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Presidency, Reps in fresh battle over constituency projects

Tai Solarin’s wife, Sheila, dies at 88


LCCI queries provisions for overhead


Vol. 2 N0. 474


he House of Representatives may be spoiling for a fresh battle with the Executive over its alleged decision not to implement constitu-

Two die, others hospitalised after eating pork

ency projects in the 2012 budget. The spokesman of the House, Hon. Zakari Mohammed, in a statement he CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>


Monday, October 22, 2012


PDP, ACN reject Mimiko’s victory Akeredolu heads for tribunal INEC connived with Labour Party, says Oke bid, trouncing his major rivals in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN. But the PDP and ACN have kicked against the outcome of the election



gainst all odds, Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, won a re-election


NJC dissolves, Edo election petition tribunal








Akure North





Akoko North East





Akoko North West










Ile Oluji/Oke Igbo







9, 435*



Ondo East


8, 404*



Ondo West





Owo Local Govt

17, 967*




Ose Local Govt



5, 833


Akure South















Akoko S. East





Akoko S. West










Ese odo











151, 961




NERC advises electricity consumers to be alert to PHCN N irregularities Nigeria will emerge Africa’s hub seaports, says NPA P.A5,A6




EFCC arrests two couriers with $107m Mimiko


Lawan vs Otedola: AGF angry with police over shoddy work Nation’s insecurity ends soon –CDS

Free ee iinside nsid ns ide id de




2015: Gowon, others may lead plot for northern presidency




Monday, October 22, 2012

National Mirror

PDP, ACN reject Mimiko’s victory CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

held last Saturday. Specifically, the Ondo State chapter of the PDP described the election as fraudulent while accusing the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and security agencies of conniving with Labour.

Ironically, the PDP national leadership conceded victory to Mimiko against the position of its local chapter. Impeccable sources told National Mirror that the leadership of the ACN and its legal team met in Lagos yesterday from midnight till the early hours of this

morning. It was learnt that the party had resolved to file a notice at the tribunal against Mimiko’s victory this week. “You know we have 180 days to fight our case. So, we have started the process of challenging the outcome of the election because we


L-R: INEC National Commissioner, Prof. Abdulkadiri Oniyangi; Chief Returning Officer; Prof Adebiyi Daramola and Resident Electoral Commissioner; Mr. Akin Orebiyi, during the announcement of election result in Akure, yesterday. PHOTO ADEMOLA AKINLABI

Action Congress of Nigeria gubernatorial candidate, Rotimi Akeredolu, addressing journalists after he cast his vote during the election on Saturday. PHOTO: ADEMOLA AKINLABI

have overwhelming evidence that the election was flawed,” the source who is a top member of the ACN told National Mirror last night. Another source also accused the Presidency of providing support for Mimiko that enabled him to win the poll. For Mimiko, it was a time to savour victory. Mimiko polled 260,199 votes to emerge winner in the governorship election. He won in 13 of the 18 local government councils in the state. INEC’s Chief Returning officer, Prof. Adebiyi Daramola, said that the PDP candidate, Chief Olusola Oke, came second with 155,961 votes, while Chief Rotimi Akeredolu of ACN, who polled 143,512 votes came third. Daramola, the ViceChancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, FUTA, gave the total number of registered voters as 1, 639, 500 out of which 645, 597 were accredited. He said the total votes cast was 624,659 while 30, 415 votes were voided and 594, 244 votes were declared valid. “Having satisfied all electoral requirements and having polled the highest number of votes, I hereby declared Governor Olusegun Mimiko as the winner of the election,” Daramola said. Winning 13 out of the 18 local government areas in the state, Mimiko secured about 25 per cent votes from the remaining five local government areas. The governor had the

highest votes from his central senatorial district where he won in all the six local government areas in the zone. In Akure South, Mimiko scored 49,914 votes while he garnered 10,857 votes in Akure North. He secured 31,280 votes in Ondo West; 8,404 in Ondo East; 15, 990 in Idanre and 11,062 in Ifedore. The governor also won in four out of the six local government areas in the northern senatorial district, a development which confounded political observers. The result of the election placed Peoples Democratic Change, PDC, in distant fourth position with 21,361 votes. Better Nigeria Peoples Party, BNPP, and Congress for Progressives Change, CPC, followed with 2,949 and 1,931 votes respectively. Others: Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, ACPN, 1,806 votes; Peoples Progressive Alliance, PPA, 1,652 votes; All Nigerian People’s Party, ANPP; 1,461 votes; National Social Democratic Party, NSDP, 1,103 votes; African Political System, APS, 751 votes; Change Advocacy Party, CAP, 735 votes and National Conscience Party, NCP, 83 votes. Mimiko said the poll result had raised the hope of a better future for the country, saying Nigeria was moving towards getting the process of selecting its leader’s right. He stated this while addressing supporters who trooped to the Government House at Alagbaka to rejoice with him on his victory. The governor, however,

dedicated his victory to all lovers of democracy across the world and described the election as free, fair and highly credible. “I commend every resident of our great state for counting me worthy of leading them as governor for another four years. “I promise to break the jinx of non-performing second term governors by ensuring that we complete all ongoing projects and initiate new ones for the benefit of our people. “There will be more markets, job opportunities, mega schools, quality health care, favourable environment for commerce and trade,” he said. But the PDP in Ondo State rejected the result of the election. The party also accused security personnel and INEC of compromising in some areas within the state, saying that the election was fraught with irregularities. The party’s candidate in the election, Olusola Oke, declined to make any statement over the declaration of the election result but promised to react at the appropriate time. Speaking with journalists yesterday in Akure, the Director-General of the Olusola Oke/Saka Lawal Campaign Organisation, Dr. Dare Bada, accused INEC and the security operatives of conspiring and conniving with the ruling LP to deny some members of the party their voting rights. He said INEC delayed supply of election materials to the local governments, wards and units CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

Lawan vs Otedola: AGF angry with police over shoddy work ISE-OLUWA IGE AND EMMA ONANI


ndications emerged at the weekend that the office of the AttorneyGeneral of the Federation, AGF, was unhappy with what it called ‘shoddy’ work of investigations into the alleged $3m bribe-for-clearance scandal involving the suspended Chairman of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Education, Hon. Farouk Lawan and business mogul, Mr. Femi Otedola. A highly-placed source

in the Ministry of Justice told National Mirror that the report of investigation already submitted to the AGF’s office was full of holes and could not sustain the allegation against the lawmaker. The source, who did not want his name mentioned, said that though the report was sent back to the police for thorough investigation, nothing had been heard from the statutory investigatory body. “I can tell you authoritatively that the office of Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, has said that it

would not take the case to court except proper investigation is carried out. “The DPP said that if the case is taken to court as it is, the trial judge who will be assigned to handle the case will not only throw out the case but will have harsh words for whoever signs the charge. “It is being alleged that the police are on the trip of bungling this case. Without proper investigation, I am afraid, this may be the end of this case. “And the police are not helping matters by not returning the case file,” the

source said. The Federal Government had appointed a private prosecutor to handle the case. But the prosecutor, who noted that the loopholes in the police report, is yet to get an improved copy from the police, thereby stalling developments in the matter. The source added: “Even the DPP is complaining about the delay by the police, especially with the number of petitions coming to the office to underscore the importance of the matter and its implications on the fight against cor-

ruption by the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan. “In fact, both the DPP and the appointed prosecutor are waiting for the police to begin prosecution of Lawan.” But the Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Frank Mba, explained why investigations had not been concluded on the matter months after the scandal broke. He said that the police were yet to discover fresh information. “Every piece of information the police have on

Farouk Lawan has been placed in the public domain. “For now, I do not have new information on Lawan and when I do I shall inform you,” Mba said. It will be recalled that Otedola had accused Lawan of demanding for $3m to assist in clearing his companies indicted by the House Committee on Fuel Subsidy of involvement in the scam. He had said that he offered Lawan marked $250,000 bribe twice and another $120,000 in a sting operation arranged by men of CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

National Mirror

Monday, October 22, 2012



Photo News

Monday, October 22, 2012

L-R: Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Funmi Olayinka; Governor Kayode Fayemi; his wife, Erelu Bisi; wife of Oyo State Governor, Florence and her husband, Sen. Abiola Ajimobi, during the cutting of the cake commemorating the 2nd anniversary of Fayemi’s administration in Ado-Ekiti at the weekend.

L-R: 2nd Vice President, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Deacon Segun Ajibola; President, Mr. Segun Aina; Group Managing Director/CEO, UBA Plc, and Honorary Fellowship Award recipient, Mr. Phillips Oduoza and 1st Vice President, Otunba Debola Osibogun, during the 2012 Fellowship Investiture of the institute in Lagos at the weekend.

National Mirror

L-R: Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi and the Founder/Pastor of Salvation Ministries, David Ibiyeomie, during the Pastor’s 50th birthday thanksgiving service in Port Harcourt, yesterday.

L-R: Nollywood actor, Mr. Emmanuel France; Manager, Events and Sponsorship, MTN, Mr. Dola Bamgboye; winner of MTN Ultimate Wonder, Mr. Igba Daniel; Acting Director, Regulatory and Monitoring, National Lottery Regulatory Commission, Prince Emmanuel Jeminiwa and Chief Executive Officer, Biosmart Technology, Capt. James Daniel, during the prize presentation ceremony in Abuja at the weekend. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

National News

2015: Gowon, IBB, Danjuma may lead plot for northern presidency OBIORA IFOH ABUJA


ormer military leaders – Generals Yakubu Gowon, Ibrahim Babangida and Theophilus Danjuma – may lead the struggle by the northern elite to retrieve power back to the region in 2015. A group, Northern Brotherhood Movement, led by a former House of Representatives member, Hon. Aminu Danmaliki, and other prominent northern leaders met in Abuja at the weekend to streamline the plot. Danmaliki told our correspondent that the North still required the intervention of the ex-military leaders and other prominent personalities to mobilise others in the task of finding new economic and political rebirth of the region. He said Gowon, IBB and Danjuma would play the required role since none of them was in active politics at the moment. The convener blamed the problems besetting the region on leadership deficit, stressing that most of the contemporary north-

ern leaders were visionless, corrupt and shameless. The group maintained that the problems of security breaches in most parts of the North, mass illiteracy, hunger, ignorance and low level of infrastructure stemmed from inability of the region to replicate leaders like the Sardauna of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello, and Alhaji Tafawa Balewa, Nigeria’s first Prime Minister. It said: “The Somalialisation of Nigeria is taking place right now. We need to sit down and get to the root of the problem and find a solution to it. “Let us not deceive ourselves; the chief security officer of a state is the governor. Where are our northern governors? “Borno is a failed state. Yobe is another failed state. Jigawa is almost becoming a failed state, so also Kano. “You hear talks about multimillion naira fences around government houses, what about the people?” The movement, however, added that the only way out for the North to free

itself from imminent danger and possible collapse was for the current leaders to admit failure and resolve to make restitution. The group said it had launched an initiative aimed at mobilising northern leaders for the task of rebuilding the “battered” North ahead 2015. It, therefore, appealed to the leaders to embrace the idea in the interest of progress of the region.

“A disturbing yet overlooked dimension of this leadership conundrum is that ‘leaders’ who ought to be responsible for identifying the problems prefer to ignore them. “In fact, it is clear and widely believed that our present leaders are not only key to the problems, they have progressively disconnected from the ordinary people they govern. “This is clearly dem-

onstrated by the fact that while the North’s numerous problems are baffling and frustrating, it is apparent the agenda of the current leaders have nothing to do with the region’s gargantuan, socio-political and the security challenges. “The problem with the North is not because we have no oil, crude oil could be a curse. The problem with the North is not the land; we have the most ara-

Tai Solarin’s wife, Sheila, dies at 88 FEMI OYEWESO AND TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE


he wife of the late foremost educationist and social critic, Dr. Tai Solarin, Sheila, is dead. She died around 4:00pm yesterday at the Babcock University Teaching Hospital, Ilishan Remo, Ogun State at the age of 88. Until her death, she was the proprietress of May Flower School, Ikenne in Ikenne Local Government Area of the state, the school jointly owned with her husband before his

death in 1994. National Mirror gathered that the late Mrs. Solarin had for the past three months been hospitalised at the Babcock University Teaching Hospital, where she was receiving treatment for a broken hip she sustained when she fell on her way to bed. She was thereafter admitted at the hospital where she underwent surgery before she finally died yesterday afternoon. It was further gathered that her remains have been taken to the morgue at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LA-

SUTH, in Ikeja. Although slowed down physically by Parkinson’s disease in her later years, Mrs. Solarin, like her husband lived a very active life, taught English Language and marked students’ essays until recently when she took ill. A Briton by birth, Sheila came to Nigeria 60 years ago shortly after her marriage to Tai Solarin in 1951 in Manchester, United Kingdom, where they were both students. She was not only deeply involved in the running of her school, Mrs Solarin showed great com-

ble land in the country. The problem with the North is not lack of political power; we have ruled Nigeria for over 36 years with nothing to show for it. “It is neither the air nor our skin colour. The main problem is a total lack of shame and the seeming inability to stop those bleeding the country dry through corrosive corruption and lack of vision,” the group said. mitment to education in Nigeria. She complained about the nation’s deteriorating education system, especially government’s neglect of infrastructures and teacher’s well being. The deceased daughter, who was beside her at the hospital bed before she die, Ms. Corin Solarin, said she could not summarise the life and times of her late mother in words. Corin who spoke with the newsmen on telephone said: “I cannot summarise her life and times in words. She was a good, kind hearted and humane personality. “She played the role of CONTINUED ON PAGE 48>>

National Mirror


Monday, October 22, 2012

Presidency, Reps in fresh battle over constituency projects CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

signed yesterday regretted that the Presidency was dredging up fresh trouble on the budget. The statement reads: “Once again, feelers from the executive arm of government are indicative of a trenchant resolve not to fully implement the 2012 Appropriation Act as assented to by President Goodluck Jonathan. “In the latest ploy to cover this obvious illegality, a spineless Presidency official - who did not have the guts to state his identity - caused to be carried in the Sunday, October 21, 2012 edition of several national publications, the fallacy that “many of the (constituency) projects in the 2012 budget were said to have been stalled on account of alleged irregularities, essentially centred on the failure of the projects to scale through the due process mechanism of government. “While it is true that National Assembly members are allowed to nominate projects centred on the felt-

needs of their individual federal constituencies and senatorial districts, it is also an acknowledged fact that the execution of these projects is the exclusive preserve of the ministries, departments and agencies, MDAs, under whose purview they appear. “For the umpteenth time, it bears restating that the 7th House of Representatives cannot - and will not - be blackmailed from abandoning the worthy route it has undertaken: the desire to get all organs of government, be it the legislature, executive or judiciary, to always act on the side of the rule of law. “Indeed, how come only these so-called constituency projects are labelled by the executive as “ not implementable” or “not well thought out” or even the ludicrous assertion that they “cannot pass through due process, when the issue at stake is not the execution of a nuclear plant? “Pray, what is the difficulty in procuring hand-

held boreholes, purchase of transformers, or school blocks; or indeed the due process requirement that would make same unimplementable? “It bears restating that out of a capital budget profile of N1.3trn in the 2012 Appropriation Act, constituency projects only account for about 12 per cent (N60bn for the six geo-political zones), and cannot be “job for the boys” as everything that has to do with projects execution, from tenders, pre-qualification, technical bid, award, payment and supervision, are all handled by the executive arm of government.” Meanwhile, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, has asked the Budget Office to throw more light on the N1.08trn provided for under the Consolidated Transfer Funds in the 2013 budget. The chamber also raised the alarm over billions of naira proposed for entertainment and

meals, honorarium and sitting allowances, welfare packages, stationery and consumables as well as maintenance of vehicles in the Appropriation Bill. Specifically, the LCCI in a statement by its Director-General, Mr. Muda Yusuf, yesterday raised questions over some allocations which fell under the broad heading of Consolidated Revenue Fund Charges and sought further clarification on them from government. They include the capital supplementation totalling N621.2bn; servicewide votes of N316.8bn and pension and gratuities of N143.2bn. All these translate to N1,081.2bn Yusuf said: “This budget head accounts for 22 per cent of total expenditure and 70 per cent of capital budget. “It is critical to get explanation on these spending proposals in order to situate it within the context of national priorities and the delivery of value to the citizens.

Ondo State Governor Olusegun Mimiko (left); his wife, Olukemi, jubilating at the Government House after the governor was PHOTO: NAN declared winner in Akure, yesterday.

Lawan vs Otedola: AGF angry with police over shoddy work CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

the State Security Service, SSS. The audio visual tape which he claimed was his evidence and which he had guarded jealously was said to have shown the images of Lawan collecting the dollars and keeping some in every available pockets and cap. Lawan, who had kept quiet for a long time after Otedola released the bombshell, faulted the bribery allegation and the purported audio visual tape, challenging Otedola and the SSS to produce

their evidence showing that he demanded the bribe. Lawan said that it was Otedola who was running after him to offer him bribe and that the first tranche of $250,000 offered him which he allegedly collected for keep as exhibit was brought to his hotel room in Apo where he had been hiding and that it was a lie that he was the one that went to Otedola’s house. But Lawan’s “confessional statement” to the police that the controversial bribe sum was kept

with the House committee Chairman on Narcotics and Financial Crimes, Hon. Adams Jagaba, as exhibit was rejected by Jagaba, who addressed a press conference where he threatened to drag the embattled lawmaker to court if he did not apologise over the “misleading” claim. He had noted that “Hon. Farouk Lawan alleged that he wrote a letter to me attaching $500,000. That is callously untrue and in fact, calculated to smear my hard-earned reputation, a

reputation I painstakingly built since 1999. “I never received any letter, or money, or any other exhibit from Farouk.” Lawan was alleged to have collected $620, 000 bribe from Otedola, to delete the names of his companies, Zenon Petroleum and Gas as well as Synopsis Enterprises Limited from the list of those allegedly found guilty of defrauding the Federal Government of billions of naira, in what was termed “sting operation”, in security circles.


PDP, ACN reject Mimiko’s victory CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

where the PDP was popular but did otherwise for LP’s strong areas. Bada said: “It is no longer news that that INEC delayed the supply of election materials to the local governments, wards and units in our stronghold but did otherwise to the LP’s comfort zone. “Of particular note is that the refusal to transfer INEC senior staff, if not by design was a grave error by the commission as this helped the LP to perpetrate and complete its predetermined goal.” Bada also argued that voting materials for some areas in Ilaje, Ese-Odo, Odigbo and Irele local government areas were not supplied hours after accreditation. He added that INEC neglected to conduct elections in some wards and units where the party was popular, saying this had robbed the PDP of vital votes. The party alleged that there was concentration of troops and heavy security presence in urban centres, thereby leaving the rural areas unprotected, saying this gave room for malpractices in the rural areas. “There was concentration of troops and heavy security presence at the urban centres and metropolis thereby leaving the rural areas unprotected and at the mercy of the ruling LP whose magnitude of terrorism and brigandage against the rural voters were unquantifiable. “It is regrettable, shameful and disgraceful to our country. It is and will remain unacceptable to us as a political party and as stakeholders. “Accordingly, we reject it and call for a total overhauling of the office of INEC in Ondo State as well as the state command of the SSS, Police and the entire Army and Naval operations in the state”. Bada also accused the LP of inducing voters with cash pointing that voters were given money to vote for the party and said, “the LP deployed well over N10bn of taxpayers’ money to perpetrate itself in office at the detriment of the beleaguered Ondo people. “Money was freely deployed to buy votes at the polling units everywhere especially in Central and Northern senatorial districts thereby subverting the electoral process,” he said.

He noted that some people who were accredited as election monitors and observers belonged to either the LP or affiliated to those mobilising for Mimiko. Bada noted that “the FOMWAN, Ondo State chapter, which only few weeks ago organised a grand rally to adopt and mobilise Muslims in Ondo State for LP surfaced on the election day with its same leaders functioning as election observers and monitors.” Bada said the party would take appropriate steps on the results at the right time, saying the party legal team was still studying the situation. Also, the ACN deputy governorship candidate, Dr. Paul Akintelure, has rejected the outcome of the governorship poll. He said the development was an orchestrated plan by the Federal Government in connivance with the LP to shortchange the people of the state. He said: “I want to assure the citizenry that truth will prevail on the outcome of this election. What happened is a calculated attempt to present ACN as unpopular in Ondo State, but majority of people know we are on ground.” The candidate urged the party’s supporters to remain calm and await further action from the party. Meanwhile, the ACN National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande, has said the party will study the results of the last Saturday election to identify the lapses in the conduct of the election. Akande stated this in a statement made available National Mirror yesterday while reacting to the election results. He said: “As a party of democrats, we in the ACN have always known that the choice of who governs has always been that of the people in situations where the electoral process is transparent and credible. “Therefore, all politicians worthy of their salt must always expect victory or defeat. We recognise that it is the sovereign right of the people to decide what kind of government they want. This is the challenge of democracy.” But he said the party will study the results of the election before taking appropriate action, saying “our party will study carefully the general details of the results with a view to taking a final position.”



Monday, October 22, 2012

National Mirror


Jonathan congratulates Mimiko on his re-election ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA


resident Goodluck Jonathan has congratulated Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, on his declaration by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the winner of Saturday’s governorship election in Ondo State.

In a statement issued yesterday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, the President also commended the dutiful, patriotic and law-abiding electorate of Ondo State as well as INEC personnel and security agencies who ensured that the elections were peacefully and successfully conducted in keeping with

his administration’s commitment to making elections in the country progressively better organised and more credible. As Mimiko looks forward to the commencement of his

second term in office, Jonathan urged him to be prepared to work even harder to justify the fresh mandate given to him by the people of Ondo State, who voted for his re-election.

The President assured Governor Mimiko that the Federal Government would continue to engage, constructively and positively, the Ondo State government in collaborative efforts to achieve faster

socio-economic development and better living conditions for people in the state and all other parts of Nigeria. He wished Mimiko a very successful second term as Ondo State governor.

Govs say democracy has taken root WOLE ADEDEJI


elta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, has congratulated Governor Olusegun Mimiko on his re-election as Governor of Ondo State, saying democracy has taken roots in the country with the conduct of the election. Governor Uduaghan, who is also the Chairman of the Advisory Council of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) of which Mimiko is member, said his victory at the polls, which was concluded at the weekend, is another testimony that free and fair elections are possible in our democracy. “He should strive to continue to build on the path of development he started in his first term. I urge him to see the victory as another

opportunity to serve the people of the state,” Dr. Uduaghan said. Also, Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, has described the re-election of Dr Olusegun Mimiko in last Saturday’s election as a demonstration of steady but sustainable growth of Nigeria’s democracy. The governor said this in a congratulatory message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Alhaji Abdulwahab Oba, in Ilorin yesterday. He said it was particularly heart-warming that “despite the anxiety in the build up to the elections, it was reportedly peaceful.” This, according to Governor Ahmed, “was a manifestation that Nigeria has the capacity to sustain democracy given the appropriate environment.

‘Victory, a defeat of tribalism’ OBIORA IFOH ABUJA


he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that the victory of Governor Olusegun Mimiko in last Saturday’s governorship election in Ondo State was a victory against tribal politics. The party said that the emphatic rejection of tribalism and narrow political adventurism which it said were the hallmark of the campaign of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the just concluded gubernatorial election is a good omen for the political future of Nigeria. In a statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, said though the PDP was not declared the winner of the election, the party is pleased with the

outcome of the election. According to Chief Metuh, “How better do Nigerians say no to the drumbeats of tribalism and political narrowness than what the people of Ondo have just done with their votes? It is a quantum forward leap for those who understand the dangers of undue manipulation of national diversity for narrow political whims and a huge set back, utter rejection for the champions of ethnic politics.” He said the party was happy with the performance of its candidate, Chief Olusola Oke, who he said obviously joined the race late. “While we commend, Chief Olusola Oke, his running mate, members and supporters of our party, we wish to also congratulate Chief Olusegun Mimiko on his victory.”

Deputy Governor candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria, Dr. Paul Akintelure casting his vote.

Mark, Tambuwal, Ekweremadu congratulate Ondo gov TORDUE SALEM ABUJA


enate President, Senator David Mark has congratulated Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko’s Labour Party (LP) over his victory at Saturday’s gubernatorial election in the state. Senator Mark, in the congratulatory message, implored Mimiko to be magnanimous in victory just as he counselled losers to accept the result of the polls in the spirit of sportsmanship, saying that politics is a game that ultimately produces winners and losers. He told Mimiko to bring all stakeholders in Ondo politics on board in the task

of administering the state, adding that the new mandate is a challenge for greater services to the people of the state. According to Mark; “The electorate in Ondo State has spoken through the ballot. As the governor and leader of the state, you owe them a duty to ensure that the citizens of the state reap the dividends of their investment (votes). You have a track record of performance. I am sure you will deliver.” He praised the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security operatives for ensuring a peaceful conduct of the polls. Senator Mark was

pleased that Nigerians have to appreciate democracy through free and fair elections. Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, described the Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko’s re-election as a “manifestation of the will of the people.” The Speaker lauded Mimiko in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Mallam Imam Imam, in Abuja yesterday. Tambuwal, who observed that the re-election of Mimiko was a sign of “trust in his leadership abilities,” however, advised him to carry all fac-

tions and parties in the state along. Also, the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has described the re-election of Dr. Olusegun Mimiko as the “people’s verdict and democracy in action.” Ekweremadu stated this in a congratulatory message to the Dr. Mimiko and the people of Ondo State. While expressing satisfaction with the efforts by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC and the security agencies at ensuring a credible poll, Ekweremadu commended the people of Ondo State for their peaceful conduct.

Result, not reflection of people’s wish –Groups ABIODUN NEJO


wo socio-political groups in Ondo State have described the process that culminated in the victory of Ondo State Governor and the Labour Party (LP) flag-bearer, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, in Saturday’s governorship elections in the state as a charade. This was as the camp of

the Labour Party (LP) in the state was celebrating the party’s victory in the poll. While the Sunshine Liberation Forum (SLF), said the polls result was not a reflection of the wishes of the people of the state, the Ondo Liberation Movement (OLM) said the LP did not have any victory as less than over 50 per cent of registered voters stayed away. SLF Media and Publicity

Director, Mr. Segun Odidi, said at Okitipupa yesterday that the election was fraught with manipulations perpetrated by members of the LP at almost all the polling units, thus robbing the people of the opportunity of free and fair polls. Odidi expressed assurance that while the unfortunate LP members were arrested with ballot boxes and papers before the elec-

tion, the fortunate ones successfully utilised the materials to manipulate the results. But, the OLM Chairman, Mr. Oladipo Ajidahun, who said more than half of the registered voters stayed away in response to the preelection intimidation and harassment by members of the ruling LP, said the opposition’s aim was to scare people away so that only its paid agents would vote.

National Mirror

Mixed reactions trail result YEMI OLUS


he state agent of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Hon. Idowu Otetubi, has expressed displeasure over the outcome of the governorship election conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. Reacting to the results immediately after the pronouncement by the Returning Officer for Ondo State, Prof. Adebiyi Daramola, he said the election was fraught with irregularities. He said: “Prima facie we have got the results but there were a lot of things that went wrong that accumulated to the result. I know that the leadership of the party will still sit down, look at it and then take an appropriate decision. There were many irregularities such that even the Labour Party, LP, agent also had to protest against some of the results as well.”

INEC, security agencies failed –PDP scribe AYO ESAN AKURE


he Ondo State Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Ayodele Ibine, said the result of the governorship election showed that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and the security agents did not live up to expectation. He said the election was marred with fraud and malpractices especially in Akure, the state capital, and Ondo town. Ibine alleged that in most polling booths in the two towns, there was stuffing of ballot boxes with ballot papers. “In some places, the number of people that voted outweighed the number of people that were accredited for the election. In the Southern Senatorial District, which is where our candidate, Chief Olusola Oke, hails from and which is also his strong base, many people were disenfranchised because of late arrival of materials. Also, the area where we recorded majority of votes, results were nullified,” he said.


Monday, October 22, 2012


Put people’s interest first, Atiku urges winner, losers


ormer Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has advised those who contested the Ondo State governorship poll to demonstrate sportsmanship by putting the higher interest of the people above personal ambitions or bitterness. He also asked Governor Olusegun Mimiko to unite with everybody in the chal-

lenge of consolidating the gains of democratic governance in the state. Atiku said despite the acrimonious tone of the campaign language, the will of the voters ultimately prevailed. He noted that politicians should be united by the desire to promote the common good of the people, regard-

less of which platforms they seek to realise their ambitions. The former vice-president said that opposition politics was often misconstrued in Africa to mean a contest between friends and enemies. He, however, observed that opposition politics had its merits because it might

Electorate seek more polling units

help those in power to hear unpleasant truth, which their friends would not have the courage to tell them. Rather than perceiving political opponents as enemies, he advised leaders and parties to be liberal enough to accept the reality and necessity of opposition at whatever level they dominate power.

Labour Party supporters at Oba Adesida Road, Akure, yesterday.


It’s a return to progressive politics in Yorubaland –Odumakin TEMITOPE OGUNBANKE AKURE


human rights activist, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, yesterday described Governor Olusegun Mimiko’s victory as a vindication for all progressives seeking a return to the glorious era of progressive politics in Yorubaland. Odumakin said in a statement that the outcome of the election was a clear

testimony of Ondo people’s resistance against opportunism and political buccaneers in Yoruba politics. “The declaration of Dr. Olusegun Mimiko as the winner of the October 20 governorship election in Ondo State is a vindication for all forces of progress seeking a return to the glorious era of progressive politics in Yorubaland. “The outcome of the election is a clear testimony that

the principled Ondo people have once again shown they are the last bastion of resistance against opportunism and political buccaneers in Yoruba politics. “Like they did in 1983 when they rolled back the National Party of Nigeria, NPN, rigging machine, the warriors of freedom in Ondo have shamed money politics, ‘godfatherism’ and reduced the boastful to mere muppets,” he said.

Congratulating Mimiko on his victory, Odumakin said the outcome of the election was the true reflection of the wishes of the electorate. He said: “Kudos to Dr. Mimiko who through sheer fidelity to the electorate has gallantly performed brilliantly as the symbol of the liberation struggle against the corrosive politics of traders and dealers posturing as progressive political leaders.”

Mimiko’s victory, a bad omen –CPC candidate OJO OYEWAMIDE AKURE


he candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, in the Ondo State governorship election in, Prince Soji Ehinlanwo, has described the re-election of Governor Olusegun Mimiko “as a bad omen”. Speaking with our correspondent shortly after

the election result was announced, Ehinlanwo expressed dissatisfaction with the conduct and outcome of the poll, saying “it is a bit suspect.” He said: “We have to watch as things unfold just as Lai Mohammed said that the election was fraught with violence and irregularities. Mimiko’s re-election is a bad omen for Ondo State.

It is a continuation of nonperformance. It is a continuation of corruption in the Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, OSOPADEC. In fact, it is bad for the state.” But a former Minister of Power and former governorship aspirant of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Dr. Olu Agunloye, said the victory of the Labour


Party, LP, in the election was well-deserved. Agunloye, now a chieftain of LP, said nobody could fault the conduct and the outcome of the election, describing it as the best in the country. He ascribed Mimiko’s victory at the poll to efforts of all LP members in Ondo State, saying “we all worked for it and we deserved it.”



he residents of Ondo State have called on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to create more polling units for future elections. The electoral law stipulates that the number of voters assigned to a polling unit should not exceed 500, but the reverse was the case in a number of areas during the governorship election in the state. For the residents of areas such as Owode Imuagun and Arakale in Akure South, the poll was a tortuous exercise as INEC officials were overwhelmed by the large turnout of voters who wanted to exercise their franchise. One of the units located at ODRC Junction had 1,734 registered voters but there were more people outside the venue than within, owing to limited space available to the voters. The unit located at 92 Asamos House at Arakale had 1,088 registered voters while the one at Eringbo/ Egbedi had over 1,200 voters. One of the residents at ODRC Junction, Tunde Olajuyi, appealed to INEC to look into the issue urgently so as not to deprive citizens of their right to vote in subsequent elections. He said: “People are becoming aware of the need to vote that is why the turnout of people has been massive. But a situation like this where the crowd is too much for the officials to handle is going to discourage people from coming out. We have been here for hours but nothing has happened because of the crowd. “We are pleading with the electoral body to split this polling unit into two or more or else it would eventually pose a problem because at the end of the day, not everyone would be able to cast his vote during the stipulated time. And if that happens, it means that the rights of people will be infringed upon because we are all entitled to vote and are interested in who governs us.”


South West

Fake tax clearance holders will face trial –Ogun FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA


gun State Government has warned that it would henceforth prosecute the residents of the state caught with fake tax clearance certificates. The government also said it had introduced an encrypted consolidated emblem to harmonise revenue generation by its agencies. The Chairman of the Ogun State Internal Revenue Service (OGIRS), Mr. Babajide Odubanjo, gave the warning at the weekend while speaking at the launch of the awareness campaign on fake tax clearance certificates. Odubanjo, who cited instances where those who had presented fake tax clearance certificates were arrested, also declared that those who patronise touts to short change the government were placing themselves at risk, adding that possession of a fake tax clearance certificate was a criminal offence. Noting that Ogun State citizens had embraced the payment of tax as a civic responsibility, the chairman said the government would soon flush out criminals engaged in the exercise. Odubanjo, who disclosed that officials of OGIRS had detected fake Electronic Tax Clearance Certificates (E-TCC), tax receipts and stamp, said the government had introduced security features which would allow easy identification of genuine tax clearance certificates with simple mobile Short Message Service, SMS. Also in a statement, the Information Officer of OGIRS, Soji Bisuga, quoted the Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Taxation and Revenue, Mr. Adekunle Akinlade, as saying that the encrypted consolidated emblem had security marks that could only be seen under an ultra violet light for authenticity. Akinlade added that it would help to eliminate problems often associated with multiple taxations, curb tax leakages, promote uniformity in the revenue ticketing, restore the confidence of tax payers as well as ensure accountability in the revenue generation drive of the state.

Monday, October 22, 2012

National Mirror

Falana threatens Dangote, oil firms with lawsuit ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI


agos lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has threatened to sue Dangote Group of Companies over alleged killing of some Nigerians in various accidents involving the companies’ vehicles. He said some multinational oil companies would not be spared in litigations over their failure to pay compensations to communities where they operate. Falana, who spoke at Ilawe-Ekiti at the weekend, said a consortium of lawyers, headed by him and former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Mr. Olisa Agbakoba

(SAN), was fine-tuning arrangements on some litigations targeted at correcting some perceived social-ills in the country. The lawyer expressed disappointment at how Dangote’s trucks have been killing innocent Nigerians on the highways without challenge from the Federal Government. Falana also described as gross abuse of human rights, the manner in which the oil companies were denying the families of the victims adequate compensations, after killing their bread winners. He said: “We have received series of complaints from Nigerians about how their families

are being cheated by some of these companies after their beloved ones had been killed. We will no longer tolerate this and steps must be taken to ensure that such families are compensated.” Falana added that those whose land and environment had been badly deprived as a result of petroleum extraction in the Niger Delta Region would benefit from the legal gesture. He disclosed that his team would also to take up legal battle against those fingered in the killing of a 70-year-old woman, Mrs. Rebecca Adewumi, at Omuo-Ekiti over alleged witchcraft.

The woman was beaten to death on June 30 by some suspected youths in the community for allegedly inflicting her step son, Ola Adewumi (now dead), with a strange illness through her witchcraft. He said: “There are many killings we are involved in currently. The recent killings of four students in the University of Port Harcourt, the killings of 46 students in Mubi, the stoning to death of an old woman, the so-called witch in Omuo-Ekiti, Ekiti State. Most importantly, we are pursuing the operatives of the Joint Task Force, JTF, and the police for extra-judicial killings in the country.”

L-R: Minister of State for Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Chief Olajumoke Akinjide (left) and Director of Sports, Social Development Secretariat, FCT, Alhaji Mohammed Alim, during the facility inspection of FCT Sport Complex in Abuja, at the weekend. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

EFCC to prosecute FAAN official caught with $1.4m OLUSEGUN KOIKI


security official of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, Mr. Akinyele Adetula, who was arrested on Saturday with $1.4 million at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos, has been handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for prosecution. The General Manager, Corporate Communications, FAAN, Mr. Yakubu Dati, told our correspondent that the suspect was caught at the Nigerian Customs Service Curren-

cy Declaration Desk at the airport. He explained that the joint efforts of the security operatives at the airport made Akinyele’s arrest easy and commended them for a job well done. Dati disclosed that Akinyele was able to get access to the checkpoint because of his security card, but noted that he was neither on duty nor on official assignment at the time he was caught with the money. He said the agency would not interfere in the investigation of the anti-graft agency, warning that FAAN would not tolerate any act of financial crime or indiscipline from

any of its staff, most especially security officials supposed to safeguard the airport environments. The GM, who expressed regret over the incident, assured travellers of their safety at all the airports in the country. He said: “The suspect, who is an employee of the Security Directorate, was neither on duty nor on official assignment. He was consequently accosted by security personnel at the Customs Currency Declaration Desk and has since been handed over to the EFCC for investigation. “The authority wishes to commend the joint efforts of the EFCC, Customs, Police and other security per-

sonnel who aided his arrest, and to assure them of its unalloyed assistance in unravelling this financial crime, particularly as the employee was acting on his own accord. “We wish to also assure the public that FAAN is committed to restructuring the organisation to purge it of all dishonourable characters as it transforms into a modern and efficient entity.” In June, policemen from the office of the Inspector General of Police arrested two officials of FAAN Security Department for an alleged theft of $20,000 from the hand-held purse of a passenger at the screening point of MMIA.

