Reps probe ministry over N3.3bn road contracts TORDUE SALEM ABUJA
he House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts yesterday queried
the Ministry of Works over its N3.3bn ‘spurious’ expenditure on two roads. The committee was reacting to queries raised by the Office of the AuditorGeneral of the Federation
Vol. 2 N0. 499
on the projects. The first contract, in Nasarawa State, which was awarded for N2.3bn, was initially awarded by the state government for N77m. CONTINUED ON PAGE 6>>
Why FG won’t bow to state police agitators –Olubolade P.9
Monday, November 26, 2012
Terror in Kaduna:
11 killed, scores injured in military base bombing Mark, Tambuwal, govs, Oritsejafor condemn attack
A ZA MSUE KADUNA
ragedy struck again yesterday as twinexplosions rocked St. Andrew’s Military Protestant Church, Jaji, Kaduna State, killing 11 worshippers while 30 others sustained severe injuries. The victims were military officers and members of their families. But sources said that the casualty figures could be up to 50. Eight vehicles and six motorbikes were also destroyed in the attacks that took place at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, AFCSC, Jaji. No group has, however, claim responsibility for the attacks. Also yesterday, unidentified gunmen attacked a CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>
Former VC kidnapped
Police foil ATM robbery, recover P.6,10 N6.9m
One of the vehicles used by the bombers.
Xmas: Traders complain ain of low patronage, allege Chinese invasion on of markets NCC to boost telecoms investment by $25bn P.A6, A16
Free ree inside
Okonjo-Iweala vs Alison-Madueke:
Ex-militants threaten showdown over suspension of allowance P.11
Presidency to summon ministers over subsidy claim face-off
P.2 Marketers vow not to import fuel 20 years after Ashipa’s death, justice eludes family P.46
Monday, November 26, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Presidency to summon ministers over subsidy claim face-off TOLA AKINMUTIMI, ROTIMI FADEYI AND UDEME AKPAN
resident Goodluck Jonathan may convene a meeting between the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and her Petroleum Resources counterpart, Mrs. Deziani Alison-Madueke, this week. This is to prevent a looming face-off over unpaid fuel subsidy arrears totalling N1.13trn to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC. Although National Mirror could not get official confirmation at the Presi-
dency on whether the alleged rift between the two ministers had been tabled before the President, an inside source said that the President must intervene to resolve the matter. The source added that the President had assured Nigerians that his administration had no plan to remove fuel subsidy and, therefore, would ensure that there was adequate supply of petroleum products in the Yuletide. He said that the present administration would not encourage any rift to ensure availability of petroleum products, particularly petrol, in the market. Although the ministers and their spokespersons had not spoken openly
about the brewing crisis, investigations by National Mirror confirmed that they were trying to conceal their disagreement over the issue which was reported last Thursday by a national daily. Our correspondents reliably gathered that the finance minister was disturbed by the publication which suggested that she was trying to undermine arrangements by the NNPC to avert the perennial shortages that had characterised the Christmas and other festive seasons. A source in the ministry, who did not want her name mentioned, confirmed that Okonjo-Iweala “was disturbed about the report of the purported meeting with
the President by the minister and the NNPC team. “After all, it is not only NNPC that is having outstanding arrears of subsidy claims. “Other marketers are still being owed and payments are being made after such claims had been verified. “One would have thought that rather than going to the press, the Petroleum Minister and the NNPC team should have explored all channels of communication at the highest level of government. “The publication only painted the Finance Ministry in bad light and I don’t think it is right.” Senior Special Assistant (Media) to the Coordinating
L-R: Former Heads of State, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida; Gen. Abudulsalami Abubakar and Vice-President Namadi Sambo during the Ahmadu Bello University golden jubilee convocation in Zaria at the weekend.
Minister for the Economy, Mr. Paul Nwabuikwu, told National Mirror that any comment on the issues raised in the publication would be predicated on NNPC’s confirmation of the story as true position of what transpired. He said: “We saw the story as published but we are not in a position to react because nobody in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources or the NNPC was quoted in the story to have said anything about the purported meeting over unpaid subsidy claims. “If NNPC confirms the story, that is when the Minister of Finance would probably react to it. “I think what you need to do is to ask NNPC about their position on what was published.” NNPC Group General Manager, Public Affairs, Mr. Fidel Pepple, said he was “not in a position to speak on the matter.” But a public policy analyst, Mr. Auwal Ibrahim Musa, described the purported meeting between the Minister of Petroleum Resources and the NNPC top management with the President as uncalled for. He added that it was a deliberate attempt to undermine the ongoing subsidy claims’ verification exercise. Musa, who is the Executive Director of the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, said the move demonstrated NNPC’s alleged efforts to keep doing things the same way without recourse to due process. He added that the President should not succumb to any undue pressure over
subsidy claims but to allow the ongoing verification its full course to achieve the sanitisation of the downstream sector operations. “As a civil society organisation that is committed to transparency in public finance, we feel there is need for all marketers to subscribe to the current verification exercise on subsidy claims. “That is the only way we can clean up the rot in the downstream sector. “It is no longer news that the country is losing billions of naira yearly to products that were not imported for which claims were paid in the past. “So, the verification of claims is a good step to stopping all that. We don’t feel the NNPC should have taken any case, if they did as reported in the media, to the President when the channels of making their case are known and open,” the CISLAC boss said. The Acting General Secretary of the National Union of Petroleum and Gas Workers, NUPENG, Isaac Abarare, said that since August when the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, met with the stakeholders, including depot owners and oil marketers and workers in the oil industry, the issue of unpaid subsidy claims had become a recurring matter in fiscal policy discourse. Abarare said it was not a bad idea to verify subsidy claims before payment “but when the process takes too long to complete, it would affect supply even as deCONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>
11 killed, scores injured in military base bombing CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
Divisional Police Station in Isa Local Government Area of Sokoto State. It was learnt that several armed men stormed the police station early in the morning, shooting into the air while the attack lasted. There was no report of any resistance by the police or confirmation of the casualties. This is coming barely 48 hours after the military Joint Task force, JTF, placed a reward of N290m for anybody with useful information that will lead to the arrest of the Boko Haram’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, 14 sect command-
ers and four others in connection with terrorist activities in the North-East. The JTF placed N50m on Shekau and N10m each on the 14 commanders. National Mirror gathered that the suicide bombers in a bus and Toyota Camry succeeded in beating the heavy security gadgets and the personnel at the college gate. The Director Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Bola Koleoso, in a text message to National Mirror confirmed that 11 people died while 30 were injured in the coordinated attacks. He said that investigation had commenced into
the incident. “There were twin-bombings today at the St. Andrew Military Protestant Church, Jaji Military Cantonment at 12:05 and 12:15 hrs. A bus first ran into the church and exploded about five minutes after service, while a Toyota Camry parked outside the church detonated 10 minutes later. “Figures of casualties – 11 dead and about 30 injured. The injured were treated at military hospitals in Jaji and Kaduna. Investigation into the bombings has commenced and the area already cordoned off,” he said.
The AFCSC authorities also confirmed that 11 people were killed in the twinsuicide bomb attacks. The Public Relations Officer, Col. Mohammed Dole, told National Mirror that the 11 people killed comprised the church members and commercial motorcyclists who were around the church to pick passengers. He did not, however, say how many of the dead were from the church and how many were motorcyclists. Dole added that eight vehicles and about six motorbikes were destroyed even as he denied that students were among those killed or injured.
He said those injured were taken to 44 Army Hospital, Airforce Base Hospital in Kaduna and ABU Teaching Hospital, Shika, near Zaria. A source in the barracks said that security operatives on duty during the incident were arrested over their failure to detect terrorists at the entrance of the military cantonment. “President Goodluck Jonathan assertion that we have Boko Haram members everywhere might be true because how could those people enter the well blanket security gate? “Those mounted at the gate are under arrest and
detention over security failure. They will be investigated too,” he said. Another source said the incident happened about 12:20p.m. as members were leaving the church after service when the first explosion went off and the second blast occurred shortly after when some church members were holding meeting for next Sunday harvest thanksgiving, leaving about 50 casualties, including the suicide bomber and other military officers. The source, however, said about 40 to 50 people must have been killed in the incident, adding that the first CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>
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Monday, November 26, 2012
Monday, November 26, 2012
L-R: Chairman, Petroleum Revenue Task Force, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu; Chairman, Dangote Group of Companies, Alhaji Aliko Dangote and Group Managing Director, Diamond Bank, Dr. Alex Otti, during the unveiling and commissioning of Pastor Lazarus Otti Memorial Library at Babcock University in Ilisan-Remo, Ogun State, yesterday.
L-R: Brand Manager Bournvita, Cadbury Nigeria Plc, Mrs. Adebola Williams; Sales Director, Mr. Paul Udochi and Legal Adviser, Lagos State Lottery Board, Mrs. Mayowa Okuyiga, during the second draw Yummy Life promo in Lagos, at the weekend.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
L-R: Chief Executive Officer, Oando Marketing Plc, Mr. Yomi Awobokun; Managing Director, Total Nigeria Plc; Mr. Francois Boussagol and Vice-President, LPG International Business Line, Total Gas France, Mr. Renzo Bee, during the Nigerian Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association Conference in Lagos, at the weekend.
L-R: Mr. Louis Odion; Chairman of Juli Pharmacy, Prince Julius Adelusi; participants, Prof. Ibilola Olatuji-Bello and Mr. Tunji Bello, at the NIPSS Senior Executive Course 34 Graduation Ceremony in Kuru, Jos.
UC RUSAL rejects Supreme Court’s order, dares FG on ALSCON plant TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA
nited Company RUSAL, the Chinese company that took over the management of the Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria, ALSCON, about six years ago, has said that the Supreme Court ruling, which nullified its contract with the Federal Government on the multi-billion naira plant, was not binding on it. The company, whose investment interests in the company are yet to be clearly defined as the Share Purchase Agreement on the plant was signed between the Federal Government and Dayson Holdings Limited, is also threatening to take the government to the International Arbitration Court and ask for $500 million claims. Investigation by National Mirror showed that the company, as a temporary step towards undermining the Supreme Court order, last week frustrated attempts by a team of technical experts from the Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, and the BFIG
group, the company that the judgement favoured, to carry out assessment tour of the company in line with the directive of the National Council on Privatisation, NCP. Prior the proposed visit, the Managing Director of the company, Anatoliy Polovov, in a memo dated August 23 addressed to the workers of the company, asked them to discountenance the Supreme Court judgement delivered on July 6, claiming that the ruling had no implications for the ownership of ALSCON. Polovov also claimed that the board and management were ready to protect the company’s ownership of the plant by all means. The MD told the employees that the Federal Government, through requests made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, had asked them to undertake actions to prevent a potential damage to the existing fruitful and mutually advantageous relations between Russia and Nigeria which might be caused by the current situation. The memo reads: “On
July 6 the Supreme Court issued a final ruling in the BFIG/BPE suit. Neither the United Company RUSAL, nor ALSCON was a party to this lawsuit. The ruling of Nigeria’s Supreme Court neither changes, nor can change the owner of ALSCON. “ALSCON remains part of UC RUSAL and RUSAL’s plans to develop and transform the plant into a cutting-edge and highly technological enterprise are in progress. RUSAL as a good faith purchaser of ALSCON is ready to protect its ownership even through litigation in the International Arbitration Court in London.” The company’s position appears to have completely violated the order of the apex court, given the declaratory nature of the judgement. In its ruling on the appeal brought before it by the BFIG Group, the Supreme Court had ordered the defendant/respondent, that is BPE, to provide the mutually agreed Share Purchase Agreement, SPA, for execution by the parties to enable the plaintiff/
appellant, that is BFIG group, to pay the agreed 10 per cent of the accepted bid price of US$410 million. The apex court also ordered that the US$41 million should be paid 15 days from the date of the execution of the SPA in accordance with the agreement dated May 20, 2004 and that the 90 per cent balance of bid price shall be paid within 90 calendar days. It also ordered that BPE must accept the payment of 10 per cent of the bid price from BFIG Group, the plaintiff/appellant within 15 days from the date of signing the SPA. The court gave “an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendant/respondent, its servants, agents, privies, management or howsoever called from inviting any further bidding for sale and acquisition of ALSCON in violation of the contract between the plaintiff/appellant and defendant/respondent and or from negotiating to sell, selling, transferring or otherwise handling over the Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria
ALSCON to any person or persons in violation of the contract between the plaintiff/appellant and the defendant/respondent; and “That the respondent shall pay N50,000 cost to the appellant.” But when the BPE wrote officially to inform the management of the company about its intention to conduct a facility visit of the plant vide its letter to the management of the company dated November 15 as part of efforts to commence the implementation of the Supreme Court ruling by carrying out current assets verification of the plant, RUSAL management raised some questions on the purpose of the visit and demanded explanations from the bureau. According to its undated letter to the BPE DirectorGeneral sourced by National Mirror at the weekend, Polovov demanded to know “whether there are any persons in your delegation who are not officials at BPE (apart from those specifically identified as non-BPE personnel, ie, Nos 10-12 in your letter.” He also demanded to
know the names and purpose of any other person(s) attending with the BPE team and also asked why a “representative of the Nigeria Police Force” will be attending. Apart from the alleged devaluation of ALSCON’s assets by the company to the tune of over N100 billion in the past six years, the Russian company had earlier been indicted during the National Assembly public hearing on ALSCON a few months ago, when the former Director-General of ALSCON, Mrs. Irene Chigbue, told the legislators that the company had breached terms of the SPA. She said: “At no time during my presentation and testimony before the Senate Ad hoc Committee last Saturday did I state that due process was not followed in any of the enterprises privatised under my watch. What I did state was that since the core investor of Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria, ALSCON, had failed to undertake the dredging of the Imo River channel, then a breach of the term of sale has taken place.”
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Monday, November 26, 2012
11 killed, scores injured in military base bombing CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2
car was said to have exploded without any casualty and many people had gathered to see the wreckage of the car when the second suicide bomber arrived. According to the source, “Many people were killed. I am not in a position to say how many people died, but they are many, I saw many dead bodies. “I think the people that died may be in the region of 40 or 50. I cannot say precisely. Even some of those who are injured, I am not very sure they will survive it. “This is share wickedness of the highest order. How could any human being plan this kind of wickedness? “We are now feeling very insecure in the barracks. Our security system here has been very porous. When people come and
they stopped them from entering, they will call their relations and the people they know and they will be allowed inside. This is a very serious embarrassment to us. “You know this military formation is strategic in terms of everything in the military. We have everything here.” A survivor, who did not want his name mentioned, said that one suicide bomber in a bus died while another parked his car and ran away before the second explosion. “The first explosion killed a bomber while the second bomber escaped before it exploded,” he said. The Jaji military cantonment is the headquarters of United Peace Keeping Mission, AntiTerrorism and Insurgency Training Centre, responsible for the training of
military officers. The area has been cordoned off by heavy security operatives with military armoured tanks stationed at vulnerable gates while there is also presence of heavily armed police and military personnel within Kaduna metropolis. Meanwhile, Kaduna State governor, Mr. Patrick Yakowa, has condemned the attack. In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Reuben Buhari, the governor called on residents to cooperate with government and security agencies to prevent further attacks. The statement reads: “It is with a deep sadness that we sympathise with the families of those affected in the unfortunate incident. “No matter what happened, we are convinced
that evil will never triumph over good forever and as such, we call on all to continue to cooperate with the security agencies to prevent incidents like this and we pray that quick healing will come upon those injured.” Senate President David Mark pleaded with perpetrators of violence to give peace a chance. While reacting to the attack, Mark asked any aggrieved group or persons to tow the path of peace by accepting dialogue instead of resorting to violence. “We have more to gain by being our brothers’ keeper. This is a challenge to all, irrespective of religious, ethnic or political leanings. “It’s about the survival of Nigeria,” Mark said. He called on the security operatives to step up action to confront the challenge. Speaker of the House
L-R: Director-General, Nigerian Economic Summit Group and son of the deceased, Mr. Frank Nweke Jnr; former President Olusegun Obasanjo and mother of the DG, Mrs. Franca Nweke, after a thanksgiving mass in honour of the late Igwe Frank Nweke, at the Saint Vincent Catholic Church, Ishi Ozalla, Enugu State yesterday.
of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, flayed fresh attacks in Kaduna that claimed several lives. In a statement issued in Port Harcourt by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Malam Imam Imam, the Speaker urged the security agencies not to despair over the attack on their facilities. He said: “No religion condones attack on innocent worshippers and urged all those behind the bombings to stop forthwith.” While commiserating with the families of the victims in the unfortunate attack in Jaji, Tambuwal prayed for the quick recovery for those injured in the bombings. The Speaker, however, assured of the commitment of the House of Representatives to assist security and other relevant agencies to tackle the problems of insecurity in the country. The Northern States Governors Forum, NSGF, described the attack as cruel and wicked. The governors commiserated with the military over the deadly bomb incident. Chairman of the forum and Governor of Niger State, Dr. Babangida Aliyu, described the reported death of officers, men and members of their families as a great national loss. In a statement by the Chief Press Secretary, Danladi Ndayebo, the forum said the deceased were heroes who died in the course of service to their fatherland.
He prayed that God would repose their souls and give their families and friends the fortitude to bear the loss. The statement urged the military not to be discouraged by the dastardly act, stressing that the nation would remain grateful to the military and other security agencies for the successes recorded so far in the war against terror. The forum reiterated its commitment to continue to work closely with the Federal Government in finding a lasting solution to the security challenges confronting the nation. The President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, has condemned the frequent bombing of churches in the country and “institutional corruption.” Oritsejafor made the condemnation at the dedication of the newly-completed church building by the GoodTidings Bible Church International on Sunday in Abuja. He expressed regret that the healthcare system in the country had failed while the standard of education was dwindling. “How can people be bombing churches? How can people be stealing billions of naira meant for pensioners? Is it that they don’t have the fear God? “Why can’t we have an international standard hospital in Nigeria where people from outside the country could come for treatment? “Look at our educational system; the standard is falling at an alarming rate.”
Presidency to summon ministers over subsidy claim face-off CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2
mand increases and we have raised the red flag on the issue. “Instead of the two ministers to be reporting themselves at the Presidency, they should have synergised in order to make petroleum products available to the citizenry rather than working at cross purposes. “The Minister of Petroleum Resources may have reasons to take the matter to the Presidency, given the slow pace of the verification exercise. “But the truth of the matter is that the Finance Ministry is doing the right thing by ensuring that only
genuine oil marketers get paid for imported products. “Both of them should work together to achieve the same purpose to ensure availability of petroleum products without fraud in the payment system,” Abarare said. Meanwhile, the nation may experience fuel shortage during the Christmas and New Year celebrations as the independent and major marketers of petroleum products have vowed not to embark on fuel importation until the Federal Government expressed its commitment to pay their subsidy claims amounting to N140bn.
The National Secretary of the Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, Mr. Mike Osatuyi, said: “Our members do not have the funds to import fuel anymore because the banks are not ready to support them, apparently because they are not sure when marketers would be paid. “It is not encouraging to import fuel at the moment. We would consider embarking on fuel importation once the outstanding is paid.” The Executive Secretary of Major Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN, Mr. Timothy Olawore, said marketers could not im-
port because they owed the banks substantial sums which accrued because of loans and interest on them. He said: “We have been meeting but no payment has been made in recent times. “If claims are not paid as when due, there is no way marketers would be in a position to import fuel.” The National President of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Association of Nigeria, NUPENG, Mr. Igwe Achese, called on the government to pay the marketers. He said the Yuletide celebrations were too important to be affected by fuel shortage.
Achese said: “There is a great need for the government and other stakeholders, including the NNPC to plan ahead and ensure that adequate fuel is supplied to all parts of the nation.” The President of Trade Union Congress, TUC, Mr. Peter Esele, said there were strong indications that fuel shortage would continue as far as one company continued to be the supplier of fuel. He said: “The independent and major marketers should be encouraged to embark on importation through regular payment of their subsidy claims to
ensure adequate supply in all parts of the nation.” The National President of Oil and Gas Service Providers Association of Nigeria, OGSPAN, Mr. Colman Obasi, said the nation could not afford to witness fuel shortage during the Christmas period. He said: “It is not too late. The Federal Government should work towards avoiding disruption in fuel supply in the country, especially during this coming festive period.” Obasi said efforts should also be made to maintain existing refineries as well as build new plants in the country.
Monday, November 26, 2012
Shell denies involvement in oil theft UDEME AKPAN
he Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) yesterday denied that the two persons arrested in connection with oil theft are members of its staff. Spokesman of the firm, Mr. Precious Okolobo, stated in a statement that: “SPDC is deeply concerned about recent reports in the media which wrongly stated that two of our staff were arrested by government security forces for alleged involvement in crude oil theft.” He continued: “We are equally concerned about allegations credited to government security agencies that our failure
to repair identified bunkering points is frustrating their efforts to combat oil theft.” “Without prejudice to the ongoing investigation, we can confirm that those arrested are not SPDC employees. Indications from the investigation suggest that they are employees of one of the several community-based contractors who perform pipeline surveillance work in the Niger
Delta on SPDC’s behalf.” He said the allegation that SPDC’s failed to repair identified bunkering points, failed to recognise the complexities faced by operators in the Niger Delta today. Particularly challenging and risky, he said, is the fact that every time SPDC shuts down production to make repairs and disabled identified theft points, the crude thieves use the opportunity to install new theft points along the facility. “By October 2012, SPDC had removed 135 illegal connections for oil theft. Ninety-six of these were responsible for spills and 39 were removed as an extra precaution against further
spills and oil theft. “These are complex jobs, during which production is shut-in and the affected line isolated and depressurised to allow safe working conditions. However, in accordance with our commitment to asset integrity, the company continues repair programmes as diligently as possible.” He said the position of the firm remains that effectively combating the menace of crude oil theft requires improved security patrols by the relevant security agencies. The people were arrested at the scene of an oil theft in the Niger Delta. The Joint Task Force, JTF, that effected the arrest said that Operation Pulo (Oil) Shield apprehended Messrs.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
FG blames Lufthansa for suspension of agreement OBIORA IFOH ABUJA
he Federal Government has said that lack of commitment on the part of Lufthansa Airlines to the realisation of the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Federal Ministry of Aviation and the Deutsche Lufthansa Aktiengesellschaft (LH) Germany, led to the suspension of the agreement earlier reached. In the agreement signed between the two parties in November 2008, the two parties agreed to address the exploration of potential short term measures and strategic perspective in three main areas. The areas included the granting of additional traffic rights to Lufthansa on beneficial basis to both parties, transfer of knowhow and generation of
employment opportunities to Nigerians and the creation of a hub by Lufthansa in collaboration with capable and identified Nigerian operator(s) in Abuja. While Lufthansa enjoyed the daily free slots, it however, refused to implement the two other agreements that formed part of the MoU which included the training of Nigerians in the aviation sector. Towards this end, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) in a memo to the Minister of Aviation, stated that; “Having carefully analysed the submission, it was clear that Lufthansa appeared to be the only beneficiary of the MoU as the implementation of the agreement which was planned in phases was yet to progress beyond the traffic rights granted to Lufthansa to operate daily flights from Frankfurt to Abuja.
Graduates commend Minister on Agric Transformation Agenda TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA
G The First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan and Minister of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, at the Abuja Carnival, at the weekend. PHOTO: NAN
Reps probe ministry over N3.3bn road contracts CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
The contract was, however, re-awarded by the Federal Government for N2.3bn on the excuse that it was a federal road. The committee also summoned a former member of the House of Representatives and ex-governorship aspirant, Mr. Nicholas Ukachukwu, who handled the contracts for the state and the Federal Government for further explanation. It also queried the ministry over another N1.045bn contract for Nsukka-Adani road in Enugu State. Specifically, the lawmakers wondered why the ministry overpaid the contractor by N22m two years after he abandoned the project. Chairman of the com-
mittee, Hon. Solomon Olamilekan Adeola, said he was surprised at the way the payment was made. He said: “How come the Federal Ministry of Works issued certificates for further payments to the contractor in 2005 and 2006 even though the contract was terminated in 2004?” The Permanent Secretary, Abubakar Mohammed, could not give satisfactory response to the questions raised by committee members. He, however, explained that the contractor involved in the Nasarawa contract took the Federal Government to court which ordered the government to pay N1.3bn. A member of the com-
mittee, Hon. Uche Ekwunife, had demanded that the Bills of Quantity of both contracts should be tendered before the committee for proper verification. But Mohammed explained that the Bills of Quantity of the Nasarawa State contract was not available, though both contracts at the state and federal levels were terminated. Another member of the committee, Hon. Pally Iriase, noted that it was ridiculous that there was a judgement debt of N1.3bn awarded against the Federal Government concerning a project that was abandoned. But the Permanent Secretary said the judgement was because the Federal Government sold some of
the equipment of the company to recover the mobilisation paid. On the N1.045bn Enugu contract awarded to Echo Nig. Ltd and which had reached 69 per cent completion before its termination, the committee faulted the explanation of the permanent secretary that there was a mutual agreement between the contractor and the ministry for termination without compensation. The committee also ordered the ministry to produce the letter of termination of the NsukkaAdani Road project; copies of vouchers for payments made for the project and certificate of incorporation as well as company profile of the contractor.
raduates of the just concluded agri-business training programme conducted by the Federal College of Animal Health and Production Technology, Ibadan, Oyo State, have commended the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, over sundry initiatives of the ministry to transform the nation’s agricultural sector into the mainstay of the nation’s economy. Making their position known at the end of their four-week capacity build-
ing training, the over 250 participants promised to use the skill acquired to add value to all areas of the ongoing Agricultural Transformation Agenda’s value chains, particularly in boosting food production and ensuring food security in the country. Describing the Minister as the “best in the annals of Nigerian agriculture,” the participants noted that with the commitment shown by the minister, Nigeria will soon become a leading exporter of food and other agro-based processed products to the global markets.
Police foil ATM robbery, recover N6.9m FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA
gun State Police Command yesterday in Shagamu area of the state foiled a robbery attempt on the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) of one of the new generation banks in the state. The police also recovered N6.9m and two methane gas cylinders from the robbers. Confirming the incident, the Command’s Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Muyiwa Adejobi,
said five suspects were also arrested in connection with the incident and the alleged conspiracy. Adejobi, who said that some armed men attempted to steal a huge sum of money from the ATM, also said that they were confronted by police officers who acted on a tip-off. Adejobi further told National Mirror in a telephone interview that; “The policemen attacked the robbers with our Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) and the robbers fled through the jungle.”
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Monday, November 26, 2012
NEMA moves to prevent dry P season-related disasters
Jonathan, Ekweremadu greet Koroma on re-election
OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA
he National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has inaugurated a technical committee to map out the most vulnerable areas in preparation against likely disasters, including bush and market fire during the harmattan and dry season. This is even as the agency warned road users against reckless driving during the approaching fes-
tive periods. NEMA Director General, Muhammad Sani-Sidi, who spoke at the weekend in Abuja, sought the cooperation of stakeholders and international agencies in inculcating the culture of disaster resilience among the people. According to a statement by NEMA spokesman, Y. Shuaib, the DG spoke while receiving separate visits by a team from the United Kingdom Cabinet Office Briefing Room led by Mr.
Nick Gibbons and the newly appointed Commander of the Nigerian Air Force, Abuja Camp Group Captain Joseph Malgwi. He said: “We have mobilised our stakeholders and volunteers to be prepared in the likelihood of massive fire incidents in markets, farmlands and forests in the harmattan and dry season due to indiscriminate storage of inflammable and bush burning. “We are closely monitoring the traffic in collabora-
tion with our stakeholders during mass-rush of commuters in Ember months so as to minimise risks of road accidents that could involve fuel tankers. While mobile ambulances are strategically stationed in prone areas, sensization campaigns are essential to reduce the vulnerabilities.” However, Sani-Sidi said the agency had already developed a National Contingency Plan to guide timely response to any sudden emergency in the country.
resident Goodluck Jonathan at the weekend congratulated Ernest Bai Koroma on his re-election for another five-year term as the President of Sierra-Leone. The congratulatory message is contained in a statement issued in Abuja by the Senior Adviser on Media to the President, Dr Reuben Abati. It stated that President Jonathan and Nigeria welcomed President Koroma’s victory with close to 60 per cent of the votes cast in the November 17 presidential elections. According to the statement, the election, which was keenly contested by eight other candidates, was an affirmation of the trust and confidence the people of Sierra Leone have in his capable leadership. The statement quoted Jonathan as urging all Sierra Leoneans to join hands with Koroma in moving their country forward. “Jonathan assures Koroma and the people of Sierra Leone that they can continue
to count on the support, assistance and solidarity of Nigeria,’’ the statement stated. Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu has commended the people and government of Sierra Leone for the peaceful conduct of the November 2012 presidential election. Ekweremadu, in a congratulatory message to the winner of the election and the incumbent President, Ernest Bai Koroma, said: “The peaceful, free, and fair conduct of the November presidential election comes as a further confirmation of the commitment of the Government and people of Sierra Leone to the consolidation of democratic governance and speedy transformation of their country. “This, coming at a time the sub-region is grappling with challenges in Mali and Guinea Bissau, is no doubt a great encouragement and further reassurance affirmation that democracy has truly come to stay in the West African sub-region.”
Ikuforiji, Daniel, others for Hamzat’s Fidau prayer FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA
L-R: Director-General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS, Prof. John Idoko; Director, Resource Mobilization, Dr. Emmanuel Alhassan; Deputy Director, Mrs. Josephine Kalu and Assistant Chief Communication Officer, Mrs. Toyin Aderibigbe, during the 2012 World AIDS Day Thanksgiving Service in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA
IGP promises end to violence against women OMEIZA AJAYI AND IJEOMA EZEIKE ABUJA
he Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, has vowed to deploy appropriate mechanisms towards tackling violence against women. Abubakar spoke at the weekend when he played host to a delegation from the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) in Abuja. In a statement made available to journalists in Abuja yesterday, Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, said the visit by FIDA was aimed at deepening the relationship between the police and the women lawyers in combating crimes in society, especially gender-based crimes such as rape, trafficking in
persons, prostitution, domestic violence and other related vices, seized the opportunity to commend the IGP for putting in place a healthy gender policy. The statement reads: “The IGP applauded the women and unequivocally emphasized his readiness to create enviable partnership with all well meaning associations across the country in the important but onerous task of combating societal ills. “He deeply frowned at the recurring incidence of domestic violence in society especially, against women and children and reiterated his Administration’s resolve to confront it headlong. “Against this backdrop, the IGP further reiterates the Force’s willingness to continually initiate and improve on policies designed
to strengthen the essential values of policing which include transparency, accountability, respect for the fundamental rights of citizens and the promotion of strong professional ethics for the Force. “The IGP however called on FIDA to assist the police in providing education and enlightenment to women officers on the need to accept challenges just as their male counterparts and not to shirk responsibilities on the grounds of gender.” Meanwhile, the European Union (EU) yesterday described violence against women as the most widespread human rights violation, adding that it is an abuse that claims millions of victims annually and causes terrible physical and emotional pain. EU representative, Cath-
erine Ashton, stated this during the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, pointing out that violence and abuse affect women from all kinds of backgrounds and this happens daily. Ashton noted that as many as seven in 10 women around the world report having experienced physical violence at some point in their lifetime and that is more reason the EU is doing everything possible to end the crime.
agos State House of Assembly Speaker Adeyemi Ikuforiji, former Ogun State Governor Gbenga Daniel and former Lagos State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Adebisi Sosan, yesterday joined the Senator representing Ogun East, Adegbenga Kaka, to pay the last respect at the eighth day Fidau prayer for the former Chairman of Ikeja Local Government Area of Lagos State, Alhaji Toyin Hamzat, at Aiyepe-Ijebu in Ogun State. Others at the Fidau prayer were the National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; Senators Musiliu Obanikoro, Gbenga Obadara, Ganiyu Solomon, Mr. Biodun Shobanjo, Hon. Kayode Amusan, the Ebumawe of AgoIwoye, Oba Abdulrazaq Adenugba; the Alaye of Odogbolu, Oba Adedeji Onagoruwa; the Obiri of Aiyepe, Oba Adebisi Okubanjo; the Egbe Bobakeye of Ijebuland. In his sermon titled:
“Why are we dying?” at the ceremony, the Amir of Ikwani Muslim Foundation, Alhaji Hakeem Lawal, emphasised that all mortals must taste death. Lawal said death was the only method God used in controlling the population of the world, urging all mortals to contribute their quotas to the development of their immediate environments. The Islamic scholar said that no human being dies without the knowledge of God, stressing that it is a decree from God as the only method for him to control the population. He said: “Today, we are talking about population explosion, death is being used to control the world’s population. “There is no mortal that will not taste death and it will come to all mortals in different ways”. It will be recalled that Toyin Hamzat was shot last Sunday by yet to be identified gunmen in front of his female friend’s house in Shagamu, Ogun State.
Amosun advises youths on selfemployment FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA
overnor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State has advised youths to take advantage of the windows of opportunities created by his administration to be selfemployed. Amosun spoke at a one day seminar tagged: “Youths and agricultural development in Ogun State” organised by the Yewa-Awori chapter of the National Youth Congress (NYC) at the weekend in Ilaro. Represented by his Special Adviser on General Duties, Bayo Adeyemi, the governor reiterated his administration’s commitment to enhancing the social status of youths. He said that his administration had put together some loan packages aimed at creating jobs for youths in the agricultural sector. Stressing that the government remained focused in its mission to rebuild the economy of the state and tackle unemployment, Amosun pointed out that this could be achieved effectively through the involvement of youths in agricultural production. He, however, urged the youth to organise themselves into co-operative societies to enable them access loans easily. Amosun said: “Government has put in place different loan packages that are meant to develop agriculture across the state. To benefit from these packages, I advise you to organise yourselves into cooperatives for easy access to the loans and effective monitoring of their use and refunds.” The governor pointed out that it is easier to disburse loans through cooperative societies rather than the individuals so as to enable the state monitor judicious usage of such loans.
Monday, November 26, 2012
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Oyo to boost healthcare delivery with Abiyamo project A
Court grants suspected counterfeiter bail
KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN
he Oyo State Government has expressed its determination to launch the Abiyamo project, a comprehensive health programme to cater for the health needs of mothers and the children. The state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Muyiwa Gbadegesin, gave the hint at a news conference in Ibadan in preparation for
the launch of the November maternal, newborn and child health week. He said the Abiyamo project would cater for the basic health needs of women, aged, newborn and children, adding it is in line with the pre-electon promises of Governor Abiola Ajimobi. He said the one-week Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) week, which begins today and ends on Friday, would
be implemented in all the 33 local government areas of the state in all primary health care centers. Gbadegesin said 2,808 health and ad-hoc workers had been trained for the implementation of the programme, which was organised in partnership with UNICEF and WHO. The commissioner, however, said the programme would cost the government N4 million, the local government areas N8 million
while UNICEF would provide additional fund and materials with WHO providing technical assistance. He said: “The concern of the state government is aptly captured in the health related Millennium Development Goals (MDG) 4,5 and 6 that deal with reduction of child mortality , improving maternal health and combating HIV/AIDS , malaria and tuberculosis and other endemic disease.”
Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola (hand raised up) leading members of his executive and others during the monthly Walk to Live for Healthy Living Exercise in Ilesa, at the weekend.
Lagos plans car parks for physically-challenged persons MURITALA AYINLA
he physically-challenged persons in Lagos State will now heave a sigh of relief as the government has disclosed plans to provide designated parking spaces for them. The Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Toyin Ayinde, who made the disclosure during a courtesy visit by the Board
Members of Lagos State Office for Disability Affairs, reaffirmed the government’s commitment to the protection of the physically-challenged persons in line with the 2010 Physical Planning Law, especially as it relates to building structures and regulations. Ayinde urged owners of filling stations in the state to provide additional toilet facilities which will take care of the need of the physically-challenged
persons, apart from the one they already have for the able persons. He said: “The Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development has proposed that any building above 4 floors should have a lift and must also have convenient walkway or ramp for the physicallychallenged. The ministry will continue to ensure that all building structures comply with the Physical Planning and Urban Development Law
of 2010. So, we advised the Board Members of Lagos State Office for Disability Affairs to acquaint themselves with the content of the Law especially as it affects them if they have not already done so.” In her response, the Board Chairperson, Mrs Animashaun Tolulope, commended the commissioner for allaying their fears, saying that from all indications, the ministry has the interest of the physically-challenged in mind.
Duties waiver: AON to withdraw suits against govt agencies OLUSEGUN KOIKI
ollowing the removal of Customs duties on acquired aircraft and imported spare parts by the Federal Government in the 2013 Appropriation Bill, the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) has promised to withdraw various suits instituted against government agencies in the avia-
tion industry. Revealing this to journalists at the weekend in Lagos was the Assistant Secretary of AON, Alhaji Muhammed Tukur. AON is presently in court against the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) over the navigational charges charged indigenous airlines and has equally challenged the Federal Airports Authority of
Nigeria (FAAN) over its insistence on the relocation order given owners of abandoned aircraft in the country and many other issues. Tukur said for the fact that the government accented to the call for removal of Customs duties on aircraft and spare parts for the airline, it is necessary for the operators to show gratitude to the government for the gestures.
He said: “All the cases filed against the Federal Government’s agencies by AON are going to be withdrawn. The reason is this, for instance, the NAMA issue, which is on the navigational charges has been resolved by the government and the waivers we heve been calling for over the years for our airline operators has been removed by the government.
magistrate’s court in Lagos at the weekend granted an application for bail filed on behalf of Mr. Luke Okonwo Daniel, 38, a suspected merchant of fake lubricant at Zone ‘A’ Block 1 Shop 5, Aspanda Trade Fair, Lagos. The defence counsel, led by Mr. Richard Okonkwo, in a 25-paragraph affidavit ,said he was seeking the motion for bail under Administration of Criminal Justice 2011, Section 35 (4) of the 1999 Constitution to enable the suspect enforce his fundamental human rights. But Mr. Moruf Animashahun, the prosecuting counsel representing the Inspector-General of Police Monitoring Unit, Force Headquarters, Lagos, objected to the bail application on the grounds that the accused could temper with the course of justice. He prayed the court to stay action on the motion as the accused had a suit still pending at the Federal High Court for the adulteration of lubricant oil and thereby committed an offence pursuant to Miscellaneous Offences Act chapter M17 Laws of the Federation 2004.
Residents asked to report distressed buildings MURITALA AYINLA
he Lagos State Government has urged residents to report any distressed building in their areas or structure under construction with sub-standard materials to the appropriate authority to avert loss of lives and property. Reacting to last week’s incidences of collapsed buildings at Jakande Estate in Ejigbo and Dolphin Estate on Lagos Island, the Commissioner for Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Olutoyin Ayinde, urged members of the public to collaborate with the government to prevent avoidable loss of life. The commissioner warned contractors to stop dumping building materials illegally on the road side, saying arrays of steps had been taken by the government to stem the tide building collapse.
