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NLC kicks against privatisation of NTA, FRCN, NAN, others OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA

Omar

Vol. 4 N0. 819

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gain, the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has opposed

the Federal Government’s plans to privatise the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA, the Federal Radio Corporation, FRCN, the News Agency of Ni-

geria, NAN, the Nigeria Films Corporation, the Commodities Exchange Commission and the Skypower Catering and HoCONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

Monday, March 31, 2014

21 killed as terrorists T attack DSS hqtrs

N150

OMEIZA AJAYI, ROTIMI FADEYI AND UBONG UKPONG wenty one persons have been confirmed dead as a combined team of operatives of the Department of State Service, DSS, and men of the Guards Brigade, Nigerian Army, yesterday foiled an attack on the DSS Headquarters. The office is a few metres away from one of the

...Jailbreak foiled by security forces Jonathan safe, well, says Abati

CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>

June 12 lawyer, G.O.K. Ajayi, dies at 82 P.4

L-R: Former PDP Legal Adviser and Ondo State governorship candidate, Chief Olusola Oke; Group Managing Director, Energy Group, Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim, OFR; National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh and National Organising Secretary, Alhaji Abubakar Mustapha, after the party leaders' meeting in Igbotako yesterday, in preparation for the Ilaje Ese-Odo by-election in Ondo State.

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APC crisis deepens, G-5 govs plan return to PDP Marwa gets supporters' nod to go back

Confab: Fear of walkout grips delegates

P.2 P.6

I've forgiven Atiku, others, says Obasanjo P.8

BUSINESS SECTION Manufacturing industries culpable off energy theft –IKEDC THE

NAICOM to restructure compulsory insurance P.A6, A8

Free ree iinside nsiide nside de


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Monday, March 31, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

APC crisis deepens, G-5 govs plan return to PDP OBIORA IFOH AND LIVINUS MENEDI

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he festering crisis within the leadership of the All Progressives Congress, APC, may have taken a new dimension as the G-5 governors' who defected from the Peoples Democratic Part, PDP, last year are reportedly considering a pos-

sible return to their former party. A cold war is currently rocking the APC over the composition of its National Executive Council and the 2015 presidential election. This was just as the former military administrator of Borno and Lagos states, Gen. Buba Marwa, had got his supporters’ nod, after a town hall meeting inYola, Adamawa State,

yesterday to dump the APC for the ruling PDP. This may have put an end to speculations over the disenchantment of the retired general with the APC since Governor Murtala Nyako was handed the control of the APC in the state. A party source at the weekend told National Mirror that if the leadership crisis in the APC persisted

for too long, some of the G-5 governors had been mulling the idea to open discussions with the leadership of the PDP to return before preparations for the 2015 elections kick off fully. The G-5 governors - Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Musa Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano) and Abdulfattah Ahmed (Kwara) had in No-

L-R: Sub-Committee Chair, Senator Christopher Coons; Chairman, Heirs Holdings, Mr. Tony Elumelu and Sub-Committee Ranking Member, Senator Jeff Flake, at Elumelu's testimony on African private sector before the United States Senate Foreign Relations Sub-committee in Washington, United States, recently.

21 killed as terrorists attack DSS hqtrs CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

gates of the Presidential Villa in the Three Arms Zone, Abuja. It was the second time terrorists would make a brazen incursion into the zone which houses Nigeria’s three arms of government, the Presidential Villa, the National Assembly and the Supreme Court. Terrorists had on October 1, 2010 detonated bombs close to the Eagle Square, where President Goodluck Jonathan and other dignitaries, including foreign heads of state, were commemorating Nigeria's golden jubilee celebration. DSS spokeswoman, Marilyn Ogar, said the 18 people were killed during the crossfire between operatives and terror suspects, who attempted to escape from its detention facility. She dismissed fears of an external attack, saying some of the suspects had tried to escape having attacked one of its opera-

tives. She said that two service personnel also sustained serious injuries, adding that three other detainees who sustained gunshot injuries during the incident had also died. Ogar said that investigation was still ongoing to ascertain the immediate and remote causes. She said that all roads leading to the DSS office had been cordoned-off to prevent possible assistance from external collaborators. Ogar said: “At about 7:15am, the suspects’ handler went to the detention facility within the headquarters to feed the suspects. “One of the suspects attempted to disarm him by hitting him at the back of his head with his handcuff.” According to her, the suspect’s attempt to escape drew the attention of other guards at the facility who fired some shots to warn

and deter others. Ogar added that the gun shots attracted the attention of the military, which the DSS had an understanding of mutual assistance in the event of any threat. She explained that the gun shots from outside were those of soldiers who were trying to ward off any possible external collaborators. “The Army immediately deployed a team to reinforce our perimeter guards to forestall any external collaborators. “During this period, the precinct of the office and adjoining neighbourhood were thoroughly searched. The situation has since been brought under control,” the spokesperson said. She restated DSS commitment to the safety of Nigerians and the nation at large. Ogar, however, did not immediately disclose the identity of those who at-

tempted to escape from detention, but security sources said some of them had been recently arrested and were yet to be charged to court. There have been intelligence reports and predictions of a possible terror attack on the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. National Mirror learnt that guards within the Presidential Villa also fired some shots from the gates, while a helicopter gunship hovered over the Aso Drive, which is part of the zone. The area was immediately locked down while traffic was diverted by some soldiers who had stationed several Armoured Personnel Carriers in strategic locations. When National. Mirror visited the Presidential Villa, security had been beefed up at the rear entrance gate close to the Fire Service Station near the Force Headquarters as access was not allowed

vember last year defected to the APC over irreconcilable differences with the leadership of the PDP and the Presidency. But the source, a member of the National Executive Committee, NEC, of the APC, who spoke with journalists, said the party was on the verge of losing its new allies. He said: “We cannot say all is well because some persons are trying to run the APC the way they ran their former parties and this will not augur well for us because if we continue this way, our desire to get power from the PDP will only be a pipe dream. “At least, we cannot say that the party has not benefitted anything from the governors who defected from the PDP; but as it is now, some of these governors, we learnt, are beginning to express disappointment about the state of affairs, especially the issue of national officers of the party. “We even gathered that moves are on for some of them to re-trace their steps to the PDP; that will be disastrous for us in the APC because their return will

only confirm that our crisis is irredeemable. “It is our belief and hope that we are able to manage the seeming crisis of confidence and suspicion among our leaders, but a few of the leaders only want their wishes to be obeyed and nothing else; that will only kill the party.” Asked whether the purported move by the governors was as a result of the issue of national chairmanship, the source said he was sure that it could be a reason, stressing that some other reasons might also be responsible. “The issue of national chairmanship is the main issue that has almost torn the party apart, so they might be sensitive to same, but you should also know that in politics, there are interests to be protected.” National Mirror gathered that one of the APC governors in the SouthSouth did not support the move by some leaders of the party to ‘dash’ the zone the office of national chairman. According to findings, the governor prefers the South-East to produce the CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

thorough the gate. Security operatives directed those driving into the Villa to access it through the entrance gate at the Federal Secretariat close to the Supreme Court complex. Security was also beefed up at the other entrance gate close to the DSS headquarters, though it had remained locked shortly after the bomb blast incident during the 50th independence anniversary on October 1, 2010. The office of the National Security Adviser, NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), and the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, and the Millennium Park are located within the vicinity. Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, said: "What happened at the SSS Headquarters this morning (yesterday) was an attempted jailbreak

which had been effectively foiled. There is no cause for alarm." In another tweet later, Abati said: "What happened at the SSS Headquarters has nothing to do with the Villa. President Jonathan is safe and well. Thank you for your concern and support." The Presidential Villa was calm and there was no indication that there was any threat to the seat of power. However, at the Asokoro entrance to the Headquarters of the DSS, a military pick-up van with armed soldiers were seen parked a few metres to Aso Drive, which is the clearance point into the gate of the DSS building. Also, at the gate leading to the Presidential Villa from the DSS headquarters, another pick-up van with soldiers were seen keeping vigil on the entrance to the Villa. Security was also beefed up at the Police HeadCONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>


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Photo News

Monday, March 31, 2014

L-R: National Mirror Daily Editor, Mr. Seyi Fasugba; MD/CEO, Mrs. Kafilat Ogbara and Deputy MD/CEO, Mr. Bankole Makinde, during a retreat for State Correspondents at the Mirror Headquarters, in Lagos at weekend. PHOTO:ADEMOLA AKINLABI

L-R: Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga; Country Director, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, Dr. Patrick Kormawa; Director-General, UNIDO, Mr. Li Yong and President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Chief Kola Jamodu, during Li’s visit to Nigeria in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

L-R:Chief Executive Officer, MainOne, Ms. Funke Opeke; Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson and Chairman, OpenMedia Group, Mr. Ernest Ndukwe, during the International Forum on Accelerating Nationwide Broadband Access in Nigeria, in Lagos at the weekend.

L-R: Vice-Chancellor, Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Prof. Barineme Fakae; Governor and Visitor to the university, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi and the Pro-Chancellor, Justice Adolphus Karibi-Whyte (rtd), during the convocation ceremony of the institution in Port Harcourt on Saturday.

National News

June 12 lawyer, G.O.K. Ajayi, dies at 82 …Sagay, Ozekhome, Ayorinde, Adesina pay tribute

FRANCIS FAMOROTI, KAYODE KETEFE AND WALE IGBINTADE

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Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Godwin Olusegun Kolawole Ajayi, popularly known as G.O.K. Ajayi, is dead. Although details of his passage were sketchy as at press time, National Mirror gathered that the news of his demise was announced by the Ajayi family on Sunday, at the age of 83. Born on May 29, 1931, G.O.K., whose legal practice was replete with landmark cases of public interest, had succumbed to an ailment attributable to old age in recent years. This made him to withdraw from public glare, until the announcement of his death. It was gathered that his health deteriorated in recent times when certain symptoms of age were said to have aggravated.

Notable among the sensational cases he handled was the Shugaba vs. Minister of Internal Affairs, where a Second Republic Majority Leader of the Borno State House of Assembly, Alhaji Abdurraham Darma Shugaba, was deported to the Republic of Chad in 1980 by the President Shehu Shagari administration. Ajayi won the case for the deported Shugaba as the Supreme Court held that the decision of the Nigerian government was wrong and illegal. The apex court also awarded the damages of N350,000 to Shugaba. He was also the lead counsel in FRN vs. Zamani Lekwot, the famous ZangonKataf trial of Lekwot and some of his kinsmen for murder. Ajayi was also the lead attorney in the treason case initiated against the acclaimed winner of June 12, 1993 presidential election, Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola, by the gov-

ernment of the late former Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha. Meanwhile, tributes have continued to pour on the departed legal icon as top lawyers spoke glowingly of his life and times, especially his exploits in the legal profession. A prominent lawyer, Prof. Itse Sagay SAN, described his death as a great loss. He said: “Chief G.O.K. Ajayi’s death is colossal waste to Nigeria. He was very knowledgeable in every area of the law. I remembered when he was a lecturer in Nigerian Law School in 1960s, he was an authority and the students enjoyed him greatly, especially in constitutional law. When he came to practice, he was one of the greatest. His cases had featured in many of our law reports. He was a colossus. His death is like an earthquake in the legal landscape!” Another lawyer, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN, said Chief Ajayi’s legacy in the

legal profession was monumental. “This is one great loss to the legal profession in Nigeria. The history of the legal profession cannot be written without mentioning him. He was most noted for courtroom advocacy. He was one of the pillars of the profession. “He was in the same category with Chief F.R.A. Williams, the late Kehinde Sofola and H. Lardner. He was committed to the rule of law and ethics of the profession. May God grant his family the fortitude to bear the loss. We that remain shall continue to uphold the integrity of the profession like he did,” he said Mr. Dele Adesina, SAN, in his own reaction expressed shock over the death. He said: “My first reaction is that I am in a state of shock. I must confess that I have lost one of the people that have impacted on me in the legal profession. “Although I never passed through his chamber as pupil

counsel, I consciously admire his candour and decorum in the legal profession. He was a very decent man, his appearance was impeccable and his presentation was always backed up with demonstrating the knowledge of law and facts on the matter but they were always carefully and logically presented.” Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN said Chief Ajayi handled some cases that changed the profession for the better. He said: “The passage of Chief G.O.K Ajayi signifies a mighty Iroko falling. GO.K was one of the standing legal icons and titans of his own generation comprising the likes of the late Chief F.R.A. Williams, Gani Fawehinmi, Alao Aka-Bashorun, and others. “G.O.K. Ajayi’s contributions to law are unquantifiable, having regard to some of his defining cases that changed the legal and judicial firmament of the country. One of such cases was

the Shugaba’s case in the Second Republic. “Chief Ajayi was affable, extremely humble, reticent and unassuming. His magisterial carriage, combined with his sartorial inclination, were qualities that stood him out from the crowd, apart from his prodigious intellectual capacity that saw him pitch his opponents to the cleaners.” Also reacting, Dr. Joseph Nwobike, SAN, said Chief Ajayi was a colossus in the legal profession. “This is sad news to the Bar and the Bench. The late Chief Ajayi, SAN, was a colossus in the legal profession for over 40 years. “He argued a substantial number of the cases that shaped the Nigerian common law. He was as distinguished as the era that witnessed his prime. No doubt, his generation is witnessing its twilight. May God bless his soul and comfort those that he left behind,” he added.


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Monday, March 31, 2014

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NLC kicks against privatisation of NTA, FRCN, NAN, others CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

tels Services. It insisted that the action would not be in the interest of Nigeria. The NLC, which called on the National Assembly to institute a probe into the previous sales of government properties in order to retrieve them, also kicked against partial privatisation of Bank of Agriculture and the Bank of Industries. This was contained in a statement signed by the NLC President, Abdulwahed Omar, following a statement credited to the Director-General of the Bureau

of Public Enterprises, BPE, Mr. Benjamin Dikki, that plans had been concluded for the privatisation of some key Federal Government assets. Expressing its opposition to the planned sales, privatisation and commercialisation, the union stated that the haste with which government was determined to sell off public properties to members of the ruling class and their cronies under the guise of making them more efficient was alarming. The statement reads in part: “There is the need for

caution because these properties belong to the Nigerians as a collective wealth and the people have never been consulted and their interests considered before the sales. “It is scandalous that the same government that had always promised to use the gains from petroleum price increases, which it has received over the years, to reactivate existing refineries and build additional ones can turn around to announce the privatisation of refineries. “This is clearly unacceptable, and the public

has strongly opposed this attempt several times in the past, even on the floor of the National Assembly. “There is no evidence that previous privatisation exercises have succeeded. The major privatisation exercise that was implemented against public interest recently is electricity and ever since that exercise, electricity supply has worsened, while consumers pay higher even as the lights have gone off under excuses that questions the competence of the new electricity companies. “Government should

not abdicate its social responsibilities by selling off everything that delivers services to the people. This is unwarranted, especially in a country where poverty and unemployment has become endemic coupled with the collapse of industries. “What we need in Nigeria is not a blind adoption of neo-liberal policies that mortgage the interests and future of our people. “Our national economy depends largely on the oil industry and if we allow the industry to be handed over to private individuals, it would then mean the entire economy would be-

come private property run by private individuals, mostly cronies of those in government, against our collective interests. “We therefore advise the BPE to stop the proposed sales, while we call on the National Assembly to probe all previous sales and retrieve public properties that may have been sold to private interests. We must not allow the continuation of the robbery of our collective interests. “Private individuals can build their refineries, but government must reactivate, maintain and take full charge of existing public refineries and also build new ones.”

21 killed as terrorists attack DSS hqtrs CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

Soldiers take position while foiling a jailbreak at the DSS headquarters at the Three Arms Zone in Abuja, yesterday.

APC crisis deepens, G-5 govs plan return to PDP CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

national chairman with the desire that he would be picked as running mate to the presidential candidate of the party. For another governor from the North-West, his disappointment stems from the fact that he has been told to forget his 2015 presidential ambition for which he has commenced consultations soon after he joined the APC. For over two weeks now, a cold war had been brewing among the APC leadership over the May 2014 national convention of the party. While former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu prefers to retain Chief Bisi Akande as national chairman, others, led by Senator Ali Modu Sherif, are rooting for Tom Ikimi. The Northern caucus of the party has already decided that the slot be zoned to the South-South. This

may have been responsible for the alleged face-off between Tinubu and Sheriff at one of the party’s NEC meetings. Marwa had convened a town hall meeting of his supporters where over 1000 delegates from Adamawa State concluded that "We don't want APC." The former military administrator had asked his supporters at the meeting whether they should return to the PDP, a question to which the majority shouted ‘ayes’. Marwa had told the gathering that the meeting would put paid to the lies, deceit and lack of justice within the APC, berating the party for its sudden lack of integrity and character. Tracing the problem of the party to the national leadership foisting Nyako on the party, Marwa regretted that the house they helped built had been taken over by political maraud-

ers. He wondered why state legislators and National Assembly members in the state were yet to follow Nyako into his new party. A former member of the House of Representatives, Saad Tahir, noted many irregularities, which he said made the APC an aberration and bound for an imminent collapse. Tahir said: “A house built on a shaky foundation will not stand," adding that the PDP had already formed government in Adamawa State with the movement of Marwa into its fold. State treasurer of the party, Musa Bubakari Kamale, put the blame of the crisis rocking the APC in the state on the doorsteps of the national leadership of the party. He said the leadership of the APC “committed a national blunder” by foisting defecting PDP governors on the party as party

leaders. Marwa’s spokesman, Kamale, added that parting ways with the APC was an attempt to protest the flagrant disregard of democratic ethos by the “lameduck leadership” foisted on the party by Nyako, whom he said was pursuing parochial agenda. Listing the many sins of the APC in the state, Kamale cited the continued existence of a task force team allegedly controlled by Nyako's son, Commander Abdulaaziz Nyako, which he said was an aberration. According to him, going by party rules, upon inauguration of the state interim management committee, all other organs of the party prior to the merger stood dissolved but "that was not the case in Adamawa," he said. Meanwhile, Marwa said that he would be meeting with the leadership of the PDP to finalise all protocols necessary to rejoin his former party.

quarters located close to the Presidential Vila as armoured vehicle blocked the entrance into the Louis Edet House building of the Police Headquarters. Only two lanes of the four-lane road in front of the police headquarters building were opened to motorist, while the other two lanes for oncoming vehicles were blocked. Staff and visitors to the police headquarters could only gain access to the building after their vehicles had been thoroughly screened and cleared. Meanwhile, the Defence Headquarters, DHQ, said it had successfully handled the security threat at the DSS Headquarters. Speaking to National Mirror in Abuja, the Director of Defence Information, DDI, and Coordinator of the Joint Security Information, Maj.-Gen. Chris Olukolade, also said that the massive deployment of troops strategically on Saturday along the Musa Yar’Adua Way leading to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport had nothing to do with the development at the DSS. There was an unusual deployment of troops along that axis of the territory on Saturday. Although National Mirror learnt that the deployment might have been due to President Goodluck Jonathan’s return to the city, military sources, however, said that there was more

to it as the deployment was quite unusual. Whenever President Jonathan was going out or returning, security operatives, mostly police, always line up along the road to direct vehicular movements and keep security along the road up to the Villa gate, with police vans deployed for such operation. However, during Saturday’s deployment, heavily armed combat ready soldiers took over the road and kept eagle eyes on the bushes and hilltops with others in addition to the presence of police operatives. Two trucks with other smaller ones suspected to be conveying weapons were parked on the middle of the cordoned off road, and guarded on every side by heavily armed soldiers. Military sources told National Mirror that there was security information of possible attempts to attack the territory, adding that security had been greatly improved throughout Abuja. The operation was said to have been helpful in aborting the attack on the DSS headquarters but Olukolade, who did not clarify on the operation, insisted that it was a coincidence and had nothing to do with yesterday’s development at the DSS. He urged citizens to be calm and go about their lawful duties while supplying useful information to security agencies to help in the fight against terrorism in the country.


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National News

Monday, March 31, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

We are ready for FAA CAT audit –NCAA

Fear of walk-out imminent as confab resumes today

OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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he Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) says it is ready for the reassessment of the nation’s airports by the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Category One status. The reassessment begins today. NCAA said the fourman team from the US FAA would be in the country for the next five days to assess its compliance with applicable sections of ICAO standards contained in Annexes 1,6 and 8 as a result of the eight critical elements of a state safety oversight as described in the ICAO document 9734 A. A statement signed by the NCAA Acting Director-General, Mr. Benedict Adeyileka, claimed that the team would use the current International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) checklist and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) guidance material during the assessment. Adeyileka said that the eight critical elements to be looked into are primary aviation legislation, specific operating regulations, state civil aviation system and safety oversight functions and technical personnel qualification and training. Other critical elements include technical guidance and tools, licensing and certification obligations, surveillance obligations and resolution of safety concerns. Adeyileka said in preparation for the visit, NCAA had provided responses to the checklist and forwarded it to the FAA team leader. He added that the team would also visit Arik Air and its facilities as the airline currently operates directly into and out of the continental USA, which was used for their initial IASA category one assessment in 2010.

OMEZA AJAYI AND WOLE OLADIMEJI he National Conference will today resume amid fear of a possible crisis due to threats by some Northern delegates to stage a walk-out. The Conference Chairman, Justice Idris Kutigi, had last week selected 50 delegates to confer with them on the need to adopt a common ground as to what voting pattern should be

adopted. The selected delegates were expected to also persuade others s from their zone on the need to adopt the agreed voting pattern. While the Northern delegates want a 75 per cent majority voting pattern, their Southern counterparts have continued to canvass a two-third or simple majority voting procedure. The delegates will today hear and debate the report of the 50 men and as well adopt the vote of proceed-

ings of March 24, 25 and 26 for deliberation. Delegates could not debate some of the previous votes and proceedings as they could not be circulated to delegates due the illness of the Assistant Secretary on Conference Proceedings. Top on the list of issues expected by all delegates and observers would be a report of the outcome of the consultative meeting between the Principal Officers of the Conference and

selected delegates. It will be recalled that the Justice Kutigi, based on a collective decision of the delegates, had last Wednesday appointed 50 representatives of the 492 delegates for crucial meeting on how to resolve the vexed issue of voting pattern. Continuation of the adoption of the National Conference Rules of Procedure earlier suspended last week also forms part of the issues slated for deliberation today.

L-R: Financial Controller, Stanbic IBTC, Tosin Odutayo; Director, Stanbic IBTC, Mrs. Ifeoma Esiri; Head Teacher, GRA Primary School, Ikeja, Mrs. Bridget Osayande; Chief Architect, Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board, Mr. Olabodunrin Oki and Education Secretary, Local Government Education Authority, Ikeja, Alhaja Risikat Shittu, during the commissioning of a library donated to the school recently.

Although debates on the standing orders had almost been completed last week, delegates had insisted on sighting the clean copy of the rules before formally adopting it for the regulation of the affairs of the Conference. The Conference will also, beginning from today, discuss and adopt its Work Plan, proposed committee structure and group classification. As part of this, delegates will be expected to identify committees they want to serve in. The spokesman, James Akpandem, said the conference would call for submission of papers on thematic issues highlighted under the various committees to be announced. The papers are to be submitted before close of business on Thursday. According to him, delegates are also expected to commence debate on the speech presented by President Goodluck Jonathan on March 17, 2014 when he formally inaugurated the Conference. On the issue of voting, it was gathered that efforts are being made to get the intervention of the management of the National Assembly.

Reps probe Agip oil spill, want affected communities compensated TORDUE SALEM ABUJA

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he House of Representatives Committee on Environment has mandated its ad-hoc committee to investigate an alleged oil spill recorded in October 2012 in 25 communities in Ndokwa East Local Government of Delta State and recommend how the affected villages could be compensated. The ad-hoc committee is made up of three members from the House Committee on Environment, one member from the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), two representatives from the 11 communities that filed a claim of N1 billion, one person from Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and two Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) workers. While 11 of the affected communities are claiming N1 billion as damages, the oil company said it had

compensated majority of them. The committee, during an investigative at the weekend, expressed its disappointment with the oil company for foot dragging and employing legal tricks to deprave the affected communities of compensation. Chairman of the committee, Hon. Uche Ekwunife, said accused the oil company of deliberately hampering investigation. Ekwunife said: “This is a deliberate attempt and this is what Agip has been doing for the past one year, you destroy their land and communities and frustrate them from getting justice.” She also accused DPR of conspiring with oil firms to cheat on the communities. The lawmaker said: “That is what we are saying; DPR should not be part of the government, this responsibility must be put on private hands. Now you are colluding with the International Oil Companies (IOCs)”

But the DPR, represented by Dorothy Bassey, Head, Health Safety and Environment, said it was not aware of the petition by the affected communities and only got to know of it through the committee’s summons. The department recommended that details of petitions from oil and gas host communities “should be forwarded to the DPR to facilitate prompt and thorough investigation.” According to the submission of NOSDRA before the committee, the spill which occurred due to the rupture of the NAOC’s Kwale/ Akiri 10” pipeline affected 25 communities. Idris Musa, Director Oil Field Assessment, while making NOSDRA presentation before the committee said over 589 barrels of crude oil was spilled and 180 recovered. He agreed with the committee chairman’s observation that the oil company used legal trick to delay compensation, adding that

even when oil companies were willing to compensate communities adequately, their legal departments always kicked against it. Victor Enoyinje, who represented the 11 communities that brought the petition before the House, said the communities rejected a sum of N500, 000 from Agip. Enoyinje alleged that the pipeline that burst is 40 years and had lost its integrity and that NAOC did not consult with the communities before offering them the N500, 000 compensation. According to him, the spill caused considerable damage to fish ponds, creeks, fishing channels/ fence, waterways, juju shrines, cash crops, Economic trees, forestry and others. He said the 11 communities were insisting on the N1 billion claims under sub- heads that include: “cost of appeasing / deactivation of shrines, polluted seasonal swamps, waterways, streams, creeks etc,

loss of fishing and farming rights, injurious affection/ loss of income and general damages/ disturbances.” Agip, which was represented by Chidozie Okafor, Deputy Division Manager, District Legal Services, agreed that there was a spill, but blamed it on the 2012 flooding which damaged the company’s equipment. The oil company said it had compensated a number of communities but that “some are still wrangling amongst themselves,” noting that this has made total compensation impossible. It welcomed the opportunity given by the committee to meet the affected communities again. “We are grateful to have this forum to look at the issues again and resolve it,” Okafor said. Ekwunife expressed regret that NOSDRA was not applying the authority it had over IOCs, adding that this had led to the negligent attitude of oil companies to their host communities.


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South West

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We’ve begun internal cleansing of our members –ASUU KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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L-R: Former Head of State and National Leader, All Progressives Congress (APC), Gen. Mohammed Buhari (rtd); Chairman of the occasion, Most Rev. Ephraim Ademowo; National Leader, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; his wife, Senator Oluremi Tinubu; wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs. Abimbola Fashola and Governor Babatunde Fashola, during the 6th Annual Bola Tinubu Colloquium in Lagos on Saturday.

I have forgiven Atiku, others –Obasanjo FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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ormer President Olusegun Obasanjo said on Sunday in Abeokuta that he had forgiven his former vicepresident, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, as well as other persons believed to have offended him. Obasanjo spoke while addressing the Northern Youth Leaders Forum (NYLF) who paid him a visit after their two-day meeting held in Abeokuta.

The former President said as a leader and father, he bore no grudge against anybody. It will be recalled that the relationship between Obasanjo and Atiku turned sore in 2006 over what many people believed was Atiku’s role in scuttling the third-term agenda of his boss. But addressing the NYLF on Sunday, the former President said: “On the request that you made yesterday, I do not have any grudge against anybody. And if there is any,

I have forgiven all as a father.” Obasanjo appreciated the group for coming to Abeokuta to make case for a way forward for the country. Earlier in his address, NLYF National Chairman, Mr. Elliot Afiyo, said the forum was in Abeokuta to visit Obasanjo “and to identify with his vision for our great country, Nigeria.” In a paper submitted earlier on Saturday, Afiyo said: “We have come to you as a father indeed, elder statesman for sure, an

advanced citizen per excellence, an honest and forthright leader, courageous and bold democrat, a loving and compassionate.” He stressed that with such attributes, Obasanjo has no option or than “to chastise and later forgive and embrace both the good and bad characters.” Afiyo said: “In view of this, we humbly request that you forgive your former Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, of whatever political sin or offence he might have committed against you.”

Ondo by-election: PDP warns supporters against conspiracy HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE

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he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Sunday warned its members against conspiring with the opposition against the interest of the party in the forthcoming Ilaje/Eseodo byelection in Ondo State. The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, who gave the warning during a rally at Igbokoda in Ilaje Local Government Area of the state, assured that the party would win the April 5 by-election. Metuh said there must not be conspiracy against the candidate of the PDP for the byelection, Chief Emola

Adewale Kukute, saying the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party and the Presidency were tired of allegation of conspiring with the ruling Labour Party(LP) against the interest of the party. Stressing that the NWC members were in Ondo State on the instruction of President Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Adamu Muazu, Metuh said the forthcoming by-election must be taken with all seriousness by the party’s stakeholders. He said: “Anybody that claims to love President Goodluck Jonathan should join the PDP and

not sit on the fence or work again the interest of the party. “The gap between opposition and the ruling party is closing day by day and the PDP would see any National Assembly election as a means of widening the gap. The PDP Publicity Secretary said any leader of the party that collects money from the opposition and work against the interest of the party would not live to enjoy the money. He asked the party leaders to mobilise the people to vote for the party and make sure that the votes count. Metuh, who claimed that PDP would not fold

its arms and allow rigging as witnessed in the past, added that the party would resist the collation of the election results outside the local government where the elections were held. PDP chieftains, including governorship candidate of the party in the last governorship election, Chief Olusola Oke; Group Managing Director of Energy Group, Barrister Jimoh Ibrhim; Special Adviser to President on Amnesty, Mr. Kingsley Kuku; PDP Chairman in Ondo State, Hon. Ebenezer Alabi; and the only member of the party in the state House of Assembly, Hon. Akpoebi Lubi; attended the rally.

owards making the nation’s universities rank among the best in the world, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has assured that it would not shield any of its members who failed to discharge his or her responsibilities accordingly. ASUU National President, Dr. Nasir Fagge, who spoke at the weekend during the Ibadan Zonal Leadership Training Workshop organised for the leadership of the union, said ASUU had embarked on internal cleansing of its members. He said for ASUU to achieve its ultimate goal of building Nigeria and safeguarding the education sector, members must rededicate themselves to positive leadership values. Fagge said: “Given the context of the rapacious encroachment of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank into the education sector, we have no choice but to strengthen our commitment and faith in ASUU

as our bastion of resistance”. The ASUU boss said as a union of integrity and intellects, it would ensure that lecturers are exemplary role models to the students as well as defend the principles of the teaching profession, saying: “As we continue to deepen our struggle to reposition our universities to be internationally competitive, we must continue to focus search light on ourselves.” Fagge, who added that the Nigerian nation is facing generalised crisis, singled out crisis of dilapidated infrastructure, under-stocked libraries, poorly equipped laboratories, corruption, administrative insensitivity and declining morale among staff and students as the bane of tertiary education in the country. While stressing that ASUU was receiving constant attacks from those he described as the ruling elite of the corrupt and decadent post-colonial Nigerian state, he however vowed that the union would continue to fight for the restoration of order in the Nigerian universities.

World Bank to assist Nigeria on e-learning

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he World Bank has promised to assist Nigerian universities in the area of electronic learning in order to align with prevailing global standard. A director with the World Bank, Dr. Tunde Adekola, stated this while addressing participants at the just concluded Information and Communication Technology (ICT) conference held in Lagos. Dr Adekola said that the consistent support of the World Bank and other international development partners with necessary support from the public and organised private sectors would raise the standard of education in Nigeria and equally align it with the global standard on ICT applications in schools. He stated that the position of the bank was to support the universities by using ICT

to leverage and improve the quality of learning in the nation’s universities so that they could be relevant and competitive globally. Adekola pointed out that Nigerian universities were receptive of the e-learning technology, adding that all the vice-chancellors of the 12 newly established federal universities identified with the theme of the ICT conference, hence their attendance. He stressed the cost effectiveness of e-learning process and the concomitant multiplier effects such as eresearch and e-library, a development he said created job opportunities for graduates. The conference, which was specially organised for the 12 new federal universities, was designed to educate the management of the institutions on the need to engage a business model of ICT infrastructure for learning in their various schools.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

South West

Monday, March 31, 2014

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Ajimobi meets with Security Council over ‘evil forest’ KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

G L-R: Son of the deceased and Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos, Prof. Rahman Bello; Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun and Speaker, Ogun State House of Assembly, Hon. Suraj Ishola Adekunbi, during the final Fidau prayer in honour of Bello’s mother, Alhaja Fatima Bello at Ibooro in Ogun State, at the weekend.

Ekiti doctors threaten strike ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

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octors in public and private health facilities in Ekiti State have threatened to embark on industrial action effective from April 7, if the state government fails to reverse the ‘outrageous tax’ imposed on its members, as well meet their other demands. The doctors, under the aegis of the Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, also demanded immediate restoration of Consolidated Medical Salary Structure, CONMESS, to their members at the local government level. NMA State Chairman, Dr. Obitade Obimakinde, said the grouse of the doctors, which the state government should address to avert the strike, included

implementation of specialist allowance to consultants working at the Hospital Management Board, computation of retirement benefits for doctors using CONMESS template and immediate release of running grants to general and specialist hospitals. The NMA boss, who said the decision to embark on the strike which would begin with a three-day warning strike effective from April 7, was arrived at during their Ordinary General Meeting of Thursday, March 27, after the government failed to meet their demands despite several meetings with Governor Kayode Fayemi on the lingering crises bedeviling the sector. Obimakinde, who said the high tax being paid by the doctors had been affecting their wellbeing, added that their

members in the public sector would participate in the warning strike, “since they too were being affected by the outrageous tax regime.” He regretted that the non-release of running grants to the state general hospitals had paralysed health services in that cadre, which he described as inimical to the well-being of the Ekiti populace. The NMA chair traced the daily high patronage of Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, ESUTH, for cases that ought to be handled by the general hospitals to poor management of the sector. But the State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Olusola Fasuba, said actions were being taken on the doctors’ demands, following series of meeting, many of which Governor Fayemi was involved. Fasuba, who said the governor had instructed

that all medical doctors serving in state establishments should be given uniform tax rates, added that the Local Government Service Commission had also been instructed to restore CONMESS to the doctors at local government level. He said the issue of running grants had also been addressed as hospitals were being given concession on this. However, he expressed dismay with the doctors for threatening to embark on sundry issues, saying: “I’m not impressed by the actions of these doctors. This is not the way they were trained. We need to embrace dialogue, we need to be patient. “We know the activities of many of them; they hardly stay at their duty posts. They cannot blackmail me, they should do their home work properly,” he said.

Osun blames poor allocation, debt for pensioners’ protest BOLADALE BAMIGBOLA OSOGBO

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he Osun State Government has blamed inability to meet some of its obligations to retirees on the dwindling monthly revenue accruing from the federation account. It would be recalled that the retired civil servants in the state protested twice in the last seven weeks over non-payment of their entitlements by the government But the Commissioner for Finance, Budget and Planning, Dr. Wale Bolorunduro, while speaking with journalists over the weekend in

Osogbo, absolved the state government of any blame concerning the development. Bolorunduro said most states in the country have been finding it hard to cope with their mandatory and critical expenditures such as salaries and overhead costs due to dwindling monthly allocations. He also expressed resentment at the delay in receipt of monthly allocation from the federation account in the face of inherited huge pension liabilities and ‘unusual escalation’ in the state’s pension arising from the mass retirement of employees who left service because of the contributory pension scheme. The commissioner said

though dwindling resources from the federation account is making the state to spend less on its capital projects, Governor Rauf Aregbesola would not shirk in its responsibilities to the people. “It should be noted that the state’s ability to keep up with its various obligations to the citizens is borne out of strategic financial management. “The state has since been tactically managing financial challenges associated with usual delay in receipt of monthly allocation from account,” Bolorunduro said. He added that the initial 142 per cent pension liabilities the current administration inherited from the previ-

ous government amounted to N4 billion, and had been reduced by N1.2 billion. “Also the impact of the mass retirement of employees late 2012, given their unwillingness to join the contributory pension scheme in the state, compounded the situation. “The previous administration that approved the forceful resignation of the retirees did not consider the cash flow implication when granting the approval of the forceful exit. For avoidance of doubts, over 5,000 employees of the state joined the existing over 9,000 retirees in the state, while the local government retires schedule also increased by about 3,500.

overnor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State is convening a Security Council meeting to deliberate on the tragic discovery of a kidnappers’ den in Soka, Ibadan, the state capital. A release issued by his Special Adviser on Media, Dr. Festus Adedayo, said the governor was convening the meeting to review the security status of the state. It said the meeting, which will take place on Tuesday, will review the incidents that have trailed discovery and assess the preparedness of the security agencies to prevent a recurrence. The statement said that the state government was bothered about the incidences of summary apprehension of mentally challenged persons and recourse to jungle justice on them. It would be recalled that, following the discovery on the notorious den, mentally challenged persons roaming the streets have been at the mercies of a lynching mob which accused them of perpetrating ritual killings. Indeed, the state capital is

now said to have be bereft of lunatics who, in the wave of mob attacks, have taken cover for fear of being lynched. The lunatics are accused of feigning mental illness. They have been assaulted, and in some cases, summarily lynched by mobs which believe that they are the perfect avenues for kidnapping people. Indeed, some of them have been lynched in Ibadan over accusations of being found with human parts. A particular case was that of a mentally-challenged man on Ring Road who was assaulted by a mob which claimed he was in possession of human tongues. The government statement said that the Security Council meeting would discuss insinuations that some politicians were behind the upsurge of violence in the state capital, aftermath of the discovery of the kidnappers’ den, in a bid to stoke violence and anarchy. Members of the Security Council are the heads of the police, State Security Service, SSS, the military, immigration, prisons, customs, civil defence and other security agencies resident in the state.

