Reps summon Sanusi over N5,000 note
Claimant links Andy Uba to Ibori’s $15m
‘New note will save Nigeria N7bn annually’
TORDUE SALEM AND SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN Tambuwal
Vol. 2 N0. 437
he House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Currency will soon
invite the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr. Sanusi Lamido
CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Book supplier listed for N12.3bn aviation contract Okupe threatens to sue Benue govt for N5bn
textbook supplier has emerged as one of the three shortlisted by the Ministry of Aviation to provide N12.3bn worth of equipment and facilities. Mirror National gathered that the contract involved the supply of helicopters, fixed wing aircraft, flight simulators, rehabilitation of runway CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>
ASUU goes on strike today P.7 Fresh Shell oil spill ravages Bayelsa community P.11
The South Africa team during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics at the Olympic Stadium yesterday.
Nnaji’s exit won’t affect power reform –FG NLC, TUC back resignation as PHCN workers celebrate removal
Trailer crushes three, injures eight in Lagos
2015: Dasuki predicts violence P.2 P.8
Traffic law: Again, bullion van driver arrested
Thursday, August 30, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Nnaji’s exit won’t affect power reform –FG OUR CORRESPONDENTS
he Federal Government said yesterday that the removal of Prof. Barth Nnaji as the Minister of Power was to give more credibility to the ongoing reforms in the power sector. The two major labour organisations, the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, and the Trade Union Congress, TUC, also backed Nnaji’s, exit, saying it would bring transparency to the process of privatising the 17 subsidiaries companies of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN. Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, told State House correspondents after the weekly Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting that Nnaji was not sacked but resigned his position following conflict of interest. Though Maku noted that the resignation was regrettable, he, however, stressed that it would reinforce the commitment of the Federal Government to ensure that the privatisation of the power sector to a fruitful completion. Even with the exit of Nnaji on Tuesday, it did not change the mood of the ministers as they traded banters, shook hands, patted each other on the
back and held lively discussions inside the Council Chambers shortly before the commencement of the FEC meeting. Maku noted that Nnaji’s removal was something that would reinforce the credibility of the Federal Government reforms in the power sector. He said: “I do not see it in any way hampering the process, rather it would assure investors all over the world that Nigeria, and all of us in government, are prepared to do everything possible to ensure the credibility of the process and this is exactly the intention of the minister when he resigned his appointment following issues of conflict of interest. It is something that should rather reinforce confidence in the process. “And as to the efforts to stabilise power in the country, whether this resignation is going to affect it? Well, yes we definitely would have loved that Prof. Barth, who had put in a lot of energy in this process, complete the process or see it to greater fruition but as you know governance is continuous and you know there are institutions in place and there are processes in place, I do not see the present gains that we are beginning to see in the power sector being obstructed in any way by the decision
of Prof. Nnaji to resign his position. “Between now and the end of the year as you know, the former minister had already set targets to increase power in the nation. And from all that we have heard in recent weeks in many parts of the country, we are beginning to see more stable power supply and the situation will continue to improve because there are power plants that are coming on board and we believe that by the end of the year, the power situation in the country should even improve further. “Like I said, it is regrettable that Prof. Nnaji will not be there but definitely he is still a citizen of Nigeria, he is still in the country and I believe that he will contribute his quota as a private citizen wherever he is because it is his dream and the dream of the Federal Government and the President to ensure that we attain power stability. “The President is determined to stabilise power and a lot of work is going on out there in the field and we believe that the power road map itself is the major engine, the propeller of the President’s effort to stabilize power supply.” Commenting on Nnaji’s resignation, the NLC and TUC accused him of hav-
ing a vested interest in the privatisation of the PHCN and the ongoing power sector privatisation.
The President of NLC, Abdulwaheed Omar and the TUC President-General, Peter Esele, said that
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
cess Stella Oduah, were operating from the same suite of offices at Centage Plaza, 14, Allen Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos. The companies are to make the equipment and facilities available under Public Private Partnership, PPP, arrangement and recoup their funds over a period of time. Documents obtained by our correspondent yesterday revealed that one of the companies in its profile claimed to have supplied secondary schools text books to the Government of Anambra State while the other claimed to have built a 13-flat complex for the same government. The other company in its profile sent to the ministry claimed to have supplied renewable energy
and conventional power equipment to the Republic of Gambia, Senegal, Sierra-Leone, Burkina Faso, Mali and others. One of the firms is to supply to NCAT helicopter flight training, fixed wing flight training at the cost of N3.5bn as the total cost of investment and would be recouped in four years. Another is to collaborate with NCAT in the rehabilitation of third hangar and runway, taxiway and road networks rehabilitation to the tune of N4.3bn while the third firm is to engage in training of the technical personnel to the tune of N4.5bn, which it equally hopes to recoup in four years. A source close to the ministry disclosed to our correspondent that
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The remains of the late Ethiopian Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi in Addis Ababa, yesterday.
Ethiopian Minister of State for Information and Communications, Mr. Shimelis Kamel, leading local and international journalists on condolence visit to the Prime Minister’s Palace in Addis Ababa, PHOTOS: NAN yesterday.
Book supplier listed for N12.3bn aviation contract and hanger as well as training for staff of the Nigeria College of Aviation Technology, Zaria, Kaduna State. Our correspondent learnt that the firms specialised in the supply of textbooks to secondary schools. National Mirror learnt that the matter was already generating serious concerns among aviation sector stakeholders who believed that the contracts valued at N12.3bn might further erode confidence in the nation’s aviation industry. Investigation by National Mirror also revealed that the three firms (names withheld) which were reportedly selected by the Minister of Aviation, Prin-
the exit of Nnaji would pave the way for more transparent transaction
the agreement with the company had reached an advanced stage, but industry-unions, National Mirror gathered, are kicking against the plan. The source said that in a bid to thwart the agreement, the two leading unions in the sector, National Union of Air Transport Employees, NUATE, and the Air Transport Senior Staff Services of Nigeria, ATSSSAN, last week visited the college to address the staff of the school. The unions, our correspondent gathered also had an interaction with the school management led by its Rector, Capt. Chinyere Kalu and expressed their disappointment with the development. However, barely 24 hours
after the unions left NCAT, it was learnt that the management addressed the workers to dissuade them of the alleged handing over of the college to private organisations. The source said: “We are privy to a document signed by the management of NCAT with three different companies based in one suite and will do three different things for the college. One of them is to supply helicopters and simulators to the college and trained people there. “The other one is supposed to supply Boeing simulators, train people on Boeing while the third is supposed to expand the tarmac, do some other infrastructural constructions in the college and they have their profiles in what they
are presenting. “For instance, the one that says it wants to supply helicopters, they have no pedigree, no previous aviation experience; they claimed they supplied text books to Anambra State. These are the people that want to supply helicopters and train people. Their previous experience was the supply of text books to a state. “The one that wants to build tarmac had only built 13 blocks of flats for the same Anambra State and they are coming to build tarmac and expand the runway for NCAT. For us, this is a critical safety and security industry. Before you give any project to somebody, the person must be capable and trusted. So, we went there and exCONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Thursday, August 30, 2012
L-R: Managing Director, GTB Asset Management Ltd; Mr. Nicolas Nyamali; Kwara State Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed and Secretary to the Kwara State Government, Alhaji Isiaka Gold, during the opening ceremony of a two-day workshop on ‘Steps to Attaining Financial Freedom for Kwara Civil Servants and Political Officer Holders in Ilorin, yesterday.
Plateau State Deputy Governor, Mr. Ignatius Longjan (left) and representative of the President and Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade (rtd), at the Eminent Persons and Expert Group Meeting on Complex Insurgencies in Nigeria at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies in Kuru, Jos, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
L-R: Secretary-General, West African Road Safety Organisation (WARSO), Mr. Nestor Vitodegni; second Vice-President, Mrs. Elwangary Haidara and President, Mr. Osita Chidoka, during the 2012 WARSO Technical Executive Meeting in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA
L-R: Chairman, Senate Committee on Power, Sen. Philips Aduda; Chairman Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, Dr. Sam Amadi and Chairman House Committee on Power, Hon. Patrick Ikharale, during the inauguration of Ikeja and Kaduna Forum Members on Customer Complaints Redress Mechanism in Abuja, on Tuesday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA
I gave $15m to Andy Uba for 2007 presidential poll – Plaintiff EMMANUEL ONANI ABUJA
ontroversy has continued to trail the $15 million bribe money allegedly offered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) by former the Governor of Delta State, Chief James Ibori, with the latest claim by a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chibuike Achigbu, that he offered the said amount to Andy Uba, who was Special Assistant to former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Domestic Matters. In an affidavit filed on Achigbu’s behalf by three Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs), hired by the applicant to argue the case; Adeniyi Akintola, Okey Amaechi and Abiodun Owonikoko, leading seven other senior lawyers, the plaintiff is alleging that as an oil magnate and member of the ruling PDP, he had donated $15 million towards the presidential election of late President Goodluck Jonathan and then Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan in 2007. According to the claimant, he sought advice from
legal experts on whether he could raise money in support of the PDP and its candidates throughout the country, with a view to ensuring a clean sweep for the party. He further claimed that though he set a target of N3bn for himself and friends, but was able to raise more than N2bn by April 2007. In order to expend the fund legitimately, Achigbue said he approached Uba, now a Senator, and agencies of government to investigate and ensure that he raised the funds legitimately and in good faith. Uba, he alleged, advised him to deliver the fund to him (Uba) for onward transmission to EFCC being the agency of the Federal Government empowered to certify such. In an affidavit he filed in support of the application, he said: “Andy Uba was a Special Assistant in the Presidency, who offered to take custody of the fund with a view to inviting EFCC to carry out the audit and certification before being donated to the PDP.” In the affidavit, he stated that upon delivering the
money, he heard rumours about an attempt by Ibori to bribe the chairman of the EFCC, insisting that he had nothing to do with Ibori. His words: “That it was not until several months after Uba’s election was voided at the Supreme Court that he succeeded in making contact with him. “That Uba, in a telephone conversation he had with him sometimes in the early part of the year 2008, confirmed that, as agreed, he did invite the EFCC to take custody of the purported unclaimed fund and revert on their investigations about its suitability for the purpose that the fund was intended.” Achigbu said that he, however, did not believe Uba and suspected that he (Uba) had diverted the money to fund his electioneering expenses when he was campaigning for governor of Anambra State. “That I took the view that God had sufficiently avenged Uba’s betrayal when his election funded with the money was voided by the Supreme Court less than a month into his tenure in June 2007.” However, on the night of
August 27, 2012, he received a call from Uba informing him about the latest development concerning the $15 million and that the money in question was the same money he collected from him. That Uba specifically confirmed to him that it was Ibrahim Lamorde, the then Director of Operations of the EFCC, that was superficially instructed to receive the money from him (Uba) on April 25th, 2007. Meanwhile, Justice Gladys Olotu of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja yesterday, adjourned till September 17, the suit filed by the Attorney-General of Delta State, Mr. Charles Ajuyah (SAN), urging the court to award the $15 million bribe money allegedly offered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) by former Governor of Delta State, Chief James Ibori. According to the trial judge, the adjournment became imperative consequent upon a petition written to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, by the anti-graft agency.
She said having been served with a copy of the letter by the CJ, the honourable thing to do in the circumstance, was to adjourn the matter till September 17. It will be recalled that a similar suit with the same subject matter had earlier been adjourned by Justice Gabriel Kolawole to September 17, to enable interested parties to come forward with claims of ownership of the controversial $15 million within fourteen days of the order. Also, Justice Kolawole had granted an order of temporary forfeiture of the bribe sum to the Federal Government. However, while this matter was pending, the Delta State government filed a fresh application before Justice Olotu. When the matter came up for hearing on Monday, Ajuyah sought a short adjournment to enable him serve fresh hearing notice on the AG of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Adoke (SAN) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). In an interview with journalists after proceedings yesterday, Counsel to
EFCC, Chief Rotimi Jacobs, said the letter to the CJ was necessitated by the fresh suit, which he said the commission was not comfortable with, against the backdrop of Justice Kolawole’s unambiguous ruling that nothing should be done until September 17, when parties would have come to express their interests. His words: “You will recall that on the 24th of July, the Honourable Justice Kolawole heard the application and ordered us to advertise the order granting interim forfeiture and then adjourned the case that it should not be heard until 17th of September, 2012, so as to enable parties that have interest to come out and file their process. “The return date effectively is 17th Sept; only God knows what happened, we did not know what happened; there is no application that the time be abridged or that the time be moved backward. “So, all what we heard is hearing notice, that is why the EFCC complained about who changed the date; we want a transparent thing, we want everybody with claims to come out. “
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Reps summon Sanusi over N5,000 note CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
Sanusi, to defend the proposed plan to introduce a N5,000 note and reintroduce coins. The proposed introduction of the new note, which has been generating controversy is expected to cost
the taxpayers a whopping N40.3bn. The Chairman of the Banking Committee, Hon. Jones Onyereri (PDP/Imo), who announced the invitation at a press conference yesterday, said that the CBN gov-
ernor would also brief the committee on the progress of its cashless policy which was introduced in 2011. He said: “The House committee will invite the management of the Central Bank in an effort for the committee to know wheth-
er the bank is still pursuing the cashless policy, and if they are, how this higher currency note compliments the cashless policy or if it contradicts the cashless policy what are the next steps. “We believe that the Ni-
Cross section of ministers at the Federal Executive Council Meeting in Abuja, yesterday.
Nnaji’s exit won’t affect power reform –FG CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2
in the power sector. The two labour leaders spoke at the centenary celebration and commissioning of the National Secretariat of the Nigeria Civil Service Union, NCSU, Centenary House, in Abuja. Omar said: “Is it really a resignation? I will rather prefer to call it the exit of the former Minister of Power. That is very good and like we said earlier, it will now pave the way for a better and more transparent transaction. What we are saying is now manifesting that if you are going into any discussion or negotiation or leading any negotiation with vested interest, it is not going to work. “Now it is becoming clearer what we in the labour movement are saying. If you look at what is happening, at least, the workers, the PHCN workers have demonstrated sufficient goodwill in wanting this thing to
progress. “That is why they have shifted ground from their earlier position that we don’t want any privatisation to a point where they say if you are going to privatise, give us our severance allowances, give us what is due to us and go ahead and this is where we have the crux.” His counterpart, Esele also said: “I think the Minister of Power has to take the honourable route, which is to resign and I think we should also commend him for resigning because if you have conflict of interests, that is the best thing to do, in any civilised country. “There are so many of these proxy companies that the ministers have interests. In all of these privatised or supposed to be privatised or on the road to be privatised, it’s all laid out, it’s all planned and for Barth now to resign is the beginning of change that is coming in the country.
“Ordinarily, in the past this cannot happen. We are not against the reforms in the PHCN; all we want is uninterrupted power supply in our houses. Are we getting that? No. So, anything that can be done to let that happen, the union will support.” Meanwhile, the Federal Government has started shopping for a new minister of power. A reliable government source said last night that the government is after a technocrat to continue where the former minister stopped. He said President Goodluck Jonathan prefers to have a technocrat either as a minister or Special Adviser, with deep knowledge of the sector to continue the implementation of his administration’s power reforms. The source, who preferred not to be named, said the technocrat may also come from the South Eastern part of the nation because of the need to balance politics with profes-
sionalism. The President’s Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) Dr. Reuben Abati had also denied reports that the president himself would assume the power portfolio. Abati told the National Mirror yesterday that such reports were merely speculative. However, Nnaji has expressed heartfelt gratitude to Jonathan and millions of Nigerians who have supported him in his robust effort to improve the situation of public power supply in Nigeria these past 14 months as Minister of Power. In a statement signed by his Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Ogbuagu Anikwe, Nnaji said: “I feel particularly proud of the fact that my exit comes at a time that the administration has been able to generate and supply an unprecedented quantum of steady, reliable electric power in the history of CONTINUED ON PAGE 6>>
Book supplier listed for N12.3bn aviation contract CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2
plained all these things to their staff, all workers and the unions are all saying no to such agreement. “Besides, immediately we left there, we heard the
government said they are not handing over the place to anybody, but that is not what we are saying. What we are saying is that the government has reached an agreement with some
companies that do not have any pedigree in the sector.” However, when our correspondent contacted the Special Assistant on Media to the minister, Mr. Joe Obi, he said the companies only
made a proposal to NCAT. “It is a proposal and the government has not acted on it. There is nothing wrong in a company making a proposal to work with the government,” he said.
gerian people deserve to know whether there is a short, mid-term and longterm strategy that will bring any benefits to the system as a result of this introduction “We understand that the cashless policy encourages payment with credit card, debit card or mobile money, which means a citizen will avoid the high risk of traveling with currency for large ticket transactions. This is the direction the Central Bank has been following. “The understanding is that carrying less cash is in everybody’s interest as it reduces the risk, it reduces the money spent on printing currency and it reduces the money spent on movement of currency as well as on security and safe guards for large consignments of currency. “The intervention of the House is to ensure that due process is followed and rule of law adhered to. We assure you that we will also be mindful of the effect of this or any other banking policy on the ordinary Nigerian.” The committee stated that issues of cost of production of the proposed currency, inflation and a possible devaluation of the Naira must also be addressed by Sanusi at the briefing. “The following factors will thus be key to our consideration; cost of implementing the policy to government, the inflationary trend, devaluation implication and cashless policy derivative, etc. “We will keep an open mind while engaging the bank management to have a full picture and understanding of the thinking at the Central Bank and the reasons for this action. “Our constituents have already inundated us with reports, petitions and write ups with arguments on both sides of the policy divide, but we believe that at this time the most effective and prudent response for the committee would be to get a full briefing on the policy from the Central Bank after which we will take a position.” Meanwhile, the introduction and usage of the proposed new N5, 000 notes will save the country a whopping N7bn annually. Sanusi disclosed this on Wednesday at an internet
discussion forum, Nigerian World Forum. The CBN boss also disclosed that the volume of the currency in circulation, including the volume of the new notes when introduced, would be determined by the apex bank targets. Sanusi’s explanation came against the background of increasing criticism from the General Overseer of the Omega Fire Ministries, Apostle Johnson Suleiman, who cautioned him against the disadvantages of the new notes. Sanusi had explained: “The CBN has an annual indent where we plan quantity of currency in circulation and what we print based on monetary policy stance, age and denomination of existing notes etc. “Every year, we try to estimate what notes come of age and are due for destruction, replacement and what additional value we need based on GDP growth estimates etc. In planning indent for 2013, we will follow the same process. The value of currency in circulation will be determined by targets. “So, as we print N5,000 notes, we will reduce some other denominations mainly large ones like N1,000 and N500. “Our own estimate is that by printing N5,000 and reducing some of these, we will save N7bn annually. “I have no statistics on hoarding and most people know the risk they run. Good rates on deposit should encourage money in the banking system and rates have been going up under our tight policy stance. But the question is a good one we must ponder. “Currency operations have run different scenarios and I will propose distribution and sequencing of denominations. At my level, I will deal with policy and strategy questions not details of how many notes are produced and at how much. “Clearly, if it costs the same to produce a N5000 note as a N1,000 note, substitution reduces currency printing and management costs. “Also one would not expect a reduction in very low denominations to accommodate N5,000 notes. But those who are heavy users of N1,000 would be happy to have N5,000 notes.”
Thursday, August 30, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Nnaji’s exit won’t affect power reform –FG CONTINUED FROM 5
A scene of an accident at Lugbe in Abuja on Tuesday.
Police get 44 light armoured vehicles for highway patrol O MEIZA A JAYI
he InspectorGeneral of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar, yesterday gave out 40 light armoured patrol vans and four specially built crime scene management vehicles to the Police Highway Patrol Unit. This was even as Mr. Abubakar reiterated the commitment of the police to protecting Nigerians from all forms of crime wherever they may reside, warning officers and men of the force to exhibit the finest ideals of discipline
in their relationship with members of the public. The IGP said: “To the officers and men who will use these vehicles, you must be disciplined in the discharge of your duties. We will not tolerate any act of disrespect to Nigerians. Any act of bribery and corruption, however minute, will be effectively sanctioned.” Commissioning the vehicles at the Force Headquarters in Abuja, Mr. Abubakar assured that more of such vehicles would soon be procured to boost the working condition of the patrol units. He, however, added
that the scheme would fill any gap that may have arisen as a result of the removal of roadblocks. “This is just the beginning. More vehicles will be procured to ensure safer highways. I am not unaware of the challenges faced by some of our men. I must commend their efforts in fighting crime in the past eight months. We can fight crimes effectively. All we need is the total support of Nigerians and the government, which, of course, we are already getting,” he added, praising President Goodluck Jonathan for approving the fund for
the purchase of the vehicles. Deputy Inspector General of Police, Operations, DIG Philemon Leha, had earlier commended the IGP for his courage and patriotism in the face of the current security challenges in the country as well as the competing demands of the force, which tends to put a strain on its finances. Among the routes where the vehicles will be deployed are the Abuja-Lokoja-Okene Road with four vehicles, the Lagos-Ibadan-Ilesha Road with three vehicles and the Lagos-Ore-Benin Road with two vehicles.
Dasuki predicts violence in 2015 polls OMEIZA AJAYI
he National Security Adviser, NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) has predicted that there would be violence in the 2015 general elections. Dasuki said as the country still grappling with the security challenges partly occasioned by the outcome of last year’s general elections in Nigeria. “There could possibly be violence, but with a different angle to it, not post-election but before and during, because of the prevailing security situation, unless the secu-
rity situation gets better before then,” Dasuki said yesterday at the opening of a two-day workshop on security challenges in elections management, organised by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in collaboration with the Friedrich Ebert –Stiftung. He said although last year’s violence occurred after the elections, “there is likely to be crisis in the build-up to the 2015 elections as politicians would device more schemes to outdo one another.” According to him, “The competition among politicians may be intense
in 2015, so more tension should be expected.” INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, restated the commitment of the commission to conduct a more credible election in 2015, explaining that INEC has put in place mechanisms that will enable it deliver on its mandate in line with global best practices. Speaking on the theme of the workshop, “Challenges in Elections management: Matters arising from 2011 and anticipating 2015”, Jega said it was necessary to interface with all security agencies in the country in order to
ensure violent-free elections. On his part, Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar commended INEC for its early preparation ahead of the polls. “The timing of this workshop, approximately three years ahead of the general elections, compared to the previous workshop where he had only a year earlier, would definitely place all the state holders at vantage position, to prepare very well, despite the emerging and daunting security challenges presently faced by the country,” he said.
our nation.” Nnaji stated that not many Nigerians have had the privilege of serving the nation twice as minister and that he is grateful to have served this government in the capacity of an adviser and a ranking cabinet minister in a very challenging and complex sector. He said: “I am confident enough to allow history and the Nigerian people to judge my performance on the task that I accepted from the President.” Before his appointment as Minister of Power, Nnaji was the Special Adviser on Power to President Jonathan and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Power. He had in 1993 served in the capacity of Minister of Science and Technology. He explained that he had to voluntarily resign the office of minister to retain his integrity which has in recent days come under scurrilous attacks by powerful vested interests that were hell-bent on besmirching the integrity and reputation that he has painstakingly built over the years. He said, “This resignation is also to ensure that there is no spillover of these attacks to the President who is working very hard to transform the nation.” Nnaji said: “I would like to reiterate that before I accepted to serve as minister, I resigned my directorship of all companies that I had interest in and put my shares in those companies in a blind trust; this means that I was not privy to the day-to-day business decisions of those who ran this trust. “In addition, I publicly declared the participation in the privatisation process of a foreign company that did business with a company that I had interest in. This fact came to my knowledge only during the course of evaluating the consortia that were bidding for PHCN successor companies. Consequently, I also voluntarily excused myself from participating in the selection process. These actions, I should think, are in line with the finest traditions of transparency and accountabil-
ity in governance.” Nnaji said that his resignation gives him the opportunity to go back to his integrated power projects which have been designed to accelerate the development of the nation. He enjoined the staff of the Ministry and its agencies to remain focused on the objective of delivering reliable, steady power to the nation and to accord his successor the same level of cooperation and commitment in order to achieve the goal. However, the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has condemned the purported forced resignation of Nnaji as power minister, describing it “as shameful and disappointing” for the South-East Nigeria. The South-East chairman of CAN, Bishop Emmanuel Chukwuma said the minister’s resignation was an embarrassment to the entire people of SouthEast. The Bishop said the manner many South-East leaders and politicians were being disgraced out of office was becoming worrisome. “We feel and see the resignation of Nnaji as very disappointing; we consider it as a very shameful thing for the people of SouthEast. There is no doubt that it is about the disagreement he has been having with the PHCN workers. “In this circumstance, we are calling on Mr. President to make sure that the replacement comes from Enugu State because it is Enugu’s slot.” The cleric called on the South-East representatives and leaders in various positions to be responsible in their leadership, stating that the zone was tired of their behaviour. Meanwhile, workers of the PHCN Enugu zonal office, yesterday, took to jubilation, celebrating Nnaji’s resignation. The workers who turned the former minister’s enlarged portrait upside down, danced around it, saying they were thanking God for answering their prayers. Reports by Udeme Akpan, Rotimi Fadeyi (Abuja), Meshak Idehen, Olufemi Adeosun (Abuja) and Dennis Agbo (Enugu).
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, August 30, 2012
RSUST: ASUU goes on strike today TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE AND MOJEED ALABI
he Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, said there would be no going back on its nationwide industrial action scheduled for today. The union also said the Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, should be held responsible for the one-day strike, which would disrupt academic activities in the country’s universities. ASUU’s National President, Dr. Nasir Fagge Isa,
•Hold Amaechi responsible –Union
said the one-day strike was in solidarity with their colleagues at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, RSUST, ‘being persecuted for their opposition against the re-appointment of the institution’s Acting Vice-Chancellor, Prof. B.B. Fakae’. In a telephone interview with our correspondent, the union’s Treasurer, Dr. Ademola Aremu, from the University of Ibadan said as at yesterday evening there were no signs of any change in the status quo at the
RSUST which could warrant a change of the lecturers’ decision. According to Aremu, the acting VC is still in office and has not been removed by Amaechi as demanded by the RSUST ASUU branch and the national body, thus, the solidarity strike would go on as scheduled today. On why ASUU members must go on strike over issue affecting state university, he said: “ASUU is a single house that cannot be divided. An injury to one is an injury to all.”
Some of the branch chairmen who spoke with our correspondent insisted that their members would abide by the national body’s directive and that already members had been told to stay away from their official work throughout the day. Meanwhile, the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, branch of the union said Amaechi should be held responsible for the disruption in academic activities in the universities. This is contained in a
statement issued in Benin yesterday by the branch Chairman of ASUU, Prof. Fred Esumeh. Esumeh said ASUU members nationwide would embark on a one-day strike on August 30, in solidarity with their counterparts in RSUST. He said: “The one-day strike is in solidarity with our colleagues at RSUST, who are pressing for a reversal of the uncivilised and arbitrary manner in which the university is being governed. “At the centre of the crisis ravaging the university
is the acting Vice-Chancellor, Prof. B. B. Fakae, whose appointment has continued to generate widespread criticisms. “ASUU says it beats human logic that a man, who was smuggled into the system in the first place, could still be re-appointed by visitor to continue in office in acting capacity at the expiration of a four- year team.” Esumeh said ASUU viewed the re-appointment of the vice-chancellor as “unacceptable and direct invitation to anarchy and legally indefensible”.
Police arrest ‘700-year-old spirit’ in Kano
‘Uquo/Ekid gas plant ready for inauguration’
olice in Kano State have arrested one Nura Hamza, who posed as a 700-year-old spirit, to allegedly dupe unsuspecting members of the public. The state Police Commissioner, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, told newsmen yesterday in Kano that the accused, who resides at Kurnar Asabe quarters, was arrested on August 23, following complaint from one of the victims. According to him, the suspect used his cell phone and called the complainant several times claiming to be a spirit aged 700 years. “He (the suspect) directed the complainant to source money and to take it to a nearby bush on an anthill for spiritual duties,” the commissioner said. Idris disclosed that after the complainant had deposited N800,000 as directed by the suspect, he decided to inform his relatives. “This culminated into the arrest of the suspect after luring him to the usual destination,” he said. The commissioner said items recovered from the suspect included seven pieces of fake $100, three bundles of cut-to-size paper with pretext to be $100 and four MTN Sim certificates. Others were three motorcycles, a generator, and one mobile phone line among others. Idris said as soon as investigation was completed, the suspect would be charged to court.
he multi-billion naira Uquo/Ekid Gas Plant in Akwa Ibom to boost electricity supply in Nigeria will be commissioned before the end of the year. The project, regarded as the first and biggest indigenous gas plant in sub-Saharan Africa, is sponsored by Frontier Oil Limited in conjunction with Gulf Energy Nigeria Limited and Septa Energy Nigeria Limited. It has a capacity of boosting power generation in Nigeria by 1,000 megawatts. The Chairman of Frontier Oil Limited, Chief Odoliyi Lolomari, disclosed yesterday that the plant would soon be inaugurated when he led management team of the three companies during a courtesy visit to Governor Godswill Akpabio at the Government House, Uyo. He said the plant had a capacity of two million cubic feet and would feed Ibom Power Plant and Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria, ALSCON. The chairman, who was on the visit with the Chief Operating Officer of Universal Energy Resources/Asset Manager, Septa Energy (South-East), Ufot Ebong, described it as an important project and a major milestone in the life of Frontier Oil Limited since the discovery of oil and gas in Esit Eket some years ago. He said Septa Energy Nigeria Limited and Gulf Energy Nigeria Limited were their partners. Akpabio thanked Lolomari and other companies for the successful completion of the project.
Book exhibition at the ongoing Nigerian Bar Association Conference in Abuja, yesterday.
Kwankwaso votes $12m for students’ overseas training AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST KANO
ano State Government said it had earmarked about $12m to sponsor 500 indigenes of the state with First Class and Second Class Upper degrees to pursue postgraduate studies abroad. Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso disclosed this during an interactive session with Kano State Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, stakeholders at the Government House. Kwankwaso said admission into tertiary institutions in several countries had been secured for the students, adding that most of them would leave the country
next Saturday. He also said that his administration was finetuning plans to sponsor about 500 qualified secondary school leavers from the state to study medicine overseas, pointing out that the move was informed by the dearth of medical professionals, particularly doctors in public hospitals in Kano. Kwankwaso told the gathering that the government was working with the Nigerien authorities to build a boarding secondary school in Niger Republic for Kano students to enable them learn French, while the Chinese Embassy in Abuja had been contacted for support toward setting
up a Chinese language school in Kano before the end of the year. These and other efforts, he said, were to ensure that Kano became an active player in the global village. The governor, who said his administration was not relenting in its bid to provide education to the common man in the state, disclosed that plans had been concluded to set up craft and technical schools in all the 44 local government areas of the state. He explained that approval had already been given for the installation of facilities in some places, where structures existed in 16 local government areas for immediate
take-off of the technical schools. Kwankwaso also announced that each of the 44 local governments Community Re-orientation Committees had been given N5m for the renovation of schools in their domains, while efforts were being sustained to provide teaching and learning facilities.
Thursday, August 30, 2012
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Trailer crushes three, injures eight in Lagos FRANCIS SUBERU
reckless articulated vehicle driver crushed three pedestrians and injured eight others at Agric Bus Stop, Ikorodu, Lagos, after he lost control of his truck and veered of the road. The vehicle, said to be fully loaded with build-
•FRSC confirms four dead in Edo auto crash ing materials, was coming from Ikorodu enroute Ketu-Mile12 when it had brake failure and rammed into bystanders and traders selling bread and roasted corn at the busy bus stop. Among the injured were a middle-aged man and an elderly woman trading at the bus stop. The man had his two
legs crushed with blood gushing out profusely even as rescuers had difficult time pulling out the woman from the gutter. The two later went into coma and were immediately rushed to a nearby hospital. There were wailings and screams among sympathisers, especially because of the woman who
seems to be popular in the area. The incident caused human and vehicular traffic until policemen from Owutu and Ipakodo Police Division arrived at the scene to ease the traffic. An eyewitness, Mrs. Aliyat Dosumu, said the truck was on high speed when it lost control.