Copyright: International film producers converge on Lagos NGOZI EMEDOLIBE


he Association of Nollywood Core Producers, ANCOP, and the International Federation of Film Producers Associations, FIAPF, have concluded plans to host the international film community at a copyright symposium in Lagos. The event comes up tomorrow at the Protea Hotel, Ikeja, by 9am. Mr. Bertrand Moullier will lead a high-powered delegation of FIAPF to the forum, while major players in the Nigerian audio-visual sector and government will also participate. The National President of ANCOP, Comrade Alex Eyengho, said the event was part of the advocacy functions of ANCOP and FIAPF. He said: “The ANCOP/ FIAPF forum will offer an opportunity to explore the role of copyright and related rights as a factor in the growth and international integration of the Nigerian film industry, and to discuss the challenges of maintaining the international copyright framework and strengthening our own copyright law to encompass new technologies. “Current work at World Intellectual Property Organisation, WIPO, includes consideration of an international legal instrument granting exceptions to copyright for the copying and cross-border circulation of electronic copies of books for use by people suffering from a visual impairment. “ANCOP and FIAPF consider that while this disability issue is an important one, a future instrument must be focused on textbased, printed works only and be entirely coherent with the existing international copyright framework, so as to avoid weakening incentives to creation and cultural enterprise. We call on our government and WIPO not to risk undermining copyright in the pursuit of a legitimate social and humanitarian aim.” The morning session of the forum will focus on the Nigerian film sector and its related-copyright challenges, while the afternoon session will beam searchlight on the international dimension of copyright including WIPO.

National Mirror

South West

Monday, October 22, 2012


Osun launches 10,000 capacity ranch WALE FOLARIN OSOGBO


L-R: Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola; Acting Group Managing Director, Ibile Holdings Limited, Mrs. Foluke Ajayi; Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr Obafemi Hamzat and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Housing, Hon. Jimoh Ajao, during the governor’s inspection of Igbokusu Housing Estate built by Ibile Holdings Limited at Lekki, Lagos, yesterday.

Flood: NEMA advises states on judicious use of relief fund MURITALA AYINLA


he National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has advised the states that benefited from the Federal Government’s flood relief fund to judiciously manage the fund to rehabilitate victims. NEMA, which described the fund as a good gesture towards alleviating pains of the victims and mitigating the effect of climate change, urged the states that were not se-

verely affected to utilise it for preventive measures. Speaking at a workshop on awareness and preparedness for emergencies at the local government level, South-West Coordinator of NEMA, Mr. Iyiola Akande, said disaster management and risks reduction should be effectively driven at all levels, otherwise their management would be difficult and costly. He said: “The fund is a good gesture from Mr. President, but to make this fund achieve its de-

sire result, it is advisable that those states inundated by the flood should first of all tackle the settlement of the displaced residents. “Those that are not severely affected should not see the money as largesse from the Federal Government, they should use it for preventive purposes because nobody knows what the rain of next year has in stock for everybody and such, we must not be caught unawares” NEMA boss also charged the Lagos Emer-

gency Management Agency (LASEMA) to extend its services to other neighbouring states, saying residents of Lagos border towns in Lagos and contribute to the state growing economy. He said: “LASEMA should know that people are working in Lagos and living elsewhere. It should be the responsibility of the government to take care of these people, after all majority of them pay taxes to the state, so they should enjoy the fruit of their labour.”

We need N320bn annually to maintain roads –FERMA KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN


hairman of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), Mr. Olajide Adeniji, has said that N320 billion would be needed annually to maintain the country’s 194,200 roads. He spoke at the weekend while delivering a lecture entitled: “Financing Road Rehabilitation in Nigeria,” at the monthly guest forum of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. Adeniyi nevertheless said the Federal Government had, in the last 36 years, spent about N1.05 trillion developing the road network by constructing new roads, improving the capacity of existing ones and rehabilitating dilapidated roads within the network. He, however, said that

much of maintenance was not done by the successive governments, saying: “The absence of a planned scheme for the sustaining of the available network, inadequate as it, for optimal efficiency, is yet another reason for serious consideration in the development of road infrastructure. “In the face of deplorable condition of many of the Nigerian roads, road maintenance should be more encouraged than road development, especially in the face of dwindling government financing”. Blaming the poor road condition in the country on paucity of funding from the successive governments, he said: “The Federal Government cannot bear the burden of providing the actual infrastructure need of the populace of which the road

transport is critical. “Alternative sources of funding must be identified and exploited. Private sector funding becomes pertinent to the effective meeting of these infrastructure demands”. Adeniji said that the agency planned to concede maintenance of the

nation’s roads for the next one year to contractors in order to have zero pothole policy the government has embarked upon. He said: “FERMA, having adopted this principle, is poised to revamping the Nigerian roads within the next eight years with requisite support”.

etermined to boost Osun State revenue and ensure adequate food production, the government has launched a 10,000 capacity ranch under its beef production programme tagged O’Beef. Speaking at the weekend during the commissioning of the ranch located at Oloba Farm Settlement in Iwo, the state governor, Alhaji Rauf Aregbesola, said the government established the ranch to boost agriculture and food production. He said given the huge market for cattle in Lagos and other South-West states, animal rearing and production became a paramount economic programme for Osun. Aregbesola said Lagos State alone consume 6,000 cattle daily out of which none is supplied from the South-West, adding that

Fayemi’s wife donates building to OAU


ife of the Ekiti State Governor, Mrs. Bisi Fayemi, has donated a multi-million naira Gender Centre building to the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State. The donation was part of the 50th anniversary commemoration of the establishment of the institution. The ceremony took place the same day she delivered the institution’s Faculty of Arts’ annual conference lecture entitled: “Re-enacting leadership in Nigeria: the place and role of the humanities.” Performing the founda-

Amosun gets Security Conscious Governor Award


midst pomp at the weekend in Accra, Ghana, Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun was honoured as the “Best Security Conscious Governor in West Africa.” He was honoured by Security Watch Africa. Security Watch Africa is an organisation that sets security agenda for African leaders and is at the forefront of celebrating security and safety in Africa. Governor Amosun, while receiving the award at La Palm Royal Beach Hotel in Accra, described Ogun State

as the “economic and business destination of Nigeria.” He said his administration placed high premium on security, hence its massive investment in security equipment like the state-ofthe-art Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) and Hilux vans fitted with modern communication gadgets, among others. The governor said: “Today in Nigeria, Ogun is ranked among the first three most secure states.” This achievement, according to the governor, was made possible through

the trend must stop because a responsible and responsive government must be capable of feeding its people. He decried a tradition of heavy dependency on importation of foods, a trend he described as the “road to economic perdition.” The governor said: “As a government, we must be able to produce the food we eat. To me, a government cannot be said to be good if it is incapable of feeding its own people. “This is why we promised to focus on animal rearing and food production, which are paramount to our development. In Lagos alone, 6000 cows are slaughtered daily and no state in South-West produces a single one. All these animals come from the North. “We intend to target just 10 per cent of the Lagos market. This will certainly boost the economy as well as the agro-based industry of our state.”

the support of security agencies and the people. Amosun, ably supported by his wife, Olufunso, said the honour was in recognition of the successes recorded by his administration. He noted the challenge posed by the proximity of Ogun to Lagos and its land border with the Republic of Benin, saying: “These pose challenges to us. To make sure that our state is secure for the people, investors and all Nigerians who daily throng Ogun to do business, we had to go on the offensive.

tion laying ceremony for the building, Mrs. Fayemi stressed the importance of alumni of education institutions to give back to their alma mater. Besides the donation, the governor’s wife pledged to partner other alumni of OAU to build a club house where young people could be mentored as a payback for the ideals the university imparted to her. On hand to witness the ceremony were the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Tale Omole; Deputy Vice Chancellor, Administration, Prof. Ademola Ajayi; and Director, Centre for Gender and Social Policy Studies, Prof. Olufunmilayo Soetan. The governor’s wife graduated from the university in 1984 for her first degree in History before returning to the institution in 1988 for her Masters of Arts degree in the same discipline. She called on other alumni of the OAU to support the institution’s efforts aimed at reclaiming its status as a citadel of learning in Africa. The VC, however, commended the governor’s wife for her passion for the university, which he said she had demonstrated through her various support for the school.


South East

Monday, October 22, 2012

National Mirror

Flooding: Tension mounts in Imo over FG’s intervention fund CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI


he N400 million Federal Government’s intervention fund to assist flood disaster victims in Imo State may lead to political crisis in the state as some top politicians and stakeholders are already kicking against the committee set up by the state government to disburse the funds and relief materials to the affected communities. It was learnt that the relief materials donated by Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and those donated by Imo State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (ISOPADEC) were allegedly shared based on party

affiliations. It was based on this premise that some people faulted the composition of the state government’s committee set up to oversee the distribution of the materials and funds to the flood victims. They observed with dismay that the committee headed by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Anthony Anwukah, has proved incompetent in managing the post disaster crisis, alleging that the relief materials brought for the victims by the NDDC was shared to party loyalists instead of the victims. Meanwhile, the victims of the flood disaster in the two council areas of Ohaji-Egbema and Oguta, were yet to be

provided a camp by the state government and are still exposed to health and security risks. However, former Governor of the state, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, at the weekend, visited the affected communities where he donated food items

and cows to the communities. Ohakim, who was accompanied by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Prof. Viola Onwuliri, ex-Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, Chief Goodluck Opia and a crowd of party supporters, assured the people that he

would do everything within his power to ensure that they were given what was due to them. “I want to assure all of you that I would do everything within my power to ensure that whatever has been given to you must come to you be-

cause you are my people and you have always listened to me”, he said. Speaking also, Prof. Onwnliri assured the people that the Federal Government would never abandon any of the victims affected by the flood disaster.

Abia renews bid to probe ex-Gov Kalu



bia State government yesterday renewed its earlier resolve to probe the former governor of the state, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, over alleged whopping sums of money believed to have been siphoned by him while in office. This development came on the heels of the press statement made available by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Ugochukwu Emezuo, where he said that the probe would be total with emphasis on the mismanagement of Abia State Infrastructural Fund Commission. Emezue said necessary steps have been programmed to commence the probe as welcomed by stakeholders in the state

and that the probe would take a critical look at the eight-year tenure of the ex-governor. The governor’s spokesman alleged that the former governor, during his tenure used the state fund to acquire multi-billion naira property including a mansion in Potomac, Houston; Slok Airlines, among others. Emezue’s words: “Kalu is busy playing to the gallery with his deceitful 2015 Igbo presidency agenda. He said the truth of the hidden agenda would soon be exposed. The allegation also said Kalu and his mother left behind huge debts in the state which was said to be a sour point in the life of the state. However, Kalu, as at press time has kept studied silence probably to understand the direction of the unfolding probe agenda.

L-R: Archbishop Christian Efobi; Dr. Alex Ekwueme and wife, Beatrice; Archbishop’s wife and Anambra State Governor Peter Obi, during the service to mark the 80th birthday celebration of Dr. Alex Ekwueme at St. John the Divine Church in Oko, yesterday.

2, 890 participate in NAFDAC’s safety club exam DENNIS AGBO ENUGU


ver 2, 890 students drawn from different schools in the South-East have passed through the National Foods and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC’s) annual consumer safety club examination (NCSC). The students were randomly selected from both the junior and senior secondary schools categories that sat for the examination differently in their respective states

Protect our daughter, Abia community tells Jonathan GEORGE OPARA ABIA


he Amaokwe-Item community of Abia State yesterday appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan to protect their daughter and Director-General, Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), Ms Arumma Oteh, from unwarranted attacks. Secretary-General of the Amaokwe-Item Development Welfare Union, Mr. Sunny Ogele, who addressed journalists in Umuahia on the issue,

said the community was worried over what he described as ‘incessant politically-motivated attacks on Oteh.’ Ogele said it had become imperative for the community to speak out due to the findings by Item people that those after Oteh’s job were becoming very desperate by the day. He noted that the same people who played key roles in the fraud that led to the collapse of the Nigerian Stock Exchange have been after Oteh’s job since she cleared the rot

in the organisation. “Arumma came when the stock exchange was in a mess and she worked hard to sanitise the commission that was the begining of her problems,” he said. He said another perceived offence of the SEC director-general was that she exposed some members of Iorwase Nembeled House Committee on Capital Market for collecting money to travel to Dominican Republic from the commission, without embarking on such journey.

of Enugu, Ebonyi, Abia, Imo and Anambra. The Deputy-Director and National Coordinator of the programme, Adline Osakwe, said the aim of the competition was to create a platform for students to help NADFAC in carrying out the message of save-guiding the health of the nation. Osakwe, who made the remark during the 2012 NADFAC Consumer Safety Club examination at the College of Immaculate Conception (CIC), Enugu, also commended the director-general of the agency, Dr. Paul Orihii, for his educational

transformation of the agency, in creating awareness of the dangers of fake and adulterated drugs. Her words: “They help in creating awareness in schools as well as in rural areas about the effect of drug abuse and misuse in the country.” The acting head, NAFDAC South-East Zone, Mr. Udoelepo Ekpo, represented by the Principal Regulatory Officer, SouthEast zone, Mr. Emeka Orajaka, said the NCSC programme started in 2004, when 10 schools participated with five students each in junior and senior categories, stressing that

the programme has continued to progressed since then. While maintaining that the programme will continuing to sansitise the students on the health of the people and the danger of fake, adulterated and unwholesome products in the country, he described the turnout of this year’s competition as encouraging. This year’s competition featured 34 students each from the 17 schools that participated in the programme. It was held simultaneously across the five states of the geopolitical zone with over 2, 890 students.

UNESCO, Nigeria sign MoU on biotechnology


he dream of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka to host a UNESCO category II Centre in biotechnology has become a reality following the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Federal Government of Nigeria and UNESCO. The UNESCO International Institute of Biotechnology at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka was sealed at a colourful cere-

mony held at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris on Monday. The Director-General of UNESCO, Mrs. Irina Bokova, signed the MoU on behalf of UNESCO, while the Hon. Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i, signed for the Federal Government. The MoU was based on the approval of the International Institute for Biotechnology by the 36th

session of the UNESCO General Conference held in Paris in June, 2011. The conference “welcomed the proposal of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to establish an international centre for biotechnology in Nsukka, Nigeria under the auspices of UNESCO” done in conformity with its principles and guidelines and authorised the director-general to sign an agreement for its establishment.

National Mirror

South South

Monday, October 22, 2012

Amaechi to enforce free education in 2013 T he Rivers State government said it would make the state government’s free education policy compulsory to all children of school age in the state from next year. Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, disclosed this at the weekend during the closing ceremony of the Garden City Literary Festival at the Banquet Hall of Hotel Presidential in Port Harcourt. According to Governor

Amaechi, parents would be required by law to send their children and wards to both the state government new model primary and secondary schools and other government primary and secondary schools that would be renovated and made to meet required standards. “We are about to send to the state assembly a bill that says it is a crime not to send your children to school. “The reason is when you say education is free

and compulsory; parents don’t take it seriously until you say they will go to jail if they don’t send their children and wards to school. “We would not collect fees so it becomes criminal if you don’t send your children to school. From next year we would criminalise those who don’t take their children or wards to school because we will try everything possible to ensure that we provide infrastructure and facilities that will back our free

education,” he promised. Governor Amaechi further said his administration would set up an Agency for Quality Assurance to ensure primary and secondary schools in the state would meet expected standards. “Let me tell you the things that will happen very soon. Those of you who are in government schools that are not up to standard we are trying to raise our government schools to the standard that we require.

“When we get to that standard, we will in the next few months set up the Agency for Quality Assurance. If you don’t meet the standard, whether you are government school or private school you will be closed down.” “All primary schools must have Information Communication Technology (ICT) including the ones that belong to the government. We believe that the same thing should apply to the secondary schools.”

Ibaka deep seaport ready by 2015 –A’Ibom deputy gov


he Ibaka Deep Seaport is to be completed and become fully operational by the first quarter of 2015. Akwa Ibom State Deputy Governor, Mr. Nsima Ekere, who announced this yesterday during the monthly prayer meeting at the New Banquet Hall, Government House, Uyo, said the target date was set by the Federal Government which recently established a committee to actualise the project. Ekere, who stood in for Governor Godswill Akpabio, said the seaport, on completion, will boost the economy of the state with multiplier effects on job creation. On industrialisation, he said the Akpabio administration took a deliberate and systematic approach by investing heavily in critical infrastructure and power as the enablers. The deputy governor urged indigenes of the state to key into the industrialisation policy, a cardinal objective of the administration, by coming up with sound business proposals to access funds set aside by the administration for the industrialisation of the state. He assured the people of the state that inadequate power supply will soon be a thing of the past following the success of the bid by the Akwa Ibom State government, together with its Bayelsa, Cross River and Rivers State counterparts, under the aegis of 4Power Company Limited, for the purchase of the Port Harcourt Distribution Zone of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).

L-R: Ambassador Erleka Bennett of the Africa Union; Ambassador Vincent Okobi and Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan, at the ICE flood victims’ camp shortly after the funeral service for late Regina Maduemezia, mother of Ambassador Joy Ogwu in Asaba, yesterday.

Oshiomhole faults rights’ commission on death warrants


do State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has faulted the claim by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) that he has signed the death warrants of two convicts, Callistus Eke and Olu Fatogun, saying the commission got its facts wrong before making statements to the international community. The governor, who was reacting to a petition signed by the Executive Secretary of the commission and other human rights’ bodies, said “incidentally, the state government has actually not just

granted Calistus Eke pardon, but released him from prison. We have done much more than the people are asking us to do. So they got their facts wrong. Secondly, the human rights commission got it wrong to assume that Fatogun is to be executed,” the governor noted. A release signed by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Peter Okhiria, quoted Oshiomhole as saying that: “The case of Olu Fatogun, was reviewed by the Advisory Council on the Prerogative of Mercy and they recommended that his death sentence be affirmed

and carried out, but I refused the prayers, rather I ordered that the death sentence be commuted to life imprisonment. “Again the Human Rights Commission is wrong to say that I have authorised his execution.” According to Governor Oshiomhole, “I refused the recommendation of the Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy to have him executed. “The Human Rights Commission got their facts wrong. They were acting on the recommendation without waiting for my confir-

mation.” Oshiomhole, who said he took the decision on the September 26, noted that however, there are two other persons whose conviction I have approved in respect of Daniel Nsofor and Osayinwinde Agbomien. He said Agbomien killed his victim, dismembered his body and buried the parts in different places to avoid detection. He said when the convict was taken to court, he said his offence was a mistake but the manner in which he treated the body indicated that it was gruesome, premeditated and a wicked act.

Dickson suspends aide over alleged misconduct EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA


ayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, yesterday directed the immediate suspension of his Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Non-Indigenes, Mr. Chinedu Ubah, from office over alleged creation of an illegal flood relief camp in the state capital. Ubah was alleged to have created a separate relief camp for non-indigenes of the state at Community Secondary School, Kpansia, but, this did not go down well with the state’s chief executive. Dickson, who expressed sadness about the illegal camp, had ordered its immediate closure and directed that the victims numbering over 700 should relocate to the relief camps at the Sports Complex and Bishop Dimieri Grammar School at Ovom, Yenagoa. To this end, the governor has constituted a panel headed by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof. Edmund Allison-Oguru, to investigate the issues and the role played by Ubah on the creation of a separate flood relief camp for non-indigenes of the state. The Senior Special Assistant on Security to the Governor, Mr. Boma Sperrow-Jack, would serve as secretary of the panel. Dickson further said that the panel would also investigate all that transpired therein, which gave rise to series of complaints and causing unnecessary confusion in the process. Meanwhile, Governor Seriake Dickson, yesterday warned persons being used by self-centred politicians to cause trouble at the various relief camps in the state, as he threatened that anybody caught in the act would be meant to face the wrath of the law.

Radioactive users decry threat to Nigerian content CHINEDUM EMEANA PORT HARCOURT


adioactive Users and Stakeholders Forum (RUSF) have warned that the recent unilateral astronomical increase in licensing fee by the Nigeria Nuclear Regulatory Agency (NNRA) may torpedo the

gains of the Nigerian content policy of the present administration. Rising from a meeting in Port Harcourt, over the weekend, the group said “the actions of NNRA runs contrary and would defeat the noble aims and objectives of the Local Content Act 2010.” They pointed out that the

NNRA is a Federal Government regulatory authority vested with the primary responsibility of regulating the use of radioactive substances and is not a revenue generating agency. The forum further argued that if the action of the NNRA is not checked and reversed, it is capable

of closing down most of the affected companies whose operations involves handling of radioactive substances in services to the oil industry, “that can lead to a shutdown of some oil facilities in Nigeria with attendant job loss, increased of unemployment and sufferings of the families of


the affected workers.” According to the communiqué signed by Chief Rowland Nze, Sir Julius Aroyehun and five others, the RUSF said the NNRA were inconsiderate and insensitive in their decision to increase fees of from between 1, 000 percent and 4, 900 percent.



Monday, October 22, 2012

National Mirror

Nation’s insecurity ends soon –CDS WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN


he Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim, has said that the insecurity confronting the country would soon become a thing of the past as the government is set to tackle the menace. The CDS spoke at the weekend in Ilorin, his country home, where a special prayer was organised for him by the Emir, Alhaji Sulu Gambari. He said the development of any country depends on peace which he said the government would not compromise. Admiral Ibrahim said with peace in the country, the armed forces would devote their energies and expertise to other challenges. The Defence Chief, however, urged Nigerians to support President Goodluck Jonathan and the armed forces to be able tackle the security challenges. He said: “The armed

forces need the support of the people to enhance their smooth operations. The Nigerian armed forces are blessed with experts and professionals, who have served in various capacities and contributed immensely to ensure glob-

al peace.” He thanked the President for the confidence reposed in him and other service chiefs by appointing them into offices, appreciating the emir and Kwara indigenes for honouring him.

The Emir, Alhaji Gambari, urged the Defence Chief not to rest on his oars in ensuring peace for the nation’s stability. He said the prayer was a tradition for all sons and daughters of the Emirate who had excelled in their

chosen careers. The Chief Imam of Ilorin, Alhaji Muhammad Bashir, said prayer was the tonic that sustains mankind, praying God to guide and guard the Defence Chief aright in the discharge of his duties.

Secretary to Kebbi State Government, Alhaji Nurudeen Kangiwa (middle), receiving the Unity Torch preparatory to the 18th National Sports Festival in Kebbi, recently.

FG sets aside N450bn loan for farmers, says Maku


he Federal Government has set aside N450 billion loan for farmers in the 36 states of the federation. Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, stated this yesterday at a town hall meeting held at the Idris Kutigi International Conference Centre in Minna,

the Niger State capital. He said the loan was part of measures put in place by the Federal Government to boost food production, noting that N3.5 million jobs would be created in the agriculture sector before 2015 while 30,000 Niger residents would benefit from the scheme. The minister, howev-

er, called for the peaceful co-existence among the people. Maku said: “I tell you if there is no peace, forget about development. I urge you Northerners to love one another; seek peace, that is the way forward to a better future.’’ He urged politicians to shun violence before,

Aliyu flays frequent terrorists’ attacks on Nigerians PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA


iger State Governor Babangida Aliyu has condemned the series of violent attacks in some parts of the North. He said the violence could prevent investors from visiting the country. In a statement issued at the weekend by his Chief Press Secretary, Mallam Danladi Indayebo, Governor Aliyu advised terrorists to allow peace to reign, rather than the series of attacks unleashed on the people. The governor flayed

the renewed attack on the people of Potiskum in Yobe State where 34 persons were killed last week Friday, as well as the 22 people killed at Dogon Dawa village in Kaduna State a forth night ago. Aliyu particularly expressed shocked at the killing of 14 persons in Plateau State penultimate week, the murder of 40 students of the Federal Polytechnic, Mubi, Adamawa State earlier in the month, the murder of two Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) officials in Kano as well as the recent killing of four University of Port

Harcourt students. The statement, however, reads: “The overall implication of the rising wave of murders of Nigerians is that the security situation in the country is worsening and that people are increasingly willing to resort to violence to settle their differences. “We are worried that the security nightmare currently confronting the nation is capable of scaring off investors from Nigeria and putting the country on the travel advisory list of many countries around the world, thus dimming the country’s economic prospects.”

during and after elections, but to see politics as a catalyst for development. The minister urged Governor Babangida Aliyu to intensify his effort in development the state. Maku said: “The Federal Ministry of Information’s Performance Monitoring Scheme partners with state governments to give the citizens a say as democracy is about human development that promotes the welfare of the people.” Governor Aliyu, however, thanked the minister for initiating

the “Good Governance Tour” to assess the performance of state government’. He commended the minister for the visit, saying: ``The team has seen the deplorable condition of roads in Niger. “I will leave the federal roads for the Federal Government. It is its responsibility.’’ The governor said that the state had 33,000 workers and that the monthly allocation went into the payment of salary while the little remaining was not enough for any meaningful development.

Why Nasarawa won’t develop –Rep IGBAWASE UKUMBA LAFIA


member representing Lafia/Obi Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Joseph Kigbu, has said that Nasarawa State would not develop if politicians continue to embark on violence to achieve their dreams. Hon. Kigbu, who is the House Committee Chairman on HIV/AIDS, Malaria Control, Tuberculosis and Leprosy, spoke to journalists at the weekend in Abuja while reacting to the destruction of his political billboards in Lafia by hoodlums allegedly sponsored by his “political enemies”. Calling on those he described as a “group of charlatans” to stop the uncivilized behaviour, the lawmaker said: “I have been calling on Nasarawa State Governor Tanko Al-Makura to engage these youths, especially those in Lafia through skill acquisitions so as to help themselves rather than engaging in violence. “I will write a strong worded letter to the Nasarawa State Government to insist that we do something for these youths. The era of giving them peanuts to engage them as thugs to win election is gone.” He, however, described his opponents as “frustrated elements who cannot convince genuine voters on why they are partaking in politics. “Because of their frustration, they have resorted to violence. It is unfortunate if we are still following this path. Nasarawa State will not develop if politicians don’t stop using violence to achieve their dream.” Mentioning his contribution to good governance, Kigbu said: “Within one year, I have been sponsored five bills two of which have gone through the public hearing.

2015: LG boss seeks support for Lamido A ZA MSUE KADUNA


hairman Kazaure Local Government Area of Jigawa State, Dr Saleh Yahaya Taiki, has begun mobilisation for Governor Sule Lamido’s presidency. Taiki, who spoke with journalists at the weekend in Kaduna, de-

scribed Lamido as a man of integrity. He said Governor Lamido had made Jigawa State a center of attraction, stressing that if given the opportunity, Nigeria would record massive transformation. Taiki said: “Governor Sule Lamido has developed Jigawa State and he is not relenting in provid-

ing more good governance to the people. So to me, he is the most suitable candidate for the 2015 presidential election. “I am, therefore, appealing to well-meaning Nigerians, irrespective of their political, regional or religious affiliations to give this trusted man the support to lead the country.”


Monday, October 22, 2012

National Mirror



ANPP, merger and journey to rediscovery


NJC dissolves Edo election petition tribunal SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN


ith just two days to the commencement of the hearing of the remaining part of the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for the Edo State governorship election, Major-General Charles Airhiavbere (retired), the three-man panel chaired by Justice Suleiman Ambrusa has been dissolved.

Although the other members of the panel had included Justices Esor Teetito and Danlami Senchi, it was reliably gathered however that one of the other two members had not really been involved in the making of the decisions of the tribunal before the dissolution. National Mirror enquiries revealed that the dissolution was sequel to a petition submitted to the National Judicial Commission (NJC) and the Presi-

dent of the Court of Appeal by some lawyers acting on behalf of Airhiavbere. The petition alleged that the defeated candidate has lost the confidence of the tribunal members after they were allegedly compromised to throw out some of the reliefs of his petition. Consequently, as National Mirror gathered, a new panel has been set up to continue from where the former panel stopped, even though it could not be ascertained as at the time of

filing this report whether Airhiavbere requested for a fresh hearing of his claims, which lawyers argued was not possible, given that everything about the petition had to be decided within 180 days after election as provided in the amended Electoral Act 2010. Contacted on her mobile telephone on Sunday afternoon, the Secretary of the Edo State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, Mrs Josephine Aliu, denied knowledge of the

dissolution, saying, “I am not aware about that. What I know is that the hearing has now been adjourned to October 31st.” But it was reliably gathered that the dissolution accounted for the sudden shift of date of commencement of hearing by the soon-tobe-inaugurated new tribunal. Efforts made to confirm the dissolution through the mobile telephones of Oshiomhole’s lead counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Peter Okhiria and Edo government spokesman, Mr. Louis Odion proved abortive as they did not pick their calls. However, a PDP chieftain and supporter of Airhiav-

bere in Edo South, Owere Disckson Imasogie confirmed receiving the letter of dissolution. On September 27, the tribunal ruled that it lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the matter of academic non-qualification of Adams Oshiomhole for the governorship election of July 14, brought by Airhiavbere. According to Justice Ambrusa, by bringing the issue of qualification to the tribunal instead of the Federal High Court, Airhiavbere merely embarked on “a wild goose chase.” The tribunal on October 9 further refused an application brought by Airhiavbere to enter more witnesses and amend the statements of his witnesses.

Shonekan urges dialogue with Boko Haram, others

F Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson comforting a baby during his visit to Igbogene Flood Internally Displaced Peoples’ Camp in Yenagoa.

LG: Uduaghan settles for caretaker committees

• Gov, Clark appoint members for 25 LGAs SOLA ADEBAYO WARRI


ension has gripped the political class, especially members of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Delta State as the state governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan, opted for caretaker committees for the administration of the 25 local government councils in the state. Already, Uduaghan was said to have compiled the names of members of the caretaker committees in collaboration with the Ijaw National Leader and factional leader of the party in the state, Chief Edwin Clark.

The governor was reported to have absorbed the interest of the hitherto faction headed by Clark in line with the recent truce in the ruling party in the state. The governor had dissolved the democratically elected leadership of the councils following the expiration of their tenure on May 13, 2011. Uduaghan has been administering the councils with the Heads of Personnel Management of the respective councils, in the past 17 months. A source in the Government House said Uduaghan opted for the caretaker committees option following the rejection of his nominees

into the board of the Delta State Independent Electoral Commission (DEISEC) by the state’s House of Assembly. Uduaghan had sent a 10man board of DEISEC to the state’s House of Assembly for confirmation in contravention of the law which provided for an 8-member electoral body. One of the sources added, “The governor (Uduaghan) has compiled the lists of caretaker committee members for the 25 local government councils in the state. He is going to announce the names of the members of the caretaker committees in due course. He is still consulting with critical stake-

holders in the state, particularly Chief Edwin Clark, who has appointed some members of his faction into the committees in some local government areas. “The governor is carefully handling his new relationship with Clark and he is avoiding a fresh disagreement over the leadership of the councils. “With the decision of the governor to appoint caretaker committees to administer the councils, the conduct of local government election in the state is no longer possible this year. Maybe it will come up by the last quarter of 2013, it depends on the disposition of the governor,” added the source, who craved anonymity.

ormer head of Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan, yesterday in Abuja called for dialogue with leaders of those responsible for the spate of insecurity in parts of the country. He made the call at the graduation ceremony of participants in Executive Intelligence Management Course (EIMC) 5, of the Institute for Security Studies. Shonekan, who was the chairman of the occasion, said the dialogue was necessary to ascertain why they engaged in the act and to find ways to end the crisis. His words: “They are Nigerians, and to that extent, we must find ways and means of engaging them in robust dialogue to make them see reason and eschew violence. “Such dialogue will also enable us to know the reasons behind their actions and how to end the violence. “Perhaps there are other key things they would like government to do in order to stamp out insecurity from the country.” Shonekan noted that

there could not be sustainable socio-economic and political transformation in a country where there is no security of life and property. He said not only would such country have political instability but investors would also shun it. Shonekan said the Boko Haram insurgence in parts of the North, oil theft by militants in the Niger Delta and the crisis in Plateau State were indications of the level of insecurity in the country. He called for concerted efforts to address the crises and restore security across the nation. Shonekan also identified the breakdown of our age-long cultural values of honesty, hospitality, respect for elders and constituted authorities, ignorance and unemployment as some of the factors responsible for the current insecurity. Earlier, Mr. Ekpeyong Ita, the Director General of the State Security Service (SSS), said that the activities of terrorists had affected the image and development of the country.



Monday, October 22, 2012

National Mirror

ANPP, merger and journey to rediscovery OBIORA IFOH writes on the efforts by the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) to rekindle the fire that made it the potent opposition in the early years of this democratic dispensation which includes leading the merger arrangement of the opposition parties ahead of the 2015 general elections.


hat can be more apt than the title ‘The Time is Ripe’, a speech delivered by the National Chairman of the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP), Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu at the inauguration of the National Rebuilding and Inter Party Contact Committee held in Abuja recently. The story of the ANPP since its inception in 1998 has been one of mixed feelings; story of grace to grass. It would be recalled that the party in the 1999 general election won a massive 37 seats in the Senate and 97 seats in the House of Representatives. It also controlled nine states, but today, the situations has changed with the party keeping a miserly three states, eight senators and 39 members in the House of Representatives. The fortunes of the party, according to the former governor of Borno State, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff is dwindling and needed to be turned around for the better. The former governor who spoke to National Mirror recently said: “We are dwindling, we are going backward and if we are going to have a party that all of us want, then we must be ready to work. It has to be a collective responsibility for us. I don’t believe that party is all about money, though you need money to run a party but it is more of a collective interest, it is people-oriented, it is about the people. Party is about coming together of like minds, people who have the same ideals, thinking and beliefs. I am very happy to say that if you compare states held by our party with others, if you use performance as a yardstick for winning election, ANPP will win over 17 states in Nigeria. There is something fundamentally wrong on why we are not growing.” There is certainly something that is fundamentally wrong which the party has accepted to diagnose and fix before the next general election. One of such faulty foundations is the loyalty to the party. It would be recalled that virtually all former leaders of the party have been accused of doublestanding, treachery as some have even been accused of working for other parties while sitting as the party leaders. For instance, the immediate past governor of Nassarawa State, under the Peoples Democratic Party’s banner, Akwe Doma was a one-time National Chairman of ANPP. Former Minister of Petroleum, Don Etiebet, dumped the party as its national chairman to join the PDP. Until his death, the immediate past national chairman of the party, Chief Edwin Ume-Ezuoke was accused of playing a mole in the party as he freely associated with the government of late President Umaru Yar’Adua; his son also served as Yar’Adua’s Special Adviser. Numerous others have jilted the party in



ANPP WILL WIN OVER 17 STATES IN NIGERIA. THERE IS SOMETHING FUNDAMENTALLY WRONG ON WHY WE ARE NOT GROWING the past including the last vice presidential candidate of the party in the 2011 presidential election, John Odigie-Oyegun, it’s former national secretary, Goerge Muoghalu only recently rejoined the party after fruitless search for political relevance elsewhere. The incumbent national chairman, Onu, believes that disloyalty is the biggest problem of the party and has warned that under his leadership, the party will no longer be used as a dumping ground for politicians whose only interest in politics is to scheme for political offices and not to help the party grow or stabilise. He believes that should the party get its acts right, the maladministration of the PDP-led government in the last 13 years is just enough for Nigerians to try an alternative platform for liberation. According to him, “Nigeria needs change. Nigerians are eagerly waiting for change. The ANPP, our great political party, must work tirelessly to help our people have this desired change for the good of all. Our party is ready. Our party is focused. Our party is on the move. Our party is moving in the right direction. Our party has stabilised after the decline of the previous years. However, our party needs to grow faster than we are currently doing. We need to bring in more and more members. More hands must be put at work for us to effectively and efficiently take care of the harvest that by God’s grace will be ours. We need to rebuild our party. Rebuilding a party is not an easy job. Rebuilding a party is a continuous process. It is indeed work in progress. We will never get tired, until success is ours by the grace of the Almighty God.” One other way the party thinks that it can rediscover its past glory is through partnership with other parties in the opposition camp. He said: “We need to work closely with other opposition political parties. When we find those who have a similar interest and same national view with us, we should move out and quickly embrace them. A merger would be ideal. It is when this is not feasible, that other options can be considered. We have enough time to achieve our goal.” The merger option has remained one of the sought-after possibilities to edge out the PDP from power. This has to be as PDP controls about 24 out of 36 states in the federation. It also has massive followership in the remaining 12 states and it has shown some forcefulness in most of the elections held in some states dominated by the opposition.



The implication of this is that it requires combined efforts or forces of the opposition for them to make appreciative impact in the 2015 general elections. It is no longer news that leaders of the opposition parties have commenced talks on how to achieve a positive truce and alignment towards this merger option, what is news now is that the option has been well taken by these leaders and that some of the leaders have gone ahead to inaugurate committees that will ensure the success of the alliance. In his revelation, Onu said that shortly after he assumed office in late 2010, he requested and met with the leadership of the ACN and the meeting triggered off a series of events involving the two political parties which later expanded to include two others: The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and the Social Democratic Mega Party (SDMP). He said: “Even though we did not realise our initial objective, but we learnt a lot and had a better understanding of the important issues involved in the process of wanting to work together for the good of our country. One problem we all agreed worked against us, was that we started very close

to the general election. By that time, people had virtually made up their minds, seeking a common ground, became very difficult. “Learning from that experience, as soon as election petitions before tribunals and appeal courts were disposed of, I quickly wrote to the national chairmen of major opposition political parties urging that we start working together to understand ourselves better and more importantly to start early to build trust among ourselves. I am happy with the progress we have made so far. I have travelled widely, across the country, to meet with many important political actors to help forge this desired new understanding among the major opposition political parties with the aim of forming a political platform on which the change desired by Nigerians can be anchored. I have written letters to our founding leaders, urging them to show interest in the care of the house they helped to build. I am happy that the response is encouraging.” To ensure that the ANPP gets the best out of the proposed merger, the party set up a 20-man committee comprising the best it can muster which include the party’s presidential candidate in the 2011 general elections and former governor of Kano State, Ibrahim Shekarau, who is to serve as the chairman and Yobe State governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, who also will serve as the deputy chairman. Other members of the committee are Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima, his counterpart in Zamfara State, Abubakar AbdulAzeez as well as Sen. Ahmad Rufai Sani. Other members are Senate Minority Leader, Senator Maina Ma’aji Lawan, ANPP BoT chairman and former Bornu State governor, Ali Modu Sheriff; former Yobe State governor, Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim; former Sokoto State governor Attahiru Bafarawa; former Kano State governor, Kabiru Ibrahim Gaya and House of Reps Minority Leader, Suleiman Abdulrahman Sumaila Others are Peter Edeh, Gambo Magaji, AbdulRahman Adamu, Rear Admiral Lanre Amosu (rtd), Solomon Iyobosa Edebiri, Hajiya Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, Salihu Momoh, Godfrey Yilleng and George Muoghalu who will serve as secretary. The terms of reference of the committee was to generally look at the party and recommend ways to make it more attractive, particularly on ways to get party leaders to show more interest in participating in party functions and programmes held in states not controlled by the ANPP and to exhaustively discuss the issue of party funding and make recommendations on how the party can be effectively funded. They are also to identify party leaders who either left the party to join other political parties or have remained without joining any other political parties with a view to bringing them back to the party and to identify key political actors across the country with a view to getting them to join the ANPP as well as carry out a nationwide survey to identify the zonal, state and local government party offices where they exist. But most importantly to enter into merger/alliance discussions with other opposition political parties as well as organisations and civil society groups as a way of preparing for better performance in future elections.