Fayemi vows to make EKSU world class

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overnor Kayode Fayemi has reiterated the commitment of his administration to making the Ekiti State University, EKSU, a world-class institution by providing logistics and infrastructure to make the institution achieve excellence. The governor disclosed this at the weekend at the 19th Convocation of the institution. He said the huge investment of government in the university was aimed at ensuring that the products compare favourably with their counterparts globally. Fayemi, who is set to join the newly established Institute of Peace and Security Studies at the varsity as a lecturer, inaugurated the College of Medicine Library, which is reputed as one of the best in Nigeria.

He also flagged off the construction of two roads in the institution. The governor opined that the library would not only help fast track the full accreditation of the college, but also make the medical students the best. While assuring that the state government would not leave any stone unturned to ensure that the university becomes a reference point, the Fayemi recalled that the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Universities Commission, NUC, Prof. Julius Okojie, had described EKSU as a model for states which have more than one university and are incapable of financing them. He said the merger of the three universities in the state had enabled the new composite one get attention for functionality.


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South East

Monday, March 31, 2014

Stop using youths as thugs, group tells politicians ALIUNA GODWIN EBONYI

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group, Raising African Youths for Excellent Initiative (RAYI Foundation), has advised politicians to refrain from using youths as thugs, especially in the forthcoming 2015 general election. It stated this in a communiqué issued and made available to National Mirror over the weekend in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State. The group also said it

was prepared to wage a war against tribal discrimination and use of youths to perpetrate electoral fraud in 2015. It lamented that most elections in Nigeria are being marred by violence through ill-will by politicians to take over power at all costs. RAYI also urged that political parties to stop presenting candidates ‘criminally minded’. The communiqué signed by National President, Mr. Obaji Abraham,

read: “The use of youths as thugs to achieve political power should be condemned. “Equal opportunity should be given to youths and women, both in elective and appointive positions.” The group, however, called for adequate collaboration of all interest groups and Non-Governmental Organisation, NGOs, in Nigeria to unite and assist in ensuring that the 2015 general election is hitch-free, non-violent and

devoid of fraud. “Political parties are hereby advised to uphold internal democracy for the emergence of credible candidates at all levels and should ensure that equal opportunity is given to all candidates, no matter the tribal or cultural differences,” it said. According to RAYI, the unity of Nigeria is nonnegotiable. It called on politicians to stop any action or activity that would threaten the peace of the country.

L-R: Director-General, Metallurgical Training Institute, Mr. Joseph Ajamolaya; Hon. Tobi Okechukwu and Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, during the first graduation ceremony of 2013 FGN Zonal Intervention/Constituency Project on skill acquisition training for youths, at Obosi Onisha, at the weekend.

ANA celebrates Achebe’s Arrow of God at 50

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he Association of Nigerian Authors, ANA, over the weekend said it would join the rest of the world to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the late Chinua Achebe’s novel, Arrow of God. National Vice President of the association, Danja Abdullahi, told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, that the event would come up on April 3 in Abuja. He said ANA resolved

to celebrate the anniversary ``because Chinua Achebe was a hero in the literary world, besides being a worthy son of Nigeria.” According to Abdullahi, “This year marks the golden anniversary of the publication of the novel, Arrow of God, by Chinua Achebe, his third novel after Things Fall Apart and No Longer at Ease. “These three books are sometimes called The

African Trilogy, as they share similar settings and themes.’’ He added that the association would mark the anniversary with an eightcity transnational event and some activities such as symposia, children’s carnival and quiz competitions. The ANA boss said other programmes slated for the anniversary include an excursion by school children to landmark ar-

eas connected to Chinua Achebe in Ogidi, Anambra State. Others, he said, are stage presentations of various adaptations of the book, literary events, a grand finale of a night of tributes in Ibadan, Otuoke, Abuja, Lagos, Awka and Ogidi. He added that over 70 countries around the world would mark the event with various activities.

WALE IGBINTADE

to sell two separate apartments located at Safecourt Estate, Ikate in Eti-Osa Local Government area of Lagos State. Justice Kasali, in her ruling, ordered parties to maintain status quo pending the determination of a

suit filed by a customer of Primewaterview claiming ownership of the apartments. The court also directed lawyers in the suit to educate their clients on the consequences of disobedience of court order.

The customer, Olanrewaju Falade, had dragged GT Homes and Primewaterview to court alleging fraudulent conspiracy to deny him ownership of two apartments in the estate which he had duly paid for.

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Lagos High Court judge, Justice Iyabo Kasali has restrained GT Homes Limited and Primewaterview Limited from conspiring

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Army nabs 18 herdsmen with weapons in Southern Kaduna

...bloody clash averted

A ZA MSUE KADUNA

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he Nigerian Army over the weekend arrested 18 suspected Fulani herdsmen with sophisticated weapons in Kachia Local Government Area of Southern part of Kaduna State in a, attack planned to be bloody. National Mirror gathered that the incident happened in Laduga Fulani settlement in Kachia in the early hours of Sunday. It was further learnt that the military also averted what would have been a bloody clash in the troubled Southern Kaduna. Troops from the 1 Division of the Nigerian Army, Kaduna, acting on a security tip, successfully nabbed the suspects and recovered arms. The army said it carried out the operation to avoid a planned reprisal move, following alleged attack of some Fulani herdsmen recently in Southern

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lawmaker, Dr Rafiu Ibrahim, says the presence of ``too many old people’’ at the National Conference may be a negation of President Goodluck Jonathan’s good intention of convening it. Ibrahim, who said this in Ilorin, Kwara State over the weekend, told newsmen the conference was a laudable event, but which has too many old people as delegates. The lawmaker, who was inaugurated as Honorary President of Mess Committee of the Nigeria Navy School of Health Sciences in Offa, Kwara State, said the timeliness of the conference was apt. The member of the House of Representatives said: ``the preponderance of the old generation may negate the conference’s outcome. “My major reservation is that the confab is skewed to the old age. They are too many. Spent forces cannot decide on how our tomorrow will be.

Kaduna. The spokesman, 1 Division, Nigerian Army, Kaduna, Col. Usman Abdul, who spoke on telephone, said the military carried out the action in good faith and for public good. His words: “We got reports that there is possibility of reprisal attacks following the killing of seven Fulani herdsmen after the killings in Manchok. “It was this that influenced this foiled attack; hence we moved into action, if not, we would have been talking a different thing now. “We do not leave anything to chance; rather we went into the area around 4am and sealed the area. We recovered arms and arrested about 18 persons.” He denied that the military molested people in the community, saying, “We did not molest anyone, our operation was brief and nothing more than that happened. My plea is people should continue to cooperate with

“That’s the only problem with it. I’m not against the intention. That (the intention) would be judged by the outcome. “Now, we have so many old people at the confab. But, I hope that they will allow the young ones there to say something concrete,’’ he said. Ibrahim, who represents Ifelodun/Offa/Oyun Federal Constituency, urged the Federal Government to correct the anomaly in order to tackle the country’s multifaceted problems. He pointed out that inadequate representation and leadership inequality had been partly responsible for the under-development being experienced in all spheres of the nation’s life. The lawmaker, who is a member of the House Committees on Navy and Appropriation, said he was determined to initiate programmes which would improve the lot of the people. He then called for more support from the people to enable him achieve his lofty dreams.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

South South

Monday, March 31, 2014

Police vow to end pipeline vandalism in Rivers DENNIS NAKU

PORT HARCOURT

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he Rivers State Police Command has vowed to tackle pipeline vandalism in the state, saying no suspect would be treated as a sacred cow. The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Tunde Ogunsakin, stated this when he visited the state regional office of the Pipeline and Product Marketing Company (PPMC) in Port Harcourt. Ogunsakin said his men were working closely with the special taskforce on pipeline vandalism set up by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) to check the activities of pipeline vandals,

warning those indulging in such act of economic sabotage to desist forthwith or be ready to face the law. He said the police, like other security agencies, were concerned over the rising cases of pipeline vandalism in view of its negative impact on Nigeria’ s economy. Ogunsakin said: “The era of turning blind eyes to the activities of pipeline vandals in Rivers State is over. It is no longer news that such wicked activities are already having negative impact on the nation’s economy and all security agencies are working together to end the trend. “Let me use this opportunity to warn all unscru-

pulous members of the society who indulge in this act of economic sabotage to desist forthwith or be ready to face the full wrath of the law.” Mr. Ogunsakin reiterated that the command was determined to ensure the protection of human lives as well as the resources of the state, adding that no suspect would be treated as a sacred cow. The police boss said: “Whoever is arrested in connection with any act of economic sabotage, especially in the area of pipeline vandalism, will be made to face the full wrath of the law.” Speaking, the PPMC Regional Manager, Mr. Bassey

Emmanuel, decried the activities of vandals in Rivers State and other parts of the Niger Delta, pointing out that acts of pipeline vandalism had affected petroleum supply in the region. Emmanuel said that PPMC had spent huge amount of money on repairs due to the activities of pipeline vandals in all the depots across the region, even as he condemned the series of attacks suffered by officials of the company from armed hoodlums. While promising that the PPMC would support the police with logistics, he claimed that vandals had constituted a major challenge to the petroleum industry in Nigeria.

Group to PDP: You can’t woo our members with overture DENNIS NAKU

PORT HARCOURT

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he Non-indigenes Political Forum (NIPF), an arm of the Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of wooing its members. The forum said no amount of overtures would make its members jump ship. The forum’s coordinator and APC chieftain, Chief Uchenna Okokoba, raised the accusation on Sunday during a meeting at the party’s Secretariat in Port Harcourt. Okokoba said he had been inundated with reports from the forum’s members that PDP leaders had been making overtures to them. He said: “We have received reports from our members that leaders of the PDP have been making overtures to them with a view to making them dump APC. “The NIPF has warned

the opposition PDP in the State to desist from luring its members. “The PDP leadership in Rivers State has approached some of us, requesting us to dump our great party and switch camp to them, promising us that we would be given huge amount of money if we switched camp. “What they forget is that we are not in this project for money, but to ensure that Rivers State is blessed with good leadership under an APC government. We are committed and ready to ensure that our goals, vision and mission for Rivers State are actualised no matter the odds.” The NIPF coordinator alleged that following the rejection of the overtures by its members, PDP, in its desperate effort to make appreciable presence in Rivers, had contacted one Dr. Peter Okoye residing in Nnewi, Anambra State, to help it establish a sister body of non-indigenes to be named “PDP Rivers State Non-Indigenes Movement”.

Amaechi promises state varsity medical school

R L-R: Speaker, Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Hon. Konbowei Benson; Governor Seriake Dickson; his deputy, Rear Admiral John Jonah (rtd) and Chairman, State Directorate of Project Monitoring and Evaluation, Chief Walter Feghabo Amain, during the commissioning of newly dualised Diete-Spiff Road in Yenagoa, at the weekend.

Oshiomhole tasks traffic agency on performance

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overnor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has charged the State Traffic Management Agency (ESTMA) personnel to stop and arrest him or the deputy governor if their vehicles beat the red light rule, saying no one is too big to contravene the laws. Speaking weekend during a meeting with officers and men of the agency at the Government House in Benin, Oshiomhole asked them to be firm but civil while carrying out their duties, adding that they must not treat “big men” with levity because of their sta-

tus. He said: “You must not extort, you must not criminalise innocent people, you must not let offenders go after extortion, if anybody beats the red light, you must arrest the person no matter his status. “If it is the governor or deputy governor, you must block him and interrogate him. The only person exempted from the red light rule is the President or Vice-President when they visit, in which case the road will be blocked for their easy passage. “So, if you can stop and interrogate the governor

for beating the red light rule, no other person is bigger in the state that you can’t stop. Anybody that contravenes the red light rule, stop him and detain him for at least two hours. Very many innocent people have been crushed because someone wanted to contravene the red light rule. This must stop. “I speak the minds of Edo people when I say very many people have been victims of your very crude and harsh traffic management methods. “When you misbehave as some of you do, people in anger dismiss you as

Oshiomhole’s police. I have no police. In fact, I am one of the very few who have spoken out against state police. I am commended for so many things but not so many people have commended me for this particular intervention, even as you have come into existence to help control traffic”, he said. “I have to remind you that you are agents of a civil authority so your language must be civil. You are agents of a civilian government. You are not agents of a military government. Your language should not be with immediate effect.”

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ivers State Governor Chibuike Amaechi has said that his administration will approve a medical school for the State University of Science and Technology. Amaechi stated this at the university’s 26th convocation ceremony held in Port Harcourt at the weekend. He said: “Let me announce that few hours ago, I did request that you put up an application for a medical school at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology.” The governor commended the university’s ViceChancellor, Prof. B.B. Fakae, for his numerous achievements, saying that the VC’s performance justified his re-appointment. Amaechi said: “Let me announce to you that the government is satisfied with the performance of the Vice Chancellor of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, that was the reason for which he was appointed and the reason for which the government insisted on his reappointment.”

He assured to provide more funding for the stateowned university which is being relocated to the Greater Port Harcourt City. The governor disclosed that his administration had approved funds for the construction of the new university, saying that the construction work which would begin in earnest soon would be completed in over a year. He congratulated the graduating students for distinguishing themselves and wished them well. Earlier, VC commended the governor for his support to the university. He equally described the convocation ceremony as celebration of excellence. Fakae said achievements were made in research and e-learning, student scholarship, infrastructure, accreditation of programmes, quality assurance in academics, social corporate responsibility and others. The Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Hon. Justice Adolphus Karibi-Whyte (rtd), also congratulated the graduating students on their noble achievements.


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North

Monday, March 31, 2014

NNPC promotion: Ex-PENGASSAN boss alleges marginalisation A ZA MSUE KADUNA

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ormer Chairman of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company (KRPC) chapter, Mr. Mohammed Kailani, has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to sack Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, for allegedly marginalising the North in the promotion exercise recently carried out by the

Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) promotions exercise. Kailani, who made the call while addressing journalists at the weekend in Kaduna, claimed that Alison-Madueke had been indicted by many investigative panels over issues relating to abuse of office, yet she has remained the minister. According to him, the sentiments and politics exhibited by the Petroleum Minister were enough grounds to sack her with immediate effect. Kailani said Nigerians

deserved explanation on why out of the 74 promotions and redeployment, the entire North got 25 slots and the South-South geo-political zone alone got 20 slots. According to him, details of the promotions showed that the NorthCentral got seven slots; North-West got 13, NorthEast got six, South-West got 13 and South-East got 14 slots. He said: “Investigation revealed that South-South zone where the Minister of Petroleum comes from was highly favoured to the

detriment of the North and other regions of the country. “This is more so because officers who were not due for promotion were actually promoted over qualified and overdue Northern management staff. “Northerners are saying that the exercise smacks of intent to marginalise the North in the administrative structure of the NNPC.” Kailani, however, called for the review of the promotions to reflect federal character.

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Peaceful co-existence key to insecurity –Sultan PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA

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he Sultan of Sokoto and Chairman, National Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, has identified peaceful co-existence as the major solution to the lingering security problem confronting some parts of the North. The Sultan, who spoke at the weekend in Minna during the three-day workshop organised for Imams of 19 Northern states of Nigeria with the theme: “Muslims yesterday, today and tomorrow: Challenges to Muslims unity,” said peaceful co-existence would guarantee security of lives and property. The Sultan noted that the current security challenges faced by the people of the North were as a result of turning against Islam and God by Muslims. He said: “The words of Islam is the word of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) and living in peace with all men is the only answer to Nigeria’s lingering crisis especially the security problem bedeviling the Northern parts of the country. “I urge you Imams to see yourselves as leaders of Islam and the need to take good message to the faithful that is devoid of violence and always preach peace at

all times.” The Sultan, who was represented by the Emir of Jiwa of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Dr. Idris Musa, decried what he described as the lackadaisical attitude of Imams towards themselves. In his remarks the Niger State Governor, Alhaji Muazu Babangida Aliyu, told the Imams to use their vast knowledge of Islam and their highly revered positions among Muslims to impact positively in the society and on those they lead. He urged them to concentrate on preaching peace and unity, saying Islam was built on peace and it was the message Prophet Muhammad propagated in his life time. In an interview, the Secretary of the Niger State Juma’at Mosques Forum, Alhaji Umar Faruk Abdullahi, told journalists that the major reason of organising the workshop was to address the insecurity confronting the North as well as offer good leadership to Muslims in the nation. He said lack of unity among Muslims and politicians in the North must be looked into, adding that over 700 Imams of the 19 Northern states attended the workshop with between 30 and 50 delegates from each state.

Aspirant cautions NASIEC over pending LG poll results IGBAWASE UKUMBA LAFIA L-R:President Goodluck Jonathan; Emir of Bauchi, Alhaji Riliwan Sulaiman and Vice-President Namadi Sambo, during a visit to the Emir’s palace in Bauchi, on Saturday. PHOTO: STATE HOUSE

Jonathan orders relocation of prison in Bauchi EZEKIEL TITUS BAUCHI

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pparently disturbed by the persistent killings and other violent activities perpetrated by the Hoko Haram sect in the North-East, President Goodluck Jonathan has ordered the Ministry of Interior to relocate the Bauchi prison currently located near the Emir’s palace. Jonathan, who spoke when he visited the Emir of Bauchi, Alhaji Rilwanu Suleiman Adamu, said the measure was to ensure ad-

equate security in the area. The President said that the security challenges would not guarantee the safety of the Emirate Council if the prison was not relocated. He said: “Bauchi is among the peaceful states in the North-East and the state is known for accommodating millions of people irrespective of their backgrounds.” Jonathan, however, said that his administration had been prioritising efforts aimed at curbing the security challenges in the North and other parts of the country.

He added that the Federal Government would continue to intensify efforts aimed at protecting life and property. Jonathan noted that traditional institution had been playing major roles towards the unity and progress of the country. He urged traditional institutions across the country to always assist the government in advising restive youths against violence and crimes. Speaking earlier, the Emir of Bauchi, Alhaji Rilwanu Suleiman Adamu, expressed satisfaction over the President’s visit and

describe it as a milestone towards a nation-building. The royal father condemned the persistent killings and other violent activities especially in the North and challenged the President to step up actions to bring the menace under control. According to the monarch, the killings had adversely affected economic, political, religious and cultural development of the entire Northern part of the country. The royal father assured Jonathan of the Emirate Council’s support for his administration.

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gover norship aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Nasarawa State, Dr. Yusuf Agabi, has cautioned the State Independent Electoral Commission (NASIEC) over the pending local government election results in the state. Agabi spoke in Lafia, the state capital, while reacting to the outcome of the exercise. He told journalists that NASIEC Chairman, Dr. Abdullahi Modibbo’s recent statement in the state House of Assembly where he admitted that the commission erred in dabbling into results already declared by respective returning officer’s had com-

pounded issues and created doubt in the integrity of the electoral body. NASIEC had recently conducted election into the 13 local government areas of the state, but released results in 10 of the local councils. The electoral body attributed the delay in the release of the results in the remaining three local governments to irregularities. Agabi said: “The admittance by the chairman has further compounded the issue and created doubt in the integrity of the commission’s officials who where hitherto adjudged to be impartial and patriotic Nigerians.” He, however, cautioned the electoral body to avoid double standard in its activities towards resolving the outcome of pending results.


Monday, March 31, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Politics

Nigerians must freely elect their leaders –Soetan 14

PDP aspirant fails to participate in national screening BOLADALE BAMIGBOLA OSOGBO

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onflicting reasons emerged in Osogbo yesterday over why one of the five governorship aspirants on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Lateef Bakare, may have opted out of the governorship race. Bakare, who declared his intention to participate in the April 5 governorship primary through his political associate, Yomi Adegoke recently, was the only aspirants out of five, that did not participate in the national screening held at the nation-

al secretariat of the party last week in Abuja. National Mirror exclusively learnt yesterday that Bakare may have dropped his ambition after pressures from some prominent Ijesa indigenes. “Presently, Bakare is the only aspirant that comes from Ilesa Township, apart from the incumbent governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola that showed interest. He is very serious about it, but there have been pressures from some prominent indigenes of Ilesa town on him not to contest now, that an Ijesa man is the governor,” an associate of Bakare, who does not want his name in print had said.

However, reacting during an exclusive chat with National Mirror yesterday, spokesperson for the group working for the emergence of Bakare as governor, Mr Yomi Adegoke, debunked the insinuations that Bakare was pressurised into quitting the governorship race by some Ilesa indigenes. Adegoke said the plan by the political camp of Bakare was to obtain PDP form of intent in Abuja on Thursday last week, but added that, the idea was shelved after consultations with some leaders of the party. “We are still in the race but Alhaji Bakare did not participate in the national

screening because we were advised not to be part of crisis that the PDP primary is causing already. Bakare is the solution to the PDP crisis in Osun, so he was advised not to join in overheating the already heated up situation in Osun PDP over governorship primary. “He has not dropped his ambition. No one can pressurise him to drop his ambition, but we are working with some elders, who prefer a consensus candidate for our party. The thinking is beyond PDP primary. We are looking at the August 9 polls and how we can post a good outing as a party,” Adegoke concluded.

Omisore rejects calls for postponement of primary BOLADALE BAMIGBOLA OSOGBO

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he political organisation of Senator Iyiola Omisore yesterday rejected call for postponement of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, primary scheduled for Saturday, April 5. The group, in a statement issued in Osogbo late yesterday evening and signed by its director of media, Prince Diran Odeyemi, alleged that a sponsored protest was being planned for today at the Wadata plaza headquarters of the PDP to seek postponement of the state congress of the party slated for April 5. The statement reads:”We reject this move in its entirety as there is no justification for any postponement. We learnt reliably that an aspirant, who joined the race recently, is behind

L-R: Senator representing Plateau North, Senator Gyang Pwajok; Delta State governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan and Senator representing Delta North, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, during the Empowerment Programme of Okowa in Asaba, at the weekend.

TOYEEB OLAYINKA

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head of the 2015 general elections, indications have emerged that the ruling All Progressive Party, APC, may be in trouble in Osun West Senatorial District, especially in Iwo - a stronghold of the party, and the development may not be unconnected with the alleged senatorial ambition of the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti. Adeoti, who is from Iwo and former state chairman of the party until his

the planned protest. “We are tempted to affirm that only those who are afraid of defeat at the congress would be seeking postponement of this well programmed state congress. Our considered position is that our great party and its prepared aspirants cannot and should not be thwarted by an aspirant who jumped into the race unprepared under suspicious circumstances. “It is our conviction as a responsible political organisation that the national leadership of our great party, the PDP, has demonstrated good faith and genuine spirit of internal democracy in the implementation of timetable for the primary. “The leadership has done the needful in preparing its Osun State chapter for the August 9 contest. Nothing on ground can warrant tinkering with the schedule and no unprepared aspirant should be allowed to hold the party to ransom and constitute a cog in the wheel of progress.” The group counselled other aspirants in the race for the governorship ticket to submit most loyally to the will of the delegates and accept party supremacy as loyal party men.

2015: Osun SSG’s senatorial ambition may tear APC apart in Iwo appointment as the SSG in 2011, was reportedly nursing the fear that he may not be returned as the SSG, even if Governor Rauf Aregbesola wins his re-election bid, and was therefore busy strategising, covertly to contest the osun West senatorial ticket with the incumbent, Senator Mudahir Hussein, who hails from Ejigbo, the headquarters of Ejigbo Local Government Area of the state. But National Mirror investigations revealed that party members in Adeoti’s hometown are not

satisfied with the performance of their kinsmen elected on the platform of the party to the state’s House of Assembly and the House of Representatives, Ezekiel Adeyemi and Gafar Akintayo Amere respectively, who they claim were imposed on them by Adeoti in the first place. The people of Iwo believed that the two men representing them at the two legislative arms, both being the least qualified amongst their peers in their respective parliaments; have failed to give

them adequate representation. In a press statement issued by some party members from Iwo Local Government under the auspices of Concerned Iwo Patriots, and signed by one Babatunde Onileola, Iwo people pledged their continued and unalloyed support to Aregbesola’s re-election bid, but advised the governor to avoid any form of imposition in the party. They also alleged that Adeoti was already plotting to single-handedly zone the slot for the

House of Representatives for the Ola-Oluwa/ Iwo/Ayedire federal constituency, currently being occupied by an Iwo indigene to Ayedire, apparently to pave way for his ambition; even when the people of Aiyedire have stated categorically that they are not prepared for the post in the next dispensation given the subsisting zoning arrangement in the federal constituency. Another source who craved anonymity said: “We need to let people know that APC is different

from other parties and we are not ready to condone any form of imposition again. People are built around parties, and we don’t want a party where certain individuals will think they can take farreaching decisions from their rooms, except the party is ready for strong divisions.” Meanwhile, efforts to confirm the development from Adeoti yielded no fruit as his mobile lines were not available as at the time of filing this report.


Politics

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Monday, March 31, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Nigerians must freely elect their leaders –Soetan Comrade Adeola Soetan is the National Coordinator of Democracy Vanguard, DV, an organisation that is poised to ensure that the principle of ‘one man, one vote’ is established in the country. In this interview with AYO ESAN, Soetan explains the organisation’s campaign to ensure supremacy of voters in elections, as 2015 draws nearer. Excerpts:

THE LEADERS DON’T SEE POLITICS AS PROMOTION OF COMMON GOODS BUT THEY SEE IT AS TOTAL BUSINESS VENTURE WHEREIN YOU PUT YOUR MONEY AND IT MUST YIELD THE HIGHEST PROFIT OR DIVIDENDS Your organisation has launched the campaign of one man, one woman, one vote. What are you set to achieve with the campaign? Democracy Vanguard, DV, was formed to promote democracy, democratic values and democratic culture. The central point of this is to ensure the sanctity of elections and the supremacy of voters to freely choose their leaders in a free and fair election. That was the central focus of the organisation immediately it was founded. But we have seen that there is a relationship between governance and the process of electing leadership. If leaders are elected by the people genuinely and fairly, there will be some commitment on the part of the leaders. The leaders will feel that some people elected them. But where you have leaders coming to power on the basis of all is well in war, on the basis of undermining the sanctity of electoral processes, undermining the legitimacy of voters to elect their leaders, undermining the sovereignty of the people, such leaders and such governments will never meet the aspiration of the people. It is like it is even worse than armed robbers. Armed robbers come to you to take your diamond or take your gold or your money but when you have leaders who came to power on the basis of election fraud, he is taking away your future and the future of your children. So they have no allegiance, no commitment and that is what is happening in Nigeria wherein the

only industry, growing industry is politics. May be it is followed by oil theft. Are you saying our leaders are not? Leaders don’t see politics as promotion of common goods but they see it as total business venture wherein you put your money and it must yield the highest profit or dividends. Politics has therefore becomes a war situation in Nigeria and this has also chased away credible people, people who have integrity, people who want to determine the fate of the nation genuinely. This is why we feel concerned that look, the little we can do is to try as much as possible to let the electorate understand and appreciate their powers of voting and defend such and make sure that those votes they cast count. This is because you will see that nowadays an average Nigerian will tell you ‘I won’t vote, if I vote it won’t count’. As if there are super Nigerians that can decide on their behalf. And that is why we come out with our slogan, ‘that all fingers are equal on election days’. But the apathy and despondency of the voters pay fraudulent politicians for they chase away people who can genuinely come to power on the basis of popularity, fame and acceptance of their manifestoes. And that is why we felt that our best bet is to first of all intervene we are looking at all stakeholders in the election project but let’s concentrate on the main focal point of the election, which is the electorate. Today we are talking of about 25 million voters in Nigeria but how

Soetan

many politicians among them? How many INEC members? So if 25 million plus electorate can vote and withstand all the stress and they can defend it to ensure that whoever they vote for freely and fairly emerges then we would have achieved something tangible. Because we believe that is the basis for any good governance. It is like a foundation, if you want to build your house, and you make the foundation faulty, the house is going to be faulty and the house is going to collapse. That is why Nigeria is not making progress. What is your position with Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on this campaign? Again we also want to interface with the election managers, the electoral commission, to look at every steps of the electoral process so as to conform to the legitimacy and the law of the people and of the country, so that election will not be conducted on the basis of magic. And happily, during our programme they came and expressed their determination to make sure that whatever they do will definitely be true and genuine and will be acceptable to the people. We will also look at other factors: monetisation of politics, that itself endanger politics. We are also looking at how do you get to office? We are talking of integrity question. We are not limiting ourselves to

Akpabio tasks surveyors on research to correct historical issues

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kwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio, has called on the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, NIESV, to engage more in research to correct historical issues affecting states in the country. Akpabio, who made this call at the weekend when the President of NIESV, Emeka Eleh, paid him a courtesy visit at Governor’s Office, Uyo as part of their annual on-going three-day conference in the state, said the research would help their profession to correct the historical

perspective of the actual residence of Lord Lugard and Mary Slessor, among other foreigners. Using the occasion to pledge the state’s readiness to partner with NIESV for the development of the Ibaka Deep seaport in the state, Akpabio said: “The Ibaka Deep Seaport would be totally completed in phases, which would complement other ports in the country. “Already, 14,000 hectares of land are required for the deep seaport with an export free trade zone, which is for the economy of tomorrow. So, we must all come to-

gether to assist the country to grow through the Ibaka Deep Seaport in association with the maritime industry.” He thanked Eleh for the choice of the state as host for the conference and their interest in the Ibaka deep seaport, commending them for the recognition of NIESV nationally and globally. Akpabio also applauded NIESV for its detribalised and patriotic posture. Earlier, Eleh said the visit was to invite the governor to NIESV’s ongoing conference in the state and to reinstate the intention to partner with the state government to

publicise and market the development of the Ibaka deep seaport project to generate economic growth and employment for the youths. He added that the state is a destination of first choice for investors, adding that this informed NIESV’s interest in partnering with the state government to develop and market the seaport. Commending Akpabio for the transformation agenda of his administration in developing the state through quality infrastructure, Eleh said that NIESV was pleased to choose the state for the annual conference.

election monitoring; we want to start with them, so that every stage of the election process will be monitored. We are going to move round, local government to local government, state by state. We are going to Ekiti to have interface with all the groups, market women, transport unions, students, politicians themselves, INEC, pending the time we are going to launch our campaign in Ekiti before the end of the month. This is because Ekiti election is June. We will tell the electorate to vote on basis of conviction and not because of gift items. After this, we will leave for Osun which is the second state that will have its election this year. Then we will move from state to state. Is your organisation also collaborating with the security agents too? Yes we are interfacing with them too. We are already interfacing with the Police, the Civil Defence, even NYSC personnel. The security people, the interface we are going to have with them will be to make them realise that first of all, the supremacy of the Nigerian people and Nigerian voters on Election Day can never be subverted. So it is a question of meeting with them and trying to know their limitations and try to know how we can expose these limitations to the government to assist. Everybody in the election processes is very important and very relevant.

PDP leaders strategise for Saturday’s bye election EMMANUEL EGHAGHE

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ational leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP may have relocated to Ondo State in preparation for next Saturday’s bye election to fill the vacant Ilaje/Ese-Odo federal constituency. The seat became vacant following the death of the occupant of the seat, Hon. Raphael Nomiye. Last year, PDP National Publicity Secretary, Olisah Metuh, National Organising Secretary, Alhaji Abubakar Mustapha and former National

Legal Adviser PDP and governorship candidate in the October 20, 2012 governorship election in Ondo State, Olusola Oke met with the Group Managing Director of the Energy Group and Publisher of National mirror, Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim at his Igbotako, Onod State country home yesterday to marshal plans for a successful outing for the PDP at the coming election. PDP’s banner will be flown by Adewale Kukute in the election, which has been described as a battle to reposition the PDP ahead of the 2015 election.


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Monday, March 31, 2014

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New Nigerian national and leadership recruitment Mirror of the moment ABDUL-WAREES A SOLANKE korewarith@yahoo.com, 08090585723 (SMS only)

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he coming into being of a nation, its continued existence and peaceful co-existence of its constituents, are predicated on a number of mutually agreeing factors. Those factors are both physical and emotional. But in most instances, the emotional factors play the stabilizing roles, so that in resolving cases of disagreements, values that appeal to the emotions of the conflicting constituents are easily called to play. In bringing into being the Nigerian nation, it is lamentable that the British colonialists gave scant consideration to the emotional values that ought to bind the diverse people together. This is where they made a mistake, which rather than being corrected by us, is being further aggravated. The people who are forced to come together in the Nigerian nation therefore, have to agree on who best represents the national aspirations despite our diversity. And this throws up some questions. Has Nigeria been able to produce a national leader in the true sense? Has the country

been able to erect a platform on which a national leader can stand? Does the country possess a superstructure which can hold such a platform? Has Nigeria been able to evolve a set of national ethos, codes and values that will produce an enduring superstructure? What should constitute those national ethos, codes and values? It is in answering these salient questions that we may be able to attend to the National Question and thus begin the process of national reconstruction, if we agree that Nigeria has since the amalgamation of Northern and Southern protectorates with the Colony of Lagos, being a failed project. The current national conference should therefore, be regarded as a corrective initiative. Another question begging for answer is on how to produce a nationally acceptable leader. Since independence in 1960, this is exactly the challenge Nigeria has been unable to surmount. All the past attempts to produce a national leader have not been without controversies. For instance, the emergence of Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa as prime minister in 1960 and the positioning Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe as a ceremonial president in the First republic, and the relationship that existed between them on one hand and the leader of opposition, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, conditioned the perception of Nigerians of these individuals so that while they are deemed to be playing national roles, their acceptability varies according to the ethnic groups they represent. Even in 1979 after 13 years of military

ONE OF THE CRITICAL NATIONAL ISSUES THAT THE ONGOING NATIONAL CONFERENCE MUST ADDRESS IS THE LEADERSHIP RECRUITMENT PROCESS IN

NIGERIA

interregnum, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, who won the 1979 presidential election, suffered from the crisis of acceptability, as all the leaders of the political parties who contested for national leadership were not weaned from the complexes of the First Republic. It was therefore, not surprising that just like in the First Republic, his administration was terminated by the military. They stayed in power for another nine years (1984-1993), made another attempt to secure a national leader, an attempt that was aborted with the annulment of the June 12 presidential election, and the eventual incarceration of its publicly acknowledged winner, Bashorun MKO Abiola. He died in the process. In spite of having the credentials that qualify him to lead, the geopolitical problem largely arose to prevent his assumption of office. The next attempt at having a national leader was in 1999. The effort threw up Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. But his crisis of

acceptability initially did not even emanate from the ethnic constituencies outside Yorubaland. So, his acceptance at home now is an afterthought, an opportunistic claim by his own culture area. We can therefore, see his problem as arising from his appropriation by his Yoruba kith and kin at a time when the constituencies who afforded him the opportunity of leadership felt he would dance more to their tunes. The tragedy of the nation therefore, lies in not being able to achieve a consensus, first and foremost, on who best represents the national aspiration. In any case, the real problem as stated earlier is “what should constitute the national ethos, codes and values?” Since we have not been able to have a common ground in this area, it may be difficult to find the leader who represents it. Therefore, one of the critical national issues that the ongoing national conference must address is the leadership recruitment process in Nigeria. While we must have respect for national diversity, we must also ensure that the best of Nigeria is what is presented taking cognizance of their public service pedigree. We must put in place mechanisms that can track the growth and development of the nation’s human resources, their leadership orientation and training. There must always be a means of injecting test of integrity in the process of leadership recruitment in Nigeria. Solanke is Chief Strategy Officer, Voice of Nigeria/Head, VON Training Centre, Ikorodu Lagos.

The age of job scams COSMAS ODOEMENA

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lawyer relative of mine got an sms recently inviting her for a job aptitude test somewhere in Yaba, Lagos. But she could not remember sending an application to such a place. She told me about it, and I told her to call one of the phone numbers in the sms sent to her, which she did. But a gruff voice answered her. The fellow could not say who they were, or what the organisation was about and sounded unintelligent. Later, the person turned round to say he was only “a clerk” who did “not know much.” I told my relative to disregard it, that it was a scam. Then, a thought came into my mind to google that address on the net. It turned out to be one of those job scammers, just like I figured. A few days after that one, she received another job invitation through sms, this time in one eatery at Mushin! Needless to say that when we googled, it was still some other job scammers. I am pretty sure other people have received this sort of unsolicited sms. The unemployment situation in the country has driven people to use devilish ways to survive; among the usual ones being armed robbery and kidnapping; now, enter job scamming. Job scammers fleece unwary and desperate job hunters of the little money they have, with the ploy of offering them nonexistent jobs. Perhaps, they hack into the

A UNIVERSITY OF

EXETER STUDY ON WHY PEOPLE EASILY FALL VICTIMS OF SCAMS CONCLUDED THAT A

“LACK OF EMOTIONAL CONTROL” BY THE VICTIM COULD MAKE THEM IMPULSIVE database of big organisations, including that of government to get the phone numbers of job applicants. Another way again is through some of those so-called job websites that you send your CVs to. A University of Exeter study on why people easily fall victims of scams concluded that a “lack of emotional control” by the victim could make them impulsive. A degree of isolation, either by living alone or by not sharing their decisions with others (which suggests that they are partly aware that the offer is fundamentally suspect). A history of being scammed (some 10 percent to 20 percent of the population is deemed vulnerable to scams because they are serial victims). Being vulnerable to certain psychological triggers, such as the building of relationships, usually through phone calls, with apparently obliging people (who end up being scamsters). The study also stated that people with

a resistance to such frauds “often discard scams virtually unread”. In contrast, victims can pour over the offer, feeling uneasy but not acting on those hunches that tell them to walk away. Now, there are certain things that will warn you that your dream job is a scam. When they quickly reply your email enquiry telling you they have received your resume when you didn’t even send it. When they fail to list a specific location for the job. In other words you cant find where the job is. When they list a salary that is too good to be true. When the post is a government job be even more wary. You will also find the postings written in bad English or misspellings. Fake jobs usually have no job contact information. A real job with quality will tell you who to contact by email with a website. Be wary of a job link that directs you to another site. Be equally wary of a job membership site that asks you to register. When you get to the so-called job interview venues they ask you to pay at least N1000 as “processing fee”. Consider that amount for all the people who will be there. And they organise it almost every Saturday! But you don’t really have to be a victim of this scam if you answer no to the question: Did you apply to this organisation? If you are not sure, find out about the organisation. If curiosity then leads you to the

place, when they ask you for money, they have given themselves away. Don’t just say anything. At worst, excuse yourself to the loo. Just go back home, quietly. At least the lesson would have been learnt in not too hard way. Remember, you have wasted your transport fare which based on your situation, you may not have. Though they have not robbed you of your money, they have robbed you of something equally precious: Time. And time they say is money. (You might have stayed home to watch the English Premier League). Usually, when they are through with the “job test” they tell you they will get back to you in due course “if you are successful”. You will never hear from them again. They cannot get back to you, or anyone else, because they can’t give what they don’t have. They don’t even have a job themselves! This is how Nigerians show wickedness to fellow Nigerians. But it is a crying shame that even government, lately, through the Nigeria Immigration Service, is also into this kind of scam! Dr Odoemena, medical practitioner, wrote from Lagos. Send your views by mail or sms to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mail@ nationalmirroronline.net mirrorlagos@ yahoo.com or 08164966858 (SMS only). The Editor reserves the right to edit and reject views or photographs. Pseudonyms may be used but must be clearly marked as such.