L-R: Oyo State Commissioner for Trade, Investment and Cooperatives, Mr. Kazeem Adedeji; Deputy Governor, Chief Moses Adeyemo; representative of the wife of the state governor, Mrs. Sandra Kolade and Chairman, Summit on Cooperatives Development, Mr. Olu Abiala, at the 2012 Oyo State International Year of Cooperatives held in Ibadan, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
Two poly students, others held for armed robbery ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI
wo students of The Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti were among the five suspected armed robbers arrested by the police in Ekiti State. The five suspects, according to the police, were among the armed robbery gang that had been terrorizing motorists along Ijan-Ado-Ekiti Road in the recent time.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) for Ekiti State Police Command, Mr Victor Babayemi Olu, said in a statement in Ado Ekiti yesterday that the police arrested the suspects on August 19 with the assistance of the Igbologun community along the Ijan-Ado Ekiti Road. The two polytechnic students, Odere Adeyanju (28) and Tofowomo Sunday (28) are natives of Ado-Ekiti and Ile-Oluji in Ondo State.
The three other suspects are Oguntayo Saheed, a 26-year old carpenter and native of Abeokuta in Ogun State, Adeusi Gabriel, a 33-year old commercial motorcyclist and native of Ado-Ekiti and Ibikunle Akindele, a 23year old fabricator and native of Agbado-Ekiti. According to the police, villagers sent a distress call to the police when they noticed that the suspects had barricaded the
Traffic law: Again, bullion van driver arrested
•Faces one-year jail term MURITALA AYINLA
he long harm of the law yesterday caught up with the driver of a bullion van when the officials of the Lagos State Taskforce on Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit arrested him for driving against the traffic in Apapa area of the state. The arrest and impoundment of the bullion van is the second in recent
days and the first to be caught after the enactment of the controversial Lagos Traffic Law 2012. The bullion van, marked BV 171 BDG, was arrested on Creek Road, Apapa, while conveying money to a new generation bank. According to the new traffic law, the bullion van driver, Seun Odukoya, now faces one year jail term without the option of fine as a first offender for driving against traffic while the bullion van will be for-
feited to the state government. A section of the new law says any driver or person who drives against oncoming traffic or fails to conform to direction and indication given by traffic signs, shall be guilty of the offence and shall be liable on conviction for one year imprisonment and forfeiture of his vehicle while the subsequent offenders risk three years imprisonment and forfeiture of such vehicle to the government. However, officials of the bank later came with an-
road. The police immediately stormed the scene and arrested the suspects. Items recovered from the suspects included two locally made single barrel pistols, five rounds of live cartridges, three expended cartridges and masks. The police, praising the bravery and cooperation of Igbologun community, reiterated their commitment to protecting lives and property.
other van to transfer the money from the impounded vehicle in Alausa, Ikeja. Speaking on the arrest, the taskforce Chairman, Bayo Sulaiman, confirmed that the erring driver would be punished in accordance with the new traffic law to serve as deterrent to others who might want to tow the same line. He said: “We are telling other bullion van drivers to obey the law of the land. The law is not punitive, but corrective measure. The court will decide the fate of the driver”.
She said: “I was on a bike coming from Isawo Road when I suddenly saw the trailer running down uncontrollably from OkeOriya. The trailer must have had brake failure and in a desperate move to put the truck into a halt, the driver veered off the road and crushed the bystanders at the bus stop. It was such a horrific sight.” Another eye witness, Segun Akanmu, said the accident is one too many, saying crash of such magnitude has become a recurring decimal in the area, blaming it on the slope at Oke-Oriya and the bad road. He said: “Agric Bus Stop is always too busy because of its strategic location. It is surrounded by about nine communities, including Ojokoro, Ajagunro, Igbo-Olomu, Agbede, Ori-Okuta, Isawo, Oke-Oko, Oke-Tapa and Mawere. The Lagos State Government needs to do something very ugenly. However, the Police Public Relations Officer of Lagos State Command, Ngozi Braide, could not confirm the incident as several calls put to her cell phone were not answered. Also yesterday, no fewer than four persons died
in an auto crash at Ewu slope on Okene-Auchi-Benin Highway. The Sector Commander of Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mr. Ken Nwangbe, confirmed the incident is to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Auchi. He said the accident involved an 18-seater Toyata Hiace bus marked JJ 278 XA and an articulated vehicle marked XY 727 FST loaded with iron rods. Nwangbe said the incident occurred due to a brake failure on the part of the articulated vehicle that was descending the Ewu hill in Esan Central Local Government Area of Edo State. He said the Abujabound articulated vehicles lost control after the brake failure and collided with the bus which was heading to Benin from Abuja. He said: “From the report I have from our team at Iruekpen, two male and two female died in the accident while the survivors were rushed to Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital. Nwangbe said that the combined team of Auchi and Iruekpen units of the FRSC supervised the evacuation of the victims.
Don advises Ogun LG chairmen on MDGs attainment FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA
igeria may not achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) unless the states as well as local governments across the country take on their development responsibilities in a proactive, coordinated, effective and sustained way. A university teacher, Prof. Opeyemi Ajewole, made this assertion in a lecture he delivered yesterday at the three-day leadership workshop organised for the newly elected local government chairmen in Ogun State. The workshop, which was jointly organised by the MDG’s office of the Ken Nnamadi Centre for Leadership and theOgun State Government, were attended by other public office holders. Ajewole, in the lecture entitled: “Enhancing Local
Government Leadership,” said that the role of local government, being the closest to the grassroots, was crucial to the attainment of the MDGs. He stressed that the more local governments are able to target and develop the right interventions, the better it would be the results on poverty reduction, health, sustainable development and education. Against this backdrop, the state government, however, advised the chairmen to be ready to take tough decisions that would engender development in the 20 council areas of the state. Both the Special Adviser to Governor Amosun on MDGs, Mrs. Hafsat Abiola-Costello and the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Olumuyiwa Oladiipo, urged the council bosses to ensure the maximisation of their limited resources.
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Thursday, August 30, 2012
LAUTECH chancellor: Tinubu’s appointment, an insult –PDP SAM OLUWALANA AND KEMI OLAITAN
he Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the South-West has described the appointment of former Governor of Lagos State, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, as the Chancellor of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, LAUTECH, Ogbomoso, as an insult to the academic community in Nigeria. In a statement issued in Ibadan yesterday, the PDP Zonal Publicity Secretary, Hon. Kayode Babade, called on all stakeholders in the country’s tertiary institutions, especially the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, to stand against the appointment of the leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN. He said: “Appointing a man who forged his academic certificates as chancellor of a university will further debase the academic integ-
•No, it’s a boost, says senator rity of the country’s universities. “It will be suicidal to holders of academic certificates from Nigeria’s tertiary institutions if we continue to debase our academic integrity with appointments of people with questionable integrity
as heads of our universities.” The PDP said it was not surprised that the ACN governments in Oyo and Osun states could take their worship of Tinubu as their god to the ridiculous level of appointing him as head of a university despite his
known record as a certificate forger, because the party itself was peopled by men of questionable characters. However, the senator representing Oyo Central Senatorial District, Ayo Adeseun, saw Tinubu’s appointment in a different light.
L-R: Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Health, Dr. Yewande Adeshina; representative of the Lagos State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Riskat Akiode and Director, Family Health and Nurition, Dr. Omodele Ozunkiyesi, at the grand finale of 2012 World Breastfeeding Week in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
Accord Party members’ appointment in order –Oyo ACN KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN
he Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, has thrown its weight behind the appointment of Accord Party, AP, members as caretaker committee chairmen in two local government areas of Oyo State by Governor Abiola Ajimobi. The state Publicity Secretary of the party, Hon. Dauda Kolawole, said in a statement yesterday that the appointment was in fulfilment of the gentleman’s agreement between the governor and
the Accord Party leader in the state, Senator Rasheed Ladoja. Kolawole condemned the protest over the appointment by some people he said claimed to be ACN militant youths. “We do not harbour or encourage hoodlums in ACN, ours is a progressive party and we believe in adopting mature ways of settling our differences,” he said. The ACN spokesman disclosed that the implementation of the agreement had been delayed for over a year to avoid the betrayal suffered in 2003 when the party
Motorists, contractors damaging street signs –LASAA
he Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency, LASAA, has expressed concern over increase in the destruction of installed Street Directional Signs, SDS, in the state. The Managing Director of LASAA, Mr. George Kayode Noah, expressed sadness over the rate at which the signs are being damaged by motorists and road contractors without repairing or replacing them. He said: ‘‘We are facing serious challenges from vehicle owners and contractors who constantly damage
He described his appointment as a good step in the right direction. In a statement issued in Ibadan yesterday, Adeseun lauded the governors of Oyo and Osun states on the choice of a chancellor for the institution. He said: “It is a further proof to the fact that Gover-
these signs. As at the last count, our agency has received requests for repairs and replacements for over 240 street name signs which had previously been installed in the state and this cost has extra financial implications for our agency.’’ “The issues regarding completion of the project include resistance from residents to street name change even when the local government has approved it.’’ Noah called on the residents where the projects are situated to be more responsible and protect the signs as they have become theirs.
entered a similar agreement with former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. Kolawole assured all party supporters that adequate consultation had been made and necessary precaution taken on the issue before the governor implemented by the agreement. He said: “This is the first time in this country that a sitting governor will be opening his arms to embrace and bring in opposition parties to form government. This is worthy of emulation by all.” The party then saluted Ajimobi’s courage, up-
rightness and wisdom in administering the state. It reiterated the need for the newly sworn in caretaker committee chairmen to be guided by the programmes and policies of ACN in the administration of their respective councils. “Senator Ladoja and other Accord Party members should see this as a unique privilege that must be appreciated. To whom much is given, much is expected,” the party said, while appealing for the understanding of all its members and the public.
Unsafe water: NAFDAC seals firm, arrests MD, staff
fficials of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, have arrested the Managing Director of Chung Full Nigeria Limited, Mr. Ksui Kim, and four Nigerian staff of the company for gross abuse and non-observance of manufacturing practice in the production and sale of Osaki range of table water. The staff of the company prevented the NAFDAC officials, security operatives and journalists, from entering
Lagos to demolish, replace Ilasa pedestrian bridge MURITALA AYINLA
o avert disaster, the Lagos State Government said it would demolish the Ilasamaja Pedestrian Bridge on Saturday next week. The Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, who made the disclosure yesterday, said the bridge, located on the Oshodi - Apapa Expressway, was in distress. He said Messrs PW Nigeria Limited had been awarded the contract for the replacement of the bridge.
The commissioner added that the bridge would be pulled down on September 8 to make way for a new one. Hamzat said the process of replacement had commenced with the completion of the subsoil investigation, noting that the bridge had earlier been blocked off to protect the pedestrians against any danger. The commissioner said though the bridge belongs to the Federal Government, the state government decided to replace it to prevent possible loss of lives. He added that the Lagos State Government had sought and obtained the
nors Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo and Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola of Osun, respectively, are both serious minded and committed to the development of tertiary education in the two states. “Though the post of a chancellor is ceremonial, the choice of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu will further broaden the scope of the institution in terms of infrastructural development and others. Having someone as widely connected, richly experienced and intelligent as Tinubu as the chancellor means a lot in the administration and the life of the institution as a whole. It is indeed a big catch for LAUTECH. “One cannot forget in a rush the exploits of the late Bashorun MKO Abiola as the chancellor of LAUTECH when he invested so much of his energy in the transformation of the educational and administrative landscape of the institution as the pioneer chancellor of the institution.”
consent of the Federal Government before embarking on the project. Hamzat also spoke on the delay in the construction of Adisa Ajibulu Street and the Isheri Osun – Jakande road projects. He explained that the terrain and the need to put several piles in place informed the delay, adding that the road component could not be awarded without the completion of the bridge linking the roads. According to the commissioner, the state government phases its projects to ensure proper funding and adequate timeframe for each of the projects.
the company’s premises on Adesoye Street in the Mende Area of Lagos State, allegedly on the orders of Kim, a Chinese. But the NAFDAC officials forcibly gained entry into the compound. However, but for the presence of security operatives, the NAFDAC officials would have been mobbed. Briefing newsmen later, the Director of Enforcement of NAFDAC, Mr. Garba Macdonald, explained that apart from the arrest, the company had been sealed and its operations put on hold. He disclosed that the action became necessary because the company was producing in a residential apartment, in an unhygienic environment and without a valid registration certificate which were clear violations of NAFDAC regulations. Macdonald added that the staff of the company were unruly, violent and almost obstructed his men from performing their regulatory assignment in the premises. He argued that their mission was to ascertain the level of compliance of facilitates in the factory in line with good manufacturing practices and investigation of various consumers’ complaints against the company and its products.
Thursday, August 30, 2012
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Jonathan commissions Orient Refinery today, as markets shut in Onitsha
Nigerian public office holders are greedy –Okpara’s widow
C HARLES O KEKE AND N WABUE ZE O KONK WO
istory will be made today in Anambra State as President Goodluck Jonathan arrives the state to commission the first ever private refinery, Orient Refinery, owned by the Orient Petroleum Resources Plc, a holding company with four subsidiaries. Apart from the commissioning of the refinery, the President will unveil a statue of the late Igbo leader, Emeka OdumegwuOjukwu, at the Upper Iweka Highway in Onitsha. It will be recalled that the Anambara State Gover nment renamed the popular Upper Iweka road after Emeka Ojukwu, who was buried on March 2, 2012. Jonathan is also expected to commission the multi-million naira SABmiller Brewery located in Onitsha. Already, the state is in a festive mood as the major roads and streets in Awka, Onistha and other major towns to be visited by Jonathan have been cleared of bushes and illegal structures, just as billboards have been mounted at strategic locations by different groups to welcome the President. Security has also
•We’re ready for President’s visit –Obi been beefed up in Awka and Onitsha and Anambra East in preparation for the President’s visit. The state Commissioner for Infor mation, Culture and Tourism, Chief Joe Martins Uzodike, has announced that all markets in Onitsha North and South and Ogaru local government areas, particularly those within the precincts of the Bridge Head and Upper Iweka areas would be shut throughout the duration of the President’s visit. Similarly, no motorist will be allowed to drive on the Niger Bridge, Upper Iweka and Inosi Onira Zik Round About from 9:am till the departure of Mr.
President from Onitsha at about 4:pm. Meanwhile, Governor Peter Obi said the people are ready to receive the President. He said the facilities to be commissioned by President would generate at least 15,000 direct jobs and over 10,000 indirect jobs. Obi spoke when he led a delegation of members representing the state in the House of Representatives on inspection of the projects. The governor said his administration empowered private sector initiative and entrepreneurs because they had the potentials to create necessary employment that would turn around the state’s economy.
He said any economic growth without stimulating job opportunities was bound to collapse. The member representing Ogbaru Federal Constituency, Mr. Afam Ogene, praised the governor for creating enabling environment for foreign and local investments to thrive. The member representing Anaocha, Njikoka and Dunukofia Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Mrs. Uche Ekwunife, said Governor Obi had initiated economic revolution by attracting investments. Mrs. Ekwunife said the various investments attracted to the state by the gover nor would assist in addressing unemployment.
ctogenarian wife of Dr. Michael Okpara, the late Premier of defunct Eastern Region, Chief (Mrs.) Adanma Okpara, has decried the greed and corrupt practices by Nigeria’s public office holders. “Nigeria, a sweet country, has now turned to a bitter country. God’s intervention is needed to change the bad situations, Mrs. Okpara said. She spoke on Tuesday at her Ohuhu residence in Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia State, when a delegation of Abia State Founding Fathers’ Association visited her as part of the programme to mark 21 years of the creation of the state. Led by the traditional ruler of Imenyi community in Isiukuato Local Government Area, Eze Ezo Ukandu,
L-R: Coordinator, HIV and AIDS Division, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Evelyn Ngige; Director, Policy and Strategy, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Mr. Alex Ogundipe and his deputy, Dr. Funke Oki, at a retreat for NACA management in Enugu, recently. PHOTO: NAN
association, however, said its visit was to thank the Okpara family for the role the late Premier played in the struggle to create Abia State. Welcoming the delegation, Mrs. Okpara thanked them for the decision to visit the family and for remembering the role late the Premier played in the struggle, saying that the family was happy for the visit “because Nigerians only remember new things, not old things”. Mrs. Okpara, who received the delegation with her second son, Uzodinma, thanked God for giving her and the family the spirit of contentment which, she said, had kept them going all these years. She said:“We thank God who touched your hearts to come and see us. We are happy for this visit. Nigerians only remember new things, not old things. If you put your mind on the problems in Nigeria and the attitude of the leaders, you will not live long. Thank God for making me to be contented with what I have. I am happier than those who have everything on earth. “I pray God to make Nigeria great. I pray God to change Nigeria. A sweet country is now a bitter country. God will continue to keep Nigeria in history, so that it will not disappear in history like the Philistines. It will depend on our leaders. If we continue like this, we will disappear in history, but God will help us.” Eze Ukandu said there was no way Abia State would be celebrating its birth without the Okpara family being involved, saying that the visit would be more regular.
Bank manager kidnapped in Anambra Taskforce warns patrons, fake products producers
ankers and other residents of Awka in Anambra State are now living in fear following the kidnap of a bank manager, Mr Tochukwu Nnadi, in the early hours of yesterday. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the incident took place at about 7:30am in Awka while the banker was on his way to the office near Mama Africana Kitchen in Iyiagu Estate. A source, who wants to remain anonymous, told NAN that contact had not been established with the kidnappers.
The source decried the security situation in the state, saying: “My brother, we do not know where Anambra is heading for. We planned to close the bank because of fear, but some of us summoned the courage to work. “This man was just coming to the office in the morning and we learnt the people who kidnapped him were waiting in two cars, one was a Chrysler and the other was what they call End of Discussion with their doors wide open. “Immediately he arrived, they came out and blocked him and took him
away. Honestly, everybody is now in trouble in the state.” The police spokesman in the state, Mr Raphael Uzoigwe, said the issue was yet to be reported to the command. He said he had made contacts with the relevant divisions, but that no such case was reported. However, another source, who also wants to remain anonymous, told NAN that the matter was being handled secretly. According to the source, that is the reason why it has not been reported to the police.
CHARLES OKEKE AWKA
he Anambra State Task Force on Fake/ Counterfeit Drugs and Wholesome Processed Foods has warned members of the public to stop consuming adulterated products, saying doing so would injure their health and put them at risks. The taskforce also warned producers of such fake and adulterated products to desist from their nefarious activities or face wrath of the law.
Chairman of the taskforce, Mr. Alphonsus Mmuogbo, gave the warning, while addressing journalists at an interactive session held on the issue with stakeholders, traders and manufacturers in Awka, the state capital. Mmuogbo said the taskforce was formed to assist in protecting consumers. He said with the warning, the taskforce would begin vigorous enforcement drive around major cities of the state during which it would confiscate fake goods and close down
affected shops. Other stakeholders that attended the interactive session include doctors, pharmacists, laboratory scientists, drug dealers and those in the cosmetics and food industries. Mmuogbo said: “We made the dealers to realise the havoc such drugs have caused, and that anybody could become a victim anytime, and that anybody caught dealing in fake drugs and unwholesome processed foods would be arrested and prosecuted”.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Fuel scarcity hits Delta as tanker drivers protest SOLA ADEBAYO WARRI
esidents of Delta State yesterday woke up to another era of long queues at filling stations as another round of fuel scarcity was experienced across the state. The shortage of petroleum products became worsened as the Warri Depot unit of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) embarked on a protest. PTD members, who shunned their routine duties in the early hours of yesterday, protested against the detention of their colleague by the Joint Task
•PMS sells for N200 per litre
Force (JTF), Operation Pulo Shield. It was gathered that the leadership of PTD in the unit was irked by the unlawful detention of a member of the union at the Delta Sector Command of JTF at David Ejoor Barracks, Effurun, headquarters of Uvwie Local Government Area of the state. Investigation by National Mirror showed that PTD’s Chairman in the unit, Mr. Godstime Masemigbe, ordered his members to withdraw their services following the refusal of the authorities of the army formation to release a driver,
Fresh Shell oil spill ravages Bayelsa community •As AGIP apologises to Rivers govt
EMMA GBEMUDU AND CHINEDUM EMEANA
fresh oil spill from a facility belonging to the Shell Petroleum Development Company(SPDC) has occurred in Nembe, Bayelsa State, leaving many aquatic lives dead thereby creating panic among inhabitants of the communities in the area. Fishermen no longer embark on fishing expedition, occasioned by the magnitude of the spill. Investigations by National Mirror revealed that the spill was traced to a burst pipeline connected to Nembe Flow Station of SPDC located under the creek of the Brass River. The people of Nembe have expressed reservation on the Anglo-Dutch oil giant for failing to clean-up an oil spill that occurred in the area on August 16, this year, describing it as alleged insensitivity on the part of the oil firm. Chairman, Oil and Gas Committee, Nembe Council of Chiefs, Nengi James, who disclosed this to National Mirror in an interview yesterday, said it took the committee about one week to trace the leakage of the spill. James regretted that SPDC officials were yet to meet and discuss with the committee on how compensation should be paid to the fishermen and the community on the previous spill that occurred about two weeks ago in the area. He regretted that SPDC was yet to visit the site of the fresh spill to mop it up before it could cause more damage to the river and mangroves in
the locality. His words: “This present spill is being traced to a leakage from a pipe line under the creek of the Brass River. For about one week, the Oil and Gas Commitee of Nembe Council of Chiefs has been looking from where the spill was coming from. “I am talking to you; Shell has not discovered the area. The activities of Shell to oil spill incidents in recent times are not acceptable. Shell’s attitude of delaying spills to allow the leak enter into the mangrove in the river is unfortunate. This is to undermine the people of the Niger Delta, especially Nembe Kingdom.” Meanwhile, the Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) has apologised to the Rivers State government over its officials obstructing some staff of the Rivers State Ministry of Environment, who were assigned to inspect a spill that occurred at the firm’s operational base in Port Harcourt last week. For that infraction, the Rivers State government caused the operational base of Agip Oil Company to be shut down temporarily on that day. Mr. Prince Obi, who led the team of the company’s representatives, rendered the apology during a visit to Dr. Nyema Weli, Commissioner for Environment yesterday. Obi said 60 per cent of NAOC share capital belongs to the government, adding that it does not intend to cover up any environmental pollution that will affect the people of the state adversely. The Agip team specifically appealed to the commissioner to convey the apologies of the
who was held in the absence of his colleague. The driver was accused of driving a tanker conveying stolen Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly known as petrol. Findings also showed that the driver, who allegedly loaded PMS from an unauthorised source, had abandoned the tanker on sighting members of the JTF and jumped into the bush. It was learnt that another driver, who was ordered to move the vehicle to the army barrack, was later detained. National Mirror gathered that the action of PTD worsened the lingering fuel scarcity in major cities in Delta State. It will be recalled that the closure of the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company (WRPC), due to major faults in its major component units has led to scarcity of petroleum products in the state and other areas being serviced by the pioneer
crude oil refining plant. The fate of WRPC apparently compelled the management of the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), to embark on rationing of the stock available through the contingency plan ahead of the shutdown of the plant. Motorists besieged few filling stations dispensing PMS, especially in Warri, the commercial hub of the state, yesterday. Some oil dealers seized the opportunity to engage in sharp practices. Some of them adjusted their dispensing pump to sell PMS to motorists at N120.00 per litre. Operators of black markets had a field day as they sold PMS to willing buyers for N200.00 per litre. However, the PTD later called off the action after the intervention of its National Chairman, Mr. Timothy Ogbu. Consequently, supply of petroleum products to the filling stations resumed at about 2.00 pm.
Igbrude’s death devastating, says Uduaghan
elta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, has described as shocking and devastating the death of a former Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mr. Young Daniel Igbrude. Reacting to the news of the death, the governor said he was saddened beyond words by the demise of the former speaker. According to him, it was most surprising and heartwrenching that the former speaker had to die at an age that cannot be considered particularly a ripe age. “This death is painful, very painful. It is shocking and devastating for us all, particularly in the PDP family”, Dr Uduaghan said. The governor commiserated with the wife, Dame Mimi Igbrude, the children and the entire Igbrude family as well as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, over the loss. He urged them to take
solace in the fact that late Igbrude made giant strides in his lifetime as an academic and a politician, contributing his quota to the growth and development of the state. He prayed God to grant the family and the colleagues the fortitude to bear the loss as well as grant the departed soul eternal rest. Meanwhile, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan has expressed sadness over the death of Mama Regina Maduemezia, mother of Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Joy Ogwu. In a condolence letter to Prof. Ogwu, the governor said though Madam Maduemezia has passed on, she would be remembered as a devout Catholic, whose kind disposition easily warmed her to the hearts of many people who will eternally hold fond memories of her.
L-R: Representative of the Minister of Environment, Mr. Taiye Haruna; Cross River State Governor, Liyel Imoke and United Nations Country Representative, Dr. Dauda Toure, during the official signing of Nigeria’s National Programme Document on reducing emission, deforestation and degradation in Abuja, on Tuesday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA
company to the Governor of Rivers State, Mr. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, promising that such obstruction will not repeat itself again. Earlier, Commissioner of the Environment, Dr. Nyema Weli, has expressed displeasure at what he described as lack of respect by the company to the state government. Weli reiterated Rivers State government’s interest to protect the environment and called on Agip to participate in environmental cleanup, waste disposal, greening and tree planting policies of the government.
Nigerians urged to respect Jonathan
one-time Secretary to the Bayelsa State Government, Prof. Steve Azaiki, has called on Nigerians to always respect their presidents. In a release in Port Harcourt on Monday, Azaiki said; “By doing this, we are not only respecting the persons of Mr. President, but also holding the sacred office of the President in dignity and respect.” According to Azaiki, who
is also the National Coordinator of the National ThinkTank, a policy advocacy group geared towards enthroning good governance and service delivery in Nigeria, “Recent insinuations and vituperation of some notable Nigerians against Mr. President have gone beyond mere politicking.” In his opinion, “politics should be played with decency and candour, and should not be seen as an opportunity to spread lies, falsehoods
and fabrications of all sorts against such a highly placed institution like the Presidency and the occupant of that enviable position.” Azaiki said certain comments in the media, especially on social media in recent times, to the effect that President Jonathan is a reveler, who loves alcohol, is quite unfortunate and a calculated attempt to drag the President and his office into disrepute and public odium.
Thursday, August 30, 2012
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Insecurity: Northern govs, leaders must be proactive –Buhari AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST KANO
ormer Head of State, General Mohammed Buhari, has reiterated his call on northern governors and leaders to adopt a more practical measure in their efforts to end insecurity destabilising the region. The presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, in the 2011 general elections made
the call yesterday in Kano when he visited the state as part of ongoing reconciliation of party leaders and members. He also paid a courtesy visit to the Kano State Governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso. Buhari told his host that the situation in the North was disturbing and must be addressed with all available resources to restore the glory of the region.
The former Head of State was particularly worried about the impact of violence on Kano and Maiduguri, while recalling the economic significance of the two cities prior to the insecurity brought about by the activities of the Boko Haram sect. He said: “Kano is known beyond the shores of the country, due largely to its economic status, it is a centre of commerce. Today, it is a shadow of itself. The industries
are dead and we did not predict this situation until the security crisis in Borno got out of control and this has vastly affected the state of commerce in this traditional city. “When I was a governor, I know the level of influx of foreigners transacting business through the Borno/ Chad border down to Kano, from the Maiduguri end. You get traders from Cameroun, from Chad and Niger; all that for now is gone and you
try to imagine how many Nigerians, particularly from this part of the country have been pushed into abject poverty. “His Excellency, given the strategic position of Kano as the centre of commerce in the region, I have the belief that you will do your best in ensuring that the situation is addressed as soon as possible.” Buhari told the governor that he was in the state
to commission the secretariat of his party and also to look into the conflict between members and leaders, resulting from power tussle. Responding, Kwankwaso thanked the former Head of State for the visit, which he said signified love, indicating that being members of opposition parties did not mean party men should regard one another as enemies.
Contract saga: Okupe threatens to sue Benue for N5bn
Kwara Poly expels 45 students over exam fraud
he Senior Special Assistant, SSA, to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, has threatened to sue the Benue State Government for N5bn, over its inability to meet the contractual agreement with his company, Value Trust Investment Limited. Okupe, who explained his role in the Benue State contract saga yesterday, said contrary to the accusation that he collected money and abandoned the project, the Benue State Government was owning him N358m. He also said his company had completed 40 per cent of the job worth N2.3bn. Okupe, who was summoned by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to state his position on the controversial contract, presented various documents to newsmen to prove that his company did not abandon any contract. Addressing journalists in Abuja, Okupe said: “The contract was 230 kilometres of road at the cost of N10m per kilometre when the contemporary price elsewhere and everywhere in the country was between N30m and N35m. The price was reduced because we came in with chemical from South Africa that could reduce the cost of construction in the rural roads.” One of the documents presented by Okupe, signed by Charles-Mary N. Avul, the Commissioner for Works in Benue State dated January 23 2007, said “the above contract was awarded to Value Trust Investment Limited on April 29, 2004. The contract was initially for a period of 24 months and is being currently extended to April 30, 2007.
Bauchi State Governor Isa Yuguda (left) receiving a souvenir from the Deputy Accountant General of the Federation, Alhaji Babayo Shehu, during the latter’s visit to Bauchi, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
I’ll reintegrate Plateau citizens –PDP candidate JAMES ABRAHAM JOS
ormer Chief of Staff to Governor Jonah David Jang and Plateau North Senatorial hopeful on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Mr. Gyang Pwajok, has promised to do everything possible to reintegrate all segments of the people in the state if elected.
INUSA NDAHI MAIDUGURI
he Joint Task Force, JTF, otherwise called “Operation Restore Order,” has called on the residents of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, not to succumb to the intimidation of the terrorist group, which warned them not to divulge information about its activities to security agents. The JTF spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Sagir Musa, made the call in a statement issued in Maiduguri yesterday. He said the attention of the JTF had been drawn to
He also promised to initiate a policy of reconstruction, rehabilitation and reconciliation among all stakeholders in his quest to move the state forward. Pwajok, who visited the NUJ Press Centre in Jos yesterday as part of his “Meet the people tour,’’ ahead of the election, said peace could only be achieved through dialogue, negotiation and understanding among
the people which he said his election would strive to achieve. The contestant said Plateau State had gone through a series of socioeconomic challenges in its history and as such the Plateau North Senatorial District needed someone who could argue, persuade, convince, influence and make case for the people at the national level. He said: “I was doing
my job dutifully as chief of staff before the call to serve from my people and I have to bow to pressure because the zone was in dire need of quality representation in view of the security challenges.” The former chief of staff also pledged to focus on developing, supporting and overseeing the implementation of policies which would promote peace and security if given the mandate.