National Mirror


Monday, October 22, 2012


A season of ransom HeartBeat


OKE 08054103275 (SMS ONLY)


had considered Pervasive suffering, fear everywhere, as the title of this piece. I settled for the one above because it encapsulates my understanding of the prevailing psycho-sociological mood of Nigerians. For most of the North, insurgency and the attendant consequences have become a way of life. Good news does not make headline stories in the region any more. Non-state actors have compelled the authorities to show them respect. Life in the South might be better, it has its own threatening irritants. Kidnappings and armed banditries have reduced everyone to unending fear; the kidnapping business is expanding or shrinking in scope in direct proportion to the counter force from the security agencies. It is a win or lose game; and because the returns are tempting if the risks are surmounted, the business is expanding. The South West might be brought soon into the kidnapping loop unless kidnappers are seriously discouraged. Any slip by the police, the region becomes an easy


pick. Where kidnappers are winning are the regions where the police have proved unreliable in the face of the mounting challenges. So God has become the only hope in those regions. Reacting to his freedom after 16 days in the dungeon, all Professor Hope Eghagha, the Delta State Commissioner of Higher Education, could say was: “Thank you God for answered prayers”. Fate and work go together, the Holy Book teaches us. Prof is not talking on his experience, which could mean that we may never know if he supported his fate with warm handshake with his traducers (work). Muiba, the first wife of the Speaker of Osun State House of Assembly, Honourable Najeem Salam, is a luck woman. She was abducted in Ejigbo, Osun State, spirited to Ogunmakin Village in Odeda Local Government Area, Ogun State, and remained in captivity for five days before local vigilance group provided the police the intelligence they used to nailed the bad boys. That all of them are non-Yoruba is instructive. It appears local allies provided them the needed intelligence that sustained them before they were eventually caught. I am tempted to think that kidnapping has become a highly networked business with tentacles in the six geopolitical zones in the country. I reason within the context of the gamut of evidence on the modus operandi of yester years armed robbers that moved deep into the hinterland of Nigeria to strike at


will before retreating to their bases in the coastland of the country. Many armed robbery strikes in Owo and Ifon in Ondo State, and Sobe, Edo State (all the three towns contiguously located), for example, were traced to bandits with bases in some of the Niger Delta states. So, the police should start deploying intelligence to smash the ring. The police might have celebrated the smashing of the notorious One Million Boys gang that had struck terror in the hearts of some Lagosians while the fun lasted, the ripples effects of the operations of the gang have become pervasive. The existence of the gang and its evil deeds have become one reason for the validation of ‘jungle justice’ in parts of the state. Last Saturday I was somewhere in Festac Village. A man, who we learnt used his Keke Marwa to hit a big man, was being dragged along and beaten at the same time. Some of us protested this inhuman treatment. Our protests were drowned by the recantation of the ‘evil of man and why no mercy should be showed him’. One of us asked if

those One Million Boys, who were credited with forcing the evil of incestuous affair between a brother and sister, should be dragged to the police if caught. Rhetorical as the question was, the man said taking them to the police would mean putting food on their table that day! And talking of Lagos, poor Lagosians are reeling from the fallout from the implementation of the new Traffic Law in the state. I remember Lagos State government promised to build more motor parks, but the non-existence of motor parks along the Berger-Ogudu-Oworo-Third Mainland Bridge-Lagos Island stretch of road has made nonsense of the implementation of the law. The fear of the state’s Environmental Task Force has become the beginning of wisdom for commuter drivers and okada riders. Poor Lagosians are suffering and not smiling by the harrowing experience they go through each day to make ends meet. The BRT could have strengthened implementation of the new law, but its present mode of operation deserves another look. Instances abound in Ketu terminus when people start queuing as early as 5.45am only for the first bus to arrive at about 6.30am! This column goes on break Beginning from today, I proceed on my annual leave. Naturally therefore, this column will be on break for the duration of the leave. See you in four weeks’ time.

PHCN ‘crazy bill’ revolution coming

t is stale news that aggrieved political cabal has made good its threat to make the country ungovernable if President Goodluck Jonathan was allowed to win the 2011 presidential poll. The current pervasive terrorism in parts of the North is the evidence of that threat. Presijo won, but cannot reign. However, it appears official policies approved by Presijo are helping to actuate the vow to make the country ungovernable. What with the hefty electricity tariff hike, demonic demolition of over 140, 000 housing units worth over N15 billion in private housing estates in Abuja, and the hideous plot of fuel price hike by January, as I hinted two months ago. Inexplicable is PHCN being allowed to arbitrarily hike electricity tariff under the pretext of encouraging private power firms to recoup promised investments. Of course, this is a case of illegal anticipatory approval to reward briefcase power investors, waiting greedily to buy public power utilities cheap in order to make killing profits, if at all they have the capacity and ability to manage what they buy. Protests nationwide have greeted the over 500 per cent jerk up of electricity tariff. The current hike in the absence of prepaid meters, which help consumers to regulate, monitor and manage consumption to fit individual pocket, is a plot to rubbish Presijo, incite hate from the electorate and checkmate 2015. A few years ago, the statistics of PHCN debtors showed that ministries, departments, and agencies of federal and state government accounted for 60 per cent of total debts, industrial consumers 25 per cent and residential consumers 15 per cent. PHCN debt-recovery running battle

has been with sacred-cow public sector MDA debtors, including military, police, and security formations, public hospitals and educational institutions, which its disconnection gangs are too scared to confront. The administrations of Obasanjo, Yar’Adua, and now Jonathan made impotent pronouncements for PHCN public institutions’ debts to be deducted directly from the financial allocations of such defaulting agencies. Rather than government debtors, the Ministry of Power under Prof. Bart Nnaji and NERC under Sam Amadi canvassed tariff hike. An apparently helpless PHCN management that has misappropriated or mismanaged its employees ‘pensions’ funds and pocketed official revenues is quick to unleash disconnection gangs on helpless residential and industrial consumers that constitute 40 per cent of total PHCN debtors, ignoring 60 per cent public debtors. In Lagos State, an occupier of a two-bedroom flat got bombed with a bill of N12, 000, up from below N2, 000 per month. In Ota, Ogun State electricity bill of a one-room house owner has risen from N1, 500 to between N4, 000 and N6, 000 per month, with protests and demonstrations at PHCN district offices. Electricity consumers in Yola too have protested hike in meter-less bills from N500 to N5, 000 per month, for unsupplied or grossly inadequate electricity. Out of PHCN’s current debt of about N100 billion, residential consumers account for N3.6 billion. So, how does harassing insignificant residential consumers improve PHCN survival chances? If richer urban consumers weep, rural communities die in silence. Grumbling industrial consum-







ers will pass the additional cost to hapless consumers through higher prices of products, which further pauperize and shrink consumers’ purchasing power. In addition, higher uncompetitive prices of domestic goods will likely lead to higher unsold inventory for industries, further weakening capacity utilization, making room for inferior but cheaper foreign products that all lead subsequently to factory shutdowns, and more job losses. What timid power ministry and weak regulatory NERC have achieved is to pass the burden of their impotence to 15 per cent residential consumers, whom they can easily extort disconnection fines of N2 000 per month for unsupplied electricity. How is such arbitrary billing payable in the face of frightening unemployment, weak purchasing power of consumers, suffocating business clime, made worse by the unjustified fuel price hikes of last January? What with the nonpayment of the agreed minimum wage of N18,000 per month even by federal MDAs, inadequate or nil electricity for artisans and industries to run business and make a living to empower them to pay!


ASUELIMEN, 08023459055 (SMS ONLY)

The NERC has failed to enforce PHCN obedience not to demand meter maintenance charge of N500 per month for nonexistent meters in Ota, and elsewhere. Amadi’s NERC is impotent to make PHCN provide prepaid meters to consumers as NERC promised before the start of new electricity tariff regime, and weak to stop PHCN from collecting thousands of naira for supposedly free prepaid meters, a discriminatory policy prone to fraudulent abuse. The current electricity bill is uncollectable, unjustifiable; will further enrich PHCN disconnection gangs and provoke public hate, further weaken conditions of living and will not solve corrupt PHCN selfinflicted troubles. Government should gear energy to provide electricity than exploiting people. Send your views by mail or sms to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mail@ mirrorlagos@ 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.



Monday, October 22, 2012

National Mirror






































Nigeria’s qualification for the African Cup of Nations T ’ A 2013 N fter failing to qualify for the last edition of the football tournament, the Super Eagles of Nigeria, roughly eight days ago, trashed the Lone Stars of Liberia 6–1 in Calabar to secure a place in the 2013 African Cup of Nations (AFCON), the 29th in the series, to be hosted by South Africa next year. The event takes place between January 19 and February 10, 2013. AFCON, a major football fiesta in the region, has drawn international recognition and rating as an important competition in the global football calendar. Nigeria won the previous editions in Lagos and Tunis in 1980 and 1994, respectively. In 1980, the Super Eagles, then known as the Green Eagles, defeated the Algerian national team 3-0 in the final which was witnessed by a capacity crowd, including former President Shehu Shagari in Lagos. The 1994 final was played between Nigerian and Zambia in Tunisia and Nigeria defeated Zambia 2-1 to lift the trophy at a time when the country (Nigeria) was rated fifth in the world by the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) in its global ranking of national teams. That was before the USA 1994 World Cup. We recall that the country had a brilliant outing at the 1994 World Cup, but lost to Italy in the second round of the championship. Since 1994, however, the country has barely been





AND LOOK BEYOND THE TOURNAMENT struggling to impact on the championship. Nigeria failed to qualify for the 2012 African Cup of Nations held in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon when it played a score draw in the crucial match it needed to defeat the Syli Stars of Guinea in Abuja. The bungling of that chance was one of the slips that eventually led to the sack of former Super Eagles Coach, Samson Siasia; and Stephen Keshi hired as a replacement. Nigeria’s qualification for the 2013 edition is commendable. It has been an exciting experience to a wide array of soccer adherents. Nevertheless, there exists this general impression that the performance of the Super Eagles of late has not been inspiring. Many also think the team is deficient in tactical depth, cohesion and technical discipline. The Nigeria and Liberia match, though won in Nigeria’s favour, exposed the shortcomings of the team. The

players displayed individual brilliance, but practically demonstrated poor team work. It does seem, therefore, that rethinking the national team has become imperative. Doing so will probably involve inviting new players to inject new blood and address obvious weaknesses, exposing the Chief Coach to refresher courses and organizing ‘Grade A’ international friendly matches for the national team. For, the country needs adequate preparations to qualify for the knock-out stage of the 2013 AFCON. Indeed, Nigeria should learn from the failure of Cameroon to qualify for the 2013 football event. Cameroon was defeated by Cape Verde on 3-2 aggregate in the last game of the qualifying rounds. Ethiopia, the 1962 winners of the Nations Cup, also qualified for South Africa. The foregoing suggests the decline of soccer minnows and the ascendancy of hitherto less-fancied countries. The country’s preparations should be responsive to finance, early invitation and camping, inclusion of relevant players, less politicization of football management and the invitation of footballers. The Nigerian Football Association (NFA) should recognize that the country’s qualification for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil is of great concern to the nation. Therefore, the 2013 AFCON should provide the building blocks to prepare for the 2014

World Cup. The country’s ticket to the 2013 Nations Cup is commendable, but the soccer body should build on the modest achievement and look beyond the tournament. By the same token, speculations on frictions in the NFA will rather hurt the country’s preparations for the regional football event. The selection process into the football body has often been politicized to the extent that soccer administrators rarely show competence, knowledge, expertise and organizational capability. It is distressing that the country’s consociation policies of federal character and quota system have crept into football administration. Soccer managers are often preoccupied with pecuniary gains to the extent that the country’s strategic football interests are subordinated to private schisms. For the umpteenth time, we think that getting Nigeria’s football right will remain an impossible task until Decree 101 is abrogated, membership of the NFA and the selection of players into the national team de-politicized, the local league well developed, and a deliberate football development policy that identifies young talents for the national teams pursued. Since the age-categories-footballevents are transitory, making the best out of such competitions demands an approach that is developmental – catching them young.

ON THIS DAY October 22, 2008 India launched its first unmanned lunar mission, Chandrayaan-1. It was launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation in October 2008, and operated until August 2009. The mission included a lunar orbiter and an impactor. India launched the spacecraft with a modified version of the PSLV, PSLV C11 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre, Sriharikota, Nellore District, Andhra Pradesh, about 80 km north of Chennai, at 06:22 IST (00:52 UTC).

October 22, 1999 Maurice Papon, an official in the Vichy France government during World War II, was jailed for crimes against humanity. Maurice Papon (September 3, 1910 – February 17, 2007) was a French civil servant. In 1998, he was convicted of crimes against humanity for his participation in the deportation of more than 1600 Jews to concentration camps during World War II when he was secretary general for police in Bordeaux.

October 22, 1983 Two correctional officers were killed by inmates at the United States’ Penitentiary in Marion, Illinois. The incident inspired the Supermax model of prisons. Supermax (short for “super-maximum security”) is the name used to describe “control-unit” prisons, or units within prisons, which represent the most secure levels of custody in the prison systems of certain countries. The objective is to provide long term, segregated housing for inmates classified as the highest security risks in the prison system.

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Business Courage

Monday, October 22, 2012

National Mirror


A bubble waitin A combination of factors including the violent Boko Haram attacks and devastating floods that continue to ravage most parts of the country make Nigeria a possible candidate for a serious food crisis. Can Nigeria really face up to the impending calamity? By Salami Semiu


r Akinwunmi Adeshina, Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development is very optimistic that Nigeria would not experience food crisis in 2013 as currently being speculated. Contrary to widely held views about the likely dire consequences of the Boko haram insurgences and the devastating floods that have continued to ravage most parts of the country, Dr. Akinwunmi believes that his ministry plans to have flood insurance for all farmers, part of which he said will involve the setting up of a flood recovery food programme to accelerate food production across the affected states would work the magic. According to the minister, all


the flood water will not waste away, but will be judiciously used during the dry season, as he declared that 1,000 pumps will be distributed to farmers. However, it appears that it is only Dr. Akinwunmi that holds such optimism, even within the government circle. His counterpart in the environment ministry, Hadiza Mailafia, like many others, do not share in Akinwunmi’s optimism. She admitted that the several thousands of farmlands that had been destroyed by the ravaging floods across the country pose serious threat to food security. “The consequences of the floods are that there are huge losses of farmlands, there are likely threats to food security, we are likely going to have challenges

A flooded maize Plantation

that have to do with the health of the people in some areas,” she said. Sarah Ochekpe, another cabinet minister in charge of water resources, believes that with the number of farmlands that have been affected, there might be food crisis come 2013. “Agriculturally, Nigerians have been affected. Farmlands have been submerged, so it might affect food production next year; food prices are likely to go up, scrambling for what is available…,” she said. Like Mailafia and Ochekpe, Professor Paul Shaba Marley, Managing Director, Upper Niger River Basin Development Authority (UNRBDA),,also strongly believes that the flood that is currently ravaging the country could lead to food scarcity in the country next year. Marley, a professor of Crop Production, said the country should take proactive measures for possible food scarcity as the cases

of flood would obviously affect food production. He explained that the volume of water associated with flood is inimical to crop production and that if the water that submerged farmlands did not go down, it would be very difficult to have maximum crop production this year. He pointed out that the situation would be felt more in areas

where cereal crops are grown, especially in the Northern region with low water-tolerant crops. “No doubt, the flooding ravaging the country is a threat to the food security programme of the Federal Government. The development may lead to food scarcity next year,” he said. Marley stated further that “Except for rice that is highly tolerant to water, other cere-





National Mirror

Business Courage

Monday, October 22, 2012

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g to burst

als are not. Horticulture crops and other food crops in flood affected areas are being lost and these will cause the country big problem in food production next year because it may take long for the water to rescind.’’ Indeed, almost everyone believes that the current flood situation ravaging most communities across the country poses greater danger to the food situation in the country. Those who hold this view are particularly worried that despite the high hope and expectations raised by the Federal Government about the Agriculture Transformation Agenda, the consideration for food security, through funding of the agric sector in the proposed 2013 budget betrayed such expectations. For a country faced with possible famine, analysts say the budget of N81 billion is considered too small. Besides, the planned hike in levy on imported rice by the Federal Government and a

worldwide apprehension over imminent food crisis in 2013, due largely to severe weather condition in the United States and other food-exporting countries has triggered fear of imminent food crisis in the country, especially those from the floodravaged states. For a country where grains such as rice, millets, corn and beans remained a staple food, stakeholders expressed fears that effect of the massive floods coupled with the recent 100 per cent increase in duty on imported rice, an average and low-income earner might not be able to purchase the farm produce. Already, prices of food items have began to hit the roof top. As at last week, a tin of beans (a unit of measurement usually called derica in the south and mudu in the north) which hitherto sells for between N100 and N150 has reached a neverbefore-seen price of N500. Incidentally, for most Nigerians families, beans and its derivatives like akara and moin-moin are the richest source of nutrients and very often the only source of proteins, the new price means that beans may soon be out of reach even for an average Nigerian living on meagre income. What has even made the situation more frightful is the fact that most food stocks currently in the market were harvested last year, when by most accounts, farmers had a comparatively rich harvest. This year, with tens of thousands of Nigeria’s farmlands already sub-

merged, having been inundated by floods from heavy rainfall and releases of water from some dams, the situation in the coming year could be devastating. Yet, many who spoke with Business Courage last week were of the opinion that beans may just be a metaphor for the impending food shortages across Nigeria, particularly with large swathes of farmland from Adamawa to Jigawa, Bauchi, Plateau, Benue, Kaduna, Kogi to Cross Rivers, Imo, Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi, Edo, Delta and Taraba states swept off. Reports indicate that one of Nigeria’s most important food producing areas, the Hadejia Basin has been substantially washed away by the floods. Large parts of Benue State, ‘the food basket of the nation’ also experienced flooding and loss of produce and farmlands. From Kwara State, where one of its agrarian communities, Patigi is renowned for rice farming to Rukuba-Ondorie in Nassarawa State, several farmlands have been submerged. The Kwara State government recently put the value of the devastated farmlands and the crops at N100 million. Yet, this does not include the damage done to other affected communities like Shonga, another rice producing hub where the river basin was wiped out along with about 3,200 hectares of rice plantation under the authority of Tada-Shonga Irrigation Scheme. Besides the Shonga loss, the loss incurred in Rukuba-


Ondorie in Nasarawa State where Olam Nigeria Limited, a Singaporean investment group is situated is frightening. It is believed that the group’s rice farm valued at about N14.1 billion was swamped by River Benue, which overflowed its banks barely 30 days after the rice seeds were planted. Incidentally, the Olam rice farm is projected to be Africa’s largest rice farm. In Jigawa State, besides the thousands of acres of farm-

land that were destroyed by the flood, no fewer than about 150 herds of cattle were reportedly drowned and washed away. In fact, a maize farmer, Muhammadu Nagaji in Kiyawa and Jahun local government areas of the state reportedly lost four hectares of maize, millet and sorghum to the disaster. Nagaji said he had cultivated more than 40 bags of maize and millet but could not harvest them due to the ravaging flood. “The farm produce were wasted by the flood. I have nothing left,” he said dejectedly. In Benue, a state regarded as Nigeria’s food basket, reportedly lost about 1, 000 hectares of farmlands to the floods, with crops like cassava, yams, vegetables, pepper and okro lost to the floods. In Ebonyi, home to Nigeria’s Abakaliki rice, rice, yam and cassava plantations of over 30 villages, some of which share boundary with Cross River State, were destroyed. In Kano, there are reports that about 95 per cent of irrigated farmlands of rice were destroyed by the flood. A large scale farmer in Kano, Sabo Nanono, said that the recent floods ravaging the country had seriously affected rice production in the state. ``The dam-

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Business Courage

Monday, October 22, 2012

National Mirror


A flooded Farm

age caused to rice farms in the state is colossal because about 95 per cent of rice farms in the state have completely been washed away by flood,’’ he said. Nanono said the worst affected local government areas in the state, where rice were being produced in a large scale included Warawa, Doguwa, Wudil, Gabasawa, Ajingi and Gaya. Nanono, who was a former chairman of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) in the state, said that the disaster had also affected other crops like groundnut, millet, guinea corn and maize which did not require much water. ``All these crops do not require much water and the flood has submerged most of the farms where such crops are planted in the affected local government areas.’’ Sadly though, while the country continue to bemoan the rampaging effect of the flood, the activities of the notorious sect, Boko Haram has also created a potential source of worries about the prospect of Nigerian meeting her food need for next year, particularly as most farmers in the northern part of the country have had to abandoned their farmlands for fear of attack. Business Courage findings revealed that, long before the flooding, the violence which engulfed most parts of the north has affected agricultural activities, particularly the cattle trade. As a result of the crisis, some of the crop farmers and pastoralists have had to abandon their lands and relocate to the neighbouring countries of Niger, Chad and Cameroun. In March, for instance, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said about 65 per cent of northern farmers had migrated to the

South because of the insecurity they faced. The agency warned that the country faced a famine by the end of this year because most of the small-scale farmers and big-time farmers in the North were threatened by terrorist attacks. “The attacks on these farmers who produce beans, onions, pepper, maize, rice, livestock and catfish in the Lake Chad area for the southern states, have forced them to migrate since the Boko Haram insurgency broke out in Borno State in July 2009,” it said. The United Nations in February also expressed fears that the activities of the sect would make it difficult for the World Food Programme to source its supply from Nigeria to affected areas in the Sahel region. A cattle rearer and traditional title holder of the Ciroman Ladduga in the Southern part of Kaduna, Bayero Ibrahim, confirmed that socio-economic activities of the region were gradually becoming extinct due to the crisis. “Everybody is fleeing the area. This crisis has forced some of us to flee to Niger, Chad and Cameroun. This development has greatly dealt a devastating blow to the North,” he said. Similarly, Mohammed Maikudi, a subsistence farmer, said “The North is gradually being killed,” stressing that “We are always afraid of moving from Kaduna to Maiduguri and Kaduna to Yola through Jos. The insecurity is hindering the movement of people. Because of the crisis, we are unable to move our produce to other parts of the country for sale. This development has led to heavy loss of money. Last year, I had substantial land where I cultivated tomatoes, cucumber and other perishable goods. When they

were ripe for sale, there was violence and the produce got rotten.” Maikudi added that some of his co-farmers were forced to relocate as, according to him, “No reasonable person will live in a violent environment. Wherever your life is threatened, you will definitely leave there and move to another place where there is peace. It is only when there is peace that you live in a place.” In Plateau, the religious and tribal crisis that have consistently turned the state into battle front have denied it its pride as major producer of food crops like Irish potatoes and vegetables like cabbage, cucumber, lettuce, green beans, carrots, tomatoes and peas. One of the farmers, Baba Gyang, described the situation as “alarming,” noting that “The constant killings have driven us out of our farms. We can no longer go to the farms because as you bend down to work, the next thing you will hear are gunshots behind you. Our wives and children have been killed on the way to the farms.” Already, as a backlash of all the factors combined, major food and cash crops producing and selling hubs in the country are showing signs of inadequacy of food and agric produce and a strong possibility that where those food items are available, their prices were bound for the rooftop. As at last week, Business Courage gathered that crops like maize, sorghum, millet, beans and others were already in short supply in the country. A bag of corn which sells for N1, 750 in the popular Mile 12 Market in Lagos has shot up to N3, 250. Beans, which previously sell for about N12, 000 per bag now goes for between N27, 500 and N35, 000.

Other food items that are major home staples are equally spiralling out of reach. For instance yams and tomatoes have witnessed a mark up in prices. Last year, about this time, 100 pieces of large tubers of yam sold for N45, 000, but a survey in Lagos last week showed that the same number of yams now goes for N100, 000. A medium size set of 50 tubers of medium size yams last year sold for N25, 000 but as at last week, the same quantity sells for N70, 000. Prices of perishable food items like, tomatoes, pepper, and onions have already gone up and as sources say, things may get worse from next month. Ordinarily, farming of perishable items like tomato and pepper begins about this time, because it is expected that the rains would have abated, allowing for less water logging of the soil that normally inhibits these crops, but with heavy rains and flooding from dams, the goods may be difficult to come by in months to come. “By the end of the Muslim festivity this year, prices of tomato and pepper with other items will go up,” said But Shehu Usman, financial secretary, Perishable Food Items Association of Nigeria (PFIAN). Though Usman is optimistic that supplies of these items from the South-west, Republic of Benin and Togo has immensely helped to cushion the situation and ensure that the prices do not soar too steeply, he is however worried that the succour may not last. As things stand, it appears that an immediate solution to the impending food crisis is not in sight. Sources say that the Strategic Grains Reserves (SGR), where grains are stored in silos sited at planned locations across the country may

have run out of their contents already. Emmanuel Ijewere, chairman, Agriculture and Food Security Commission, Nigerian Economic Summit Group, NESG, said recently that he was not sure there was anything left in the SGRs. “You can only have reserve when there has been surplus. With the insecurity in Kaduna, Kano and some other northern states, there can’t be any reserve,” Ijewere said. Worse still, the Nigerian Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agric Lending, an initiative of the President Goodluck Jonathan administration, which could have protected many of the farmers affected in the crisis is in itself, yet to fully take-off. The scheme was conceived to de-risk agriculture financing and mitigate the impact of natural disasters and losses of agric investments. The scheme seeks to facilitate lowinterest credit to farmers and liberalise the insurance sector. Agriculture is still largely carried out by small-scale farmers and processing and storage facilities are very limited, thus limiting the country’s ability to withstand a food emergency of the nature that many foresee may come on the country as a result of the floods. Going by the provisions made for the agric sector in the 2013 budget, analysts have reasoned that those provisions were made without taking into consideration the recent nationwide disaster. While it is true that the government has instituted key policy reforms to establish staple crop processing zones aimed at attracting the private sector into areas of high production, reducing post-harvest losses, and adding value to locally-produced commodities, there are fears that those policy measures may fall flat in the face of the current realities. Analysts insist that while the various policy statements for the outgoing year appear to be feasible in tackling some of the nation’s food security challenges, the unfolding situation essentially caused by the flood requires the need to re-strategise in terms of funding and policy. A problem of this magnitude, they insist, would require a purpose-driven plan to deal with it. It would be recalled that the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) recently said that about 18.7 million people are facing food and nutrition crises in the Sahel region, which includes a large portion of Nigeria’s vast land area, as a result of drought, malnutrition and disease. The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) has also predicted an invasion by locusts. With all these staring the country in the face, can Nigeria survive the impending doomsday? BC

National Mirror

Business Courage

Monday, October 22, 2012

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L-R: Commandant, Nigeria Police College, CP Sanusi A.Rufai, (left), Deputy Inspector General of Police E-Department, DIG M.E Akpoyibo and Executive Director, Public Sector (North), FirstBank of Nigeria Plc, Dauda Lawal at the commissioning of the Police College Academy in Kaduna refurbished by First Bank…recently

Nigeria will emerge Africa’s hub seaports, says NPA By Francis Ezem


ix years after the reform of the nation’s seaports, which has brought about a measure of efficiency and increased cargo volume, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has said that Nigeria has all it takes to attain a seaport hub status in the African continent. The Federal Government had said prior to the beginning of the port privatisation programme that the exercise was aimed at attracting private sector investment into the port industry and relieve the government of the burden of the huge investment needed to develop the ailing port infrastructure. This is with a view to attracting private sector efficiency, which would make the port user-friendly by reducing cost of operations, increase cargo volumes and ultimately make the nation’s seaports a destination for other countries in the continent. Managing Director of the authority, Habib Abdulahi, who re-assured on the commitment of the government towards achieving these goals, said NPA is more than ever determined to ensure that Nigeria’s seaports emerged the hub of maritime activities not only in the West African subregion but also for the entire African continent. The NPA-boss spoke in Lagos while reacting to a recent report, which ranked Lagos and Cape Town in South Africa as the most innovative cities. The report, which was credited to two international bodies; the Citigroup and

Urban Land Institute of the United States of America, had said that in terms of economic potential, Lagos Ports were ranked for accounting for 80 per cent of Nigeria’s seaport activities. “With the tremendous potential of some of the nation’s seaports such as improved infrastructural development and the huge market, Nigeria’s seaports can conveniently serve as hub for the continent”, he insisted “I am not surprised by such positive comments of the publication as the management is consistently making efforts to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of the nation’s seaports, he said. According to him, not only are the channels of the seaports navigable with regular maintenance dredging, all wrecks along the channels have been removed to facilitate smooth navigation in and out of the channels. He cited a number of projects embarked upon and some completed by the management to enhance improved port operations generally, one of which is the on-going rehabilitation of the 1.6km common user access road in Lagos Port Complex, Apapa. On the authority’s green field development initiative, Habib said the management is working relentlessly on the development of three deep seaports in the country, two situated in Lekki and Badagry, both in Lagos State, while the Ibaka Deep Seaport project in Akwa Ibom State is receiving government’s due attention. The government had in the port reform programme, handled by the Bureau of Public Enterprise in conjunction with NPA adopted the land lord port system

modelled after the Port of Anthwerp, Belgium. Under the model, the cargo handling operation formerly handled by the NPA was handed over the 26 terminal operators into which the eight seaports across the country were decimated, which it was argued was designed to bring about private sector investment in port infrastructure in addition to efficiency. With the stripping of cargo handling functions off NPA, the authority is now entrusted with the provision certain responsibilities such as pilotage, channel management and other related harbour services as well as acting as the land lord of the ports. But experts have argued that a major shortfall in this arrangement was the inability of the government to create a commercial regulator to monitor and regulate port charges by the shipping companies and private terminal operators, who now exploit this loophole to impose arbitrary charges on port users.


GTB Asset launches investment website


TB Asset Management Ltd. has launched an online

website to educate investors on dealings in the equities and financial asset market. Nicholas Nyamali, the Managing Director of the company, said on Friday that the website was tagged ``Virtual Investment Simulator``. He said that the website would enable potential investors and researchers in the equity and financial asset business to get more information about the market and provide prospective investors with ``practical investing skills``. Nyamali said that the website would enable investors know how the equities and financial asset markets aligned with the online gaming environment. ``The investment education project is also designed to teach the general public the art and science of investing. The virtual gaming portal will encourage participants to learn how to make informed investment decisions and how the financial market works. Virtual Investment Simulator is a flexible online game portal with in-built capabilities to enable investors and researchers interact with the dynamics of the equities and assets markets,” he said.

Waziri said that the old pipes, laid 50 years ago, had outlived their usefulness and could not withstand the current pressure. ``The excessive pressure led to the unprecedented pipe bursts in Jos-Bukuru metropolis not long ago. The commissioner disclosed that the state government recently took a loan of N8 billion from Zenith Bank to facilitate the execution of the water project with a view to expanding water distribution. He said that the expansion exercise would cover areas that were not initially networked in the old master plan as well as new layouts in Jos-Bukuru metropolis. He said that another contract worth N989 million, had been awarded to Bodawat. Nig. Ltd for the dredging and expansion of the Yelwa-Dorowa and Rabin-Du water ponds. The commissioner assured residents that water scarcity would be over once the expansion and dredging work was completed.

SON confiscates N10m worth of substandard phones



Plateau Govt signs N7.3bn water project contract


he Plateau Government has signed a N7.3 billion contract for the overhauling of old water pipes and the laying of new ones. The project, to be handled by CGC Nig. Ltd, an international firm, will also involve the expansion of water distribution network in JosBukuru metropolis. Water Resources Commissioner Idi Waziri, who signed the contract on behalf of the government, said that the government had already spent N2.2 billion to rehabilitate three major water treatment plants. According to him, the completion of the rehabilitation of the treatment plants, has improved water supply to the state.

he Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) last Friday raided the computer village in Ikeja and seized substandard mobile phones estimated at N10 million. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the raid caught the marketers unaware as the enforcement team stormed the market in the early hours of the day. The team interrogated owners of 12 shops raided and none of them could give satisfactory response on the quality of their wares. Some of the shops raided included Jefflink Global Services, Eddie Vine Communications, Obino Resources Ltd., Booster Communication and K2 mobile. Others were C.don Communication, Ozidy International Ltd., Mustard Communication, AKA Communication, Eddie Ben and Beco Systems. The Zonal Coordinator of SON, Achema Alewu, told newsmen, after the raid, that the organisation acted on information through its surveillance on the some shops. ``We have warned the marketers against selling substandard products. But we got information that these products still existed and that is the reason for this specific exercise,’’ he said. Alewu said that the seized products would be subjected to laboratory tests and those found to be substandard would

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News be destroyed while genuine ones will be returned to their owners. He said that the organisation would not hesitate to go after the makers of the seized brands if found to be culpable. ``We are not after any brand or individual marketer; our major concern is to get rid of substandard products,” he said. In his reaction, Ikechukwu Nwosu, the President of the Phone and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria, Lagos Branch, expressed confidence in the ability of SON to rid the country of fake and substandard products. ``We have always maintained cordial relations with SON and this exercise, though caught us unawares, is to the benefit of every Nigerian. Our members are ready to cooperate with SON in whatever capacity to rid the market of fake and substandard products,” he said.


MEA leads Interstate’s management team


he Metropolitan Electricity Authority (MEA) of Thailand is set to lead the Interstate Consortium management team bringing to bear its decades of experience in managing electricity distribution companies in advanced environments. MEA is expected to give the technical fillip and focus that will make electricity the backbone of economic development in the areas Interstate operates. The Interstate Consortium which was given the nod to manage the Abuja and Enugu electricity distribution companies, is to throw the weight of its combined balance sheet of $20 billion and its strong experience in the management of over three million consumers in Bangkok Thailand to drive capacity in the two electricity distribution companies ( Abuja and Enugu). The Interstate Consortium comprises Metropolitan Electricity Authority of Thailand (MEA), Chrome Energy, Power House International Limited. A detailed insight into the structure of the company

shows that the Metropolitan Electric Authority of Thailand will run the company while Chrome Energy and Powerhouse International are co-investors. Interestingly, MEA currently services three million customers in Thailand while the customer base of Abuja and Enugu combined is less than one million. According to Kester Enwereonu, Chairman, Powerhouse International Limited, a member of the Interstate Consortium, the combined balance sheet of the consortium members is in excess of $ 20 billion, which shows that they have the financial muscle to finance the acquisitions and upgrade both networks. Apart from its financial capability, the group boasts of solid experience. For instance MEA distributes electricity in the Thai capital city of Bangkok and environs and is reputed to be one of the most efficient Third world power distribution companies with record technical and commercial losses of below 5% over the past eight years. The closeness of Abuja and Enugu makes it possible for the consortium to run them seamlessly. In the course of the bid, they proposed two sets of management teams – one for each. This shows that they were prepared from the beginning to acquire and manage both electricity distribution companies. Prior to the privatisation programme, the CEO’s of select Distribution Companies of PHCN visited MEA and their sister company Provisional Electricity Authority of Thailand (PEA) which distributes power in the rest of the regions in Thailand, as model state utilities that are efficiently run and making major contribution to state revenue, what with a 6billionUSD annual turnover by MEA. It is expected that the consortium will blaze the trail in electricity distribution. Chrome Group and Powerhouse International Limited are promoted by Emeka Offor and Kester Enwereonu respectively. MEA is a company from Thailand that services more than three million customers.

IFRC pleads leniency on migrants


he International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Society (IFRC), has urged nations worldwide to be lenient in dealing with migrants forced by conflicts and disasters into their countries.

IFRC, in its 2012 World Disasters Report, made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Lagos, appealed to governments across the globe to take a more radical approach to putting smiles on the faces of those forced by circumstances into migration. According to the report, over 72 million people, more than one in every 100 of the world’s citizens, are currently displaced. ``There is growing number of people who are being uprooted by violence, political upheaval, disasters, and climate change and developmental projects. ``Issuing temporary work visas, allowing more crossborder mobility and helping migrants integrate quickly into local communities, and other measures, should be encouraged by different governments, `` it said. The report said that the relaxation of citizenship rules would ease the plight of those forced to flee from one troubled country to another. It also recommended that the international community, urgently consider new ways of citizenship, by developing regional citizenships or freedom of movement accords. The report also advised governments, to ease restrictions on employment for those who have fled from crisis-ridden parts of the world. The World Disasters Report called for the integration of refugees, through marriages, education and employment.


NERC advises electricity consumers to be alert to PHCN irregularities


he Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has advised electricity consumers to be alert to certain irregularities by some employees of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN). Giving the advice on Thursday in Uyo, Dr Tony

Akah, NERC’s General Manager, Government and Consumer Affairs, said the commission was aware that some PHCN officials compelled consumers to pay for transformers, electricity poles, cables, and meters. Akah, who spoke at the commission’s ``Power Consumer Assembly’’, urged consumers to watch out for such employees, adding that consumers who felt cheated should file complaints with the commission for action. He stated that the commission had given PHCN an 18-month ultimatum to provide consumers with meters and stressed that it was illegal for the company to arbitrarily give consumers estimated bills. ``We are aware of such things like customers being forced to buy meters, transformers, electric poles. We are urging you as journalists to help us expose these people. ``Nigerian consumers should be fully alert to the trend. You have phones that have cameras, record these things and bring them to us. ``Be rest assured that as soon as we prove that there is a violation of this, we will consider it as a pure criminal violation and we as a commission will take it to the highest level and ensure that whoever the culprits are, will be brought to book. ``We ask the consumers to compile and properly file any complaints about PHCN employees asking them to buy transformers, poles, cables and meters. ``When we look at the individuals’ consumers complaints from our databank, we will be able to make PHCN do what it is supposed to do. He advised on the importance for consumers to first file their complaints at the PHCN office that charged them for any item. ``We are aware of the increased complaints that people are being given crazy bills, bills that are not based on scientific reasons,’’ Akah said. He said that even if the meters were not available, there was a methodology that had been created to produce a ``more or less scientific projection to what consumer billing may look like instead of arbitrary billing’’. Akah said as regulators, the commission also had useful information from different stakeholders that would enable it to come up with more effective regulations, and effectively monitor the rules. He said that the power consumer assembly was a platform to bring stakeholders together to harness ideas and receive complaints from consumers with a view to

addressing their complaints.