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Monday, November 26, 2012
Why FG won’t bow to state police agitators –Olubolade ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI
inister of Police Affairs Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade has explained why the Federal Government will not bow to those agitating for state police. Olubolade said what the police need is professionalism and not polari-
sation into federal and state, as being agitated by some Nigerians. Stressing that Nigeria was not ripe for state police, the minister said all hands must be on deck to make the professionalisation of the nation’s Police Force realisable. He told journalists at his Ipoti-Ekiti country home at the weekend that
the hope of Nigerians should be to make the police effective in enforcing the law, as well as protecting lives and property of citizenry. He said: “State police will be counter-productive with the present political state of the country; politicians are making inroad into the Force for political patronage.
“The aim of President Goodluck Jonathan is to professionalise the police and make them alive and effective in protecting the lives and property of the people through training and encouragement. “Police should not be politicised in any way. To me, it will be a waste of time for politicians to be involving the police in po-
litical matters. If they are allowed to be professionalised, it will bring progress to our country and develop our democracy.” Olubolade, however, urged politicians, especially those in elective positions to raise the bar of their performances so as to have credible credentials to flaunt during campaigns, rather than
depending on violence and electoral fraud. “No matter how hard politicians try, elections under President Jonathan will always be free and fair. And my ministry will not hesitate in helping the police to prefer charges against any politician that foment trouble before, during and after every election.”
Task force arrests FAAN worker, other with $2m, SAR20,300
Rep flays incessant terror attacks in Nigeria
he Airport Committee Special Task Force at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, at the weekend announced the arrest and handing over of two suspects with large sum of money to the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS). The task force said that it handed over to NSC, three bags containing $2,073,160 and SAR20, 300 (Saudi Arabian cash). It said the sums were seized from the two suspects who did not declare the currency to officers on duty at the airport. However, NCS Area Comptroller at the Lagos Airport, Mr Edike Eporwei, identified the suspects as Mr Talal Hammoud with passport number A03599105 and Mr Hassan Rmaiti with Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) on duty card number 25009. Eporwei said three bags containing the currencies have been handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for further investigation and necessary action. He explained that the foreign currencies were found on the two suspects at the “E” wing departure area of the MMIA, adding that the suspects violated regulations of government by attempting to take such amount of money out of the country without declaring the currencies to Customs officers desk officers on duty. Eporwei said that the airport committee special task force consists of all security agencies, including EFCC, State Security Services (SSS), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and others.
L-R: Wife of Ogun State Governor, Mrs. Olufunso Amosun; her husband, Governor Ibikunle Amosun and Mama HID Awolowo, during the thanksgiving service to mark her 97th birthday anniversary at Ikenne Remo, yesterday.
400,000 benefit from Ekiti free health scheme ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI
o fewer than 400,000 persons in Ekiti State have benefited from the free and mobile health intervention mission of the Governor Kayode Fayemiled administration. The health scheme took off last year. Governor Fayemi said the free health mission, organised in conjunction with a non-governmental organisation, the Development Support Initiative (DSI), was established to cater for those outside the coverage of the government’s
free health programme. Beneficiaries of the scheme are children under five years, pregnant women, elderly people above 65 years and the physically challenged. The governor, who spoke at Igede-Ekiti while rounding off the sixth edition of the free health mission, expressed satisfaction with its reach to the people at the grassroots. Urging the people to patronise the 293 Primary Health Centres across the state, Fayemi advised them against consumption of too much starch, saying the record of the sixth mission had shown
that many of the patients were prone to diabetes. The leader of the DSI team, Dr. Dolapo Fasawe, said health workers had visited the nine designated local government areas in the Ekiti Central and Ekiti South Senatorial districts. Fasawe said components of the mission were the general out-patient unit, dental services, eye services, immunisation as well as HIV/AIDS test and counselling unit. He expressed satisfaction with the turn out and cooperation of the people, adding that the support of each community visited by the medical team
contributed largely to the success recorded in the programme. The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Mobilisation and Orientation, Mr. Tope Osatoyinbo, praised the medical team for what he described as their unrelenting efforts at ensuring the success of the programme.
Minister seeks legal empowerment for women KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN
inister of State for Defence, Mrs. Olusola Obada, at the weekend called for legal empowerment of women to enable them play their expected roles in nation-building. Mrs. Obada made the call while delivering a lecture in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, during the
Oyo State NUJ week celebration, lamenting that because of the ignorance of women of their rights, laws were manipulated to their disadvantage. The minister, represented by her Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Femi Adefila, attributed lack of finance, trampling on the rights of womenfolk and lack of the will power as some of the factors militating against
women ascendancy major line elective offices. She said: “The judicial and legal instruments through traditional, cultural and legal practices are used against women. Therefore, women should have equitable representation in formal and informal legal systems”. Mrs. Obada also called for the promotion and protection of women’s rights, saying it would
ensure their integration and full participation in public life. The minister, in her paper entitled: “Women, politics and challenges of development in a developing nation”, expressed the need for economic empowerment of women, saying: “Women lack the financial base to sustain political activities, which results in compromising their votes and candidacy.”
eputy Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Finance, Hon. Michael Ogunnusi, has decried the prevalence of terror attacks and corruption in the country, saying there is urgent need to strengthen anti-graft and security agencies to tackle the problems. Speaking at a reception in his honour organised by Omole Estate residents in Lagos at the weekend, Ogunnusi condemned the continuous killings of innocent people daily in some part of the country. He said there was the need to enact a law to make anti-graft agencies totally autonomous to effectively tackle corruption in the country, adding that the best way to expose perpetrators of terror attacks is to embrace community and state policing system. The lawmaker, however, called for the immediate change of name of Nigerian Police Force to Nigerian Police Service to make them people-friendly. He said: “The central police have also been abused. First of all, the name should be changed from Nigeria Police Force to Nigeria Police Service to make them people-friendly. Let us alter Sections 217 and 218 of the country’s constitution as to facilitate the name change. “From here, we can now have state and community policing system. There are a lot of countries in Africa that have community and state policing, then, why are some people saying we are not ripe for it in Nigeria. “Why can’t we try something different, especially when the security report is not good? Why are we afraid to change? For example, if we had not changed the banks.”
Monday, November 26, 2012
LG officials accused of embezzling N2.6m workers’ salary CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI
orkers of Owerri North Local Government Area of Imo State have accused some top management staff of the council of embezzling their one month salary totalling over N2.6 million. The money, according to National Mirror investigation, was the May 2012 salaries belonging to over 40 members of staff of the agriculture department of the local government. It was gathered that the workers rejected the salary when they observed that illegal deductions were made after the internal and external audits had approved the salaries of the workers for that particular month for payment. “We rejected it but to
our surprise when a new treasurer was posted to the council, the salaries disappeared from the treasury.” In a letter dated October 19, 2012 and signed by Ijezie Agnes C, Ozoenenna Loveth and Opurum Chidinma and addressed to the Chairman of the Local Government Service Commission (LGSC), the workers threatened to go on protest if nothing is done to bring the perpetrators of the criminal act to book.
The workers, who accused the former Treasurer of the council, Mr. A. I. Onuoha; the former Director of Administration and General Services (DAGS), Mr. G. T. O. Mgborokwa; the Internal Auditor, Mr. Jude Irene and the NULGE Chairman (the LGA chapter), Mr. T.U. Aku, of being responsible for the missing salaries, claimed that every attempt they made to ask for their May salaries had met brick walls. “When we complained to the management of Owerri North, the only explanation we received was that these key officers had made away with our salaries,” they stated. The workers alleged that the commission had done nothing to reprimand the perpetrators of the crime rather; “We were shocked to observe that
some of the accused officers, including the treasurer, had been transferred to other local governments without being punished by the commission which is the organ responsible for disciplining erring members of staff.” When the chairman of the local government service commission was contacted, he was said to have travelled out of station, but his secretary, Mrs. Osuagwu confirmed that the commission had actually received the letter written by the workers, “but I don’t know what has become of the petition.” She directed our correspondent to the permanent secretary in the commission, who she said was the only person authorised to speak on the matter in the absence of the chairman.
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Police smash car theft syndicate in Imo CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI
he Imo State Police Command at the weekend nabbed two suspected inter-state car snatching syndicates that have been terrorising Imo, Abia, Rivers, and Anambra States in recent times. Policemen on stop and search duty at Ohaji-Port Harcourt Road near Imo State Polytechnic, Mgbirichi Umuagwo, who arrested the suspects, had tried to flag down the suspects of the Honda Accord car and CRV Jeep with registration numbers, RIVERS JA787PHC and LAGOS RF374KJA respectively, but they refused to stop. According to the police command, the suspects, whose names were given as Collins Ezike, 20, a welder from Ondo State, residing at Adamakolomi in Delta State and Roland
Abuja Carnival: Ebonyi contingent preaches religious tolerance
Ex-VC kidnapped in Enugu
he Ebonyi State Contingent at the ongoing 2012 Abuja Carnival yesterday urged Nigerians to adopt and exhibit the virtue of religious and political tolerance. The contingent was divided into groups, each preaching different concepts of peace. A segment of the group dressed as politicians and carried posters with the inscription: “Political Tolerance,” while another segment dressed like nuns and carried posters with the inscription: “Religious Tolerance.” Another division, which comprised young men who looked war weary, carried posters with the inscription: “Say No to Violence.” The General Manager, Ebonyi State Council For Arts and Culture, Mr. Moses Oshibe, told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, that the concepts being advocated were in consonance with the theme of the carnival: “Carnival of Peace.” He said: “As you can see, we do not come to only participate in the carnival but we intend to make a lasting impact.”
O. Chimezie, 33, a dealer on second hand tyres, from Okaiuoga Umuahia in Abia State, residing at 7, Worlu Street, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, were given a hot chase and were arrested near the polytechnic. It was gathered that when the police conducted on-the-spot search on them, a complimentary card belonging to Gokanna Local Covernment Area in Rivers State was found in one of the vehicles. When the police traced the owner of the card, it was revealed that the Honda Accord car was snatched at gun point in Rivers State the previous night by armed robbers. When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Vitalis Onugu, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), confirmed the story. He said investigation has commenced as the command has linked up with its Rivers State counterpart to get to the root of the case.
DENNIIS AGBO ENUGU
Abia State Governor, Theodore Orji (left) and Speaker, state House of Assembly, Hon. Ude Okochukwu, during an inspection tour of the new office complex of the state House of Assembly in Umuahia at the weekend.
Flood victims desert Anambra relief camps CHARLES OKEKE AWKA
lood victims in Anambra State, particularly those from the Aguleri and Anam communities and Igaa section of Kogi State have deserted relief camps in Anambra East Local Government Area,where they were staying during the crisis. The desertion of the relief camps at the Saint Augustine Catholic Church,
Umuoba Anam; Father Joseph Memorial Secondary School, Aguleri and the Umuleri General Hospital, Umuleri, respectively, by the flood victims was because the hitherto submerged communities have been reclaimed as the flood had receded. Checks made by National Mirror at the various relief camps in Anambra East, one of the worst affected areas, showed that virtually all the victims and the camp
officials have gone back to their homes. The premises of the camps were serene and devoid of any activity and human presence at the weekend. In all the buildings at the Umuoba Anam camp, where victims from the affected Anambra West communities and refugees from Kogi State were quartered, there was no presence of any flood victim or camp official when our correspondent visited the place.
Across the Umueze Anam side of Anambra River, almost all the submerged houses have reappeared as the flood has receded. Similarly, at the Father Joseph Secondary School, where victims from the Aguleri communities of Aguleri Otu, Enugu Otu, Igboezunu Otu and Isiokwu Otu were housed, virtually, all the camped inmates have gone back to rebuild their homes and resume normal life.
ive gunmen have abducted the former Vice Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University and former Attorney General of the old Anambra State, Prof. Ilochi Okafor (SAN). Okafor was also an aspirant in the 2010 governorship election in Anambra State. The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Ebere Amaraizu, told our correspondent that the incident occurred about 8am yesterday, at the victim’s residence on Pioneer Avenue, Independence Layout, Enugu State. Amaraizu said Okafor was about leaving for church when he was abducted. He said: “He just opened the gate and was about driving out when he was picked.” The PPRO said the police had been talking with some members of the Okafor family. “The police would soon uncover the reasons behind his kidnap and those responsible,” he added.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Monday, November 26, 2012
Ex-militants threaten ‘war’ over suspension of allowance EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA
ggrieved second phase Bayelsa State former militants in the amnesty programme, yesterday threatened to cripple oil operations in the Niger Delta, if the stoppage of their monthly allowance was not lifted by the Presidential Office on Amnesty. The ex-militants alleged that their monthly allowance was suspended by the Amnesty Office three months after receiving it
and after successfully passing out from the training programme in Obubra camp in Cross River State. In a statement made available to National Mirror yesterday in Yenagoa, spokesman of the ex-militants, Darikoro Suokoro, said they had exhausted their patience after waiting for a long while for the payment of their allowance. The amnesty office had enlisted and trained 6,166 ex-militants drawn from various camps and states in the programme as approved
Constitution amendment: Oil producing communities petition Senate Committee SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN
il and gas producing communities in the country have taken the war for direct payment of all funds into their coffers to another level with a claim that; “It is clearly an implementation tragedy” by the Federal Government “to pay their 13 per cent derivation fund into any account of the state government.” In a memorandum to the Senate Committee on the Amendment of the 1999 Constitution, which sat in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, the oil and gas producing communities traced the beginning of the struggle for 13 per cent derivation concession by the Federal Government to the 1994/95 Constitutional Conference down to the drafting of the 1999 Constitution when the issue was captured in Section 162 (2)
of the constitution. Leaders of the communities told the Senate Committee that 13 per cent derivation fund was not part of the Joint State and Local Government Account provided by Section 162 (6) of the 1999 Constitution before contending that: “It is illegal to pay 13 per cent derivation fund through a third party.” The communities therefore urged the Senate Committee to amend Section 162 (2) of the constitution to read: “That 13 per cent derivation revenue accruing to the federation account directly from any natural resources be paid as first line charge from the federation account to the oil and gas producing communities through a National Derivation Board, whose members shall be recommended for appointment by the President on the advice of leaders of the oil and gas communities.”
Native doctor vows to sue Airhiavbere SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN
native doctor in Uromehe, an agrarian community in the outskirts of Orionmwon Local Government Area of Edo State, located about 100 kilometers from Benin; Mr. Osagie Odaro, has threatened to sue Major-General Charles Airhiavbere (retired), the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last Edo State governorship election. He accused Airhiavbere of wickedly alleging that he collapsed at the tribunal and died in hospital. Odaro, spoke yesterday in Uromehe, to a group of journalists, who went to him to verify the claims
on Friday by the Charles Airhiavbere Campaign Organisation (CACO) that he was confirmed dead after collapsing at the venue of Edo State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Benin City.” Airhiavbere is challenging the victory of Governor Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole of the Action Congress of Congress (ACN) in Saturday, July 14, 2012 Edo State governorship election on two grounds: academic qualification and alleged malpractice in the election. After advising its candidate and petitioner against challenging the landslide re-election of the winner and respondent in the tribunal, the PDP struck off its name from the petition.
by the Federal Government. The former militants warned that the Federal Government would be held responsible, if per adventure, they return to the trenches, noting that they were prepared to bear the consequences of their actions. Suokoro said that they would not embark on any street protest, but would return to the creeks to continue life, since the amnesty office had deliberately refused to continue the payment of their allowance. In the same vein, one of the former militants, John Esuku, said the Amnesty Office registered above the 6,166 second phase ex-mil-
itants as approved by the Federal Government. He alleged that some military personnel and other persons smuggled in names of their relations as beneficiaries in the programme. According to Esuku, the Amnesty Office documented 9, 450 ex-militants at the Obubra camp, thereby going contrary to the government’s directive. In a swift reaction, Head of Media and Communications, Presidential Amnesty Office, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, said the allegations of the second phase ex-militants was not true, blaming the leaders of the phase two exmilitants for their fate.
Alabrah told our correspondent in a telephone interview that the Amnesty Office had an issue with the authentic list of the second phase ex-militants and assured that the verified names would be concluded and made known this week. The spokesman noted that ex-militants, whose names appear on the comprehensive list, would be paid their allowance through the banks as he blamed leaders of the camps who fielded names more than the slots allotted to them.” He warned against returning to the creeks and reminded them of what
happened to some ex-militants that returned to the trenches in the past. “They should remember that it is not going back to the creeks that would solve the problem. People who went back to the creeks, they knew what happened to them. They should also remember what happened to John Togo. “Their issue has been comprehensively addressed. Their issue became a problem because of the greed of their leaders. Some of their leaders changed names of some people, but the Chairman of the Amnesty Programme, Kingsley Kuku, kicked against it.”
Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio (middle), during the commissioning of the Anglican Diocesan Centre in Uruan Local Government Area of the state, yesterday.
Flood: FG team begins tour of Bayelsa EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA
Federal Government’s technical team yesterday embarked on a validation visit to affected communities ravaged by the recent flood in Bayelsa State. The team led by a senior official of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, Wilson Samson, during the tour, would assess the impact of the damage to major infrastructure and property belonging to flood victims. Other officials on the technical team include representatives of the World Bank, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the Federal Ministries of Water Resources, Health, National Planning, National Board of Statistics and UNICEF. State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Markson Fefegha, would guide the delegation
to the affected communities impacted by the flood. The leader of the validation team said the tour would reveal the impact of the flood with appropriate recommendations to reduce subsequent flood incidents in the state. He went on: “We want to know how it affected the people and the various sectors; the hospitals, schools and so on. “The way it affected people now, it should not be like this in the future. If the people suffer now, we should be able to advise government on mea-
sures to take in the future concerning such locations that are prone to flooding. Our visit is not about giving money to states and the people affected.” Earlier, the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Edmund Allison-Oguru, who received the Federal Government technical team, said various ministerial committees had been constituted by the state government to examine the impact of the flood on infrastructure, health institutions, school buildings and farm lands as part of the post-flood era management. His words: “As a state, we have taken measures to assist the communities and victims. We are focusing on agriculture to help farmers with seeds as to increase agricultural yields. We also have the health component committee to take care of emerging diseases that may arise from the flood
problem. We also have the infrastructure component and water.” Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Flood Relief and Rehabilitation, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, said at the weekend in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State that his committee was able to raise N12 billion out of its N50 billion target, assuring the government of his support in cushioning the effects of the flood on the victims. Out of the amount raised, the chairman said the 36 states in the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), contributed N1.8 billion. Making this known during his visit to Bayelsa State, Alhaji Dangote said the fund was meant to cushion the effects of the flood on the victims; he lamented what he described as the unquantifiable loss that the state has suffered during the period.
Monday, November 26, 2012
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Gunmen kill couple, kid in Kano
I wasn’t arrested for terrorism –Wada’s aide
ll was tensed in Naibawa area of Kano yesterday, following the killing of a couple and their kid by two gunmen. The suspected gunmen, riding on a motorbike, killed the family members who were driving out of their residence to church. The incident, which occurred at about 8:30 am at Cornan Masalachi, is the fifth in the series in the last one month in the same Naibawa vicinity, which is
fast becoming notorious for serial killings. An eyewitness told National Mirror that the victims, who were aboard a red Golf car, were reversing out
Wage: Residents want Plateau, Labour dispute resolved JAMES ABRAHAM JOS
esidents of Jos, the Plateau State capital, have expressed worry over what they called the lingering trade dispute between the government and local council workers. The local government workers have embarked on strike since June over matters relating to the implementation of the N18,000 minimum wage. Last Thursday, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), led by its President, Mr. Abdulwaheed Omar, visited Plateau State to seek how the six months industrial dispute could be resolved. It was reported that efforts by the Labour leaders to persuade the striking workers to return to work were futile. Some residents, who spoke with National Mirror in Jos yesterday, expressed concern that the dispute had been allowed to linger
for too long without a solution. A resident, Mrs. Mercy Choji, said: “Since the strike began, there has been slow pace of economic and social activities in the state. “The strike is also building tension in the state. Not only that, local government administration in Plateau State has virtually collapsed since the strike started. “The government and the workers have suffered several losses. All these have negative consequences for the state. “So, I think the government and the Labour must do everything possible to end the strike in the interest of the state and its people.’’ Another resident, Mr. Kingsley Nandom, also decried the negative impact of the strike on the state, urging the government and Labour to reconsider their positions and end the strike without further delay
Police praise Kano residents for support against violence AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST KANO
he police said yesterday that Kano State residents deserve commendation for their cooperation in the war against terrorism. The police said that the residents’ support had accounted largely to the success of the campaign to rescue the state from the grip of rampaging gunmen. The Kano State Commissioner of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has consistently praised the residents for
their prompt response to appeal for useful information that could provide the needed clue to the whereabouts and possible hideouts of suspected gunmen, adding that the response had been tremendous. “We have received immeasurable support from members of the public in our fight against terrorists and this has greatly influenced our result, which is positive,” Idris said. Idris, however, said the police had always protected informants, adding that information given by them is treated with utmost confidentiality.
from their residence when the two gunmen appeared and shot them to death. A source identified the deceased woman as Evangelist Nkiru, a popular Chorister at Pentecostal Life Assembly in Sabon Gari, Kano, where non-indigenes mostly reside. It was gathered that moments after the gunmen escaped, operatives of the Joint Task Force (JTF) arrived at the scene to cordon off the area. According to a witness, who did not want his name mentioned, before the arrival of security men to the scene, frightened sympathizers had gathered at the spot, but were afraid to move close to the attacked vehicle, the interior of which was smeared with the victims’ blood. The police have, however, evacuated the bodies of the deceased to mortuary for autopsy.
The Kano State Police Command Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Magaji Majia, confirmed the incident. Majia said that on arrival of security operatives at the scene, they conveyed the man to the hospital, who was still alive, while his wife and kid were taken to the mortuary. He said that the man, who was said to have hailed from Owerri, the Imo State capital, died a few minutes after his arrival in the hospital. According to the PPRO, one of the man’s sons, who was in the vehicle at the time of the attack, escaped unhurt. Majia said the police had begun investigations into the incident, appealing to members of the public to assist law enforcement agencies with valuable information to apprehend the fleeing gunmen.
pecial Adviser to Kogi State Governor Idris Wada on Economic Matter, Abubakar Adagu Suberu, has said his recent arrest has nothing to do with terrorism, especially the killings of worshippers at the Deeper Life Church and the murder of two soldiers in Okene. Suberu, who was recently released after his detention at the Police Force Headquarters in Abuja, told journalists in Lokoja that his arrest was politically motivated, adding that he was considering legal option to clear his name. He alleged that every recent development in Kogi Central Senatorial District was tied to
politics, saying that participants in party politics, especially position seekers were hell-bent to destroy perceived opponents. He said: “My arrest was purely based on a petition written to the Kogi State Commissioner of Police by Hassan Yusuf, the Liaison Officer 1 in Charge of Okehi Local Government Area, alleging that I am against his plan to sack over 500 workers and that my followers planned to cause breach of peace.” He said that the petition could be verified at the Kogi State Police Command. He said that development would continue to elude the Kogi Central Senatorial District if the people continued to engage in politics of hatred.
L-R: Bauchi State Commissioner for Agriculture, Alhaji Tasiu Mohammed; Commissioner for Water Resources, Alhaji Sani Burra and Deputy Governor, Alhaji Sagir Saleh, during Triad Global Solutions demonstration of water for life in Bauchi, at the weekend. PHOTO: NAN
Ihejirika tasks Army officers, men on rules of engagement PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA
he Chief of Army Staff (COAS), LtGen. O. A Ihejirika, has called on officers and men of the Nigeria Army to adhere strictly to the rules of engagement tailored towards addressing the myriads of security challenges confronting the country. Ihejirika spoke during the graduation of 278 young officers after undergoing an eight weeks training in
basic counter-terrorism and insurgency at Nigerian Army Training Center (NATRAC), Kontagora, Niger State, warning that any officer that failed to abide by the rules would be dismissed from the service. He said: “I want you all to know that the Nigeria Army thrives on discipline without which your career will be short lived. I will also like to remind you that in the conduct of your operations, it is very important that you stick strictly to
the rules of the engagement.” The COAS told the officers that the eight weeks training was put in place to give them the necessary proficiency and knowledge needed to face the security problems confronting the nation. Also speaking, the Commander of NATRAC, MajGen. S. A Audu, said the training would give the officers the professional competence needed in leading their troops to effectively
perform in all kinds of environment and threat conditions. He commended the Chief of Army Staff for organising the training “that has helped in building institutions and raised the professional standard of the Nigeria Army.” Audu said: “NATRAC is just one of such institutions designed solely to develop the requisite human capital required to combat contemporary security challenges in this nation”.
Monday, November 26, 2012
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Fresh controversy trails state creation
Kogi elders petition Tukur, say gov incompetent SINA FADARE
gainst the backdrop of lingering crisis rocking the rank and file of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members in Kogi State, elders in the party have submitted a petition on the illegalities and undemocratic practices of the governor of the state, Idris Wada to the National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur
The elders, who claimed to be on a rescue mission of the party in the state, noted that: “We want the national leadership of our great party to intervene decisively to save the PDP in Kogi State from an untimely death.” Senator Alex Kadiri, who led the three-man group which includes Senator Mohammed Ohiare and Dr. Adinoyi Ojo Onukaba, stated: “All is not well in Kogi State. Our party has been hijacked by strangers.
There is no governance in the state. State funds are being used to settle judges and anti-corruption agencies. Not even a culvert has been constructed by the nearly one year old Wada administration.” The elders complained bitterly about the crisis in the State House of Assembly, the appointment of liaison officers for local councils, the alleged continued looting of state treasury by the duo of former Gov-
ernor Ibrahim Idris and Wada, and the undemocratic conduct of state congress last weekend as some of the issues they were not happy about. The PDP members further accused Wada of “cluelessness, profligacy and looting.” They cited the appointment of 20 commissioners, 57 advisers, 74 senior special assistants and scores of other assorted aides as proof that Wada is ill-prepared to govern the state.
The party elders lamented that the recent discovery of 800 ghost schools and thousands of ghost teachers, in the state are only a tip of the iceberg of the rot that is rocking the state. Reacting to the petition, Tukur promised to look into their complaints and grievances, commending the elders for their civilized and mature approach to the issue at stake. He said the PDP under his care will be democratic, inclusive and transparent in all its dealings with a
promise to treat the petition with all seriousness and urgency it deserves. The elders including former Speaker and Acting governor, Clarence Olafemi, AVM Salihu Atawodi (Rtd), and former state chairman of the party, John Odawun had earlier submitted copies of the petition to President Goodluck Jonathan, Senate President David Mark, Speaker Aminu Tambuwal of the House of Representatives, and former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
PDP leads in Benue LG poll was recorded in almost evHENRY IYORKASE MAKURDI
L-R: National Commissioner, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Lai Olurode; INEC Commissioner, Amina Zakari and Deputy Director, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Bola Laditan, at a national stakeholders’ dialogue on enhancing women’s participation through constitutional and legal reforms in Nigeria, in Abuja recently. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA
ACN drags Uduaghan to court over caretaker committees SOLA ADEBAYO WARRI
he Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has concluded plans to institute a legal action against Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, over the appointment of caretaker committees to manage the affairs of the 25 local government areas of the state. Already, the main opposition party has raised a legal team to facilitate the action against the governor. The party considered the appointment of the caretaker committees as “illegal and flagrant contravention of the people’s right to elect their leaders.” It will be recalled that Uduaghan recently consti-
tuted caretaker committees for the council areas, which have been subjected to the management by the heads of personnel managements since May 13, 2011. Uduaghan had explained that the caretaker committees would administer the councils pending when the local government poll would be held in the state. But the ACN disagreed with the governor, describing his action as unjustifiable. ACN’ s Delta State chapter chairman, Mr. Adolor Okotie-Eboh, told National Mirror yesterday that “anything short of a properly conducted local government election is unacceptable to ACN.” He said the action of the governor was alien to the
Nigerian constitution, adding that ACN would not allow the action to stay. He said: “The constitution of Nigeria did not make any provision for the inauguration of caretaker committees to manage the council areas. The law provided for the conduct of lo-
cal government to enable the people to determine and elect their leaders at the third tier of government. “We are heading for court to challenge the illegality and our legal team is set for action against the governor,” Okotie-Eboh.
he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has swept the 15 local governments councils which results have been announced by the Benue State Independent Electoral Commission (BSIEC) in the last Saturday’s local government election. The results as announced by BSIEC’s chairman, Prof. Philip Ahire, who also doubled as the chief returning officer for the election at the commission’s headquarters in Makurdi, yesterday, showed the PDP winning all the 15 local government councils which results have been declared, ahead of the opposition Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). Ahire said the elections were credible and that there was improvement, as adequate security was provided against the previous elections where violence
ery local government council of the state. He, however, revealed that relevant sections of the electoral law will be applied in wards where elections were marred by ballot snatching, leading to violent protest in Mbavar and Mbaker wards of Konshisha Local Government. In Tarka Local Government Area, although the commission announced the PDP as winner of the polls, report said elections were not conducted in most parts of the council as the electoral officer assigned to the local government dumped electoral materials at the BSIEC area office in the local government. Already, representative of Tarka constituency in the state Assembly, Tony Sende has described the purported election as a charade pointing out that no election took place in his constituency.
Obasanjo urges communities to promote peace
ormer President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday appealed to communities across the country to live in peace, while exhibiting the fear of God. He gave the advice at Ishi Community, Ozalla, in Enugu State, while speaking at an outing service held in honour of the late Igwe Frank Nweke. The News Agency of
Nigeria (NAN) reports that the late Igwe was the father of Mr. Frank Nweke Jnr., the Director-General of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group. Obasanjo said that he made it a point of duty to be present at the occasion to reciprocate the enormous contributions of Nweke Jnr. to the nation-building process, particularly when
he was Minister of Information and Orientation. “For me, it is a duty to be here. Although I cannot claim to know the deceased but I know Frank Nweke Jnr. and by their fruits, you shall know them. “What I know of Frank Jnr. is a testimony to what the Nweke Snr. had been in his lifetime. I thank God for his life and I thank God that
we could celebrate him. “Frank Nweke Jnr. made significant contributions to what we were able to achieve; I am encouraged. I have observed in my short time here that this is a harmonious community. My appeal is that you should continue to maintain that cord that binds you together in unity, happiness, harmony and the fear of God.”
t is no longer news that the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), are in talks to form an alliance ahead of the 2015 general elections to battle the dominion of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Presently, all the parties involved have entered into agreement to ensure that personal ambition does not creep up once more to scuttle whatever chances to upstage the ruling party. Only last week, the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the CPC led by its national leader, General Muhammadu Buhari ratified the merger option, similarly, the ANPP which initiated the talk shortly after the presidential polls last year only last month inaugurated a high powered committee which will represent it at the alliance talk. Led by former Kano State governor and the party’s presidential candidate in the 2011 general election, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, other members of the committee include all the ANPP governors, leadership of the National Assembly who are members of the party as well as the party’s BoT chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sherif. In the same vein, the ACN is putting together a crack team that will be led by its national leader, Bola Ahmed Tinubu. It is no longer news that Tinubu who was the former Lagos State governor and two ACN governors, Kayode Fayemi and Ibikunle Amosun, have severally met with General Buhari to consider the challenge of the 2015 elections and the possibility of the merger option. Rotimi Fashakin, spokesperson of the CPC said the BoT gave the approval because none of the existing opposition parties alone could defeat the ruling party. “It is now clear that opposition parties must merge to be able to improve the educational system, health sector, security and infrastructure, among others for Nigerians,’’ he said. However, the PDP believes that while merger was a good development in a democracy, the proposed one would not be able to defeat the party in any election. According to the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, the PDP is not losing sleep over the merger of the ACN and CPC since it is an exercise in democracy. He believes that merged parties cannot defeat the PDP at elections because of the ownership structure of the opposition which encourages personal influence overriding the overall party interest. The PDP is not alone in the fear of the workability of the arrangement, hence it is the believe in some quarters that the merger may not see the light of the day, considering similar efforts in the past. During the April 1999 general election, for example, the then All Peoples Party (APP) and the Alliance for Democracy (AD) formed an alliance against the PDP. The two parties presented a common candidate, former Minister of Finance, Chief Olu Falae who contested and lost against PDP’s Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. The experience of the 1999 saw another kind of alliance in 2003 where politicians of all divides rallied together to form a strong opposition party, where Buhari and late Chuba Okadigbo teamed up under the ANPP to contest the election. In 2007, former Vice President Atiku Abubarkar took almost a quarter of the PDP to merge with AD to form ACN in his efforts to
Monday, November 26, 2012
PDP: Fretting over opposition alliance In the last couple of months, the drum of merger by the opposition parties has been beating loud and it appears that its wave is sending jitters into the spines of the Peoples Democratic Party. OBIORA IFOH takes a look at the controversies that have shrouded the alliance option.
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The three parties are now keeping their agenda on the merger secret because of the fear that the ruling party would sabotage it. A credible source in the opposition said the merger will be complete in the first quarter of 2014 and assured that Nigerians will be given a viable option to kick the PDP out of power once and for all. However, apart from the trio of ACN, CPC and ANPP, most other strong opposition parties are yet to take a stand. The Labour Party (LP) with a state government and four senators and a dozen members in the House of Representatives as well as the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) with two state governments and equally strong representation in the National Assembly are not known to be carried along in the proposed merger. Some analysts are of the view that the refusal of some of the opposition parties to join the merger talks may adversely affect the efforts.
PDP’s many problems
snatch power from the ruling PDP but that couldn’t stop the late Umaru Yar’Adua from becoming victorious in the presidential election of that year. Again, prior to the 2011 general elections, many people looked forward to a possible merger between the CPC and the ACN, considering their popularity in the North and South-West, but the efforts did not yield any fruit. The talks collapsed owing to irreconcilable differences among the party leaders. The inability of the two parties to work together gave President Goodluck Jonathan of the PDP a smooth ride to Aso Rock. It is against the backdrop of the futility of past efforts then that made many to lose hope on the renewed merger talks. As far as many people are concerned, the personal ambition of the respective leaders would, as in the past, work against the overall ambition to sack the PDP from dominating the political space. But in as much as doubts are being perceived in many quarters, it appears that the parties have learned from their past mistakes and have decided to settle their “issues” early in order to address the problems that stalled the process in the past. For instance, in the past, the arrangement had always been hurriedly put together so much that nothing tangible comes out of it at the end of the day. Investigations showed that the opposition parties began the merger talks three months after the 2011 general elections. Under the 2011 Electoral Act, the commission cannot allow any merger of political parties less than 90 days to the general elections. Section 84 (6) of the Act states, “no merger of political parties received by the commission less than 90 days before any general election in the country shall be considered by the commission.”
National Mirror gathered that besides the early preparation, the opposition parties may fuse into a single party with a new and common name and mobilise support for the new party all over the country. This early preparation will ensure that the new party, when formed, will gain as much popularity and capable of becoming a brand strong enough to defeat the PDP. A top member of one of the parties said that they were aware of the antics of the PDP, which he alleged, scuttled such merger talks in the past through the moles it planted in the parties. He allayed fears that the talks would not bear any good fruit because the parties might disagree over the sharing of political offices. “What is uppermost in our minds is how to rescue the country from this misrule of the PDP. Nobody is talking about how to share political offices now,” he said.
The last governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states saw the PDP losing out and a strong signal that all is not well and that the party must sit up in future elections. It is often assumed, at least in the camp of the opposition, that the PDP won all its past victories through election manipulation, but with the resolve of the present regime to accept the wishes of the people with the ‘one man one vote’ mantra, which of course saw the PDP losing in Edo and Ondo states, the opposition believe that it can latch on this opportunity to demystify the PDP. Presently, many states chapters of the PDP are engulfed in crises. Almost all the states in the South-West are factionalised while the North is not spared. The recent scenario in Adamawa State where the court annulled the exco put together by the state government, yet the list of the candidates to last weekend’s council election was submitted by the same exco, is a case in hand. Only last week, the national headquarters of the PDP stood its grand that the right thing must be done only to detour a few days ago after Adamawa State governor visited the NWC. But in spite of all these challenges, the PDP said it is not losing any sleep over the merger because the strong character of the individuals who are coming together, as virtually all the partners have entrenched interest too strong for democracy to thrive. The party insists that in any democratic setting where imposition of candidates is still obtainable can hardly survive the test of time and that it is unlikely that such force will not come to play in the merger arrangement. Metuh said that both Buhari and Tinubu are known to support imposition of preferred candidate, a development which scuttle their 2011 merger arrangement and that presently, there is nothing to show that such an issue will not raise its ugly head again. Anything, they say, is possible in politics and Nigeria is a case study where rules of the game have only been observed in the breach, but with the new disposition of President Goodluck Jonathan towards achieving a free and fair election as well as allowing votes of Nigerians to count, it is safe to postulate that the merger, if handled with utmost care, could have a major impact and may end the 60-year uninterrupted leadership target of the ruling party.
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Monday, November 26, 2012
Billowing tragedies of a nation HeartBeat
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resumed from a four week-long leave last Monday psychologically dispirited. It was the result of the combination of an unusual domestic tragedy and the state of the nation. The joy of my first real leave in eight years was discounted by the loss of a brother and friend, Franklin Agbede, on Tuesday October 30. A retiree of Ondo State public service, Frank was settling down to his new status of a senior citizen, and richly enjoying it, when death struck. He was felled by mere cholera onslaught! Three other members of his household were luckier. They were rushed to Specialist Hospital, Akure, Ondo State capital, when the vomiting and stooling began. The ‘Specialist Hospital’ they were taken, I was told, is a disgrace to that name. The victims of the unreported cholera outbreak in Akure, were said to have gone through the ‘shadow of death’ because of the absence of the medicaments to treat them; and in addition, the hospital environment was said to be
resident Goodluck Jonathan’s doublespeak on two major issues, power and petroleum, a few days ago, confirms his being pulled apart in different directions by unpatriotic economic players who he has vowed to confront. This has given the indication that he lacks the necessary courage to fight to finish a cause in which he has the support of discerning Nigerians. You cannot serve two masters, as Book of Life says. You are either faithful to the Lord or you are a slave of Devil. Presijo cannot appease the nation’s parasitic cabal of monumental corruption and still expects the needed funds to serve the electorate, his real master he vowed to provide jobs, create wealth by fixing electricity deficits and petroleum roguery. Presijo’s hesitant policy decisions may be to allow all sides exhaust fair hearing power to have their say, as opposed to dictatorial decreeing. However, it seems Mr. President is carrying this policy too far and is giving the public an impression of a vacillating, unpredictable and roller coaster leader swayed in different directions like a cork dancing to the sea waves of Bayelsa State. When a leader is slow to make up his mind and has to depend on unpatriotic bureaucrats, which heads all the nation’s cabals that have made the people to hunger and thirst in the midst of plenty, then his competence and ability to lead come to question. Presijo has said fuel subsidy must go, an indication that the routine fuel price hike in January is in the offing as I have speculated here twice in three months.
rancid and unhealthy. Having a real feel of the hospital environment, one of the victims lamented that Mimiko’s second term mandate was undeserved, a monumental political fraud. I was still mourning my demised brother when the assassination of a civil war hero, Major General Mohammed Shuwa (retd), hit the nation’s airwaves. He died by the bullets of crude militants and in peace time! I agree with General Olusegun Obasanjo, another civil war hero and the man who had the singular honour of receiving the ‘instrument of surrender’ from General Phillip Effiong, the last leader of Biafra Republic after General Chukwuemeka Odumegu Ojukwu fled to Ivory Coast in search of peace that the nation’s present security challenge is the result of various acts of omission and commission by those who succeeded him. I had expected President Goodluck Jonathan to take such criticism in good faith, evaluate the measures and policies he has put in place and make necessary adjustment. Political governance is all about what the government does and the effects. The efficacy of political actions marks the thin line between a good government and a bad one. When Nigerians bemoan the apparent absence of positive governance in the country, it is largely due to the dearth of the good fruits of governance. Comrade Governor Adams Oshiomhole is being celebrated in Edo State, the same way Governor Babatunde Fashola was once fawned
THE EFFICACY OF POLITICAL ACTIONS MARKS THE THIN LINE BETWEEN A GOOD GOVERNMENT AND A BAD ONE over in Lagos State, because he has made available to the people visible dividends of governance. And talking about Governor Fashola, the collapse last week of the two storey building in Jakande Low Cost Housing Estate, Isolo, Lagos and the resultant death of two sisters, leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Lagos State is always quick at and efficient in regulating anything private, but never regulating itself. On this issue, its agents swung into action only after the deed was done. This is how not to govern. All the signs before the disaster were ignored. Why? If Nigeria is not working, it is either because the leaderships have gone to sleep or they are bereft of ideas of governance. The federal government is tragically saddled with heavy political and socioeconomic activities and given a kingly percentage of the federally mobilized revenue to perform, yet it has not lived up to expectation. Mr. President was voted in to fix our problems, but has he
succeeded in doing this? Many believe he is compounding our problems. President Jonathan is convinced that the removal of oil subsidy is the panacea to the nation’s socioeconomic and political woes. Leaders before him towed this unilineal path and got the nation sunk deeper in the mire. God favours Nigeria with abundant natural and human resources, a development that should recommend the diversification of our resource base to a serious leader. Which is why Mr. President must get the nation out of the trap of oil dominated economy. As it is in the oil sector, so it is in the power sector. Mr. President’s equivocation on status of the Canadian firm, Manitoba Hydro Electric Board, is worrisome. I see this as momentary relapse into old habit. How much is the power sector reforms worth? If the legendary cabal in the Presidency wants the Canadian electricity company out, could it be as a result of the fear of global corporate governance ethics that is zero tolerance to palm greasing? Nigerians should be told. I weep for Mama Hafsat Awosade, the alleged septuagenarian drug courier, who was allowed to die in a prison in Brazil. If indeed she was a drug peddler, the question is what could have driven an old woman into such ignominy? If the Nigerian state abandoned her to her fate, I see her death as an indictment on our collective psyche.