Ignore terrorists’ warning, JTF appeals to Maiduguri residents leaflets and posters printed by suspected terrorists threatening and warning people not to pass information to the task force on their hideouts, modus operandi and any other information about members’ activities. The JTF spokesman urged the residents to disregard such publication and consider it as part of the terrorists’ propaganda and strategy to keep them in captivity and perpetual fear. Musa pointed to the incidents at the popular Mon-
day Market and Gamboru Market. According to him, when the JTF conducted a search at the Monday Market and recovered some arms and ammunition, the following day, some members of the terror group went to the market and made the traders to pay compensation for the weapons. The same thing, he said, occurred at Gamboru Market. Musa, therefore, warned individuals or group of people to desist from such unpatri-
otic acts as both the giver and the receiver of such money would be treated as terrorists and be seriously dealt with. He reiterated the determination of the task force to maintain law and order and protect lives and property of law-abiding citizens. Musa, however, reminded the public that the emergency hotlines - 08064174066, 080-85464012 and 080-54429346 - were still active and information could be passed to security agencies through them.
he management of Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin, has expelled 45 students for alleged examination malpractices. The management also withdrew a Higher National Diploma, HND, student of the Department of Estate Management from the school for allegedly making a false claim in respect of her National Diploma, ND, certificate. A statement issued by the Assistant Registrar (Academic), A. O. Yahaya, on behalf of the Registrar, said the students were expelled after the Governing Council approved the report of the Academic Board on the alleged examination malpractices. According to the statement, 30 of the affected students are from the Institute of Finance and Management Studies, IFMS, 10 from the Institute of Basic and Applied Sciences, IBAS, three from the Institute of Technology, IOT, while the remaining two are from the Institute of Environmental Studies, IES. It added that the affected students had ceased to be students of the polytechnic and asked them to stay away from the institution. The student withdrawn on account of allegedly making false claim about her ND certificate was also accused of unruly behaviour. A statement jointly signed by the Deputy Registrar (General Administration), I. B. Abdullahi, and Yahaya said the decision to withdraw her was taken after the management considered the report of the Students Disciplinary Com-
Thursday, August 30, 2012
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No love lost between Saraki and I – Ahmed
Olubolade on edge over Police panel report
Echocho loses bid to unseat Wada as Kogi gov EMMANUEL ONANI ABUJA
fter a long-drawn legal battle on the December 3, 2011 governorship election in Kogi State, Justice Abdul Kafarati of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, yesterday dismissed an application by
a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Jibrin Isa Echocho. In the said motion filed in February, Echocho prayed the court to invalidate the election of Captain Idris Wada as governor of Kogi State on the ground that, he (Echocho), having emerged winner of the first
primary election conducted by the PDP in the state, is the authentic candidate of the party for the gubernatorial election that held on December 3, 2011. He said the fact that his name, which was forwarded to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) by his party, was not
withdrawn before another primary election was held, justified his claim to the authentic candidacy of the PDP for the 2011 gubernatorial poll held in Kogi. Against this backdrop, therefore, he urged the court to nullify the election of Wada and declare him governor of the “Conflu-
L-R: Senate President, David Mark and the visiting Kenyan High Commissioner to Nigeria, Amb. Francis Sigei, in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
ACN flays FG over Lagos ocean surge
he Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has condemned the nonchalant attitude of the Federal Government over the ocean surge in Lagos which claimed the lives of not less than 16 citizens. The party stated that in other civilised climes which put a huge premium on the lives of its citizens, the surge would be regarded as a major calamity compelling the presence of the President. In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said it is regrettable that more than 10 days after the surge, neither the President nor any representative of the Federal Government has deemed it fit to visit the scene or condole with the families of the victims. The party particularly
condemned the failure of the Minister of Environment to visit the scene of the disaster which was clearly a consequence of climate change especially against the background that the minister has spent several millions of naira junketing all over the word to attend all manners of conferences on climate change. “Contrary to the uninformed comments by some people seeking to score cheap political points, climate change is a global phenomenon but it is quite unfortunate that despite the huge sum the country has expended on attending international conferences on the impact of climate change, the Federal Government is yet to come up with concrete adaptation and mitigation measures to tackle its impact which has
now started manifesting in several parts of Nigeria,” the party added. The party called on the Federal Government to show more concern for the plights of its citizens by coming up with mitigation measures to avert further natural disaster as a result of climate change.
ence State”. Delivering judgement yesterday, Justice Kafarati held that “it will amount to a waste of time and energy” to hold otherwise since the (subject matter) of the suit was the December 3, 2011 governorship election, which the applicant did not participate, thereby denying himself of the required locus standi to institute the suit in the first instance. In declining jurisdiction to entertain the matter, the presiding judge held that by virtue of the fact that the suit was commenced two months after the election held and Wada sworn in as governor, the matter had become a post-election one, which the law says must be filed at the Kogi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal. Accordingly, the court dismissed the suit and awarded cost of a N100,000 in favour of the governor. The state Deputy Governor, Mr. Yomi Awoniyi in reaction described the ruling as victory for democracy. He called on those who
Ondo: LP chieftains decamp to PDP HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE.
head of the October 20 governorship election in Ondo State, several political groups from Akoko, Irele and Akure South local government areas of the state have defected to the Peoples Democratic
Party (PDP) from the ruling Labour Party (LP). While the Special Adviser to the Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Igbekele Dawodu, Mr. Tunji Solomon, popularly known as “Up Solo” decamped at Ipe in Akoko along with about 600 followers, another group in Irele led by a younger brother of the
Adamu inaugurates N22m empowerment programme
enator Abdullahi Adamu (PDP-Nasarawa) yesterday in Keffi, inaugurated a youth empowerment programme for his Nasarawa West Constituency. Adamu, while inaugurating the programme, said that 315 youths would be trained in various trades in fulfilment of his campaign promises. He said the programme would also reduce unemployment and em-
choose the path of justice by going to court to exercise their right, to join hands with the present administration to move the state forward. Awoniyi said the court’s victory is geared towards the collective development of the state, coming at a time the state is celebrating 21 years of its existence. Before the case was adjourned for judgment, lawyers representing Isah, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Wada made efforts to persuade the judge to rule in their favour. While INEC and Wada argued that the Supreme Court judgement in the case of former Bayelsa State Governor, Timipriye Sylva against INEC supported their case, Isah’s lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) disagreed. Justice Kafarati adopted the Supreme Court’s reasoning in dismissing Isah’s case, rejecting Olanipekun’s argument that Isah’s case was different from Sylva’s case.
power the youths to have decent means of earning their livelihood. He said that the programme was meant to “expose the mass of unemployed people in the area to multiple streams of vocational business ideas and opportunities.” Adamu said the training programme, scheduled to last for two months, covers five areas of skills, including establishment and man-
agement of cyber cafés, soap/detergent production, bread baking, bead making and air freshener/perfume making. He said that successful graduates from the training would be provided with a start-up capital to start their own businesses. Alhaji Dahiru Loko, Secretary of the programme, said that more than 70 university graduates were part of the trainees.
chairman of the Interim Committee of the council, Dr. Sunday Akinbiola, and that of Akure South was led by a former councillorship aspirant in Oke Aro Ward, Hon. Kunle Obafemi, have moved to the PDP after considering the achievements recorded by the party in the state. The Special Adviser on Political Affairs was received by the PDP running mate, Mr. Saka Lawal, who was also a Special Adviser to Mimiko. He urged the decampees to work for the success of the PDP in the North Senatorial zone and the entire state. Speaking with journalists in Akure, Akinbiola said he and his group of youth that are over 1000 are declaring for the PDP in order to usher in development in the local government and the state in general.
he battle of wits between the Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade (rtd) and the chairman of the Presidential Committee on the Reorganisation of the Nigeria Police, Mr. Parry Osayande has continued unabated, with both men insisting on their respective positions on how to make the force meet modern challenges. While Osayande, a retired Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police insists on the scrapping of the Ministry of Police Affairs, Olubolade, on the other hand, argues that the committee went beyond the assignment given to it. According to him, the committee’s terms of reference were to look at how the Police could be professionalised and reorganised. The committee had in its report submitted recently to President Goodluck Jonathan recommended the scrapping of the Ministry of Police Affairs, noting that the ministry is no longer relevant in line with the 1999 Constitution as amended. Osayande, who is also the Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), said his committee discovered that budgeted fund of the Police was unjustifiably domiciled with the ministry despite the fact that it was neither in charge of Police administration nor its operations. He added that because the ministry determines Police projects with no input from the force’s authorities, some of the projects so executed ended up not being of priority to the Police. This, he explained, was an aberration which had led to “abuse, misapplication and haemorrhage” of the limited resources made available to the force. His words: “The Ministry of Police Affairs has no particular assigned role in the 1999 Constitution as amended, being neither in charge of Police administration which is assigned to the Police Council, nor in charge of operations which is assigned to the Inspector-General of Police nor in charge of appointment, discipline and promotion which are assigned to the Police Service Commission.” But expectedly, Olubolade is not giving up with ease. The minister in a swift reaction slammed the committee for the recommendation. The proposal, according to him, amounted to a derailment. He said: “Mr. President set up a committee led by Parry Osayande to reorganise the police. That committee should not be misconstrued or should not be confused with the earlier committee set up to reorganise the ministries and restructure ministries and parastatals. “Usually, when an assignment like this is given, one must look at the subject. The subject is to reorganise the police and any issue discussed outside that can be termed to be a derail.” On the issue of Police budget, the minister said contrary to the claim of the committee, the force on its own awards contracts while the ministry approves payment. “The police are involved in their own budgetary dispensation. The ministry does not award contracts on behalf of the Police except in capital budgets. All operational provisions are managed by the Police itself,” he explained. He also cited an example of the Ministry of Defence, which co-exists with the three armed forces, the Army, Navy and Air Force to buttress his argument. Much as the arguments of both men sound convincing, some political analysts however argued that while Osayande cited
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Olubolade on edge over Police panel report FELIX NWANERI writes on the proposed scrapping of the Ministry of Police Affairs, which has not only unsettled the supervising minister, Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade (rtd), but pitched him with the Police Reform Committee headed by Parry Osayande.
THE MINISTRY OF POLICE AFFAIRS HAS NO PARTICULAR ASSIGNED ROLE IN THE 1999 CONSTITUTION AS AMENDED, BEING NEITHER IN CHARGE OF POLICE ADMINISTRATION... NOR IN CHARGE OF APPOINTMENT, DISCIPLINE AND PROMOTION relevant constitutional provisions, wastage and inefficient management of meagre funds supposedly meant for the Police to back his committee’s position, Olubolade’s argument was just a calculated attempt to save his job and not borne out of genuine patriotism. Olubolade, the analysts pointed out would be worst hit if the ministry is scrapped, given recent political developments in his home state, Ekiti, where he is locked in a fierce battle with former Governor Segun Oni, who is the current National Vice Chairman (South-West) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), over the control of the state chapter of the party. Another political school of thought however argued that the committee’s recommendation may have been informed by quest for more powers by Osayande as the chairman of the PSC. The commission is the oversight body established under section 153 of the 1999 Constitution and the Police Service Commission (Establishment) Act 2001. It has the power to appoint, promote, discipline and dismiss all officers of the force except the Inspector-General of Police (IGP). A former Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Roland Owie, who belongs to this school, described the Osayande-panel recommendation as “selfish”. It would be recalled that this is not the first time the Police Affairs Ministry and
its leadership would be subject of public debate. Olubolade had come under heavy criticisms at the wake of the sack of his former counterpart in the Ministry of Defence, Bello Mohammed and the then National Security Adviser (NSA), Gen Andrew Azazi over rising insecurity in the country. The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), in reaction to the President’s action then, insisted that it was not enough to sack the minister and NSA, when other officials and security chiefs were part of the failure. The students’ body particularly called for the sack of Olubolade. It said: “It is a welcome development that President Jonathan was courageous enough to remove the NSA, who had shown total lack of understanding of his job. However, it is our opinion that the Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade, too ought to have been shown the way out because his ministry is as guilty as that of Defence. “If Bello Mohammed, whose ministry is in charge of external security of the country could be sacked because of internal security problems in the country, President Jonathan needs to explain why he is still keeping Olubolade, whose ministry should be the one responsible for tackling the Boko Haram menace. The President must live above sectional and man-know-man politics by weeding his government of grossly
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incompetent people, because Nigerians are beginning to get impatient with him.” However, while the citizenry may be doubting the capability of the government and its agencies (especially the Police) to tackle the spate of violence, political pundits are of the opinion that President Jonathan may not be edgy with Olubolade given their close relationship. The intimacy, they say, was responsible for the President’s rebuff of disapproval that trailed the minister’s nomination by some PDP members in his state during the composition of the federal cabinet. They are also of the view that the committee set up by the President to look into the Osayande-panel request will likely not accept the scrapping of the Police Affairs Ministry by the time it comes out with its White Paper. This position was informed by the minister’s recent disclosure that he is a member of the committee, which means that he is a judge in his own case. The committee is headed by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke. Other members are the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Bala Mohammed and the Minister of Niger Delta, Godsday Orubebe. Another pointer to the face that Olubolade is likely to have the last laugh is the submission of the body of former Inspectors-General of Police. The former IGPs, who were at the Presidential Villa recently, told President Jonathan that they are against scrapping of the Police Affairs Ministry because of the need for somebody to answer questions on Police matters. Members of the delegation included Muhammadu Gambo-Jimeta, Ibrahim Coomassie, Sunday Ehindero and Mike Okiro. Gambo-Jimeta, who spoke on behalf of the group, said: “With his busy schedule, the President will not have enough time to attend to the day to day issues arising on the Police. During the parliamentary days, there was the need for somebody, not the Prime Minister, to answer questions on Police. So, a minister of state’s office was created in the Prime Minister’s office to ensure that he conducts the political aspect.” The member representing Ekiti SouthWest/Ise-Orun/ Ikere Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Ifeoluwa Arowosoge, who backed the position, maintained that the scrapping of the ministry will be counter-productive. He therefore advised the Federal Government to accord more priority on improving people’s security rather than on how much would be saved through the merger of ministries and agencies. Executive Director of CLEEN Foundation, a non-governmental organisation promoting public safety and accessible justice, Mr. Innocent Chukwuma, also argued that the ministry should remain. Citing Section 215(3) of the 1999 Constitution, he said: “Realising that office of the President is a busy one, whereby the occupant is not chanced, the creation of the ministry and appointment of a minister to assist the President on security matters becomes necessary.” He however questioned whether the ministry is really playing the important role of overseeing the Police in their dayto-day functions. This, he said, is where people have issues with the ministry and therefore suggested a merger of the PSC and the ministry to create enough function for the ministry as the PSC itself is idle.
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Thursday, August 30, 2012
No love lost between Saraki and I –Ahmed Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed has been in the news of late on issues bothering on governance in Kwara State and his relationship with his predecessor, Senator Bukola Saraki. In an interview with newsmen in Ilorin, he speaks on these and other issues as they affect the state. WOLE ADEDEJI presents the excerpts.
Local government workers in the state are not happy that their salaries have not been paid for two months running now. What is responsible for this? We are aware of how allocations have been coming to the state since the inception of this administration. We have seen the drop in the allocations from the months of March, April and we began to feel the impact in May till date. This is what has been affecting not only the volume of what is supposed to come to both the federal, states and local governments but there had also been delay. For us at the Nigerian Governor’s Forum, we have sought to parley with the Minister of Finance to work on the issue of delayed allocation meetings. I remember when I was Commissioner of Finance, allocation meetings were usually held on 12th, 13th and 14th. So, it gives ample time for the center, which is in charge of allocating funds to various states and local government through the Ministries of Finance, to do that. Now allocation meetings are usually held much later, and the later the meetings are held, the later the distribution and allocation of funds and before it gets to the state, the state has its process of ensuring distribution and allocation. That is the first leg in the delay. The second leg is in the shortfalls. Shortfalls were recorded from May, June and July and they have not been very helpful in meeting both the recurrent and capital expenditures of not only the local governments, but also the state government. The only difference is that at the state level we have exhibited a very strong financial management which has allowed us to put all our resources together and look at other funding windows that could support our funding gaps. Do not forget that the local government has limited windows through which they can source funds, unlike the state government. They have been charged with the responsibility of looking inwardly not mainly at looking at the internally generated revenue but most importantly at controlling their expenditure. Because in any system of fund management, there is a grand rule; so if you cannot increase your revenue, you must cut your cost. The local governments have been saddled with a very huge recurrent cost and that prompted the need for us to do biometric exercise for them to see the number of workers they have. It was designed to help them to know their real workers to help them manage their overhead costs and most importantly for future planning. We will continue to support the councils by ensuring that the crude oil subsidy part of their money are not used for recurrent expenditure except it becomes absolute necessary. We want to ensure that they execute capital projects with them. This is designed to encourage them to ensure that the money is not used only for recurrent expenditure. They must have capital legs because that is the only way we can reach the people.t We have no business with local governments money. We have enough money that we have been using because we have been able to cut our coats according to our cloth. The LGs that have been having challenges should be coming to us so that we look at the areas they have challenges and we will see how to create widows to support them. Do not forget the fact that only thing that joined us together with the LGs is the joint project account. In the joint project account, they have about N800 million which has been channelled into rural roads construction. This is mainly to support the N2.5 billion that the state government is expending on the same project. Rural roads are largely local government roads; state roads are different. In order to make the the councils to also take some levels of projects in road construction knowing fully well that
their resources cannot support them in road construction, we decided to invest about N2.5 billion in rural roads. We did that to augment whatever they have because the agreement on the joint project concept is that whoever initiates the project will put down 60 per cent and will be supported with 40 per cent as counterpart funding. The Offa local government chairmanship election won by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) was just cancelled last week by the court and a rerun had been ordered. What do we expect in the exercise? On the Offa issue, it is not a new thing. It is a judicial issue. You are aware that usually when there is any election, the other aggrieved party sometimes goes to court to challenge the election result. You are all aware that even the gubernatorial elections went as far as the Supreme Court. So, what happened in Offa is a normal thing. The stakeholders in Offa, the PDP felt that they should challenge the result which they have done in a court of law, which looked at the issues and nullified the election, we don’t know whether there will be an appeal else, we will look at the constitutional provisions and move forward from there. For us as a party, we have seen it as a welcome development because we have always said that Kwara State is a strong the PDP state. It is a strong state committed to the ideals of PDP exemplified by the project and the environment we have been able to create to ensure that there is growth, peace and development for our people. Incursion of ACN into Kwara State was an aberration and this has been proven by the annulled election. For us as a party, we will continue to consolidate on this gain and ensure that our people across all nooks and crannies of Kwara State enjoy the dividends of democracy as provided under the platform of PDP.
THERE IS NO WAY
LEVERAGE ON THE GOODIES OF THE LAST ADMINISTRATION TO MOVE TO THE NEXT LEVEL WITHOUT TAKING COGNISANCE OF THE HEAD OF THE LAST ADMINISTRATION WHO PUT THE PROGRESS TOGETHER
There are reports of disagreement between you and your predecessor in office, Senator Bukola Saraki. What is the position? On the issue with the leader (Bukola Saraki), it is purely a political gimmick by opponents. They are not comfortable that we are happy in Kwara. The simple reason is because they have failed to understand that what we have in Kwara is God-ordained. We have the responsibility of driving an eight-year government which has progressively moved Kwara from where it was to the state where we took over in 2011. They have forgotten that by stroke of providence we have not only been part and parcel of the policy formulation of the last administration but also part of the implementation. It should be normal for me to continue to leverage on the goodies of the last administration and there is no way I can leverage on the goodies of the last administration to move to the next level without taking cognisance of the head of the last administration who put the progress together. We have a very cordial relationship. And the cordial relation is spanning just beyond what people are seeing; we do have a good sense of purpose to move Kwara forward. We have seen Kwara State being to a very prominent state in agriculture, aviation, and in driving Public Private Partnership (PPP). We have seen us creating a very strong platform between me, the leader and members of the cabinet. We have a very robust relationship that will continue to blossom because we have the same goal of ensuring that we give the best to Kwara. It is a self-chosen sacrifice which we will continue to do. So, apart from having a very cordial relationship, we share the same vision of ensuring that we move Kwara State forward. This vision is defined by what had been carried on in the last administration, which is being consolidated into progress in this administration. I assure you that the leader will continue to be our leader because we say there is no substitution yet. We had that experience and we are trying to draw from the wealth of his experience. I am very happy that I am lucky that he is always by my side and I am happy that he will continue to be by my side. He had been a strong stabilising factor for me especially in areas where I require to take certain decisions that I am not well informed about. Do not forget that you require to draw from the wealth of experience from those who have it so that you can add to yours to build a new platform for the way forward. We have a very cordial relationship and we pray God to continue to strengthen this relationship for the progress of Kwara and for the growth for our people. The Urbanisation Law of the state is causing ripples. To some people, the law is simply a land grabbing exercise by the government. What exactly is the position now? Issues have been raised in respect of the urbanisation law which was signed in 2009. The first issue that was raised was the concern by the Ilorin Emirate Descendant Union (IEDPU) on the application of the law. And so much has come to the fore that requires some level of clarification. We need to recognise the fact that as a government, we have the responsibility of delivering services to the people because we are only the custodian of public resources. Part of the responsibilities takes us to ensuring that we harness all the resources available. We are not unaware of the fact that the general resources for development requires funding which comes from the Federal Government and is also augmented by the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). Having had the opportunity of working in the Ministry of Finance for about seven and a half years, I am quite aware that the resources of the state require to be augmented and we can do that largely through internally generated revenue. That is what prompted us to look at that portion in generating revenue. The other issue is ensuring proper collection process. Ilorin is largely expanding. It is expanding at exponential rate thereby putting pressure on our infrastructure, roads, energy etc. There are lots of people who are coming into Ilorin because the environment had been made more enabling and conducive for business, visit and comCONTINUED ON PAGE 16
JAMES ABRAHAM writes on the battle between the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and opposition political parties in the bye-election for the Plateau North Senatorial seat that became vacant with the death of Senator Gyang Dantong.
Thursday, August 30, 2012
PDP, opposition battle for Dantong’s seat
ince the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) penultimate week, declared its intention to conduct a bye-election to fill the Plateau North Senatorial seat which became vacant following the death of Senator Gyang Dantong, the question of who succeeds the Riyom-born medical doctor has taken the centre stage in the state, with many stakeholders jostling to have one of their own to fill the slot. INEC is yet to fix a date for the poll although at a recent meeting with political parties and security agents in Jos, it was agreed that the election be shifted from September 15 to October 6. But speaking with National Mirror in Jos, INEC’s spokesman in Plateau State, Mr. Bencyn Ikpe confirmed that the October 6 date arrived at, is tentative and need to be ratified by the commission’s headquarters in Abuja. “Until Abuja confirms the timetable and date, no political party is expected to start any activity of any sort including holding primary elections,” Ikpe said. Notwithstanding the uncertainty surrounding the date for the election, the political temperature in the state has continued to rise. “This particular election is going to be a battle, real battle among the various political parties because so many stakeholders are interested in the race,” a top politician told National Mirror in Jos, the state capital. Plateau North Senatorial zone comprises of six local government areas which include Jos South, Jos North, Jos East, Barki Ladi and Riyom where the late Dantong hailed from. Except Jos North and Jos East, the other local governments have had a slot in the senatorial seat. In the past, the zone has always been an arena of intense contest among politicians and the coming election promises not to be different. The fact that the people have always yearned for quality representation especially now that the zone is passing through the challenge of crisis, ethnic and religious divisions, many believe that aside party politics, a candidate with stabilizing quality and vast knowledgeable on issues that deal with Plateau State both locally and nationally are critical factors that will combine to determine the voting pattern of the electorate during the election. From the look of things, it appears that the battle is going to be a straight fight between the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the opposition parties in the state made up 24 parties.
The PDP The ruling party, in the state is determined to fill the vacant senatorial seat. Names which have featured in the race under the party’s platform include former Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Mr. Chungwom Song and widow of Senator Gyang Dantong, Hanatu. But Mr. Gyang Pwajok, former Chief of Staff
to Governor Jonah Jang who recently resigned his appointment to vie for the position remains a candidate to beat. Pwajok is from Du District where Governor Jang hails from, a development which has sent tongues wagging in the state. They wonder why another person possibly from
Riyom, where Dantong hail from could not be considered for the senatorial seat. Pwajok is also said to be inaccessible, an allegation that may threaten his ambition. But Pwajok’s closeness to Governor Jang and his proven capability to defend the Plateau cause is an advantage. Besides, sources said that the process that led to Pwajok’s emergence will pave way for him. Speaking with National Mirror, Pwajok said his aspiration to represent his people at the Senate is the will of God. He said: “I have faith in God because this project appears to be clearly the will of God. And with the people’s support, we can actualise this mandate. “We want to build bridges across religious divides. If you notice, one of my first outings was in the Jos Central Mosque. We want to build bridges across communities. We want to ensure that we can stabilise the situation on the ground. We want to improve relations that will culminate into better representation. And we believe that politics should not be played as a dirty game but as a game which has rules that must be respected and obeyed. And I want to tell you that we are prepared for it. We are prepared to go into the arena of the contestation of ideas. We are prepared to listen to the people so that they can suggest the best ways we can be greater together.” Pwajok also urged the people to disregard a text message credited to him that he will win the election without the people’s support, describing it as the handiwork of his political enemies. A source from the PDP said: “The PDP invited stakeholders and elders from the Northern Senatorial Zone of Plateau State to discuss the best way to go about this issue. The party thought that calling stakeholders and leaders of the zone will be a wise way of doing it because time is not on our side. “Elders discussed and the various local governments made a case for itself. And Riyom in particular actually made a case for itself. The sentiment was that the late senator is from Riyom and following his death, they have been short-changed and needed to be compensated. “The argument was that the local government should be allowed to produce his replacement since the late senator still has
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another three years remaining. All the other five council areas also requested to be allowed to fill the vacant seat.” The source added that at the end of the deliberation, Pwajok was picked as the consensus candidate. “But at the end of the day, Jos North brought up an issue that the senatorial seat has gone round most of the local governments except for Jos North and Jos East. And majority of the people in that meeting consented to the idea. Two names were presented for consideration but the party eventually settled for Pwajok. That is how the choice of Gyang Pwajok came about,” the source explained.
Opposition’s game plan The opposition political parties are also scheming to snatch the senatorial seat from the PDP. National Mirror learnt that that the game plan is to allow various political parties conduct their respective primaries and chose candidates of their choice. Thereafter, a committee would be set up to pick a candidate from among them who will stand for the election while the rest will team up with the preferred candidate. The idea is that presenting a common front is the surest way to neutralise all the game plans of the ruling PDP which has remained a formidable force in the state. Among the leading opposition candidates, who for now have indicated interests under different platforms but from where a consensus candidate is expected to emerge, include former a Military Administrator of Delta State, Col. David Dungs of the Democratic Peoples Party; former governorship candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Mr. Chris Giwa; Rufus Bature; former member of the House of Represntatives, Mr. Lumumba Da Ade and Dr. Danladi Atu of the Labour Party (LP); and former aspirant on the platform of the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP), Mr. Yakubu Jack. But how this arrangement will work out remains to be seen as those who entertain fear over the success of the opposition’s game plan have pointed out the 2011 governorship election in the state during which similar attempt by the opposition’s alliance to dislodge the PDP candidate, Governor Jang failed to yield the desired result. However, those who express confidence on the workability of the proposed alliance maintain that the opposition parties cannot afford to repeat the mistake in the past elections, having learnt a bitter lesson from 2011 governorship election. While the state awaits the actual date for the election, the poll promises to be interesting with PDP’s chances looking bright.
No love lost between me and Saraki – Ahmed CONTINUED FROM 15 merce due peace and religious harmony. We felt like making some revenue from land. One thing is that government will be proactive in the use of land. The Urbanisation Law was put together in 2009. It gave the state government power to use land in some parts of the local governments for the purpose of public use. However, this has been misconstrued in some quarters. Before now, the real interpretation of the law was not made. There were a lot of speculations. Some people said government was taking all the lands in Kwara State, including the Yidi, Emir Place, Ganmo Road etc. I want to use this oppor-
tunity to let people know that everything they said is not correct. Government is only taking some portion of lands in some areas to be put into optimal use for the public and to see how we can generate revenue for public use. Whatever money that is generated is going back into the pockets of the people. However, there are areas of concerns which have been highlighted by members of the IEDU. The major gap between the government and the group was largely information gap. Unfortunately, we could not get the platform to do a revision before we went for the lesser hajj. By God’s grace and providence we were able to have a very good meeting recently. We
highlighted the areas of differences. We looked at what the law on urbanisation says. Which area is it covering and which areas are of concern. They said they are happy with the law to the extent that it gives leverage to certain areas of the town. The law is made for the people and not the people for the law. There are areas of concern and we said we will channel these areas of concerns to the right quarters through the House of Assembly that is charged with the responsibility of making laws. So, we must continue to consolidate and consult with our people so that they keep telling us whether they are happy or not with the job we are doing.
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Thursday, August 30, 2012
Rage and fury across the land EXISTENTIAL HUMANISM
NDUBUISI firstname.lastname@example.org (08023016709 SMS only)
here is a deep feeling of discontent across the country. Agitations for self determination and self identity seem to be the ambition of every ethnic nationality in the polity. This has compounded the challenge of positive governance President Goodluck Jonathan administration has been facing. The unceasing attacks by the Boko Haram have become a serious security issue that has undermined the supremacy and sovereignty of Nigeria. As the storm rages attention is on 2015 and all it holds for the nation. Popular imagination is that the depth of the political engineering of the period before 2015, the direction national politics will take and the outcome of the presidential election of that year will go a long way in the determining the destiny of Nigeria. For now, geopolitical game is at the peak. While the North insists that 2015 presidency is its for the asking, the Ohanaze Ndigbo, the apex Igbo sociopolitical group, has resolved to pursue with
INJUSTICE, WE MUST NOTE, IS LIKE A CANCER, WHICH AT
FULL MANIFESTATION, DESTROYS EVERYTHING WITHIN SIGHT rock determination the 2015 presidential slot. For some other power blocs the mantra is self determination. The people of Bakassi, the enclave Nigeria ceded to Cameroon by the terms of the 2005 Green Tree Agreement, a follow up to October 2002 ruling of the International Court of Justice, have raised their flag of independence. The development is interpreted to mean a profound resentment and dissatisfaction with the Federal Government handling of the situation. Another familiar scenario is the Ogoni demands. The Ogoni people have been on this struggle for decades, but it is like their wailing and gnashing of teeth have always fallen on deaf ears. It is even more shocking to them that this oil rich area will continue to bleed and roast even now that one of their own is the Leviathan inthe Aso Rock. Ogoniland has continued to be a victim of mindless and capricious exploitation, despoliation, degradation and dehumanization. The situation was so bad that the United Nations Environ-
ment Programme, in a report made public last year, directed a cleanup of the area. This has remained unimplemented and the federal government has not deemed it necessary to compel obedience to the directive. The development in Bayelsa State, the home state of President Jonathan, remains till date the most shocking. .A few weeks back, the state came out with a bill giving legal status to its own flag and anthem. In rationalizing this, the government claimed that the action was a reflection of its cultural peculiarities. Some states in the south west had earlier taken similar steps. The Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) has carried tempestuous activities in the South geared towards the self determination of the Igbo nation. The organization is reported to run a radio station and printed Biafran currencies. All attempts made by security agents to stop its activities have proved abortive. Its leadership has claimed that being part of Nigeria has not been in the interest of Igbo nation, which it alleged to suffer from marginalization and the unholy attempts to treat Ndigbo as strangers in a country they have suffered gravely to build. In the Yoruba nation (South West), the Yoruba National Assembly subscribes to the growing irredentism in the country. It has convened a meeting to dialogue on the state of the nation. Thus there is no
end to the drum beat of secession in the country; and the echo of disintegration is very strident. This is currently the mood of the nation, which is at a melting point. The question is whether there is any reason for it. I say unequivocally yes. There is permissive impunity in the land; injustice is openly practiced; and only the victims feel them. Injustice, we must note, is like a cancer, which at full manifestation, destroys everything within sight. The scope of the injured species in Nigeria is growing geometrically, and sooner than later, it may cause the ultimate damage to our corporate existence. We can still save the situation by acting fast. It is fallacious thinking that some Nigerians are afraid of the various interest groups coming together to dialogue on ways and means of moving the country forward in a realistic and pragmatic ways, given the trend and the practice in our new world. There is no part of this country that does not have what it takes to survive economically. It is just that we are either selfish or visionless to appreciate the lofty endowment nature has bestowed on us. We cannot make it as a nation with the extant political order of concentration of power and resources at the centre. This is a brute fact we must have to contend with and mutual resolve. Prof. Ndubuisi, an attorney at Law, is of the Dept. of Philosophy, UNILAG
Gani Fawehinmi: An icon still living in our minds
e have some Nigerians (dead and living) whose lives are so much woven round and deeply embedded in some concepts that their very names evoke the essences depicted by the respective concepts. They are inexorably linked with some ideas or phenomena advanced to such seemingly superhuman height that history readily accords a place to them. Late Chief Gani Fawehinmi belongs to that class; and social reformation through the composite endeavours of criticisms, legal advocacy, and public interest litigation was his forte. As a matter of fact, Gani’s peculiar life had a spawn a concept called “Fawehinmiism”. He lived and died for it. On September 5, 2012 the nation will stand still to celebrate this legend. Gani stood out larger than life for most part of his adult life on accounts of altruistic pursuits of making the life better for mankind. It was the local journalists who invented the unorthodox style of referring to this legal icon by his first name “Gani” instead of his long surname, Fawehinmi. It was an expedient initiative since the surname was considered too long for headline purposes; and Gani was always making the headlines! Born on Friday, April 22nd, 1938, Gani lost his father midway into his tertiary education and stinted his way through engagement in menial works, including washing toilets in London! Driven by determination to make a success of his life, he seared through all the difficulties with unbridled enthusiasm and peerless courage and eventually obtained the object of
his desire - a licence to practice law. He was called to the Bar on January 15, 1965. Right from the time he established his chambers. Gani Fawehinmi & Co in Lagos, this unusual man set for himself the selfless task of reforming his society through utilisation of law as an instrument of socio-political and economic reformation. A human and civil rights lawyer par excellence, he was the most vociferous agitator for the rule of law, due process, constitutionalism and liberal democracy. He had a pathological hatred for all forms of corruption. Gani had been known to flatly reject lucrative briefs that were contrary to his principles. He was the first Nigerian to start publishing a law report, debuting at a time when most lawyers relied on foreign law reports. The Nigerian Weekly Law Reports, which he started on October 1st, 1985, still exists till today. Gani was a barbed thorn in the flesh of successive Nigerian governments, especially the military. He was a firebrand that spat venom against the broadside of governmental highhandedness and man’s inhumanity to man. He was arrested, incarcerated and even imprisoned countless number of times, all on accounts of his outspokenness and vitriolic criticisms of governments’ aberrations of rule of law. The following simple statistics tell a lot: He was locked in security cells 32 times and imprisoned eight times by different military governments! But his spirit remained irrepressible throughout his life. It was only somebody
HE WAS LOCKED IN SECURITY CELLS 32 TIMES AND IMPRISONED EIGHT TIMES BY
DIFFERENT MILITARY GOVERNMENTS!
like Gani that would be released from prison and still go to public arena moments later to organise another rally against the same military government! He summarised his philosophic orientation simply thus: “I am not a middle-of-the road man, what I believe in, I pursue intensely.” It is these attributes that made the former United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Walter Carrington (1993–1997) to say “Gani’s chamber is the shrine of democracy and rule of law!” For reasons probably not unconnected with his vibrant outspokenness, principled stance and often unconventional approaches to issues, the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee did not consider him fit to be awarded the prestigious honour of Senior Advocate of Nigeria for many decades. By the time he was belatedly given the SAN award in 2001, Gani had grown to such a phenomenal colossus that his name was even an honour to the award rather than the other way round! His inclusion in the rank of SAN was simply a beatification of that rank! Retired Justice of the Supreme
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Court, Justice Kayode Eso, described him as “one of the greatest advocates to have worn the silk.” Some people were surprised when even his putative number one adversary, former President Ibrahim Babangida, once showered him with adulatory epithets and described him as the only social critic and human rights crusader he most respected. But such was the virtues of Gani that even when you antagonised him, you would nonetheless recognise that his own battle was a more conscientious one, based on higher moral pedestal. It is suffice it to say Gani Fawehinmi would live forever in the minds of Nigerians who appreciate his contributions to make Nigeria a better country. Send your views by mail or sms to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mail@ nationalmirroronline.netmirrorlagos@ yahoo.com or 08164966858 (SMS only). The Editor reserves the right to edit and reject views or photographs. Pseudonyms may be used but must be clearly marked as such.
