning of CADD Centre in Lagos, at the weekend.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
L-R:Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, UAC of Nigeria Plc, Mr. Larry Ettah; Group Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede and Managing Director, UACN Property Development Company Plc, Mr. Hakeem Ogunniran, during the 2013 business retreat of UACN held in Lagos, at the weekend.
L-R: First daughter of the late Beko Ransome-Kuti, Mrs. Nike Nedu; President, Campaign for Democracy, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin; Chairman, National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu and National Coordinator, Oodua People’s Congress, Otunba Gani Adams, during a rally to commemorate the 7th year of Dr. PHOTO: OLUFEMI AJASA Beko Ransome Kuti’s death in Lagos, yesterday.
$1.5bn loan: N/Assembly 2009 agreement: Varsity workers mobilise for strike threatens to sue NNPC GEORGE OJI ABUJA
he National Assembly has threatened to initiate a court action to stop the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) from going ahead to obtain the proposed $1.5 billion loan facility. This threat followed the report that the corporation has gone ahead for the loan despite the intervention of the National Assembly to halt the facility. Chairman of the Senate Committee on Petroleum (downstream), Senator Magnus Abe, who revealed the proposed legal action of the National Assembly at the weekend in Abuja, told journalists that nobody, group or government has the right to commit the country with that size of indebtedness without the approval of the parliament. Abe said: “It is clear in the constitution and the
National Assembly will not allow it, if it means going to court, we will go to court.” The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was reported to have obtained a $1.5 billion syndicated loan to help it pay debts to international fuel traders. The deal was said to have been struck at the end of last year and seen as crucial to easing the burden on big commodity traders, who were facing the prospect of painful multi-million dollar write-offs. The loan, which is to be provided by several Nigerian and international banks and brokered by Standard Chartered, will be paid back over five and half years. The NNPC was also reported to have put up 15,000 barrels per day of its oil production as collateral. Senator Abe denied the claims that NNPC has gone ahead to obtain the loan despite the opposition to the loan by the National
Assembly, stressing that, “it is an allusion and I dare NNPC to go ahead and commit this country to $1.5 billion without the approval of the parliament. It is not possible and we will not allow it.” He said: “To think that anybody can create a corporation that can drain the resources of the country without parliamentary oversight or approval, it is an allusion and I dare NNPC to go ahead and commit this country to $1.5 billion without the approval of the parliament. It is not possible and we will not allow it. “That argument has been overtaken by the constitution of Nigeria. If the NNPC wants to commit this country to a debt of $1.5 billion by whatever means, it needs to come and explain to us as elected representatives of Nigerian people how this debt was incurred, how it is going to be paid and how it will not affect us.”
OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA
cademic activities in the Nigerian universities may soon be suspended as non-teaching staff in Federal Government owned institutions are bracing up for a show down over an alleged breach of the 2009 agreement. In confirmation of their readiness to persuade Federal Government to fully implement the agreement it entered with them, the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), under the Joint Action Committee of NAAT, NASU and SSANU, have directed all their branches to commence mobilisation of all their members for indefinite strike. The directive was contained in a memo sent to all the branch chairmen
across the country, after the meeting of the Joint Action Committee held at NASU national secretariat at the weekend in Abuja. The memo entitled: “Update on the 2009 Agreement and Needs Assessment Report,” was signed by NAAT President, Mr. Sani Suleiman; NASU President, Mr. Ladi Iliya, and the SSANU President, Mr. Samson Ugwoke. The memo reads: “Based on the above development, all branches are hereby directed to commence mobilisation of members towards possible indefinite strike, while you await further directives. “The uninterrupted academic calendar that had existed in Nigerian public universities in the last three years is being threatened. This is as a result of the failure of the government to fully implement the 2009 Agreement and our Joint Action Committee’s (JAC) rejection of the report of the committee on Needs Assessment of Ni-
gerian public universities with the conclusive purport of massively retrenching and marginalizing the nonteaching staff.” The unions regretted that despite several meetings of the Implementation Monitoring Committee (IMG) and its recommendations on how to fully implement the 2009 agreements with particular reference to the Earned Allowances, the government had failed to show commitment to full implementation. The memo also said: “Another point of serious concern to JAC is the constitution of the Needs Assessment Committee, submission of its reports and setting up of a Technical Committee with the same personalities that wrote the main report to review same for implementation without addressing complaints raised by the three unions who are critical stakeholders despite assurances given by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).”
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Monday, February 11, 2013
APC: Tukur woos PDP governors AYODELE OJO AND OBIORA IFOH
he National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Dr. Bamanga Tukur, has initiated moves to win back the support and confidence of the governors who have been at odds with him since his enthronement as the party leader about one year ago. The PDP has 24 members in the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF, but they have not supported the national chairman in implementing most of his policies geared towards reconciliation and reformation of the party. Tukur however told National Mirror that he will not rest until peace returns to the party. For that reason, the chairman has concluded plans to make unscheduled visits to some of the governors considered unbending to the rapprochement moves by the party leader. On Saturday, Tukur paid a visit to Rivers State where he had “fruitful discussion” with Governor Rotimi Amaechi. He is also expected to pay similar visit to Governors Babangida Aliyu (Niger) Sule Lamido (Jigawa) and Isa Yuguda (Bauchi). A source, who is a member of the National Working Committee, NWC, of the party said the decision of the national chairman to embark on the fence-mending tour was as a result of the signals from the opposition after their successful merger, which gave birth to the All Progressives Congress, APC. The chairman has been inundated with warnings from party members and stakeholders on the need to end the misunderstanding between him and the governors and the crisis that have pitched him against the rest of the NWC. Though Tukur has assured supporters that the party is not losing sleep over the merger, but feelers that some aggrieved governors who are members of the party may dump the PDP for the APC is sending a signal that should worry every party member. “Presently, the national chairman is working to close ranks with his estranged members of the
party’s working committee who are still not relating well with him over the Adamawa incident. “The chairman has also been making contacts with some of the governors to see how the crisis will be checked before the new party takes advantage of the crisis. “In a matter of days, the party will return to its formidable self. The governors are united but they want to be accorded some respect and to be carried along on issues concerning the party and the government. “They are not happy that the leadership has taken sides with the Federal Government over most of the contentious issues, particularly the Sovereign Wealth Fund. But I can assure you that things will fall into places very soon,” said the source who is a member of the party’s NWC. Amaechi, however, assured Tukur that PDP governors would support and remain loyal to the party, urging him to always lead the party to victory. “We assure you that governors will support and remain loyal to the party; we need each other at such a challenging moment. “Lead us to victory and it is important that we don’t take ourselves for granted, so that we will continue to lead ourselves and the party to victory,” the governor said. However, a party source said that in spite of Tukur’s surprise visit to Rivers State, there is still a gulf between the Presidency and Amaechi. “Although the visit may be a rapprochement by Tukur, some loyalists of Jonathan are not ready to forgive Amaechi. “In fact, the rumoured presidential aspiration of Lamido-Amaechi ticket has made the Presidency to be permanently suspicious of the Rivers State governor. They know Amaechi to be a long-distance runner.” Meanwhile, the SouthWest PDP will be holding a strategic meeting with the stalwarts of the party in the six Yoruba states in Abuja on February 14. The meeting, according to National Mirror’s findings, is being spearheaded by the Board of Trustees, BoT, members in the South-West.
It was reliably learnt that the meeting is aimed at resolving the differences among members and find an end to the crises rocking the state chapters of the PDP in South-West. Also, the gathering will strategise on how to reclaim the control of the South-West from the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, ahead of the 2015 elections. One of the arrowheads of the meeting told National Mirror that the recent political development, particularly the formation of APC, “is a wake-up call” for the PDP and that has necessitated the meeting. The source also noted that the two governorship
elections coming up in Ekiti and Osun states in 2014 are important for the PDP to win. Former PDP Deputy National Chairman and a BoT member, Chief Olabode George, confirmed the scheduled meeting. “We can’t afford to allow the crisis in the party to continue. We are the conscience of the PDP and we must put things in the proper state. So, we are meeting with all prominent members of the party in South-West. “The essence is to resolve the differences among our party members. There is need for us to put party and collective interest above personal interest. We believe at
the end of the day, PDP will reclaim the lost glory in the South-West. We mean well for Nigerians,” he said. In another development, the ACN yesterday clarified the situation under which All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, was included in the APC, saying it was an act of good faith based on available information and prevailing circumstances, rather than a deliberate act to mislead Nigerians or railroad APGA into the merger. Reacting to APGA’s published disclaimer of the APC, ACN’s National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said in a statement issued in Abuja yesterday that the new party
had absolute respect for the rights of individuals or groups on whether or not to associate within a democracy. Explaining how APGA was included in the list of parties that formed the merger, the statement said: ‘’We recognise the person and status of Governor Rochas Okorocha, who, as Imo governor, has been a great player and figure in Nigerian political landscape as well as Senator Annie Okonkwo, a seasoned politician and respectable lawmaker. ‘’We believe in their representation that APGA is interested in the merger, CONTINUED ON PAGE 6>>
Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi (left) and National Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party, Dr. Bamanga Tukur, during his visit to the world-class Kelsey Harrison Hospital at Diobu, Port Harcourt, at the weekend.
Gunmen kill three foreign doctors CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
killed nine women administering polio vaccines in Kano on Friday. The two attacks raise new questions over whether the extremist sect has picked new soft targets in its campaign of shootings and bombings across the nation. The attackers apparently struck the North Korean doctors inside their home, said Dr. Mohammed Mamman, the Chairman, Yobe State Hospital Management Board. The North Korean doctors had no security guards at their residence and typically travelled around the city via commercial tricycles without a police escort, officials said. By the time soldiers ar-
rived at the house, they found the doctors’ wives cowering in a flower bed outside their home. They found the bodies of the dead men, all bearing what appeared to be machete wounds. Two of the men had their throats slit. The attackers beheaded the third doctor. The Joint Task Force, JTF, and the police have transferred the three bodies to the Federal Medical Centre, FMC, Azare in Bauchi State for autopsy and identification by relations. “The doctors lived in a quiet neighbourhood filled with other modest homes in the town. There wasn’t room to house them at the hospital, where they would have
had some security protection,” Mamman said. Initially, doctors at the hospital who worked with the physicians identified them as being from South Korea, while police identified the dead as being from China. Mamman however told journalists that those killed were from North Korea and had lived in the state since 2005 as part of a medical programme between the state and the North Korean government. “There are over 12 other North Korean doctors posted to the state under the programme, which also includes engineers,” Mamman said. He, however, assured them of immediate protection by security forces.
“It is very unfortunate,” Mamman said of the killings. Yobe State Police Commissioner, Mr. Sanusi Rufai, confirmed the attack, adding that investigation had begun. Rufai said officers had made 10 arrests after the killings. No one claimed responsibility for the attack, though suspicion fell on the Boko Haram Islamic sect. The Emir of Fika and Chairman of Yobe State Traditional Council of Chiefs, Alhaji Muhammadu Ibn Mohammed Idrissa Abali, called on the JTF and the police to deploy more troops to Potiskum as the town has continued to be targets of gunmen. CONTINUED ON PAGE 6>>
Monday, February 11, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
FG paid N254bn to import inspection agents in 8 years –Report FRANCIS EZEM
study conducted by the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, NAGAFF, has
revealed that the Federal Government paid a whopping N253.9bn to import supervision agents under the Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme, CISS, in the last eight years. The government had
hired the services of import inspection agents in the preshipment inspection and the current destination inspection schemes under which importers mandatorily paid one per cent of the Free On Board, FOB, value of all im-
ports into the country under the CISS. Under the PSI scheme, the government hired Cotecna, SGS, Bureau Veritas and Swede Control Intertek to inspect all imports at the port of origin while Cotecna
L-R: Zonal Commanding Officer, Federal Road Safety Corps, Lagos, Mr. Kabiru Lawal; Managing Director, Quicklink International Network, Mr. Dele Agekameh; Sector Commander, FRSC, Lagos, Mr. Nseobong Akpabio and representative of the Corps Marshal, Mr. Chidi Nkwonta, at the first bi-annual retreat of the FRSC Lagos Command at the weekend. PHOTO: NAN
APC: Tukur woos PDP governors CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5
hence we worked with them in good faith. They participated effectively and positively in the meeting of all governors of the parties concerned and in the meetings of the merger committees of the parties, leading to the communique released by all the governors endorsing the merger and the one by the merger committees
announcing the formation of the APC.’’ However, the ACN said that going by the statement signed on behalf of some APGA members by Dr. Tim Menakaya, the APC had come to the full realisation that there was dissent in the rank and file of the party (APGA). ‘’In spite of this and since democracy is about
choice, alignments and realignments hinged on the fundamentals of individual freedom of association, we respect their position, and will like to describe as unfortunate whatever misconception the purported full involvement of APGA in the merger may have generated. ‘’We also assure APGA that we are willing to work with the party whenever
it normalises its internal process and is ready to join the platform. We all remain brethren within the Nigerian family and our doors remain open, in the spirit of the new party,’’ it said. ACN, however, explained that it was not only parties that could join APC, saying that progressive individuals and groups “are welcomed to the fold of the new party.”
Gunmen kill three foreign doctors CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5
He said more security should be provided to all health workers in the state and called on the people of the area to continue to pray for peace, unity and harmony in the state and the country. The state government also yesterday condemned the attack. A statement by the Special Adviser to Governor Ibrahim Gaidam on Press Affairs and Communication, Alhaji Abdullahi Bego, said arrangements were being made to transfer the remains of the deceased to their home country. President, Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, said attacks on health workers “are now a major threat to the medical profession and health care delivery in the country.” He, however, called on the government to make real its promises on beefing up security in the country, saying that health
workers might withdraw their services. “Government should rise up to its responsibilities of improving security, lest health workers might withdraw their services and Nigerians will say here they (health workers) go again. “Government should provide security for health workers and the generality of the country and not the one per cent who are looting our treasury.” The Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajia Zainab Maina, also condemned the killing of nine health workers in Kano. In a statement in Abuja, the minister said that the health workers paid the ultimate price while on duty to save the lives of Nigerian children through the polio vaccination exercise. The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, has ordered
Zonal Assistant Inspectors-General of Police, AIGs, and state commissioners of police to provide adequate security for all health workers and facilities across the country. Abubakar said the security cover would be extended to local and expatriate health workers in the country. Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, said: “Following recent attacks on health workers in parts of the country, the IGP, M.D. Abubakar, has ordered special security for all medical personnel (Nigerians and expatriates) involved in immunisation and other special medical tasks. Meanwhile, suspected suicide bombers were yesterday arrested near Kafanchan, Kaduna State by soldiers during a stop-andsearch operation. National Mirror gathered that the troops also intercepted suspected bombmaking materials at a road block and the suspects were
reportedly heading for Nasarawa State and Abuja. Although an eyewitness said the suspects, whose identities were not disclosed at the time of filling this report, were heading for Kafanchan from Kagoro when they were apprehended by the Army. An eyewitness added that the soldiers immediately handed them over to the Kafanchan divisional police station for further investigation. However, the Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, One Mechanised Nigerian Army Division, Kaduna, Col. Sani Usman Kukasheka, failed to pick his mobile telephone calls over the arrest. But Kaduna State Police Command Public Relations Officer, Mallam Aminu Lawan, confirmed the incident. Reports by: Paul Arhewe, Omeiza Ajayi, Aza Msue, Inusa Ndahi, Ijeoma Ezeike and Hassan Jirgi with agency reports.
Destination Inspection Limited, SGS, Webb Fontaine and Global Scan Systems Limited were hired to inspect imports at the port of destination in Nigeria under a seven-year Build, Own, Operate and Transfer contract. The report, signed by the association’s President, Mr. Eugene Nweke, said statistics from the Federal Ministry of Finance and Federal Office of Statistics showed that N253.92bn was paid to the agents between 2004 and 2012. “This represents a deliberate rip-off on Nigerian shippers into the private purse of the service providers without adding any meaningful value to the port system or the country’s Gross Domestic Product. “It is not an overstatement to say that the collection of one per cent CISS on all imports into the country on the basis of FOB does not add any iota of value to the import clearance process outside being an undue additional cost, passed down to the final consumers most of the time,” the reports said. It noted that the action not only led to inflation in the country, such payment also constitutes capital flight to the nation’s economy that is in dire need of foreign exchange. “More worrisome is the fact that within the seven years of the DI contract, these inspection agents have not cumulatively employed up to 2,500 Nigerians,” the report added. But experts in maritine noted that the decision of the government to engage the services of these inspection agents was due to the failure of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, to reform its operations in line with international best practices in the processing of imported goods into the country. They said that despite series of reforms over the years in human and infrastructural restructuring aimed at modernising its operations, the service has refused to change. “For instance, the NCS still insists on carrying out 100 per cent physical examination of imported goods while modern tools such as fixed and mobile scanners rot away at the seaports and border stations,” they noted. These operators also argued that it was in response
to the inability of the service to adapt to modern ways of performing customs administration functions that the government had to extend the contract by another six months to give officers and men of the service more time to adapt to the new system. It was gathered that part of the reasons for the extension was the decision of the service to abandon the transition programme of the scheme as specified in the contract agreement between the four service providers and the Federal Government to forestall possible hitches. Authoritative sources disclosed that the service abandoned the transition and worked out a scheme in a desperate bid to take over the scheme without a proper transition that government feared might cost the country more to address. While announcing the extension, the government had said it meant well in its decision to extend the DI contract by another six months. A competent source close to the Federal Ministry of Finance had told National Mirror that the extension was in the overall interest of the economy and not on the basis of patronage. The source said the government was concerned about the well-being of the nation’s economy, arguing that the extension was meant to enable the NCS perfect its operations that would facilitate a hitch-free takeover of the scheme at the expiration of the contract. “The government has been inundated with complaints and reports over seeming inability of the service to take over the scheme and no responsible government would sweep such reports and complaints under the carpet because the consequences of ignoring such warning, which came early enough, would be grave for the economy,” he said. “In granting the extension, government also liaised with critical stakeholders to ensure that such extension would serve the best interest of the Nigerian nation and so the decision was to save the country from any crisis arising from her trade policies,” the source added.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Monday, February 11, 2013
NSE to reduce transaction charges on corporate bond JOHNSON OKANLAWON
he Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, may review transaction charges on State/ Local Governments/Corporate bonds following complaints from stakeholders in the capital market. The NSE had from February 1, when retail bond trading commenced, set N1 charges on buying or selling of securities worth N1 million on Federal Government bond and N5 charges on State/
Local Governments/Corporate bonds of the same volume. Market operators told our correspondent that with the Federal Government bond currently enjoying reasonable patronage, even at the OTC market, while state bonds and corporate bonds were not, there was need for lower transaction charges to attract liquidity to these bonds. A market operator with Vetiva Securities Limited, Mr. Biodun Adeniran, pointed out that the Federal Government bonds
were enjoying investors’ patronage but the state and corporate bonds were not. He said: “Why the different in the transaction charges? To stimulate the bonds (state/local governments and corporate), there is need to take another look at the transaction charges and reduce that of the state or corporate.” According to the Managing Director of Keystone Investment Limited, Mr. Sunny Obazea, one of the ways to encourage investors is to ensure that
those who buy state/corporate bonds pay lower fee than the Federal Government bonds. He said: “We have to develop people’s interest in state/corporate bonds. “For a state to issue a bond, it has to write a letter to the AccountantGeneral of the Federation on irrevocable standing payment order. But we discovered that there are some state governments that manipulate the letter. So, the risk is higher.” In his reaction, Head of Product Management
at the NSE, Mr. Dipo Omotosho, told our correspondent that the transaction fee structure was arrived at by all stakeholders, saying that it was not a unilateral decision by the Exchange. “However, it is subject to review in the near future. Besides, the fees are minimal compared to the volume of transactions,” he said. Meanwhile, the Federal Government will offer N105 billion bond for subscription by way of public auction on Wednesday. The government is offering N35 billion worth
of five-year bond maturing in April 2017 with an annual coupon rate of 15.10 per cent and N35 billion worth of seven-year bond maturing in June 2019 with an annual coupon rate of 16 per cent. According to the notice pasted on the Debt Management Office, DMO, website, the government is also offering N20 billion worth of 10-year bond maturing in January 2022 with an annual coupon rate of 16.39 per cent and N15 billion worth of 20year bond maturing in July 2030 with an annual coupon rate of 10 per cent.
Govt extends ‘no premium, no cover’ policy to MDAs TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA
L-R: Director-General, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, Otunba Segun Runsewe; President, Ayinde Barrister Legacy Club, Kayode Bello; former Ogun State Governor and Chairman of the occasion, Aremo Olusegun Osoba and King Sunny Ade, during a colloquium on the life and times of the late Fuji music legend, Dr. Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, in Lagos, at the weekend. PHOTO: OLUFEMI AJASA
CBN releases guidelines for agent banking JOHNSON OKANLAWON
he Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has released guidelines for agent banking relationships in the country to ensure adequate financial services to the public. Agent banking is the provision of financial services to customers by a third party (agent) on behalf of a licensed deposit taking financial institution and/ or mobile money operator (principal). The CBN, in a circular entitled: “Guidelines for the Regulation of Agent Banking and Agent Banking Relationship,” posted on its website on Friday, said that there were sanctions for errant financial institutions and agents that disregard the guidelines. The circular stated that “the objectives of the guidelines are to provide
minimum standards and requirements for agent banking operations, enhance financial inclusion and provide for agent banking as a delivery channel for offering banking services in a cost effective manner.” According to the circular, the financial institution will be responsible for all actions or omissions of the agent notwithstanding anything contained in the contract to the contrary; provided they relate to banking services or matters connected therein. It added that the CBN would have free, full, unfettered and timely access to the internal systems, documents, reports, records, staff and premises of the agent in so far as the agent banking business was concerned and would exercise such powers as it might deem necessary. It added: “All financial institutions shall have due diligence policies and
guidelines that define initial agent engagement, regular monitoring and supervisory checks, trigger points and corrective measures. “Any entity which is faith-based or not-for-profit, a non-governmental organisation, an educational institution, bureau-de-change or any other entity which,
under any applicable law is not allowed to carry on profit-making business shall not engage in agent banking business. “Any entity, which is subject to any regulatory authority under any written law or is a public entity, shall obtain the consent of the regulatory authority or the appropriate oversight body or authority prior to being appointed an agent.”
n the next two weeks, the Federal Government will notify Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, of the new ‘no premium no cover policy’ requirements of the insurance. It will also intimate the MDAs of the need to make adequate provisions for the implementation of the policy whose operations become effective this financial year. Specifically, the policy seeks to ensure that only those assets that fulfil the full premium payment requirements would be underwritten by insurance companies and by implication, the risks would be fully covered in the event of disaster or losses suffered from any insured assets. The Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Fola Daniel, disclosed this at a seminar organised by the National Insurance Commission,
NAICOM, for finance/ business editors of print and electronic media in Ilorin, Kwara State. Daniel said the move would clear any doubts about whether or not the implementation of the new policy would be extended to the public sector. He said the enabling act and other operational guidelines on the ‘no premium no cover’ policy could not have set a different implementation date for its operations for the public sector in view of the fact that the MDAs remained the biggest buyers of insurance policies in the country. The NAICOM added that discussions on the issue had been concluded at the highest levels of government and that based on the decisions reached, the Ministry of Finance would within the next few weeks issue the proposed circulars to the MDAs with a view to ensuring their compliance.
Nigerians must back National Health Bill –NMA TOBORE OVUORIE
he Senate Committee on Health will today hold a public hearing on the National Health Bill. But the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, has called on all Nigerians to support the bill by saying no to all those working against its passage. The NMA President, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, who called on the National Assembly to accelerate the passage of the 2012 National
Health Bill, NHB, said at a news briefing yesterday that the bill would guarantee the health rights of Nigerians. He said: “As the Senate prepares for the public hearing of the National Health Bill, the NMA fervently calls on all Nigerians to rise up in unison to say capital NO to all those working against the accelerated passage of the bill on account of self-preservation on nebulous and narrow interests. “Surely, the NHB has the potential to guarantee the health rights of Nigerians
and improve the health status and quality of life of Nigerians. “With the bill, Nigeria is just beginning to get it right and if we don’t cater for our health, we no longer exist because we will just be living corpses.” Enabulele said the NHB, which is currently undergoing consideration in the seventh National Assembly, was not the same passed by the sixth National Assembly which generated so much controversy by other medical associations.
The NMA president noted that this fresher edition would reform the health sector. He said: “The National Health Bill 2012 is not the same passed by the sixth National Assembly which caused so many controversies. This bill, I must tell you, is in no way favourable to medical doctors. I think doctors have lost out in this bill but it doesn’t matter to us because what is cogent is that the bill seeks to give legal health backing to Nigerians and it does not consist of the NMA alone.”
Monday, February 11, 2013
3rd Mainland Bridge: ‘Don’t toy with 350,000 motorists’ lives’ MURITALA AYINLA
enator Gbenga Ashafa yesterday called on the Federal Government not to risk the lives of about 350, 000 Lagosians that use the nation’s longest bridge, the Third Mainland Bridge daily. He said investigation recently carried out by foreign experts revealed that a greater part of the underneath of the bridge was on the verge of collapse. Briefing journalists in La-
gos on the findings of foreign underwater survey experts, Ashafa, who is representing the Lagos East senatorial district, charged the Federal Government to immediately carry out similar investigation with a view to fixing the decaying underwater metal casing, housing the concrete pile and on which the bridge stands. His words: “There had been incessant complaints of shifting and unusual vibrations on the bridge by commuters plying the bridge for quite some time.
“A report produced by a company experienced in underwater surveys indicated that the underwater metal casing, housing the concrete piles on which the bridge stands have decayed and this accounts for the vibration experienced in some portions of the bridge. “Prof. JHT Kim, Head of the Concrete Structural Engineering Laboratory, Yousei University, Seoul Korea, came on research in December 2012 and conducted an underwater examination of the structures holding the bridge and reported that the
damages to the structure was worse than what he had been briefed. Ashafa further noted that the professor’s report indicated that there was progressive steel caisson deterioration in about 1, 318 foundation piles and that there was extensive reinforcement bar deterioration in eight piles. According to him, the implication is that Adeniji Adele, Adekunle and Oworonshoki ends of the bridge could collapse and therefore require comprehensive works to be carried out on the foundation immediately.
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Stakeholders seek amendment of NEMA Act OLUFEMI ADEOSUN
takeholders in emergency management have intensified efforts to woo the National Assembly to amend the act establishing the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, to enhance its roles in disaster management. The stakeholders, according to a statement from the NEMA spokesman, Mr. Yushau Shuaib, canvassed the position after a review of the recent impacts of disasters in the country. The statement revealed that the stakeholders through its Technical Working Group had identi-
fied areas in the NEMA Act that requires the amendment in a draft bill to be presented to the National Assembly. Members of the group were drawn from the judiciary, legislature, academia, humanitarian institutions, professional groups, judiciary and the civil society, among others. Facilitator of the group, Prof. Muhammed Tawfiq Ladan of Faculty of Law, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria said the focus of the proposed amendment was to expand the mandate and powers of NEMA to include lead coordination in the management of all types of disasters and all phases of internal displacement in Nigeria.
Appeal Court set to decide Daily Times’ ownership The appellate court,
L-R: Wife of the General Overseer, Christ Life Church, Rev. Victoria Oke, the General Overseer, Bishop Francis Wale Oke; Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi and CLC Senior Pastor, Engr Kehinde Ajijola, shortly after the 24th anniversary thanksgiving of the church in Ibadan, yesterday.
FAAN’s security arrests passengers with firearms OLUSEGUN KOIKI
viation Security, AVSEC, personnel of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, last week arrested two Nigerian passengers with pistols at both the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos and the Murtala Mohammed Airport Two, MMA2, Lagos. The General Manager, Corporate Communications, FAAN, Mr. Yakubu Dati, in an online statement to journalists stated that the pistols were discovered inside the hand luggage of the two passengers on Wednesday and Thursday last week respectively.
Dati said that the passenger arrested on Wednesday had flew in from Maryland enroute Atlanta Georgia, USA and arrived at the airport about 4.00pm on Delta Air Lines. According to Dati, the passenger, whose name was not disclosed allegedly, claimed that the gun was brought in from the USA for his personal protection while in Nigeria and claimed to have declared the gun to the airline officials before checking in his luggage at the airport of departure. Dati, however, said that at the time of seizure, the pistol did not pose any threat to any passenger. He said, “Aviation Security personnel of the authority have continued to work hand in hand with
other security agents to ensure the security of lives and property at all the airports nationwide, in line with the transformation agenda of the government in the aviation industry.” Besides, Dati said another passenger who checked in on an Aero Contractors flight from Lagos to Port Harcourt on Thursday was apprehended by its in-house security at the Murtala Mohammed Airport Two, MMA2, terminal, for possessing firearms. The pistol was allegedly discovered in his checked-in luggage. The passenger said he bought the pistol from the USA for personal protection for his holiday in Aba where he hoped to spend his holiday.
he Court of Appeal, Lagos division has reserved judgement on the dispute over the ownership of Daily Times of Nigeria, DTN. The appellants, Folio Communications Limited and four others had challenged the judgement of Justice Okechuwku Okeke of the Federal High Court which nullified their acquisition of the majority shares of group in 2010.
presided over by Justice Amina Augie, reserved the appeal for judgement, having heard arguments from parties in the suit. Justice Aguie added that the court would communicate a date for judgment to the parties. The lower court had held that Folio Communications, owned by Fidelis Anosike, did not pay for the majority shares of DTN and that it was unlawful for the company to still parade itself as a shareholder of DTN.
This Day in African American History
February 11: On this day in 1977— Clifford Alexander, Jr. Becomes First Black Secretary of The Army! Clifford L. Alexander Jr. was born in New York City on September 21, 1933. The son of Clifford L. and Edith Alexander, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, from Harvard University in 1955 and a Law degree from the Yale University Law School in 1958. The following year Alexander became
Assistant District Attorney for New York County. In 1961 Alexander became the Executive Director of the Manhattanville Hamilton Grange Neighborhood Conservation Project. The following year, Alexander left the law practice to work as a foreign affairs officer for the National Security Council in Washington D.C. He excelled in his newfound career and quickly ascended the ranks from Special Assistant to the President to Deputy Special Counsel to the President within four years. In 1967 Alexander was appointed chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission EEOC and was named a special representative of the president, with the rank of ambassador. On February 11, 1977, President Jimmy Carter appointed Alexander as his Secretary of the Army—making Alexander the first African American ever to occupy this cabinet-level position. As Secretary of the Army, Alexander was chief of administration, training, operations, logistical support, and preparedness for the Department of the Army. He had responsibility for a budget of more than $33 billion. In this role, he became a strong champion of the concept of an all-volunteer army.
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Monday, February 11, 2013
Ex-CAC president, others forged documents –Witness KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN
Federal High Court sitting in Ibadan has been told that all the accused in the ongoing trial in the forgery allegation involving the Christ Apostolic Church, CAC, worldwide, conspired and forged many documents to deceive the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, to issue another certificate of incorporation to the church in 1995. The third prosecution witness, Inspector Dauda Animashaun, said a team of investigators he led confirmed that the immediate past President of the Christ Apostolic Church worldwide, Pastor Elijah Olusheye, the Oyo State Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria,
CAN, Pastor Ayo Olabisi, the General Secretary of the church, Pastor Gideon Okegwemeh, and a senior officer of the commission, Mr. Abdul Hameed Mohammed, conspired to achieve their objective. Animashaun made the revelation when he was led in evidence by the counsel to the prosecution, Mr. Kareem Salawu. He said a group of concerned members of the church petitioned the Inspector General of Police, IGP, in 1999, accusing some members of forgery and that the IGP directed the petition to the Oyo State Commissioner of Police. The witness added that he and some other police officers were mandated to investigate the veracity of the allegation. Animashaun said the
petition, which was signed by one Evangelist Ayantoye, accused the members which operated under the name “Christ Initiative Forum” of forging the two minutes of meetings which they said were held at Ikeji Arakeji, Osun State and some other documents to
achieve their aims. He said in the course of investigation, the team travelled to Abuja, Lagos, Kwara and other states to gathered information. The witness added that the team obtained statements from some elderly pastors of the mission, par-
ticularly Pastor Alokan, Pastor Ade Olutimehin, among others. He said on getting to Abuja, his team discovered that Pastors Olusheye, Olabisi and Okegwemeh conspired with Mohammed to use the forged documents to issue another certificate
of incorporation for the church. The trial judge, Justice Abimbola Adejumo-Obaseki, adjourned the case to March 25, for the adoption and argument of no case submission which the counsel to the defendants applied to file.
Expect gains of urban renewal’s pains soon –Ajimobi
yo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi has said his administration’s urban renewal programme was not meant to inflict unnecessary hardship on the people but to give the state necessary facelift. Ajimobi said this yesterday at this year’s edition of Edi-El-Maulud celebration organised by the state government at
the Government House Arcade, Ibadan. Acknowledging that the programme had forced the affected people to make some adjustments, the governor assured that the current pain would soon turn to gains. Ajimobi said Oyo State used to be known as one of the dirtiest states in the country.
He said: “But today, even those coming outside the state will testify that things are fast changing for the better. This, I think, should be our collective joy. “So everything we have been doing has been with good intention and not to witch-hunt anybody. We know that it may bring some pains but I can assure you that the pains
will soon turn to gains for us all in Oyo State.’’ The governor said the Eid-El-Maulud celebration was instituted on an annual basis by his administration to further lift Islam, increase people’s knowledge about the religion and to continue feeling the pause of the people, particularly opinion leaders and moulders.
Premier Medicaid gets Century Quality Award
frontline health maintenance organisation, Premier Medicaid International, under the National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, has received international recognition for its commitment to quality and excellence in service delivery. The organisation has been awarded the Century International Quality ERA, CQE, Award 2013 in the platinum category. The award is endorsed by Business Initiative Directions, BID, an international organisation which monitors and promotes commitment to quality and excellence by companies and organisations all over the world. Over the years, BID has provided endorsement for top rated companies and organisations in 178 countries. The award will be presented during the International BID quality convention in Geneva, Switzerland on March 9, at the Intercontinental Genève Convention Centre across from the United Nations European Headquarters. The Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of Premier Medicaid International, Dr. Kayode Obembe, will receive the CQE Award on behalf of the company and also par-
ticipate in the 2013 Quality Convention in Geneva. Premier Medicaid International received the World Quality Commitment Award in the gold category last year, in Paris, France for its commitment to global quality standard and promotion of excellent service delivery. Commenting on the new award, Obembe expressed appreciation for the recognition and reiterated his organisation’s commitment towards ensuring excellent service delivery and customer satisfaction.
L-R: Chief Missioner, Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria and Overseas, Sheikh Abdur-Rahman Ahmad; Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola and Hon. Muhammad Bashir Olatunji, during the Joint Muslims’ Action Forum Special Prayer in Osogbo, at the weekend.
Osun dismisses Omisore’s claims over Osogbo-Ila Odo road
sun State Government has said that former Senator representing Osun East District, Iyiola Omisore, was far from telling the truth over his claims to have awarded and paid for the construction of the Osogbo - Ila-Odo - Kwara State Boundary Road. The road is currently being reconstructed by the administration of Governor Rauf Aregbesola. In a statement issued yesterday, the Director, Bureau of Communications and Strategy, Office of the Governor, Semiu Okanlawon, expressed dismay at what he called the “open lies by Omisore” in an interview he granted a newspaper where
he also said after two years, he had not seen a single project executed by the Aregbesola administration. The statement also quoted the Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Mr. Oladepo Amuda, as saying that Omisore’s claim to have personally awarded the contract for the road in question was a simple illustration of the lies which characterised every assessment of the current administration by the former senator. Amuda said: “In the interview, he used ‘I’. Is he referring to the Federal Government? We do not know him to be Minister of Works neither does he work for the
Ministry of Works. He did not even serve as a member of Works Committee when he was in the Senate. So, who is ‘I’ that he is referring to? “Now, if he is speaking on behalf of the Federal Government. It is simple.
Let him produce evidence of as well as name the contractor that the Federal Government awarded the Osogbo - Ila-Odo - Kwara Boundary Road to. “The fact on ground about that road is this: Federal Government directed the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, FERMA, to rehabilitate the existing single carriage way from Osogbo to Ila-Odo. Rehabilitation and not reconstruction or construction, you need to get that right. “Then, FERMA gave the rehabilitation work to another contractor which did not do anything. What the State of Osun is doing is complete, total reconstruc-
tion and ‘dualisation’ of the single carriage way of the same length. This is a total state intervention on the road. “Besides, we informed the Federal Government before the intervention, stating the scope and the colossal amount involved. The Federal Government may be ready to refund the money after the completion of the road and satisfactory inspection. “Thus, Omisore could not be talking on behalf of the Federal Government. Apart from that, he could be talking about FERMA’s rehabilitation of the single carriage road which was not carried out.”
ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI
ome unknown men at the weekend attacked and killed a middle-aged cocoa merchant, Mr. Rotimi Omolase, in his farmland on Igbara-Odo Road at IlaweEkiti in Ekiti South-West Area of Ekiti State. The assailants also attacked another cocoa merchant, who escaped death by
Monday, February 11, 2013
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Cocoa merchant killed in Ekiti
•Two suspects held
the whisker, under the pretence that he wanted to prepare food for the attackers. The incident has, therefore, thrown the community, which suspected the assailants to be Fulani herdsman, into confusion. Immediately it was reported that the body of the
cocoa merchant was found in the pool of his blood in a farm about five kilometres from the community, policemen and residents stormed the farm and began search for the perpetrators. Spokesman of the Ekiti State Police Command, Mr. Victor Babayemi Olu, con-
firmed the incident, adding that the police had arrested two men in connection with the murder. Olu said: “Police detectives were dispatched to the scene and the body of the middle aged man was found lying in a pool of blood with marks of violence all over his body. “The body of the victim
has been removed and taken to the General Hospital, Ilawe, for autopsy. The scene has also been secured and now restricted to members of the public.” He said the assailants were yet to be identified and the motive behind the act was yet to be established, promising that the police would unravel the immedi-
Construction begins on 100km road in Ogun
Fayemi marks 48th birthday with less-privileged
onstruction of the 100km Ilara-Oja Odan Road in Imeko Afon Local Government Area of Ogun State has begun. The state governor, Ibikunle Amosun, on an inspection visit to the site at the weekend, commended the pace of work and promised to construct an additional 1km road linking the Ilara-Ijoun town to the neighbouring Republic of Benin, as requested by the community during the inspection. He reiterated the commitment of his administration to open up the rural areas through massive road construction. The govwernor said access road was crucial to economic empowerment, hence the determination of his administration to devote resources to the road sub-sector. Amosun said: “You need good roads to get your farm produce to the markets within and outside your local council and state. Everybody needs excellent road network to save productive time, reduce stress, accident and other losses associated with bad or lack of access roads.” The road, according to the governor, will be of standard, complete with median and drainage, among others. He said: “This is to guarantee safety of commuters and prolong the life span of the highway.” The people of Ilara in the neighbouring Benin Republic, who trooped out in large numbers to receive the governor, expressed gratitude to the Amosunled administration for ending their distress. The governor made stopover visits to communities along the 100km highway and exchanged pleasantries with residents.
ate and remote cause of the matter with a view to bringing the culprits to justice. He appealed to the residents to remain calm and urged them to furnish the police with information that could lead to the arrest of the killers, instead of engaging in violent protests capable of causing breakdown of law and order.
ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI
L-R: Member of Ogun State House of Assembly, Hon. Salmon Adeleke; Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun; Chairman of Imeko Afon Local Government Area, Hon. Ayilara Tajudeen and Commissioner for Housing, Mr. Daniel Adejobi, during an inspection of the 100km Ilara-Oja Odan Road in Ogun West Senatorial District, at the weekend.
Acid attack: Ondo commissioner quizzed OJO OYEWAMIDE AKURE
he Ondo State Commissioner for Natural Resources, Alhaji Oluboyo Lateef, was at the weekend quizzed by the police over the allegation that he sponsored the attack on a former member of the state Forest Monitoring Unit, Ajisafe Adetute. Ajisafe, who was recently bathed with acid in Akure, petitioned the police through his lawyer,
accusing Oluboyo, of being the mastermind of the attack. The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Wole Egodo, said the commissioner and four other suspects were quizzed by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officials to ascertain their alleged role in the matter. Ogodo said the police specifically invited the commissioner to establish whether or not he actually called and threatened the
victim on phone a few days before the incident. He said: “The matter has been transferred from Ala police station to the state CID and it is true that the Commissioner for Natural resources Alhaji Oluboyo Lateef, and other suspects have been invited and quizzed by the police, but I don’t know whether the commissioner was detained or not. “The case is a very sensitive matter and that is why the Criminal Investigation
SNC holds soon, say Kanu, Okei-Odumakin TEMITOPE OGUNBANKE
he Sovereign National Conference (SNC) will hold soon even with or without the Federal Government’s support, it was learnt yesterday. Some Nigerians said that the SNC would soon hold because of the current state of the nation. Chairman of National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), Rear Admiral Ndubisi Kanu and President of Campaign for Democracy, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, said that the SNC would proffer solutions to the various challenges confronting the coun-
try. They spoke at the 7th commemorative rally of Dr. Beko Ransome-Kuti’s death organised by the Campaign for Democracy (CD) which was held at Beko Cenotaph in Lagos. Kanu and other speakers said considering the present state of the nation, it would not be too long before the SNC would hold. Kanu described the late Beko as a great leader who fought tirelessly for a better Nigeria during his lifetime. He, therefore, urged human rights activists and civil society groups to continue in their struggle for a better Ni-
geria. Kanu said: “Sovereign National Conference is one of the things that Beko fought for during his lifetime. All those against the SNC don’t want Nigeria to survive. Irrespective of the government attitude to the Sovereign National Conference, it will take place very soon. What we want is a peaceful SNC, but if a peaceful conference is prevented, it may hold in a violence way. I can assure you that it will not be too long before SNC will take place.” Okei-Odumakin said that seven years after Beko died, the crisis in Nigeria has matured to a point that many
Department has taken over the case. All the suspects are still under interrogation and we shall not relent in our efforts to get to the root of the matter.” The police spokesman said the suspects would appear in court as soon as investigations into the matter were concluded Oluboyo, at a recent press briefing in Akure, denied sponsoring the attack on the victim and promised to assist the police to arrest the attackers.
people became advocates of a national conference. She said: “We must rise to the occasion and have a Sovereign National Conference the way Beko, Anthony Enahoro and other patriots have laid the template. “Attempt by agents of the status-quo to water the demand down by removing ‘Sovereign’ from the SNC is a waste of time as sovereignty belongs to the people. The Sovereignty of the conference that Beko asked us to do is that the decision of the conference will not be tampered with by the existing government and that is still the way to go.”
overnor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State celebrated his 48th birthday at the weekend with the physicallychallenged children and inmates of Children Correctional Centre with the pledge that disability or conviction would not deprive any child in the state of access to free and quality education. The governor, who was at the State Children Correctional Centre in AdoEkiti, where the inmates entertained and presented him with a birthday gift, advised the children against seeing their stay at the home as a stigma, but a way to impact values that would make them contribute meaningfully to the society. Fayemi, who said that many Nigerian leaders had passed through correctional homes, assured them that government owes them the duty to protect and provide for them according to the Child Rights’ law, hence the commitment of his administration to establish the centre and fund it so that the true Ekiti value could be imbibed in them. The governor was also at Ikere-Ekiti where he celebrated with students at the State School for the Blind and Deaf, saying he was happy celebrating the birthday with the less privileged because “we all belong to the same humanity regardless of our state”. At the ceremonies attended by his wife, Bisi; Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Ganiyu Owolabi and some top functionaries, Fayemi urged members of the public to inform government of any abuse or deprivation of physically-challenged persons in the state.
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Monday, February 11, 2013
Armed youths kill mother of eight GEORGE OPARA ABIA
he violent clash among armed youths in Ochia autonomous community of Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo
State yesterday assumed a dangerous dimension as it claimed the life of one Madam Nwaibari Boy, 55 and a mother of eight. The clash also led to the burning of more residential houses in Ubu-
bo-Alia village. It was gathered that the deceased had machete cuts on her head and her ankles. The injuries, eyewitness said, affected the arteries of her legs and brain which ultimately caused her
untimely death. Ochia community, it will be recalled was plunged into crisis following the politics and the traditional rulership tussle of the community following the discovery of oil in the
L-R: FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed; Senior Special Adviser to the Minister, Chief Emmanuel Awodu and Asagba of Asaba, Prof. Chike Edozie, at the wedding reception of Awodu’s daughter in Abuja, at the weekend. PHOTO: NAN
Obi, Okorocha blamed for fresh APGA crisis OBIORA IROH ABUJA
nambra State Governor, Peter Obi and his Imo State counterpart, Rochas Okorocha, have been blamed for the latest crisis rocking the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA. While there have been disagreements amongst stakeholders of the party over the bid by Okorocha to drag the party into the merger bid of opposition parties in the country, the sacking last Friday of the Chief Victor Umeh-
led leadership of the party by an Enugu High Court was said to be the handiwork of Governor Peter Obi. Speaking with Correspondents at the weekend in Abuja, a founding member of APGA from Enugu State, Chief Willy Ezugwu, said it was unfortunate that the power tussle in the party has been elevated to a point of ruthlessness which could lead to the disintegration of the party if care is not taken. “There is nowhere in any part of the party’s constitution that says the governor should take decisions by
himself without recourse to the party’s National Working Committee, NWC; the National Executive Committee, NEC, and the leaders. “Obi has been doing this. He has created factions in APGA and is responsible for its infiltration and the leadership crisis currently rocking the party. I dare say he is doing this for the PDP and this is sad,” Ezugwu said. He said until the leaders subsume their personal interests, the party may continue to witness more crises. He regretted that this was a betrayal of late APGA
leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Okukwu, adding that were it not for Ojukwu who had to kneel down and beg Anambra people to vote for Peter Obi, the incumbent wouldn’t have been governor, adding that Ojukwu would be fuming with rage in his grave. On the merger move on behalf of the party by Governor Okorocha, Ezugwu, who doubles as the SecretaryGeneral of the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties, CNPP, said Okorocha was on his own as his selfish interest was the underlining motive of his action.
Anyim, Okonjo-Iweala for S’East MDGs’ summit DENNIS AGBO ENUGU
ecretary to the Government of Federation, SGF, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim and the Minister for Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, among other personalities in the SouthEast, are to participate in a two-day summit in Owerri, the Imo State capital, where the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs, projects cited in the zone since year 2000 would be x-rayed. The summit, which is the concluding part of the evaluation of the impact of MDGs
projects in South-East communities in the past 13 years, is also aimed at postulating on the achievements or otherwise of the programme, which winds up in 2015. Organised by the Nigerian Union of Union Journalists, NUJ, South-East zone in collaboration with the Department of Public Administration and Local Government Studies, University of Nigeria Nsukka, UNN, and Global Research and Development Limited, the summit will equally feature the inauguration of the board of trustees and the launching of N50 billion MDGs support
trust fund for South-East communities. The Support Trust Fund is the deliverable component of an Independent Assessment Study of the impact of 12 years of MDGs in the South-East communities carried out under the auspices of the Department of Public Administration and Local Government of theUNN with the collaboration of NUJ in the South-East and the Global Research and Development Company Limited. The fund so realised would be distributed to all South-East communities to
tackle areas of MDGs critical attention identified by the research in areas as water boreholes, health, education and poverty alleviation. The inauguration of the trustees for the fund is being done under the Chairmanship of Senator Uche Chukwumerije while Dr. Sam Maduka Onyeishi, the Chairman/CEO, Peace Mass Transit and Hon. Dr. Jasper Ndubuaku, Chairman, SURE-P Imo State will serve as co-chairmen. The event is scheduled to take place at Ikemba Ojukwu Centre, Owerri, Imo State on February 20 and 21, 2013.
area in 2008 by Watersmith Petroman Oil Limited and the creation of Ochia autonomous community in 2010. Ever since, the community has been in crisis over who gets what. Penultimate week, the community was rocked by violence leading to the destruction of lives and property. In the crisis that followed, Chief Andrew Ekweme, the father of His Highness, Eze Ekweme P. Ekweme, was abducted allegedly by irate youths of the area. Reports said that the people of the community have been fleeing to neighbouring communities for safety. However, armed riot policemen were said to have swung into action, patrolling the deserted community with eight Hilux vans day and night; yet, the angry youths are taking advan-
tage of their knowledge of the environment to wreck further havoc in the area. The remote cause of the crisis, a source that did not want his name mentioned, said was the unhealthy Ezeship tussle and allegation of denial of royalties paid by the oil exploration company to some land owners. The accusation that the monarch, in connivance with a few of his loyalists, was shortchanging some youths perceived to be in opposition to his stool over certain entitlements was also said to have been responsible for the crisis. Though, efforts to contact the monarch proved futile as he was said to have went underground with his aides but Chief Ekweme, his father who was abducted last week Monday, was reportedly released as at the time of filing this report.
CNPP urges members to join APC DENNIS AGBO ENUGU
he Conference of Nigerian Political Parties, CNPP, has urged its members all over the country to embrace and join the newly formed mega-party, the All Progressives Congress, APC. The CNPP arising from a strategic meeting in Enugu during the weekend, called on its members to as a matter of urgent national importance, join the APC, it said is for the interest and survival of democracy in the country. CNPP said it was making the wake-up call based on the urgent patriotic need for all progressives to join hand in halting the dangerous slide of Nigeria to a failed state. It also said that it was in the interest of Nigeria, the safety of our fledgling democracy and the public good. In a statement by the CNPP Publicity Secretary, Osita Okechukwu, the group urged the National Executive Committees or relevant organs of opposition political parties; especially the Labour Party, All Progres-
sives Grand Alliance and indeed all progressive parties whether deregistered or not, to join the progressive train. “It is our considered opinion that in their enlightened self interest and collective interest, joining APC early at this initial stage will help all progressive forces in designing and modelling a truly centre left manifesto anchored on social justice, welfare and anticorruption. Is it not a paradox that Labour Party is missing in action, in fact in a movement geared towards the redemption of the working class? “For the avoidance of doubt, the APGA faction, leadership of Labour Party and other progressive political parties who are opposed to joining the APC, in no distance time will regrettably blame themselves when the mass exodus of their members and supporters commence. Time is of essence before the progressive train leaves station. “In sum, the birth of APC has redefined the political landscape of Nigeria as the electoral battle of 2015 is now between PDP and APC,” Okechukwu said.
Monday, February 11, 2013
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Bayelsa invests N4bn in power sector
L-R: Vice-Chancellor, University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Joseph Ajienka; Chancellor and Akran of Badagry, De Wheno Aholu MenuToyi I; Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufa’i; Acting Pro-Chancellor, Prof. Walter Eneji and Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Amaechi, at the 29th convocation ceremony of the university in Port Harcourt, at the weekend. PHOTO: NAN
We can’t guarantee safety of oil pipelines, says ex-militants EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA
x-militants under the auspices of Phase Two for Peace in the Niger Delta, at the weekend, cautioned that they may not be able to guarantee the safety of oil pipelines in the region. The ex-militants’ stand was coming against the back-drop of their call on the Federal Government to award the surveillance contract of pipelines belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, to former militants.
Leader of the group in Bayelsa State, Stephen Ebisendei, who spoke at a meeting in Yenagoa, where the former militants deliberated on the state of affairs in the country, lamented that cases of crude oil theft have been high because over 6,166 former militants were not engaged to protect the pipelines. According to him, the exmilitants were now roaming the streets because the contract was not awarded to the group by the Federal Government. Ebisendei noted that that the prevailing peace in the region could be sus-
tained if the Federal Government ensures adequate funding of the amnesty programme. While passing a vote of confidence on President Goodluck Jonathan and the Presidential Adviser on Niger Delta, Kingsley Kuku, the group promised to support President Jonathan ahead of the 2015 poll. Also speaking at the meeting, an ex-militant leader, Olotu Woniemi, said the group could stop the illegal refineries in the creeks if given the powers to secure the oil pipelines. His words: “We can stop the illegal refineries in the
Why I stopped work on science park project –Akpabio OLUSEGUN KOIKI
kwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio, has given reasons why his administration has stopped work on the construction of the science park project commenced by his predecessor, Chief Victor Attah. Speaking with aviation correspondents in Uyo, the state capital at the weekend, Governor Akpabio said he suspended action on the project since 2007 because the project was enmeshed in fraud. He said the contract sum for the science park was N5.6billion, noting that the previous administration had paid out
N5.3billionn to the contractor, but that “what was on ground was not commensurate with that amount before the project was abandoned.” He said the project was EFCC-prone, adding that the state House of Assembly had investigated the project and discov-
ered lots of skirmishes in its handling. His words: “The last administration conceived the idea of a science park, but two things were wrong with the project; one is the location. No matter what you have there; such a facility will be threatened by erosion. “You can take a look at it before you go. No matter what you have there, it will cost you more to arrest the building and save the project. “Two, that project is EFCC-prone because the total cost of that project was N5.6billion, but the last administration paid N5.3billion upfront and the work done was not up to N400million level. So, your guess is as good as mine.
creeks. You can see the difference between when we were in the creeks and we used to have a production capacity of 700 barrels per day, now we produce up to 2.9 million barrels per day. The difference is clear. That means if we continue that way, the nation would make more money from oil.” Ebisentei urged the apex government to ensure that the Presidential Amnesty Office was not starved of funds because the presidential adviser has been able to drive the programme successfully over this period.
ayelsa State government said it has released over N4billion into the power sector in the last one year even as it added that it is also pursuing vigorously the state’s rural electrification project. Giving the account of his stewardship at the weekend, the state Commissioner for Energy, Mr. Francis Ikio, said the investment in the power sector became imperative because of its relevance to the economic growth of the state. The power sector, according to the commissioner, plays a significant role
in any growing economy, saying that was why the present administration was not leaving any stone unturned at ensuring that all the rural areas become beneficiaries of its electrification projects. To this end, he said no fewer than 23 projects have been awarded which include the rehabilitation and reticulation of existing networks and the extension of electricity to several other communities in the state. According to him, 10 communities in Sagbama Local Government are benefiting from the rural electricity scheme presently.
Wike lays foundation for UNIPORT Law Faculty IJEOMA EZEIKE ABUJA
inister of State for Education, Mr. Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, at the weekend, laid the foundation for the construction of a law faculty for the University of Port Harcourt. The minister wondered why a conventional university like the University of Port Harcourt, has no law faculty. He told the university community that the approval for the faculty and
its construction came from the Presidency, with a backing from the Tertiary Educational Trust Fund, TETFUND. Wike said the Federal Government saw the need to provide better infrastructural facilities and good learning environment for Nigerian universities. The minister while assuring that the project will not be hindered by the normal annual budgetary constraints said special funds have been set aside for the project.
JTF destroys 17 illegal refineries, arrests vessel SAM OLUWALANA
aval officers operating under the Joint Task Force, JTF, at the weekend, arrested a vessel laden with illegal oil cargo while also destroying 17 illegal refineries in Rivers State. This was disclosed to journalists by the new Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral Joe Aikhomu, during his maiden visit to NNS Pathfinder, in Port Harcourt. Rear Admiral Aikhomu said that five additional illegal refineries would be destroyed in a few days time. He also confirmed that 17 illegal refineries were destroyed in the last three
weeks. “So far, we have destroyed 17 illegal refineries. We still have about five more to destroy tomorrow or next,” he said. The new FOC, Eastern Naval Command, hinted that the Navy has impounded a vessel, MT Divine Favour, operating on Nigeria’s territorial waterways without documents. According to him, products onboard the vessel, were also undocumented. “With intelligence reports, we were able to arrest a vessel, MT Divine Favour, operating without documents. The products have no documents; illegal products. She is culpable and would be handed to the appropriate authority for prosecution. “You cannot just operate
on Nigerian waters without documentation; even taxis on the roads have documents to show for their vehicles and operations. We shall hand over the vessel to the relevant authority very soon.” He added that the Navy had put in place measures to enable it surmount its challenges. He also disclosed that the Eastern Command flagship vessel, NNS Thunder, will be involved in operation with their Cameroonian counterparts in a joint exercise tagged ‘Obangumi Express’ which he said is in its fourth year. “Both countries and their naval personnel have benefitted immensely this past years and this year will not be an exception.”
Monday, February 11, 2013
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El-Rufai in the eyes of the storm
Nigeria deserves alternative to PDP, says PDM OBIORA IFOH ABUJA
he Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) has called on all opposition political parties and organisations across the country to close ranks in order to provide Nigerians with a clear choice between conservative and progressive ideologies. The PDM which was formed by late Major General Shehu Yar’Adua also commended the opposition for its resolve to give Nigerians an alternative political platform through the formation of the All Progressives Congress (APC). According to the communiqué signed by Bashir Yusuf Ibrahim, Tonye Princewill and Shehu Musa Yar’Adua at the end of its meeting last week, the PDM
stated that “while we are gladdened by the development, we implore the opposition to define its own identity based on progressive ideology, with clear and contrasting policies and programmes capable of pulling Nigeria out of the current state of despoliation, despair and debasement. “Telling Nigerians how bad things are simply won’t suffice. Clear and practical solutions are what Nigerians need. The PDM is developing a clear roadmap for the entrenchment of profound national social, political and economic reforms which will lead to creating jobs, steady power supply, improved security, transparent and credible elections and bring corruption in all its manifestations to an end.” The PDM also resolved
Don’t let merger fail, ACN charges APC leadership SINA FADARE
he Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has charged the leadership of the newly formed All Progressives Congress (APC) to do everything within its power to ensure that the merger succeeds at all cost. The Osun State chapter of the ACN in a statement issued by its Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy, Kunle Oyatomi, in Osogbo at the weekend assured that progressive minds in the country are ready to stop the rot and degeneration in the polity, adding that this merger could be the last hope for the teeming masses of Nigerians who are yearning for a change. His words: “This merger is what the Nigerian public is hoping for, to alter the government of graft and corruption that has completely stall progress and impose poverty on the people and a country that has no business being poor. Nigerians look
up to the APC to make the difference between the insanity we have in the country now and progressive development of our people as well as economic infrastructure.” He said that “the leadership of APC should have history on their minds, so that they don’t fall victim of the same mistakes that led to failures of similar mergers in the past.”
to open discussions with the organisations of like mind, with a view to finding common grounds on issues of principle, policy and strategy in order to move the Nigerian project
to the next level. “These discussions must be open, transparent and above all, in the best interest of the peace, unity, stability and economic progress of Nigeria
he Central Executive Committee of the Committee 21 (C21), the socio-political umbrella of South East progressive democrats, has endorsed the recent formation of All Progressives Congress (APC).” The C21, in a statement said: “We are more than satisfied with the dynamic roles played by the Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha and Senator Annie Okonkwo in the thorough and exhaustive engagements by major political parties that
minent collapse. Nigerians are sick and tired of more of the same and are clamouring for change, a change which they deserve,” the communiqué stated.
L-R: Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal; Niger State Governor Aliyu Babangida; his Adamawa State counterpart, Murtala Nyako; former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar and his wife, Justice Fati during the grand reception in honour of distinguished indigenes of Niger State at the Idris Kutigi Conference Centre, Minna, at the weekend.
Merger: CPC, ANPP hold rallies in Kano AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST KANO
he recent merger of leading opposition parties in the country may have opened up subtle election campaign by ambitious political office seekers in Kano State, going by the beehive of political activities experienced in the state capital at the weekend.
Two political units in the merger, the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) held different political rallies in the city yesterday to celebrate the success of the coming together of leading opposition parties, resulting in the emergence of the All Progressive Congress (APC). National Mirror reports that while the CPC held
C21 endorses APC
and Nigerians as a whole. The era of business as usual should be dead and gone. Politicians must begin to do things differently, henceforth, in order to save Nigeria from im-
saw the emergence of APC and hereby place on record our total commitment to this redemption movement for our clear country.” Noting that having endured the festering national decadence that has become increasingly degenerative, the C21 said that a radical rescue mission for our country has become not only imperative, but must be pursued by unfettered clear thinkers. It emphasised that “having been aware of the lamentable conspiracy of a section of PDP-APGA reactionaries to bleed our
chosen political platform, APGA to death through judicial contrivance, and trade its casket as fair game to their PDP masters,” it has taken the well considered step to protect the effervescent spirit of APGA in the assembly of nontoxic democrats “where our unyielding quest for a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction will receive accelerated attention on merit and not deception.” The C21 therefore called on every progressive APGA member, sympathiser and admirer to be patient and faithful.
its rally at the Murtala Muhammed Library, attended by party bigwigs from the 44 local government areas of the state, with some members of the lesser parties as observers, the ANPP’s gathering took place at the Sarduana Home of former Kano State governor and presidential candidate of the party in the last elections, Ibrahim Shekarau. At the ceremony in Shekarau’s home, the ANPP youth wing under the aegis of Kawu Sumaila Dala Youth Organisation presented the serving House of Representatives member from Sumaila Federal constituency, Kawu Sumaila as their candidate for 2015 governorship elections in Kano State. The conveners, the Dala Youth Organisation told the gathering that Sumaila, who has been in the House of Representatives since the inception of the fourth Republic is the suitable candidate for the Kano governorship race on the platform of the ANPP. The CPC gathering at
the Kano Library was among other things, designed to herald the merger and sensitise members and supporters on the benefits derivable from the action. CPC leader in Kano, Alhaji Usman Alhaji, a onetime National Secretary of the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC), told the audience that the merger of parties would end the monopoly of the PDP in the governance of the country, adding that it has already sent jitters and panic across the ruling party. Usman also noted that it would now provide the needed opportunity for Nigerians to have people-oriented leadership that would usher in a government which would be acceptable to all, even as he noted that aggrieved and frustrated key PDP officials, desirous of a change would come on board and pleaded for commitment and support by all to achieve the desired goal of liberating the country from the clutches of dictatorship.
Monday, February 11, 2013
el-Rufai in the eyes of the storm
ast Thursday, ‘The Accidental Public Servant’, is a book written by former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, was launched in Abuja. The laucnching drew a sizeable number of the society. It was el-Rufai’s account of his stewardship in the public service both as the Director-General of Bureau for Public Enterprise (BPE), where he supervised government’s privatisation policy as well as the minister in charge of the FCT where he worked hard to restore the city’s master plan. In both assignments, he left his footprints but posterity it is often said, is the greatest judge of ones acts in life. In government, he weathered many storms. Six years after, he is even weathering greater storms. On the day meant to be his happiest, el-Rufai was not spared by many of the people who came to honour him. Former Military President, General Muhammadu Buhari praised him as one Nigerian who is known to be focused when he said that the country did not need leaders “who talk glibly about this nation and they don’t know how to develop the nation,” while the Chief Presenter of the book and governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, said in his remarks that the book would connect the people to the “compelling necessity to ensure that only first eleven are entrusted with the nation’s destiny.” However, Governor Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State was of the view that elRufai “is indeed a controversial person,” adding that the general perception of the former minister “is that he is arrogant, disrespectful, but despite this, he is simply a man you cannot ignore, a man who is frank to a fault.” The greatest attack on el-Rufai came from former Lagos State governor, Ahmed Bola Tinubu, who eulogised him for the courage he mustered in revelling the power thirst regime he served under and where he played a prominent role as one of the government’s enforcers. According to him, “In as much as Nasir may not and cannot exonerate himself from all that happened, he has chosen a road less travelled by ‘telling it all’. One of ‘yesterdays’ men is coming clean.” In telling it all, the former minister has been accused of writing fictions in some of the exposé. Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar was not amused when el-Rufai contradicted himself when he said that former President Olusegun Obasanjo went on bended knees before him being the Vice President to seek his cooperation for second term bid in 2003. He also noted that the former minister contradicted himself when he said that he interfered with the privatisation policy of the government. Abubakar was the vice president when el-Rufai served as the Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprise and later Minister of FCT. The Atiku’s Media Office, in a statement, dismissed these claims as a figment of elRufai’s wild imagination. It stated: “Such claim lacked any credibility because Atiku and Obasanjo were alone together behind closed doors and that they alone knew what actually transpired between them. It wondered whether el-Rufai was a fly on the wall to discuss the details of a private meeting
The name Nasiru el-Rufai means different things to different people. To the regime he served, he was the officer that carried out his duties with diligence and to most Nigerians, he was one ruthless and heartless officer who rendered many homeless. But since he left office in 2007 as the Minister of Federal Capital Territory, he has busied himself with one controversy or another, the last being the controversy he stoked at the launch of his memoir just last week. OBIORA IFOH takes a look at the storms that shape el-Rufai.
WE MUST NOT ALLOW HIM TO TURN NIGERIA INTO A CAULDRON OF
FIRE BY HIS RECKLESS, BIGOTED AND TWISTED COMMENTARIES... IN ORDER TO CREATE A POLITICAL BASE FOR HIMSELF AMONGST HIS PEOPLE between the two leaders. Rather than el-Rufai feeding the public with such fabrications, the statement said the former minister should have provided or quoted the authority for such claim since he was not at the private meeting between former President Obasanjo and Vice President Abubakar. Barely a week before the book launch, the former minister disparaged the Christian religion when he tweeted that “If Jesus criticises Jonathan’s government; Maku/Abati/Okupe will say that he slept with Mary Magdalene.” Though he has apologised for that remark, both Christians and Moslems alike rose in condemnation of the comment. The Christian Association of Nigeria, (CAN), has since called on the Federal Government to caution el-Rufai on the use of derogatory words against Christians in the country. The General Secretary of CAN, Rev. Musa Asake, said that the maturity and dignified restraint of the Christian popu-
lace in the face of the “inflammatory and provocative” statement should not be taken as license for unbridled assault, saying that the association urges religious leaders and political associates of el-Rufai to advice him to be far more sober and circumspect in his comments. Asake said: “On our part, we hereby warn el-Rufai that if he persists in such matters and in making such divisive commentaries, he must prepare himself for a very forceful and vigorous reaction from the church and the Christian community in Nigeria. “We must not allow him to turn Nigeria into a cauldron of fire by his reckless, bigoted and twisted commentaries about our Lord or our faith and we must view him for exactly what he is, a failed, desperate, hatefilled and drowning politician, who is now stoking the embers of religious division in order to create a political base for himself amongst his people.” Atiku Media office added that for a man like el-Rufai who has a notorious reputation for disparaging religions and their icons, including lately Jesus Christ, the attack on Atiku was the least surprising. It noted that if he could go to such irreverent extent to disparage religious icons, who is an ordinary mortal like Abubakar, saying any man that can cross the boundary of reason and decency, deserves prayers rather than anger. Before now, el-Rufai has been enmeshed in controversies. As DG of BPE, he was accused of corruptly enriching himself while in office having allegedly cornered multi-billion naira assets in telecommunications company and in real estate. Apparently reacting to moves by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commis-
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sion (EFCC) to launch fresh probes into his alleged ownership of some companies, the former minister, who noted that he was not one of those people that could be whipped into line with threat of EFCC, said “those who wish to investigate are welcome to it, but they should desist from careless whispers and dissemination of libel while hiding behind official cloaks.” The former minister, who urged the EFCC to stop what he described as innuendos, stressed that he had no apology for declining to align his political preferences to the government of President Goodluck Jonathan, even as he vowed to resist any attempt to foist the toga of a guilty man on him the way he did during late President Umaru Yar’Adua. The EFCC had also in December 2008 declared el-Rufai wanted over a purported missing N32 billion proceeds from the sale of Federal Government houses in Abuja. The former minister also asked President Jonathan to quit if he could not solve the growing security threats to lives and property in the country, occasioned by Boko Haram. He also lambasted the Ijaw National leader, Edwin Clark, on his assertion that Northern leaders were not doing enough to curtail the Boko Haram sect. According to him, Jonathan has already made it clear to Nigerians and the international community that the gale of bombings in the land was beyond the capability of his administration to handle, a situation, he described as unfortunate. He stated that other Nigerian heads of state had at different times and periods been confronted with serious challenges and they deployed appropriate state apparatus to deal with them without resorting to wrong quarters and the ordinary citizens for help. “Why is it that only President Jonathan cannot solve Nigeria’s security problem?” el-Rufai asked. The arrest, interrogation and release of el-Rufai by operatives of the State Security Services, (SSS), on arrival from the United Kingdom where he had gone to be part of the Chattam House presentation by the CPC presidential candidate and his deputy, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari and Pastor Tunde Bakare after the April presidential election in 2011 was another controversy which he weathered. A release signed by the Assistant Director, Public Relations of the SSS, Marilyn Ogar said that his arrest became necessary following articles in the cyber and print media which have been considered by well-meaning Nigerians to be inciting, inflammatory and grossly misleading. “He refused to cross-check his facts before publishing. He rather chose to misinform the public with mischievously orchestrated data with the intent of causing disaffection among the populace, thereby subverting the government. It is expected that the former minister should have been circumspect against the backdrop of current security challenges in the country,” the SSS stated. Nigerians will not forget in a hurry the demolition of satellites towns in the FCT by the administration of el-Rufai and the subsequent reallocation of such choice properties to families and friends. In one of his testimonies before a fact finding inquiry, the former minister was reported to have advised the investigators who asked why he appropriated so much properties to his family members, “to give the land to his enemies if he become the minister.”
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Monday, February 11, 2013
Excitement, limitations of APC HeartBeat
WILL APC FLY? I THINK SO. BUT THE TRUTH IS THAT I FIND
THE ENTRY STRATEGY
OF THE PARTY TOO
Callistusoke@nationalmirroronline.net 08054103275 (SMS ONLY)
igeria’s newest political baby, the All Progressive Congress (APC), should tinkle all discerning and patriotic Nigerians. Reason is that a more intimidating opposition has finally emerged as a counterpoise to bull dozing Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The pangs of its birth were traumatic for the founders as well as for Nigerians. However, to God be the glory for the eventual safe delivery. The timing could not be more auspicious; it gives credit to the political sagacity of the founding fathers. The ruling PDP, the biggest party in Africa, is in life threatening crisis, which has everything to do with 2015. For those who have good political eyes. While the muscle flexing is going on within the party, the APC sneaked in to offer another credible political platform to any unhappy politicians, in addition to its own safe members. Those who have the good political eyes would know that a political cyclone will most likely sweep the PDP in the days ahead over who carries its presidential
banner for the 2015 general elections and other matters. So, the field of malcontent is going to be big. Given the high rate of political prostitution among Nigerian politicians, a rich harvest awaits the new party. Though politicians are like diplomats known for their lying prowess, the reason for the push for a bigger opposition platform in the country – rescuing Nigeria from the “rot and corruption bedeviling her and from the fangs of PDP’s maladministration” – I dare say, resonates well with discerning Nigerians. Four times they have invested their political capital in the PDP, what they have got, unhappily, is growing pauperization and abysmal display of nonchalance by their leaders. The nonchalance is expressed in the large scale corruption everywhere without let. Corruption, you know, means that some people are getting fatter at the expense of the majority of Nigerians. Once beaten, the saying goes, twice shy. We have been four times beaten; I think our mumu don do! Will APC fly? I think so. But the truth is
that I find the entry strategy of the party too exclusive. The leaders of four political parties, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), All Nigerian People’s Party (ANPP), All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) constituted the strategic think tank for its birth. Not a bad idea anyway, after all some people will form the leadership nucleus. The product they have succeeded in molding has been endorsed by the senators and reps of these four political parties and those of the Democratic Peoples’ Party (DPP). Many Nigerians are also equally excited by the prospect it may offer. What, however, many say in whispers is why was the Labour Party shut out? If the reason has to do with the feud between the only LP governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State and leader of ACN, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, I say it very unfortunate. It is unfortunate because the new party needs the goodwill and support of all progressive Nigerians. That is not all; more fundamentally is the fact that the civil society groups and the urban educated elite were excluded from the strategic sessions that gave birth to the new party. It is a regrettable oversight. If indeed, there is a genuine desire to save Nigeria from whatever is seen as the evil that has stunted her growth and development, every aggrieved segment of the country ought to be wooed to be part of the new coalition. Those with enough financial muscles are as important to the party as those with the intellectual assets that would do the pontifi-
cating, the brain box of the party. There is therefore, a need for rethink to broaden the stakeholders base. General Buhari, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu et al should read the history of the post independence struggle in Kenya and Zambia, two countries that successfully shook off the hegemony of one-party dominance. From 1963 to 2002 (39 years) the Kenya Africa Union (KANU) was not only entrenched in the politics of Kenya like an Iroko tree, the Jomo Kenyetta/Arap Moi grip was suffocating and overbearing. When Uhuru Kenyatta was nominated as KANU’s presidential candidate for the 2002 elections, something had to give. Old political horse and KANU apparatchik, Mwai Kibaki, wooed Raila Odinga of the Liberal Democratic Party and other harried KANU members to form the National Rainbow Coalition. Kibaki was the new party’s presidential candidate for that election. He defeated Kenyatta to displace KANU. The rest is history. In Zambia, liberation came faster. Kenneth Kaunda was the Alpha and Omega of the country from 1964 to 1991. It took a powerful political coalition, Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) led by an erstwhile trade union leader, Fredrick Chiluba to dislodge him from power in the first multi-party presidential election in 1991. The history of the struggle in Zambia and Kenya would also enable APC leaders to escape the pitfalls of post victory era in these counties.