Jonathan and the power, oil cabals IT IS TRAGIC LABOUR LEADERS OF OIL AND POWER INDUSTRIES HAVE BECOME FOOT SOLDIERS OF UNPATRIOTIC CABAL Within three days, Presijo made a u-turn that fuel subsidy remained and that about N900 billion allowances had been made for it in the 2013 budget. Same period, Presijo’s spokesman, Reuben Abati, said that Canadian electricity management firm, Manitoba Hydro Electric Board, hired to put right the nation’s electricity transmission grid, had been fired, after six years of bidding delays and when the foreign firm contract had started running, and perhaps drawing dollars fees. Suddenly, Presijo made another u-turn that Manitoba’s contract was intact, but was being fine-tuned over cloudy due process breach, indicating possible battle of stakes. Too bad, Presijo cannot deal with terrorists and cabals in the presidency! Considered that government has admitted that the challenge of electricity in homes and industries is no longer generation, but evacuation of power generated through weak transmission grid, for which Manitoba was hired to fix, is it not clear that the presidency cabal is behind this last-minute ruse to truncate the contract? The PHCN cabal of labour union and management has kicked against
Manitoba managing the lucrative marketing source of income, perhaps preferring dubious Chinese and Indian cabal fronts they can continue to steal as they have wrecked PHCN, whose revenues are largely into private pockets. Why is Presijo shifting the goal post after the ball has entered the net? NUPENG did align with oil subsidy rogues recently by threatening a strike to blackmail government into paying dubious fuel subsidy claims made by depot owners. It is tragic labour leaders of oil and power industries have become foot soldiers of unpatriotic cabal, which evidence has shown as public enemy number one. While the nation grieved on what I headlined as “shocking graft expose, shoddy justice capacity” two weeks ago, the Minister of State for Power, Zainab Ibrahim Kuchi, spoke of a cartel in PHCN that allegedly “fooled” the ministry’s permanent secretary to raise a memo to pay N24 billion for electricity equipment already in the PHCN stores. The minister claimed to have “discovered” in Ojo, Lagos that the N24 billion equipment to upgrade obsolete transmission grid and help evacuate excess, but wasted electricity, were rusting at PHCN stores. Her visit stopped the equipment theft trucks. She claimed a storekeeper was drugged to ease theft of transmission equipment needed by Manitoba to work. Kuchi claimed a powerful cartel in her ministry and PHCN was behind the reigning darkness, promising a battle. A few years ago, 100 heavy-duty transformers were discovered hidden in
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PHCN stores in Abuja. A few months ago, the intervention of Senator Chris Ngige Committee retrieved 25 containers loads out of the 125 containers of power equipment imported for the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP), but illegally auctioned by the Customs as overtime cargoes. PHCN cabal has refused to distribute prepaid meters for their rogue estimated billing and disconnection gangs to continue. Therefore, the minister’s N24 billion “revelation” could be a smokescreen to cover up bureaucracy cabals, who have perfected the syndrome of “unspent votes”. Police SFU and EFCC should probe this cock and bull story of how this permanent secretary and the entire bureaucracy were fooled to raise N24 billion payment without approval of the Federal Executive Council and National Assembly. 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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Exit of quintessential legal mind, Justice Kayode Eso
he passing on over a week ago in a London hospital at the age of 87 years, of Justice Kayode Eso, one of the few names that inspired confidence in the Nigerian judiciary, especially during his active days in the Bench, really constitutes a grave loss to the nation. It has in addition, however, drawn attention to the embarrassing performances of, and the rot in the country’s judiciary in the now - a judicial arm of government that no longer guarantees justice, fairness and equity without strings attached. The life of the late Eso tells a rare Nigerian story in these perilous times of moral bankruptcy: Modesty and honesty in an environment replete with crookedness and fraud; vision amid a legion of shortsighted fellows; finesse in an age of mediocrity; and professionalism not tainted by peer influence and tempting unethical carrot. Eso’s exit can, indeed, be likened to a Nigerian school of an unblemished patriot now shut forever. For, he represented a selfless and responsible law icon who kept nothing back in his service to the nation and the legal profession. Much reference has been
THE NIGERIAN JUDICIARY HAS WALLOWED AIMLESSLY ENOUGH IN THE WILDERNESS AND IS IN DIRE NEED
OF... JURISTS IN THE MOULD OF
AGAIN INSPIRE PUBLIC CONFIDENCE made to some of the sensitive cases he handled, like ‘The Mystery Gunman’s Case’, which involved the trial of Professor Wole Soyinka and an accomplice, Jimi Solanke, over their roles in a 1964 radio broadcast which offended the then government of the defunct Western Region. Eso, against all odds, declared Soyinka not guilty, and suffered a punitive transfer that flung him away from Ibadan, the seat of the regional government, to Akure, then a relatively remote area. There was the celebrated Chief Obafemi Awolowo Vs Alhaji Shehu Shagari election matter in 1979, when the Supreme Court decided by a majority of
6-1 votes that Shagari was duly elected as president. But Eso, in his dissenting judgment, held that two-third of the then 19 states (one of the conditions to be fulfilled before being declared as elected president) was 13 and not 12 2/3 on which the majority judgment was premised. Other sensitive cases he handled were the Omoboriowo v A.G, Federation; Omoboriowo V Ajasin; Nwobodo V Onoh; etc. Eso’s unbending dedication to the call of duty earned him recognition by even the demonized junta led by the late military head of state, General Sani Abacha, which in 1994, appointed him the head of a Judicial Reform Panel which probed the judiciary and turned in a far-reaching report. Though partly implemented, the panel report helped to sanitise the Nigerian judiciary and rid it of a handful of corrupt judges during the era. Many are still convinced that the full implementation of the far reaching recommendations of the Eso-led Judicial Reform Panel was, perhaps, all the nation needed to save the judiciary from further deterioration. We recall that Eso also headed the Rivers State Truth and Reconciliation
Commission between 2008 and 2009; and was a member of the 28-man judicial reform panel set up by the immediate past Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Dahiru Musdapher, last year. Born in Ilesa, Osun State on September 18, 1925; and trained in the United Kingdom as a lawyer in the 1950s, Eso’s demise, despite his accomplishments and the fulfilled life he lived, should not just be taken as one of those moments to shed crocodile tears. The icon’s exits calls for sober reflection on fast crumbling ethics, unfettered unprofessional conduct and rampant corrupt practices that have rendered the nation’s judiciary impotent; and turned it to one of the most unreliable, scornful temples of justice in the world. The Nigerian judiciary has wallowed aimlessly enough in the wilderness and is in dire need of erudite, fearless, courageous, and non-corrupt jurists in the mould of Eso to again inspire public confidence. This seems the most appropriate honour Eso, the family he left behind, and a nation whose judiciary is still groping in the dark despite past efforts, some personally led by Eso, to reverse the odious trend, deserve.
ON THIS DAY November 26, 2011 Two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) Apache helicopters, an AC-130 gunship and two F-15E Eagle fighter jets entered by varying estimates as little as 200 meters (660 ft) to up to 2.5 kilometres (1.6 miles), into the Pakistani border area of Salala in the Baizai subdivision of Mohmand Agency, FATA at 2 a.m. local time, from across the border in Afghanistan and opened fire at two border patrol check-posts, killing up to 24 Pakistani soldiers and wounding 13 others.
November 26, 2004 Male Po’ouli (Black-faced honeycreeper) died of Avian malaria in the Maui Bird Conservation Center in Olinda, Hawaii before it could breed, making the species in all probability extinct. The Po’ouli or Black-faced Honeycreeper (Melamprosops phaeosoma) is a critically endangered and possibly extinct bird species that is endemic to Hawaii. It is considered to be a member of the Drepanidinae (Hawaiian honeycreeper) subfamily, and is the only member of its genus Melamprosops.
November 26, 1998 Tony Blair became the first Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to address the Republic of Ireland’s parliament. Blair (born 6 May 1953) is a British Labour Party politician who served as the country’s Prime Minister from May 2, 1997 to June 27, 2007. He was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Sedgefield from 1983 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007. He resigned from all of these positions in June 2007.
Monday, November 26, 2012
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Where are the re In the last two years, no fewer than two contracts have been signed between the government and some foreign investors to build new refineries in a bid to address the challenges posed by persistent importation of petroleum products. Yet, no progress has been made with the moves. By Bamidele Obafemi
t does not appear that President Goodluck Jonathan is making headway in his administration’s promise to put an end to the importation of refined petroleum products into Nigeria, the largest producer and exporter of crude oil in Sub-Sahara Africa. The reason is not farfetched; government has been doing the talking and signing the deals or Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) while no further action has been taken to actualise the dream in the last two years. Over the years, the Federal Government has signed several deals or Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with foreign firms with the intention of building new crude oil refineries in the country, but the story usually ends with the razzmatazz that goes with the signing. In 2010, when Goodluck Jonathan resumed office as acting president after Umaru Yar’Adua died, the government and a Chinese state firm signed a $23 billion deal to build three refineries and a petrochemical complex in Nigeria. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and China State Construction Engineering Corporation Limited (CSCEC) sealed the deal on May 13, 2010. The two were expected to jointly seek the financing and credits from the China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation and a consortium of Chinese banks for the projects. The first of the three refineries with an estimated cost of $8 billion was announced in June 2010 to be built in the Lekki free trade zone of Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial hub. The two other new refineries were expected to be built in Bayelsa
and Kogi, as well as a petrolchemical complex. The Chinese firms, according to the deal, were expected to cover 80 per cent of the cost, and NNPC 20 per cent, while the Lagos State government will provide land and infrastructure. Thrilled by the prospects of having a refinery in its domain and confident about the promise of the Federal Government, the Lagos State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Adeniyi Oyemade, in May 2001, boasted that work would soon begin on the construction of the Lekki Greenfield refinery, which he said, would refine between 200,000 and 300,000 barrels of crude oil per day. More than two years after, the project still remains a pipe dream. The NNPC, however has pushed the blame for the delay or what may seem to be an outright cancellation of the deal by the Chine firms to put in place the three Greenfield Refineries on the Federal Government, alleging that that it was not able to secure government’s approval to proceed on the execution of the deal. A source within the NNPC who did not want his name mentioned said another challenge that stood in the way of the deal was the corporation’s inability to raise fund to meet its 20 per cent funding obligations. Besides, the NNPC, he said, suffered from the delay by the National Refinery Special Task Force to submit the report of its findings on the traditional refineries, located in Warri, Kaduna and Port Harcourt. While the government and NNPC was not fully decisive on the deal, the China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC), which was meant to execute the deal was ready to commence work once it gets the go ahead. Business Courage findings revealed that CSCEC,
under the agreement, had the full backing of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the world’s largest bank, which was eager to provide 80 per cent of the $11.3 billion budgeted for the project. The initial plan was that each of the Greenfield Refineries would be able to process around 250,000 barrels of oil a day, but their combined capacity was later downsized to 400,000 barrels per day. Now, two years after the N23 billion deal was signed without making any head way, the Federal Government has again, signed another Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a US petroleum resource firm, Vulcan Petroleum Resources. Vulcan and Nigeria’s Petroleum Refining and Strategic Reserve signed a $4.5 billion contract to build six new oil refineries. Two of the plants, each of which will have a capacity of 30,000 barrels per day, are set to be operational within a year. The construction of the six new refineries is being totally funded by foreign investors, in a deal which Vulcan Petroleum Resources says will help Nigeria
meet its growing domestic fuel demand by developing its own infrastructure instead of continuing to rely on crude exports. Commenting on the recent deal Nigeria signed with the US firms, a US based Nigerian-born entrepreneur and webmaster Kevin Onuma, described the deal as another “corruptive promise”. “Two years ago, after GEJ took office; $23 billion for three new refineries was signed by the government, now this year, another $4.5 billion was signed again for six new refineries. Meanwhile, we have four poorly functional refineries with
a total capacity of 445,000 barrels per day that are performing 30 per cent less than their installed capacity. The FG is making no real visible attempt to repair this refineries – nothing is being done,” he said. A source who spoke under anonymity argued that signing an oil refinery deal that is being totally funded by foreign investors does not seem like a good deal in favour of the Nigerian economy. “Nigeria can afford to cover the total cost of new refineries in Africa’s most populous nation, and every Nigerian knows this,” he said
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He observed that the official statement released by government fail to mention what percentage of ownership belongs to the Nigerian government and that of the foreign investors, in regards to the $4.5 billion deal for six new refineries. “Neither did the official statement mention how the $4.5 billion to be provided by the US investors for building of the proposed refineries will be refunded”, he said. Nigeria’s four refineries – with a total capacity of 445,000 barrels per day are performing less than 30 per cent of their installed capacity, according to official figures. However, Business Courage investigations show that only two of the refineries – the Warri and Kaduna refineries are partially functional at the moment. The remaining two in Port Harcourt, Rivers State are struggling with faults that have prevented them from adding to the quantity of fuel produced locally. The old refinery in Port Harcourt has not been in operation for several months, while the new refinery, which before now was contributing to the quan-
tity of locally-refined products, has also stopped operation because of lack of electricity. Specifically, the two refineries in Port Harcourt have not worked since January 2012. Business Courage discovered that the new Port Harcourt refinery had struggled with epileptic operations because of the activities of vandals, who had damaged its pipeline at the Ogoni area of Rivers State. This had a serious impact on its operational capacity. The National President of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, Babatunde Ogun, attributed the low level of productivity of the nation’s refineries to neglect by successive administrations. He said the performance of the refineries had become poor because of lack of deserved attention to their maintenance. As far as Ogun is concerned, the Federal Government would proof to Nigerians that it’s serious about ending the issue of petroleum products importation if it would first focus on the Turnaround Maintenance of the refineries by engaging credible firms to handle them. The unionist argued that the delay in the commencement of the Turnaround Maintenance of the refineries had made the nation to depend on imported refined petroleum products.
He lamented the alarming drop in the production capacity of the refineries, which he puts at 25 per cent of their installed capacities and urged the government to embark on urgent steps to remedy the situation. Despite the poor state of the refineries, Diezani Alison-Madueke, Minister of Petroleum Resources, is insisting that the government will increase the local refining capacity of the nation’s three refineries to 90 per cent by 2014. Alison-Madueke explained that the planned turnaround maintenance and upgrade of the refineries could not hold as earlier scheduled because of the negative travel advisory given by the Japanese authorities to JGC, the original builder of the Port Harcourt Refinery, which stopped its officials from coming for the upgrade and maintenance of the plant. “With that hurdle surmounted, we have put in place a new plan complete with new schedules and timelines to bring the refineries back to life and get them to run at higher capacity. The maintenance and upgrade work will start with the Port Harcourt Refinery, which has stayed the longest period without turnaround maintenance,” she had said. Asked by the Chairman of the committee, Senator Magnus
Abe, to shed light on the cost implication of the project and the expected production figure at the end of the rehabilitation work, the minister put the cost of the maintenance and upgrade of the three refineries at $1.6 billion, adding that they would produce at 90 per cent installed capacity. On the current fuel supply challenges, Alison-Madueke explained that a mixture of factors ranging from unsettled subsidy claims, which hamstrung private marketers from importing products and the vandalism of the System 2B Pipeline at Arepo, Ogun State, had made supply and distribution of products across the country difficult in spite of intervention from the strategic reserves.
She said the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), which is charged with the responsibility of monitoring and enforcement of product quality and pricing, had been going round the country to ensure that marketers sold petrol at the government approved price of N97 per litre, and had closed 75 stations caught selling above the regulated price. Meanwhile, long queues persisted at filling stations across the country last week, with some marketers capitalising on the situation to sell petrol above N97 per litre. Corruption and a lack of proper maintenance of the refineries are often cited as reasons for their under-performance. BC
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News bodies like the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), Association of Accountancy Bodies in West Africa (ABWA) and Pan African Federation of Accountants (PAFA).
FIRS tasks ANAN on professionalism, members’ capacity building Stories By Tola Akinmutimi (Abuja)
he Acting Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Kabir Mashi, has called on members of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) to ensure due diligence and professionalism in their carrier. Mashi, in a statement signed by the Director in the Communications Department of the Service, Emmanuel Obeta, advised the accounting professionals not to only seek members but also ensure appropriate training programmes that would enhance their skill as a strategic option of positioning the members of the association to play leading roles in the accounting profession. While pledging the FIRS’ continued support in the area of training both local and international for more than 350 ANAN members who are staff of the revenue agency, Mashi, who is also a member of the association, urged the leaders to encourage other staff to join the professional body as part of effort to deepen knowledge of Nigerian accountants. This approach, he noted, would assist the Service in its core mandate of tax revenue collection and accounting for the country. Earlier in his remarks, the leader of the delegation and Chairman of the branch of ANAN, Rakiya Yusuf, who commended Mashi for sustaining reforms in the Nigeria tax system, solicited support for ANAN members and the association. She noted that the sustenance of the nation’s tax reform had resulted in increase tax revenue collection; focus on taxpayers services and gradual shift from a sole dependence on oil revenue. ANAN was founded in 1979 and Chartered by Act 76 of 1993. The association is also a member of international
CSOs advises Seed Council, Gombe State on agric inputs distribution
coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and other community based advocacy groups have urged the National Seed Council and Gombe State Government to sensitize the people in the grassroots and fashion appropriate policy frameworks to enhance the efficiency of agricultural inputs distribution among other imperatives needed to ensure food security in the state. Giving the advice at the end of their one-day Capacity Building Session for CSOs and CBOs in Gombe State on Policy and Legislative Advocacy for Food Security, organized by the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) with support from Oxfam GB, the stakeholders also urged the National Seed Council and the Agricultural Transformation Committee to sensitize the people of their operations as a channel for curtailing dealers of adulterated seeds/seedlings in the State. In the communiqué issued by the organizations and signed jointly by the Executive Director CISLAC, Barrister Auwal Ibrahim Musa; Coordinator Responsible Citizenship and Human Development Initiative (RECHDI), Dudu Manuga; State Coordinator Women Rights Advancement Protection Alternative, Anita Dogo; and Programme Coordinator Gender Awareness and Development Association, Abubakar Hassan, the stakeholders also pointed out that in order to ensure transparency in the
agricultural inputs distribution to farmers, there was need for government to collaborate with the Private Sector. While noting that most of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) lacked the political will and that food reserve culture through quality research was also missing in the state’s agricultural development programmes, the participants believed that a more coordinated approach involving the CSOs and CBOs as well as the lawmakers in the State could help in removing the policy and other operational constraints that may undermine the food security agenda in the state. The communiqué stated further: “The National Seed Council and the Agricultural Transformation Committee should sensitize the people of their operations as a channel for curtailing dealers of adulterated seeds/seedlings. Government should ensure that adequate infrastructure is in place to increase the marketing, processing and value addition of farm produce and curtail rural/ urban migration. “Stakeholders should facilitate adequate facility (funding) support to small scale farmers without collateral to strengthen and scale up further interest in agriculture and boost agricultural production. This could be through the bank or cooperative groups. The CSOs and CBOs and all relevant stakeholders should embark on the use of nutritional education as a means of ensuring that healthy food cuts across class and status, thereby securing it and eradicating poverty in the rural communities. “The government should invest more in the employment of women and youth in the Agricultural sector as this is considered germane to development just as the Government of the State should intensify afforestation as a critical tool to mitigating land degradation and strengthen its tree planting policy”, it added. In addition, the issue of training of extension workers as it relates to farming as well as regular access to them was also identified as important to the state’s agricultural programmes.
18 fuel-laden ships to berth at Lagos ports
ighteen ships are waiting to berth and discharge petroleum products at the various oil terminals in Lagos ports, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) said on Friday. Shipping Position, a
daily publication of the NPA, reported that 13 of the ships were laden with petrol. According to the publication, three ships are to discharge aviation fuel, while two will discharge diesel. The document indicated that three other ships were waiting to discharge rice. It reported that 94 other ships, carrying different cargoes, were expected in Lagos ports between Nov. 23 and Dec. 28. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that 14 of the expected ships would sail in with petroleum products.
Nigeria, India to establish bilateral tourism agreement
he Deputy Manager, India Trade Promotion Organisation, Satya Panda, said on Friday that there was a plan by the country to establish a bilateral tourism agreement with Nigeria. Panda made this known in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos. He said that historically, Nigeria and India had excellent bilateral trade relationships, adding that both nations should work together to strengthen ties in the tourism sector. ``Both countries have similar experiences in the past and the synergy that has been there for a very long time should be continued. ``We will work with our Nigerian friends so that the bilateral trade ties are not only sustained but expanded further to tourism,’’ NAN quotes him as saying. Panda said that the move was part of efforts by India aimed at improving trade relations with the developing countries. He said that the bilateral tourism agreement would enable visitors to invest and tap from India’s tourism potential. He said that Nigeria, among other countries, was fast becoming a good tourism destination in Africa.
Panda advised the Federal Government to ensure a safe environment for foreign investors to harness the Nigeria’s vast tourism potential.
Fuel marketers in Anambra assure residents of regular supply during Yuletide
he Petroleum Dealers Association of Nigeria (PEDAN) in Anambra has promised to ensure availability of petrol at the official pump price of N97 per litre in the state during Christmas. Osita Ofodile, PEDAN Chairman in Anambra, gave the assurance in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka on Friday. He said that the association was working to ensuring that petrol would not be scarce in the South-East during the Yuletide. Ofodile expressed optimism that market forces would not frustrate the association’s aspiration by the end of December. ``We, petroleum marketers in Anambra and in the SouthEastern part of Nigeria are working hard to ensure that fuel is available to motorists as the year runs out. ``The major problem is that we do not control the price of petroleum products because they are mostly driven by market forces and beyond our management. ``But we hope that there will not to be scarcity during Christmas period if the supply condition remains the way it is now,`` he said. He urged the Federal Government to increase allocation of petrol to the South-Eastern zone of the country. Ofodile described as a welcome development, President Goodluck Jonathan’s clarification on the rumour that government would stop subsidising cost of fuel to consumers from January 2013. ``Total removal of subsidy next year will be one move that is against the welfare of the masses,`` he said. Ofodile urged the president to prosecute any oil marketer found guilty of corrupt enrichment from fuel subsidy payments. ``In the interest of the masses, I beg Mr President to set subsidy issues aside and go after all corrupt oil marketers who have shortchanged us. ``It is equally necessary to put our refineries in good
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News shape so as to reduce the suffering people go through to buy petrol,`` he said. NAN reports that petrol is not being sold at the NNPC Mega and Mini Stations in Anambra. Most of the independent marketers in Akwa are selling a litre of petrol for between N115 and N120.
PHCN to establish seven distribution stations in three states
he Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) says it has concluded arrangements to establish seven additional distribution stations in the north-west zone. Muhammad Balogun, the Managing Director, Kano Electricity Distribution Company, said this on Thursday at a town hall meeting with electricity consumers in Dutse. Balogun said the new stations would be set up in Kano, Katsina and Jigawa to boost power distribution capacity in the benefiting states. He said the project was designed to enhance distribution injunction capacity to 700 MVA, as against the existing 584 MVA. The Director listed the projects to include 7.5 MVA injunction sub-station, Hadejia, 15 MVA injuction sub-station, Wudil, 7.5 MVA injunction transformer, Dutse and the upgrading of 7.5 MVA IBB injuction sub-station, Katsina. Others include the installation of 17.5 MVA and 33 / 11KV transformers at three substations in Katsina and Kano. “The projects will facilitate smooth running of small scale industries in Kano and other benefiting states,” Balogun said. Balogun, however, decried the non challant attitude of electricity consumers in settling bills, adding that the trend was inimical to the sustainable growth of the company. “Despite our effort to serve our customers and make them happy, customers’ response in terms of payment of services is not encouraging,” he added. The manager appealed to customers to ensure prompt settlement of bills to keep the company running. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting was organised by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to sensitise communities on
PHCN scope of operation and receive complaints and suggestion on how to improve power supply in the country. Participants at the Workshop were drawn from Kano, Katsina and Jigawa States. Some of the participants, who spoke at the forum, advised the company to check outrageous billing so as to boost its revenue generation. Hadiza Abdullahi, a resident of Hadejia, Jigawa, said outrageous billing discouraged customers from settling their bills. “It is disheartening to pay for the services, which was not rendered. Proper and correct billing will encourage prompt settlement of bills,” she said.
Chris Ndulue, Managing Director of Arik, put the committee through its achievements in the last six years of its flight operations.
Group to hold workshop on Niger Delta oil spill
Farmers call on Ajimobi to resolve crisis with Fulani herdsmen
Senate committee visits MMA
he Senate Committee on Aviation visited the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos and parastatals agencies as part of its oversight functions on Thursday. The committee, led by its chairman, Sen. Hope Uzodinma, also visited the remodelled General Aviation Terminal, the Nigerian Airspace Management Authority total radar coverage (TRACON) site, as well as the Arik Air and its facilities. Anne Ita -Ene, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Aviation and other management staff of the agencies visited, accompanied the committee during the visit. Uzodima, told journalists after the committee’s visit to TRACON, that its recommendations would be based on when the contractors who handled projects inspected had submitted to it the information it required. “We have to match the funds released to the contractors with the value of jobs done,” Uzodima said. At Arik Air Headquarters, Uzodima said that the committee selected to visit Arik, Aero and IRS airlines to know the challenges they were facing and confirm the submissions each made to the Senate Committee on aviation.
``I was told that our cattle vandalised some farmlands but are they sure those cattle belong to us,” he asked. The Fulani leader stressed the need for need for all parties to the dispute to sit down and dialogue to resolve the issue amicably.
he Joint Farmers Association, OnikoObananse in Iseyin Local Government area of Oyo State, has called on Governor Abiola Ajimobi to intervene in the crisis between them and cattle rearers in the area. Addressing newsmen in Ibadan on Thursday on the lingering crisis between both parties, the farmers said the call became urgent because they wanted peace and harmony to thrive in the state. The chairman of the association, Lasisi Akomolafe, said the crisis was sparked by the vandalisation of farmlands in the area by Fulani herdsmen. ``The vandalisation of farmlands generated undue tension between the two groups in the community. ``We have been having problems with the Fulani cattle rearers. Over the years, their cattle have been grazing on our plants thereby making it difficult for us to have good yields. ``We held several meetings to address the situation in order to put an end to the feud arising from the destruction of our farmlands. ``Unfortunately, the destruction of our farms and crops continue unabated and attempts to resolve the crisis have failed. ``That is why we decided to call on Gov. Abiola Ajimobi to intervene before the matter goes out of hand,” Akomolafe said. The chairman recalled that a meeting was held last Feb. to resolve the issue without success. In his reaction, one of the leaders of the Fulanis in the area, Mallam Mayawu Anaruwa, expressed doubt over the true identity of cattle that allegedly destroyed farm lands.
he United States Department of State, Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund Project, is to hold a two-day stakeholders’ workshop on alternative ways of cleaning oil spills in the Niger Delta. A statement by the Team Leader, Dr Morufat Balogun and Dr Moji Edema, chairperson, publicity committee, stated that the workshop would hold on Nov. 28 and Nov. 29, at the International Students’ Centre, University of Port Harcourt, Rivers. The workshop, which has as its theme: ``Clean the Spills: Going Green in the Niger Delta’’ will witness practical ways of using `Kenaf’, a local plant, to clean oil spills. Already, more than 100 stakeholders have signified their intention to attend the workshop. Edema said that Gov. Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers would be the chief host while the Vice Chancellor, University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Joseph Ajienka, would be the host. She added that Dr Christian Oboh, Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) was expected to be the chairman of the occasion. She said that other stakeholders in the oil communities as well as the affected rural communities in the Niger Delta would participate. Balogun said the workshop was in partnership with the University of Ibadan, Institute of Agriculture Research and Training (IAR&T) and National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA). She said the mission of the team was ``to be foremost in community integration and use of local plants for oil spill clean-up in Nigeria’s Niger Delta by developing sustainable strategies that are prompt and acceptable to stakeholders with no threat to the environment”. She said the Kenaf Cleanup team comprises 40 members, 16 of whom were U.S. alumni and 24 volunteers, exceptionally skilled and diverse in their chosen
professions and spread across Nigerian universities, agencies, private sector and research institutes. Balogun, a lecturer at the University of Ibadan, said the workshop would also brainstorm on how to develop community integrated and acceptable strategy. NAN reported that about 1.89 million barrels of petroleum were spilled into the Niger Delta between 1976 and 1996 out of a total of 2.4 million barrels spilled in 4,835 incidents (approximately 220,000 cubic metres). The largest spill, Bonga spill, whose area covered more than 923 square kilometres, and no lesser than 40,000 barrels of crude, was spilled into the Atlantic Ocean in 2011. The group believes that using kenaf local plant in cleaning up exercises have an advantage of being environment friendly and integrated into farming systems.
FG to encourage young entrepreneurs
he Federal Government has reiterated its resolve to continue to support and encourage young entrepreneurs in the country to actualise their various business visions. Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo said this last Friday in Abuja when he received in audience, the victorious students at the recently concluded Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship (SAGE) World Cup, held in San Francisco , California , USA in July this year. Sambo said “the transformation agenda of government has the economic empowerment of youths of this country as an integral part of its expected outcomes and therefore government will continue to support genuine efforts by budding entrepreneurs to actualise various business visions”. While expressing excitement at the victory won by the Junior Secondary
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News School , Karu and Government Secondary School , Jibi, all in the Federal Capital Territory , Abuja , Vice President Sambo said “the victory has come at a time when all hands must be on deck to promote entrepreneurship and small and medium enterprises for job creation and wealth creation in our country”. Sambo congratulated the students, teachers and officials of the MDAs that support the schools that represented the country at the global entrepreneurship competition and emerged victorious in the Socially Response Business (SRB) and the Social Enterprise Business (ESB) categories respectively, adding that their victory over other promising young entrepreneurs at the world event was well deserved considering the dexterity and articulate presentations of their unique business models at the competition. He said he was informed that this is the fifth time youth entrepreneurship teams from Nigerian secondary schools will triumph at this global business fiesta since it was founded ten years ago by American professor, Curtis De Berg of the California State University, California. The VP also said he was informed that based on this victory, Nigeria was awarded the right to host the 2013 edition of the competition, noting that this will accord the country a great opportunity to raise entrepreneurial awareness amongst the youth. Earlier the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment, Dauda Shuaibu Kigbu, said the Nigerians students have excelled and done the country proud at the recently concluded world cup for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship in San Francisco in August this year. The Executive Secretary for Education, FCT presented the
Practitioners ask Lagos to convert historical centres to monuments
FG lost N1.3tr to underpayments, underassessment - NEITI
he Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) on Friday said that its previous audit reports revealed revenue losses of N1.3 trillion from under-assessments and underpayments by companies. Ledum Mitee, NEITI Board Chairman, disclosed this in Uyo while addressing newsmen at the end of a five-day retreat for members of NEITI National Stakeholders Working Group. Mitee said the NEITI Board had resolved to sanction companies found to have tendered false information or failed to provide their statements of accounts. He said that public officers, whose actions had caused under-assessment or underpayment of revenue to the Federal Government, would be exposed. ``We shall invoke the statutory sanctions against relevant government agencies identified to have willingly frustrated the implementation of remedial issues in NEITI Audit Reports. ``NEITI can no longer sit down and allow these recoverable funds accruable to the Federal Government remain with defaulting companies. ``It will do good to recover these funds to finance the deficits in our annual budgets,” Mitee said. He called for greater support from the media, civil society organisations and law enforcement agencies to the activities of NEITI. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the retreat had the theme “From Transparency to Accountability”.
NACCIMA hails FG policy on food recovery plan
able if all stakeholders would work with local farmers.
students to the Vice President and said the two schools have won five times in the international competitions held in Ukrain in 2007, Abuja 2008 , Brazil 2009, New York 2011 and San Francisco 2012. Representatives of students from both secondary schools took their turn to give powerpoint presentations of their business plans that won them their trophies.
he National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) on Friday praised the Federal Government plan to reduce importation of food. Tunji Olukoya, the Chairman, Agricultural Trade Group of the association, told the
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, that the reduction would enhance the nation’s agricultural productivity. ``If the policy is properly implemented, it will ensure that Nigeria becomes self-sufficient,’’ Olukoya said. NAN reports that the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, recently announced the approval of N9.7 billion by the Federal Government to implement the Flood Recovery Food Production plan. The fund is meant to aid the farmers in the flood ravaged states. Olukoya said that several steps needed to be taken to improve on farm production. ``This should not only be through fertiliser distribution but by equally introducing mechanised farming and commercialisation. ``It is a good policy but again, it must be properly mapped out before implementation, encouraging commercialisation, mechanisation of farms and easing access to loan facilities. ``The country stands to be self-reliant and self-sufficient if productivity is to be enhanced,’’ he said. Recalling the ravaging floods that washed away many farmlands, Olukoya said that the fund would also enhance the rehabilitation process in the affected areas. The chairman urged the Federal Government to ensure speedy implementation of the plan to savage the unfortunate situation. ``It was an unfortunate situation and we understand the plight of farmers and individuals affected. ``We see that the government is already taking steps in that direction and it is applaud able. ``These farmlands can be rehabilitated, the farmers can be given alternative places to ensure that Nigeria do not begin to import food,’’ he said. Olukoya said that the government decision was achiev-
takeholders in the tourism sector on Friday asked the Lagos Government to convert Glover Memorial Hall and some other historical centres to monuments to boost the state tourism potential. They made the call in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos. Wilbert Frank, Group Managing Director, International Africa Hospitality Leisure Group, Lagos, expressed concern that some of the historical centres in the state were not well managed. Frank said that with government’s intervention, historical centres in the state would look befitting for relaxation and research findings. ``The government can attract tourists to historical centres in the state. Such centres are the Remembrance Arcade, Early Missionary Cemetery, Bullet-Ridden Car, Verekete Shrine, Tafawa Balewa Square and some others,” he said. Ikechi Uko, the Project Director, Seven Wonders of Nigeria, a tourism firm, said that upgrading and conversion of historical centres would earn government huge revenue. ``The government should always charge visitors some token before entering the centres. ``If the tourist centres are well managed, it will boost the tourism potential of the state and fetch government huge amount of money,” Uko said. Wanda Ibru, Managing Director, Pathways Tourism Development Initiative, Lagos, advised government to emulate foreign countries that converted some of their historical centres to monuments in memory of their late political heroes. She said that the historical centres could be named after political heroes like late Obafemi Awolowo, late Gen. Murtala Mohammed, late Madam Efunroye Tinubu, late Alhaji Tafawa Balewa, and some others. ``Every tourist would like to visit some of these centres because of their history,’’ Ibru said. Bilkisu Abdul, the Chief Executive Officer, BBOOG Travels and Tours Ltd., attributed the decay in most tourist centres to lack of maintenance culture. Abdul urged the state government to put in place a policy that would regulate activities of operators of tourist centres for proper maintenance and upgrading.
Traders complain of low patronage, allege Chinese invasion of markets
ome traders in the Balogun market in Lagos on Friday complained of low patronage in spite of preparation for Christmas and New year festivities. Dealers in textile and allied materials, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), blamed the low sales on the alleged invasion of the market by Chinese traders. They, therefore, appealed to the Federal Government to introduce measure to enhance the quality of Nigerian made products. Azeez Kuburat, who deals in textile material called “asooke”, said that the cloth, which is indigenous to Nigerians, was now being manufactured by Chinese. “It is a shame that Chinese produce better quality and varieties of aso-oke. ``The Chinese claimed that they get aids from their home government,’’ she said. Kuburat said that local products would be able to compete with those of Chinese if the Federal Government could also empower local industries. ``We still use crude method to weave aso-oke. ``We need to upgrade our technology so as to stand out and protect our cultural heritage,’’ she said. She said that aso-oke, which sold for N4, 500 before had come down to N4, 000, while the one for N3, 200 was now N 2,800. ``In spite of the price slash, people still go to Chinese shops to buy aso-oke,” she said. Ekwehirehmadu Florence, another trader, said that there was need for government to formulate policies to compel the use of indigenous products. ``Government should be actively involved in boosting and spreading indigenous products to a level where they can compete anywhere in the world,’’ she said. Okechukwu Nwoko of Top Integrated Service Ltd., also complained that Chinese had taken over Nigerian markets. ``The Chinese traders have been able to make inroads into the Nigerian markets because of the strong support from their government. Pit Michael, a Chinese trader at the Balogun market, confirmed to NAN that his clothing materials were enjoying high patronage. He attributed this to the superior quality of Chinese products and their lower prices. Min Zue, another Chinese trader, said that Nigerians like cheap things and so if there was a little slash in price that was favourable to them, they were most likely to jump at it.
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Monday, November 26, 2012
News ``We make new things every day, so if you come to our shop you will see something new every day. ``So you can say we are versatile,’’ Zue said.