Thursday, August 30, 2012
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SM, STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT
INEC and the de-registration of parties
hairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega courted the wrath of most opposition political parties in the country with his recent remark on the Commission’s plan to de-register more ‘comatose’ political parties after the determination of all pending electoral cases before election petitions tribunals. “Our constitution allows for a multi-party system but we have the power to de-register parties and we have started. It is a continuous process and we will continue to de-register parties that do not meet requirements for registration”, the INEC Chairman was quoted as saying. Jega cited relevant portions of the 2011 Electoral Act (as amended), which stipulates that political parties which contest elections and fail to clinch any electoral seat shall be deregistered. Indeed, INEC had in April 2012, de-registered seven political parties, a measure that brought down the number of registered political parties from 63 to 56. Reports said the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) is presently challenging INEC at a Federal High Court in Abuja on the de-registration exercise. The parties want the court to order that Section 78 (7) (II) of the Electoral Act 2011 be expunged for offending Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended). Three political parties namely: the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alliance for Democracy (AD) and All Peoples Party
(APP) were registered in 1998 ahead of the general elections that gave birth to the return of democracy in 1999. Shortly after the polls, the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, went to court to demand the registration of more political parties, the result of which was the registration of the National Conscience Party (NCP) and several others, subsequently. Presently, a Federal High Court in Lagos has warned INEC to stay action on its plan to de-register political parties. Justice Okon Abang who gave the warning while ruling on an application by the NCP for an injunction restraining INEC from taking the step pending the determination of a suit challenging the Commission’s powers to deregister parties, threatened to nullify any action taken by INEC in contravention of the reliefs sought by the party ( the NCP). It bears no contention that most political parties currently in existence are mere paper tigers, with virtually no structures and the requisite resources to count as political parties. Many of them cannot also boast of any electoral victory since they came into existence. But such parties are often in the forefront of claiming subventions which the INEC statutorily doles out to registered political parties prior to the conduct of elections. Not surprisingly, it appears INEC is fed up of the nuisance value of such laggard parties and now wants them out of the way; hence the Commission’s incessant threats of
SHOULD BE ALLOWED, OVER TIME, TO
DETERMINE THE SURVIVAL OR DEMISE OF ANY POLITICAL PARTY de-registering more political parties. On the other hand, however, the nation’s electoral laws appear overly skewed in favour of the dominant fraction of the political leadership. The most visible implications have been restricted political space, political exclusion and discredited elections. Quite often, debates on electoral laws typify the plans of the dominant fraction of the leadership to gain political advantage. Such manipulations of the electoral laws have created doubts on the independence of INEC and betrayed the executive’s penchant for exploiting the incumbency factor to the detriment of other political competitors. It is, therefore, not surprising that the smaller political parties are embittered about INEC’s parties’ de-registration project and its threats to further annihilate more political parties; their major argument being that INEC’s decision violates the right to association as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution (as amended). As the situation is, INEC may
have no option than to put a hold on its parties de-registration plan until the case filed by the NCP at a Lagos Federal High Court challenging the legality and constitutionality of its deregistration of political parties is determined. The court judgment would go a long way in clarifying the provisions of the subsisting electoral law vis-à-vis the provisions of the Constitution on the registration of political parties, and deepen the democratic process. The Commission should busy itself more with how to ensure the continuous registration of eligible voters and updating the voters register to avoid the nagging problem of disenfranchising qualified voters because of outdated or makeshift voters’ register. We think INEC should play down on its predilection to wielding the big stick of parties de-registration to enable political parties have the opportunity to develop their structures and memberships; and evolve within the country’s historical trajectories. The political parties should not exist at the whims and caprices of unfair electoral laws or the electoral body. The electorate should be allowed, over time, to determine the survival or demise of any political party. In addition, INEC should stop spoon-feeding the parties with subventions most of them grab and retire to bed. The parties should be encouraged to strive for independent funding sources and emerge as viable, strong parties.
ON THIS DAY August 30, 1999 East Timor voted for independence from Indonesia in a referendum. The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, commonly known as East, is a sovereign state in Southeast Asia. It comprises the eastern half of the island of Timor, the nearby islands of Atauro and Jaco, and Oecusse, an exclave on the northwestern side of the island, within Indonesian West Timor. The small country of 15,410 km² (5,400 sq mi) is located about 640 km (400 mi) northwest of Darwin, Australia.
August 30, 1981 President Mohammad-Ali Rajai and Prime Minister Mohammad-Javad Bahonar of Iran were assassinated in a bombing committed by the People’s Mujahedin of Iran. Mohammad Ali Rajai was the second elected President of Iran from August 2 to 30 1981, after serving as Prime Minister under Abolhassan Banisadr. He was also the Minister of Foreign Affairs from March 11, 1981 to August 15, 1981 while he was the Prime Minister.
August 30, 1967 Thurgood Marshall was confirmed as the first African American Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Marshall (1908 – 1993) was an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, serving from October 1967 until October 1991. Marshall was the Court’s 96th justice and its first African-American justice. Before becoming a judge, Marshall was a lawyer who was best known for his high success in arguing before the Supreme Court.
Thursday, August 30, 2012
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Education Today ‘Specialised institutions deserve more from TETfund’ 20
y name is Yekini Adebisi.” That was Pa Yekini’s introduction in “Queen’s English” as he settles down for the interview. A little over a year ago, he would have required an interpreter to answer questions in English. But things are different now. He speaks simple and correct grammar, thanks to the Lagos State Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-Formal (MLANFE) programme. As a boy, he did not have formal education, although he craved it. He didn’t go to school for two reasons: He lost his dad when he was still a toddler and his family did not also value education as such as of that time. Now, Yekini , 73 and grandfather has just completed a one- year adult class where he learnt how to read and write. He was among the adult pupils, who recently passed out from the Adult Education Centre established by the Lagos State government under its Agency for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-formal Education (MLANFE) programme. Last Thursday, Pa Yekini joined his classmates-technicians, market women, motor mechanics, carpenters, tailors, as well as artisans from the 20 local government councils and 37 local development council areas of Lagos at the state’s secretariat at Alausa, Ikeja, for the final stage of the Adult Learners’ Quiz Competition. He was not a contestant. He only came around to cheer up two of his classmates from his centre who made it to the final stage of the competition. He was the oldest in the class and as a mark of honour for his age; he was allowed to put on a clothes different from his classmates, who were in Aso Ebi (white uniform) at the venue. “I am happy to be in their midst. They are all my classmates and I didn’t have this opportunity when I was young,” he told National Mirror in a mixture of English language with Yoruba. Pa Yekini, a pensioner and now a tailor, also expressed his happiness over the entire adult education scheme by appreciating the efforts of the Lagos State government at improving the people’s literacy rate in the state, a commercial nerve centre of the country. Speaking on his experience back in class, he said “It wasn’t that easy being involved in this kind of learning in view of my age, work and family demands. I joined a centre under Yaba Local Development Council Area early last year as a stark illiterate, but today, I can now read and write in Yoruba. I can also speak a bit of grammar, write and sign my name in bank unlike before when I used to thumb print.” Recalling the past, he disclosed that he was not a happy man all the period he could neither read nor write, particularly when he was with the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing where he worked for 27 years (between 1973 and 2000) without being promoted.
73-year-old graduand of adult literacy class boasts:
Now, I can write my name and speak grammar ...classmates also recount experiences
Pa Yekini with some of his classmates at the background
I WAS EMPLOYED ON LEVEL ONE IN 1973 AND RETIRED ON THE SAME LEVEL 27 YEARS AFTER. I WAS NEVER RECOMMENDED FOR PROMOTION MUCH LESS OF BEING PROMOTED THROUGHOUT MY SERVICE YEARS WITH THE
FEDERAL MINISTRY OF WORKS AND HOUSING
TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE “I was employed on Level One in 1973 and retired on the same level 27 years after. I was never recommended for promotion talk less of being promoted throughout my service years with the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing just because I was not educated. It was the bitterest experience of my life,” Pa Yekini recalled sadly. Pa Yekini was introduced to the adult class scheme by a social club in his neighbourhood. But his decision to join the class did not go down well with his children at first.
“They asked me, what I needed school for again at my age but because of my interest in education I went ahead with my studies and I thank God that today I am better off. I believe that everything in life, including learning is about determination.” Unlike Pa Yekini, Mr. Surajudeen Jimoh, 35, had once been to school. He dropped out in Form 3 due to the death of his both parents and two siblings in a motor accident. “I was devastated by their deaths and the incident cut short my education’s pursuits. I was also involved in the accident, but I thank God I survived it. Since then, it had been up and down,” he told National Mirror. Surajudeen, a petty trader, studied at
Agboju centre in Amuwo Odofin Local Government area of the state. He came first in the English Category of the competition by scoring 45 out of the total 60 marks obtainable. Currently, he has moved to post adult literacy class for further studies under the scheme. Surajudeen attempted the Senior Secondary School Certificate SSSC examination conducted by the West African Examination Council (WAEC) as an external candidate in 2005 and passed at credit level in English Language and Home Economics. “I also had ordinary pass in two other subjects while the rest four were F9s,” he added. Surajudeen wants to be educated to, at least, the college of education level where he will obtain a National Certificate of Education. “I would have loved to retake my SSSC exam and pass the relevant subjects that will qualify me for an admission in a college of education, where I will be trained as a teacher” , he said, adding: “Naturally, I love teaching and my ambition all along is to become a teacher and impact knowledge on people.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 22>>
Thursday, August 30, 2012
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‘Specialised institutions deserve more from TETfund’ Dr Orgbanyi Gbonko, is the 7th rector of the College of Agriculture Yandev, near Gboko in Benue State. The institution was established about 50 years ago to offer qualitative manpower training as well as improved methods of agricultural practices to the nation. In this interview with Benue State Correspondent, HENRY IYORKASE, Dr. Gbonko says the institution needs to have access to the Tertiary Education Trust Fund to alleviate its current financial predicaments. Excerpts: Sir, what is your students’ intake at the moment? As at now we are not actually up to date with that information because schools went on strike for over six months to press for certain things and that was a state wide thing. But by the close of last academic session, which ended in June, we had 1,757 students. Out of that number, some would be graduating and we are now admitting a new batch of students for the 2012/2013 session. We don’t know the number of students admitted so far because we have not closed admissions yet. What are the challenges of running a specialised institution like this and how have you been coping? Without sounding ungrateful to the Benue State Governor Dr. Gabriel Suswam, who has done so much for us for which we must appreciate, I will say the problems are basically connected to lack of adequate funds to run the institution. When I go to other institutions, I see projects that are sponsored by cooperate bodies and individuals. Unfortunately, ours has not been the case and it is our humble appeal that legislation is passed at the National Assembly, that will make us also to become full beneficiaries of the TETFund to be able to projects in this institution. This school, as we speak does not have a student bus, which many other institutions have benefited courtesy of TETFund. So, the challenge of funds has actually hampered the spate of development here. There is also the issue of research. As a specialised institution, we don’t have the kind of laboratories that can enable us make some breakthrough in our research, as others do, and be recognised internationally by world bodies. Our institution has just gone online and we are expecting that sooner or later, I will be asking my staff to upload their works on the website so that it can be accessed and seen everywhere for people to be able to see the researches that are been carried out. Sadly, the laboratories here are not equipped enough to bring out
such results. Remember, this is a college of Agriculture that is supposed to conduct research and bring out quality findings. These are the kind of things other specialised institutions like ours do. We need to also carry out researches that will be of benefit to the populace, which should be the hallmark of an institution of this nature. When you say IGR, how much IGR will you generate to buy laboratory equipment? The IGR in this institution in a whole year may not be able to buy one equipment, so, that is the problem, though my staff still manage to carry out researches in the areas of livestock and few others. These are the challenges that confront us here and we will continue to draw the attention of concerned authorities to come to our assistance. So how will you assess your performance since you assumed office? Any achievement? I assumed duty in 2006 and since then, we have been able to record some levels of achievements in many areas. One: Being able to attract government’s attention and concern so much so that the total infrastructure of the institution has been put under renovation. That, to me, is the biggest achievement. Those who know this institution years back and who see it today will testify to the fact that there has been a judicious use of the funds we receive from TETFund – at least, for the years that we started benefiting. We have used the funds to construct a mini- auditorium of about five hundred and sixty seating capacity which is the largest the school can boast of when fully equipped. We have also used the funds to acquire machinery and laboratory equipment for use in the Agric Mechanisation department. That is a department that is very capital-intensive to establish and maintain. Though, the programme has not received the board approval for us to run, because it involves a very high cost to buy certain machinery for installation, at least during my tenure as rector, the funds that came from ETF were partially used to equip the
as well as the maintenance of crops for members of the public. Then I saw the need for us to expend on the number of trees so we added tree crops farming so that apart from the fruits which we get from these trees we also lay seedlings that we hold and sell to members of the public. Occasionally we also raise poultry. So, these are some of the sources of our IGR. For capital projects I had earlier mentioned the ETF. Basically that is the only external agency that has aided us to be able to put some life into the institution. Government actually pays salaries to staff so, the overhead comes but you see, we are lucky because we have other ways of getting funds to augment what government gives to us to run the institution.
AS A SPECIALISED INSTITUTION, WE DON’T HAVE THE KIND OF LABORATORIES THAT CAN ENABLE US MAKE SOME BREAKTHROUGH IN OUR RESEARCH, AS OTHERS DO, AND BE RECOGNISED INTERNATIONALLY BY WORLD BODIES engineering department. You will know that the institution is owned by the Benue State government as the proprietor so the State government has being able to, through my lobbying, released four tractors to us. Two normal size and two chine paddy operation tractors, which we call “miniature tractors.” These tractors were given with the other equipment attached to them like trailers, harrow, and the rest. We have also, during my tenure, improved on the level of water supply in the institution, both for the students and farm use. Four bore-holes have being sunk of which three are already functional. As an academic institution, the college received accreditation for 14 programmes. This cuts across the national diploma and higher national diploma levels of training. That is a very big achievement to us because today, we have the highest number of programmes approved by the National Board for Technical Education run by any college of Agriculture in the country. We have also established a very large coconut plantation which the college did not have before. So when I came in, I decided that we should establish a coconut farm and as a col-
lege of Agriculture, the normal farming activities such as soya beans, cassava and maize are still being carried out on a yearly basis. So, basically as an institution, these have been some of our modest achievements within the period under review. What is the cost of these projects? I cannot give you the figure in details but I want to tell you that a lot of millions have been sunk on these projects. I am neither an estate surveyor nor an architect but I do know that what is going on here is worth millions of naira. Go round to see things for yourself. You will agree with me at the end that so much money has been spent on the projects. If you insist, I can only tell you by estimation that the projects are worth over two hundred million naira. How do you run the school outside government grants? Basically the revenue source comes from the school fees that we collect from students. It is the foundation that keeps us moving especially in the area of recurrent expenditure. Then we have other ventures such as our farms. We embark on both annual, perennial cropping,
How much have you received so far from ETF? ETF started disbursing funds to us in the year 2000. From that period to 2010, my college received assistance from ETF sadly the size of what we have collected was very meagre compared to what other tertiary institutions were given and this, according to the body, was because the act that established the ETF did not name colleges of agriculture as beneficiaries. What they do now is that after sharing money to these other institutions, the crumbs that falls from the table are shared among colleges of Agriculture and other related institutions. In fact, at a time we were called “mono-technics” because of our mono area of training. I don’t have the figure here now but we have been removed from the list of beneficiaries of the paltry sum for the 2012 for reasons we do not know. Do you have cases of social vices such as cultism and the rest in this institution? Every journalist seems to be asking that question. Last year, I remember when the police arrested some boys who went to attend a cult-related meeting and two of the young men said they were my students, but when we checked our records we discovered that one of the young men in question did his pre-ND and was actually waiting to be absorbed into the ND programme, so he was not our student technically. There could be such cases because about two years ago during matriculation, I had a problem with the death of a student under cult-like circumstances. But of recent, I’m happy that I have not yet seen a group of students with such inclination. That is not to say there will not be but as I said, it is only when we discover them through their activities that we shall look for ways of tackling them. For now, we are a very peaceful people here.
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Thursday, August 30, 2012
Ogun draws roadmap for education development TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE
he Ogun State government has drawn up a strategic plan as roadmap to drive education development in the state. The state’s Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mr. Segun Odubela stated this at a workshop recently organised for teachers in the state’s public primary and junior secondary schools on how to improve their teaching and management skills and school
management. The event, which held at Abeokuta Grammar School, Idi-Aba, was organised by the state’s Universal Basic Education Board and it kickstarted the series of workshop programmes organised by the board. According to Odubela, it is only total overhauling of the education sector through service delivery, provision of adequate infrastructural facilities, free text books and learning aids to students, particularly at the basic education level that can move the sector
forward significantly. The commissioner, who, was represented by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Alhaji Ambali Ishola said the state would continue to invest in teachers’ intellectual capability so that they would be more effective on their jobs. Speaking earlier, Chairman of the state’s UBEC, Alhaji Mufutau Ajibola, said the training would improve the quality of teachers, especially at the basic education level in the state. He disclosed that 2,564 primary
school teachers and 1,124 in the junior secondary schools in addition to 30 statisticians and 62 others would be trained during the workshop. Speaking in the same vein, the UBEC Zonal Coordinator, Dr. Joshua Olakulehin assured that the commission would continue to partner the state’s SUBEB and all other major stakeholders to ensure that teachers and education managers at the basic level update their knowledge regularly through the capacity building programmes.
L-R: Director, Agency for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-formal Education, Lagos State, Mrs. Fola Amore; Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Education, Otunba Fatai Olukoga and Quiz Master, Mr. Moronfolu Ojitiku at the final stage of the adult learners’ quiz competition held in Ikeja recently
V-C blames economic woes on poor training MOJEED ALABI
he Vice-Chancellor of Ekiti State University (EKSU), Ado-Ekiti, Prof. Oladipo Aina, has identified lack of leadership training as a major reason for the socio-economic challenges currently facing the country. The V-C, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Prof. Olugbenga Aribisala, made the observation recently during a workshop for students’ union leaders of the institution. He expressed dismay at the absence of training and retraining programmes on key sectors of the economy and leadership kills for
individuals and organisations. He said the need for workshops concerning students’ unionism in Nigerian tertiary institutions could not be overemphasised as there was the need to change the orientation of students on their belief in violent actions as means of resolving issues with authority. “Rampaging or violent demonstrations are archaic, students should embrace peaceful demonstrations and dialogue to resolve issues,” the VC said. During the workshop, the Dean of the School of Post-Graduate Studies, Prof. Eddy Olanipekun admonished the students to change with time as violent demonstrations
are no longer in vogue. In his address, which was themed; Students’ unionism in the 21st Century, he advised students to always adopt productive dialogue rather than engaging in riotous protests. Olanipekun, however, noted that students could only embark on protests when other avenues of dialogues have been exhausted. Another speaker, Femi Jemilohun, reminded students all over the country that their first assignment in school was to obtain good certificates and imbibe a culture of good character. On his part, the students’ union leader, Mr. Adeoye Aribasoye, said the workshop had afforded
them the opportunity of a good orientation on students’ unionism.
‘Most Nigerian graduates are incompetent’ MOJEED ALABI AND L ATEEFAH IBRAHIMANIMASHAUN
he Managing Director, Dragnet Solutions, Nigeria’s leading computer-based testing and talent management firm, Mr. Robert Ikazoboh, has decried the poor competence level of graduates from Nigerian higher institutions compared to their foreign counterparts. Ikazoboh, while analyzing the body of data that his company has gathered over the last five years through employment tests for leading multi-national companies both in Nigeria and the UK, noted that the competence gap between an average Nigerian graduate and a UK trained is 17 per cent. This development, he said, might make the attainment of the country’s Vision 20:2020 national economic projection difficult to achieve if concerted efforts were not hurriedly made to reverse the trend. “Using the Dragnet Graduate Standardisation Examination (GSE), which offers an independent source of reliable information of graduates leaving our tertiary institutions and seeking graduate employment opportunities, the nation can obtain some insight into the comparative performance of our graduates. “Since November 2007, Dragnet Solutions Limited has been involved in testing Nigerian graduate applicants. The data so far gathered offers the nation insights into the quality of our graduate human capital. The tests measure rea-
soning ability in the workplace. In particular, the tests are basic aptitude tests concerned with verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning and abstract reasoning for the workplace. One of the insights that the data analysis shows is that the average quality of human capital being produced in Nigeria is 17 percent lower than that of the UK,” Ikazoboh added. To address this situation, he urged the Federal Government to embark on a nationwide assessment of Nigerian graduates, with a view to determining the level of their aptitudes and reasoning abilities. In another development, the Lagos State Controller of Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Mrs. Nofisat Arogundade, has expressed dissatisfaction over the performance of many Nigerian graduates during job interviews and advised that non-governmental organisations should engage graduate job seekers in special trainings that will improve their knowledge and skills needed at work places. Mrs. Arogundade stated this in an interview with National Mirror, stressing the need to de-emphasise paper qualifications as against graduates’ competence. While urging students to always go for courses that are marketable, Mrs Arogundade stressed the need for social organisations to support the Federal Government on the sponsoring of students in Almajiri schools across the country. She added that such support would enable the Almajaris to be economically productive after their trainings.
Teachers’ institute adopts e-learning A ZA MSUE, K ADUNA
he Director General, National Teachers’ Institute (NTI), Kaduna, Dr Aminu Ladan Sharehu said the institute had joined the Consortium of E-learning Institutions International Council on distance education to strengthen educational programmes in the country. He also said the institute had migrated from the civil service salary structure to the Consolidated Tertiary Institutions Salary Structure (CONTISS), adding that other academics from other higher institutions have started showing interest over the en-
hanced salary structure. Sharehu, who stated this while speaking with journalists in Kaduna, added that, NTI had equally paid arrears of allowances owed its members of staff. According to him, NTI staffers are now enjoying benefits similar to that of workers in other tertiary institutions in the country. This development he said was received with joy by workers who now work harder. Speaking on the response to genuine agitations from the institute’s pensioners for payment of their accumulated pension arrears, Sharehu said a process which was initiated to address the issue had enabled the institute to settle
all the backlog of arrears of pensions from 2004. His words: “The establishment of the school places the NTI at par with other tertiary institutions in the country and we successfully registered the NTI as a member of the International Council on Distance Education (ICDE) which is the apex global body that coordinates the activities and operations of open and distance learning institutions. Again, the NTI is now a member of the Consortium of e-Learning Institutions which is being spearheaded by the Hamdan Bin Muhammed e-University in Dubai, United Arab Emirates” he said.
Thursday, August 30 , 2012
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FEDPOFFA shines at SIFE competition BANKOLE FAMUYIBO
utstanding performance of the leadership of the Federal Polytechnic, Offa (FEDPOFFA), Kwara State, is rubbing off on its students, no doubt. This was manifested when the students of the institution under Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) project outshone their counterparts from other universities and polytechnics in the country at an innovation and technological exposition contest held in Lagos recently. The competition organised by SIFE Nigeria, a non-governmental organisation in youth development saw the polytechnic came first in the Technological innovation Category. The projects which earned the
institution the credit was tagged: “Password enabled door and medical diagnosis software for hospitals.” Receiving the team back to school, the Registrar, Alhaji AbdulHamid Raji, applauded them to have done the polytechnic proud, saying the performance has demonstrated the academic excellence the polytechnic is known for over years. Speaking on the two projects carried out by the students, Mr. Olaosebikan Oyeleke, who was their adviser, said the projects were developed as a form of answers to challenges being faced in the security and health sectors in the country. He, however, called for improved partnership with
the team to enable them execute many of their projects in the pipeline. Meanwhile, the Rector of the institution, Dr. Mufutau Olatinwo has commended the staff of the Polytechnic staff schools for working very hard to ensure that the schools maintain standard in their activities. Olatinwo gave the commendation at the recent graduation of the Women in Technical Education (WITED) Pre-Nursery and Nursery Schools which was held in the polytechnic mini campus. The Rector, who was represented by Head, Information and Protocols Unit of the polytechnic, Mr. Wole Alawode pledged that the polytechnic would continue to support them.
Students of Jextoban Secondary School, Ketu, Lagos, during their graduation ceremony recently
Now, I can write my name and speak grammar CONTINUED ON PAGE 19
Surajudeen, however, urged the state government to expand the scope of the adult education scheme by offering scholarship to brilliant students among the beneficiaries who are interested in furthering their education. Similarly, the duo of Mrs. Sikirat Olowolayemo, 50, and Bolanle Azeez, 44, also stopped schooling after their primary education. Immediately little Sikirat passed out of the primary school according to her, she was asked by her father to learn a trade just because of her sex while her other male siblings continued with their education. “It was a painful decision that makes me feel unhappy whenever it comes to mind,” “Now apart from the fact that I don’t need an interpreter again before I sell pepper to the non-Yoruba, I can also write simple sentences in English language,” she said. Mrs. Azeez, a trader from Oyo State did not also go beyond the primary school. “Before now, I had no confidence to speak in English language in public because I wouldn’t want to be laughed at, but now I can speak much better and confidently too,” she stressed. The story is similar from numerous others who spoke to National Mirror on their involvement in the scheme. Learners are offered only three subjectsEnglish Language, Mathematics and General Studies and apart from the regular two-hours lessons holding twice or thrice per week, students are also given some assignments to work on at home and submit for markings at their next meetings. They equally determine the time table and schemes of work as convenient for them. One of the agency’s chief instructors, Mr. Olaniyi Banjo, describes the adult literacy programme as a worthwhile exercise. “Working as an instructor at an adult learning centre is somehow challenging. Though it is not that rewarding in terms of welfare,” said Olaniyi. “At
times, I have to go to students at home and market to interact and plead with them to come to class. Some of them will tell me they are too busy in the shops and therefore would have to attend to customers and family needs with a promise to come some other days. The encouragement is necessary for them to give adequate attention to the programme,” he said. “Even at that, the number of our students keeps increasing yearly across the local government areas in the state. “This is the kind of school where students dictate the time to hold lessons, as well as the schemes of work to be done at their convenience.” He disclosed that lessons hold between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m on the day of meeting. He, however, noted that the efforts of the instructors, who are part time workers, are not commensurable with the condition of service and remuneration, while pleading with the Lagos State government to improve the welfare of the instructors, in terms of increased remuneration and prompt payment of such allowances. National Mirror gathered from a government’s source that an instructor earns between N2, 000 and N5, 000 monthly allowance, depending on the subjects and hours of duty. “We call them volunteers and government pays them honorarium monthly,” Olaniyi noted. Majority of the instructors are teachers in the primary and secondary schools who volunteer their service for the scheme. According to the Special Adviser on Education to the state’s governor, Otunba Fatai Olukoga, whose office oversees the agency in charge of the scheme, the scheme was established by Edict No 2 of January 31, 1991, in response to the Federal Government’s initiative to eradicate illiteracy in the country. He noted that with the current 87 per cent literacy rate the state had achieved so far, which is the highest by any state government in the country, the agency is working seriously to get 91 per cent by 2015 against the 60 per cent Education for All (EFA) target set by the UN. The governor’s aide added that the state had recorded 87 per cent literacy rate as at the last survey three years ago, which he said was the highest by any state in the country. While Olukoga urged local government councils, civil society groups, as well as philanthropist individuals to join hands with the government on the scheme, he also appealed to other illiterates in the state to get registered at any adult study centre nearest to them. “Learning is a continuous process that has no age limit,” he concluded.
Divine Model School students, Mowe, Ogun State in a cultral display at their end-of year party.
Former Bishop of Lokoja, Bishop George Bako in a group photograph with grandchildren of his classmates who are also students of his Alma mater - CMS Grammar School, Bariga, Lagos, during the school’s founders’ day recently.
Students of Uncle Bayus College, Ewu-Oliwo, Ikorodu, in a cultural display during the school’s graduation ceremony.
Students of La Salle College, Ondo, pose with the school officials during their graduation ceremony.
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Thursday, August 30, 2012
We don’t compromise standard –NISLT boss TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE
he Director-General, Nigerian Institute of Science Laboratory Technology (NISLT), Ibadan, Oyo State, Dr. Ighodalo Ijagbone, has said the activities of the institute were in compliance with best practices. He stated this while addressing a combined team from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a specialised agency of the European Community
(EC) and the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, who visited the institute recently. While Ijagbone was hopeful that the visit would open up new frontiers for the institute and both visitors, he said the Federal Government was always desirous of partnering agencies and other organisations on issues that would grow and develop the economy. He explained that the NISLT as an institute under the Federal Ministry
of Science and Technology had mandated, among others, to carry out tests and analysis on science and technology- related issues including agriculture. “And the results of our works meet (and conform with) international standard,” Ijagbone said. On partnership initiative, the director- general said the institute had entered into partnership agreements with many relevant organisations in and outside the country, and he particularly identified IITA, which he said had
contributed significantly to the institute in the areas of staff capacity development, research testing of agricultural products and bio-technology. While emphasising the need to strengthen the relationship between the two institutes, Ijagbone said there was need for both organisations to look constructively at the elements of partnership with the aim of strengthening it. In his remark, Mr. Richard Lambou, who spoke on behalf of the EC team commended the institute’s
efforts in terms of discharging its mandate and keeping a friendly environment while he lamented the poor power supply that is currently confronting African countries and Nigeria in particular. He stressed that the situation had taken huge toll on the country’s economic development. Lambou explained that his team was in Nigeria to monitor the consultative group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) project, which is a strategic alliance that
unites organisations that are involved in agricultural research in the world for a sustainable development. While advising both NISLT and IITA to use science and technology to boost food production in the country, Lambou said he was looking forward to a sustained relationship with the two bodies. Also speaking, Dr. Lava Kumal, head of the IITA delegation, thanked NISLT for the existing relationship between the two organisations and promised a sustained partnership.