Revisiting the myth of ‘bottom power’ ABDUL-WAREES SOLANKE
he pan African philosopher, Professor Ibekwe Chinweizu it was, who wrote a very seminal essay on the power of women in the context of influencing public decisions during the military era preceding the ill-fated Third Republic. Titled Anatomy of Female Power, the essay published in his column in one of the national dailies ,strengthened the myth of ‘bottom power’, a notion that women with access to men in power as wives, girl friends or concubines, will always have their way in influencing government decision choices and public policies on matters in which they have interest. This myth is thought to account for the failure of many leaders or the clash of interest within a power caucus; or nations going to avoidable wars; or confrontations among friends and neighbours; and disillusionment of a boss with his team members. From this myth, women are demonized as the ignition of human ambition or failure; defeat and collapse of empires, or dissolution of groups and governments. Is this myth faithfully supported by history and the scripture? Perhaps, this is through in some cases and in others, it is unfounded, depending on the personality of the protagonist or victim. In the public domain, this myth will be true to the extent of the environmental circumstances of the leadership recruitment within the system, or the author-
ity validation process in the governance framework, which produces the leader or victim. This piece is not really a rejoinder, a belated one for that matter on the very serious issue that borders on gender chauvinism, as I am no chauvinist of any gender. The truth, however, is that women’s influence and power over men are to the extent of that which men are enslaved or that which he wants to be acclaimed. Interestingly, there are so many of such factors which control the minds of men. Women or sex is just one. Sex could be exploited by not women alone, but by those in the traffic on the corridors of power with access to the leaders at any point in time. My argument here is that women are not entirely responsible for leadership indiscretions and failure, nor is the sex weapon so potent as to bring down the nation or the government, destabilize the system or appropriate opportunities and appurtenances to women and their kinsfolk if the governance system is functional. In such systems, what guides public choices and decisions is mostly the utilitarian calculus. Choices will be made on the basis of rationality, having gone through a whole process of critical issue identification, research-based evidence, rigorous cost-benefit analysis and sufficient and sincere stakeholders’ engagement and public deliberation. In this scenario, all group interests are taken into consideration as this process also involves the participation of not just the beneficiaries but also those
THE TRAGEDY OF MOST THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES IS THAT THEIR POLICY ENVIRONMENT DOES NOT CONDUCE TO PURSUING POLICIES THAT SERVE THE GREATEST GOOD OF THE GREATEST NUMBER that may be negatively affected by the proposed policy or decision so that when the policy is being implemented, the communication and mitigation components are also being factored in to prevent rejection or uproar from those interest groups who may be shortchanged. The problem with our policy process is that too many policy salesmen abound in our polity canvassing for a variety of policy interventions, which serve not the overall national interest, but primordial vested interests of ethnicity, economic class or religion. Interestingly, in the case of religion, many of those who advance the religious cause in power situation are really not truly religious. They just use religion to capture power. When they achieve their goal, they offer only crumbs of office to the men in
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cassocks and alkimbas to continue to pray for them so that they are not swept away. When the choice of a leader is made inside one club that promotes the economic interest of its member, of course, such leader cannot oppose that interest when he comes to power. And when the vanguards of tongues and tribes are pushing forth their sons and daughters for public offices, it is not expected that they will speak for others. The tragedy of most Third World countries is that their policy environment does not conduce to pursuing policies that serve the greatest good of the greatest number. This explains the frequency of policy changes and lack of policy continuity in such countries. In such an environment of policy inconsistencies and instability, there cannot be faith in government, nor can there be genuine interest to work for the public good. Every public office seeker becomes a rent seeker interested only in the spoils of office for himself or for his group, tribe or religion. Rather than have development in such milieu, what exists practically are retrogression and corruption.
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Prosecution of Farouk Lawan
he eventual arraignment of the chairman of the House of Representatives’ ad hoc Committee that probed the oil subsidy payments, Hon. Lawan Farouk and his secretary, Hon. Boniface Emenalo, on Friday February 1, has ended the nation’s heightened animation on whether such brazen betrayal of public trust and abuse of office would go unpunished or not. This was particularly so, given the suspicious manner some of the facts of the Committee’s report were manipulated and tainted, and the perceived hesitancy of the federal authorities on what to do with the matter. The arraignment might have come late, we feel that it is better been than never. Now, both parties have the opportunity to prove their case or establish their innocence. This is the beauty of the rule of law. The lid on the messy bribery scandal was blown off early last year when the chairman of Zenon Oil, Mr. Femi Otedola, accused Hon Lawan of demanding and receiving bribe to give his (Otedola) companies a clean bill of health in the subsidy payment fraud that rocked the
THE POSITION OF THE LAW IS THAT THE GIVER AND TAKER OF BRIBES ARE CULPABLE AND PUNISHABLE nation. The total amount allegedly received by Lawan was put at $620, 000. Otedola stated that he carried along the police and State Security Service (SSS) all the while the transactions (which were captured electronically) were on. After initial denial, Hon. Lawan, appearing before the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges investigating the bribery scandal, admitted receiving the money, but only as evidence of the bribe giving act. In spite of the heat generated by the open bribery allegation at such high level of political leadership, the federal authorities foot dragged on what to do. Meanwhile, the principal actors took their case to the press from where the nation got salacious details of the scandal. Expectedly, the civil society groups sustained the indignation, mounting the needed pressure to ensure that justice
was served. For instance, the Public Interest Lawyers League (PILL) had challenged the police to arrest both Lawan and businessman Otedola, the principal characters in the bribery scandal. The PILL President, Abdul Mahmud, had said that the tapes of the scandal as broadcast by Channels Television, established bribe-giving and bribe-taking; criminal relationship between Lawan and Otedola during and after the Ad-hoc Committee probe hearings; and that there was glaring intent to compromise the outcome of the House ad hoc Committee report. Despite all this, the federal authorities responsible for the arraignment and prosecution of Lawan and Otedola for their messy role in the subsidy probe graft had foot-dragged, confirming the suspicion that they might be acting out a script. It took the intervention of activist lawyer, Festus Keyamo, who had appealed to an order of Mandamus to compel the prosecution of Lawan. The entire development is very untidy and unwholesome. We see the harried arraignment of Mr. Lawan as not only a panic measure, but also a half-
heartedly step which may not cross beyond the starting lines. There are bottom-line questions that the prosecution of Lawan has thrown up: Why did it have to take so long to prosecute an obvious case of political corruption, which the government had vowed to fight? Why is the prosecution being selective? The position of the law is that the giver and taker of bribes are culpable and punishable. Was Otedola used to set up Hon. Lawan? If so, why was the ad hoc Committee chairman not arrested at the point of receiving the money? Singling out Hon. Lawan for prosecution does not project a good image of government’s responsibility, integrity, fairness and commitment to fight corruption. It is apparent that government is trying to shield one party while punishing the other party. This should not have been so. We think that the Federal Government should demonstrate a more serious commitment to the fight against corruption. Only that can guarantee and earn the people’s confidence in the anti-corruption posture of the President Goodluck Jonathan administration.
ON THIS DAY February 11, 2012 United States mega star and one of the world’s best selling music artists, Whitney Houston, died at the age of 48 in a Los Angeles hotel, the night before the Grammy Awards. Plagued by substance abuse in her later life, Houston had become one of the most popular and celebrated singers in her early career.
February 11, 1990 One of the heroes of South African anti-apartheid struggle, Nelson Mandela, is released from prison after 27 years. A lawyer, Mandela had joined the African National Congress (ANC), the oldest black political organization in South Africa. He had served as the leader of the Johannesburg youth chapter of the group, and then later its deputy national president.
February 11, 1963 The English rock band, The Beatles, recorded their first album Please, Please Me, at the Abbey Road Studios, London. The record, released on 22 March, 1963, shot the band into global reckoning. Each one of the band received £7.50 session fee per hour for each for the recording session of a total of 9 hours and 45 minutes.
Monday, February 11, 2013
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Still dogged by Almost two months after it was passed by the National Assembly, the 2013 Appropriation Bill is still a subject of intense controversy, with the president’s refusal to sign it into law, almost one month after it was transmitted to the Presidency By Salami Semiu
ast week, the 160 opposition lawmakers in the lower chamber of the National Assembly threatened to push for an override of President Goodluck Jonathan’s veto in signing the N4.987 trillion 2013 Budget passed by the National Assembly in December last year. Femi Gbajabiala, the Minority Leader, who spoke on behalf of the lawmakers, said that a situation where the legislature will have to override Jonathan’s presidential veto as constitutionally provided is not a good way to start the year or foster a good legislative-executive relationship. “We also ask that Mr. President begins to respect official resolutions from an equal arm of government as these resolutions are always in the national interest. If two heads are better than one, then, surely 360 heads are better than one. The delay in signing the 2013 budget has been subject of a lot of meetings in the National Assembly,” the caucus said. However, in what appeared to be a manifestation of cracks
among the lawmakers, the House of Representatives has debunked speculations that President Jonathan had refused to sign the 2013 budget and that the House was planning to override his veto. Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Hon. Zakary Mohammed, who addressed the issue at the weekly media briefing, said the budget was still with the executive and the parliament had not been notified of any refusal by the president to assent to it. Mohammed said the seeming delay may be because the president was studying the budget, adding that the issue had not come to the stage where the National Assembly would contemplate overriding the presidential veto. Indeed, in the last couple of days, there have been speculations that President Jonathan had rejected the budget and may have returned it to the National Assembly. Sources say that disagreements between the president and the National Assembly on the oil benchmark, N93 billion constituency projects and the
lack of budget for the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC may be the reason why President Jonathan has refused to sign the budget. It would be recalled that one of the presidential aides had recently alleged that the president had been unable to sign the budget into law because he was worried over the inclusion of such whopping sum of money in the budget. The Chairman, Senate Committee on Business and Rules, Senator Ita Enang, like Mohammed, also dismissed the allegation that the president had refused to sign the 2013 Appropriation Bill into law because the lawmakers appropriated another N93 billion to themselves aside the original appropriation to the legislature in the budget. Enang, who described the allegation as frivolous, said that if indeed the president has any reservation about the budget, he would have properly channelled his complaints to the National Assembly instead of discussing it with an aide, adding that the National Assembly has not received any form of complaints from the president over the bud-
get till date. According to him, the president has done nothing wrong by not signing the bill yet, explaining that the president has up to 30 days to study the bill during which he will decide whether to sign it or not, stressing that until that was done, any other insinuation was merely frivolous. “Well, I might not have got the details but for now, the issue is that the president got the budget sometimes in mid-January and the president has 30 days from the date he received the budget to study it and decide whether or not to sign it. Now, nobody can at this stage say the president has not signed
the budget or nobody can at this stage say this is the reason the president has not signed the budget. So, there is no issue of jerking up our budget because the president is still within the time allowed by the law. So, there is nothing wrong with the president not signing the budget now. The law allows him to study it for 30 days,” he said. Enang insisted that those are frivolous allegations by attention seeking persons because those persons will know that the president cannot refuse to sign the budget on account of a matter that he has not communicated to the National Assembly. “How then will the aide know about a
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matter that has not been communicated to the National Assembly? It is not possible because if the president will not sign the budget, he will communicate it to the National Assembly. As long as he has not communicated such to the National Assembly, there is no question of refusing to sign the budget,” Enang said. However, despite the spate of denials, competent sources told Business Courage last week that President Jonathan has indeed, communicated his intention not to assent to the 2013 Appropriation Bill as passed to the leadership of the National Assembly. The source said that it was based on this that opposition lawmakers have decided to speak out on the issue A member of the House, who pleaded anonymity, said that the president indeed, picked a hole in the bill as passed by the National Assembly and has communicated same to the leadership of the National Assembly on some grey areas causing his delay in signing it. Specifically, the source said the president was not happy over the zero allocation given to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the N63 billion added to the original budget proposed as well as some aspects of the capital project vote particularly the National Assembly Constituency project. “This budget problem has come again. The president has returned the 2013 budget that we passed before we went for Christmas break. Although the
thing is yet to be made known officially to members, those who have seen it said SEC and benchmark issues were among the grey areas,” said the source. In view of what it termed as the alleged poor-implementation of the capital projects in the 2012 budget, the National Assembly had rolled over the non-implemented aspects of the capital projects, especially the constituency projects into 2013. The move was turned down by the President who described it as illegal. The National Assembly had approved N4,987,220,425,601 as the 2013 budget. It comprised N387,976,000,000 for statutory transfer; N591,764,000,000 to service debts N2,386,024,770,349 for recurrent (non-debt)expenditure while the balance of N1,621,455,655,252 is for contribution to the development fund for capital expenditure. The figure passed by the two chambers was N63 billion more than N4.924 trillion original proposal presented to the joint session of the federal legislature by the President last October. It would be recalled that both Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Finance Minister and coordinating minister for the economy and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Lamido Sanusi, have, at various times, argued against the raising of the benchmark price above the initial proposed level of $75 per barrel. Although the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, had, after examining the 2013 –2015 Me-
dium Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, said oil benchmark above $75 per barrel would reduce the budget deficit by about 66 per cent, Okonjo-Iweala was of the view that it would affect the macro-economic components of the budget, as the country’s credit ratings would go the wrong way. She said a higher oil benchmark would not only make borrowing more expensive, but would also slow down foreign direct investment as both local and international investors would become more cautious. Sanusi on his part believes that pegging the oil benchmark price at $75 per barrel would make the budget more realistic, particularly with the instability of oil prices at the international crude oil market and the capacity of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to meet its production output projections. Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Joy Emodi, said last week that President Jonathan and the National Assembly were still working on the 2013 budget. Emordi said that contrary to widely held notion that the budget had been with the President for close to two months, it was actually sent to him on January 14, 2013. “For the records, though the 2013 Budget was passed by the National Assembly in December, the budget details were actually transmitted to President Jonathan on the night of January 14, 2013; and this, as I noted some time ago, is understand-
able given that it is a thorough and time-taking exercise for the National Assembly.” “Knowing that this is one of the most critical policy and development documents with extensive impact on the socioeconomic life of the nation, Mr. President, just like the National Assembly, is also carefully studying the details.” Emordi said she did not see anything wrong with the extra time taken by the President to study the budget he prepared and that it did not amount to any row. According to her, the important thing is that “both the National Assembly and the Executive are committed to moving the country forward. President Jonathan, had in October last year presented a N4.92 trillion budget proposal for the 2013 fiscal year, with education getting the lion share of N426.53 billion, followed by defence with N348.91 billion and N319.65 billion allocated to the Nigeria Police. Other key allocations of the budget allocated N183.5 billion to the works ministry; N74.26 billion to the power sector while health as well as agriculture and rural development getting N279.23 billion and N81.41 billion respectively. The budget was made up of N380.02 billion for statutory transfers, N591.76 billion for debt service, N2.41 trillion for recurrent (non-debt) expenditure and N1.54 trillion for capital expenditure. “Based on these assumptions, the gross federally
collectible revenue is projected at N10.84 trillion, of which the total revenue available for the Federal Government’s budget is forecast at N3.89 trillion, representing an increase of about nine per cent over the estimate for 2012. Non-oil revenue is projected to continue to grow in 2013 as the ongoing reforms in our revenue collecting agencies and the implementation of initiatives to further develop the non-oil sector continue to yield results.” The fiscal deficit is projected to improve to about 2.17 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) compared to 2.85 per cent in 2012. For now, it is yet to be seen how some of the naughty issues holding back the presidential assent would be resolved. Constitutionally, the president has up to Thursday, February 14 to complete the 30 days cycle within which to either append his signature or return the Appropriation Bill to the lawmakers. Besides, the contentious issue of the embattled Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), according to sources may prove to be a major factor that would determine where the pendulum would swing, especially with the insistence of the lawmakers for the president to respect their resolution. Will President Jonathan ultimate sacrifice Oteh as a bargaining point to have the lawmakers back down on other issues or will he take on the lawmakers head on? Time will tell. BC
Monday, February 11, 2013
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Mba Mabel Akwugo, the only female graduand receiving her certificate
Dangote graduates 100 ‘super drivers’
fter three months of intensive training at the Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology, Zaria, the first batch of the 2,000 Dangote Graduate Drivers have graduated. Out of the 100 shortlisted trainees, 96 were able to make it to the end of the programme which the Director General of the Institute, Aminu Musa Yusuf described as the first of its kind in the country. Musa Yusuf said the ‘super’ drivers have the advantage of becoming members of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, which is the lead professional body for the regulation of logistics and transport practice worldwide. The Group Chief Human Resource Officer, Dangote Group, Paramjit Pabby said the graduates were selected through a rigorous process. He said the aim is to make Nigerians safe on the road, adding that “As graduate drivers, you are expected to run our newly formed super fleet with a professional touch, putting into practice all that you have been taught here.” He said a female driver is among the graduates and that six other ladies will join her in the next batch. “The scheme also envisages a competitive salary made up fixed basic salary plus incentive based on trips and safe driving. Based on conditions, the Drivers will have the opportunity to own their trucks in the future,” he said. Nigeria’s first female commercial pilot and rector of the Nigeria College of Aviation Technology, Captain Chinyere Kalu, said the training programme is part of Dangote’s Corporate Social Responsibility Scheme and a response to road safety which poses threat to peoples’ lives and businesses. “The involvement of highly educated youth in our transportation system will no doubt help in addressing and curbing the menace of road accidents on our highways,” she added.
The only female graduate Mba Mabel Akwugo said she was elated, while commending the Dangote Group for the opportunity. The class governor of the first batch, Henry Mudiaga Pender, who was a former banker, said he was happy to be a qualified driver and more importantly, pioneer graduate drivers of the Dangote Group. The graduates of the programme which was conducted in partnership with Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and the Federal Vehicle Inspection Office (FVIO), were issued with certificates and automatic employment into the Dangote Group of companies
Customs arrests 88 suspects at Tin-Can Port
he Controller of the Federal Operations Unit (FOU) of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Dan Ugo said that 88 suspects were arrested during a raid at the Tin-Can Island Port, Lagos, last week. Ugo told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Lagos that 14 of those arrested, who tendered genuine documents of identification, were later released. He also confirmed that 25 of the suspects had been charged to court, while the remaining suspects were being
screened to ascertain those with legitimate documents. Ugo said that the raid followed an intelligence report at the disposal of the Comptroller General of Customs (CGC), Abdullahi Dikko, that some misguided elements were disturbing operations at the port. ``I was ordered by the CGC to ensure total annihilation of these miscreants. To this effect, on Feb 6, 2013, a combined team of Customs and Police visited Tin-Can to raid the port. This was to remove the undesirable elements, whose activities have continually posed serious threat to security and to customs operations, `` Ugo said. The controller said that the touts pretended as genuine port users, adding that they were actually involved in many unwholesome acts, which most times affected maximum revenue collection by the service. He said that most of the touts were involved in falsification of clearance documents and other heinous crimes, adding that the comptroller general had assured all genuine importers and agents of his continuous support in terms of trade facilitation. The raid, however, led to protests by a section of port users. Some of the port users who spoke on condition of anonymity, faulted the NCS for raiding the port with armed policemen, claiming that in the past, such raids were done quietly. Musbau Azeez, an Executive Officer of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), said that it was usual for the service to raid the port and arrest suspected hoodlums. Azeez was optimistic that the innocent ones among those arrested on Wednesday would be released, after proper screening
Ogun to rebrand Ofada rice variety
he Ogun State government says it will rebrand the Ofada rice variety in an effort to boost its production in the state. Ibikunle Onasanya, the Programme Manager of Ogun Agricultural Development Programme, who disclosed this in Abeokuta, said only Ogun produces the original variety of the rice, adding that government was determined to boost the number of those engaged in the cultivation of the crop. “We are ready to fight all the challenges facing Ofada rice production in the state.
Amosun, Ogun State governor
We will support farmers to increase production, improve processing and expand market demand both within and outside the country,” he said. He also said that Ofada rice farmers would be empowered, adding that this would enhance their income and status. Onasanya, however, advised farmers to ensure that they were included in the farmers’ data base, saying this would enable them to benefit from government’s programmes.
Orhii, NAFDAC boss
NAFDAC intensifies collaboration with education sector
he National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) said it would intensify collaboration with the education sector to safeguard the health of Nigerians. The acting Director, FCT NAFDAC Office, Abdulsalam Osigi, said this in Abuja at the 10th Consumer Safety Club Award. Ozigi, while analysing the need to incorporate consumer safety education into the secondary school curriculum said it would help curb fake and substandard products. ``To achieve the goal of NAFDAC, the agency has consulted with the Federal Ministry of Education to establish NAFDAC consumer safety clubs in secondary schools across the country. NAFDAC has also collaborated with National Council on
Health to facilitate the incorporation of information on NAFDAC regulated products in secondary school curriculum,’’ he said. Ozigi said that there was need to re-orient the youths on safe health habits and also sensitise them to safeguard the health of the community. He explained that one of the aims of the consumer safety clubs was for students to serve as platform for the promotion of the fight against fake and counterfeit products. Ozigi said that the appropriate steps should be taken by school authorities to constitute the consumer safety clubs. He implored all existing members of the club to take cognisance of the aims and objectives of the club. He said that NAFDAC would ensure that relevant information on the agency’s activities was made available to the clubs. Adeline Osakwe, the Coordinator, National Pharmacovigilance Centre of NAFDAC, urged the students to report adverse drug reactions to the agency. She said that the information would facilitate the agency’s work in safeguarding the health of Nigerians. Fatima Baba-Ari, FCT Secondary Education Board, represented by Pius Odeh, staff of the board, commended NAFDAC for sensitising students to safeguarding the health of citizens. ``The children will definitely extend the knowledge derived from the club to their families and peers,’’ she said. She assured NAFDAC of continued partnership that would curb the activities of drug counterfeiters in the country.
Traders urge Bauchi govt to expand market square
rmaya’u Yahaya, the Chairman, Wunti Market Traders and Artisan Association, Bauchi has called on the Bauchi State Government to allocate more land to the market to decongest it. Yahaya told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Bauchi that the measure would enable some traders in the market to relocate to the new plots. He said that the entry of some traders from the neighbouring states into the market had caused the congestion thereby causing traffic jam in the area. Yahaya said that efforts were made earlier to move the traders out of the road,
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Yuguda, Bauchi State governor
but that the effort failed due to inadequate space to accommodate them and their businesses. The chairman said that a formal request was presented to the government about 10 months ago suggesting the takeover of some pieces of land that were not developed beside the market square. ``We have made several attempts to move them out of the roadside but they still keep coming back. And you cannot just do away with them because they are part of us; so we need space to accommodate them. We have informed the state government of our need because ever since we started receiving people from the neighbouring states the market has become congested. It is not making transactions comfortable for both buyers and sellers,’’ he said. Yahaya appealed to the government to intervene in the matter so that the sellers would no longer transact business on the major roads.
FG installs plastic recycling plant in Katsina
he Federal Government has installed a plastic recycling machine in Katsina in an effort to improve environmental cleanliness in the state. The Permanent Secretary, Ecological Funds Office, Musa Goni, said this on Friday when he led a delegation on a courtesy visit to Governor Ibrahim Shema. Goni said that they were in the state to inspect ongoing projects and interact with
stakeholders on various environment-related matters to enable the office to provide the needs of people in the state. He said that the machine would assist to maintain clean environment and create job opportunities, particularly to the unemployed youths. Responding, Shema, represented by his deputy, Abdullahi Faskari, commended the ecological funds office for installing the machine in the state. He also urged the office to hasten the release of N6.8 billion for the control of soil erosion in some parts of the state. The governor called for the resuscitation of RumaKukar-Jangare Forest Reserve in order to protect the environment.
of the government to inflict pains on workers,’’ he added.
NRC to re-introduce railway crossing gates
Bauchi earns N880m from workers salaries
Habbib Abdullahi, MD, NPA
87 ships expected in Lagos ports
he Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) on Friday said it was expecting 87 ships laden with various cargoes to arrive the Lagos ports from February 8 to 27. NPA in its daily publication, `the Shipping Position’, made available to newsmen in Lagos, said that 40 of the ships were laden with containers; four were laden with general cargo and 15 contained new and used vehicles. According to the document, other ships will sail in with bulk salt, bulk wheat, bulk malt, petroleum products, truck heads, rice and steel products. The document showed that two ships, MV African Joy and MV Khadiza Jahan would berth and discharge bulk wheat and rice at ENL Consortium Terminal and Apapa Bulk Terminal Ltd. respectively. It said that 15 other ships laden with diesel, petrol, kerosene, aviation fuel and bulk gas would also berth at the various oil terminals in the ports. NPA reports that the oil terminals are: New Oil Jetty, Single Buoy Mooring, Bulk Oil Plant and Ibafon Terminal, Apapa.
he Bauchi State Government has said that it realised N880 million in four months from 10 per cent deductions from its workers’ salaries. The state government had in 2012 resolved to deduct 10 per cent of the workers’ salaries beginning from September to December 2012, the action which it claims was due to its all-time dwindling resources from the federation account. The Head of Service, Abdon Gin, who announced this at a news conference in Bauchi, said that a general circular was issued in the middle of January on the discontinuance of the infamous 10 per cent deduction service from workers’ salaries for the period of September to December 2012. Gin said that the ``Government kept faith with this gesture of workers and stopped it and hailed the resilience of workers not because the circumstances leading to the deductions were no more. The financial situation of government was still not any better as at Dec. 31, 2012 when the deduction was halted,” he added. The Head of Service said that the government was happy that the paltry contribution of the workers in this regard added to its meagre resources to sustain salary payments, noting that the deduction was to allow the government to proceed with the funding of its major projects. ``Furthermore, during the period, no worker was retrenched and government’s all-time dwindling resources from federation account necessitated the withdrawal of allowances given through His Excellency,” he said. Gin called on the workers to exercise restraint and avoid rancour, stating that ``it is neither my intention nor that
ollowing the revival of rail transport services, the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), has intensified efforts to re-introduce railway crossing gates to prevent accidents between rail and road users. Dr Aminu Gusau, Director, Administration and Human Resources, NRC, who announced this last Friday in Kaduna while speaking during a courtesy visit on the Kaduna State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Magaji Sadiq-Hunkuyi, said that the essence of reintroducing the gate was to re-awaken the attitude of Nigerians towards NRC. ``Before, there was collaboration between local government councils and NRC across Nigeria where people were stationed at various railway crossings to man the points for 24 hours. In this collaboration, the councils used to pay some levy to the NRC to guarantee the success of the exercise,” he said. Gusau, therefore, solicited for the support of the state government to enable the corporation to actualise its set goals. He also appealed for cooperation and understanding from all Nigerians to save lives and property. The director commended the Kaduna State Government for partnering with the NRC in providing intra-city train services. Responding, the commissioner assured NRC of necessary support and cooperation from the state government with a view to taking the corporation to the
Adeseyi Sijuade, Managing Director, NRC
Lagos, Germany collaborate to develop environment sector
he Lagos State Government would collaborate with the German Ministry of Economy
Fashola, Lagos State governor
and Technology for the development of the economic potential of the environment sector. Special Adviser to Governor Babatunde Fashola on Environment, Taofeek Folami, who stated this in a statement after a meeting with the German officials with their consultant on system for business solution, said the economic potential of the environmental sector in Lagos State, if properly harnessed, would help in creating employment opportunities and generating more revenue for the state. ``About 3,000 people migrate into the state daily and with a population of about 20 million people, the state government is ready to provide an enabling environment for private sector operators to invest. We want them to invest in e-waste, building of transfer loading stations, waste water management plant, waste to energy plant, recycling plant, among others,” the statement said. It pointed out that 70 per cent of e-waste, such as fairly used computers, television and radio sets, generated within the state was imported into the country from Europe. It decried the low patronage of the sector by investors. Folami said the environment sector would soon be a major revenue earner for the state as there was still space to build waste to energy plant, recycling plant, waste water management plant, among others. According to the statement, the leader of the delegation, Dr Jeremy Gaines, expressed the willingness of the German Government to support and partner with the state government in solving its environmental problems.
Osun to distribute tablets to students
he Permanent Secretary in Osun State Ministry of Education Oyelade Oyeniran, has said that tablets also known as ‘Opon Imon’ would
Monday, February 11, 2013
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Rauf Aregbesola, Osun State governor
soon be distributed to students in public schools in the state. Oyeniran who disclosed this last Friday in Osogbo noted that the tablets had been acquired, saying, ``what remains is to commence distribution once the state governor launches it.’’ According to him, the distribution of the tablets will start with SS 3 students preparing for their SSCE and NECO examinations. ``Service and repairs centres will be available with trained engineers to take care of issues relating to the maintenance of the tablets,’’ he added. The computer tablets, he said, contain all subjects, past questions and additional traditional subjects. Oyeniran also disclosed that the state government had commenced payment of N216 million as bursary allowances to its final year students in tertiary institutions nationwide. ``Each of the students will receive N10, 000 bursary allowance, with each medical student getting N20,000 while final year law students will get N100, 000 each,’’ he added.
greater future for the aviation industry, the Managing Director of Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), George Uriesi, said. Uriesi made the state on Friday while receiving a delegation of economic officers, led by the US Consular in Lagos, Jerrod Hanssen, who paid him a courtesy visit. He said that FAAN was determined to change passengers’ experience of service delivery at all Nigerian airports. Uriesi said airport terminals of the past were meant for travelling only but modern airports had turned to commercial centres. He said that some airports around the world would have folded up if they had relied solely on aeronautical sources of revenue. ``Whereas the present trend which FAAN has adopted is offering more commercial opportunities that will encourage business, entertainment and leisure at airports, `` he said. The FAAN boss said that the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan being implemented by the Ministry of Aviation was geared toward implementing the `aerotropolis concept`. He said the concept would change the mindset of airport business in Nigeria permanently. He said that FAAN would be embarking on a number of projects in Lagos in the next few months, including a multistorey car park, hotel and a new international terminal. ``The same experience will be replicated in Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano and on a smaller scale, at other airports across the country, `` he said. Hanssen commended the efforts of FAAN in the development of the airports, saying that their visit was necessitated by the U.S. Government’s desire to extend a hand of fellowship to the organisation. He said that the U.S. and other countries were happy with FAAN in its efforts to reposition Nigerian airports.
Master Mariners back FG on concession Uriesi
FAAN reiterates determination to upgrade infrastructure
he ongoing upgrading of infrastructure at the airports is aimed at building a
Stories By Francis Ezem
he Nigerian Association of Master Mariners, an umbrella body for retired indigenous ship captains, chief engineers and engineers has thrown its full weight behind the Federal Government’s plans to concession marine and harbour services currently handled by the Nigerian Ports Authority in continuation of
the port reform programme. The government had about eight years ago concluded a port reform programme styled after the land lord port model of Port of Antwerp, Belgium, which stripped NPA of its cargo handling functions and gave same to private concessionaires including indigenous and foreign ones. The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), which also midwifed the earlier reform had in a letter dated January 18, 2013 and addressed to the managing director of NPA had hinted of moves by to privatise marine and habour services, which are current core functions of NPA. The affected services include towage, berthing and un-berthing, pilotage, dredging and channel management, among others. National president of the association, Captain Jimi Adu, in an exclusive telephone chat, noted that the proposal by the government to further concession the marine and harbour services is good and commendable. According to him, NPA has failed over the years to exhibit any measure of efficiency in handling of these services, citing the high level of efficiency recorded in the handling of cargo, which had been given to private operators in line with the concession programme. “NPA has failed woefully to render these services effectively and efficiently. Go to Port Harcourt, you will understand what I am saying”, Adu said. He noted that the proposed concession would bring about job creation, enhance efficiency and growth, adding that the port users in particular and the Nigerian economy will be the better for it. He however cautioned that the services should be handed over to core professionals with marine and pilotage backgrounds as well as the necessary technology and infrastructure. “Government should ensure that such services are not handed over to politicians because they are not professionals and secondly, they may not have
the time to render the services effectively and if that happens, the entire port system suffers”, he further warned. Meanwhile, president of Senior Staff Association of NPA, Jimoh Umar, vowed that the workers would vehemently resist the BPE plan.. According to him, the workers gave the government its maximum support and cooperation during the privatisation of the port terminals even when over 8,000 workers were sacked, some of who are yet to be paid their full entitlements. “The port concession has worked and Nigeria’s seaports have over the years recorded a measure of efficiency arising from the successful completion of the programme. We supported it because we were convinced it will bring about efficient to the ports, to which many of us are witnesses today. We will not sit down here this time and allow BPE to hand Nigeria’s marine and harbour service to a cabal, who are bent on capturing the economy of this country to their own parochial and selfish interest”, he further warned He insisted that owing to the current security situation, not only in Nigeria but also in the entire globe, it will be dangerous to hand over critical services like marine and harbour to private operators, whose only language is that of profit. According to him, apart from both the economic and security implications of the proposed privatisation, NPA has actually delivered on these core functions, especially in terms of removal of wrecks, maintenance of the channels, which led to the calling of bigger ships to the ports in Lagos.
assaulted and injured innocent port users at Tin Can Island Port, Apapa under the guise of ridding the port of touts. The Customs Area Controller in charge of the Tin Can Island command of the service, Tunji Aremu had while briefing the media on the activities of the command for the 2012 fiscal year, noted that the issue of touting was the biggest challenge facing the command and assured that the service would do something about it. National president of the council, Lucky Amiwero, who spoke in a telephone interview, declared that the action of Customs was illegal and an abuse of its own law, the Customs and Excise Management Act. According to him, it is the statutory duty of the operatives of the FOU, which is the anti-smuggling arm of the service to carry out such raids on smugglers not hapless importers and agents waiting around the Customs Processing Centre for their documents to be processed. “The areas raided are under the Nigerian Ports Authority by law. So, it is the operatives of the Nigeria Police, NPA command that are supposed to do that raiding at the port not FOU because they have nothing to do in that port”, Amiwero insisted. He however chided NPA management for not complying with the law by issuing port permits to port users so as to distinguish touts from genuine port users. Amiwero said that NPA has not issued a permit to any port user in the last 10 years, a development that had warranted an influx of unauthorized people into the ports.
Igwe Achese, President NUPENG
Aiteo Energy Depot to resume operations Aremu
Group condemns Customs over assault on port users
reight agents under the aegis of National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents at the weekend took a swipe at the Nigeria Customs Service operatives of the Federal Operations Unit, Lagos who
he Aiteo Energy Depot in Lagos which suspended operations due to fire outbreak in its loading gantry may resume operations on February 15. A source in the company told NAN last Friday in Lagos that repair works on the loading gantry had started and loading of petroleum products would resume latest by February 15. The Department of Petroleum Resources had shut
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News the depot on February 4 and directed the management to put all safety measures in place before re-opening. Armed policemen patrolled the depot area when NAN visited the depot on Friday. Also, the over 100 petroleum tankers that had waited to load products before and after the fire outbreak occurred had been relocated. The explosion, which occurred on February 2, led to the death of a 30-year-old man. Moruf Akanbi, the Treasurer, NUPENG branch in the depot, told NAN that repair works had started. ``We will begin the loading of products when the depot is fixed anytime from now,” Akanbi said. The explosions rocked MRS Oil and Gas and Aiteo Energy depots in Apapa and prompted Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State to call on the Federal Government to relocate the depots to a safer environment.
Abdulfatah Ahmed, Kwara State governor
Kwara approves construction of new roads
he Kwara State Government has approved the construction of four new roads as part of its infrastructure development of the state. Dr. Amuda Kannike, the state Commissioner for Works and Transport, disclosed this while addressing newsmen in IIorin. The roads, he said, would be located in IIorin, the state capital. The commissioner said the measure would improve infrastructure of its densely populated state capital. He stressed the determination of the state to ensure that all roads in the state capital were passable. Kannike said the contractor handling the project had been mobilised and would move to site soon. The commissioner said 90 per cent of the roads inherited from the previous administration had been completed and commissioned. The roads are AbdulSalam at Tanke area, Opomalu-IsaleMaliki, Flower Garden Bridge and Mustapha Aberi.
CPC receives 1000 complaints in Lagos
onsumer Protection Council (CPC) has said that its Lagos zone received 1000 complaints from consumers in 2012. Ngozi Obidike, Lagos Zonal Head who disclosed this said that the number was ``quite small,” stressing that consumer consciousness was still very low in the state. She said that the council’s mobilisation drive for consumers to know their rights and what ought to be their dues in the distribution chain of goods and services was picking up. ``We came into Lagos in 2011. So, many people may not be aware that we are around. But those who have approached us have been receiving attention, accordingly. `Lagos is a commercial centre in Nigeria and is expected to generate many consumer complaints. The 1000 complaints we received in 2012 is indicative that many consumers are dying in silence,`` she said. Obidike said that the council played meditative roles between consumers and producers of goods and services and not prosecutorial functions. She said that CPC was not in any way duplicating the statutory functions of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria as most people thought. ``CPC deals more with the interests of unsatisfied consumers through his or her complaints. It does not do what SON by law is required to be doing,`` she said. Obidike urged market and traders associations in the state to cooperate more with the council, stressing that ``consumer satisfaction is important to economic growth.``
FG earmarks N10bn for Shelterbelt Programmes
he Federal Government has approved N10 billion for the smooth take-off of the National Council for Shelterbelt, Afforestation, Erosion Control and Coastal Zone management programme.
friendly mapping technology and local business information – including business locations, contact information and driving directions. It offers street maps, a route planner and an urban business locator in numerous countries around the world. It also provides such special features as scale control, street view, and configurable location icons amongst other facilities. By getting listed on to this mapping platform which now features its branches, Automated Teller Machine, ATM and Point of Sales, POS locations, Enterprise Bank has made it easier for stakeholders to access the bank and its services from anywhere in the world. A statement from the bank’s Corporate Communications Department said, “This unique relationship between Enterprise Bank and Google has enabled the financial institution boost visibility and excellent service delivery to its numerous customers. The statement added that this is yet another milestone in the bank’s move to reposition the brand, products and services by providing excellent customer service to its existing and prospective customers in the years ahead. Also commenting, Google Nigeria Country Manager, Juliet Ehimuan Chiazor, said “The goal of Google Maps is to make it easier for people across the world to locate places and businesses of interest. We are excited to see Enterprise Bank Limited and more Nigerian businesses using Google Places to get listed on maps. “This makes it easier for Nigerians to find and engage with these businesses. Customers can also search for their banks and get directions on the go, using Google Maps on their mobile phones.”