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Editorial

Monday, March 31, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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

KAFILAT OGBARA

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MANAGING DIRECTOR/CEO

BANKOLE MAKINDE

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DEPUTY MD/CEO

SEYI FASUGBA

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DAILY EDITOR

GBEMI OLUJOBI

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SATURDAY EDITOR

KAYODE FASUA

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ACTING EDITOR, SUNDAY

AYO OLESIN

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GENERAL EDITOR

BEN MEMULETIWON

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GENERAL EDITOR

DOZIE OKEBALAMA

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COORDINATOR, EDITORIAL BOARD

CALLISTUS OKE

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EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR

ISE-OLUWA IGE

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ABUJA BUREAU CHIEF

FIDELIS LEMCHI OWOAMANAM

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REGIONAL DIRECTOR, S/SOUTH

KING ODODORU

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HEAD, GRAPHICS

The Crimean crisis and global peace I

n the past few weeks, the world has found itself sitting on edge following the ominous developments in Crimea, a former territory of Ukraine, which has now been annexed by Russia. To all intents and purposes, this development poses an existential threat to the security of Europe, and by extension the whole world, due to the hardline posturing of the prominent actors. As the crisis there continues to unfold, it is pertinent to realise that those involved are not only big powers, but have between them awesome military capabilities of destroying the entire human civilisation in the event of an armed conflict. For some time now, the world has been holding its breadth and watching anxiously as Europe and America square up with Russia for the political soul of Ukraine. The present crisis started as a protest by some group of activists against the government of former President Viktor Yanukovych, following the latter’s refusal to sign a historical political and trade agreement with the European Union. Yanukovych had flown to Moscow where he and Russian President Vladmir Putin announced that Russia would buy $15 billion in Ukrainian debt and slash the price Kiev paid for its gas. That agreement enraged many Ukrainians

who took to the streets demanding that Yanukovych rather sign the EU deal. As the demonstrations wore on, President Yanukovych signed a sweeping anti-protest law that barred people from wearing helmets and masks to rallies and setting up tents and sound equipment without prior police permission. For three months, thousands of demonstrators took over the Maidan (Independence) Square vowing not to leave until Yanukovych stepped down. The demonstrations drew a parallel to the 2004 Orange Revolution, which booted Yanukovych, then a prime minister, from office. Even when in January this year, he offered the opposition a package of concessions in which they would nominate a prime minister, the protesters were still not mollified. The demonstrations took a more violent turn in February when more than 20 people were killed in the Square as the government sent in the police to disperse them. The fallout from that debacle led to the sacking of Yanukovych by the Parliament and his eventual exile in Russia. Sadly, any voices of reason and moderation over what is happening in Ukraine have been muted so far. Rather, all stripes of military hawks and war mongers have taken the centre stage, thereby bringing back memo-

OMINOUSLY, THE PRESENT STANDOFF IS NOT ONLY DANGEROUS TO THE INTEREST OF BOTH

COUNTRIES, IT DOES NOT BODE WELL FOR WORLD PEACE…

ries of the Cold War years that pitted the West, led by America, against the East, led by Russia. For now, America has been leading other western countries in imposing a raft of sanctions on some prominent Russians and institutions in order to force a change in the policy of that country over Crimea. So far, that has not yielded the desired outcome. On the contrary, Russia is increasing its troops deployments in the Crimea and has even gone ahead to seize all Ukrainian military bases and assets on the peninsula. Moscow’s argument for its action is that Crimea is now part of Russia following the recent referendum by the inhabitants to join it. Though the governments in Kiev and other western countries dismissed the referendum as illegal, Russia insisted that the voter turnout and

ON THIS DAY March 31, 2012 After the 330-metre concrete transmission tower at Emley Moor was completed, the Shard became the tallest building in the European Union. It stands at 309.6 metres (1,016 ft) at its highest point, thus surpassing Frankfurt’s Commerzbank Tower (Europe’s tallest building between 1997 and 2005), which, stands at 259 meres (850 ft). However, Moscow’s Mercury City Tower, standing at 339-metre (1,112 ft) claimed that record in November 2012

Letters tothe theEditor Editor Letters to

March 31, 1992 The Security Council voted today to ban flights and arms sales to Libya to force the extradition of two suspects in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Scotland. The sanction significantly reduced the country’s diplomatic representation abroad. In January 1992, the Council had demanded that Libya turn over suspects Abdel Basset Ali Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah for trial in Scotland or the United States for their alleged roles in planting the lethal bomb.

results showed that the people of Crimea were enthusiastic of returning to their roots. Historically, Crimea has been part of Russia and was only given to Ukraine in 1954 by then premier Nikita Khrushchev, himself a Ukrainian to mark the 300th anniversary of the country’s inclusion in the Russian Empire. Unsurprisingly, many in Russia see the “donation” as illegitimate and longed for the day Crimea would be returned to its origin. But in doing so, Russia has gone ahead to disregard the feelings of Ukrainians, who see the referendum as not only contrived but accuses their giant neighbour of bullying and land grab. Unfortunately, Russia is refusing to recognise the new government in Kiev, which it dubs illegitimate, having come to power through legislative coup after overthrowing that led by Viktor Yanukovych. Ominously, the present standoff is not only dangerous to the interest of both countries, it does not bode well for world peace, as any miscalculation or further escalation could lead to an all out military confrontation. We therefore, call on Russia and Ukraine, including other stakeholders, to seek peaceful ways of resolving the present crisis in order to save Europe and the world from avoidable catastrophe.

x March 31, 1954 The Union Soviet Socialist Republics Soviets (USSR) today asked to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). The request came barely a year after Joseph Stalin died and a year before the Warsaw Pact was established in 1955. The proposal was made to the Soviet Presidium by foreign minister, Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov. His deputy, Andrei Gromyko, had assisted in the initiative.


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The ‘ghost’ of the defunct Intercontinental Bank re-echoes as the Federal Government, through the Financial Reporting Council takes step to probe the activities of the Central Bank of Nigeria under the leadership of the suspended Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as shareholders seek to reclaim the bank already sold to Access Bank Plc. How far can they go? By Semiu Salami

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f there is one striking issue which the suspension of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria has brought to fore beyond the unresolved allegation of the missing crude oil fund and the alleged mismanagement of the apex bank resources, it certainly is the issue surrounding the takeover and sale of the defunct Intercontinental Bank Plc. Like a weather beaten chicken that has suddenly found its voice, key promoters of the bank which was sold to Access Bank under controversial circumstances by the CBN under Sanusi Lamido have suddenly found their voices and are not leaving anything to chance in a desperate attempt to “right the wrong” done with the sale

of the bank. Former Managing Director of Intercontinental Bank, Dr. Erastus Akingbola, obviously the arrowhead was the first to fire the salvo in a petition he addressed to President Goodluck Jonathan dated February 9, 2014, titled “Fraudulent takeover of Intercontinental Bank Plc by Dr. Bukola Saraki; Lamido Sanusi and Mhmoud Lai Alabi and fraudulent write off of N40bn loans.” Akingbola had alleged in the petition that Dr. Saraki had about four and half years ago, requested that his bank, Societe Generale be merged with Intercontinental Bank, but said that the offer was declined after due diligence revealed a N30bn negative capital. Saraki, Akingbola stated, was very unhappy. The former bank boss currently facing multiple legal actions with regards to his

role in the management of Intercontinental Bank further alleged that part of the reasons why Saraki opposed the extension of Professor Chukwuma Soludo’s appointment and his nomination of Sanusi to the then late President, Umaru Yar’adua was to clandestinely influence the acquisition of Intercontinental Bank. Akingbola alleged that just two weeks in office as the CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido sent CBN examiners to five banks, including Intercontinental Bank, in an event he described as unusual given the fact that the CBN had just completed a comprehensive examination. “The new examination ordered by Sanusi finished in mid-July and we were expecting their report. Suddenly, the examiners returned claiming that several accounts which they had verified and agreed with us as “performing” were now re-classified “non-performing,” he said in the seven-page petition. Akingbola had submitted that “despite these manipulations, IB PLC’s ratios were alright,” adding that unusually, the CBN examiners returned on four separate visits to re-classify even more accounts as non-performing, “these included even what we regarded as our best accounts.” Akingbola alleged that out of curiosity, he had to enquire from some of the examiners who confided in him that the CBN governor was bent on removing certain bank CEOs, and wanted to show that IB Plc was too exposed to bad loans. “They said he formed a team in CBN reporting to him directly and each com-

pleted examination report was turned down if it was not demining enough.” Akingbola said that when he sought the views of Saraki on the rationale behind the chains of targeted examinations, he was told that the CBN Governor was unhappy with him and Cecilia Ibru of Oceanic Bank because they allegedly contributed N6bn to the Senate to block his confirmation as CBN Governor. Akingbola had also alleged that the appointment of Mahmoud Alabi as IB Plc chief executive after he was forced out by Sanusi was part of the grand design by both Sanusi and Saraki to fraudulently take over the bank, alleging that Alabi, as at the time of his appointment, was an employee of Saraki as chairman of Songa Farms and several development funds in Kwara State. He alleged that Alabi’s first task after taking over the bank was to write off Saraki’s N8.12bn loan and another N32bn loans owed by Saraki and Sanusi’s mutual friends. Akingbola insisted that his removal was done in flagrant disregard of the klegal provisions regarding the removal of bank directors under section 35 of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act, as there was no lawful special

Sanusi Lamido

examination ordered into the affairs of the bank. For now, whether Akingbola would be able to re-write the history and reclaim Intercontinental Bank back from Access Bank remains a conjecture. But then, recent events, particularly after Sanusi’s suspension is indicative of the fact that the issue may receive more than a passing attention. Last week, Sanusi Lamido, Akingbola; the former Managing Director/CEO of

Business Courage A Publication of GLOBAL MEDIA MIRROR LTD BARRISTER JIMOH IBRAHIM, OFR Š PUBLISHER SEMIU SALAMI

Š EDITOR

ADEJUWON OSUNNUYI EMMANUEL OGBONNAYA

Š STAFF WRITER Š REPORTER

SEYI OKUMODI

Š SENIOR GRAPHIC ARTIST


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Akingbola

Access Bank Plc, Aigboje AigImoukhuede; and his successor, Herbert Wigwe were summoned by the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRC), for interrogation over the ongoing investigation of the Central Bank of Nigeria. Just last week also, some aggrieved shareholders of the defunct Intercontinental Bank Plc, Abdullahi Sani, Adaeze Onwuegbusi and Chijioke Ezeikpe, dragged Sanusi, Central Bank of Nigeria, and Securities and Exchange Commission before an Abuja Division of the Federal High Court. The plaintiffs want the court “to compel, direct and mandate the 3rd defendant (SEC) as the official and apex regulator of the Nigerian Capital Market acting under her powers pursuant to Section 13 of the Investments and Securities Act 2007, to conduct a detailed public investigation

into the circumstances relating to and connected with the sale/acquisition/take over/ transfer of the shares, assets and securities of the bank to Access Bank Plc. The action, they claimed became necessary in order to “protect the plaintiffs as shareholders and investors of Intercontinental Bank Plc and the maintenance of a fair and orderly securities market and to protect the integrity of the securities market against all forms of abuse as occasioned herein by the 1st defendant and his friends/ associates/cronies, and to accordingly order appropriate sanctions against parties involved in this fraud. Counsel to the plaintiffs, Chris Uche SAN said the application dated March 17, and filed same day sought order of the court granting leave to serve the originating summon and other processes

in the suit on Sanusi by substituted means, by delivering of the documents to any officer or adult person at his last known place of business in the office of Governor of the CBN or by pasting same on the notice board of the CBN. The plaintiffs want the court to determine, “Whether the 1st defendant, acting as the Governor of the 2nd defendant, did not act fraudulently, in breach of his public office, against the public interest and contrary to the provisions of sections 12, 32, 35 and 39 of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act, Cap B4 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 in deliberately strangulating the banking operations and falsifying the actual financial state of affairs/solvency of Intercontinental Bank Plc as a ground for revoking the operating licence of and taking over the management of the said Intercontinental Bank Plc, of which the plaintiffs are shareholders, only to undervalue the said bank to the detriment of the plaintiffs as shareholders and investors and sell the said bank to his friends/associates/cronies in Access Bank Plc where AigAigboje and Herbert Wigwe, the Managing Director and Deputy Managing Director respectively of the said Access Bank Plc, acting indebted to Intercontinental Bank Plc, to the tune of N16.2 billion, to the knowledge of the

1st defendant. “Whether the 1st defendant, acting as the Governor of the 2nd defendant did not act fraudulently, in breach of his public office, against the public interest and contrary to the provision of sections 12, 32, 35 and 39 of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act, Cap B4 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, in taking over Intercontinental Bank Plc, of which the plaintiffs are shareholders, and selling same to Access Bank Plc, notwithstanding that the facilitator of the said sale/ buy-over transaction, Senator Bukola Saraki, was also indebted to Intercontinental Bank Plc, to the tune of N8.9 billion, through his companies, Limkers, Dicetrade, Skyview Properties and Joy Petroleum, to the knowledge of the 1st defendant. They further urged the court to determine whether Sanusi did not act fraudulently “in waiving/writing off the sum of N16.2 billion owed by the Aig- Imokhuede and Wigwe, the MD and Deputy MD of the Access Bank and the sum of N8.9 billion owed by Senator Bukola Saraki and other sums so owed, all totalling over N40 billion in a bid to enable the said Access Bank Plc to fraudulently purchase Intercontinental Bank Plc at a ridiculous sum of N50 billion only, even when the quarterly profit of the said Bank was more than N50

billion and which bank at the material time was worth more than N1 trillion, to the detriment of the Plaintiffs as shareholders and investors.” They further alleged that Sanusi violated section 35(2) (d) of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act, Cap B4 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, in appointing Mahmoud Lai Alabi an agent/ staff of Senator Saraki as MD of Intercontinental Bank Plc, to superintend the eventual sale/transfer of Intercontinental Bank Plc, of which the plaintiffs are shareholders, to the trio of Imokhuede, Wigwe, the MD and Deputy MD respectively of Access Bank and Senator Saraki. The plaintiffs held that if the answers to the questions they posed for determination are in the positive, they would be seeking for the following reliefs among others: “A declaration that the takeover of the Intercontinental Bank Plc by Access Bank Plc on the scheme, direction and instructions of the 1st defendant without lawful justifications whatsoever in a bid to confer corrupt advantage upon himself and his friends/associates/cronies to the investment detriment of the plaintiffs and infringement of their personal rights, is unlawful, fraudulent, illegal, mala fide, null and void and of no legal effect whatsoever”. Continued on pg A4


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Cover “An order of the court compelling, directing and mandating the 3rd defendant as the official and apex regulator of the Nigerian Capital Market acting under her powers pursuant to Section 13 of the Investments and Securities Act 2007 to conduct a detailed public investigation into the circumstances relating to and connected with the sale/acquisition/take over/ transfer of the shares, assets and securities of Intercontinental Bank Plc to Access Bank Plc, in order to protect the plaintiffs as shareholders and investors of Intercontinental Bank Plc and the maintenance of a fair and orderly securities market and to protect the integrity of the securities market against all forms of abuse as occasioned herein by the 1st defendant and his friends/associates/ cronies, and to accordingly order appropriate sanctions against parties involved in this fraud”. “An order compelling the 2nd defendant pursuant to Section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2011, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, and pursuant to the plaintiffs’ request, to make available to the plaintiffs all information and all documentation and all records in her possession and custody relating to and concerning all the stages and steps taken by the Central Bank of Nigeria, including all the records, share holdings, or equities of all the persons involved, in the transactions culminating in the takeover of Intercontinental Bank Plc by Access Bank Plc, and records of the financial status of Intercontinental Bank Plc as at 31st July 2009”. “An order directing the 2nd defendant to immediately recover the sum of N16.2 billion and N8.9 billion, together with accrued interests still being owed by the trio of Aigboje Imokhuede, Herbert Wigwe, the Managing Director and Deputy Managing Director respectively of Access Bank and Senator Bukola Saraki, and other sums so owed, to Intercontinental Bank Plc, to the investment detriment of the plaintiffs”. “The sum of N10 billion is special and general damages against the 1st defendant for the collusion, fraudulent banking and unfair investment malpractices and breaches culminating in the wrongful takeover of Intercontinental Bank Plc by

Lai-Alabi

Saraki

Aig-Imoukhuede

Access Bank Plc to the investment detriment of the plaintiffs”. For now, it remains to be seen how Akingbola would be able to persuade the FRC to reverse earlier CBN decisions made against him in the face of a UK court judgment asking him to refund £654 million to Access Bank; his property that have been sold or forfeited; the acquisition of Intercontinental by Access Bank; and the CBN court cases still pending against

him over his management of Intercontinental Bank. A High Court of Justice, Queen’s Bench Division, London had in 2012, ordered Akingbola to pay Access Bank £654 million for sharp and fraudulent practices he had committed when he was in charge of Intercontinental Bank. The money, which was allegedly stolen directly from the bank, was used by Akingbola during his tenure to buy property in the United King-

dom and pay debts owed by his companies, among other uses. Of the amount, £9 million has since been refunded by Akingbola to Access Bank. The judgment delivered by Justice Michael Burton showed that while Akingbola was ordered to pay N145 billion for an unlawful share purchase scheme, he was also asked to pay N16 billion for Tropics Securities Limited payment claims and approximately £10.5 million for Fuglers’ payment claims. While Tropics Securities Limited was allegedly owned by Akingbola, Fuglers is an English law firm that he used to transact businesses and acquire assets in the United Kingdom. In the judgment, Justice Burton had ruled comprehensively that Akingbola was liable to refund the money to Access Bank and consequently ruled in the bank’s favour on all of its claims against him. While arriving at his judgment, the judge had held that during cross-examination, Akingbola told “obvious lies” that he did not know that Intercontinental Bank was buying its own shares. He held that the former bank boss, in fact, devised and oversaw the implementation of the strategy to buy the bank’s shares and thereby artificially increase its share price. The judge stated that be-

fore Akingbola commenced the strategy to increase the bank’s share price and in order to benefit from it, he had borrowed N9.3 billion and used it to acquire a large quantity of the bank’s shares for himself. He disclosed that Akingbola’s strategy to buy the shares of the defunct Intercontinental Bank was a “substantial contributing factor to the collapse of the bank”. The judge held that at a time when the bank was undergoing significant liquidity strain, the former bank boss misappropriated N16 billion of the bank’s money and paid it to his family-owned companies. However, Sanusi had in response to the allegations levelled against him by FRC, described Akingbola’s petition as a rehash of baseless allegations that the sacked bank MD had been making since 2010, “which apparently he must have been asked to reproduce on February 9, ten days before the suspension”. “It is indeed strange that the CBN governor can be suspended based on allegations written by a man who ran his bank into the ground and against whom judgment has been obtained in a London court, and who furthermore is facing criminal prosecution at home for offences including criminal theft,” Sanusi had said in his response BC


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News tions by the private sector in the development of deep seaports were not noticed by the international maritime community because they are not captured in recent hydrographic charts,” it said. It quoted Rear Admiral Tom Karston, Head of the UKHO, as saying that the collaboration would further boost long- term port development plans and proposals between both countries.

enabling environment for manufacturing to thrive to invigorate the economy. On the rising patronage of locally-made goods, Okafor commended former Gov. Peter Obi for setting the pace in patronising locally-made goods in the state. ``We hope that his successor, Gov. Willie Obiano, will continue to patronise locally-made goods as well as liaise with manufacturers on how best to industrialise Anambra,’’ he said.

Patronise certified agro-dealers, cotton farmers told L-R: The Regional Director, South-east/South-south of First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Limited, Okey Ezeala (first left); the Deputy Managing Director of the Bank, Segun Odusanya (third left); the Principal of Community Secondary School, Aka Offot at Uyo in Akwa Ibom State, Jehu J. Obobikpe (fifth left) with some students of the school during the Financial Literacy programme organised by FCMB for the students. The event took place at Uyo in Akwa Ibom state recently

FCMB adopts school in Uyo as part of the Financial Literacy Day initiative

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irst City Monument Bank (FCMB), in commemoration of the 2014 Global Money Week and Financial Literacy Day has reinforced its commitment towards youth empowerment and development through a fully interactive day session on Financial Literacy with the students of Community Secondary School (CSS), Aka Offot, Uyo, in Akwa Ibom State. The event organized in partnership with Junior Achievements of Nigeria (JAN), a financial education non-governmental organization is an initiative of the Banker’s Committee in collaboration with the CBN, with central focus on educating Nigeria’s youth about their economic environment, importance of saving, entrepreneurship and financial creation. Delivering a lecture to the students at the occasion, the Deputy Managing Director of FCMB, Segun Odusanya, stressed the importance of the students to be financially conscious at all times and inculcate the savings habit early. He urged the students to spread the financial literacy message to their parents, guardians, siblings, friends and others. Odusanya announced that the bank has adopted the school for a full year financial

literacy programme support, part of which will involve the participation of the bank’s staff in providing tutoring to the students and other support activities during the period. In addition, he also announced the donation of computer sets to the school to enhance the actualisation of the objectives of the financial literacy and inclusion projects in Nigeria. The principal of the school, Jehu Obobikpe, commended the CBN and FCMB in particular for committing both human and financial resources to bring the initiative to live. He described the project as an important step in nation building, saying if maintained could serve as the much needed solution towards the eradication of poverty in the country. The Global Money Week, (formerly Child and Youth Finance Week), is a worldwide money awareness event marked yearly from March 10 to 17.

hydrographic helps to obtain data or information for compilation of nautical charts for safe navigation. It is also used for measuring water depth mostly in coastal zones, adding that the update would be carried out in collaboration with the U.K. Hydrographic Office (UKHO). According to the statement, UKHO collects data on maritime boundaries and seaport channels across the world and produces charts to assist ships in their navigation. The NPA said that both organisations had held “preliminary meetings and contacts to implement the plan”. The statement said that an update of the nation’s hydrographic chart would capture recent strides and efforts by the Federal Government and private operators in the maritime industry. It said that it was regrettable that recent progress reports on the improvement of draught of the nation’s channels were not noticed. ``It is sad that improvement of draught and innova-

NPA to update hydrographic data on nation’s channels

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he Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) says it has concluded plans to update hydrographic data and information on the nation’s navigable channels. A statement issued in Lagos by the Assistant General Manager (Public Affairs) in NPA, Musa Ilya, said that

Habib Abdullahi, MD NPA

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Okafor

Power outage hinders industrial growth, expansion

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anaging Director, Zubee International Company, Azubuike Okafor has said that epileptic power supply and high diesel consumption are hindering industrial growth in the South-East. Okafor told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Onitsha, Anambra State that companies’ profits, which should have been ploughed back into businesses, were being used to buy diesel daily. ``Most industrialists are only managing to survive due to unstable power supply to energise their factories. We are wary of Federal Government’s unending promise to stabilise power supply. ``The country’s industrialists have been patriotic enough to continue in business despite the unending challenge of power supply within this year. ``Today, much of the profit generated is ploughed into the purchase of diesel to power industrial machines and not for expansion any longer,’’ he said. Okafor, whose company specialises in confectioneries, said that if power was stable, many investors would be attracted to the manufacturing sector. He called on Federal Government and the Anambra Government to create

he Cotton Value Chain Desk Officer in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Yerima Uba, has advised cotton farmers to patronise only certified agro-dealers and seed companies to get maximum yield. Uba said their patronage of dealers and cooperation among themselves would complement government efforts aimed at repositioning the cotton sub-sector. ``My message to farmers is that they should make sure they buy their seeds and agro- chemicals from reputable and certified companies so that they would get the requisite yield. ``Adulterated farm input would not only hamper expected yield, it would also reduce the quality of the cotton produced,’’ Uba said. He said government had distributed one million cotton harvest sacks in line with global best practices to replace polythene bags, which farmers used in the past. Uba said that polythene bags were the major cause of damage in cotton produced in Nigeria. The officer said that with the introduction of sacks, farmers no longer used polythene bags to carry cotton to processing centres, which had led to the elimination of contamination of the produce. Uba said the ministry was collaborating with the Government of India under the Cotton Technical Assistance Programme. He said that under the programme, 12 cotton value chain officers had been trained in modern cotton production technology.


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News Uba said that Nigeria was a member of the International Cotton Advisory Committee which provided prompt statistics on production, processing and market condition of cotton worldwide. He said farmers were a major stakeholder in the subsector and as such, should complement government’s effort to achieve desired goals.

Group advocates creation of more jobs

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he Joint Action Front (JAF), a pro-labour group, says it is possible to create jobs with a living wage for all Nigerians. The group said that job opportunities were still abundant in major sectors of the economy. The observation was made in Lagos at the weekend in a statement signed by Dr Oladipo Fashina, JAF Chairman and Abiodun Aremu, JAF Secretary- General. ``Many sectors like education, health care, agriculture, housing and infrastructure are short of adequate personnel and requires massive expansion to meet the growing needs of the population,’’ it said. The statement said that political leaders should deploy proactive measures to enable them to tackle unemployment problem in the country. ``It is only when we monitor the transformation agenda that we can guarantee jobs, education, healthcare, housing, infrastructure, industrialisation, energy and social welfare,’’ it said. The group also expressed concern over the death of no fewer than 20 persons during the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) recruitment recently. The statement called for compensation to the families of the dead and injured applicants.

Fashina

Manufacturing industries culpable of energy theft – IKEDC Stories by Emmanuel Ogbonnaya

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he Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEDC) has disclosed that some manufacturing industries under its service jurisdiction were culpable of energy theft, a situation which has resulted in huge revenue loss to the company. According to the company, about 480 maximum demand meters which were usually issued to industrial operators have been discovered to be compromised, thereby leading to under billing and loss of expected revenue. The company also revealed that priority was now being given to industrial customers under its load-shedding formula in recognition of the manufacturing sector’s importance to the nation’s economy. Managing director of IKEDC, Engr. Abiodun Ajifowobaje made all this known at a manufacturers’ consultative forum in Lagos, where he also disclosed that a new Korean technical partner, Korean Electric Power Company were already carrying out series of studies on IKEDC’s distribution and metering systems. Engr. Ajifowobaje who was represented by the General Manager Customer service, Engr. Olubukola Ojurongbe, stated that the greatest challenge confronting the power sector today was inadequate power from the grid. “The new management has taken bold steps in ensuring adequate power supply to its customers by coming up with a plan to source power

directly from Egbin power station,” she said. Apart from that, she said that the company was also looking into embedded power generation, such that power can be supplied directly to most industries in IKEDC network without necessarily waiting for supply from the national grid. “We assure all our valued customers that we will not relent in our efforts in ensuring better service delivery which can only be sustained through prompt payment of electricity bills because we need money to carry out maintenance in the network,” she said. In reaction to the allegation of energy theft, a manufacturing firm representative who pleaded anonymity blamed IKEDC for its woes stating that it was the failure of the company to ensure adequate risk mitigation strategies that have resulted in its revenue losses. “As a private entity, IKEDC should not be sounding like a public corporation, rather they should carry out risk assessment procedures to enable them identify and shut down any source of revenue leakages,” he said. The respondent also urged them to study the production timelines of manufacturing firms in order to better serve manufacturers under the load-shedding arrangement as any interruption in power during production is likely to lead to losses in the production line.

Medalion set to promote Nigeria, Ghana investments

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n recognition of the huge potential of value added

Nigerian and Ghana products, Medalion Marketing Limited is setting the stage to enhance its visibility and patronage while attracting more investments to boost the segment. The initiative which will also help to foster bilateral trade between Nigeria and Ghana through products exhibition according to the firm’s managing director, Fidel Ikenna Ndubisi, is scheduled to hold at the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex. He explained that Medalion was organising the exhibition which is billed to start from 24th April –17th May at the trade fair complex with the cooperation of the Ghana High Commission. “Over 30 exhibitors from different sectors are coming from Ghana and we are using the fair to launch three big brands from Gihoc Distillery Ghana. It is the first fair without gate and parking fees for visitors and exhibitors,” he added. He said that for the last 16 years, his company had been involved in the organisation and management of over 45 international, domestic and specialised fairs across the country. According to him, the forthcoming fair will also provide a veritable platform for showcasing products from global manufacturers and those developed and made in Nigeria. Ndubisi stressed that the fair will among other things afford the exhibitors the opportunity to build brand awareness, have direct contact with respective target markets, showcase latest products and services and launch new products or services. “They may also exploit

the opportunity to deepen relationships with existing customers, explore trade opportunities, find new agents and new channels, develop import/export markets and forge alliances and strategic partnerships,” he said. On the choice of the complex, he said “This complex amongst its other attributes is home to three of the largest market associations with close to 10,000 shops- the Balogun Traders Association market with all the importers, distributors and wholesalers of cosmetics, hair care products, fashion and accessories,” he said According to him it offers a huge market opportunity for exhibitors as on a daily basis, two million people visit the complex to transact one business or the other.

Chinedu Nebo, Power Minister

Nigerian, Chinese consortium partner on power projects

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consortium of companies in Nigeria and a group of Chinese investors have reached an understanding to build various power plant projects in the country that would facilitate the assembly and manufacturing of prepaid power meters among others. The memorandum of understanding (MoU), backed by the Nigeria - China Business Council involved Skydeep International limited, Mattek Oil Services Limited, Temps Engineering and Gestric Limited and Craag Nigeria limited on the Nigerian side. The Chinese companies are JMET Corporation, Jiangsu Sainty International Group (for China Nuclear Industry 22nd Construction Company Limited), Shaanxi Jsbound Technology and Trade Company Limited and Xian Marine Equipment Engineering Research Academy. Specifically, the MoU


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covers the financing, procurement and operation of independent power plant projects, local assembly and manufacturing of pre-paid power meters, assembly and manufacturing of recharge cards and setting up of skill acquisition centres for capacity building as well as oil and gas pipes. Addressing the investors, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Ambassador Abdulkadir Musa, pointed out that Nigeria and China had been consistent in their bilateral and investment relationship, which he said had been mutually beneficial. He said that President Goodluck Jonathan had made industry and investment policies the driving forces that would propel Nigeria to greater heights through the effective implementation of the Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP) and the National Enterprise Development Programme (NEDEP). Musa stressed that the country needed more investments in the area of power generation and transmission in order to achieve its development objectives. “Despite the unbundling of the power sector in the country, we still need more investment in the sector to generate enough power to sustain our growing population and industries as well as create employment opportunities for our youths,” he stated. He urged the Nigeria China Business Council to continue to attract more investment into other sectors of the Nigerian economy, noting that the Federal Government would sustain its drive in providing the enabling environment for trade and investment to thrive. In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power, Ambassador Godknows Igali, noted that the entry of the Chinese investors into the sector was apt and timely as the Nigerian government had embarked on the biggest privatisation in the world. “We have privatised Power Holding Corporation of Nigeria (PHCN) assets that provide power generation and distribution. And recently, government privatised 10 integrated power plants. “It was ambitious and successful and at every instance, there was over-subscription. Having achieved that, it is

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Monday, March 31, 2014

now time to stabilise the power sector and add value to make it more reliable,” Igali said. He added that the local manufacturing of meters was a priority area for government and urged the investors to take advantage of the huge market in Nigeria. “Our priority is to provide meters for Nigerians and we will support you to succeed,” he noted. Earlier, the leader of the Chinese delegation, Liu Wembin, said that the MoU was significant for the Chinese investors, adding that they were anxious to start the projects with the best technology available as soon as possible.

Sarah Alade, Acting CBN Governor

CBN guarantees N886m loans for farmers in Adamawa

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he Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has guaranteed more than N886 million worth of loans for farmers in Adamawa, Abba Baba, an assistant director with the bank, said. Baba told newsmen in Yola that 8,854 farmers had benefitted from the scheme, aimed at achieving national food security, adding that the scheme was designed to assist farmers to acquire soft loans from commercial banks. Baba said, ``CBN has guaranteed a total of N886, 792,736 million for 8,854 farmers in Adamawa from 2012 to date.’’ He said that the maximum loan a farmer received under the scheme was N10 million, adding that the loan was to be repaid within one year. Baba said 3,831 farmers were guaranteed for N366 million in 2012 and 4,192 farmers benefited in 2013. He said that from January to March, 831 farmers had accessed N42 million worth of

loans under the scheme. He said that the beneficiaries included fish, cattle fattening, vegetable and sugarcane farmers, adding that there had been no record of default on repayment by the beneficiaries.

NCC assures improvement in telecom services The Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has assured that it would continue to put pressure on telecom operators in the country to provide optimal services to customers. The Executive Vice Chairman of the commission, Dr Eugene Jumah, gave the assurance in a message to the 62nd edition of the NCC Consumer Outreach Programme, held at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State. Represented by Dr Femi Atoyebi, the Deputy Director, Consumer Affairs, Jumah said the commission would sanction any service provider for unapproved increase in tariff and poor services. He allayed the fears that the use of mobile phones have adverse effect on the health of users, saying the claim has no scientific basis. ``There has not been any scientific proof that radiation from mobile phones is harmful to the health of subscribers,” he said. According to him, all telecommunication masts have recommended heights, to which the commission always ensured strict compliance to prevent harmful radiation from getting down to human beings and animals around. ``As it is now, for someone to be affected by radiation from masts, that person must have climbed the mast naked. ``If such radiation is so harmful, all the people in

Juwah

United State of America would have died, because they have been using it a long time ago,” he said. He said the consumer outreach programme was aimed at bringing together telecom service providers to address some of the challenges of their subscribers, adding that “It is an avenue to rub minds on issues developing within the telecom industries. ``We give opportunity to the customers to have a voice to ask many questions, and it is a forum for the commission to also make enquiries and if possible make suggestions on how to move the industry forward,” he added. Most subscribers at the forum described the services offered by telecom operators as awful and called on the NCC to live up to its responsibilities. Timothy Tanko, a staff of the university said customers were having difficulties accessing the networks, an urged the oprators to improve their services. Ibrahim Ndako, an Electrical Engineering student urged the NCC to direct service providers to desist from sending unsolicited text messages to subscribers. Also, Esther Moses, another student, advised the service providers to improve on their relationship with customers, saying it the attitude of their personnel needed to change for the better.

Realisation of N1trn MDRI target in insurance industry possible – Expert

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he Managing Director of Mutual Benefits Assurance, Akin Ogunbiyi, has said that the recent returns from micro insurance products can raise the industry’s MDRI target to N1 trillion. Ogunbiyi told newsmen in Lagos that operators in the informal sector held the key to the realisation of the N1trillion target. Market Development and Re-structuring Initiative (MDRI) is the framework of the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) for measuring the industry’s growth. NAICOM had proposed to hit the target in 2012, but failed. Ogunbiyi said that the

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sector was becoming more vibrant in line with the objective of Vision 20:2020, adding that premium in the sector was easy to collect, while its claim report was low and easy to verify. “Having invested much in the micro insurance business, we are now reaping the benefit. We are collecting close to N1billion monthly on our various micro insurance products. “We have also boosted employment nationwide with almost 7, 000 insurance foot soldiers who sell various products. Imagine what will happen if all insurance companies come on board,” he said. Ogunbiyi said that there were still many areas to explore as the operators could leverage on the over 160 million population. He, however, said that companies should expect to make some sacrifices at the take off stage due to investments on infrastructure. According to him, once the foundation is laid and the companies win the trust of potential buyers, consumers will come willingly with their own ideas and needs. Ogunbiyi said that Mutual Benefits Assurance had registered over 1,000 cooperative societies to market its micro insurance products.

Dangote slashes price of new 42.5 grade cement, sells at factory rate

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s it continues the introduction of its newly launched 3x cement of 42.5 grade to various stakeholders, Customers of Dangote Cement Plc, especially those from the South East would for the next one week purchase the commodity at a hugely discounted rate in the spirit of the 25th Enugu International Trade Fair. The company, still savouring the successful launch of the new product said it was rewarding its loyal customers and has therefore decided to slash the price of cement to N1, 660. 00 per bag. It would be recalled that Dangote Cement had last week in Lagos introduced the new 42.5 cement grade which it code named 3x and the new bag to the journalists. The company also hinted


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Business Courage

Monday, March 31, 2014

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News L-R: Chief of Staff to Aliko Dangote, Eng. Joseph Makoju, staff of Dangote Cement, Olaniyi Johnson and the Group Managing Director of Dangote Cement, DVG Edwin discussing at the unveiling of a new bag for Dangote 3x 42.5 grade cement last week in Lagos

that it had also embarked on the production of another higher cement grade of 52.5, pointing out that all it was doing is to offer its customers variety of choices among quality cement as obtained in other countries. The promo which kicks off on March 31 will run till April 6. According to South East Regional Sales Director, Dangote Cement, Tunde Mabogunje, Dangote cement customers will have the opportunity of buying the discounted product at the price of N1,660 at the company’s pavilion within the Enugu Trade Fair Complex. He said the promo allows customers to buy a minimum of 50 bags of cement or a maximum of 100 bags of cement at the factory price instead of the existing policy which requires purchase of several trucks of cement at factory price. “Two or more people can come together to buy 100 bags. We are partnering with Access Bank, Fidelity Bank and Zenith Bank whose representatives are at the Dangote pavilion. Customers will pay and get tellers/ codes from any of the stated banks’ representative. Collection of cement is the next day at Dangote Cement depot at Emene.” Director General, Enugu Chambers of Commerce Industry Mines and Agriculture, Emeka Okereke said the promo would enrich the fair and attract visitors and commended Dangote Cement on the initiative saying the promo will without doubt bolster the fair and increase patronage. Also, Dansa, the ready to drink beverages subsidiary

of Dangote Group is also running a promo at the fair. Every purchase from Dansa, no matter how little is accompanied with a gift of exercise book. People who buy two crates of kally from Dansa are entitled to a free crate of kally. The promo is titled ‘buy two get one free’.