UBEC, Katsina train 5,000 teachers JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA
NISLT Director-General, Dr. Ighodalo Ijagbone (2nd left), Head of the visiting team from the International Fund for Agricultural Development, Mr. Richard Lambou (3rd left) and others when the IFAD/ IITA, Ibadan, team, visited NISLT recently.
Ogun ASUSS urges Amosun to reopen 13 secondary schools FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA
s schools across the country set to resume for another academic session, the Ogun State chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Secondary Schools (ASUSS) has urged the state Governor, Ibikunle Amosun to reopen 13 public secondary schools earlier shut down in the state. They were shut for poor infrastrcuture and unfriendly learning environement. The state’s chairman of the association, Mr. Tunde Folarin, made the appeal on Tuesday in his address during the launch of ‘one teacher-one brand new car acquisition’ scheme in Abeokuta, the state capital. Folarin said the action had negatively affected students and parents of the affected schools, not-
ing that ASUSS was ready to complement government’s efforts by donating furniture for the use of the affected schools if reopened. He disclosed that the association had already renovated two out schools in preparation of their being reopened. He gave names of the affected schools to include Imodi-Ijasi Comprehensive High School and Ikangba Community High School in Odogbolu Local Government council area, among others. While also calling the government to start implementing the 27.5 per cent Teachers Peculiar Allowance, Folarin explained the rationale behind the association’s car acquisition scheme, saying the initiative would help in lifting the status of teachers and their performance at work. He disclosed that a total of 200 brand new cars
and 800 tricycles would be used to kick-start the project for interested teachers and other work force in the government establishments. In her keynote address, chairman of the Ogun State Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM), Ms. Olubukunola
Onabanjo disclosed that the state government had approved the promotion of 4,951 teaching and nonteaching staff in the state. Onabanjo, who commended the ASUSS’ car acquisition scheme, charged teachers to be more committed to their work.
school education programmes. Earlier, the chairman of the state’s Universal Basic Education Board, Mr. Sulieman Dikko called on the Federal Government to revive the teachers’ training colleges, which he described as a good avenue to produce competent teachers in the country. Dikko also called on participants to make good use of the training while discharging their duties.
o fewer than 5, 000 teachers in the public primary schools in Katsina State were trained recently by the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBE) in conjunction with the state government. The exercise, which involved teachers across the board, was aimed at improving the quality of their service, as well as the education development of the state. Speaking at the forum, UBEC’s Executive Secretary, Dr. Ahmed Modibbo said there would always be the need to train and retrain teachers for them to improve on their performance by the day. Modibbo, who said his commission’s spending on teachers’ capacity building was about 10 percent of its total grant, promised that UBEC would continue to support Katsina State in its efforts on primary Gov Shema
Datforte School celebrates 15 countries’ culture MOJEED ALABI
he Proprietress of Datforte International School, Ahmadiyya, Lagos, Princess Titilade Ijiwole, has remarked that the school’s choice to celebrate different cultures and practices of selected countries of the world was a way of exposing the students to events around the world. Ijiwole stated this re-
cently during the school’s annual International Day celebration where a total of 15 countries from different parts of the world were represented by the students, who rendered each of the nation’s anthem, dramatised their culture and offered spectators basic information about them. The selected countries included Brazil, Canada, South Africa, Japan, Israel, Nigeria, United Kingdom, United States
of America, Saudi Arabia, Ghana, South Korea, China, France, Germany and United Arab Emirate. The school designed flags of each of the countries which the students held as the symbol of each nation they represent. On display were also detailed information on the languages, populations, cultures, economies and government of each of the countries. The keynote speaker
at the event, Mr. Johnson Abbaly, said this kind of programme would no doubt enrich the knowledge of students on local and international issues and in extension their performance in their studies. He, however, advised parents and guardians against undue interference in their wards’ choice of career, saying the children should only be guided objectively in choosing a career.
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EKSU holds town hall meeting CAROLINE CHUKWUKA
s part of his efforts to bridge the communication gap between the management and students, the Vice-Chancellor of Ekiti State University, Prof. Oladipo Aina recently the maiden town hall meeting with the students of the institution. The Vice-Chancellor, represented by his deputy in charge of Academics, Prof. Olugbenga Aribisala, said students and the management of the ivory tower would always use the medium to resolve issues in order to avoid misunderstandings. The idea introduced as part of measure to restore orderliness and sanity into the students’ activities on the campus was said to have a new channel for students to have regular interactive sessions among themselves and also with
the management. The VC while listing the achievements of his administration and efforts towards making the institution a world-class university also sought the cooperation of the students. He appreciated the large turnout of the students at the meeting which he described as impressive. At the occasion, the students’ leader, Adeoye Aribasoye listed the students’ challenges and made suggestions on how to foster cordial relationship between students and lecturers. He urged the management to rehabilitate the students’ union building, repair the union’s vehicles and facilitates workshops and seminars for its members as part of the reorientation process. Aribasoye further enjoined the management to always release results of examinations on time and ensure adequate security
on the campus. He did not forget to mention the needs for more hostels on the campus to ease the stress of the large chunk of the student population who currently reside in town. Students also asked the management to provide public address gadgets in the halls and lecture theatres as well as create more spaces for social activities on the campus to ensure adequate use of relaxation time and dissuade students from engaging in untoward activities and social vices. Other Students cutting across all faculties of the university spoke freely at the meeting making suggestions on how the university could maintain its good name and image. They pledged to maintain peace on campus and commended the management for initiating the process which they described as novel and impressive.
Rector, Federal Polytechnic Offa, Kwara State, Dr. Mufutau Olatinwo (left) receiving copies of the Newsletter published by the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Ilorin Chapter, from the association chairman, Mr. M. W. Kamila during NSE officers’ visit to the polytechnic recently.
NGO partners LASU students’ union on summit OLASUNKANMI AROWOLO
ravehearts Initiative, a student-based non-governmental organisation at the Lagos State University recently collaborated with the institution’s students’ union to hold the maiden edition of a student summit themed: LASU Graduate Summit 2012. The NGO, established to provide students with opportunities to affordably acquire relevant practical skills and training in business, leadership and
entrepreneurship through innovative partnership with credible resource persons and professional institutions, said the efforts is to ensure that Nigerian higher institutions’ graduates are armed with both the emotional courage and skills to invest wisely after graduation. One of the speakers at the event and author of a book; “Getting a Job is a Job,” Aruosa Osenwegie, while delivering his paper said the best day of a man’s life is the day he decides on what to do to remain relevant in
life. He told the participants not to accept any excuse for their conditions as doing that will only limit their potentials and deny them the opportunity to rise above their limitations. Charging the students to step out, Osenwegie said; “Find every opportunity to step out because you don’t know the possibility in every step.” He explained the circumstance surrounding the introduction of the popularly social medium, Facebook, which he said started as a practical by two students in their dormitory.
L-R: Olugbo of Ugbo Land, Oba Akinruntan Obateru; Chairman of the occasion, Chief Afe Babalola; Guest Lecturer, Dr. O.B.C. Nwolise, and the honouree, Prof. Ladipo Akinkugbe at the event.
UI students honour Akinkugbe TIJANI EMMANUEL
ellanby Hall of the University of Ibadan (UI), Oyo State, is acclaimed the first undergraduate students’ residential hostel in subSaharan Africa and the current students resident in the hall do not want to lose the sense of the “greatness” of the hostel. Hence, the recent decision to honour icons of history who the present leadership of the hostel executive members said would influence them in many capacities. One of those to benefit from this initiative was an emeritus Professor of Medicine and former ViceChancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Ladipo Akinkugbe, who attended the university and taught there in the 70s. The event, which featured a lecture on security
situations in Nigeria was witnessed by eminent personalities including a legal icon and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Afe Babalola; the Olugbo of Ugbo land, Ondo State, Oba Fredrick Obateru Akinruntan and the representative of the Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. T. Danjuma, among others. The guest lecturer and head of the university’s Department of Political Science, Dr. O.B.C. Nwolise, who spoke on the theme: Security in Today’s Nigeria, said as a better way to forestall the ongoing bombings in the northern part of the country he had suggested in 2010 that the government should dialogue with members of the dreaded Islamic sect. He said though a bit behind schedule, it is wise that his suggestions that was rubbished by many stakeholders then has suddenly
become the people’s bride as a war out of the crisis. The honouree, who according to the organiser was chosen to serve as role models to the university and the hostel in particular, is one of Nigeria’s most respected and distinguished academics and physicians. He is Emeritus Professor of Medicine at the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, and studied and taught at some of the world’s most prestigious universities including the University of London, Balliol College University of Oxford England and Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA. Therefore, with the new award, the professor is expected to mentor the students resident in the hostel through activities of endowment, counseling, and donation of both material and academic items to the hostel for its continued uplift.
MAPOLY Mass Communication students elect new officers YEKINNI SHAKIRAT
embers of the Association of Mass Communication Students (AMACOS) of the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, Ogun state, last week elected new executive members that will run the affairs of the association for the next academic calendar year. The tension-soaked election, which was supervised by the association’s staff adviser, Mr. Lekan Togunwa was described to be peaceful, free and fair as all students of the department voted for their candidates of choice. At the end of the vote counting, Michael-Azeez
Ogunsiji, popularly called DPress was declared the elected president having polled a total vote of 359 to defeat his major opponent, AbdulGhaffar Adeleye popularly called Mallam, who polled 174. In an interview with newsmen, the newly elected president commended all candidates for displaying maturity and spirit of sportsmanship throughout the electioneering process. Ogunsiji, a former Assistant General Secretary of the association also thanked the electoral committee for being an unbiased umpire. While promising to fulfill his electoral promises including the provision of lecture rooms, establish-
ment of newspaper stands, revitalization of the departmental library, association’s website development, among others, he urged the students and departmental management to support his administration for the progress of the department and the institution as a whole. Other elected members are; Ayobami Osifade as the Public Relations Officer; Sanni Quadri, General Secretary; Michael Erinoso, Financial Secretary; Olalomi Semiu, Asst. General Secretary; Basirat Owoseni, Welfare Director. Olamuyiwa Olanrewaju, Soluade Segun and Okunnola Moses emerged the Social Director, Treasurer and Librarian respectively.
Thursday, August 30, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
On, not under, the platform
HE NATION ON SUNDAY Politics Page of August 26 begins the race today: “Useni has reportedly vowed never to allow Dungs contest under (on) the platform again, accusing him of not supporting the party in any way since the last exercise.” Lest I am accused of being repetitive in this column, as long as systemic infelicities in multifarious collocations keep recurring, there would be no hesitancy in highlighting them over and over again until scholarly exactitude takes place. BusinessWorld bold headlines of June 6-12 on two occasions confirmed this infallible position: “Banks lay siege on lawmakers” A rewrite: Banks lay siege to lawmakers. “Sanusi Lamido Sanusi: Three years on the saddle” Again: in the saddle. “As human beings, we are the highest evolved specie.” (FRSC Road Safety Tip, THISDAY, June 8) For the Corp Marshal’s attention: species. “Creating a smoke free environment” (THE NATION, June 5) Even my racy platform of expression: smoke-free environment! Don’t you appreciate the classicality (and, of course, correctness) of the punctuation mark? “Nollywood pays last respect for actor....” (New Nigerian Headline, June 4) There is no absolute individuality in orthography and other aspects of the English language: last respects (never respect) to (not for). “Olohunwa, MC Oluoma mend fence” (Source: as above) This way: mend fences. “Rooney’s wife looses temper after Twitter user comment” (SATURDAY PUNCH, June 4) In doing this weekly critique, I cannot lose my temper. “Nigerian seamstress per excellence for Dubai fashion show” (New Nigerian, June 4) Just seamstress par (not per) excellence. “Efforts so far to speak with the Kogi State Police Public Relation (sic) Officer has (have) proved abortive (now a cliché!)” (Nigerian TRIBUNE, 5 June) “It now takes residents leaving (living) towards the bus stop….” (THE GUARDIAN, June 4) “VC accuses lecturers of double standards” (National Mirror, June 2) There is no periphery of options here: double standard (fixed expression). “Clearance of non-CRI goods begin (begins) at ports” “Siasia gets sweeping power” Get it right: sweeping powers. “…had said that Newswatch is (was) a credible publication, one not likely to misquote him or twist what he says in a free display of editorial freedom.” “Like (As) we have said at various fora….” “So these are the kind of things that create jobs but they take time to take off fully.” Either: this is the kind of thing or
LAST RESPECTS (NEVER RESPECT) TO (NOT FOR) these are the kinds of things. “So the government cannot ask the Supreme Court to interprete the law.” Spell-check, always: interpret. “Meanwhile, no one can convince me that we are getting returns of any kind from either of these two countries.…” Stock phrase: either of these countries. “…the reduction in the number of vehicle accidents and casualities (casualties).” “Self-styled armies sprung (have sprung up) here and there …” “State, council relationship: chairmen pick hole (holes) in 1999 Constitution.” “This year’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day and Emblem Appeal Week were rounded-off yesterday….” Once more, phrasal verbs do not admit hyphenation. “The private sector in conjunction with the local governments are in a better position.” The private sector…is (not are), but the private sector and the local governments are…. “At these occasions, Nigerians have been fed with these noble and esteemed virtues that differentiate the men from the boys.” Not my opinion: On these oc-
casions. “As a result, majority of the citizens do not even know of the existence of the national population policy of four children per woman.” Many people, small world: a/the majority of the citizens. “There was no signs in the air” Random musings: why the discord? “The truth lies somewhere between the two extreme positions” (Already addressed) “Government has wetted the public appetite for information enough….” Get it right: whetted (note the spelling) the public’s appetite for information. “It is these people that Nigerians would ordinarily believe rather than some whose integrity are (is) in doubt.” “The research aspect of the campaign was targetted (targeted) towards (at)….” “Between 300 to 500 million people globally get malaria infection yearly, whilst a sufferer dies every fifteen seconds.” Combating the malaria scourge: between 300 and 500 or from 300 to 500. “In other words, successive budgets have failed to realize its (their) objectives of improving the living standard of the people.” “The NEIC should swing into action right from the onset (outset in this context).” ‘Onset’ usually smacks of unpleasantness. So, why not ‘outset’ to be on the safe side? This is my own personal view—without any shred of universalism or morphological authority, perhaps. “If the demand is granted on the
ground (grounds) that he would play his own role….” “Talking about renaming our institutions after our falling (fallen) heroes....” “The news out of Libya in the past five months have (had) been about killings....” ‘News’ is uncountable, by the way. “Lateef Jakande as governor of Lagos State warmed (wormed) his way into the hearts of Lagosians with a single-minded pursuit of his housing programme.” “Querying Africa’s underdevelopment has become a political discipline of it’s own as much that facts are hardly advanced in the critical political human analysis of Africa’s problems.” Possessive: its. “…promote international co-operation having due regard to the United Nations charter and the universal declaration of human rights.” In the interest of harmony, let us have regard for (not to) lexical rudiments. Gentlemen of the Press, let’s think! “All these assertions I concord with totally.” I cannot concur with gradual annihilation of the English language. “LCCI boss proffers solution on education problems” What solution do we proffer to (not on) deteriorating journalism these days? FROM MY INBOX “Great work, Mr. Ebere Wabara. I think you should extend this exercise to the works of our columnists. I thank you.” Sent in by Mr. Charles Iyoha, Chairman, Academy Ltd.
Stakeholders charged on human development BY IJEOMA EZEIKE ABUJA
takeholders in the education sector have been urged to join hands together towards achieving a holistic mainstreaming of cardinal human development studies in the curriculum of Nigerian universities. This formed the high points at a stakeholders’ validation workshop organised by the national universities Commission, NUC, in Abuja recently. In her words, the Minister of education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufai, posited that the mainstreaming project was the outcome of a partnership arrangement between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Nigeria Country Office and the National Planning Commission. She said the initiative started in November 2010, when a roundtable was organised to brainstorm on the possibility of mainstreaming Human Development Studies, HDS, in academic curricula of Nigerian Universities, where many serving vice- chancellors and directors of academic planning made their inputs.
“There is the need to take additional steps to harmonise these disparate courses into an organised academic programme, for enhanced learning. In fact, several countries, especially in Asia, have concentrated on human development training and teaching. Russia has implemented courses in human development at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels in some selected universities.” Prof. Rufai emphasised. She maintained that human development studies were not new to Nigerian university system, as it has recorded useful decades of experience in offering and managing various programmes and courses dealing with various aspects of human development. “The draft curriculum, when operational, is aimed at developing programmes that would collectively concern themselves with the three central planks in human development as enunciated by the UNDP, namely: the average real income per capita, the average life expectancy and adult literacy, combined with real access to education at various levels,” the min-
ister further explained. She added that the initiative would help to expand people’s freedom as it concerns living long and healthy lives, acquiring knowledge, as well as managing their human and non- human resources, which equip them to afford decent standards of living. She said the Ministry of Education would not relent in supporting the initiative, which according to her, is capable of creating the needed expertise in building the capacity of students as future leaders, just as she expressed hope that development partners such as the World Bank, USAID, DFID and UNESCO would come in to support the project in stakeholders mobilisation, training of personnel, research and teaching resources. In his remark at the occasion, the United Nations representative, Mr. Dauda Toure, urged members of the academia and tertiary institutions to contribute actively in human capital development, promising that UN would continue to support the study of human capital development as curricular in academic institutions in the country.
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Former D’Tigers’ player named Spurs’ Coach
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
We must not fail to ensure that the restructure we call for in sports take a holistic approach - Former sports minister, Bala Kaoje
Japan 2012: ‘Falconets will respect Mexico’ AFOLABI GAMBARI
Falconets line-up before their last match against Italy in Kobe, Japan.
Monrovia battle: Foreign-based Eagles get deadline A ll invited foreign-based Super Eagles players for the September 8 Africa Cup of Nations clash against the Lone Star of Liberia in Monrovia, are expected in camp latest Monday, September 3. Coach Stephen Keshi gave the deadline yesterday, while speaking during the weekly media interaction with the team at their Bolton White Apartment camp in Abuja. He explained that only a few of the players are expected on Monday, as most of them who have Saturday matches would have joined the homebased stars by Sunday evening. “I can only categorically talk of Efe Ambrose, who has a game on Sunday and is expected on Monday, others will have arrived to join us so we can have up to four or five training sessions together before we face Liberia,” he said. Keshi also declared that his wish with that of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) is for the Eagles to leave the country 24 hours before the match and leave Monrovia immediately after, so as to avoid any antics of the hosts. The Super Eagles’ manager also took time off to congratulate two of
the home-based stars, Uche Kalu, who recently signed a professional contract with a Turkish second division side and dimunitive Ejike Uzoenyi, who is presently in talks with top French side, Marseille SC. “They have been consistent with us for eight months and the idea is for them not to rush into slave con-
tracts, as had been the case. If they are beginning to get attention from clubs abroad, we are happy for them, because they will enrich the national team and also better the lives of their families. “I wish them the best, but the two of them are expected early for the game against Liberia,” Keshi added.
ead Coach of Falconets, Edwin Okon, said yesterday in Tokyo that his wards will confront dark-horse Mexicans with respect although with an eye for a semi-final ticket at the end of proceedings. The Falconets, who have emerged favourites in the competition, will meet the Mexicans today in a tricky quarter-final match where Nigerian will need early goals to ascertain eventual victory. Okon apparently acknowledged the opponents’ unpredictable status but insisted nothing short of victory would be good for Nigeria. “The Mexicans have been a surprise team in this tournament,” the Nigeria’s coach noted. “The fact that they came from a 4-0 goal deficit against Japan in their opening match to qualify for the quarter final, shows that they can no longer be underrated and I believe they are now tuned to compete for the trophy. “I have told my players to be aware that each of the eight teams left in the competition is capable of winning the cup, and I strongly believe in their ability to excel at this stage.” Mexico’s forward, Sofia Huerta, said, “It will be an interesting match because they have qualities we don’t and vice versa. The key will be confidence and intelligence. They’re a strong and athletic team, so we’ll need to be cleverer to keep up with them. We have to realise that, for Mexico, it’s now or never.” National Mirror learnt that the Falconets engaged in penalty shooting practice yesterday in preparation for the tricks that the Mexicans would display today. The Falconets have reached the quarter-final five times in their six appearances at the U-20 World Cup while Mexico is playing only its second match in the last eight, a record that the Nigerians are expected to exploit in overrunning their opponents.
Osaze not ready, Mikel avoids astro turf, says Keshi
est Bromwich Albion striker, Osaze Odemwingie, is not ready to return to the Super Eagles, while Chelsea midfielder, Mikel Obi, is avoiding artificial pitches, according to Coach Stephen Keshi. Keshi said yesterday that he was yet to know the readiness of Osaze for next month’s Nations Cup qualifier in Liberia. “It’s obvious that he is not ready for the nation right now. I called Osaze severally, but he didn’t pick, then I sent him a text message to know his state of mind ahead of the Liberia game. In all fairness he replied the SMS, asking me to give him time and up till now he has not got back to me,” Keshi told MTNFootball.com. Osaze was not involved in Nigeria’s series of qualifiers in June apparently to allow him focus on his wedding that month.
However, the outspoken striker has over time had a run-in with various national team coaches, from Austin Eguavoen to Samson Siasia. Keshi also confirmed that Chelsea midfielder, Mikel Obi, was the one who opted out of the match in Liberia because he cannot play on astro turf pitch. “We spoke (with Mikel) and I told him that we play Liberia away on astro turf, so he asked that he speak with his doctors. Four days later, he called to let me know that he won’t make it. And I truly appreciated his sincerity because it helps us plan,” said the Eagles’ coach. “I don’t have any issues with Mikel. You would be shocked that Mikel is one of the players who I speak with more often,” Keshi added.
Thursday, August 30, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tiote Less than 48 hours to the EPL transfer deadline, Arsenal Manager, Arsene Wenger, has stated that the club is not looking to sign Newcastle midfielder Cheick Tiote, after reports linked the Gunners with a move for the 26-year-old Ivory Coast international. Tiote has attracted interest from many clubs during his time in the north-east, with Alan Pardew recently admitting that he was preparing himself for bids for Tiote and his central midfield partner Yohan Cabaye. But Wenger has distanced himself from making a move for the combative player.
Fenerbahce in last-ditch Essien move
urkish club Fenerbahce is reported to be interested in signing out-of-favour Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien. The Istanbul club wants the Ghana international to replace Emre Belözoglu who left for Spanish La Liga side Atletico Madrid. Essien is down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge since the English Premier League got underway, his current plight resulting from recurring injuries especially over the past few seasons which have limited his playing time. Meanwhile, reports in Turkey said yesterday that Essien’s wages could be borne by the Yellow Canaries. Fenerbahce’s qualification to the Group stage of the Champions League can fast track Essien’s move before the transfer window shuts tomorrow as the club battled to overturn a 2-1 deficit at home against Russian side Spartak Moscow in the second leg play-off at press time yesterday.
Talks between Arsenal and Theo Walcott over an extended deal have reportedly broken down. Reports yesterday said both parties made very little progress over a new deal. Walcott’s future at The Emirates could be decided on the final day of summer transfer business tomorrow, with Manchester City keen on his services.
Mayuka cherishes Saints’ move
ambia international, Emmanuel Mayuka, has described his £3m switch to Southampton as a dream come true for him to move to England. The 21-year-old striker, who moved from Swiss side Young Boys Berne to ‘The Saints’ on a five- year deal on Tuesday, becomes only the second Zambian to play in the EPL after Collins Mbesuma’s unsuccessful stint at Portsmouth six years ago. “Most footballers dream of playing in
England. For me, this dream is coming true,” Mayuka said yesterday. The former Kabwe Warriors striker has now moved to promoted Southampton after a successful two-and-a-half years at Young Boys, where he scored 32 competitive goals after the Berne club snapped him from Israeli Maccabi Tel Aviv. Mayuka was part of Zambia’s 2012 Africa Cup-winning team where he scored three goals to win the tournament’s golden boot award.
Newcastle Manager, Alan Pardew, has conceded defeat in his efforts to bring Andy Carroll back to St. James Park before the summer transfer window slams shut. The Magpies have already tabled one offer for a man they sold to Liverpool for £35m in January 2011. Liverpool remains open to the prospect of offloading the England international.
AC Milan is still believed to be interested in taking Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner. According to reports yesterday, Milan wants Bendtner as replacement for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who recently moved to French Ligue 1 giants Paris St Germain. The 24-year-old Danish striker has been deemed excess to Arsenal’s requirements despite the departure of Robin van Persie to Manchester United.
Stoke City Manager, Tony Pulis, is ready to deal in released Manchester United striker Michael Owen. Owen is a free agent after being released by United this summer and Pulis has admitted his interest in the 32-year-old former England striker, although his wage demands could make a deal difficult. Norwich City and Everton have distanced themselves from Owen this week.
Super Eagles may have to bank on sheer luck to enjoy this mome
AFCON 2013: Amiesim A FOLABI GAMBARI
ormer Nigeria international, Chief Adokiye Amiesimaka, has picked holes in the order by Sports Minister, Bolaji Abdullahi, that the Super Eagles must emerge winners of the 2013 Nations Cup finals to be hosted by South Africa. Abdullahi had given win-the-cup last week without recourse to whether Nigeria scales over Liberia in the final AFCON 2013 qualifying round or pitched with tough teams in the final grouping.
But Am tional Mir minister’s ble. “I think erate act t Stephen K fly in Sout of a team process in serving for er for justi “It requ ers are to c in a situat
Djokovic cruises past minnow
orld number two, Novak Djokovic, began the defence of his US Open title with a crushing 6-1 6-0 6-1 victory over Paolo Lorenzi. The second seed was clearly in no mood to hang around as he needed only an hour and 13 minutes to blow away Lorenzi, who also won just two games when the pair met in the first round of the Australian Open this year. Djokovic went on to win the title in Melbourne and he will hope the start is a good omen as he goes for his sixth grand slam title. Bizarrely Lorenzi, ranked 69th, won the very first serve of the
match on the Djokovic serve on Arthur Ashe Stadium. But Djokovic did not allow his opponent another game until the start of the third set, and then reeled off another six games to clinch victory. “My game was great from the start to the end,” Djokovic, who won three of four majors last year, said. “It’s also important for me to try to be as economical with the time I spend on the court as possible, but obviously not underestimating any opponent. “I played really focused, tried to get to the net also. It was great all D in all.”
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Nigeria wobbles in Chess Olympiad AFOLABI GAMBARI
ent in South Africa 2013 AFCON finals
maka faults Minister’s order
miesimaka, who spoke to Narror yesterday, described the action hasty and uncharita-
k the order smacked of a delibto seek a scapegoat in Coach Keshi should the Eagles fail to h Africa as should be expected that has witnessed rebuilding the past few months,” the longrmer Rivers State commissionice said. ires one to ask where the playcarry out the order successfully tion where our players abroad
have dwindled consistently while an alternative is being sought from players in the domestic league who lack the requisite exposure and experience to perform at that top level,” Amiesimaka added. “We really must be able to convince ourselves of our readiness to compete with the best in Africa, given the players at our disposal at the moment instead of piling undue pressure on coaches who know their limits.” Observers had viewed the minister’s order as not only ill-timed, but also a face-saving comment after Nigeria’s dismal outing at the London 2012 Olympics.
US Open...US Open...US Open...
he World Chess Olympiad got underway in Istanbul, Turkey yesterday with Nigerian teams falling 1-3 to their respective opponents in the male and female sections. In the female event, Nigeria lost to Denmark after Oluwatobi Olatunji set the tone for what the day would become and succumbed to bad positioning at the brink of time by forfeiting to Woman International Master Guindy Susanne. While Funmi Akinola fell to Jorgensen Carina in early loss, the duo of Vivian Dzaayem and Nsisong Asangha salvaged a draw from Frank Marie and Fredericia Winther respectively to leave the score at 1-3 in the 11 round Swiss event paring. In the male event, International Master, Bomo Kigigha, secured a massive win against highly rated Kobose Watu (2363) of South Africa in a Sicilian defense Paulson variation. International Master Dapo Adu failed to hold on to the early advantage against Solomon Kenneth (2363) and when his opponent finally regained his momentum, Adu was a pawn down on move 43. Olympiad debutants Nonso Orawgwu also lost on board three to Henry Steel in a double edged position while Femi Balogun misjudged his opponent Mabusela Mayendi with a sacrifice in the early exchange. Meanwhile, team coach, Lekan Adeyemi, has assured Nigerians that hope will be restored with 10 more round of matches to play. “I think we need to work on the players’ positions in the end game,” Adeyemi said yesterday.
I want to be an actress–Ordega EVEREST ONYEWUCHI
igeria’s Francisca Ordega, whose four goals, including a hat-trick against Italy, have helped the Falconets to reach the quarter-finals of the ongoing FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan, wants to be an actress. But before making another career in the make-believe world, Ordega wants to score more goals to help Nigeria lift the trophy. “If five chances come my way, I should do my very best to take all of them,” the Rivers Angels striker told FIFA.com, ruing a sitter she missed in their last match against Italy. It might sound as if she is being too hard on herself, but given the objectives she has set, Ordega has no option but to be demanding. The first of those targets was to reach the second round at Japan 2012, one Nigeria has achieved thanks in no small part to her finishing. “When you’re a striker you have days when you feel great and you sense that every ball you touch is going to turn to gold. I’ve been dreaming of this moment. I’ve been working hard for it and the dream has now become a reality,” she says of her current form. Her next objective as the Falconets face Mexico in the quarter-finals, is to combine personal success with a team triumph. Losing finalists at the Germany 2010, the Falconets are determined to go one step further this time around, none more so than Ordega who was not on duty in Germany two years ago but has already endured her fair share of disappointments in her young career. On the losing side in the last eight at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Trinidad & Tobago 2010, she also formed part of the Nigeria squad that exited the FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011 at the group stage, bitter experiences that she hopes to use to guide her less seasoned team-mates to the top. “I’ve been trying to encourage them all the way but the best thing you can do is to lead by example,” says Ordega, an Arsenal fan who draws her inspiration from Thierry Henry, Fernando Torres and Abby Wambach. “I give my very best because youngsters look up to the more experienced players and try to follow in their footsteps.” Ordega seems to be an easy one for her colleagues to follow, never more so than when she launches herself into one of the celebratory dances that follow her goals, an art she was able to perfect against the Italians: “That dance isn’t rehearsed at all. It’s just an instinctive thing that turned out that way. It’s a Nigerian dance called Azonto and I do it with my friends,” she further tells FIFA.com. Dancing and goalscoring are not Ordega’s only talents. She says her love of the limelight could well take her career in a different direction. “My dream is to be an actress. As soon as I hang up my boots I hope to make it in acting. I’m going to start taking classes this year, after the World Cup,” she says emphatically. However, Ordega is in no mood to rush things, content as she is to take each objective as it comes. “I need to achieve things one at a time and not get ahead of myself. I think we can lift the trophy. After that I can start thinking about something new.”