The Minister of Environment, Hadiza Mailafiya, disclosed this to State House correspondents in Abuja on Friday. She said that the Council, which was being chaired by Vice President Namadi Sambo, had been dormant for years. She, however, said that it had now been resuscitated following its inauguration by the Federal Government on Friday. Mailafiya stressed the need for communities to key-in to the activities of the programme to enable them uplift the quality of life of members of their respective communities. “Of course, we have agreed that the Council needs to be resuscitated, that is where it is. We have agreed that the objective for which it was set up must be pursued to the last later being the recovery of very arid and dry lands; the intense afforestation that we need to do; the need to have communities to buy in to the programmes that will help them sustain themselves rather than everybody moving out to the urban centres to do either motor cycling or whatever. It is another form of economic and social security that we need to work towards,” she said. The Minister revealed that some local government areas had been identified for the speedy implementation of the afforestation programmes. She dismissed insinuation that the Shelter and Afforestation programme might result into encroachment of farmers’ farmlands, saying the programme would rather enrich the farmers as government would provide them with economic trees. She commended President Jonathan and Governors of Jigawa, Borno, Kebbi, Kano, Yobe, Sokoto, Zamfara and Katsina States for supporting the afforestation programmes in the country.
Lawan Kuru, MD/CEO Enterprises Bank
Enterprise Bank lists on Google maps
FG introduces supply chain managers into GES implementation
By Johnson Okanlawon
nterprise Bank Limited has joined the elite league of worldwide organisations and global financial institutions that are currently listed on Google Maps. Google Maps is a Google service offering powerful, user-
he Federal Government will introduce the services of supply chain managers to help implement the 2013 Growth Enhancement Support (GES) scheme. Dr Akinwumi Adesina, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, disclosed
this on Friday in Abuja at a two-day workshop organised for stakeholders on the 2013 farmers registration exercise and GES scheme. The GES scheme is a Federal Government initiative under the Agricultural Transformation Agenda, aimed at subsidising the cost of major agricultural inputs such as fertiliser and seeds. Under the initiative, farmers access inputs through an electronic distribution channel known as the e-Wallet. The conditions of the e-Wallet scheme stipulate that a farmer registered under the scheme pays 50 per cent of the cost of farm inputs while the federal and state governments pay 25 per cent each. One of the requirements for the scheme is the national farmers’ registration exercise, where farmers’ data are captured into the ministry’s central databank. The minister explained that the supply chain managers would help link the farmers directly to the agro-dealers. ``When we started the first phase of the GES in 2012, we discovered that when the agrodealers got the farm inputs ready, the farmers were not there to access them. So, the supply chain managers will serve as a bridge linking up the agro-dealers and the farmers,’’ he said. Adesina said that the Federal Government had also introduced ``mark-reading forms’’ commonly used for national examinations. ``The forms will enable the information supplied by the farmers to be quickly scanned and sent to the ministry’s database,’’ he said. The minister said that the Central Bank of Nigeria, through the Nigerian Incentives-based Risk-sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), would ensure that all agro-dealers had access to loans. ``NIRSAL is giving out about N50 billion worth of loans at eight per cent interest rate to agro-dealers. And the Federal Government has given out N15 billion to recapitalise the Bank of Agriculture (BOA),’’ he said. Earlier, Ibukun Odusote, the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, said that the workshop was organised to sensitise all stakeholders on roles to play in the 2013 GES exercise. Odusote, who was represented by Joseph Nyanger, the ministry’s Director of Livestock, added that the workshop would help generate accurate and up-to-date data for the implementation of the scheme. ``One of the problems indentified in the 2012 edition of the exercise was wrong data entry and we hope that this workshop will do justice to that and other issues that will come up,’’ Odusote said. BC
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Global News Shareholder sues Apple over cash pile
are still very strong and shows the economic recovery is on track,” said Zhang Zhiwei, chief China economist at Nomura. “Both imports and exports are about five to eight percentage points above market expectations, so it is a pretty strong showing.”
French economy to ‘avoid recession’
he French economy will avoid recession this year, according to the country’s central bank. It predicts growth of 0.1 per cent in the first three months of 2013, a more upbeat outlook than that of many economists, who are discouraged by recent data. A recession is usually defined as two consecutive quarters of contraction. In its monthly report, the Bank of France said: “Forecasts point to a modest rise in [industrial] activity in February.” The bank added that the business confidence indicator for industry had risen to its highest level in nearly a year. But many experts have made gloomier predictions partly because of January’s manufacturing data, which showed the sharpest fall in output since March 2009. Initial economic growth figures for France are due out on 14 February. The government’s official forecast is for 0.8 per cent this year. French President Francois Hollande is trying to make France more competitive. He recently called for more currency stability, arguing that the French economy “could be destroyed by the rising value of the euro”.
n activist shareholder is suing computer giant Apple, demanding that it share out more of its $137 billion (£87bn) cash pile to its investors. Apple’s cash pile has grown to that size from $98 billion last March. US hedge fund manager, David Einhorn, who is behind the unusual move, told the television channel CNBC that Apple had a “Depression-era” mentality, which gave it a tendency to hoard cash and play safe. Apple called the move “misguided” but the complaint was filed at a court in New York. Apple has a number of fights on its hands already. Although it is strong in both smartphones and tablet computers, competition is increasing and its share price is falling. The firm’s shares are now 35 per cent below the record high they reached in September 2012. Einhorn, who owns Green Light Capital, told CNBC: “It has sort of a mentality of a depression. In other words, people who have gone through traumas... and Apple has gone through a couple of traumas in its history, they sometimes feel like they can never have enough cash.” He has also been speaking to the Reuters news agency, which he told he had had meetings with Apple’s senior management on the subject of sharing out the cash pile. Einhorn said he had recently contacted Apple’s chief executive, Tim Cook after failing to interest the company’s chief financial officer, Peter Oppenheimer, in the matter. Einhorn’s proposals for releasing funds to shareholders involve “preferred” stock - which pays a fixed dividend over time. Apple is planning to eliminate these at its shareholder meeting later this month. Preferred shares rank higher than ordinary shares when it comes to paying out a company’s assets. Einhorn is said to have a history of activism. In 2011, he urged Microsoft Corp to get rid of its chief executive Steve Ballmer, accusing him of being “stuck in the past”.
China reports better than expected trade data
hina has reported betterthan-expected trade data, fuelling optimism that its economic growth may be rebounding from the recent slowdown. Exports, a key growth driver, surged 25 per cent in January from a year earlier. Most
Boeing gets permission for Dreamliner test flights
analysts had forecast a 17 per cent jump. Imports surged 28.8 per cent indicating a robust pick up in domestic demand. Separate figures showed that the inflation rate slowed to two per cent in January but there was concern over a spike in food prices as vegetable costs soared. China’s growth rate slipped to 7.8 per cent in 2012, the slowest annual pace since 1999, fuelling worries about the health of the world’s second-largest economy. “China’s economic conditions are improving and the trade data confirms the continuation of a recovery trend,” said Hirokazu Yuihama, senior strategist at Daiwa Securities. “Not just the trade data but retail, production and investment flows clearly show that the economy bottomed out in the third quarter last year.” However, some analysts said that the figures for January were distorted by the change in the timing of the Chinese Lunar New Year. The New Year celebrations see factories and businesses in China being shut for many days impacting production of goods. Last year, the Lunar year was celebrated in January, while this year it is being observed in February. Analysts said that this meant that factories operated for more days in January this year than in 2012. “The timing of Chinese New Year played a very important role,” said Tao Wang, an economist with UBS in Hong Kong. “It’s always difficult to predict the exact strength [of the trade numbers], given the number of working days.” She added that the Lunar New Year also affected the import numbers as companies restock ahead of the celebrations. However, other analysts said that while the change in timing of the New Year celebrations did have an impact on the numbers, the overall trend was that of a recovery in the Chinese economy. “After controlling for the Chinese New Year, the numbers
he US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has allowed Boeing to carry out test flights of 787 Dreamliner planes. The entire fleet of 787s was grounded last month after a battery on one plane caught fire, while a malfunction forced another to make an emergency landing. Regulators as well as Boeing have been conducting probes to find out what caused the incidents. The FAA said the test flights will help collect data about battery performance “while the aircraft is airborne”. Marc Birtel, a spokesman for Boeing added that such data will “support the continuing investigations into the cause of the recent 787 battery incidents”. “We are confident that 787 is safe to operate for this flight test activity,” he added. The FAA said it had asked Boeing to conduct extensive preflight testing and inspections and that the flights would be conducted “in defined airspace over unpopulated areas”. However, in a separate development another US regulator, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said the tests carried out by Boeing on the Dreamliner batteries, when they were first certified, missed the high risk of fire. It said that Boeing’s tests underestimated the frequency of “smoke events” in the lithium ion batteries. The NTSB head said that Boeing’s safety checks suggested that a smoke event would occur less than once every 10 million flight hours. However, the 787 planes have only clocked up 100,000 hours of flight-time since entering commercial services, and have experienced two battery fires. The tests also failed to spot that overheating in one battery cell could cascade to the others, causing a fire, the NTSB added. “The failure rate was higher than predicted as part of the certification process and the possibility that a short circuit in a single cell could propagate to adjacent cells and result in smoke and fire must be reconsidered,” said Deborah Hersman, the head of NTSB. She added that the
regulators may need to reassess the certification of the battery used in the Dreamliner planes. “Our task now is to see if enough, and appropriate, layers of defence and adequate checks were built into the design, certification and manufacturing of this battery.” However, the NTSB said it still had many more leads to investigate and hoped to produce an interim factual report, but not a final report, within 30 days.
Mauritania gets Euros 1.5m French food aid
rance has given Mauritania, through the World Food Programme (WFP), 1.5 million Euros in food aid, the French Embassy announced on Friday. The grant is meant to assist those affected by the African nation’s food crisis. WFP will also benefit from a Euros 750,000 aid under the project, aimed at improving food security and nutritional status of people affected by the food and nutrition crisis in 2012. The project also aims to provide nutritional assistance to children and breast-feeding women in seven regions across Mauritania. According to the same source, 750,000 Euros will be earmarked for the NGO Solidarity Internationale to enable it to support the implementation of a project aimed at improving the resilience of people affected by drought in eastern Hodh, located in eastern Mauritania. BC
Abdel Aziz, Mauritanian president
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He is a corporate icon of no mean repute. Within the business community, his image looms larger than life and commands high respect for his strong advocacy for high ethical standards in business, due diligence, integrity. This is the story of Felix Omoikhoje Ohiwerei, former Chairman, Nigerian Breweries Plc By Semiu Salami
s far as one can remember, there are two men whose activities and actions have had a defining impact on the history of Nigerian Breweries Plc. One is Felix Omoikhoje Aizebeoje Ohiwerei (FAO), the soft spoken, gangling teetotaler, while the other is Festus Boniface Oha Odimegwu (FBO), aka “Shine shine Bobo.” The two were at one time or the other, managing directors and chief executive officers of the brewing giant. As a teetotaler, FOA, as he is called, abhors alcohol. In fact, those close to him say he does not even touch alcoholic drinks, a situation which critics almost latched on to at a time to criticise his headship of the company. Yet, this is one man, who for 37 years, earned his living selling beer and rising to the very top position in Nigeria’s biggest brewing company. The other, FBO is FOA’s direct opposite. He not only savours Star, one of the company’s prime products, Odimegwu was equally Star’s brand ambassador, earning himself the sobriquet “Shine shine Bobo,” in reference to one of Star’s advertising catch lines. Odimegwu was charismatic; a first class marketer who took up Nigerian Breweries from the lofty height which Ohiwerei left it to a higher pedestal. But unlike Ohiwerei, FOB was excessively loud and ambitious and his failure to draw the line between business interest and politics cost him his plum job. While Ohiwerei left Nigerian Breweries a fulfilled man, adored and respected, Odimegwu, the man who succeeded him left Nigerian Breweries almost ignominiously. Now for Ohiwerei, though he may in the real sense of entrepreneurship not have single-handedly owned a company, his impact, both past and present in most entrepreneurial endeavours, has remained an outstanding case study by students of marketing and business administration and a model in the private sector. This perception was better captured in 2004 during a valedictory party for FOA by the then Heineken Director for Africa and the Ohiwerei
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Middle East, Frank de Man who described FOA as a key enabler of the company’s success over the years and suggested the man was a compelling subject of study and research, in frontline universities with faculties of Business Administration and Management. Truly, Ohiwerei during his days at Nigerian Breweries was able to successfully blend his personal idiosyncrasies with forward-looking corporate objectives. He has a larger -thanlife image in corporate Nigeria, the factor attributable to the perceived prudence, transparency and integrity with which he runs Nigeria’s leading beverage company. Today, Felix Omoikhoje Aizobeoye Ohiwerei remains one of the best known names in the corporate world of Nigeria in the past few decades. Soft spoken, amiable and business-like, Ohiwerei is highly experienced in business, especially in the brewing industry. His robust understanding of marketing techniques and fundamentals is second to none. In fact, the story of Ohiwerei gives a lie to the assumption in Nigeria that to make it materially, one has to be “smart”, a clean expression for dubious engagements. For the Edo-born corporate icon, there is no evidence to link him with any sharp practices despite his monumental success at NBL. Born in Uzebba in Owan Local Government of Edo State, Ohiwerei attended St David’s School, Avbiosi, New Site; Government Secondary School, Owerri, Nigeria College of Arts, Science and Technology, Ibadan and later, the University of Ibadan where he bagged Bachelors of Science Degree in geography in 1961. His first paid job after his university education was as a teacher in Remo Secondary School, Sagamu, Ogun State but that experience did not last more than nine months before he moved on to the Nigerian Breweries as a management trainee in 1962. As a young graduate then, the major career trajectory was to become a teacher, work for the government or enter the private sector but Ohiwerei neither wanted to work for the government nor was teaching his first choice. He joined the services of Nigerian Breweries on his own merit. Like he said, he merely responded to an advertisement for managers-in-training and indicated sales as his area of special interest. For a man who read geography, sales job would probably be the least in the consideration of many fresh graduates, and Ohiwerei himself admitted that his course of
study had no direct relevance to sales as he however argued that economic geography prepares the student to appreciate the importance of distribution in the selling process. “Distribution is a very important factor in effectively reaching and servicing the consumer. However, the relevance of geography to my career is that it prepared me to think in a disciplined and well structured manner. So, I joined the Nigerian Breweries as “manager-in-training” in the sales division,” he said. At NBL as a manager in training, Ohiwerei’s training was far more rigorous than he expected. As a graduate, he had expected, as was the case then in the civil service, to have a big office, a secretary, a messenger and clerical staff, but what he got at Nigerian Breweries was an open office. Besides, he was made to learn on-the-job from the lowest ranks, the situation he initially resented, as he could not reconcile it with the elitist treatment the company gave him outside the office when a big car came to pick him to work and took him home. Luckily, his training did not last more than six months as he was immediately confirmed a manager and sent to the field for further training. His first job was as a sales representative covering Ajegunle, Surulere and Apapa in the rainy season. Again, this poses very serious
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Truly, Ohiwerei during his days at Nigerian Breweries was able to successfully blend his personal idiosyncrasies with forwardlooking corporate objectives. He has a larger -than-life image in corporate Nigeria, the factor attributable to the perceived prudence, transparency and integrity with which he runs Nigeria’s leading beverage company
initial challenge to him and further dampened his spirit of a dream of a cozy life as a manager. As he later admitted, his supervising manager was hard on him as he expected him to know everything from day one. He blamed him for all the shortcomings, like poor merchandising in the area and his plea of being new in the area fell on deaf ears. “I was vexed in my spirit and considered quitting but something inside me said instead of quitting, why not show what you can do. I decided to demonstrate that I was up
to the task. This turned out to be one of my best decisions in my career. That determination became for me, a way of life. Later in my career, I thanked God for the training I had from those who trained me,” he said. His decision to stay on, despite the ‘victimisation’ he received from his superiors paid off after all as he, shortly afterwards, was promoted to the position of Field Sales Manager with responsibilities to oversee the West and Mid-West markets of the company. He was brought back to La-
gos in 1965 and made the company’s promotions manager and a year later, the company sent him on attachment to Elda Gibbs, a Unilever Company in UK. And by the time he returned eighteen months after, the youthful Ohiwerei was again promoted to the position of Star Production Manager. By 1974, Ohiwerei had climbed the ladder to become marketing manager but not before he had held the positions of Lager Product Group Manager and General Brands Manager. But his success did not come on a platter of gold. It was attained on the basis of hard work, dedication to duty and a high level of honesty that are rare on our shores. Just fifteen years after joining the company, he made it to the board as marketing director in 1977. The endorsement further propelled him to even overstretch himself to achieve greater successes for the company. Again, his exemplary performance did not go unnoticed. In 1982, he was seconded to UAC Foods Division as General Manager and in June 1986, he was sent to UAC International, London (a University company) as a Senior Manager in Nominated Africa Territories Regional Management and returned a year later and appointed Deputy Chairman/Managing Director of the company. Two years after, Ohiwerei, the soft spoken, workaholic com-
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himself, the re-launch was and still remains a huge success till date. Again, another issue that tasked Ohiwerei’s resolve while at NB Plc was the Federal Government’s ban of malted barley, the situation that meant that the company had to use maize and sorghum for the production of lager beer. It was at this point that he was appointed managing director. The challenge for NB Plc was to use local raw materials to produce replicas for Star, Guilder and Maltina while failure to do so mean starting from the scratch with new brands. “It was a tall order. The future looked bleak,” he admitted. However, the management, its technical and commercial advisers, tackled the challenges purposefully and what “seemed impossible was brought to the realm of possibility through determination and dogged application of technical/technological expertise. We did what had never been done before. Needless to say that we all went through difficult times, but it was a wonderful experience,” he stressed. Instructively, there are two critical things that have had a strong influence on Ohiwerei’s life. One is his family background and secondly, the motto
I was vexed in my spirit and considered quitting but something inside me said instead of quitting, why not show what you can do. I decided to demonstrate that I was up to the task. This turned out to be one of my best decisions in my career. That determination became for me, a way of life
pleted his cycle in Nigerian Breweries with his appointment as Chairman/Managing Director in June 1989, 27 years after joining the company as a management trainee and served in that capacity for 10 years until he retired from the service of Nigeria Breweries in June 1999 and was appointed Non-Executive Chairman of the company in July 1999. Ohiwerei finally disengaged from NB Plc board in December 2007. Ohiwerei’s secondment to Unilever was meant to enable him gain general management experience, a kind of launching pad for the bigger managerial role which the board of Nigerian Breweries had envisioned for him. At the time, Unilever was a shareholder in Nigerian Breweries (UAC was a subsidiary of Unilever) and moving from a company making profit to UAC Foods (Division) which was running at a loss was a challenging one as he had the express mandate to reverse the negative fortune of the company. When he moved in, the expectation was that it would take two to three years for the turn around to happen but to the surprise of all, UAC Foods made a profit within the first year and as he said, “the second was good and the third was much better. The Lord gave me a very good team of young managers.” Ohiwerei’s sojourn at NB Plc was not entirely a bed of roses. His major headache started with the introduction of Gulder lager. The company had commissioned series of research studies which indicated that Gulder would be a greater brand. Everyone, including Ohiwerei, had expected almost an overnight success but to their utter shock, Guilder Mark 1, was a failure. Then, determined to move on and correct the mistakes that made Guilder Mark 1 a flop, the company decided to plunge into Guilder Mark 11 and as the general brands manager, reporting to the marketing director, then, he had a big hand in the introduction. Besides, he had the instruction of the then general manager/chairman of the company to search through all the research studies and put on a page or two, his analysis of what was wrong with Guilder Mark 1 and what the consumer expected of a reformulated Guilder. Clearly, the assignment puts the future of the brand and his future to a great extent on this report as it was to be the reference point. For him, the tension from the time of the report to the successful re-launch of Guilder (a period of no less than 18 months) was difficult to handle. Luckily for the brand, the company and
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of his secondary school which states: “Work hard, play hard, and keep straight. When wealth is lost, nothing is lost. When health is lost, something is lost. When character is lost, all is lost.” FOA, the last in the family of eight children was born into a very strong Christian family with Anglican doctrine. His father, late Samuel Ohiwerei, a Catechist was a disciplinarian who instilled strong moral and religious values into his chil-
dren at a very early stage of their lives. In fact, Ohiwerei became even more visible on Christian circuits and is believed to be one of the major pillars of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG. Out of business in executive capacity, Felix Ohiwerei has nonetheless been very active on the corporate skyline. He was appointed Chairman Unilever Nigeria Plc from January 1998 to December 2007., became the Pro-Chancellor/Chairman of
Council, University of Ibadan 2000-2004 and Chairman, Government Council of Nigeria Investment Production Commission 2003 - 2007. He is on the board of Ashford & McGuire Consulting and has chaired the Boards of Coates Brothers (WA) Limited, Virgin Nigeria and New Nigerian Bank, now, Unity Bank Plc. Ohiwerei was appointed Chairman of ARM’s Board of Directors in May 2006, Bankers Warehouse Limited, E-tranzact Plc, Fidson Healthcare Plc and member of Heineken African Advisory Council. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees, Redeemers University and chairs the board of Strategic & Leadership Development Consulting and Jubilee-Life Savings and Loans Limited, incorporated as a private limited Liability Company in August 1992. Ohiwerei has attended numerous international courses, which include, Unilever Senior Finance Awareness Course, UK, 1987, Senior Executive Programme, University of Southern California, USA, 1980 and others. He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree (LL.D) by the University of Ibadan in November 1997. He has also received the ZIK Prize in Leadership. Ohiwerei is a Fellow of some Professional Institutes and business associates such as Nigerian Marketing Association, Geography Society of Nigeria and the Institute of Directors. He is a member of Council of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Nigerian Economic Summit Board of Directors. He was a member of the Vision 2010 Committee and served as Rapporteur, Sub Committee on Anti-Corruption as well as the Sub Committee on the Vision Statement. Though Ohiwerei remains a role model to several budding and established entrepreneurs, he himself has people he looks up to for direction and guidance. Dr. C.E. Abebe, Dr. Michael Omolayole, and Akintola Williams are a few of Ohiwerei’s corporate role models while he admitted to have been duly motivated to reach his commanding height through the interface he had with the likes of late James MacKay, John Hunt and Joost den Hond while Pastor Enoch Adeboye, General Overseer of RCCG, the man he met about twenty one years ago, he says, has had a profound influence on his life. “He preaches the word and lives the word. From his life, I have come to realise and appreciate how the spiritual controls the physical. Every promise in the word of God is ours if we make the necessary sacrifice,” he concluded. BC
Monday, February 11, 2013
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Trading the wig for scissors and tape She read law but clearly, her passion was somewhere else. Nine years into professional practice as a lawyer, she switched her career into a rather uncommon field. She abandoned the gown and wig and opted instead to be a tailor and in less than five years, the tailoring business she started with a little $1,000 not only catapulted her into global relevance, she also hold herself high as one of the leading women entrepreneurs in the country. This is the story of how Temituokpe Esisi rode on the crest of tailoring to attain global relevance By Salami Semiu
hen she started out sometimes in 2005, Temituokpe Esisi never imagined that what she was dabbling into would earn her so much fame and fortune. To her, dumping a law practice after five gruelling academic years and nine months of active service for tailoring was a mere fulfilment of a burning passion. Sew knew what she was doing and was not prepared to get distracted despite open condemnation by friends and some close relatives. As a teenager, Esisi was said to have deep passion for creative works and always sought opportunities to express her creativity. She made dolls and other toys, selling it to her friends and getting money out of it to run her shores. While in the university, she baked cakes and made valentine fabric flowers which she sold to other students, from where she made enough money that enabled her lived a comfortable life on campus. After her mandatory oneyear Law School Programme, Esisi only practiced law for nine months but then, it was that first job that provided the opportunity to fully express her passion. The law firm she joined was starting a new office in Lagos and as the pioneer staff, the job of setting up the office - furniture, office design and layout, partitioning, painting, etc. fell on her. She thoroughly enjoyed the work so much so that when the real business of law commenced, she discovered that she actually had more fun setting up the office than handling clients’ briefs. So, nine months after, she resigned to pursue her passion, tailoring. That was in 2005, when she started off her own en-
trepreneurial endeavour called Tuopsy’s Enterprises from her residence and with a $1,000 seed money from an angel investor whom she recalled said,” ‘Let’s see what you do with this.’ Tuopsy Enterprises started out with one staff but within a short time, the business began to grow through word-of-mouth referrals and patronages from friends and relations. She added a couple of more machines. However, despite her undying entrepreneurial spirit, Esisi almost shutdown the business in 2008, barely three years after takeoff as contrary to her expectations, the infrastructural and resource hitches that confronted her was rather too daunting for her to cope with. The astronomical power charges, the bloated lending rates from the banks all ensured that the business wasn’t anywhere near gratifying, as the efforts she and her team put into the enterprise. She was working her fingers off but the money just wouldn’t come. “I ran this business for three years solely on passion and creativity, but I didn’t make any money. I was ready to throw the towel in,” she recalled. Luckily for her, it was at that trying time that Goldman Sachs introduced the 10,000 Women Entrepreneurial programme in Nigeria. She opted for it to get some direction to take her business through and after the training at the Entrepreneurial Development Centre of the Lagos Business School (LBS), Lagos, Esisi was able to re-organise, restructure and review her business, infusing a new power and energy into Tuopsy’s Enterprises. At the programme, she was introduced to the concepts of business strategy, strategic business plans, target marketing, etc, and participated in business simula-
tion classes. “This was a transformational experience for me, because prior to this, I knew the technical aspects of what I was doing, but was yet to fully appreciate the depth and breadth of the business side,” she said. “The first couple of weeks in class, I
realized I had been doing everything wrong,” Esisi says. Through an online mentoring programme, Esisi was matched with a Goldman Sachs employee, Chief Operating Officer for the Securities division of Goldman Sachs, Michelle Pinggera, who guided her
through her coursework. Over the course of four months, she excelled in her coursework, gaining the financial and leadership skills to enhance her business, and eventually completing a certificate in entrepreneurial management. She ad-
Principles of entrepreneurship
ho can become an entrepreneur? There is no one definitive profile. Successful entrepreneurs come in various ages, income levels, gender, and race. They differ in education and experience. But research indicates that most successful entrepreneurs share certain personal attributes, including: creativity, dedication, determination, flexibility, leadership, passion, self-confidence, and “smarts.” *Creativity is the spark that drives the development of new products or services or ways to do business. It is the push for innovation and improvement. It is continuous learning, questioning, and thinking outside of prescribed formulas. *Dedication is what motivates the entrepreneur to work hard, 12 hours a day or more, even seven days a week, especially in the beginning, to get the endeavour off the ground. Planning and ideas must be joined by hard work to succeed. Dedication makes it happen. *Determination is the extremely strong desire to achieve success. It includes persistence and the ability to bounce back after rough times. It persuades the entrepreneur to make the 10th phone call, after nine have yielded nothing. For the true entrepreneur, money is not the motivation. Success is the motivator; money is the reward. *Flexibility is the ability to move quickly in response to changing market needs. It is being true to a dream while also being mindful of market realities. A story is told about an entrepreneur who started a fancy shop selling only French pastries. But customers wanted to buy muffins as well. Rather than risking the loss of these customers, the entrepreneur modified her vision to accommodate these needs. *Leadership is the ability to create rules and to set goals. It is the capacity to follow through to see that rules are followed and goals are accomplished. *Passion is what gets entrepreneurs started and keeps them there. It gives entrepreneurs the ability to convince others to believe in their vision. It can’t substitute for planning, but it will help them to stay focused and to get others to look at their plans. *Self-confidence comes from thorough planning, which reduces uncertainty and the level of risk. It also comes from expertise. Self-confidence gives the entrepreneur the ability to listen without being easily swayed or intimidated. *“Smarts” consists of common sense joined with knowledge or experience in a related business or endeavour. The former gives good instincts, the latter, expertise. Many people have smarts they don’t recognize. A per-
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ThebuddingEntrepreneurs be served, but I realized it was up to me, not the employees, to find ways to communicate effectively. Because many of them didn’t read or write, I found that drawing diagrams on the clothing patterns was a really effective way to give them instructions.