96 ships expected in Lagos ports from Oct.19 to Nov. 20


he Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) on Friday said that 96 ships are expected at various terminals in the Lagos ports from Oct. 19 to Nov. 20. NPA said this in its daily publication, ``Shipping Position’’ made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos. The document indicated that the ships are laden with fresh fish, bulk wheat, bulk malt, bulk sugar, petroleum products, new and used vehicles, containers and general cargo. NPA said that the ships are expected at Kirikiri Lighter Terminal, Josepdam Terminal, Ports and Cargo Handling Services Ltd., and the Tin-can Island Container Terminal It added that other terminals where the ships are being expected include: Greenview Development Nigeria Ltd., APM Terminals, Apapa and Ports and Terminal Multiservices Ltd. NPA reported that 15 fuelladen ships including 10 ships containing petrol are waiting to berth and discharge at the various oil terminals in Lagos. It reported that three ships laden with rice and base oil are also waiting to berth at the ports.


RMRDC, Dangote Cement to collaborate on raw materials sourcing By Stanley Ihedigbo


mpressed by the latest technology at the Ibese plant of Dangote Cement, the Raw Material Research and Development Council (RMRDC) has called for a partnership with the cement company in the area of raw material sourcing and deepening of the local content policy of the Federal Government.

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News RMRDC, Director- General, Engr Azikiwe Peter Onwualu and some the management team of the Council who visited the six-million ton per annum capacity Ibese Cement Plant in company of the President of the Lagos State Chapter of Association of Small Scale Industrialists, Kuti-George lauded entrepreneurial spirit of Aliko Dangote. Speaking at the end of the plant tour, the Director General of RMR&DC expressed delight at the visit, saying it was an eye opener which indeed revealed may things about the activities of the Dangote Group. Given the exploits of Dangote Cement in the cement industry with the latest technologies deployed in the excavation of raw materials for production which is more environmental friendly, Engr. Onwualu sought for the collaboration of his agency with Dangote group in the areas of raw material sourcing, research and development and deepening the local content policy. The agency, under the Federal ministry of Science and Technology he said would be ready to partner Dangote Cement in researching into areas through which gypsum could be discovered in large commercial quantity, processing it to acceptable purity of over 90% and pushing for Federal government interest in opening up the gypsum business as commercially viable business entities capable of attracting massive government infrastructure in the sector “This way, more jobs will be created with the intermediate industries that will come up instead of the wholesome import of this raw material from outside the country”, he stated. Dr. Sarkari who led the Dangote cement team that received the visitors said Dangote Cement was already looking at the new standard sand production policy and assured that the company would also be there to compliment efforts of government in that direction. He explained that Dangote cement adopted the latest technology in its cement production from the mines to the loading bay saying the surface mining machines eliminated noise associated with blasting of limestone, while the laboratory is robotic operated to eliminate human errors in analyzing the production processes. Dr. Sarkari told the visitors that the construction of the six million tons per annum second line to the existing one was already underway noting that at the completion of the second line, Ibese plant would be producing 12 million tons per annum.


Tax expert wants judicious use of tax proceeds to discourage tax evasion


aiwo Oyedele, a Partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers, says Nigerians will willingly pay taxes if there is openness in utilisation of proceeds from taxes. Oyedele told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Friday that Nigerians would wilfully pay their taxes if they were convinced that government would improve their conditions. ``Nobody is happy paying tax anywhere in the world, but when social services affect their lives, people will without any grudge pay them. ``I know that a complicated tax system that is expensive and not considerate will dissuade people from complying with national tax laws. ``One way to address the problem of unwillingness to pay taxes is to ensure that the tax system is simple, just and considerate, `` he said. He said that a good tax system would naturally affect small-scale businesses positively and grow the national economy at a fast rate. Oyedele urged government to judiciously use taxpayers’ funds to improve their lives. He said that more researches needed to be carried out on ways to improve Nigeria’s tax administration systems.

Electricity consumers owe PHCN N19bn in Uyo


ebastian Ekokah, Head Customer Affairs, PCHN Akwa-Ibom Zonal Distribution office, on Thursday said electricity consumers in the state owed the company N19 billion.

Ekokah gave the information in Uyo at a three-day retreat by Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) on Consumer Assembly to enlighten consumers on their rights. ``The reason for this attitude is that many Nigerians have that mentality that electricity is the social responsibility of government and it should not be paid for, but provided free to the people. ``But PHCN is now taking measure to stop this abnormality. ``We now use methods, such as disconnecting customers, use of security men and the Federal Government directive that Ministry of Finance should deduct debts from source from those ministries, agencies, establishments such as police, army and others, ’’ he said. He urged consumers to pay their bills so that the power industry would work efficiently and be sustained in Nigeria. On the allegations that some PHCN officials collect bribes before fixing electrical problems for clients, Ekokah advised consumers to use cameras to take photographs of those indulging in the illegality. Earlier Dr Sam Amadi, the Chairman of NERC, who was represented by Dr Anthony Akah, General Manager Government and Consumer Division of the commission, said the meeting was to sensitise customers to their rights. According to him, the sensitisation would last for two days, to conduct an intensive and effective monitoring of PHCN’s compliance to the commission’s regulations. Amadi explained that NERC would address the method of estimating bills for those who did not have functional meters. He said the measure would address the issues of inflated bills given to PHCN customers and the purchase of transformers and electricity poles by consumers. Amadi said that the commission and PHCN, on June 1, agreed on a MultiTariff Order as one of the mandates given under the Electricity Power Sector Reform of Nigeria 2005. The Act empowers NERC to increase the rate of electricity usage by customers every five years. Amadi said that order accommodated all the elements for producing, transmitting, and distributing electricity. He said that technical experts of NERC would on Friday begin to examine the operations of PHCN business units in Uyo.

NERC would interview customers, examine their meters and billing systems to avoid the violation of customers’ rights. Etimobong Silvanus Okon, the clan head of Anua and one of the participants, expressed delight at the programme, promising that the people would support for the exercise.

UNDP unveils ambitious global strategy to protect biodiversity


he UN Development Programme (UNDP) has unveiled a robust environmental strategy to address unprecedented levels of global bio-diversity loss. The new strategy, entitled: ``The Future We Want: Bio-diversity and Ecosystems – Driving Sustainable Development’’, was adopted at the 11th Conference of Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Hyderabad, India. A UNDP statement issued in New York stated that ``the strategy called for a significant scaling up of investments in 100 countries by 2020.’’ ``As part of the plan, UNDP will work with national governments to protect bio-diversity and manage ecosystems across 1.4 billion hectares of land and bodies of water, comparable to the area of Australia, India and Argentina combined,’ the statement said. It quoted UN Under Secretary-General and UNDP Associate Administrator Rebeca Grynspan as saying that, ``human survival depends heavily on biodiversity and healthy ecosystems, yet in recent decades, the world has experienced unprecedented bio-diversity loss and ecosystem degradation,


undermining the very foundations of life on earth’’. ``As 1.2 billion people living in severe poverty depend directly on nature for their basic needs and livelihoods, this needs urgent international attention,’’ Grynspan noted. Under this new strategy, UNDP will work with governments to find new ways to finance bio-diversity management through domestic revenue, innovative financial mechanisms, and donor funding from a range of sources. This includes the Global Environment Facility (GEF), which serves as the financial mechanism of the Convention on Biological Diversity and has been a major driver for conservation in the past two decades. The funding will be used for projects which foster economic growth, create jobs, protect endangered species and habitats, and help build resilient communities that maintain natural areas for agricultural support and as a buffer against natural disasters such as droughts and floods. According to the Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Braulio Dias, ``the launch of UNDP’s new Framework is very timely. ``I believe it will be vital in guiding UNDP’s support to countries to speed up implementation of the Aichi Bio-diversity Targets’’. ``We have a window of opportunity will open between now and 2020 to help countries shift the course of development to maintain and enhance their natural capital, and UNDP’s work will be crucial in this regard,’’ he said. The new UNDP strategy on bio-diversity has three focus areas which include integrating bio-diversity and ecosystem management into development planning and production sector activities. Others are unlocking the potential of protected areas so that they are better managed and financed, and can contribute to sustainable development and managing and rehabilitating ecosystems for adaptation to and mitigation of climate change. UNDP manages the largest portfolio of bio-diversity and ecosystems work in the UN system, with 512 projects in 146 countries, worth 1.5 billion dollars in funding from the GEF and other sources, and $3.5 billion in cofinancing from a range of partners. BC

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Global News


China loses US steel tariff plea

to make high-tech devices. The second accused Beijing of unfairly imposing antidumping duties on US cars exported to China, making them more expensive to buy. The US alleged that the move was designed to protect Chinese manufacturers. Analysts said the latest decision by the WTO was likely to provide a boost to Obama’s campaign. “[It’s] a small benefit for the Obama campaign because it can advertise ‘beating China’ in Ohio,” said Derek Scissors, a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation.


he World Trade Organisation (WTO) has upheld its decision that China’s tariffs on imports of certain US steel products were illegal. Beijing had imposed duties on a particular kind of US steel, alleging that its makers were being given subsidies by the US government. The WTO ruled against the tariffs in June, a decision it upheld saying that China had failed to prove its charges. The case is the latest in a series of trade conflicts between the counties. “Today we are again plainly stating that we will continue to take every step necessary to ensure that China plays by the rules and does not unfairly restrict exports of US products,” US trade representative Ron Kirk said. Disagreements between China and the US have been growing in recent times and the two have sparred over issues ranging from China’s currency policies to allegations of state subsidies given to Chinese firms. The US has upped its ante against Beijing recently, not least because of the upcoming presidential elections. The impact of China’s growing economic might on the US economy, and how the US should respond to it, has become a key issue in the elections. Both President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney have pledged to put more pressure on Beijing. If elected, Romney has vowed to formally label China a “currency manipulator” on his first day in office, opening the way to trade sanctions. Last month, Obama filed a complaint against China with the WTO, accusing it of illegally subsidising car exports. That was in addition to two other complaints the Obama administration has filed with the WTO against China this year. The first accused Beijing of restricting its exports of socalled rare earth metals, used


Angola unlikely to alter monetary policy in Q4


ngola’s central bank is unlikely to alter its monetary policy in the fourth quarter and does not believe a sudden cut in the benchmark interest rate would help it reach its inflation target, Governor Jose de Lima Massano said. The rate remains unchanged at 10.25 per cent since February and Massano said in a speech last week that a cut would not bring immediate benefits. “It is our view that, in the current context, a more aggressive and sudden reduction of the benchmark interest rate may not cause relevant gains in the immediate rise in credit to the economy, nor support price containment,” he said in the speech posted on the central bank’s website.

EU bank deal ‘boosts integration’


he French president says a deal to start building a banking union on January 1 2013 will enable the eurozone to speed up economic integration. “Thanks to this we can advance more quickly and with more assurance,” Francois Hollande said in Brussels. He spoke after EU leaders agreed to set up a single banking supervisor for the 17-nation eurozone - a key


step towards a banking union. But Hollande also said EU states “need different speeds” of integration. “We should have a council of the eurozone to meet on a regular basis... We need different speeds - that’s agreed by everyone now, and there are even some moving backwards,” he told a news conference. Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel insisted again that “quality takes precedence over speed” in setting up the banking union. It has been agreed that the European Central Bank (ECB), as supervisor-in-chief, will have the power to intervene in any of the eurozone’s 6,000 banks. The deal appears to be a compromise between France and Germany, who earlier disagreed over the timing and over the number of banks the ECB would oversee. A legislative framework is to be in place by January 1, with the supervisory body starting work later in 2013. But the Greek crisis also looms large, as the EU awaits a key report from the “troika” of international lenders - the ECB, European Commission and International Monetary Fund. Hollande insisted that “Greece’s presence in the eurozone should not be questioned any more” and Merkel said the Greek government was “really making an all-out effort” to reform its economy. Meanwhile, Spain’s main trade unions have called a general strike for 14 November, coinciding with similar protests in Portugal and Greece. Germany had been at odds with the European Commission over the scope of the proposed ECB supervision. All the eurozone banks will be included - but Germany had wanted it limited to the biggest, “systemic” banks. Previously, the German government has expressed a desire to retain supervisory responsibility within Germany over the country’s Landesbanks - state-owned banks that play a key role

in the economies and state finances of Germany’s federal regions.

Spanish, Italian bond yields fall after EU summit


panish and Italian bond yields hit their lowest levels in over half a year last Friday after euro zone leaders firmed up plans for a common bank watchdog, while world shares and the euro remained on course for strong weekly gains despite a slight dip. European leaders at a summit in Brussels said a new supervisor would be in place next year, paving the way for the bloc’s rescue fund to inject capital directly into ailing banks. With the prospect of European Central Bank support looming, benchmark Spanish bond yields have come down around half a percentage point this week and both Spain and Italy have seen dramatically stronger bond sales. Spanish 10-year yields fell to their lowest in 6-1/2 months as markets digested news from the EU summit. Italian yields also fell to levels not seen in over seven months, helped by a jumbo sale of 4-year bonds on Thursday. “There is more of a general understanding that the ECB backstop is actually effective,”

Lex Van Dam

UniCredit chief euro zone economist Marco Valli said of the central bank pledge to buy sovereign bonds on the secondary market. “The market has brought yields in Italy and Spain down to levels which, for the time being, seem to be much more consistent with debt sustainability,” he added. Global economic data in recent days and signs of progress in defusing the euro zone debt crisis has left the MSCI index of world shares up almost 3 percent for the week, near a 15-month high, and the euro up about 1.5 per cent against the dollar. With equity investors in a mood to book profits after four sessions of gains and disappointed by results from tech giants Google and Microsoft, world shares were down 0.2 percent on the day by mid-morning. The Euro STOXX 50, which has enjoyed its best week of 2012, was down 0.4 per cent, while Britain’s FTSE 100, France’s CAC-40, Spain’s IBEX and Germany’s DAX were down between 0.1 and 1.3 per cent. “It is possible that the highs for the year are in,” said Lex van Dam, hedge fund manager at Hampstead Capital. “Company earnings remain under pressure. In currency markets, the euro, at $1.3056, hovered below its one-month high against the dollar as the EU summit reconvened last Friday, while the yen was near a twomonth low against the dollar as speculation mounted over the possibility that the Bank of Japan will take fresh stimulus measures. The Australian dollar was steady at $1.0365, off a threeweek high of $1.0415 hit on Thursday. Gold, which has been slowly slipping this month as the dollar has strengthened, fell to $1,737.65, heading for its second successive weekly decline. Copper and other metals attuned to the economic cycle were down but remained on track for weekly gains, boosted by signs that world powerhouse economies China and the United States are stabilising. Oil prices held above $112 a barrel, but were set for their third weekly fall in five weeks, as the restart of Britain’s largest oilfield is imminent. “We have enough supply,” said Jeremy Friesen, a commodities strategist at Societe Generale, adding that Brent prices would probably trade between $110 and $115 a barrel this quarter. “Short of any geopolitical or economic shocks,” he said. “The market will probably grind lower this month.” BC

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Monday, October 22, 2012

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The trail blazer Aleogho Raymond Dokpesi is a seasoned entrepreneur and investor who seem to have a perfect understanding of the dynamics of private broadcasting business. When he ventured into the media business, a business which many see as a high risk without the commensurate returns, Dokpesi damned the consequence, brushed aside harsh criticism as well as tantrums from detractors. Today, his foray has paid off, as Daar Communications; the first private broadcast station in the country has continued to redefine broadcasting business in Nigeria but also across the African sub region By Adejuwon Osunnuyi


aymond Anthony Aleogho Dokpesi is a native of Agenebode, Etsako East Local Government Area in Edo State, but he was born in Ibadan Oyo State on October 25, 1951. From infancy, the young Dokpesi had displayed rare courage in many of his dealings, the trait which later came in handy in the pursuit of his career advancement. To those who know him well enough, Dokpesi is a dogged trailblazer, the same trait that perhaps, contributed to the way he broke the jinx of government’s exclusive ownership of electronic media in the country. As the only boy among six sisters, the young Dokpesi started his education at the Ebenezer African Church School and later proceeded to Loyola College, both in Ibadan. He later joined the Immaculate Conception College (ICC) Benin City, then Bendel State, where he was the pioneer member of Ozolua play house, a dance/drama group. He was also part of the pioneer students of University of Benin, Edo State where he did his undergraduate studies. He worked

briefly with the Nigerian Ports Authority as Marine Office Cadet in 1969 before proceeding to Poland for further studies. He completed his studies in University of Gdansk, Poland where he earned his Bachelor, Masters Degree and Doctorate Degrees in Marine Engineering under the sponsorship of Bamanga Tukur, Chairman of African Business Roundtable and currently, chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party. Graduating with a first class in his first degree and a distinction in Masters, Dokpesi also emerged the best graduating student in fifty years in Poland in Marine Transport Engineering. While in the school, Dokpesi was variously the Pesident, Nigerian Students Union Gdansk Poland (1972 - 1974), President, African Students Union, Poland (1973), President, International Students Association, Poland (1974), President, Nigerian Students, Eastern Europe (1974). He lectured in the University of Gdansk, Poland as Assistant Lecturer in Marine Transport Economics before he returned to Nigeria on the invitation of


the then Nigerian Head of State, Retired General Yakub Gowon, who was then on a State visit to Poland. On returning to Nigeria, Dokpesi worked with both the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Federal Ministry of Transport in different capacities. At the Federal Ministry of Transport and Aviation, he was the Head of Water Transport Division on Secondment from Ni-

gerian Ports between 1978 and 1983. Dr. Raymond Dokpesi started as the personal assistant to Bamanga Tukur, who was then, one of the General Managers with the Nigerian Ports Authority. He also served as a civil servant in the Federal Ministry of Transport under Umaru Dikko and General Garba Wushishi. Way back in the 80s, when the name Raymond Dokpesi

bursts into the consciousness of the business world in Nigeria, armed with his doctorate degree in Marine Engineering and strong vision, his association with the likes of Tukur and the late Moshood Abiola had made him succeeded in persuading them to invest in starting what was considered the first indigenous shipping line in Africa, Africa Ocean Line (AOL). Although Continue on pg A8

Business Courage

the business did not last long, it however contributed a great deal to the Nigerian shipping industry as it helped to formulate the Nigerian shipping act Decree 1986 which stated the sharing formula 40:20:20 for cargo between developed and developing countries. While many agreed that the shipping line was a bold venture, unfortunately, though it didn’t last long, but it signalled Dokpesi’s visionary and pioneering “effrontery” in big time business. However, another opportunity for him to record another first came in 1991 when the then Head of State, General Babangida issued a decree which allowed private broadcasting in Nigeria. With that decree, Dokpesi decided it was s time to return to his first love, showbiz and entertainment. Way back in his secondary school days, it would be recollected he was the pioneer member of Ozolua playhouse, dance/ drama group. With this as his back-

ground, he decided to put his dream to reality when he conceived the idea of starting a radio station. Dokpesi registered Daar Communications, a combination of the first letters of his names, Dokpesi Anthony Aleogho Raymond and applied for Radio, Television and Direct Broadcasting by satellite license. The license was subsequently granted. Hence, on September 1, 1994, he began full commercial broadcast operations on its high profile radio channels with the call sign, Raypower 100.5, the first private independent radio station in the Nigeria. A second channel, Raypower 2, was launched in April 1999. While the initial funding of Daar Communications Ltd came from Daar Investment & Holding Company and the founder of the conglomerate –Aleogho Dokpesi, in 1996, he launched Africa Independent Television, (AIT), also the first private television network in Nigeria, whose signal today is received in a number o f

Monday, October 22, 2012

countries worldwide. When he ventured into the media business, not many gave him a chance to succeed. According to cynics, venturing into the media business was like deliberately jumping into an ocean with eyes wide open. The fear was that, there was no investor bold enough to engage favourably in privately-owned electronic media. But while some that tried initially bowed out prematurely, DAAR communications is still irrevocably a pathfinder in that regard and has opened way for many more private sector participation in the broadcast business. For records, apart from breaking this barrier in the world of broadcas broadcasting, DAAR Communications (o (owners of AIT and Ray Power 100 100.5fm) did not start broadcast op operation until 1994, six years afte after incorporation. With the birth of these two entities, DAAR C Communications Limited w was responsible for creating tthe platform through which radio radi and television could be broa broadcast to its viewers 24 hours a day in Africa for the very first tim time. DAAR became a public limit limited company on April 23, 2007 and is now known as DAAR C Communications Plc. Since it comme commenced operations, DAAR Com Communications Plc and its affiliate liated subsidiaries have remained faithful to their commitment to produce unparalleled entertainment entert experiences based on the rich legacy of quality crea creative content and exceptional de delivery. The compan company, together with its subsidiar subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leadin leading diversified international broadcasting and medi media enterprise with three b business segments: Afri Africa Independent Te Television-AIT, Raypow Raypower100.5FM, DAAR DAARSAT-Directto-Ho to-Home Satellite TV TV. T o d a y , D Dokpesi, oftten regarded a as Nigeria’s T Ted Turner w will be rem membered for usi using the AIT platform to set platf the s standard for sala salary structure in th the media industry dus in which the Nigerian Television AuTele thority imita imitated. AIT’s audience is global w with general viewership as it appeals to a broad cross-section of popcross-sec ular tas tastes. AIT, on September 20, 2003 Septem launched its siglaunch nals in the United States and it is currently received curren

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Few years ago, Dokpesi had to depend largely on public goodwill to stave off liquidation before the company eventually went public after the Initial Public Offer through which it pooled N13.9 billion

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in America, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Europe-wide on the Hot bird satellite as well as countries within Africa. Just last week, Daar Communication was officially licensed in Sierra Leone to commence full broadcasting in addition to its presence in Ghana. AIT’s in-depth coverage aims to keep global viewers fully in tune with the soul of an African broadcaster offering premium quality service. DAAR Communications Limited broadcast stations are on air 24 hours daily. The internet company also provides a 24 hours service. Aside AIT and Raypower which have their presence in virtually almost all states in the country, another area where the Agenebode high chief notably delved into is the Pay-tv section currently dominated by the South African’s DSTV. With the coming of DAARSAT, a pay-tv service on the digital terrestrial platform launched in October 2008, the service offers customers opportunity to receive some of DAARSAT’s most popular programming, including live Sports, Documentaries and Hollywood films. DAARSAT Direct to Home [DTH] pay-TV offering uses High Definition technology to broadcast a majority of its channels. But like many indigenous pay-tv which had come before it and subsequently disappeared into thin air, it was apparent that DAARSAT’s configuration both as a product and as a brand was flawed as they eventually led to its slow and painful death. DAARSAT’s litany of missteps could be seen as evident in its lack of clear message, brand promise, product offering and even the simple question, what is DAARSAT? Looking at DAARSAT as a product, it was evident that the DAARSAT brand made a loud entry into the market heralded by the “catch da fever” campaign. The campaign quickly caught on with a beautiful theme song and some humorous TVC. However, all that couldn’t mask the

fact that DAARSAT did not have content that could help the brand capture the market. Unlike DSTV which came into the market offering a plethora of content, having quickly identified football as the most sought after content thereby acquiring ownership of the rights to the most prestigious football competitions notably the Premiership, Champions League, Spanish La Liga, African football competitions and so on, as well as rich entertainment programmes, DAARSAT only hinged its campaign on the fact that it had 50 channels and was still counting. While it took a while before the identity of those channels were revealed, the eventual revelation did not elicit the loudest cheers. Apparently, while DAARSAT failed to acquire quality and unique content that mattered to the customers, it wasn’t surprising as DAARSAT ended up not being considered by the Pay-TV viewing customers. Despite his deep involvement in the business circle, Dokpesi has also played key role in the emerging democratic experiment in the country. One of his first political assignments was as a political campaign manager to Bamanga Tukur, which brought Tukur into the then Gongola state government house. He also assumed the same role during Adamu Ciroma’s presidential campaign and later the Tukur’s presidential campaign in 1993. Dokpesi played a similar role during the ill-fated Peter Odili’s presidential campaign in 1997 and he is one of the leaders of the SouthSouth People Assembly (SSPA) an organization that seeks to promote south-south people of Nigeria. Dokpesi has been a many of many laurel, both on his personal recognition and in appreciation of the role played by Daar Communications. From his hometown, he was conferred with many titles, two of which are only bestowed on worthy sons. He is Oghieumua and Ezomo of Weppa Wanno of Edo State and also the Araba of Osoro Land Okpe.

National Mirror

Business Courage A11 27

Monday, October 22, 2012

Dokpesi Receiving an Honorary Doctor of Business Administration, From American Heritage University of Southern California

lawyer, Joseph Nwobike, sued Dokpesi and his company seeking the recovery of an outstanding loan said to have granted the company to enable it broadcast the FIFA Under-17 World Cup hosted by Nigeria in 2009. The loan was said to have been secured by Dokpesi’s personal guaranty and by all assets debenture on the fixed and floating assets of Daar Communications valued at N21.3 billion. They added that the defendants also secured the loan with a legal mortgage over a property located at 34, Creek Road, Apapa, Lagos belonging to Baldok Shipping Limited. The judge held that having reviewed evidence adduced by parties and submissions of their lawyers, he believed the bank was entitled to be paid the said indebtedness. Besides, the bank also has two more cases pending against the DAAR Communication before the court. One is a bankruptcy case and the other seeks the closure of Daar Communications. Dokpesi however believes that the challenge which his media group currently face is as a result of the unfair business practices between private and public broadcast businesses in Nigeria. Marshalling his points on “the pains and gains of establishing a world class media enterprise,” Dokpesi recounted the ordeals he had to contend with in the hands of Nigerian leadership before his African Independent Television could attain its current status. Dokpesi noted that the policies of the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission are not only weird when compared to global best practices but are designed

to “kill private media houses before they even start. “For example, the license fee in 1994 was N750, 000, but it is now in excess of N100 million. In the US, two or three networks can collaborate to share a license but not in Nigeria,” he said. Passionately condemning the means of funding private and government-owned media houses, he described it as a death sentence for private media houses, noting that the idea of funding private media houses only through advert subscriptions while public media houses are funded through government’s subventions is unfair. In essence, he said that public media houses should air no advert since they are funded with taxpayers’ money. “But in Nigeria, NTA receives between N15 billion to N20 billion annually from the government and still collect adverts. Here lies the death sentence: advert rates on

public media houses are at rock bottom low, forcing their private counterparts to adopt economically non-viable advert rates and if you try to increase your rate, NBC will say ‘no, you can’t go beyond this price’. So, after a media house has paid the huge license fee and bought equipment, it can only run for about three years before it starts having financial problems,” he said. Annual returns paid to the NBC, according to him, is another death blow in the form of policy. “They said Section 14 [of the NBC act] empowers the commission to collect 2.5 per cent of revenue of media houses annually, a levy that no public media house is forced to remit,” Dokpesi stated. The fearless and dogged Dokpesi pathetically described Nigerian broadcast technology as half a century behind current technologies, even though

Dokpesi believes that the challenges which his media group currently face is as a result of the unfair business practices between private and public broadcast businesses in Nigeria

During the Dr. Kwame Nkrumah Leadership Award ceremony in Accra, and the Foundation for Excellence in Business Practice Geneva Switzerland, Dokpesi was praised for Daar communications’ rise to the top in Africa and contributions of Radio and Television station, that has placed Nigeria on the world map. Said to be a philanthropist, Raymond Dokpesi has built schools for community and also offered scholarships to prospective students. However, despite the tremendous impact which he has made, particularly in the area of private broadcasting, it has really not been a bed of roses for this media icon as he has had to severally fight to save the media empire from the brink of collapse. Few years ago, Dokpesi had to depend largely on public goodwill to starve off liquidation before the company eventually went public after the Initial Public Offer through which it pooled N13.9 billion. His battle with his banks debtors is also of significance. Recently, a Federal High court in Lagos ordered Dokpesi and his company; Daar Communication Plc to repay a debt of N7.5 billion debt owed Fidelity Bank Plc. In a judgment on a suit by Fidelity Bank, Justice Mohammed Idris also ordered Dokpesi and his company to pay the bank 21 per cent per annum on the amount owed from May 31, 2011 until judgment and 21 per cent interest per annum from the day of Judgment until final liquidation. The bank, had through its

the country started broadcasting well ahead of many other African countries. “These people spend their estacodes in hotels when they travel abroad instead of exposing themselves to technological developments in the industry,” he said while narrating how the NBC “arrogantly” turned down his proposal for a pilot digital transmission. According to him, they had asked if he really thought Nigerians are as freaky about technology as he was. Away from Dokpesi’s success in investment and triumph in the broadcast industry, the media guru is also a motivator, an orator and good public speaker. He also has to his credit, many and exceptional scholarship prowess publications such as Optimal size of Tankers for International Trade (1974), West African Shipping Range (1975), Technology Change in Shipping and its impact on Ports (1976), Consultation Machinery in Shipping - The West African Experience, International Multi-modal Transport System - Implication on Nigeria Economy (1980), Thoughts on Nigeria National Shipping policy (1980), Fiscal and Financial Arrangements to Encourage Investment in Shipping in Nigeria (1986), Security in Cargo Handling - The Nigerian Experience Bulk Fleet Development (1986), The Issue of a Shipping Agency in the Maritime Industry (1987), The role of the Seaport in the Structural Adjustment Programme, Problems of Liner Shipping Policy and the review of the United Nations Convention on a Code of Conduct Linear Conferences - Present Status and Prospects (1991). Dokpesi is a fellow of several professional and management institutes like the Nigerian Institute of Shipping, Chartered institute of Transport, Institute of Transport Administration, Nigerian Institute of Management, Nigerian Institute of Public Relations and the Institute of Directors. He was a member of the Presidential Committee on Long Term Measure to solve Piracy and Security Problems in Nigerian Sea Ports and Territorial Waters (1981), Member Chief of Defence Staff Board on Boarders and Harbour Security Force (1982), Member - Committee on Decentralization of Nigeria Ports Plc (1983), Member - Shipping Policy Implementation Committee (1987). He is a recipient of several national and international awards amongst which are the Dr. Kwame Nkrumah Africa Leadership Award and Gold Medal for Excellence in Business Practice, awarded by the Foundation for Excellence in Business Practice, an organ of the United Nations based in Geneva, Switzerland. He is also the recipient of the prestigious Institute of Directors (10D) 2007 Entrepreneurial Award. BC

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Business Courage

Monday, October 22, 2012

National Mirror

10 Questions

Our budgeting process Bisi Oni, stockbroker and asset manager is the Deputy Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Fund Quest Financial Services Limited, a new entrant in the financial services industry in Nigeria. He told Bamidele Obafemi in this interview among other issues that Nigeria’s budgeting process will remain a mere rhetoric without a robust review mechanism. Excerpts


ooking at the proposed budget for 2013, do you think there any reason for Nigerians to be excited? Well, I would like a position where we would begin to ask questions concerning budgeting generally rather than getting ourselves fixated on the new numbers that the government is throwing up. Why not let us look at the entire budgetary process (either in a personal life, for a family, for a state, even for a corporate). It involves a stage when it has to be reviewed and look at when and what time do we have reviews in Nigeria. When you have budget figures thrown at you every year, who asks the questions about what we have done with the budget? You said you are going to spend X-amount to do so and so, what is the state of this project? When you say you have budgeted X-amount of the budget for education, for instance, we should know what the status is at any given time. Budget is no budget until there is a review time, and what we always concern ourselves about in this part of the world is the number. Somebody keeps throwing the numbers at us every year and we just feel good about it, and that is the end of it. No, that should not be. The process is not complete with the numbers only. My take would be to have the Federal Ministry of Finance give side by side figures, project by project to Nigerians as they do during the allocation. Now, they publish what they allocate to the local governments; let us also have the status of budget implementation either on a monthly, quarterly, half year or yearly. So, budget is not the ritual of somebody presenting something to the National Assembly and some people squabble about that, that is not budgeting, it is not complete. It is just one of the stages of efficient budgetary process. It is just like earning salary and you just budget that this is what l want to do and at the end of the month, you don’t know how the money went. Look, you can’t block loopholes, wastages. You can’t block the drain pipes in your finances if you don’t review your budget. We need budgetary reviews in Nigeria. Yes, l did mentioned to you that l have not taken a deep look at the budget but some of the comments l have heard especially from the legislative arm of government is very worrisome, especially as it relates to the benchmark price of the crude oil. It is believed that government is premising this budget on 2.5 million barrel production per day. I have not seen the numbers on the condensates yet, however, if you look at that number and also consider the reference price, l think that the $75 per barrel benchmark by government is even too high if we are a

serious nation. What do you mean? Very good, we are talking about creating a Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), if you benchmark Nigeria vis-a-vis other oil producing nations, if you look at our oil savings compared to our population, we would perhaps have the lowest among these countries. So, we have depleted our excess crude account, the external reserves is going up but at $40 billion at best. With the kind of revenue that accrues to us daily from crude, then, we have not started. Because we need to think about what happens if oil crashes to $10 per barrel. It is not impossible. What happens at that point in time, we go a borrowing again? What happens to our currency? What happens to the interest rate? What happens to funding the other tiers of government? If we cannot put infrastructure in place, we should have robust external reserves. External reserves at $40 billion for about 160 million people as far as I am concerned, simply means that we have not yet started. Would you say we are getting there gradually especially with regards to how the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was taken to task on the performance of the 2012 budget? You see, a lot of self interest comes into such arguments. The truth is that, they are all politics. When in January this year, we had a town hall meetingSanusi was there. I think Deziani AlissonMadueke, the Minister of Oil, the Minister of Finance too, l mean all high ranking government officials; they came to explain the rationale, the justification for fuel price increase. Why can’t we have such a town hall meeting where they will make presentations to us about how much was allocated to each ministries and how much they have spent. Each minister tells us for instance, what he/she has done in three months. Let them tell us the contracts that have been awarded, the names of contractors handling the contracts, and the status of the projects. You will see people sending you live information by tweeter, giving the current status of the road for example. That is what we call budget review and not just someone sitting in the comfort of his/her office to churn out numbers. Unfortunately too, the oversight functions of the legislative arm have been politicised. Now, I’m sorry to say, most Nigerians don’t believe the legislative arm. Though they are pushing facts on the table but it has been tainted by a lot of politics. I don’t want to delve

into politics but we need to situate issues. If they say they have created X jobs, let them tell us the sector and the industries that are affected. Let’s narrow it down, let’s be specific about these things. We are going in circle as far as I’m concerned. In essence, you are saying there is nothing to be excited about as far as the current budget proposal is concerned? There is nothing about those numbers; it is not about the numbers. It is about what we do with the number, who runs the numbers, who asks the questions. I mean just anybody can put the numbers together. Yes, l agree a lot of work would have gone into it (modelling and all that), but it does not stop there. A critical ingredient of budget is missing, that that is the review. Who is asking the questions? It is just like you are running a company and the Board doesn’t ask you questions. You as the Managing Director of a company comes up in the beginning of the year and tell them what you are going to achieve and you are not accountable to anybody, l mean you are going nowhere. Who then should ask these questions? The legislative arm of government should be asking the questions, you and I should be asking the questions too. l like what Ngozi did when she started publishing those numbers been allocated to the local governments. Now, we know what the local governments get. For example, l did a letter to my local government chairman recently, asking how allocations are being made for certain road construction projects. You know, he just called me and made jest about the whole matter. And l said to him, ‘why not just write to respond to my questions rather than talking about the issue on phone’. I mean, now, l know what he gets and l can ask questions unlike before. Now, we can take that further. If it will be too expensive to put together the type of the town hall meeting we had in January, they can put figures together and put them on the internet for people to see and react. And if you look at it, the way we now engage government in Nigeria, it is getting better but we are not there yet. Unlike before that, nobody does anything. Some five, six years ago, all we do in Nigeria is to analyse budget. In fact, government celebrates budget analysis in those days. But now, people are beginning to ask questions. That is what it should be. The numbers may look good but where are the projects. That is the question we need now to be asking. Would you say we are in the right direction with the way the government is handling the current privatisation of

the power sector? I think so. The fact that government could push the privatisation process to this stage, l think we are on course, because government has held this sector to ransom for too long. For a government now to be this bold enough, l think we need to push this through. It’s been slow, it’s been painstaking, but getting to this stage shows that government has a bit of political will power to push it through. So, l think am not in any doubt. You see, breaking the electricity union is a major issue. Breaking the power of the cabal in the power sector is also a major issue. So, we need to salute the government for how far it has gone. What l see at the end of the day is that, when this sector is fully deregulated,...yes, initially, just like the telecoms sector, we may be paying some abnormal rates, and that is going to take a while, say for about a year or two, competition will ensure that these fares come down but more importantly, is more of availability. Nigerians need this like yesterday. In fact, it is next to our blood. It costs a fortune to power a house, company, equipment with fuel and generator. Companies are spending a lot of funds to keep their factories running, and that drops by 50 per cent, it’s no brainer. If you want to see the likely impact of the

National Mirror

Business Courage A13 29

Monday, October 22, 2012

is faulty – Oni

It appears things are going well at the capital market at the moment. What’s your estimation as an insider about the level of performance of the market? To answer your question very directly, I would say we are in one of the peaks that would lead to recovery. Definitely, the market is not yet in a sustained peak but one of the peaks. Like l have always said, the concept of the capital market is driven by an unseen engine, and that engine

will affect them, to the extent that our economy is open, foreign policies will have impact on the prices. Both must just be right. But from the other variable which is the foreign investor, we are a darling. Our securities are a delight. Why? Because our market is like a company that was making losses and you bring in a whiz kid that decides to write off (assuming our market is a bank) and he decides to make provision for all your bad loans. That particular year, investors will suffer but subsequently, because you have a clean slate, any income after the recovery will hit the bottom-line. And that is what is happening in our market, a lot of sanity has gone into regulation, measurement of performance, a lot of improvement has gone into product development, and that is what led to the emergence of market makers. A lot of improvement has come into supervision of the operation of the operators of the market. Supervision is active and communication is strong between the regulators and the regulated. It’s no longer a super master situation that we used to have. In the mean time, foreign investors have seen that the market is good, the banks are a delight, and most of the real sector players are a delight. You sound very confident? Yes, you see, apart from the BokoHaram insurgency which has been largely curtailed and the power issue, the economy is getting better and the capital market is enjoying improved transparency. The numbers coming from the listed companies are genuine and now, those who would be losing out are those that are still sceptical. They have lost most and they will still lose it again because they will get into the market when are not supposed to come, which is the second stage of loss. They will be getting to the market when it has taken a flight. Now the market is, to use a lay man word, warming up, it is in one of the peaks (sketches a graph to illustrate his point). I could show you here the prices of some stocks and it would amaze you what had happened in the market in the last 90 days. What impact has the market makers really had on the capital market? We need to understand what the