Thursday, August 30, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
SLAMMING AND E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 08027536696
With SAYO OGUNDEJI
Former D’Tigers’ player named Spurs’ Coach
ormer Nigeria international Ime Udoka made history on Tuesday as he was named an assistant coach of the NBA side, San Antonio Spurs. Udoka returns to San Antonio after having played for the Silver and Black from 2007-09 and during the 2010-11 campaign. The former Sacramento Kings player is following the footsteps of his countryman Masai Ujiri who is currently the general manager of the Denver Nuggets also of the NBA. Ujiri who hails from Zaria, Kaduna State, became the first Africanborn general manager for an American major league sports team when he was appointed in 2010 and Udoka’s appointment as an assistant coach has been described as a good development by some of the stakeholders in the game. “Ime Udoka possesses an outstanding work ethic as well as a natural inclination to teach. We are excited to add someone with his potential to our coaching staff,” Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich said shortly after his appointment. Coach Ayo Bakare who led the senior national basketball team to the just concluded London 2012 Olympic Games saw Udoka’s appointment as a welcome development both to the player and Nigeria as a whole. According to him, Udoka has payed his dues both in the NBA and on U18 AfroBasket in Maputo - FINAL RANKING 1. Senegal 2. Cote d’ Ivoire 3. Egypt 4. Mali 5. Angola 6. Tunisia 7. Mozambique 8. Ghana 9. Morocco 10. Gabon 11. Rwanda
the international level and will bring his wealth of experience to bear on the team. He said, “Udoka has been a thorough professional both on and off the court and becoming a coach is a good way of giving back to the game and I have no doubt in my mind that he will be a success,” “The game of basketball is on the rise in the country at the moment following D’Tigers qualification and participation in the Olympics and having one of the former national team players on a big stage is a plus for us as a nation,” Bakare stated. Udoka spent seven seasons in the NBA playing in 316 career games, averaging 5.2 points and 2.9 rebounds in 18.1 minutes. The former Nigeria international also played for the L.A. Lakers in 2003-04, the New York Knicks in 2005-06, the Sacramento Kings in 2009-10 and the New Jersey Nets in 2011-12. Though Americanborn, Udoka’s late father was of Ibibio descent and was born in Nigeria which allowed Udoka to play for the Nigerian National Team. He represented Nigeria in multiple tournaments, including the 2005 African Championship, the 2006 FIBA World Championship, where he averaged 14.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists, and the 2011 African Championship where he Ime Udoka (in front), during his heyday at San Antonio Spurs, driving to the basket in front helped lead Nigeria to a of Lamar Odom of the Los Angeles Lakers in Game One of the Western Conference Finals during the 2008 NBA Playoffs at Staples Centre in Los Angeles, California. bronze medal.
Clippers’ Griffin optimistic after surgery
ll-Star Blake Griffin said on Tuesday that his left knee has healed after last month’s surgery that forced him to miss the London Olympics, when he worked on his shot and free throws while his U.S. teammates were winning a gold medal. Griffin is doing drills and running this week as he continues rehabbing from the July 16 surgery to repair a medial meniscus tear of his knee that he suffered during practice with the U.S. national team in Las Vegas. “I’m doing all my normal movements,” he said. “I feel like I’m at 100 percent.” The latest knee injury had nothing to do with the stress fracture of his left patella and surgery that forced him to miss the 2009-10 season. It’s been a busy summer for Griffin. In addition to being with the national team until his injury and then his surgery, he signed a five-year contract extension in July that could be worth up to $95 million. After he got hurt, Griffin didn’t watch any of the team’s exhibition games, calling it “a little too fresh and a little too painful.” But once the Olympics began, he watched his former U.S. teammates during their run to the gold medal. “It was just good to see those guys get what they deserved and see how hard everybody worked from the time we got together to the end,” he said. Griffin used his downtime “trying to become a more complete player, working on my shot and working on free throws,” he said. “Those are two things that I was able to work on a lot even if it was stationary.”
AFROBASKET U-18: Senegal emerges African champion
enegalese youth team has emerged winners of this year’s U-18 Afro Basket Championship after they defeated Cote d’Ivoire by 71-62 points to win the gold at the Academica Stadium. Senegal went from withdrawing from the 2010 Afrobasket U-18 Men in Rwanda - for lack of financial resources - to becoming African champions for the first time.
Both Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal arrived in the Mozambique capital city of Maputo with modest track records in the competition, but they turned the odds around as they grew in confidence and caused big upsets by stunning traditional podium contenders Angola, Egypt and Mali to reach the final of the competiton. The two finalists will now represent the continent at the FIBA U-18
World Championship next summer slated for Czech Republic. Nigeria who is simply Africa’s U-18 Men’s most successful team with six titles missed out on the qualification to the Maputo 2012 tournament after finishing third in the zone III qualifying tournament, behind winner Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana, who later received a wild card to take part in the tournament.
The Senegalese team celebrating after emerging champions at the Afrobasket U18 MEN Competition, beating Ivory Coast 71-62
Thursday, August 30, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Business & Finance Marketing is not the problem of Nigerian businesses, but government’s inability to formulate policies that would attract foreign investment
Mr. President has set the transformational economic agenda for our country and our role is critical to the success of that agenda. We must ensure that we play our own part in delivering sustained economic growth and jobs.
GMD, Verdant Zeal, TUNJI OLUGBODI
MINISTER OF TRADE AND INVESTMENT, OLUSEGUN AGANGA
EFCC, N’Assembly asked to probe aviation revenue automation OLUSEGUN KOIKI
leading union in the Nigerian aviation industry has invited a number of government organs to investigate recent happenings in the sector most especially the planned automation of revenue points in all the agencies. Government organs invited are the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the National Assembly. President of the Air Transport Senior Staff Services of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Comrade Benjamin Okewu, revealed this to National Mirror yesterday in an exclusive interview in Lagos. Okewu said the involvement of the government organs was necessary because the union suspected some foul play in the concessioning of the revenue points in the entire agencies to a single “unknown” company. He explained that all the revenue points of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) were concessioned to a particular
company without any pedigree in the sector. He noted that the agreement reached with the company (name withheld), just like previous ones, which later boomeranged did not have inputs of the in-house unions in the sector, stressing that the agreement was detrimental to the sector and the nation in general. Okewu maintained that the unions were not against the automation of the revenue points in all the agencies, stressing that such process would help to block any loophole in the sector.
He, however, maintained that things must be done transparently to forestall past sordid experiences in the industry. The Ministry of Aviation however said in a statement yesterday that there were leakages in the manual collection adding that First Bank of Nigeria Plc, working with Experts and professional bodies like IATA, SITA, and Avitech; a Software Provider, amongst others is to lead the collection process. It said Heads of the agencies have expressed satisfaction with the automation of the revenue
WITH AGENCY REPORT
he naira firmed against the United States dollar on the interbank market on yesterday supported by dollar sales by an oil company and
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Air Nigeria International (Lagos - London) Los- LGW (VK293): Tue, Thurs, Fri & Sat 11.55pm LGW-Los (VK292): Wed, Fri, Sat & Sun 10.50am
Arik Air Los-Abj: 07:15, 09:15, 10:20, 15:20, 16:20, 16:50, 18:45 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun) Abj-Los: 07:15, 09:40, 10:20, 12:15, 15:15, 16:15, 17:10, (Mon-Fri/Sat); 12:15, 15:15, 16:15 (Sun) Los-PH: 07:15, 11:40, 14:00, 16:10, 17:15, (Mon-Fri) 07:30, 11:40, 15:50 (Sat) 11:50, 3:50, 17:05 (Sun) Abj-PH: 07:15, 11:20, 15:30 (Mon-Fri) 07:15, 16:00 (Sat) 13:10, 16:00, (Sun) PH-Abj: 08:45, 12:50, 17:00 (Mon-Fri) 08:45, 17:30 (Sat) 14:40, 17:30 (Sun) Abj-Ben: 08:00, 12:10 (Mon-Fri/Sat) 08:55, 12:10 (Sun) Ben-Abj: 09:55, 13:30 (Mon-Fri/Sat) 10:50, 13:30 (Sun)
L-R: Managing Director, M-Net Africa, Mrs. Biola Alabi; Managing Director, MultiChoice Nigeria, Mr. John Ugbe; General Manager, DStv Mobile, Mr. Mayo Okunola and Head of Corporate Communication, MultiChoice Nigeria,Mr. Segun Fayose, during the DStv Channel re-structuring in Lagos yesterday. PHOTO: ADEMOLA AKINLABI
Naira gains as oil firms, banks sell dollars ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI
collection process, saying it would greatly enhance their revenue profile. Director General of the NCAA, Dr. Harold Demuren said, ‘’The former manual process of revenue collection was fraught with a lot of challenges. Apart from the leakages, the agencies were being owed heavily by the airlines and other bodies we were providing service so we are very pleased with the new development now because every agency will now have its share of revenue deducted and remitted to it at source and automatically.”
some banks towards the close of trading. The naira closed at N158.25 to the dollar on the interbank, stronger than the N158.15 it closed at the previous day. Traders said oil giant, Chevron sold about $12m to some banks, while some units of foreign banks sold additional dollars in the market to enable them to stay within the stipulated one per cent open position limit.
“The naira actually trended down intraday because of strong dollar buying but strengthened toward the close of trading because some foreign banks sold additional dollars in the market, which provided support for the naira,” one dealer told Reuters. The naira has been pressured by global risk aversion but has gained more than 1.25 per cent year-to-date on the central bank’s measures and a resurgence of
Extortion: Stop Customs from VAT collection, group asks FG
offshore investors buying local debt, boosting dollar liquidity in the market. Traders said the naira will continue to hover around the present level for the rest of the week as trickles of dollars from oil companies should subdue any buying pressure from importers. At its twice weekly foreign exchange auction, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) sold $180m at N155.80 to the dollar, compared with the $250m sold at the same rate on Monday
Los-Abj: 06:50, 13:30, 16:30, 19:45 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun) 12:30 (Sun) 16:45 (Sat). Abj-Los: 07:30, 13:00, 19:00 (Mon-Fri/ Sat) 10:30, 14:30, 19:30 (Sun) 18.30 (Sat) Los-Ben: 07:45, 11:00, 15:30, (Mon-Fri/Sat/ Sun) 12:30 (Sun) 15:30 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun) Ben-Los: 09:15, 12:30, 17:00 (Mon-Fri/ Sat/Sun) 17:00 (Sat), 14:00 (Sun) EXCHANGE RATES WAUA
OIL / GAS FUTURES ICE BRENT
Rising need for Hope rises for local computer consumer education in Nigeria brands
Business & Finance
Thursday, August 30, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Minister denies stopping foreign airlines from flying Abuja, Kano TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA
he Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Oduah, has denied ordering some foreign airlines, particularly Emirates, Etihad and Turkish airlines from operating on the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano routes contrary to media report. In a statement yesterday, the minister said there was no truth in the media report as the minister had at no time attempted to prevent the said airlines from operating into the said destinations.
“To the contrary, the minister has been an advocate of allowing all the international airports in the country to operate direct international flights” Against the wrong impression created in the media and the sentiments it is currently generating in the public, the Princess Oduah said, “Emirates Airline has never applied for any permit to operate into either Abuja or Kano international airports. “Etihad that was supposed to commence operations from Abuja in line with an old MOU of 2003 with the UAE has refused to do so but rather insisted on starting from Lagos, thereby necessitating an amendment
of the MoU in 2012 to accommodate their desire while the Turkish Airline had in fact applied to operate into Abuja and Kano, an application which the honourable minister approved without any hesitation. In fact, IRS Airlines was nominated on the 1st of August 2012 to work with Turkish airline in this regard.” She, however, dared anyone, including the airline concerned with contrary documentation to make such available to the general public. The statement obtained by National Mirror quoted the minister further, “we make haste to declare that we have no records anywhere indicat-
ing that the Aviation Minister either stopped any airline from operating into Abuja and Kano or forced any particular one to operate into the Enugu International Airport. “To be sure, the hon. minister has been making strenuous efforts to convince KLM, in conjunction with the Kano state government, to continue to operate into Kano airport for which it had earlier stopped its operations. Unfortunately, some commentators, relying entirely on the unfounded news reports, have begun to insinuate ethnic agenda over the purported directive to force airlines to fly into Enugu rather than Abuja
or/and Kano. Nothing can be further from the truth. Perhaps, it is pertinent, given the sentiments the false publications has generated to state that the very first tangible projects embarked upon by the current Aviation Minister was the rehabilitation of the Kano and Kaduna Hajj Terminals. The terminals have since been completed, commissioned and put to use. The Sokoto Hajj terminal is currently under-going rehabilitation too. Moreover, out of the 11 airports currently being reconstructed and remodelled simultaneously across the country, five are domiciled in the northern part of the country.“
NASI tasks indigenous airlines to review business plans OLUSEGUN KOIKI
L – R: Lead Consultant/CEO, ThistlePraxis Consulting, Ini Onuk; Director General, SON, Dr. Joseph Odumodu; and CSR/Internal Communications Manager, Etisalat, Mr. Ismail Omamegbe, at the Opening Ceremony and National Workshop on the Nigerian Adoption Process of ISO 26000 Guidance Standard on Social Responsibility in Abuja, recently.
FG seeks stakeholders’ support for economic devt TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA
he Federal Government has restated its readiness to work with all stakeholders in the ongoing efforts aimed at boosting the performance of the economy and socio-economic state of the citizenry. Giving the assurance at the 53rd Annual Conference of the Nigerian Economic Society on Tuesday in Abuja, the Minister of National Planning Commission, Dr. Shamsuddeen Usman, said the Federal Government was working closely with the state governments to provide the conducive, enabling environment in order to tackle the myriad of challenges facing Nigerian youths. The minister commended the NES for its sustained years of contributions to na-
tional development, stressing that the deliberations, research papers on the Nigerian economy, as well as the Communiqués arising from the past Conferences of the NES, clearly have helped in strengthening economic management in Nigeria. In addition, he pointed out that the Commission had benefitted from the collaboration, ideas and useful suggestions by the group in its efforts to develop the country, including the development of a robust macroeconomic framework, which was used for the development of the Nigeria Vision 20:2020, amongst other initiatives. He said: “We all, therefore, need to work together to achieve the common goal of developing this great country. Experience elsewhere has shown that cooperation is a better strategy for fast-
tracking the achievement of common goals. Let us, therefore, march forward in unity”. He explained that as the discussions during the conference will border on a key mandate of the National Planning Commission, which is, among others, to advise Government on matters relating to national development and the overall management of the economy, he would be willing to consider recommendations by the NES. Usman said that employment generation, especially among the youths is one of the cardinal goals of the Government’s Transformation Agenda, pointing out that it is why the Federal Government continues to prioritise programmes affecting youth development in its ongoing programmes.
he Nigeria Aviation Safety Initiative (NASI) has challenged the domestic airline operators to as a matter of urgency to embark on strategic review of business plans to survive the current economic environment in the country. NASI said that this was necessary as the fortunes of the operators have been dwindling in the last couple of years due to high debt profile, high cost of operation and strangulating government policies. Speaking on behalf of the group over the weekend was its President, Capt. Dung Pam in a position titled, ‘NASI on Safety and Industry Solutions’ made available to journalists in Lagos, insisted that for the airline
operators to have access to airport slots, new developing markets in the industry and other accrued benefits, it is important for them to form a strategic merger. Pam added that the distress in the airline business in Nigeria began with the loans the entities took from banks, which according to him led to huge debt profile on their part. The size of the debt, he said led to the intervention of Asset Management Company (AMCON) in 2008, urging the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to close the gaps in its oversight functions especially the safety and economic regulatory aspects. He said, “Nigerian airlines must consolidate in order to harness the synergies needed to survive the competition.
ASSBIFI calls for caution on naira restructuring MESHACK IDEHEN
he Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSIBIFI) has said it is still in shock over the announcement by the Central Bank of Nigeria, of the proposed restructuring of the naira that will lead to the introduction of N5000 note come next year. ASSBIFI, which is the umbrella body for all senior workers in the banking, insurance and financial institutions in Nigeria said it is strongly opposed to the proposed naira restructuring at this point in time. In a statement issued on yesterday, National President of the association, Mr. Olu-
soji Salako, said ASSIBIFI would like to know what the programme was out to ‘cure’, wondering if the moves by the CBN would cure the banking sector and the economy of inflation, high interest rate, improper banking habits, bank robberies, unemployment, corruption, money laundering, poverty and insecurity. “We have always advocated that national issue of this magnitude, which has serious monetary and fiscal implications on the nations’ economy, should be subjected to public debate. “ We seriously disagree with the CBN governor’s claim that the idea is as a result of inflationary pressures rather, we believe it is more of monumental miscalculation and economic summersault.”
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Business & Finance
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Govs, NANTS seek 10% of 2013 budget for agric sector TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA
s stakeholders in the African continent committed to food security converged on Abuja yesterday to appraise the level of countries’ compliance with the Maputo Declaration on agric sector budgets, state governors, the National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) and small holder farmers have called for improved budgetary allocation to the agric sector in the years ahead. Speaking at the Maputo Declaration Dialogue sponsored by his association in collaboration with
Oxfam International, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, amongst other key partners, NANTS President, Barrister Ken Ukaoha, urged African leaders to be committed to the implementation of the Maputo Declaration in order to tackle the challenges of nutritional insecurity and poverty in the continent. Ukaoha, who lamented that four years after Heads of State and Governments in Africa openly pledged to increase public sector funding on agriculture to 10 per cent in their various countries, experience continued to show that only a negligible por-
tion of their yearly budgets go to the sector. Citing various resolutions taken at various fora by the African leaders to support agric sector development in their domains over the past decade to justify his submissions, the NANTS boss noted that to continue to pay lip service to the conventions, action plans and declarations would worsen the socio-economic problems confronting the continent. He said the results the organisers of the forum expected from the dialogue, which had ECOWAS, ActionAid Nigeria, Oxfam, IFAD, Governors and National Assembly representatives in at-
tendance, is a renewed regional commitment to compliance with the minimum 10 per cent of national budgetary allocation to the agriculture sector in the countries. In his remarks at the forum, Nigeria Governors’ Forum representative, Alhaji Abdullateef Shittu,said “it would be a laudable achievement to have to have the agriculture budget increased to 10 per cent of the Federal Budget under the upcoming 2013 budget” He however explained that it would translate to nothing if at the end of the year only 2 per cent of the allocated funds are
released to the MDAs for utilisation. Shittu pointed out further that “while we push for an increase in budgetary allocation, we should also plan for the outcomes and impacts that we desire from these increases. Some farmers, including Mrs. Maria Nyasa from Benue State, Eli Hannaniya from Taraba State and Prince Felix Ojei from Ebonyi,who spoke on appropriation for agriculture sector urged the Federal Government to target small holder farmers in the grassroots in order to make the Agricultural Transformation Agenda achieve the desired objectives.
NAAPE bemoans neglect of NCAT OLUSEGUN KOIKI
L-R: Director of School, Admin, Ministry of Education, Mrs. Mercy Olaoye; Deputy Director, Ministry of Education, Mrs. Bunmi Ogunlade; Public Relation and Event Manager, Dufil Prima Food Plc, Ashiwaju Tope and Dr. Christy Omotuyole Department of Arts and Social Science, Faculty of Education, University of Lagos, during the Indomie Teachers’ Seminar ‘Montessori Theory and Application in Nigerian Classroom in Lagos yesterday.
M-payment: Ericsson suggests alliance for Nigerian licencees KUNLE A ZEEZ
ollowing the lull being witnessed in the proper take-off of the licensed mobile money operators in Nigeria, global Information and Communication Technology company, Ericsson, has advocated building necessary alliances as one of the measures to be taken by the licences to move forward. Ericsson Country Manager in Nigeria, Mr. Kamar Abass, made the recommendation during a roundtable stakeholder engagement programme to advance next generation M-commerce held with leaders from the banking, financial, telecoms and government sectors of the country held in Lagos yesterday. The focus of the gathering was to explore opportunities across the eco-system for accelerating the adoption of next generation M-commerce in Sub-Saharan Africa, noting that mobile money operation is a subset of mobile commerce, which all requires adequate collaborations among the players
to achieve success. According to Abass, “Licensed mobile money operators by the Central Bank of Nigeria need robust alliances and partnership with each other in order to build the level agent network required in the country as well as deplotying next gen technology solutions, robust enough to offer various innovative services to the large number of mobile phone users in the country.” Speaking further on mobile commerce, Abass explained that m-commerce represents the leading edge of innovations that are sustaining and boosting momentum in Africa’s telecoms industry. “This boost will be beneficial, as it has been with mobile voice and data’s growth, to other industry sectors as well, banking, retail and utilities, in particular. All stand to benefit from the transformational efficiency and productivity gains made accessible by these exciting, new applications,” he said. The round table follows the release of a new report from Ericsson’s ConsumerLab, which
maps out the potential of transformation within m-commerce across the region of sub-Saharan Africa. Based on in-depth, extensive interviews with mobile phone users in Ghana, South Africa, and Tanzania, the report found that consumers are constantly looking for new ways to improve their personal budgets; the speed and convenience of m-commerce points to great potential in the market; current behaviors and social structures indicate that the use of mobile payment services will expand; and that consumers need more information about the functionality and security of mcommerce transactions. Senior Advisor, Ericsson ConsumerLab., Anders Erlandsson, who presented the survey, said consumers told Ericsson researchers that they used mobile payment services for person-toperson transfers and purchasing airtime on their mobile subscriptions, and that they liked the convenience of accessing money everywhere and at any time, regardless of service hours.
he National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) on Tuesday in Abuja expressed dissatisfaction at the slow pace of growth in the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria over the years by the government. The leadership of the association also reaffirmed its loyalty and support to the transformation agenda of the Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Oduah. The executive members of NAAPE had paid a courtesy call on the aviation minister in Abuja. A statement signed by the Special Assistant, Media to the minister, Mr. Joe Obi and made available to journalists stated that the President of the association, Mr. Isaac Balami said that if past governments in the country had focused attention on NCAT, the institution would have leap-
frogged from its present comatose state and contribute to the growth of the sector. Balami, according to Obi stressed the desire of its members to see the college offers postgraduate courses to improve the capacity of the industry in Nigeria.Balami further dissociated its members from what he described as “not interested in the growth and development of the sector in Nigeria.” He stated that the association was not only interested in, but also ready to galvanise its members to work with the minister to enable her realise her vision for the industry. The statement reads in part, “We are interested in making this industry work, we are interested in supporting the government and we are going to do our best to help her realise her vision for the sector.
Nigeria becomes Guinness largest market ELLA OLAMIJU
igeria is now the number one market for Guinness Foreign Extra Stout brand by net sales according to Guinness Nigeria Plc, a subsidiary of Diageo Plc. According to a statement by Diageo, net sales of the popular brew rose by seven per cent in Africa in the past year. Guinness Foreign Extra Stout was first exported to Sierra Leone as far back as 1827, and has since grown to become one of the largest beer brands on the continent selling 34 bottles a second. Nigeria was home to the first brewery to produce Guinness Foreign Extra Stout outside of the British Isles in 1963 when their Ikeja brewery was built. This beer is now exported into Great Britain where the reported net sales is now well over N500m and is partly re-
sponsible for the latest accolade as the largest Guinness stout market in the world, the company said. Since 1963 Guinness Foreign Extra Stout has soared in popularity so much so that significant investments of £225m were made during the past year to expand production capacity at its brewery sites in Ogba and Benin and further support its growth potential in Nigeria to meet the growing demand for Guinness Foreign Extra Stout and Guinness Nigeria Plc’s leading lager brand Harp. Inspired by a legacy of Guinness advertising, demand for Guinness has also been driven by some ground-breaking marketing activations and consumer engagement initiatives in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. Football is a passion shared by Nigerians and has been a key association with which to connect with Guinness consumers.
Business & Finance
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Extortion: Stop Customs from VAT collection, group asks FG FRANCIS EZEM
reight forwarders under the aegis of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders have said the only way to check the worsening cases of extortion and fraud associated with the collection of Value Added Tax is to bar the Nigeria Customs Service from collecting it. Maritime stakeholders had at a recent forum organised by the Nigerian Shippers Council on arbitrary charges observed that importers are compelled to pay VAT on their consignments at every point of clearing the goods without issuance of any receipt. President of the association, Mr. Eugene Nweke, who spoke in an interview, noted that the best way to check all the extortion and fraud associated with
VAT collection in Nigeria was to stop Customs from collecting it since it issues certificate on paid duty but does not in the case of VAT. According to him, in the alternative, the importers or their designated agents should be made to pay online directly to the Federal Inland Revenue Service in such a way that as soon as the bank confirms payment, the FIRS goes ahead to issue an official receipt to that effect. He noted that the importers are made to pay VAT on the Cost, Insurance and Freight value of the consignment while the said goods are still on the high seas, arguing that VAT should be paid of Free On Board value of the imported goods when it must have arrived the seaports or importer’s warehouse. “VAT collection is a global concept, which Nigeria has adopted. It is not illegal but what
we are challenging is the principles of its application. How can you charge VAT based on the CIF value of the goods? That would be like charging tax on another tax which does not happen anywhere in the world”, he lamented. “The same consignment, which you have paid VAT on through the Customs payment protocol, when you get to the bank, you pay VAT on turnover, the terminal operator and shipping company also collect VAT on the same consignment”, he argued. “Let us determine at what point that we should pay VAT on a container with XYZ number for instance so that the importer pays to the FIRS and obtain an official receipt as against the current practice where every operator collects VAT on a consignment and yet none of them issues receipt”, he further proposed”.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Six firms jostle to supply equipment to RSTV CHINEDUM EMEANA PORT HARCOURT
ix companies are presently jostling to be given the contract to supply state-of-theart broadcasting equipment to the Rivers State Television having all submitted their bid documents to the Tenders Board set up by the state Ministry of Information and Communications at the Conference Room of the Ministry yesterday. The companies include WTS Broadcasting Limited, Emerate Media Resources Limited, Ecalpemos Technology Limited, C2S Nigeria Limited, Comfax Nigeria and Elite Pro Koncepts Limited. Mrs. Jokotade Adamu, Permanent Secretary of the ministry and the chairman of the Tenders Board, who received the documents from representatives of the companies, frowned at the fact that some of the firms
Wema Bank reiterates commitment to gender representation JOHNSON OKANLAWON
L-R: Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), Mr. Oscar Onyema; Managing Director, First Aluminium Nigeria Plc, Mr. Ben Elfrinks and Commercial Director, Mr. John Dixon, during First Aluminium presentation of facts behind the figures at the NSE House in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: OLUFEMI AJASA
48hrs clearance: Onne, Port Harcourt ports get gantry scanners CHINEDUM EMEANA PORT HARCOURT
GS Scanning Nigeria Limited, one of the Destination Inspection (DI) of imports service provider to the country operating at Port Harcourt and Onne ports have deployed gantry scanners to both destinations. This investment will give impetus to the federal government’s aim to reduce goods clearing time in Nigerian ports to 48 hours as it is able to scan about 34 trucks per hour as against the fix scanner system which does 16 trucks in the same period. These scanner types, which were not available as at 2005 when the FG contracted SGS as a service provider in its Destination Inspection policy,
represent the most up-to-date technology that will compliment current efforts aimed at reducing the cost of doing business at the ports in Nigeria, according to Mr. Nigel Balchin, the company’s managing director. He added that the new scanner technology is more productive and cost effective than the traditional fixed cargo scanners as the two gantry scanners have been provided for the cost of one fixed scanner. Balchin explained that even though the gantry scanners were not available in 2005 when SGS entered into contract with the FG, it sought government’s permission to deploy the new technology when it became available in line with his company’s quality service culture.
“The gantry scanner has a double tunnel; therefore two trucks can be scanned simultaneously. Its image quality is on par with a fixed scanner. The trucks remain stationary during scanning, as the gantry scanner moves on rails, unlike the fixed scanner type where the truck is pulled through the scanner on a conveyor that’s more vulnerable to maintenance issues,” Balchin added. “The scanner is mounted above ground unlike a fixed scanner where one of the detectors is four metres underground. In addition, a re-locatable gantry scanner can be redeployed to an alternative site, in a relatively short time, in case of any expansion or new development”.
did not submit complete documents despite being given six weeks to fulfil the task. She therefore granted a 24 hours grace to the firms with incomplete bid documents to fill in the gaps or risk losing out before even the bids are opened. Adamu said when the board processes all the companies bidding documents, those who scale through would hear from the board within one week. She explained that the Board decided to extend the collection date of the documents in order to avoid blame from any company and commended the people that contributed to the success of the exercise. Speaking on behalf of all the companies, Otunba Ayodeji Osibogun, the Chairman of WTS Broadcasting Limited thanked the Tenders Board for the mature manner it handled the presentation of the documents and appealed to them to continue in like manner.
he Managing Director of Wema Bank, Mr. Segun Oloketuyi, has said that the bank is commited towards ensuring diversity and adequate gender representation at all levels. He spoke yesterday in Lagos when the bank appointed Ms. Augustina Vukor and Mr. Adeyinka Asekun to its board. A statement from the bank quoted Oloketuyi, as saying that he was confident in the two appointments by the board as the appointees will bring with them quality experience and exper-
tise having distinguished themselves in various endeavors and have made significant contributions to the banking industry and the growth of the nation’s economy. According to the statement, Vukor is appointed an Independent Director, while Asekunas is appointed a non-Executive Director. “This brings to nine, the number of Non-Executive Directors on the board and reflects an indication of the bank’s continued commitment to the sustenance of good corporate governance and adequate gender representation at all levels,” the statement said.
Building, wood sector stakeholders mull challenges DAYO AYEYEMI
hallenges confronting employees in the building and wood sectors will be in the front burner as Nigeria hosts second edition of the Building and Wood Workers International (BWI) Regional Conference next week. The conference scheduled for Lagos next week will be attended by workers in the construction, civil engineering, furniture and wood sector in Europe, Africa and Middle East. The theme of the conference is “Building and Advancing Workers Power in Construction and Forestry Sector.” Speaking on the conference, the President of the National Union of Civil Engineering,
Construction, Furniture and Wood Workers (NUCECFWW), an affiliate of BWI, Oba (Dr.) Samuel Adeoye, said that the conference provides an opportunity for employees in the industry to brainstorm challenges confronting them in the region. He stated that between the last conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and now, a lot of things have happened, noting that political, social and economic events in the region and even in the globe have shaped the building, construction and wood industry. All these events, he noted have impacted on the workers’ welfare, “who are our members,” saying that “The Abuja conference will bridge the gaps on policies, decisions and affirmations of the Addis Ababa conference.”
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Hope rises for local computer brands Recent activities embarked on by the Federal Ministry of Communication Technology seem to have rekindled industry hope that government is ready to support indigenous computer firms with good policies for better competitiveness with foreign brands, writes KUNLE AZEEZ.
ndigenous computer manufacturing sub-sector of the Nigeria’s Information and Communication technology may be on its way to glory if the current working of the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Communication technology go through. Over the years, indigenous computer brands such as Zinox, Omatek, Brian, Beta and Veda, have been faced with countless challenges raging from lack of enabling operating environment due to overt infrastructural challenges in the country. Others are lack of favourable government policies to drive patronage, especially by the private sector, poor access to funding and lack of duty waiver on importation of Completely Knocked Down, CKD, computer parts by the original equipment manufacturers. Indeed, the harsh operating environment of Nigerian computer makers, which also shoots up the cost of production, has also made it extremely difficult for them to have fair pricing for their products even as foreign brands ship their computer brands into the country for sales, having enjoyed favourable government policies in their respective countries during production. These challenges have conspired against the ability of the indigenous computer brand owners to compete favourably with their foreign counterparts such as HP, Dell, Acer and the likes, whose operations in Nigeria have contributed to capital flight in the nation’s ICT industry, since, money realised in Nigeria by the foreign computer brand owners are repatriated to develop their respective economies. The operating condition of indigenous firms is appalling as investigations revealed that as at 2011, only about 500, 000 computers had been manufactured by them, however, foreign brands were said to have sold millions of their Personal Computers and desktop computers in the country. It is noteworthy that the consistent clamours by the indigenous players for a proactive government intervention directed mainly at fostering the growth of local OEMs, had not received adequate attention from the government, albeit effort was made during the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo to drive computer acquisition in the public institutions through patronage of local computer brands. However, the scheme which some computer firms such as Zinox and Omatek benefited from, which obviously boosted their performance in terms of sales during the period, became a forgotten idea after he left office in 2007 and since then, there has been a general lull in the production volume and sales by indigenous computer forms since their patronage has been poor. Meanwhile, the need to bring about a turnaround in the computer manufacturing sub-sector in Nigeria, informed the recent serial visit of the Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson, to the offices of the local computer brand owners to assess their operations vis-a-vis the challenges being faced so as to ascertain the kind of policy to put in place that will make them more competitive and boost their patron age for economic development. As a culmination of the various visits, the minister undertook a-day tour of the local Otigba Computer Village Market at Ikeja, during which she expressed shock on finding out that most traders in the market were hardly stocking Nigeria-made ICT products. The minister’s visits were part of the plan to unfold a student computer ownership scheme for local com-
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS KEEN ON INTRODUCING DUTY WAIVER ON IMPORTATION OF
IT PARTS BY THE
INDIGENOUS COMPUTER FIRMS AS WELL AS PUTTING A NEW MANUFACTURING INTERNATIONAL STANDARD IN PLACE TO BOOST THEIR COMPETITIVENESS puter makers in October, with the aim of building demand for indigenous computer companies. Lamenting during the Otigba Market tour, the minister said: “My biggest disappointment is that there were no enough Nigerian brands in most of the offices and shops I visited at Computer Village. I think we need to get Nigerian devices into the hands of Nigerians and that is what I really want to work on with necessary stakeholders to achieve.” She, however, said the Federal Government is keen on introducing duty waiver on importation of IT parts by the indigenous computer firms as well as putting a new manufacturing international standard in place to boost their competitiveness. “We are already doing something called IT Devices Assembly Status, which if you can prove to us that you assemble IT devices here in Nigeria, you get zero per cent duty on the importation of such products. That arrangement is already there, it is just a case of resuscitating it allows bonafide assemblers of IT devices in this country, to get that waiver. And of course, if this arrangement has been passive before now, we are working on resuscitating it in order to better grow the industry faster,” she said. She said the ministry had set machinery in place, through the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) to ensure the international quality standard, thereby boosting the patronage of computer devices manufactured in Nigeria. The new policy, it was learnt, will make it illegal for any government Ministries, Departments and Agen-
cies, to patronise foreign computer brands, where similar products are readily available in-country on the stable of indigenous OEMs, will also contribute to the growth of the nation’s IT sector. Meanwhile, stakeholders in the indigenous computer manufacture ring sector have pointed out key area where their shoes pinch them. The Group Managing Director, Omatek Computers Plc, Mrs. Florence Seriki, who blamed poor funding of indigenous computer and Information and Communications Technology products manufacturers in the country as a major threat, said lack of funding from banks for local ICT products manufacturers was the bane of local content development. Seriki canvassed for reduced duties for local computer companies to give them some competitive margins over wholly imported foreign products. “Funding does not exist in the country. The Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Communications Technology need to work together to secure the interest of local brands; we drive technology transfer and skill acquisition,” she said. Chairman of Zinox Group, Mr. Leo Stan Ekeh, said apart from introducing zero duty regime for the local OEMs, and intensifying efforts at solving power problem in the country, government should also create digital activities that will drive patronage “We are not saying government should bail out. We don’t need a bail-out. Rather, what we need is favourable policies and for government to create digital activities that will speed up computer acquisition and usage in the country with adequate patronage of indigenous computer brands by the government. Government must support what we do to transform Nigeria into a digital economy,” he said. Speaking on the development, the Assistant General Secretary of the Computer and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria, Mr. John Oboro, who attributed the slow growth of indigenous computer brands to government insensitivity to implementing policies that can drive growth in the industry, argued that in other countries, such as the United States, in spite of their high level of development, zero duty regime was in place. He said, “Modern economy is woven around ICT and the success of economies in the 21st Century will, to a large extent, be anchored on how well an economy has been able to support indigenous IT industry with good policies.”