MAN calls for more public-private sector co-operation to revive industries
ola Jamodu, President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), on Friday said that greater degree of cooperation between the public and private sectors would take manufacturing out of the woods. Jamodu, at the 25th Annual General Meeting of the Abia/ Imo Branch of MAN in Aba, said that such collaboration had produced positive results in Nigeria’s pre-independence agrarian economy. He said that greater expectations about growing the national economy would become a reality through diversifying manufacturing. ``Joint public/private investments paid off before 1960 as many industries sprang up within locations designated as industrial zones, creating employment and wealth for the nation,’’ Jamodu said. He said that manufacturing companies in Nigeria nosedived in the early 1980s as a result of lacklustre performance arising from the unfriendly investment policies then. Jamodu said that the woes of manufacturing in the country worsened as policy inconsistencies, unregulated importation of goods and multiple taxes persisted. ``Inadequate access to finance, weak consumer demand, waning small and medium-scale industrial concerns and general decay in infrastructure resulted in abysmal capacity utilisation and outright extinction of some manufacturing companies. ``And the inability of government at that time to extract optimum benefits from international trade agreements further made our business environment extremely unfriendly for
manufacturing,`` he said. Jamodu urged the government to take a second look at MAN’s blueprint for economic recovery it issued about a year ago. ``Our country will not meet its Millennium Development Goals if she does not invigorate manufacturing, `` he said. Earlier, Godfrey Ekenma, Abia/Imo branch chairman of MAN, said the theme of the 25th AGM was ``Manufacturing Panacea for Nigeria Socioeconomic Challenge’’. He said the theme was formulated after the branch did a critical analysis of Nigeria’s current socio-economic scenario. Ekenma said that the theme was indicative of the need to chart a way forward for the manufacturing sector. ``We are geared towards finding solutions to the numerous challenges our nation is facing at the moment and how they border on manufacturing and job creation.
Delta records N190bn revenue in nine months
ov. Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta has said that the state recorded a total of N190 billion as revenue between January and September. Uduaghan made the announcement in Asaba while presenting the state’s 2013 budget proposal to the Delta House of Assembly. He said that the figure represented a performance of 57.9 per cent over the expected proportionate revenue of N327.9 billion during the period, adding that N137.8 billion out of the N190 billion was received as statutory allocation from the Federation Account. The governor said that the figure represented 108.1 per cent performance of the proportionate estimate of N127.5 billion. ``The state received the sum of N34.5 billion as internally generated revenue during the period, representing 89.6 per cent performance on projected revenue of N38.5 billion. On Value Added Tax (VAT), the state recorded 99.4 per cent performance as it received N7.44 billion as against proportionate projected receipts of N7.49 billion,” he said. Uduaghan said that N10.1 billion was received from other capital revenue sources, representing a dismal performance of 6.54 per cent on the proportionate projected figure of N154.3 billion during the period. The governor said that all the revenue receipts represented an aggregate of
11.8 per cent increase on the N169.8 billion recorded in the corresponding period in 2011. On expenditure, Uduaghan said that a total of N188.4 was spent during the period, adding that N124.5 billion of the amount was spent on recurrent items as against approved budget of N135.6 billion.
ered between N200 million and N300 million. ``It is worrisome that in spite of the huge amount of revenue generated from Aba alone, the state’s IGR remains so meagre,’’ she said. Iheuwa promised that the commission would carry out quarterly evaluation of the 2013 budget implementation by the MDAs to ensure the realisation of its objective. She advised heads of the MDAs to be prudent in the management of the state’s scarce resources. She also urged them to make accountability and transparency their watchwords.
Court case may stall Ibaka Deep Seaport project Orji
Abia’s N35bn projected IGR realisable - Planning Commission
danma Iheuwa, the Executive Secretary, Abia State Planning Commission, says the N34.9 billion Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) projection by the state government in 2013 is realisable. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Gov. Theodore Orji on Tuesday announced a budget proposal of N134 billion for the 2013 fiscal year with N34.9 billion targeted as IGR. Commenting on the budget proposal on Friday in Umuahia in an interview with NAN, Iheuwa said that the commission had put appropriate measures in place to make the IGR projection realisable. ``’The commission has blocked all the loopholes and leakages through which the state loses its internally generated revenues. ``’We have also organised advocacy and training workshops for officers and heads of the finance departments in all government’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs),’’ she said. She explained that the essence of the workshops was to equip the officers for greater efficiency on how to shore up the IGR. The Planning Commission boss expressed concern that in spite of the state’s huge revenue potential, IGR had remained very low. She reaffirmed the governor’s repeated allegation that heads of finance units at the MDAs and local governments were short-changing the government. She said that the state’s monthly IGR currently hov-
By Francis Ezem
trong indications emerged last week that the Ibaka Deep Seaport project in Akwa Ibom State, which holds a strong future for Nigeria’s emergence as a hub seaport in West and Central African sub-region may be stalled over allegations of copy right violation. The Ibaka seaport, currently used mainly for fishing activities and water transport for small crafts is a natural deep seaport of over 17 metres of draft without dredging with a quay area expected to span over two miles in terms of length, which makes it a safe haven for mega vessels of over 10,000 TEUs on completion, thus making it the largest in the sub- region. The port being promoted by the Federal Ministry of Transport and the Nigerian Ports Authority on the one part and the Akwa Ibom State Government on their other part is expected to be operational in 2015. Chairman of Mercury Maritime Concession Company Limited, Rear Admiral Andrew Okoja (rtd), who, alleged that the original concept of the port was his idea, said he take every civilised step, including a legal action to stop the project unless urgent measures were taken to address the abue of his copy right violation. According to him, he developed the concept while undergoing Senior Executive Course in at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Jos in 1993 for the development of a deep seaport in the Eastern Sea borne of Nigeria. While alleging that the project was diverted after a full-blown presentation was made to NPA comprising of the original institution, where the research work was done and its author and developers sidelined, he accused the promoters of
appropriating the blue print, which was developed for the eastern seaboard without acknowledgment It was also gathered that the alleged theft of the concept by a local/foreign firm was effected through the connivance of some staff of the Ministry of Transport and NPA whose action, is believed to have misled the Minister of Transport into entering a tripartite agreement for the development of the project. In a letter dated August 10, 2012 by Falana & Falana’s Chambers, solicitors of the retired Rear Admiral to the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), the bureau was asked intervene statutorily on the matter with a view to an amicable resolution. The letter signed by one Adedotun Isola-Osobu, cited Section five(n) and (0) of the Procurement Act 2007, which empowers the Bureau to “prevent fraudulent and unfair procurement and where necessary apply administrative sanctions; review the procurement and award of contract procedure of every entity to which this Act applies. The letter, urged the Director-General of the BPP to use his good office to look into the issues raised to forestall unfair procurement of Okoja’s concept/project. Meanwhile another letter dated February 6, 2012, addressed to the Minister of Transport and signed Austin Udebu of Mercury Maritime concession reads in parts: “While in NIPSS Kuru-Jos undergoing Senior Executive Staff Course in 1992 – 1993, the title of his thesis was “Developing Maritime Strategy for Nigeria”, a thesis that focused on ports development in Nigeria”. The letter warns that unless the issue is amicably resolved, Okoja will institute a court action with other aggrieved persons, institutions and the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) against NPA and Akwa Ibom State. Investigations show that the thesis culminated in a paper written Okoja in 2007 to late President Umaru Yar’Adua captioned “Port Development in Nigeria and the Proposed Lagos Mega City Nexus - A case for the Development of Bonny/Ifoko Port Complex”, which was referred to the Minister of Transport then. Okoja was said to have been invited by the Ministry and NPA for further meetings, where hydro graphic charts and maps were used to defend the said paper. It was however not possible to reach the Deputy Director, Press, Ministry of Transport, Yetunde Sonaike at press time. Meanwhile, General Manager in charge of Public Affairs of NPA, Chief Michael Ajayi, when contacted said the authority was not aware of the claims by the retired Rear Admiral. BC
Monday, November 26, 2012
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Tata Steel to cut 900 jobs in Britain
ndia’s Tata Steel said at the weekend that it would cut 900 jobs across Britain as part of a restructuring plan aimed at stemming losses in weak European markets. The group said 580 jobs would go at its Port Talbot plant in south Wales as part of proposals to restructure its management and administrative functions. It also plans to close 12 steel finishing and processing sites in England and Wales. “Today’s proposals are part of a strategy to transform ourselves into an ‘all-weather’ steel producer, capable of succeeding in difficult economic conditions,” said Karl Koehler, the chief executive of Tata Steel’s European operations. Tata, which supplies steel and related services to construction, automotive and aerospace markets among others, also announced that it would re-start one of two blast furnaces at Port Talbot early next year as part of a 250 million pounds ($398.7 million) investment programme. This month, the firm swung to a second quarter loss of $67 million, as weakening demand and prices in its main European market, which accounts for around two thirds of its 28 million metric ton capacity, offset a solid home performance. The $500-billion-a-year steel industry has slowed sharply this year as moderation in China’s economic growth has compounded weak demand in Europe, forcing the Mumbaibased group, to make a string of cuts in the business. ArcelorMittal (ISPA.AS), the world’s largest steelmaker, recently reported a quarterly loss, while Japan’s Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Metal Corp said that profit in the second half of 2012/13 would fall by more than 50 per cent from the previous year. The Tata conglomerate, which bought Anglo-Dutch steel producer Corus for $13.1 billion in 2008, employs some 81,000 staff worldwide.
operations in Europe, China and Latin America as it tries to build a global finance unit to make low-interest car loans and boost sales. The auto giant’s US loan business, GM Financial, will pay $4.25 billion for the Ally assets, helping GM to better compete in markets where other automakers already have their own loan operations. The deal expected to close in stages next year will see Ally get a $550 million premium over the book value of the assets, which was $3.7 billion in the third quarter. Ally, which was GM’s financial arm until it was taken over by the U.S. government in the 2008 banking industry meltdown, is selling off assets to raise money to repay the government for a $17.2 billion bailout. So far, Ally has repaid $5.8 billion, leaving a balance of $11.4 billion. The company used to be called GMAC Financial Services. The move will help GM restore a unit that once was highly profitable before the meltdown, said Argus Research analyst Bill Selesky. It also will help GM grow in countries in which the middle class is expanding, he said. “They believe that future growth will largely be determined by growth in emerging-market economies. They believe this is where the future of auto lending is going, to higher-growth geographies,” he said. GM will give $2 billion to GM Financial to make the purchase, the automaker said in a statement. The deal includes Ally’s operations in Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and Austria. It also includes Ally’s 40 per cent interest in a Chinese joint venture auto financing company. GM Financial’s assets will double to about $33 billion, and liabilities including debt will rise to $27 billion from about $12 billion today, GM said in the statement. “GM is entering the most aggressive rollout of new vehicles in its history and this acquisition will make us an even more formidable competitor by ensuring that competitive financing is available to our customers and dealers around the world,” said Chief Financial Officer Dan
GM eyes Ally’s assets in Europe and Latin America
eneral Motors has said that it will buy Ally Financial’s
Ammann said. In exchange for bailing out Ally, the US government got 74 per cent of the lender’s common stock, plus $5.9 billion worth of preferred stock. Ally last month sold its Canadian operations to the Royal Bank of Canada for $4.1 billion and a Mexican insurance business for $865 million. With the GM deal, Ally will have about $9 billion in additional cash. It could use the money to buy back the preferred stock, but Ally spokeswoman Gina Proia said no decision has been made on how to repay the government. Privately held Ally has been looking at an initial public stock offering to get more money back the government, but that’s been put on hold until stock market conditions improve.
opportunity to diversify exports away from the United States. The EU is its second-largest trading partner Efforts to conclude a global trade deal have been deadlocked for more than a decade, leaving countries and trading blocs to negotiate independently on bilateral agreements. A study in 2008 said an FTA could swell EU gross domestic product by 11.6 billion euros ($14.9 billion) and Canada’s by C$12 billion ($12 billion) within seven years, with EU exports to Canada rising 24.3 per cent and Canadian exports to the EU by 20.6 per cent. Trade between the two was $117 billion in 2011.
and Spain have asked for bailouts, although the Spanish rescue for its banks was funded by the eurozone’s European Financial Stability Facility.
Arsenal in £150m Emirates deal
President Christofias of Cyprus
Karel De Gucht
Canada, EU to conclude free trade deal
he European Union and Canada aim to conclude a free trade agreement in the next few weeks after a top-level meeting over a deal that could swell bilateral trade by more than 20 per cent. “Both sides will now instruct their negotiators to narrow the gaps on the outstanding issues,” the Commission said in a statement last Friday, after Thursday’s meeting between EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht and Canadian Trade Minister Ed Fast. Negotiators have struggled over investment protection, agriculture, public procurement and intellectual property, particularly regarding pharmaceuticals, trade experts say. “It’s clear that there has been significant progress but some important work remains to be done,” De Gucht said in the statement, which said a deal could arrive in “the coming weeks.” A free trade agreement (FTA) with Canada, the EU’s 12th-largest trading partner last year, would be the bloc’s first with a country from the G7 group of major developed economies. For Canada, it would be the most significant since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the United States and Mexico in 1994 and an
Crisis-hit Cyprus agrees bailout
yprus has agreed a bailout deal with international creditors, becoming the fifth eurozone member to seek outside help in the ongoing debt crisis. The country made the request to its European partners and the International Monetary Fund in June, for help to revive its banks. Banks have lost large amounts on Greek government bonds. They are also facing big losses on loans made to businesses in Cyprus, which have been hit by the deep recession in neighbouring Greece, its biggest trading partner. In total, Cypriot banks have outstanding liabilities and debt totalling 152 billion euros, or eight times the size of the country’s gross domestic product, according to the IMF. In June, the country’s two largest lenders, the Bank of Cyprus and Cyprus Popular Bank had asked for more than two billion euros in government aid. The Cypriot government has also been holding negotiations for a possible loan from a country outside the EU, such as Russia or China. The country has already borrowed 2.5 billion euros from Russia, whose business people are important customers of Cyprus’s relatively large offshore financial sector which offers low tax rates. Cyprus is the fifth country in the 17-member euro area to accept emergency assistance. Greece, Ireland, Portugal,
rsenal football club have signed a new £150 million deal with Emirates airline, extending its shirt sponsorship to 2019. The naming rights to the Emirates Stadium in north London were also extended to 2028 as part of the deal. In total, the agreement brings in £30 million a season for Arsenal in terms of shirt and stadium sponsorship. The new contract is one of the biggest in football, eclipsing rivals such as Liverpool in terms of revenue earned. “The original deal with Emirates was a key facilitator of our move from [previous stadium] Highbury and this next phase of our relationship will be just as critical to keep us at the top of the game in England and Europe,” said Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis. Emirates first signed its sponsorship agreement with Arsenal in 2004, providing the airline with naming rights to its then-brand new stadium until 2021 and a shirt sponsorship that began in the 2006 season. With wages and costs of running a football club soaring, clubs are looking for more and more ways to earn money to compete on the European stage. In 2011, Barcelona signed what was then the most lucrative shirt sponsorship deal in the game with Qatar Foundation worth 30 million euros (£24m) a year - but will see its kit feature Qatar Airways from next season. The deal was the first time the Barca kit had featured commercial sponsorship and has riled some fans. Earlier this year, Manchester United signed a new deal to have US car brand Chevrolet on its shirts for seven years. The deal, which begins in 2014, is reportedly worth at least £45 million a season until 2021. Liverpool signed an £80 million, four-year shirt sponsorship deal with Standard Chartered in September 2009. Last year, Manchester City signed a 10-year deal reportedly worth £400 million with Etihad for the airline’s name to go on both the club’s shirt and the stadium. BC
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Monday, November 26, 2012
A fast-paced entrepreneur Kolawole Aluko is one of Nigeriaâ€™s low-key, ultra-wealthy business tycoons, which according to Forbes, is worth well in excess of $50 million. Founder of an oil trading firm, Fossil Resources, Kola is currently the Deputy Chief Executive Officer and a major shareholder of Seven Energy, a leading independent international oil exploration company. By Bamidele Obafemi
erhaps, except for those that operate in the same industry with him, it is most unlikely that not many would be familiar with the name Kola Aluko. Yet, this is one young Nigerian multi-millionaire entrepreneur whom the Forbes Magazine has rated among the top 10 wealthy Nigerians. Kola, a young international businessman, has commercial interests spanning a number of industries globally and includes energy and private aviation. In 2001, he took the bold initiative to establish a personal company-Fossil Resources Limited where he is a Chief Executive Officer. Being a multifaceted businessman, Kola expanded his business interest beyond Fossil Resources limited, as he continues to seek alliances with other businesses to deepen his investment portfolio both in the local and international business markets. In 2004, he took far reaching initiative to broaden his experience and influence in the energy sector when he moved from Fossil Resources Limited, an indigenous company which plays in the downstream sector of Nigeriaâ€™s oil industry to playing a bigger role in the upstream (exploration) sector of the same industry. This, he accomplished by partnering with other investors to create Exoro Energy International, another Nigerian oil and gas business where he again emerged as the Chief Executive Officer. However, in 2007, Exoro Energy International merged with Seven Energy International, an independent oil and gas development company with interests in three onshore fields in the Niger Delta, and Kola Aluko, being a leading shareholder in the larger organisation, became the deputy CEO of Septa Energy Nigeria Limited, one of the subsidiaries of Seven Energy International, the position which also accorded him a directorship status at Seven Energy (UK) Limited, another subsidiary of Seven Energy International. Strategic partnerships with domestic and multinational oil and gas exploration firms over the past two years have significantly Continue on pg A8
strengthened Seven Energy’s position in the Nigerian market. Having secured long term financial backing, and formed strategic partnerships with the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), the commercial subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation; and Petrofac, a leading global engineering and facilities provider, Aluko is of the view that the group is uniquely positioned in the sector. Indeed, his experience in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria dates back from his days at Besses Oil & Services, a crude oil trading firm where he was a director before he founded Fossil Resources Limited in 2001. However, Aluko said his intentions to play in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria was not influenced by the desire to take his share from Nigeria’s most lucrative business sector but a decision that was informed by the desire to contribute his quota to the development of the sector. “ I became involved in oil and gas exploration not just because I wanted to be part of Nigeria’s most successful industry, but because I realised that harnessing our resources is essential to our long-term growth prospects – and that applies not just to Nigeria, but to the region as a whole”, he said. Seven Energy International, the parent company of Septa Energy Nigeria Limited, where Kola Aluko is a shareholder, is a leading independent Nigerian oil and gas exploration, development and production company whose core purpose is to create shareholder value through the development of Nigeria’s gas potential. The company was founded in 2004 as a division of Weatherford International, the oil service company. Following a management buy-out in 2007, it merged with Exoro Energy, an indigenous Nigerian player and with the backing of strategic longterm investors; the group has a unique focus on the emerging Nigerian gas market. Seven Energy is a private company with headquarters in Lagos and London. In Nigeria, the company operates through its wholly-owned and principal subsidiaries, Septa Energy Nigeria Limited and Accugas Limited. Seven Energy International says its business model places a strong emphasis on forging the right partnerships to advance its interests in Nigeria. “This is evident in our strategic alliances with Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), a subsidiary of the national oil company, and with Petrofac, a leading global engineering and facilities solutions provider”, a source within the company revealed. The company prides itself
Monday, November 26, 2012
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Aluko with Akpabio and Jonathan
as a company that combines an experienced board and management team, indigenous ownership and strong financial backing to pursue a rapid growth strategy in the Nigerian energy sector. Its competitive advantage, the company says, lies in its unique gas monetisation capability that provides it with a first mover advantage in the emerging domestic gas market. Seven Energy is exclusively focused on exploration, development and production in Nigeria. The company has a unique understanding of Nigeria’s domestic gas market dynamics, enabling it to unlock the potential of the country’s significant gas resources for the growing energy and power needs of Nigerian industry and people. Seven Energy, in the last few years,, has built substantial momentum and local presence by bridging the gap in the market for a domestic gas producer, transporter and supplier to help solve the country’s chronic power shortages. Seven Energy’s business model is founded on the substantial resource potential of the Niger Delta, a unique understanding of the domestic gas market and a willingness to invest in processing and distribution infrastructure. To date, Seven Energy has progressed towards achieving its goal through the acquisition of substantial interests in the undeveloped Uquo and Stubb Creek fields, both of which are brought on to production during 2012. “Production from
Being a multifaceted businessman, Kola expanded his business interest beyond Fossil Resources limited, as he continues to seek alliances with other businesses to deepen his investment portfolio both in the local and international markets
these fields will be processed and transported to market through processing facilities and pipelines that are owned and controlled by Seven Energy. In addition, Seven Energy’s alliance agreement with NPDC has provided access to mature producing oil and gas fields in OMLs 4, 38 and 41 with substantial upside potential”, the company disclosed. Meanwhile, the main focus of Septa Energy Limited, the Nigerian subsidiary of the gas development and production company of Seven Energy Group, is the supply of gas for the domestic market in Nigeria. To achieve its goal, the company where Kola Aluko functions as Deputy Chief Executive Officer has embarked on strategic investments. For instance, Septa Energy Limited recently
invested $420 million in the development of two main gas fields and in the construction of a 60 kilometres long gas pipeline in Nigeria for the delivery of gas to the Ibom Power Plant. Septa Energy started the installation of this new pipeline In April 2010 and the project includes 60km of pipes, linking Ikot Abasi to the 1,000mw Eket Power Station in Nigeria. “As pipelines represent a considerable financial investment and are significant business assets, it is particularly important to assure the integrity and reliability of the pipeline welds during the pipelines installation. For this reason, Septa sought a reliable and independent third-party company in order to ensure the safe function of the pipelines” the com-
pany said. Interestingly, SGS Industrial Services, a company wellknown for its professional and reliable Pipeline Welding Inspection, was awarded the contract to provide independent inspection of 5,500 welds of the newly installed pipeline for Septa Energy. SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company with extensive experience in inspecting the integrity of pipeline welds. For more than 50 years, SGS has been testing pipelines from all over the world and is familiar with various mill and site inspections on pipeline projects wherever located. The main aim of SGS’s third party inspection is to verify that the welds conform to all the applicable quality standards. The inspection and testing work by SGS is carried out in accordance with governmental standards and the specific requirements of Septa Energy. Accugas Limited a wholly owned subsidiary of Seven Energy International was created as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to achieve its mission in the gas business. Accugas however is enjoying a great patronage by Nigerian Banks which appear to be ever ready to help finance its projects. The company as reported received an eight year project financing facility from Stanbic IBTC Bank and United Bank for Africa worth $60 million to part finance the construction of the gas pipeline, gas central processing facility and associated
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Beyond the oil and gas industry, Kola Aluko is also a major investor in the private aviation sector. He recently struck a deal with VistaJet, a Swiss luxury aviation company where he is a partner
infrastructure in Akwa Ibom State. The Chief Executive Officer, Stanbic IBTC, Sola David-Borha, said the financing represents the first true project financing in Nigeria for an integrated downstream gas infrastructure network, which includes an extensive gas pipeline distribution network and a gas processing facility. She pointed out that Stanbic IBTC acted as Joint Mandated Lead Arranger with United Bank for Africa Plc on the transaction, adding that Stanbic Bank in its additional capacity as Structuring Bank and Global Co-ordinator on the transaction also undertook the roles of Financial Modelling Bank, Facility Agent and Documentation Bank. On his part, Deputy Managing Director UBA Plc, Victor Osadolor, said his bank is proud to invest in Accugas Limited, whose project is uniquely aligned with the Federal Government’s vision of developing the country’s infrastructure and substantially monetising the nation’s immense gas reserve. “The cordial relationship with the sponsors of this project and other similar projects places us in a unique position to continue to support its expansion plans”. The Accugas Gas Pipeline Project involves the construction of a new 65km pipeline with a capacity of 100mmcf/d from Frontier Oil/Septa Energy’s Uquo gas field to Ikot Abassi in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. The project also involves the construction of a gas and liquids processing facility and liquids pipeline, which in aggregate will cost in excess of $250 million. The project, Business Courage learnt, is the first phase in Accugas and Septa Energy’s development programme to bring the South East Niger Delta’s substantial discovered gas reserves to market to meet the growing energy demand from power plants and industrial users in the region. “This has been strongly supported by independent power companies, Akwa Ibom State and industrial companies that require reliable gas supply for their operations”, our source added. Kola’s Septa Energy, besides striving to improve gas supply to Nigerians is also playing a major role in making power available to the people. At the moment, Septa Energy in alliance with Frontier Oil Limited and Gulf Energy Limited are working on a 1,000 megawatts power station in Akwa Ibom State to boost power generation in the country. The project is expected to be commissioned by the end of this year. A strong advocate for development of infrastructure in Africa, Kola believes that
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Monday, November 26, 2012
the African continent has an abundance of energy resources that must be judiciously used to generate power for social economic development. He argued that domestic energy demand in sub-Saharan Africa is rising due to growth in manufacturing and mining along with an increasing number of middle class consumers. “For many years, however, growth in population and output has far outstripped growth in generation capacity, with the result that large parts of the region now face an energy crisis. Kenya, Burundi and Uganda have all endured periods of power rationing, and the pain is not confined to East Africa”, he said. “Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, is the world’s largest importer of diesel generators – around two million units per year. To maintain production at profitable levels, Nigerian firms are unable to depend solely on state power capacity and are forced to use generators as back-up, usually at around two or three times the cost. The fact that they are continuing to expand despite this burden gives us a glimpse of what might be possible once the power infrastructure gap starts to close”, he added. But beyond the oil and gas industry, Kola Aluko is also a major investor in the private aviation sector. He recently struck a deal with VistaJet, a
Swiss luxury aviation company where he is a partner. Interestingly, Aluko grew from being a loyal client of Vistajet to becoming a shareholder in the business. According to Thomas Flohr, founder and chairman of VistaJet, “Kola has been a loyal client with VistaJet for many years, and is now helping us drive our expansion throughout West Africa. His expertise and knowledge as an entrepreneur has already helped us establish a major presence in the region”. VistaJet, the world’s premier luxury aviation company, started the expansion of its global network into West Africa following strong demand for its services two years ago. But the expansion is being aggressively driven by Kola Aluko-its partner in Nigeria. Kola was appointed to the company’s Advisory Board which was formed in 2010. Vistajet, according to the chairman, is now the world’s fastest growing private aviation company. “Our fleet of Bombardier aircraft are based across Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and West Africa, ready to take you wherever you choose. Our multilingual staffs are based in offices across the globe, ready to arrange every aspect of your flight” he said. Flohr who was full of praises for the role which Kola Aluko had hitherto played in the
success of VistaJet in the West African coast proudly disclosed that the company is “delighted to be working in close co-operation with Kola Aluko, who has unparalleled knowledge of the region. This will enable us to realize the major potential we see there, particularly among business leaders and entrepreneurs in the energy and government sectors who fly frequently within West Africa and between West Africa and Europe.” Apparently delighted with his involvement with VistaJet, Kola himself said that he “very excited to be VistaJet’s partner in West Africa. In a very short time, VistaJet has provided the Nigerian and West African community with an alternative and reliable solution for travelling both within the region and internationally. I’m looking forward to working with Thomas and his team in the future development and success of VistaJet’s growth in the West African region’. Besides making gains through business, Kola is a strong proponent of development of infrastructure in Africa and his foundation- Made In Africa Foundation (MIAF), cofounded with Ozwald Boateng, Africa’s foremost designer and David Miliband, former UK’s Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs is making a meaningful impact in this direction. The Made in Africa Foundation was set up to provide finance for feasibility studies for African businesses and projects involved in the development of major infrastructure projects across Africa. MIAF is also set out to introduce a funding mechanism to assist successful businesses in Africa to transform their existing investments and prospects besides giving Africa Independence through development and infrastructure. Made in Africa Foundation is a UK Foundation whose mission is to fund masterplans, feasibility studies and other project preparation works for
successful infrastructure projects in Africa. Business Courage learnt that Kola and his partners at MIAF set out primarily to bridge the projects funding gap in Africa. “Far too often a lack of ‘First Mile’ finance is the missing key to allow successful infrastructure projects in Africa to raise construction finance and reach completion. Despite increasing efforts from governments and DFIs to fill this gap, this type of risk capital remains scarce”, MIAF lamented. It added that “The Tipping Point” is a seminal white paper setting out the Made in Africa Foundation manifesto and establishing MIAF as the first “activist for African infrastructure” - the first non-governmental group to recognise its significance for growth in Africa. Therefore, as an independent foundation, MIAF has the ability to work with promoters, governments, multilaterals such as the World Bank and African Development Bank as well as Commercial Banks and private sector investors. Recently, the African Development Bank (AfDB) disclosed a plan to float Africa’s first infrastructure Bond for member nations to raise up to $22 billion for investments in infrastructure in response to MIAF’s initiative on Growth Corridors, hosted in 2009. For Kola Aluko, it is not all about working and making money, he still finds time to unwind and one of the ways he relaxes is by engaging himself in car racing. As a passionate car racing enthusiast, Aluko has competed in major European races with the Swiss team Kessel racing. The young Nigerian oil magnate also lives in luxury. In June this year, he was reported to have purchased two luxury ultra-modern estates in Beverly Hills for a whooping $40 million. He is believed to have business ties with Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke. BC
Monday, November 26, 2012
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Why banks shy away from a Following the Central Bank of Nigeria induced banking sector reform; Sterling Bank acquired Equitorial Trust Bank and completed the process integration in record time, leading to significant improvement in all measurable indices. But despite the positive result, Yemi Adeola, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer said the new Sterling Bank is yet to attain its full potential. Adeola, in this engaging interview also spoke on why most banks shy away from lending to the agricultural sector among other issues. Excerpts:
ow will you assess the banking industry in the last ten months of the year? Has the recent banking sector reforms paid off? Year to date, we have witnessed a sector-wide return to solid profits supported by the clean-up of balance sheets led by AMCON in 2010/11 and the return of risk appetite which has boosted lending. We have also observed early signs of returning investor confidence mostly in the portfolio segments. This is reflected in the improving valuation of listed equities. The year has not been without some pains as some of the policy initiatives have put significant pressure on profitability. An example of such measures is the sharp increase in the Cash Reserve Requirement (CRR) to 12 per cent - the highest in a decade as the CBN struggles to contain inflation. The impact of the funding costs on most operations has been significant. This is one example of some of the current challenges facing the sector. Also, the pace of regulatory changes both domestically and globally continues to severely challenge operators and attaining a satisfactory compliance status in relation to these regulations is often quite demanding of management time and corporate resources. Nonetheless, one must commend the actions of the domestic regulators who have tended to be significantly ahead of the curve when compared to other jurisdictions. All in all, the current positive perception of the sector by stakeholders across the board stands as proof that the right choices have been made. In spite of the euphoria that heralded the introduction of the CBN’s cashless policy in Lagos, it doesn’t look like the policy is really catching on, something like it` is really yet to fully take off. Who should take the blame for this, the CBN, the banks or the bank users? Our data suggests otherwise. We have seen our branches in Lagos drop from our list of top cash users since the introduction of the policy – a clear sign that people are responding. We expect that it will take some time
before total cash in circulation drops to the anticipated level but the early signs are quite promising. Our progress in providing alternative payment channels has been slow as the reliability of the available communication solutions continues to be a challenge. We are however evaluating an industry-wide solution (at Bankers’ Committee level), one that should significantly improve our ability to serve our customers better. The benefits of the policy when fully achieved would be increased convenience, additional service options, cheaper access to out-ofbranch banking services, and reduced risk of cash-related crimes to the individual. For financial institutions, it would increase access to capital, reduce revenue leakage, and cash handling costs and drive incremental investments in alternative channels and lead to product innovation. Without the policy, the banks might not have found compelling business reasons for doing so. Having said that, I think it is only sensible to wait a while longer before reaching any conclusion on the longterm impact of the policy. Lending to the agricultural sector of the economy is ridiculously low at less than two per cent. Why are banks shying away from lending to the agric. sector given its potentials? Agriculture is indeed the backbone of the Nigerian economy and as at today, it contributes about 42 per cent to the country’s GDP and accounts for roughly 75 per cent of the non-oil sector’s GDP. Regrettably, in spite of this, agriculture accounts for only 1.7 per cent of total lending by banks. I will give you a few reasons why this has been the case: first, banks have operated in a high interest rate regime, coupled with the short-term nature of the sources of funds to banks. Second, agriculture has been viewed as a ‘high risk’ venture given its peculiarities such as susceptibility to unfavourable weather conditions. Third, infrastructural deficiencies and hugely limited access to improved technologies limits agricultural production considerably. The list goes on. However, with the introduction of the various intervention funds and
credit enhancement initiatives by the CBN, Bank Of Industry and the Federal Ministry of Agric (which have made lending to the sector bankable and profitable), I can say confidently that lending to the sector has increased and we expect to see greater participation of banks over time. Schemes such as the Nigerian Incentive-Based Risk Sharing in Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) and the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS) have gone a long way towards empowering farmers around the country and have made possible things which a few years ago could only be imagined. I am happy to say that Sterling Bank has grown this segment of its loan book to almost five per cent of total loans. Also, we have in place, a competent management team looking at this segment carefully and working with borrowers to explore the innumerable opportunities available. Today, Sterling Bank ranks as one of the most prominent banks providing financing collaboration with stakeholders in the agricultural sector through strong partnerships with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, the CBN, BOI, and other international development finance institutions. The oil and gas sector, in addition to capital market used to be the two major sectors that enjoyed funding from the bank. What is the situation today? Sterling Bank has over the years helped to promote economic activities by optimally extending its resources to identified sectors where it will make a meaningful impact and support economic development. Like you’ve rightly observed, two of the sectors that have benefitted hugely from the bank’s lending activities in the past were the Oil and Gas and the Capital Market. Lending opportunities increased in the wake of the capital market explosion that witnessed the emergence of a
vibrant market towards the end of the last decade. Also, deregulation of the downstream market of the oil and gas sector coupled with the improved financial strength of banks attracted the banks to these sectors. The continued increase in funding to the capital market was buoyed by the huge inflow of foreign direct investment into the sector which stimulated the market and encouraged equities trade and bank’s channelling of excess liquidity to the sector. This continued unabated until the market began to overheat and eventually crashed in 2007/2008 with its negative impact on the banking system. The oil and gas sector equally witnessed sudden and sharp drops in international energy prices with consequent depreciation of the naira, which dealt a heavy blow to the downstream sub-sector. Thankfully, the impact of the meltdown of these sectors on Sterling Bank was minimal, due to our limited exposure to them. While Sterling Bank has continued to grow its oil and gas business to date, the same cannot be said of the capital market because of the dearth of economic activities and market appetite to warrant such support. Today however, Oil and Gas ranks high in the lending portfolio of the bank. Other sectors that the bank has continued to support include SMEs, manufacturing, agriculture, power, telecoms, infrastructure and project finance among others. To what extent will you say the gains of the business combination with Equitorial Trust Bank Plc have reflected in the new Sterling Bank? The business combination with ETB is a significant milestone in Sterling Bank’s drive towards building a globally competitive retail franchise. We almost doubled the size of business with the addition of over 300,000 active customers. We also grew our total
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Business Courage A13 29
Monday, November 26, 2012
gric lending – Adeola assets from N350 billion to nearly N600 billion, added 80 active branches to our network and increased our staff strength by 1,300. As a result of the expanded footprint, we have now succeeded in refocusing our attention on alternative channels, nearly doubling our ATMs in one year. We have also leveraged our expanded presence to grow our business in the first nine months of the year. Our gross earnings rose to N51 billion, almost twice the amount generated in the same period last year while interest income rose by 110 per cent year-on-year, resulting in a 64 per cent improvement in profit after tax If you look at our third quarter results, we grew loans and advances by 23 per cent to N230 billion on the back of our enhanced presence in the corporate banking segment. Following our successful integration, we grew our deposit to an all time high of N434 billion last quarter. In your unaudited result for the first nine months of the year, profit before tax jumped from N3.01 billion to N4.77 billion, while after taxes, net profit distributable to shareholders increased from N2.74 billion to N4.49 billion. What should your shareholders expect when the full year result is ready? Our philosophy is to think long-term. We avoid the temptation of judging our progress on short-term parameters such as quarterly numbers. We are building a sustainable business that will contend for a leadership position in our chosen market. This requires a long-term view. Despite the long-term focus, we are pleased with the nearterm progress recorded on on-going initiatives and are convinced that things will get even better as we consolidate on the early gains. However, let me emphasise that our quarterly and yearly numbers are certain to continue on the upward trend in the foreseeable future. We expect to translate more of the enhanced revenue into shareholder value during the final quarter of the year on the back of the third quarter momentum. As an institution, we are focused on delivering sustainable value
To what extent have you been able to fully integrate Equitorial Trust Bank customers with those of Sterling Bank? What is your current customer base like? The integration of the erstwhile ETB with legacy Sterling Bank was a success by all parameters. Our processes, products and branches were harmonized seamlessly and became functional across the enlarged entity on the April 1, 2012, that is five months after the announcement of the merger in October 2011. What is most satisfying for me as Chief Executive Officer is that,
The business combination with ETB is a significant milestone in Sterling Bank’s drive towards building a globally competitive retail franchise. We almost doubled the size of business with the addition of over 300,000 active customers
to our shareholders but the details will become clearer after year-end. The combined franchise has enhanced earning capacity and efficiency is just beginning to kick in.
my team accomplished these by relying almost completely on internal resources and without compromising our risk management and operating processes. The record-setting speed and efficiency of the integration process is unparalleled in our industry and is unlikely to be surpassed for some time. We successfully migrated over 300,000 customers from ETB to our network in April 2012 and we are well on the way to achieving one million active customers. We remain deeply grateful to all our loyal customers who stayed true to the Sterling brand during the minor disruptions witnessed in March 2012 when we integrated our systems. We have reached out to many of these customers during the various customer events to show our appreciation and we certainly look forward to broadening this cherished relationship. Sterling Bank used to be a fringe player before last year’s merger with ETB. How strong is the brand now in terms of coverage and networth? In most African countries, a bank with over $4 billion in assets and 180 branches will count among the top three. It is a testimony to the size of the Nigerian market that we are classified as a mid size bank. With N45 billion in capital and a workforce of 2,800 professionals, Sterling Bank is fast becoming systemically important. We are certain that in a few years, we will be a source of national pride and a globally respected financial brand. We have done the groundwork and the results should become apparent to the general public in the near future. Nigerian banks used to do well in the area of consumer promo in the past. Why are banks shying away from investing in consumer products these days? Promos are a means to an end, a way to promote specific objectives. We
continue to run product promotions to enhance our retail customer base as this remains our core objective. You may see fewer promos when it comes to consumer lending as banks strive to strengthen their risk management framework before pushing lending products, especially those targeted at the mass market. Going forward, we expect to see more targeted product promotions as banks define their market segments based on their risk appetite. One of the fallouts of the financial crisis in the industry was a tightening of banks’ risk management frameworks and a re-alignment of their individual risk portfolios. We are unlikely to get to the days of endless and unrelenting offers of unsecured consumer credit that created unsustainable household debt in the western market. In line with our retail strategy, Sterling Bank has a bouquet of promos in the pipeline targeted at specific segments of the retail market to encourage the culture of saving, particularly amongst the younger generation. One of such is the Savers Promo which is currently running. In the first nine months of your operation this year, loans and advances improved from N164.3 billion to N229.43 billion. What is the target set for the full year and how realistic is the target? We have already achieved a 23 per cent growth in loans and advances this year and this is consistent with our guidance to the market for 2012. However, we remain open to tapping exceptional opportunities that are available within the boundaries of our risk appetite. We are however mindful of the consequences of aggressive loan growth. The repercussions can be disastrous – hence our strategy of a moderate growth in risk assets for the rest of the year. BC
Monday, November 26, 2012
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Industry stakeholders express discordant tunes at the Senate public hearing on the Nigerian Communication Satellite Corporation Bill, but there are strong indications that the upper legislative chamber may give its nod to the bill. By Kunle Azeez
s the Senate Joint Committee on Science Technology and Communications begins to sifts through large volumes of memoranda presented to it after the public hearing on the Nigerian Communication Satellite Corporation Bill, there are strong indications that the Joint Committee co-chaired by Senator Robert Ajayi Boroffice, immediate past Director General of National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) and Senator Gilbert Emeka Nnaji may okay the bill. The public hearing, held in Abuja last week generated heated debate as a result of divergent views which after nearly four hours ended without any resolution but with a strong commitment by the committee to address the issues raised by participants. Although, Communication Technology Minister, Omobola Johnson and her Science and Technology counterpart, Prof. Prof. Ewa Henshaw opposed the bill, both spoke from different perspectives. While Johnson complained that the bill had no role for the Minister and so Nigerian Communication Satellite Limited, the Federal Government’s company responsibility for the commercialisation of the country’s satellite resources, should be privatized, Henshaw simply laid claims to the ownership of NIGCOMSAT Limited by the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) where NIGCOMSAT Limited emanated from. Expressing the Nigerian Communications Commission’s position at the public hearing ahead of Senate’s passing of the bill into law, Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders Engagement at NCC, Okechukwu
Itanyi, opposed the bill on the ground that if approved, NIGCOMSAT was likely to usurp NCC’s position as a regulator. In his position, the Director General of NASRDA, Mohammed Seidu, claimed ownership of NIGCOMSAT Limited, describing it as a department and consequently opposed the bill because two satellites agencies could not exist side by side. Also, the Managing Director, Galaxy Backbone, Gerald Ilukwe, who maintained neutral ground in his argument, insisted that if the bill must be passed, grey areas that appeared to conflict with other existing laws should be expunged. However, the Director General of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Yomi Bolarinwa was very blunt in his presentation. “Having gone through the bill as passed by the House in March, together with my directors, we can say authoritatively that there are no areas of conflict.” Similarly, the President of the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), Dr. Chris Uwaje, advocated that NIGCOMSAT Limited be empowered to exist and become successful like other international satellite agencies of the government all over the world. The software expert spoke extensively on the international best practices where Space Agencies exist side by side with commercial satellite companies, citing many global examples from the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, among others. Uwaje said that the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) existed before Intelsat. He also cited successful communications satellite operators such as International Telecommunications Satellite
Organisation (Intelsat), Eutelsat, Pan Am Sat, ArabSat, Sinosat among others, adding that NIGCOMSAT Limited should be empowered to exist and become successful like others “because it is a critical national backbone infrastructure” Responding to the information peddled, and particularly based on the presentations of others including, Johnson’s claim that NIGCOMSAT will not do well until it is privatised, the Chief Executive of NIGCOMSAT, Timasaniyu Ahmed-Rufai,, argued that NIGCOMSAT, as it is
today, could generate an income of about N20 billion monthly, if it is empowered to do this by the minister, through enabling policies. He said that NIGCOMSAT’s Direct-to-Home (DTH) Platform, which is already in place, is equipped to perform a smooth transition from analogue to digital broadcasting and, above all, will promote Digital Terrestrial Transmission (DTT) that will take broadcast service of all broadcast media to every part of the country. Ahmed-Rufai added that
contrary to the fears expressed in certain quarters, NIGCOMSAT Limited was neither a space agency nor a regulator, adding that such fears were misplaced as no clause in the clean bill from the House gives NIGCOMSAT such powers. He cited existing laws elsewhere in the global community, saying that NASA in the USA, for instance, was set up by an Act of Parliament in 1958 while its commercial arm, Intelsat, was established by an act of parliament in 1962 and both exist side by side without any conflict.