NAICOM to restructure compulsory insurance scheme

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he National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has announced that strategies were in place to ensure that Nigerians benefitted from all insurance policies mandated by law. NAICOM Head of Strategy, Babajide Oniwinde, who made this known at the Micro-Insurance Learning and Knowledge (MILK) workshop in Abuja, said that although insurance penetration in Nigeria was low, compulsory insurance policies would change the peoples’ perception. The Motor Third Party, Builders Liability, Healthcare Professional Liability, Group Life, and the Occupiers Liability Insurance are the

Oniwinde

compulsory insurance policies currently in place. “Taking additional insurance policies can only be guaranteed if people learn to trust the insurance system. To ensure that, we have set up a complaint bureau to receive complaints from members of the public on legitimate claims that are not paid. “We also introduced the ‘no premium, no cover’ so that premiums are paid on time and insurance companies will therefore have no excuse not to pay claims,’’ he said. Oniwinde lamented the existence of fake policies in the market, which he said, were limiting the impact that compulsory insurance policies were supposed to have on the people. “The issue is that, a lot of people are still buying fake insurance, especially the Motor Third Party Liability Insurance. However, the Nigeria Insurance Association has set up a database where you can check if your policy is genuine. “If your policy is genuine and say you have an accident, all you have to do is to give your details to the driver that is responsible for the accident. He is then to pass it to his insurers and you will be contacted to have your car fixed,’’ he said. Micheal McCord, the President, Micro Insurance Centre, lead speaker at the workshop, said that insurance would endure better when simple products that could meet everyday demands were created. “You can increase insurance demand in Nigeria by having good products and environment where insur-

ers pay claims when they are supposed to. “This will help to expand the market very quickly and it will also ensure that people understand that insurers do honour their promises. It is all about providing good products and servicing them properly,’’ he said. McCord said that products that would serve the basic needs of low income earners in different parts of the country should be developed. “The underwriters of insurance products needs to write micro-insurance products that are everyday people need. I suspect that in some parts of Nigeria, people need funeral policies to reduce the financial burden involved to bury the dead.

world industrial production as the basis for sustainable economic growth Nigeria was selected as a pilot country in Africa to implement the scheme. The UNIDO’s Country Representative, Dr Patrick Kormawa, expressed satisfaction that the establishment of NQIPO came at a time Nigeria was promoting industrialisation as the basis of its economic development. In his remarks at the occasion, Olusegun Aganga, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, said the Federal Government would put in place mechanism for the production of quality products in Nigeria. Aganga, represented by Abdulkadir Musa, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, said that production of quality products would enable Nigeria boost its export trade.

Mobil gets licence for 575MW power plant in Eket

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Yong

UNIDO, FG to partner on improving quality control agencies

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he UN Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) is to partner the Federal Government to improve the standard and quality of control agencies in Nigeria. The Director-General of UNIDO, Li Yong, made the announcement on Friday in Abuja at the inauguration of the National Quality Infrastructure Project Office (NQIPO). The establishment of the office was sponsored by the EU and the Federal Government to promote the production of quality products. Yong, on a three-day visit to Nigeria, said that the project would help to improve the quality of Nigerian products. He commended the Federal Government for supporting him during his election last year and for supporting UNIDO’s `Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development Programme. The aim of the programme, Yong said, was to increase developing countries’ share of

he Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has issued Mobil Producing Nigeria Ltd a licence to build a 575MW power station in Eket, Akwa Ibom. A statement issued by the commission’s Head of Public Affairs, Dr Usman Abba Arabi, on Friday in Abuja said the licence was issued after all stipulated requirements were met by the company. It said the commission’s Vice Chairman, Muhammed Bello, acknowledged the significant stride made by the company, and assured it that NERC’s mandate is to ensure availability and reliability of electricity. The statement quoted the Managing Director of Mobil, Mr Mark Ward, as saying that the occasion was a momentous one. “The project provides a unique opportunity in the sense that there is ready fuel supply and connection to the grid.’’ The development brought the number of major oil companies that are already playing major roles in the electricity industry in Nigeria to three. The other two companies, Shell and Agip, are already contributing 642 megawatts and 480 megawatts respectively to the national grid. BC


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Monday, March 31, 2014

Business Courage

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He was fired by an unpleasant travel experience he had during one of his frequent trips from Nnewi to Lagos, to try his hands on road transport business. Starting with Rapido, a company that started with a mere N750.00 bicycle allowance paid by the National Youth Service Corps during his youth service, he, through a right mixture of vision, resilience, discipline and dogged determination, established what is today, one of the best road transport business in the country. This is the story of Frank Uzoawuotu Nneji, founder, Associated Bus Company (ABC) Plc By Salami Semiu

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e has a very striking story from infancy. At a very tender age, Frank Uzoawuotu Nneji often displayed an unusual signs of creativity and the desire to ‘make small things turn into bigger things.’ At such a tender age, he often showed signs of independent mindedness, an indication of a young man desired to live his own life, his own way. Frank Nneji’ parents, particularly his mother, herself a retired nurse, wanted him to study medicine, for obvious reasons. At the time, medicine was considered to be a highly prestigious profession, with prospects for earning a good living. He secured admission to read Biological Science (then, a prerequisite for admission into the College of Medicine) at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. However, barely a year after he commenced his undergraduate course, he realised he does not have to practice the profession that brought her mother fulfillment. It became clear to him that the study of science will not attract the kind of fame and money he wished for, and so, he decided to take his destiny into his own hands. The immediate thing that occurred to him was to change from the sciences to business studies, but that will make him lose a year in the university. Besides, to do that would mean Continued on pg A10

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defying his parents’ decision, an action he was not prepared to take. He then took the decision to learn business within the walls of the university but not in the classroom. As the story goes, Frank would go to records office of the university to collect past questions of courses that are generally regarded as difficult by students and reproduced them for sale to his colleagues. Over time, the business turned out to be lucrative and fetched him what he thought was the seed capital required to launch into the business world. From this deal, Frank, a smart and frugal student was able to raise N500 (a huge sum as at that time) within one year and by 1980, his second year as a Zoology undergraduate, he decided to try his hands on other things. Frank discovered that the cash he had on him was sufficient enough to buy a student rebate ticket then offered by the Nigerian Airways, and so, he seized the opportunity and jetted out to Italy where he bought T-Shirts, Jeans and belt. With fellow students as his target market, he started the sale of the items in addition to the reproduced question papers which constituted the publishing arm of his business then. At age 23, when he finished his first degree, Frank technically abandoned his course of study and went full time into the business world. Armed with little experience and an additional capital of N750 which he raised from the mandatory bicycle allowance paid by the National Youth Service Corp, NYSC, Frank rented an office apartment and started RAPIDO, a company that supplies educational materials. He started with writing boards and later added other items like audiovisuals. He however, got his major break with a contract to supply writing boards to the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO), which at that time was just taking off. With little money and no staff, he made the boards himself employing the services of his friends who were then waiting for white collar jobs, offering them only drinks. Like many aspiring entrepreneurs, not many gave Frank a chance to survive in his entrepreneurial drive. For they thought he was just one of the many ambitious youths that would not want to beat the status quo to gain success. With little or no cash, what Frank used to do then was to go out with his local purchasing order (LPO) and source for money from his friends after which the proceeds were shared on an equal basis. While he was doing this, he frequently travelled to Lagos, where he was exposed to the hassles of public transportation. It is either the bus he trav-

elled in was over loaded with excess passengers popularly referred to as “attachment” or the bus drivers or conductors were unruly to passengers. One experience that made him plunged into road transport business and that has so far changed the way things are done in the luxury bus transport service in the country occurred somewhere at Ore, Ondo State along the Lagos-Benin expressway. He had travelled from the east down to Lagos one day in a certain cramped bus, squeezed next to a woman who had a baby. The bus had broke down after several frequent stoppages to pick passengers along the way, but while other passengers on board were preoccupied with how to get to

Monday, March 31, 2014

their destination, Frank was not only concerned for himself, the image of that suffering baby who could not be comforted but cried all the way and his struggling mother pre-occupied his mind. From that moment, several questions, particularly on how best he thinks his kinsmen who were involved in the long distance transport business then could up their scale and offer passengers real value for their money engaged him. While in the university, Frank was the first transport director of the Students Union at University of Nigeria Nsukka immediately and so, in reflecting on how to run road transport business, better than those that engaged in it then, his little

Frank would go to records office of the university to collect past questions of courses that are generally regarded as difficult by students and reproduced them for sale to his colleagues

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experience as a part of the student’s union transport management came in handy. And so in 1987, he decided to take a further plunge, to run a bus service with a difference, providing all that was lacking in other bus companies. He did his feasibility study and put up a business plan and in 1991, he approached Diamond Bank which agreed to offer him a helping hand with a lease of five Hiace buses for N1.5 million. That was the birth of Associated Bus Company Plc, ABC, the company that has totally redefined intercity and cross country road transport business that has transited from a modest family business to a growing conglomerate that many Nigerian families have bought into. To help drive his dream, his younger brother, Jude, himself a trained pharmacist, was conscripted immediately after his national youth service into the running of the business. Today, ABC Transport Company, the first and only transport company to list its shares on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), has not only redefined transport business in Nigeria, it has also made safety its prime priority and carved a niche for itself in the area of comfort and general customer service relations. The company recruits skilled and highly professional and educationallyqualified personnel including drivers with adequate training as a backup and it’s the first transportation company in the country to implement the tracking system of its buses, making it impossible for speed limits to be violated. With executive express, su-

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per sleeper and 40-seater vehicles in which travelers can relax and almost sleep, just like a bed, the company came out with different services hitherto unknown or thought to be impossible in the country. One of such services is the ABEX Services, which makes it possible for mails and goods to be delivered over night at an affordable price. Running almost a fleet of 100 brand new luxury buses, with more than 15 trucks and a daily departure of more than 80, movement of individuals, mails and goods became easier. Other new things introduced by Frank into the transportation service include travelling in an air-conditioned bus with toilet facilities. ABC equally introduced the food service and passed necessary information to passengers before the commencement of any journey just like the airlines will do. With over 1,200 people in its pay roll, and going into other areas like courier and hospitality, the company in 2004 came out with a new service tagged Coach West Africa, a service that cuts across West African sub-region and has been able to expose the tourism potentials of the subregion. The company has established itself as the benchmark for private transportation services within Nigeria. A winner of the Fate Foundation’s FATE Model Entrepreneur 2001 award, ABC is described as a company “...which directly meets the needs of discerning customers because of its high level of customer service, consistency and brand image...”. The company has attracted the attention of the investment community, thus in March 2003; Capital Alliance Private Equity (CAPE) acquired 30 per cent of its shares. Besides Abex Courier, a courier services company which delivers courier alongside transport business, the group has in its fold, the City Transit Inn which provides accommodation for travelers. While everyone around him may be astounded, Frank Nneji does not think he has done anything particularly outstanding. From the beginning he was determined to make a difference, a factor he considered key but often ignored by others-the human element. While the existing companies of yore thought more about buying fancy buses and could boast of many in their garage, Nneji decided to cultivate the friendship and loyalty of the people who use his bus services. Every category of human beings were catered to and made to feel special-from the smallest baby to oldest person, ABC was able to transfer some of the personal service mantra made popular by airlines into land transportation. For instance, a baby would have a court and be securely strapped into a seat.


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Nneji

would fail to understand the need to clink glasses in celebration of this great leading light. Before ABC Transport, travelling in the typical “luxury bus” was a nightmare. The industry was dominated by pioneers and second generation operators like Ekenedilichukwu, Ifesinachi, We-We, Chisco, Promoter, The Young Shall Grow, E. Ekesons, etc. Apart from Ekenedilichukwu that tried to deck out its staff in blue uniforms and to organize its terminals, the industry was generally characterized by disorder, touting, rude and noisy workers. Overloading and reckless driving were the rule rather than the exception and itinerant vendors of cureall remedies were a pestilence in every bus. Any passenger that tried to caution the driver or his conductor ran the risk of physical assault. And if any bus broke down in the course of the journey as they frequently did, the crew disappeared and passengers were left to face untold risks. The situation changed dramatically when ABC Transport came into being. From the outset, ABC Transport was set up to cater for discerning passengers comprising mainly of the middle class. With toilet facilities, air conditioning, on board entertainment, uniformed drivers and attendants, and modern terminals, passengers were given an unprecedented experience of comfort, safety, and courtesy. The industry was standardized through the introduction of speed control, safety monitoring, staff training, recruitment of graduates, etc. Rapid cash transfer (before integrated banking), parcel and cargo express delivery services, budget accommodation, pas-

The urge to add value to society, to take a risk and create wealth was actually my motivation. Taking risks, using resources and capital to create wealth and get things better done is actually the motivation behind most of the things I do

About 20 years after and in spite of the huge achievement that the company has recorded, Nneji says success is relative and therefore he may not adjudged himself successful so far he is the only person who knows where his destination lies. He however admitted that risk taking, adding value to the society and creating wealth are the factors that drive him. “When I left the university in 1982, the employment situation wasn’t as bad as it is today. But right from the time I left school, I had decided to start something on my own. The urge to add value to society, to take a risk and create wealth was actually my motivation. Taking risks, using resources and capital to create wealth and get things better done is actually the motivation behind most of the things I do. And I think it’s the same with most entrepreneurs. Some entrepreneurs even leave very well paying jobs to come out to work and create businesses that benefit their society and create wealth, both for themselves and other people,” he says. Born on April 30, 1960, Frank Nneji is a recipient of many awards including the national honour of the Officer of Order of the Niger, OON. An ardent seeker of knowledge, he was in 2005 honoured with the award of excellence in transport management by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, ICAN, Owerri District. The Aba Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, ACCIMA, in the year 2005 equally recognised the ABC Transport Company Plc boss as the most outstanding business personality. Also in Kaduna State where he grew up, Frank Nneji’s contribution to the development of Nigeria’s Transport Industry was also recognised when he bagged the ‘Auto Personality of the Year’ conferred on him by The Nigerian Institute of Transport Technology, Zaria in 2004. He was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport United Kingdom with the conferment of Fellowship award in 2004. Other recognition and awards which the ‘Rapido Man’ has received in the last 20 years include among others, Fate Foundation Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2001, Vocational Services Award for Excellence in Bus Transport Management by Rotary Club of Amuwo Odofin, Lagos and Outstanding Young Person of the Year Award as well as Role Model of the Youth Award. The story of Frank Nneji and ABC Transport is indeed, a vintage Nigerian success story. Through a right mix of vision, resilience, discipline and dogged determination, only those who did not experience long distance travel by bus before the arrival of ABC Transport in 1993

Business Courage

Monday, March 31, 2014

senger insurance, customer reward schemes, online booking platforms, Coach West Africa, intercity shuttles, etc were thrown into the bargain. In a recent interview, Nneji admitted that ABC transport redefined the travelling experience for road travellers by initiating a conducive ambience to give a traveller a pleasurable trip. With the air-conditioned buses, snacks and entertainment on board, spacious leg room and souvenirs for passengers, travelling became a pleasurable experience. “Before we came, people offered buses and dictated the conditions under which they will move you. Customers didn’t have a say; ABC changed all that. What we did was to add customer service to the whole travel experience,” he

said. According to him, the company launched its website when most people didn’t know Internet existed and introduced online ticketing where tickets can be booked online. “If you don’t have enough credit on your card, you can put the ticket on hold and go to the bank. Even in our cargo business, once you send an item, the moment the item arrives, you receive an automated SMS that your item has arrived. If you look at where we are coming from, when Nigeria don’t have telephone, we had to install FM radio in our buses where the drivers can reach us because we knew the importance of effective communication. We also have the call centres where customers can call and make enquiries,” he

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said. Indeed, it takes a lot of passion and hard, excruciating work for any idea no matter how good to be transformed into reality in a country like Nigeria and that is the moral lesson in Frank Nneji’s story. Few private sector players have positively influenced their industry as Frank Nneji has done. And this, despite the colossal challenges of insecurity, failed infrastructure, particularly roads, ABC has continued to wax stronger. However, one of the high points of Nneji’s transport business is the ECOWAS route which he created by launching the Coach West Africa, which conveys passengers from Nigeria to Ghana, passing through Benin Republic and Togo. This route alone created room for interaction between peoples of the region and gives a boost to tourism as well. Though Nneji admitted that the feat took 11 years to plan, the endeavour has been quite worthwhile. In the classical Nneji style, when he was ready to launch, he pulled all the stop. For the maiden trip, the then Director General of the Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation, NTDC Omotayo Omotosho, was on board. “If there is any service we are proud of, it is the Coach West Africa, which was launched in 2004. It’s one of the great stories I like to tell. I had to make a road journey down there on two occasions, taking my vehicles across the border to be able to experience the problems that people experience along that route. And of course after looking at it, we noticed that we needed to have some kind of a bilateral relationship with all the countries along the corridor, that is Benin Republic, Togo and Ghana, so we brought in the NTDC into the picture and on the day of the launch, the Director- General was on hand there meeting her Ghanaian counterpart,” he said. When the Ecowas route started, the buses were ran on alternate days but today, that service has grown to a point where ABC now have as many as 10 buses in a day on the peak period such as December and a minimum of four buses a day in ordinary periods. “That’s probably twice what we do on the Lagos to Abuja route. It’s been a tremendous success and it actually opened the tourism potential of West Africa because it came with a lot of education and enlightenment,” Nneji enthused. Indeed, few men have pursued their vision with such tenacity or shown such consistent high standards of corporate governance and innovation. He deserves to be celebrated, that is the story of Frank Uzoawuotu Nneji who incidentally clocks 53 years tomorrow, Tuesday, April 30. BC


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10 Questions

Less than three years after the Asset Management Company of Nigeria, AMCON, took over the former Spring Bank and renamed it Enterprise Bank, Ahmed Kuru, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer says the fortune of the bank has been redefined. In this encounter with business journalists in Lagos, Kuru says the Enterprise brand is now a good buy for quality investors. Excerpts…

Was there any point in time that you felt bothered or distracted by the processes leading to the impending divest-

ment of AMCON and takeover by new investors? We are not distracted by the sale process. Right from the beginning when we were appointed, it was very clear to us that AMCON, at certain point in time will divest from the bank. So the divestment is not an issue for us. I always tell people that most of the banks in Nigeria are for sale and they are being sold daily. If you go to the stock exchange today, you will see the transactions that happen in the banking sub-sector. It has always being the highest. People are always changing ownership in terms of selling and buying stocks. So if AMCON wants to divest, what it is doing is selling its shares which is not something strange in the industry. So the fact that AMCON is divesting now is good for the industry. What is the status of your accounts and what should shareholders and investors expect in the 2013 financials? We are almost finalising on our 2013 accounts, but I will not want to comment on that because it is with the regulators. But what I can tell you about our account is that it is improving by the day. We are very confident that at the end of the day, we are going to hand over a very profitable financial institution. We have almost 160 branches. The bank is now electronically driven. There are incentives to encourage people to use ATM and other electronic channels. What time frame are you looking at for the sale of the bank? Right from the beginning, our mandate was to run the bank and run it commercially. So, even when AMCON decided to sell the institution and they appointed financial advisers to assist them, we decided not to get distracted with what is happening. I can confirm to you that we are not part of the sale process. Professionals have been appointed and they are driving the process. What we are doing is to run the bank. Of course, the timeline was discussed with us initially, but like every other thing, there were issues pertaining to adhering to the timeline, particularly in this kind

We made it very clear from the beginning that we are not here for the size game. We are not interested in being number one, number two or number three. Our strategy has always been to be an efficient bank, a retail bank and to be a bank that is focused towards helping small businesses

of environment. Initially, the target was for the first quarter of this year, but because we started very late, what AMCON has said is that the process should be completed by October.

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ore than three years after you came on board, how far have you been able to achieve your mandate. Are you fulfilled with what you’ve done so far? When we were appointed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), we clearly said our mandate was and still is, to manage the bank commercially, professionally, take the bank out of the woods and position it for better service delivery. In any organisation, there are three things that are key to success. These include the people, technology and processes. When we came on board, we met people that were clearly de-motivated, people that were not properly trained and were not sure about the future. By and large, we have been able to motive the people, trained them, built confidence and positioned them to be able to compete favourably with anybody. We made it very clear from the beginning that we are not here for the size game. We are not interested in being number one, number two or number three. Our strategy has always been to be an efficient bank, a retail bank and to be a bank that is focused towards helping small businesses. There is no way you can achieve that without having a highly motivated workforce. So we invested a lot of resources towards building our people. The core banking operations that were supposed to drive our operations were mostly obsolete when we came on board. But now, we have been able to upgrade some of our core banking operations, we have upgraded our servers and have equipped most of our branches with the necessary tools required for efficient banking delivery. We were able to turnaround the bank and right from the first year, the bank has consistently been profitable, which to us is a very big achievement.

Are you ready, prepared for the process now or you think you need few more times? For us, we are ready, everybody is welcomed. What AMCON decided to do


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Monday, March 31, 2014

was to leave the professionals to do their work such that there is no much interference. About 24 prospective investors have shown interest locally and internationally. A lot of them called us, including international financial institutions that showed interest because they have seen the figures and the financials and they strongly believe that the bank has a lot of potential. So we don’t know how many institutions finally made the list. But what we decided to do internally is to focus on running the institutions; we don’t ask questions about what is happening and we have allowed those responsible for the process of divestment to carry on with the assignment. At any point in time, if AMCON requires our attention, they will surely get it. But our mandate is to run the bank and we have energised our members of staff because whoever is buying the institution is not buying the building, but they are buying the value, the customers, the quality of staff and so we are working on those mandates so that the valuation of the institution would be very high. What would be your appraisal of the bank thus far? What is the financial performance like? We have been building the books on the average of 20 per cent yearly in terms

of our deposit and if it is risk assets, we have done over 80 per cent. When we came on board, our loan-to-deposit ratio was less than five per cent, but today it is in excess of 60 per cent because we are building our loan book. In terms of profitability, last year we closed in excess of N11 billion. Our rate of return on equity is also increasing. Our return on capital is one of the best in the industry because you may see some banks declaring N50 billion, N100 billion, but what we need to look at is what is the capital deployed. If I am able to declare N5 billion or N10 billion on an equity of N25 billion and somebody is declaring N100 billion on a capital of N100 billion, it tells you the efficiency ratio. Averagely, on a year-on-year basis, we have been building our books by 20 per cent and that is why AMCON, because of the health of our financial figures and the achievements recorded so far, picked Enterprise Bank as the first bank it wants to showcase and to divest. The level of interest that has been shown shows that what we have achieved so far is commendable. Generally, if you look at the health of our risk assets, it is also solid. You look at the character of the customers and the active accounts. We have almost 160 branches. The way banking is today, it is not the number of branches that matters anymore. Banking now gradually is electronically driven and what we try to do is to take banking services into the office of the customers. So, most of the branches that we have, we are trying to make them more of e-banking to such an extent that from inside their offices, customers can scan documents, they can go to the internet and they can give you instructions without necessarily coming into the banking hall. In fact, most times, what we do is to come up with incentives to encourage people to use their ATM machines, to use their electronic cards so that they don’t necessarily need to come into the banking hall because that is why the cashless policy is being supported strongly by the banking community because it will bring down the cost of operations. Operational cost is very high in the industry today. That is what is contributing to the high interest rate. So if we are able to share services, bring down the operation cost and take our services to the customers, obviously it will bring down the cost of financial services. What is your loan target for the year? We started with an operating loan book of less than N5 billion in 2011 and we have grown it to around N76 billion. Last year, our target was to do around N100 billion. We are a small bank; we don’t want to go back to the old days, so we are very conservative when it comes to building our loan book. This year we intend to grow our loan book to around N130 billion because we believe that is what will support our balance sheet. But we are also very careful in diversifying our loan portfolio. Now, it is very easy if you want to build your loan book, for example, in the oil and gas sector you can

Business Courage

do that in one month with one transaction. But for a retail bank, you are trying to build the small loans and the small loans which we normally sell through products take a longer time. This is because we are talking about N10 million, N5 million, lease and so. That takes a longer time. But usually perform because the irregularities are not up to five per cent. We have a lot of products to support our retail banking strategy. Where lies the Enterprise Bank competitive strength? Really, our revenue strength, just like most banks in Nigeria is from lending because that is the core line of our income. We do have a lot of income that comes from fees and commissions, but ultimately if you go through the balance sheet of most banks, between 60 per cent and 80 per cent of the revenue base is from lending. So we are not an exception. We make more money from lending even though quite a lot of fees and commission do come either from foreign exchange transactions, treasury activities, but basically, lending is where we make more revenue. Now, public sector funds for us in the industry, before now was sort of cheap funds because there are no strings attached to them and usually you keep them in current accounts and it gives you a lot of leeway in terms of resources or to lend from. So quite a lot of banks – some of the big banks and some of the small banks; realised that the composition of their deposit profile had a lot of public sector funds. Whether we like it or not, in Nigeria, the government plays key role in our economy. They are the major source of liquidity in the economy. So banking with public sector funds used to be very profitable because it gives you the cash flow. So, what now happens to the cheap funds from the public sector? Obviously, the increase in Cash Re-

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serve Ratio, CRR would affect the investible cash flow that you have. At 75 per cent CRR, what it means is that if you collect N1 billion of any government deposit, N750 million of that money will be kept somewhere at zero interest rate. Meanwhile, it is also part of your balance sheet. So, there are lots of other benefits that usually you get if a deposit is part of your balance sheet, but now it works on the reverse side. So, definitely it will affect the cash flow that we have. But I can also tell you that it is also a welcome idea. It is something that the banking industry can also deal with. What it means is that we now have to refocus and re-strategise and go after the small businesses. If you recall, the level of financial inclusion in Nigeria is less than 60 per cent which means that there is still a lot of room to grow in other sectors. What is happening now is that most banks have gone to the drawing board to see how to compensate for the exclusion of 75 per cent public sector funds from the funds that they have to play around with. So I will say it has affected the business because if you are going to Ikeja and you have a friend that has a boat, he will take you there faster than if you go through third Mainland Bridge. So, we are in business and once you are in business, you look for opportunities and public sector funds I can tell you provide a lot of opportunities. But gradually, given the implication of excess liquidity in the economy as a result of the availability of public sector funds, I think the banking industry have come to realise that it is important that the mop up is done so that we can maintain price stability. If you have excess liquidity in the market, what it means is that you will not be able to control exchange rate stability and inflation. So, looking at it from a professional perspective, I think it is something that the banking industry have accepted and identified with as a sacrifice to strengthen the banking environment because it will help exchange rate, it will help inflation and it will also regulate money supply in the market. Which of the policies of the central bank greatly affected your operations, either positively or negatively? If you ask me what CBN policy has affected us as a bank, one can selfishly say the CRR. This is because it had taken money that typically is free, away from me. If I have N50 billion which typically I was earning money from and you take it out, definitely there is an income loss to me. So, from a selfish perspective, I think that is a major policy that has affected us in the industry. But from professional perspective, I think it is something that is necessary and something that we have identified with because in the last couple of years, what the CBN does is that most of these policies they bring it to the bankers’ committee, we discuss, agree, and some we don’t agree. Sometimes when you have the urge to make profit and you look at the larger economy, then you can see sense in some of those actions. BC


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Business Courage

Despite efforts to protect the country from being turned to a dumping ground for fake cell phones, recent revelations that over N2.7bn worth of fake phones were imported into Nigeria in 2013 shows that it might take a long time to tame the menace

By Adejuwon Osunnuyi

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ith the phenomenal rise in mobile phone users since the deregulation of the telecommunications sector in Nigeria in 2001, one issue that has continued to be a major drawback has been the continued influx of counterfeit or fake phones in the country. All the way from southern China, the so called sub-standard phones find their way straight into Saka Tinubu Street in highbrow Victoria Island, as well as the popular Computer Village in Ikeja, Lagos. Essentially, it is understandable that more customers are opting for fake or counterfeit mobiles (mostly from China) because they are cheap and look exactly like their original counterparts as a result of the prevailing poverty level According to experts, the counterfeit phones manufacturers cannot be said to be under any illusion about the substandard quality of their devices as they wisely choose to use price as a competitive masterstroke. Many consumers of these low quality phones seem yet unaware of the potential haz-

ards that the phones cause. Generally, fake phones are low in quality and do not necessarily follow the safety standards. Health-wise, the fake phones are said to be dangerous, as most times, the radiations from them are beyond the permissible limits and could cause serious damage to the health of the consumer. Currently, while the mobile phone users in the country is said to be around 122 million, fake phones market has continued to be thriving as efforts by government, experts and manufacturers of original phones over the years in rising up to the challenge of combating the menace of these counterfeit phones through sensitisation, arrests and confiscation seems not to be yielding much fruits. Recently, the minister of communications technology, Omobola Johnson admitted that the influx of fake phones in the country has continued to be on the rise. Johnson disclosed that close to one million fake phones were imported into Nigeria with a total value of N2.7billion in 2013. Speaking at the Consumer Roundtable on Phone Rights organised by the Consumer Protection Council, CPC, to commemorate the 2014 World Consumer Rights’ Day in Abuja, Johnson, warning that the figures could be higher this year, noted that government’s “ability to attract investments into the telecom sector is severely hampered if we are lucrative market for fake products”. According to the minister, bemoaning the poor quality of service delivery by telecommunications operators in the country, aside the health hazards of sub-standard devices, “fake phones are actually a drain on network resources as they reduce network speed and impair reception simply because they use substandard components like antenna. “Sometimes, if you experience poor quality service,

Monday, March 31, 2014

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Fake phones

it may simply be your phone and not the network operators fault. So the consumers’ wellknown adage applies here: If the price is too good to be true then it is too good to be true,” she said. The minister said though quality service was global, stressing that the source vary from inadequate or weak regulation to inadequate infrastructure, non transparent billing, customer service and fake phones that compromise the quality of service experienced by the consumer. “To a very large extent, we know where the source of our quality of service issue lies; it is the inadequacy and vulnerability of our ICT infrastructure and also a need for service providers to begin to behave more like service companies and not infrastructure companies.” Johnson revealed that the Federal Government was ready to engage with state governments that make their states conducive for ICT infrastructure to be rolled out by prioritising telecom investments in those states. While informing that a pilot scheme would be held in six states in the coming months, the minister stressed that the figure on the number of fake phones in Nigerian market may be higher in 2014 and lamented that unless this trend was discouraged, it may have a pronounced effect on

the country’s ability to attract investments into the telecoms sector while the phone user continues to be at the receiving end. Emphasising that enforcing phone rights of the subscriber was not by any means an attempt to punish the network operators and service providers as always misconstrued, “but actually to bring much more to the fore that the 100 million subscribers

Johnson

in Nigeria today are not just 080/070/090 numbers but real people with real needs who need good customer service.” She noted that even though efforts were being intensified by the government to remove the infrastructure bottlenecks in the industry like reduction of right of way, reduction or elimination of arbitrary taxes on infrastructure, streamlining conflicting


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Business Courage

Monday, March 31, 2014

Technotalk

environmental regulations for base stations, among others, it was equally important that the network operators should address non-infrastructure issues such as – exploitative automated services, unwanted and unsolicited texts, adding that there has to be a way to allow customers to opt out of this once and for all. “There have been too many complaints about this and if the industry will not address

Eugene Juwah, NCC Boss

this matter it might be time for the regulator to step in,” she said. However, worried by the ugly trend, the regulatory body, the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, seems not to be resting on its oars as it said it is taking necessary measures to protect the nation from becoming a dumping ground for fake cell phones. NCC Public Relations Officer, Reuben Muoka, in an interview said the commission was conscious of the health implications of fake cell phones on the populace. According to him, the commission would ensure that only certified phones and phone accessories found their way into the nation’s markets as NCC had partnered with the Nigerian Customs Services and the Phone and Allied Dealers Association of Nigeria to that effect. “Checks have revealed that major dealers in the Nigeria ICT market also engaged in the sale of unapproved phones. The NCC condemns this in complete terms because of its health implication and effects in the quality of services delivery. “Worried by the ugly trend, the regulatory authority in partnership with NCS and PADAN has organised a forum in Lagos to sensitise end users on the dangers of buying fake phones. We have warned phone dealers to secure an approval for any type of communication equipment before importing them to the country,” he said.

To Muoka, the commission would penalise any dealer who sells or installs any communication facilities without obtaining approval from the NCC as he said the approval is meant to ensure that all communication equipment complies with international standards before it could be used in the country. According to ICT stakeholders, essentially, the consumers who purchase these fake phones can be said to be in two blocks, “ the rather naive ones who may desire genuine phones rather than counterfeits but not knowledgeable enough to spot the difference and those who can easily recognise these fake phones but literally want to eat their cake and have it. According to them, either of these consumers ends up with the short end of the stick, licking their wounds in regret. While the fake phone markets thrives, the relationship between the buyers and sellers, experts say, could said to be far from being mutually beneficial. This is because while the sellers are smiling to the banks, the buyers, most of them unsuspecting, sooner than later realise that they have only been clever by half. The cheap phones pack up, no warranty, the phones cannot be fixed and money gone. While the fake phone saga cannot be said to be relative to Nigeria only, essentially, many countries have been rising up to the challenge of combating the menace of these counterfeit phones by limiting their influx into their respective countries. In India, for instance, there is an outright ban on the importation of mobile phones without IMEI codes as countries like UK, USA and Australia are devising ways to delink counterfeit phones from connecting to their existing mobile networks. It would be recalled that one of the leading phone manufacturers, Nokia, launched a scheme for its consumers to be able to differentiate between an original Nokia and a fake one. According to the firm, the best way for a consumer to ensure that his Nokia phone is a genuine product is to buy only from authorized Nokia dealers and to always check if the phone has a valid International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number, providing him with a 12-month warranty. Genuine IMEI number guarantees the quality of the phone and its low radiation emission. BC

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with Esther Ozue (ozueesther@nationalmirroronline.net) 08059234648 (sms only)

Five reasons to upgrade to new iPad Air

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he iPad Air (iPad 5) is the successor of the iPad 4. As with every new iPad generation, several upgrades and improvements are made, most which will be found under the hood. Upgrading from your normal ipad to ipad air guarantees you high level of efficiency and productivity whether you are one of those people who simply must own the latest and most high-tech gadgets on the market, or whether you rely on your iPad for a wide range of tasks. Here are few reasons why the iPad Air offers a more desirable tablet computing experience over its predecessors and competitors. It’s faster and more powerful: For many serious iPad users, the most compelling reason to upgrade to the iPad Air is to be able to take full advantage of the device’s faster and more powerful A7 chip, which offers 64-bit architecture and an M7 motion coprocessor. Without using a lot of techno-babble, what this means is that the iPad Air can process data much faster, and this improvement in processing speed is very noticeable. In fact, the iPad Air is twice as fast as the third- or fourth-generation iPad, and is eight times faster than the original iPad especially when launching or switching between apps. It’s lighter and thinner: The redesigned iPad Air is both lighter and thinner than its predecessors. The Wi-Fi-only model weighs just 1 pound, whereas the Wi-Fi + Cellular models weigh 1.05 pounds. This may seem like only a minor improvement over earlier released iPads, but without compromising battery life, durability, or computing power, the new design makes the iPad Air more comfortable for users to hold for extended periods of time. The retina display: The LED-backlit, Multi-Touch Retina display that’s built into the iPad Air offers 2048-by-1536 resolution at 264 pixels per inch. Thus, whatever you’re viewing on the tablet’s screen will appear sharper and more detailed, and the colors will be extremely vibrant. This is most noticeable when viewing high-resolution photos or HD video, but it also affects everything else that’s displayed on the screen. Thus, even text is more pleasant to read and easier on your eyes when viewed on the iPad Air. Improved camera functionality: Although the iPad Air has the same camera hardware that’s built into the fourth-generation iPad, for example the front- and rear-facing cameras can capture pictures and video at a better resolution, react to available light better, and function faster. The result is a noticeable improvement in the quality of photos and videos you can capture using the iPad Air’s cameras and the improved picture quality of facetime video calls you participate in. Long lasting battery life: Despite its smaller size and increased capabilities, the iPad Air continues to offer a long lasting battery life, depending on how the device is being used. So whether you’re on the road all day, taking a cross-country or international flight, or want to sit outside and get work done, when you start with a fully charged battery, you can be confident that all your apps, data, and content will be readily available whenever and wherever it’s needed throughout the day and night. Plenty of internal storage for Apps: The iPad Air is available with 16GB, 32GB, 64GB or 128GB of internal storage space. Unfortunately, the tablet is not upgradable after purchase, so it’s important to plan for your storage needs in advance. Keep in mind that high-resolution photos, HD videos as well as music, app-specific data, third-party apps, and other content you will ultimately be storing within your device will all utilize some of this internal storage. Therefore determining your internal storage needs will depend on what you’ll be using your iPad Air for, which affects the type of data and how much content will ultimately be stored within it. Supposing you are already happy using a third- or fourthgeneration iPad, you will definitely appreciate the improved functionality and speed of the iPad Air when you use it. BC


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Business Courage

Monday, March 31, 2014

As an IT solutions provider with over 20 years of experience and multi-domain expertise, Focus Softnet’s consulting services and skill sets are backed by a vast knowledge-base and a keen understanding of what it takes to run and grow a business.