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Lagos begins enforcement on telecoms masts STORIES: KUNLE A ZEEZ
he Lagos State Government through the Urban Furniture Regulatory Unit, has commenced enforcement exercise on telecommunications masts installed in the state. The purpose is to check the strength and specifications of the structures to ensure they are in good condition. During the exercise, which was carried out recently, UFRU’s technical team visited several locations in the state, where masts were installed. General Manager, UFRU, Mr. Joe Igbokwe, said although the exercise was long overdue, it was necessary to embark on it, to ensure safety of lives and property. According to him, Lagos government has had cases of collapsed
masts that killed innocent Lagosians and destroyed properties worth billions of naira in the past, and would not sit and watch such disasters occur again. The exercise, he said, was meant to call the attention of owners of weak masts to either evacuate or strengthen them to avoid possible danger to lives and properties. During the recent enforcement exercise, telecoms masts as well as masts belonging to banks that are located in Agidingbi, Ikeja, Ogba, Oba Akran and CMD Magodo, were visited and the masts inspected. The UFRU technical team observed that most locations visited, have weak and faulty masts, which was attributed to lack of proper maintenance plan. According to the enforcement team, most of the masts
have outlived their normal lifespan of five to six years and that some were built with hollow pipes instead of solid metals while others were locally fabricated. Addressing journalists shortly after the exercise, Igbokwe said other things that the team considered were the height of masts, the rust condition the fixing of bolts and nuts, as well as the base of the mast, which he said must be very solid and spacious. The team, advised mast owners to double-check the integrity of their masts from time to time to avoid cases of masts collapse and told them not to wait until government carries out its enforcement plan before putting their masts in order, adding that defaulting orgainsations run the risk of losing the property should any mast collapses.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tech Box BlackBerry 7.1 ARM
Developed to reduce battery consumption
esearch-in-Motion, manufacturers of the BlackBerry devices, has introduced a new application to help the phone users get the most battery life out of their BlackBerry smartphone. The Application Resource Monitor (ARM) is designed to identify and alert phone user of idle apps that are draining battery life and automatically close them. ARM will only trigger an alert for apps that are running but not in use, or are running while the device has been idle. In the design, users may also choose to turn off the feature, ignore the alert, or add an app to a white list which will cause the ARM to ignore it moving forward.
The Application Resource Monitor became available for download on BlackBerry App World from August 10, 2012 for BlackBerry 7.1 devices. The ARM app is part of a family of apps that are already accessible on BlackBerry 7.1 devices, including Battery Saving Mode and Application Manager, which help users to optimise battery and memory usage. Battery Saving Mode lets phone users extend battery life by unobtrusively reducing battery drain; this includes setting the backlight brightness to 20 per cent, setting backlight timeout to 20 seconds, automatically dimming the backlight, and reducing the timing on mobile hotspot auto shutdown. Application Manager alerts the user if they are running low on application memory and prompts for removal of unused languages and/or applications.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1
Equipped with digital pen, faster processor
L-R: Head of Compliance and Risk Control, Mr. Tunmbi Idowu; Head of M-Commerce Sales, Mr. Lars Arvidsson; Country Manager and Head of Regional Accounts, Mr. Kamar Abass; Senior Advisor, ConsumerLab, Mr. Anders Erlandsson and Head of M-Commerce, Mr. Adam Kerr all of Ericsson at the Lagos launch of the Ericsson Consumer Insight Summary Report on M-Commerce in Sub-Saharan Africa in Lagos on Tuesday.
Oracle boosts Etisalat’s data network efficiency
racle Communications has delivered a new data technology for Etisalat Nigeria to improve the processing and analysis of the increasing data traffic on nation’s fourth largest telecoms operator’s network. The technology christened, “Oracle Communications Data Model” allows Etisalat Nigeria to analyse data across multiple business areas including customer, revenue and network management with a view to reacting quickly to technological, regulatory and business challenges in both prepaid and postpaid markets. Upon implementing Oracle Communications Data Model on Oracle Exadata Database Machine X2-2 Half Rack, Etisalat Nigeria said it has reduced the time required to aggregate and
analyse data by 99 percent. The company in statement, said it can now load call detail records in near real-time, and has gained improved insight to the behaviour of its customers and their propensity to churn. “Now able to make decisions based on near real-time data, Etisalat Nigeria can take immediate action to prevent customer churn, deliver personalised promotions and identify and address revenue leakage sources,” the statement said. The solution, according to the statement, includes pre-built dashboards and other customised components to jump-start development and reduce the cost, complexity and risk of data integration. Implemented in just eight months, Oracle Communications Data Model also provides Etisalat
Nigeria the flexibility to upgrade systems faster and efficiently as market conditions change. Oracle Communications Data Model is purpose-built for communications service providers and has been conformance certified with the industry’s TM Forum Information Framework (SID) standard, which fosters interoperability with providers’ systems. Etisalat Nigeria has deployed Oracle Communications Data Model on Oracle Exadata Database Machine, which offers extreme data warehousing performance with faster upload and query speeds. Etisalat also implemented Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition 11g to increase the efficiency of its business operations and gain additional contextual and actionable insight.
amsung Electronics is taking another shot at the dominance of Apple’s iPad with a tablet equipped with a digital pen and a faster processor. The wi-fi-only version of the Galaxy Note 10.1 went on sale in the United States mid week. Apple’s latest iPad starts at the same price but the Note 10.1 offers some features that the iPad does not have, while its screen resolution is lower than the iPad’s. It is Samsung’s first Android tablet equipped with a digital pen and can run two applications side-by-side on a screen divided in half. The split screen, made possible by the quad-core processor and two gigabytes of RAM, can be useful when taking notes while watching a video or surfing the internet. Samsung has released about half a dozen Android tablets in the last two years under the Galaxy Tab series but none of them has been as popular as the iPad. Analysts say Android tablets are less successful because of a dearth of applications and higher prices. But with the Note 10.1, the South Korean company believes it has a product that will find favour with corporations and
schools despite the iPad’s rich pool of applications and sharper screen. While Apple makes one new model for the iPhone and iPad every year to meet demand from all around the world, Samsung releases multiple mobile products with variations in prices, screen sizes, hardware and operating systems. This strategy helped Samsung edge pass Apple in smartphone sales but has not paid off in the tablet area, probably because Samsung’s previous tablets were not differentiated enough from the iPad. Samsung’s second-quarter market share in the global tablet market fell to 9%, while nearly seven out of 10 tablets in the market were emblazoned with the Apple logo, according to IHS iSuppli. Samsung has improved the pressure-sensitive pen to make it feel more natural and accurate since the “S Pen” digital pen was first introduced with the Galaxy Note last year.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Brands & Marketing
Rising need for consumer education in Nigeria E
ducation is a life long process of constantly acquiring relevant information, knowledge and skills. Consumer education is an important part of this process and is a basic consumer right that perhaps should be introduced at basic school levels. Consumers by definition include all citizens who are, by and large the biggest group, who are affected by almost all government, public or private decisions. The most important step in consumer education is awareness of consumer rights. However, consumer education is incomplete without the responsibilities and duties of consumers, and this influences individual behaviour to a great extent. In the contemporary societies, the consumer is always faced with a mass of goods and services that are products of complex and advanced industrial, agricultural and services technologies. The necessary skills to make rational decisions amidst these forces and the complexities of free market economies are often beyond the ability of most consumers. Consumer education is therefore essential to provide the skills and knowledge to empower consumers and enable them to use their resources effectively and increase their awareness of their wider role in society. Consumer education addresses not only problems of consumers individually, but also of sustainable consumption, human rights and ethical values. Consumer education contributes towards the formation of a participative, critical and competent citizenship. The process of development along with the expanding globalisation and liberalisation process has increased the number of consumer related issues. Consumer protection has earned an important place in the political, economic and social agendas of many nations. In Nigeria, the government has taken steps including legislative, to protect consumers. A significant step was the establishment of the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) by Act No.66 of 1992, though it commenced operations only when its institutional framework was put in place in 1999. Although the Consumer Protection Council is the apex consumer protection agency of the Federal Goverment of Nigeria, it has become obvious especially in recent time that it cannot function unilaterally but with consumers playing very active roles in developing their own awareness as consumers, as well as producers
Overtime, healthy business practices have been an advantage which favours climes that bother to ensure them. Such practices, more often than not, are underpinned by informed transactions on the part of consumers. ELLA OLAMIJU writes on the need for Nigerian consumers to be more informed in order to build healthier business transaction cultures .
Shoppers at the Idumota market, Lagos.
ALTHOUGH I DON’T KNOW ALL MY RIGHTS, THE LITTLE I KNOW I CAN NOT INSIST BECAUSE IT COULD BE DANGEROUS
maintaining the vital role of providing to a reasonable extent written literature and details about their products and services. Authorities in developing countries have decried the level of consumer awareness in such societies and Nigeria is no exception as was confirmed by the Consumer Protection Council of Nigeria’s Lagos officer, Mrs Ngozika Obidike in an interview with National Mirror “ The high level of illiteracy is a serious challenge to our consumer education programmes, we have problems with grassroot penetration because of the significant level of illiteracy in our huge population”. She added that, “ what we do is break relevant information down in major national languages, still many are illiterate so our consumer education programees are fund intensive”. From observation, there appears to be a significant dearth of consumer awareness even amongst the literate public in the Nigerian society, for example, many consumers were observed shopping within Lagos metropolist without even checking expiry dates on the items. When approached
on issues of consumer rights and business transaction laws, many consumers admitted their laccadaisical attitude and lack of knowledge about business transaction laws but attributed such disposition to the long and tasking process of getting redress in Nigeria which surprisingly many were even unaware of. According to Mr. Supo Adeagbo, “ I know that if I report the infringement of my right as a consumer, I will not get justice from it, and even if something is eventually done, I would have lost more money and energy in the process, look at what happens in our court cases it can be frustrating”, but this is only an assumption as Adeagbo has never approached the Consumer Protection Council on any issue but acknowledged having recorded some infringements on his rights. Some other consumers displayed some sense of timidity which appeared imposed by environmental happenings. Mrs Anita Ibe offered that the environment is hostile for such, “ what if you report a company and the government comes hard on them and they send hired killers after you or members of your
family, I don’t think it is worth it around here.” She offered that, “ Although I don’t know all my rights, the little I know I can not insist because it could be dangerous”. It was observed that most consumers spoken to by National Mirror were rather not aware of their rights as consumers nor possess enough information to guard them through healthy transactions. Many didn’t realise the fact that there is an agency to run to. Speaking on the sentiments of consumers, Obidike had reiterated that, “ Total consumer protection is a collective responsibility effort of not just manufacturers , service providers and the government but also of the consumer, they have to be aware and cooperate with us by making complaints appropriately, those who come to us we ensure they get redress within 30 days of filing complaints and sometimes a bit longer but 60 days maximum”. Fact remains that only knowledgeable and alert consumers who are aware of their rights and responsiblities can protect themselves effectively. The need of the hour therefore is to educate the common consumers particularly those in rural areas who are more susceptible to exploitation. Once they are educated and made aware of the schemes that have been drawn up for their benefit and also the redressal forum that is available, the benefit of various schemes, in
true sense, will reach the common consumers of the country. Specifically, consumer education enables individuals to develop the ability to become critical consumers. It teaches people for example to make reasoned appraisal of advertisements and other activities through which consumers are influenced to consume particular products and services. Informed appraisal could include the overall implications, both to the individual and society, of consuming that particular product or service. Through consumer education, consumers are equipped with knowledge, skills and understanding of the market. Consumer education enables consumers to judge and make competent decisions about their financial transactions. Furthermore, marketing communication experts are of the opinion that consumer education stimulates the nation’s social and economic development. Consumers, who exercise free choice based on knowledge of facts, will be able to make the best use of resources within their disposal such as time, money, knowledge and ability. Consumer education enables citizens to act in a more enlightened and critical manner which helps reduce the number of court cases. Consumer education also helps consumers to use scarce resources appropriately and responsibly thus increasing the successes of government development plans. For vulnerable consumers, such as the poor in society, consumer education is of survival importance. Very often, the poor have no option but to live on meagre resources. Consumer education thus, enables them to separate wants from needs and to manage whatever is within their disposal more efficiently. These translate to significant social and economic development of the nation. The Consumer Protection Council of Nigeria states that, “ It is hoped that as consumers become aware of their rights and responsibility, and report any unremedied infringement to the council, the dynamics of a free market economy will be triggered off to generate a better, sustainable, thriving and growing economy in the nation. Such would remove wasteful expenditures, reduce poverty as value for money gets assured.”
Brands & Marketing
Thursday, August 30, 2012
CSR: 2012 Indomie Heroes Award judges announced STORIES: ELLA OLAMIJU
ufil Prima Plc, makers of Indomie Instant Noodles, has announced the panel of judges for the fifth edition of its corporate social responsibility initiative, “Indomie Independence Day Award for the Heroes of Nigeria”. The Judges are expected to select the three winners from the top 18 Stories already penciled down by the selection committee so far. According to the statement issued by Public Relations Manager, Dufil Prima Foods Plc, Mr. Tope Ashiwaju, members of the panel for this year would include, Headmaster, Lagos Preparatory School, Mr. Graham Stohhard, Editor, Businessday, Mr. Philip Isakpa, Women Arise
for Change Initiative, Dr. Joel Okei Odumakin, Veteran Playwright, artist and singer, Mr. Jimi Solanke Professor, Department of English, UNILAG, Mrs Karen-King Aribisala, PSFR Specialist, Mrs Angela Ege Ochuko and Fifth Gear Consulting’s Mr Niyi Adesanya . Asiwaju had said, “I am pleased to announce to you that we have selected another creed of credible and well meaning Nigerians this year to serve on the panel of judges for 2012 Independence Day Heroes Award to select three deserving heroic children’’. “ The selected members of the panel are credible people with proven integrity and the fact that they come from different backgrounds ranging from academics, media, NGOs and private practice will bring about a cross fertilisation of
ideas to reach informed decisions’’. Ashiwaju revealed that the search phase of the 2012 edition by the Independent Research Agency and submission of entries have been concluded with over 11,000 stories, out of which 18 stories have been carefully selected by a screening committee in consonant with the set criteria for selection. He disclosed that the verification teams on the field to authenticate, validate and simulate “the selected stories which will be used during the judges” meeting for the selection of the first, second and third place winners. The winners of the award are expected to win N1million worth of scholarship for the first prize winner, N750, 000 for the second prize winner and N500, 000 for the third place winner.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Guinness appoints Ufomba as marketing and innovative director
he management of Guinness Nigeria Plc has appointed Mr. Austin Ufomba as its new Marketing and Innovation Director. Ufomba is expected to lead the marketing of the company’s portfolio of world class brands as it plans to sustain its market leadership objectives. He started at Guinness Nigeria as a Graduate Management Trainee (GMT) and, over a 10 year period, held various positions within Diageo including Brand Manager, Malta Guinness and the Guinness Extra Stout. He was also the Global Marketing Manager, Guinness working out of the UK and Project Manager, Marketing. From 2005 to date, Ufomba has held senior leadership roles in First City Monument Bank (FCMB) and Coca-Cola where he was appointed Strategic Marketing Manager (Colas) and subsequently, Strategic Marketing Manager for all Sparkling Beverages, with responsibility for building the Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Schweppes, Limca and Gold Spot brands. While at FCMB, he was the Vice President, Brand Marketing and Communication, and while in this role, he positively drove the marketing and communication unit leading many successful innovations for the organisation. He has attended various local and overseas management training courses in reputable institutions including the Harvard Business School. He re-joins Guinness Nigeria at a critical moment to lead the marketing team and make solid contributions in the quest to beat the competition in the vibrant beverage industry in Nigeria.
How brands use promotions to market on pinterest
P L-R: Managing Partner, TruContact Ltd, Mr. Ken Egbas, Lead Facilitator and Director Incite, South Africa, Mr. Jonathon Hanks and Mr. Nduneche Ezurike at TruContact’s specialist course on CSR held in Lagos recently.
Etisalat introduces prize for innovation at Africa Com 2012 Awards
igeria’s fastest growing and most innovative telecommunications company, Etisalat has announced the launch of the first edition of the ‘Etisalat Prize for Innovation’ to reward the most innovative existing mobile broadband product or service in Africa. The award which will be one of the major attractions at the 15th Annual Africa Com Conference scheduled to take place in Cape Town, South Africa in November 2012. The Etisalat Prize for Innovation’ is aimed at encouraging and celebrating valuable innovation in the African market and will be awarded in 2 categories; both prizes will be for driving or facilitating mobile broadband use in Africa. The first prize of $25, 000 is for the most innovative product or service launched in the last 12 months and a second prize of $10,000 for the most innovative idea. Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Steven Evans said, “The importance of Africa as a growth market for mobile broadband is clearly
evident, as the continent remains the fastest growing telecommunications market in the world. Over the past few years, Africa has witnessed a dramatic increase in mobile broadband connections mainly due to the surge in mobile broadband connections in Nigeria. At Etisalat, we believe that the next big thing in telecommunications in Nigeria and Africa in general is broadband and we are pushing this agenda very seriously being the first to launch a 3.75G network in Nigeria”. He explained that the award seeks to reward corporate organisations; small and growing businesses as well as individuals developing advanced mobile broadband solutions and platforms in Africa. “We have launched this award because we realise the importance of innovative broadband projects, products and services which have improved the way we live and work. Innovation is core to our business strategy at Etisalat and we see ourselves as a young and innovative
business setting the pace for others in the Nigerian telecommunications industry.” Entries for the award open Thursday 16th of August till September 6, 2012 and should be made via the Etisalat website on www.etisalat.com/innovation. The entries must show demonstrable impact on broadband usage, impressive uptake from customers and would have made a visible commercial or social impact in the community. According to Etisalat, entries are open to African Mobile Network Operators (MNO) and Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO) with innovative Broadband products or services using the GSM network family (2G GPRS & EDGE, 3G, HSPA, LTE), Handset and/or Device manufacturers, App Developers and other Software service providers making use of mobile broadband capability, Radio and Core network Infrastructure suppliers enabling broadband products and content developers.
interest’s traffic and engagement are spiking, and marketers want a piece of the action. After launching branded profiles, many businesses are now developing promotions on the platform, encouraging users to follow the profiles of individual brands and pin items from their websites. Most recently, British Midland International (BMI) launched a “Pinterest Lottery.” The airline has posted a series of boards on its Pinterest page, featuring numbered and logo-clad photos from five destinations: Beirut, Dublin, Marrakech, Moscow and Nice. Users are asked to repin up to six images. At the end of each week, the company will choose a number at random; the users who had repinned the image with that number will be qualified for a chance to win a pair of free return flights to any BMI destination. In December, Lands’ End Canvas launched a promotion called “Lands’ End Canvas Pin It to Win It.” Fans of the apparel brand were asked to pin items from landsendcanvas.com to designated Lands’ End Canvas pinboards for a chance to win one of those items. Barneys New York launched a similar campaign ahead of Valentine’s Day. The Manhattan-based retailer encouraged followers of its other social channels to follow its Pinterest page and create a “Barneys New York Valentine’s Day Wish List” board in the Women’s or Men’s Apparel categories. Participants were welcome to pin anything they wanted to their boards, but at least five items needed to be sourced from barneys.com to qualify for the contest. Entries were handled by email.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Brands & Marketing
Thursday, August 30, 2012
CSR: Promasidor donates medical equipment to Isolo LCDA ELLA OLAMIJU
romasidor Nigeria Limited, makers of Cowbell Milk, has donated medical equipment to a public health centre in Okota in Isolo Local Council Development Area of Lagos. Some of the items donated to the centre include blood pressure monitors, projectors, Xray machines, gauzes, surgical gowns, drapes and bandages, printers, bin liners amongst others. Corporate Communication Co-ordinator, Promasidor, Mr. Isiaka Lawal, disclosed that the company was partnering with the Isolo Local Council Development Area to provide medical equipment for the public health
center, which is in line with the company’s corporate social responsibility policy. He said, “As a company, it is part of our policy to give back to the community in which we operate in and we know that partnering with the Isolo Local Council Development Area on this project will be beneficial to our host community.” Chairman, Isolo Local Council Development Area, Honourable Shamsudeen Abiodun Olaleye, acknowledged that Promasidor Nigeria has continually impacted on the lives of the people in the community. The chairman who recently marked his 300 days in office said, “We really want to appreciate the efforts of Promasidor Nigeria because it has not relented in assisting whenever it can.
We want to say thank you to the staff and management of Promasidor for the kind gesture. We have looked forward to this partnership, at first, we thought it was a mirage but now we know it has come to stay. The health center is ready but the structure is not enough the equipments are very key and Promasidor has made the full realization of that promise. We want to say thank you also for the items that were donated.” Olaleye disclosed that since Promasidor joined his administration it has helped the Isolo Local Council Development Area in bringing smiles to the faces of widows and has promised to empower the widows by giving them products for free as well as branded shops to start their own businesses.
L-R: Assistant Brand Manager, Promasidor , Mr. Kingsley Onuoha, winner in the on-going Olympics Medal Rush promo, Mr. Christopher Nnagbo, and Procurement Manager, Promasidor Nigeria, Mr. Anie Ekong during the cheque presentation in Lagos recently.
A brand should live up to its promise
he brand promise of the Skye brand is to always build positive association with customers. when the banks YES campaign kicked off years back,the bank positioned itself as a worthy friend to customers. I remember vividly the radio commercials “I wish I had a friend saying YES to my dreams”.The campaign exemplified the values of the bank as a true and dependable ally for customers. I was at the Ikeja Plaza branch of the Skye Bank several weeks back. It was a transaction that required one paying huge interests as i needed to sort something out urgently.The paper work would have scuttled our plans as it was too late. I was pleasantly surprised when the BDM, one William Odigie intervened and sourced the money for my company to hold the event. That day, the man never knew the huge capital he added to the brand’s
image. The Skye Bank actually said YES to my dream that day as what looked like a brick wall thinned out within seconds. The Skye brand and its Manager projected the brand values and created an enduring touchpoint that remains indelible.A friend also shared his memorable experiences whenever he uses the Skye Bank VIP lounge at the Airport whenever he travels to visit his family in Canada. It is required of any brand to live up to its promise and meet consumers’expectation. Consumers seek out brands that keep their promise. Brands should create experiences and opportunities for consumers to be emotionally attached with the brand. This happens only when brands consistently meet consumers’expectation and ultimately living up to the brand promise. Brands have remarkable ways
ad VA NT AG E icon
e describes himself as a creativity junkie who loves pitches and the high adrenalin that goes with. And though he is an ardent promoter of good music, his area of expertise is copywriting. Steve Babaeko is the Creative Director of global advertising and marketing communications firm, 141 Worldwide, where he has driven the creative process remarkably for over five years now. Prior to his engagement with 141Worldwide, Babaeko had spent five years each at foremost advertising agencies MC & A Saatchi & Saatchi, and Prima Garnet Ogilvy between 1995-2000 and 2000-2005 respectively. With the goal to change the landscape of marketing communications in Nigeria, a feat which he has lived up to significantly, Babaeko, a 1994 Drama graduate of Ahmadu Bello Univeristy, Zaria, recently created a distinct buzz in the ad and marketing communicatins world with telecoms company Etisalat’s advertising campaign in Nigeria. On where he draws such creative inspiration from, hesaid: “Creativity is divine, so my inspiration comes from that realm, plus, I think my environment and people I meet. I call myself a student of humanity, thus, I love to study people, their actions
Brand X-Ray with Ayodeji Ayopo Tel: 08023448199 E-mail: email@example.com to impact the way consumers view their services. The service or products are seen together with the brand as this focuses on perception. Perception matters most and how consumers perceive the brand is important than what the brand claims to be.My perception at that point in time reinforced my belief in the Skye brand. The brand has power to shape perception. This is because brands function like prisms. How consumers perceive the brand is shaped both by the actual product, features as well as the brand attributes. Consumers also utilise their established parameters to measure the extent to which a brand lives up to its promise. Consumers’ expectations are also informed by
the experience with the brand. Consumers compare the patronage of a brand in line with their expectations. When consumer experiences exceed expectations, consumers are delighted. This is why positioning is a crucial issue for every brand. It is expected of brands to maintain consistent positioning while coping with challenges in the market place. A brand should always strive to live up to its promise and preserve the brand’s core essence. My personal experience of the Skye Bank brand is one that has been etched in my memory. I believe that is the brand is that friend that I need according that creates an enduring touch point for me.
I CALL MYSELF A STUDENT OF HUMANITY THUS I LOVE TO STUDY PEOPLE and inactions, hopes, fears, and aspirations. All these are for me a big well of inspiration.” Babaeko has developed advertising Campaigns for brands like Fanta, DSTV, Virgin Atlantic, Etisalat, Pfizer and many other multinational companies, and has won several advertising Awards and pitches in the process. He is well travelled and a strong cheerleader of the youth. He gives lectures on creativity and advertising in his spare moments. The brand promise captures the essence of a brand. A brand must ensure that it substantiate every claim. Not only should such claim be substantiated but also be consistent at every point in time. A brand is also expected to be a trend setter and not following trends in order to differentiate its identity. This becomes very important because occurrences force some brands to embrace the bandwagon effect which may be injurious to their image. The reputation of any brand that fails to live up to its promise is at stake and this automatically leads to revolt by the consumers. Consumers are also emotionally involved with any brands that deliver on promise. When consumers are emotionally involved with a brand, that brand has reached an important point of success. Emotional involvement leads to brand loyalty and advocacy on the part of the consumers for the brand. A brand attracts all these and more when it fulfill its “vows” to the consumers.
Thursday, August 30, 2012
United States grew faster than estimated in second quarter
he United State economy expanded more than previously estimated in the second quarter, reflecting an improvement in the trade deficit and a pickup in household spending on utilities. Gross domestic product climbed at a 1.7 percent annual rate from April through June, up from an initial estimate of 1.5 percent, revised Commerce Department figures showed yesterday in Washington. The figure followed a 2 percent first-quarter pace and matched the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. The revised data also showed companies invested in new equipment at the weakest pace in almost three years. A second straight quarter of slowing growth shows the world’s largest economy is having difficulty making headway as consumers stay frugal and looming tax changes prompt companies to limit investment and hiring. Chairman Ben S. Bernanke this week may reaffirm the view of many Federal Reserve policy makers that more stimulus will be needed unless the expansion shows signs of strengthening. “We are very much struck in a slowgrowth mode,” said Mark Vitner, a senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities LLC in Charlotte, North Carolina, who correct-
ly forecast the revision. “We still don’t see the economy breaking free of this 1.5 percent to 2 percent growth rate. A 1.7 percent pace is the personification of the Fed’s frustration.” Another report yesterday showed Americans signed more contracts to purchase previously owned homes in July, a
sign housing will keep strengthening in the second half. The index of pending home resales climbed 2.4 percent, exceeding the 1 percent gain median forecast of 39 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, figures from the National Association of Realtors showed. The gauge rose to 101.7, the highest since April 2010. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose less than 0.1 percent to 1,409.78 at 10:02 a.m. in New York. The yield on the 10year Treasury note increased to 1.66 percent from 1.63 percent late yesterday. Economic growth forecasts from the 80 economists surveyed ranged from 1.2 percent to 2.2 percent. The economy expanded 4.1 percent in the fourth quarter. Consumer spending, about 70 percent of the economy, climbed at a 1.7 percent annual rate, the weakest in a year and revised from a 1.5 percent initial estimate. Purchases added 1.2 percentage points to growth. The revision reflected the biggest gain in spending on services since the fourth quarter of 2006. The largest contributor came from more spending on electricity and gas as temperatures across the country approached record highs.
French business confidence stays close to two-year low
rench industrial confidence remained near its lowest in two years in August, increasing pressure on President Francois Hollande’s government to revive growth in the face of Europe’s debt crisis. Sentiment among factory executives rose to 90 after July’s reading was revised down to 89, national statistics office Insee in Paris said in a statement yesterday. That’s in line with the median of 20 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey. A gauge that includes retailers, builders and service industries was unchanged at 87, the lowest in almost three years. Weak confidence at businesses underlines Hollande’s challenge as he attempts to keep a commitment to reduce the budget deficit at a time when the economy has failed to grow for three straight quarters. Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault will address business leaders on the economy later yesterday near Paris. “France, unlike Germany, might suf-
fer from the sharp tightening in fiscal policy following measures implemented over the summer,” said Francois Cabau, an economist at Barclays Capital in London. “Ayrault already said that growth assumptions might have to be revised down from the current 1.2 percent for 2013.” The euro was within half a cent of an eight-week high against the dollar before Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti and German Chancellor Angela Merkel met in Berlin yesterday, trading at $1.2559 as of 11:35 a.m. in London. Italian consumer confidence dropped to 86 in August from 86.5 in July, the national statistics office said. The decline matched the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey. Italy’s two-year notes were little changed at 3.054 percent after the nation sold 9 billion euros ($11.3 billion) of 181-day bills at an auction. The rate has fallen from 3.75 percent a month ago after European Central Bank President Mario
Draghi said the ECB may intervene to help lower borrowing costs in some euro nations, a proposal that has led to a rift with Germany’s Bundesbank.
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SNB’s $380 billion pile awes Jordan
wiss central bank President Thomas Jordan is wondering how to invest his currency reserves as euros pile up at the bank at a record pace. “The SNB has the same problem as lots of wealth managers,” said Ursina Kubli, an economist at Bank Sarasin in Zurich. “Safe assets have become very expensive. So for the time being, they prefer cash over investing.” With Europe’s debt crisis hurting returns on the least risky bonds, the Swiss National Bank is keeping reserves in cash after its policy to cap the franc swelled currency holdings by 50 percent in the four months through June to a record 365 billion francs ($380 billion). Money held at central banks, the International Monetary Fund and the Bank for International Settlements accounted for 72 percent of the gain. The SNB has been piling up euro holdings to defend the franc ceiling of 1.20 versus the single currency introduced in September 2011. While the central bank previously mainly invested foreign currencies in government bonds of AAArated nations, the surge in cash reserves suggests policy makers are finding it more difficult to find the right investments. The SNB’s foreign-exchange holdings amounted to about 60 percent of Swiss gross domestic product at the end of the second quarter. Euros accounted for 60 percent of currency reserves, up from 51 percent three months earlier, reflecting the ongoing battle to keep a lid on the franc. The currency surged about 17 percent to a record against the euro in the six months before the ceiling was introduced.