mitted that it was after the Goldman Sachs programme that she realized she was more than a tailor. “I was in the fashion business; because there were opportunities in my business that I was not focusing on such as purchasing, production, design, marketing, exports, etc.” A year after in 2009, Esisi began to take his tailoring profession to the global stage, as she along with some of the most famous, powerful and influential women in the world, including Hillary Clinton, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and a galaxy of other celebrities, received the coveted Vital Voices Entrepreneurship Award in Washington DC in 2009. That clearly marked a turning point in the life of the lawyer who traded her wig for the scissors and tape of a tailor. Today, Esisi has emerged as one of Africa’s success stories in women enterprise through her Tuopsy Enterprises and she is presently a mentor to the new breed of women entrepreneurs in the programme. However, though Esisi holds her current status to the former exposure she received through the Goldman Sach’s Entrepreneurial Development
Scholarship programme, the real success factors appear to be her own inner driving force; her perseverance, commitment vision and passion. Besides, from the time she started selling cakes while in the university, Esisi adopted the culture of treating her customers like gold. “Over time, as I needed to employ staff, I realized it was important to treat my employees just as if they were customers – because they are the face of my business. If the internal customer is not happy, the external one won’t be either” she said. Here are seven ways, according to Esisi on how to treat employees with the same respect, patience, and importance you give to customers: Speak their language Coming from my background as a lawyer, I had trouble communicating with my employees when I launched a fashion-design company in Nigeria. The employees were skilled but uneducated; it was as though I spoke in a different dialect. It’s easy for an entrepreneur to be cocky and think because you had the big dream to set up your business you had to
son who successfully keeps a household on a budget has organizational and financial skills. Employment, education, and life experiences all contribute to smarts. Every entrepreneur have these qualities in different degrees. But what if a person lacks one or more? Many skills can be learned. Or, someone can be hired who has strengths that the entrepreneur lacks. The most important strategy is to be aware of strengths and to build on them. What leads a person to strike out on his own and start a business? Perhaps a person has been laid off once or more. Sometimes a person is frustrated with his or her cur-rent job and doesn’t see any better career prospects on the horizon. Sometimes, a person realizes that his or her job is in jeopardy. A firm may be contemplating cutbacks that could end a job or limit career or salary prospects. Perhaps, a person already has been passed over for promotion. Perhaps, a person sees no opportunities in existing businesses for someone with his or her interests and skills. Some people are actually repulsed by the idea of working for someone else. They object to a system where reward is often based on seniority rather than accomplishment, or where they have to conform to corporate culture. Other people decide to become entrepreneurs be-cause they are disillusioned by the bureaucracy or politics involved in getting ahead in an established business or profession. Some are tired of trying to promote a product, service, or way of doing business that is outside the mainstream operations of a large company. In contrast, some people are attracted to entrepreneurship by the advantages of starting a business. These include: *Entrepreneurs are their own bosses. They make the decisions. They choose whom to do business with and what work they will do. They decide what hours to work, as well as what to pay and whether to take vacations. *Entrepreneurship offers a greater possibility of achieving significant financial rewards than working for someone else. *It provides the ability to be involved in the total operation of the business, from concept to design and creation, from sales to business operations and customer response. *It offers the prestige of being the person in charge. It gives an individual the opportunity to build equity, which can be kept, sold, or passed on to the next generation. * Entrepreneurship creates an opportunity for a person to make a contribution. Most new entrepreneurs help the local economy. Some people evaluate the possibilities for jobs and careers where they live and make a conscious decision to pursue entrepreneurship. No one reason is more valid than another; none guarantee success. However, a strong desire to start a business, combined with a good idea, careful planning, and hard work, can lead to a very engaging and profitable endeavour. BC
Provide education While I came down to the employees’ level originally, I needed to raise them up in the long run. I engaged a tutor a few days a week to help my employees develop their language skills. Ongoing employee training is essential. However, the training should never be simply about giving workers education, but about providing them with skills that directly help the business. Express your expectations I had a friend who was going to dismiss her housekeeper because she didn’t meet her standards of cleanliness. But I realized my friend hadn’t bothered to explain her expectations to the housekeeper. Once she did, the housekeeper became more effective in her duties. The same concept is true in my business. It’s pointless to be critical of your employees’ performance until you clearly delineate what you expect of them, because their standards may be different. Create room for interaction People are often afraid to ask questions because they think it reflects badly on them. I made it clear to my employees that it was okay to ask for clarification. I had an open-door policy. When employees saw they could ask questions without retribution or punishment, they came to me with more questions, and became better, more productive workers. Define clear structure Here in Nigeria, tailors typically work by a process called “freehand cutting,” where they cut into the material without using a pattern. For my business to succeed, however, I needed a systematized approach that produced a uniform product. When I hired new employees, I found they adjusted to my system when I put forward our organizational structure and operating procedures and explained everything upfront. People will adapt quickly to new concepts if you guide them and clearly show the reasons behind it. Identify areas of Strength In a creative business like fashion, I had to carefully match my employees’ skills with the needs of my business. Some employees are better with detailed work, so I had them produce clothing where that is important. Others take pride in turning out work faster, so I assigned them to tasks where speed is more important than exactitude. The key is to find what people do well, so you can give them duties that allow them to succeed. Show appreciation When I saw that some customers asked for clothing made by a specific employee, I realize what an important part of the company my workers were. In a service business, there’s nothing between your staff and your customers – so you need to regard them both as vital to your success. BC
Personal Finance How to write a business plan
business plan is a written description of your business’s future. It is a document that describes what you plan to do and how you plan to do it. Business plans can help perform a number of tasks for those who write and read them. They’re used by investment-seeking entrepreneurs to convey their vision to potential investors. They may also be used by firms that are trying to attract key employees, prospect for new business, deal with suppliers or simply to understand how to manage their companies better. So what’s included in a business plan, and how do you put one together? Simply stated, a business plan conveys your business goals, the strategies you’ll use to meet them, potential problems that may confront your business and ways to solve them, the organizational structure of your business (including titles and responsibilities), and finally, the amount of capital required to finance your venture and keep it going until it breaks even. Now that you understand why you need a business plan and you’ve spent some time doing your homework gathering the information you need to create one, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get everything down on paper. Discussed hereunder are the seven essential sections of a business plan: what you should include, what you shouldn’t include, how to work the numbers and additional resources you can turn to for help. With that in mind, jump right in. *Executive summary Within the overall outline of the business plan, the executive summary will follow the title page. The summary should tell the reader what you want. Clearly state what you’re asking for in the summary. The statement should be kept short and businesslike, probably no more than half a page. It could be longer, depending on how complicated the use of funds may be, but the summary of a business plan, like the summary of a loan application, is generally no longer than one page. Within that space, you’ll need to provide a synopsis of your entire business plan like: the business concept, where you discuss the industry, your business structure, your particular product or service, and how you plan to make your business a success; financial features which highlights the important financial points of the business including sales, profits, cash flows and return on investment and financial requirements that clearly state the capital needed to start the business and to expand. Others include current business position, which is the legal form of operation, the principal owners and key personnel as well as major achievements, which provides details of any developments within the company that are essential to the success of the business. Business description This usually begins with a short description of the industry, the present outlook as well as future possibilities. It also provides information on all the various markets within the industry, including any new products or developments that will benefit or adversely affect your business. If the business plan is to be used as a document for financial purposes, explain why the added equity or debt money is going to make your business more profitable. Market strategies These are the result of a meticulous market analysis, which forces the entrepreneur to become familiar with all aspects of the market so that the target market can be defined and the company can be positioned in order to garner its share of sales. A market analysis also enables the entrepreneur to establish pricing, distribution and promotional strategies that will allow the company to become profitable within a competitive environment. In addition, it provides an indication of the growth potential within the industry, and this will allow you to develop your own estimates for the future of your business. BC
Monday, February 11, 2013
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Internet fraudsters are getting more sophisticated by the day, deploying various strategies to defraud their victims and creating an atmosphere of fear and insecurity in Nigeria’s emerging e-commerce sub-sector
Internet fraudsters on the prowl By Adejuwon Osunnuyi
ith the world increasingly becoming a global village, the Internet, through which this is made possible, has equally remained ubiquitous, affordable and mostly accessible. In Nigeria, just like the rest of the world, the growing number of people with internet access, especially through the mobile phones has been amazing. With over 60 million Internet users and 96 million mobile phone subscribers, Nigeria remains Africa’s largest mobile and Internet market. Among most Nigerians, the use of the Internet varies. While many use the internet to access social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc, others use the it for other serious business activities. The financial institutions have equally stepped up efforts to integrate electronic payment system to enable Nigerians transact business online, a step that is expected to accelerate the nation’s e-commerce growth. But despite the many advantages that come with the use of the Internet, the negative impact of cybercrime on businesses has continued to create fears in the mind of users and potential online users. This is more so as it has been discovered that with the web, fraud now come from anywhere on the planet. Now, distance is no longer a barrier as it is cheaper to use fraudulent, deceptive “spamming” e-mails and web pages to dupe unsuspecting victims. Interestingly, the Internet also makes it easier for con artists to cover their tracks. While on daily basis, cases of cybercrime have been on the increase, a number of institutions, particularly internet banking and other online transactions, have
become targets of cyber criminals, with varying degrees of sophistication and success. Investigations by Business Courage revealed that dubious persons send scam email messages to victims requesting information like login accounts and passwords among others in order to defraud the unsuspecting preys. As the case maybe, theft of identity, spamming, unauthorised access, cyber bullying, cyber stalking, among others, are becoming the order of the day. Examples of such schemes are: Auction and Retail Online, Business Opportunity/”Workat-Home”, Online Identity Theft, Fraud Market Manipulation, Investment, Online charity, creditcard, lottery/prize-promotion, advance-fee and spammed Emails (unsolicited E-mails). For many, the most familiar scam which many fall victims of in recent time is the e-mail spam. The e-mail spam, as it is called, is flooding the Internet with many copies of the same message, in an attempt to force the message on people who would not otherwise choose to receive it. Most spam is commercial advertising, often for dubious products, get-richquick schemes, or quasi-legal services. Spam costs the sender very little to send as most of the costs are paid for by the recipient or the carriers rather than by the sender. To some extent, it is obvious that spam has grown to be a major concern for Internet users and policy makers not only for congesting networks and disseminating viruses and fraudulent messages, but also for undermining trust in the Internet and the digital economy. One particularly nasty variant of email spam is sending spam to mailing lists (public or private email discussion forums.) Because many
mailing lists limit activity to their subscribers, spammers will use automated tools to subscribe to as many mailing lists as possible, so that they can grab the lists of addresses, or use the mailing list as a direct target for their attacks. Although a lot of people are becoming bolder and wiser when it comes to using the internet, checks revealed that, a lot of people are still unaware of the internet-related crimes as they continue to fall victims. Many of those that fall into this category are those that respond to series of the internet fraud alert allegedly sent by banks asking them to update their data. Coming with the exact logos of the banks on cloned websites, to a potential customer, the messages look harmless and helpful. But where the harm has always been is the area where the customer is asked to enter his password. Through this, checks revealed that once the password is supplied, the scammers get unrestricted access into the victims’ account and carry out the harm. Anthony Emeana, an internet user, recalled the agonising experienced he had that wiped off his entire account worth millions of naira. Emeana said that responding to a message he thought had come from his bank had been his albatross. According to him, the message, “Dear Valued Customer, It is mandatory that you update your internet banking profile. This is a new procedure to prevent Phishing attacks. We shall disable your internet banking if not updated immediately as we are not going to be responsible for any loss as a result of disregarding this message. HOW TO UPDATE: Simply Download Attached Form Fill and Submit,” was all the scammers needed to hack into his account. Aside from Emeana, there are
many other Nigerians who are daily falling victims of the bank account update scam. Though the banks have continued to warn their customers not to divulge their password or Personal Identification Number (PIN), Biola Ameso, another internet user, who said she has become very sceptical, and would rather have nothing to do with the internet and other internet-related activities noted that it takes common sense to keep out of trouble and avoid becoming a victim of cybercrime. “The way the messages come is always very convincing and original. But you must use your common sense.” According to her, some crimes could easily be prevented with better implementation of technology. “Ignoring emails requesting passwords, and updating anti-virus, can help deter some risk of identity theft, spamming, among others,” she counselled. Aside the bank update scam, the scammers seem to have moved to the social media especially the dating sites. How does the romance scams work? Romance scammers normally target social websites especially religious sites where they suspect they can find honest victims. In most cases, they create a profile with nice looking fake picture to make their victims get attracted to them. On facebook, twitter, netlog and other sites, to get hook to their victims, they send spam messages such as “My name is Vivian Fugar, after reading your short profile here I took interest in you, and I really have vital information relating to my life and future that I want to disclose to you, so please reply me with my email address here (fugarvivian2012 @yahoo.com)where I will be able to write to you to tell you more about me and also send to
you my attached photo.” While they try to create good sounding relationship with unsuspecting victim, most of them regularly contact the victim through various ways including phone calls until they gain the trust of the victim. The scammer exchanges photographs that are not real and in some cases, send gift to the victim. After the scammer has established the illusion but meaningful relationship, he or she begins to ask the victim for money. In doing so, they tell their unsuspecting “lovers” pathetic stories that something terrible had happened to them or their family and desperately in need of money or may ask an airfare in order to meet the victim. Once they are able to achieve their aim, they cut off all communications or in some cases, ask for more money. However, in some cases, the scammer will ask the victim to cash a fake money order or cheque for them and wire the money. While banks might not be able to verify the validity of the money order right away and go ahead to cash the money order, later, the victim founds out that he is being responsible for the cashed fake money order plus any penalties and legal prosecutions. Michael Wellington, a computer analyst, blaming most Nigerians who fall victims of cybercrime as being gullible, maintains that “(Nigerians) are just great at social engineering. They keep finding new victims. According to him, there are plenty of variations on the cyber scam as the scammers apparently keep up with the news. “In 2001, instead of a Nigerian barrister, the missing money belonged to an Iraqi national, persecuted under Saddam Hussein. The year before, it was family of victims of
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Business Courage A15 31
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the Concorde plane crash. Earlier committed, there is no crime. For a this year, it was a Tsunami victim; country that has an unfair reputathen, a US soldier killed in Iraq tion in relation to cybercrime, the during the war on terror, anything fact that the National Assembly has to get an edge, or to catch victims not been able to pass any of the with their guard down,” he said. cybercrime bills since 2004 makes Stakeholders in the information Nigeria look unserious. and communications technology Lanre Ajayi, President, Associa(ICT) industry have insisted that tions of Telecommunications Comthe passage of an enabling legisla- panies of Nigeria, (ATCON) , said in tion on Nigerians cyber space re- a recent forum in Lagos that that mains the best choice to tame the the growing wave of cybercrimes problem. in the country without much effort Recent studies, they stated, from the government to pass into have shown that people are more law, pending bills aimed at crimilikely to engage in offensive or ille- nalising the acts, remains a major gal behaviour online because of the drawback to the development of eperception of anonymity, thus cy- commerce in Nigeria. bercriminals exploit the rights and Ajayi, who described the delay privileges of a free society, includ- being faced by some cybercrime-reing anonymity. lated bills in the National Assembly According to a publication on as uncalled-for, said it was impor“Understanding Cybercrime” on the tant that cybercrimes be put under International Telecommunications control if e-Commerce and other Union (ITU) website: “The adop- online transactions must thrive in tion by all countries of appropriate the country. legislation against the misuse of He noted that facilitating elecInformation and Communication tronic payment transactions as Technology (ICT), for criminal or being driven by the Central Bank other purposes, including activities of Nigeria in collaboration with intended to affect the integrity of the banks as well as boosting the national critical information infra- overall e-commerce in the country structures, is central to achieving would require the government to global cyber security. enact appropriate laws to crimiThe publication further stated nalise some bad online behaviour that since threats could originate while embarking on massive camanywhere around the globe, the paign on how to use the Internet challenges are inherently interna- as tool for job and wealth creation tional in scope and thus requires as alternative to online scam and international cooperation, inves- cybercrime, and maintained that tigative assistance, and common increasing shift of commerce to substantive and procedural provi- the Internet had been the trend in sions. many part of the world. David Isiavwe, one of members However, to get protected from of the Nigerian Cybercrime Working being scammed, an internet user Group (NCWG) constituted to draft is advised to always be able to recthe first bill on Nigerian Cybercrime ognize a scam. “If you plan to use Act, in 2004, lamented the non-ex- the Internet at all for your busiistent of a cyber-law eight years af- ness, personal or social needs, save ter. It would be recalled that former yourself a lot of time and energy President Olusegun Obasanjo had by knowing the different types of inaugurated the Nigerian Cyber- scams out there so you can bypass crime Working Group (NCWG), on them altogether.” March 10, 2004. Before then, he Chief Executive Officer of Telhad formed a 15-member commit- edom Group, Dr. Emmanuel Ekutee consisting of representatives wem, in his own reaction to the infrom the government and private crease wave of internet criminality, sector with the task of designing so- cautioned internet users against lutions for Nigerian internet-based unprotected online security in the fraud and cybercrime. While the present era of digital economy. Accommittee then had formed the Ni- cording to him, internet users need gerian Cybercrime Working Group to protect their online transactions (NCWG), after several months of hard work and determination, the NCWG presented a ‘Draft Nigerian Cybercrime Act’ to the President. “Everyone, including the students, employers of labour as well as employees in public and private sectors, financial institutions, telecoms operators and other organisations in the country must know that cybercrime is real, and seek to be protected.” he said. Executive Director, Paradigm Initiative, Gbenga Sesan, noted that the absence of an enabling law left vacuums and chaos in any given society and much to be desired. According to him, “The fact that there is no cybercrime legislation existing in Nigeria means that cybercrime is not exactly considered as a crime in this country.” To him, “ExOmobola Johnson, cept the prosecutor is able to minister of use an amalgamation of laws communication to prove that a crime has been
against security loopholes that could expose their transactions to cyber vulnerabilities. Ekuwem, the former President, Association of Telecoms Companies (ATCON), urged governments and private bodies using web services to ensure they install security solutions on their computers. According to him, tighter security solutions will go a long way in reducing cyber threat, which is a global problem. “The greatest security threat facing governments and private bodies using the web service is lack of preparation for the increasing cyber threats,” he said. While urging the National Assembly to be hasty with the passage of the security bill before them, the IT expert said that continuous leak of users information was a serious infringement of the rights of internet users and threatened Internet safety. He maintained that the latest Symantec Internet Security Threat Report had moved Nigeria six positions up the ladder to now occupy the 59th position globally among countries with the greatest internet security threat. According to him, this is more important with Nigeria gradually transiting from cash to an electronic based economy by virtue of the implementation of the CBN’s cash-less policy. “Cyber criminals, who attack businesses and individuals across the globe, can re-direct their energies to exploit vulnerabilities in the electronic payment system in order to perpetuate fraud,” he said. Also, Peter Ejiofor, a Lagosbased Internet security expert, said there was need to increase internet security solution to mitigate cyber crimes. Ejiofor, who expressed concern about Nigeria’s rising cyber crime profile, especially with the delay in passing into law, pending bills aimed at criminalising the acts, said that the days of depending on only anti-virus software to keep computers safe were over, as he noted that internet was constantly changing and hackers were also changing techniques. “When you use multiple security measures throughout your network, the overall security is much stronger,” Ejiofor said. While an internet user is not expected to never reply anyone running such a scheme, it is also advisable to use your Internet email service to block junk or ‘spam’ e-mails. Check your online service for ways to reduce unsolicited commercial e-mail. Also, it is essential never to download an e-mail attachment from an unknown sender as it could be a virus. Most of the times, these type of email that contains virus might come from a know sender, but once it asks you to open an application, be sure it is a virus. As an internet user, don’t respond to any mail that asks for money upfront as even If such an offer is too good to be true, don’t believe it. While you should understand that nobody is on the Internet with the sole purpose of making you rich, investigate Internet-related business opportunities just as you would investigate any business opportunity. BC
How to use BlackBerry Parental Controls
ith the recent reported cases of misuse of social network sites, particularly with more kids making use of smartphones, many parents are increasingly becoming uncomfortable with the negative exposures which children are daily inundated with. The good news, however, is that, parents and guardians can now have rest of mind as the Blackerry phone now has Parental Con-trols app. The BlackBerry Parental Controls is now available in the BlackBerry App World storefront for customers with a BlackBerry 6 or BlackBerry 7 OS smartphone while those using BlackBerry Device Software 5, a compatible version of Parental Controls is expected to be made available in the near future. Parental Controls is an integrated feature that provides parents and guardians simple options to help them protect their children by restricting access to specific functions, features and applications. You might not think it’s obvious, but one segment of customers that can benefit from BlackBerry security are teens – they may even be children – with phones provided by their parents or guardian. If you provide a BlackBerry smartphone to a teen or child, you can have a peace of mind as you set limits on what features or services your child can have access to. To activate this app, provided you are using a BlackBerry 6 or BlackBerry 7 OS smartphone, open BlackBerry App World on your smartphone and search for Parental Controls, or use the “Scan A Barcode” feature (Menu >“Scan a Barcode”) A couple examples of the restrictions you can set by going to Options -> Security -> Parental Controls are: Camera – A control to disable use of the camera for both still pictures and video. Upon attempting to launch the Camera application, the user would be provided with the message “Camera has been blocked.” Phone – Limit the phone to receive calls only from phone numbers that exist in the contacts application. This feature will block incoming phone calls from unknown callers. Other features where you can also restrict include text messages, Bluetooth file transfer, location services, Browser, Application installation, Email account setup, Facebook, Twitter, Messenger and BlackBerry Messenger. BC
Etisalat rewards winners of prize for innovation Stories by Adejuwon Osunnuyi
tisalat Nigeria has rewarded winners of its first edition of the ‘Etisalat Nigeria Prize for Innovation’ aimed at encouraging and celebrating valuable innovation in the African market. The ‘Etisalat Prize for Innovation’ which was awarded in two categories was given to companies that developed the most innovative products and ideas at the competition. The first prize of $25, 000 for the most innovative product or service was presented to Sinelimit represented by Olaseni Odebiyi for Mobile Maths Practice, a mobile application that helps students in preparing for exams, and the second prize of $10,000 for the most innovative idea was presented to Future Software for the iConnect Project, Mobile ICT Units proposed, represented by Oyehmi Begho, to supply mobile broadband internet vehicles to schools in various geographical areas. Speaking on the success of the competition which witnessed an impressive array of entries for the two award categories, Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Steven Evans, explained that the competition was instituted to provide the opportunity for ingenious people to present innovative and relevant mobile broadband products/ services and ideas. According to him, the company is currently working with them to further enhance the product and idea in order to provide realistic solutions to everyday challenges and make a difference to our average subscriber either financially or socially. At the prize giving ceremony held in Lagos at the weekend, Evans noted that noted the company, which is undoubtedly renowned as the most innovative and fastest growing telecommunications
company, in recognition of efforts made by the government to facilitate and promote mobile broadband in the country last year instituted and sponsored the ‘Etisalat Prize for Innovation award’ for the most innovative product/service and idea at the 2012 edition of the Africa Com conference in Cape Town, South Africa. Stating that the reason for introducing this unique award category to the Africa Com lineup is to encourage and promote broadband adoption and usage in Nigeria and Africa in general, he noted, “This sponsorship is a unique one for us because of our desire to offer more to our customers beyond the business of telephony. We also realize that even though customers primarily want to enjoy the products and services on offer by Etisalat, they also want to know that we not only care for them, but also the wider environment in which we operate.” Evans noted innovation has been the bedrock of every product the company had in the last four years. “From easy starter with HomeZone and You & Me, easy cliq with Talk & Share and Cliq for the week, easy life with its unique affordable tariff to easyblaze the fastest broadband service in Nigeria, to easyflex with its all-in-one bundle plans for voice, SMS and data services, easywallet, our secure and user-friendly SIM application for mobile money payments and transfers, easyadz, a unique permission- and preference-based mobile advertising service – we’ve created products and services that have become a part of your daily life; products that are unique to associate with while making your communication lives easier.” “When we launched commercial operations in 2008, we had one goal in mind, that goal was to turn around the telecoms industry and exceed every Nigerian’s expectation of what a Telecom organization should be. We went ahead to develop Etisalat’s business strategy based on four strategic elements – Innovation, Quality of Service, customer focus and efficiency/value for money.” Speaking on the growth of broadband in Africa, Evans said the African mobile broadband market is growing at an incredibly fast rate as according to a recent forecast conducted by Richard Hurst, senior analyst in Ovum’s Emerging Markets team, broadband users are predicted to hit approximately 277 million by 2015. That represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 40 percent, from 2010 to 2015. He observed that government and stakeholders across the continent are making
Monday, February 11, 2013
concerted efforts to boost the adoption of mobile broadband as it has been identified as the future of mobile technology usage. “Africa has shown enormous potential for growth in mobile broadband services and analysts say that if the success in the GSM services is anything to go by, stakeholders predict a boom in broadband services in the continent. Already, the Federal Government of Nigeria is spearheading efforts at creating an enabling environment for the development of broadband in the country.” He said.
Guinness sponsors 10 youths to IIT
s part of its community development initiatives, Guinness Nigeria Plc has sponsored ten youths to the Institute of Industrial Technology (IIT). The programme, which is focused on technical training, was designed to bridge the gap that exists in the Nigerian educational system as well as to give individuals the knowledge and skills to help them to stand on their own feet and become responsible citizens of the nation. Speaking on behalf of Guinness Nigeria, Corporate Relations Director, Sesan Sobowale, who was represented by Nkiruka Ogboruche, said the company is always committed to supporting the dreams and aspirations of youths and assisting them in becoming useful members of society. “At Guinness Nigeria, we are always happy to be involved with worthy projects such as these that can add such tremendous value to the lives on Nigerians. This sort of support forms a core part of our community investment agenda and we will continue to support Nigeria and Nigerians through initiatives and activities that uplift them,” he said. Speaking during the orientation programme for the new inductees, the Director of
Babatunde Savage, Chairman Guinness Plc
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the Institute, Olumide Akinjo, said, “The purpose of this programme is to use technical and vocational training to close the gap in educational development and we are happy to have an able supporter such as Guinness Nigeria Plc that have supported some our students towards achieving their dreams”. Akinjo also stated that the programme, which started thirteen years ago, has been kept alive by socially responsible corporate citizens like Guinness Nigeria. Earlier in a statement, the company had stated that the ten individuals were carefully selected from states where Guinness factories are located and were chosen after a series of evaluation and screening sessions from a large number of applicants who put in for the scholarship. Students from Benin, Aba and Lagos state participated in the programme. One of the recipients of the scholarship, Master Darlington Aibangbee said he was excited to have made it through the selection process. He and his mother, Aibangbee, thanked Guinness Nigeria for their support in reaching this level. Darlington said he hopes to become a skilled technical worker and provide for himself and his family through his knowledge.
Signal Alliance embarks on Customer Week 2013
s part of the activities marking their annual customer appreciation week, Nigeria’s leading enterprise solutions and systems specialists Signal Alliance has embarked on various activities meant to show appreciation and commitment to their existing customer base. With visitations scheduled for her plethora of clients drawn from banking, insurance, manufacturing, aviation, energy and public sectors of the economy, the company once again has demonstrated its customer relationship abilities. These activities, which started with visitations to some key customers of Signal Alliance has seen the company visiting the likes of Union Bank Plc., Mansard Insurance, Pan Ocean, Dangote group, Nigerian Breweries, Aero Contractors, etc, within the period of the Customer week. Justifying the importance of this annual exercise, the managing director of Signal Alliance Collins Onuegbu explained that though information technology activities tends to eliminate the personal touch needed in business relationships, Signal Alliance devised this scheme to bring back the age long means of interacting with customers.
“We can’t let machines rule everything in our life and that’s why we take out time to physically visit our esteemed customers and show them, as humans, that we appreciate doing business with them as well as reward them for sticking with us as preferred service provider” he said. In addition to using these visits to appreciate their customers, which has taken a better part of the week, the company is also using the visitation to reward their customers by offering free services via Gift Vouchers to their customers. According to Desmond Omovie, the company’s head of branding and marketing communications, the Gift vouchers contain four specialized offers from Signal Alliance each worth at least $3000. He said: “We are offering them free services in either of Infrastructure Network Assessment, Unified Communications Pilot Assessment, Enterprise Cloud Readiness Assessment or SharePoint Deployment Planning Services”. Even though these services represent a profitable aspect of the business, Mr. Omovie believes that offering them free to their customers as part of the benefits of the customer week is another way Signal Alliance shows that retaining the goodwill and productivity of their customers far outweighs the financial gains in the business. Reacting to the gesture on behalf of some of the customers of Signal Alliance, the Group Head IT of Union Bank Plc Peter Iwegbu, thanked the management and staff of Signal Alliance for the visit and reiterated his appreciation of the professional relationship that exists between both companies. Activities for the Customer Week rounded up with a visit to the Little Saints Orphanage in Lagos as well as a Breakfast Meeting with industry experts and customers of Signal Alliance in Lagos. BC
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Monday, February 11, 2013
Monday, February 11, 2013
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The new Volvo V40 D2 ES: A revelation
t may be Chinese-owned but Volvo’s all-new V40 sets new benchmarks. Volvo, that paragon of all things perfectly Swedish. Except now, of course, it’s not Swedish: the iconic brand is owned by the Chinese. That deal, of course, caused a lot of head-scratching when it came to considering the quality of future Volvo models. But now, the new V40, the first Volvo to be built under Chinese ownership, has arrived: and it’s mightily impressive. Volvo has much to prove with the new V40. It is the first product of the new-era, Chineseowned Volvo, and the first for quite a while not to have been launched under the protective wing of previous owner Ford’s engineers, who know what they are about. In fact, it’s so good that the V40 has the potential to go headto-head on build quality terms with the class-leading VW Golf. Observed from the outside, the five-door V40 is sportily squat and low: its 1.8m wide and 1.4m tall. And that in itself sets it apart from the opposition, which instead tend to favour higherroofed designs. The Volvo V40 is new from the wheels up, and represents a concerted effort by Volvo to make an impact in the compact executive hatch class. It hopes to stand out from rivals like the Audi A3, Mercedes A-Class and BMW 1 Series, with stylish looks,
good fuel economy and a long list of safety kit that includes the world’s first pedestrian airbag. Super-low CO2 emissions start from just 94g/km, which makes it a great choice for company car buyers. Those parting with their own cash would be hard pushed to choose the Volvo over something more German, but if you want a safe, clean and entertaining left-field hatch, then the V40 is a good choice. Styling The Volvo V40 takes its styling cues from the larger V60, with and imposing front end and sharp bumpers, as well as
curves and creases in the bodywork run all the way to the rear. The overall effect is a car that’s more interesting than the Audi A3 or VW Golf and more attractive than the BMW 1 Series. Inside, the V40 takes a step forward in terms of quality, and the minimalist design is logically and sensibly laid out. That said, it can’t quite match the Audi for quality and at first some of the endless reams of menus and submenus can be quite confusing to operate. Driving Pick a diesel V40 and you’ll have plenty of overtaking power,
even if you choose the low-emissions D2 model. The grunt of the five-cylinder D4 is particularly impressive, making passing slower moving traffic a doddle. There’s plenty of grip too and accurate steering meaning the V40 not only impresses on the motorway but on twistier roads as well. However, given that it can match the V40 on price, those who want a sporty drive might be better off opting for a BMW 120d. The six-speed manual gearbox is stiff and clunky though while the Geartronic automatic is not as smooth or efficient as the latest dual-clutch automatics from Audi and VW.
Reliability Volvo has always been a class leader in safety innovation, and the V40 is no exception to that proud tradition. It’s the first production car to get a pedestrian airbag, and it achieved a full fivestar crash test rating in the Euro NCAP tests. Euro NCAP also said that the V40 was officially the safest car it had ever tested a fine accolade for any new car. Volvo finished a solid 10th in the 2012 Driver Power reliability survey, proving that buyers still have faith in the ownership experience and reliability of the brand despite it losing its way in
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Business Courage A19 35
Monday, February 11, 2013
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of class and efficiency
Autocare Car problems you shouldn’t fix yourself
o you sometimes take things apart and then realize you have no idea how to get them back together? If these questions ring true, they’re signs that you should probably leave your car repair to a qualified professional. It’s a common issue with do-it-yourself (DIY) auto repair: you might have a rough idea of how to do the job, yet you don’t know all the details along the way—let alone what could go wrong in the process, or what to do if it does. The consequences can be much more expensive. There are cases as simple as a customer who replaced an air filter and accidentally detached a vacuum line, to many who’ve in the course of a brake job broken a sensor or set off a warning light— or those who have managed to foul out during major maintenance like timing-belt replacement. In all of these instances, the piece of the repair job they were missing—in addition to understanding what might go wrong—is the diagnosis and troubleshooting that’s part of a real mechanic’s job. In this era of networked cars and onboard diagnostics, even tasks that sound very simple could prove problematic. For instance, in some car models, you can’t simply install and connect a new power-window switch and expect it to work and in others, you will need to take it to the dealership and update the system to recognize that new component. If you have some experience turning a wrench, and you know your way under the hood of your car, it’s probably tempting to spend a little extra time on the weekend doing some of those smaller repairs. But first, you need to get familiar with the repair manual for your car and you need hands-on training.
recent years. Practicality Measuring 335 litres in size, the V40’s boot is slightly smaller than that of the Volkswagen Golf. That said, it does have a false floor which allows items to be stored on two different levels. Inside, the designers at Volvo have chosen form over function – there isn’t much storage space and the door bins are quite small. Rear headroom is compromised by the sharply sloping roof line, too, but all of the seats are very comfortable. So providing your passengers aren’t over six foot, it should prove relaxing over long distances. Running Costs When it comes to running costs, the Volvo V40 excels. The D2 diesel emits just 94g/km of CO2 and manages an impressive fuel economy figure of 78.5mpg, putting it on a par with the BMW 116d Efficient Dynamics. Even the powerful T4 petrol has official figures of 51.4mpg and 129g/ km. Although the V40 is expensive to buy, it is priced accordingly with its upmarket rivals from BMW and Mercedes and a generous amount of equipment is included as standard. However servicing and depreciation will both be higher than with the equivalent BMW 1 Series. Safety Safety, of course, is not a
trend, but a necessity, and one which Volvo has long been directly associated with. So it should come as no surprise that the V40 pioneers a new world first in terms of road safety: the world’s first pedestrian airbag. The V40’s lines are stylish and handsome, setting it apart from many of its rivals, and those attractive looks are capped by an impressive shiny black grille which hides a number of safety cameras. Step inside the V40 and you’re immediately struck by how spacious the cabin is, certainly in the front. As if that wasn’t enough, the seats are, without question, the comfiest in the ultra-competitive class in which it sits. Those in the rear are also roomy and comfortable. If there’s a slight downside, it’s that there’s not a huge amount of storage space, and the door pockets — which, let’s face it, we all use for stashing away CDs, bottles, and a myriad of other bits ‘n’ bobs — are on the small side. The boot too is actually smaller than that of a BMW 1 Series, at 335-litres, but at least there’s an adjustable floor system allows luggage to be mounted on two levels. The interior also gets a very impressive new digital instru-
ment pack. There are three regimes (Elegance, Eco and Performance) and cleverly, not only does the display change to suit, but so too does the car’s whole character. In addition to the three trim levels — ES, SE and SE Lux — all of which are superbly equipped; there’s the choice of five engines. There are three turbo-diesels, a 1.6 four-cylinder, plus two versions of the five-cylinder. In addition, there are two 1.6 turbo petrol fours, delivering 150bhp and 180BHP. Class-leading handling Power’s delivered though the standard six-speed manual gearbox. It’s a slick movement which, combined with the Volvo’s 114bph sprightliness, sees it reach 60mph from standstill in 11.7secs. It’ll go on to hit a max of 118mph. And forget any conceptions you may still harbour of Volvos being lumbering, wallowing pieces of kit. Nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to the V40. At the heart of the car is the basic running gear from the Ford Focus. But Volvo’s engineers have taken what has been the class-leading handling package in the sector, and actually improved it. BC
First, what can you do? In addition to replacing cabin and air filters, as well as wiper blades, there are a number of routine checks and minor maintenance items that the typical owner can perform, like checking fluids and lubricants, along with replacing belts and hoses, filters, and perhaps starters and alternators—all if nothing’s already at the point of failure. But even for the more skilled shade-tree mechanic, any job that requires extensive troubleshooting—or the potential for diagnosing other related issues along the way—is best left to the pros. Also, once there’s been a failure, overheat, or a breakdown—or a ‘check engine’ light is on, DIY is off the table. Below are five things that, unless you have a mechanics’ certification and some years of specialized training, you should definitely leave to the professionals: Timing-belt replacement For many vehicles, the timing-belt replacement that’s part of a major-maintenance visit is one of the largest repair bills you’ll end up seeing for your vehicle. And with the parts a relatively small portion, it’s tempting to try it yourself. But don’t. Transmission maintenance or repair Automatic transmissions contain thousands of small parts, precise tolerances, and narrow passageways for hydraulic fluid. It’s a smart move that leave transmission repair to specialized transmission shops, and keep maintenance like flushes and fluid changes to skilled mechanics, not to your own workshop or oil-change places. Overheating With some level of training and the right tools, cooling-system maintenance—like replacing hoses and the thermostat—is one of the more advanced repairs that a skilled home mechanic can do. But if the engine’s already overheated, forget about it—there’s just too much risk involved (your engine and thousands of money is on the line), and you need to have a proper mechanic diagnose the issueand do some damage control. Drivability problems and error codes When your car doesn’t start, or you have drivability issues like stalling, hesitating, or surging—accompanied perhaps by the ubiquitous ‘check engine’ light—DIY mechanics simply don’t have the training to diagnose and troubleshoot. Replacing suspension components Suspension pieces like struts, arms, and bushings look deceptively easy to replace, but there are plenty of ways this kind of repair can go wrong in the hands of the uninitiated. Beginners might not understand the tremendous force that’s in a compressed coil spring (when replacing struts, for instance); they might do things in the wrong order; or they might not realize that part of the suspension supports the front subframe—and the engine. It’s impractical and cost-prohibitive for a home mechanic to own some of the specialty equipment (like a wheel-alignment rack) needed to get the job done right, while labour costs aren’t all that high for typical suspension repairs, so you might as well leave them to the professionals. BC
Analysts recommend Oando Right Issue By Johnson Okanlawon
ollowing the extension of Oando Plc N54.6bn Rights Issue to February 20, 2013, research analysts have advised investors to take position in the company. The Security and Exchange Commission had last week extended the ongoing Rights Issue to February 20, 2013. This is on the back of an industrial action by pensioners of the Nigerian Postal Service in January 2013, resulting in the disruption of distribution of Rights Circulars to majority of Oando’s shareholders. The offer has been extended to enable more shareholders exercise their rights. According to lead analyst at FSDH Securities Limited, factors such as the company strategy to increase its presence in midstream and upstream, where there is opportunity for higher profit margins and the passage of the oil and gas industry reform, will enhance the fortune of the company. “Considering that the Nigerian economy is largely oil-dependent, with 95 per cent of foreign exchange earnings and about 80 per cent of budgetary revenues emanating from the sector alone, it is an opportunity for a low cost route into Nigeria’s attractive energy sector,” the analyst said in a note to investors on Friday. Oando is issuing 4.548 billion shares at N12 per share by way of Rights Issue offer to existing shareholders. The capital raise is to enable the leading integrated energy firm raise N54.6bn to re-finance acquisitions made in the upstream sector of the Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, as well as strengthening its balance sheet. The move comes at a time when leading market analysts are projecting a bullish run for Oando shares and a bountiful return on investment for its shareholders. Meristem Securities Limited, another investment and research firm, has projected that the price of the equity will hit N22.14 within the year. The firm noted that having been among the top 10 in the stock market in 2012, ‘we are not only betting on a N22.14 Oando share price target, but have also placed a ‘buy’ recommendation on the stock.’ Similarly, FSDH Securities Limited has projected a price of N19.12 for Oando shares. “Applying a Relative Valuation method to derive the value of ordinary shares of Oando, we arrived at a fair
Wale Tinubu, Group Chief Executive, Oando Plc
value of N19.12 per share. “The current market value of Oando share is about N14 while the Rights Issue price is N12.00. This means that the Rights were offered to shareholders at a discount to the market price while the market price is also trading at a discount to our fair value. On the basis of this, we recommend that existing shareholders take up their rights” the firm said. According to analysts, looking ahead, they consider that some factors will boost the operations of the company. The company has in recent times steadily increased investments in the high margin sectors of the industry. Its investment in natural gas distribution has seen the company increased its footprint from its Lagos franchise to other South-South states of Cross River, Akwa Ibom and River and supplying over 130 leading manufacturing firms. In the upstream division, Oando’s drilling services unit is the largest indigenous rigs provider in Nigeria. Still in its traditional pioneering status, Oando recently completed a reverse takeover of an exploration and production firm, Canada’s Exile Resources, which culminated in the listing of the resultant company – Oando Energy Resources - on the Toronto Stock Exchange. In December 2012, Oando Energy Services announced a deal to acquire ConocoPhillips’s entire Nigerian assets. The transaction comes with a huge prospect of increasing its current crude oil production from 5,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) to nearly 50,000bopd, including a stake in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) business. BC
Presco gained N1.76 to close at N26.96 per share. CAP gained N1.60 to close at N33.74 and Dangote Cement appreciated by N1.50 to close at N144 per share. On the other hand, Nestle led the losers’ chart, dropping N15.05 to close at N814.96 per share. NewGold lost N11 to close at N2,557 per unit, while Nigerian Breweries dropped N3.01to close at N163.50 per share. UACN trailed with N1.94 to close at N50 per share, while Forte Oil lost 87k to close at N16.67per share. Transcorp emerged the most traded stock with an exchange of 85.58million shares worth N134.12million while Unity Bank came second, accounting for 70.56million shares valued at N60.95million. BC
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Imperative of deepening insurance sector
NSE market indices record marginal growth total of 628.95 million shares valued at N3.25 billion were traded by investors in 7,416 deals on the Nigerian Stock Exchange last Friday. This was against the 702.09 million shares worth N3.9 billion exchanged in 7,314 deals a day earlier. The market indices appreciated by 0.28 per cent as a result of price gains by some blue chip stocks. The All-Share Index also rose by 94.28 points to close at 33,313.48 from the 33,219.20 achieved on Thursday. The market capitalisation, which opened at N10.628 trillion, grew by N30 billion to close at N10.658 trillion. Unilever led the gainers’ chart with N2.04 to close at N49.43 per share. It was followed by Cadbury which gained N1.85 to close at N38.87, while
Monday, February 11, 2013
ast week, the National Insurance Commission announced that it is in the concluding stages of developing a reliable micro insurance framework aimed at deepening insurance penetration in the country, particularly at the grassroots. The document, according to the Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Fola Daniel, said that spell out clear rules for investments and give insurance firms the required flexibility to deploy innovative means of reaching the underserved segment of the insurance market. The timeliness of this initiative is not in doubt given the fact that the insurance sector has largely been noted for underperformance despite the huge potential for harnessing large pools of investable funds required to drive the nation’s economy forward. Much is being expected from the insurance industry especially since the sector reforms carried out in 2007; shortly after the banking sector consolidation was aimed at repositioning insurers for the challenges of the emergent globalised economy. In increasing capitalisation requirements, attracting good hands and raising awareness about the critical role insurance plays in the whole mix of economic activity, both the regulators and the individual firms had hoped that a few years down the line, they would no longer be under the shadow of the banks, which have taken the leadership role the financial sector in terms of human capital development, innovation, products and services, investment and technology. It would be premature to conclude that these objectives have not been met, but insurers have clearly not been able to overcome the key obstacle of generating that critical mass of clientele that is the backbone of the life business, for example, with most Nigerians unable to see the need to take a life policy. Insurers have also not been able to fully overcome the negative perception about the sector with the pervasiveness of fakes and touts that sell polices, and the fear that making a successful claim can be an onerous task. Indeed, where even the government has virtually tied the hands of potential clients with a slew of compulsory insurance policies ranging from the ubiquitous motor vehicle insurance to cover for buildings under construction, with potential for generating trillions of naira in premium income, the capacity for enforcing compliance is weak or nonexistent. Almost everyone agrees that Nigeria, with the sheer size of population should be the number one insurance market in Africa but this sector contributes just 0.72 per cent to Gross Domestic Product, compared with three per cent in Morocco and 12 per cent in South Africa. Experts calculate that in spite of the sector being the most capitalised in Africa with combined statutory capital of
N177bn by the end of last year it generated gross premium income of only N250bn. Yet, going by the risk leverage ratio under the Basel II accord, the industry may be well able to support some N3.5tn in premium income. Insiders blame the situation largely on low penetration with some estimates suggesting that less than two per cent of commercially insurable risks are covered by one form of insurance or the other. Also many corporate entities that have provided bulk premium payments over time are mired in serious problems such that insurance is not a priority. Nigerian insurance firms are also getting much less than expected business from the oil and gas sector in spite of the Local Content Policy that seeks to farm out a significant portion of sector risk to local players. Nonetheless, the potential of the insurance sector to gain its place of pride in the nation’s economy remains very strong but this requires concerted efforts from both the players and the regulators. It give some level of comfort that NAICOM has woken up to this challenge with the articulation of micro insurance guidelines. It is obvious that the poor underserved segment of the population require insurance cover being the most vulnerable in case of personal of business losses. Already, certain insurance companies have generated considerable business from micro-insurance products similar to the grassroots esusu schemes. With more than half of cash in circulation still out of the banking system, insurers have a big market at the grassroots populated by farmers and traders that can be tapped with a little bit of innovativeness. The move to enforce the no premium, co cover policy even for government assets is also a step in the right direction It is disgraceful that over 90 per cent of government properties have no insurance cover and the new policy which came into effect as from January will definitely increase premium generation several time over and put an end to a situation where a huge amount of receivable remain on the books of insurance firms who invariably will not be in a position to pay claims for underinsured losses. There is also the need to enforce compulsory insurance policies and this might need a review of the Insurance Act, which does not give NAICOM enough teeth to punish defaulters. In all, the insurance sector seems set for a rebirth, but only the insurance firms can make this happen by being highly innovative and developing products that will appeal to consumers which at the same time shunning harmful practices such as rate cutting. After all, the insurance sector is bigger than banking in Europe and the US, the Nigerian situation need not be different. BC
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Monday, February 11, 2013
KPMG urges shareholders to scrutinise companies’ accounts By Johnson Okanlawon
o forestall manipulation of results, shareholders have been enjoined to monitor and detect fraudulent entries in the financial statements of quoted companies. Speaking at the KPMG/Nigeria Shareholders’ Solidarity Association’s annual seminar for audit committee members in Lagos on Friday, the Partner, Audit Services, KPMG, Femi Awotaye, said that it was important for shareholders to scrutinise entries in financial statements so as to detect fraud. While explaining that manipulated estimates remained the biggest financial fraud that could be recorded in IFRS statements, he said that shareholders, especially members of audit committees, should equip themselves with the needed knowledge to be able to detect such. According to him, manipulated estimates and non-usage of fair values usually existed in the areas of loans, provisioning for loans, debtors, adding that shareholders had to ask questions to clarify issues they did not understand in the reports. He said, “Audit committee members should ensure that they understand all significant estimates; how have estimates historically matched up with ac-
tual and the extent of the use of models. “They should also find out if some estimates are recorded as audit adjustments or not even recorded and should seek to understand how minor changes in assumption can change the results.” Awotaye, however, stated that in the new IFRS dispensation, missing disclosures would be easy to detect, adding that weak disclosures as regards financial risk management may point to fraudulent reporting. He urged shareholders and audit committee members to ensure an internal coherence between the different components that made up the annual report and also evaluate processes used to obtain information, en-
suring that sufficient disclosures were made. Awotaye reiterated the need for audit committee members to evaluate the impact of IFRS adoption on key performance indicators and drive management to manage expectations where significant changes occur and also evaluate the extent to which incentives may encourage fraudulent financial reporting. “Audit committee members should receive relevant training on IFRS to ensure sufficient level of knowledge for discharging duties and keep knowledge current,” he said. Speaking earlier, the President, Chief Timothy Adesiyan, commended KPMG for the efforts geared towards training shareholders and giving them the much-needed information on what to look out for in the financial reports. He said, “Having a profound knowledge of the business is a key element of understanding and interpreting IFRS financial statements, and we believe that this seminar is a commendable one, and would go a long way to inform audit committee members and shareholders on the needed precaution to prevent fraudulent dealings in the organisation.” BC
Flour Mills seek loan to build new plant
he Chief Financial Officer of Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, Jacques Vauthier, has said that the company plans to borrow between $400 million to $500 million to construct a new cement plant which will double its existing 2.5 million metric tonnes capacity. Vauthier told Reuters last Friday that the conglomerate had appointed financial advisers and banks to raise a term loan from the local market for the construction of the plant. He said the details of the loan were still being finalised and the new cement plant will be completed by the first quarter of 2016. The company reported a marginal growth in profit for the nine -month ended December 31, 2012 last week. According to the result, the revenue rose from N202.26 billion in 2011 to N205.5 billion, showing an increase of 1.6 per cent. Profit after tax remained almost flat at N8.17 billion in 2012, compared to N8.12 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2011. Flour Mills had in the previous week disclosed plans to merge its operations with of its subsidiaries, Niger Mills Limited, located in Calabar, Cross River State.