MTN introduces Browse Like Home when you roam

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Uvomata and Ali Hyder - Focus Softnet

Focus Softnet enters the Nigerian software market in style Stories by Adejuwon Osunnuyi

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ocus Softnet, the leading software development company, has signed a partnership agreement with Focus Softnet Services Nig Ltd to distribute its wide range of IT software solutions in Nigeria. According to the terms of the agreement, Focus Softnet Services Nig Ltd will be the vendor’s gold partner for its enterprise software solutions such as Focus i, Focus RT and Focus 6 and a value added reseller for all other Focus products. In an interview with Business Courage, Moses Uvomata, Director, Focus Softnet Services Nig Ltd noted that while the Indians have remained number one in the software market, it is necessary to go in line with the saying that ‘if we can’t beat them we should join them.’ Noting that the coming of Focus Softnet into Nigeria, is a way of bringing in something that is good and cost effective, Uvomata pointed out that while the firm is bringing value for Nigerians money, the Focus Softnet solution is easy to implement. “Focus Softnet is an established software solutions provider with customers across the globe. Focus’ solutions are feature-rich, highly customizable, simple to use and very competitively priced and hence we felt it will be a good fit for our customers in Nigeria. “We will work closely with our partners and resellers across the country and aggressively sell Focus’ enterprise as well as vertical solutions. We are confident that Focus’ products will be well accepted in the Nigerian market,” he stated. In essence, Focus Softnet Services Nig Ltd has joined Focus Softnet’s partner program as a gold partner for Focus i, Focus RT and Focus 6. The company will be able

to avail customers of its valuable resources, competitive pricing and highly-accessible support from the vendor. As a gold partner, Focus Softnet Services Nig Ltd will be able to offer value-added services and expertise when positioning and selling Focus’ solutions. Through continued investments in developing additional sales competencies and technical certifications, Focus Softnet will ensure that Xplicit’s customers and partners will receive high-quality solutions and services. “We are very happy to sign on Focus Softnet Services Nig Ltd as our gold partner for our flagship products Focus I, Focus RT and Focus 6 and as a value added reseller for our vertical-specific solutions and business process solutions. “The value Focus Nigeria brings to the table is its tremendous expertise and immense market knowledge. The company has deep understanding of the Nigerian market and our solutions and we are confident they will help us establish our customer base and increase our market share and reach across Nigeria and the wider West African region,” Ali Hyder, CEO of Focus Softnet stated. Established in 1992, Focus Softnet has a rich history of innovation, expansion and growth. Right from its first product, the company’s emphasis has always been on continuous R&D and team work to ensure that its products are feature-rich and built on stateof-the-art technologies. Focus Softnet understands the challenges of today’s competitive business environment and the need for innovation, and to help address those challenges, the company offers custom-built IT solutions to help companies focus on what they do best - to drive business and accelerate their success. Partnering with respected organizations and business associates across the globe, today,Focus Softnet, has evolved into a true multinational organization with 25 offices in 17 countries across Asia, Middle East, Africa and North America.

s part of its effort to ensure internet accessibility at the most affordable rate while roaming, leading ICT and Telecommunications Company in the country, MTN, has slashed its data roaming rate with the introduction of its new roaming package tagged Roam like Home with “MTN One World’. The MTN One World rates will enable MTN prepaid and post-paid subscribers, who travel out of the country, to have access to the internet on their mobile phones and send text messages, paying a standard home rate of 5kobo per kilobyte and N4 per SMS, as if they are in Nigeria. This service is available in any of its 19 operating countries. The Chief Marketing Officer of the company, Larry Annetts, explained that the key strategic focus for the new tariff plan is to ensure data communication at the most affordable rate on the go. “We are always committed to deliver a new world of digital experience to our customers and the thrust of this initiative is to ensure friendly roaming tariff rates, where our customers who travel to any of our 19 operating countries can still feel at home, browsing at a standard home rate of 5kobo per kilobyte. “Our customers traveling to Ghana, Cameroun, Republic of Benin, South Africa and other MTN operating countries can continue to update their profile messages, share pictures and great moments on social networks, as well as read their emails and browse the internet without any differential in data cost.” Apart from the data rate, customers can also enjoy same

Annetts

SMS home rate of N4, affordable call rates and other affordable friendly roaming services that MTN offers. Speaking on how to enjoy the new MTN One World, Annetts explained that subscribers neither need a migrating code, subscription fee nor airtime deposit, as they “automatically qualify to use and enjoy the rates while roaming in any of the 19 MTN operating countries. All this required is to ensure that data is turned on while roaming. Subscribers roaming on MTN OneWorld can also conveniently check their account balance and recharge via MTN Nigeria’s available top up options.”

Airtel unveils exclusive club for elite customers

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eading telecommunications services provider, Airtel Nigeria, has taken a major step to redefine customer experience for High Net-worth customers as it launched the Airtel Premier Club, a special V-VIP programme specifically designed to offer exceptional and personalised services. The high profile launch event, which took place at the Eko Hotel & Suites in Lagos recently, attracted several important dignitaries including the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Akinwunmi Adesina; Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, His Excellency, Shri A. R. Ghanshyam; former Governor of Cross Rivers State, Donald Duke, Wife of Ogun State Governor, Funsho Amosun, foremost British Economist, Jim O’neill and Arsenal legend, Ray Parlour, among other notable guests. Speaking during the occasion, the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya, described the Airtel Premier Club as a platform specially created to offer exceptional and personalized service to High Networth Customers and distinguished personalities. “The mandate which you have given us is very clear: To exceed your expectations. We will. Many will wonder why we have always won the award for operator with best customer service in all major telecoms awards in the country, since the inception of GSM. Today, we are committing to taking the art of customer service, service excellence and customer experience to a new height,” he said. According to the CEO, customers who enroll on the Airtel Premier platform will enjoy several benefits including dedicated helpline, exclusive emails and website, dedicated Relationship Manager, enrollment into Airtel Rewards Programme,

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Ogunsanya

exclusive access to designated service points at Airtel showrooms and access to over 600 premium lounges across the world, among other benefits. Ogunsanya also assured that Airtel is committed to building a robust network for Nigerians to experience excellent Mobile Internet and voice service. “We are committed to investing in the largest market in Africa. We will continue to work with Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and other stakeholders to create an enabling environment for our customers to experience the results of our investment in capacity and coverage,” he said. The event, however, hit a high point when the Airtel Premier logo was unveiled. With a well-coordinated pyrotechnics display, fireworks and special lighting effect, the Airtel Premier logo literally rose in a slow and stylish fashion from the depth of the hall to assume a most prominent position in front of the stage, amidst thunderous applause from an appreciative audience consisting mostly of corporate elites, government officials, accomplished entrepreneurs, society bigwigs and top entertainment personalities. The event also featured speeches from the Indian High Commissioner, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development and Jim O’neill, foremost British Economist. The Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Shri A. R. Ghanshyam commended Airtel for always turning threats into opportunities and for leveraging on innovative mobile telecommunications solutions to empower the local communities it served. He cited how the mobile phone revolution transformed the lives of poor farmers in India, making them complete entrepreneurs. On his part, O’neill urged the Nigerian leadership to pay attention to education at all levels, saying it is only a skilled population that can bring about the level of productivity that will improve an economy. “Unless young people get the best education, your country will not be anywhere in 2050,” he said. BCBC


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Business Courage

Monday, March 31, 2014

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Opinion

By Alfred Yakubu-Abulu

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To the neutral observer, this appears to be a well-orchestrated attack along party lines to discredit the current administration. All the achievements in the industry such as local content growth, indigenous companies participating at par with international players etc. are lost in the noise. All the gains made in gas-to-power and the attempt by this government to reposition the industry with the PIB are lost in the cacophony of misplaced headlines. All of these seeming distractions have a net effect on the international community’s perception of Nigeria. They do not help with investor confidence and cause nothing but a distraction from the business of running the country. As if the wild allegations of missing money were not enough, we are then treated to the current matter of private jet use by the Minister of Petroleum Resources. Let’s look at this objectively; firstly there is a distinction between private and chartered jets. The first being one owned by a private individual or privately owned company

All of these seeming distractions have a net effect on the international community’s perception of Nigeria. They do not help with investor confidence and cause nothing but a distraction from the business of running the country

n the last few weeks, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani AlisonMadueke has come under intense and sustained attacks ostensibly from members of the opposition party. The airwaves and papers have been awash with the now usual spurious allegations of missing monies, private jets et al. However before delving into the latest wave of well scripted polemics against the minister, the question again remains: Have our journalists and politicians lost a touch with reality? Is this resort to populist blackmail really the way to run a country? Do these sensational headlines with no substance to back them really do any good to the nation’s reputation or standing? So far we have been inundated with a medley of often convoluted facts and figures about missing funds, which any rational person would at first glance agree are a figment of some people’s imagination. Several fair minded commentators have weighed in at various fora to point out some obvious facts. The initial amount mentioned was in excess of the nation’s budget, and somehow government continued to run. The sum changed so frequently that ordinary people lost track of exactly how much was “allegedly missing”. The Senate set up a committee to look into the whole saga and at the last count the sum remaining to be reconciled stood at circa $1.4bn not the alleged $48bn that was shouted from the roof tops. NNPC has repeatedly answered all questions and provided tons of data to the committee to enable it complete its probe into the matter. The final analysis is that no money is “missing” but is simply the subject of reconciliation between agencies of the government. What is then becoming clear is that these attacks are purely partisan in nature intended to throw as much mud at the issue till it sticks. This tends to lend some credence to the adage that “A lie told enough times can become the truth”.

for the exclusive use of the owner, and the second being a jet available for charter by individuals or corporations as the need arises. Under the second category of Chartered Jet usage, the trend across the globe has been for large and even medium sized corporations, to outsource their aviation departments to specialist providers in order to reduce costs and indeed capital outlay associated with the purchase of aircraft. Businesses across the globe have chosen to out-

source the non- critical parts of their operations to specialist providers. This has resulted in innovative ways to procure the use of Jets to fit in with the particular needs of the business. Flexible contracts exist to mix and match usage to any particular requirements. As an oil and gas industry practitioner, I know for sure that the total cost of ownership is very high. Maintenance cost alone was as high as $4m a year for one aircraft. At a point my company needed two aircrafts to provide a

higher availability factor. So maintenance was about $8 a year. Besides the cost of spares keep skyrocketing. We needed to take on a lot of risks which are better managed by airline operator’s e.g. safety, insurance and overall professionalism of the crew. Going for a lease provided a higher availability at low cost as operators have a pool from which backup support is provided when needed. Cost of the leased service is about 40 per cent less than own fleet. Because of footprint of operations, most oil companies in the country use private jet service to cut down on executive lost times waiting at airports. For the NNPC and the Petroleum Ministry, the footprint is even higher. To meet the logistical challenges of providing effective oversight certainly calls for more flexible mode of transportation. For instance, an inspection tour by the GMD or Petroleum Minister could transverse many states and cities which is virtually impossible to accomplish on regular commercial flights. In all, the efficiency argument for leased jet cannot be faulted by any right thinking person except of course, if the thoughts are politically induced. In Nigeria, the trend has over the last 4-5 years increased to the point where people across all facets of government, the executive, legislative and all other arm of government avail themselves of the use of these services. Indeed private organisations, churches and individuals own planes. Anyone with the resources can pitch up and hire a jet at any given time. It is not so long ago that all the political parties were criss-crossing the nation’s airspace in various airplanes. Is this a case of ok for everyone else except the Minister of Petroleum Resources? One can only at this moment conjecture at the next wave of attacks, will it be the minister’s mother perhaps or her children or husband where exactly will it end. BC Alfred Yakubu-Abulu is a Lagos based oil and gas expert, he can be reached at abuluayak@aol.com


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yundai has officially taken the wraps off its new Sonata, consistently one of its top sellers in North America that was surpassed only recently in the sales charts by the smaller, cheaper and slightly newer Elantra. The all-new 2015 Hyundai Sonata follows the lead set by the new Genesis and away from the swoopy and sharply creased styling of the model it replaces. Hyundai Motor’s previous generation Sonata was launched in 2009, embracing the brand’s Fluidic Sculpture design philosophy. The striking design and stylish appearance of the previous generation Sonata enhanced Hyundai Motor’s image. The 2015 model represents a more toned-down family design language which Hyundai calls Fluidic Sculpture 2.0; the all-new Sonata showcases Hyundai Motor’s sleek exterior and intuitive interior design ethos, projecting a harmonious and athletic appearance. The popular midsized sedan has a lot to live up to, but at first glance, the 2015 Hyundai Sonata improves in every category and will surely entice current owners to consider upgrading. A good inch longer and wider than the outgoing Sonata, the new model is also over a third more rigid, thanks in no small part to the use of high-strength steel that now composes over half of the body’s construction. When developing the all-new sedan, Hyundai placed a focus on chassis rigidity, to ensure it’ll deliver an all new standard for ride quality in the segment. To help improve ride and handling performance, significant changes were made to the front and rear suspension resulting in enhanced responsiveness, handling and stability. In addition, steering feel has been further enhanced with the development of the Motor Driven Power Steering (MDPS) resulting in a larger data processing unit, increased logic control cycle and motor control speed and greater steering column rigidity. Compared to its predecessor, the 2015 Sonata uses 30 per cent more advanced highstrength steel and features an ergonomic driver-focused interior layout. In addition, the cabin has become more spacious and luxurious while new technologies include: Advanced Smart Cruise Control (ASCC), Blind

Spot Detection, Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), a hands-free Smart Trunk, driver knee airbag, modern LED lighting, emergency stop signal, an electronic parking brake and heated rear seats. The car’s newly designed underpinnings contribute to an improvement in suspension performance and a greater structural rigidity over the previous generation model, resulting in 41per cent greater torsional strength and 35 per cent greater bending strength than the outgoing model. A variety of premium features such as rear parking sensors, heated leather seats and rear-side curtain airbags emphasize Hyundai Motor’s commitment to delivering value beyond expectations. Advanced multimedia systems and nextgeneration infotainment equipment are also fitted to the allnew Sonata. Exterior Design Hyundai Motor’s latest interpretation of Fluidic Sculpture provides the all-new Sonata with a high-class, sleek style and a confident stance; A single-frame premium 3D hex-

agonal grille is a key styling element at the front of the all-new Sonata, while refined swage lines on its flanks and futuristic features at its rear contribute to its dynamic shape. Powerful light-emitting diode (LED) daytime running lights and striking rear light clusters add to the new model’s sophisticated appearance. Interior Design The all-new Sonata benefits from improved interior ergonomics, resulting in a completely driver-focused cabin that incorporates Hyundai Motor’s core interior design principles of safety, intuitiveness, simplicity and luxury. In order to convey this sense of luxury the points of contact between the driver and car were closely examined and enhanced, one result being the high-grade materials such as leather and metal that are utilized throughout. Additionally, significant attention to detail was paid to ergonomics. For example, Hyundai Motor engineers focused their attention on developing the ideal steering wheel design to ensure the best possible grip

and feel for the driver. After a series of tests the dimensions and style of the wheel were altered: an overall increase in rim cross section thickness and ergonomic improvements to grip rests ensure more of the steering wheel surface is in contact with the driver. Such subtle improvements to detail enhance the driving experience of the all-new Sonata, especially at high speeds. The all-new Sonata has also been fitted with newly configured parts, such as a redesigned steering column in order to accommodate the car’s optimal driver-focused layout. The central console has moved away from the traditional shape and style, and vital information is now displayed in a more effective and easy-todigest manner, in the instrument cluster facing the driver. This approach significantly improves visibility for the driver. The switches in the all-new Sonata have been grouped depending on function and are within easy reach of the driver, facilitating quicker, safer control. Switch feel was also given rigorous consideration, both in terms of operational force and

touch, in order to make locating and operating functions as easy as possible while driving. Driving Performance The all-new Sonata sets a new standard for ride in a midsize sedan, improved twisting and bending strength have been achieved thanks to greater use of Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS), which is twice as rigid and 10 per cent lighter than traditional steel, resulting in enhanced safety and driving performance. Reducing road noise, vibrations and enhancing driving dynamics were priorities achieved in part through optimized suspension damping that gives occupants a soft, silent and comfortable experience. In order to improve ride and handling performance, there have been significant changes to the front and rear suspension, the dual lower suspension arms of the rear suspension of the all-new Sonata distribute lateral forces more effectively than single arm versions, providing greater freedom to finely tune ride characteristics. Steering feel has been further increased thanks to the


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A19 35

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Autocare How to maintain your car’s

development of the Motor Driven Power Steering (MDPS) that has resulted in a larger data processing unit, increased logic control cycle and motor control speed, and greater steering column rigidity. Gentle on-centre feel and agile, precise and responsive steering feel are aided by the all-new Sonata’s Drive Mode Select function, which allows the driver to choose the best driving parameters to suit their requirements or the current road conditions. In terms of braking, the allnew Sonata boasts superior stopping distances for a car of its class, combined with an assured, firm feel. Safety An impressive 51 per cent of the all-new Sonata’s steel is Advanced High Strength Steel (AHSS), an increase of 30 percent over the previous generation model. These AHSS components are used to both increase stiffness and more effectively protect passengers, helping the all-new Sonata to achieve topclass safety ratings according to the company’s internal tests. These changes mean that

th the all-new Sonata’s torsional a and bending stiffness has inc creased by 41 per cent and 35 p per cent respectively, compared w with its predecessor. In additi tion, high rear impact perform mance is ensured through reinfo forced side and cross members th that support the vehicle’s subfr frames and strengthen subfr frame mounting points, which a also improves suspension res sponsiveness. A suite of airbags, including driver knee airbag, are fitted to the new model, while Advanced Smart Cruise Control (ASCC) uses radar to automatically calculate the distance to cars directly ahead and behind. The system maintains a constant gap to the next vehicle and deploys the Automatic Emergency Braking system if a stationary vehicle is detected ahead avoiding a potential collision. Blind Spot Detection (BSD) monitors traffic around the car in the driver’s blind spots, warning drivers of possible unseen hazards. This system notifies the driver of hidden hazards through an indicator symbol on the instrument panel and via illuminated signals on both exterior mirrors. If a driver should ignore these visual warnings and begin to change lanes, the BSD system automatically issues an audible warning. The Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) uses the all-new Sonata’s forward-facing sensor technology to recognize defined lanes situated ahead of the vehicle. To ensure drivers of oncoming vehicles are not distracted by the all-new Sonata’s headlights at night, the High Beam Assist (HBA) function automatically detects an approaching vehicle and dips the high beam headlights to reduce glare. Pedestrian safety was also a prime consideration, resulting in the provision of a durable and weight-optimized hood structure, and a scuttle panel that offers increased head protection safeguards. Convenience For front seat passengers, the all-new Sonata features integrated, height-adjustable seats that have been developed to maximize comfort and convenience. They are also vented to cool passengers under humid conditions, and heated to provide warmth during cold weather, faster than the previous version.

The high levels of comfort extend to rear-seat passengers who benefit from heated seats, an electric rear window blind and rear side curtain blinds – a segment-first feature. Personal reading lights provide rear passengers with directed illumination, while the new car’s spacious interior and slim front seat backs mean there is plenty of legroom for all occupants. A panoramic sunroof brings a sense of the outside into the cabin of the all-new Sonata, and ensures a light and refreshing atmosphere is maintained at all times. Advanced vehicle infotainment features, including sophisticated next-generation multi-media systems, ensure the all-new Sonata delivers cutting-edge entertainment and connectivity to drivers and passengers. Supporting USB, Bluetooth and iPod connectivity, the all-new Sonata also features voice recognition and smartphone integration. Further convenience is provided by the all-new Sonata’s Smart Trunk function. Using the vehicle’s smart key, the system can be activated (in the user settings menu) to open the trunk automatically when the smart key is detected near the rear bumper for longer than three seconds. Powertrain A range of MPi and GDi engines deliver maximum drivability in all driving conditions, thanks to improvements that mean plentiful torque and power are available across a wider range of engine speeds. Carefully-matched smoothshifting transmissions ensure maximum availability of full engine output and contribute to a smooth and relaxing ride for occupants. While the all-new Sonata is equipped with 2.0 CVVL, 2.4 GDi, 2.0 LPi for the Korean market, variations will vary, depending on each market. Since the Sonata badge was first introduced by Hyundai Motor in 1985, cumulative sales have almost reached seven million units, making this model the third Hyundai Motor model ever to achieve the landmark figure. Hyundai Motor targets to sell a total of 228,000 units (Korea: 63,000 / Overseas: 165,000) for this year, while aiming to expand it up to 338,000 units (Korea: 89,000 / Overseas: 249,000) next year. BC

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he wipers on your car are the first line of defence when it comes to cleaning the windshield. Wiper blades have a life span of approximately 12 months. Normal use, harsh sunlight and dust can cause the rubber on the blade to dry out and crack. The wipers are always subjected to a lot of situations which can damage them. The sun’s UV rays affect the rubber, the imperfections on the glass affect the shape of the rubber, sand and dirt carried by the wind along with oil can get deposited on the blades, all reducing their effectiveness. These defects will cause streaks of water on the windscreen, and will reduce your visibility in wet weather. Check your wiper blades regularly for abrasive cuts or cracks on the edge of the wiper blade and also check for dirt embedded in these defects. When in use, the wiper blade should wipe the windscreen smoothly and quietly. The wiper blade should always stop before it touches the rubber frame of the windscreen. Should you notice one of the signs of a damaged wiper blade as listed below, then your wiper blades or wiper arm should be replaced immediately. Warning signs! Lace Curtains: Arm defects or long periods in the ‘park’ position can deform the wiper blade edge, causing a veil effect across the windscreen. Bands: Wiper blade rubber can wear out or become damaged with age. This will result in thick bands of water being left on the windscreen. Lines: When the wiper rubber becomes damaged with age, or wears thin, fine semi-circular lines are left on the windscreen. Chatter hopping: This happens when wiper blades judder across the screen leaving radial streaks. Chatter hopping can be caused by a deformed wiper element, worn blade linkage or a change in wiper arm characteristics. Wind lift: When travelling at high speed, the wiper misses parts of the windscreen, then the wiper blade or wiper arm should be replaced. Vibration judder: A deformed wiper element, the wrong adapter or wear and age on the wiper blade rubber and links can cause jerky wiper arm movement. Unwashed margins: Deterioration of the wiper blade linkage, or decreased wiper pressure can result in parts of the windscreen not being wiped at all. Noise: Noisy wipers may be a sign that the wiper element is deformed, or has hardened. This could also be caused by a worn wiper blade structure. There are two main types of wiper arms, which are used to connect the blade assembly to the vehicle. Bayonet Type Arm: These were used on early model cars Hook Type Arm: These are used on later model cars To replace your wiper blades, follow these steps: Step 1: If you have a Bayonet type arm, lift up the arm of the windscreen wiper and press down on the arm to release the clip. If this does not work, use a thin screwdriver between the fitting arm to release the clip. If you have the hook type arm, lift up the arm of the windscreen wiper and rotate the bottom of the blade towards the windscreen to unhook it. Step 2: Check that your wiper blade is fitted with a universal adaptor. This will cater for most vehicle designs. If not, please select the correct adaptor to suit your car’s wiper arm. Step 3: Fit the blade assembly to the wiper arm. Follow the fitting instructions supplied in the wiper blade packaging. Step 4: Gently lower the wiper blade arm back onto the windscreen. Useful tips: Remember to check your windscreen wipers regularly, and to replace them as soon as they show evidence of damage. When you have been in a dusty area, or have not used your wiper blades for an extended period of time, take a damp cloth and gently clean your wiper blades. You can do this by lifting the wiper blade arm, and running the damp cloth along the edge of the wiper blade. Apart from degreasing, the wiper blade surface it would be a good idea to also get rid of the sludge on the windscreen glass by wiping with light soap solution (Never add more than 1 teaspoonfull of liquid soap in the windscreen washer container). BC


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Business Courage

Monday, March 31, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

UBA declares N264.7bn gross earning for 2013

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nited Bank for Africa Plc has announced an impressive growth across key financial parameters for the financial year end, December 31, 2013, due largely to what analysts described as improved growth drive, sustained operational efficiency and enhanced productivity. In the financial results for the 12 months ended December 31, 2013 submitted to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, UBA recorded a 20.2 per cent increase in Gross Earnings to N264.7bn. This was largely driven by a growth of 40.4 per cent in loans and advances as well as a 25 per cent growth in the bank’s total deposits. Consequently, the bank’s loan-todeposit ratio improved from 38.7 per cent to 44.3 per cent, the remarkable growth in loans and advances, especially in the last quarter of the year,

Oduoza

puts the bank in a vantage position for continued revenue growth in the coming years.

In addition to achieving this growth, UBA also enhanced its operational efficiency and productivity with the Cost-to-Income ratio improving by four per cent from 64.8 to 60.9 percentages respectively. This improvement was largely through prudent cost management policies, enhanced efficiency of the Bank’s network and the impact of other productivity initiatives. The Bank’s Profit Before Tax grew by 7.8 per cent to N56.06bn, representing a Return on Equity of 21.8 per cent. The bank ended the year with a total balance sheet size of N2.64 trillion and a total deposit base of N2.22 trillion. Commenting on the results, the Group Managing Director/CEO, UBA Plc, Phillips Oduoza said “UBA’s Gross Earnings for the year is quite impres-

sive, with positive contributions from all our businesses. “Our Bank achieved a good result despite a challenging operating environment, demonstrating the strength and resilience of our people and their dedication to implementing our growth plans in 2013.” Following the impressive performance, the bank has proposed a dividend of 50k per share which further attests to the bank’s unflinching commitment to a consistent return to shareholders. UBA is a pan-African Bank with operations in 19 African countries, New York , London and Paris . The Bank adheres to the strictest corporate governance and risk management practices, to ensure the long term profitability and sustainability of its business. BC

73 per cent of share certificates dematerialised – CSCS boss

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anaging Director, Central Securities Clearing System Plc (CSCS), Kyari Bukar, has said that 73 per cent of share certificates in the country had been dematerialised. Bukar who spoke at a bi-monthly interactive forum of the Finance Correspondents’ Association of Nigeria (FICAN), said that, in spite of the record, there was still the need to enlighten people about the dematerialisation of share certificates. Dematerialisation is the conversion of a share certificate from its physical form to electronic form for the same number of units. They are, then, credited to investor’s Central Securities Clearing System Ltd. (CSCS) account. The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in 2008 notified shareholders that as from January 2009, their share certificates would be converted to electronic form.

According to Bukar, the system daily attends to no fewer than 1,500 customers’ complaints through points of interaction, besides electronic correspondence. Bukar said that Transaction Cost Analysis (TCA) initiative of the NSE, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and CSCS was aimed at knowing the total cost of security investments. He also said that the initiative was developed to compare the Nigerian market with foreign markets. The CSCS boss said that the TCA was to guide foreign investors and portfolio investors in their investment decisions and assist them to allocate their resources wisely in the market. According to him, the introduction of the TCA had helped to determine how free and open the market was, as well as the state of the economy. He said that a study had shown that

Bukar

the TCA was not only useful in determining the explicit cost, which includes investors’ payment to brokers, CSCS and NSE, but also the intrinsic cost borne by them. Bukar said that every investor need-

ed to understand the TCA to be able to make an informed investment decision on securities He said that the establishment of the West African Capital Markets Integration Council (WACMIC) was to give investors in the region a larger market Bukar added that the integration of the markets would enable investors’ access to a $300 billion pool of investment in the region than in a particular country. The managing director said that the integration processes would be in different phases, adding that there would be a standard which the markets would meet for a common methodology with risk management in place for smooth operations. According to him, the integration of markets in the region will also facilitate the growth of Nigeria’s capital market. BC

SEC targets 100 per cent market capitalisation contribution to GDP

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he Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, said it plans to grow the contribution of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, market capitalisation to the Gross Domestic Product, GDP, by over 100 percent in the next 10 years from 27 percent it presently contributes. Mounir Gwarzo, Executive Commissioner, Operations, SEC and sponsor, Capital Market Master Plan Committee, made the assertion at the Centenary Capital Market Committee Meeting in Lagos. He noted that the objective is achievable based on available numbers, adding that countries like South Africa, Malaysia and India have achieved the feat. He stated that within the same period, the Commission would ensure that the Nigerian capital market

ranked among the top 20 markets in the world. “We want to see that in the next 10 years, our market capitalisation should be over and above our GDP,” he affirmed. To achieve the objective, Gwarzo explained that the SEC would seek to strengthen its regulation, while eliminating areas that have overlapping functions. Additionally, he said that the issue of high cost of transaction would be addressed within the period to reflect what is obtainable in other climes. “It is always said that the cost of transaction in the Nigerian capital market is high compared to other markets. We have engaged a consultant to look at our cost of transaction and benchmark it with other countries,” he observed.

Also speaking at the event, Sa’adem Bello, Executive Commissioner, Legal Services, SEC, and Head, Capital Market Literacy Committee, said the Commission also targets to grow the number of local participation in the Nigerian capital market to 40 million. She noted that findings undertaken in the course of the committee’s job revealed that paltry 3.5 million Nigerians participate in the market as at today, even as she attributed the low level of participation to little knowledge about the capital market. “So, the committee is working as seeing that the number of local investors that participate actively in the market increases from what it is presently is,” she said. Responding to questions on listings on the NSE, Ade Bajomo, Executive Director of the Exchange said “List-

ing of companies on the exchange remains a key priority to the NSE and SEC and the NSE will also ensure that listed companies are retained.” He said there have been a lot of significant changes that the management of the Exchange has brought into the capital market in the last two years. Speaking on the achievements of the capital market in the last 100 years, Oteh said though the market is not yet where it is supposed to be, but it has recorded tremendous achievements. Her words: “The capital market has been the most veritable medium to raise medium and long term capital. Since 1946 when the first loan stock was floated and the establishment of the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 1961 as well as the establishment of SEC in 1980, it has always been one progressive move to the other.” BC


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Business Courage

Monday, March 31, 2014

A21 37

Transactions maintain the upbeat trend on NSE

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eekly transactions on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) last Friday ended on positive note for the fourth consecutive day as Nestle remained the highest price gainer with N25 to close at N1,050 per share. It was followed by Total Oil which gained N13.95 to close at N172.95, while Guinness grew by N9.25 to close at N194.25 per share. Dangote Cement appreciated by N4.75 to close at N239.75, while Mobil Oil rose by N3.99 to close at N122 per share.

Consequently, the NSE All-Share Index improved by 144.85 points or 0.38 per cent to close at 38,331.78 in contrast to the 38,186.93 achieved on Thursday. Also, the market capitalisation, which opened at N12.266 trillion, gained N46 billion or 0.38 per cent to close higher at N12.312 trillion. On the contrary, CAP topped the laggards with a loss of N4.38 to close at N40.62 per share. UACN lost N2.95 to close at N56.41, while Cadbury depreciated by N1.45 to close at

N78.55 per share. Nigerian Breweries dropped N1 to close at N150, while Stanbic IBTC Bank dipped by 70k to close at N20.30 per share. In all, a total of 448.107 million shares worth N4.05 million were traded by investors in 3,640 deals. This was against the 406.179 million shares valued at N6.56 billion traded in 4,358 deals on Thursday. Sterling Bank emerged the investors’ delight, accounting for 160.82 million shares worth N397.37 million. BC

Market Indicators for Week Ended 28-03-14 All-Share Index 38,331.78points Market Capitalization N12,312,596,859,787.42 Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY

OPENING PRICE

TOTAL

Ashaka Cement to boost jobs with N100bn investments

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shaka Cement Plc is making over N100 billion (513 million Euros) investments to expand its Gombe plant that would increase output from about 1 million to about 4 million tons, while increasing direct jobs from present 630 to over 2,500 with attendant multiplier effects. Umaru Kwairanga, chairman, Ashaka Cement, disclosed this in an interview in Abuja and confirmed that President Goodluck Jonathan has been scheduled to perform the plant’s ground breaking ceremony next month. He said their conviction to expand production capacity in the North East even when many companies have fled the region is buoyed by passion to create more jobs and engage the youths, especially as the company’s 32.5 cement class remains relevant and has been well accepted over the years in the region.

Kwairanga

This came as he vehemently ruled out notions that cement quality has been the major cause of building collapse in Nigeria and especially the North Eastern part of the country. He said this position is further confirmed by so many researches which practically show that building collapse in the country is more related to builders not following given specifications for block moulding, among other fac-

tors. “I want to state that cement is not responsible for building collapse in Nigeria and I can say that especially in the Northern Nigeria where Ashaka is located. “If for instance, we say a bag of cement should produce only 18 blocks or maximum 20, and a retailer goes ahead to produce 40 blocks, how can you relate the consequent collapse to the cement? Kwairanga argued. He noted that even in Northern Nigeria where Ashaka cement is produced and predominantly used, the issue of building collapse is not as rampant as in other places. He also has raised concerns on the planned ban of 32.5 cement class, saying that the product is also not linked to building collapse and should be left to compete with other specifications while consumers are allowed to make choices. BC

CHANGE

172.95

0.60

0.64

6.67

185.00

194.25

5.00

INTENEGINS GUINNESS

CLOSING PRICE

159.00

8.77

COSTAIN

1.42

1.48

4.23

UPL

3.85

4.00

3.90

LOSERS COMPANY

OPENING PRICE

CLOSING PRICE

CHANGE

CAP

45.00

40.62

-9.73

GUARANTY

25.98

24.52

-5.62

UACN

59.36

56.41

-4.97

DNMEYER

1.22

1.16

-4.92

RTBRISCOE

1.29

1.23

-4.65

Inter-Bank Rates TENOR CALL OBB

RATE%(PREV) 20-March-2014

RATE%(CURR) 26-March-2014

0.0000 - 0.0000%

0.0000 - 0.0000%

10.2500 - 11.0000%

10.2500 - 11.5000%

Primary Market Auction TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

91-Day

21534.34

11.9

26-Mar-14

182-Day

33783.25

13.18

26-Mar-14

91-Day

33266.32

11.95

19-Mar-14

Open Market Operation TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

125-Day

60000

13.1

RATE (%)

28-Mar-14

DATE

147-Day

50000

13.1

27-Mar-14

146-Day

50000

13.1

21-Mar-14

Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED

MARKET DEMAND

AMOUNT SOLD

DATE

$400m

$394,675,266.96m

$394,675,266.9m

26-Mar-14

$400m

$399,212,092.34m

$399,212,092.3m

24-Mar-14


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Business Courage

Monday, March 31, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Global News clients. Under new Chief Executive John Chen, the Waterloo, Ontario-based company is also putting the emphasis back on its once hugely successful keyboard devices. Chen told Reuters that BlackBerry was designing three new keyboard-centric devices and would probably introduce them in the next 18 months.

Chen

Blackberry makes $5.9bn loss in 2013

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lackBerry Ltd reported a much smaller-than-expected quarterly loss on Friday, sending its shares up nearly 7 percent, even as its smartphone sales continued to slide. The company said its net loss was $423 million, or 80 cents a share, for the fourth quarter ended March 1. That compared with a year-earlier profit of $98 million, or 19 cents a share. Revenue fell to $976 million from $2.68 billion. Analysts on average had been expecting $1.11 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Excluding restructuring charges and other one-time items, the company reported a loss of 8 cents a share. The analysts’ average estimate was 55 cents. The company said it had recognized hardware revenue on about 1.3 million BlackBerry smartphones during the fourth quarter, compared with about 1.9 million devices in the previous period. It also said about 3.4 million devices were sold through to end customers, and this included shipments made and recognized before the fourth quarter. The company said 68 percent of these devices were BlackBerry 7s, indicating that traction around its new line of BlackBerry 10 phones remains weak. Morningstar analyst Brian Colello said operating expense reductions were encouraging and that he thought the company could get to break-even by the end of 2015 with further cost-cutting. “The big question still remains what BlackBerry can do on the demand side,” he said. “A lot of their moves have been supply related and internal, but we’re still looking for strong signs that demand is improving.” BlackBerry devices have lost ground to Apple Inc’s iPhone and smartphones powered by Google Inc’s Android operating system. As it tries to engineer a turnaround, the company is focusing on its services arm, which secures mobile devices on internal networks of big

Japan prices rise for ninth month ahead of tax increase

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onsumer prices in Japan increased by 1.3 per cent in February compared with the same period last year, marking the ninth month in a row of gains. The figure met analysts’ expectations, but is still well below Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s inflation target of two per cent. Japanese consumer spending also slowed, official data revealed, ahead of a planned tax increase in April. A separate release revealed that Japan’s jobless rate fell to 3.6 per cent - the lowest rate in six years. When the tax increase comes into effect next month, sales tax on everyday goods will increase from five to eight percentages. Abe has argued the tax increase is necessary to cut Japan’s rising public debt, as its population ages. The increase in consumer prices could help Japan combat its common foe - deflation, or decreasing prices - but could also slow down economic activity. The figures have fuelled speculation about whether or not the Bank of Japan will step in with further stimulus measures should the tax increase have an adverse impact. Already, analysts have been surprised by falling consumer spending - defying expectations that the planned tax increase would lead to a rush of shopping before its implementation. Official figures also showed that household spending posted a surprise decline of 2.5 per cent in February. Retail sales in Japan in-

Abe

creased by 3.6 per cent in February, which is slower than the 4.4 per cent growth in January.

Surge in consumer confidence lifts euro zone economic sentiment

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surge in consumer confidence helped boost economic sentiment in the euro zone in March to its highest level since July 2011, data from the European Commission showed on Friday. The lift will encourage those in the European Central Bank who have been grappling with sluggish price rises, which reflect weak consumer demand. Consumers appeared to shrug off concerns about the impact of the crisis in Ukraine although a German GfK sentiment survey released on Wednesday, which was also upbeat, indicated the mood among consumers in Europe’s biggest economy could worsen if the crisis in Crimea spreads. “Consumer confidence was particularly buoyant, registering the sharpest monthly increase since April 2009,” the European Commission said. Economic sentiment across the 18-nation bloc increased to 102.4 this month from 101.2 in February, exceeding market expectations of 101.4, while the consumer confidence reading rose to -9.3 from -12.7 in February. Economic sentiment has improved sharply this year and the March reading was the highest since July 2011, when it stood at 103.7, according to Thomson Reuters data. Sentiment in the Netherlands jumped by 2.3 points to 100.3, followed by a 2.2 improvement in Spain. Italy rose by 1.3 points, France by 0.7. Morale in Germany, Europe’s strongest economy, brightened by 0.4 point. The European Commission said that increases in services and retail trade confidence were comparatively modest and industry and construction sentiment remained broadly unchanged compared to February. The bullish consumer data is likely to strengthen those in the ECB who do not want to ease policy any further for now despite very low inflation, which raises the risk of potentially damaging deflation. Falling prices tend to discourage consumers from spending because they expect prices to fall further. “While yesterday’s weak money and credit growth figures argue in favour of further monetary easing, the further brightening in economic sentiment in March will strengthen the hands of the hawks on the

ECB’s Governing Council in making the case for continued inaction at next week’s policy meeting,” said Martin van Vliet, an analyst with ING. Economists polled by Reuters expect the ECB to leave rates on hold at its policy meeting next Thursday despite February inflation at an uncomfortably low 0.7 per cent year-on-year. “We believe that if the ECB does eventually act, it will probably include measures aimed at adding liquidity,” said Howard Archer, chief European economist at IHS. While economic recovery is strengthening and making Europeans more optimistic about the future, it is still too weak to spur robust job creation that would encourage more spending. Archer said the sharp increase in consumer confidence brought the reading to a 76-month high in March, adding the hope now was that rising confidence would encourage businesses to hire more and boost investment plans. Unemployment in the euro zone remains close to record highs at 12 per cent, even though job creation in the last quarter of 2013 rose for the first time in nearly three years. While employment plans were revised upwards in the retail trade and construction sectors, they remained virtually unchanged in industry and services, according to the European Commission data.