Gadgets for techno savvy persons
ost of people nowadays are increasingly becoming technology enthusiast. Discussed below are some useful gadgets that will help you to better improve your interest in the vast changing techno world.
can text in the dark.
Microsoft Touch Mouse Are you jealealous of those buttons less magic agic mice of your Mac Mouse user friends? Microsoft Boxwave Keyboard Buddy has finally come up with their Iphone 4 Case version: the Microsoft Touch The problem that most Mouse. Just like the Apple people have with the iPhone Magic Mouse, the Microsoft and other touch screen smart- version is able to execute comphones is that at m mands that most they lack the other mice can’t. ease of havThanks to the ing an actual touch interface, tactile keypad a simple hand that you can gesture allows feel with your you to manipufingers. Boxlate and control wave’s Keywhat’s happenboard Buddy ing on screen iPhone 4 can with ease. Aside solves that prob-- Boxwave Keyboard Buddy Iphone 4 Case from that, it lem by giving you cool too. u looks pretty c a keyboard that slides out from behind your iPhone4. JBL Onbeat Xtreme Everybody makes iPhone The keyboard’s battery lasts for two weeks and even fea- and iPod docks but JBL figured tures backlit keys so that you that you’d want to do the same
with y your iPad. These high performance speakers are specialspe ly m made for iOS devices vice and even allow you tto stream music via Bluet Bluetooth. The OnBeat comes with a remote Xtreme com control and it even functions as a speakerphone when you hook up your iPhone to it. It also charges your gadget when it’s docked and it allows you to display it in both portrait and landscape mode. Canon Powershot SX40 HS If you’re no longer satisfied with your good old point-andshoot camera but you don’t think you’re ready for those expensive professional DSLRs either, then the SX40 HS is a great eat o p t i o n for you. This 12.1 megapixel camera features 35x wide angle op-
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Business Courage A15 31
Monday, November 26, 2012
He said that NIGCOMSAT is a critical National Infrastructure which cannot be subjected to a civil service structure if the over N50 billion which the government invested in it is to be protected. Besides this, Ahmed-Rufai contended that foreign investors’ confidence will be rekindled if NIGCOMSAT was backed by an Act of Parliament, unlike a company where a mere pronouncement and board resolution could lead to a wind-up and investors’ confidence completely eroded.
tical zoom and a 24mm lens. Canon’s s Optical Image Stabilizerr also helps assist those with shaky hands. The SX40 HS allows you to take 1080p video with stereo tereo sound. Not bad forr something that’s still considered onsidered a point-and-shoot oot camera. Logitech Harmony 650 The Logitech ech Harmony 650 allows you ou to control all of your media a with just one remote control. ol. Once programmed, the navigation on this thing can be pretty easy thanks to the LCD screen that gives you full access to some of your favorite features. The ergonomic design is really easy and d intuitive to use once you’ve gotten the hang of it. It’s not cheap p by any means but you’ll never let go o of it once you have it.
Citing other relevant issues relating to this, Rufai said the USA Military has six geostationary satellites called MILSTAR which allow all military formations to coded communications. According to him, the same thing applies in the UK, which has Skynet, while France and Italy have Syracuse and Sicral systems respectively. The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) has NATO 3,4A and 4B for communications within, adding that NIGCOMSAT could provide a platform for the Military and Security Agencies to address crimes readily. Earlier, a member of the committee, Senator Isa Galaudu had alleged that the way and manner most agencies and parastatals under Communication Technology made their presentations pointed to the suspicion that they might have been influenced by the Minister, adding that it was unlikely for these agencies to say the same thing when the Minister was not there. The Senate Minority Leader, George Akume noted that what was important during the hearing was national interest, adding that, “If the bill will bail Nigeria out of the wood and bring the country at par with technology rich nations, then, we should remove the clauses that looked offensive and let the bill be.” Meanwhile, Business Courage gathered that contrary to certain sentiments, the Nigerian Communication Satellite Corporation Bill, drafted by Olisa Agbakoba & Co and sponsored as a private member bill by the Chairman, House Committee on
AC Ryan PLAYON! HD ESSENTIAL ESSENTI Many pe people are starting to consume their media digitally thanks to th the advent of High-spee High-speed internet connections. Movies and TV shows show of stunning clarity a are always readily availa available at the click of a download button. It’s, of course, watch those pointless to w 1080p videos on your laptop screen so it’s always a good iidea to get yourself a nice and solid digital media player. The PLAYON! HD Essential is one such machine. It can play pretty much all of the file formats you’re bound to have and it can access media from your USB Stick, portable hard drive and SD cards. an You can also upgrade the 3.5” HD to 2TB. BC 2
Communications, Dr. Ibrahim Gusau, seeks to translate the government’s vision for the communications satellite project into legislation. The legislative process has therefore streamlined the core provisions of the company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association, especially as it relates to the duties and powers of the Corporation. In contents, the Bill recognises NIGCOMSAT Limited as a commercial satellite operator mandated by the Federal Government to commercialise satellite resources, and therefore, enables the cooperation to produce or purchase the in-orbit of satellite for related business purposes. This is distinct from research and development, or indeed the building and launching of satellite indigenously, which is the principal function of space agencies. This clear-cut mandate thus resolves the grey areas between NIGCOMSAT and the NASRDA. Furthermore, through the provisions of Section 6 of the Bill, a copy of which was obtained by Business Courage, the activities of NIGCOMSAT have been streamlined and made more reflective of the activities of other international satellite companies. In an earlier forum organised by ICT Publishers Alliance, the organisers noted that frequency management and allocation remains under the purview of the NCC and the National Frequency Management Council (NFMC), whilst the NBC regulates the broadcasting industry. Chairman of the stakeholders’ forum and President, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, Lanre Ajayi, had stressed the importance of satellite technology in completing cable infrastructure to deliver ubiquitous broadband connectivity in all the nooks and crannies of Nigeria. Ajayi had noted that there was a need to guide the Senate, as citizens, to let them know the need for Satellite Company to be able to run businesses on its own with less government bureaucracy. Ajayi noted that satellite technology is a very desirable technology in Nigeria, noting however, that this was not to say that other terrestrial technologies are not very relevant. “The major advantage of satellite is its ubiquity. In a country like ours, where we have many rural communities, satellite becomes an option. If we must progress, we cannot run away from developing satellite technology and government must support this,” he said. Chief Executive Officer, Teledom Group, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, had cautioned that the bill’s contents be reviewed carefully to ensure that none of its provision confers undue power to NIGCOMSAT Limited. BC
How to stop hackers from invading your network
nethical hackers are always looking for weaker points in a network system to hack the security system of your company and get hold of confidential and new information. Some such “black-hat hackers” derive a vicarious pleasure from wreaking havoc on security systems and some hackers do it for money. Whatever may be the reason, malicious hackers are giving nightmares to companies and organizations of almost all sizes. Especially, large corporate houses, banks, financial institutions, security establishments are favourite targets for hackers. However, this menace can be prevented to a great extent if proper security measures like those discussed below are taken at the right time. *Change default password Some software has built-in password to allow the first log in after installation; it is extremely unwise to leave it unchanged. *Identify entry points Install proper scanning software programs to identify all entry points from the internet into the internal network of the company. Any attack to the network needs to start from these points. Identifying these entry points however is not at all an easy task. It is better to take the help of skilled ethical hackers who have taken special network security training to perform this task successfully. *Perform attack and penetration tests By running the attack and penetration tests, you can identify those vulnerable points in the network that can be easily accessed from both external and internal users. After identifying these points, you would be able to thwart attacks from external sources and correct the pitfalls that could become the entry points for intruders to hack into your network. The test must be done from both the internal as well as external perspectives to detect all the vulnerable points. *Configure firewalls A firewall if not configured properly can act like an open door for any intruder. Hence, it is vitally important to set the rules to allow traffic through the firewall that is important to the business. A firewall must have its own configurations depending upon the security aspect of your organization. From time to time proper analysis of the composition and nature of the traffic itself is also necessary to maintain security. *Implement and use password policies Use strong password policies by having passwords of seven characters which are of secure length and relatively easy to remember. Passwords must be changed in every 60 days. The password should also be made up of both alpha and numeric characters to make it more unique. *Use password-less authentication Regardless of the policies above, passwords are less secure than SSH or VPN keys so think about using these or similar technologies instead. Where possible, use smart cards and other advanced methods. *Delete comments in website source code Comments used in source code may contain indirect information that can help to crack the site, sometimes even usernames and passwords. All the comments in source code that look inaccessible to external users should also be removed as there are some techniques to view the source code of nearly all web applications. *Remove unnecessary services from devices You will not be dependent on reliability of the modules you actually do not use. *Remove default, test and example pages and applications that usually come with web server software. They may be a weak point to attack and as they are the same in many system the cracking experience can be easily reused. *Install anti-virus software Both intrusion detection systems and anti-virus software must be updated regularly and if possible on a daily basis. The updated version of anti-virus software is necessary as it helps in detecting even the latest virus. BC
NCC to boost telecoms investment by $25bn Stories by Kunle Azeez
he Nigerian Communications Commission has promised to strengthen regulatory measures that would lead to dramatic increase in the local and Foreign Direct Investments inflows into the nation’s telecoms sector. Speaking at a recent telecoms consumer forum in Lagos, the executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah, said the Commission had since realised the need for Nigeria to maintain an operating environment that is conductive to attracting investment by avoiding actions that can constitute disincentive for investment. According to him, the telecoms sector is very capitalintensive and therefore, to continue to encourage timely network expansion, improve quality of service and ensure national coverage. emphasis must be on ensuring an attractive operating environment. Business Courage learnt that private investment including Foreign Direct Investments into the Nigeria’s telecoms sector increased by 38.8 per cent in the last three years. growing significantly from at $18 billion in 2009 to reach $25 billion by mid-2012. The $7 billion FDI increase represents about 38.8 per cent growth in the total investment inflows into the country telecoms sector. From a private sector investment of about $50 million in 1999 and following the liberalisation of the telecoms sector in 2001, the industry, by the end of 2009, attracted more than $18 billion in private sector investments, including FDI. It was learnt that expansion of telecom facilities in the country has increased the inflow of foreign direct investment from $18 billion in 2009 to $25 biillion to-date. According to the NCC boss, “For the future and to sustain the progress made in the industry, it will be critical for the government to contin-
ue to maintain stability in the policy and regulatory apace.” He argued that the high investment levels that have been attained in the sector, was not because Nigeria suddenly became one of the most desired investment destinations for Information and Communication T technology in African or because of its large population, but largely because of the stable policy and regulatory regime that the industry enjoyed since 2000, stressing that such status for Nigeria needed to be sustained. Juwah stated that the Commission had created conducive environment that will attract FDIs into the industry, which he said, had eventually made telecoms infrastructures to be widely available in the country. According to him, Nigeria is virtually covered by these infrastructures in terms of optic fibre cables, copper cables, mast and towers, internet facilities and so on, stressing that this, in turn, was expected to support growth in the telecoms industry and other sectors of the economy., adding that this has been our priority at the Commission for quite some time. Juwah also highlighted that development of telecoms infrastructure is an important phase in the life cycle of the telecoms industry. “It is the blood that sustains the industry and that is why we constantly appeal to Nigerian to protect these infrastructures from vandalism, stealing and any other abuse,” he said.
Main One, Phase3 Telecom deepen broadband connectivity pact
o increase broadband Internet penetration in Nigeria and the West African subregion, two leading indigenous telecommunications infrastructure companies, Main One Cable Company and Phase3 Telecom, have entered into a new strategic partnership. Main One owns and operates West Africa’s first privately-owned undersea communication cable that runs from Europe to Africa with landing points along the West African coast including Nigeria and Ghana, while Phase3 Telecom is a national long distance operator and West Africa’s first privately owned aerial fibre optic cable deployed on highvoltage electricity power lines. Under the partnership, the firms will be offering Nigerians high capacity broadband Internet services at very affordable costs using Phase3 Telecom’s extensive aerial fibre network and Main One’s huge bandwidth deployed through its
Monday, November 26, 2012
undersea cable. The partnership, which will offer joint provisioning of services, requires the integration of their networks and collaboration in provisioning and service delivery; it is expected to increase broadband Internet penetration across Nigeria as customers will be able to obtain quality services at affordable prices. Speaking on the deal, the Chief Executive Officer of Phase3 Telecom, Stanley Jegede, stated that the pact with Main One will provide the needed solution to truly and practically drive broadband availability in Nigeria. He added that many government development programmes can now be on the path of realization as improved access would be available throughout the country. According to him, “When two smart companies work together, they create smarter results. Today, the impact of Information and Communications Technologies on globalization has increased dramatically, and impacted positively on the developmental process in Africa.” He said the two companies’ belief was that a robust and reliable open access network will constitute a platform for efficient eGovernment, eVoting, eCommerce, ePayment, eBanking, eLearning and media applications, thereby increasing sustainable human, political, economic and social development. “That is why the Nigerian government emphasizes the importance of multi-stakeholders’ partnerships for broadband development in the country and, thereby, achieving universal access. Phase3 Telecom’s partnership will contribute to broadband capacity building in West Africa,” he said. In the same vein, the Chief Executive Officer of Main One Cable Company, Funke Opeke, said the determination of Main One to make its broadband Internet services ubiquitous and available to many more Nigerians, was the basis for the agreement between the two companies. She assured Nigerians that together with Phase3 Telecom, the fibre infrastructure of both companies will
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broaden the reach of broadband Internet connectivity.
LG introduces anti-bacterial air conditioning system
G Electronics, a global leader in heating, ventilation and air conditioning, has launched its latest residential air conditioner (RAC), the AntiMosquito, into the Nigerian market as part of its move to improve customers’ well-being through innovative technology. Built to provide maximum comfort and reliable operation, the new model, which was unveiled in Lagos over the weekend, features mosquitorepelling ultrasonic wave technology. Speaking on the product, the General Manager, Airconditioning and Energy Solutions, LG Electronics, Junhwa Jeong, who hosted the event, said LG constantly invests in innovative technologies that are tailored to the specific needs of consumers in Africa. “In Nigeria, as well as in a number of other African countries, malaria remains a prevalent threat. LG’s AntiMosquito air conditioner is a great example of the company’s commitment to improving both health security and the quality of life in Africa by applying technological innovations in intelligent ways,” he said. Completely harmless to humans, the repellant technology inside the Anti-Mosquito air conditioner deters 64 percent of the female Anopheles mosquitoes within 24 hours and 82 per cent overall according to Peety Grady Chamber tests. (Females of the genus Anopheles are malaria transmitters.) Aside from offering greater peace of mind, LG’s Anti-Mosquito AC also comes with all the advantages of LG’s advanced air conditioning technologies; it delivers powerful cooling and is remarkably reliable even in extreme temperatures. “Every region poses different challenges from an engineering perspective. In Nigeria and other West African countries, the sun is hotter, dust buildup tends to be greater and the electricity supply is unpredictable,” said Jung. “By matching technologies directly to these region-specific challenges, we can create real solutions that will help bring about profound and meaningful changes to consumer lifestyles.” Designed specifically for areas with unreliable power supplies, the technology in the Super Automatic Voltage Switcher (Super AVS) is another example of a tailored solution for the West African market. Power blackouts and surges play havoc with elec-
tronic devices; the Super AVS guards against this havoc and protects the compressor from being damaged by fluctuations in the electric current. In addition, LG’s Tropical Compressor is designed to operate in hotter climates. Finally, LG’s unique Plasmaster air filtering technology has also been included to remove harmful substances and bacteria from the air. Also speaking, the Managing Director, Fouani Nigeria Limited, Mohammed Fouani, said in terms of economic development, the entire African continent has enormous potential. “We’re especially excited that some of LG’s technologies, including the Anti-Mosquito air conditioner, will help
people across the continent to unlock that potential,” said Mohammed Fouani, Managing Director, Fouani Nigeria Limited “However, LG has also sought to move well beyond its role as a technology provider; we have put into place a number of initiatives to combat poverty and promote community-building,” he said. He explained that LG has contributed to a whole range of infrastructure and social programs in Africa for some time now, adding that the company is currently collaborating with a number of international organizations in efforts to fight disease, protect the environment and end poverty. “In cooperation with the International Vaccine Institute, LG helped to develop and administer a vaccine for cholera in Ethiopia. Fifteen LG Hope Schools in Kenya provide students with the opportunity to learn and enjoy healthy, nutritious food. In association with the UN World Food Program, LG also ran a donation campaign for Ethiopia, which raised USD 341,034. The money was then used to provide meals to more than three million Ethiopians. “The mosquito-repelling technology of our AntiMosquito air conditioner is our latest innovative feature geared to the African market, but I assure you, it won’t be the last. LG is committed to helping Africa achieve a better future,” he said. BC
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Reflections with Semiu Salamii 07043280449 sms only
Presidential double-speak and the burden of governance
n this part of the clime, when people in government run the show with brazen impunity, with little or no proper checks and balances and where governance is devoid of the dictum of accountability, it’s never a crime for those in authority to say one thing but mean something entirely different. In most instances, government officials rarely see anything bad in dishing out outright falsehood, halftruth, inconsistencies as well as double speak in policy pronouncements. Many a time, some of these are done so brasenly without any sign of remorse and a slightest regard to the feelings of the people they rule over. Sadly, this is a reality we have come to live with as a nation. However, much as we seem to have accepted these anomalies as part of the learning curves we need to navigate through as a nation, it is discomforting that the President Goodluck Jonathan administration seems to be wittingly or otherwise, giving this malaise, a fresh lease of life. In the last few weeks, the presidency has shamefully exposed its incorrigibility in double speak, or simply put, speaking
from both sides of the mouth. First instance was on the controversial Manitoba Hydro/Transmission Company of Nigeria management contract issue and secondly, the vexed issue of the deregulation of the downstream sector of the petroleum industry where the presidency held two diametrically opposing positions . On Thursday, November 15, Presidential spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati had issued a statement announcing the termination of the Manitoba/TCN contract, citing failure to meet due process conditionalities as the reason why President Jonathan cancelled the contract. Four days after, President Jonathan who spoke at the Presidential media chat in Abuja publicly denied Abati and said that he has not revoked the Manitoba contract on power. The confussion generated by that glaring instance of double-speak and inconsistencies must have created the impression that President Jonathan may have taken the drama of absurdity playing out in the seat of power rather too far. Can Abati really afford to unilaterally issue a frivolous statement on an issue
that is as fundamental as the power which the same government has made so much noise about? Was the President merely testing the waters preparatory to the eventual switching of the contract to another foreign firm which tongues are already wagging on? Or is the President practically subsumed in the politics and intrigues of the powerful cabal holding the country by the balls? If the Manitoba/TCN contract brouhaha was not suggestive enough of government’s deep seated inconsistencies and double speak, the event of last week’s back and forth pronouncements over government’s position on the vexatious fuel subsidy should to some extent, convince those yet to see a new trend in official double-speak. The same week the issue of the Manitoba contract cancellation came out; President Jonathan at a public function restated the case for total subsidy removal, the pronouncement which many Nigerians interpreted to mean a further hike in the price of the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise called petrol. Prior to that time, the body language and statements credited to people in government and their hirelings suggest
that there are subterranean moves to hike, once again, the pump price of petrol. Yet, President Jonathan, at the same media chat retracted what he said few days earlier and stressed that the Federal Government had no plan to raise the price of petroleum products, as is being speculated. Though the President later stated that subsidy had been provided for in the 2013 Appropriation Bill; and that the turnaround maintenance of the refineries will be completed in March, 2013, after which there would be no further importation and as such, no need to pay subsidy, the public is still at a loss as to which of these represent the true position of Mr. President. With these types of double speak and inconsistent pronouncements coming from the highest office, it clearly shows the type of a nation we are and certainly, this is already reflecting in the way people and nations, particularly the much sought after foreign investors that cherish forthrightness, principled and conscientious governance are viewing us. We cannot afford to be ruled by people who have little or no regards for the words that come out of their mouth. Let’s be a nation of serious minded people which we truly are, at least for once. BC
NAHCO’s new board and the challenges of transformation agenda By Festus Okoromadu
id-way through the year, precisely on July 19, 2012, the management of Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (Nahco aviance) Plc informed the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) of changes in the board of directors of the company. According to the notice published by the NSE, Suleiman Yahyah, former vice-chairman of the board took over the chairmanship of the board following the retirement of Senator (General) Ike Nwachukwu Rtd. Similarly, the duo of Ikechukwu Nwachukwu and Christopher Oshiafi were appointed as non-executive directors, effective July 11, 2012 the notice stated. Dr. Faruk Umar, on the other hand was appointed into the board late last year. Following the vacancy created by the appointment of Suleiman, Dernis Hasdenteufel, was elevated to the position of vice-chairman. The company now have an eleven member board. Prior to their elevations and appointments into the board, Nahco Aviance Plc had embarked on transformation agenda, which according to Nwachukwu was aimed at increasing productivity and efficiency, with a view to delivering values to shareholders. Nwachukwu had while addressing shareholders at the last Annual General Meeting (AGM) emphasised that delivering on promises to shareholders remains the company’s primary concern. Relating the company’s performance for the 2011 financial year to the transformation programme, the former chairman noted that though transformation was a long-term, continuous improvement process, the board under his leadership having implemented the programme in less than two years, have started seeing it yield fruit. “We have began to see results in our efficiency, service quality and income, and expects to reap even greater benefits and returns in years to come. Our rate of achievements in less than two years is relatively ahead of most corporate transformation programmes in
Nigeria, and in some cases, better than many worldwide,” he said. On specific areas focused on by the programme, Senator Nwechukwu highlighted the premium placed on the workforce who he described as the greatest asset of the company. In this regards, the board decided to invest heavily on regenerating and improving the workforce when it embarked on the transformation programme. “We invested in training and development to ensure that all our staff are well trained, better skilled, highly professional, and ready to deliver to the highest international standards,” he said. The company’s financial report for the third quarter ended September 30, 2012 released to the market recently confirms the improving performance. Although the account on the face value recorded a marginal growth of 1.02 per cent in turnover, the bottom-line which is where the value for shareholders are created posted an increase of 65.24 per cent. Details of the account shows a turnover of N5.26 billion was posted in the third quarter of 2012 compared with N5.21 billion in similar period of 2011. Profit after tax rose to N698.67 million from N422.83 million in 2011, while
Earnings per Share (EPS) grew to 48 kobo higher than 34 kobo in similar period of 2011 and 38 kobo for the year ended December 31, 2011. Thus, in terms of earnings accruing to shareholders, the third quarter account has recorded an improvement of 10 kobo per share when compared to what obtained at the close of the 2011 financial year. The account shows that administrative cost for the period was reduced to N756.24 million from N1.27 billion in 2011, representing a 40.39 per cent. Another part of the transformation agenda is the plan to spread income base, through diversification which will ensure growth. This aspect, however, appears to be doing well so far. For instance, incorporation of NAHCO Energy and Power Company Limited was designed to make room for venturing into power and other businesses across Africa. Raising the hope of investors on the potentials of the company to create wealth for investors, Senator Nwachukwu had told them that, “We remain on top list of bidders for two power distribution companies in Nigeria; either of which will produce an additional turnover in excess of N15 billion”. However, the recent announcement of successful bidders for the Nigeria power distribution companies may as well put an end to this ambition. Earlier in 2011, the company had issued a N5 billion bond to fund its growth initiatives, Speaking on the usage of the funds as well as the expected impact, the erstwhile chairman said, “We have been prudent to ensure that investments are only made where and when a high level of returns is expected. We expect our investments to yield income this year, with consolidated full year effects in 2013”. It is only hoped that the failure of the company to emerge as one of the successful bidders in the power sector will not affect this propositions negatively. According to the transformation timetable, the programme is expected to be rounded up in 2012. It was expected to bring about increases in financial
performance of the group as from the second quarter of 2012 and beyond with a fuller effects in 2013. But with the recent changes in the board, the failure to make in road into the power sector for now, as well as marginal growth in sales recorded in the third quarters, critics are beginning to express doubt if shareholders will fare better in the years to come. In terms of shareholders friendliness, the immediate past leadership of the company deserves a pat on the back. Available records show that the company which was listed on the NSE in 2006 has been consistent in rewarding shareholders with dividend pay-outs as well as issuing bonus. A dividend of 30 kobo and 55 kobo per share was distributed in 2007 and 2008 respectively. Subsequently, the board adopted a new strategy of splitting the dividend into two with initial payment of an interim and a final dividend, thus between 2009 and 2011, a dividend of 70 kobo, 65 kobo and 40 kobo per share was paid-out each year. In what can be considered as his parting gift to shareholders, Senator Nwachukwu, while trying to explain the circumstances for distribution of the dividend stated that in spite of the underlying economic challenges in 2011 and the heavy investments in transformation, the company’s performance is comparable to the previous year. He then announced the proposal to pay 25 kobo as final dividend, making a total of 40 kobo per share and issuing one bonus share for every five previously held. The question therefore is, can the new board follow the generous part of its predecessor? If it does, the transformation programme would have achieved its objectives. Then the impact of such achievement will be reflected on the equity in no distance time and when the market bounces back, the stock will be the toast of institutional, corporate and individual investors. BC
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2014 models I
t’s never too early to see what’s under the hood for the world’s car makers. Because of the peculiarities of the industry, some 2014 models have already been shown at auto shows like Paris and Frankfurt, or pictures have been released in advance of other shows like Los Angeles this month and Detroit (January). Manufacturers like to keep new models under wraps until the very last minute, lest they steal sales from outgoing models, but sometimes complex logistics or simply corporate flagwaving take precedence over sales tactics. For those who can’t wait for the official start of the 2014 model year on October 1, 2013, here is a peek at some of the all-new cars and crossovers that will be emerging from design studios and engineering centres.
2014 Aston Martin Vanquish James Bond drives a ‘60svintage DB5 in Skyfall, but actor Daniel Craig should trade it for the 2014 Vanquish faster than you can say “double-ohseven.” It has a skin of carbon fibre, the V-12 engine puts out 565 horsepower, and the car screams to 62 miles per hour in 4.2 seconds. With a top speed of 190 mph (and a base price of $280,000), even George Lazenby would have had no trouble outrunning Blofeld 2014 BMW i3 Unlike any BMW you have ever seen, the compact hatchback i3 is made of lightweight yet super-strong carbon fibre -- the same stuff used in the fuselage of the 787 Dreamliner. More importantly, the i3 is BMW’s first all-electric car. Its
range is said to be around 100 miles, and anxious drivers can add a small motorcycle-like gasoline engine that extends the EV to 190 miles. The i3 is expected to go on sale late in 2013 for about $45,000. Production versions will have doors that are solid, rather than transparent below the beltline. 2014 Chevrolet Corvette The seventh generation of the plastic-bodied sports car is so new that GM is still keeping it under cover. All that has been publicly exposed to date is the redesigned crossed-flag logo and the engine -- a 6.2-litre, 450 hp. V-8. The 2014 Vette redefines “all-new.” It has just two carryover parts -- a filter and a latch -- from the previous model, and the Corvette plant in Bowling Green, Ky. will be shut down for six months to get ready to build it. In January, GM pulls back the drapes completely, and production starts in the fall. 2014 Mini Cooper Paceman Mini has wrought six variations of its basic design since 2001, and here comes the seventh. Think of the Paceman as a two-door version of the fourdoor Countryman: The dimensions are nearly identical, and both have all-wheel drive. Anglophiles will note that with its sloping roofline and British heritage, the Paceman resembles a mini Range Rover Evoque. The first ships from the British Isles bearing Pacemans (Pacemen?) arrive in the U.S. around mid2013. 2014 Subaru Forester Is Subaru the next Volvo? The red-hot brand, which also specializes in functional wagons and crossovers, has re-
Aston Martin Vanquish
leased pictures of the fourth generation of the popular Forester, one of its best sellers for the past 15 years. Subaru says it is longer, lower, and wider than its predecessor, with more room for passengers and cargo. It’s probably unintentional, but the silver bar cutting through the front grille recalls the diagonal slash of Volvos back in the day. 2014 Volkswagen Golf Longer and wider than its predecessor, the 2014 Golf is
much lighter too, thanks to the use of weight-saving components and high-strength steel. VW unveiled the seventh iteration of Europe’s best selling car at the Frankfurt auto show in October, but the U.S. will have to wait another 15 months before the Golf makes it across the pond. But that’s OK. American buyers are in no hurry to purchase hatchbacks like the Golf, so fast-rising VW is in no hurry to make them available until other markets have been satisfied.
2014 Chevrolet Impala GM hopes to rescue the Impala nameplate from rental-car purgatory with this high-luxe tenth-generation model. Instead of merely building a larger Malibu, engineers used a stretched version of the same platform that underpins Cadillacs and Buicks and tried to give it an upscale appearance inside and out. But despite its aspirations for premium status, the 2014 Impala retains its front-wheeldrive layout and gets an option-
Automakers eye North African markets
utomakers and suppliers are finding big opportunities in North Africa, where new-car sales are forecast to rise more than 40 per cent by 2016 and where low labour costs make producing vehicles and components cheaper than in Western Europe and even parts of Eastern Europe. Auto companies are also being drawn to North Africa because of its close proximity to Europe, which makes shipping vehicles and components easy. These factors take on even greater importance as companies look to cushion themselves against troubles in Europe, where new-car sales are forecast to fall to a 19-year low this year. Vehicle sales in North Africa are expected to increase to 930,000 in 2016 compared with the 660,000 units sold last year in the region, which comprises Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia. With two production plants in the region, Renault has taken the early sales lead in Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia where it has a combined 30 per cent market share followed by PSA/PeugeotCitroen’s 25 per cent share and Hyundai-Kia rounding out the top three with a share of five per cent to 10 per cent. Renault solidified its lead in North Africa when the French automaker and alliance partner Nissan earlier this year inaugurated their new factory in Tangiers, where it builds the Lodgy low-cost minivan for the Renault and Dacia brands for sale in Europe and other markets. By next year, Renault says the one billion euro ($1.3 billion) plant will have an annual capacity of 400,000 units. Renault’s other Moroccan plant, which was established in Casablanca in 1959, made 16,051 Kangoos, 26,583 Sanderos and 14,185 Logans last year. The big presence has benefited Renault and Dacia as the brands had a market share of 37.6
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2014 Mini Cooper Paceman
al four-cylinder engine for the first time. 2014 Porsche Macan The German high-end sports car maker thumbs its nose at Porsche traditionalists by introducing another SUV with another very un-Teutonic name. Originally known as the Cajun, this entry in the fast-growing compact SUV segment now goes by Macan, the Indonesian word for tiger. Its mechanicals come mainly from elsewhere in the
VW family, notably the Audi Q5. But loyalists will be appeased by the Porsche engine options that may include a powerful twin-turbo 370 horsepower V-6. 2014 Jaguar F-type Roadster Jag gets its first sports car since the demise of the E-type in 1974. Three supercharged engines will be available, and Jaguar ditches its gimmicky dial shifter in favor of a racier and more traditional stick shift.
2014 Cadillac ELR Based on the same plugin hybrid powertrain as the Chevrolet Volt, the ELR oozes visual wattage, with proportions and stance that rival a Lamborghini. Production of the luxury coupe alongside the Chevrolet Volt begins late next year at GM’s DetroitHamtramck plant.. Thanks to its slick design, drivers can make a statement about their style and climate change simultaneously. BC
per cent in Morocco in the first half of this year, according to Renault. The automaker also plans to open a factory in Algeria and add local production of a passenger car at one of its plants in the region but has not yet given specific details yet. A major reason why the region is attractive to automakers and suppliers is labour costs that are significantly lower than in Europe. In 2011, auto workers in Morocco earned an average of 250 euros a month, compared with 730 euros a month in Romania, where Dacia is based. Taking advantage of low-cost labour is a double-edged sword for Renault. While it helps the company’s bottom line, it has left the automaker vulnerable to censure. The French government, which has a 15 per cent stake in Renault, has publicly criticized the automaker for choosing Morocco to make the Lodgy, which will mainly be sold in Europe. European suppliers have not faced the same backlash from their home governments for picking North Africa as a production hub. More than 200 parts makers make components in the region with more than 120 in Morocco alone. The region is used mainly for low-margin parts, such as wiring systems that are too costly to make in Europe. Most of those parts end up back in Europe. Bernard Descamps, director of international development for French suppliers association FIEV said that “Not only is Morocco a very secure location for foreign companies, the government is also very welcoming for automakers and suppliers by offering tax advantages and infrastructure improvements.” Morocco’s government has upgraded the country’s seaports, highways and railway systems and has created two tax-free zones for the auto industry in Tangiers and Kenitra. BC
he most crucial component of a car, the battery, which gets it moving is often ignored or overlooked. This can prove to be costly and troublesome on the road. Do not take a car battery for granted The battery in a car cranks the engine when the key is turned in the ignition. So, no matter how well the car is maintained. If the battery is not treated correctly, the car will not get on the road. Taking care of the battery is simple, easy and inexpensive. Read the following tips to keep the battery in your car always ready to crank. * Turn off electric devices in the car. Take the key out of the ignition * Prior to handling your car batteries, remove all kinds of metal accessories from your body such as watches with metal straps, metal jewellery like bracelets, bangles, rings, etc. to prevent short-circuit if these items by chance touch the positive terminal of the battery. * Clean the top of the battery with solution of a cup of water and a tablespoon of baking soda. Use an old toothbrush to remove corrosion and build up from the battery posts and cables. * A battery meter can be used to test the voltage of the battery; if it reads 12.5 volts the battery is fine. If it’s lower the battery is undercharged and needs to be charged. * Remove the covers of the battery cells, and make sure that the wells are at least half full with electrolyte fluid. If the fluid is low, fill the wells up with distilled water. Let the distilled water mix with the electrolyte fluid for a while before starting the car. * Use only distilled water as tap water will eventually reduce the battery’s potential. * If the headlight beam turns yellowish, it’s time to charge the battery or have it replaced all together. * If the ignition takes a while to crank the car and the key has to be held in the start position for a bit before the engine starts, it’s time to get a new battery. The following steps will ensure long battery life * Do not leave the headlights on for a long time after the engine has been turned off. * Do not leave the key in the ignition of the car overnight as some electrical devise may remain on and can discharge the battery by the morning. * Never let rust remain on the battery terminals for too long. * Do not leave interior lights on overnight, make sure all lights have been turned off and any other electrical accessories have been turned off before locking the car. * Car batteries have a limited life span. Check the lifespan of your car battery and have it replaced before the lifespan comes to an end. * If the car is not going to be used for a long time. Disconnect the battery from the car, hand remove it from the car altogether. This ensures that the battery will not get discharged when the vehicle is not used. Maintaining a battery and monitoring the health of the battery will ensure that there will never come a situation when the car will not start at the traffic lights and cause you embarrassment. Or worse, get you stuck in the middle of nowhere and help is not at hand. Never ignore the importance of maintaining a car battery as it will cost more to buy a new battery rather than maintaining an old one. BC
Monday, November 26, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
First Bank delist on NSE, lists Holding Company
CBN’s morbid fixation on interest rate
irst Bank of Nigeria Plc has officially delisted its shares from the Nigerian Stock Exchange at the end of trading last week. This was in compliance with the regulatory requirements of the Central Bank of Nigeria and effective today, FBN Holdings Plc will commence trading on the NSE with a new stock symbol FBNH. The shares will subsequently be replaced by shares of FBN Holdings Plc. The holding company structure was ratified through shareholders vote at the Extraordinary General Meeting held on 24 September 2012 and the subsequent relevant regulatory approvals. The adoption of the holding company structure aligns the ownership and operation of the Bank’s subsidiaries and businesses with the current CBN regulatory framework, which requires the separation of commercial banking business from other financial services businesses. This structure also creates an operating model to profitably grow the Group’s presence in the market for commercial banking and non-banking financial services. The proposed listing will not alter the current beneficial shareholding structure of the Group. Existing shareholders will surrender their shares in First Bank in exchange for receiving ordinary shares in FBN Holdings equal to the number of shares held in First Bank.