The company has been managed by Flour Mills since the 70s and has approximately 750 metric tonnes of wheat production per day. According to the company, the proposed merger will create a more efficient company, positioned to create potential savings through the optimisation of overhead costs, particularly administrative costs relating to maintaining two distinctive entities. “The scheme will be achieved by the transfer of all of the assets, liabilities and undertaking of Niger Mills to Flour Mills, in exchange for which ordinary shares of Flour Mills will be issued to the minority shareholders of Niger Mills or alternatively a cash consideration in lieu of
the allotment of the said Flour Mills shares be made to the minority shareholders. Upon the Scheme becoming effective, all shares held in Niger Mills shall be cancelled,” the company explained. Four Mills added that the enlarged entity would consolidate its leading position in the flour milling industry, accessing positive economies of scale and realising significant synergies through enhanced operational and administrative efficiency and a unified product delivery platform, and thereby providing immense benefits to its shareholders and customers. Nigeria’s biggest cement firm Dangote Cement and Flour Mill’s rival recently re-opened its Gboko cement plant after it was shut two month ago due to oversupply in the market, bringing back a fifth of its 20 million tones capacity. Vauthier acknowledged last year’s glut caused by cheap imports from Asia but said sales were picking up again and he expected its cement subsidiary Unicem to end the year with growth in double-digits over the previous year. Nigeria has a huge infrastructure need, which will fuel a construction boom and cement companies are gearing up by scaling up capacity. BC
Market Indicators for Week Ended 08-02-13 All-Share Index 33313.49 points Market Capitalisation N10,658,533,894,812.87 Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY
Inter-Bank Rates TENOR
10.0000 – 11.0000
10.2500 – 11.7500
09.5000 – 12.5000
10.0000 – 12.1500
Primary Market Auction TENOR
Open Market Operation TENOR 139-Days
AMOUNT (N’mn) 59,530
RATE (%) 13.32
Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED
Monday, February 11, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tripple Gee Plc: Recording a modest performance amid high cost By Tayo Adeleke
t is oblivious that the diversification embark upon recently by the management of Triple Gee Plc has begun to yield a positive outcome in the last two years. A review of the company nine months performance for period ended December 2012 show great improvement compared to previous period. The company increased its profit before tax by 213 per cent while profit after had 174 per cent growth rate. Based on this performance, there is possibility of dividend payment at the end of current financial year. Tripple Gee & Company Plc is a manufacturer of security documents, financial instruments and computer stationery. Incorporated in April 1980 and listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 1991, it is the largest and preferred security printer in Nigeria and West Africa. The company produces high quality financial instruments. Its products include MICR Cheques, MICR Dividend Warrants, Share Certificates, Customised Statement of Accounts, Lineflow paper as well as other security instruments such as ballot papers, revenue receipts etc. Tripple Gee as a security printer has carved out a niche for itself in the industry by providing quality security instruments that fraudsters find difficult to tamper with. This is being achieved via continuous research into ways and technologies to be one step ahead of the fraudsters. Tripple Gee pushed for the accreditation of Nigeria cheque printers and is the first indigenous company to be accredited under the Nigerian Cheque Printers Accreditation Scheme. The company is also the pioneer of MICR encoded dividend warrants.
Business Strategies Triple Gee & Company Plc, a major security printing company in Nigeria, seems to have steered its business back to profitability following
N75.1 million in 2011.
diversifications made in the course of 2012 financial year. According to the company chairman, Sam Idowu Ayininuola, the management has been able to fully establish a new product line in packaging business. He stated that though the business was quite competitive in the previous year, however, the diversification made in the packaging line offered some relief from the hitherto Cheque/security printing business which relied so much on banks’ patronage Performance A cursory look at the company’s performance as at nine months of current financial year shows that it has surpassed its last financial year audited report in terms of profit making. For instance, the company’s profit before tax has surpassed the last audited figure to stand at N22.4 million compared with N8.9 million pre-tax recorded at the end of last financial year ended March 2012. Similarly, as at third
quarters 2012, the net profit stood at N15.7 million against N6.2 million posted at the end of last financial year ended march 2012. Details of the unaudited nine months of Tripple Gee Plc for the period ended December 31, 2012 shows that turnover recorded a modest growth of 53.1 per cent to N460.4 million, compared with N460.4 million in the corresponding period of 2011. Profit before tax increased by 212 per cent between 2011 and 2012 to N22 million from N7.15 million. Profit after Tax of N15.7 million compared with N5.72 million in 2011, representing a growth of 174 per cent. Retain earnings inched to N91.3 million from Triple Gee Plc Financial Data
Profitability The Company’s was able to rake in more income which consequently led to increase in the company’s turnover despite growing cost had had a great positive impact on its profitability indices during the review period. Return on equity, ROE which reveals how much profit a company earned in comparison to the total amount of shareholders equity moved to 1.45 per cent during the period ended December 2012. ROE stood at 1.45 per cent against 0.54 per cent in December 2011. Pre-tax margin also increase significantly to 3.17 per cent in 2012 from 1.55 per cent in nine months ended December 2011. Similarly, profit margin experience an upward trend for two consecutive years since 2011 as profit after tax margin stand at 2.22 per cent in 2012 from 1.24 per cent in 2011. However, after achieving growths in other profitability measuring indices in the review period of December 2012, gross profit margin dropped to 17.98 per cent in 2012 from 27.02 per cent in 2011, it means that the company spent 82.02 per cent of sales as operating expenses, up from 72.98 per cent in comparable period of 2011. Liquidity Liquidity ratio, which expresses a company’s ability to repay short-term creditors out of its total cash, shows ability of Tripple Gee’s management to meet both its short term and long time obligation to creditors as they fall due. Both current and quick ratio recorded for the review period is moderate if compare with universally acceptable standard of 2.0:1
Cost of sales
Profit Before Taxation Profit After Taxation
Profitability Ratios Return on Equity(%)
Pre tax Profit Margin(%)
Debtors(No of days)
Creditors(No of days)
Gross profit Margin(%)
and 1.5:1 respectively. Current ratio stood at 1.76:1 against 1.86:1 in 2011 while company’s quick ratio for the period under review close at 1.61:1 from 1.54:1 in 2011. Short term loan dropped by N40 million to N20 million, down from N60 million in 2011. Further analysis shows that the company did not give more cushions to its debtors having reduced payment day (debtors’ number of days) to 28 days from 93 days in 2011 while it took the company 30 days to pay its creditors. This mean the cash could remain with company for longer and it consequently improved the availability of funds for the management to do their daily transaction. Asset Quality Analysis of the company’s balance shows a mixed performance for the review period. Both fixed and current assets have been experiencing mixed growth for the past ten years. Fixed assets grew to N1.17 billion from N1.12 billion in 2011 while current assets dropped to N262 million, down from N415.3 million in 2011. Shareholders’ fund stood at N1.08 billion from N1.061 billion in 2011. However, total assets dipped slightly by 6.15 per cent to N1.61 billion from N1.71 billion in the comparable period 2011. Value for Investors It is obvious that the company has begun to be profitable to its numerous investors over the last two years. A cursory look at the company’s dividend history establishes it to be a good buy for investors, years before 2010 when the company started posting loss. In the last five years, the company paid dividend three times (between 2007 and 2009) and the equity is one of the stocks with price stability despite the continuous downturn. Its share price stood at N2.31 per share at the end of trading last week Thursday against 52-week high of N3.59 per share and 52-week low of N2.41 per share. Future It could be concluded that if the company’s recent nine months performance is anything to go by and the management could sustain the tempo, the company is expected to boost its earning at the end of current financial year ending March 31 2013 and reward shareholders with better returns. However, there is also need for the management to practice cost effective management in order to convert more sales into profit and consequently improve its profit margin BC
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Business Courage A23 39
Monday, February 11, 2013
STOCKWATCH Stock Exchange weekly equities summary as at Friday, Feb 08, 2013 SECURITY
AGRICULTURE/AGRO-ALLIED Crop Production FTN COCOA PROCESSORS PLC 0.50 OKOMU OIL PALM PLC. 54.00 PRESCO PLC 26.96 Fishing/Hunting/Trapping ELLAH LAKES PLC. NT Livestock/Animal Specialties LIVESTOCK FEEDS PLC. 2.58 CONGLOMERATES Diversified Industries A.G. LEVENTIS NIGERIA PLC. 1.90 CHELLARAMS PLC. NT JOHN HOLT PLC. 1.40 S C O A NIG. PLC. NT U A C N PLC. 50.00 CONSTRUCTION/REAL ESTATE Building Construction ARBICO PLC. NT CAPPA & D’ALBERTO PLC. NT Building Structure/Completion/Other COSTAIN (W A) PLC. NT G CAPPA PLC NT Non--Building/Heavy Construction JULIUS BERGER NIG. PLC. 67.00 ROADS NIG PLC. 10.07 Real Estate Development PINNACLE POINT GROUP PLC NT UACN PROPERTY DEV 16.35 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) SKYE SHELTER FUND PLC NT UNION HOMES REAL ESTATE INV NT CONSUMER GOODS Automobiles/Auto Parts DN TYRE & RUBBER PLC 0.50 Beverages--Brewers/Distillers CHAMPION BREW. PLC. 4.15 GOLDEN GUINEA BREW. PLC. NT GUINNESS NIG PLC 297.41 INTERNATIONAL BREWERIES PLC. 25.20 JOS INT. BREWERIES PLC. NT NIGERIAN BREW. PLC. 163.50 PREMIER BREWERIES PLC NT Beverages--Non-Alcoholic 7-UP BOTTLING COMP. PLC. 47.50 Food Products BIG TREAT PLC NT DANGOTE FLOUR MILLS PLC 9.30 DANGOTE SUGAR REFINERY PLC 8.49 FLOUR MILLS NIG. PLC. 80.00 HONEYWELL FLOUR MILL PLC 3.34 MULTI-TREX INTEGRATED FOODS PLC NT N NIG. FLOUR MILLS PLC. 18.38 NATIONAL SALT CO. NIG. PLC 9.55 P S MANDRIDES & CO PLC. NT U T C NIG. PLC. 0.81 UNION DICON SALT PLC. NT Food Products--Diversified CADBURY NIGERIA PLC. 38.87 NESTLE NIGERIA PLC. 814.96 Household Durables BETA GLASS CO PLC. NT NIGERIAN ENAMELWARE PLC. NT VITAFOAM NIG PLC. 4.25 VONO PRODUCTS PLC. NT Personal/Household Products P Z CUSSONS NIGERIA PLC. 40.44 UNILEVER NIGERIA PLC. 49.43 Textiles/Apparel UNITED NIG. TEXTILES PLC. NT FINANCIAL SERVICES Banking ACCESS BANK PLC. 12.19 DIAMOND BANK PLC 7.20 ECOBANK TRANSNATIONAL INC. 13.80 FIDELITY BANK PLC 3.30 FIRST CITY MONUMENT BANK PLC. 5.19 GUARANTY TRUST BANK PLC. 25.21 SKYE BANK PLC 6.30 STERLING BANK PLC. 2.90 U B A PLC 7.50 UNION BANK NIG.PLC. 10.00 UNITY BANK PLC 0.91 WEMA BANK PLC. 1.47 ZENITH BANK PLC 21.00 Insurance Carriers, Brokers & Services AFRICAN ALLIANCE INS. COY. PLC NT AIICO INSURANCE PLC. 1.22 CONFIDENCE INSURANCE PLC NT CONSOLIDATED HALLMARK INS. PLC NT CONTINENTAL REINSURANCE PLC 1.03 CORNERSTONE INS. COY. PLC. 0.58 CUSTODIAN AND ALLIED INS. PLC 2.04 EQUITY ASSURANCE PLC. 0.50 GOLDLINK INSURANCE PLC NT GREAT NIGERIAN INSURANCE PLC NT GUINEA INSURANCE PLC. NT INTERCONTINENTAL WAPIC INS. PLC 1.13 INTERNATIONAL ENERGY INS. PLC NT INVESTMENT AND ALLIED ARN. NT LASACO ASSURANCE PLC. 0.50 LAW UNION AND ROCK INS. PLC. NT LINKAGE ASSURANCE PLC NT MANSARD INSURANCE PLC 2.70 MUTUAL BENEFITS ASSURANCE PLC. NT N.E.M INSURANCE CO (NIG) PLC. 0.89 NIGER INSURANCE CO. PLC. NT OASIS INSURANCE PLC NT PRESTIGE ASSURANCE CO. PLC. 1.03 REGENCY ALLIANCE INS. COY PLC NT SOVEREIGN TRUST INSURANCE PLC 0.53 STACO INSURANCE PLC NT STANDARD ALLIANCE INS. PLC. 0.50 UNIC INSURANCE PLC. 0.50 UNITY KAPITAL ASSURANCE PLC NT UNIVERSAL INS. COMPANY PLC NT Micro Finance Banks FORTIS MICROFINANCE BANK PLC NT NPF MICROFINANCE BANK PLC 0.95 Mortgage Carriers, Brokers &Services ABBEY BUILDING SOCIETY PLC 1.50 ASO SAVINGS AND LOANS PLC 0.50 RESORT SAVINGS & LOANS PLC 0.50 UNION HOMES SAVINGS&LOANS PLC NT Other Financial Institutions CRUSADER ( NIG) PLC. NT DEAP CAPITAL MGT & TRUST PLC 2.02 FBN HOLDINGS PLC 19.55 NIG SEW. MACH. MAN. CO. PLC. NT NIGERIA ENERYGY SECTOR FUND NT ROYAL EXCHANGE PLC. 0.93 STANBIC IBTC HOLDINGS PLC 15.75 HEALTHCARE Healthcare Providers EKOCORP PLC. NT Medical Equipment UNION DIAGNOSTIC &CLINICAL PLC 0.50 Medical Supplies MORISON INDUSTRIES PLC. 2.46 Pharmaceuticals EVANS MEDICAL PLC. 1.17 FIDSON HEALTHCARE PLC 1.64 GLAXO SMITHKLINE CONSUMER PLC 47.60 MAY & BAKER NIGERIA PLC. 2.22
NOTE NT=Not Traded on 08-02-13
52 WK HIGH
52 WK LOW
1 150 150 110 468 503 725
0.64 34.01 16.15
0.50 14.53 6.40
2 200 000 000 476 955 000 1 000 000 000
0.10 6.73 2.75
N/A 0.75 2.55
0.50 53.60 26.29
60 000 000
1 199 549 736
287 816 NT 69 773 NT 1 051 432
2.54 7.60 8.82 8.28 42.50
0.74 5.81 5.32 5.52 28.70
2 191 895 983 963 900 300 389 151 408 821 666 666 1 600 720 323
0.08 0.24 0.00 0.35 6.89
18.75 N/A N/A N/A N/A
1.60 5.71 1.62 NT 47.10
148 500 000 196 876 000
920 573 765 125 000 000
86 372 49
1 200 000 000 20 000 000
NT 211 683
1 375 000 000
20 000 000 250 019 781
4 772 528 415
14 000 NT 198 629 149 316 NT 660 597 NT
4.63 0.68 265.00 12.83 3.20 138.85 0.97
2.23 0.68 186.00 5.23 1.61 72.50 0.93
900 000 000 272 160 000 1 474 925 519 2 112 914 681 562 000 000 7 562 562 340 126 000 000
0.00 0.03 9.46 0.25 0.00 5.08 0.00
N/A N/A 1.84 N/A N/A -0.91 N/A
4.15 NT 292.03 22.71 NT 165.00 NT
640 590 362
NT 264 088 10 248 843 2 211 757 6 354 690 NT 192 842 602 NT 3 500 NT
0.50 19.90 16.20 95.00 6.60 2.70 43.96 6.70 5.66 0.88 4.22
0.50 4.15 3.64 52.50 1.91 1.00 20.41 3.86 5.66 0.50 4.22
2 000 000 000 5 000 000 000 12 000 000 000 1 879 210 666 7 930 197 658 3 722 493 620 178 200 000
0.00 0.00 0.91 3.79 0.51 0.00 2.50 1.07 0.08 1.13 0.00
N/A 3.33 11.71 -1.12 15.57 N/A N/A 1.60 N/A -1.22 N/A
NT 9.00 7.60 80.91 2.89 NT 18.38 9.40 NT 0.82 NT
40 000 000 1 233 375 004 360 000 000
730 464 183 340
3 129 188 160 792 656 250
NT NT 663 510 NT
15.58 42.66 6.75 3.67
10.03 34.39 3.01 2.66
63 360 000 819 000 000 300 000 001
3.90 1.61 0.54 0.00
N/A N/A -0.70 N/A
NT NT 4.28 NT
421 535 1 028 404
3 176 381 636 3 783 296 250
843 284 027
25 050 626 10 258 782 6 466 704 11 474 757 3 955 620 14 727 506 6 738 349 12 532 197 13 917 085 3 365 205 70 560 462 37 184 940 7 833 021
11.10 9.27 17.05 3.20 8.30 20.30 10.17 2.91 5.21 10.07 1.92 1.75 18.20
4.76 2.01 9.97 1.14 3.04 11.64 2.73 0.97 1.64 1.96 0.50 0.50 11.70
17 888 251 479 14 475 243 105 9 873 614 567 28 974 797 023 16 271 192 202 29 146 482 209 13 219 334 676 12 563 091 545 32 334 693 693 13 509 726 273 33 675 576 085 12 821 249 880 31 396 493 790
1.42 0.90 2.81 0.43 0.60 2.10 0.71 0.54 0.67 0.00 0.00 0.00 2.09
6.74 2.86 6.15 0.30 3.18 0.88 6.78 1.75 5.93 19.05 0.00 59.78 0.05
11.42 7.00 13.00 3.29 5.03 24.99 5.90 2.85 7.08 8.40 0.66 0.92 20.99
NT 20 495 727 NT NT 3 958 181 1 197 050 5 000 669 20 000 NT NT NT 1 673 500 NT NT 27 809 NT NT 743 600 NT 11 942 400 NT NT 37 748 630 NT 250 000 NT 600 150 NT NT
0.50 1.01 0.64 0.50 1.20 0.50 3.51 0.50 0.69 0.50 0.50 0.80 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.61 0.50 1.93 0.50 0.66 1.11 0.50 2.35 0.50 0.52 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50
0.50 0.50 0.61 0.50 0.61 0.50 1.31 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.95 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50
20 585 000 000 7 809 391 256 211 626 000 6 000 000 000 10 372 624 157 8 820 010 363 5 100 846 808 8 847 298 420 4 549 947 000 3 827 485 380 720 000 000 5 061 804 000 6 420 427 449 28 000 000 000 7 323 313 227 3 437 330 500 4 083 713 569 10 000 000 000 7 998 705 336 5 332 830 881 5 649 693 923 5 003 506 791 2 508 315 436 6 668 750 000 5 203 757 266 6 141 087 609 8 493 173 450 2 581 733 505 13 000 000 000 16 000 000 000
0.00 0.05 0.00 0.05 0.14 0.02 0.28 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.02 0.00 0.00 0.03 0.16 0.01 0.37 0.02 0.04 0.06 0.04 0.09 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.02 0.00
N/A 0.00 N/A N/A 0.00 0.00 0.00 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 0.00 N/A N/A N/A 0.00 35.00 N/A 21.92 N/A N/A 43.06 N/A 0.00 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
NT 0.84 NT NT 0.89 0.50 1.82 NT NT NT NT 0.95 0.50 NT 0.50 NT NT 2.00 NT 0.73 NT NT 0.72 NT 0.50 NT 0.50 0.50 NT NT
NT 547 599
111 700 900 850 10 000 000 1
1.51 0.50 0.50 0.99
1.33 0.50 0.50 0.50
4 200 000 000 8 679 148 676 13 175 732 404 7 812 500 000
0.03 0.02 0.00 0.00
N/A N/A N/A N/A
1.50 0.50 0.50 NT
NT 5 000 000 22 436 225 NT NT 2 980 330 1 810 046
0.61 2.02 17.01 0.15 552.20 0.66 11.38
0.50 2.02 8.50 0.15 555.20 0.50 6.40
3 778 005 975 1 333 333 333 32 632 084 358 5 880 000 2 500 000 3 608 657 661 18 750 000 000
0.00 0.00 3.03 0.00 12.65 0.00 0.87
N/A N/A 4.49 N/A N/A N/A 14.96
NT 2.02 18.71 NT NT 0.61 13.70
498 600 908
3 553 138 528
152 178 750
665 030 7 903 514 140 390 2 437 058
1.45 3.20 39.00 5.61
0.50 0.76 19.30 1.62
486 473 856 1 500 000 000 956 701 192 980 000 000
0.00 0.44 2.62 0.20
14.71 29.13 1.26 12.69
1.02 1.27 47.01 1.97
NEIMETH INT PHARM PLC 1.08 NIGERIA-GERMAN CHEMICALS PLC. NT PHARMA-DEKO PLC. 2.30 ICT Computer Based Systems COURTEVILLE BUSINESS SLN PLC 0.50 Computers and Peripherals OMATEK VENTURES PLC 0.50 Electronic Communications Services MTECH COMMUNICATIONS PLC NT IT Services NCR (NIGERIA) PLC. 15.96 TRIPPLE GEE AND COMPANY PLC. NT Processing Systems CHAMS PLC 0.50 E-TRANZACT INTERNATIONAL PLC NT Telecommunications Carriers STARCOMMS PLC NT Telecommunications Services IHS NIGERIA PLC PREF SHARES NT IHS PLC NT MTI PLC NT INDUSTRIAL GOODS Building Materials AFRICAN PAINTS (NIGERIA) PLC. NT ASHAKA CEM PLC 26.03 BERGER PAINTS PLC 11.10 CAP PLC 33.74 CEMENT CO. OF NORTH.NIG. PLC 11.17 DANGOTE CEMENT PLC 144.00 DN MEYER PLC. NT FIRST ALUMINIUM NIGERIA PLC NT IPWA PLC 0.66 LAFARGE WAPCO PLC. 74.20 PAINTS & COATINGS MANFACT.PLC NT PORTLAND PAINTS & PRDT NIG. PLC 5.20 PREMIER PAINTS PLC. NT Electronic and Electrical Products AUSTIN LAZ & COMPANY PLC NT CUTIX PLC. 1.56 NIGERIAN WIRE AND CABLE PLC. NT NIGERIAN WIRE IND. PLC NT Packaging/Containers ABPLAST PRODUCTS PLC. NT AVON CROWNCAPS & CONTAINERS NT BETA GLASS CO PLC. 9.50 GREIF NIGERIA PLC NT NIG. BAGS MANFACT. COY PLC 2.75 POLY PRODUCTS (NIG) PLC. NT W A GLASS IND. PLC. NT Tools and Machinery NIGERIAN ROPES PLC NT STOKVIS NIG PLC. NT NATURAL RESOURCES Chemicals B.O.C. GASES PLC. 6.55 Metals ALUMACO PLC NT ALUMINIUM EXTRUSION IND. PLC. NT Non-Metallic Mineral Mining MULTIVERSE PLC 0.50 Paper/Forest Products HALLMARK PAPER PRODUCTS PLC. NT THOMAS WYATT NIG. PLC. NT OIL AND GAS Energy Equipment and Services JAPAUL OIL & MARITIME SER. PLC 0.81 Integrated Oil and Gas Services OANDO PLC 13.65 Petroleum &Petroleum Products Distributors AFROIL PLC NT BECO PETROLEUM PRODUCT PLC 0.50 CONOIL PLC 22.00 ETERNA PLC. 4.17 FORTE OIL PLC. 16.67 MOBIL OIL NIG PLC. 120.44 MRS OIL NIGERIA PLC. 27.42 TOTAL NIGERIA PLC. 141.00 SERVICES Advertising AFROMEDIA PLC NT Apparel Retailers LENNARDS (NIG) PLC. NT Automobile/Auto Part Retailers R T BRISCOE PLC. 2.00 Courier/Freight/Delivery RED STAR EXPRESS PLC 4.02 TRANS-NATIONWIDE EXPRESS PLC. NT Employment Solutions C & I LEASING PLC. 0.50 Hospitality TANTALIZERS PLC 0.50 Hotels/Lodging CAPITAL HOTEL PLC NT IKEJA HOTEL PLC 1.13 TOURIST COMPANY OF NIGERIA PLC. NT TRANSNATIONAL CORP. OF NIG.PLC 1.16 Media/Entertainment DAAR COMMUNICATIONS PLC 0.50 Printing/Publishing ACADEMY PRESS PLC. 2.82 LEARN AFRICA PLC 2.30 STUDIO PRESS (NIG) PLC. NT UNIVERSITY PRESS PLC. 4.51 Road Transportation ABC TRANSPORT PLCPLC 0.64 Specialty INTERLINKED TECHNOLOGIES PLC NT SECURE ELECTRONIC TECH.PLC NT Transport-Related Services AIRLINE SERVICES AND LOGISTICS PLC 5.50 NIG. AVIATION HANDLING COY PLC 8.13 ASeM CONSTRUCTION/REAL ESTATE Property Management SMART PRODUCTS NIGERIA PLC NT CONSUMER GOODS Food Products MCNICHOLS PLC 0.97 Personal/Household Products ROKANA INDUSTRIES PLC. 0.60 HEALTHCARE Pharmaceuticals AFRIK PHARMACEUTICALS PLC. NT INDUSTRIAL GOODS Electronic and Electrical Products NT ADSWITCH PLC. 1.63 NATURAL RESOURCES Metals W.A. ALUM. PRODUCTS PLC. NT OIL AND GAS Petroleum & Petroleum Products Distributors ANINO INTERNATIONAL PLC. NT CAPITAL OIL PLC 0.50 RAK UNITY PET. COMP. PLC. NT UNION VENTURES & PET. PLC NT SERVICES Apparel Retailers UDEOFSON GARMENT FACT. NIG PLC NT Food/Drug Retailers and Wholesalers NT JULI PLC. 2.76 ETF’s Sector ETF NEWGOLD EXCHANGE TRADED FUND 2 638.00
52 WK HIGH
52 WK LOW
328 405 NT 4 000
1.96 12.91 4.28
0.76 8.59 3.50
1 925 717 268 153 786 012 100 000 000
0.09 0.00 0.00
13.68 N/A N/A
0.95 NT 2.30
2 960 000 000
2 941 789 472
4 966 666 668
20 411 NT
108 000 000 492 825 600
750 000 NT
4 620 600 000 4 200 000 000
6 878 478 096
NT NT NT
2.25 3.50 0.50
0.00 2.46 0.50
4 400 000 000 4 893 594 400
0.00 0.00 0.00
N/A N/A N/A
NT NT NT
NT 3 220 251 309 824 370 148 1 737 334 1 271 632 NT NT 19 427 73 689 NT 323 447 NT
3.32 30.00 12.57 43.98 15.49 132.51 3.51 0.75 0.99 56.50 3.36 5.28 13.40
2.86 9.10 7.27 14.50 4.20 95.00 0.93 0.50 0.91 37.00 0.52 2.27 10.93
260 000 000 2 239 453 125 217 367 585 560 000 000 1 241 548 285 15 494 019 668 242 908 200 2 109 928 275 513 696 000 3 001 600 004 792 914 256 400 000 000 75 000 000
0.00 2.14 1.09 2.28 1.47 8.33 0.00 0.00 0.00 4.10 0.26 0.23 0.00
N/A 25.75 21.05 10.23 15.04 -0.60 N/A N/A N/A 9.12 N/A N/A N/A
NT 20.70 9.17 30.61 9.71 144.87 NT NT 0.58 68.00 NT 4.30 NT
NT 114 120 NT NT
2.00 2.50 0.73 2.58
2.00 1.33 0.50 2.58
510 396 608 2 220 000 000 15 000 000
0.03 0.11 0.00 0.00
N/A 6.85 N/A N/A
2.00 1.46 NT NT
NT NT 61 433 NT 3 598 085 NT NT
3.98 6.91 12.71 15.03 3.60 1.86 0.63
3.98 2.19 9.53 13.28 1.60 1.05 0.63
42 640 000 6 215 000 000 240 000 000 199 066 550
0.00 0.05 0.05 0.90 0.24 0.22 0.00
N/A 1.10 N/A N/A
NT NT 10.50 NT 2.72 NT NT
265 409 280 2 918 000
25 000 000 683 974 528
393 120 000
75 600 000 100 000 000
4 058 989 226
50 000 000 220 000 000
3 707 570
6 262 701 716
3 883 733
2 262 711 568
NT 50 000 21 618 1 497 300 80 225 43 672 20 281 64 935
20.71 0.70 41.89 5.59 28.69 163.50 72.00 240.00
20.71 0.50 19.61 2.12 9.12 111.51 32.29 125.00
125 487 475 3 716 976 579 693 952 117 1 249 162 828 1 080 280 628 300 496 051 253 988 672 339 521 837
0.00 0.00 0.47 0.61 0.00 6.11 3.62 14.63
N/A N/A 0.00 -9.94 -4.96 0.00 N/A 1.44
NT 0.50 22.00 4.63 17.54 120.44 24.88 139.00
4 035 497 307
3 142 388
980 294 400
1 024 250 NT
589 496 310 198 819 763
1 820 900
865 808 912
3 211 627 907
NT 3 367 000 NT 30 702 332
8.00 2.59 4.76 1.82
3.00 1.16 4.31 0.50
1 548 780 000 2 078 796 396 1 772 884 297 25 813 998 283
0.18 0.92 0.00 0.22
N/A 2.73 N/A 0.00
NT 1.10 NT 1.16
8 000 000 000
111 555 540 300 NT 344 532
3.68 8.00 2.92 6.82
1.64 1.94 2.78 3.09
403 200 000 771 450 000 425 641 111
0.14 0.29 0.01 0.50
N/A N/A N/A -5.45
2.82 2.31 NT 4.77
1 507 000 000
236 699 511 5 631 539 736
1 378 137 330 616
634 000 000 1 230 468 750
45 000 000
201 885 335
30 000 000
24 898 850
125 005 250
6 650 000
NT 20 000 NT NT
0.21 0.50 0.31 0.63
0.21 0.50 0.31 0.63
24 200 000 5 857 500 000 15 000 000 98 600 000
0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
N/A N/A N/A N/A
NT 0.50 NT NT
NT NT 16 000
20 000 000
194 700 000
NT NT 2.76
Monday, February 11, 2013
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‘’It is the law that perverse findings cannot sustain a judgement even if upheld on appeal by the Court of Appeal.’’ JUSTICE SAMSON UWAIFO, RETIRED JUSTICE OF SUPREME COURT OF NIGERIA.
Pension scam verdict: Yusuf Ali, others advocate change in penal laws If the Federal Government is sincere in its bid to stamp out corruption in the country, the present penalties in Nigeria’s penal code and anti-graft laws are grossly inadequate and long overdue for review. EMMANUEL ONANI reports.
There’s need for radical reform of the judiciary –Sanni 44
Experts set agenda for Kenyan crime court 46
Chieftaincy tussle: Why community dragged Alaran to court 47
he growing concern over the inherent weaknesses in Nigeria’s penal laws and the compelling need for a holistic review and overhaul resonated on January 28, when a Federal Capital Territory, FCT, High Court convicted an Assistant Director, Police Pension Office, John Yakubu Yusufu, for stealing pension funds. Consequent upon the conviction, trial judge, Justice Abubakar Talba sentenced Yusufu to two years imprisonment, with an option of N750, 000 as fine; the convict met the fine option in court and drove home afterwards. This development has since generated intense debate, with many concerned Nigerians calling for the head of Justice Talba, for daring to give an option of fine, when the law actually prescribes an option of fine or both. Some legal minds and analysts are of the view that the judge should have sent the convict to jail without an option of fine, or better still, make him suffer both, at least to serve as “ritual of atonement” for his “sins” against pensioners, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke, Attorney General of the their dependents, as well as the society. Federation. In the face of this, however, there are those that feel strongly that both the trial judge and E HAVE TO REPEAL OUR the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) are to blame on this score. PENAL LAWS IF WE ARE For this school of thought, the dust raised by SERIOUS ABOUT THE ISSUE the slap-on-the-wrist-sentence was occasioned by the decision of the anti-graft agency to try OF CORRUPTION Yusufu under Section 309 of the Penal Code (PC). The PC is applicable in the North while the Section 309 of the Penal Code provides that: Criminal Code (CC) is applicable in the South“Whoever commits criminal misappropriation ern part of the country. shall be punished with imprisonment for a term These people seem to be at a loss on why the which may extend to two years or with fine or prosecution changed the law it earlier charged both.” the convict under. However, section 315 of the Criminal ProFor the records, the maximum punishment cedure Code, (CP) , which the EFCC initially under this section of the PC - regardless of the charged Yusufu under, carries a maximum senwhooping amount stolen - is two years. tence of 14 years and fine. Interestingly, this enAccordingly, Justice Talba had held inter alia: actment did not provide an option of fine. “Plea of leniency has been considered. It has Perhaps, the decision of the anti-corruption also been considered that the accused is a first agency to shift its earlier position under section time offender and has shown remorse. And most 309 PC , was due to an unwritten plea-bargain importantly, he has forfeited all his properties. agreement, which the parties were said to have “The court has a duty to temper justice with struck and probably communicate same to the mercy, but the court must also do justice to asjudge. suage Nigerians who have suffered white-collar This may have accounted for the prosecuting crime. The court has a duty to hand down sencounsel’s disclosure that there was, indeed, an tences to enable the convict learn his lesson. agreement for “custodial sentence”. “Accordingly, the accused has been sentenced Stressing the compelling need for the trial to two years on each count with an option of judge to be firm in his sentence, Prosecuting N750, 000 fine.”The sentence is to run concurcounsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, had said: “The rently”, Justice Talba emphasised.” court needs to send out a strong message that Talba’s judgement satisfied all but one of the the era of stealing public funds with impunity is letters of section 309, which gives the judge the gone. Having regards to the amount and properpower to serve him with both portions.