UK current account deficit near record high at £22.4bn

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he UK’s current account deficit was larger than expected in the final quarter of last year, official figures have shown. The deficit in the three months to December was £22.4bn, only marginally lower than the all-time high of £22.8bn recorded in the previous quarter. Economists had expected the UK’s deficit to narrow to about £14bn in the final three months of the year. One analyst described the deficit as “worryingly large”. The current account deficit for the year was £71.1bn, equal to 4.4 per cent of UK GDP and slightly lower than the highest current account deficit of 4.6 per cent of GDP recorded in 1989, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said. The UK’s trade deficit with the rest of the world - the difference between the value of goods and services the country imports versus what it exports - narrowed to £5.7bn in the fourth quarter from £10bn three months earlier, the ONS

David Cameron, British Prime Minister

said. The fall in the trade deficit was partly attributed to Britain’s dominant service sector - which accounts for nearly 80 per cent of UK economic growth - which recorded a surplus in the quarter of £1.4bn. The UK’s trade deficit in goods also narrowed by £3bn. But this was the result of falling imports rather than any increase in exports. Imports fell by £3.4bn in the period, the ONS said. Imports of oil, semi-manufactured goods and finished manufactured goods fell by £1.4bn, £1bn and £0.9bn respectively. Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at IHS Global Insight, said: “It has to be hoped going forward that improving global growth not only supports UK exports but also lifts earnings on UK investment abroad.” A Treasury spokesman said although the current account had widened over the year, the data showed some “very good performance in the trade element”. He said: the trade deficit had almost halved between the third and fourth quarters, with exports increasing by 2.8 per cent and imports falling by 0.4 per cent. “In the Budget the chancellor expressly said that we need to export more, hence the move to double the UK’s export direct lending programme to £3bn and reduce the cost of long-distance flights for exporters and visitors to the UK by abolishing two tax bands,” they added. The UK’s income account - the income from its overseas investments compared with the return other countries receive on their investment in the UK recorded a deficit of £10.3bn in the quarter. The ONS said the deficit in the income account was due to the pound strengthening against other currencies during the period. Separately, the ONS kept its estimate for UK economic growth in the fourth quarter of 2013 unchanged at 0.7 per cent. But it revised down its figure for growth during 2013 as a whole to 1.7 per cent from a previous estimate of 1.8 per cent. BC


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Business Courage

Monday, March 31, 2014

A23 39

STOCKWATCH Stock Exchange weekly equities summary as at Friday, March 28, 2014 SECURITY

PRICE (=N=)

AGRICULTURE/AGRO-ALLIED Crop Production FTN COCOA PROCESSORS PLC 0.50 OKOMU OIL PALM PLC. 42.00 PRESCO PLC 40.00 Fishing/Hunting/Trapping ELLAH LAKES PLC. 4.26 Livestock/Animal Specialties LIVESTOCK FEEDS PLC. 3.12 CONGLOMERATES Diversified Industries A.G. LEVENTIS NIGERIA PLC. 1.40 CHELLARAMS PLC. NT JOHN HOLT PLC. NT SCOA NIG PLC NT TRANSNATIONAL CORP. OF NIG.PLC 3.76 U A C N PLC. 56.41 CONSTRUCTION/REAL ESTATE Building Construction ARBICO PLC. NT CAPPA & D’ALBERTO PLC. NT Building Structure/Completion/Other COSTAIN (W A) PLC. 1.48 G CAPPA PLC NT Non--Building/Heavy Construction JULIUS BERGER NIG. PLC. 71.25 ROADS NIG PLC. NT Real Estate Development PINNACLE POINT GROUP PLC NT UACN PROPERTY DEV 20.90 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) SKYE SHELTER FUND PLC NT UNION HOMES REAL ESTATE INV NT UPDC REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT TRUST 11.02 CONSUMER GOODS Automobiles/Auto Parts DN TYRE & RUBBER PLC NT Beverages--Brewers/Distillers CHAMPION BREW. PLC. NT GOLDEN GUINEA BREW. PLC. NT GUINNESS NIG PLC 194.25 INTERNATIONAL BREWERIES PLC. 24.20 JOS INT. BREWERIES PLC. NT NIGERIAN BREW. PLC. 150.00 PREMIER BREWERIES PLC NT Beverages--Non-Alcoholic 7-UP BOTTLING COMP. PLC. 90.00 Food Products BIG TREAT PLC NT DANGOTE FLOUR MILLS PLC 8.90 DANGOTE SUGAR REFINERY PLC 9.70 FLOUR MILLS NIG. PLC. 6,500.00 HONEYWELL FLOUR MILL PLC 3.72 MULTI-TREX INTEGRATED FOODS PLC 0.50 N NIG. FLOUR MILLS PLC. NT NATIONAL SALT CO. NIG. PLC 11.99 P S MANDRIDES & CO PLC. NT U T C NIG. PLC. 0.56 UNION DICON SALT PLC. NT Food Products--Diversified CADBURY NIGERIA PLC. 78.55 NESTLE NIGERIA PLC. 1,050.00 Household Durables BETA GLASS CO PLC. NT NIGERIAN ENAMELWARE PLC. NT VITAFOAM NIG PLC. 4.25 VONO PRODUCTS PLC. 1.66 Personal/Household Products P Z CUSSONS NIGERIA PLC. 31.10 UNILEVER NIGERIA PLC. 45.15 Textiles/Apparel UNITED NIG. TEXTILES PLC. NT FINANCIAL SERVICES Banking ACCESS BANK PLC. 7.44 DIAMOND BANK PLC 6.31 ECOBANK TRANSNATIONAL INC. 13.00 FIDELITY BANK PLC 2.24 FIRST CITY MONUMENT BANK PLC. NT GUARANTY TRUST BANK PLC. 24.52 SKYE BANK PLC 3.69 STERLING BANK PLC. 2.50 U B A PLC 6.97 UNION BANK NIG.PLC. 10.00 UNITY BANK PLC 0.50 WEMA BANK PLC. 0.94 ZENITH BANK PLC 1,960.00 Insurance Carriers, Brokers & Services AFRICAN ALLIANCE INS. COY. PLC NT AIICO INSURANCE PLC. 0.79 CONFIDENCE INSURANCE PLC NT CONSOLIDATED HALLMARK INS. PLC 0.50 CONTINENTAL REINSURANCE PLC 0.95 CORNERSTONE INS. COY. PLC. 0.50 CUSTODIAN AND ALLIED INS. PLC NT EQUITY ASSURANCE PLC. NT GOLDLINK INSURANCE PLC NT GREAT NIGERIAN INSURANCE PLC 0.50 GUINEA INSURANCE PLC. NT INTERCONTINENTAL WAPIC INS. PLC NT INTERNATIONAL ENERGY INS. PLC 0.64 INVESTMENT AND ALLIED ARN. NT LASACO ASSURANCE PLC. NT LAW UNION AND ROCK INS. PLC. NT LINKAGE ASSURANCE PLC 0.50 MANSARD INSURANCE PLC 2.08 MUTUAL BENEFITS ASSURANCE PLC. 0.50 N.E.M INSURANCE CO (NIG) PLC. 0.78 NIGER INSURANCE CO. PLC. 0.50 OASIS INSURANCE PLC 0.50 PRESTIGE ASSURANCE CO. PLC. 0.54 REGENCY ALLIANCE INS. COY PLC 0.50 SOVEREIGN TRUST INSURANCE PLC 0.50 STACO INSURANCE PLC NT STANDARD TRUSTASSURANCE PLC NT STANDARD ALLIANCE INS. PLC. 0.50 UNIC INSURANCE PLC. 0.50 UNITY KAPITAL ASSURANCE PLC NT UNIVERSAL INS. COMPANY PLC NT WAPIC INSURANCE PLC 0.77 Micro Finance Banks FORTIS MICROFINANCE BANK PLC NT NPF MICROFINANCE BANK PLC 0.78 Mortgage Carriers, Brokers &Services ABBEY BUILDING SOCIETY PLC NT ASO SAVINGS AND LOANS PLC 0.50 INFINITY TRUST MORTGAGE BANK PLC NT RESORT SAVINGS & LOANS PLC NT UNION HOMES SAVINGS&LOANS PLC NT Other Financial Institutions AFRICA PRUDENTIAL REGISTRARS 3 CRUSADER ( NIG) PLC. NT DEAP CAPITAL MGT & TRUST PLC 0.99 FBN HOLDINGS PLC 12.51 FCMB GROUP PLC 3.40 NIG SEW. MACH. MAN. CO. PLC. NT NIGERIA ENERYGY SECTOR FUND NT ROYAL EXCHANGE PLC. NT STANBIC IBTC HOLDINGS PLC 20.30 UBA CAPITAL PLC 2.50 HEALTHCARE Healthcare Providers EKOCORP PLC. NT UNION DIAGNOSTIC &CLINICAL PLC NT Medical Supplies MORISON INDUSTRIES PLC. NT Pharmaceuticals EVANS MEDICAL PLC. 2.22

NOTE NT=Not Traded on 28-03-14

QUANTITY

52 WK HIGH

52 WK LOW

1,330 35,965 152,400

0.64 107.81 41.14

0.50 20.92 8.24

SHARES OUTSTANDING

EPS

2,200,000,000 476,955,000 1,000,000,000

0.10 2.29 7.55

MOV. (%)

N/A 9.38 -3.80

Previous

0.50 38.40 41.58

100

4.26

4.26

60,000,000

0.00

N/A

4.26

1,596,704

7.18

0.68

1,199,549,736

0.07

-21.01

3.95

46,960 1,000 20,100 5 13,478,054 278,435

2.08 6.43 5.89

0.71 4.15 1.07

2,191,895,983 963,900,300 389,151,408

0.11 0.16 1.09

-20.00 N/A N/A

5.89 71.10

0.50 28.00

821,666,666 1,600,720,323

0.09 4.38

N/A N/A

1.75 3.95 1.27 5.32 3.66 69.00

179 3

26.00 95.49

5.05 95.49

148,500,000 196,876,000

0.33 4.50

N/A N/A

5.30 NT

104,500 3

2.66 14.46

0.72 14.46

920,573,765 125,000,000

0.00 0.00

N/A N/A

1.17 NT

40 1,432

83.75 10.60

19.86 6.61

1,200,000,000 20,000,000

6.74 1.69

-5.00 N/A

75.00 8.46

NT 422,994

7.28 20.90

7.28 8.82

1,375,000,000

0.00 2.20

N/A 945.00

NT 2.00

30 NT 29,000

100.00 50.00 10.50

100.00 50.00 0.00

20,000,000 250,019,781

5.82 0.19

N/A N/A

100.00 NT 10.00

50,000

0.50

0.50

4,772,528,415

0.00

N/A

0.50

1,050 10,082 111,510 12,880 31,000 7,443,699 80

19.48 0.68 297.41 30.00 9.09 179.40 0.97

3.13 0.68 209.10 5.34 0.81 91.10 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 0.00 8.66 0.63 0.00 5.03 0.00

N/A N/A 15.01 N/A N/A 3.45 N/A

14.51 NT 168.90 28.00 NT 145.00 0.77

86

75.90

38.12

640,590,362

4.46

N/A

82.64

NT 19,713 1,224,762 696,408 776,612 150,000 1,128 296,466 2,01824,000 60,000 20,000

0.50 10.68 12.85 109.24 4.11 1.21 29.70 14.00 5.94 0.93 13.31

0.50 3.85 3.26 50.00 1.83 0.50 17.51 3.65 5.35 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 40,000,000 1,233,375,004 360,000,000

0.00 0.00 0.81 3.38 0.34 0.00 0.00 1.05 0.08 1.13 0.00

N/A -6.32 -11.25 7707.81 5.68 N/A N/A -11.19 N/A -3.45 N/A

NT 9.50 10.93 83.25 3.52 0.50 NT 13.50 NT 0.58 22.01

5,693,763 650,328

64.53 1250.00

8.33 400.00

3,129,188,160 792,656,250

1.57 28.34

-13.47 -4.55

90.78 1,100.00

NT NT 26,900 2,100

15.58 36.19 5.54 2.88

10.03 32.27 2.91 0.57

63,360,000 819,000,000 300,000,001

3.90 13.92 0.71 0.00

N/A N/A -4.49 N/A

NT NT 4.45 1.66

186,072 369,349

56.00 76.00

21.02 27.60

3,176,381,636 3,783,296,250

1.34 1.42

-16.53 -11.99

37.26 51.30

NT

0.97

0.57

843,284,027

0.00

N/A

NT

6,353,059 27,326,311 242,889 3,926,236 NT 4,463,179 5,271,978 160,824,060 16,955,324 88,544 500 3,368,970 7,576,961

12.39 7.85 17.51 3.47 8.30 29.99 7.05 3.05 9.60 15.30 1.16 1.88 27.40

4.70 1.92 9.90 1.13 3.04 13.02 2.65 0.80 1.64 2.34 0.50 0.50 11.96

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

1.61 1.71 3.67 0.68 0.60 3.08 0.97 0.63 1.70 0.44 0.18 0.00 3.30

-10.58 -2.92 -3.85 7.69 #VALUE! -0.41 13.19 11.11 216.82 22.70 0.00 -1.05 9368.60

8.32 6.50 13.52 2.08 NT 24.62 3.26 2.25 2.20 8.15 0.50 0.95 20.70

50 642,059 NT 500 854,200 102,600 9,054,578 3,000 NT 4,000 1,500 NT 270,000 NT 3,000 50,000 200 192,800 30,000 1,542,010 4,000 8,804,738 10,127,330 500 200 200 50,000 50,000 200 538,774 5,600,000 382,404

0.50 1.42 0.64 0.52 1.45 0.72 2.44 0.50 0.69 0.60 0.50 2.50 2.50 0.50 0.50 0.61 0.50 2.87 0.63 1.01 1.11 0.50 1.24 0.53 0.59 0.50

0.50 0.50 0.61 0.50 0.58 0.50 1.08 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 1.06 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

0.00 0.19 0.00 0.05 0.15 0.02 0.24 0.01 0.00 0.03 0.01 0.00 0.00 0.02 0.00 0.00 0.02 0.25 0.00 0.37 0.02 0.04 0.06 0.04 0.09 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 -5.02 N/A 6.85 N/A N/A -6.90 N/A 0.00 N/A

0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 1.55

0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50

8,493,173,450 2,581,733,505 13,000,000,000 16,000,000,000

0.00 0.00 0.02 0.00 0.07

N/A N/A N/A N/A

0.50 0.88 NT NT 1.10 0.50 NT 0.50 NT 0.61 0.50 NT 0.55 NT 0.50 0.50 0.50 2.19 0.50 0.73 0.50 0.65 0.58 0.50 0.50 0.50 NT 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.90

4,100 509,240

6.60 1.22

0.00 0.72

3,000 170,000 2,000 7,800,000 1,600,000

1.65 0.50

1.37 0.50

4,200,000,000 8,679,148,676

0.03 0.02

N/A N/A

0.50 0.99

0.50 0.50

13,175,732,404 7,812,500,000

0.30 0.00

N/A N/A

3,455,798 NT 30,000 12,602,535 22,416,466 NT 100 1,654,313 165,068 3,845,761

2.1 0.61 2.02 21.50 5.70 0.15 552.20 1.33 20.72 1.70

0.5 0.50 2.02 8.57 2.90 0.15 555.20 0.50 10.64 0.00

1,000 5,500

5.05 0.50

4.32 0.50

1.18 0.19

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

498,600,908 3,553,138,528

0.63 0.00 0.15 2.45 1.23 0.00 12.68 0.13 1.53 0.29

0.13 0.00

NT 0.76

N/A N/A -1.03 N/A N/A N/A 1.55

N/A N/A

1.49 0.50 1.64 0.50 0.5 3.58 NT 0.99 12.64 3.39 NT NT 0.59 19.99 2.56

NT NT

200

10.54

7.39

152,178,750

0.00

N/A

1.91

29,811

4.80

0.50

486,473,856

0.58

-17.78

2.70

N/A=Not Avialable

SECURITY

PRICE (=N=)

FIDSON HEALTHCARE PLC 3.00 GLAXO SMITHKLINE CONSUMER PLC 70.00 MAY & BAKER NIGERIA PLC. 2.00 NEIMETH INT PHARM PLC 1.52 NIGERIA-GERMAN CHEMICALS PLC. 7.36 PHARMA-DEKO PLC. NT ICT Computer Based Systems COURTEVILLE BUSINESS SLN PLC 0.64 Computers and Peripherals OMATEK VENTURES PLC NT Electronic Communications Services MTECH COMMUNICATIONS PLC NT IT Services COMPUTER WAREHOUSE GROUP PLC 5.85 NCR (NIGERIA) PLC. NT TRIPPLE GEE AND COMPANY PLC. NT Processing Systems CHAMS PLC NT E-TRANZACT INTERNATIONAL PLC 2.32 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 16.63 BERGER PAINTS PLC 8.90 CAP PLC 40.62 CEMENT CO. OF NORTH.NIG. PLC 9.75 DANGOTE CEMENT PLC 239.75 DN MEYER PLC. 1.16 FIRST ALUMINIUM NIGERIA PLC NT IPWA PLC NT LAFARGE WAPCO PLC. 109.50 PAINTS & COATINGS MANFACT.PLC 1.81 PORTLAND PAINTS & PRDT NIG. PLC 4.10 PREMIER PAINTS PLC. NT Electronic and Electrical Products AUSTIN LAZ & COMPANY PLC NT CUTIX PLC. 2.07 NIGERIAN WIRE AND CABLE PLC. 0.50 NIGERIAN WIRE IND. PLC NT Packaging/Containers ABPLAST PRODUCTS PLC. NT AVON CROWNCAPS & CONTAINERS NT BETA GLASS CO PLC. 19.00 GREIF NIGERIA PLC NT NIG. BAGS MANFACT. COY PLC NT 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. NT Metals ALUMACO PLC NT ALUMINIUM EXTRUSION IND. PLC. NT MINING SERVICES MULTIVERSE PLC NT 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 0.50 Integrated Oil and Gas Services OANDO PLC 16.49 Petroleum &Petroleum Products Distributors AFROIL PLC NT BECO PETROLEUM PRODUCT PLC NT CONOIL PLC 51.90 ETERNA PLC. 3.83 FORTE OIL PLC. 92.00 MOBIL OIL NIG PLC. 122.00 MRS OIL NIGERIA PLC. 54.44 TOTAL NIGERIA PLC. 172.95 SERVICES Advertising AFROMEDIA PLC NT Apparel Retailers LENNARDS (NIG) PLC. NT Automobile/Auto Part Retailers R T BRISCOE PLC. 1.23 Courier/Freight/Delivery RED STAR EXPRESS PLC 4.47 TRANS-NATIONWIDE EXPRESS PLC. 2.37 Employment Solutions C & I LEASING PLC. 0.50 Hospitality TANTALIZERS PLC NT Hotels/Lodging CAPITAL HOTEL PLC NT IKEJA HOTEL PLC 0.60 TOURIST COMPANY OF NIGERIA PLC. NT TRANSNATIONAL CORP. OF NIG.PLC NT Media/Entertainment DAAR COMMUNICATIONS PLC 0.50 Printing/Publishing ACADEMY PRESS PLC. NT LEARN AFRICA PLC 1.87 STUDIO PRESS (NIG) PLC. NT UNIVERSITY PRESS PLC. 4.00 Road Transportation ABC TRANSPORT PLCPLC 0.90 Specialty INTERLINKED TECHNOLOGIES PLC NT SECURE ELECTRONIC TECH.PLC 0.5 Transport-Related Services AIRLINE SERVICES AND LOGISTICS PLC 2.60 NIG. AVIATION HANDLING COY PLC 5.20 ASeM CONSTRUCTION/REAL ESTATE Property Management SMART PRODUCTS NIGERIA PLC NT CONSUMER GOODS Food Products MCNICHOLS PLC NT Personal/Household Products ROKANA INDUSTRIES PLC. NT HEALTHCARE Pharmaceuticals AFRIK PHARMACEUTICALS PLC. NT INDUSTRIAL GOODS Electronic and Electrical Products NT ADSWITCH PLC. NT NATURAL RESOURCES Metals W.A. ALUM. PRODUCTS PLC. NT OIL AND GAS Petroleum & Petroleum Products Distributors ANINO INTERNATIONAL PLC. NT CAPITAL OIL PLC NT 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. NT ETF’s Sector ETF NEWGOLD EXCHANGE TRADED FUND 2,059.00

52 WK HIGH

52 WK LOW

SHARES OUTSTANDING

EPS

MOV. (%)

652,180 18,439 107,200 45,000 50 20

2.50 69.00 3.38 1.76 8.59 3.50

0.61 18.97 1.23 0.58 7.36 1.83

1,500,000,000 956,701,192 980,000,000 1,925,717,268 153,786,012 100,000,000

0.24 3.07 0.09 0.00 0.00 0.00

3.09 2313.79 -4.76 -12.64 N/A N/A

2.91 2.90 2.10 1.74 7.36 1.52

87,900

0.96

0.50

2,960,000,000

0.11

0.00

0.81

1,000

0.50

0.50

2,941,789,472

0.00

N/A

0.50

NT

0.91

0.91

4,966,666,668

0.00

N/A

NT

QUANTITY

Previous

100 5,098 225

18.70 2.94

13.12 2.07

108,000,000 492,825,600

0.00 0.03

N/A N/A

5.85 16.83 1.97

98,140 1,700

0.50 4.97

0.50 3.13

4,620,600,000 4,200,000,000

0.04 0.04

N/A N/A

0.50 2.32

4,000

1.47

0.50

6,878,478,096

0.00

N/A

NT

646621 1,322,655 19999850

2.25 3.79 0.50

0.00 1.70 0.50

4,400,000,000 4,893,594,400

0.00 0.00 0.00

N/A N/A N/A

3.9 NT 0.5

421 1,480,559 1,259,971 99,312 320,386 180,435 3,795,717 10,000 209,900 66,381 13,299 52,550 NT

2.86 29.98 12.20 67.50 12.99 210.01 3.54 0.75 1.34 110.00 2.41 7.22 10.93

2.86 8.01 6.82 13.78 4.00 102.00 0.50 0.50 0.50 39.80 0.50 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

0.07 0.80 0.91 1.66 1.12 5.77 0.06 0.00 0.00 6.83 0.36 0.43 0.00

N/A -7.61 -6.32 -13.76 18.90 -0.07 N/A N/A N/A 0.05 N/A N/A N/A

2.72 18.00 9.50 47.10 8.20 239.92 1.48 0.50 0.58 109.45 2.00 5.30 NT

250 102 5,000 NT

2.00 2.39 0.73 2.58

2.00 1.20 0.50 2.58

510,396,608 2,220,000,000 15,000,000

0.05 0.19 0.00 0.00

N/A 3.50 N/A N/A

2.00 2.00 0.50 NT

NT 1,406 2,000 130 NT NT NT

3.98 5.94 13.18 13.28 3.60 1.86 0.63

3.98 1.71 9.04 12.68 1.60 1.05 0.63

N/A N/A

42,640,000 6,215,000,000 240,000,000 199,066,550

0.00 0.00 3.23 0.90 0.24 0.22 0.00

N/A #VALUE! N/A N/A

NT 1.63 20.39 NT NT NT NT

NT NT

8.69 0.14

8.26 0.14

265,409,280 2,918,000

0.00 0.00

N/A N/A

NT NT

25,000,000 683,974,528

500

9.35

5.68

393,120,000

0.76

#VALUE!

6.66

530 50

7.75 12.39

7.75 10.55

75,600,000 100,000,000

0.00 0.24

N/A N/A

7.75 10.50

1,000

0.50

0.50

4,058,989,226

0.01

N/A

0.50

NT 43,412

3.22 1.38

3.22 0.67

50,000,000 220,000,000

0.04 0.00

N/A N/A

NT NT

755,000

1.02

0.50

6,262,701,716

0.00

-13.79

0.58

2,970,098

24.80

9.32

2,262,711,568

1.24

-16.00

19.63

NT 10,000 115 29,700 99,574 58,243 2,050 390,310

20.71 0.70 76.00 4.87 115.64 146.00 59.00 190.01

20.71 0.50 16.96 1.32 7.73 106.00 16.20 118.75

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 2.69 0.61 1.43 9.93 1.04 12.91

N/A N/A 0.39 6.09 -1.12 0.00 N/A -3.92

NT 0.50 51.70 3.61 93.04 122.00 54.44 180.00

4,035,497,307

0.00

N/A

NT

0

N/A

3.31

200

0.72

0.50

300

3.48

3.48

326,117

2.45

1.00

980,294,400

0.00

-5.38

1.30

65,000 10,000

5.10 3.45

2.19 0.73

589,496,310 198,819,763

0.52 0.00

-0.67 N/A

4.50 2.55

266,100

1.64

0.85

865,808,912

0.00

N/A

0.54

1,692

0.75

0.50

3,211,627,907

0.00

N/A

0.50

150 22,200 150 NT

8.00 1.72 4.53 1.95

3.00 0.64 4.08 0.50

1,548,780,000 2,078,796,396 1,772,884,297 25,813,998,283

0.23 0.00 0.00 0.22

N/A -13.04 N/A #VALUE!

NT 0.69 4.08 NT

50,000

0.51

0.50

8,000,000,000

0.43

N/A

0.50

1,000 471,081 60,000 305,300

4.10 3.09 2.78 5.77

1.57 1.39 2.52 3.00

403,200,000 771,450,000 425,641,111

0.22 0.00 0.00 0.61

N/A N/A N/A -2.44

2.43 1.79 2.40 4.10

145,065

1.29

0.50

1,507,000,000

0.21

N/A

0.90

5 96,008,864

5.15 1.88

4.90 0.80

236,699,511 5,631,539,736

0.00 0.00

N/A N/A

4.9 NT

51,050 1,038,809

5.90 8.81

1.27 5.08

634,000,000 1,230,468,750

0.50 0.43

N/A -10.34

2.47 5.80

60

1.43

1.04

45,000,000

0.12

N/A

NT

595

2.26

1.02

201,885,335

0.00

N/A

1.50

NT

0.60

0.60

30,000,000

0.00

N/A

NT

NT

0.50

0.50

24,898,850

0.00

N/A

NT

NT NT

1.88

1.63

125,005,250

0.00

N/A

NT NT

NT

0.50

0.50

6,650,000

0.00

N/A

NT

NT 57,910 NT 178,625

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 10

0.50

0.50

20,000,000

0.00

N/A

3.05

2.76

194,700,000

0.00

N/A

NT NT 1.93

99

2,706

2,003

-0.53

2,070.00


A24 40

Business Courage

Monday, March 31, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Monday, March 31, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

41

Law & Justice nationalmirrorlaw@yahoo.com

The familiar Latin maxim ubi jus ibi remedium applies only where there is a just or a legal right - JUSTICE CHUKWUDIFU OPUTA, RETIRED JUSTICE, SUPREME COURT OF NIGERIA

It’s unethical for AMCON to organise seminar for judges –Okulaja 42

CJN, Justice Aloma Mukhtar

Amaechi

Rivers CJ row: Judgement seeks to redefine NJC’s powers -Lawyers A recent judgement by a Federal High Court in Rivers State has seemingly redefined the powers of the National Judicial Council (NJC) over the appointment of judicial officers. KAYODE KETEFE, Assistant Head, Judiciary Desk examines the statutory roles of NJC and how the verdict that is generating controversy has expanded the jurisprudence in relation to the appointment of judges.

GOK Ajayi: Exit of a legal icon 45

US Judge voids Oklahoma execution law 46

T

he National Judicial Council (NJC), is a body statutorily charged with the appointment and discipline of judicial officers. The body neither carries out these functions directly, but only do make recommendations in relation to them. It is a governor of a state or the President of the country who has the power to appoint a judge into the state’s or the federal judiciary upon the recommendations made by the NJC. Section 271 of the 1999 Constitution for example provides in this regard that: “The appointment of a person to the office of Chief Judge of a State shall be made by the Governor of the State on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council subject to confirmation of the appointment by the House of Assembly of a State. ; (2) The appointment of a person to the office of a Judge of a High Court shall be made by the Governor of the state acting on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council” Similar provisions are contained in sections 230 to 269 of the 1999 Constitution which

empower the president to make appointments into the federal courts upon the recommendations made by the NJC. This arrangement has almost invariably been smoothly followed by authorities concerning the appointment of judges. An unusual development however arose recently when a Federal High Court delivered a judgement that seems to redefine the stakeholders’ perception of the NJC’s powers. This was the judgement delivered by Justice Lambo Akanbi on March 19, 2014 on the question of effect of the NJC’s recommendation visà-vis the statutory role of governor of a state to appoint judicial

officers. In that judgement, Justice Akanbi held, among other things, that a state governor is not under compulsion to appoint whosoever was recommended to him for appointment by the NJC if a person recommended by the NJC was not qualified to be appointed. Some backgrounds facts may be offered to give the full import of this judgement. The judgement arose from a suit filed by the Rivers State Attorney -General and Commissioner for Justice against the NJC in relation to the appointment of the State Chief Judge. Controversies erupted in 2013 on the heels of vacancy in the

THE COURT HELD THAT A

STATE

GOVERNOR IS NOT UNDER COMPULSION TO APPOINT WHOSOEVER WAS RECOMMENDED TO HIM FOR

NJC IF A PERSON RECOMMENDED BY THE NJC APPOINTMENT BY THE

WAS NOT QUALIFIED TO BE APPOINTED

office of the Chief Judge of the State after the retirement of incumbent, Justice Iche Ndu. The State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi then appointed the President of the State Customary Court of Appeal, Justice Peter Agumagu, as the Acting Chief Judge of the state in preference to Justice Daisy Okocha who was recommended to him by the NJC to be the substantive Chief Judge. This decision brewed sustained controversies with many critics insisting that the governor’s action was a violation of Section 271(4) of the 1999 Constitution which provides that until a substantive appointment is made, the most Senior Judge of the High Court should assume mantle in the acting capacity. This prompted the Attorney-General of Rivers State to file the case to seek for the interpretation of the 271 (3-5) of the constitution concerning the appointment of Chief Judge of the state. NJC was a defendant in the matter. In his judgement, which has now generated unusual criticisms, Justice Akanbi, held that the position of the NJC that Okocha was the oldest judge of the Rivers State High Court and more qualified to be the Chief Judge in preference to Agumagu CONTINUED ON PAGE 44


42

Law & Justice

Monday, March 31, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

It’s unethical for AMCON to organise seminar Chief Yemi Okulaja is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) with 40 years post-call experience.The 1973 law graduate of University of Ife (Obaemi Awolowo University), is always blunt when reacting to legal and contemporary issues. In this interview with WALE IGBINTADE, he speaks on the ongoing national conference and the seminar organised for judges by the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), among other issues. Excerpts: Recently, you openly challenged a Federal High Court judge on a seminar organised for judges of the court by the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON). Are you saying it is unethical for judges to attend the workshop? We go to courts everyday and we see that judges are openly exposed to external influences and temptations. Sadly, many of them do fall into these temptations. There is no point putting judges in a position where their decisions may be influenced. That is what we are saying. What they are doing is unethical, and judges should know better. You, who will judge and decide cases of others, should not be the breaker of the law. The other day, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta led some other judges to visit some prominent people, it is very wrong. Judges are not supposed to be visiting people. These people may have cases before them tomorrow. All I am saying is that it is wrong for Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria, which is always a party before these same judges to organise workshop for judges. Before you can become a judge, you must be at least 10 years old at the Bar. Aside from being a qualified lawyer, you must have spent 10 years at the Bar. It is a fact that some of our judges have spent 20 to 30 years at the Bar. Now, you call them for a seminar and I strongly believe that it is a way to pervert justice. It is not done and it can never be done! Like I said, I am happy that you people (journalists) observed it and you are taking it up. You can go and ask other lawyers and see what they feel about it. For instance, if I have a case against AMCON in your court, how will I get justice from the same judge that has attended a seminar organised by AMCON? But, is the seminar not meant to enrich the knowledge of these judges? It is wrong! You see why the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was not getting conviction as they ought to. They resorted to buying generators for the courts where their cases will be heard. The generators will be serving only the courts where their cases are being heard. They will do all sorts of things for the judges just to be able to secure conviction. People were complaining that EFCC was not getting conviction and the way they felt they could secure conviction was to bribe judges. These are the things that are going on and it is spoiling this profession. I am forty years old at the Bar. What do you want me to go and do now? Is it to go and learn how to sell cement or to go and learn bricklaying? I have no other job and then before your eyes, you see this profession being destroyed even by the establishment. The judges do not see anything wrong with it whereas a lot is wrong with AMCON

Okulaja

IF I HAVE A CASE AGAINST AMCON IN YOUR COURT, HOW WILL I GET JUSTICE FROM THE SAME JUDGE THAT HAS ATTENDED A SEMINAR ORGANISED BY AMCON? organising seminar for them. You see, it is a pity that we lost people like Gani Fawehinmi. I recalled when they put the picture of General Ibrahim Babangida, the then Military Head of State, in the courts and the judge was sitting under it. You see, there must be a level playing field before you can have justice. There must be justice for the accused and justice for AMCON. You know, AMCON just confiscated the property of one of my clients because they claimed that it was part of the properties recovered from the former Managing Director of Oceanic Bank, Cecelia Ibru. But the title document is not in the name of Ibru and maybe when they were trying to market it, they took the photocopy to Ibru’s office and they saw it and the next thing was for them to confiscate the property. We are taking AMCON and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to court in respect of that property and the judge who is going to decide the case has gone to wine and dine with AMCON, what

chances do I have? Although, we are saying it as a joke but it is a very serious matter. A party in a case should not be hosting judges who will decide cases in which they will be involved. If there is any law, the judges should interpret it and if they don’t do it correctly, you go to the Court of Appeal. It is not for AMCON to now call judge for a seminar and be explaining the law to them. That is what I feel about it. But, there are instances where the Nigerian Institute of Advance Legal Studies (NIALS) organise seminars for judges. Don’t you think it’s wrong too? That one is different. The Nigerian Institute of Advance legal Studies doesn’t have any case before the judges. I am not aware of any. But, AMCON by virtue of its portfolio and because they are involved in so many cases are involved in so many cases. For instance, if you go through the list of the Federal High Court there is hardly any day you don’t see AMCON

featuring at least once or twice. Because they manage assets for banks and other financial institutions, they have many cases in courts. If you slap someone who is poor, he may not say anything but if you slap someone who is rich, he will tell you that ‘’Í will show you who I am’’ and he will go and hire lawyer. So these are the type of people that AMCON is dealing with. People who can afford to hire lawyers to fight them. There are instances where the court has to interpret the law and there instances where the court has to use its discretion. For instance if you go to court and asked for an adjournment, the court has the discretion whether or not to grant the adjournment. So if you’re somebody who is well disposed, you will see that you will always have your ways before the judges. The judicial job is very delicate and does not call for wining and dining. There is National Judicial Institute which is used to train judges and to organise seminal for judges. What AMCON is doing is not for them to do because there is already a statutory body established for training judges and to enlighten them. AMCON can give money to the Judicial Institute to host the event but it’s wrong for AMCON to host the event. We should not expose our judges to these kinds of influences. The National Judicial Institute is managed by a Justice of the Court of Appeal or of the Supreme Court. A judge who is experienced and can handle anything. AMCON ought to have approached the NJI and make funds available to the Institute rather that organising the event. Was it like this when you started practicing as a lawyer? This sort of thing will not happen in the olden days, but these days when all sorts of people are appointed on the Bench. I was called to Bar 40 years ago and I know what the Bench was as at that time. At that particular time, people don’t apply to be judges; it is the Judicial Service Commission who will invite you after a thorough assessment of your performance at the Bar. But, because salaries of judges at that time were not much, many people were not interested in becoming a judge. It was the military that started it by appointing their cronies as judges and nobody to query them. The same is happening today, some lawyers who were managing restaurants and others who have relocated to America are often invited to become judges. It is a fact that most of judges in some states are children of former judges and prominent people in the state. The judiciary has been under attack in recent times because of alleged corrupt practices involving judicial officers at the top echelon, as a senior lawyer, how do you feel about this? When I started practice, most of the things that are happening now were unknown. For instance, it was not common for you to just walk into Judges Chambers just as we do these days. The Judges were high on top but these days you find


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

for judges –Okulaja out that they have descended from their Olympian heights and started mingling with lawyers and other members of the public. In those days, if you became a Judge, you have sentenced yourself to a life of hermit in which you keep away from members of the public as much as possible. At that time, many of the Judges were very upright and if you went to court in those days you will know that any judgment that came down from the Bench was judgment according to the justice of the case. Sadly, many of the things that are happening now do not make us very happy. You find out that it is just a reflection of what is happening in the larger society. These Judges did not come from the moon. They are our brothers, they are our sisters, they are our cousins, they are our uncles, and they are part of us. It is a corruption that has eaten deep into the society. For instance, when we were young, all the politicians at that time went into politics for the public good. The likes of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Ahmadu Bello and Nnamdi Azikiwe, you do not see them acquiring properties in the United Kingdom or Dubai in those days. Many of the politicians actually went to serve but can you say that about our politicians these days? When people went to the Bench in those days, it was to make themselves immortal. Many of the Judges we are reading their judgments today died long time ago. But, as far as we lawyers are concerned, they are immortal because they speak to us from the grave through the judgements that they have written. That is the sense in which people went to the Bench in those days but it is no longer the case these days. One is not really happy about what is happening in the judiciary today. What agenda would like to set for the ongoing National Conference? I would like to advocate true federalism. If you look at Kano state, it has almost 50 Local Government but the people in Kano state are not up to the people in Lagos. Today, if you want to pass any Act in the National Assembly and you did not get the support of the North, it will not pass through. This is because there are more people from the North in the National Assembly than southerners. This is the imbalance which we want them to correct at the national conference. We should go back to the regions, so that each region can grow at its own pace. All over the world you see more people staying in the coastal area, where there is constant rain than the arid hinterland, it only in Nigeria that the thing is revised. That is why we are asking for true federalism, when we have Northern, Western and Southern regions. Do you know that some people from Bayelsa State have never been to Abuja until they got elected to the National Assembly? They were surprises that in Abuja where there are no rivers, there are many bridges. However in Bayelsa State, where there are many rivers, there are no bridges. NBA has vowed to boycott the ongoing National Conference because of the single slot given to the body. Do you support it? Well, I don’t believe in boycotting, you should go there and fight. One strong voice at the conference is better than boy-

Law & Justice

Monday, March 31, 2014

Revisiting paltry allocation to judiciary EMEKA NWADIOKE Continued from last week he sordid picture of decay could not have been painted better. Her words: “Over the years, funding of the courts has remained a challenge as evidenced in the condition of many courts in Nigeria today. Statistics have shown that, funding from the Federal Government has witnessed a steady decline since 2010, from N95 Billion in that year to N85 Billion in 2011, then N75 Billion in 2012 and dropped again in the 2013 budget to N67 Billion. Indeed with this amount, if the amount allocated to the extrajudicial organisations within the Judiciary is deducted, the courts are left with a paltry sum to operate.” Lamenting further, the CJN warned: “The simple implication is that our courts are increasingly finding it difficult to effectively perform their day-to-day constitutional roles. The resultant effect of a slim budget in the judiciary is that a number of courts in Nigeria today evince decay and neglect of infrastructural amenities particularly at the State level. In some cases the court buildings do not possess the required well equipped library for judges to conduct their research. This may make judges rely on information supplied by lawyers which should not be the case.” “A resultant effect of low budgeting for the courts is inability to fully embrace ICT as it does not come cheap,” she observed. “In fact you may be surprised to know that in many magistrate and high courts across the country, the manual method of record keeping is still being used instead of computers where information from records can easily be accessible and retrieved.” Capacity building for judges and court staff has also been imperiled. Needless to say, her SOS yielded ‘immediate result.’ As against N28 billion that was shaved off the Judiciary’s budget within three years, the Executive graciously reversed the trend; it not only sustained the Judiciary’s budget but even ‘dashed’ it an additional N1 Billion! This would have been highly comical if not that it is quite tragic, involving as it does life-and-death matters. If the justice system collapses, anarchy is bound to reign as more and more people may resort to unwholesome tactics, including selfhelp. This cannot be sufficiently emphasized. But in an election year, the tendency for these warnings to go unheeded is indeed very high. Curiously, National Assembly members, civil society advocates and individual opposition parties did not seem to fully grasp the danger the underfunding debacle poses to our collective well-being and the safeguarding of our nascent democracy. It is recalled that it was the rather tenuous Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) that had the presence of mind to interrogate the CJN’s plea. The CNPP had stated that “Her

T

Okulaja

ONE STRONG VOICE AT THE CONFERENCE IS BETTER THAN BOYCOTTING IT BECAUSE THEY WILL STILL CARRY ON WITH THE CONFERENCE WITH OR WITHOUT THE NBA PARTICIPATION cotting it because they will still carry on with the conference with or without the NBA participation. So let them go there and make good use of the one slot given to them. It is not the number that matters, but the impact you are able to make. God has blessed us as lawyers, where ever we stand up to speak, people will listen to us. So, I do not support it that NBA should boycott the conference. Even if nothing comes out of the conference at least it would be on record. It is the turn of South- West to produce the next president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) when the tenure of the incumbent, Mr. Okey Wali (SAN), expires. Do you support the idea of consensus candidate? They should throw the contest open and lay good example for politicians. But, what I think is that they already have a candidate which they want to impose on the people and that is not democratic. There are people who want to become NBA President for self-esteem and there are people who have been working for the NBA and because they are not well contacted or because they don’t like their faces, they don’t want them to become President of the Bar. Why do you want to impose? if the man is good let him test his popularity.