Bisi Onasanya, GMD, Firsdt Bank Plc
Commenting on the new ownership structure, First Bank’s Group Managing Director, Bisi Onasanya stated that “The new structure demonstrates the Group’s ambition to be at the forefront of positive corporate governance developments. This structure provides significant benefits to the Group by aligning and clustering similar overlapping businesses as well as streamlining governance controls at the Group level. Ultimately, the holding company structure is designed to enhance the Group’s overall competitiveness, and further explore opportunities for synergies between various subsidiaries.” BC
FG urged to deregulate more economic sectors By Johnson Okanlawon
he Federal Government has been advised to deregulate economic sectors where the governments are inefficient to operate. The Minister and Deputy Chairman, National Planning Commission, Dr. Shamsudden Usman, said this in Lagos at a press conference heralding the 18th Nigerian Economic Summit. He said that the government should allow private sectors to take over the economy, generate revenue and reduce cost of governance. According to him, despite the insecurity in the country, foreign direct investments are increasing, as they see Nigeria differently. He said, “Insecurity is a question of phases in the country. In 2011, Nigeria attracted high level of foreign direct investment. The insecurity in the country is a matter of time as many of the challenges will be dealt with. “Sometime ago, I thought the Niger Delta crisis will not be resolved, but we won the battle. In the past, the only news you read about Chinese is protest, which is still there. We are not talking about the protest anymore, as they have taken over the global economy.” He, however, noted that deregulation might not be applicable to all sectors, saying that there are some sectors also where deregulation will not be necessary. “Take the railway for instance, I was at the Public and Private Partnership conference in Abuja, one of the conclusions that came out was that if you look globally, PPP in the railway sector has not been very successful and even some countries that deregulated that sector in the past are going back because some aspect of railway can only
be done efficiently by the government. “So it is not just saying, government should not do it and you wash your hands off every thing. Even if you deregulate, you still need to strengthen the regulation,” he added.| The Director-General, Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Frank Nweke, said that deregulating other sectors should form the major thrust of the country’s economic transformation efforts. “We are determined to shift the focus away from just the downstream sector of the Nigeria petroleum industry. We are making a strong case for the complete deregulation of the Nigeria economy. “We believe that if the remaining sectors of the aviation, agriculture, oil and gas are freed up completely and are allowed to be operated by the private sector, it will remove the culture of arbitrariness to challenge the rent seeking mentality, to insist on accountability, insist on level playing field for all the economic factors as a way of turning our economy around and ensuring that it actually benefits our people the more.,” he said. BC
gain, the Central Bank of Nigeria has retained the benchmark Monetary Policy Rate at 12 per cent at its last Monetary Policy Committee Meeting held last week. Though widely expected, given the slight rise in month-on-month inflation by 0.4 per cent to 11.7 per cent for October, the CBN appears to be taking things a little bit too far with its continuous tight monetary policy stance. The apex bank had hiked the MPR by 275 basis points to 12 per cent since October 2011 and adjusted other monetary policy tools including the banks’ Cash Reserve Ratio and Net Open Position citing the need to contain the so-called excess liquidity in the banking system, inflationary pressures and discourage speculative attacks on the naira. So far, the CBN has maintained that its key concerns remain inflation and exchange rate stability and it appears to be ready to sacrifice economic growth in seeking to attain these objectives. The latest GDP figures released by the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics show a growth rate of 6.48 per cent in the third quarter compared with 7.37 in the year ago period. The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry has already raised concerns that while the sustained monetary policy tightening might have effectively moderated inflation and stabilised the exchange rate, this has been at the expense of stimulation of growth and employment generation. The question one would ask here is: What does Nigeria really need? The CBN governor, Lamido Sanusi, will insist that his job is to stabilise prices and that the government should provide the infrastructure required to stimulate growth such as power, roads and the rest, but everyone knows that access to credit is a key ingredient in stimulating both production and demand. As it is, the CBN has been squeezing banks for funds deposited largely by the government, so it is easy to predict which way interest rates will swing when the monthly allocations from the Federation Account is released and when they are taken out of the system. Many economic players will argue that they have not had any feel of the excess liquidity scenario. Rather, it has been a case of government dumping money in banks and going round to mop up the same funds at high interest through the CBN’s Open Market Operations instruments, Treasury bills and FGN bonds. It is scandalous that a government that is not at war, which has reserves in excess of $47bn will go a borrowing its own money at anything between 10 to 15 per cent to fund items that ordinary Nigerians cannot see. It is easy to understand the frustrations of the organised private sector. According to the LCCI, speaking ahead of last week’s MPC meeting, the drop of inflation rate to the year low of 11.3 per cent in September suggests two mutually inclusive effects, an effective monetary policy and declining domestic demand, weaker inventory and fragile growth prospect. “Lending rates have risen beyond the reach of many corporate and small businesses. Both prime and maximum lending rates have risen from 16.28 per cent and 23.13 per cent in March 2012 to 16.37
per cent and 24.67 per cent respectively. “The retail lending rate is currently about 30 per cent (all costs inclusive). This will not only jeopardise the financial inclusion policy of the CBN but would jeopardise the prospects of a job creating growth.” The LCCI has subsequently condemned the benchmark rate retention as “insensitive”. Other analysts have said that in view of the current stability in inflation and exchange rates and strong oil prices, the case for monetary easing is rather strong. The bottom line here is that the small and medium enterprises sector that is globally acclaimed to be the engine of growth in any economy needs access to credit at affordable rates. But what has continued to happen is that it is the big borrowers that have retained the interest of the banks despite the huge defaults that necessitated the creation of AMCON. Even at that, the big corporates are being denied the option of raising bonds for long term financing simply because only a few can afford to float a corporate bond at MPR plus seven per cent like Chellarams did recently. Worse, the government have been actively competing for funds in the market with the generous rates if offers for its bonds such that banks have enjoyed a secure and lucrative business in the bond market, so why bother with potentially troublesome commercial borrowers. It is trite that without credit, businesses cannot be created or expand. The retail consumer segment hitherto embraced by banks would have helped stimulate and sustain demand if had not been killed with prohibitive rates. While one is in full support of the government’s policy of financial prudence given the spectre of global headwinds and the real prospect of an oil price crash, relying on monetary tightening to defend the naira and reserves is just one option. Indeed, the naira would be more vulnerable to speculative attack - the object of Sanusi’s nightmares - if oil remains our only significant source of foreign exchange earnings. SME’s have a critical role to play in foreign exchange earnings as it has been proven in China which has 10 million plus enterprises largely targeted at the export market. Indeed, recent statistics show that the inflation fears are largely unfounded as the figure has seen more declines that increases this year despite the fuel price hike while the effect of massive flooding in 12 states on food prices have been moderate so far. Core inflation actually dipped in October. Many economists will argue that low inflation cannot be an end in itself and that if Nigeria needs double digit inflation to grow, so be it. In any case, what will ultimately drive down inflation is productivity. If we continue to import everything from cars down to underwear and toothpicks, we remain on the road to nowhere. While one appreciates that government, of which the CBN is part of, needs to address the infrastructure deficit much more quickly than it claims to be doing, the CBN must play its own part by creating conditions to boost bank lending to the productive sectors of the economy. Then, Mr. Sanusi, his friends in the MPC and the rest of us can sleep better. BC
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Monday, November 26, 2012
CBN approves FSDH’s merchant bank licence
he Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has given final approval to First Securities Discount House Limited (FSDH) to operate as a merchant bank. With this, First Securities Discount House Limited will convert from operating as a discount house to operating as a merchant bank. FSDH in a statement said, “In continuation of the company’s tradition as a pioneer in the finance industry, FSDH has become one of the first merchant banks to be awarded a licence in Nigeria since the repeal of Universal Banking by CBN in 2010.” Since March 1993 when FSDH began operations as the first discount house in Nigeria, the company has become a financial services group focussed on delivering expert financial services to its select clientele, thereby assisting them in achieving their financial goals. In order to retain the brand
essence and strong brand equity, the company has decided to adopt the name, FSDH Merchant Bank Limited. FSDH is excited by this development as it will enable the company to offer a broader range of services to its clients thereby deepening its client relationships and expanding its frontiers. Whilst the company does not underestimate the challenges that it will face, it is however confident that with its Corporate Culture of Customer Orientation, High Performance, Image Building, Collaboration and Learning, all obstacles that may come its way can be surmounted. “FSDH is particularly grateful to the Central Bank of Nigeria, in respect of this approval and believes that this is a strong indication of the apex bank’s belief in the company’s capabilities. “FSDH would like to seize this opportunity to welcome its stakeholders to the continued
experience with FSDH Merchant Bank Limited.” The FSDH Group is a financial services supermarket that delivers expert financial services in the Nigerian Financial markets, to its select clientele (corporate and individual), thereby assisting them in creating long term sustainable wealth. The FSDH group consists of four companies all which all engage in the provision of investment management services in different segments of the Nigerian financial markets. The group started with First Securities Discount House Limited (FSDH) in 1993 as the first discount house in the country. FSDH’s activities were later expanded to include capital market services through Counters Trust Securities Limited (CTSL) in 1995. CTSL was later acquired as a full fledged subsidiary in 2004 and BC in 2007 the name was changed to FSDH Securities Limited.
Is Skye Bank crawling behind technology?
ne of the beauties of using Automated Teller Machine (ATM) is the inbuilt security camera to safeguard the customers and expose activities of fraudsters. The first is an obvious camera that is set up on top or very close to the ATM machine. The second is a hidden camera installed inside the ATM machine itself to allow it to capture the facial features of the customer. The hidden camera will do a great job at identifying potential hackers and thieves who try to break into the machine or try to force others into giving them their money using the ATM machine. Even though those two cameras do different things, their combined footage tell a more complete story and tend to make bank investigations a lot smother. Despite all these embedded security features, it is very disheartening that some financial institutions still fail to make use of this advantage to propel their investigation in dealing with ATM thieves. Mystery Shopper found Skye Bank Plc a culprit in this wise. An aged customer of Skye Bank at its Iwo Road Branch, Ibadan with account number 1051414504 told Mystery Shopper how he observed that unknown person has been withdrawing from his savings account through the ATM machine. According to him, the incident happens on August 10, 2011. He reported immediately to the customer care section of the same branch and he was asked to deactivate his ATM card of which he responded immediately. He later observed
Kehinde Durosimi-Etti -- Skye-bank MD
from the statement of account that he has lost over N300, 000 to the strange person. Having realized this, he made a request for details and images of withdrawals on his account through the bank manager. The bank promised two weeks to make the images available after paying appropriate charges but to his amazement, he was asked to make another request after waiting for more than three months. He made the second request on December 2, 2011 and up till now, the bank is yet to attend to his request. Curiously, however, while the bank has found it difficult to attend to this request, the same unknown person that has been drawing from the account, and which the bank was long placed on record still requested for a new ATM card through the same branch on the same account and was issued. “When I noticed this, I concluded in my mind that an insider might be responsible for it” he told Mystery Shopper. Further findings by Mystery Shopper on the issue revealed that the original account holder had personally sent two
different complaint letters to the head office of Skye Bank in Lagos to intervene on his behalf but all to no avail. What is particularly worrisome in this case is why the bank appears so unwilling to step in and address a genuine customer complaint, whose hard earned money is being pilfered through what looks like an insider related arrangement. Besides, why has the management of the bank found it extremely difficult to make the image that would reveal the identity of the person drawing the money available for the account holder even after stipulated charges were fully paid for the service on two occasions? Why should the bank collect money from innocent customer for the service it could not render? Will it be right to say that the bank already recognizes the identity of the withdrawal and was only trying to cover things up? Or better still, could the unfolding scenario be that Skye Bank’s information technology platform lacks merit to handle such case? Investigations from other financial institutions show that such services should ordinarily not exceed four weeks from the first day of application. This has taken Skye Bank almost one year, yet, nothing concrete is forthcoming. It is high time the management of Skye Bank rose up to their responsibilities improve on their IT and consistently monitors activities of their branches outside Lagos. This certainly is unacceptable and something must be done fast about it. BC
Market Indicators for Week Ended 23-11-12 All-Share Index 26,322.18 points Market Capitalisation N8,380,569,447,045 Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY
Inter-Bank Rates TENOR
10.5000 – 12.7500
10.2000 – 10.5000
10.2500 – 12.9300
10.2000 – 10.5000
Primary Market Auction TENOR
Open Market Operation TENOR
Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED
MARKET DEMAND $200m
Monday, November 26, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Red Star: Growing earnings at a slow-pace F By Tayo Adeleke
inancial analysis of Red Star Plc shows that the member of management team of the courier company needs to double their effort if they are to meet their self imposed target of N15 billion turnover by 2016. As at March this year, one year after setting the target, the company was only able to increase its turnover by N1billion to raise its full year turnover to N5.03 billion. With the current run rate, it may be difficult for the company to bring its dream to reality. The average growth rate of red star’s turnover in the last two years stood at 11 per cent. However, the company posted a significant increase in its last six months results with turnover recording a 101 per cent growth to close at N2.6 billion while profit after closed at N182.2 million, a 96 per cent growth. Red Star Express has grown from a N138 million turnover company in its first year of operation in 1992 to N5 billion as the company celebrated the 20th anniversary in 2012. The company has grown to become one of the leading courier companies in Nigeria, in terms of revenue, network coverage and market share in the domestic and international market. Red Star Express is a licensee of FedEx, the world leading air express company with over 650 aircrafts and more than 220 delivery destinations worldwide. Red Star Express started operation in Nigeria in 1992 and now has over 156 offices and over 1520 staff all over Nigeria. Red Star Express became a publicly quoted company in 2007 after growing its capital base.
Half Year Performance The financial analysis of unaudited half years results of Red Star Plc for the period ended September 30, 2012 show an improvement from the previous quarter performance. Apart from increasing sales by 101 per cent during the review period, majority of its top line indices had a significant growth from the first
quarter results. Turnover had 101 per cent increase to close at N2.6 billion from N1.29 billion in June 2012. Gross profit moved to N742.4 million from N365.3. Similarly, both pre-tax profit and profit after tax also followed the similar trend. Pretax profit moved from N132.9 million to N260.3 million profits in second quarter 2012 while profit after tax grew by 96 per cent to close at N182.2 million. However, Red Star could not reduce its cost in the review quarter as operating cost grew by 100 per cent from N237.5 million to N496.1 million as at half year of ongoing financial year. Cost Management Expenses incurred by Red Star during the period reveals that its direct cost of sales grew from N928.96 million in the first quarter of 2012 to N1.86 billion in second quarters, representing a growth of 100 per cent. This implies that the company has not been cost effective in its operation in the last six months. The ever rising cost could however, be attributed to the company nature of service. Meanwhile, Business Courage noticed similarity in growth trend between the direct cost of sales and the gross
income earned by the company. The variance between its growth rates was insignificant. The implication of this is that, the top line growth does not translate to the after tax earnings. Further analysis shows cost to income ratios of 71.5 per cent in second quarter compared with 71.78 per cent in first quarter of 2012. These figures are on the high side if they were to be compared with the 67.2 per cent achieved in the financial year ended March 31, 2012. Capital Structure The balance sheet of Red Star shows that the company mainly funds its operations from equity and as such, was
not under any obligation to pay interest charge since it did not borrow any fund in the last six months of its operation. Shareholders’ funds closed at N1.61 billion against N1.69 billion in the first quarter and N1.6 billion as of last audited year ended March 2012. The company’s ability to meet its financial obligation reveals a modest one. Thus, when the current asset is compared with the company’s current liabilities (current ratio), a moderate figure emerges. It shows that in the first quarter, current assets was 1.99 times the current liabilities and 1.92 times the current liabilities in both second quarter and the audited year for the period ended September and March 2012 respectively. Similarly, quick ratio stood at 1.96x, 1.88x and 1.91x for first quarter, second quarters and year ended march 2012 respectively. Therefore, it can be summarized that the company is liquid enough to pay its debtors as at when due.
Operating Performance These ratios look at how well a company turns its assets into revenue as well as how efficiently a company converts its sales into cash. The Fixed Assets Turnover of Red Star stood at N2.94 million in second quarters of 2012, N1.92 million in first quarter 2012 and N7.47 million in the year ended 2012. This makes the average turnover generated by the fixed assets N2.43 million in the last six months of operation. There is no adequate sta-
Red Financial Data
2nd Quarter 2012
1st Quarter 2012
2nd Quarter Audited March 2011 2012
Cost of sales
Profit Before Taxation
Operating Profit Operating Expenses Distribution Expenses Total Assets
Interest Expenses Current Asset
Trade Creditors Profitability Ratios Return on Equity (%)
Gross profit Margin (%)
Profit Margin (%)
Pretax Margin (%)
Debtors(No of days)
Creditors(No of days)
tistics to establish whether the company is doing a good job of generating revenue from its investment in fixed assets but we noticed that from first quarter this year, the fixed asset turnover has increased gradually.
Profitability The Gross Profit Margin (GPM) from the first quarter to the second quarter was relatively stable. It stood at 28.22 per cent in first quarter 2012, after which it moved to 28.55 per cent in the second quarter but down from 32.8 per cent as at audited year ended March 2012. Hence, two-quarter average was also 28.39 per cent which means that over the last six months, gross profit has accounted for about a quarter of the company’s turnover. This means that on the average, Red Star has been able to generate at least 28 kobo from every 100 kobo of sale in the last six months. The Net Profit Margin (NPM) also shows relative stability with an average rate of four per cent between the two quarters. The NPM is considered a more realistic measure to investors as it shows how much will accrue to them after all other stakeholders have been settled. The figure stood at 7.01 per cent as at half year against 7.19 per cent in first quarter 2012. The NPM implies that consistently for the last six months, Red Star has been able to generate Seven Kobo from every N1 sale. The Return on Equity (ROE) ascertains the level of earnings generated on the equity employed in running the business. Red Star’s ROE increased from 5.49 per cent in the first quarter to 11.32 per cent in the second quarter. This growth is credited to the rate of increase of the shareholders’ fund which was lower than that of the company’s profits. Prospects To enhance profitability and future growth, the Managing Director of the company, Sule Umar Bichi explained that the company has diversified into three major services in the areas of E-commerce, sea freight and executive chauffeur services.“To sustain growth of the company, we ensure that we bring in new businesses where logistic market is going, we diversified our revenue basis by bringing in subsidiaries to look into new products and services which dynamic societies are demanding. We have ventured into sea clearing and forwarding and the margin is not the same with the one in the air,” he said. BC
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Business Courage A23 39
Monday, November 26, 2012
STOCKWATCH Stock Exchange weekly equities summary as at Friday, Nov 23, 2012 SECURITY
AGRICULTURE/AGRO-ALLIED Crop Production FTN COCOA PROCESSORS PLC NT OKOMU OIL PALM PLC. 34.00 PRESCO PLC 14.50 Fishing/Hunting/Trapping ELLAH LAKES PLC. NT Livestock/Animal Specialties LIVESTOCK FEEDS PLC. 1.38 CONGLOMERATES Diversified Industries A.G. LEVENTIS NIGERIA PLC. 1.29 CHELLARAMS PLC. NT JOHN HOLT PLC. NT S C O A NIG. PLC. NT U A C N PLC. 41.60 CONSTRUCTION/REAL ESTATE Building Construction ARBICO PLC. NT CAPPA & D’ALBERTO PLC. NT Building Structure/Completion/Other COSTAIN (W A) PLC. NT G CAPPA PLC NT Non--Building/Heavy Construction JULIUS BERGER NIG. PLC. 31.50 ROADS NIG PLC. NT Real Estate Development PINNACLE POINT GROUP PLC NT UACN PROPERTY DEV 10.59 Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) SKYE SHELTER FUND PLC NT UNION HOMES REAL ESTATE INV NT CONSUMER GOODS Automobiles/Auto Parts DN TYRE & RUBBER PLC 0.50 Beverages--Brewers/Distillers CHAMPION BREW. PLC. NT GOLDEN GUINEA BREW. PLC. NT GUINNESS NIG PLC 230.00 INTERNATIONAL BREWERIES PLC. 13.60 JOS INT. BREWERIES PLC. NT NIGERIAN BREW. PLC. 138.06 PREMIER BREWERIES PLC NT Beverages--Non-Alcoholic 7-UP BOTTLING COMP. PLC. 40.00 Food Products BIG TREAT PLC NT DANGOTE FLOUR MILLS PLC 8.00 DANGOTE SUGAR REFINERY PLC 5.75 FLOUR MILLS NIG. PLC. 66.50 HONEYWELL FLOUR MILL PLC 1.98 MULTI-TREX INTEGRATED FOODS PLC NT N NIG. FLOUR MILLS PLC. 19.39 NATIONAL SALT CO. NIG. PLC 6.20 P S MANDRIDES & CO PLC. NT U T C NIG. PLC. 0.67 UNION DICON SALT PLC. NT Food Products--Diversified CADBURY NIGERIA PLC. 27.30 NESTLE NIGERIA PLC. 598.11 Household Durables BETA GLASS CO PLC. NT NIGERIAN ENAMELWARE PLC. NT VITAFOAM NIG PLC. 3.85 VONO PRODUCTS PLC. 2.88 Personal/Household Products P Z CUSSONS NIGERIA PLC. 28.00 UNILEVER NIGERIA PLC. 44.30 Textiles/Apparel UNITED NIG. TEXTILES PLC. NT FINANCIAL SERVICES Banking ACCESS BANK PLC. 9.01 DIAMOND BANK PLC 4.15 ECOBANK TRANSNATIONAL INC. 11.15 FIDELITY BANK PLC 2.14 FIRST BANK OF NIG. PLC 15.08 FIRST CITY MONUMENT BANK PLC. 3.36 GUARANTY TRUST BANK PLC. 19.85 SKYE BANK PLC 3.96 STERLING BANK PLC. 1.55 U B A PLC 4.52 UNION BANK NIG.PLC. 7.30 UNITY BANK PLC 0.52 WEMA BANK PLC. 0.50 ZENITH BANK PLC 17.14 Insurance Carriers, Brokers & Services AFRICAN ALLIANCE INS. COY. PLC NT AIICO INSURANCE PLC. 0.57 CONFIDENCE INSURANCE PLC NT CONSOLIDATED HALLMARK INS. PLC NT CONTINENTAL REINSURANCE PLC 0.79 CORNERSTONE INS. COY. PLC. NT CUSTODIAN AND ALLIED INS. PLC 1.19 EQUITY ASSURANCE PLC. NT GOLDLINK INSURANCE PLC NT GREAT NIGERIAN INSURANCE PLC NT GUINEA INSURANCE PLC. 0.50 INTERCONTINENTAL WAPIC INS. PLC 0.52 INTERNATIONAL ENERGY INS. PLC NT INVESTMENT AND ALLIED ARN. NT LASACO ASSURANCE PLC. 0.50 LAW UNION AND ROCK INS. PLC. NT LINKAGE ASSURANCE PLC 0.50 MANSARD INSURANCE PLC 1.80 MUTUAL BENEFITS ASSURANCE PLC. NT N.E.M INSURANCE CO (NIG) PLC. 0.51 NIGER INSURANCE CO. PLC. NT OASIS INSURANCE PLC NT PRESTIGE ASSURANCE CO. PLC. 0.52 REGENCY ALLIANCE INS. COY PLC NT SOVEREIGN TRUST INSURANCE PLC NT STACO INSURANCE PLC NT STANDARD ALLIANCE INS. PLC. 0.52 UNIC INSURANCE PLC. NT UNITY KAPITAL ASSURANCE PLC NT UNIVERSAL INS. COMPANY PLC NT Micro Finance Banks FORTIS MICROFINANCE BANK PLC NT NPF MICROFINANCE BANK PLC 1.10 Mortgage Carriers, Brokers &Services ABBEY BUILDING SOCIETY PLC NT ASO SAVINGS AND LOANS PLC NT RESORT SAVINGS & LOANS PLC 0.50 UNION HOMES SAVINGS&LOANS PLC NT Other Financial Institutions CRUSADER ( NIG) PLC. NT DEAP CAPITAL MGT & TRUST PLC NT NIG SEW. MACH. MAN. CO. PLC. NT NIGERIA ENERYGY SECTOR FUND NT ROYAL EXCHANGE PLC. 0.50 STANBIC IBTC HOLDINGS PLC 13.03 HEALTHCARE Healthcare Providers EKOCORP PLC. 5.05 Medical Equipment UNION DIAGNOSTIC &CLINICAL PLC 0.50 Medical Supplies MORISON INDUSTRIES PLC. 4.70 Pharmaceuticals EVANS MEDICAL PLC. 1.26 FIDSON HEALTHCARE PLC 1.01 GLAXO SMITHKLINE CONSUMER PLC 37.51 MAY & BAKER NIGERIA PLC. 1.45
NOTE NT=Not Traded on 23-11-12
52 WK HIGH
52 WK LOW
NT 128 050 11 600
0.64 34.01 16.15
0.50 14.53 6.40
2 200 000 000 476 955 000 1 000 000 000
0.10 6.73 2.75
N/A 0.00 0.35
NT 34.00 14.45
60 000 000
1 199 549 736
10 000 NT NT NT 455 056
2.54 7.60 8.82 8.28 42.50
0.74 5.81 5.32 5.52 28.70
2 191 895 983 963 900 300 389 151 408 821 666 666 1 600 720 323
0.08 0.24 0.00 0.35 6.89
0.00 N/A N/A N/A N/A
1.29 NT NT NT 40.00
148 500 000 196 876 000
920 573 765 125 000 000
598 704 NT
1 200 000 000 20 000 000
NT 65 217
1 375 000 000
20 000 000 250 019 781
4 772 528 415
NT NT 1 275 390 65 483 NT 822 289 NT
4.63 0.68 265.00 12.83 3.20 138.85 0.97
2.23 0.68 186.00 5.23 1.61 72.50 0.93
900 000 000 272 160 000 1 474 925 519 2 112 914 681 562 000 000 7 562 562 340 126 000 000
0.00 0.03 9.46 0.25 0.00 5.08 0.00
N/A N/A -8.68 N/A N/A 1.89 N/A
NT NT 251.85 13.30 NT 135.50 NT
640 590 362
NT 544 047 1 602 735 167 269 1 340 886 NT 30 000 93 628 NT 1 000 NT
0.50 19.90 16.20 95.00 6.60 2.70 43.96 6.70 5.66 0.88 4.22
0.50 4.15 3.64 52.50 1.91 1.00 20.41 3.86 5.66 0.50 4.22
2 000 000 000 5 000 000 000 12 000 000 000 1 879 210 666 7 930 197 658 3 722 493 620 178 200 000
0.00 0.00 0.91 3.79 0.51 0.00 2.50 1.07 0.08 1.13 0.00
N/A 2.43 5.50 5.52 -9.59 N/A N/A -4.17 N/A 0.00 N/A
NT 7.81 5.45 63.02 2.19 NT 20.41 6.47 NT 0.67 NT
40 000 000 1 233 375 004 360 000 000
489 707 29 080
3 129 188 160 792 656 250
NT NT 361 110 20 000
15.58 42.66 6.75 3.67
10.03 34.39 3.01 2.66
63 360 000 819 000 000 300 000 001
3.90 1.61 0.54 0.00
N/A N/A 4.05 N/A
NT NT 3.70 NT
57 135 1 908 625
3 176 381 636 3 783 296 250
843 284 027
15 077 666 7 551 165 800 080 12 058 690 16 944 327 3 735 300 9 644 558 4 191 662 9 475 040 14 603 777 426 433 9 774 570 1 408 106 6 305 134
11.10 9.27 17.05 3.20 17.01 8.30 20.30 10.17 2.91 5.21 10.07 1.92 1.75 18.20
4.76 2.01 9.97 1.14 8.50 3.04 11.64 2.73 0.97 1.64 1.96 0.50 0.50 11.70
17 888 251 479 14 475 243 105 9 873 614 567 28 974 797 023 32 632 084 358 16 271 192 202 29 146 482 209 13 219 334 676 12 563 091 545 32 334 693 693 13 509 726 273 33 675 576 085 12 821 249 880 31 396 493 790
1.42 0.90 2.81 0.43 3.03 0.60 2.10 0.71 0.54 0.67 0.00 0.00 0.00 2.09
5.26 2.47 1.27 -1.83 -0.46 3.38 -0.25 -2.22 0.65 -5.83 -4.82 0.00 0.00 -4.51
8.56 4.05 11.01 2.18 15.15 3.25 19.90 4.05 1.54 4.80 7.67 0.58 0.50 17.95
NT 1 424 512 NT NT 48 785 NT 2 274 000 NT NT NT 72 700 50 598 NT NT 20 000 NT 1 541 134 435 501 NT 1 874 789 NT NT 166 589 NT NT NT 166 589 NT NT NT
0.50 1.01 0.64 0.50 1.20 0.50 3.51 0.50 0.69 0.50 0.50 0.80 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.61 0.50 1.93 0.50 0.66 1.11 0.50 2.35 0.50 0.52 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50
0.50 0.50 0.61 0.50 0.61 0.50 1.31 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.95 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50 0.50
20 585 000 000 7 809 391 256 211 626 000 6 000 000 000 10 372 624 157 8 820 010 363 5 100 846 808 8 847 298 420 4 549 947 000 3 827 485 380 720 000 000 5 061 804 000 6 420 427 449 28 000 000 000 7 323 313 227 3 437 330 500 4 083 713 569 10 000 000 000 7 998 705 336 5 332 830 881 5 649 693 923 5 003 506 791 2 508 315 436 6 668 750 000 5 203 757 266 6 141 087 609 8 493 173 450 2 581 733 505 13 000 000 000 16 000 000 000
0.00 0.05 0.00 0.05 0.14 0.02 0.28 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.02 0.00 0.00 0.03 0.16 0.01 0.37 0.02 0.04 0.06 0.04 0.09 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.02 0.00
N/A 0.00 N/A N/A 0.00 0.00 0.00 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 0.00 N/A N/A N/A 0.00 -3.74 N/A 2.00 N/A N/A 4.00 N/A 0.00 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
NT 0.58 NT NT 0.80 NT 1.17 NT NT NT NT 0.54 NT NT 0.50 NT 0.50 1.87 NT 0.50 NT NT 0.50 NT 0.50 0.50 NT NT NT NT
NT 3 000
NT NT 15 000 000 NT
1.51 0.50 0.50 0.99
1.33 0.50 0.50 0.50
0.01 0.07 4 200 000 000 8 679 148 676 13 175 732 404 7 812 500 000
0.03 0.02 0.00 0.00
NT NT N/A N/A N/A N/A
NT NT 0.50 NT
NT NT NT NT 10 660 267
0.61 2.02 0.15 552.20 0.66 11.38
0.50 2.02 0.15 555.20 0.50 6.40
3 778 005 975 1 333 333 333 5 880 000 2 500 000 3 608 657 661 18 750 000 000
0.00 0.00 0.00 12.65 0.00 0.87
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A #VALUE!
0.50 NT NT NT 0.50 NT
498 600 908
3 553 138 528
152 178 750
221 877 260 700 11 122 224 690
1.45 3.20 39.00 5.61
0.50 0.76 19.30 1.62
486 473 856 1 500 000 000 956 701 192 980 000 000
0.00 0.44 2.62 0.20
-4.55 -5.61 -8.18 -0.68
1.32 1.07 40.85 1.46
NEIMETH INT PHARM PLC NT NIGERIA-GERMAN CHEMICALS PLC. NT PHARMA-DEKO PLC. NT ICT Computer Based Systems COURTEVILLE BUSINESS SLN PLC 0.50 Computers and Peripherals OMATEK VENTURES PLC NT Electronic Communications Services MTECH COMMUNICATIONS PLC NT IT Services NCR (NIGERIA) PLC. 14.40 TRIPPLE GEE AND COMPANY PLC. NT Processing Systems CHAMS PLC 0.50 E-TRANZACT INTERNATIONAL PLC NT Telecommunications Carriers STARCOMMS PLC NT Telecommunications Services IHS NIGERIA PLC PREF SHARES NT IHS PLC NT MTI PLC NT INDUSTRIAL GOODS Building Materials AFRICAN PAINTS (NIGERIA) PLC. NT ASHAKA CEM PLC 18.80 BERGER PAINTS PLC 8.41 CAP PLC 28.35 CEMENT CO. OF NORTH.NIG. PLC 5.10 DANGOTE CEMENT PLC 121.05 DN MEYER PLC. NT FIRST ALUMINIUM NIGERIA PLC NT IPWA PLC 0.52 LAFARGE WAPCO PLC. 58.10 PAINTS & COATINGS MANFACT.PLC NT PORTLAND PAINTS & PRDT NIG. PLC NT PREMIER PAINTS PLC. NT Electronic and Electrical Products AUSTIN LAZ & COMPANY PLC NT CUTIX PLC. 1.52 NIGERIAN WIRE AND CABLE PLC. NT NIGERIAN WIRE IND. PLC NT Packaging/Containers ABPLAST PRODUCTS PLC. NT AVON CROWNCAPS & CONTAINERS NT BETA GLASS CO PLC. NT GREIF NIGERIA PLC NT NIG. BAGS MANFACT. COY PLC 2.31 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. 5.69 Metals ALUMACO PLC NT ALUMINIUM EXTRUSION IND. PLC. NT Non-Metallic Mineral Mining MULTIVERSE PLC 0.50 Paper/Forest Products HALLMARK PAPER PRODUCTS PLC. NT THOMAS WYATT NIG. PLC. NT OIL AND GAS Energy Equipment and Services JAPAUL OIL & MARITIME SER. PLC 0.55 Integrated Oil and Gas Services OANDO PLC 11.34 Petroleum &Petroleum Products Distributors AFROIL PLC NT BECO PETROLEUM PRODUCT PLC 0.50 CONOIL PLC 16.96 ETERNA PLC. 1.52 FORTE OIL PLC. 8.84 MOBIL OIL NIG PLC. 115.00 MRS OIL NIGERIA PLC. 27.70 TOTAL NIGERIA PLC. 118.75 SERVICES Advertising AFROMEDIA PLC NT Apparel Retailers LENNARDS (NIG) PLC. NT Automobile/Auto Part Retailers R T BRISCOE PLC. 1.42 Courier/Freight/Delivery RED STAR EXPRESS PLC 2.82 TRANS-NATIONWIDE EXPRESS PLC. 2.92 Employment Solutions C & I LEASING PLC. 0.50 Hospitality TANTALIZERS PLC NT Hotels/Lodging CAPITAL HOTEL PLC NT IKEJA HOTEL PLC 0.98 TOURIST COMPANY OF NIGERIA PLC. NT TRANSNATIONAL CORP. OF NIG.PLC 0.97 Media/Entertainment DAAR COMMUNICATIONS PLC 0.50 Printing/Publishing ACADEMY PRESS PLC. 2.43 LEARN AFRICA PLC 1.90 STUDIO PRESS (NIG) PLC. 2.65 UNIVERSITY PRESS PLC. 4.19 Road Transportation ABC TRANSPORT PLCPLC NT Specialty INTERLINKED TECHNOLOGIES PLC NT SECURE ELECTRONIC TECH.PLC NT Transport-Related Services AIRLINE SERVICES AND LOGISTICS PLC 2.50 NIG. AVIATION HANDLING COY PLC 5.71 ASeM CONSTRUCTION/REAL ESTATE Property Management SMART PRODUCTS NIGERIA PLC NT CONSUMER GOODS Food Products MCNICHOLS PLC 0.97 Personal/Household Products ROKANA INDUSTRIES PLC. 0.60 HEALTHCARE Pharmaceuticals AFRIK PHARMACEUTICALS PLC. NT INDUSTRIAL GOODS Electronic and Electrical Products NT ADSWITCH PLC. 1.63 NATURAL RESOURCES Metals W.A. ALUM. PRODUCTS PLC. NT OIL AND GAS Petroleum & Petroleum Products Distributors ANINO INTERNATIONAL PLC. NT CAPITAL OIL PLC 0.50 RAK UNITY PET. COMP. PLC. NT UNION VENTURES & PET. PLC NT SERVICES Apparel Retailers UDEOFSON GARMENT FACT. NIG PLC NT Food/Drug Retailers and Wholesalers NT JULI PLC. 2.76 ETF’s Sector ETF NEWGOLD EXCHANGE TRADED FUND 2 638.00
52 WK HIGH
52 WK LOW
NT NT NT
1.96 12.91 4.28
0.76 8.59 3.50
1 925 717 268 153 786 012 100 000 000
0.09 0.00 0.00
#VALUE! N/A N/A
0.98 NT NT
2 960 000 000
2 941 789 472
4 966 666 668
109 105 NT
108 000 000 492 825 600
1 000 NT
4 620 600 000 4 200 000 000
6 878 478 096
NT NT NT
2.25 3.50 0.50
0.00 2.46 0.50
4 400 000 000 4 893 594 400
0.00 0.00 0.00
N/A N/A N/A
NT NT NT
NT 3 678 369 2 514 21 119 7 035 83 147 NT NT 10 000 459 431 NT NT NT
3.32 30.00 12.57 43.98 15.49 132.51 3.51 0.75 0.99 56.50 3.36 5.28 13.40
2.86 9.10 7.27 14.50 4.20 95.00 0.93 0.50 0.91 37.00 0.52 2.27 10.93
260 000 000 2 239 453 125 217 367 585 560 000 000 1 241 548 285 15 494 019 668 242 908 200 2 109 928 275 513 696 000 3 001 600 004 792 914 256 400 000 000 75 000 000
0.00 2.14 1.09 2.28 1.47 8.33 0.00 0.00 0.00 4.10 0.26 0.23 0.00
N/A -0.48 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 N/A N/A N/A 0.26 N/A N/A N/A
NT 18.89 8.41 28.35 5.10 121.05 NT NT NT 57.95 1.89 3.83 NT
NT 211 460 NT NT
2.00 2.50 0.73 2.58
2.00 1.33 0.50 2.58
510 396 608 2 220 000 000 15 000 000
0.03 0.11 0.00 0.00
N/A 0.00 N/A N/A
NT 1.52 NT NT
NT NT NT NT 8 158 823 NT NT
3.98 6.91 12.71 15.03 3.60 1.86 0.63
3.98 2.19 9.53 13.28 1.60 1.05 0.63
42 640 000 6 215 000 000 240 000 000 199 066 550
0.00 0.05 0.05 0.90 0.24 0.22 0.00
N/A 16.67 N/A N/A
NT NT NT NT 1.98 NT NT
265 409 280 2 918 000
25 000 000 683 974 528
393 120 000
75 600 000 100 000 000
2 064 000
4 058 989 226
50 000 000 220 000 000
2 144 661
6 262 701 716
2 262 711 568
NT 11 087 120 36 303 334 000 25 551 47 591 9 010 24 727
20.71 0.70 41.89 5.59 28.69 163.50 72.00 240.00
20.71 0.50 19.61 2.12 9.12 111.51 32.29 125.00
125 487 475 3 716 976 579 693 952 117 1 249 162 828 1 080 280 628 300 496 051 253 988 672 339 521 837
0.00 0.00 0.47 0.61 0.00 6.11 3.62 14.63
N/A N/A 0.00 -12.64 -4.95 0.00 N/A -5.00
NT 0.50 16.96 1.74 9.30 115.00 29.15 125.00
4 035 497 307
980 294 400
20 000 60 000
589 496 310 198 819 763
865 808 912
3 211 627 907
NT 275 735 NT 4 089 150
8.00 2.59 4.76 1.82
3.00 1.16 4.31 0.50
1 548 780 000 2 078 796 396 1 772 884 297 25 813 998 283
0.18 0.92 0.00 0.22
N/A -1.01 N/A -1.02
NT 0.99 NT 0.98
8 000 000 000
1 000 40 000 23 360 101 900
3.68 8.00 2.92 6.82
1.64 1.94 2.78 3.09
403 200 000 771 450 000 425 641 111
0.14 0.29 0.01 0.50
N/A N/A N/A 0.72
NT 2.00 NT 4.16
1 507 000 000
236 699 511 5 631 539 736
169 080 162 375
634 000 000 1 230 468 750
45 000 000
201 885 335
30 000 000
24 898 850
125 005 250
6 650 000
NT 20 000 NT NT
0.21 0.50 0.31 0.63
0.21 0.50 0.31 0.63
24 200 000 5 857 500 000 15 000 000 98 600 000
0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
N/A N/A N/A N/A
NT 0.50 NT NT
NT NT 16 000
20 000 000
194 700 000
NT NT 2.76
Monday, November 26, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Monday, November 26, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Law & Justice firstname.lastname@example.org
‘Appearance can, at times, be deceptive leaving a yawning gulf between the seemingly evident, appearance and the hidden and masked reality” JUSTICE CHUKWUDIFU OPUTA, RETIRED JUSTICE, SUPREME COURT OF NIGERIA
EFCC should prosecute judges for unjust enrichment, says Ajibola 44
Senate President, Mark
20 years after Ashipa’s death, justice eludes family 46
Christians take ‘beliefs’ fight to European Court of Human Rights 45
Speaker House of Reps, Tambuwal
Constitution review: Derivation, immunity clause top lawyers’ demands Some Nigerian lawyers have listed the fundamental provisions in the 1999 Constitution that required amendments, in the country’s search for a new grundnorm, reports KAYODE KETEFE, Assistant Head, Judiciary Desk.