There is nothing about those numbers; it is not about the numbers. It is about what we do with the number, who runs the numbers, who asks the questions

road we are travelling on the corporate or the real sector in the next five years, just look at the cost of energy in Nigeria and in various homes. Look at Unilever, the Lafarges, check how much they are spending on power, in the next five years, ask yourself, they would not be spending more than 50 per cent on power; roll that back on the profit line and see what will happen to shareholders’ value, dividend, prices on the floor of the stock market. However, government needs not to celebrate until the process comes to conclusion. Look at the issue of the exminister of power, l mean that government could demonstrate willingness and seriousness by saying you have goofed here and you’ve got to go, send messages to other people that government appears serious on this project. It may not be flawless but we are on the right track.

cannot be divorced from the economy. So, if we say that the economy is growing at six or seven per cent, we cannot expect that our capital market would be growing at a stratospheric level. One thing is very clear, the business cycle that we have witnessed (global, local, regional) that have led to what we are seeing currently is about being corrected. Certain policies have been put in place like you and l know. But the question people should ask is why the market did not react while those policies were being put in place. It is because there is a time lag between policy formulation, implementation and action. Before a pronouncement begins to take a tangible effect on the capital market, it depends on the economy, and the basis could be one year in a normal economy that is properly linked. Don’t forget that our economy is not properly linked, In fact, it is delinked. It is delinked to the extent that some of the sectors are not connected and it has a lot to do with power. A manufacturer for example gets its raw materials from abroad, produces what he wants to produce and sells it to the market. The agricultural sector is not feeding the industries. And the industries ordinarily in growth should be able to buy off in advance whatever is produced from the agric sector and keep people in employment. So, there is no synergy. Look at the oil industry, for instance, the oil and gas, how many people are employed in this industry? It is a foreign economy. In fact, it is an external economy to Nigeria. Why? One, the price we don’t determine. Two, what we need to produce we can’t determine too. Three, the competence, we don’t rule the competence. So what happens? Those who determine the price, the quantity and the technical knowhow, rule what you get per time. So as they rule what you get, if you premise the creation of job in the economy on that external sector, you’ve just failed. Yet, you are getting the funding. Then, such fund should be channelled to the employment creation centres - the agric, real sector and infrastructure. Once there is that connection, things will work, but here, there is no such thing. Our economy is so much in disconnect. Let’s us situate that to the capital market. The companies that operate in the market are also listed in the local economy. To the extent that they operate, local policies

maker makers do in a capital market. But we must first give credit to both the management of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for their effort to initiate the process and make it to begin to work. The NSE especially has to be saluted because at the time when the 10 market makers were having issues, going back and forth, the NSE listened. They listened to their challenges and at the same time continue to make amends, and that gave everybody a lot of confidence in the process. The literal meaning of market making is like doing proprietary trading. It means you are bringing new monies that you have not been using to trade in the capital market to trade because of your obligation as a market maker. Your appointment as a market maker confers on you certain obligations and rights. So, you will come to the market at several times to intervene. It means that you are trading against the other brokers or against the market. But look at it this way, if that concept has not been introduced, the additional volume being done by these market makers would not have happened. If you really want to measure the impact of the market makers on the market, pull out the volume they (market makers) are doing and we will see the difference. But l will tell you that those numbers must be part of the volume because it would not have happened if the market makers concept has not been introduced. And as we go, because success has a way of giving birth to another success, l understand that some of these market makers will now have to increase the number of stocks they are trading in and that means increasing volume, and you know what happens? The bandwagon effect will resurface. But those who should be looking at the market now are those who are willing to weigh it out. If they see their objectives been met in the short term, then they leave and go away to come back in the short term. That is why fundamental investing is very important, people should not invest on emotion but in securities that have fundamentals. Most of securities that the market makers are trading on are those that comply with certain rules, so the market makers will not just trade on any kind of securities. Things appear to be looking up for Union Bank. What’s the secret? You see, those investing in any stock especially corporate investors, are not stupid. They must have done their numbers. What you see happening particularly in the case of Union Bank...l may not have all the figures, is that, we have new core investors, and if you check the pedigree of this core investors.... for instance, see what they did in ABC Transport, I mean African Capital Alliance (ACA). They have brought someone from Citi Bank to run the place (Union Bank). Also see what they did with Diamond Bank. So, it’s no brainer, they know what to do. Don’t forget that Union Bank is a bank with history, and the key constraints are being addressed. Now, funding has come in, management is there, so, what do you need? In any financial service company, two variables are key-liquidity and management. The opportunities abound for any financial service company to thrive in this economy because the gap between credit supply and the demand is still very large that even the banks alone cannot fill it. BC

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Business Courage

Monday, October 22, 2012

National Mirror

Growing networks,

groaning subscribers While the figures of Nigeria’s telephone subscribers continued to grow, putting the nation on the list of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) as one of the fastest growing markets in the world, the growth is yet to be matched with improved quality of service as telephone subscribers continue to groan By Adejuwon Osunnuyi


or Steven Evans, the Chief Executive Officer of Etisalat Nigeria, if there is anything that excites him at the moment, it is the continuous expansion of his company’s subscriber base in the last four years. Recently, while speaking during the inauguration of the company’s mobile advertising solution in Lagos, Evans, who had found it difficult to hide his excitement and fulfillment, had told the guests and cream of journalists present that Etisalat had been recording steady subscriber growth since it began operations in Nigeria in 2008 as the nation’s fourth GSM company. In view of this, he had told all stakeholders to watch out as Etisalat’s subscriber base, which was around 13 million then would hit 14 million by the end of August. True to Evans’ prediction, the data recently released by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has revealed that the country’s mobile telephone subscriber base has not only continued to record strong growth, with the number of active mobile telephone lines hitting 105.2 million in August and surpassing the projected target of 105 million telecoms subscriber base by the end of the year. Aside Evans, industry experts, including the former Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Engr. Ernest Ndukwe, had also predicted that active telephone subscriptions in the country would hit 105 million by the end of December 2012.

According to the data, mobile network operators in the country added over 1.8 million new lines in August alone, thereby, increasing the subscriber base from 103.4 million active telephone lines in July to over 105.2 million at the end of August 2012. While the total connected lines increased to 141.2 million in the month, the NCC data showed that GSM companies such as MTN, Globacom, Airtel and Etisalat attracted most of the new subscriptions between January and August, while the Code Division Multiple Access operators (CDMAs) such as Visafone, Multi-Links, Starcomms and ZoomMobile continued to witness month-on-month decline in combined subscriber base. The data further revealed that while active mobile subscriptions on the GSM networks increased from 91 million in January to 101.4 million at the end of August; the CDMA operators’ subscriber base shrank from 4.4 million to 3.3 million during the eight-month period. The GSM active subscriptions, which stood at 91 million in January 2012, increased to 92 million in February and 94.5 million at the end of March. The subscriptions continued the upward growth trend, reaching 96.6 million in April and 97.5 million in May. In June, July and August, the combined active GSM subscriber base increased to 98.3 million; 99.4 million and 101.4 million respectively.

However, the active subscriber base on CDMA networks continued to decline from 4,031,820 lines in February to 3,904,846 in April. It further plunged to 3,718,153 in May; 3,541,355 in June; and fell in July to 3,452,368 and finally to 3,347,716 at the end of August 2012. The number of fixed lines, which stood at 688,333 as at January, declined to 488,088 at the end of August 2012. The surge in the numbers of telephone subscribers has put Nigeria on the list of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), as one of the fastest growing markets in the world since the advent of digital mobile telecommunications in the country in August 2001. Expectedly, the increased figure has not only reflected in the number of subscribers but also in the revenue profile and profitability of the operators. In fact, many industry analysts believe that the various promotions currently being run by GSM operators in the country might not be unconnected with the huge subscriber growth recorded in August alone as the operators battle to either attract more customers or in some cases, tie them to their networks. For instance, while Etisalat, announced what it called the biggest airtime offer in the country to celebrate Nigeria’s independence and reward its over 14 million subscribers with free airtime worth over N1 billion monthly to call all networks, MTN, another mobile network giant, came out with a big surprise, through its MTN Ultimate Wonder promo through which a

winner could win a star prize of a Cessna 182T aeroplane with mouth-watering cash prizes, including weekly star prize of N2 million and N150,000 to 12 winners on a weekly basis. To participate in the MTN Ultimate Wonder promo, new and existing customers were advised to recharge with a minimum of N200 to qualify for weekly draws. The Etisalat promo gives new and existing subscribers 50 per cent and 20 per cent of all their recharges for 30 days. Also, Airtel repacked its 2Good product into 2GoodTime offering customers’ three time bands to connect family, friends and business associates at onnet rate of 10 kobo per second. 2GoodTime allows subscribers to enjoy midnight on net call rate of 10 kobo per second as well as 20 free short message service (SMS) on their first N100 recharge of the month. Globacom also has Glo Gista, offering prepaid tariff plan that rewards the customer daily with lower rates for talking more. The customer pays 15K/s for calls to Glo lines and 30K/s for calls to other local networks. Apparently, cashing in on the Nigerians’ talking prowess, another area where most Nigerians are being coerced to stay on a particular network has been the free promos where they are offered 500 per cent bonus free airtime. The promos by MTN and Airtel reward their different prepaid customers with 500 per cent of their airtime spent for a required daily usage. But to experts, though it was good that the country’s mobile subscriber base had crossed the

105 million mark, the implication of this, they say would be the pressure it would place on the mobile networks, particularly if the operators fail to increase their network capacities to accommodate the influx. Apparently, confirming the telecom industry analysts’ fears, while the size of subscribers has continued to grow, the frustration of subscribers has also continued to be on the increase. In recent time, mobile telephone subscribers have had to confront with acute poor quality of service, the situation which has continued to affect businesses. Subscribers to almost all the networks who spoke with Business Courage last week lamented that the poor quality of service had been on the increase in recent times without any improvement from the service providers. Yakubu Thompson, a businessman, said that most times, his calls did not get connected and his messages always stayed pending for a long time before they could be delivered. Thompson said that when the call eventually got connected, communication is usually distorted as both the caller and the receiver in most instances, would not clearly hear each other. “Sometime, in the process of sending urgent information to a business partner, the line will remain disconnected or will say switch off, even when the persons’ phone is on. “Last week, I tried to call my staff to go and give our client a document that will fetch us a huge contract but couldn’t reach any of them as the phone

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Technotips kept showing call disconnected. provide quality services on their I eventually got frustrated and networks. hit my phone on the floor. You Obviously blaming governcould imagine how frustrating ment for its inability or unwillthe service problem could be ingness to properly regulate the and I lost the contract,” Thomp- activities of the service providson said. ers, experts noted that the teleJumoke Bamidele, a civil ser- communication companies have vant, said that for four days last since inception demonstrated week, there was no network in that they were more interested her house at Iju-Ishaga, a Lagos in gaining a bigger share of the suburb, stressing that she had market than offering quality to lay a complaint at the office services to their subscribers. and also used another persons’ According to them, rather phone to call customer’s service than address the inefficiency of before the service could be re- their networks, the operators stored. `Now the service comes have been spending more time on and off, what can I say, bad and energy on the promotion of system,’’ she said. gambling, offering spurious ‘ofTo Moses Williams, a cloth fers ‘ and ‘benefits’ to their cusseller at Yaba market, he said tomers only to make them poorthere was a time he tried calling er through sundry deductions his wife with two different net- from their airtime recharges. works to pick his children from “At inception, enthusiastic school because he was busy Nigerians bought a SIM card with customers at the shop. Ac- for N21,000 and paid as high cording to him, for more than as N50 to speak for a minute or one hour, the phone kept telling some seconds. Now, we know him switched off. Hence, he got that subscription can cost as angry and rushed to the school little as N200 while per second and picked his children only to billing is possible and profitable. get home to find that his wife’s “After sustaining them phone was on. ``You can imag- through the gestation periods, ine that, these service providers it is expected that the telecomwill not break my home. NCC munications companies will pay must do something to ensure their customers back through that service is improved in this moderate tariffs and quality country,’’ Williams said. services. On the contrary, it is Similar to Williams’ case, more common now for subscribKayode Balogun, a journalist, ers to experience cross connecsharing his own experience, tions and incessant dropped said last week he nearly col- calls. But it is quite vexatious lapsed as he kept on hearing a that subscribers are still debmale voice at the receiving end ited for such wrong connections when he wanted to call his wife and aborted calls,” an aggrieved in the evening that he would be subscriber said last week. coming home late. “You could With the rash of promotional imagine the trauma I went offers rolled out regularly, they through because there were dif- opined that the service providferent thoughts running riot in ers are connecting far more my head. But after several tri- subscribers than their facilities als, the call went through only can cope with. for me to discovered that my General Manager, Corporate wife was at home with the chil- Communications, MTN Nigeria dren alone.” Communications Limited, FunSpeaking during the first mi Omogbenigun, confirmed National Telecoms Subscriber that the poor service in a netSummit organised by the Na- work could quickly spill into tional Association of Telecom- another. “The entire industry munications Subscribers, most suffers from limited capacity of the subscribers present used the opportunity to view their displeasure as they frowned on the services of the providers in several areas of their operations. They blamed the operators for poor service quality, which they said, was already affecting businesses in the country. As such, they called on the operators to come up with lasting solutions to the continuous drop in service quality across networks. It would be recalled that Poor Quality of Service has been a major problem in the country over the past few years as the NCC recently imposed a fine of N1.17 Eugene Juwah, billion on the GSM comNCC Boss panies for failing to

— especially in an increasingly discounted tariff regime. Operators in Nigeria still need to consistently build capacity to achieve acceptable quality of service across all the networks. There is still heavy reliance on mobile phones for communications in the absence of a vibrant landline infrastructure,” she said. Omogbenigun said because demand for services outstripped available capacity, the quality of services provided often degenerated, adding that the entire industry needed to put in a lot of money to enhance quality of service. According to her, because networks are interconnected, when one network experiences hitches, others are affected, as subscribers pick up their lines in other networks to make calls. While analysts have been quick to blame the poor service on the aggressive promos being churned out as they believe the operators are not doing enough to contain the after effect by expanding their networks, operators say the recent terrorist attacks in north-east Nigeria might have contributed to the current situation. Recently, MTN had apologised to its subscribers over the difficulties they might have been experiencing as it said it is currently upgrading its network. Akinwale Goodluck, MTN’s Corporate Services Executive blaming the problem on the vandalisation of mobile operators’ equipment said in the last few weeks, MTN and other major telecommunication companies had suffered extensive, deliberate damage to infrastructure in parts of northern Nigeria. He stated that MTN had also experienced multiple cuts to its fibre cable in the same region, which has impacted service in the eastern part of the country. “Any improper or illegal interference or damage to ICT infrastructure by unauthorized third parties not only impedes our ability to provide consistent service, it completely undermines the economic viability of this great nation,” he said. Drawing attention to the fact that current security concerns have prevented not only repair work to damaged equipment, but routine maintenance, causing disruption to the lives of millions of Nigerians, Goodluck said fibre links in different parts of the country form one cohesive network for business and personal communication. “When fibre is damaged, parts of the country are excised and businesses that rely on it are left high and dry,” he said. Meanwhile as Nigerians prepare for another yuletide, with festive periods taking their toll on the telecom network, the question on the lips of most subscribers has been for how long would they wait to enjoy good quality of service in Nigeria? Would the NCC be forced to wield the big stick again? BC

Top 10 keyboard shortcuts everyone should know


sing keyboard shortcuts can greatly increase your productivity, reduce repetitive strain, and help keep you focused. For example, highlighting text with the keyboard and pressing Ctrl + C is much faster than taking your hand from the keyboard, highlighting the text using the mouse, clicking copy from the file menu, and then putting your hand back in place on the keyboard. Below are our top 10 keyboard shortcuts we recommend everyone memorize and use. Ctrl + C or Ctrl + Insert Copy the highlighted text or selected item. Ctrl + V or Shift + Insert Paste the text or object that’s in the clipboard. Ctrl + Z and Ctrl + Y Undo any change. For example, if you cut text, pressing this will undo it. This can also often be pressed multiple times to undo multiple changes. Pressing Ctrl + Y would redo the undo. Ctrl + F Open the Find in any program. This includes your Internet browser to find text on the current page. Alt + Tab or Alt + Esc Quickly switch between open programs moving forward. Tip: Press Ctrl + Tab to switch between tabs in a program. Tip: Adding the Shift key to Alt + Tab or Ctrl + Tab will move backwards. For example, if you are pressing Alt + Tab and pass the program you want to switch to, press Alt + Shift + Tab to move backwards to that program. Tip: Windows Vista and 7 users can also press the Windows Key + Tab to switch through open programs in a full screenshot of the Window. Ctrl + Back space and Ctrl + Left or Right arrow Pressing Ctrl + Backspace will delete a full word at a time instead of a single character. Holding down the Ctrl key while pressing the left or right arrow will move the cursor one word at a time instead of one character at a time. If you wanted to highlight one word at a time you can hold down Ctrl + Shift and then press the left or right arrow key to move one word at a time in that direction while highlighting each word. Ctrl + S While working on a document or other file in almost every program pressing Ctrl + S will save that file. This shortcut key should be used frequently anytime you’re working on anything important. Ctrl + Home or Ctrl + End Move the cursor to the beginning or end of a document. Ctrl + P Print the page being viewed. For example, the document in Microsoft Word or the web page in your Internet browser. Page Up, Space bar, and Page Down Pressing either the page up or page down key will move that page one page at a time in that direction. When browsing the Internet pressing the space bar will also move the page down one page at a time. If you press Shift and the Space bar the page will go up a page at a time. BC

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Business Courage

E-PPAN electronic fraud forum to attract 400 participants Stories by Kunle Azeez


ver 400 participants both within and outside the country are billed to attend the Third Annual Payment Systems and Fraud Conference for West Africa being organised by the Electronic Payment Providers Association of Nigeria (E-PPAN). The conference, scheduled to hold in Lagos between November 6 and 7, 2012, is being hosted in collaborations with the Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum of the Central Bank of Nigeria, ( NeFF), Commitee of e-Banking Heads (CeBIH) and the Information Security Society of Africa, Nigeria ( ISSAN) . It will feature speakers from notable organisations and bodies such as government entities and the private industry with a wide variety of expertise in international payment systems best practices and fraud prevention, deterrence and detection. Speaking on the event, the Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer, EPPAN, Onajite Regha, said, “This conference is a one-stop payment systems and fraud knowledge hub in West Africa with limitless business opportunities. “It will target over 400 participants from the whole of West Africa and will feature prominent global presenters in a variety of informationpacked sessions.” On the profile of the speakers expected at the forum, she said the forum will feature a key presentation from the Chief Executive Officer of the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC) and guest speaker at the forum, Kalyani Pillay. Other speakers include Chairman, NeFF, Emmanuel Obiagbona; Managing Director, Interswitch Nigeria Limited, Mitchell Elegbe; Executive Director, Keystone Bank, Ademola Adewale; Managing Director, Precise Financial Solution, Yele Okeremi; Regional

Head Mid-West, UBA and President ISSAN, David Isiavwe; Head E-Business, First Bank and Chairman CeBIH, Chuma Ezirim. They also include Head, Mazars Moores Forensic, South Africa, Gillian Mary Bolton; Chief Executive Officer, Circuit Context Technologies, Canada, Abiola Fayemi; Managing Director, Nextzon Business Services, Mac Atasie; Director of Information and Communication Technology, , Ekiti State, Toyin Oloniteru, Managing Director, Digital Encode, Seyi Akindinde as well as Senior Manager, Commercial Crime South Africa, Gregory Singh. Speaking on the guest speaker, Regha, said billed to speak on ““International AntiFraud Efforts: The Issues of Borderless Fraud”, Kalyani Pillay comes from a long standing history in the legal and criminal justice profession. “As the CEO of SABRIC, she is responsible for leading the company in assisting the South African Banks and the major Cash in Transit companies, fight organised crime within those industries. “Prior to joining SABRIC, Kalyani was a Special Director of Public Prosecutions as well as Special Adviser to the Head of the National Prosecuting Authority from Feb 2005 to Nov 2007,” she said. Regha noted that Kalyani’s tenure at the NPA, she was the South African representative to the Common Wealth in criminal related matters and she also represented the NPA on a number of crime commissions and committees at the United Nations. Speaking on Kalyani’s company, Regha said SABRIC is a company formed by South African banks to support the banking industry in the combating of crime. “Its principle business is to detect, prevent and reduce organised crime in the banking industry through effective public private partnerships. The company also provides crime risk information products, investigation and prosecution support to its clients and stakeholders. “SABRIC co-ordinates inter-bank activities aimed at addressing organised bank related commercial and violent crime and acts as a nodal point between the banking industry and others, in respect of issues relating to crime.

Nigerian firm integrates 700 rural banks in Ghana



dominant Information Technology and Systems Integrator in Nigeria and the West African region, Inlaks Computers Limited, has

Monday, October 22, 2012


successfully completed the automation of all the Rural and Community Banks (RCBs) in Ghana on a single instance of Temenos T24 platform for real- time online transaction processing This project, sponsored by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) of the United States of America and implemented by the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA), a government agency, was executed to computerise and centralise the operations of all the 136 RCBs with over 700 branches across Ghana on the T24 microfinance version (MCB). Each of the RCB is autonomous and the ARB Apex Bank is the apex body that provides support and regulatory functions to the RCBs. The computerisation has resolved all the pains associated with manual processes and has rendered the RCBs to be more competitive in the Ghanaian banking sector in terms of profitability and efficient service delivery. The RCBs form the largest percentage of the Microfinance Industry in Ghanaand it can be said that the project had facilitated the process of financial intermediation of the rural folks to the financial sector of the Ghanaian economy and rural development as this has generated public confidence in RCBs and doing business with them. It has also opened the industry for technology scalability as there are now opportunities for deployment of mobile banking, Automatic Teller Machines, Point of Sales terminals and other related electronic channel products. The resultant effect of the automation roll-out, which is the sanitisation of the microfinance industry in Ghana has also made it possible for the ARB Apex Bank to have effective oversight functions over the RCBs. Speaking on the project, the Managing Director of Inlaks Computers, Femi Adeoti, said prior to the implementation of the project, majority of the RCBs were manually operated which made turnaround time for serving customers very long. According to him, there was also the issue of loss of rev-

National Mirror

enue through income leakages and unreconcilled data, adding that “auditing was a big pain’ and worse of all as the customers of the banks could only get served at their branches. “The uniqueness of this deployment is in its architecture which prevents customer of RCB A from being a Customer of RCB B although all the 130 RCBs run on a single database and infrastructure which is hosted/managed at a single data centre by ARB Apex Bank,” he said. Adeoti pointed out that the same success story which has been achieved in Ghana could be replicated in any other African country, even as he recommended the same solution for all the Apex bodies in the West African Region, especially in Nigeria. According to Adeoti, “The Nigeria microfinance banking sub-sector is plagued by lack of inadequate infrastructure which has had negative impact on their bottom-line. This has eroded the confidence in the sub-sector, making it a source of concern to the regulatory authority. “As part of efforts to revive the operations of the 898 microfinance institutions in Nigeria, CBN has introduced some far-reaching measures, which are part of its reforms agenda for the banking industry, aimed at putting these banks on the path of profitability. “The reforms were introduced to bring the industry back to profitability,” he added stressing that since the reforms were introduced, the microfinance banks have been making frantic efforts to improve their operations at a greater cost. He said while many had adopted cost-cutting measures to stimulate growth, others were fine-tuning plans to get some sizeable shares of the market. “In all these, stakeholders have described the reforms as the best thing to have happened to the sub-sector. However, we believe that adequate, automated solutions could be needed to complement current efforts.” He urged the need to introduce some very innovative measures that are capable of raising the standards of the microfinance banks and buoy activities in sub-sector of the Nigerian economy.

CBN grants Cellulant Nigeria mobile money licence


he Central Bank of Nigeria has granted Cellulant Nigeria Limited, a leading mobile commerce network operator, has been granted licence by to operate mobile payments service in the country.

The issuance of the licence, which was done in September, followed the successful completion of a rigorous qualification exercise carried out by the CBN for several months. It will be recalled that the CBN issued the first set of mobile payments licences in 2011 to several firms in a move to make Nigerians access payments services through their mobile phones. The Managing Director, Cellulant Corporation, Goke Akinboro, expressed delight at the award of the licence, and promised that his firm would offer its customers services that would thrill them while meeting global best practice standards. “Our firm is very excited that the Central Bank of Nigeria has considered us worthy to be granted a mobile payment services licence. We view this as a challenge to us to give Nigerians very reliable and customer-friendly services.

Sanusi Lamido, CBN Governor

“We have already proven our expertise in various mobile wireless applications and solutions that we provide across various segments of the Nigeria economy and it is our intention to do the same in the mobile payments services segment,” he said. Akinboro said further Cellulant plans to launch its brand of mobile money services very soon, stating that the firm would be working with agents and various partners including commercial and microfinance banks to make Nigerians have easy access to mobile money services. According to him, Cellulant has been a major player in the valued added services segment of Nigeria’s telecommunications industry where it has provided many solutions to customers riding on the back of mobile network operators. Cellulant recently won a contract to design, develop and operate the technology platform for the Nigerian government’s Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GES). The GES Scheme is an electronic-mobile registration, validation and value chain development system (e-wallet) that supports the distribution of farm inputs directly to farmers. BC

National Mirror

Business Courage A17 33

Monday, October 22, 2012

Reflections with Semiu Salamii 07043280449 sms only

Just before hunger strikes


n the last couple of weeks, there have been serious debates about the likelihood of an outbreak of serious food crisis in the country, particularly from 2013. The apprehension is the fall out of the rampaging floods that have ravaged most parts of the country, where torrential rains and water released from Lagdo dam in neighbouring Cameroun have washed away large swathes of farmland from parts of the country considered as the nation’s food basket. Gone with the floods is Nigeria’s most important food producing areas – the Hadejia Basin which has been substantially washed away by the floods. Large parts of Benue State, ‘the food basket of the nation’ also experienced flooding and loss of produce and farmlands. Already, prices of some food items, mostly the cereals have gone up, but it is believed that the worst effects of the floods will be more manifest next year and beyond because this year’s harvest is effectively lost, and the fact that the flooded communities and farmlands take years and even longer to recover, if at all. Besides the effect of flood, prolonged rains have already done a lot of damage to substitute crops like millets, sorghum and maize that in lean periods might mitigate the situation. All the three missed

out sunlight at critical times as the rains kept pouring in high intensity and without respite. Curiously, despite the various agricultural transformation initiatives embarked upon by the current administration since last year, the meagre N81.47 billion allocations to the agric sector in the 2013 budgetary proposal currently being discussed in the national assembly does not suggest there will be enough safety nets against what many have come to term as an impending doomsday. For a country that is faced with the worst ever flood and a strong prospect of acute food crisis, most of the policy measures contained in the 2013 Appropriation Bill clearly run contrary to the present reality. Granted that the proposed imposition of 100 per cent tariff on imported rice and other food items are meant to further stimulate local production and consumption of some basic food items, the rampaging effect of the flood now means that some of these policies would have to be reversed if only to mitigate the effect of the envisaged food crisis. Rice, one of the prime food items which the government had hoped to deploy the full weight of the law to enforce its domestic cultivation appears to be a major casualty of the flood. Though rice

is believed to thrive more in swampy areas, the reported washing away of several thousands of rice plantations across the country is clearly a deadly blow to this effort. For instance, there are reports of how communities like Patigi, an agrarian community in Kwara State believed to be a major rice plantation settlement and Shonga, another rice producing hub in the state where the river basin was wiped out along with 3,200 hectares of rice plantation. Elsewhere in Rukuba-Ondorie, Nasarawa State, Olam Nigeria Limited, a Singaporean investment group with a rice farm valued at N14.1 billion was swamped by River Benue, which overflowed its banks barely 30 days after the rice seeds were planted. In Kano, about 95 per cent of rice farms in the state were reportedly washed away by the flood, with the worst affected local government areas being where rice are produced in a large scale. All these are dangerous signs, which no responsible government can afford to ignore. Currently, Nigeria is ranked a very poor 80 out of about 200 countries in terms of food security and the situation would clearly become worse if the threat of an impending food crisis is not addressed

with all the seriousness it deserves. To address the looming crisis in food production, the Federal Government needs to deepen the country’s food intervention scheme. Currently, there are about 20 silos across the six geo-political zones of the country being built under the intervention fund of the Ministry of Agriculture to achieve a strategic food reserve. The total grains stored in Nigeria is currently about 1.3 million metric tonnes, while the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), recommended that Nigeria should store up to three million metric tonnes of grains. Clearly, Nigeria needs to do more to boost her storage capacities. State governments should also be encouraged to build strategic food reserves, while the government needs to project ahead especially in the light of the global climate change phenomenon. A government with vision would take immediate measures to protect millions of vulnerable Nigerians from the effects of rising food costs, hunger and malnutrition, while considering long term measures to rebuild damage infrastructure, provide incentives to farmers and improve the agricultural sector. The government cannot afford to do less or else… BC


Will the growing cost of finance erode Unilever’s returns? By Festus Okoromadu


nilever Nigeria Plc will be 90 years old in Nigeria on April 11, 2013. Incorporated as Lever Brothers (West Africa) Limited on April 11, 1923, the company has metamorphosed from a trading entity to a manufacturing and marketing giant of food ingredients, home and personal care products. Listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in September 1973, Unilever stands out as one of the few multinationals that have created wealth for Nigerians through the capital market. Presently, Nigerians owns 49 per cent of the outstanding shares of the company while the balance is held by Unilever Plc London. It is on record that Unilever Plc London has given Unilever Nigeria Plc exclusive right to the know-how, manufacture, distribution and marketing of its brands. In consideration for this, a royalty of three per cent of net sales value is paid by the company to Unilever Plc London. It also has a management service agreement with Unilever Plc London in consideration for which a fee of two per cent of profit before tax (PBT) is paid. A good number of market analysts believe in the viability of the Unilever stock based on its past performance. For instance, researchers from FSDH Securities Limited, in an analysis of the stock publish on its website noted that, “the historical return on the investment in the ordinary shares of Unilever between January 2006 and June, 2011 shows that it was a profitable investment”. The analyst stated that, the total return during the period was made up of bonus issues and dividend payments, which the investors enjoyed on their investment during the period. To further confirm its faith in the ability of the equity to deliver value to

investors, the FSDH researchers advised investors to buy the equity then selling for N27.10 and hold on until it appreciate to N31.29 which it considers as its fair value to sell. And as a matter of fact, the stock has continued to show strength since that analysis was published. The share price has continued to appreciate except for the period between November and December 2011 when it traded for an average price of N26 per share, but by January 2012, it stabilised at N29 from where it has continued to soar to as much as N43.90 on Monday, October 8, 2012, it’s 52 weeks high. What is however uncertain is if the stock can continue the northward movement in terms of pricing in view of its not too impressive unaudited account for the third quarter (Q3) ended September 30, 2012. The result which was released last week shows a slight decline in earnings per share (EPS). Analysis of the unaudited result shows that EPS for the Q3 of 2012 stood at 106 kobo compared to 107 kobo in similar period of 2011 representing a drop of 0.9 per cent. More so, the declining EPS seems to run contrary to the promises made by the new chairman of the board of directors of the company, HRH Nnameka Achebe, Obi of Onitsha, at the 87th annual general meeting (AGM) held on Thursday, May 10, 2012 in Lagos that “2011 was a proof that Unilever Nigeria Plc is well positioned to continue the upward growth trend into the future”. Clearly, the Q3 unaudited results in any way do not indicate an upward growth trend. Perhaps, a glance through the account will help reveal whether there was indeed a growth or not. The company during the period under review grew turnover by 3.1 per cent to N41.6 billion compared with

N40.42 billion in 2011. Costs of sales rose marginally by 2.8 per cent to N26.06 billion as against N25.35 billion, earning it a gross profit of N15.597 billion against N15.06 billion it made in 2011. The account further shows that distribution cost rose by 11 per cent to N1.99 billion from N1.79 billion, even as administrative expenses increased by 1.5 per cent to N7.42 billion from N7.31 billion while other expenses declined by 69.2 per cent to N12.98 billion from N42.2 billion. One cannot but agree that the management of the company did a nice job managing cost during the period. This becomes obvious when the percentage growth of turnover is compared to that of operating profit. While the first rose by 3.1 per cent, the latter appreciated by 4.3 per cent to N6.18 billion from N5.93 billion. The growth in operating profit may have been achieved through the application of some investments made in 2011 which the chairman said would improve performance in the future. “We aggressively drove efficiencies in all aspects of the business with resultant effect in factory cost reduction, streamlined administrative costs and return on marketing investments which enabled us to invest in more productive areas,” the chairman had stated. The Q3 account to some extent truly reflects the chairman’s position. However, one area of the third quarter account which seems to be running contrary to proposition is the cost of funding the company’s business. The chairman had said that “Continued improvement in working capital, arising from better stock management also facilitated funding of investment from internal sources, and reduced financial costs,” but should this be true with the

2011 financial year account, the same cannot be said about the 2012 Q3 results. According to the account, Unilever spent N408.47 million in servicing its cost of finance during the nine months under review compared with N129.05 million in similar period of 2011, representing 216.5 per cent increase. Due to the huge cost of funds during the period, profit before tax (PBT) dropped to N5.6 billion, a decline of 0.4 per cent when compared with N5.8 billion posted in 2011. The impact on bottom-line was even higher as profit after tax (PAT) declined by 1.5 per cent to N4.01 billion compared with N4.07 billion in 2011. So, why the sudden rise in cost barely five months after the chairman had assured investors that they’ve reduced cost of finances? Besides, the statement that the management has continued to improve on its working capital is far from the reality, at least for now. The company had to secure a N2.682 billion bank overdraft and other borrowings to operate during the third quarter of 2012, which is contrary to the situation in the similar period of 2011 when the company run its affairs without such borrowings. To further complicate issues, the company’s nets assets have started depleting and now stand at N8.17 billion down from N9.66 billion in 2011 representing a 15.5 per cent drop. Going by the Q3 results, one may be tempted to reason that the company is in dire need of fresh funds to enable it deliver the promised upward growth trend in the future in terms of returns to investors. Although some analysts believe that it is too early to conclude that the company has failed to accomplish the promises, it is important for the company and its managers to remember the dictum that says “A stitch in time saves nine”. BC

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Business Courage

Monday, October 22, 2012

National Mirror

Behind d Wheels This page is open to sponsorship

New Toyota Land Cruiser- Culture After a one-year hiatus, the Toyota Land Cruiser returns with slight exterior and interior enhancements for 2013. Most notably, all of the Land Cruiser’s previously optional features are now standard -- a change that comes with a commensurately higher price. By Salami Semiu


he 2013 Toyota Land Cruiser comes standard with everything this year. Previous options like rear-seat entertainment, navigation, heated and cooled seats -- you name it, it’s got it. Of course, this $78,000, eight-passenger SUV with goanywhere four-wheel-drive capability might not seem to be the kind of simple, userfriendly Toyota to which you’re accustomed, but actually it’s the kind of vehicle that every Toyota aspires to be. It goes everywhere, does everything, yet never shows off. Since the introduction of the FJ40 in 1960, the Land Cruiser has assumed the kind of cult status that parallels other 4x4 legends from Jeep and Land Rover. Like those icons, the Land Cruiser has always gone places normal vehicles can’t tackle and, not surprisingly, the Toyota is also heralded as the most reliable in this exclusive group. Obviously, the Land Cruiser’s high-end features are relatively new. Big game hunters cruising through Botswana in 1978 probably weren’t watching The Spy Who Loved Me from a reclining rear seat. But just as Land Rover has moved

upmarket over the years, so too, has the Land Cruiser. The 2013 Land Cruiser features items that automatically set the truck up for specific kinds of terrain, alter the stiffness of the stabilizer bars (more body control for pavement, less for off-road) and take control of the accelerator and brakes during slow, hair-raising offroad manoeuvres. To rational car shoppers, the 2013 Toyota Land Cruiser offers limited appeal. Many less expensive crossovers work better for daily use, such as the Buick Enclave or Infiniti JX35. If you need towing power, there’s Toyota’s own Sequoia, or the Land Cruiser’s twin, the Lexus LX 570, which isn’t that much more expensive now. And if it’s an apples-to-apples competitor you want, the Land Rover LR4 offers excellent off-roading capability and a more luxurious, spacious cabin. It’s also cheaper (though far less reliable). But you don’t need to be rational to appreciate the Land Cruiser’s considerable ability. Whether on a Toyota dealer lot or out on the road, the Land Cruiser is a legend. And that alone is enough to guarantee

its appeal. Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options The 2013 Toyota Land Cruiser is an eight-passenger SUV available in a single, fully loaded trim level. Standard features include 18-inch wheels, auto-dimming and power-folding mirrors, automatic xenon headlamps, fog lamps, automatic wipers, privacy glass, a roof rack, a sunroof and keyless ignition/ entry. Interior features include four-zone automatic climate control, heated and ventilated power front seats (10-way driver, eight-way passenger), a heated 40/20/40-split second row (sliding, reclining, folding), leather upholstery, a wood-trimmed power tilt-andtelescoping steering wheel and a centre console cooler box. Standard electronic features include adaptive cruise control, a rear-view camera, Lexus Safety Connect emergency communications, a navigation system, a touch screen interface, voice control, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a rear-seat entertainment system and Toyota’s Entune suite of smartphone app-based services. The 14-speaker JBL

sound system includes a CD player, satellite radio, HD radio and an iPod/USB audio interface. Powertrains and Performance The 2013 Toyota Land Cruiser comes with a 5.7-liter V8 good for 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic and a full-time four-wheel-drive system are standard. The maximum towing capacity is 8,500 pounds. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 13 mpg city/18 mpg highway and 15 mpg com-

bined. Besides four-wheel drive, the Land Cruiser comes standard with a locking centre differential, the Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (adjusts the stabilizer bars for improved on-road handling and off-road capability), Multi-Terrain Select (adjusts the stability and traction control based on different road surfaces), a fivespeed crawl control (essentially a low-speed off-road cruise control), hill-start assist (prevents rolling back on hills) and Off-Road Turn Assist (applies brakes to the wheels on the

National Mirror

Business Courage A19 35

Monday, October 22, 2012

Behind d Wheels This page is open to sponsorship


Autocare Car maintenance checklists Brakes It is baffling why anyone would ignore or even undervalue his/her car brake system. The effects of failures of the other items on our car-part replacement calendar range from inconvenient to being stranded, but with the possible exception of tires, no failure is potentially lethal than that of brakes. Check the fluid level, keep an eye on brake-pad condition, and replace as soon as safety is compromised. Tires Tire wear patterns are telling -- revealing aggressive driving, improper inflation or worn suspension components. Regardless, you’ll eventually need fresh tires. The best way to confirm is with a tread depth gauge. Age is also a concern, since longer-lasting tires and use of multiple sets can mean safety is compromised even with adequate tread depth. Coolant That liquid in the radiator is a real multi-tasker. It serves as antifreeze, coolant and guards against corrosion in the cooling system. So, given its duties, you can appreciate its rank on your car-part replacement calendar. Check the level regularly, but also understand its cleanliness and potency diminish. Topping off and changing should only be done with the right coolant type and water mixture ratio

Interior design and special features The 2013 Land Cruiser’s interior is as refined as a Toyota gets, with high-quality materials and excellent fit and finish. It doesn’t quite match its Lexus twin, but certainly comes close. For 2013, the dash eliminates several audio system buttons for a slightly cleaner look, but some may find it complicates functionality. The cabin can accommo-

inside in a corner to improve turning response). Safety Standard safety features include antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front- and second-row side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and front knee airbags. Also standard is the Lexus Safety Connect system, which includes automatic collision notification, on-demand roadside assistance, an emergency assistance button and a stolen vehicle locator.

date eight passengers, though the third row really only suits kids because of the flat seat bottom and high floor. Access to the third row is eased via a one-touch tumble-forward second-row seat. Middle-row occupants fare better with more space, a rear-seat entertainment system and a heated seat that slides and reclines. With the rear seats in place, cargo space is 16 cubic feet. That’s about the same capacity as a midsize car’s trunk, but ultimately less useful since the Land Cruiser’s space is vertical rather than horizontal.