Senate President, David Mark
ties involved and the duty imposed on the convict, it would not be good to convict him without regards to assuaging the feelings of Nigerians, especially the pensioners.” Some Senior Advocates of Nigeria, who spoke on the matter, however, did not apportion blame to Justice Talba. Rather, they called for amendment of existing criminal laws, which they considered weak and ineffectual. According to Mallam Yusuf Ali, SAN, “We have to repeal our penal laws, if we are serious about the issue of corruption. At various occasions, I had called for death penalty as punishment for corruption. This is because, corruption is a terrible cankerworm that deserves serious treatment and the penalty for it should be death. Life imprisonment should be an option. “As long as the law gives an option to the judge on the sentence as the punishment that is to be imposed on the convict, you can only quarrel on moral grounds and not on legal grounds. This is because; it is the right of the judge to exercise his discretion the way he wants. Rather than bemoaning what has happened, let us repeal the penal laws and that will be sending the right signals to would-be criminals on what awaits them.” Chief Nathaniel Oke, SAN said, “The law under which an accused is charged, the punishment there upon conviction as alleged and proved are the determinant factors, not any extraneous factors. The law may be so weak to allow a punishment that is not commensurate CONTINUED ON PAGE 42
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‘We should blame lawmakers, prosecutors’
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 41 with the committed offence.” On his part, Mr. Jibrin Okutepa, SAN, blamed the EFCC for changing the law. His words: “As a matter of fact, EFCC which chose to arraign the convict under S.309 of the Penal Code law, has also joined in the criticisms pouring against the poor learned trial judge... instead of insulting, castigating and blaming the learned trial judge for what appears to be a disproportion sentence, compared to the amount of money stolen, we should blame the lawmakers and the prosecutors who decided to arraign Yusufu under the law wherewith he was convicted. “It is, therefore, necessary at this stage to look at the EFCC Act and see what are the punishments prescribed therein to fight corruption...Clearly, there can be no argument that judges cannot travel outside of the law a person is charged to impose punishment ac-
Mallam Ali (SAN)
INSTEAD OF CASTIGATING THE JUDGE, WE SHOULD BLAME THE LAWMAKERS AND THE PROSECUTORS, WHO DECIDED TO ARRAIGN YUSUFU UNDER THE LAW WHEREWITH HE WAS CONVICTED cording to their whims and caprices. “My view is that instead of inciting the public against the poor judge, we must rise in his defence and condemn in strong terms EFCC which, out of deliberate sabotage, decided to charge the convict under S.309 of Penal Code Law. “My conclusion is, until we all resolve to fight corruption and do so with patriotic and committed zeal, we all will be crying over spilled milk and blame wrong persons for our failure to do what is right”, Okutepa stated.
Francis Famoroti, Head, Judiciary desk
Chief Oke ( SAN)
ustice Musiliu Abisola Ope-Agbe is a retired Judge of the Lagos State High Court. He was appointed to the Bench on November 18, 1986 and retired on March 31, 2000. Prior to his retirement, he was one of the most hardworking judges of the state judiciary. He was always punctual and exhibited fine comportment on the Bench. Ope-Agbe was a diligent and upright judge and lawyers would readily attest that he sat at exactly 9.00 am prompt, hence those who had cases before him never compromised being punctual in court. He demonstrated admirable qualities of a judge, patience, brilliance and erudition. He was cautious in his decisionmaking and appropriately deferential to the executive and legislative branches of government. He was unfailingly polite to everyone. In every respect of the word, Ope-Agbe was a gentleman. He was of enormous value to the judiciary and regrettably; he could not reach the higher Bench before he eventually bowed out at the age of 65. While on the Bench, he had the rare privilege of being addressed as ‘’My Lord’’ by former President Olusegun Obasanjo,
Convicted Yusufu was charged with an “illegal act” of stealing pension funds meant for police retirees. Other co-conspirators still standing trial are: Esai Abubakar, Ahmed Inuwa Wada, John Yakubu Yusufu, Atiku Abubakar Kigo, Mrs. Veronica Ulonma Onyegbula and Sani Habila Zira. Specifically, the convict pleaded guilty to counts 18, 19 and 20, where he was alleged to have connived with others still standing trial to convert the sums of N24.2 billion, N1.3 billion and N1.7 billion respectively,
The offence, according to the commission, was committed between January 2009 and June 2011 at Abuja Division of the High Court of the FCT. Indeed, if Yusufu were to be tried in Lagos under S.390 (5) CC, he would be liable to seven years imprisonment without option of fine. Yusufu was on January 28, this year, re-arraigned before Justice Adamu Bello of a Federal High Court, Abuja, on a fresh four -count bordering on his failure to disclose his assets as they relate to his interest in a company called SY -A Global Services Limited. Counts two and four of the fresh charge read: “That you John Yakubu Yusufu on or about 14th February, 2012 at Abuja in the Abuja Judicial Division knowingly failed to make full disclosure of your assets and liability in the Declaration of Assets Forms filled by you, by not declaring your interest in the N250, 000, 000 (Two hundred and fifty million naira) you lodged in a fixed deposit account with the Zenith bank in the name of SY -A Global Services Limited a company in which you are the sole signatory to its account and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 27(3) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment, etc.) Act CAP E1 2004. “That you John Yakubu Yusufu on or about 14th February, 2012 at Abuja in the Abuja Judicial Division, knowingly failed to make full disclosure of your assets and liability in the Declaration of Assets Form filled by you, by not declaring your interest in the sum of N29,000,000 (Twenty nine million naira) which was fixed on your instruction by one Danjuma Mele in his company account in the name of Jidag Technical Services Ltd with Diamond Bank and for your benefit and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 27 (3) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment,etc.) Act CAP E1 2004.”
Celebrating judicial icon on Bench
and the late Biafran warlord, Ikemba Nnewi, Emeka Ojukwu, when they appeared separately before him as litigants. Obasanjo had testified before Ope-Agbe during the hearing of the libel suit he filed against the New Nigerian Newspapers in the early 90s. Similarly, Ojukwu had also testified as a defendant before the judge in the debt recovery suit instituted against him in the Lagos High Court by a French Bank, Banque Afrique Occidental in Cote D’Ivoire. An old boy of C.M.S Grammar School, Lagos, Ope-Agbe was born on March 31, 1935. He attended to Holborn College of Law in the United Kingdom (UK) between 1961 and 1964 and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1966. He began his legal practice in the law firm of Oluwa, Kotoye and co, Lagos in 1966 till his appointment as Magistrate Grade 11 by the state judiciary. He rose through the ranks in the Magistracy till he was promoted Chief Magistrate Grade 1 on June 1, 1981. Ope-Agbe transferred his services to the Federal Judicial Service as the Deputy Chief Registrar of the Justice Ope-Agbe Supreme Court on February 1, 1983 and was appointed judge March 31, 2000, was Ope-Agbe was appointed the Administraof the Lagos State High Court on November 18, 1986. tor of the National Judicial Institute (NJI) in succession to reNotable among the cases he handled was trial of a socialtired Supreme Court jurist, Justice Andrew Obaseki. As NJI ite, Jennifer Madike and her cousin, Doris Obi, who were boss, he discharged his duties efficiently and he put the instiboth convicted for forging the handwriting of the former first tute in good stead before the expiration of his tenure. lady, Mrs. Mariam Babangida in the early 90s. The retired judge has, to his credit, some published works Due to his erudition on the Bench, he was appointed as namely, ‘’Overview of Failed Banks Tribunal Decree 1994, Dithe Judge/ Chairman of the Failed Bank Tribunal (Zone 2), rectors Liability’’, ‘’Overview of Failed Banks Tribunal Decree Lagos. 1994 NDIC Experience, and Adequacy of Institutes Curriculum He recorded a feat for being the first chairman of the triin responding to the Needs of Judicial Officers specially Lower bunal to secure conviction of suspects linked with financial Court judges .’’ malpractices when he jailed four top executives of the defunct Today, Ope-Agbe is enjoying his retirement with his spouse, Alpha Merchant Bank. Yetunde and children. Barely one month after his retirement from the Bench on
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There’s need for radical reform Dr. Abiola Sanni, a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos, is also a tax law expert and consultant. In this interview with KAYODE KETEFE, Assistant Head, Judiciary Desk, he bares his mind on varied issues, including taxation regime in Nigeria and the justice administration in the country. Excerpts: How will you say the Judiciary fared in 2012? I will not want to assess the judiciary based on pockets of decisions and developments which seem to meet the aspiration of the majority of the people. There will always be that year-in year-out in any situation. In a nation where virtually every institution is sliding, the judiciary cannot be an exemption, particularly when one bears in mind that our judges are products of the society. The politicisation of National Judicial Council and the handling of Salami and Katsina-Alu saga remains a sorethumb. To an ordinary man following the trend that is perhaps the worst stage of national judicial embarrassment in Nigeria. But, I bet that it will even get worse unless there is a radical reform of the judiciary. Enough of playing the ostrich. If we desire a judicial system that will work efficiently to meet the expectations of Nigerians and give value to the taxpayers’ money being sunk into it, then, radical reform will be required. What specific reforms will you recommend? I have not carried out any extensive study of the judicial system to claim that I have a magic wand. A lot of reports by government, NBA or NGOs on the necessary interventions required to clean the Augean table are gathering dust on the table of government officials who lack the will to implement them. We continue to waste public resources in that regard. It however does not take an expert to offer some thoughts on possible solution. There is the need to evolve a judicial system that will make sense to the majority of the people and promote substantive justice over technicality. We need to simplify the judicial system especially with regards to small claims, assault, battery and recovery of premises among others, such that aggrieved persons will be able to approach the court with minimum cost with the assurance that the case will be disposed of within reasonable time. In Benin Republic, a person is required to fill a standard form of about one page to commence a fundamental right protection action. But in Nigeria, there are still hurdles of technicalities notwithstanding the improvement made in the new Fundamental Enforcement Procedure Rules. There is the need to address causes of delay in the adjudication of justice especially. The pre-eminent roles of lawyers are gradually fading because of the failure of our judicial and the legal system. The situ-
ation where more people resort to self-help as alternative to due process should worry us. How will you describe the tax regime in Nigeria against the background of the accusation that Nigerians don’t pay tax? Nobody likes to pay taxes. The saying is that no one pays tax with a smile. This applies with equal force in developed countries. The degree of tax compliance in a system depends on a combination of factors including how strong and efficient the government is. If the government is weak, you cannot have a strong tax system that will bring wide spectrum of taxpayers into the tax net. It takes a strong and purposeful government to improve the tax system. There is no doubt that Lagos is blazing the trail among the states in this regard. It is however incorrect to say that Nigerians don’t pay tax. That is a fallacy of generalisation. The present tax system is grossly unfair. The richest in the society and their companies are virtually on tax holiday paying pittance when convenient, just to obtain tax clearance certificates. The focus of tax administration is still on those in formal employment under the PAYE Scheme. While, I admit that it is more difficult for employees to evade tax even in developed countries, than those who are self-employed, the degree of inequity in Nigeria is too high and unacceptable. A good tax system will not be paying lip service to the taxation of the income of the top five percent who are controlling about 90 percent of the wealth the way the Nigerian tax authorities at all levels have been doing. Therefore, the correct thing to say is that rich Nigerians generally do not usually pay tax. Or the government lacks the political will to make the richest Nigerians pay taxes. The sustainable thing to do is to bring everybody into the tax net and make the rich bear their fair burden of financing the state. This is the recent trend in France and United States for instance. What is your general assessment of the country’s tax system? The Nigerian tax system has not been as dynamic as one would expect. Changes come too slowly. It might take between 5-6 years to amend a tax statute. If one uses 10 years to prepare for madness, how many years will it take to manifest it? Furthermore, we are yet to evolve an efficient allocation of taxing powers among the tiers of government. Significant taxing powers should be devolved to States and local governments to make them generate their own income to run their shops and proverbially keep alive. There is no viable institution for tax administration in any local government in Nigeria. I have advocated that tax institutions at the states and local governments should be sufficiently strong so that they can cooperate in some key areas. If indeed taxation is the oxygen of any society, then we need a good tax system to breathe life to our local government system. Each local government should be encouraged to generate revenue up to its optimum capacity for its internal development while federal allocations should be for specific intervention to galvanise development. It
THE POLITICISATION OF NATIONAL JUDICIAL COUNCIL AND THE HANDLING OF SALAMI AND KATSINA-ALU SAGA REMAINS A SORETHUMB IN THE COUNTRY is the height of fiscal profligacy for local governments and states to use federal allocations to pay the salaries of their staff and or that of political office holders. This paradigm shift will significantly address issues of citizenship engagement and curb corruption especially at local and state government level. The Nigeria tax system is based on certain fundamental assumptions which do not obtain or exist in practice. To use the Personal Income Tax as example, the assumption is that all self-employed persons will keep records of all their business transactions and voluntarily declare their incomes from home and abroad. Even for some large organisations, keeping of accurate record can be problematic. Unless the government is strong and efficient, it is difficult to trace local earnings let alone those from abroad. This framework which was adopted since the colonial days has remained virtually unchanged since then, notwithstanding that it is not working efficiently. We have imposed a sophisticated system designed for a literate and developed society on a predominantly rural and or predominantly illiterate economy.
A simpler tax system will serve us better. The challenge is for the policy makers and stakeholders to evolve a better system. The Tax Study Group headed by Prof Dotun Phillips had recommended since 2003 that we should transit to a flat tax of maximum rate of 10 per cent for all income and expenditure. The Committee also demonstrated that the new tax will significantly yield more revenue. But we lack the political will to implement such far reaching reform. How valid is the opinion that the standard
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of judiciary –Sanni
of legal education in Nigeria has kept falling? For how many years now? Please, I beg. What do you expect when government is spending less on education far below the minimum standard? Education is not the priority of the Federal Government. It does not matter that the current President has a Ph.D. Most States are even worse. Classes are getting more crowded. Basic facilities and resources are lacking in most faculties. Little wonder that many faculties of law are losing accreditation, yet, new faculties are being established in virtually all federal and state universities. Where is the manpower to feed all these establishments? Faculty of Law, UNILAG has been lucky to attract and retain quality manpower because of the location advantages and the breath of vision of past and present Deans. There are quite a lot of people pursuing legal education today who have no genuine interest compared to those days when someone may sit for JAMB four times based on the conviction that it was either law or nothing else. It is therefore not surprising that increasing number of law graduates is dumping law to pursue their passion in other areas of human endeavour. Parents and guardians should not put pressure on their children/wards to study law against their wishes. How correct is the complaint in the academic circle that professors often frustrate doctoral students by not allowing them to get their qualifications on time? Your question implies that it is faster elsewhere while it is much more difficult in Nigeria. Bagging a doctorate degree anywhere has a story. It may be longer also in some universities abroad. It depends on a number of variables. In most cases, the students, supervisors and the system have their fair share of the blame in our system. The challenge is to develop a system whereby everybody will play his or her part as and when due. The students must start with a sense of purpose and uncommon dedication. The essence of a doctor-
NIGERIA SHOULD CARE FOR ITS CITIZENS RIGHT FROM THE WOMB BY TAKING CARE OF THE BABY AND MOTHER AS IT IS BEING DONE IN OTHER CLIMES ate degree is to train a student on how to start and work consistently on a narrow research area for a considerable period of between 3-5 years depending on whether it is a part-time or full-time programme. The Supervisors must be interested in the research work otherwise the candidate may not be getting regular feed back as and when due. The system must make both students and supervisors to submit periodic reports to show whether or not sufficient progress is being made. If all stakeholders were to do their parts, things should work better without compromising standard. I must say that things have significantly improved in recent times in some of the faculties. What do you think is responsible for the perennial low rating of Nigerian universities among other universities in the world? This is just because Nigeria is simply not serious about producing world class universities. Creating more federal universities in every local government as the Federal Government is doing can only worsen the dismal situation of the system. If you see the facilities of the leading universities abroad, even in South Africa, it will be clear that we have not started. To make us competitive again will require a holistic review of the university system beginning from establishment, funding, recruitment, law and order, etc. Thank God we have done it before in UI,
UNILAG, UNIFE, ABU, UNN etc. Let us go back to those policies that served us so well. The problem of brain drain has not been satisfactorily addressed. We are still unable to attract manpower from outside. I make bold to say that our university system does not have a future if we cannot retain those graduating as best in their classes to come and lecture. It is like children refusing to come back home or renouncing their fathers’ name as soon as they come of age. It is difficult for our universities to attract manpower from outside. There is an ongoing process to amend the 1999 Constitution, what area(s) would you identify as the topmost priority for amendment? This is a proposed amendment too many in my humble view. It is rather a re-making of a new Constitution going by the large number of proposed amendments. It is futile to attempt to put everything in the Constitution. I am not optimistic that this exercise will sail through. It will be crippled or frustrated by dogfighting among the political class on their entrenched interests on a wide range of issues. Some of the amendments they are pursuing such as creation of states have nothing to do with the common man and can only worsen our problems. The amendment that will make sense to me is one that will make social security enforceable right in tangible form. Nigeria should care for its citizen right from the womb by taking care of the baby and mother as it is being done in other climes. Right to education, housing, employment should be enforceable. If we are able to implement some of these, Nigeria will not need to sermonise on patriotism in vain. Active citizenship and patriotism will gradually evolve with time as people experience the love and compassion of their government at different periods in their lives when they are weak and vulnerable. This will promote dignity of
Law & Justice
human person in all ramifications and increase the average standard of living of Nigerians. It has potential to minimise corruption and force our leaders to do more for average Nigerian instead of themselves. It is painful when one considers that the public resources being “swallowed” by a few are enough to implement all these and more. But due to lack of political will, they will tell us a thousand reasons why such policies will not work in Nigeria. The Nigerian Bar Association has just phenomenally increased the annual practising fees for all categories of lawyers. The development has attracted a lot of criticisms from lawyers who claim the increments are not justifiable. What is your take on this? You said the increment was “phenomenal”. Nobody complained when the fees seemed to be ridiculously low. Even then, what percentage of members was paying the fees then? I think, NBA is seeking to boost its internally generated revenue which is legitimate. I will advise that future increments should be gradual within and at regular interval say between 3-5 years to account for inflation. In future, we should avoid increasing by 200% or more. Efforts should also be made to carry along majority of members who may not be active. I am happy that payment procedure is now relatively easier. There is no point requesting members to pay in Abuja or the High Court premises. I believe online payment is now possible from the website of the association. Members will however have to be sensitized to this development. It behooves our association to also continue to work hard in advancing the welfare of its members in all ramifications. What is your view on the clamour that law should be made a second degree course? There is the need to understand the basis of the arguments of those in support of the proposal. Is it based on the outcome of any study? If it is to improve the standard of legal education, I will tell you that it is a fallacy to suggest that such a reform alone will suddenly transform the quality of our legal education. As I have explained above the falling standard is attributable to several factors. While I agree that students with first degrees are relatively more matured and experienced, this is only part of the story. Some of them also have obligations outside university such as family and professional obligations which compete with their time. Is today’s standard of legal education better simply because we increased it from 3-4 years to five years? This is a course that some of the greatest lawyers we have today did not go to any university to study. We should advocate a reversion to even a shorter duration of between 3-4 years and avoid a policy which restricts access to legal education when we should be expanding it. After all, our mandate is to teach students where to find the law and not to know all the laws. Instead of making law course a second degree we should significantly increase the quota for direct admission. Now, the ratio of graduates being admitted to read law compared to JAMB is too low. We may have to increase it a little to take advantage of the benefits of that class of students may have to offer.
Law & Justice
Monday, February 11, 2013
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Experts set agenda for Kenyan crime court Foreign
xperts on international justice and victims of the 2007-08 violence in Kenya have welcomed plans to set up an international crimes division of the country’s high court. However, they point to obstacles to pursuing effective prosecution for the atrocities that followed the 2007 presidential election, which left over 1,100 people dead. According to All Africa, Kenya’s Chief Justice Willy Mutunga announced plans to set up an International Crimes Division, ICD, of the High Court in November. His office says the new institution will try cases stemming from the 2007-08 bloodshed, as well as other crimes under international law. Attorney General Githu Muigai says it will take two years to get the court up and running. Experts say staff in the Kenyan judiciary will need legal and investigative training, while questions remain about how far the government will support prosecution and witness protection. Four senior suspects accused of orchestrating the violence have been charged by the International Criminal Court, ICC, and will go on trial in The Hague this April, but
Ghana plans Sanitation court for environmental offences Ghana
Sanitation court is currently under construction by the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) to try sanitation and other related cases. According to the Chronicle, the court is to ensure that the city of Kumasi becomes clean, and also make the people of the city adhere to some simple bye-laws of the KMA. In an interview with the Public Relations Officer of the KMA, Mr. Godwin Okuma Nyame, he disclosed that the assembly had already taken the decision to establish a sanitation court somewhere last year, and since then a building in which the court would operate had been awarded on contract. According to Nyame, when completed, the proposed court would help to speed up the trial of sanitation and other waste management-related cases in the metropolis. He explained that the reason for establishing the court was not because offenders were not being prosecuted, but the need for a court solely for sanitation issues which could also speed up trials when processed before it. He noted that despite several educational campaigns undertaken by the KMA on the need to keep the environ-
Supreme Court of Kenya complex
Kenya very few prosecutions have been brought by the Kenyan authorities themselves. The new division will put into operation the International Crimes Act, a domestic version of the Rome Statute, the ICC’s founding treaty. Kenya incorporated the law into national legislation in 2009 after the ICC launched its investigation into the electoral violence. Observers say further steps are needed to establish an institution capable of prosecuting international-scale crimes that have previously only been investigated by the ICC. In 2010, Justice James Ogoola was behind the creation of the similar War Crimes Division of the High Court in neighbouring Uganda. The retired judge says legal profesment clean, most residents have decided to pay deaf ears to such education. In order to get them on track with the city authorities, the assembly has taken the decision to come out with a court to prosecute those problematic residents, who see nothing wrong with littering the environment. The KMA PRO said, “It is the expectation of KMA to have the project completed this year, in order to get things going as expected by the city authorities.” Answering a question on how sanitation offenders are dealt with currently, Nyame hinted that despite the on-going education in the city, some residents still take the law into their hands, adding, “as you know, the law does not permit ignorance, and for that matter, as at now, the law would take its course, by dealing with any offender.” He, therefore, advised residents not to throw garbage around as the law would deal with such offenders.
AG, Ghana, Benjamin Kunbor
sionals across all departments will need to be given advanced training before such an institution can begin operating in Kenya. “[Training] is absolutely necessary for the judges, prosecution and even counselors,” Ogoola said at an event hosted by IWPR and the Wayamo Foundation in Nairobi late last year. “That is the only way to achieve an effective and strong court that meets the global standards.” For those who suffered themselves or lost relatives in the post-election violence in Kenya, the ICD offers hope that they will see justice done for crimes committed during the unrest. But sustained domestic political opposition to prosecuting perpetrators of the violence over the last five years means survivors are under no illusions that the process will run smoothly.
“It [the ICD] must be better than the local courts,” said Jackson Mwangi, whose house in Nairobi’s Kibera slum district was burnt down in early 2008. “We must see judges and lawyers and prosecutors like the ones we saw [at the ICC] in The Hague. We don’t want it to operate like the local courts, which can be easily compromised.” One crucial part of making the ICD work effectively involves creating robust mechanisms to protect the witnesses who will give evidence during trials. Although the Kenyan government set up a witness protection unit in the wake of the ICC investigation, there are widespread concerns that it is not doing enough to ensure that adequate safeguards are in place. Rights groups in Kenya recently accused the government of failing to protect the witnesses who are due to testify against the four suspects charged at the ICC. Visiting Kenya in October, ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda described the situation as “worrying” and discussed witness protection issues with the Kenyan government. She also raised the matter with ICC judges in a November 2012 filing, in which she identified “an objectively justifiable risk to the witnesses’ safety arising from the disclosure of their identities to the accused”, and asked for special measures for protected prosecution witnesses.
Ukrainian lawyer, economist to cough out £15,000 each Ukraine
Ukrainian lawyer and an economist who defied a ban on the disposal of eastern European property linked to Sean Quinn have been fined £15,000 each. A BBC report says that Oleksandr Serpokrylov and Dmytro Zaitsev will be sentenced to four weeks in jail if they do not pay the financial penalty within six months. High Court judge Mr Justice McCloskey imposed the punishment on the two men for acting in contempt of a court. It concerned an injunction over a 45m dollar (£28.6m) shopping centre in Kiev. The pair, as representatives of a mysterious offshore company, were held to have flagrantly and deliberately ignored an order against any transfer of debts surrounding the mall. Lawyers for the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation issued contempt proceedings against Mr Serpokrylov and Mr Zaitsez, and the British Virgin Islands-registered Lyndhurst Development Trading SA, for allegedly flouting the injunction imposed at the Northern Ireland High Court in December 2011. IBRC, the former Anglo Irish Bank, has been seeking control of former billionaire Mr Quinn’s international empire in an attempt to recoup more than £2bn. As part of the wider legal battle Lyndhurst Development Trading was prohibited from enforcing any loan agreement.
It was alleged that the injunction was ignored later the same day at a hearing in Kiev. Lyndhurst secured judgment from the Ukrainian court that it was entitled to enforce a $45m debt against the firm that owns the mall, Univermag. Justice McCloskey has already found the property debt was transferred from one of Mr Quinn’s companies to put it beyond the reach of IRBC. All disputed transactions were declared null and void, with control returned to the former Anglo Irish Bank. A chain of assignments scrutinised in the case set out how Fermanagh-based firm Demesne Investments, of which Mr Quinn is a former director, was owed 45m dollars by Univermag. But in April 2011 Demesne transferred its rights to the debt to Innishmore Consultancy, another Northern Ireland company run by Mr Quinn’s nephew Peter Quinn.
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Law & Justice
Monday, February 11, 2013
Chieftaincy tussle: Why community dragged Alaran to court The 72-year-old Ejemu Alaran chieftaincy tussle between the inhabitants of two family compounds in Arandun community of Omu-Aran, Kwara State was finally resolved by the Supreme Court in 2004, when the overbearing powers of the Alaran of Arandun pertaining to the filling of the disputed stool was curtailed. FRANCIS FAMOROTI reports.
t all started with the movement of people from Omu Aran to a new settlement called Arandun community in Kwara State. This was in or about 1931 and before then, the people were under the Ejemu Alaran. When the people were moving, it is alleged that the Ejemu Alaran told them that whenever they settled on the new found land, they should maintain their chieftaincy to avoid any controversy. The appellants, together with others, moved and settled at Arandun in or about 1931. There were six compounds in Arandun and the appellants belonged to the Moji or Imoji compound and the respondents belonged to Mode or Imode compound. At Arandun the people maintained the stool of Ejemu Alaran and up till 1994 when the last Ejemu, Jimoh Oyebanji died, the compound of Imoji produced all the Ejemus of Arandun from 1931 when the settlement was founded. In 1994, the respondents, from the Imode compound protested the appointment of any member of the Imoji family on the ground that according to native law and custom, the post of Ejemu Alaran of Arandun should be rotated between the Imoji and the Imode compounds and that this time it was their turn. This generated a crisis that resulted in legal battle between the two neighbouring members of the extended Arandun community. In the suit, three principal members of the Imoji compound in Arandun community, Jacob Jolayemi, Ezekiel Ajayi and Oyedele Ajiboye had sued one Alhaji Raji Olaoye and the Alarun of Arandun, Oba Amos Babatunde of Imode compound in Arandun community in Kwara State over the chieftaincy tussle. The men in the suit filed at the OmuAran High Court in Kwara State, had sought among others, a declaration that under the applicable native law and custom at Arandun, it was only their family compound, by name Imoji compound, that was entitled to present candidate(s) to fill any vacancy in the Ejemu Alaran chieftaincy stool of Arandun. They also sought a declaration that the family/compound of Raji Olaoye, the first defendant that is: Imode compound had no right to present any candidate to fill any vacancy in the Ejemu Alaran chieftaincy stool. They also prayed the court among others for; * Declaration that Raji Olaoye was ineligible and not qualified to be selected appointed and installed as the Ejemu Alaran of Arandun nor to perform the
FAMOUS CASES functions of the office or collect the perquisites attached thereto. * Declaration that Oba Amos Babatunde, Alarun of Arandun as the second defendant had no power under the applicable Arandun native law and customs pertaining to the Ejemu Alaran stool to approve the appointment of any person that is not from the Imoji compound at Arandun. * Declaration that Oyedele Ajiboye , the third plaintiff having being chosen and selected by the Imoji compound and presented traditionally to the Oba Alaran of Arandun, is the rightful person to occupy the vacant Ejemu Alaran stool of Arandun. They also asked for an order setting aside any purported selection, nomination, appointment, approval and installation of the Raji Olaoye, first defendant or any other person from his Imode compound/ family. The parties filed their pleadings and called witnesses to support their case on pleadings. The lawyers for the parties also addressed the court at length both in writing and orally after their witnesses’ evidence. The trial judge of the High Court in Omu Aran judicial division considered all these and came to the conclusion in her judgment that: “The plaintiffs have failed to satisfy this court from the evidence adduced that they have exclusive right to the stool of Ejemu Alaran chieftaincy and as such all the reliefs sought by them have failed and are accordingly dismissed”. The plaintiffs as appellants were dissatisfied and they appealed to the Court of Appeal. The appeal was dismissed as being without merit and the decision of the trial court was affirmed. The appellants then appealed to the Supreme Court. The appellants and the first respondent, Olaoye, filed their written briefs in court as required by the court
Justice Idris Kutigi, former CJN
ARANDUN EXISTED BEFORE 1931 AND BEFORE MOVING TO
OMU TO FORM
ARAN ORIN WHAT BECAME OMU-ARAN rules and exchanged them between themselves. The second respondent, Alaran of Arandun, did not file any brief. In the appellants’ brief, issues were formulated for the determination of the court. The panel of the Supreme Court that heard the appeal were; Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi, Uthman Tijani Mohammed, Aloysius Katisna-Alu , Umaru Kalgo and Samson Uwaifo. Delivering the lead judgment on May 28, 2004, Justice Kalgo declared that there was merit in the appeal of the members of Imoji compound. ‘’ I accordingly, allow it and set aside the decision of the Court of Appeal which affirmed that of the trial court. ‘’ the court added. By the verdict, the apex court ruled that the Alaran of Arandun, Oba Babatunde, had no power under the applicable Arandun native law and customs pertaining to the Ejemu Alaran stool to approve the appointment of any person that is not from the Imoji compound at Arandun. According to Justice Kalgo, “I am of the considered opinion that the learned trial Judge was very right in considering the pre-1931 history of Arandun people so as to arrive at a just resolution of the issues in controversy between the parties”. ‘’There was no scintilla or iota of evidence to support the view that Arandun
was established or settled before 1931, and so the question of resolving a controversy did not arise. The evidence of the appellants as per pleadings that Arandun was established in 1931 was not challenged at all. It is also very clear from the evidence of the appellants’ witnesses elicited above, that members of their family did reign in Arandun as Ejemu Alaran since 1931 unchallenged. I therefore, have no hesitation in deciding issues 1 and 2 against the respondents and in favour of the appellants.’’ The court said Issue 3, is also resolved in favour of the appellants. Justice Kalgo held that ‘’contrary to the averment in paragraph 4 of the statement of claim, Arandun was not established in or about 1931. Arandun existed before 1931 and before moving to Omu to form together with Aran Orin what became Omu-Aran. They all moved to Ajo and back to Omu-Aran before Aran Orin moved to its present site and Arandun moved to its present site. The identity of each component of Arandun, Aran Orin, Omu was distinct and the remnants of those left behind at Omu Aran are still distinct and hold chieftaincy title peculiar to the Arans. Arandun was formerly called Aran Odun and was named after Odun river at the site. Having resolved all the appellants’ three issues in their favour, I find that there is merit in this appeal. I accordingly, allow it and set aside the decision of the Court of Appeal which affirmed that of the trial court. ‘’ In sum, this appeal succeeds and is hereby allowed. The decisions of the trial court and the Court of Appeal are hereby set aside and for the avoidance of any doubt I hereby enter judgment for the appellants on their claim before the trial court. Justices Kutigi, Mohamed, Katsina-Alu, and Uwaifo concurred with the lead judgment.
Monday, February 11, 2013
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Monday, February 11, 2013
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“First and foremost, most Afghans unfortunately do regard this bribery as a fact of life”
JEAN-LUC LEMAHIEU, REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE FOR UNODC
Tunisian president’s party quits cabinet PAUL ARHEWE,
WITH AGENCY REPORTS
he secular party of Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki has withdrawn its three ministers from the country’s government, saying that its demands for changes in the cabinet have not been met. The decision yesterday by Marzouki’s Congress for the Republic Party deals a further blow to Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali’s government, already weakened by last week’s assassination of secular opposition leader Shokri Belaid. “We have been saying for a week that if the foreign and justice ministers were not changed, we would withdraw from the government,” Samir Ben Amor, a Congress for the
Moncef Marzouki, President of Tunisia, showing his Liberty passport he was given when he was living in exile in France years ago PHOTO: AP
Republic Party official, told Reuters news agency. “This decision has nothing to do with the prime minister’s decision to form a government of technocrats,” he said, referring to Jebali’s declared intention to name
a non-partisan cabinet to run day-to-day affairs until elections can be held. Jebali has himself threatened to resign unless his Ennahda party and other parties accept his proposals for an interim government of
technocrats. Jebali, who is in dispute with his party over his proposal for a new government, said on Saturday he would present his new cabinet “by the middle of next week by the latest,” the official TAP news
agency reported. If the team was accepted by parties represented in the country’s constituent assembly without being put to a vote, he would remain on as prime minister, Jebali said. Otherwise, he said, he would resign. Jebali first made the announcement on Wednesday, hours after the Belaid’s assassination outside his home by an unknown assailant. Ennahda rejected that idea soon afterwards. Jebali said on Friday that he was confident he could gain his party’s support. It remains unclear how he plans to pull enough support to his side. “I am convinced this is the best solution for the current situation in Tunisia,” Jebali said late on Friday.
South African police arrest Congo’s rebel ringleader Islamist insurgents attack
olice in South Africa said yesterday they arrested the “ringleader” of a group of 19 Congolese rebels who now face charges of allegedly plotting a war to unseat Congolese President Joseph Kabila. The leader, who police declined to identify before his arraignment this week in a Pretoria court, was arrested Friday in Cape Town, said Capt. Paul Ramaloko, a spokesman for South African Police Service. Ramaloko said the man didn’t fight his arrest, though he declined to offer any other details. “He cooperated with us,” the captain said. Ramaloko identified the man as the “ringleader” of the alleged rebel group, making it likely the man is Etienne Kabila, who prosecutors identified last week as being in charge of the group. Kabila claims to be a son of Congo’s assassinated president Laurent Kabila, something the Kabila family denies. Laurent Kabila’s son, Joseph Kabila, is Congo’s current president. On Feb. 5, police arrested
the 19 suspected rebels in South Africa’s north-eastern Limpopo Province. Prosecutors later said the men thought they had been on their way to a training camp, where they would learn the tactics they’d need to “wage a full-scale war” against the Kabila government. Instead, prosecutors said those that the group first contacted in September were actually undercover police officers. The suspected rebels asked the undercover officers for thousands of machine guns and grenades, as well as missiles, cash, radios and satellite phones, prosecutors said. In return, the group offered the officers mining rights for eastern
Congo, where experts estimate there mineral deposits worth trillions of dollars, prosecutors said. One of the arrested suspects is James Kazongo, a U.S. citizen who lives in Middletown, Delaware. Kazongo has denied the charges against him and has been in contact with the United States Embassy in South Africa. The 19 men face charges of violating South Africa’s Foreign Military Assistance Act, which bars people from plotting coups or mercenary activities in foreign nations. The men will appear at a bail hearing scheduled for Feb. 14, where prosecutors could present more evidence against them.
Unidentified suspects being led out of court after appearing in Pretoria, South Africa on Thursday. PHOTO: AP
Malian troops in Gao
lack-robed Islamic extremists armed with AK-47 automatic rifles penetrated the most populous city in northern Mali on Sunday, engaging the Malian army in combat in a surprise attack two weeks after French and Malian troops ousted the jihadists. The attack in Gao shows the Islamic fighters, many of them well armed and with combat experience, are determined and daring and it foreshadows a protracted campaign by France and other nations to restore government control in this vast Saharan nation in northwest Africa. The Islamic radicals fought against the Malian army for more than two hours and were seen roaming the streets and on rooftops in around the police headquarters in the center of Gao. Gunfire echoed across the city. Families hid in their homes. One family handed plastic cups of water through the locked iron gate to others hiding on their patio. Piles of onions lay unattended where market women fled when the Islamists arrived. The fighting appeared to centre near the police headquarters, where Malian soldiers with rocket propelled grenades traded fire with the combatants believed to be from the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa, or MUJAO. The only sound was gunfire and the bleating of goats. Soldiers were positioned at every corner in the neighbourhood of mud-walled buildings.
I’ll talk with US if pressure stops –Ahmadinejad Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said yesterday that he is ready to have talks with United States if the West stops pressuring his country, the latest in a series of hints from leaders in both Washington and Tehran about the prospect of direct bilateral negotiations over the Islamic Republic’s controversial nuclear program. However, Washington is highly unlikely to relax sanctions on Iran — and Tehran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has final say on key state decisions, says that his country won’t negotiate under threat. This makes it hard to envision how talks could take place. Ahmadinejad is in his final months of his term of office and his followers are weakened by a feud with the Islamic Republic’s clerical establishment. His latest statement, which implies that he is an equal player with Khamenei in foreign policy matters, may simply be an attempt to appear as though he is still politically relevant. “You pull away the gun from the face of the Iranian nation, and I myself will enter the talks with you,” Ahmadinejad said at a ceremony marking the 34th anniversary of the 1979 revolution that toppled a Westernbacked monarch and ushered in the Islamic Republic.
German education minister quits in plagiarism case Germany’s education minister has resigned after a university decided to withdraw her doctorate, finding that she plagiarized parts of her thesis — an embarrassment for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government as it prepares for elections later this year. Merkel said she had accepted “only with a very heavy heart” the resignation of Annette Schavan, who has been her education and research minister since 2005 and was considered close to the chancellor. Schavan’s resignation, which occurred Saturday, comes only two years after then-Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg lost his doctorate and quit when it emerged that he copied large parts of his doctoral thesis. Schavan said at the time she was “ashamed” of that affair. On Tuesday, an academic panel at Duesseldorf’s Heinrich Heine University voted to revoke Schavan’s doctorate following a review of her 1980 thesis, which dealt with the formation of conscience. The review was undertaken after an anonymous blogger last year raised allegations of plagiarism, which the minister denies.