Constitution of a nation is a hallowed creed and a sacred canon that contains not only provisions defining the organisation of governmental powers; it also features some fundamental objectives and directive principles which the nation treasures. It equally often highlights the citizens’ rights, duties and responsibilities. The 1999 Constitution was grudgingly reviewed last year when minimal amendments incorporating political reforms and recognition of National Industrial Court as a superior court of record were implemented. But numerous stakeholders agreed that the little reformatory measure is insignificant against the background of much more fundamental questions that beg for urgent attention. On November 15, 2012 the Senate began a two-day public hearing on the amendment of the constitution in each of the six geo-political zones. The journey to the present reform efforts was initiated on Wednesday, May 9, 2012, when the Senate published an advertisement calling for
memoranda on constitutional amendment from interested members of the public. The advertisement stipulated 50 days for submission from the date of publication. The present process is a consolidation of that primary reformatory measure. The 17- areas identified by the Senate for deliberations by the stakeholders are : :Devolution of Powers, Creation of more States, Recognition of the six Geopolitical Zones in the Constitution, Role for Traditional Rulers, Local Government, Taking out the following from the Constitution: (a).Land use Act (b). NYSC Act (c). Code of Conduct; Fiscal Federalism; Amendment of Provisions relating to the Amendment of the
THE FIRST THING IS TO INCREASE THE DERIVATION PRINCIPLE AND PERCENTAGE FROM
13 TO 50
Constitution; State Creation and Boundary Adjustment to remove ambiguities, Immunity Clause, Nigeria Police, Judiciary, Executive, Rotation of Executive Offices among Senatorial Districts of a State, Gender and Special group, Mayoral Status for the Federal Capital Territory Administration, Residency and Indigene Provisions, any other matter that will promote good governance and will improve the Nigerian State, but which requires amendment to the provisions of the 1999 Constitution” National Mirror sought the opinion of some senior lawyers on the areas of 1999 Constitution that required amendments. Their responses were as diverse as their opinions. In his view, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN) , said “The first thing is to increase the derivation principle and percentage from 13, which it is now, to 50 which it was when we agreed as various societies and nations to come together. That is what we agreed on and that is what you would find in the 1960 Constitution, we must go back to that. What is happening now is an imposition by a few who feel too lazy to work for their own existence and want to live on the resources of others. “The result of that is that these states CONTINUED ON PAGE 42
Law & Justice
Monday, November 26, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
‘Most of the states are not viable, they are too weak to be autonomous’ CONTINUED FROM PAGE 41 that want to live on other states resources have become unproductive and there is no development in those states because what they want is free handouts from other people’s resources”. “They have lost the work ethics; they have lost the productive drive and all they care about is free resources they have not worked for. “This laziness is destroying this country as it is turning us into unproductive society while other countries that do not even have oil and gas are doing very well. Singapore and South Korea, for instance, do not have oil and they are developing almost to the level of first world countries. Another SAN, Chief Gani Adetola-Kazeem, wants the political restructuring of Nigeria. He said “Although there are variants of federalism across the world, you cannot pick one as the model as the brand practiced by each federation is a reflection of its history and evolution, but having said that, given the position we are now, the truth is that we are not practising serious federalism. What we have is akin to unitary government and this derives from our military past. “In the First Republic, we had three regions which later became four; each was autonomous and was able to function. Revenues were largely shared on the basis of derivation. These regional governments made contributions to the centre. That is federalism par excellence. Right now, we have 36 states, all what these states are concerned about are just sharing of revenue, which is largely money derived from oil. Most of the states are not viable without the federal allocations they collect monthly. “That is not federalism. A state that has no means of generating income cannot form a unit of the federal system. Right now, most of the states are even too weak to be autonomous. We have structural imbalance in our federal system. I would suggest that the constitution be amended so that all the number of states that exist now should be collapsed into just six regions or the maximum of eight regions”. Another lawyer, Chief Ladi Williams (SAN) proposed, among other things, constitutional reforms that would impact positively on the Judiciary. He said, “There are three arms of government. My suggestions will cover proposed reforms in all the three arms. Let us start with the Judiciary. At present, the workload on the justices of the Supreme Court is too heavy. They hear appeals from the Shariah Court of Appeal, High Courts, Federal High Court, all the way to the Supreme Court. I will suggest the following: that the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court be limited to hearing of cases that pertains to constitutional law, appeals on death penalty and disputes between states or between states an and the Federal Government. All commercial cases should terminate at the Court of Appeal, ditto for determination of land cases and also for crimes which do not attract death penalty. This will shorten the time it takes the Supreme Court to hear hundreds of appeal cases pending before it. As for the Legislature, I will suggest that both houses should operate on part-time basis, and the minimum days each legislator should attend the proceedings should be stipulated, the amount of salaries and emoluments would be entitled to, should reflect the state of the economy and the general standards in the Nigerian society.” A Lagos-based lawyer and human rights activist, Mr. Bamidele Aturu, said he would like the constitution to be amended so as to incorporate serious provisions to discourage corrupt practices. “We must specifically insert copious provisions on war against corruption in the constitution, not like we have at present under section 15 (5) of the constitution which provides that “The State shall abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power.” No! That one is a joke! We must simply amend every area we can use to tackle corruption. This will entail the provisions on the Executive, the Legislature and the
I WOULD LIKE TO SEE THE IMMUNITY CLAUSE COMPLETELY REMOVED, IT IS A PROVISION
WHICH HAS BEEN ABUSED MANY TIMES Judiciary. For example, at present, the onus of proof in a criminal charge is on prosecutor, but we may insert a provision that where a man or woman has been found with huge resources that cannot be defended just on the fact of it, that man or woman has the onus to prove how he or she has come about the money. We should shift the onus and make corruption a strict liability offence and this must be put in the Constitution.” The Executive Director of a non-governmental organisation, Women Advocate Research and Documentation Centre, Ms. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi said, “The 1999 Constitution is not gender-friendly; there are many provisions in it that are against women’s interest. Take for instance, issue of citizenship, the 1999 Constitution, under section 26 (b) makes no provision
for the process by which non-Nigerian men married to Nigerian women may become Nigerian citizens, whereas it provides the right of citizenship for the Nigerian men to confer citizenship on their foreign spouse. This is, obviously, discriminatory. Take another issue, the language of the constitution for instance. The word “he” is used about 235 times in the Constitution in contexts where no interests of women are addressed. The only two places where the word “She” was used are employed derogatively. Thus, the language of the constitution itself is not genderfriendly. Modern constitution doesn’t show this kind of bias. We are proposing that the constitution should be amended to cleanse it of all these bias against women”. A United Nations Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons and a lecturer at the University of Nigeria, Dr. Joy Ngozi Ezeilo, advocated the removal of the immunity clause from the country’s constitution. She said, “I would like to see the immunity clause completely removed, it is a provision which has been abused many times and it is defeating the reason why it was inserted. The law should not be used as an engine to promote impunity, maladministration and corruption. That is why I advocate for its removal.”
Detained undergraduate files N10m suit against IG, two others FRANCIS FAMOROTI
Political Science undergraduate of the Nnamdi Azikwe University, Awka, Emeka Nnagbo has dragged the Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar, before an Ikeja High Court for an alleged wrongful arrest and detention at the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) unit in Lagos. In a N10million suit filed on his behalf by his lawyer, Mr. Omobolaji Adejumo, the applicant is claiming that his arrest, torture, continued detention by the agents of Nigeria Police and the refusal to release him on bail was unlawful, unconstitutional and a breach of his fundamental rights. Named as co-respondents to the suit are; the Inspector General of Police, the state Commissioner of Police, the Police Officer in charge of SARS, and the Investigating Police Officer, (IPO) Ogbonna Okoro of SARS, state Police Command. The suit was accompanied by a 20-point affidavit in support of motion on notice deposed to by one Surajudeen Ahmed Mustapha, who described himself as a brother-in-law to the detained applicant. Specifically, the deponent said he got to know of the fact of Nnagbo’s detention at SARS through a newspaper publication in Daily Sun edition of September 30, 2012.
Mustapha stated that when he visited SARS, the IPO coerced him to make a statement incriminating the detainee as an armed robber. He said since then, the IPO had allegedly demanded gratification of about N1.5 million from the family of the detainee before he could be charged to court and released on bail. Mustapha averred that the series of conversation which the IPO had with the detainee’s sister, Nkechi Ajie , on phone in Igbo language relating to the demand for gratification made between October 23 and November 5, 2012 had been translated into English language. Besides, he said the transcript and compact disc had also been packaged and would be tendered in court at the hearing of the fundamental rights enforcement suit. The deponent said the IPO was not interested in any investigation of the matter, but only wanted to enrich himself on the misfortune of others. Mustapha said Nnagbo was being held under inhuman conditions, he was being subjected to physical, mental and physiological torture and had been denied access to his counsel and family. He averred that it would be in the interest of justice to allow the detainee to enforce his constitutional rights to liberty, dignity and freedom of movement. The suit is yet to be assigned to a judge, neither has a date been fixed for the hearing of the suit.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Monday, November 26, 2012
Law & Justice
Monday, November 26, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
EFCC should prosecute judges for Adesegun Ajibola (SAN) is the son of the former Attorney-General of the Federation, Prince Bola Ajibola (SAN). The young Ajibola, who is a partner in the law firm of Bola Ajibola and co, was appointed into the inner Bar in 2011. In this interview with WALE IGBINTADE, he speaks on the allegation made by the Economic and Financial Crimes (EFCC) against some judges and the new Lagos State Judiciary 2012 civil procedure rules, which mandate parties to explore Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms. Excerpts: I think the idea of Alternative Dispute Resolution process has been in the offing for quite sometimes even long before the 2004 High Court rules incorporated it into its agenda. A number of private businesses now insert arbitration clauses in their agreements and opt out of the general process which takes them to court for donkey years at the end of which there might not really be favourable adjudication because of the congestion and all the red tapes and bureaucracy that comes with the problems that the judiciary has. Again, because of the need to fast track commercial transactions and settle disputes quickly people find arbitration in particular as an alternate means of settling disputes. All over the civilised world and the United Nation itself has adopted that protocol over the years and there is permanent arbitration in The Hague. I think against the background of that we have the advent of arbitration process being incorporated into our rules of court here. Essentially, my understanding is that it is to decongest the volume of cases that has besieged the judiciary. Arbitration is less cumbersome and takes far less longer than it normally takes in litigation which is adversarial in our system here. I welcome the idea and I think the development posed in the 2004 rules in the new rule is that it has now given our Judges discretion to determine which of the cases qualify for ADR over and above the choice or desires of the parties. Before now, it was that the consent of the parties be taken after the recommendation for arbitration and if they go there and they are not satisfied with the outcome, they still have the opportunity of moving on into litigation again with the same dispute. I believe now that the innovation in the new rules is that it goes beyond desires of the parties, there is a compulsory aspect of that idea which compels the parties to go arbitration whether they like it or not and accept the outcome of that process as a final determiner of their dispute.
What is your take on the claim by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) that it has discovered large deposits of money in bank accounts of some judges? Well, everybody as we know in our principle of justice in this country is presumed innocent until proven guilty. I read that report in the papers too but as far as I am concerned, it remains an allegation and it remains to be proven and established and I am not aware of any Judge or retired Judge as the case may be, who have been arrested, who has been arraigned and brought before the court of law to establish his guilt since that report was made up till now. It does not help the judiciary nor does it help the course of the EFCC to make such pronouncement. If they do and then leave it at that, it is bad because it is a very dangerous allegation, it goes to the root of the confidence that people must have in the judiciary. If the reputation and the image of the judiciary are tarnished by a report of an agency of that level of responsibility then you can imagine what we have on our hands. I would have liked that as a follow up to that announcement, certain steps are taken. As I said earlier it is dangerous to say so and leave it at that and then everybody have the views that the judiciary is corrupt and that a number of Judges have been found wanting and that they may be in any part of the country but we don’t know who they are and we don’t even know what is being done about it. It gives room for undue and dangerous speculations and it can do a lot of damage to our system more than we can ever imagine.
NO PROVISION IN OUR CONSTITUTION SAYS THAT PARTIES MUST GO TO
What do you expect EFCC to do next? If they have made an allegation and they have evidence to back up what they have alleged and they are alive with their responsibility, the next step to take is to go ahead with the process to bring whoever these people are to book. Nobody in this country is above the law. We are in this country when the Inspector General of Police was removed from office and arrested and dragged on the floor and was charged to court for corrupt offences. We are in this country where “big bankers” have been arrested, charged and some of them are still undergoing prosecution as we speak. There is nobody in any area of our endeavour in this country or position that is really above the law. If you have a problem of such a nature then you must deal with it otherwise, don’t come out and tell us that certain people have done certain things if you don’t wish to carry it beyond that statement because the potential damage this can cause to the reputation of the judiciary is better imagined than realised. How to you see the 2012 Lagos State Civil Procedure Rules which mandate parties in a dispute to explore the Alternative Dispute Resolution option as a way of decongesting the courts’ docket?
Do you think compelling parties to resolve dispute through arbitration is proper? That is where I quarrel a bit with that process because before now, arbitration was a matter of choice, it was a matter of option which the parties themselves agree to go to voluntarily. Now when you make it a compulsive process, you are now bringing it closer to the litigation kind of process where once you sue a party, whether he likes to go to court or not, he is compelled by law to attend to that matter. If he doesn’t, he will suffer the consequences of a loser and my fear is that we will take the same attitude in litigation eventually to the ADR and then we will now suffer the same problems that we are trying to avoid and run from. I think the issue of access to court is a constitutional matter. Section 6(6) of the constitution deals with that right to access the courts and I don’t think in anyway, any rule or any lesser legislation can impede the constitutional right of a party to go to court and have his or her matter dealt with. It is a constitutional right. I have a feeling that as we go along, there will be a challenge to that provision in our new rule whether the court has the constitutional powers to compel parties to embrace a process other than that which the constitution allows him to. There is no arbitration process in the constitution. No provision in our constitution says that parties must go to ADR, it does not debar it either but there is room for choice as to what process you wants to adopt as a disputant. But, where a party feels aggrieved that he desires to go to court of law and deal with his matter and he is being obstructed from doing so by a provision of the rule which say no, he must go to ADR. I think that will present a challenge that must be resolved. I have a feeling from what I have heard from a number of col-
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Monday, November 26, 2012
unjust enrichment, says Ajibola those requirements I have mentioned.
leagues of mine that it won’t be long before we start seeing such challenges. People are litigious in nature, we dispute a lot and litigation has become almost like a way of life for a number of our people and they see it as cumbersome as it is, as time involving as it is, they still accept it as an effective way of dealing with matters. Because of the nature of ADR which is not adversarial as litigation people feel it doesn’t possess the force or the element of compulsion which it need to has as litigation will be. If you threaten someone now for example, I will sue you to court; there is always better response to that threat than telling someone, I will take him to ADR if he refused to pay your money within a week. The efficacy of that process is in doubt as a process for people who want to effectively deal with their matters. Would you support the creation of state police? I am not too sure that state police is necessarily the answer to the security challenges facing the country. A police force is only as good as its efficiency. We are talking about the efficiency here that is the essence of having a police force not necessarily whether it is state- owned or federal -owned. There is no reason why the police as it is should not be made efficient. There is no reason why the welfare of the police should not be taken care of. There is no reason why they should not be properly equipped and trained. There is no reason why they should not be able to deal effectively with the insecurity in our country. There is no reason why they should not be strengthened. We have an existing structure, the time and money it cost to have state police is much. We are talking about state police as if it is like taking an egg from a chicken and putting it in a pan and fry it. I don’t think it is so. Look at the number of years which we have had a police force in place and the development which has taken place over the years. For you to have a police force in place, it require equipment, it require training, it require a lot of infrastructure, barracks, all kinds of things you can imagine to put it together, to make it a fighting force and a police force learns from its own experience, in dealing with one problem, if similar problem arises in the future, it takes through their past experience and deal with it and move on because there are various kinds of crimes committed at different times in all over the country and all over the world and the ability of the police to deal with it depends on the existence of all
Are you suggesting that the States are not financially viable to operate police force? How much do the states have in their treasuries, I know of some states that are yet to pay September or even August salaries not to talk of the bonuses or the allowances which come with the employment of civil servants. I know a number of contractors who are in penury now because they have not been paid their dues from state government all over the country including the federal. Now where is the money going to come from? Where is a State going to find the resources, the time, the industry and the funding to set up an effective police force in their states? A number of them are going out now and raising bonds and borrowing money left, right and centre to provide basic amenities. A number of these states are not viable, are you going to create a police force out of a State which is not viable? We would only end up creating a force which is also not viable and what is the basis for that? I think we should start by trying to improve upon what we have on ground and then set a standard by which perhaps any state which is interested in doing so can do so. If we look across the board, almost all the states in this country have security funds committee all over where they raise funds, spend a lot of money buying equipment for the police in their state because they realised that the provisions made by the Federal Government for the police in their states is inadequate for them to carry out their constitutional responsibilities. There is already a degree of funding which is coming from the state level to enhance their operations. But that is only complementing what they already have on ground, what the Federal Government is doing. When you now talk about a state police in isolation of the federal government’s involvement and you are looking at a situation where the federal government will concede its infrastructure in those states to those states and then let them build on that or are you saying the federal government should run its own police at its own level and the state government should also have a parallel police force at that level as well? I am not against the principle of it but what I don’t understand is the framework within which it will be done. That is more confusing for me than ever before because we talk about it more in abstract, we have discussed the principle of state police in isolation of what it takes to put one in place. It is not enough for us to have state police in place or any other form of policing in any part of the country, what is essential is its efficiency, how do we make them efficient when they have been set up. It is going to be run by these same Nigerians, we wouldn’t go and bring aliens to come and run our force for us. If what the state government is thinking is to give a supplementary support to the existing structure of police in this country and then to control that aspect of it perhaps that may be a way of looking at it, if you now call it state police, so be it. We have Vigilante all over the country now which is funded by local government, they are complementary and they supplement the inefficiency of the police and their inadequacies, a number of which bad governance has foisted upon them. We blame the police all the time for many things but we don’t realise that they cannot do it alone, it requires the support of the government and the people to be an effective police force. Do you wish to comment on the security situation in the country? Yes, the security situation in some parts of the country
THE SECURITY SITUATION IN SOME PARTS OF THE COUNTRY IS TRACEABLE TO BAD GOVERNANCE AND MISMANAGEMENT OF OUR ECONOMY
is traceable to bad governance, it is traceable to mismanagement of our economy, it is traceable to unemployment, and it is traceable to economy factors. A man who has a vocation, wakes up in the morning and goes to his job and works from morning till evening, he does not have enough strength to go and sit down somewhere and start planning evil. A preponderance of us don’t have that strength to do so. We want to go to our family and rest and wake up on time tomorrow again to continue another day’s job. The idle mind, they say, is the playing ground for the devil. When you have so many able bodied men doing nothing, roaming about aimlessly, without employment and even when they find this employment, their income is inadequate to sustain their livelihood or basic human requirements, you turn them into animals, they almost become beasts and they vent that aggression on anything they can find. What is your view on the way the issue of the suspended President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami is being handled? I think a lot is missing in addressing the problem head on and I think perhaps there is a need for all that are directly concerned about the matter, the Federal Government, the NJC, Justice Salami himself and anybody who is directly concerned or interested in the matter to sit down in one room perhaps and address the issue once and for all. But, it looks like it is going to be a long- drawn costly enterprise and if we are not careful it may establish a precedent in this country that is dangerous for the judiciary itself. So I am worried for one that that tendency is there, if it is not resolved finally one way or the other. If the Federal Government for example decides now that okay, there seems to be some discordant views as to which way to go resolving it, may be in their position at the federal level are the statutory provisions of the law which gives the NJC a position in the matter then there is a need for everybody to sit down and decide once and for all what they will do. It is the first time, to my own knowledge that we are having such a problem in our hands and it is important for us to get it right now so that such a thing does not repeat itself in the future and we don’t have a precedence of this which may be bad example for other things that may come in the future. I think rather than each party taking different position, and not been able to come to one position, there is a need for reconciliation of all those views in one forum and then take a decision together on that point.
Law & Justice
Monday, November 26, 2012
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20 years after Ashipa’s death, justice eludes family FOR MORE THAN
Exactly 20 years ago, the Ashipa of Oyo, Chief Amuda Olorunkosebi was murdered by unknown persons in the ancient Oyo town. Despite the series of investigation conducted by the police, their findings did not yield any clues towards the prosecution of the suspected killers. FRANCIS FAMOROTI, Ag. Head, Judiciary writes.
TWO YEARS AFTER THE MURDER, THE BEREAVED FAMILY OF THE LATE
REFUSED TO BURY THE DECEASED’S CORPSE
AND DEMANDED THAT JUSTICE MUST BE DONE
ccording to the accounts of the mystical origin of the Oyo Empire, the Oyomesi are seven principal councillors of the empire. They constituted the electoral council and possessed legislative powers, similar to today’s United States Congress. The Bashorun, Agbaakin, Samu, Alapini, Laguna, Akiniku and Ashipa are the seven members of this council. They represented the voice of the people and had the chief responsibility of protecting the interests of the empire. The Alaafin was required to take counsel with them whenever any important matter affecting the kingdom occurs. When Chief Amuda Olorunkosebi was alive, he was the Ashipa of Oyo and hence he was a member of Oyomesi in Oyo. He hailed from the Olorunkosebi family of Isale Oyo quarters, Oyo and lived at Aafin Ashipa in Isale Oyo Quarters. Apart from being a traditional chief, he was a farmer and a businessman. Olorunkosebi was reputed to have been popular than his predecessor, Chief Bello Oyekola. Olorunkosebi was a very uncompromising personality and never hid his feelings on any issue as one of the advisers to the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi 111. It is a notorious fact that he was engaged in a bitter feud with the Alaafin and the conflict between them was widely known to all and sundry. As a member of the Oyo cabinet, the late Ashipa was influential and highly respected by the people of the town. Olorunkosebi, as the name implies, literally means ‘’God does no evil’’. Unfortunately, however, some unidentified persons plotted his death. When the late Ashipa woke up in the early hours of November 26, 1992, he had no premonition that the day would be his last on earth. After observing the early morning routine, he headed straight to the farm. But he was waylaid on a lonely path to the farm by some assassins who snuffed life out of him in a callous manner. Believing that the Ashipa might not easily give up the ghost, his assailants did not use gun or cutlass on him. Rather, they allegedly overpowered him, twisted his neck, poured acid in his mouth and forced the liquid down his throat. Indeed, he was murdered in cold blood on the day.
Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Adeyemi
FAMOUS CASES The assassins ensured that he was dead before they vanished from the scene. Immediately after he was murdered and the news of his death filtered into the town, Oyo indigenes and residents gathered in groups to discuss the incident. The people from various nooks and crannies of the country also condemned the heinous crime and the style adopted by the killers in perpetrating the dastardly act. The family and relations of the late Ashipa cried foul and the Oyo kingdom was thus thrown into mourning. The relations of the deceased Ashipa also allegedly indicted the Alaafin over the incident even as some indigenes of the town regarded the accusation against the monarch as an abomination and baseless. The Oyo State Police Command eventually conducted its investigation, made some arrests, and passed their findings to the office of the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice. For more than two years after the murder, the bereaved family of the late Ashipa refused to bury the deceased’s corpse and demanded that justice must be done. The Olorunkosebi family, including the deceased’s children, claimed that their father was killed in a controver-
sial circumstance over a conflict arising from the control of Ago Oja community in the town. But after several months of investigation, the police later arraigned some suspects before the court. Due to the various interlocutory applications arising from the lower court, the matter reached the Supreme Court in Suit No. SC/88/2000. While the matter was before the apex court, relations of the late Ashipa took advantage of the existence of the Justice Chukwudifu Oputa-led Human Rights Violation Investigation Commission (HRVIC) set up by the Federal Government at the time and filed a petition before the panel. The petition No 186 was filed by Alfa Bello Olorunkosebi, Mr. L.A Ayankojo, Alhaji Rashidi Salami and the family of late Ashipa of Oyo, Amuda Olorunkosebi. In the petition, the petitioners also criticised the then state Attorney General, Alhaji Yusuf Akande, for what they called ‘’undue perversion of justice’’ in that they alleged that he deliberately refused to charge the prime suspects in the murder. The petitioners asked the Oputa panel to recommend a full investigation of the case, the prosecution of those involved, and put a stop to threats to the life of Rashidi Salami. But the counsel who represented the AG, Oyo state informed the panel that the case itself was pending before the apex court. The hearing of the petition was initially adjourned by the commission pending the determination of the matter in the Supreme Court. But when it was revisited, the commission noted that the matter before the apex court was materially different from the subject-matter of the complaints lodged with the panel. The Oputa panel, at its Lagos sitting,
accordingly, held that it had the power to hear the matter and it differed the hearing till its second sitting in Abuja. At the resumed hearing of the matter in Abuja on July 10, 2001, the Alaafin of Oyo, through his lawyers, served a writ of summons process from the Federal High Court in Ibadan on the commission, urging the court to restrain the Oputa panel from hearing the matter. He anchored the application on the constitutional provisions and powers vested in the Attorney General of the state in criminal matters and also the provisions relating to fair hearing. However, after the arguments were heard the second time, the commission decided to adjourn the matter sine die (indefinitely) pending the determination of the suit filed by the Alaafin of Oyo. When the Supreme Court subsequently delivered its verdict, the Oyo monarch was given a clean bill as the apex court declared in its pronouncement that Ashipa’s murder could not be linked to the Alafin person and office. By so doing, the apex court established the Alaafin’s innocence. Obviously, it would be unreasonable and unwarranted to link anybody, particularly a first class traditional ruler in the country, with a crime in the absence of any credible nexus connecting him or his office to a criminal act. Like other cases of unresolved murders in the country, the police, till date, could not produce any suspect as the actual killers of the late Ashipa. Regrettably too, the investigation done by the police did not also lead to any clues capable of making the state to prosecute any suspected murderer(s) for the heinous crime. Certainly, the late Ashipa is no more. However, one of his sons, Alhaji Ganiyu Ajiboye, appeared to have stepped into his shoes. Rightly or wrongly, he is said to be parading himself as the Baale of Ago Oja. The matter relating to this claim is still pending at an Oyo State High Court and it is yet to be judicially determined. As the entire Olorunkosebi family gathers today to remember the late Ashipa and re-echoes their demand for justice, the question will always remain: ‘’who killed Ashipa Amuda Olorunkosebi? ‘’
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A Chief F.R.A Williams. When F.R.A arrived with his juniors, the court was already sitting. As he moved, I was feeling his steps in my chest. I developed the fear of meeting a lawyer of that stature and candour. At that time, I should be about two years at the Bar, now I am about 23 years in practice. I served one of F.R.A‘s juniors, I think T.E Williams, he passed the processes to Chief F.R.A. After a while, the court asked Chief Williams ‘’which one is your matter on the cause list? ‘’ My blood pressure rose again. When I moved my motion, F.R.A said, “I am not opposing, I was relieved because the court granted my application. My colleagues at the chambers told me that I had done my first solo case well, meeting a SAN. I felt elated for winning the case. For me, my first case was a combination of fear and excitement.’’
lawyer boarded an airplane in New Orleans with a box of frozen crabs and asked a blonde stewardess to take care of them for him. She took the box and promised to put it in the crew’s refrigerator. He advised her that he was holding her personally responsible for them staying frozen, mentioning in a very haughty manner that he was a lawyer, and proceed-
IT IS NECESSARY TO INCORPORATE
Continued from last week
Case for sport business legislation
My blood pressure rose– SuleimanAwoniran
hen I was in Gani Fawehinmi chambers, I was assigned a case file against Chief F.R.A Williams. I remember it was a case involving the estate of late Obuseh who was, killed some years ago. Justice Roseline Omotosho was the presiding judge at the Ikeja High Court in the case, so, I did not sleep overnight. I consulted with some senior in the chambers like Marcel Okoh, now a judge in Delta State judiciary. They guided me. The following day, I got to court early enough to file the processes for a motion for extension of time in the matter. By 8.30 am, I had finished filing the processes which were put in the court’s file with the assistance of the Registrar and I was waiting to serve
Law & Justice
Monday, November 26, 2012
ed to rant at her about what would happen if she let them thaw out. Needless to say, she was annoyed by his behavior. Shortly before landing in New York, she used the intercom to announce to the entire cabin, “Would the lawyer who gave me the crabs in New Orleans, please raise your hand.” Not one hand went up . . . . so she took them home and ate them.
ccordingly, government cannot continue to fund sport as it is, without National Assembly superstructure. It was therefore appropriate that a previous Minister of Finance stated that the government will review its funding of sport. However Nigerian law does not categorically provide most rights and duties that should be available to stakeholders. These rights are crucial to organisations, real investors and the future of a sport industry. Existing general rights are uncertain as to their scope or applicability. This vacuum causes distortions in policy and practice by participants and stakeholders. Indeed, the National Sport Policy (2004) recommended a statute for sport.. It is necessary to incorporate norms of sport law into Nigerian law to govern public and private regulation of sport. A regime for private investment and regulation of sport to be called a Sport Promotion and Protection of Investment Act is therefore justifiable. Roles of the Presidency, and Ministries Being the largest single stakeholder, government must look for an institutional agent to unlock the keys preventing successful private sector investment. Regrettably, no law worthy of commendation may emerge from within the Federal Ministry of Sport or its current parastatals.
NORMS OF SPORT LAW INTO
NIGERIAN LAW TO GOVERN PUBLIC AND PRIVATE
REGULATION OF SPORT Apart from negative insider interest, the Federal Ministry of Sport is institutionally lethargic and also institutionally incompetent enough to understand the nuances of business environment. Affected by frequent ministerial changes, it has witnessed about ten ministers in about 13 years, becoming a political slaughter house for politicians. It is therefore proposed the Presidency and Ministries of Finance and Commerce and Industry should lead the government team to aid or force sport to grow as a business industry by ensuring that the Federal Government provides or sponsors legislation that comprehensively promotes and protect investment in sport. Yet former Minister, Mr. Bio, an MBA holder and the present Minister, Bolaji Abdullahi seem to have the desirable passion to assist in facilitating the execution for the Presidency, without the hindrances of a backward ministry. Because there is a growing
contest for dwindling government public funds, vast sums expended by government has yielded little results in Nigeria’s peculiar and complicated development agendas. Claims and accusations in the press by various persons of incompetence, abuse of right, corruption, against public officers embarrasses government. A radical order twinned with a clear and sustained private sector promotion and protection legal regime is needed to reinvent and reinvigorate the role sport plays in present and future Nigeria. Simply put, if the government wants to reap valuable athletic and economic benefits associated with sport, it must grow it with an appropriate legal regime dealing with appropriate fundamental principles, property rights, guarantees, investor protection, institutional support, identifiable stakeholders and athletes’ and community obligations, amongst others. A comprehensively well drawn law that addresses the needs of needs of investors, sundry small and medium scale entrepreneurs and industrialists will benefits athletes and their programs. Even if in the unlikely event Nigeria does not win hefty number medals in the next Olympiad, it will surely win its war against unemployment, public and private sector corruption, abuse of sport, and loss of patriotism. Concluded Dr. Olatawura, a senior partner in Goldmann Lagos Transnational Lawyers writes from Abuja.
Event Alimosho Lawyers’ Forum (ALF) held a press conference to announce its forthcoming Law Summit in Lagos.
We’re deciding case on merits
aking his seat in his chambers, the judge faced the opposing lawyers. “So,” he said, “I have been presented, by both of you, with a bribe.” Both lawyers squirmed uncomfortably. “You, attorney Leon, gave me $15,000. And
you, attorney Campos, gave me $10,000.” The judge reached into his pocket and pulled out a check. He handed it to Leon. “Now then, I’m returning $5,000, and we’re going to decide this case solely on its merits!” Culled from Bar Jokes.Com
L-R: The Auditor of Alimosho Lawyers’ Forum (ALF), Mrs. Modupeola Ojei, the chairman, Mrs. ‘Derin Kappo; and the former first Vice-Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja Branch, Mr. YInka Farounbi at the briefing in Lagos.
Monday, November 26, 2012
FOR YOUR SUCCESS
WITH DR. DEJI FOLUTILE
Today's Tonic (50) “Success follows doing what you want to do. There is no other way to be successful.” –Malcolm Forbes *** MY NOTE: Passion is the secret of secrets in making it in life. It is a tragedy to go through life without discovering what you were born to do. I am told that when you do what you love to do, money will come to you. This is true in my experience. How long are we going to live that we keep postponing moving into the visions of God for us? The secret of provision is in your vision. TEL 08104942999 E-MAIL email@example.com Follow me @TwitterOWOTIDE
Christmas tree shipment dumped in Austrian garden
n early seasonal delivery went badly wrong in Austria when a truck was involved in a crash and dumped 14 tons of Christmas trees in a resident’s garden. Police in Vorarlberg state, at Austria’s wester n tip, say the accident happened Friday night as a truck with a trailer loaded with trees drove
through the town of Hohenems. The trailer hit a wall, tipped over and landed in the garden of a house. A police statement Saturday said that the fire service dispatched 30 people to recover the hundreds of fir trees. A passenger in the truck was injured and taken to a local hospital.
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Ice-cream lady gets life jail for double murder
n ice-cream parlour owner dubbed the “ice lady” for the calculated way in which she killed her ex-husband and lover was sentenced to life in a secure mental institution on Thursday. Estibaliz Carranza, 34, had confessed to shooting the two men at close range in the back of the head, cutting up their bodies with a chainsaw, freezing them in a deep freeze and later interring them in concrete under the cellar of her store. Judge Susanne Lehr told a Vienna court her confession and her state of “considerable psychological damage” were mitigating factors, but her careful planning and her behaviour after the murders counted against her. Carranza, wearing the same grey dress she had worn throughout the fourday trial and donning a pair of glasses, did not react to the unanimous jury verdict and
nodded to confirm she had understood the sentence. HercelebritylawyerRudolf Mayer - who also defended Austria’s most notorious living criminal, Josef Fritzl, who used his daughter as a sex slave - immediately said he would appeal to have the verdict overturned. The photogenic MexicanSpanish immigrant, whose
case has attracted extensive interest from Austrian media, shot dead her German ex-husband Holger Holz with a .22-calibre Beretta pistol in 2008 as he sat as his computer. Carranza said he had completely changed after their wedding, turning verbally abusive, lazy and joining a Hare Krishna sect. She complained that he had
refused to move out when she had a new lover, even after their divorce. The new lover, ice-cream machine salesman Manfred Hinterberger, suffered the same fate two years later, receiving four shots in the back of the head as he lay in bed snoring after she had tried to start a discussion about his infidelity.
Carranza sitting in a courtroom on the last day of her trial in Vienna
Monday, November 26, 2012
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112 killed in Bangladeshi factory blaze
“It is time for a huge effort on the Middle East peace process”
- UK FOREIGN SECRETARY, WILLIAM HAGUEE
DR Congo rebels given deadline to exit Goma
South Africa: Police kill seven suspected robbers
regional summit in Uganda has given the armed group until Monday to withdraw from Goma and other eastern areas. Bishop Jean-Marie Runiga Lugerero, political leader of the M23 armed group in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has said that a pullout from the eastern city of Goma could not be a precondition for talks with the government. RunigaLugerero’s comments come after a decision by a regional summit yesterday that said the group had until Monday to withdraw from territories in the eastern DRC. Speaking to the AFP news agency yesterday, Lugerer said: “withdrawal from Goma should not be a prerequisite for talks but rather should come as the result of talks”. Meanwhile, Congolese officials began talks yesterday with representatives of M23 , according to Ugandan officials. Ugandan Defence Minister Crispus Kiyonga said that he is mediating discussions to help both sides reach a settlement that would end a violent rebellion that has sucked in Uganda and Rwanda, which both face charges of backing the rebels. M23 President Jean-Marie Runiga is leading the rebels in the talks, according to Rene Abandi, M23’s head of external relations. Abandi, who is now based in the Ugandan capital Kampala, said M23 representatives met with Congolese President Joseph Kabila in a tense, two-hour meeting that was also attended by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni. “He tried to accuse us and we also tried to accuse him,” Abandi said of the meeting with Kabila on Saturday. “It was a meeting to have a common understanding of the principle of negotiation. (Kabila) said he’s ready to negotiate directly with us.”