43

’THE JUDICIARY HAS AGAIN BEEN BROUGHT TO ITS KNEES THROUGH A DEVIOUS UNDERFUNDING TACTIC

point that poor budgetary allocation to the judiciary not only fuels corruption, but undermines and subverts the growth of democracy in Nigeria is well noted.” Querying the Presidency and its economic team, the CNPP had said: “In one breath the economic team will deny that Nigeria is not broke because of monumental corruption going on in the land and in another breath they refuse to fund adequately critical infrastructure, social services and the judiciary,” noting that “In sum, we challenge the Jonathan regime to explain the dysfunction in Nigeria that rakes up annually over N4 trillion from Federal Inland Revenue Services, over N1 trillion from Customs Duty - and the price of Oil and Gas has never fallen below budget benchmark; yet the country is under stress and dangerously sliding into a failed state.” It was Dr. Olisa Agbakoba (SAN) who recently pointed out that while an entire arm of government, namely the Judiciary, receives a paltry N68 billion for itself and all its numerous agencies, the sole Office of the National Security Adviser in the unwieldy Executive Branch has been allocated about N100 Billion in this year’s budget. There are strong indications that while Section 81 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) now secures for the Judiciary a first-line charge on the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the federation, the Judiciary has again been brought to its knees through a devious underfunding tactic. The scenario is not different between State Governors and the courts at that level of government, even as it has been stated that due to this dependency syndrome, no judge can now be appointed without the permission of the relevant Governor. It is recalled that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was recently reported as broke. Perhaps sooner than later, a similar cry would be heard from the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC). It then behoves on all stakeholders to raise serious posers on whether all agencies meant to checkmate official corruption are being systematically undermined to compromise their independence and or effectiveness. All said, the CJN has assured that “the judiciary must continue to defend its independence so that it should not merely be apparent but must be seen to be real.” This may however become a mirage in a situation where the Judiciary is being punched into the ungainly corner of going cap-in-hand to the Executive to beg for funds. As the lawmakers prepare to bequeath another Appropriation Act on hapless Nigerians, Agbakoba’s insights again come to mind. His words: “Look at the National Assembly, all the sprawling mansions they have built. How many judges have access to competent secretaries, typists, stenographers? And you expect them to deal with rulings and all that and churn out orders? Compare a judge and a minister, if a minister is receiving so much emoluments, I can assure you that the judge is receiving one tenth of what a minister is receiving.” It is hoped that the lawmakers will urgently revisit the allocation to the Judiciary with a view to redressing the long-standing injustice meted to that long-suffering arm of government. Or should we jail all the Senators to drive home this point? Concluded. Nwadioke is a Lagos-based practising lawyer.


44

Law & Justice

Monday, March 31, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

‘NJC should appeal against the verdict’ was wrong. The judge held “The letter of the National Judicial Council ion of July 2, 2013, and received on July 30, by Governor Amaechi that only the most senior judge must be appointed contrary to the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission is wrongful and null and void. “That the letter recommending Justice Daisy Okocha in preference to Agumagu, saying that Agumagu is not the most senior judge of the High Court is wrongful and null and void” “What the constitution recommends is 10 years of legal practice and we are in a dynamic world. And, so, the issue of most senior judge can no longer be the only criteria of appointing someone to such an important and exalted position. “Much as I recognise that NJC is my employer and an executive body established by Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, and made up of competent men and women of integrity, it does not preclude me from differing with it in opinions and issues, when necessary. Such a situation obviates the existence of appellate court, as to correct when decisions taken or made at lower ones are considered inappropriate and therefore would not discourage any appeal against my judgement.” National Mirror sought the views of some lawyers on this issue. In his reaction, the President of the Nigerian Bar Association, (NBA) Mr. Okey Wali, SAN, advised that the Rivers State Government promptly obey the judgement, stressing that obedience to it would be a useful way to end the lingering impasse. Wali said “We do not intend to dwell on the legalese and merits or demerits of the matter before the Federal High Court, but we are concerned with the orders of the Federal High Court, which we believe, not only presents the solution but will also ameliorate the hardship occasioned by the absence of the Chief Judge in Rivers State. A former General Secretary of the

Bar

Jokes

LAWYER RATES A man walks into a lawyer’s office and inquires about the rates. “Fifty dollars for three questions, “replies the lawyer. “Isn’t that awfully steep?” asks the man. “Yes,” the lawyer replies, “and what’s your third question?”

STUPID ATTORNEYS A lawyer was on his cell phone, calling a locksmith. “I locked my keys in my sports car!” said the nervous lawyer.

Justice Akanbi

THE JUDGEMENT IS THE DECISION OF A COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION AND IT IS BINDING UNTIL IT IS SET ASIDE;

I RECOMMEND THAT THE NJC

SO

SHOULD APPEAL THE JUDGEMENT Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Dele Adesina (SAN) was apt when he observed that the appointment of a judge of a state high court should start and end in that state while that of a judge of the Federal High Court should be handled by the federal judiciary. A Lagos-based lawyer, Mr. Sam Adikamkwu, who disagreed with the judgement, however urged the NJC to

“No problem, I should be there in about an hour,” replied the locksmith. “Do you think you can make it a little sooner?” pleaded the lawyer. “My top is down and it’s starting to rain.”

NEW CLIENT A new client had just come in to see a famous lawyer. “Can you tell me how much you charge?”, said the client. “Of course”, the lawyer replied, “I charge $200 to answer three questions!” “Well that’s a bit steep, isn’t it?” “Yes it is”, said the lawyer, “And what’s your third question?”

DROWNING LAWYER Q: How do you stop a lawyer from drowning? A: Shoot him before he hits the water. ” Culled from Active Jokes.com

Wali

Shittu

immediately file an appeal against it. Adikamkwu’s position is contained in his statement titled: ‘’Rivers State and Appointment of a Chief Judge of a State High Court ‘’. His words, ‘’From the provisions shown above, no State Chief Judge can be appointed by a State Governor unless the person appointed is so recommended by the NJC. As for the appointment of acting Chief Judge, subsection (4) of section 271 is very lucid and does not require any expert interpretation to know who to appoint into the position. The subsection makes it mandatory on the State Governor to appoint “the most senior Judge of High Court”. Sections 270 – 274 of the Constitution deal specifically with the State High Court. “I also appeal to the NJC to appeal against the judgement to avoid this grave breach of the constitution becoming cited in future as a ‘precedent” A lecturer at the University of Lagos and a lawyer, Mr. Wahab Shittu, said “There are processes specified in the constitution for the appointment of any

judicial officer. In the case of the state, the appointment is made by the governor based on the recommendation of the NJC and subject to the confirmation of the State House of Assembly. “Where any of those processes is breached, the court would be entitled to declare the appointment as illegal. So the appointment may have been set aside based on the breach of the constitutional provision.” Another lawyer, Mr. Muyiwa Adewale, said “I don’t think the correct position is the one taken by the court in this matter. There is no way the constitutional duty of making recommendation to the executive incumbent on the NJC can just be waived aside. I think the power of the NJC to make recommendation on appointment of judges is rooted in the doctrine of checks and balances. However the judgement is the decision of a court of competent jurisdiction and it is binding until it is set aside. So I recommend that the NJC should appeal the judgement.”

LEGAL TIPS Termination of Contract of Employment *Like under the common law, either an employer or its employee may terminate a contract of employment, subject to the terms of the written contract, where the tenure of such a contract expires without a new contract of employment being entered into, either by conduct or in writing. *Another instance where a contract of employment could be terminated constructively is where either party to the contract dies. *The most common method of terminating a contract of employment is by the delivery of a written notice of termination of the contract on the opposite party. *Where a notice of termination is served, the contract automatically terminates at the expiration of the

period of the notice of termination. Either party could equally elect to pay compensation in lieu of the employee working for the employer during the period of the notice of termination. *In all cases of the termination of a contract of employment, neither party is obligated to provide any reason for terminating the contract. Also, the motive of the party that terminates the employment contract is equally irrelevant provided that the provisions of the employment contract in relation to its termination are complied with by the terminating party.

Culled from Legal Alert/ Proshare online investment community


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Law & Justice

Monday March 31, 2014

45

GOK AJAYI: Exit of a legal icon FRANCIS FAMOROTI HEAD, JUDICIARY

T

he exit of Chief Godwin Olusegun Kolawole Ajayi, Senior Advocate of Nigeria at the age of 83 on Sunday marks the depletion in the rank and file of legendary lawyers and legal luminaries in the country. Born on May 29, 1931, Ajayi until his death, was the Principal counsel, G.O.K Ajayi & co in Lagos, a firm that has produced several alumni comprising the cream of the Bar and the Bench in the country. The late Ajayi was called to the English Bar (Middle Temple) in 1955 at the age of 24 and to the Nigerian Bar two years later in 1957. He was fondly known by his initials “G.O.K.” and he had had a successful legal practice over the decades. He was elevated to the rank of SAN January 12, 1978, about 21 years after he was called to the Nigerian Bar. Those admitted to the inner Bar along with him at that time were 12 other notable legal practitioners namely, Obafemi Awolowo, Remi Fani-Kayode, T.A. Bankole-Oki, E.A. Molajo, Kehinde Sofola, Richard Akinjide, Olisa Chukwura, Nwakama Okoro, Mudiaga Odje, P.O.Balonwu, B.O. Nwabueze and Augustine Nnamani. Six years after his call to the Nigerian Bar, G.O.K. became a part -time lecturer at the Nigerian Law School, till 1971. While he was at the Law School, he lectured many students some of whom today are, retired Justices, serving jurists and top lawyers alike. In fact, a number of retired Supreme Court jurists, former Chief Justices of Nigeria, (CJN) including the Chairman, National Conference, Justice Idris Kutigi, were his students. From the mid 1960s, Ajayi’s fame shone as a legal luminary and his reputation waxed stronger down the four successive decades. He was a charismatic lawyer, famous for his forthrightness, principled stance on issues, consistency, courage, sharp intellect and mesmerizing advocacy. Due to his brilliance, he was the lead counsel in the Second Republic for the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) in the famous 12 2/3 case Awolowo vs. Shagari (presidential election dispute) in 1979. He was also the lead counsel in the 1983 political cases like Adekunle Ajasin v Omoboriowo (Ondo State Gubernatorial Election Dispute), Bola Ige .v. Victor Olunloyo (Oyo State Gubernatorial Election Dispute). Earlier in 1981, he had successfully handled the landmark case of AbduRahman Shugaba v Minister of Internal Affairs. This was a curious case in which Shugaba the minority leader in the Borno State House of Assembly was suddenly arrested and deported to Chad by the National Party Nigeria (NPN) controlled Federal Government on the grounds that the politician was never a Nigerian citizen.

Ajayi

GOK AJAYI’S

CASES HAD FEATURED IN MANY OF OUR LAW REPORTS. HE WAS A COLOSSUS; HIS DEATH IS LIKE AN EARTHQUAKE IN THE LEGAL LANDSCAPE The late ‘G.O.K.’ was reputed to have led dozens of other prominent lawyers including Mr. Alao AkaBashorun, Chief F.O. Akinrele S.A.N, Dr. Olu Onagoruwa, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN and Mr. Femi Falana, SAN to defend Gani Fawehinmi during his ordeal with the military authorities in the course of his human rights struggle. Equally notable among the famous cases Ajayi handled was the FRN. v..Gen. Zamani Lekwot, who charged with murder along with some other members of the Zangon-Kataf community of Kaduna State . They were tried before a Special Military Tribunal headed by Justice Okadigbo over the Zangon- Kataf Disturbances in 1990. Ajayi was also known to have in 1993 led scores of lawyers and defended the business mogul- politician, Moshood Kashimawo Abiola, when the later was charged with treason by

the General Sani Abacha administration for his insistence on actualization of his June 12, 1993 mandate after he was widely acclaimed to have won the June 12, 1993 Presidential election, annulled by the General Ibrahim Babangida regime. Meanwhile, tributes have continued to pour in on the demise of late Ajayi. Prominent Senior Advocates of Nigeria who spoke glowingly about the late legal luminary are, Prof.Itse Sagay, Mrs. Funke Adekoya, Chief Mike Ozekhome, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde, Chief Felix Fagbohungbe, Mr. Dele Adesina, Mr. Austin Alegeh, Mr. Abiodun Owonikoko, Dr. Joseph Nwobike and Mr. Godwin Obla. Sagay (SAN) said: “Chief G.O.K. Ajayi’s death is colossal waste to Nigeria. He was very knowledgeable in every area of the law. I remembered when he was a lecturer in Nigerian Law School in 1960s, he was an authority and the students enjoyed him greatly, especially in constitutional law. When he came to practice, he was one of the greatest. His cases had featured in many of our law reports. He was a colossus. His death is like an earthquake in the legal landscape!” Mrs. Adekoya, SAN, said “With his death, an era is ending. His generation of lawyers’ established basic principles of legal jurisprudence. It is for us to expand it further”. Ayorinde (SAN) said “This is one great loss to the legal profession in Nigeria. The history of the legal profession cannot be written without mentioning him. He was most noted latter for courtroom advocacy. He was one of the pillars of the profession.

Adesina, SAN said ‘’ My first reaction is that I am in a state of shock. I must confess that I have one of the people that have impacted on me in the legal profession. Although I never passed through his chamber as pupil counsel but I consciously admire his candour and decorum in the legal profession. He was a very decent man, his appearance was impeccable and his presentation was always backed up demonstrating the knowledge of law and facts on the matter but they were always carefully and logically presented. His contributions to the legal profession were profound. His name is littered in our law reports. This news is shocking to me; I was not expecting this news at this time. ‘’ Ozekhome, SAN said‘’The passage of Chief G.O.K Ajayi signifies a mighty Iroko falling. GO.K was one of the standing legal icons and titans of his own generation comprising the likes of Chief F.R.A Williams, Gani Fawehinmi, Alao Aka-Bashorun and others. ‘’GOK Ajayi’s contributions to law are unquantifiable having regard to some of his defining cases that changed the legal and judicial firmament of the country. One of such cases was the Shugaba’s case in the second republic. Chief Ajayi was affable, extremely humble, reticent and unassuming. His magisterial carriage combined with his sartorial inclination were qualities that stood him out from the crowd apart from his prodigious intellectual capacity that saw him pitched his opponents to the cleaners. ‘’He would be remembered as one of the foremost lawyers in Nigeria that changed Nigeria’s judicial history and even from the angle of election petition. May his soul rest in peace even as I commiserate with the NBA and his family ‘’ . Other lawyers were, Chief Dipo Jimilehin, Mrs. Ayo Obe , and Mr. Festus Keyamo Jimilehin said ‘’I confirmed this morning from his brother, Prof. Jide Ajayi that he is no more. The death of Chief G.O.K Ajayi at the age of 83 is a great loss to the legal profession. He was one of the first set of excellent lawyers to attain the rank of the Senior Advocate of Nigeria along with the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo. It is no exaggeration that he was brilliant, charismatic, and eloquent and he understood the law. ‘’ Keyamo said “He was truly one of the very last of the finest breed of the surviving first generation lawyers in Nigeria. He was remarkable in his impeccable forensic advocacy which he often delivered with a soft, but piercing, voice. In terms of the skills of advocacy, he was my personal hero. He added: My sincere condolences go to his family, friends and the entire legal profession. Chief Ajayi, SAN, will go down as one of finest lawyers this country has ever produced.”


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Law & Justice

Monday March 31, 2014

US Judge voids Oklahoma execution law

USA

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n Oklahoma judge has voided the state’s execution law, agreeing with inmates that a “veil of secrecy” preventing them from seeking information about the drugs used in lethal injections violated their rights under the state constitution. Oklahoma is among the states that have promised companies confidentiality if they will provide the sedatives or paralysing agents used to execute condemned prisoners, and went beyond that to prevent information from being revealed even in court. Oklahoma County District Judge Patricia Parrish held that preventing inmates Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner from pressing their claims in a court-

U.S President, Barack Obama

room went too far. “I think that the secrecy statute is a violation of due process because access to the courts has been denied,” Parrish ruled. Her decision did not undermine their

convictions or death sentences — just the state’s procedures for carrying out executions. It comes as US states are having increasing trouble obtaining drugs used in executions, amid an embargo from European pharmaceutical firms. In January, an execution in Ohio took 25 minutes to complete, as the inmate reportedly gasped and made choking noises in the moments before he was pronounced dead. The state used two untried drugs to kill convicted murderer and rapist Dennis McGuire after the maker of the previous execution drug refused to allow its use. The challenge to Oklahoma’s law was brought by convicted murderers Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner, who sought to

Lagos AG faults FG’s tourism plan, says it’s unconstitutional FRANCIS FAMOROTI

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he Lagos State Attorney- General, Mr. Ade Ipaye, and the Federal Ministry of Culture and Tourism are set to be collision course as the AG has described as unconstitutional the recent attempts by the Federal Government to continue the implementation of tourism projects in states across the country. Ipaye who said this in Lagos observed that by interfering in tourism, the Federal Government was deliberately disregarding the pronouncement of the Supreme Court in the case of Attorney-General of the Federation v. AttorneyGeneral of Lagos, which was decided only last year. The AG had said that on March 4, 2014, the Minister of Culture and

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Tourism informed the National Assembly that the FG required a sum of N25 billion to implement the country’s Tourism Master-plan. The Director- General of Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, he noted, had also announced publicly the tourism plans of the FG for implementation in states. The AG recalled that ‘on July 19, 2013, the Supreme Court in the case of Attorney-General of the Federation v. Attorney-General of Lagos held that the power or jurisdiction of the Federal Government on tourism matters, as specified in Item 6(d) of the Exclusive Legislative List (1999 Constitution), was limited to the regulation of tourist traffic’. Ipaye said that by this judgement, the Supreme Court interpreted this as

covering only the entry and exit of international visitors through visa and immigration regulations, and concluded that regulation of tourism in Nigeria was a residual matter within the jurisdiction of State Governments. He particularly quoted from the lead judgment delivered by Justice Galadima, where the Justice of the Supreme Court said: “In my view the Dictionary definition of ‘Tourist’ and ‘Traffic’ would accord to my own understanding of simple and natural meaning of the two words. The words ‘tourist traffic’ used in Item 60(d) of the second schedule of the Constitution, alludes to the ingress and egress of tourists from other countries. These are international visitors or foreigners.

learn the source of the drugs to be used in their executions scheduled for April 22 and 29, respectively. But Oklahoma state law blocks officials from revealing - even during court proceedings - the identities of the companies supplying the drugs used to sedate the inmates, paralyse their respiratory systems, and stop their hearts. Oklahoma County district court Judge Patricia Parrish ruled the secrecy provision unconstitutional, though her ruling did not affect Lockett’s and Warner’s death sentences. “I think that the secrecy statute is a violation of due process because access to the courts has been denied,” Ms Parrish ruled, according to local media reports. It’s getting harder for US states

to source the drugs used in lethal injections because many European companies don’t want their drugs used for this purpose, the BBC’s Beth McLeod in Washington reports. State governments have turned to other suppliers, but lawyers for death row inmates argue that these less regulated drugs can lack purity and cause unnecessary suffering, our correspondent reports. Capital punishment experts say the Oklahoma decision could affect the several other states where corrections officials are barred by law from disclosing the source of the drugs. Thirty-two US states have death penalty laws and 18, plus the District of Columbia, have abolished capital punishment.

SAN advocates true federalism for judiciary appointments FRANCIS FAMOROTI

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Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Dele Adesina, has advocated that the concept of true federalism should be applied in the appointment of judicial officers in the country. Adesina, who spoke with a group of Law Editors in Lagos, said his proposal was that the appointment of any judge of the High Court in a state should start and end in the particular state while that of a judge of the Federal High Court should be handled by the federal judiciary. Speaking against the backdrop of the Federal High Court verdict on the row over the appointment of a Chief Judge in Rivers State, he argued that strict adherence to the concept of true federalism would eliminate the crises sur-

rounding the appointment of qualified persons to the Bench. Adesina, who is also an ex-NBA General Secretary said amending the 1999 Constitution could not cure the defects in the constitution, he therefore added that the country needs a new constitution that must be a product of the popular will. He said the states should be empowered to create their own Courts of Appeal adding that ‘’I don’t see why we cannot have appeal courts set up by the states.’’ Stating that the ongoing National Conference was necessary to address some knotty issues in the federation, he said the outcome of such exercise should produce a new Nigeria. Specifically, he said the body should deliberate among others, on the devolution of powers in the country.

‘’Everybody wants to be in Abuja, why? There is overconcentration of powers at the centre and this must be addressed if you want to have a new Nigeria. ‘’ The SAN further charged the National Conference to look at issues concerning the termination of interlocutory appeals at the Court of Appeal. According to him, ‘’ a good number of these appeals emanated from the High Court. Take for instance, in Lagos alone, we have about 46 courts and I think the National Conference should also look at the increasing the number of justices at the Supreme Court phenomenally from 21 justices. The 21 number of justices is no longer realistic, and we’ve never have the full complement of 21 justices sitting at a time. ‘’he added.

I prayed that the court should not call my case - Daramola

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y first solo appearance was before Justice Olu Obadina at the High Court of Lagos State. That was in February 1994. I was to move an application for amendment of pleadings. When Mr. Tayo Oyetibo gave me the file, I

studied every document in the file and thought I was prepared but when I got to the court, courage deserted me and I was praying silently that the court should not call the case. The case was listed as number 25 on the cause list. When the court

got to number 23, light went off and the judge directed the registrar to adjourn all the cases. I was very happy. By the time I went back to the court sometime in March 1994, I had regained my confidence. I argued the case effortlessly and the application was granted.

Olu Daramola, SAN


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News 47

Monday March 31, 2014

Firm moves to stop polls over N17.3bn judgment debt ...gets court order to serve INEC processes ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA

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he general election scheduled for 2015 and the impending gubernatorial polls in Ekiti and Osun states slated for 2014 may soon be halted. This is because a firm, Bedding Holdings Limited, BHL, with patent right to use Direct Data Capturing, DDC machines in Nigeria, has initiated a lawsuit before a Federal high court to stop the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, from deploying the DDC machines for the elections. It is inviting the court

to issue the order against INEC for failing to settle the N17.3 billion judgment debt awarded in its favour against the electoral umpire for earlier using the machines to conduct polls in the country without its permission. The firm is also urging the court, through an exparte order, to stop INEC from using the machines for the impending 2014 gubernatorial election in two South-West states, and any future election in the country, to protect the integrity of the court. But the Federal High Court has ordered the firm to serve the processes in the matter on INEC and two

others joined in the suit. Justice Ibrahim Auta, who turned down an exparte application by the plaintiff, ordered service on defendants in the suit, to enable them respond to issues raised. The BHL suit has INEC, its Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega and the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, as defendants. The plaintiff contends, among others, that the defendants cannot, without complying with the court’s earlier judgement of January 28, 2014, utilise its patented process of applying the DDC machines for voters’ registration as INEC has commenced voters’ reg-

istration exercise, preparatory to the governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states and the 2015 general elections. The court had, in the judgment of January 28, held among others, that BHL’s possessed a valid and subsisting patent right over the process of using DDC machines for voters’ registration. It awarded N17.3 billion in damages against INEC, Jega and others for right infringement and also ordered that subsequent application of the process must be with the firm’s consent. BHL further contended that INEC and others had

not only flagrantly refused to comply with the judgement, but had also commenced the deployment of its patented process for voters’ registration as part of preparations for the governorship elections in Ekiti, Osun and next year’s general elections. It wants the court to determine, among others, whether, by the combined interpretation of the provisions of Sections 2, 3(3), 19,25 and 26 of the Patent and Design Act 2004 and the subsisting judgment of January 28, 2014, the defendants could employ its patented process for its continuous voters’ registration exercise without the plaintiff ’s prior consent. The plaintiff seeks an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants and their agents from further infringing on its patent rights by embarking on the voters’ reg-

istration or production of voters’ register in preparation for future elections without first obtaining its consent. It also seeks an order nullifying the voters’ register produced by the defendants, using its patented process, without its consent. BHL wants the court to declare that the continuous voters’ registration exercise being carried out by INEC in preparation for future elections, without its (plaintiff ’s) prior consent amounts to an infringement on its patent rights. It also wants the court to declare that by virtue of the provisions of sections 2, 3(3), 19, 25 and 26 of the Patent and Design Act and the January 28 judgment, the defendants cannot use the plaintiff ’s patented process for its voters’ registration exercise.

‘FG missing point on Boko Haram’ GBENGA OGUNBUFUNMI

T L-R: Analyst, Youth Market Segment, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Michael Nwoseh; Vice Chancellor, Anambra State University, Prof. Fidelis Okafor; winner of brand new car, Mr. Arthor Obi and Analyst, Events, Etisalat Nigeria, Ms. Martina Ogbebor, during the 40th edition of Etisalat Cliqfest in Igbariam campus of the university, at the weekend.

Don’t tamper with Deziani’s probe, APC warns FG OBIORA IFOH ABUJA

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he All Progressives Congress, APC, has warned against any attempt to put pressure on the House of Representatives Committee currently probing the jet scandal involving Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke. In a statement issued in Lagos over the weekend by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the investigation into the scandal is of great public interest, hence those who are reportedly piling pressure on the House

Committee on Public Accounts should back off. The party said the allegation that the minister had spent N10 billion for the purposes of chartering private jets is very serious and cannot be swept under the carpet. According to him, ‘’Scandal is the hallmark of the PDP-led Federal Government and the Presidency, hence both may not feel the public anger at the report that a minister, whose most notable ‘achievement’ is her contribution to Nigerians’ burden with her fixation on endless fuel price increases, has been frittering away the country’s

resources on the altar of unprecedented profligacy. “‘But Nigerians are interested in knowing the truth. Since the presidency has shown no interest in unraveling the truth about the latest scandal to hit the country under its watch, the House of Representatives, which has taken on the challenge of seeking the truth, should not be hindered by anyone. ‘’Nigerians will like to know whether or not the minister spent the huge funds on jets; who authorised the spending of such funds, whether or not the expenditure was appropriated by

the National Assembly, and which laws allow a government minister to junket around the world even on private trips,’’ APC said. The party lauded the House Committee on Public Accounts for its diligence and stated willingness to be fair to all and to carry out a thorough investigation. It urged the committee members to continue to put the interest of Nigerians above any individual or party’s interest and to rebuff any attempt to pressure them against carrying out their constitutional duties.

he All progressive Congress, APC, over the week end, saying President Goodluck Jonathan missed the point when on Saturday he heaped the blame of the Boko Haram insurgency, particularly in the NorthEast, on governors. President Jonathan had on Saturday during the PDP North-East zonal rally at Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium, Bauchi attributed the insecurity challenges in the NorthEast to illiteracy among youths that have lost hope due to bad leadership. He also blamed state governors in the region for not sending children to school. Jonathan said: “We are today facing some issues because of bad leadership; this insecurity challenge is caused by lack of education. Those children are not sent to primary and secondary schools, and as such are easily recruited by criminals that use them

to foment trouble.” But responding to the president’ statement, the All Progressive Congress, APC, said the president missed the point. The party’s interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in a chat with National Mirror, asked “who is the Commander–in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria today? It is President Goodluck Jonathan.” He added that despite the huge sums voted for security and almost one year of state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states the president has failed to bring the situation under control. Reacting to the statement, the Borno State Government said while Governor Kashim Shettima has the highest regard for the President and would therefore not join issues with him, the statement in reference does not even apply to Shettima because he has only served for less than three years.


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Monday, March 31, 2014

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Community Mirror What is happening is that this is beyond the Fulani that we know and who are part of us these different crop of people are either parading as Fulani or people who are from displaced areas because they are heavily armed. BENUE STATE GOVERNOR, GABRIEL SUSWAN

LASTMA official arraigned for illegal conversion of bus DARE AKOGUN

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he Ejigbo boss of the Lagos State Transportation Management Authority, LASTMA, Mr. Adeoti Bamidele Wasiu, has been arraigned, before the Ijeshatedo Magistrates’ Court, for alleged illegal use of an impounded bus. Wasiu’s arraignment is coming on the heels of the arraignment of another LASTMA officer, Taofik Onofowora, for converting

the same vehicle to personal use. Wasiu was arrested following a petition by owner of the bus, Mr. Marvelous Peace through his lawyer, Barrister Olufemi Ajiboso, to the Area ‘D’ Police Division, Mushin and the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, protesting the use of his vehicle by Taofik. Bamidele Wasiu who heads the Ejigbo Base 7, Zebra section of LASTMA, was arraigned

before Magistrate A.O. Gbajumo on a two-count charge of criminal conversion and stealing under the Criminal Code and was remanded in prison custody because he did not immediately meet the bail conditions. The police alleged that Wasiu impounded the Mercedes Benz van with registration number XU 140 JJJ at Iyana Ejigbo belonging to Mr. Marvelous Peace for not using seat belt and converted it to his

personal use, an offence punishable under the Criminal Code. In the petition, Peace alleged that Wasiu and Taofik arrested him along Iyana Ejigbo-Ikotun Road for not using a seat belt and drove the vehicle to their office at Ejigbo. Peace said he was asked to pay a certain amount as fine for the offence and which he obliged, even as he was later asked to pay another N180, 000 as demurrage before the vehicle will be released to him.

He added that he pleaded with them to accept N90, 000 which was refused, and added that Taofik on the directive of Waisu insisted that the money must be fully paid before release of the vehicle. The complainant said he went home to get the money and paid to the bank and returned to their office with the receipt, but they refused to release the vehicle. Peace said he was going regularly to the office with receipt of payment to get his vehicle released. He said, it was on one of such visits, that Taofik allegedly told him to forget the vehicle because it had been confiscated by the Lagos State Government, only for him to be informed that Taofik has put the vehicle to his private use.

Peace said he went to the Ejigbo Police station and reported the matter. Taofik was arrested and later transferred to Area ‘D’ Division, Mushin for further investigation. The prosecutor, Mr. Ayorinde informed the court that there was another case relating to the incident, saying he intends to join them at the next adjournment. The court granted Wasiu who pleaded not guilty to the charge a bail in the sum of N500, 000 with two sureties in like sum. When he could not meet the bail conditions, the magistrate ordered that he be remanded in custody at Kirikiri Prison, pending the fulfillment of thebail conditions. The case was later adjourned to May 7, 2014 for further hearing.

Alaafin to be honoured in UK KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

A Policemen trying to arrest a bus driver at the Lagos State Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja Lagos, yesterday.

PHOTO: EMMANUEL EGHAGHE

Uduaghan assures Agbarho indigenes of support

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he Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan has assured indigenes of Agbarho in Ughelli North Local Government Area that he will always pay attention to their needs. The governor stated that Agbarho community has remained a breeding ground for the Nigeria public and civil service, as it has produced many illustrious sons and daughters who have held their own with pride and dignity. The governor, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Prof. Amos Utuama stated this at the civic reception by the Agbarho community in

honour of the Delta State Head of Service, Sir Paul Evuarherhe on his appointment as the Head of Service . The deputy governor, who presented an award of excellence to Evuarherhe, recalled that sons of the community like Hon. Justice Ovie Whiskey, Gen. Obada, Brig. Gen. Dominic Oneya, the ate Jackson Adjogri and their daughter like Chief Grace Ekpiwhre, made exploits in their fields of endeavour and service to humanity. While commending the Agbarho community for honouring their son, he said that Evuarherhe,

merited his appointment due to diligence. He said: “Sir Paul Ovuarherhe has paid his dues, he worked diligently, a dedicate officer , a faithful worker who works effortlessly without looking for pecuniary reward, and today, your sacrifice has been grandly rewarded by your appointment as the Head of Service”. He assured that the appeal by the community will be looked into in the area of infrastructure development, assuring that they will be given their proper place in the scheme of things in the development of Delta State. The President General

of Agbarho Improvement Union, Brig. Gen. D.O. Oneya expressed gratitude to the governor for using his discretion in accordance with excellence in making their son the Head of Service. Highlight of the occasion was the presentation of award of excellence by the deputy governor on behalf of the Agbarho community to Evuarherhe. Dignitaries at the ocassion include, Speaker of the House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Peter Onwunsanya, Secretary to the State Government, Comrade Ovuzuorie Macaulay, commissioners and traditional rulers.

total of 10 traditional rulers will accompany the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi 111, for an award by the Oyo State Council, OSC, in the United Kingdom. According to the letter signed by Mr. Femi Durudola, Secretary, of the Coordinating Committee in Ibadan, the award is in recognition of the monarch’s contribution to the socio-economic and political development of the Yoruba nation, Nigeria and the African continent. He said special events and programmes had been put in place in honour of Oba Adeyemi, explaining that the ceremony holding at 6-8 Thames Road, Barking Essex, on April 13, would climax the event. He said such programmes include Jumat service and the appearance of the monarch on a live television programme among others. While describing the occasion as one that will

undoubtedly leave a lasting foot print on the sands of time, Durodola said, “Members of the Yoruba Community in the United Kingdom are looking forward to this historical event” Speaking on the preparation, the caretaker committee chairman of Atiba Local Government and son of the Alaafin, Prince Akeem Adeyemi, said the state governor, Abiola Ajimobi will be the Special Guest of Honour at the ceremony. Similarly, Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, AbdulAzeez Arisekola Alao will be chairman, while the Speaker of Oyo House of Assembly, Monsurat Sunmonu will lead other dignitaries to the event.

Oba Adeyemi


Monday, March 31, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

49

World News

US, Russia begin talks on Ukraine crisis

50

PAUL ARHEWE

WITH AGENCY REPORTS

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gyptians will vote on May 26 and 27 in the first round of a presidential election, the organising body said on Sunday, a contest former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is expected to win easily. Sisi, who deposed President Mohamed Morsi last July, has been riding on a wave of popular backing from supporters who see him as the man who can save Egypt from crisis. But the Islamist opposition views him as the mastermind of a coup. Sisi was seen as the most influ-

I apologise to the Libyan people... for disturbing the security and stability of Libya. –FORMER LIBYAN LEADER’S SON, SAADI GADDAFI

Egypt to hold May 26-27 presidential election

•Soldier killed, three police wounded in attack on bus ential figure in an interim administration that has been cracking down hard on Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood and other opponents in the last nine months. The Brotherhood, Egypt’s best organised political party until last year, has been banned and driven underground. The vote will go to a second

round in June if the first-placed candidate does not by a wide enough margin. The organising committee did not say what this margin was during a televised news conference. Sisi is widely expected to win comfortably. He enjoys solid support from privately- and state-run media.