The third-row seats do not fold down, nor are they removable. Instead, they fold up against the sides of the cargo bay and still consume space. Consequently, the Cruiser’s maximum cargo capacity is modest at 82 cubic feet, a relatively small figure for a large SUV. Driving Impressions As with previous Toyota Land Cruisers, the 2013 model has excellent off-road capability and still delivers a thoroughly comfortable ride on urban streets. It is also a technological tour de force. When exploring the untamed wilds, hightech features like MultiTerrain Select and crawl control take much of the worry out of the hands (or feet) of the driver. Just select what type of terrain you’re driving on, then dial in the desired speed (as low as 1 mph), keep your feet off the gas and brake pedals and steer in the desired direction. In the more maddening wilds of the urban jungle, the 2013 Toyota Land Cruiser behaves like the civilized luxury SUV it’s intended to be, soaking up bumps with composure and insulating driver and passengers from the outside world. On a mountain road en route to the ski slopes, the Land Cruiser remains relatively flat through corners; the KDSS active antiroll bars helping the heavy SUV feel surprisingly confident. Performance is also strong, with the 5.7-liter V8 furnishing plenty of thrust for passing, towing or effortless freeway cruising – at the expense of fuel economy, of course. BC

Engine belts & timing belts It’s no accident for engine belts to have a prominent spot on your carpart replacement calendar. The one or more outside keep components like your alternator and water pump active. Inside, the timing belt (some cars have timing chains) keeps valves from bashing into pistons. When either belt fails, it’s bad news. At the very least, your forward progress will cease to be. At worst, you’ll need major engine work at the mechanic in the case of some timing-belt breakage and the resulting carnage. Spark plugs You can’t have an internal combustion engine without combustion, and spark plugs make it happen by firing up the mixture of air and fuel in each cylinder, either alone or in a pair. Cleaner-burning engines and advances in plug construction mean less maintenance and extended service, but they still need to be replaced. Whether or not they’ve reached their mileage limit, they (and the plug wires) could be to blame when mileage suffers, the engine runs poorly and you fail your emissions test Automatic Trans fluid & filter In cars with conventional automatic or clutch-less gearboxes, fluid is to the transmission what oil is to the engine in terms of function and importance. It fights friction and keeps things within safe operating temps. Ignoring it pretty much leads to the same issues: expensive repair bills at the mechanic. Fortunately, prevention is similarly easy. Check the fluid periodically, top off with the specific kind recommended in your owner’s manual and change it occasionally along with the filter. Air filter The air for the engine and airflow sensor has to be free of contaminates, though, and that’s your air filter’s job. Be aware of manufacturer recommendations for replacing related airflow components like the PCV valve and oxygen sensor, if your car has them. Battery How often do car batteries receive proactive attention? Even if you keep your terminals clean and your charging system works fine, you’ll eventually need to replace the battery. When you do, do it right. Use only the battery that matches manufacturer’s specification at the very least. Consider upgrading to advanced-technology batteries that offset higher initial cost with extended life and more consistent performance Power-steering fluid It pays to give power steering fluid proper consideration since it lubricates the system and keeps the steering feel consistent. Periodic checks of the fluid are done with a glance at the reservoir or the dipstick inside it. Make sure you add only the manufacturer’s suggested fluid type and talk to a technician if the level drops considerably or you feel surges of resistance as you turn the wheel. Fuel filter This is an item that’s probably as important as it is overlooked. Assuming yours is a fuel-injected car, the fuel filter is more or less on continuous duty whenever your ignition is on and the fuel pump is active, preventing impurities from clogging injectors. So, over time, replacement will be necessary. Locations vary from beneath the hood or undercarriage to inside the fuel tank itself. Since systems are often pressurized and fuel lines need to be safely crimped, you might prefer to let a technician handle it. BC

A20 36

Business Courage

Monday, October 22, 2012

National Mirror

NSE index up as Guinness, Total, NB shed weight


rading activities closed on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) Friday on a positive note. The Nigerian stock market recorded a turnover of 1.86 billion units of shares valued at N16.35 billion which exchanged hands in 28,383 deals. The preceding week, 2.18 billion shares valued at N17.50 billion was traded in 27,786 deals. The financial services sector dominated the activity chart (measured by turnover volume) recording the highest trading volume of 1.422 billion units of shares valued at N10.579 billion traded in 17,662 trades, representing 76.50 per cent, 64.70 per cent and 62.23 per cent, of the volume, value and number deals executed on the stock market during the week. The Conglomerates sector (measured by turnover volume) followed with a posted volume of 120.099 million shares valued at N271.453 million traded in 911 deals. The top two sectors accounted for 1.542 billion shares valued at N10.850 billion traded in 18,

573 deals, thus accounting for 82.96 per cent, 66.36 per cent and 65.442per cent of the volume, value and number of deals respectively. Similarly, the Banking subsector was the most active with a volume of 1.262 billion units of shares. Activity in the subsector was mostly driven by shares of UBA Plc, First Bank of Nigeria Plc and Zenith Bank Plc which accounted for 481.427 million shares, representing 38.16per cent, 33.85per cent and 25.90 per cent of the turnover recorded by the subsector, sector and total volume for the week. The NSE AllShare Index, which opened the week at 27,287.85 closed at 27,296.35, thereby appreciating 8.50 points. The Market Capitalization of the listed companies increased by N 2.710 billion to close at N8.698 trillion. Also, the Bloomberg NSE Consumer Goods and NSE-Lotus II Indices appreciated by 0.46 per cent and 3.54 per cent, respectively, while Bloomberg NSE 30, Bloomberg NSE Banking, Bloomberg NSE Insurance

and Bloomberg NSE Oil and Gas indices declined by 0.07 per cent, 0.57per cent, 3.95per cent and 3.20per cent respectively. The analysis of the equity price movements indicated that twenty seven (27) equities gained while forty-six (46) equities recorded price declines and prices of one hundred and twenty five (125) equities remained constant. When compared with the preceding week, fifty (50) equities gained while twenty-five (25) equities recorded price declines and prices of one hundred and twenty three (123) equities remained constant. Meanwhile, other event last week include; Cutix Plc was adjusted for a dividend payment and scrip issue as recommended by their board of directors while management of Costain plc has notified the Nigerian Stock Exchange that it has changed its external auditors from Akintola Williams Deloitte to PKF Professional Services. This change takes effect from August 3, 2012. BC

Union Bank, Dangote Cement, three others fail NSE free float requirements By Festus Okoromadu


he Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) has identified five companies that have free float deficiencies. According to market experts, the free float of a company is the proportion of shares that are held by investors who are willing to trade them. It is a measure of how many shares are reasonably liquid. It therefore excludes those shares held by strategic shareholders. The guilty companies according to the latest X-Compliance list of the NSE are Union Bank of Nigeria Plc which has 14 per cent deficiency rate, Dangote Cement Plc with 5.11 per cent rate and Tourist Company of Nigeria Plc 1.31 per cent. The others are Studio Press Plc 8.46 per cent

and MPF Microfinance Bank Plc 14.68 per cent. According to the NSE, quoted companies must maintain a minimum free float for the set standards under which they are listed in order to ensure that there is an orderly and liquid market in their securities. The requirement for free float of companies listed on the main board of the Exchange is 20 per cent while that for the ASEM companies is 15 per cent. The Exchange however stated that the companies involved has applied for waivers from the Quotation Committee and has specifically provided compliance plans with tentative timelines to support their

requests. The extension timeframe has according the Exchange been approved in accordance to listing requirement. According to the new timetable Union Bank now have up till June 30, 2017 to comply while Dangote Cement Plc has a deadline of October 26, 2014 to fulfil the free float requirement. On the other hand the duo of Tourist Company of Nigeria Plc and NPF Microfinance Bank Plc are expected to comply by February 28, 2013 and May 31, 2013 respectively. While Studio Press Plc has an unspecified grace period having been granted the requisition to comply when on the completion of its placing said to be pending. BC

South East economic summit to transform zone’s economy – Committee chairman


he central working committee of the 2012 South East Economic Summit plans to use it for the rapid transformation of the zone’s economy, its Chairman, Chris Obiefuna, has said. Briefing journalists on the preparations for the summit in Enugu on Friday, Obiefuna said it was strategic to the restoration of the glories of agriculture and industrialisation which the zone was known for. According to him, the summit will focus on agriculture and industry, hence the theme: Harnessing the agricultural and industrial potentials of the South East. ``The essence is to clearly outline the key issues, policy challenges as well as implementation, coordination and networking gaps that impede effective growth of agriculture and industry in the

region,`` he said. Obiefuna said the three-day summit, the second edition, would hold from Nov. 7 to Nov. 9 at the Nike Lake Resort Hotel, Enugu. The chairman said that notable Nigerians, including the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, the Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as well as the five South East governors were expected to attend. He said that some 1,000 persons were also expected to participate in the summit. On the funding of the summit, Obiefuna said the committee required about N34 million to organise it but regretted that less than three weeks to the event, it had not generated up to 20 per cent of the fund.

The chairman appealed to state governments in the zone, corporate bodies and the organised private sector to assist in the successful hosting of the summit. ``The essence of the summit is to open corridors for investment as well as take advantage of those things that are unique in our environment. ``Our people are resourceful, hardworking, committed and technologically oriented,’’ he said. Obiefuna recalled that the first edition led to the implementation of some projects by both the federal and state governments in the zone. He listed some of the projects to included the dredging of the River Niger, reconstruction of the Enugu-Onitsha and Enugu-Port Harcourt expressways and acceleration of work at the Enugu International Airport. BC

Aig-Imoukhuede, Access Bank GMD

Access Bank grows profit by 161 per cent By Tayo Adeleke


ccess Bank Plc last Friday released its nine months unaudited result on the floor of Nigerian Stock Exchange with profit after tax put at N35.68 billion, 161.1 per cent improvement over the N13.67 billion recorded during the same period last year, and 132 per cent better than the full year profit in 2011 at N15.38 billion. Other highlights of the result showed that Gross Earnings grew to N162.28 billion in the first three quarters of the year as against N86.32 billion in 2011; Interest Income at N122.97 billion from N65.89 billion; Interest Expense at N46.46 billion from N20.18 billion; Net Interest Income at N76.51 billion from N45.71 billion; Investment & Other Operating Income at N22.5 billion from N6.32 billion. Operating expenses at N35.24 billion from N20.11 billion; Loan Loss expenses at N784 million from N11.46 billion while the bank posted profit before Tax of N39.11 billion from N18.08 billion in 2011. Earnings per share (EPS) also grew to 155 kobo from 76 kobo and 86 kobo in comparable period of 2011 and financial year ended 2011 respectively. Details of its balance sheet shows loans and advances to customers stood at N595.1 billion against N576.23 billion in the same period of 2011 while loans advances to other banks close at N9.21 billion from N776 million in 2011. Both figure as well represent 55.4 per cent and 0.9 per cent of total deposit for the period respectively. However, deposit from customer fell to N1.075 trillion from N1.101 trillion in 2011. Total assets hit N1.64 trillion, up from N1.629 trillion at the end of third quarter 2011 while total liabilities drop to N1.396 trillion from N1.437 trillion in 2011. Cash flow from operating activities close at N52.78 billion, cash flow from investing activities N223.4 billion and cash flow from financial activities stood at N58.24 billion. BC

National Mirror

Business Courage

Monday, October 22, 2012

A21 37

Interest charges drains SE Tech’s earnings Stories By Festus Okoromadu


espite growing its income by 32.5 per cent in the third quarter ended September 30 2012 to N3.3 billion from N2.491billion in similar period of 2011, Secured Electronic Technology (SE Tech) Plc still posted a loss after tax (LAT) of N63.74 million compared with a profit after tax of about N22 million in the prior year. The loss posted by the company during the period can be attributed to escalating interest charges on borrowed funds and increase in cost of sales. The unaudited account of the company which was hitherto known as National Sports Lottery (NSL) Plc shows that cost of sales for the period rose to N3.12billion as against N2.24billion in the comparing period representing 38.9 per cent. The result further reveal that interest charg-

es rose by 256.6 per cent during the period under review to N85.64million compared with N24.02million in 2011. Meanwhile it is not clear why the interest charges for the period rose astronomically as there appear to be no significant difference in the volume of borrowed funds used for transaction during the comparing period. The result shows that in the course of doing business during the period a total of N4.40billion was borrowed as against N4.38billion in 2011 representing 0.5 per cent while total liability rose merely by 1.2 per cent to N4.98billion from N4.92billion. Although, no explanation was offered for the soaring cost of finance which resulted in posted loss for the period, it is believe that the yearend report will not be different. In what appear as management strategic plan to bail

the company out of the embarrassing financial situation, the cost of administration was cut down by 17.7 per cent to N171.08million from N207.91million in 2011. However that was not good enough to stop the rise in cost of funding the business with borrowed funds. It will be recalled that the company posted a loss of N602.17million for the financial year ended December 31, 2011. Meanwhile, investigation reveals that some shareholders of the company are clamouring for a meeting where they can express they views. It is on record that the company’s last annual general meeting was held on August 17, 2010 similarly the most recent dividend paid to shareholders was 10kobo per share issued on August 29, 2009. BC

NSE identifies fresh X-Compliance defaulters


he management of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) last week identified 34 companies that have failed to meet the minimum listing standards in terms of timely disclosure of their audited annual financial performance. According to the NSE, such companies are operating below the listing standard and are therefore liable for sanctions. Indications to the fact that the identified defaulters will be sanction is deduced from part of the statement from the NSE which reads, “The sanctions for non-compliance with period disclosure obligation are clearly spelt out in the Appendix 111 of the Listing Rules and the Exchange will protect the integrity of its Rules. The defaulters list separated into two sub sections shows that 12 of them are from the financial sector with Union Homes Savings & Loans Plc topping the list having failed to ren-

der its audited accounts since 2010. By implication the company has failed to submit its financial accounts for three years since its financial year ends on March 31. Other companies from the banking and insurance companies on the list include Wema Bank Plc, Unic Insurance Plc, Standard Insurance Plc, Staco Insurance Plc, Mutual Insurance Plc and Guinea Insurance. The rest are African Alliance Insurance Plc, Equity Assurance Plc, Goldlink Insurance Plc, Great Nigeria Insurance Plc and International Energy Insurance Plc. According to the report, the remaining 11 companies on the list have failed to render their audited financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2011. The second list of defaulters is made up of 22 companies with G. Cappa Plc and Golden Guinea Breweries Plc topping

it for refusal to render its accounts since March 31, 2010. The likes of Costain West Africa Plc, Premier Breweries Plc, Nigerian German Chemicals Plc and Neimeth International Pharmaceutical Plc were sanctioned for not rendering the audited accounts for their financial year ended March 31, 2012. The list also comprise of companies Nigerian Sewing Machines Plc which has not render its account since 2006, similarly the likes of West African Aluminium Products Plc, Jos International Breweries Plc, and Stokvis Nigeria Plc had not rendered their accounts since 2010. Three other companies Big Treat Plc, Mtech Plc and Investment & Allied Assurance Plc are being sanctioned according to the report even though they have regulatory issues to settle which perhaps may have been the reason for the failure to comply the post listing rules. BC

Bond market records mixed performance


ast week, the over-thecounter bond market witnessed bullish activity that resulted in price appreciations (and declines in yields). The 10-year, 9.25 per cent Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) September 2014 paper appreciated week-on-week by N1.17 (yield moderated to12.66 per cent) while the 20-year, 10.00 per cent FGN July 2030 debt gained N0.26 (yield fell to 12.49 per cent) During the week, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) auctioned Federal Government Bonds worth N75billion on Wednesday, 17 October. The bonds (all reopenings) consisted of: 5-year, 15.10 per cent FGN April 2017

paper worth N15billion; 7-year, 16.00 per cent FGN JUN 2019 bond worth N30billion and 10 year,16.39 per cent FGN January 2022 debt worth N30billion. The marginal rate for the 5-year and 7-year bonds increased to 13.68 per cent (from 12.93 per cent) and 13.75 per cent (from 12.90 per cent) respectively. However, marginal rate for the 10-year paper decreased to 13.50 per cent (from 15.90 per cent). There are speculations that this week, there will be increased bullish activities with a resultant increase in bond prices (and decrease in yields) amid improved system liquidity. Meanwhile, the CBN is expected to auction treasury

bills worth N111.27billion (91day bills worth N34.89billion; 182-day bills worth N45billion and; 364-day bills worth N31.38billion) via the primary market on Thursday 25 October. However, a total of N199.89billion worth of bills will mature (91-day bills worth N34.89billion; 182-day bills worth N45billion; 310-day bills worth N50billion; 317-day bills worth N50 billion and; 300-day bills worth N20billion. Market experts say they expect that the residue of the FAAC injections along with the maturities will likely retain liquidity and moderate pressure on interest. BC

Market Indicators for Week Ended 19-10-12 All-Share Index 27, 296.35points Market Capitalisation N8,697,821,077,663.69 Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY


































-6.67 -5.00













Inter-Bank Rates TENOR

RATE%(PREV) 11-Oct-2012

RATE%(CURR) 18-Oct-2012


10.2500 – 11.0000

10.1000 – 14.5000


10.2500 – 12.0000

10.1500 – 11.2500

Primary Market Auction TENOR




RATE (%) 13.00











Open Market Operation TENOR





RATE (%)











Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED











A22 38

Business Courage

Monday, October 22, 2012

National Mirror

Transcorp Nigeria Plc: Stepping up profitability By Tayo Adeleke


ransnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc has continued on a growth path, closing the third quarter of the current financial year with top line revenue of N2.71 billion from N1.8 billion achieved as at half year. The company also beats its revenue projection for both half year and third quarter, having forecasted N2.6 billion revenue for third quarter ended September 2012. The result show that profit before tax rose by 80.85 per cent to N1.67 billion, from N922.78 million in the corresponding period of 2011. The company was incorporated on November 16, 2004 as a private limited liability. Following an initial public offer (IPO), Transcorp was listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in December 2006. The company’s principal business is the investment in and operation of portfolio companies in the hospitality, energy and agroallied sectors. The company has retained subsidiaries providing services and sale of goods in these sectors. Business Strategy The last one year has been a period of rapid change and development for Transcorp. The new board redefined the strategic objectives of the company and appointed highly experienced management team to undertake the execution. The management streamlined its operations into energy, agribusiness and hospitality. The changes made to its mission and vision statements underscored this, as well as its commitment to pursue the strengths and opportunities inherent in the Nigerian market. The company’s nine months results are a testimony to the effectiveness of the strategic steps the management has taken to improve, transform and reposition the company. According to the company’s chairman, Tony Elumelu, management’s expectation is that Transcorp will deliver even stronger results for the remaining part of this financial year and beyond. “In the medium to long term, our strategic intent is to expand across the value chain in all our sectors and diversify our income stream. That versatility will set us on the right path to seize opportunities to accelerate the company beyond the Nigerian borders and make targeted inroads into the rest of Africa” he said. Q3 Performance Transcorp’s third quarter results show a total revenue

what it was at the beginning of 2012, compared with a 2.7 per cent increase in the Nigerian Stock Exchange’s All-Share Index over the same period. Its share price rose from 52 kobo in January 2012 to 118 kobo as at October 17 2012, making its investors richer by 136 per cent. The company has the highest price of 142 kobo to lowest price of 50 kobo for the period January-October 2012. Despite this, however, Transcorp is yet to pay dividend since its inception.


for the period ended September 30, 2012 of N2.71 billion, up by N820 million (or 43 per cent) from N1.89 billion recorded for the same period in 2011. Meanwhile, the company has continued to reign in on cost, churning an operating profit margin of 66 per cent compared to 58 per cent posted in the same period last year. Being a Holding company, much of Transcorp’s revenue comes from dividend and investment income in companies and securities respectively. The company recorded finance income of N1.2 billion for the period to boost pre-tax earnings. The results shows that profit before tax rose by 80.85 per cent to N1.67 billion, from N922.78 million in the corresponding period of 2011. Administrative expenses of N689.8 million slightly declined from the N778 million recorded in 2011. These results are a clear indication that the transformation initiatives being implemented by management have taking root and yielding the expected results. This much was admitted by Obinna Ufudo, Transcorp Chief Executive Officer who said that “Our third quarter result is an affirmation of the continued success of our business strategies and income diversification initiatives. We are quite pleased with the stable and positive growth of our earnings, and are already working out plans to further improve on it”. He further stressed that the management’s plan is to sustain stakeholders’ trust by delivering solid financial returns in its diversified portfolio of businesses in the

energy, agribusiness hospitality sectors.


Value for Investors It seems the company has turned the corner and is now offering returns on investment. Transcorp’s share price more than doubled its price during the year, up 136 per cent from

Profitability/Earnings Return on equity (ROE) which reveals how much profit a company earned in comparison to the total amount of shareholder equity fund on the balance sheet grew from -0.54 per cent in the preceding year to 9.10 per cent in 2012. As at nine months of 2012, both Profit before Tax (PBT) margin and Profit after Tax (PAT) margin increased over the 2011 figures. Profit before tax margin moved to 61.58 per cent, from 48.82 per cent while profit after tax margin was 55.42 per cent. The company’s total cost as a percentage of gross earnings stood at 44.58 per cent, down from 104.9 per cent recorded in the corresponding period

Transcorp Nig. Plc

Q3 2012(‘Nm)

Q3 2011(‘Nm)




Gross Profit



Profit Before Taxation



Profit After Taxation



Operating Profit



Admin Expenses



Shareholders fund



Interest Expenses



Fixed Assets



Total Assets



Total Liabilities



Short Term Borrowings



Sales Growth (%)


PAT Growth (%)


Profitability Ratios Return on Equity (%)



Gross profit Margin (%)



Profit Margin (%)



Pretax Profit Margin (%)



EPS (kobo)



of 2011. Earnings per share (EPS) are presently 24 kobo compare with five kobo at the end of last financial year. The overall results indicate that as at nine months, the company has surpassed its last audited results for year ended December 2011. Assets Quality A cursory look at the balance sheet position in 2012 compared with the position as at 2011 shows that the company’s balance sheet was upscale with fixed assets increasing by 5.4 per cent to N572.94 million from 543 million in 2011. Investment in subsidiaries moved from N1.83 billion to N2.08 billion, cash and bank balances had a remarkable growth of 1,579 per cent from N136 million in nine months 2011 to record N2.28 billion in 2012. Obviously, the increase in the cash and bank balances should be as a result of improved finance income in the review period. Total assets grew by 20 per cent from N23.29 billion in 2011 to N27.85 billion in 2012 while total liabilities as well increased from N9.04 billion to N11.35 billion. However, during the period, the company increased its exposure to loan as short term loan increased significantly from the previous period figure. Short term borrowings had N2.28 billion increases to stand at N2.54 billion from N259 million in third quarters 2011. Shareholders’ funds increased by 15.84 per cent to N16.5 billion in 2012 from N114.24 billion in the previous period. Prospects Based on the company business strategy and its financial performances so far, analysts expect a better year ahead. Ufudo said “in our energy business, we actively led a consortium of local and international partners with extensive experience in the power sector to submit a strong bid for the Ughelli Power Plant, meeting the submission deadline set by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE). The Ughelli plant has installed capacity of 972mw and the consortium plans to increase this to 1075mw within five years. With regards to our hospitality business, we plan to rapidly expand our suite of hospitality services and spread across key strategic locations”. In the next three to five years, Ufudo said the company will increase the number of hotels in its hospitality portfolio across major Nigerian cities including Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt. BC

National Mirror

Business Courage A23 39

Monday, October 22, 2012

STOCKWATCH Stock Exchange weekly equities summary as at Friday, Oct 19, 2012 SECURITY



NOTE NT=Not Traded on 19-10-12






MOV. (%)


150 000 61 236 533 491

0.64 34.01 16.15

0.50 14.53 6.40

2 200 000 000 476 955 000 1 000 000 000

0.00 8.23 1.69

N/A -4.73 -0.40

NT 35.70 14.98




60 000 000




5 737 000



1 199 549 736




105 561 NT NT NT 175 438

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

0.21 0.30 0.00 0.35 7.03

4.67 N/A N/A N/A N/A

1.50 NT 5.32 NT 40.50

50 200 NT

26.00 95.49

14.09 95.49

148 500 000 196 876 000

0.00 4.50


9.88 NT


7.97 14.46

2.46 14.46

920 573 765 125 000 000

0.00 0.00



40 220 520

62.26 8.69

21.55 3.01

1 200 000 000 20 000 000

4.11 3.66

0.00 N/A

31.00 NT

NT 620 075

7.28 20.15

7.28 8.82

1 375 000 000

0.00 1.66

N/A 4.55

NT 11.00

2 000 000 NT

100.00 50.00

97.00 50.00

20 000 000 250 019 781

11.75 0.75


100.00 NT

20 000



4 772 528 415




50 000 NT 332 781 106 784 NT 776 391 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 12.04 0.07 0.00 5.21 0.00

N/A N/A -5.89 N/A N/A -2.22 N/A

3.80 NT 281.60 13.19 NT 142.00 NT

6 227



640 590 362




NT 3 367 566 3 158 641 355 556 1 566 319 1 000 NT 510 667 NT 564 183 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 21.48 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 0.59 3.60 0.36 0.00 1.20 0.81 0.16 1.13 0.00

N/A 0.00 -5.07 1.55 -6.72 N/A N/A -1.83 N/A -3.95 N/A

NT 8.20 6.12 65.00 2.68 NT 20.41 6.02 NT 0.76 NT

40 000 000 1 233 375 004 360 000 000

1 352 243 346 448

29.20 684.00

9.15 367.83

3 129 188 160 792 656 250

1.24 21.21

-0.33 9.44

30.00 625.00

NT NT 582 742 NT

15.58 42.66 6.75 3.67

10.03 36.19 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 1.42 N/A

NT NT 3.52 NT

271 966 119 399

43.50 41.50

22.07 22.56

3 176 381 636 3 783 296 250

0.51 1.32

19.90 -3.49

25.02 43.00




843 284 027




14 547 002 24 836 830 9 744 915 4 805 407 44 887 149 4 343 299 18 213 114 8 300 617 1 106 990 8 075 667 9 607 249 897 694 8 840 528 20 900 966 42 841 354

11.10 9.27 17.05 3.20 17.01 8.30 20.30 10.17 11.38 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 6.40 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 18 750 000 000 12 563 091 545 32 334 693 693 13 509 726 273 33 675 576 085 12 821 249 880 31 396 493 790

0.63 0.00 2.61 0.19 1.37 0.60 0.59 0.39 0.54 0.43 0.01 2.20 0.00 1.34 1.41

4.33 -8.14 0.84 -8.97 0.06 -3.59 -0.98 6.17 0.00 -8.50 -5.27 -0.25 0.00 9.62 -0.82

9.01 4.79 11.95 2.34 17.00 3.62 20.50 4.05 7.30 2.00 5.50 8.01 NT 0.52 18.35

NT 1 508 973 NT 100 000 1 101 000 NT 621 700 NT 40 982 NT NT 398 401 1 062 NT 6 503 000 NT 4 818 594 313 000 NT 5 413 157 1 822 NT 528 684 NT 60 000 NT 13 000 NT 1 000 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 0.09 0.00 0.06 0.10 0.01 0.27 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.06 0.00 0.02 0.02 0.10 0.00 0.08 0.10 0.25 0.01 0.02 0.11 0.03 0.10 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.01 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 -2.82 N/A -8.77 N/A N/A 0.00 N/A 0.00 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

NT 0.80 NT 0.50 0.88 NT 1.47 NT 0.50 NT NT 0.60 NT NT 0.50 NT 0.50 1.77 0.50 0.57 0.50 NT 0.50 NT 0.50 0.50 NT 0.50 NT 0.50



NT 2 000 2 300 000 NT

1.51 0.50 0.50 0.99

1.33 0.50 0.50 0.50

4 200 000 000 8 679 148 676 13 175 732 404 7 812 500 000

0.03 0.10 0.00 0.00


NT 0.50 0.50 NT

1 100 000 NT NT NT 220 000

0.61 2.02 0.15 552.20 0.66

0.50 2.02 0.15 555.20 0.50

3 778 005 975 1 333 333 333 5 880 000 2 500 000 3 608 657 661

0.00 0.00 0.00 12.68 0.05


0.50 NT NT NT 0.57




498 600 908







3 553 138 528







152 178 750




355 260 517 838 7 050 229 765

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

0.19 0.27 2.41 0.21

-11.76 -5.38 0.00 -3.51

1.36 1.30 39.00 1.71

N/A=Not Avialable









MOV. (%)


528 500 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

-13.29 N/A N/A

1.43 NT NT

1 200 000



2 960 000 000







2 941 789 472







4 966 666 668




NT 200

18.28 3.59

13.12 2.41

108 000 000 492 825 600

1.82 0.00


13.77 NT

NT 300

0.50 4.97

0.50 4.04

4 620 600 000 4 200 000 000

0.00 0.00






6 878 478 096




NT 2 050 000 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


NT 2.26 NT

NT 578 480 37 650 203 830 155 854 378 041 117 356 NT NT 40 400 2 900 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 1.60 0.15 1.76 1.83 8.01 0.00 0.00 0.00 1.74 0.16 0.39 0.00

N/A -8.46 0.00 13.21 -9.16 1.27 N/A N/A N/A -1.74 N/A N/A N/A

NT 19.50 8.01 27.55 6.55 118.50 2.01 NT 0.70 57.50 NT 3.29 NT

NT 28 790 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 -38.64 N/A N/A

NT 2.20 NT NT

NT NT 154 728 NT 717 851 NT NT

3.98 6.91

3.98 2.19

25 000 000 683 974 528

0.00 0.15


NT 1.99

15.03 3.60 1.86 0.63

13.28 1.60 1.05 0.63

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

0.90 0.22 0.30 0.00

N/A 2.92 N/A N/A

NT 1.71 NT NT


8.69 0.14

8.26 0.14

265 409 280 2 918 000

0.00 0.00



13 340



393 120 000




NT 5 000

7.75 12.39

7.75 10.55

75 600 000 100 000 000

0.00 0.13


NT 10.55

10 000



4 058 989 226





3.22 1.38

3.22 1.38

50 000 000 220 000 000

0.04 0.00



6 114 406



6 262 701 716




2 670 638



2 262 711 568




NT NT 20 649 82 000 105 183 17 754 300 4 321

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 5.98 0.88 0.00 13.06 4.08 11.22

N/A N/A 0.00 -3.51 0.49 0.00 N/A -3.85

NT NT 20.79 2.28 10.20 115.00 30.68 130.00

33 000



4 035 497 307










129 389



980 294 400




452 500 NT

3.67 6.40

2.11 3.28

589 496 310 198 819 763

0.63 0.26

-6.06 N/A

3.30 NT

12 150 143



865 808 912







3 211 627 907




NT 92 000 NT 29 624 620

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 -4.39 N/A 3.51

NT 1.14 NT 1.14

312 000



8 000 000 000




10 768 9 308 892 NT 572 362

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 17.80

3.10 2.01 NT 4.10

81 232



1 507 000 000





5.15 1.88

4.90 0.80

236 699 511 5 631 539 736

0.00 0.03



3 000 289 853

2.78 11.75

1.54 5.15

634 000 000 1 230 468 750

0.38 0.81

N/A -1.67

2.16 6.00




45 000 000




11 000



201 885 335







30 000 000







24 898 850




NT 500



125 005 250



NT 1.63




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


NT 0.50 NT NT

NT NT 16 000



20 000 000





194 700 000



NT NT 2.76


2 706

2 422


2 638.00

A24 40

Business Courage

Monday, October 22, 2012

National Mirror

Monday, October 22, 2012

National Mirror


Law & Justice

“When the rule of law is weak, corruption will remain a nagging problem.” JUSTICE DAHIRU MUSDAPHER, FORMER CHIEF JUSTICE OF NIGERIA (CJN)

Presidency, N’ Assembly disagree over appropriation powers Nigeria needs unicameral legislature –Ozekhome 42

Gani’s legal battles over Dele Giwa’s murder 46

President Jonathan

The Legislative and the Executive arms are complementary arms of government in the Federation. EMMANUEL ONANI reports the conflict of interest that existed between the organs of government during the presentation of the 2013 Appropriation Bill before the National Assembly.

T I handled a homicide case – Akanbi 45

he conflict of interest existing between the Presidency and the National Assembly reared its head again on Wednesday, October 10, when President Goodluck Jonathan presented the 2013 Appropriation Bill before a joint sitting of the National Assembly. The bone of contention this time, is on who, between the executive and the legislature, has greater input over annual budgets. President of the Senate and chairman of the National Assembly, David Mark, had stirred the hornet’s nest in his opening speech at the joint session, which held on the floor of the House of Representatives.