Protesters running from the riot police during clashes at Tahrir square in Cairo, yesterday. Photo: Reuters
Intense protest in Egypt after Mursi power grab PAUL ARHEWE
WITH AGENCY REPORTS
gypt’s stock market plunged yesterday in its first day open since Islamist President Mohamed Mursi’s seizure of new powers set off street violence and a political crisis, unravelling efforts to restore stability after last year’s revolution. More than 500 people have been injured in protests since Friday, when Egyptians awoke to news Mursi had issued a decree temporarily widening his powers and shielding his decisions from judicial review. Mursi and the judiciary hinted at compromise to avert a full-scale political crisis. The Supreme Judicial Council said Mursi’s decree should apply only to “sovereign matters”. Although it did not specify what that meant, its statement, read on television, suggested it did not reject
his decree outright. It called on judges and prosecutors who have called for a strike to return to work. Mursi’s office repeated assurances that the measures would be temporary, and said he wanted dialogue with political groups. “This declaration is deemed necessary in order to hold accountable those responsible for corruption as well as other crimes during the previous regime and the transitional period,” the presidency said in a statement. Justice minister Ahmed Mekky, who has said he has some reservations over Mursi’s decree, launched an effort to mediate between Mursi and judges. Sunday’s stock market fall of nearly 10 percent - halted only by automatic curbs - was the worst since the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak in February, 2011.
Images of protesters clashing with riot police and tear gas wafting through Cairo’s Tahrir Square were an unsettling reminder of that uprising. Activists were camped in the square for a third day, blocking traffic with makeshift barricades. Nearby, riot police and protesters clashed intermittently. Mursi’s supporters and opponents plan big demonstrations on Tuesday that could be a trigger for more street violence. “We are back to square one, politically, socially,” said Mohamed Radwan of Pharos Securities, an Egyptian brokerage firm. Mursi’s late Thursday decree marks an effort to consolidate his influence after he successfully sidelined Mubarak-era generals in August. It reflects his suspicions of a judiciary little reformed since the Mubarak era.
Over 350 African migrants intercepted off Italy
The March 23 Movement consists largely of defected Congolese soldiers and ethnic Tutsi. Photo: Getty Images
talian coastguards said they had intercepted and picked up 358 African migrants attempting to reach Italy in two overcrowded vessels. Two hundred and thirtyfive of the migrants from subSaharan Africa were travel-
ling in a rickety wooden boat and the other 123 were spotted on a rubber dinghy, said the coastguards. A coastguard spokesman, who was unable to give any information on where the vessels departed from, said the migrants were all in decent
health and were being transported to reception centres. Italy has borne the brunt of clandestine seaborne migration to southern Europe that has ebbed and flowed for several years. Migrants say they are attracted by the prospect of a better life in Europe.
Police in South Africa say they shot dead seven suspected robbers and wounded nine others in a botched theft at an armoured car company. Capt. Paul Ramaloko of the South African Police Service said Sunday that officers got a tip that the thieves wanted to rob a Protea Coin depot in Robertville, a suburb west of Johannesburg. A gunfight began Saturday night as officers tried to arrest the suspects. Ramaloko says no officers were injured in the shooting. He said they recovered firearms from the suspected robbers at the depot. Violent crime remains common in South Africa, as unemployment remains high and options few for the nation’s poor. Mass police shootings often occur as officers confront heavily armed criminal gangs.
Mauritanian president returns home after shooting The president of Mauritania Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz has returned home for the first time since being wounded by one of his own soldiers last month. President Abdelaziz was shot in the arm by a Mauritanian army soldier in what the government said was an accident. He had been in France for the last six weeks receiving treatment. Thousands of people gathered at the airport to greet the president on his return to the capital Nouakchott. Large crowds also lined the route between the airport and the presidential palace. Reporters present said the 55-year-old leader appeared to be in good health, and waved to crowds from his car, though he gave no statement. The soldier responsible for shooting the president told Mauritanian television last month that he had fired on a car that appeared suspicious while guarding a military base outside Nouakchott, failing to realise that one of the occupants was the president. President Abdelaziz seized power in a coup in 2008, in a country with a long history of coups. He won a presidential election two years later and is seen by Western governments as a bulwark against Islamists in the region.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Monday, November 26, 2012
Hezbollah threatens to hit Tel Aviv in future war
ebanon’s Hezbollah group would fire thousands of rockets into Israel in any future war and target cities in the country’s heartland, the group’s leader said yesterday. Sheik Hassan Nasrallah’s warning came days after an eight-day Israeli
offensive against Gaza ended with a truce. Nasrallah said Gaza militants had won “a clear victory” against Israel with their rocket bombardment. Hezbollah, like Hamas and other Gaza militant factions, maintains a rocket arsenal and regularly threatens to use it. It fought an inconclusive 34-day war with the Jewish state in 2006 that left 1,200 Lebanese and 160 Israelis dead.
China lands jet on first aircraft carrier
C A firefighter inspecting the garment factory after the fire outbreak in Savar, Dhaka, yesterday. Photo: AP
112 killed in Bangladeshi factory blaze
t least 112 people were killed in a fire that raced through a multi-story garment factory just outside of Bangladesh’s capital, an official said Sunday. The blaze broke out at the seven-story factory operated by Tazreen Fashions late Saturday. By Sunday morning, firefighters had recovered 100 bodies, fire department Operations Director Maj. Mohammad Mahbub told The Associated Press. He said another 12 people who had suffered injuries after jumping from the building to escape the fire later died at hospitals. The death toll could rise as the search
for victims was continuing, he said. Local media reported that up to 124 people were killed in the fire. The cause of the blaze was not immediately clear, and authorities have ordered an investigation. Bangladesh has some 4,000 garment factories, many without proper safety measures. The country annually earns about $20 billion from exports of garment products, mainly to the United States and Europe. Relatives of the factory workers were frantically looking for their loved ones. Sabina Yasmine said she
saw the body of her daughter-in-law, who died in the fire, but had no trace of her son, who also worked at the factory. “Oh, Allah, where’s my soul? Where’s my son?” wailed Yasmine, who works at another factory in the area. “I want the factory owner to be hanged. For him, many have died, many have gone.” Mahbub said firefighters recovered 69 bodies from the second floor of the factory alone. He said most of the victims had been trapped inside the factory, located just outside of Dhaka, with no emergency exits leading outside the building.
hina has successfully landed a fighter jet on its first aircraft carrier, which entered service two months ago, the country’s official news agency confirmed. Xinhua News Agency said the landing exercise on the Liaoning carrier marked the debut of the J-15 fighter jet, a fighterbomber developed by China from Russia’s Sukhoi Su-33. “We must enhance our independent weapons and equipment research and production capacity to match the country’s clout, and independently build our own aircraft carriers” “The successful landing... has always been seen as a symbol of the operating combat capability for an aircraft carrier,” Zhang Junshe, a vice director at the military’s Naval Affairs Research Institute, told state television yesterday. “This is a landmark event for China’s aircraft carrier... and [moves it] one step closer to combat readiness.”
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Monday, November 26, 2012
Kogi PDP passes vote of confidence on Gov Wada ADEMU IDAKWO LOKOJA
he Kogi State executives of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday passed a vote of confidence on the Governor Idris Wada administration. Speaking at the same stakeholders’ meeting, party Chairman, Hassan Salau, commended the governor for his transformation agenda for the state.
He noted that although the administration is confronted by an avalanche of court cases and lean fiscal allocation, the governor has been unrelenting in providing focused and purposeful leadership. Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Kogi State Elders Forum of the PDP, General Salihu Ibrahim (rtd), has dissociated himself from the activities of certain persons parading
themselves as members of the group and reiterated his support and that of the forum for the administration of Governor Idris Wada. The elder statesman made this known at a PDP stakeholders meeting in Lokoja yesterday. Ibrahim, who was speaking against the backdrop of reports ostensibly placed by the some self-styled elders of the forum led by former PDP state Chair-
man, John Odawn and the former Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, Clarence Olafemi, criticising the Wada administration; Ibrahim disowned the statement credited to the group and asserted that it does not represent the position of the elders forum. He said the so-called publications do not reflect the views of the forum and that there was never a meeting of the forum where the is-
sues of the reports were addressed. “The elders forum, which I have the privilege of leading today never went to the press or issued any press release against the governor. “That publication is not the view of the fo-
Police arrest 13 over Nasarawa crisis IGBAWASE UKUMBA LAFIA
L-R: General Manager, Bauchi State Development Board, Mr. Jibrin Garba; Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Transport, Alhaji Shehu Wadaji; Commissioner for Special Duties, Alhaji Bappah Azare and Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Projects, Dr. Amin Zaki, during the visit of the commissioner to the new site of the School of Agriculture in Kangere, Bauchi Local Government Area, at the weekend. PHOTO: NAN
Gazette laws passed since 1999, group urges Assembly ADEMU IDAKWO LOKOJA
Non-Governmental Organisation, NGO, Advocacy for Change, yesterday called on the newly constituted leadership of the Kogi State House of Assembly to commence the process of coding and gazetting all bills passed into law by the Assembly since 1999, to serve as a reference point for the people. The group’s Chairman, Comrade Adex Ozi Shaibu, who expressed confidence in the new leadership headed by Hon. Jimoh Lawal, said this process will promote good governance and the rule of law in the state as everybody will have access to the law of the land. Shaibu also commended the maturity exhibited by the members of the house that led to the amicable resolution of the leadership crisis that engulfed the house recently.
The human rights activist, who lamented the poor condition of road leading to the assembly and the lack of infrastructure in the assembly complex, appealed to the Kogi State government to embark on immediate rehabilitation of the complex.
hief executives of Departments and Agencies in Katsina State are to enjoy furniture allowance that is 35 per cent of their annual salary. Speaking to journalists over the weekend on the issue, the state Finance Commissioner, Moh’d Jari, said the allowance would be renewable every four years. Jari said the development was part of efforts
he Nasarawa State Police Command yesterday said it has arrested one Benjamin Jato, suspected to be the gang leader of the group that unleashed terror on Koro people at Agyaragu town, in Jekwe Development Area of the state. State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Abayomi Akeremale, confirmed this to journalists in Lafia, the state capital, adding that 12 other suspected members of the gang had equally been arrested by the police. According to him, “Jato was arrested following a tip-off on his hide-out, adding that one AK47 riffle with 28 rounds of ammunition and charms were found on him.”
He said all the suspects had been detained at the state Criminal Investigation Department (CID), while efforts were on to fish out other perpetrators of the dastardly act as investigation into the rationale behind the killing of the innocent souls by these undesirable elements is on top gear. The police commissioner assured the people that anybody found to have sponsored or masterminded the massacre, no matter how highly placed, would face the full wrath of the law. Akeremale, however, promised that; “The police will do everything humanly possible to see that law-abiding citizens go about their lawful businesses without fear or molestation.”
Group holds workshop on STDs IGBAWASE UKUMBA LAFIA
he Speaker of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Hon. Musa Ahmed Mohamed, has sponsored a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Rhabi Women’s Health Center and Moth-
Katsina govt officials to get furniture allowance JAMES DANJUMA
rum. Normally, for any important statement to be made by the forum, the executive ought to have discussed and endorsed it. But, no such thing happened. So, we dissociate ourselves from that publication. It is not the views of the elders forum.”
to address the disparity in salaries of some senior government officials in the state. He added that the decision was taken at the last state executive council meeting and that the payment of the new allowance is to commence this year. He added that those to benefit include five managing directors, nine general managers and 14 executive directors serving under the state civil service.
erless Home, to organise a four-day awareness workshop and campaign programme on the dangers of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs). The workshop was held at the weekend in Nasarawa, the headquarters of Nasarawa Local Government Area of the state. Speaking to journalists
at the event, the Managing Director of the center, Rabi Chizoba Sani Santos, said her center organised the programme in the state to create awareness about certain sexually transmitted infections and diseases such as gonorrhea, syphilis and HIV/ AIDS that are still prevalent in the country and
District head, businessman killed in Maiduguri INUSA NDAHI MAIDUGURI
he District Head of Gudumbali, Zanna Mulima and a businessman in Bama, Alhaji Dala Bama, have been shot and killed by gunmen in Maiduguri and Bama local government areas of Borno State. Zanna, the district head of Gudumbali, met his untimely death when he came to Maiduguri over the weekend to attend to his personal needs when gunmen trailed him and shot him. This is coming barely
three weeks after some yetto-be identified gunmen shot and killed the district head of Guzamala, the father of a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Alhaji Kangar. The late Bama, one of the notable millionaires in Bama and Maiduguri, the state capital, was killed in Bama council area about 6:30pm on Saturday. When contacted on phone, the Police Commissioner, Mr. Yuguda Abdullahi, said he was not in Maiduguri in the last five days and could not give details on the incidents.
that are having devastating effects on the health and social well-being of women and children. Santos said many well to do Nigerians are not charitable-minded when it comes to the issue of organising free medical treatment for indigent people. She, however, expressed surprise when the Speaker approached the center to organise such a campaign to educate people of his constituency on the effect of these deadly diseases. Her words: “The centre is not only organising workshop and campaign to educate people, but it also carries out free oral care on children of primary school age and presents free learning equipment to them during such programmes.”
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Monday, November 26, 2012
Community Mirror Certain terrorists have also been allowed to escape just because the collateral damage was considered unacceptable CHIEF OF ARMY STAFF; LT-GEN. AZUBUIKE IHEJIRIKA
he Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Umar Manko has said the police will continue to enforce restrictions on the movement of commercial motorcycles within confines of the law and regards for human rights. Manko, who disclosed that a Deputy Commissioner of Police has been mandated to co-ordinate the enforcement, noted that the Command would invoke appropriate sections of the law to deal with any police personnel involved in act of incivility in the cause of the enforcement. Speaking with Community Mirror, Manko observed that with commencement of the enforcement of the new Lagos Traffic Laws and restriction of commercial motorcyclists from 470 roads in the metropolis, robbery, especially of commercial banks has reduced.
Okada ban has reduced crime in Lagos –CP
“Before now, no day passes without encountering an Okada rider who is a robber, either trying to rob in the traffic or using motorcycle to commit all sorts of crimes. Clearly this restriction has helped reduce crime to the barest minimum.” He added that not too long ago, “an Editor of a national daily went to a bank at Satellite Town and was shot and robbed by some persons on a commercial motorcycle. That shows the extent these people can go. But with this law, the incidences of armed robbery particularly on motorcycles have gone down tremendously.” On alleged high-handedness of policemen trying to enforce
the law, Manko said: “I don’t expect any police personnel to go beyond the brief. Before we started enforcing the law, we held seminars and meetings. We ensured that very senior officers, particularly the Deputy Commissioner in charge of op-
erations, are mandated to ensure that those enforcing the law are adequately equipped and briefed, to minimize mistakes.” He warned that “If any police officer goes contrary to this procedure, the laws are there with appropriate sanctions. I will not
tolerate a situation where the police will go around terrorizing people in the name of law enforcement”. He advised commercial motorcyclists to comply with the restrictions, and seek amendment by making their grievances known to the state House of Assembly, even as he urged the media to avoid misrepresentations and distortion of facts in respect of the law.
...As commercial motorcyclists lament restriction order AROWOSOLA OLUWATOSIN
ince the implementation of the new traffic law in Lagos State, commercial motorcyclists popularly called Okada have been protesting against it. The law meant to reduce accidents within the metropolis restricted Okada riders from plying 475 of 9,100 roads in the state. The motorcyclists complained that the restrictions will further impoverish them; even as they accused the government of insensitivity. They said the protests were the only way to call attention of the Lagos State Government to listen to their complaints. Most of the protests were held at Onipan, Fadeyi, Mushin, Ikeja, Ketu, Ojodu/Berger and other parts of the metropolis. Many of the Okada riders, who spoke, lamented government’s insensitivity, even as they see the measure as punitive. One of the motorcyclists who simply identified himself as Victor said; “I have three children, how will I take care of them without any job. Government should have a rethink on the matter; they should put our plights into consid-
eration.” Another motorcyclist, Mr. Sunday, said the government is treating them like outcasts and foreigners. “I don’t support what some of my colleagues are doing like attacking BRT buses , I know they are angry, we need our job back, even on the streets, the police are still arresting and demanding bribes from us.” A commuter, Mrs. Bimbo Adeleke, said: “Even though the job is dangerous, government should have spared a thought on the after effect of its action. It should have considered that the law is capable of increasing crimes in the metropolis. “If over 3,000 motorcycles have been seized and crushed, that means more than 3,000 people are out of work. The government is saying they would give them employment, but how many will they be able to employ? “Banning Okada will not only bring serious hardship on the public, it would also encourage unemployment in the already parlous labour market.” Despite the protest, government has insisted that it is not willing to review the decision, even as it maintains that most robberies are carried out by those riding commercial motorcycles.
A barrow pusher sleeping after a hectic day’s job at Ketu, Lagos.
PHOTO: OLUFEMI AJASA
NGO partners LG for library project
Non Governmental Organisation, based in United States of America, Hope and Dreams Initiative, has entered into partnership with Ejigbo Local Council Development Area to build a state-of-the-art library. According to the NGO, it is part of efforts to inculcate reading culture among residents, particularly youths of Ejigbo and environs. Speaking at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for building of the library, the chief executive officer, Mrs Nguzo Onovo, stressed that the dying reading culture especially among children would be revived. Commending the council boss for being passionate on the initiatives, she said other educational projects designed by the NGO and
council will be implemented to enhance living standards of the residents through education. “This organisation was basically set up to develop reading culture among children all over the world, and we hope to provide a solid foundation for the actualisation of the objective in Nigeria because Ejigbo is the first council to benefit from the initiatives”, she said. Mrs. Onovo added that her NGO would collaborate with the council to conduct summer reading programme for the children and conduct spelling bee competition among them. The council chairman, Kehinde Bamigbetan, expressed appreciation to Onovo for supporting his administration’s effort to secure a brighter future for children in the local government. Bamigbetan said: “with your decision to partner with our coun-
cil to build a library furnished with books, computers and other educational materials, you have planted a seed which will germinate to benefit the society. For us in Ejigbo LCDA, this is just the beginning, as we will continue to strive to equip our children with necessary educational skills to enable them become useful to themselves and the society at large”. Bamigbetan urged the pupils who participated in the essay competition, to see it as an opportunity to design their future, as he reminded them that renowned writers and authors discovered themselves at tender ages. Also speaking, a seasoned journalist, Mr Qasim Akinreti, congratulated pupils in the council for the project, just as he presented school bags to 18 pupils who participated in the essay competition.
Monday, November 26, 2012
Ezekiel hits brace in Belgium
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
I am assured that we can stage a sports festival that will be spoken about for a long time –Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola
Bamako battle: Eaglets relocate to Abuja M
Asoju Oba: Olayiwola dethrones Ashimiyu
YEMI OLUS ojeed Olayiwola emerged men’s singles champion of the 44th Asoju Oba Table Tennis Championship after defeating then defending champion, Ganiyu Ashimiyu, 4-2 at the final held in Lagos at the weekend. Olayiwola plays for Spring Fresh Table Tennis Club in Lagos State. Union Bank of Nigeria Sports Club player, Fatimo Bello, stood her ground against Funke Hassan to retain the women’s singles title. Top seed, Bello, had earlier sent Ayo Udo packing in the semis with a 4-0 victory while Hassan also defeated Yetunde Thompson by the same margin.
Winners in both categories carted home N30, 000 each and refrigerators while the runnersup and semi-finalists received N20, 000 and N10, 000 respectively along with other gift items. International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) rated umpire, John Peters, stated that the competition was used to test players that would participate in the National Sports Festival which begins in Lagos State tomorrow. “It is good for table tennis in the state and we are assured that the players will do well at the NSF,” Peters said. CAF Confed Cup Final Result AC Leopards 2-1 Djoliba (Leopards win 4-3 aggregate)
Eko 2012: Team Lagos in Games Village, upbeat
eam Lagos’ captain, Babatunde Mohammed, said yesterday that the 18th National Sports Festival (NSF) that opens in the state tomorrow would be cherished Golden Eaglets’ Kelechi Iheanacho (in front), shielding the ball from a Niger Republic opponent in an earlier qualifying match by Nigerians for many years to come. igeria’s U-17 National FIFA Goal Project site in Abuja, ahead of the game in Bamako,” Mohammed expressed hapFootball Team, Golden which has an artificial surface Garba said. piness after the hosts settled “Playing on synthetic surface Eaglets, relocated to in February, where the bulk of in the Games Village at the Abuja yesterday to finalise prepa- the team was selected from over is not a new thing to most of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), rations for a return leg of an Af- 3,000 players who took part in the players and we are confident they Akoka, Yaba. would cope well.” rican championship qualifier in screening exercise. News Agency of Nigeria Meanwhile, president of the Coach Garba said it was imMali. (NAN) reports that Team LaEaglets won the first leg 2-0 in perative to expose the players to NFF, Aminu Maigari, has again gos was the first contingent to Calabar and with confirmation the likely condition in Bamako so hailed the impact of the Governarrive at the Games Village on that the match would hold on a that the hosts would not have an ment and people of Cross River Saturday . synthetic pitch, Coach Manu Gar- undue advantage over the Nige- State towards the success of the The captain, whose team Eaglets’ campaign. ba and his technical crew sought rian youngsters. arrived the Moremi Hall of “The NFF cannot be tired of “Our training in Calabar in the the approval of Nigeria Football the UNILAG at about 5.45 p.m. Federation (NFF) to conclude the last one week has been very good, singing the praises of Governor team’s final Incidentally, the Ea- but we need to familiarise the Liyel Imoke and people of Cross glets had taken off from the NFF/ players with the artificial surface River State,” Maigari stressed.
on Saturday, said the athletes would not disappoint Governor Babatunde Fashola and the people of Lagos. Lagos athletes were conveyed in LAGBUS buses in batches, with the last set arriving at the Games Village about 7.00p.m. “The world should expect the best from Team Lagos because we are ready and prepared. We have been in camp since May. This is our own Olympics and it should be celebrated as such,” Mohammed said. Mohammed, a para-table tennis player, urged his teammates in the various sports to be dedicated by putting in their very best in their events.
overnor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State has released N5.4 million to reward medal winners at the 17th edition of the National Sports Festival (NSF) held in Port Harcourt in 2011. The largesse came as Team Bauchi departed for Lagos yesterday for the 18th NSF, tagged “Eko 2012” which begins tomorrow. Bauchi contingent to the Garden City Games won four gold, seven silver and seven bronze medals. The state is being represented at this year’s festival by
a contingent of 220, comprising technical and administrative officials and athletes, who will participate in 17 sports.
…Yuguda rewards Bauchi medallists
AFCON 2013: Zambia rolls out plan AFOLABI GAMBARI
he Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) has released a programme that will see the Chipolopolo engage Tanzania, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Norway ahead of the country’s defence of the Nations Cup title in South Africa. FAZ Spokesman, Erick Mwanza, told National Mirror yesterday that the Southern African nation would spare no ef-
fort at sustaining its new status at the AFCON 2013 finals. “We will start first with the home which we believe will provide an excellent and unrivalled platform for local players and others to undergo the rigours of African championship training, thereby staking their claims for consideration in the Chipolopolo Nations Cup provisional squad,” Mwanza said. “We have Tanzania on December 23, Morocco on January 8, and Norway on the 12th,” he
added, stressing, “We will also consider Namibia and Saudi Arabia within the period.” According to Mwanza, the match against Morocco will precede the naming of the final 23-man Zambia squad for the AFCON. “By the time we meet Norway, our final squad will be ready for the cup defence,” he submitted. Zambia begins its AFCON 2013 campaign against Ethiopia on January 21 before meeting Nigeria and Burkina Faso.
Monday, November 26, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
EKO 2012: LOC plans ‘memorable opening’ AFOLABI GAMBARI
After celebrating on the pitch, the Super Eagles will also enjoy the ambience of Kruger National Park in their AFCON 2013 base.
Tourism: Kruger Park awaits Eagles in SA AFOLABI GAMBARI
he Super Eagles will experience the richness of Kruger National Park when they camp in Nespruit for the South Africa 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. Kruger Park, one of the foremost tourist attractions of the world, is located at the Limpopo and Mpumalanga province of South Africa and Nespruit, where Nigeria will camp alongside AFCON defending champion Zambia, Burkina and Ethiopia, is the nearest city to the tourist site. National Mirror gathered that the park, which was established in 1926 and has average of 38 degrees centigrade during
summer, covers about 19, 485 square kilometres and has received over 1, 336, 981 visitors, according to a 2004 statistics, in addition to having nine main gates that allow entrance to the different camps. National Mirror gathered that the park was initially created to control hunting and protect the diminished number of animals in the area. After the proclamation of the Kruger National Park in 1926, the first three tourist cars entered the park in 1927, increasing to 180 cars in 1928 and 850 in 1929. The Park has 21 rest camps, as well as two private lodge concessions, and 15 designated private safari lodges. The concessions are parcels of land op-
erated by private companies in partnership with communities, who outsource the operation of private lodges. Table Mountain in Cape Town also provides another tour prospect for the Nigerian team which has sensationally emerged as cup contender due to the availability of top players to Coach Stephen Keshi, although the Afcon 2013 Local Organising Committee has left the city out of the hosting zones. Records have revealed that the mountain is a significant tourist attraction with many visitors using the cableway or hiking to the top, with the main feature being the level plateau approximately three kilometers from side to side, edged by impressive cliffs.
Tennis: Babalola, Abinu clinch Dala titles YEMI OLUS
eigning Central Bank of Nigeria Tennis Championship winner,
Abdulmumuni Babalola, added the Dala Hardcourt Open Tennis Championship title to his kitty at the weekend in Kano when he defeated Lawal Shehu in the men’s final to cart away the N750, 000 prize. Babalola exerted revenge on Shehu who had beaten him during last month’s Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis. The duo had earlier met during the final of the CBN championship in Lagos which Babalola won eventually. Shehu, however, went home with N375, 000. Top women’s player, Fatima Abinu, defeated Blessing Samuel 2-1 to retain the title
she won last year with N375, 000, a shortfall from the N500, 000 she won last year. Samuel, who won the title in 2007, settled for N187, 500 as runner-up. “I had the game within my grasp but I made a lot of errors which eventually cost me the match,” Samuel told National Mirror yesterday. “In all I think it was a good competition considering that I did not feature in a lot of competitions this year,” she submitted. The Dala Open Tennis Championship is the third and final event to be held this year on the Nigeria Tennis Federation calendar.
he Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the 18th National Sports Festival is set to stage what it calls colourful and memorable opening ceremony at the Teslim Balogun Stadium tomorrow. National Mirror gathered that the ceremony will also be a replica of the London 2012 Olympics, even as it will showcase the best of Lagos while competing states will be paraded as the Unity Torch makes entry into the arena. Aside the calisthenics display, the opening ceremony will witness the carnival-like nature of the Lagos State as top musicians in the country will be on display at the event scheduled for 5pm. According to the LOC Secretary General, Dr. Kweku Tan-
doh, the gates will be open from 3pm. “Motorists will be allowed to park their vehicles at the National Stadium for free,” Tandoh said yesterday. “I think the LOC would want Nigerians to participate in the opening ceremony because it is the only way by which they can assess the event,” he added.
Man Utd coaches hail Glo Academy
he two UEFA Grade A coaches from Manchester United, currently in Nigeria, have described the Glo Soccer Academy as a “fantastic programme.” According to one of the coaches, Adam Temple, the academy’s ambience is superb and will boost the players’ morale as well as improve their learning. “It is definitely a good start for the boys of their age and I think the academy is structured to enable the boys grow within the ladder of age-grade football,” Temple said yesterday. Temple’s colleague, Andrew Smith, also said that he looked forward to working with the academy boys in the weeks ahead. “The Glo Soccer Academy structure is not too different from the Manchester United standard,” Smith observed, add-
ing, “At Manchester, the structure allows the boys to grow from 14 to 22, where they will graduate to the major leagues.” Team Manager of the Glo academy and former Nigeria international, Victor Ikpeba, reiterated the academy’s objective to get 16 out of the 33 boys currently in the house to Old Trafford. “We are convinced that the academy will produce quality players who will become Glo ambassadors,” Ikpeba said. The Academy had screened players in Nigeria, Ghana and Benin Republic. The best 16 players will proceed to Manchester United football school as their winning prize. The best player will get N5m while the others will get N1m each, even as all of them will be automatic winners of G-Bam scholarship of N750, 000.
L-R: Tony Baffoe, Andrew Smith, Victor Ikpeba and Adam Temple at the Academy House in Lekki, Lagos yesterday
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Monday, November 26, 2012
uper, Eagles’ striker Osaze Odemwingie failed to repeat his last week’s scoring feat but provided an assist in West Brom’s 4-2 victory at Sunderland on Saturday in the English Premier League. It was his assist which Hungarian striker Zoltan Gera shot into the net from a distance after just 30 minutes that set the Baggies into the victory path. The former Lokomotiv Moscow star was from start but was pulled out in the 70th minute for French striker MarcAntoine. He is yet to add to his five goal tally. He has so far appeared 10 times for the surprise third place team. He had been earlier shown a straight red card in a game. In the lower leagues in England, forgotten Super Eagles striker Sone Aluko was on for 90 minutes but failed to rescue his side Hull City from 1-0 home defeat inflicted by Burnley on Saturday. The former Aberdeen striker has netted a brace last week for promotion-chasing side in their 3-2 away defeat of his former club Birmingham City. Aluko has so far scored eight goals in the Championship as he made his 18th league appearance in the painful Burnley home defeat. His compatriot, Seyi Olofinjana, was also on the starting line but was only good enough for 45 minutes as he was replaced at the start of the second half. The former Wolves midfielder has only played 11 times for the manager Steve Bruce’s side. In France, former Golden Eaglets striker Simon Zenke was in action for bottom-placed AS Nancy who could only manage a point in their 1-1 home draw against Ajaccio on Saturday. The former Strasbourg Academy player was substituted in the start of the second half as he continued his search for his second goal for the relegation-threatened side. Zenke, who returned to France this summer after spending two seasons in France, has so far played eight times for his side. He has also been red-carded once. Still in France, Super Eagles returnee defender, Onyekachi Apam, was dumped on the bench for 90 minutes for Rennes’ shock 1-0 home defeat to Evian. That was the fourth time the former Nice defender would settle for a bench selection since he came back from injury. Apam has so far played two games this season. Returning from injury that saw him miss two games was Super Eagles striker John Utaka, who was in action for defending champions Montpellier who managed to claim a 1-0 win over Bordeaux yesterday. Utaka was introduced in the 73rd minute as he made his ninth league game of the season. He has only netted once so far and gone into referees’ books twice. In Belgium, big Nigerian striker Michael Uchebo failed to add to his lone goal tally and save his side Cercle Brugge from yet another defeat as the bottomplaced side were handed their 12th defeat of the season as a result of 3-1 bashing handed by Kortrijk on Saturday. Uchebo, as usual, was introduced in the 73rd minute.. He has thus far appeared 15 times, staying card-free in the whole outings. Earlier on Friday, young Nigerian striker Imoh Ezekiel was song for Standard Liege, netting a brace and provid-
Ezekiel hits brace in Belgium ...Nsofor, Uche on target
Obinna Nsofor jumping over the opponent’s goalkeeper during their match on Saturday
Euro Leagues – Results England Sunderland
ing an assist in their 3-0 hammering of Lierse. Ezekiel, who is attracting interests from big spenders in Russia and Italy, put his side’s noses in the front after just 21st minute until 68 minutes. He made the game safe for Standard punishing the visitors with the third goal in the 40th minute, seven minutes after he had set
up young Congo-born Belgian strike PaulJose M’Poku for his side’s second and that proved to be enough. Ezekiel had gone five games with scoring but turned out the match winner in the Friday night encounter. His brace shot his tally to seven in the season. He has so far played 13 games in the Jupiler League. He has also been yellow-carded and red-carded once apiece. In Spain, Super Eagles midfield Nosa Igiebor returned to action for Real Betis but was only good enough for just nine minutesin Betis’ famous 1-0 victory over mighty Real Madrid on Saturday. Igiebor had missed their disgraceful 5-1 bashing at Seville penultimate weekend. He has only made six appearances so far for his new team and yet to go into referees’ books. In Russia, forgotten super Eagles striker Victor Nsofor was on target for Lokomotive Moscow in their 3-2 home victory against Kuban Krasnodar on Saturday. The former Inter Milan striker put the icing on the cake for the Moscow side in the 51st minute. He was substituted in the 80 minute and this was his 15th game of the season. That was Nsofor’s second goal this season for Lokomotiv. He’s yet to get a caution nor a red card. Still in Russia, Super Eagles power striker Emmanuel Emenike was surprisingly left on the bench for 90 minutes as his side Spartak Moscow were humbled 5-1 at home by visiting Dinamo Moscow in the Moscow derby. The former Karabukspor star had battled back injuries and only returned to action after missing two league games and a Champions League tie. He’s yet to add to his four goal, return since his brace against
Rostov on September 23. In Ukraine, Benin-born striker Lucky Idahor was on for 90 minutes for Zorya, who fell 2-1 at home to Metalurh Donetsk on Saturday. The former Dynamo Kiev striker has now gone 11 games without scoring. He’s scored twice so far in 16 appearances for his new club. He has so far gone into the referees’ books once. In Turkey, Kalu Uche netted his seventh goal of the season, helping Kasimpasa to a 1-1 draw against Orduspur on Saturday. He was as usual from start but was substituted 71st minute. He put his side in front in the 40th minute but the visitors drew level seven minutes from time to run away with a point. His sixgoal return catapults him fourth spot in the Turkish Super League scorers’ chart. He’s still yet to get a caution. Still in Turkey, former school boy international Promise Isaac was in action for his new side Antayalspor as they returned to base with a point after a 1-1 draw on the road at Bursaspor. Primose was on for 89 minutes. He has scored netted four times in 11 appearances so far for his side. He has also been red carded once and yet to be flashed a yellow. Nduka Ozokwor was on for 90 minutes for Mersin Idmanyurdu in the Turkish Super League but failed to get on the scoresheet in their 2-1 win over Karabukspor on Saturday. The former Nice striker was cautioned in the 65th minute. Ozokwor, who is spending his third season at Mersin, is yet to score in 13 league outings for his side. He has so far been yellow-carded four times.
Vol. 02 No. 499
Monday, November 26, 2012
The earliest surviving vessel is a pine logboat or dugout found in Pesse, Netherlands in and dated to between 7510 and 8040 BC. It is almost 3 m (10 ft) long but only 40 cm (16 in) wide.
The JTF, media and terrorism in Nigeria
n Nigeria’s political history, we have witnessed and are still witnessing instances of burglary, car snatching, armed robbery, 419 activities and kidnapping. None of these criminal acts has elicited massive media and national attention like the current terrorist activities facing the country and none is as pernicious as terrorism. The long term effects, as destructive as they are, involve a dangerous erosion of some moral boundaries. And they equally have the potency of being tool for negotiation or a justifiable source of political or religious conflict. They have the tendency to simplify, justify and explain rather than condemn terrorism in all its ramifications. Hence, the explanation that terrorism in Nigeria is caused by poverty, unemployment, acrimonious political competition occasioned by bad leadership. Whatever are the causes, terrorism is
reprehensible and condemnable. The apparent insecurity in Borno State and other states in the North Eastern part of the country occasioned by the activities of Boko Haram, necessitated the establishment of the Joint Task Force, codenamed JTF Operation Restore Order 1 in June 2011. The mandate of the Joint Task Force is to restore law and order in the North Eastern part of Nigeria and Borno State in particular. In the course of actualizing its mandate, the JTF troops have since inception been operating in the most difficult situation and terrain accentuated by the endemic nature of the operation. Despite the obvious challenges of urban asymmetric warfare, it has succeeded in restoring and maintaining law and order in Borno State. The successes notwithstanding, there are concerted efforts by Boko Haram and their financiers and sympathizers, deploying damaging propaganda, to smear the image of the JTF, so as to discourage or distract it from actualizing its mandate. This is not surprising given the fact that terrorism thrives on publicity and forceful propaganda to attract attention, or to court sympathy, which are necessary tools for political negotiation. It is apparent that publicity is the oxygen of terrorism and that modern terrorism is media terrorism. It makes no sense unless it is conspicuous in
LT COL. MUSA, IS THE SPOKESMAN OF
JOINT TASK FORCE, MAIDUGURI, BORNO STATE that targets are selected for maximum propaganda and publicity value. This is the sense in which to analyse the bombing of United Nations Office in Abuja, the January 2012 coordinated attacks in Kano, Kaduna Easter bombing, the Potiskum Cattle Market incident, the bombing of Abuja ThisDay newspaper office, and recently, the assassination of a respected elder statesman, Major General Mohammed Shuwa, in Maiduguri. Thus, to carry out a particular operation without getting any publicity out of it would be wasteful to a terrorist cause. Terrorist acts are acts intended to create fear or chaos among the people. The spread of public terror, fear and feeling of chaos depends largely on the images and messages being carried by media reports about the terrorist acts and threats. The omnipresence of mass media at global level frequently multiplies these effects out of proportion. This is more so because terrorists have learned how to use information tech-
nologies in order to disseminate their own audiovisual recordings, electronic messages on web sites on the internet to serve their goals. Terrorists employ whatever means possible to sway public’s opinion toward their cause. Recently, the preponderance of criticisms against the JTF operations in Borno State and the desperation to manipulate images and post them on the social media is a calculated attempt to smear the image of the Task Force. Thus, the permanent presence of acts of terrorism in the media in daily life and their global reach, have increased the need for a re-think on media roles in the context of terrorism. Since terrorism thrives on publicity, it follows that the crucial roles of the media in fighting terrorism should start from the media industry and professionals themselves. Thus, there is need for the media to self regulate itself in order not to play into the hands of these terrorists. The media should be able to avoid over sensational reports related to terrorism so as not to offer terrorists a platform of high publicity. The relevant arms of security agencies should periodically organize workshops for media professionals, which are aimed at increasing awareness of the sensitive nature of media report on terrorism and to avoid contributing to the aims of terrorists through their report by adding to the fueling of public fear. The media should understand that refraining from disseminating any picture, image or stories of terrorist acts, which contribute to the terrorizing effect of such acts on the public is a noble act which must to be fulfilled. To be continued Lt Col. Musa, is the spokesman of Joint Task Force, Maiduguri, Borno State
ndy Murray’s coach, Ivan Lendl, has warned that with the world’s top four now likely to be back in action, saying the return of former world number one, Rafael Nadal, will spark off intense rivalry. The Czech-American who led Murray to both the Olym-
Murray gets early warning ahead Aussie Open pic gold and US Open title this year, also emphasized on the difficulty to win back-to-back Grand Slams at the Australian Open, saying the event in Melbourne in January will be “extremely challenging”. “Tennis is a very difficult
sport to win these days with the likes of Djokovic, Federer and Nadal and Andy in that group and it is very difficult to succeed,” Lendl, who was former world number one, said. This year’s Grand Slams
were shared amongst the top four players, signifying how high the level of talent and skill is on the tennis circuit. “Notwithstanding, Andy will compete when the battles begin in the New Year,” Lendl NFF President, Andy MurrayAminu Maigari added.
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*Terror in Kaduna: 11 killed, scores injured in military base bombing --Mark, Tambuwal, govs, Oritsejafor condemn attack *Okonjo-Iwea...