Women holding the poster of Egyptian former Army boss, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi

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man died after an explosive device he was assembling blew up in a residential area in the capital, Kenyan police officials said yesterday. The explosion happened a day after the Australian government advised its citizens against travelling to Nairobi and the coastal town of Mombasa due to the high threat of a terrorist attack and high crime. Police are looking for three other men who were seen running

The Scene of a church attack in Kenya

So far, the only other candidate for the presidency is leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi, who came third in the 2012 election won by Morsi. Sisi stepped down as defence minister and army chief in order to announce his candidacy last Wednesday. Candidates may conduct their election campaigns between May 3 and May 23, the spokesman for the committee in charge of organising the elections said in a televised news conference. Meanwhile, an Egyptian soldier was killed yesterday when militants attacked the bus he was driving in the town of Al-Arish in the Sinai Peninsula, an army source said. The bus was transporting police officers, three of whom were wounded, the source said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. Sinai-based militants have stepped up violence against the state since the army ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July, killing more than 400 soldiers and police, according to the Foreign Ministry. The attacks have spread to Cairo and other cities in recent months.

Bomb explodes on man assembling it -Kenyan police out of the apartment after the blast in the three-story building, Barasa Wabomba the police chief of the Starehe area in Nairobi said. The blast rocked the building causing cracks in the walls and shattering the windows. Wabomba could not immediately

say who was responsible for the explosion though he said initial suspicion fell on sympathizers of Somali Islamic extremists. The suspect was apparently assembling the device in the kitchen when it went off dismembering his body, said Nairobi Police chief Benson Kibue. He said the four suspects moved into the two-bedroom house on the first floor a month ago but the landlord became suspicious of their movements and had given them notice to vacate the house at the end of this month. Kenya has experienced dozens of small bomb and gun attacks since al-Qaida-linked Somali militants known as al-Shabaab vowed to avenge Kenya for sending troops to Somalia in October 2011 to fight the militants. Al-Shabaab claimed responsi-

bility for the Sept 21 attack on an upscale mall in Nairobi in which at least 67 people were killed by four Somali gunmen. Earlier Sunday police in the coastal city of Lamu found a grenade at the African Independent Pentecostal Church of East Africa, said Lamu west police chief Joseph Sigei. The incident came a week after gunmen killed six worshippers in a church in the Likoni area of Mombasa. Police Friday said they killed two suspects believed to have carried out the attack. On March 17, Kenyan authorities said anti-terror police foiled a planned terrorist attack in the coastal city of Mombasa after they intercepted a car packed with explosives. Two suspects have been charged in court with terror related offenses.

WORLD BULLETIN CAR conflict: Chadian troops kill 10 in Bangui At least 10 people were killed and dozens wounded when Chadian troops opened fire on civilians in Central African Republic’s capital Bangui, officials said yesterday. The troops were driving into the city, scarred by religious conflict over the past year, to escort a convoy of Muslims back to Chad, having earlier crossed the countries’ border some 500 km (300 miles) to the north in about 15 army vehicles. “When they got to the PK12 neighborhood, they suddenly started shooting. People panicked and started running and ducking for cover,” said Sebastien Wenezoui, a spokesman for the country’s Christian militia, the anti-balaka. Saturday’s shooting was the latest in a string of violent incidents involving Chadian troops, who the anti-balaka accuse of siding with Muslims and Seleka rebels and preying upon the local Christian population.

Armed militias hold Libya hostagea When a militia holding Libya’s eastern ports loaded a North Korean-flagged tanker with oil earlier this month, the Libyan parliament sacked its own prime minister and turned to U.S. commandos to bring its cargo back. For days the government had threatened to blow up the tanker, called Morning Glory, if it left port. When it sailed off, pro-government militiamen even gave chase on boats carrying jeeps mounted with anti-aircraft and cannons. But that failed, and when the tanker reached international waters Libya’s parliament fired Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, who fled to Europe. A few days later, U.S. Navy SEALS boarded the tanker to end the debacle.

Over one million displaced by South Sudan conflict More than one million people have been forced from their homes by the ongoing conflict in South Sudan, the UN says. Of these, 803,200 have been displaced within the country, and another 254,000 have fled to neighbouring countries, according to the latest UN report. It warns that the situation is likely to get worse as the violence continues. Fighting erupted between the forces of President Salva Kiir and troops loyal to his former deputy, Riek Machar, in December. The two sides signed a ceasefire agreement in January, but sporadic fighting has continued.


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World News

WORLD BULLETIN

Netanyahu slams UN rights council’s censure of Israel Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday slammed a UN rights body for a string of resolutions condemning the Jewish state despite a wave of rights abuses elsewhere in the region. “At the end of last week, the UN Human Rights Council condemned Israel five times, at a time when the slaughter in Syria is continuing, innocent people are being hung in the Middle East and human rights are being eroded,” he told ministers at the weekly cabinet meeting. “In many countries the free media are closed down and the UN Human Rights Council decided to condemn Israel,” he added. “It’s absurd. This procession of hypocrisy goes on and we shall continue to denounce and expose it.” The 47-member UN body on Friday passed four resolutions critical of Israel’s conduct toward the Palestinians and one on its occupation of the Golan Heights.

‘Two Spanish journalists freed in Syria’ Two Spanish journalists taken hostage in Syria by an Al-Qaedalinked group walked free after six months in captivity and were heading back to Spain on Sunday, their friends and colleagues said. El Mundo correspondent Javier Espinosa, 49, and freelance photographer Ricardo Garcia Vilanova, 42, were “freed and handed over to the Turkish military”, the Spanish newspaper said on its website. Espinosa called El Mundo’s offices on Saturday evening and said they were in good health, it added. “Pure happiness,” wrote Espinosa’s girlfriend, the journalist Monica Garcia Prieto, on Twitter early Sunday, without giving further details. “Their relatives are feeling excitement and joy because this puts an end to a nightmare that has lasted six months,” a spokesman for their families, Gervasio Sanchez, told a news agency.

‘Turkish PM’s party takes early election lead’ The AK Party of Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan has taken an early lead in local elections, reports say. The polls are being seen as a key test for Erdogan ahead of presidential elections in August and parliamentary elections next year. It is the first vote since mass protests last June, and subsequent government corruption scandals. Erdogan is not standing but has campaigned tirelessly in support of his Justice and Development Party (AKP). With more than 10% of the votes counted, TV channels reported the AKP was polling at between 43-49%. The party has been aiming to equal or better its 38.8% share of the vote in 2009.

Monday, March 31, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

US, Russia begin talks on Ukraine crisis U S Secretary of State John Kerry meets his Russian counterpart yesterday hoping to ease global tensions over the Kremlin’s annexation of Crimea and sudden build-up of troops near Ukraine. The latest attempt to resolve the worst East-West standoff in the post-Cold War era follows a sudden call placed by Vladimir Putin on Friday to US President Barack Obama -- the first by the Russian leader since he sent troops into Ukraine’s Black Sea peninsula in response to the February 22 fall in Kiev of a proKremlin regime. After the call to Obama who was visiting Riyadh, Kerry decided mid-air to divert his Washington-bound flight home Saturday and travel to Paris instead to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Lavrov said ahead of the Paris talks, expected to start at 1630 GMT, that Moscow had “absolutely no intention and no interests in crossing the Ukrainian border”. He called on Western powers to back a proposal for Ukraine’s Russian-speaking regions to have greater powers in a “federal” structure. “If our Western partners are

L-R: US Secretary of State, John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov

ready, then Russia, the United States and the European Union could form a support group on Ukraine,” Lavrov told Russian state television. This would lead to talks between “all Ukrainian political forces without exception, naturally excluding armed radicals,” and would end in a new constitution allowing for a “federal structure” with greater regional autonomy, he said. Moscow’s plan would allow parts of Ukraine to declare

Russian as a second official language and secure more independence from Kiev -- a move analysts view as a bid to weaken the authority of what is likely to be a permanent new pro-Western leadership. A plan outlining how the situation could be resolved has gone through a number of modifications. A senior State Department official said Sunday that Lavrov and Kerry would “continue the discussion they’ve been

Malaysian jet search effort continues, no evidence found

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ustralia’s prime minister said yesterday he was hopeful clues will emerge soon to help find Flight 370 even though searchers again failed to find jet debris, as relatives of Chinese passengers on the plane protested in Malaysia to demand the government apologize over its handling of the search. An increasing number of ships are scouring an area of the Indian Ocean off western Australia after a new search zone was identified Friday, but the only objects scooped up by the vessels so far have been “fishing equipment and other flotsam” not connected to the Malaysia Airlines plane that crashed March 8 with 239

people on board, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said in a statement. Australian Navy Commodore Peter Leavy told reporters that “there has been no discrete debris associated with the flight.” In Sydney, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott insisted that the “intensifying search effort” was positive because objects “have been recovered from the ocean” in the zone after a weeklong search in another area spotted items from planes that ships never managed to find. The maritime safety authority said nine planes took part in the search Sunday, leaving in staggered times from a military

Wing Commander Shearer looking through binoculars on a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion aircraft during a search for the missing Malaysian jet.

base near the western city of Perth. Eight ships were on the scene, including the Australian navy supply ship HMAS Success, which was designated as the vessel that will store any wreckage found. Leavy said the operation in the new search zone is complicated because it lies in a shipping lane where sea trash is common. Searchers were hampered by rain and low clouds, but were still able to look for signs of plane debris with visibility of about 10 kilometres (6 miles). It takes planes about 2 1/2 hours to get to the area, giving them five hours of searching time before they must return to base. Objects spotted so far include three with white, red and orange colors by a Chinese Ilyushin IL76 plane, China’s official Xinhua News Agency said. The missing Boeing 777’s exterior was red, white, blue and gray. In Malaysia, several dozen Chinese relatives of passengers of Flight 370 demanded that the Malaysian government apologize for its handling of the search for the plane and for the prime minister’s announcement that it crashed into the southern Indian Ocean before any wreckage was

having in the interest of finding concrete ways to de-escalate the conflict”. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov insisted Saturday to the staterun RIA Novosti agency that “it is the United States that is responding to our proposals on Ukraine.” “We have differing views of the situation. Our discussions involve an exchange of ideas, but one cannot say that we have some sort of single approach.” found. The group staged its protest at a hotel near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s largest city, hours after flying in from Beijing, waving banners that read “We want evidence, truth, dignity” and “Hand us the murderer. Tell us the truth. Give us our relatives back.” They also demanded a meeting with Prime Minister Najib Razak. Two-thirds of the 227 passengers aboard the plane, which disappeared en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur, were Chinese. China has urged Malaysia to be more open about the investigation, while Malaysian officials have defended their handling of the probe and the information they have provided to passengers’ relatives. Searchers for a full week relied on satellite data from various countries as they tried to find the plane in a different zone to the south of the current area, but abruptly shifted course Friday after authorities concluded the plane could not have travelled as far as they had thought based on its estimated speed and fuel consumption. That prompted the change in the hunt for the plane’s likely entry point into the sea and its “black boxes,” which should contain clues to what caused the aircraft to be so far off-course.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

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he campaign outfit of Labour Party, LP, governorship candidate in Ekiti State, Hon Opeyemi Bamidele, at the weekend disclosed that 6,332 public servants in Ekiti State have been pencilled down for sack. The body, which said that the state government had planned to execute the plan if Governor Kayode Fayemi was re-elected in the June 21 governorship election, disclosed that teachers who led the struggle against the competency test were part of the target of the impending sack. But the state government has dismissed the allegation as false, saying it had no intention to

Politics

Monday, March 31, 2014

Ekiti set to sack 6,332 workers -Bamidele •Fayemi: it’s not true, we’ll rather employ more sack workers but rather employ more and as well ensure capacity building for more efficient and effective service delivery. Bamidele’s campaign organisation said in a statement signed by Bamidele’s media aide, Mr Ahmed Salami, that some top ranking civil servants perceived to be close relations of the opposition figures and those alleged to have worked under the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, government, either as special assistants or through secondment, had also been

enlisted for premature sack. While accusing the Fayemi administration of insensitivity to the plight of workers in the state, Ahmed said: “We are quite aware that Fayemi has been introducing all sort of obnoxious and draconian policies to deal with workers who work assiduously to ensure that he won the 2007 and 2009 rerun elections in the state”. Also listed as those to suffer if Fayemi returns to office for a second term were commercial motor-

bike operators popularly known as okada, who were alleged to be eased out of the roads in the state. Ahmed said: “As we speak now, a consultant transport firm from Lagos State is working with the Ministry of Works and Transport to produce a blueprint on how the Okada business will be phased out in Ado Ekiti. Though, Fayemi has denied but denial was done because of the exigency of the present situation.” But Fayemi, who said

L-R: Bauchi State governor, Isa Yuguda; Senate President David Mark; Akwa Ibom State governor, Godswill Akpabio and Vice President Namadi Sambo, during the North East Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, rally in Bauchi on Saturday. PHOTO: STATE HOUSE

Controversy trails PDP consensus candidate

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ontroversies have continued to trail the adoption by the 13 aggrieved Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, aspirants in Ekiti State of Senator Gbenga Aluko as their consensus candidate. While one of the 13 aggrieved aspirants, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, debunked the emergence of a consensus candidate, saying the aspirants had not agreed on any aspirant, the PDP in Ekiti State declared yesterday that it had no other candidate for the June 21 governorship poll aside former governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayo Fayose. PDP state Publicity Secretary, Pastor Kola Oluwawole, said in a statement in Ado Ekiti yesterday that the purported emergence of another consensus candidate in Abuja

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was a ruse and an attempt to mislead members of the public. He said that what the group of aspirants did by announcing a candidate of their own was contemptuous of the National Secretariat of the party which had already ratified Fayose’s candidature and consequently went ahead to issue Certificate of Return to him. Oluwawole, however, urged all aggrieved persons in the party to channel their complaints and displeasure through proper channels for amicable resolution. This came as a group, the National Youth for Goodluck Sambo, praised aspirants of PDP aspirants in the state for adopting Senator Aluko as the consensus candidate for the June 21governor-

ship election. The group’s protem chairman, Mr Olufemi Ayo, in a statement in Ado Ekiti yesterday, urged Aluko to work towards unifying the party for the PDP to win the governorship election. He stated: “We wish to congratulate the Ekiti PDP for amicable resolution of the logjam surrounding the consensus issue. We want to thank the aspirants for their personal sacrifices toward producing an acceptable candidate that could match Governor Kayode Fayemi at all levels, both in integrity and intellect.” In another development, the PDP Youth Forum said the sacrifices made by the aspirants by choosing a consensus candidate had written

their names in gold not only as vanguards of democracy, but as those who fought relentlessly for the restoration of the PDP in Ekiti. In a statement signed by its state coordinator, Comrade Toba Adefemi, the group said: “The PDP has gone through a lot of troubles in the last three years. We need a recovery. We need to work and recapture the state because we have the human resources to achieve this. “We hereby warn those external forces who are bent on derailing our focus to beware. Ekiti PDP knows what it can do and who to field to win the election. We cannot afford to bungle the opportunity right before us because of wrong choice of candidate.”

opposition members were in town with cheap lies, assured workers in the state civil service, including local government employees, that his administration would not sack any worker, but continue to ensure better welfare packages for them. Fayemi said he will not sack teachers, but rather employ, train and remunerate more teachers, just as he said the state government

82 DAYS TO GO had no plan to ban okada but assured them of protection while they obey traffic rules and regulations to be able to ensure the safety of the okada operators and their customers.

Group tackles Fayose, Bamidele over guber race

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political pressure group in Ekiti State, the Ekiti Good Governance Group, EGGG, has derided the governorship candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Mr Ayodele Fayose; and his counterpart in Labour Party, LP, Hon Opeyemi Bamidele, over their claims in the build-up to the June 21 governorship election in the state. The group’s Publicity Secretary, Mr Taiwo Ojo, said Fayose’s statement that he brought Ekiti State governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, to office and that he would also remove him from office amounted to huge amusement and “ Fayose’s disconnect from reality.” Ojo, in a statement in Ado Ekiti at the weekend, wondered why “Fayose, who could not make himself a senator in 2011, would have claimed that he made anyone a governor if he was in touch with the reality of defeat that stares him in the face in the June 21 election.” EGGG said that Fayemi had already won the 2007 governorship election, which victory was stolen by the PDP, before Fayose was accommodated in the campaign train for the 2009 rerun election when he returned from self-exile. The statement reads: “During the 2009 rerun poll, Fayose saw himself being hunted and haunted by PDP. He was to be arrested and slammed in prison after denigrating PDP while in exile. On arriving Ekiti, he read the mood of Ekiti people who were rooting for Fayemi and he quickly

joined the throng.” EGGG also advised LP governorship candidate, Bamidele, to focus on issues in his election campaigns, saying it would not be honourable for the governorship hopeful to run his campaign solely on lies. According to the group, Bamidele “claimed that half of Fayemi’s cabinet was supporting him and we have challenged him to name names. “Unfortunately, he has not been able to do that. Again, he said some workers’ names have been pegged down for dismissal by the Fayemi administration when indeed the government recently employed teachers and accountants. “We would not be surprised if tomorrow Bamidele claims Fayemi’s wife, Bisi, is his campaign manager. He is fast becoming a one day, one lie man. As we go into this election, we would continue to educate Ekiti people on the need to be wary of characters like Bamidele, whose gentle mien is poles apart from his real character.” However, the Publicity Chairman of PDP Governorship Campaign Organisation, Chief Gboyega Aribisogan, who said that the group was being sponsored by the APC, said: “It is obvious that this group is dead to history. “It is a fact of history that Fayemi could not win the 2007 election which culminated in the 2009 rerun election. Fayose joined hands with his supporters to vote for Fayemi and the result was what gives Fayemi the victory which they went to court to claim.


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Monday, March 31, 2014

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EU seeks to divide Africa -Sudan

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udan yesterday accused the European Union of trying to divide Africa after the EU refused to invite President Omar al-Bashir to a major summit this week. Bashir is wanted by The Hague-based International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Sudan’s Darfur region, where conflict has raged for 11 years. “Until today, March

30, President Bashir has not received an invitation to the summit,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement. The summit on Wednesday and Thursday will gather representatives of 90 nations from both continents, including 65 heads of CHANGE OF NAME

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NGWU: We Formerly known and addressed as Ngwu Family, now wish to be known and addressed as Bernard Family. Hence we are Bernard Geoffrey Iheukwumere, Bernard Gospel Chukwujioke Ikemefuna, Bernard Christopher Echezona, Bernard Celestine Obinna, Bernard Nneka Tessy, Bernard Chinyere Mercy. All documents remain valid. General public take note.

PUBLIC NOTICE

PETRA WORSHIP CENTER

The general public is hereby notified that the above named Church has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration under part “C” of the Companies and allied matters Act of 1990.

THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1. Rev Emmanuel Nkemakonam Nwokeabia 2. Pastor Mrs. Rosemary Nwokeabia 3. Mr. Okechukwu Eneokwe 4. Rev Benneth Chikwado Ugwuanyi 5. Mr. Dozie Nwaokolo 6. Mr. Joseph Egwim

- Chairman - Secretray

THE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: 1. To preach the Gospel of Christ throughout the whole world. 2. To train Gospel Ministers for the job mentioned above 3. To carry out Christ’s ordinances as recorded in the bible

Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the Registrar-General Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420, Tigris Crescent, Off Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, Abuja within 28 days of this publication.

SIGNED: BOLUM SYLVESTER

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to invite Bashir even though the EU had refused him an invitation. Sudan’s foreign ministry said the AU’s position is that all its leaders should be invited. The summit should be postponed “until the African Union’s concerns are addressed, CHANGE OF NAME

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and this will guarantee its credibility and respect in the international community, because the African continent is one,” Sudan said. Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe will boycott the summit after his wife was denied a visa to enter CHANGE OF NAME

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PUBLIC NOTICE

STARGUIDE FOUNDATION.

The general public is hereby notified that the above named Church has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration under part “C” of the Companies and allied matters Act of 1990.

THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1. Rev. Fr. Dr. John Oyijewu Adeyi 2. Mrs. Mercy Adeyi Onah 3. Mr. Sylvester Ademu Ochefu.

THE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES:

1. To assist the less privilege of the society. 2. To provide Education to the destitute. Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the Registrar-General Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420, Tigris Crescent, Off Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, Abuja within 28 days of this publication.

SIGNED: REV. FR. DR. JOHN ADEYI.

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PUBLIC NOTICE BIOSUN FOUNDATION FOR HEALTH RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

The general public is hereby notified that the above FOUNDATION has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration under the Companies and Allied Matters Act 2004. Part C

THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1. Dr. Olarenwaju Sunday 2. Barr. Mrs Kolawole Olateju 3. Mrs Oluwatoyin Aboidun Olarenwaju 4 Ogunlumade Josiah Oladeji

THE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES:

1 To conduct operational researches and impact surveys on health and developmental issues. 2 To provide preventive and curative services on health issues. 3 To mentor on continuous basis professionals on health issues and others related to development

Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the Registrar-General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420, Tigris Crescent, off Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, Abuja, within twenty eight 28 (days) of this publication.

SIGNED: BARR. MRS KOLAWOLE OLATEJU

PUBLIC NOTICE ASALATU NA’EEM ISLAMIC SOCIETY OF NIGERIA The general public is hereby notified that the above named Organisation has applied to the Corporate Affairs Commission for registration under the Companies and Allied Matters Act 2004. Part C.

THE TRUSTEES ARE: 1. Alhaji Maruf Salaudeen 2. Alhaji Adeniran Rauf 3. Mr. Ottun Bashir 4. Ustas Taoheed Bankole 5. Mr Lawal Abdulakeem

THE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES:

1. To encourage religious steadfastness. 2. To promote remembrance of Allah through Asalatu Nabiy. 3. To encourage all muslims in their act of Ibadah. Any objection to the registration should be forwarded to the Registrar-General, Corporate Affairs Commission, Plot 420 Tigris Crescent, Off Aguiyi Ironsi Street, Maitama, Abuja within 28 days of this publication.

SIGNED: WALE OLAJIDE & CO. R.A. AKINLOYE ESQ. AL-AMEEN CHAMBERS 205, OBAFEMI AWOLOWO WAY, OKE-ADO, IBADAN, OYO STATE 08035332393, 08077303377


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Monday March 31, 2014

Monday March 31, 2014

Falcons resume camping today

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sport

My mind is not less for my club than for my national team. This is just the whole truth –Arsenal midfielder, Mesut Ozil

55

Obasi scores, impresses Keshi

...Again, Osaze lifts Stoke

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chalke 04 forward, Chinedu Obasi, has impressed Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi, with his recent form at his Germany club. Obasi scored one and made another as Schalke defeated Hertha 2-0 at the Veltins Arena in the Bundesliga on Saturday. It was his second goal in his last five league games for the club. He opened the scoring in the 16th minute via a touch of brilliance. The former Lyn Oslo man latched on to a delightful cross field pass from Saed Kolašinaca and left two Hertha players in his wake before rounding goalkeeper Rune Jarstein. Obasi also created some magic a minute after the break when his decisive defencesplitting pass freed Klass Jan Huntelaar who promptly slammed home to give the hosts a two goal cushion. “As far as I am concerned, I want to keep playing well for my club, to be in World Cup squad is by grace of God and a lot will depend on the coach. I want to play for my country because I believe I could still do much more as I have a lot to give,” Obasi told MTNFootball.com “I feel very happy and proud because I am finally getting to my best. I am not going to give up nor feel relaxed because of this little performance because I am very much confi-

dent that I am yet to be at my best.” Keshi was impressed and revealed he has been closely monitoring the 27-year-old. “Obasi is doing well in Germany. I have been watching him of late. I saw him play against Real Madrid in the (UEFA) Champions League (on March 18 when the Spaniards prevailed 3-1 at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu). “He is a good player, but not all good players go to the World Cup. All Nigerian players must continue to work hard because no one is assured of a place in my team right now,” eshi exclusively told supersport.com. Obasi, who has played for Nigeria at the U-20 and U-23 levels, has been capped 18 times at senior level. Just as Obasi scored in Germany, Osaze Odemwingie lifted Stoke City to remain on course to achieve their best points total in the Premier League after a hard-working victory over Hull at the Britannia Stadium. Odemwingie’s well-taken goal, his third in as many games, was enough to secure the win for Mark Hughes’s men. He earlier had two chances to score, but dragged an effort wide before having a shot well gathered by stand-in Hull goalkeeper, Steve Harper. But Odemwingie finally found the net just after the hour mark, intercepting Ahmed El-

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mo-

hamady’s cross-field pass before surging forward to drive home a low finish. In the CAF Champions League, ex-Nigeria U-20 star, Moses Orkuma, shed tears of joy after his Libyan club, Ahly Benghazi, eliminated eight-time champions, Al Ahly of Egypt on Saturday. Orkuma’s team recorded a famous 3-2 victory over Al Ahly in Cairo on Saturday to qualify for the group stage of the competition 4-2 on aggregate. “I am so happy with the victory, in fact words can’t explain my feeling, I wept after the match,” the former Lobi Stars ace revealed to MTNFootball.com “We played our hearts out, this victory will increase our confidence and above all it will make people to know that we didn’t come to Libya for just the cash because their football is good.” Obasi


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Sports

Monday March 31, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Chiwendu Ihezuo (right) failed to live up to expectation despite promising so much

‘Why Flamingoes failed in Costa Rica’ K

NNL: Wada Boys want away win

AFOLABI GAMBARI

AFOLABI GAMBARI

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ormer Technical Director of Nigeria Football Association (NFA), Dr. Kasimawo Laloko, has said that the inability of the national U-17 Women football team to go beyond the quarterfinals of the ongoing FIFA U-17 Women World Cup in Costa Rica owes largely to inefficiency of the team’s coaches. The Flamingoes had coasted to the knock-out stage while topping their group, only to be outclassed 3-0 by less-fancied Spain, a result that shocked many football fans. “It was obvious in the coaches’ reaction in the match that they lacked the required expertise,” Laloko told National Mirror at the weekend. “I think that perhaps, only in the Super Eagles and the U-23 team do we notice improved technical know-how and it says so much about

the training that coaches in the lower teams receive. “There is no short cut to achieving success with the junior teams unless the authorities expose the coaches to the kind of training that the Super Eagles’ coaches enjoy.” Laloko, who is also the Director, Pepsi Football Academy and The Football College, OrileImo, Ogun State expressed dismay that the female national teams had endured limited success in international competitions in recent years. “We must work hard at ensuring that we surpass the quarter final level because we have the potential to exceed that limit,” the football administrator suggested. “I think the authorities also need to accept the fact female footballers required

special coaching that entails extra work in technical expertise and camping period. A situation where the girls are herded to camps only several weeks before competitions or dispersed immediately after the competitions would merely make them ordinary at all times,” he added.

ogi United FC of Lokoja underscored its home invincibility when it smashed FRSC FC 2-0 at the Confluence City Stadium, with Coach Fatai Osho still determined to record Kogi’s first away win in the Nigeria National League. As with all the previous games played at home, Kogi dominated the Road Safety side and deserved the victory as the Lokoja club continued its quest to gain pole position ahead of promotion to the Nigeria Premier League next season. “We could have done even better, but the FRSC players did not allow us to play our normal free-flowing style,” Osho said yesterday.

“I give respect to our opponent, they gave us a good fight, they realized it will be embarrassing to concede more, no wonder they were a bit composed in the second half,” he added. Chairman of Kogi United, Mallam Abdul Adama, however differed with the coach, describing the home team’s performance as uncharacteristic, despite the win. “Nevertheless, I want to charge the Wada Boys to remain focused and work towards finding the right mentality to get results on the road, starting from this coming weekend,” Adama was quoted by the club’s Media Officer, Wale Mustapha, as saying. Kogi United has garnered 12 points from eight games to placed 7th on the log and will travel to Dutse to face Jigawa Golden Stars in Week 9 of the NNL.

Gerrard adopts cautious approach

Gerrard

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iverpool captain, Steven Gerrard, admits his belief of landing the elusive English Premier League, although he

says the Reds have little margin for error. Gerrard led Liverpool to a 4-0 win over top-four chasing Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield yesterday and the Merseyside team now tops the log on 71 points. “We can’t afford to get carried away,” Gerrard said. “Don’t get me wrong, winning the title flashes in and out of my mind from time to time but I think with experience I

have learned this can be a ruthless league and one bad performance or one bad error could lead to a draw or a defeat. “We have to remain focused and just think about the next game. “The message is that we have won nothing yet. “We are in a title race. We can’t get away from that, we can’t deny that as it would just be stupid, but from experience I would never get carried away. “It a cup final mentality and we have six more matches to go. So, we have to go and try win them all.”


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sports

Monday March 31, 2014

Brazil 2014: Laloko faults Uche’s no-invitation AFOLABI GAMBARI

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ormer Technical Director of Nigeria Football Association (NFA), Dr. Kasimawo Laloko, has described the exclusion of Villareal of Spain striker, Ike Uche, from Super Eagles’ preparation for the World Cup as ill-advised. There have been calls for Uche’s inclusion in the Coach Stephen Keshi’s plan, but the gaffer insisted last week that the fleetfooted forward would not fit into his plan for the global competition where Nigeria as reigning African champion is expected to reach at least the quarter finals. “It is a clear case of self-shooting for any coach to shut the door against a player as good as Uche, although I would still concede to Keshi as the man in charge who takes responsibility for his actions,” Laloko told National Mirror yesterday. “However, if it is for sporting reason on account of fitness, I would gladly accept the player’s exclusion. But it is for indiscipline as alleged by the coach, I would disagree totally because there is no undis-

ciplined player that is beyond managing by a coach. Laloko cited AC Milan forward, Mario Balotelli, as a player with proven disciplinary record but who was still built as the cornerstone of Italy’s national team, wondering why Keshi would not mould Uche only on account of the latter’s talent. “Every country takes its best in-form players to the World Cup and I do not know why ours should be different,” he reckoned. The football administrator, however, faulted what he called the Nigeria Football Federation’s seeming no-ambition attitude that suggested that the Eagles are eyeing only a quarter-final berth in Brazil. “Each of the 32 countries that will be at the World Cup has the potential to emerge overall winner, so it’s rather absurd to reduce ourselves to quarter finalists even after previously attending the competition four times,” Laloko further said, adding, “Who says we cannot win the cup if we are fully focused and enjoy the support we need?”

Falcons resume camping today JOEL AJAYI ABUJA

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he Super Falcons will resume camp today ahead of the 2015 African Women Championship (AWC) qualifying stages. Secretary General of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Barrister Musa Amadu, who confirmed the development to National Mirror in Abuja yesterday, said the Falcons woul face the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroun in a friendly match before confronting Rwanda in the AWC qualifier. Falcons had their earlier camping schedule cancelled last December fol-

lowing the withdrawal of their first round opponents, Sierra Leone, in a game scheduled for early March due to shortage of funds. “We are preparing them not only to qualify for AWC, but to also be ready for the tournament proper and subsequently qualify for 2015 Women World Cup,” Amadu said. The NFF secretary affirmed that Coach Edwin Okon would be in charge of the team until a substantive coach was appointed. Okon was drafted to the team as an interim manager after he led the Falconets to the semi-finals of the FIFA U-20 Women World Cup in 2012.

Falcons Coach, Okon

Golf: Masters doubt for Mickelson

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hil Mickelson is the latest player to suffer a pre-Masters injury concern after withdrawing from the Valero Texas Open. The left-hander, who was way out of contention at the time, withdrew on the second tee after pulling a muscle in his side when hitting a driver on the second hole-his 11th of the day-in Saturday’s third round. “I pulled a muscle on my downswing trying to hit the ball hard on the second hole. It just killed and it wouldn’t subside for 10 or 12 seconds,” Mickelson said in a statement yesterday.

Mickelson’s caddie, Jim Mackay, said Mickelson’s preparations for The Masters may have played a role. “As you might imagine, he’s trying to get ready for Augusta, he’s hitting a lot of drivers, hitting them a little harder,” Mackay said. “He felt a little pain in his side and it continued on for a few minutes and he just decided he didn’t want to take anything to chance relative to what’s going on the next couple of weeks.” While Mickelson’s withdrawal looks precautionary, Tiger Woods is still unsure if he will make it to the

Mickelson

starting line at Augusta as he continues to battle a back which forced him to skip last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill.

Villareal striker Ike Uche has been snubbed by Super Eagles coach, despite his consistency

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WORLD RECORD

Most magicians in a magic show Vol. 04 No. 819

Monday, March 31, 2014

N150

The most magicians in a magic show is 106 and was achieved by Magic Circle Germany and Julius Frack (Germany) at the Landestheater Tübingen, Germany, on 4 March 2012

Still on INEC and the right of small parties I t ought not to be an issue if we had eschewed demagoguery. And if the electoral umpires had acted like the good umpires they should be by subsuming their preferences under the well defined legal-constitutional preference. An Act of Parliament is a piece of legislation enacted by elected legislators, who derive their powers from the nation’s constitution. Where there is a conflict between the Act and the provision of the Constitution, the former defers to the latter. The arbitrator in such a matter is, of course, the judiciary. On this note I launch into the thesis of my discourse: The Independent National Electoral Commission cannot act outside the constitution of the land and the extant Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) must conform to the provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended). Once upon a time, INEC assumed the ul-

HeartBeat callistus Oke

Callistusoke@nationalmirroronline.net 08054103275 (SMS ONLY) anthonykila@mail.com timate judge on the matter of the number of political parties Nigeria must have and the associations that could be certified as political parties. It was a situation as this that induced the confrontation between the chairman of INEC, the late Dr. Abel Guobadia and the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi. Gani, as he was popularly known, had a life intertwined with the National Conscience Party, the platform with which he thought he could get the presidency of this country. The Guobadia-led INEC had attempted to monkey with Gani, when on May 17, 2002 it released offensive guidelines for the registration of parties, a development that could have denied NCP and others registration. One of such conditionalities was a list of staff of a party seeking registration with the list of its operational equipment and furniture in its Abuja headquarters! Of course, Gani went to court, and in November 2002, the Supreme Court, in an epochal judgement, whittled down the perceived awesome power of INEC, saying any guidelines issued by it must be in conformity with the 1999 Constitution (as amended). In a matter of days, Dr. Guobadia, bowing to the ruling of the Supreme Court, ‘enlisted’ 22 new political parties, including Gani’s NCP, thus bringing the total number of political parties in Nigeria to 28. That culture of perfect competition, underlined by free entry and free exit principle, was to dictate INEC relationship with political parties until 2011 when anti-democratic forces within the National Assembly and Presidency conspired to intro-

W

REGIMENTATION OF THE POLITICAL SYSTEM A RELAPSE INTO THE OLD OBNOXIOUS ORDER WHICH THE SUPREME COURT’S RULING OF NOVEMBER

2002 HAD ATTEMPTED TO CORRECT duce a new regulated regime in the nation’s political system. That piece of legislation is Electoral (Amended) Act (No.2) 2011, which amended Electoral Act (No. 6) 2010. Section 78(7)(ii) of the Act empowers INEC “to deregister political parties, for failure to win presidential or governorship election or a seat in the National Assembly or State House of Assembly.” As INEC chairman, Attahiru Jega, a professor of political science and an activist of world repute, has the difficult task to enforce this repulsive piece of legislation. After the 2011 general elections, he tested the waters when he applied the provisions of the Electoral Act to deregister Democratic Alternative, National Democratic Council, National Action Council, Masses Movement of Nigeria, Nigerian People‘s Congress, Nigerian Element Progressive Party and National Unity Party. He followed it up on December 5, 2012, with the delisting of 28 other parties, including the FRESH Democrat-

Sport Extra

w orld number one, Tiger Woods, has said he has no idea if he will be able to play in next month’s Masters at Augusta. Woods, who held on to his top spot when Adam Scott failed to win at Bay Hill on Sunday, has been struggling with a back injury.

I CONSIDER THE ABOVE

ic Party. In the eye of the law, these acts appear legal. But are they politically expedient and do they conform to the provisions of the 1999 Constitution? I consider the above regimentation of the political system a relapse into the old obnoxious order which the Supreme Court’s ruling of November 2002 had attempted to correct. It is a very fundamental flaw in the nation’s emerging political culture as it is antithetical to the very idea of liberal democracy and an abridgement of Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), which gives Nigerians the right to peaceful assembly and association. For a nation with a long and troubled road to democracy, a fledging one for that matter, unconscionable assaults like the one reported above ought to be vigorously challenged in the law court. Changes recorded in the life of nations were caused by vigorous challenge of the status quo. The 1215 Magna Carta, which King John of England was coerced into assenting to, was an exercise in power sharing. Similarly, the English Bill of Rights of 1689, which stipulates the limits on the powers of the Crown and sets out the rights of Parliament and rules for freedom of speech in Parliament, etc, was won through serious contestation. Nigeria has had its own fair share of such concessions from the ruling class after violent anti-status quo clashes. In our contemporary history, the patriotic decision by Reverend Chris Okotie to contest the right of INEC to delist political parties in whatever guise is the most salutary in this direction. Let me say that the National Action Council (NAC); Hope Democratic Party (HDP), and National Conscience Party (NCP) had earlier challenged INEC’s right in the court to no avail. But the FDP’s action bore fruit, as the presiding judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, ruling in its favour had said: “The concept of deregistration of political parties is strange to the 1999 Constitution. The criteria by which the National Assembly delimited deregistration to failure to win seats in states and National Assembly elections appear like nothing but legislative arbitrariness, since INEC has powers to conduct other elections.” To be continued.

Golf: Woods major doubt for Augusta Masters He stopped playing during his final round at the Honda Classic on March 2 with what he described as back spasms and the problem flared up again at Doral, especially in his closing round 78.

“For Augusta, it’s actually still a little too soon, to be honest with you,” Woods said yesterday at a press conference to announce that Quicken Loans is the new title sponsor of his tournament at Congressional in June.

“That’s kind of the frustrating thing about this. “I’ve had a couple weeks off and getting treatment and just working on trying to get ready for Augusta. For now, it’s still too soon but frustrating.”

Woods Musa

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Monday, march 31, 2014