Monday, February 11, 2013
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Community Mirror The bottom line is that we want to mobilise Nigerians against 2015 elections to secure and manage the country. FORMER MILITARY HEAD OF STATE, MAJ. GEN. MUHAMMADU BUHARI
Tension as hoodlums sack Ogun village FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA
alpable tension has now gripped Adumbu village in Ewekoro Local Government Area of Ogun State, following invasion by armed bandits suspected
to be land speculators. Community Mirror gathered that the hoodlums were allegedly aided by Alimi Muraina Solabi, Solabi Fasasi, Kazeem Solabi, Waidi Solabi and Alhaji Amoo Solabi, who claimed to be long lost indigenes of the community.
They were said to have used security operatives to arrest the village head and secretary, Chief Olalekan Ogunjobi and Chief Ranti Falola respectively, before bringing in firearms concealed in a mock coffin to invade the village. Both Ogunjobi and Fa-
lola, were said to have been detained at the Eleweran Headquarters of Ogun State Police Command before being released. In a petition signed by Ogunjobi and Falola respectively and addressed to the state Commissioner of Police, Ikemefuna
Some of the palace guards, during Governor Isa Yuguda’s meeting with newly appointed district heads in Bauchi State.
Residents laud Okorocha on Orlu transformation CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI
he Managing Director of Timik Consult Ltd, a civil engineering and construction firm, Mr. Goke Anjorin and one of the contractors handling the Orlu projects in Imo State, has lauded Governor Rochas Okoroacha for his vision in the transformation process in the city. Anjorin who said this while conducting newsmen round the city recently, explained that a lot of demolition and clearing works which opened up the town for development were carried out by his firm, even as it affected one of the governor’s buildings. He remarked that the governor allowed his building to be demolished as example
in humility, as no individual or group could be above the law or constitute barrier to the desperately needed infrastructural development. He commended Governor Okorocha for the initiative to engage local contractors in the development of the area, adding that his company conceptualised the emerging Orlu city, which was bought over by the state chief executive. He added: “Awarding contracts to only foreign firms will not help in capacity building. Project management skills is lacking on the side of indigenous contractors. Employing expatriates to join indigenous companies to help out in projects, will ensure quicker transfer of technology,” he said. Community Mirror learnt that among the com-
pleted and ongoing works in the emerging city, include, a stretch of 1.5km of the federal highway from the popular Banana Junction to Nkwoito junction, which is nearing completion, a 6.22km stretch of six lanes expressway, from Nkume Y-Junction to Banana Junction which is one of Timik’s biggest ongoing project. The managing director however disclosed that all the required right of way for the road expansion project has been cleared and the panoramic view of the expressway is now visible. From Banana junction, about 2km of stone base has been completed and a kilometer of drainages with beautiful walkways over them are now ready,” he said. One of the elders in the
area, Mr. Joseph Echendu, expressed happiness at the transformation of Orlu, even as he thanked the Okorocha-led administration for the initiative. He also commended Timik Construction Company for its efficiency and working towards ensuring Orlu becomes a beautiful city as envisaged by the governor and indigenes. Another indigene, Mrs. Felicia Okorie, was full of praises for the relentless pace of work, saying that Governor Okorocha has performed creditably well in comparison with his predecessors, especially in the area of road construction. She agreed that the old-long saying of Orlu being the one of the least developed towns in Imo State would soon be a thing of the past.
Okoye, the community alleged that an estate agent; Ahmed of Adedas & Co was behind the attack. The villagers, most of who are still squatting at Ewekoro Local Government headquarters, said Ahmed and his cohorts came in eight vehicles and with dangerous weapons concealed in a mock coffin to invade the village. The petition, which was copied to Governor, Ibikunle Amosun titled: “Case of Terrorist Attack on Adumbu Village” claimed the agent later brought in land surveyors after the villagers had fled to the neighbouring communities. Investigations revealed that many of the displaced persons, most of who are women, are still taking refuge at Ewekoro Local Government secretariat, while others have fled to Ifo. Notable among the displaced villagers was a nursing mother Adijat,who was seen cuddling a three month old baby. The villagers, however, appealed to the Commissioner of Police and Chairman of Ewekoro Local Government to save them from hoodlums. “We hereby forward our letter to save our souls from land speculators who employed hoodlums to sack our village, while taking over the landed property. The thugs, numbering about 150, came in eight
buses and hid their arms in a mock coffin, even as they shot indiscriminately. The villagers are now taking refuge in churches, mosques and houses of well wishers at Itori”. Men, women and children ran out of the village to neighbouring communities. After the mayhem, a surveyor brought in some unscrupulous persons to survey all lands belonging to the villagers. Women and school children have been displaced and can no longer attend schools, while economic activities have been paralysed, as people are cut off from their means of livelihood,” the petition said. All efforts to speak with the estate agent, Ahmed, was unsuccessful as his phones were switched off. When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Muyiwa Adejobi, said the State Criminal Investigations Department (CID) was already handling the case. Adejobi, who confirmed the arrest, detention and eventual release of the village heads, assured that the Police Commissioner, Okoye would do the needful to ensure that justice prevailed.
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‘Saraki’s wife not involved in Amusement Park lease’ WOLE A DEDEJI
Emir of Kano returns home this week, says Sanusi
he Kwara State Government at the weekend denied that Mrs. Oluwatoyin Saraki, the wife of the Senator representing Kwara Central Senatorial District, Dr. Bukola Saraki, was involved in the lease of the Ilorin Amusement Park, a government property. The Park has been allegedly leased to the Artee Group, operators of Park ‘n’ Shop and Spar Supermarket brands in Nigeria and Saraki’s wife was generally said to be in the centre of it. An Ilorin-based family, Ajia, was said to be the owner of the land on which the Park was built and cried foul over the deal and allegedly said Mrs. Saraki was behind it. National Mirror was told that the Ajia Family had already filed a suit at the Ilorin High Court, but that the case is yet to be assigned to a judge. However, a statement by Kawara State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Prince Tunji Morounfoye, said: “A reported law suit by an Ilorin-based group linking the Mrs. Saraki to the lease of the Park needs to be clarified.” Describing the family’s claim misinformation, he said: “Neither Mrs. Saraki nor anyone associated with her was involved in the lease of the Park”. The commissioner, however, said that Mrs Saraki, as the former Kwara State First Lady, “only renovated the Park in 2004 as a philanthropic gesture.” He described the listing of Oluwatoyin Saraki as a defendant in the suit as a “futile campaign orchestrated by the opposition and targeted at the Saraki family”. Morounfoye said the Park was leased to Artee Group in 2010 when the company agreed to include Kwara State in its plans to expand to six locations in Nigeria.
Monday, February 11, 2013
KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN
entral Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has said that the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, would return to the country. Alhaji Bayero travelled abroad for medical attention following the attack on his convoy in Kano by some members of the Boko Haram Islamic sect a couple of weeks ago. Sanusi, who spoke yesterday at the palace of the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adey-
emi, said the Kano monarch is hale and hearty, hence his expected return to the country. The CBN governor was in Alaafin’s palace to sympathise with the monarch over the fire incident which occurred in the palace last month. Sanusi, who told the Alaafin that his late sympathy visit was due to official engagements, which had most of the time taken him out of the country, expressed joy that the no life was lost in the inferno. He, however, thanked the Alaafin for attending
his turbanning in Kano last year and disclosed that the monarch would always earn his support and respect as a foremost traditional ruler. The CBN governor prayed to God to grant the monarch long life and the grace to withstand challenges of life. Responding, Oba Adeyemi said though he was saddened by the loss suffered in the incident, but he thanked God that it did not happen in the night, when more than half of the residents of the palace could not have escaped unhurt.
He also expressed gratitude to Nigerians for the show of love to him and his people since the incident through their visitations in hundreds, describing it as overwhelming and expression of his relevance in the country. The monarch also thanked the CBN governor for the visit despite his tight schedules, which he acknowledged were enormous. He urged people not to abandon the palaces to the traditional rulers alone, saying: “The palaces belong to the people.”
Benue State Governor Gabriel Suswam (right) and Country Representative, UNICEF, Ibrahima Fall, after the signing of 2013 annual work plan of the United Nations Development Action Framework in Makurdi, at the weekend.
UNIABUJA unrest: No plan to victimise students –VC IJEOMA EZEIKE ABUJA
he Vice-Chancellor of University of Abuja (UNIABUJA), Prof. James Adelabu, has promised that the management would not victimize any student involved in the unrest that led to the closure of the institution last year. However, a meeting held at the weekend in between the University Senate and students of the medical and engineering faculties whose academic programmes were suspended ended in deadlock. The medical and engineering students were believed to have orchestrated the protest over non-accreditation of their courses. The protest, therefore, led to the closure of the school on November 20, 2012. The meeting, which was attended by the Special Assistant to the President on Students’ and Youth Matters, Mr. Jude Imagwe, was rancorous. Appeals for understanding by the vicechancellor and other members of the university management so that other students could be resume to write their Second Semester examinations was resisted by the medical and engineering students.
Govt’ll resist those causing disharmony in Nigeria –Aliyu PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA
iger State Governor Babangida Aliyu has said that the government would always resist those bent on causing disharmony in Nigeria. Decrying the state of insecurity in the North, Governor Aliyu noted that the situation would cripple the economy of the region if nothing is done to address it. The governor cited the Kanti Kori Market in Kano State, where the government generates about N255 million daily, but due to the state of insecurity and its devastating effect on the region, the proceed had dropped to a mere N11 million as many people have
stopped visiting the market for business transaction. Speaking yesterday at a reception organised by the government in honour of the 12 eminent Niger indigenes serving the nation in various capacities in Minna, he said that the state would not just sit back, fold its arm and allow those behind the insecurity have a field day without fighting back. Aliyu said: “We will not stay and allow those who are causing disharmony in the nation to continue. We will not accept, Niger State will fight back. This is because Niger State is the foundation of Nigeria. Many prominent Nigerians such as late Dr. Inandi Azikiwe, Odumeagu Ojukwu, Cyprian Ekwensi and
many others were all born in Niger.” Recalling sadly the killing of 10 polio vaccination officials by members of the Boko Haram sect in Kano recently, the governor pointed out that the incident indicates the level of insecurity in the North. He stressed the need for stakeholders to support the government in the fight against the lingering security challenges confronting the country. The governor, however, said the 12 public officials were honoured because of their integrity and contribution to the nation’s development. Also speaking on the occasion, the House of Representatives Speaker, Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal,
said that the officials deserved the honour because of their hard work and diligence in the service of the country. Those honoured were Justice Musa Dattijo Mohammed of the Supreme Court, Hon. Justice Dalhatu Adamu, former Act-
ing President, Court of Appeal; Mr. John Alhassan Gana, Federal Permanent Secretary; Peter Yisa Gana, Deputy Inspector General of Police; Mr. Sam Ibrahim Saba, Chairman, Code of Conduct Bureau; Alhaji Abubakar Dagaci, Deputy Comptroller General of Prisons. Others are Dan Azumi Doma, Assistant Inspector General of Police; Dr. Peter Nmadu, Group Executive Director Corporate Services Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC); Alhaji Jibrin Paiko, Executive Secretary, National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and NonFormal Education and Dr. Jimada Muhammed, Executive Secretary of NPHCDA.
Monday, February 11, 2013
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APC can rescue Nigeria’s democracy –Tofa AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST KANO
residential candidate of the defunct National Republican Convention, NRC, Alhaji Bashir Tofa, has said that the new party formed by leading opposition parties could rescue Nigeria’s democracy from imminent collapse. He, however, cautioned that the opposition leaders should work hard to realise the objectives behind the for-
mation of the party, the All Progressive Congress, APC. In a text message he sent to newsmen from Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, Tofa said he received the news of the merger with excitement, adding that the adopted name, APC, was adequate in the circumstance as it would heal the ailment threatening the country’s political development. He said: “On February 5th when I read the news that 10 governors of the ACN (4),
ANPP (3), APGA (2), CPC (1), have met in Lagos to support the proposed merger. The following day, the combined merger committee of the four parties named their new proposed party, the All Progressive Congress, APC, I fell in love with the name given to the new party, which is a quick relief for simple ailments, such as headaches, minor fever, etc. “So, most of the older common people will easily remember the name. The mili-
tary will also remember it even quickly, as it also means Armoured Personnel Carrier, APC. General Ibrahim Babangida was an expert driver of such war machine when he was the commander of the Armoured Corps. I like the name, however. It will also be on top of the list on the ballot paper.” The former chairman of the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, Elders’ Committee also expressed the hope that the logo would equally be
spectacular and relevant. He said: “For example rainfall, a flower, a healthy cow eating tall grass, etc.; not anything we have seen before, not anything difficult to draw, like a basket of fruit.” Tofa said although for many of the players, it was like a family reunion as many of them were members of the old All Peoples Party, APP, “nonetheless, there are issues that we must all be concerned about in nurturing this noble objective.” He itemised the issues as; “Internal sabotage: Leaders must be watchful of this. There may be people within the merging parties (some of them leaders) that can be used to, or willingly on their own, sabotage this coming together of the opposition parties. “Internal democracy and justice must be entrenched to the fullest right from the very beginning of this new political party when it comes into being. If one group seeks to dominate matters and positions of leadership at any
level, that will spell trouble. Building a firm foundation of internal democracy and justice is of paramount importance.” Tofa also noted that the divisions that existed, especially in the CPC, must be resolved. He said: “The Senator Rufa’i faction should be invited by the joint-leadership of APC and work out a way to settle the issues. If that is not done, this faction, as small as it is, can be an embarrassment; and they will continue using the CPC as a party since they hold its certificate of registration, I am told. “The Labour Party, LP, and the new party, the United Progressive Party, UPP, led by Chekwas Okorie must be invited to join the merger as soon as possible. A high-powered delegation should be sent to them for negotiation. They can spring surprise victories in the South-South and the South-East, and this can diminish the stature of APC in these important states.
Southern Kaduna reiterates demand for Gurara State Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Capt. Caleb Olabolade (2nd left); Kano State Deputy Governor, Dr. Umar Ganduje; Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar and others, during the inspection of the Police Academy at Wudil in Kano State, at the weekend. PHOTO: NAN
Court threatens to sanction Kogi officials for flouting order OYEWALE IBRAHIM LOKOJA
n Okene High Court has threatened to bring the full wrath of law against Kogi State Head of Service, Accountant-General and the Attorney- General over refusal to reabsorb about 346 workers sacked by the government in 2009. The trial judge, Justice S. O. Otu, who was furious over the disobedience of an earlier order issued by the court for the trio to appear before it was flouted, issued the threat.
The court had delivered a judgement on May 14, 2012 where it ordered that the state government should immediately reinstate 346 civil servants sacked during the staff audit exercise carried out by Sally Titbot Consulting. The court declared that the affected civil servants had genuine documents of employment and were legally employed by the state government and therefore saw no reason why they could be so arbitrarily sacked. It also declared that there was no time the state gov-
ernment gave the affected staff any form of sack letter to indicate their disengagement from the service and therefore ordered the reinstatement of the workers. The judge also directed the state government to pay the salaries and allowances of the workers. However, the state government has refused to comply with the order, as the court was told many other people were being employed through the backdoor while the affected workers salaries were been withheld. The court was told that
UNILORIN appoints new registrar WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN
he Governing Council of the University of Ilorin, UNILORIN, has appointed a registrardesignate for the institution. The Deputy Director Information, (Corporate Affairs), of the university, Alhaji Kunle Akogun, announced that the appointee,
Mr. Emmanuel Dada Obafemi, would take over from Mrs. Olufunke Oyeyemi, whose tenure would end in April. He said: “The appointment, which followed the recommendation of the Selection Board raised to assess applicants for the position of registrar, was one of the highlights of the decisions taken at the Council’s
meeting held on Saturday, February 9, 2013. Obafemi, who is currently the Deputy Registrar, Academic Support Services, joined the services of the University of Ilorin on September 28, 1981 as Assistant Registrar (Information). He is a 1977 graduate of the University of Ibadan. “He has been, at various times, Senior Assistant
the affected workers were still reporting for their official duties while some of them had been promoted with some transferred to other stations, yet they were been denied their salaries for over three years. The court sometimes last year summoned the state functionaries to appear before it to give explanation on why its order was not complied with. But when the court resumed hearing on Friday, none of the of the summoned government functionaries was present in court.
Registrar and Principal Assistant Registrar in various units of the university administration. “In 2006, he was promoted to the position of Deputy Registrar and he served in various units such as Establishments Office, College of Health Sciences, Students Affairs Office, Council Office and Academic Support Services.”
A ZA MSUE KADUNA
he Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, SOKAPU, and Zaria Emirate Development Association, ZEMDA, at the weekend met on how to actualise the proposed Gurara State for the Christian Southern part of the state. SOKAPU also declared six months mourning in honour of the late Kaduna State Governor Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa. Addressing SOKAPU Annual General/National Executive Council meeting held in Saminaka, Lere Local Government, Kaduna State Deputy Governor Nuhu Bajoga charged Southern Kaduna people to be united rather than dividing themselves on the basis of religion and region. He said: “We want this unity to continue between the Zaria emirate and the Southern Kaduna people. The Southern Kaduna people should emulate the virtues of Yakowa who worked with everyone irrespective of religion and tribe. If we see ourselves as one, the state will move forward. “Our Governor, Dr. Muh-
ktar Ramalan Yero, is a complete gentle man. I have interacted with him and all the policies and projects that were flagged-off by Yakowa are ongoing and he has pledged to complete them. “We want the people to support the governor in his peace-building efforts for these projects to be achieved.” Earlier, SOKAPU National President, Dr. Ephraim Goje, said the quest for Gurara State creation had been on for over 30 years, stressing that the people of the area would continue to press for their demand until its actualisation. He said: “We in Southern Kaduna will not relent until Gurara State is achieved. We have made our position known to the government and we will never relent in our pursuit of state creation. “That is where we ask for the cooperation and support of ZEMDA. The people of Southern Kaduna are peace-loving people and have recently invited by the Emir of Zazzau who urged them to work with other groups in the state, including ZEMDA.”
Monday, February 11, 2013
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We appreciate all the corporate bodies that have stood by us. But we honestly frown at ambush sponsors
Ambrose, a Champions League doubt –Coach
- NFF’S MARKETER, MIKE ITEMUAGBOR
NFF mourns Joe Ighile
he Nigeria camp at the justended 29th Africa Cup of Nations in Johannesburg, South Africa, was badly jolted on Saturday morning when news filtered in that ace broadcast journalist, Joseph Ighile, had died in Lagos. Ighile, a member of the NFF Media and Publicity Committee, was in South Africa for the group stage campaign of the Super Eagles. He was presenting his sports programme on CHANNELS Television on Friday evening when he reportedly slumped and died before anxious colleagues could get him to hospital. NFF President, Aminu Maigari, was taken aback when the sad news was broken to him. “Oh my God! What happened to him? How did it happen? Joe (Ighile) interviewed me and I saw him doing his work quietly but diligently during the group stage in Nelspruit. A good man has gone. May his gentle soul rest in peace,” NFF said in a statement. Chairman of the NFF Media and Publicity Committee, Chief Emeka Inyama, was distraught. “What happened to Joseph? I have never heard of this kind of thing. Joe was your idea of a hardworking, enterprising and yet, unobtrusive journalist. He did his job conscientiously and with grace and honour. “Everyone is shocked. This is sad, very sad. As a member of the Media and Publicity Committee, he was very supportive and very positive.”
Leader of the Federal Government’s delegation, Senate President, David Mark, addressing Super Eagles’ players on Saturday evening during their training at the National Stadium in Soweto, ahead of last night’s AFCON 2013 final match.
FG to induct Eagles into Hall of Fame T he Federal Government has said that it is ready to make the present set of Super Eagles players become the first beneficiaries of the National Sports Hall of Fame that was recently given approval by President Goodluck Jonathan. Sports Minister and Chair-
Kanu hails Keshi
man of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Mallam Bolaji Abdulahi, said at the weekend while addressing players and officials of the Super Eagles at their Garden Court Hotel abode in Milpark, South Africa ahead of last night’s AFCON final that the government had also mapped
ormer Super Eagles’ captain, Nwankwo Kanu, has said that credit must be given to Coach Stephen Keshi for re-introducing the Nigerian football culture into the national team. Kanu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Johannesburg at the 29th AFCON that ended yesterday that “Keshi is getting it right with the team.” The lanky striker added, “Nigeria is once again playing the type of football that put the Eagles among the foot-
ball powerhouses in the African continent. The Nigerian culture and football is back and credit must be given to Stephen Keshi. “Maybe it is because he is a local coach and understands our football culture as the players have responded well to the way he wants the game to be played.” The one-time Inter Milan and Arsenal forward said he hoped the current team would also continue to impress even at next year’s World Cup like the Super Eagles class of 1994.
out a heroic welcome for the team today. Abdulahi, who was in company of the NFF President, Aminu Maigari, Director, Elite Athletes, NSC, Dr. Bolaji Ojo-Oba, NFF board members, Chris Green and Chief Felix Anyansi-Agwu, said the government was proud of the
achievement of the team. “Victory is not everything, but victory is the only thing,” the minister charged. Maigari on his part thanked the FG at the highest level for the huge support the Eagles received at the South Africa 2013 AFCON.
…As Yobo hangs AFCON boots EVEREST ONYEWUCHI WITH AGENCY REPORT
uper Eagles’ captain, Joseph Yobo, has said that the 29th Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) that ended in Johannesburg, South Africa, last night was his last as a player. Hours before the Nigeria and Burkina Faso final inside the National Stadium in Soweto, Yobo told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) about his impending retirement from international football, effective after the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Yobo, who had so far won 92 caps for the county, said he had done his best for Nigeria and needed to win the trophy which was what had been missing. “I thank God for my life today. I have put in a lot into the national team and it has been long that the country reached
this stage of the competition. “This is my sixth AFCON and this is my first time in the final. I am looking forward to lifting the trophy on Sunday, but the work is now,” Yobo said. Speaking on his role from the bench at the AFCON, Yobo said he had no hard feelings as what mattered was that the team was getting victory. “But at the same time I am always ready when called upon. I started the game but got injured. The last time out, I played and even scored but we didn’t make it, now we are here what matters most is for the team to be winning, which we are doing,” Yobo added. The Fernabahce of Turkey strong man praised the younger players in the Eagles’ squad for making Nigerians proud. “We the experienced ones are guiding them not to lose focus while celebrating.”
Monday, February 11, 2013
Tunisia okays Trabelsi’s exit
Hayatou scores AFCON high mark
he Tunisia Football Federation has accepted the resignation of coach Sami Trabelsi following the country’s failure to get past the first round at the African Nations Cup in South Africa. A federation statement said it had accepted a request from the 45-year-old coach to prematurely end his contract. Three possible successors have been identified and the federation said a decision would be taken in the next days after they had been interviewed. They are Nabil Maaloul, who led Esperance to the African Champions League title in 2011, Khaled Ben Yahia and Maher Kenzari. Tunisia failed to get past the first round after finishing third in Group D. At last year’s Nations Cup, Trabelsi had led the Carthage Eagles to the quarter-finals before Ghana knocked them out. Trabelsi, who was a former World Cup player, was appointed Tunisia coach in March 2011. He is the first coaching casualty of the Nations Cup, which this year has had an unusually light attrition rate.
Ambrose, a Champions League doubt –Coach
eltic Manager, Neil Lennon, concedes it is unlikely Super Eagles’ defender Efe Ambrose will start Celtic’s Champions League tie with Juventus tomorrow. The Nigerian played in yesterday’s African Nations Cup final against Burkina Faso. “He seems to think he will be back on Monday evening (today) or the early hours of Tuesday and we will assess him and see how he is,” Lennon said, adding, “It’s difficult for me to think he
will be in a starting position.” Ambrose, 24, was signed from Israeli side Ashod in August and played in five of the six group matches as Celtic progressed to the last 16 in the Champions League. However, Nigeria’s run to the final in Johannesburg means the centre-half has missed his club’s last six matches. “He’s playing in a huge game and then has a 10 or 11-hour flight,” Lennon explained. “But we are hoping he will make the squad.”
Lennon said winger James Forrest will be fit but forward Georgios Samaras and left-back Emilio Izaguirre are still battling to recover from their respective hamstring and knee problems. Forrest, who has had a hamstring complaint, was not risked in the 3-1 win over Inverness at the Caledonian Stadium on Saturday. “Forrest has had the two scans and he came through all clear so he will be in the squad,” the manager further said.
‘Pre-tourney matches hardened us’
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uper Eagles’ defender, Godfrey Oboabona, says playing friendly matches against crack sides as Catalonia had strengthened the team at the Nations Cup. The Nigerians were written off by many in their quarterfinal against Cote d’Ivoire and expected to be overrun, but Oboabona says the team had experienced no fear. “Personally, I wasn’t worried about the big stars in their team,” he insisted. “I had faced the likes of Xavi just a few weeks before and I felt that if I could play against them, I could play against Drogba and Yaya and the rest.” Oboabona, however, added that the influence of coach Stephen Keshi had proved decisive. “He kept telling us that football was not played by name, but by teamwork and determination, and we should believe that we could win every game.”
AF President, Issa Hayatou, has insisted that South Africa 2013 Africa Cup of Nations presented the highest quality and was a huge success, despite constant media reports suggesting the football pitches and crowd attendances were scrappy, The Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit got the biggest flak as the ground appeared to be bumpy, discoloured and covered in sand while many football fans called for the venue to be cancelled. “It is the colour that is not good at Mbombela, not the surface, the surface of the turf was good,” the CAF boss argued. “A virus attacked the grass before the tournament and the ground staff wanted to fix this colour thing before the games, which saw them putting some chemicals on it that took away the colour,” he explained. On the attendance, Hayatou said: “I am satisfied with the crowd attendance because South Africa has many stadiums with high capacity, stadiums that seat 60, 000 to 70, 000 people and if we have 40, 000 it does not look full.”
Keshi gets Mikel’s praise
uper Eagles’ midfielder, John Mikel Obi, has praised the courage of Coach Stephen Keshi in selecting a young squad paraded by Nigeria at the just-ended Africa Cup of Nations. Keshi dropped star players Osaze Odemwingie, Obafemi Martins, Taye Taiwo, Uche Kalu and others in favour of younger talent, and saw his decision rewarded with the country’s first AFCON final in 13 years, a decision Mikel reckoned as “gamble that deserves credit”. “All credit must go to the coach who took a gamble on a very young squad, because I’m just 25-yearsold but am looking like the oldest in the team,” Mikel said. According to the Chelsea star, the balance of youth and experience has ensured a stable dressing room as well as team bonding. “We are together, united and playing for each other and that has accounted for where we are today. “This team will win many trophies for a long time to come,” Mikel remarked.
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Nations Cup victory
Monday, February 11, 2013
Jonathan hails Eagles’ ‘stunning victory’ …Mark, Ekweremadu call for unity ROTIMI FADEYI AND GEORGE ORJI
resident Goodluck Jonathan has congratulated the Super Eagles for their “stunning victory” in the final of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa on Sunday. Nigeria beat Burkina Faso 1-0 through a 40th minute Sunday Mba goal to win the trophy for the third time. Nigeria won the trophy previously in 1980 and 1994. In a message posted on his Facebook, Jonathan said, “I am overjoyed at the stunning victory of the Super Eagles which has seen Nigeria emerge as the champions of the Africa Cup of Nations 2013. Well done patriots, you have done Nigeria proud.
2013 is obviously the year of Nigeria. “We have emerged as the beacon of hope on the African continent by proving to Africa and the world that a strong Nigerian team put together and trained by a Nigerian coach can stand the test of time and successfully rise to the challenge of the most formidable opponent. “The Nigerian spirit stands strong and steady as we march to the destination of greatness. I doff my Fedora hat to this great squad that has brought laughter and happiness to our homes. “Nigerians are great. We thank God, we thank you.” Also, President of the Senate, David Mark, and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, have congratulated all
Nigerians for the superlative performance of the Super Eagles in winning the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. In separate statements Mark urged Nigerians to use the victory as a rallying point to further the peace and unity of the country currently challenged by insecurity. Mark who led the Federal Government’s delegation to watch the final of the 2013 AFCON, was pleased that the victory of the Super Eagles has offered the needed elixir and tonic to boost the peace and unity of Nigeria. On his part, Ekweremadu described the victory as a new dawn in Nigerian football. “Winning the trophy on the threshhold of our centenary is symbolic and I urge Nigerians to emulate the team’s spirit, patriotism and unity,” Ekweremadu said.
L-R: Attorney-General, Osun State, Hon. Wale Afolabi; Deputy Governor, Mrs. Titi laoye-Tomori; Governor Rauf Aregbesola; Senator Babajide Omoworare, representing Osun East Senatorial District; Special Adviser to the Governor on Security Matters, Barrister Adekunle Amos and Commissioner for culture and tourism, Alhaji Sikiru Ayedun in Osogbo, yesterday.
Amosun, Aregbesola, Wada, Yero, others salute Eagles OUR CORRESPONDENTS
gun State Governor, Mr. Ibikunle Amosun, has hailed yesterday’s victory of the Super Eagles of Nigeria over the Stallions of Burkina Faso in the final of the 29th AFCON in Johannesburg, South Africa, describing it as instructive. In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mrs. Funmi Wakama, Governor Amosun described the success of the Eagles as “great”, especially coming against all odds. “It shows that as a country, we can always achieve our dreams if we are dedicated,
Nigeria Nations Cup Record Gold Cup
Nigeria 1980 Tunisia 1994 South Africa 2013
Cote d’Ivoire 1984 Morocco 1988 Algeria 1990 Senegal 1992 Ghana/Nigeria 2000
Ghana 1978 Mali 2002 Tunisia 2004 Egypt 2006 Angola 2010
committed and unwavering in the face of daunting challenges,” he said. Amosun recalled that the Eagles left Nigeria to the AFCON in South Africa without being one of the favourites to win the championship but the “can do” spirit of the average Nigerian ensured that the team surmounted all obstacles to win the much-coveted trophy. In his own reaction, Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, who spoke at the Okefia Roundabout Viewing Centre, where the government had provided for the soccer loving citizens to gather for the match, said it was gratifying that the country has one thing of national joy in the midst of several problems facing it. “I congratulate Nigerians on this well deserved victory. At least it is one thing of joy for us as we face the many problems confronting us as a country.” Aregbesola, in a statement by Director, Bureau of Communications and Strategy, Alhaji Semiu Okanlawon, further urged Nigerians to continue to demonstrate the same degree of unity and sense of oneness exhibited in their massive support for the
Eagles. He said, “No religious differences, no ethnic differences and other such sentiments come between us when supporting our national team. We must demonstrate similar unity in all affairs of national interests.” From Kogi State, Governor Idris Wada congratulated the Super Eagles for clinching the African Nations Cup yesterday.. Captain Wada in a statement through his Special Adviser, Media and Strategy, Jacob Edi, said the Eagles’ victory is a sign that greater things will happen to Nigeria. He urged the team to build on this success, saying it can lead them to win the World Cup next year in Brazil. Kaduna State Governor, Alhaji Mukhtar Yero, on his own commended the Super Eagles’ victory over Burkina Faso. Yero, who watched live telecast of the match at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Secretariat located along Waff Road, said the Super Eagles’ triumph has proved the federal government’s desire to reposition the sports sector.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal (R) and some of his members celebrating Nigeria’s victory, in the Speaker’s office in Abuja.
Nigerian players celebrating
Nigeria’s victory, confirmation of new era –PDP OBIORA IFOH ABUJA
he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the victory of the Super Eagles as a confirmation of its earlier declaration that the nation has entered into a new era of possibilities and will surmount its challenges under the current dispensation.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh in a statement yesterday said the fact that the team won the trophy which had eluded the country several times in the past is an indication that nothing is impossible for Nigeria and that the doors have been opened for the nation to achieve other goals. “The fact that our players won the trophy
is a confirmation of our earlier declaration that Nigeria has entered a new era of possibilities. With this, it is clear that the nation will surmount all its challenges under the present dispensation. It is an indication that there is nothing impossible and that collectively we will overcome all the challenges we are facing as a nation”, the party said.
Most TV links hijacked by a campaigner Vol. 03 No. 554
The record for the most TV links hijacked is 30,000 as of 1 March 2010 and belongs to Gabriele Paolini (Italy). He regularly sabotages journalist and presenter links on national TV in Italy, encouraging the use of condoms, as part of his civil battle against AIDS.
Monday, February 11, 2013
A case for Nigerians living with disabilities
igeria is richly endowed with vast land mass, human and material resources. All of this comes with huge responsibilities, not just to the world and Africa, but to her citizens, able and disabled. Disability in Nigeria has become more of an afterthought issue rather than a matter of priority, with about 19 million people experiencing one form of disability or another. Globally, the figure of people so afflicted is over a billion. The thrust of this piece is to comparatively examine our disability laws and those in developed/developing nations around the world. I will be limited in this to developments in the United Kingdom and South Africa, due to their comprehensive disability legislations and policy implementation frameworks. South Africa possesses one of the most comprehensive disability rights legislation
ustralia completed a 5-0 One-Day International series whitewash over West Indies yesterday after registering a 17-run win in the final match. Adam Voges was the star of the show for Australia, making the most of his re-
and policy regimes in the world; and disabled people are involved at all levels of government. Some of the achievements linked to the development of new legislation and policy in South Africa include, the development and the adoption of disability on an Integrated National Disability Strategy (INDS); the ease of determining employment-equity quotas that apply to the private and public sector with regard to employment of disabled people through the Employment Equity Act (EEA) of 1998; and the increase in the basic disability grant and extension of its provisions to a wider sector of people through the Social Assistance Act. There is also the introduction of policy on inclusive education through the White Paper on Special Needs Education. Moreover, South Africa actively participates in continental and international initiatives on improving the lives of disabled people. These include the Africa Decade of People with Disabilities, and the development of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Disabled People. Of course, there is the provision of free primary healthcare to disabled people affected by poverty. Others are establishment of the Equity Court, and the Office on the Status of Disabled People in the Presidency. At the provincial levels there is the establishment of Disability Desks and Units in many departments within all spheres of government. While support by the South African government for the formulation and adoption of policy has been excellent, policy implementation remains a challenge. Worthy of note is the fact that there are capacity constraints at every level that limit the effective implementation of policy. Policy implementation issues are not addressed consistently, for various reasons, at different levels of
IN THE SOUTH
AFRICAN EXAMPLE, ONE REASON THAT CAN BE CREDITED FOR THE VAST SUCCESS OF THE DISABILITY CAMPAIGN IS POLITICAL SUPPORT government. These reasons include limited conceptual understanding; poor championing awareness; inadequate or inappropriate institutional arrangements; and a general lack of capacity. Two other factors that have contributed to the poor implementation of legislation and policies are that definition and nature of disabled people’s participation have not been adequately reviewed and articulated; policy requirements for disability mainstreaming are not adequately linked to performance management, thereby undermining commitment to implementation. The major setback of Disability Policy implementation in South Africa is that legislation and policies are not implemented due to a lack of allocated fiscal resources and commitment by government and agencies responsible for such implementation. In the South African example, one reason that can be credited for the vast success of the disability campaign is political support. Political will power is present from both ministers and senior civil servants in charge of
departments. The other reason, of course, is the outstanding sustained commitment and ongoing advocacy by the disability sector, led by Disabled People South Africa (DPSA). The current legislations, in the form of the Employment Equity Act; Social Assistance Act; Skills Development Act; Skills Development Levy Act…etc, have all helped to create a new sense of awareness of the needs of disabled people. In the case of the UK, people with disability are protected by the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (as amended) for England, Scotland and Wales, and the Special Educational Needs and Disability (Northern Ireland) Order 2005 (as amended). The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) defines a disabled person as “someone who has a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities”. People who have had a disability in the past that meets this definition are also covered by the scope of the Act. There are additional provisions relating to people with progressive conditions. The DDA 2005 amended the definition of disability. It ensured that people with HIV, cancer and multiple sclerosis are deemed to be covered by the DDA effectively from the point of diagnosis, rather than from the point when the condition has some adverse effects on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. The achievement of the DDA 2005 includes the new duty it places on public bodies, like local authorities, healthcare and education providers, to promote equality of opportunity for disabled people, similar to the ‘duty to promote’ under the Race Relations Act. This duty, which came into force in December 2006, meant that public authorities will need to have ‘due regard’ to the need to eliminate discrimination against, and harassment of, disabled people; promote equality of opportunity for disabled people; promote positive attitudes towards disabled people; and encourage disabled people to take part in public life. To be continued Senator Abatemi-Usman is Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs
Cricket: Voges-inspired Aussies crush West Indies in ODI call with an unbeaten 112-his maiden ODI century-which set the home side on their way to 274-5 batting first. West Indies looked favourites to chase down the total when a maiden three-figure
contribution from Johnson Charles kept them up with the rate, however his dismissal changed the momentum of the game. The tourists were eventually restricted to 257 all out
and will now attempt to restore some pride in Wednesday’s one-off Twenty20 international at the Gabba. Australians, who were without captain Michael Clarke for the series finale
through injury and his deputy, Shane Watson, who suffered a disastrous start when chopping Tino Best back on to his stumps first ball of the match, reached the middle NFF President, Aminu Maigari point of their innings on 88-4. Adam Voges
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