In his address considered by many as a voyage to legislative assertiveness, Mark had stated that the National Assembly will not “rubber-stamp” the 2013 budget; an indication of the preparedness of the lawmakers to scrutinise the “document”, with a view to making substantial inputs in the overall interests of the people. Perhaps, to underscore a paradigm shift, while at the same time signaling the dawn of “legislative activism”, Mark reminded President Jonathan that budgets “are mere estimates, not immutable figures”, as the executive, nay the public, are wont to believe. His words: “What the constitution enjoins Mr. President to lie before the National Assembly are mere estimates, not immutable figures. And once the estimates are so laid, their consideration becomes subject to the constitutionally prescribed modes of exercising legislative power… We



believe that so long as our budgets are only partially implemented, the full benefits of your (President Jonathan) administration’s economic policies may not be accomplished.” In a vote of thanks at the end of the joint sitting, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal observed that, “The Composition of the Public Procurement Council provided under the Public Procurement Act is very critical to budget implementation. The sanctity of extant legislations and respect for the rule of law are critical hallmarks of true democracy We, therefore, once more call on Mr. President to expeditiously constitute this council so as to free the Federal Executive Council from the burden of contract administration, so they can concentrate on the more sublime issues of their constitutional roles and responsibilities. Incidentally, the present Constitution of the Bureau of Public Procurement has been identified as one of the bottlenecks to effective capital budget implementation.” Hardly had the dust raised from the October 10 budget presentation settled, when Senior CONTINUED ON PAGE 44


Law & Justice

Chief Mike Ozekhome, a human rights activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1981. He started his career in the chambers of late Chief Gani Fawehinimi and later established his Lagos law firm in 1986, which has now grown with branches in Abuja, Benin City and Agenebode in Edo State. In an interview on occasion of his 55th birthday ceremony, he speaks with ASSISTANT HEAD, JUDICIARY, KAYODE KETEFE, on a number of legal and contemporary issues. Excerpts. How will you rate Nigeria after 52 years of independence, is the nation living up to the dream of her founding fathers? Certainly not! There is no doubt about that. Some people have argued that since Nigeria got her independence on the platter of gold (because there was no blood spilled) that perhaps explains why we did not value what we had as result of which we have messed up things. When we gained independence on October 1, 1960, India had just had her independence three years earlier in 1957. This means that India is only three years senior to Nigeria in terms of independence. Today India manufactures aircrafts, ships not to talk of vehicles. As a matter fact, she manufactures everything. Nigeria does not even manufacture bicycles, not even umbrellas! We even had to import toothpicks and cotton, yet this is a country so blessed by God with Plateau State and Nasarawa State alone having over 35 mineral resources aside crude oil. Nigeria at 52 is still a big baby still sucking from feeding bottle and wearing baby diapers and still crawling on her knees. This is notwithstanding the abundant human and natural resources. Of our three hundred trillion cubic feet of natural gas, Nigeria flares over 76 per cent of her annual production; United States of America only flares less than five per cent of her natural gas. Britain flares less than 3.5 per cent, Netherland flares zero per cent! We are the most wasteful gas flaring nation in the world. So one is not happy about the state we are in. Will you say that our leaders have failed us? Of course, there is failure of leadership as well as failure of followership. Japan does not have a single drop of oil, yet she is one of the strongest economies in the world today. The state of Texas and the State of the California are two states in the USA and each of these states is richer than the whole of Nigeria as a country. I visited Ghana only three weeks ago to receive an international award on integrity. I was shocked when the taxi driver that took me from the airport to my hotel charged only four Cedis. I was expecting him to tell me that “Oga you have to pay me one million Cedis”, as we used to do in the time past. In those days you have to use Ghana must go to carry money to the market and the goods you would buy with it would be less than the contents of the Ghana must go. I asked the driver “What is the equivalent of four Cedis in dollars and he said just two dollars, I was so astonished! The approximation is just about 1.9 Cedis to a dollar, not more! That is Ghana here; she is exchanging less than two Cedis to a dollar. When I got to the hotel, I asked them to change some naira for me into cedis as they had a changing bureau. I gave them N10,000. Do you know how much I got for my N10,000? Just 120 Cedis. That is how a country can get it right. I was told President John Kuffour did that to their currency. He just removed the last two digits from the currency to boost the value of Cedis. The whole of Ghana are swarming with white men now, all the hotels were booked. Nigeria is a land of lost opportunities, a land of impoverishment in the midst of plenty; a land where we are washing our hands with sputum while lying at the bank of a mighty river; a land still laden with corruption. In 1999, we won the gold medal in corruption by coming first in the whole world. The following year we won silver medal coming after nearly failed republics like Guatemala and Pakistan. Then by 2001, we fared better as we won the bronze

Monday, October 22, 2012

National Mirror

Nigeria needs unicameral

Ozekhome (SAN)


INTERNATIONAL CORRUPTION INDEX diadem. So Nigeria has carried first, second and third in corruption on the Transparency International Corruption Index. This sorry state has been caused by nothing but a failure of leadership at every level. It is also attributable to failure of leadership because it takes two to tango. It was Justice Leonard Kent, who said the only price we have to pay for our liberty is eternal vigilance. Have the Nigerians been eternally vigilant? Do you know how many people thought that we were mad when we were fighting the military? They could not understand why we would be fighting the military armed with armoured tanks. They said we were crazy. It is said that when you pursued a goat to the wall and there is no further route to escape, even a goat can bite. But on the other hand, my experience in Nigeria has shown that if you pursue an average Nigerian to the wall and he sees that there is no escape route, the average Nigerian would break the wall down to further retreat from the aggressors rather than face the aggressors. That is a shame of a nation, it shows failure of followership. So Nigeria is still in the doldrums, with the state of insecurity and the alarming state of corruption which is increasing geometrically. Some few years ago Ex-President Obasanjo got the then Senate President Adolphus Wabara removed for an alleged N45 million corruption. A minister Chief Sunday Afolabi was also removed for an alleged N50 million corruption. Today, we are talking of small civil servant like an Assistant Director being involved in billions of naira corrupt practices! We no longer heard of hundreds of millions, we hear of billions. If we going on like this, I am sure that in the next few years we would have graduated to the trillion naira mark. You might hear someone had stolen one trillion naira, two trillion naira! How would you rate the performance of the Nigerian

Judiciary in the last 52 years? I will rate Nigeria Judiciary, despite her challenges above the other two arms of government. The Judiciary has fared as the best of the arms. You would remember that after Major Kaduna Chukwuma Nzeogwu executed his military putsch on January 15, 1966, the military took over power. Of course, we all know the story of the coup, the counter-coup and how Nigeria was plunged into a three-year bloody civil war. The rest is history. But even under such tyrannical military dictatorship which was successive from 1966 with a little break between 1979 and 1983 and from that year till 1999, the Judiciary held her head high even in the face of blaring siren of power. Even in the face of the most atrocious, autocratic and despotic dictatorship, the Judiciary said no to oppression, the rule of law must be upheld even under the military totalitarians. We have recorded some epochal and history defining cases like the Governor of Lagos State v. Ojukwu, Bello v. Attorney-General of Oyo State. We saw the Judiciary even declaring null and void certain acts that were carried out under military decrees! Go and check out the case of Mike Ozekome v. President Ibrahim Babangida which is against removal of oil subsidy. The Judiciary refused to be intimidated. The Judiciary remains the bulwark of the common man against oppression, against repression, subjugation and exploitation. It has fared better than the Executive where corruption has been most pronounced; it has fared better than the legislature. Having said that there is no denying the fact that there is still corruption in the Judiciary and this is unfortunate. But I make bold to say that the it is only a negligible percentage of corrupt people How would assess the other two arms of government? They are the ones draining the national resources unduly, Today the average take home of a legislator is anything from 10-15 million naira per month. That is even for a normal legislator, not the one heading a committee. That is different from the quarterly take home which they are now increasing from N27 million to around N35 million. So to become a legislator today is highly merchantilistic, it is a job that pays. Today we have 360 members of the representatives and 109 members Senate. What are we doing about 469 legislators? They are merely

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.neta

Law & Justice

Monday, October 22, 2012


legislature –Mike Ozekhome draining the country of our meager national resources. Why do we need a bicameral legislature? What we need is unicameral legislature made up of not more than 360 representatives per state. I therefore suggest that we should scrap one of the arms of the legislature and have a unicameral system which is made up of not more than 109 members representing the peoples and drawn all over the country. With the endemic corruption in the system, you find Nigeria battling to hold her head aloft from the waters. You find Nigerian spending nearly 85 per cent of her annual budget on recurrent expenditure rather than capital expenditure; it is the capital expenditure that gives food shelter and medical care and security to the people. It is the capital projects that give us good roads, hospitals etc. Today capital projects suffer because of recurrent expenditure. The executive arm is also wasteful. The President has a minimum of at least 42 minister and this is the constitutional provision! So you already have a behemoth gargantuan edifice called government. Each of these Ministers appoints a Special Adviser and the Special Adviser himself appoints a Senior Special Assistant and the Senior Special Assistant appoints a Special Assistant and the Special Assistant himself appoints a Personal Assistant, himself appoints a Personal Aide etc! So you have stages and layers of one position giving birth to about six more and all of them are living on the money of the country. A country where no one is asking how the cake is baked but simply how we eat the already baked cake. How did our problems began as a nation? We have had all sorts of all sorts of constitutions with all sorts of problems When you look at the constitutional and political history of Nigeria to know that our problems are system and ancient. It did not just start. Nigerians never even agreed to live together as one country. What we had were disparate nations. We had the Benin Kingdom, Old Oyo Empire. We had different ethnic nationalities, the Ijaw were different, so the Hausa, the Kanuri etc. We were already living peacefully respecting each other when the British came they decided to introduce indirect and direct ruling systems. In 1898, a young beautiful white lady, Miss Flora Shaw wrote an article in the London Financial Times to the effect that “That area around the Nigeria is meant for the British people”, The words “Niger Area” later became corrupted into Nigeria. That lady providentially later married the Governor-General of Nigeria, Lord Lugard who amalgamated the Northern and Southern Protectorates to form what we now call Federal Republic of Nigeria. Were the colonialists justified by that decision? This forcing together of non-homogenous people has caused a lot of problems. This is what made the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo in one of his books to say that Nigeria was just a mere geographical expression. The same thing forced the late Sardauna of Sokoto to say that Nigeria was a piece of historical mistake! Thus Nigerians started to suffer hiccups of nationhood. That led us to the 1922 Clifford Constitution which we found unworkable because it was highly unitary and colonial imposed. We then had 1946 Arthur Richard Constitution, which tried to give some semblance of federalism but could not succeed. That led us to the 1951 Macpherson Constitution which again failed abysmally for not taking into reckoning the various disparate natures of the peoples of Nigeria. We then had the 1954 Lyttleton Constitution, it also failed. We later had independence Constitution of 1960 which bestowed on us mere flag independence. From then we had 1963 Republican Constitution and later the 1979 Constitution which first introduced the presidential system of government. After that we had series of military regime and later 1989 unused constitution before we had 1999 Constitution hurriedly put together by the Provisional Ruling Council, headed by General Abdusalami Abubakar. That is our constitutional journey so far; that is how we came about our present 1999 Constitution which has

UNDER A GOOD FEDERAL SYSTEM, THERE SHOULD BE TOTAL AND COMPLETE RESOURCE CONTROL BY THE REGIONS been amended for not less than three times. It is not a constitution that enjoys the acceptability and respectability of the people. The constitution itself is therefore a liar, the constitution was just Decree 47, but it tells lie against itself when it said the people of Federal Republic of Nigeria have decided to give ourselves the following constitution. That is a lie, we Nigerians never met at any Assembly to give ourselves the constitution. The entire attempt made to repair the constitution, to me, would always come to naught. This is because if the foundations is bad and is cracking you do not solve the problem by patching the walls of the building and applying paints. No, you have to go the roots, dig up the foundations and put the heavy mortal and iron rod to hold the building. That is the way you can overcome the challenge. If you choose to patch, when next there is tear it would be far bigger than what you had patched up. What would you recommend as good system for our fiscal federalism? Under a good federal system, there should be total and complete resource control by the regions. Formerly, each

region controlled 50 per cent of its natural resources, 25 per cent was paid to the Federal Government while the remaining 25 per cent are shared by the states. Thus, a state producing the resources which had already got 50 per cent would get additional percentage from the shared 25 per cent. Today, you want the people of the South-South to dance egbabonalimi dance or mpokiti and atilogwu dance for being given 13 per cent of their own natural resources. The various Premiers of Nigeria used in the first republic to develop their respective regions. It is resources of the Western Region that the late sage, the brilliant and mercuarial Chief Obafemi Awolowo used to develop the South West. He gave the Yoruba people free education at all levels. This made an average Yoruba man today, whether you like it or not, the most enlightened human beings in Nigeria. This was due to the foresight of one man. It is the resource control that enabled Awolowo to build Cocoa House, Liberty Stadium, Ibadan, University of Ife in 1962, now named after him. With money of cocoa, he was able to build the first television station in Africa. Do you know that it was the resource control of cotton and groundnuts pyramids that the great Sardauna of Sokoto, Ahmadu Bello was able to build the Northern Nigeria Development Corporation (NDDC) the Durbar Hotel, the Hamdala Hotel, the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria? Do you not know that it was the resource control of palm oil which people like Akanu Ibiam, Azikiwe and Dr. Mike Okpara used to develop the Eastern Region? We had true federalism before 1966, but what we are having today is a unitary form of government. Today people are fighting not even for the resource control again but only for equitable shares of their natural resources. In the South-South there is destruction of agrarian and aquatic life, their water is not even fit to drink. Where is justice in that? These are some of things causing the problem of the country. Would you rather say the Federal Government should devolve more powers to federating units? The government at the Federal level has become too powerful, to behemoth and lucrative. That is why people sell their houses to be in politics because politics is a big business. That is why people kill themselves because of politics. The centre should devolve more powers to the states. What is the federal Government doing with education? What is the Federal Government doing with car licensing? Just to licence a car the Federal Government must be involved, what kind of federalism is that. There are too many things the Federal government is involving itself with that should be left for the state to control. Do you then support the idea of state police? The pertinent question is why do we need a police that would be centrally controlled? Section 214 and 215 of the 1999 constitution gives the Inspector-General of Police the powers to control the police in Nigeria as whole. The IGP who himself has the Minister of Police Affairs over him controls the State’s Commissioners of Police. The IGP also controls the Deputy Inspector-General of Police and the Assistant Inspector-General of Police. The Commissioner controls Area Police Commanders who themselves control Divisional Police Commanders. Then you have a behemoth, monstrous organogram of policing system. Why should this be? Although a state governor is the Chief Security Office of the state he has no power over the commissioner of police in his own state. If the state governor gives any order, he would tell him that he has to refer to the IGP, the IGP himself may have to refer to the Minister of Police Affairs who himself has to refer to Mr. President. So you find a little mayhem or crisis in a local government which should have been nipped in the bud being escalated because they are waiting for the bureaucratic orders. The solution is to copy the American system where you have the Central Intelligence of America and Federal Bureau of Investigation at the Federal level while every state has its own police force. I recommend the same for Nigeria.


Law & Justice

Monday, October 22, 2012

National Mirror

‘Budget preparation is exclusive to executive’ DOES THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY HAVE

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 41 Special Assistant to President Jonathan on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe fired at the leadership of the Assembly, alleging that they were “unfair” to his principal. In his words: “it is quite clear that this is not a high-handed administration and it is not dogmatic in any way. In a healthy democracy, there is useful exchange of ideas and deliberation over various national issues or issues of national importance, until reasonable agreements are reached.” On Mark’s comments that budget figures are mere estimates, Okupe said the statement “demean the quality of the document itself… The budget represents the vision, intention and definitive steps that the government intends to take over the next 12 months.” Also reacting to Tambuwal’s disclosure that reports by members on the performance of the 2012



budget was “unimpressive,” the spokesman simply said: “I do not want to repeat myself and I also do not want to accuse anybody of bias or anything like that. But we feel that that the judgement was unfair.”

Mediators urge litigants to explore ADR option FRANCIS FAMOROTI AND CAROLINE CHUKWUKA


he Lagos Settlement Week (LSW) and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) forum was rounded off last week amidst pleas to litigants to explore the settlement initiative before opting for law courts. Leading the pack of the mediators who made the plea in Lagos at the LSW/ADR workshop was the Director of Lagos Multi Door Court House (LMDC), Mrs. Caroline Etuk, who, in her welcome remarks, dwelt on the benefits of the ADR. She said the LSW was designed to impact the Justice system of Lagos State through a reduction of the case load of the courts, encourage the early settlement of cases pending in the state High Court and provide satisfying solutions, timely and cost effective justice to litigants. Etuk also said the settlement week was meant to demonstrate the viability of ADR for justice reform; and serve as model for other states of the federation. Having set the tone for the forum, the Deputy Director, LMDC, Mrs. Adeyinka Aroyewun, gave an overview of the ADR and Mediation. Etuk also made a presentation on Mediation Advocacy and its benefits while, the Lagos Settlement Week Administrator, Mrs. Achere Cole delivered a speech an Overview of the Lagos Settlement Week 2012. A visiting foreign- based mediator, Nancy Neal Yeend, also delivered a paper on ‘’Avoiding mediation Advocacy Pitfalls’’. According to her, ‘’after two decades as a mediator, I have come to the conclusion that great advocates avoid three common pitfalls; wrong mediator, lack of preparation and ineffectual negotiation.’’ She said once it was established that mediation is the process, attorneys must access the case and analyse the client to determine what mediator attributes will benefit the particular circumstances, prepare themselves and their clients, and possess persuasive negotiation skills. In an interview with Mr. Olajide Olagunju, Director, ADR Studies

Programme, Salem University, Lokoja, he spoke on seven elements of successful conflict resolution. He said these elements would guide mediators in resolving conflict in the society. Indeed, litigation and ADR are two sides of the same coin. ADR is not a replacement to litigation, but only an alternative and a supplement. Both are aimed at the determination of disputes and resolution of conflicts in society. But investigation has showed that some disputing parties, especially those involved in commercial matters, often prefer ADR because its resolution mechanism is faster and time saving. National Mirror learnt that the reason for this is not far-fetched. It was learnt that the volume of cases in Lagos and Ikeja divisions of the Lagos State High Court and the Federal High Court is alarming. Despite the existence of fast track system in the state High Court, for instance, cases still take an average of three years or more to be disposed of from the cause list. Investigation showed that no fewer than 2,000 cases are being handled weekly by the Ikeja, Lagos, Ikorodu and Badagry Judicial Divisions of the state judiciary. The participants at the Lagos Settlement Week (LSW) forum, therefore, advised prospective litigants that the optimum method of preparation for mediation is to discuss settlement options with their lawyers. Where the case is already in court, a litigant can make an application to the judge to get the case referred to the Lagos Settlement Week. Where the case is not in court, a person may approach the LSW Administrator and fill the requisite forms. The LSW is designed to decongest the court dockets by helping parties reach mutual settlement through mediation. During the exercise, a week is set aside by the state Chief Judge for specific courts to clear the backlog of cases through means which include referrals to the LMDC for possible resolution through mediation, arbitration, neutral evaluation or any other ADR procedure. The settlement week is a joint initiative of the LMDC, the state judiciary, the state government and the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).

Section 81 (1) of the 1999 constitution provides that: “The President shall cause to be prepared and laid before each House of the National Assembly at any time in each financial year, estimates of the revenues and expenditure of the Federation for the next fiscal year.” However, some Senior Advocates of Nigeria have expressed divergent views on the “supremacy battle” between the executive and the legislature. Speaking with our correspondent on

the issue, Chief Awa Kalu (SAN) said the question to ask is, who proposes budgets. According to Kalu, “Question is, estimates are proposed by who? Once you can answer that question satisfactorily, no controversy will arise. Does the National Assembly have the right or prerogative to propose the budget or is their role limited to scrutinizing and passing it?” Also speaking, Chief Mike Ahamba (SAN) said: “I believe that he is mistaken. Power to approve does anticipate amendment or substitution of the subject for approval. Preparation of budget is exclusive to the executive, subject to approval by the NASS. There is no partnership of the parties in the performance of either of the functions.” On his part, Chief Nathaniel Oke (SAN) argued that, “The legislators’ major input is in relation to implementation and execution. In a way, monitoring and asking questions thereon are great inputs.


L-R : Chief Richard Ahonaruogho, Director, Gender Studies, UNIBEN, Prof. Mary Edema; Business Development Manager, Syke Bank Plc, Ugbowo branch, Mr. Vincent Otoide at the presentation of a book’’ The making of an Ambassador ‘’in honour of Ahonaruogho recently.

L-R: President, Worldwide, UNIBEN Alumni Association, Dr. Clement Oghene; Chief Ahonaruogho ; Mr. Vincent Otoide and the chief presenter, Mrs. Ruth Kolawole of First Baptist Church, Ikeja.

National Mirror

Law & Justice

Monday, October 22, 2012

Majesty of Supreme court

I handled a homicide case –Akanbi W hen I qualified as a lawyer in Britain, I stayed back for a periodical attachment. My master in chamber was lawyer Phil. Schucher, the head of chamber was Heclcot Williams. So I have been going to court. Although I joined as a junior taking note, so when I came back to Nigeria again, I was in the Ministry of Justice and I remember the first day I went to the court in Zaria. I was the only state counsel in Kaduna and I had to go and do a case of homicide which is punishable with death. It was quite demanding, considering that being my first appearance, though I had qualified at the

age of 32. I had worked before. I had been an executive officer in the service. I was used to talking and addressing the people. So, there was no problem, so, I had to present my case to the best of my ability. I didn’t see it as a big deal. I had watched some lawyers in court. So, I felt I could do equally well like some of the ones I had seen in court. So it was not a matter of a new chap who had come, who will have some fright



Justice Mustapha Akanbi, former ICPC boss

in his mind. I saw it as a normal thing and I addressed the court, calling my witnesses in a good order. I had my plans. Happily, it was before a judge, one Justice Ahmed, a Pakistani and I didn’t see that judge as the type of Judge who could really take me to task. Because I had seen him before in court and I thought I could do my

own also. So, it was a normal day in court as far as I was concerned and I liked advocacy right from the word go. I think generally I started well, I handled a homicide case that was at the end not punished with death and I was happy. Eventually, the chap got away with a homicide not punished with death, but he got away with five years imprisonment.

Bar Jokes

Just recovering from anesthesia


here was a lawyer and he was just waking up from anesthesia after surgery, and his wife was sitting by his

side. His eyes fluttered open and he said: “You’re beautiful!” and then he fell asleep again. His wife had never heard him say that so she stayed by his side. A couple minutes later his eyes fluttered open and he said: “You’re cute!” Well, the wife was disappointed because instead of “beautiful” it was “cute.” She said: “What happened to ‘beautiful’?” He replied: “The drugs are wearing off !”


Lawyer and beautiful woman


man died and was taken to his place of eternal torment by the devil. As he passed sulphurous pits and shrieking sinners, he saw a man he recognized as a lawyer snuggling up to a beautiful woman. “That’s unfair!” he cried. “I have to roast for all eternity, and that lawyer gets to spend it with a beautiful woman.” “Shut up”, barked the devil, jabbing the man with his pitchfork. “Who are you to question that woman’s punishment?”

Engineer at pearly gates

n engineer dies and reports to the pearly gates. St. Peter checks his dossier and says, “Ah, you’re an engineer. You are in the wrong place.” So, the engineer reports to the gates of hell and is let in. Pretty soon, the engineer gets dissatisfied with the level of discomfort in hell, and starts designing and building improvements. After a while, they’ve got air conditioning and flush toilets and escalators, and the engineer is a pretty popular guy. One day, God calls Satan up on the telephone and says with a sneer, “So, how’s it going down there in hell?” Satan replies, “Hey, things are going


great. We’ve got air conditioning and flush toilets and escalators, and there’s no telling what this engineer is going to come up with next.” God replies, “What? You’ve got an engineer? That’s a mistake. He should never have gotten down there; send him up here.” Satan says, “No way.” I like having an engineer on the staff, and I’m keeping him.” God says, “Send him back up here or I’ll sue.” Satan laughs uproariously and answers, “Yeah, right. And just where are you going to get a lawyer?” Culled from Bar Jokes.Com

thank warmly the Honourable Justice Aloma Marian Mukhtar GCON, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, for her letter of August 1, 2012, inviting me to deliver an address at this Special Session on behalf of the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria. My warm thanks also go to all the Honourable Justices of the Supreme Court, to all the Senior Advocates of Nigeria, the members of the Bar and all the invited guests. My special greetings to all the new Senior Advocates of the Bar. My Lord the Honourable Chief Justice of Nigeria. You have made history. The history of Nigeria can never be complete without your name as the first female Chief Justice of Nigeria. It is gratifying that in Nigeria today, many women have acquired education up to the very high levels in various professions. It is no longer the preserve of men. A lot of women in Nigeria have risen up the professional ladder and become captains in their own right to direct the affairs of multinational companies and regulatory authorities. But I am happy to confirm that the legal profession is such a noble profession where every one is treated equally with no gender issues or discrimination in keeping with the Nigerian Constitution. My colleagues at the Inner Bar and at the Outer Bar with special mention of those who today will join the rank of the Inner Bar to become Senior Advocates of Nigeria, I congratulate you all that our profession has indeed come of age. We have risen above inequality and gender issues through the appointment of the Hon. Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar, as the first female Chief Justice of Nigeria. As I often say the sky is not the limit for an achiever. It is not in many Courts in the World, do we have a Lady as the Chief Justice of the Country. I also wish again to congratulate all the other Justices of the Supreme Court for being the current members and part of this great history. I had the privilege of visiting a number of the Highest Courts in some countries – England, United States of America (U.S.A) The Gambia, Ghana, India, Australia to mention only a few. In the USA, there is one great custom in the Court which is of a great interest to me and one that I treasure. Each day when there is oral argument, just before the Justices go out on the Bench and before they confer, every Justice shakes the hand of every other


CHIEF JUSTICE OF NIGERIA Justice. To some people this may seem strange and unnecessary but you must remember that they are a very small group. They see and interact with one another, and they all know they will continue to do so for the rest of their professional lives. But it is important that they get along together so that they can go along together. The American Constitution, signed on September 17, 1787, was produced by fifty-seven (57) men. Although subject to the Constitutional terms, women were “unacknowledged in its text, uninvited in its formulation and unsolicited for its ratification” –quoted from Deborah L Rhode: Justice and Gender: Sex Discrimination and The Law (Harvard University Press 1989 at page 20). In permitting each United States to determine the qualification of voters for Congress, the United States Constitution deliberately endorsed laws in virtually every state that prohibited women from voting. Nonetheless, in setting out the contours of American Government in 1787, the Framers of the Constitution envisioned to rule for American women. In the United Kingdom, women were not given the right to vote until 1918 to 1919. I hereby pay homage to all the former Chief Justices of Nigeria who have all been very honourable and great. On behalf of my colleagues I wish you my lady, a fruitful tenure as the Chief Justice of Nigeria. To my colleagues who today formally join the inner bar, I extend to you the good wishes of the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria. This is a great honour, but one which carries very great responsibilities. It is my prayer that you will all extol very high ethical values of our great profession as you join the rank of Senior Advocates of Nigeria. Chief Akinjide delivered the paper at a special session of the Supreme Court to mark the beginning of new legal year/ conferment of Senior Advocates of Nigeria.


Law & Justice

Monday, October 22, 2012

National Mirror

Gani’s legal battles over Dele Giwa’s murder Two weeks after the brutal murder of the founding Editor-in-Chief of Newswatch magazine, Dele Giwa on October 19, 1986, Lagos lawyer, Gani Fawehinmi, approached a Lagos High Court to compel the state Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to prosecute two top security chiefs. In the process, Fawehinmi filed about 38 cases and made 214 appearances at the high court. FRANCIS FAMOROTI, Ag. Head, Judiciary highlights the legal battles. Late Giwa

Late Fawehinmi


ani Fawehinmi, during his lifetime, had demonstrated doggedness in his pursuit of human rights and the cause of the oppressed. Shortly after Dele Giwa was killed by a parcel bomb at his Talabi Street , Ikeja residence on October 19, 1986, the fiery lawyer took up the challenge to unravel the mystery behind the dastardly murder. As a result, he proceeded to the court on November 3, 1986 to seek leave for an order of mandamus against the then state DDP, (then Solicitor- General and later Justice James Oduneye). Apart from mandamus, several applications such as libel, slander, criminal defamation, and contempt were simultaneously brought against Fawehinmi, while the lawyer also initiated action against the authorities for assault against his person and the seizure of his books. An order of mandamus is an order to compel the performance of a public duty issued by the court to a public officer. When a public institution fails to perform a public duty, the civil rights and obligations of some citizens are bound to be affected. It is an order which a court of law can make as a consequential order in any deserving case before it. At the high court, late Justice Candide Ademola Johnson refused Fawehinmi leave, stating that he had no locus standi to bring the action. He proceeded to the Court of Appeal where he suffered a similar setback. The uncompromising human rights crusader went to the Supreme Court where he contended that the DPP was under an obligation to decide on whether to prosecute the security chiefs or not. Interestingly at the Supreme Court, it was held that the applicant had locus standi to institute the action and he was granted leave to seek for the order of mandamus. The court said that “since the respondent has failed to carry out his statutory duty, the appellant is justified in bringing the application for an order of mandamus to compel the respondent to perform the duty.” The apex court, by a majority decision of six to one on December 18, 1987, eventually changed

FAMOUS CASES the story of Fawehinmi’s bid to prosecute the two security chiefs, the head of Directorate of Military Intelligence, Col Halilu Akilu and his deputy, Lt. Col. Kunle Togun, in the Ibrahim Babangida administration. With the Supreme Court fiat, the lawyer filed the mandamus application at the high court. On January 21, 1988, Justice Olusola Thomas granted the request sought and compelled the office of the state Attorney -General or the DPP to either prosecute or allow Fawehinmi to do so as a private prosecutor. The then state Attorney-General, Mrs. Eniola Fadayomi had refused to endorse her refusal to prosecute on an application brought by Fawehinmi as a private prosecutor. The application was for leave to effect a private prosecution of the security officers suspected of having murdered Giwa. After a protracted challenge of the locus standi of the applicant, to bring a private prosecutor, a Lagos High Court finally ordered the Lagos State Attorney- General to do her duty. Before an order of mandamus may be issued, there must have been a request to the public body to do its duty and a refusal by the said institution. The difficulty which may arise, of course, is that a public body to which a request to perform a duty has been made may not directly indicate its refusal. Where such a body remains silent, that is, it does not accept or reject to perform the duty, then a refusal may be implied in the interim. The snag, however, is that some time

may have elapsed from the time of the request before this presumption can be safely made. Sequel to the order of the apex court, however, the Lagos State Government commenced the trial of the security chiefs. A charge No ID/4C/88 was preferred against the men and the then state Attorney General , Fadayomi opted to prosecute the two security chiefs. The case was assigned to Justice Eniola Longe of an Ikeja High Court as he then was. The accused persons were absent in court and their counsel, Chief F.R.A Williams raised a preliminary objection to the charge. Curiously, the State AG, supported Williams’ application and after a series of arguments, Justice Longe struck out the suit. After stepping out of the courtroom, Fawehinmi vowed to appeal and he addressed the press outside the court on February 23, 1988 where he described the court proceedings as “an Alawada circuit”. Angered by this action, the government subsequently charged him with criminal defamation before Justice Olu Obadina of Ikeja High Court (as he was). Fawehinmi challenged his trial and the court quashed the charge against him. Notwithstanding, he filed a notice of appeal against the decision of Justice Longe to strike out the charge preferred against the security chiefs. On February 29, 1988, Fawehinmi filed a new suit seeking for a new order of mandamus following fresh facts at his disposal, allegedly linking the security chiefs to Giwa’s murder. The late Justice Idowu Agoro also of the high court granted Fawehinmi leave to seek for an order. Williams ap-




pealed against the order on behalf of the security chiefs. Fawehinmi had told the court that the additional evidence he had was in respect of the alleged dead drug courier, Gloria Okon. He said when Giwa visited him on October 17, 1986, two days before he was murdered, he told him that the Newswatch was working on a serious story concerning the issue of Okon, who was arrested on the allegation of possession of hard drugs. It was alleged that the lady, believed to be a courier of hard drugs for a prominent Nigerian, had died in custody. In a swift, Akilu and Togun sued Fawehinmi for libel and Justice Omotunde Ilori awarded N6 million damages against the human rights activist. The damages were later reversed on appeal. The legal battles Fawehinmi fought over the N6 million damages slammed on him also led to his imprisonment for 12 months for contempt on January 4, 1990. However, the order by Justice Ligali Ayorinde was later quashed by the appellate court. In an affidavit deposed by Fawehinmi before Justice Ayorinde in 1989, the human rights activist said “Altogether, my Lord, between 1986 and 1989, 35 cases, both civil and criminal matters have arisen from Dele Giwa’s murder death. This will be the 36th.and now your lordship has ordered that on or before the 15th of January, 1990 that I pay N6 million to this court. By next week, I will be standing before the Transition to Civil Rule Tribunal for another criminal charge by this government. “ A veteran Journalist and the Chair, Centre for Free Speech (CFS), Mr. Richard Akinnola, in a publication titled “The Murder of Dele Giwa “confirmed that 38 cases were filed by Fawehinmi while there were 214 court appearances in the matter. On the whole, Fawehinmi appeared before no less than 24 judges from the High Court to the Supreme Court in pursuit of his determination to expose those he believed were responsible for Giwa’s death. Regretably, family and friends of late Giwa will, on Friday, mark 26 years of his demise.

National Mirror


Monday, October 22, 2012


Eid-el-Kabir: Kano stakeholders, police meet on security Group offers Kogi flood victims AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST KANO


head of the Eid-elKabir celebration on Friday, security agencies in Kano State have held a meeting with stakeholders on how to ensure a violence-free Sallah. The gathering, which was at the instance of the state Police Command, was attended by security chiefs in the state, religious, traditional and po-

litical leaders, as well as vigilance groups. The meeting focused on how to improve security in the state during the Muslim festivity. The state Commissioner of Police, Ibrahim Idris, chaired the meeting, which was held at the Police Officers’ Mess. He expressed the need for stakeholders to demonstrate adequate commitment in the campaign to rid Kano State of undesirable elements, whose

nefarious activities have been inimical to the desired peace and stability of the commercial city of Kano. Idris pleaded with religious and traditional leaders to carefully monitor their respective domains, particularly during the Sallah period to fish out the ‘bad boys’ in their various communities, so that Eid-el-Kabir would be celebrated in an atmosphere of peace. The commissioner also

L-R: Katsina State Commissioner for Works, Housing and Transport, Mr. Mustapha Kankia, his counterparts in Water Resources, Mr. Jamilu Dan Musa and Information, Culture, Home Affairs and Tourism, Mr. Gide Batagarawa, after a meeting in Katsina, at the weekend. PHOTO: NAN



olice said yesterday that they had smashed a killer gang, which hitherto held sway in remote parts of Kano State capital, killing innocent citizens. The state Commissioner of Police, Ibrahim Idris, told our correspondent that the gang specialised in carrying out assassinations for a fee. He disclosed that members of the gang met their waterloo when the police carried out a massive operation in Madobi, a community in

Police smash killer gang in Kano Kano State. Idris said the raids were informed by the killing of two officials of the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, by gunmen in Madobi area. He said: “Following that attack, we cordoned off the area, which has been consistently under raid as we are determined to fish out the killers of the officers and this has paid off as we have already arrested members of the gang. “Upon interrogation, the leader of the killer gang confessed that their major business is killing

for a fee and that they have carried out a number of such deadly assignments successfully.” The commissioner also disclosed that the leader of the killer gang now in police net is not a Nigerian but recruited some jobless youths. Idris also disclosed that in his confessional statement, the suspect named some of his victims but refused to disclose the identities of his sponsors. He said: “At least at the moment, we are happy that we have smashed this gang which had been

Poor economy affects preparations for Sallah in Kwara WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN


uslims in Kwara State may not find the celebration of Eid-el-Kabir quite colourful as it used to be because of the state of the economy. Checks in Ilorin, the state capital, showed an unusual lull as against what used to be the case in the past. There were no serious

told the guests that the police and security agencies in Kano State were doing their best to restore peace and the people’s confidence through the improvement of security in the city. He pointed out that it was also part of the people’s duties to support the security agencies through the provision of useful information about the activities of criminals in their areas. According to him, security agencies are not magicians and therefore need information to put in their best in serving the people. He said: “At least, everybody can feel the level of security improvement in Kano, with commercial activities picking up and most of the fleeing residents back in the city. Therefore, all hands should be on deck to sustain the relative peace we have been enjoying for some time now.” Most of the stakeholders, who spoke at the meeting, commended security agencies for their painstaking efforts in ensuring the return of peace in the state.

buying and selling activities in the major markets visited neither was there the presence of ram sellers. In some locations where rams were offered for sale, the prices have soared beyond the rich of average workers who have not been paid last month’s salaries. Also, ram merchants, who usually make trips to the far North and even Niger Republic to import rams, are unable to make

such trips this year owing to lack of money, according to findings. The story is not different with the political hangers-on who naturally look on to politicians to give them rams and cash for the festivity as the politicians too are not finding it easy. Some politicians bluntly told their supporters that it is not going to be business as usual this year because of the economic crunch.

terrorising innocent citizens in the state, while the search for other fleeing suspects who were masterminds of one attack or the other is in progress.” Last week, the police arrested about 10 suspected terrorists, who allegedly participated in the murderous attack on two police officers and two FRSC members.

free medical treatment ADEMU IDAKWO LOKOJA


Non-Governmental Organisation, NGO, Humanity First Nigeria, has established a medical centre at the St. Luke Primary School, Lokoja, Kogi State to treat ailing victims of flood disaster. The group yesterday presented medical items and food items worth N1.5 million to assist the displaced persons. Speaking at the presentation, the Chairman of the group, Dr. Yekin Abdullah Habeeb, said it was a fulfilment of the organisation’s

mandate to improve the quality of life in all facets through the provision of relief materials and free medical treatment to the flood victims. He said the group was an off-shoot of an Islamic organisation, Ahmadiya Jamaat, with the aim of providing succour to any person or group in distress. Habeeb, who introduced Dr. Moshood Fashola, a professor of economics at the University of Lagos, as the spiritual leader of the Islamic movement in Nigeria, added that the philanthropic efforts of the organisation did not discriminate.

I’ve no hand in Speaker’s removal –Wada

overnor Idris Wada of Kogi State has denied involvement in the removal of the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Abdullahi Bello. He described as “tissues of lies” insinuations that he masterminded the impeachment of the speaker and some principal officers of the Assembly. Bello and some other principal officers were last Tuesday removed by 12 members of the 25 lawmakers in the Assembly. Sequel to the removal, the Minority Leader, Yori Afolabi, had alleged that the executive arm of government was dangling N15 million to any lawmaker who consented to the plot. However, the governor said the allegation of financial inducement against him was “satanic

and most unfortunate.” Wada reacted through a statement by his Special Adviser (Media and Strategy), Mr. Jacob Edi, entitled: “Abdullahi Bello, former Speaker, Kogi State House of Assembly - Our position,” made available to journalists in Abuja yesterday. He said: “Bello’s position is a rehash of tissues of lies, which have become well known in the ever active rumour mills since the sack of the leadership of the House of Assembly. “Ordinarily, and since the crisis engulfed the Assembly, the executive has maintained neutrality. But much as the government is not eager to join issues with the former Speaker, it is constrained to issue this statement to set the records straight and to educate innocent members of the public who may have been persuaded and misled by Hon. Bello’s infamous outing.”

who is also the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Linus Awute, said after the meeting in Gusau that both the Federal and state governments had agreed on the need for further collaborative interventions to eradicate lead poisoning caused by unsafe mining of gold and processing methods in the state. Awute said the essence of the visit was to appraise the extent of the technical interventions already in place, identify areas of achievements, gaps, failures and the way

forward, and address political challenges mitigating the intervention programmes. Awute said since the incident was reported in March 2010, a lot of efforts and measures had been taken by the Federal Government, Zamfara State Government and other agencies such as the United States Government, World Health Organisation, WHO, United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, Medecins Sans Frontieres, the Blacksmith Institute, and the Artisanal Gold Council, among others.



FG, Zamfara step up fight against illegal miners CHIDI UGWU ABUJA


he Federal Government will collaborate with the Zamfara State Government to check activities of illegal miners which resulted in the loss of over 400 lives through lead poisoning. This is contained in a communiqué issued at the end of a three-day factfinding and progress report visit on the incident to Zamfara State recently. The Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Technical Sub-Committee on the Lead Poisoning incident



Monday, October 22, 2012

Two die, others hospitalised after eating pork at funeral DENNIS AGBO ENUGU


o fewer than two persons have died while several others hospitalised after eating pork during a funeral ceremony at Amaegbu village in Nsukka Local Government Area of

Enugu state. The police said yesterday in Enugu that they had begun investigations into the incident which occurred on October 18, 2012. The police spokesman, Mr. Ebere Amaraizu, who confirmed the incident, said one of the deceased was identified as Fidelia

Ugwuobi. The identity of the second could not be ascertained at press time. It was gathered that two residents - Emeka Akwaeke and Uche Eze - allegedly cooked a dead pig which they shared among guests at the funeral ceremony of one Akwaeke. Those who ate the meal

served with the pork suspected to have been poisoned fell sick and two of them died a few hours later. Amaraizu said that the sick were rushed to various hospitals. According to him, investigation has begun to unravel the actual cause of the incident.

Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole (right) and his state Comptroller of Prisons, Mr. Ewuho Jimoh, after the governor granted amnesty to prisoners on death row, Monday Odu and Callistus Ikem, last week.

National Mirror

Minister, Bi-Courtney quarrel over ownership of airport terminal OLUSEGUN KOIKI


head of tomorrow’s commissioning of the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) of the Murtala Mohammed Airport (MMA) in Lagos by the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, it seems a controversy is already brewing over the ownership of the facility. Information gathered by National Mirror indicated that Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL), operators of the Murtala Mohammed Airport Two (MMA2), is laying claim to the terminal, saying its contractual agreement with Federal Government in 2003 included the handing over of the facility to it by the government. But the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Aviation, insisted that the terminal was not included in the contractual agreement the company had with the government. A statement by the Special Assistant to the minister, Mr. Joe Obi, stated that information at his disposal indicated that BASL was threatened by the imminent opening of the newly reconstructed and remodelled GAT. Oduah said this led to the media campaign against the government by BASL management, adding that the area where GAT is located has never been part of the area concessioned to the company.

Oduah insisted that the agreement with Bi-Courtney had a survey plan clearly marked in Square metres and the area of the GAT was never contemplated to be part of the area leased to Bi-Courtney. The statement reads in part: “Nigerians can vividly recall the dilapidated and decrepit state of the nation’s airports, including GAT prior to the assumption of office of the current minister. “Today, 11 airports, including the GAT are an elegant testimony of the desire and determination of the current minister to give Nigerians what they truly deserve-airports of their dreams that compares to any such facility anywhere around the world. “It is inconceivable that anyone would not only contemplate, but also hold fast to the jaundiced belief that a nation as big and great as Nigeria ought not to progress beyond having a terminal like MMA2.” The statement added that despite the allegations that there are subsisting court orders restraining anybody, including the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), from further development of the GAT, she stressed that the cases were still on-going. It will be recalled that BASL, since the commissioning of MMA2, has been laying claim to GAT, insisting that the terminal was part of its agreement with the government.

Again, EFCC arrests two couriers with $107m Tai Solarin’s wife, Sheila, dies at 88 OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA


he Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) has again arrested two persons for alleged false declaration of fund and illegal possession of $107 million. The suspects - Idris Hamza and Umar Musa Kibiya - were arrested last Wednesday by a special task force at the Aminu Kano International Airport. It will be recalled that the EFCC, a fortnight ago, arrested one Abubakar Sheriff Tijjani at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos with over $7 million

In a statement yesterday in Abuja by the EFCC’s spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, the commission said that Hamza, caught with $27,000, claimed he was a student and was travelling to Egypt, while Kibiya, who had $80, 000 concealed in his bagm said he was on a business trip to Dubai. According to the statement, Hamza declared $3,000, Kibiya declared $40,000. They were, however, unlucky when they got to the EFCC final check point at the airport and were caught by the commission’s operatives. The EFCC said that the suspects had given useful information and that

they would be charged to court soon. The commission said: “They will be docked under Section 12 of the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act Cap.F34 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and Section 2(5) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011. “Tijjani, 25, had at the point of arrest also declared that he had a total sum of $4.5million on him but thorough screening and search showed that he was actually carrying $7,049,444. He confessed that he was a courier for twenty individuals who hired him to convey the money to Dubai.”


mother to thousands of people across the world. Her love and service to humanity were exemplary and legendary. Meanwhile, eminent citizens of Ogun state have continued to react to the death of Mrs. Solarin. Ogun State governor, Ibikunle Amosun, described the demise of Mrs Solarin as most painful and a great loss to Ogun State and Nigeria in general. “Mama Solarin was a foremost educationist, a great teacher and disciplinarian who rendered an immeasurable service to the people of Ogun State and Nigeria through the Mayflower School. The school

founded in 1956 became one of the best schools in the country and has produced many of the leading lights in our nation,” Amosun said in a press release signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mrs Funmi Wakama Also, the former governor of Ogun state, Gbenga Daniel described the death of Mrs. Solarin as a huge loss to Ogun State and Nigeria notwithstanding her advance age. Daniel in a statement signed by his media aide, Adegbenro Adebanjo, described Madam Solarin as an epitome of the best of womanhood, whose contributions to the development of education in Nigeria would not be forgotten.

Daniel further said that the late Sheilla kept the flag of Tai Solarin flying loftily in the education sector in Nigeria even after the death of her husband. The Senator representing Ogun East Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Adegbenga Kaka, described her death as a shock. “Madam Solarin in her life times sacrificed all that she has for the sake of her husband. She kept the flag flying at Mayflower School, Ikenne. She remained an epitome of good womanhood. “She was caring, not only to her children, but all that passed through her husband.”

Monday, October 22, 2012

National Mirror


World News

“The campaign to liberate the country has not been fully completed”

Pope names seven new saints, seeks to revive faith



Failed coup in Guinea-Bissau: Six killed PAUL ARHEWE



ilitary sources said six people were killed when a group of Guinean soldiers attempted to seize control of a military airbase near the capital, Bissau. The fighting went on for about two hours early yesterday before the mutineers were defeated by military loyal to the Chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces, Antonio Indjai, said an army officer who spoke at the military headquarters on condition of anonymity. There is no indication if any senior officers were involved in the uprising. The apparent attempted coup was against the military junta that itself seized power in April. Guinea-Bissau was just weeks away from holding a presidential runoff election when soldiers attacked the front-runner’s home and arrested him along with the country’s interim president on April 12. No leader in nearly 40 years of independence has finished his time in office in Guinea-Bissau, a former Portuguese colony on Africa’s western coast that has long been plagued by coups. Following the April coup, military leaders agreed with 26 fringe parties to estab-

Guinea Bissau military taking over headquarters of the ruling party radio station Photo: News 24

lish a National Transitional Council to rule the country for two years. But ECOWAS — the Economic Community of West African States of 15 neighboring states — rejected that agreement and instead demanded a 12-month transition that would include the coup leaders in key positions and culminate in a presidential election. ECOWAS leaders also authorized the

deployment of a 600-strong standby force. United Nations Secretary General Bank Ki-moon told the General Assembly in May that he was concerned about reports of human rights violations by the military junta. “Let me speak clearly: those responsible for the coup and subsequent violations of human rights will be held accountable by the international community,” he said.

Fighting in Gaddafi’s stronghold kills 22 militiamen


ibya’s state news agency says 22 pro-government militiamen were killed in an assault on late dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s last stronghold. Clashes in Bani Walid entered their fifth day yesterday. A resident said by phone that defenders and pro-government militias were exchanging sporadic fire as the government side regrouped after the bloody attack the day before. The resident spoke anonymously for fear of retaliation. LANA said late Saturday that another 200 militiamen were wounded in the fighting. About 50 kilometres (30 miles) outside, militiamen could be seen evacuating civilians and foreign migrant workers, in an apparent preparation for a new push on the city. Bani Walid, some 140 kilometres (90 miles) southeast of Tripoli, is the most significant town in Libya still resisting the country’s new authorities. Meanwhile, about 500 protesters broke into the grounds

Many people from Bani Walid have been protesting against the ongoing military siege on the town Photo: Reuters

of Libya’s parliament building on Sunday to demand an end to violence in Bani Walid, a former stronghold of Muammar Gaddafi that is being shelled by militiamen from a rival town. Militias, many from Misrata and aligned with the Defence Ministry, have been shelling the hilltop town of 70,000 people for several days. State news agency LANA said

on Sunday 22 people had been killed and 200 wounded in the fighting. “We are here to demand the government find a peaceful solution for the tribal war that is happening in Bani Walid,” protester Nasser Ehdein said. Libya’s new rulers have led the nation to elections but have struggled to impose their authority on a country awash with weapons a year after Gad-

dafi was captured and killed. Underscoring the chaos in the country, there were conflicting reports over the weekend over the fate of Gaddafi’s former spokesman and his son. While Misrata spent weeks under siege by Gaddafi forces in last year’s war, Bani Walid was one of the towns that remained loyal to Gaddafi longest. It remains isolated from the rest of Libya and former rebels say it still harbours pockets of support for the old government. The unarmed group of male and female protesters forced their way past security guards at the gates of the grounds of the parliament buildings in Tripoli, chanting “There is no God but God, and President (Mohammed) Magarief is God’s enemy.” Security forces shot rounds into the air as they held their positions at the doors of the building, while elected members of the General National Congress met inside.


‘Bashir had throat surgery in Qatar, in good health’ Sudan’s veteran President Omar Hassan al-Bashir had a minor operation on his vocal cords in Qatar in August but otherwise is in good health, a government official said yesterday. Sudanese newspapers and blogs have begun speculating about the health of Bashir, 68, who has been ruling the Arab African country for 23 years. He has been holding fewer public rallies, where he performs a famous dance with his walking stick, in the past months. A government official told Reuters Bashir had extended a visit to Qatar during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan in August by two days to undergo the surgery. “He went there in the last week of Ramadan, but he’s totally fine. It was a minor operation,” said the official, who declined to be named. He confirmed a report about the surgery in the daily al-Rai al-Am, which is close to government thinking.

Argentina orders sailors to evacuate seized ship in Ghana Argentina has ordered over 300 sailors to evacuate the navy training ship which was seized by the Ghanaian authorities earlier this month. Ghana has held the Libertad since 2 October in a row over Argentine debts. Argentina’s foreign ministry said the captain and some crew will stay on board. It is not clear how the rest will leave Ghana. Creditors say they will not release the ship until Argentina repays money owed to them from a default in 2001. NML Capital, a subsidiary of US hedge fund Elliot Capital Management, says Argentina owes it more than $300m (£186m). Argentina says the crew’s rights have been violated after a Ghanaian judge refused to allow the refuelling of the ship to maintain the power supply.

Three Catholic priests kidnapped in eastern Congo Congolese civic leaders say that three Roman Catholic priests were kidnapped in eastern Congo. The three priests were taken captive from their monastery by about 10 gunmen on Saturday night. Omar Kavota, the Vice President of the North Kivu civil society, said the abductions took place in Beni, north of Goma, in North Kivu province. The three, indentified as Wasukudi Anselm, 41, Jean Ndulani, 52, and Edmond Kisughu, 53, were tied up and taken away by the armed men, who witnesses say spoke Swahili.


World News

Monday, October 22, 2012

No limits on Jerusalem construction –Netanyahu

Briefs Ex-US senator, McGovern dies at 90 Former US Senator George McGovern, who stood as the Democratic presidential candidate against Richard Nixon in 1972, has died, aged 90. He was in a hospice in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and slipped out of consciousness three days ago. A liberal standard-bearer, McGovern was a vocal opponent of the Vietnam War, but lost to Nixon by a landslide. He was first elected to Congress in 1956. During the World War II, he served as a US Air Force pilot. “We are blessed to know that our father lived a long, successful and productive life advocating for the hungry, being a progressive voice for millions and fighting for peace,” said a statement released by his family. He was admitted to hospice care earlier this month with a “combination of medical conditions, due to age, that have worsened over recent months”, his family said at the time. McGovern’s bid for the presidency in 1972 was marred by what later emerged as a dirtytricks campaign by President Nixon’s re-election committee, including the break-in at Democratic National Headquarters in the Watergate Hotel, in Washington DC. Nixon, who already enjoyed an advantage throughout the campaign, won a second term in one of the biggest landslides in modern US history. McGovern had made two other brief attempts to obtain the Democratic nomination in 1968 and 1984. At the time, he was seen as a leading voice of the Democratic party’s liberal wing.

Six Afghan police killed in insider attack An Afghan police officer and cook poisoned their colleagues at a checkpoint in an assault coordinated with insurgent fighters that left six dead in the country’s south, officials said Saturday. It was the latest in a string of attacks from inside the Afghan army and police that are threatening to undermine both the partnership with international troops — which have been the target of many attacks — and the morale of Afghan forces, who have suffered equally heavy casualties from such strikes. The police officer and the cook worked with outside insurgents in the assault, which hit police manning a checkpoint in the Gereshk district of Helmand province, the governor’s office said in a statement. They poisoned two of the officers and then the militants attacked from outside, killing the remaining four officers, provincial spokesman Ahmad Zirak said. He did not say how the officers were poisoned. The police officer was captured as he fled, but the cook escaped and remains at large, Zirak added. The gunmen escaped by motorcycle with weapons and ammunition, the governor’s statement said.

National Mirror


srael’s prime minister vowed yesterday to continue building in east Jerusalem, despite objections from Palestinians who claim the territory as capital of their hoped-for state. Benjamin Netanyahu spoke Sunday after the European Union’s foreign policy chief criticized plans to build 800 new apartments and a military college on contested land, which the international community considers to be under Israeli occupation. “We are not imposing any restrictions on construction in Jerusalem” Netanyahu told his Cabinet. “It is our capital.” A top aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

Pope Benedict XVI, center, arriving to celebrate a canonization ceremony in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican, yesterday. Photo: AP

Pope names seven new saints, seeks to revive faith


ope Benedict XVI is adding seven more saints onto the roster of Catholic role models as he tries to rekindle the faith in places where it’s lagging. Two of them are Americans: Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American saint from the U.S. and Mother Marianne Cope, a 19th century Franciscan nun who cared for lepers in Hawaii. A third is a rather unlikely saint, Pedro Calungsod, a Filipino teenager who helped Jesuit priests convert natives in Guam in the 17th century but was killed by spear-wielding villagers opposed to the missionaries’ efforts to baptize their children. The ceremony Sunday in St. Peter’s Square has drawn pilgrims from around the world to Rome and coincides with a Vatican meeting of the world’s bishops on trying to revive Christianity in places where it’s fallen by the wayside. Several of the new

saints were missionaries, making clear the pope hopes their example will be relevant today as the Catholic Church tries to hold onto its faithful in the face of competition from evangelical churches in Africa and Latin America, increasing secularization in the West and disenchantment with the church over the clerical sex abuse scandal in Europe and beyond. Benedict will canonize the seven just before the start of Sunday’s Mass, reciting the ritual formula in Latin in which he declares each one a saint and “decreeing that they are to be venerated as such by the whole church.” For several days now, tapestries with each of their images have hung from St. Peter’s Basilica. The two Americans actually hail from roughly the same place — what is today upstate New York — although they lived two centuries apart.

promptly accused Netanyahu of deliberately destroying prospects for peace. The Israeli leader’s comment “comes in the context of the continuing destruction of the peace process and the two-state solution,” Nabil Abu Rdeneh said. The fate of Jerusalem lies at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Palestinians refuse to negotiate while Israel continues to build settlements in east Jerusalem and the West Bank, areas captured by the Jewish state in 1967.

Monday, October 22, 2012

National Mirror


Community Mirror “In Europe too, they have their self inflicted traffic. You cannot go round Chelsea area or Arsenal’s on Saturday or Sunday when they are playing football. It is a lock-down.” LAGOS STATE GOVERNOR, BABATUNDE RAJI FASHOLA

Lekki: Five held over robbery accusation CAROLINE CHUKWUKA


nless saved by divine providence, five indigenes of Ida Akodo in Ibeju Lekki Area of Lagos State, may be their sentenced to death following refusal to vacate their land for construction of the Lekki Free Trade Zone (LFTZ). The LFTZ project is being undertaken by the Lagos State Government and some multi-national companies. The affected persons are Giwa Agbon, Segun Samuel, Suraju Rasaki, Owolabi Samuel and Kazeem Adelaja, who were initially arraigned before an Igbosere Magistrate’s Court for allegedly disrupting the peace and stealing, but later released on bail. However, they are now facing armed robbery charge following fresh information from the state Director of Public Prosecution (DPP). At resumed hearing of the suit before Chief Magistrate F O Davies-Abegunde, of Igbosere Magistrate’s Court, the state prosecutor told the court that the fresh information has altered earlier charge of stealing to armed robbery which is punishable by death. The prosecutor further urged the court to revoke an earlier bail granted to the defendants, adding that Magistrate Courts lacked constitutional power to adjudicate on armed robbery cases. But, counsel to the defendants, Mr. Tokunbo Ayanniyi, argued that no evidence was presented before the court to show that the state had instituted any suit at the Lagos High Court against the defendants. Citing plethora of authorities, Ayanniyi argued that it would amount to injustice and breach of fundamental rights, if the defendants were sent to prison custody when the state was yet to file any charge against them. However, Chief Magistrate Davie-Abegunde, in her ruling, held that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear cases of armed robbery and thereafter revoked the earlier bail, while ordering they be remanded in Ikoyi prisons. One of the defendants, Giwa Agbon, who was ill, could not stand on his feet and was allowed to lie on the ground throughout court proceedings.

The five indigenes had on February 9, 2011, reported to the Itedo Police Station, that some intruders entered their farms and sought assistance of security agents to dislodge them. The then Divisional Police of Officer (DPO), was said to have sent two police officers to arrest the trespassers. On getting to the farm, the defendants said they accosted some persons, including an armed policeman and took them to the police station. Soon on arriving, the DPO allegedly received a phone call from a prominent traditional ruler, who demanded that the complainants be arrested and taken to Zone 2, Onikan, Lagos. There, the defendants were reportedly detained for eight days before being charged to the Magistrate’s Court for stealing. One of the community leaders, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Community Mirror, that no armed robbery was reported or investigated in the area for which the defendants are being prosecuted. He recalled that, usually, armed robbery cases are reported at the Lagos State Police Command, but because the then Commissioner of Police had instructed that no personnel should be used to intimidate the community over land; hence the case was taken to zone 2 Police, Onikan. He added that at a meeting on October 1, 2012 at the palace of Onilekki of Lekki, they were told that the only way the defendants could regain freedom, was for members of the community to sign an undertaking freeing their land for the Free Trade Zone project. Residents of Idasho have repeatedly resisted ceding their lands for the project, even as they maintained it is their only source of livelihood, and expropriating them, would amount to condemning them to untimely deaths. They also said the land taken was in excess of the project and are being sold to private individuals, even as they claimed to have documentary evidence that the parcels of land are now being resold by agents. Information on their charge sheet revealed that on February 9, 2011,the accused persons had assaulted a Police Constable,

Omozokpia Ehiaguina on duty at Lekki Worldwide Investment Limited. They were alleged to have taken a rifle No. 21784, with 20 live ammunitions valued at N1.5 million from Ehiaguina, an offence punishable under Section 390 (a) of the Criminal Code, Cap C17, Vol. II, Laws of Lagos State of Ni-

geria 2003. In addition, they were charged for kidnapping six staff of Lekki Worldwide Investment Limited at Idasho village, and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 356 (1) (2) of the Criminal Code, Cap C17, Vol. II, Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria 2003.

Rams being sold for Sallah on Wunti Street, Bauchi.

But, when the charges were read to them, all five pleaded not guilty and were granted bail. Chief Magistrate F O DaviesAbegunde had, in a ruling on February 17, 2012, granted them bail in the sum of N250,000 with one surety each in like sum, but revoked it following advice from the DPP.


Controversy over abduction of driver in Onitsha NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA


he Police in Onitsha, Anambra State have waded into the controversy surrounding the alleged abduction and extortion of a truck driver and conductor by some hoodlums suspected to be working for the state emblem agent. The driver, identified as Dayo Olusola and his conductor, were abducted along the Awka-Onitsha Expressway in an apparent move to enquire of emblem receipts. Sources said the suspects who claimed they were working for one of the accredited agents in the state, swooped on their victims as they were coming from Makurdi, Benue state. Narrating their ordeal, Dayo Olusola said they were intercepted by the hoodlums who drove an

L 300 Mitsubishi Bus on AwkaOnitsha Expressway as they were returning from Makurdi where they went to deliver some merchandise. “We went to Markudi from Lagos to discharge iron rods and on our way back, I saw an L 300 Bus trailing and later intercepted our vehicle. Some huge looking men disembarked and ordered that we enter their bus. At first, I refused and they started beating me and broke my arm, even as they took us to the old Ministry of Works compound in Onitsha”. While driving to the place, they made us lie under the car seats. When we got there they forced us to pay N65,000 before allowing us to go, that was why we reported the matter to the police,” he said. Olusola whose wrist was broken, however lamented that in spite of all explanations that he

paid for the NILODA emblem which was meant for the entire country, the suspects went on to abduct and robbed them, even as he implored the Inspector-General of Police to investigate the incident. Speaking, a member of the Nigerian Lorry Drivers’ Association, NILODA, Williams Maonweya, condemned the incident and urged law enforcement agencies to apprehend the culprits with a view to bringing them to book. Mr. Maonweya maintained that activities of the state emblem agents were illegal, saying “NILODA has a unifying emblem that covers operations all over the country,” Meanwhile, the alleged sponsor of the hoodlums simply identified as Tirie, has been quizzed by the police and is currently helping them with investigations.



Monday, October 22, 2012



Today's Tonic (26) The tragedy of man is what dies inside himself while he still lives. –Albert Schweitzer *** Live To Die Empty! Someone said the richest places on the earth are the cemeteries. So many people died without using any significant portion of the potentials in them. But even now while alive, many of us are containers of rich gifts that we are not putting to use because of fears and aversion to risk taking. No one can live with an unused talent and be happy. No one can radiate fulfilment in life without releasing the buried potentials within. I usually think of a full tin of milk and a bottle of soft drink. When they are produced by the manufacturers - their joy as they leave the factories is that the products will never come back to them full but empty. God released us into this earth plane full of gifts and it will be His topmost delight for us to go back to Him empty. Let’s get busy to pour out whatever treasures are in us for the joy and growth of humanity. TEL 08104942999 E-MAIL Follow me @TwitterOWOTIDE

National Mirror


Man finds diamond in mud from friend’s well


Wisconsin man sifting through mud from a friend’s well stumbled across a find that turned out to be a real gem. Dan Fagnan of St. Croix County, Wis., was panning for gold flakes in wet mud from a 120-foot well which his friend had recently drilled. “Everyone thinks I’m a fruit loop for panning for gold,” he told the New Richmond News of his hobby. The newspaper noted that the local gold Fagnan finds is often small flakes that don’t amount to much. But something caught

his eye while he was sifting through wet sand and stone from his friend’s well. It was an irregular-

shaped, transparent rock that Fagnan initially thought was a piece of glass.

Lottery prize claimed after six years


ew York state lottery officials said a pair of brothers cashed in a 6-year-old ticket with a $5 million prize only 11 days before it would have expired. Officials said brothers Andy Ashkar, 34, of Camillus purchased a $500,000,000 Extravaganza scratch-off game ticket six years ago at his parents’ Green Ale Market in Syracuse and came forward last March 1,

11 days before the prize would have expired, The (Syracuse) Post-Standard reported Wednesday. Ashkar hung onto the ticket for so long because he was concerned the prize “could negatively influence his life if he did not plan properly before being publicly introduced,” the lottery said. Officials said Ashkar did not want his newfound wealth to affect his

engagement and subsequent marriage. While waiting to redeem the prize, Ashkar decided to share the ticket with his brother, Nayel, 36, of Cicero. “The younger brother also said that during that time, he decided to share his winnings with his brother, Nayel, to show his appreciation for all that Nayel had done for him during his life,” the news release said.

Dan Fagnan showing off the 1.22-carat diamond he found while panning for gold. PHOTO :NEW RICHMOND NEWS

Was he ever wrong. A trip to a local jewellery shop revealed Fagnan had found a rough diamond—1.22 carats of it. Still, the owner of the shop, Karen Greaton, wanted to confirm the finding, the New Richmond News noted. Greaton had it checked by a mineralogist, who confirmed it was a diamond. “My dad told me it’s unlikely to find a diamond here, but diamonds can actually be found anywhere in the world,” Greaton told the newspaper. One thought about how the diamond reached Wisconsin is that volcanic activity from Canada pushed the stone south and deposited it in the state after the ice age. Fagnan told the newspaper he was thrilled about his find and plans to incorporate the stone in a necklace for his soon-to-beborn child. Some things are just too precious.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Blues’ star backs Terry’s captaincy 54

National Mirror



I definitely believe in myself. I wouldn’t be in the game if I didn’t. I have the mental toughness and the capability –British tennis star, Heather Watson

Esperance in third ACL final


efending champions, Esperance, reached a third consecutive final of the African Champions League (ACL) with a 1-0 win over TP Mazembe on Saturday. Egyptian side, Al Ahly and Nigeria’s Sunshine Stars were deciding the other finalist in a second leg semi-finals tie in Cairo at the time of this report last night. Their first leg ended 3-3 a fortnight ago in Ijebu Ode. Esperance drew 0-0 with TP Mazemebe in DR Congo in the first leg, but Mohamed Ben Mansour’s 70th-minute goal in Tunis settled the tie. Esperance were more adventurous on Saturday than their opponents and Mansour pounced after a flick-on following a free-kick. The final will be staged over two legs during next month with a two-week break between fixtures and the champions pocket $1.5m (£940,000) plus a place at the 2012 Club World Cup in Japan.

Zuma for AFCON draw


Heartland FC player, Emmanuel Olowo (l) trying to stop Enugu Rangers’ Sunday Chinedu, during their NPL match last season. Auditors have exposed massive corruption in the NPL

NPL Audit: Minister to act after NFF report EVEREST ONYEWUCHI


he Minister of Sports, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, is awaiting report of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) before responding to the 2012 Nigeria Premier League (NPL) External Auditor’s Report which uncovered massive corruption in the NPL. Reports in the media have copiously quoted the External Auditor’s Report prepared by Messrs Olaniyi Wale Odunaiya & Co (Chartered Accountants), which indicted the immediate past NPL board and management for allegedly not accounting for television broadcast fees of about N38million among other acts of embezzlement. The NPL board members are also being accused of taking loans on behalf of the body without approvals, a situation which prompted the exter-

nal auditor to recommend that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) should wade in and investigate the activities of the league body. Already, the NFF has queried the management of the NPL over the report, with president Aminu Maigari vowing at the weekend that the federation would get to the bottom of the scam. Yesterday, the Sports Minister, who doubles as the Chairman of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Bolaji Abdullahi, said that he would react after the submission of findings of the NFF. In a statement issued by his Special Assistant (Media), Julius Ogunro, the Minister said that he had been inundated with calls from journalists and sports stakeholders who sought his comments on the allegations against the NPL Board arising from the external auditor’s report.

The statement said, “While the Hon Minister is embarrassed by the issues raised in the report, he wishes to state that he has referred the matter to the Nigeria Football Federation, being the primary agency responsible for football in Nigeria. “The Honourable Minister believes the content of the external auditor’s report, without prejudice to the veracity of the allegations made, is inimical to the development of football and sports in general. While the Minister will exercise utmost restraint in interfering in these matters, he will not hesitate to discharge his full responsibilities as the foremost custodian of sports in Nigeria. “The Honourable Minister wishes to state that the doctrine of non-interference as espoused by the global football governing body, FIFA is primarily to enhance the development of football. However, the kind of issues at stake appears to neither serve the interest of Nigerian football nor that of FIFA.”

outh Africa President, Mr. Jacob Zuma, will attend the Africa Cup of Nations final draw in Durban on Wednesday, Local Organising Committee (LOC) Chairman, Chief Mwelo Nonkonyane, has said. Zuma would head the list of dignitaries at the function at the city’s International Convention Centre (ICC). Confederation of African Football (CAF) president, Issa Hayatou, would also be present, and the draw is expected to be conducted by CAF secretary general, Hicham El Amrani. The guest list, of about 2000, would also include association heads from the other 15 qualified countries. The tournament will be held from January 19 to February 10 in five cities across South Africa. In the final line-up are: defending champions, Zambia, Algeria, Angola, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde Island, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Togo, Tunisia and host South Africa.

…Condoles with Vanguard


he Minister of Sports and Chairman of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, has condoled with the staff and management of the Vanguard Newspapers over the untimely death of their sports photographer, Mr. Sylva Eleanya. In a statement yesterday, the Minister described the late Eleanya as a diligent, industrious and creative journalist, whose work distinguished him amongst his peers. “I was shocked to hear about his death to-

day. This no doubt must be very sad for the Vanguard family coming so shortly after the death of another staff. I sympathise with the family of the deceased, and pray that his soul rest in peace,” the minister said.

Late Sylva Eleanya



Monday, October 22, 2012

National Mirror

Blues’ star backs Terry’s captaincy


Rio Ferdinand (first left) warms up without the Kick It Out campaign shirt, alongside his mates, Wayne Rooney and Paul Scholes before the Stoke game on Saturday.

helsea’s decision to let John Terry keep the captaincy has received the backing of the players. Chairman Bruce Buck revealed that Terry would retain the armband despite being found guilty by the FA of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand. And both Gary Cahill and Juan Mata, who scored in Sat win at Spurs, backed the move. Cahill said, “It’s fantastic — I didn’t really expect any other outcome. He has been captain for many years.” Mata added, “He is a great team-mate and a really good guy.” Buck revealed that Chelsea have hit Terry with the largest

Rio has shamed me –Fergie


urious i Alex Al Ferguson F accused Rio Ferdinand of embarrassing him after boycotting an anti- racism initiative. The England defender will be fined two weeks’ wages of £220,000 with his Manchester United future in doubt. Fergie said, “He will be dealt with, no doubt about that. I’m disappointed with Rio for not wearing the Tshirt. It’s an embarrassment

ffor me.” ” Ferdinand was the only United player who refused to wear a Kick it Out warm-up top before yesterday’s 4-2 win against Stoke. His protest was in direct defiance of Ferguson who had said on the eve of the game there would be no boycott. The Old Trafford boss said, “I’m very disappointed because I said in the Press conference yesterday the players

would be wearing it. ld b i it “We’re all wearing the badges and he goes and lets us down. But we’ll deal with it, don’t worry.” Ferdinand was undoubtedly refusing to wear the top in protest at the punishment John Terry received after being found guilty by the FA of racially abusing his brother Anton. Terry received a four-game ban and a fine of £220,000.

ITF scouts in Lagos for Governor’s Cup YEMI OLUS


o further show the recognition of Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis Championship as one of the important pro circuits in its calendar, International Tennis Federation, ITF, has approved the presence of scouts to monitor matches in the 12th edition of the championship from Monday, 22 October.

Governor Fashola

The second leg of FCMB and Etisalat Nigeria sponsored competition, which Main Draws serve off Monday at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club, Onikan, will end on Saturday, 27 October ITF, through its Administrator, Professional Tournaments, Alistair Williams, wrote to the Nigeria Tennis Federation, NTF and the Tournament Director of the Governor’s Cup, Prince Wale Oladunjoye, to inform them of the approval given to the scouts who are called Sportradar (SR) – also known as Sportsdata, to be physically present at the venue of the tournament with their gadgets to monitor and record matches. “I write to inform you that Sportradar (“SR”) – also known as Sportsdata – has been given permission by the ITF and the relevant National Associations to have data collection personnel (also known as “scouts”) attend and work on-site at specific ITF Pro Circuit tournaments,” the ITF letter reads.

According to the ITF, “a SR scout will perform the following tasks when they are at work: Sit with a good view of the court and near the chair umpire. Record all match events, e.g. point win, by typing on a mobile phone handset and wear an earpiece/headset, which is used to confirm correct submission of a match event.” Commenting on the new development, Prince Oladunjoye said the Local Organising Committee, (LOC) welcomed the decision of the ITF to deploy the scouts to the Governor’s Cup, adding that it shows the recognition and popularity of the championship in the world of tennis. “We appreciate what the ITF was doing. This is a further development for our tennis and ITF’s more recognition of the Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis,” said Prince Oladunjoye, who is also the Senior Special Assistant on Grassroots Sports Development to Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola.

John Terry

fine in the club’s history — but refused to say how much. He said, “We have taken disciplinary action and we think it is firm disciplinary action and appropriate for the circumstances. “We have kept in mind first of all that a court of criminal law found him not guilty. “Of course we also note the FA decision and we certainly respect that decision.” Buck hit out at Ashley Cole’s £90,000 fine for uncomplimentary remarks on the FA on Twitter, saying it was too severe. And he wants the FA panel to apologise for questioning club secretary David Barnard’s integrity.

National Mirror

Monday, October 22, 2012



Youngest man to win a tennis career Grand Slam Vol. 02 No. 474


Flood in the eyes of Mr. President

ecently, President Goodluck Jonathan undertook a tour of some selected states devastated by flood. This was an opportunity for me to study his natural moods. He was accompanied on the tour by Minister of Environment, Hajia Hadiza Mailafiya and Director General of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Muhammad Sani-Sidi among others. The tour was indeed an opportunity to see him move in flesh and react naturally in his interaction with victims. He responded directly to their plights and walked under the sun to inspect the internally displaced persons’ (IDPs) camps. Uncharacteristically, Mr. President was accompanied by few body guards and security men on the visits. In fact, any displaced person could easily walk to him and hold his hands as if it is not the same almighty Nigerian leader. The atmosphere was quite convivial. In all the states he had visited, President Jonathan encouraged leaders of the IDPs to openly voice out their minds on their plights.



Monday, October 22, 2012

The youngest man to win a tennis career Grand Slam in the open era is Rafael Nadal (Spain), who won the French Open, Australian Open, Wimbledon Championships and U.S. Open by age 24 years 101 days.

S Open champion, Andy Murray, has withdrawn from the Swiss Indoors event starting today because of injury. The 25-year-old Scot, who lost to Novak Djokovic in the Shanghai Masters final last week, is resting his back ahead of a busy end-ofseason schedule. He plays in the Paris Masters

Guest Columnist

Yushau A.


In response, victims narrated how they lost their homes, livestock and farmlands. They gave gory tales of deaths, missing persons and submerged markets, schools, police stations and places of worship. In Kogi for instance, President Jonathan was in a melancholic mood. His mien fell further when mothers brought newly born babies to him. He also learnt that some men committed suicide following losses of loved ones and lifelong investments. He admonished victims to desist from taking extreme decisions. “Please, don’t commit suicide. You have a government that will assist you. Even, if you borrow money from banks, don’t worry, when the flood is over, we will know how to deal with it. Be rest assured that the government will take care of the situation’’, he pleaded. In Adamawa State, he disclosed that the government planned to construct more buffer dams on rivers Niger and Benue to check the menace of flooding in communities along the river banks and from neighbouring countries. He disclosed that the flood this year was a natural phenomenon due to climate change occasioned by global warming and pointed out that government would take steps to prevent a future re-occurrence. While in Delta State, President Jonathan inspected a camp equipped with a skills acquisition centre where displaced persons were learning trades, artwork, music, drama, hair dressing and computer skills. He told them that though such facilities could make them useful after leaving the camp, he disclosed that the government had initiated measures for proper resettlement of flood victims.

IT DOES NOT AUGUR WELL TO RELEGATE ESTABLISHED STATUTORY INSTITUTIONS TO THE BACKGROUND DUE TO VAGUE MISGIVINGS While in Anambra, the President advised them not to worry as FG was collaborating with sympathetic groups and individuals to make life better for them after leaving the camp, in Rivers and Bayelsa states he confessed that the disaster was beyond the capacity of his government to solely remedy. He therefore, solicited the supports of development partners and international bodies. The President assured the people in Taraba State that the European Union and the World Bank have indicated their readiness to assist Nigeria. He gave the assurance that the Federal Government will urgently provide farmers with early maturing seedlings that would guarantee faster harvest of farm produce. In all the states he had visited, President Jonathan allowed governors to present their opening addresses and thereafter, stood and listened attentively to the victims. His responses were calm, re-assuring and warm as he sometimes cuddled new born babies while addressing the mostly women and children victims. The President had also explained that the Flood Relief Fund co-headed by Alhaji Aliko Dangote and Chief Olisa Agbakoba

was to raise funds that would mitigate the effects of the devastation. He explained that membership of the committee included “individuals who could not steal people’s money because they include philanthropists and advocates of transparency and accountability who will not also condone injustice.” While most of the utterances and actions of President Jonathan over the flooding are commendable, the establishment of the Dangote’s committee should have been in consonance with the enabling laws. As former chairman of the governing council of NEMA, the President would recall that Act 12 as amended by Act 50 of 1999 (the law that established NEMA) envisaged a development as this pervasive flooding. Among other things, the law empowers NEMA to “co-ordinate the activities of all voluntary organisations engaged in emergency relief operations in any part of the federation; receive financial and technical aid from international organisations and non-governmental agencies, for the purpose of disaster management in Nigeria; collect emergency relief supplies from local and foreign sources and from international and non-governmental agencies; and distribute emergency relief materials to victims of natural or other disasters and assist in the rehabilitation of the victims, where necessary…” Given the position above, the government ought to delegate and designate the Dangote Committee, as National Fund Raisers, to assist in the mobilisation of funds for the relevant established agencies, including State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMA) to manage the processes judiciously. The secretariat could be in NEMA. If government is still more concerned about the selected individuals, the President could nominate them into membership of NEMA governing council. It does not augur well to relegate established statutory institutions to the background due to vague misgivings. No-one is infallible, our leaders need to be supported and guided appropriately to take rational decisions to better the society without entertaining any fear whatsoever.

Sport Extra

Murray misses Swiss Indoors

beginning on October 29 and the World Tour Finals in London, which start on November 5. World number one, Roger Federer, defends the Swiss title and begins against Frenchman Jeremy Chardy this morning. Federer has won the tourna-

ment in five of the last six seasons. Murray, however, who also pulled out of the Basel event last year, has not played a match at the St Jakobshalle venue since his only appearance in 2005. World number two, Djokovic, is also absent this week so Argentine

Juan Martin del Potro, seeking to secure a place in the World Tour Finals, takes the second seeding, ahead of Richard Gasquet of France. Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka is seeded fourth and begins against Russian NFF President, veteran Nikolay Davydenko. Murray Aminu Maigari

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Monday, October 22, 2012  

*PDP, ACN reject Mimiko’s victory --Akeredolu heads for tribunal --INEC connived with Labour Party, says Oke *Lawan vs Otedola: AGF ang...