Hungary tests investors with rate cut as recession deepens
Hungary President Schmitt quits
ungary’s deepening recession prompted the central bank to unexpectedly lower the European Union’s highest benchmark interest rate as policy makers test investors’ tolerance for lower borrowing costs, said economists from London to Budapest. The Magyar Nemzeti Bank cut the twoweek deposit rate to 6.75 from 7 percent percent Tuesday, the first decrease since April 2010. It will probably ease policy further this year as concerns about the lack of economic growth outweigh accelerating inflation, economists at Morgan Stanley, Danske Bank, Equilor Zrt., and
Capital Economics Ltd. said. Policy makers have been divided on when to start cutting rates, with some arguing that the start of bailout talks opens the way to lower rates to spur growth after the economy sank into its second recession in four years. The nonexecutive members of the Monetary Council probably overcame objections about the inflation outlook and the pending bailout talks, said Pasquale Diana, an economist at Morgan Stanley (MS) in London. “We think that the four external members have chosen to use the leeway of-
fered by the better risk environment, and it is conceivable that the same members may vote to cut as long as they feel it is warranted by the risk backdrop, regardless of whether an IMF deal is struck or not,” Diana wrote in an e-mail. The forint weakened 0.7 percent to 282.98 per euro yesterday. in Budapest, after sliding the most in more than a month yesterday. The currency has gained 11.8 percent this year, the secondbest performance among more than 20 emerging-market currencies tracked by Bloomberg, as investors speculated that Hungary will obtain an IMF bailout.
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Thursday, August 30, 2012
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Thursday, August 30, 2012
First Aluminium’s profit drops 48% JOHNSON OKANLAWON
irst Aluminium Nigeria has recorded a decline in its profit for the 2011 financial year ended Deceber 30, 2011, as the gross profit stood at 324m, compared to N629m recorded in the same period of 2010. The company’s profit before tax dropped by 60.9 per cent in 2011, from N146m recorded in 2010, while turnover stood at N8.79bn in 2011, from N8.76bn in the corresponding period of 2010. According to the result presented to the Nigerian
Stock Exchange yesterday, net assets dipped by 5.2 per cent to N5.95bn, from N6.27bn recorded in 2010, while value of equities shed 4.83 per cent to N2.88bn, from N3.03bn recorded in 2010. The company’s fixed assets stood at N6.02bn in 2011, from N6.27bn in 2010, a decline by 4.05 per cent. Further analysis showed that total current assets stood at N3.39bn in 2011, from N3.79bn in 2010, while total current liabilities stood at N3.32bn in 2011, from N3.70bn in 2010. Speaking on the re-
sult, the stockbrokers lamented lack of five-year financial report of the company, saying that the financial statements of the company would provide a basis by which its performance would be judged. Although they commended the company for coming to meet with operators of the capital market, but added that the presentation of financial reports would further enhance the fate of the company at the market. The Managing Director of the company, Mr. Ben Elfrink, said attributed the profit decline to
the wage cost, gas supply, electricity tariff, exchange rates and duty tariffs in favour of imports. He explained that currently 85 per cent of all imported goods is substandard and encouraged Nigerians to patronise products manufactured in the country. He said, “Patronising Nigerian made products is better than buying imported products that are most of the time substandard. Buying Nigerian made products has an extra value in developing the Nigerian economy and give employment for Nigerians.”
Niger Insurance, Sterling Bank drive trading volume on NSE JOHNSON OKANLAWON
ransaction in the shares of Niger Insurance Plc and Sterling Bank Plc led trading volume in equities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, as investors’ appetite on the stocks rose. Though Niger Insurance was traded at 50 kobo nominal value, investors in the company exchanged 136.3 million shares valued at N68.2m in three deals, followed by Sterling Bank Plc with 15.8 million shares worth N15.9m traded in
62 deals. The All-Share Index gained 0.59 per cent to close at 23,670.11 points, compared to the increase of 0.17 per cent recorded the preceding day to close at 23,531.63 points.Market capitalisation appreciated by N44.1bn to close at N7.53tr n, higher than the increase of N12.9bn recorded the preceding day to close at N7.49tr n. Nestle Nigeria Plc led the gainers’ table with N24.94 or 4.75 per cent to close at N550.00 per share, followed by Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc
with N1.50 or 2.88 per cent to close at N53.50 per share. Presco Plc gained 49 kobo or 3.27 per cent to close at N15.49 per share, while First Bank Plc rose by 26 kobo or 1.96 per cent to close at N13.51 per share. Unilever Plc appreciated by 22 kobo or 0.63 per cent to close at N35.25 per share. On the flip side, Goldlink Insurance Plc lost 0ne kobo or 1.80 per cent to close at 52 kobo per share, while Japaul Oil Plc depreciated by one kobo or 1.56 per cent to close at 63 kobo per
share. Dangote Flour Plc shed two kobo or 0.32 per cent to close at N6.28 per share, while Dangote Sugar Plc dipped by two kobo or 0.47 per cent to close at N4.20 per share. Diamond Bank Plc fell two kobo or 0.74 per cent to close at N2.70 per share. Transaction volume in equities increased by 13.8 per cent, as a total of 272.77 million shares valued at N1.22bn were traded in 3,800 deals, compared to 239.67 million shares worth N1.76bn traded in 3,757 deals the preceding day.
US stocks little changed as investors await Bernanke
nited States stocks were little changed yesterday, following a two-day decline for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, as investors awaited Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s speech on the world’s largest economy in two days. Joy Global Incorporation, the maker of P&H and Joy mining equipment, slumped one per cent after cutting forecasts for earnings and revenue. Rival Caterpillar Incorporation, the world’s biggest maker of construction and mining machines, slid 1.3 per cent, while WellPoint Incorporation increased 7.9 per cent after Angela Braly resigned as chairman and
chief executive officer of the insurer. The S&P 500 added 0.1 per cent to 1,410.19 points. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 3.29 points, or less than 0.1 per cent, to 13,106.28 points. Trading in S&P 500 companies was down 25 per cent from the 30-day average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. “You are right in that narrow little lane where nothing needs to move at this point,” said Madelynn Matlock, who helps oversee about $14.7bn at Huntington Asset Advisors in Cincinnati. “People are actually waiting if anything comes out of Bernanke’s speech that is totally not expected. I don’t see any big initia-
tive out of the Fed at this point. The economy is good enough that it’s not a disaster, yet it is slow enough that there’s no reason to crank up the anti-inflation machine.” Bernanke may shed light on monetary policy in a speech to central bankers on August 31 in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The US economy expanded more than previously estimated in the second quarter, reflecting an improvement in the trade deficit and a pickup in household spending on utilities. Americans signed more contracts to purchase previously owned homes in July, a sign housing will keep strengthening in the second half.
The S&P 500 has risen two per cent so far in August and is on pace for its third straight monthly advance. Technology, consumer discretionary and financial shares led the gains in the index, adding at least 2.7 per cent and pacing advances among companies which are most-tied to the economy. If history is any guide, the S&P 500 may extend gains next month, according to a Bespoke Investment Group study. Going back to 1928, the index has returned an average 0.12 per cent in September when it has been up yearto-date through August, the data showed. The measure has risen 12 per cent so far in 2012.
NIBOR QUOTES 28 AUGUST & 29 AUGUST 2012 25.00 24.00 23.00 22.00 21.00 20.00 19.00 18.00 17.00 16.00 15.00 14.00 13.00 12.00 11.00 10.00
Market indicators All-Share Index 23,105.05 points Market capitalisation 7,354 trillion
Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY
Primary Market Auction TENOR
Open Market Operations TENOR
Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at August 29, 2012 1st Tier Securities Sector
1st Tier Securities No Of Deals
Value of Shares(N)
No Of Deals
Value of Shares(N)
Thursday, August 30, 2012
The Future Awards 2012 holds amidst frills, glamour
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Artiste Chidinma and OC Ukeje
s expected, the 7th edition of the biggest youth awards in Africa, The Future Awards held Sunday night amidst the frills, thrills and glamour that have characterised the event since inception. The event, a gathering of change agents, innovators, entrepreneurs, celebrities from the 36 states of the country was held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. It was the first time it would be held outside` Lagos. The Keynote Speech and the 'Conversation about Nigeria' held at The Atrium, while the Red Carpet reception and the awards show held at a new international events venue launched the day before, Aztech Arcum. It was delivered by former group CEO of UBA and Chairman of Heirs Holdings, Tony O. Elumelu, MFR. Guests included former president of the World Bank, Obiageli Ezekwesili, deputy governor of rivers State, founder of Rainbow Book Club, Koko Kalango, entertainment lawyer, Efere Ozako, blogger Linda Ikeji, on-air personality Denrele Edun, actors OC Ukeje and Tonto Dike, designers Ohimai Atafo, amongst others. “We are pleased to announce the names of great individuals that made it through the process of nomination, voting and judging in the last three months. Everyone that made it to the nomination, is a winner,” said the Executive Director of The Future Awards, Chude Jideonwo who delivered a rousing speech themed, "This ship is sinking - so what will we do about it?" Jideonwo, in his thought-provoking speech, stated: Listen guys, we are all we’ve got, and this should be the Turning Point Generation. “I did not come here to excite you; I came so we can encourage one another. I came to remind us that, after all said and done, you and I are still here. And because we are still here, we have no choice but to keep working. “Let’s keep the faith. If we stumble, let’s rise. When we fall, let’s rebound. Let’s refuse to let Nigeria go, let’s insist it must work. Let’s keep working until it changes; let’s keep changing until we tear down these walls.” There were performances by Bez, Chidinma, daughter of Port Harcourt based Muma Gee, and national anthem by Nene, Ruby and Shaydee. Timi Da-
kolo ended the show with a spectacular performance of Great Nation. There was also a documentary paying tribute to January's fuel subsidy protests and ‘The Corpers’ who lost their lives in the 2011 elections. The Future Awards 2012 is hosted by the Rivers State Government, with support from Access Bank, Diamond Bank, Microsoft, and Notore. Media Partners for the event are Channels TV, Silverbird TV, TVContinental, Wazobia FM, Nigeria Info, BellaNaija, 360Nobs, LindaIkejiBlog, Jobberman, Premium Times, NET, TW, Complete Fashion, and FAB. Official media partners are Africa Magic, Cool FM, and Y! (www.ynaija.com).
Denrele Edun and Muma Gee
THE WINNERS Best Use of Advocacy Babafemi Oyediran (Project Red) Best Use of New Media Gidi-Traffic Creative Artist of the Year Bayo Omoboriowo (Photographer) Designer of the Year Toju Foyeh Excellence in Service – Government Hadizah Abdullahi (MDGs Office) Excellence in Service – Journalism Alkasim Abdulkadir (CNN) Excellence in Service – Corporate Ngozi Nkwoji (Senior Brand Manager, NB Plc) Innovator of the Year – Science & Technology Seun Onigbinde (BudgIT) Innovator of the Year – Education Otto Orondaam (SLUM2School Project) Actor of the Year Tonto Dikeh
Musician of the Year Wizkid Producer of the Year – Music J. Sleek Producer of the Year – Screen Clarence Peters On-Air Personality – Radio Tolu "Toolz" Oniru (Beat FM) On-Air Personality – Television Denrele Edun (Channel O) Entrepreneur of the Year – Entertainment Micheal Ajere (Don Jazzy)
Idris Akinbanjo, Young Person of the Year
Entrepreneur of the Year – Technology Njoku (Iroko TV) Entrepreneur of the Year – Media/ Communication Uyi Omokaro (DM2) Entrepreneur of the Year – General Ola Orekunrin (Flying Doctors Nigeria) Young Person of the Year Idris Akinbanjo (Journalist)
L-R: Linda Ikeji, Rivers Deputy Governor, Engr.Tele Ikuru and Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili. PHOTOS: YINKA ADEPARUSI
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Young & Next Generation
Thursday, August 30, 2012
FG urged to invest in youth empowerment TOBORE OVUORIE
eligious leaders in the country have called on the Federal Government to invest more in youth empowerment, as this will equip them with the right tools in contributing their quota to development. They made the call in Lagos at the 14th edition of the Annual Youth Conference organised by the Celestial Church of Christ. Evangelist Gabriel Awoniyi, Deputy General Youth Coordinator, Celestial Church of Christ, CCC, said the youth is one of the greatest assets of any nation.
Awoniyi said as unemployment was one of the major issues plaguing Nigeria, it was imperative that more jobs be created to engage them so they do not go into crime. "Unemployment is one of the major challenges facing the youths in the country and therefore the government should create jobs to tackle this problem. Also, Non-Governmental Organisations and other society groups should create opportunities for skills acquisition for them to become resourceful. We should evolve a system that will tap their various abilities and harness these abilities for job creation.
We should realize that unemployment among the youths would give rise to laziness which will promote vices", he said. Evangelist Olu Bankole, Chairman, Conference Committee said, the essence of the conference was to bring the youths together to educate them on their roles in the society. He added that the conference also sought to instil morality by teaching them to follow the path of righteousness as was the mission of the church. Bankole, however, added that the plan was to engage them in various vocational trainings so they can put their talents to good use.
"We are planning to extend the conference for two-weeks to be able to give them some vocational training, as this will equip them with the right tools to earn a living for themselves”. Evang. Segun Siwonku, National Youth President of the CCC, said it was necessary to re-engineer the minds of the youths on what the nation expected of them. According to him, this would help them understand that they are leaders of tomorrow and, therefore, live exemplary lives which their young ones would emulate. Siwonku called on them to become responsible citizens so as to become a driving force in nation building and development.
UNFPA harps on youth development TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA
he United Nations Population Fund,UNPF, has urged governments to commit more resources to youth development in order to impact positively on their productive capabilities while harnessing their energies, dynamism and potential for national development. The Country Representative of the Fund, Ms Victoria Akyeampong, who gave the charge in a goodwill message at the 2012 International Youth week celebrations in Keffi, Nassarawa State, pointed out the need for improved investments on Nigerian youths, which has become more imperative in view of the fact that the country is lagging behind in many areas of performance indices on youth development. According to her, the youths can become agents of positive changes capable of transforming the social and economic state of the nation if actions on health, education and employment are taken seriously by government. The UNFPA chieftain harped on importance of giving the youth the freedom of choice on issues affecting their sexuality and other socio-economic aspects of their well-being as a way of exploring the opportunities in them for development. She said: “Although Nigeria has made some progress in young people’s health and development, it still lags behind in many areas, the government needs to increase its investment in young people and partner with them to harness
their energies, dynamism and potentials for national development”. The right to have control over and decide freely and responsibly on matters related to their sexuality, including access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights, free from coercion, discrimination and violence,” Akyeampong said. She promised that the UNFPA would continue to partner with the government to help leverage investments in young people, particularly those who are poor, vulnerable and socially excluded. Earlier in his remarks, the Minister of Youth Development, Inuwa Abdul-Kadir, said that Nigeria was committed to youth development in view of the fact that developing them implies building a stronger foundation for sustainable growth of the country. He said it was in the consciousness of this, that the ministry is collaborating with agencies of government and other stakeholders in the efforts to address the challenges of youth restiveness by training them for productive engagements.
Some pupils and teachers of Emmanuel Nursery Primary School, Igbedor, Anambra State cutting the cake during PHOTO: LEONARD OKACHIE the graduation of another set of Nursery pupils of the school recently.
Isma’il commends sponsorship of youth programme FRANCIS SUBERU
youth leader in Lagos, Alhaji Umar Isma’il, has commended multinational organisations and individuals who sponsor programmes that engage youths positively. Isma’il gave the commendation during the maiden interactive meeting of Champions Youths Development Association of Nigeria, CHYDAN, with Board of Trustees members. Isma’il, who is the President of CHYDAN, expressed hope that crime rate would decrease with more people and organisations sponsoring programmes to engage youths in productive ventures. “We appreciate the efforts
of some individuals and multinational organisations that organised programmes to engage youths in Nigeria. If such had not taken place, we are sure some of them would have been armed robbers, prostitutes, fraudsters and hired killers. As we speak, many are in different prisons for crimes against the state. When there was nobody to engage them meaningfully, the devil engaged their minds for crime and violence. Some of our parents cannot afford to cater for us with the petty trade they do. With the talents and gifts God had given to us, most youths are now being engaged through these programmes,’’ Isma’il noted. He called on governments at all levels and organisations to
engage more youths in meaningful projects that would remove their attention from criminality. The youth leader also expressed sadness on the non-payment of some pensioners after serving the nation for 35 years, stressing that youths from such homes might take to crime if urgent steps are not taken. On security challenges in some parts of the country, Isma’il noted that all Nigerians should support the government to ensure the security of lives and property rather than blaming the security agencies for poor performance. He said the primary aims and objectives of CHYDAN is to engage the youths, with a view to empowering them for self-realisation, discovery and to create unity among themselves.
Thursday, August 30, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
iROKING hits 100, 000 subscribers LEONARD OKACHIE
even months after launch, iROKING, the official distributor of Nigerian music, has said it has reached 100, 000 registered users. The music platform, launched in January, allows uninterrupted access to lovers of Nigerian and Ghanaian music and was developed by owners of iROKOtv, as a means of showcasing the best of African music. iROKING which is accessible all over the world and on a number of devices, including the iOS, Android, Windows and Symbian (Nokia) mobile handsets allows access to thousands of the latest Nigerian tracks and streams songs over Wifi or 3G. The CEO of iROKING, Michael Ugwu, stated that “ iROKING is all about helping African artistes and their fans connect with each other. iROKING came onto the scene to improve the channels for Nigerian artists to reach their fans, generating additional revenue for them and therefore helping to fuel the musical ecosystem. “This is a revolutionary approach to streaming Nigerian music, hopefully one that will grow. We are also bridging the global publishing and distribution gap directly to platforms such as iTunes and Amazon, as we are a local partner who can publish work on behalf of the artists. "The raw musical talent in Nigeria is out there. For us, we just wanted to build a simple, beautiful platform that showcases the artistes and their work. What we've done with iROKING is bring awesome Nigerian music to the rest of the world; whether it's on a computer, tablet or smart phone, iROKING is Nigerian music anytime, anywhere."
Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola SAN (middle) taking a snapshots shortly after his investiture as the Life Patron of the Photo Journalists' Association of Nigeria at the Lagos House, Ikeja. With him are the State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba (right) and the Chairman of PJAN, Mr. Ademola Akinlabi (left).
Day Fashola turned photo MURITALA AYINLA
overnment, whether civilian or military, are not permanent friends of the media. While the government needs them to disseminate information, policies and programmes to the public, the media, on the other hand, rely on government to keep the public abreast of happenings, especially on impact of policies on the citizens. Hence, the symbiotic relationship is like a cat and mouse. Government, no matter how purposeful or sincere, is always suspicious, while media is also sceptical of government’s information which, in most cases, may be propaganda. This explains reason for the apparent temporary cordial relationship between the two. It was on this note that Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State closed ranks with photojournalists last Monday, when he was honoured by the state chapter of Photo Journalists Association of Nigeria (PJAN) as its lifetime patron. The ambience of the conference room of Lagos House, Ikeja, venue of the inves-
titure ceremony revealed all that. All protocol, formality and authority usually associated with the seat of power was, less observed, and the journalists and members of the state executive council took the opportunity to crack some jokes with the governor and exchange pleasantries. Presenting the medal of honour to the governor, the award-winning National Mirror photo journalist and chairman of the Association, Mr Ademola Akinlabi, commended the governor for identifying with them, saying the achievement of his administration informed the honour extended him. He said: “We are thrilled by the policy of your administration to document these laudable achievements in pictorial forms, with some of our professional colleagues given the privilege to participate. This is done with the latest photographic equipment at a time when some in the private sector could not afford digital cameras for their staff ”. Akinlabi, however, appealed to the governor to dedicate a week every year to fraternize with them to further demonstrate his love for the media.
He said PJAN members are committed to carrying out their duties diligently, despite the challenges confronting them, pledging to contribute their quota to development of the state and nation in general. Commending the government’s role in handling of assaults on photo journalists recently, Akinlabi decried the maltreatment of his members by some disgruntled members of the public. He added: “Let me inform you that our members participated in the follow-up NUJ protest because we want to highlight this issue in the public arena and forestall any reoccurrence, as well as to sensitize the public on our plight. We want everyone to know we are friends and not foes. Therefore, we should not be subjected to such inhuman treatment.” Responding, Fashola said his government would continue to partner the association as long as the members are ready to uphold the ethics of the profession. He stressed that photojournalists can contribute to the nation building through using photograph to expose perpetrators of illegalities, adding that they can ensure voluntary compliance of the state road
Female journalists are more visible –Provost, NIJ LEONARD OKACHIE
he Provost of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, NIJ, Dr. Elizabeth Ikem, has commended female journalists in the country, saying they are doing well and are more visible than the men. Dr. Ikem who said this recently in an interview with National Mirror noted that time was when journalism was an exclusive preserve of the men, “but today, you can see more women coming up and doing well in areas that used to be just for men. Today, we have women in sports, finance, and politics and so on. Then, when
you come to the school, in admissions, women are even doing better. We have more women in some classes and some years in admission more than men. In fact, women are doing very well. “Of course I am the head of one of the foremost journalism schools in the country and can tell you that at the intake level, we are having women at par, if not more. They are not disadvantaged at all. However, what they do thereafter is a different matter. Whether we see them go into practice of journalism is a different matter. “It will take some scientific study to be able to tell how many actually graduate as journalists,
how many go into the media to practice. But I think they are more visible now; I think that more are going into areas that used to be exclusively for men. So, if women are able to do that as against what it used to be like going into fashion and children’s corner, I think it is commendable and we should do more.” She called on veteran journalists to mentor the younger generation, stressing: “If we do so on a consistent basis, we will have many Mike Awoyinfas, Lizzy Ikems, Dimgba Igwes, Remi Oyos and others. The process of mentoring helps us replicate ourselves and we need to do so.” The Provost advised profes-
sional journalists, especially those in the print media to be more creative in the face of new challenge posed by citizen journalism, so as to remain relevant in the profession. She said: “Citizen Journalism is one of the fallouts of technology. With your phone something is happening there, you can catch the information, YouTube, the Blackberry and they send it to the media houses. We still need the media house. I tell my students, you cannot do away with the so-called citizen journalists, but you are professionals and to survive, you need to be more creative. “Nobody picks what they
write and use them like that. You will re-write it. That shows they are not trained, but they are there as eyewitnesses at that point in time when the event happened. And that is to the advantage of the industry; it is not a disadvantage where something would have happened two hours then you come to report it. When you come, you look for that person that sent the information. That is the creative angle we bring into it. Somebody witnessed it. Follow up that person and get more information. That angle will sustain and bring professionalism into what we are doing. So they are not a threat, but partners in business.”
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Thursday, August 30, 2012
Ivorian newspapers resume publication after protest
Cross section of PJAN members during the investiture
journalist traffic law, when they expose law breakers and portray them as bad examples in the society. He said when such photographs are taken and sent forward, the government would provide details on how to track down the offenders who may be dignitaries in the society. Harping on the need to uphold ethical conduct of the profession, the governor urged photo journalists to desist from taking distasteful pictures for public consumption. He said: “Let us use this medium to develop the society instead of taking horrific pictures for public consumption. We should be mindful, that we are also exposing our children to some of the terrifying pictures published in our media. If we keep publishing bloody pictures, what message are we passing unto them?” He informed that a suspect in the assault of photo journalists
is already in police net as he is monitoring development, stressing the need for everyone to be tolerant and patient. He said part of the question to be asked is, does a photo journalist have the right to photograph everything he sees without bothering on sensibilities of those whom the publication of the photographs may affect? He added that another question agitating his mind is whether a photo journalist can attend a function such as a national sports festival without an accreditation when in distant locations; it is the rule that all journalists must be properly accredited. The governor reiterated that he has advocated a dress sense for photojournalists by wearing jeans so they will have the opportunity of performing their duties without infringing on the rights of members of the public to also have vantage view of the event they came to witness.
ewspapers allied with Ivory Coast’s former ruler resumed publication this week, after observing a three-day moratorium to protest what editors and press freedom groups describe as a climate of intimidation. The newspapers halted publication to protest an incident in which six men brandishing machetes and crow bars attacked the headquarters of a media house in Abidjan allied with ex-leader Laurent Gbagbo, who is now at the International Criminal Court awaiting trial on charges of crimes against humanity following last year’s near-civil war. On the night of Aug. 18, the attackers forced their way into the headquarters of the Cyclone Group, which publishes the pro-Gbagbo newspaper Le Temps, assaulted a security guard, ransacked office furniture and set on fire the first floor of the premises. The six newspapers halted publication last Friday, and resumed on Monday, missing the Friday and weekend editions. Last week, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journal-
ists issued a statement calling on President Alassane Ouattara’s administration to halt the censorship of critical publications and to investigate the Cyclone attack. The attack comes after Le Temps recently resumed publication, following a suspension imposed by the state-run National Press Council for anti-Ouattara coverage. The newspaper had published an opinion piece referring to the sitting president as a “ghoulish vampire,” according to reports cited by the Committee to Protect Journalists. The opposition media managers said it was the sixth suspension levied against Le Temps under Ouatarra - and the 11th targeting pro-Gbagbo newspapers, since Ouattara came to power in April 2011. This country on the coast of West Africa, which is the world’s largest producer of cocoa, was nearly dragged into civil war following the contested 2010 election. All the major international observers agreed that Ouattara had won the vote, but Gbagbo refused to cede. For months, Ouattara pleaded with
Social Media Week opens to journalists Knight course on ocial Media Week is connected globally through science reporting a worldwide event ex- Social Media Week’s online
ploring the social, cultural and economic impact of social media. The aim of the event is to help people and organizations connect through collaboration, learning and sharing of ideas and information. Journalists worldwide can participate in this event. Each event takes place simultaneously in multiple cities around the world, with thousands of individuals and organizations working together to host panels, workshops, talks and industry networking events. These local events are then
and mobile platforms, which will allow people in more than 180 countries to watch them via livestream and participate in a global conversation. This year, participating cities include Barcelona, Berlin, Bogota, Chicago, Glasgow, Hong Kong, Jeddah, London, Los Angeles, São Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Torino and Vancouver. Over 90 percent of all events organized are free. Social Media Week 2012 will take place September 2428. Registration opened August 28.
Entries for UN climate change podcast
the international community for help, and finally enlisted the backing of a former rebel group, which swept across the country, and with the aid of United Nations airstrikes, arrested Gbagbo inside the bunker where he was holed-up in Abidjan. During Gbagbo’s 10 years in office, pro-Ouattara newspapers were frequently the subject of harassment and intimidation campaigns. The turn-of-events is disappointing because many had hoped that the U.S.-educated Ouattara would usher in an era of democratic freedom. Since coming to office, Ouattara’s administration has been accused of pursuing “victor’s justice,” by only prosecuting people allied with Gbagbo. -AFP
he United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is seeking applicants for its CDM "Changing Lives" Podcast Contest, which will recognize exceptional work related to the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism. Submissions will be judged based on creativity and originality, composition, artistic merit and persuasiveness in telling the story of the CDM on the theme “Changing Lives." Each podcast should be no
more than five minutes in length. The winning work will be featured in a dedicated booth at the UNFCCC Climate Change Conference in Doha in December 2012. Short-listed entries could be featured prominently in important print and promotional material, on the UNFCCC website and other platforms including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, iTunes and Soundcloud. The application deadline is September 20.
he Knight Science Journalism programme at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is accepting applications for its 2012 Medical Evidence Boot Camp, which will take place at MIT's campus in Cambridge on December 3-4. Journalists interested in scientific and medical reporting can apply for a spot in this course. Ten to 12 journalists will be chosen to attend the course. Those selected will be reimbursed for up to US$750 in travel expenses, and will be provided accommodations and most meals. The boot camp will begin with an overview of clinical and epidemiological research methods, giving journalists the tools to understand and evaluate medical studies. Through lectures and discussions, participants will look at science’s ways of studying different phenomena, from diseases and oil spills to DNA and human migration. Applicants may be freelance or staff reporters, writers, editors or producers, and must have at least three years of fulltime experience in journalism. The application deadline is September 14. Source -ijnet
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Men rob Ohio victim but make sure he has bus fare
olice say robbers who held up an Ohio man at gunpoint gave him back enough money for bus fare before running away. It happened at a Dayton bus stop on Tuesday morning. The Dayton Daily News reports that two men walked up, and one of them put a gun to the victim’s forehead
and ordered him to hand over everything in his pockets. The victim gave them $40 and his cell phone. Before fleeing on foot, one of the men asked the victim if he had enough money for the bus. When he said no, one handed him back $2. The suspects are still being sought.
Crook who stole 3,500 Pillow Pets avoids jail
Southern California man who stole 3,500 Pillow Pets from an Oceanside warehouse has avoided jail. The North County Times reports Danny Ray Wright, of Carlsbad, was sentenced Tuesday to 15 days of community service and three years of probation. He pleaded guilty to grand theft and burglary. Prosecutors say
Wright stole $84,000 worth of the popular animal-shaped toys and sold about $11,000 worth on eBay. The Pillow Pets maker, CJ Products, says Wright was an independent contractor and was allowed to sell some pillows, but never paid the company. Beginning in January, he began pilfering Pillow Pets by sneaking them out of the warehouse.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Man turned self in for ND bank robbery
ent Anthony Clemens returned home to Kansas after a short stay in North Dakota’s booming oil patch with a stack of crisp $50 bills, sharing what authorities say was ill-gotten booty with his sister. Then, apparently, guilt set in. Three days after Clemens allegedly held up a bank in the western North Dakota town of Williston, the 53-yearold called 911 and asked police in his hometown of Topeka, Kan., to arrest him “for making a mistake,” according to an FBI affidavit filed in federal court. “People have an attack of conscience all the time — like returning stolen items to a store,” Topeka Police Chief Ron Miller said in a telephone interview Tuesday. “But it is unusual to rob a bank and then call 911 in an attack of conscience.” When police arrived at Clemens’ home last month, he was sitting on the front porch, “wearing
what appeared to be the same blue polo shirt he was wearing when he committed the Gates City Bank robbery,” the FBI affidavit said. He “put both of his hands out to police and told them to arrest him for making a mistake,” court papers said.
Clemens is being held in North Dakota. He appeared in federal court in Bismarck on Aug. 17 and waived his right to a preliminary hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Rick Volk said. Federal public defender Heather Mitchell said no other court hearings have been
scheduled. Neither attorney would comment on specifics of the case. According to court papers, the suspect was wearing a polo shirt, a golfstyle flat cap and tinted glasses when he walked into Gates City Bank in Williston on July 18.
This image from a surveillance camera, released by the Williston (ND) Police Department shows Kent Clemens after he allegedly robbed Gate City Bank, in Williston, ND on July 18, 2012. PHOTOS: YAHOO NEWS
Thursday, August 30, 2012
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Community Mirror “I am not for state police because if created; it would become an instrument of state powers.”
Health empowerment scheme inaugurated in Ogun
EDO STATE GOVERNOR; MR. ADAMS OSHIOMHOLE
NRC to commence operations on Lagos-Kano route FRANCIS SUBERU WITH AGENCY REPORT
igeria Railway Corporation, NRC, would soon commence full services on its Lagos-Kano route, the Managing Director, Mr Seyi Sijuade, has said. He said the recent successful rehabilitation of 117 engines and coaches would enable the corporation to resume haulage and passenger services on the route. Sijuade said this in Minna
while rolling out the first phase of the rehabilitated rolling stock for the Minna-Kaduna daily train services. “The Lagos-Kano service will start in a few weeks time and we intend to ply the route twice a week.” Represented by the Director of Operations, Mr Niyi Ali, he attributed the successful restoration of services in parts of the country to the ingenuity of the corporation’s engineers and technicians. He said, the effort of the staff in refurbishing the engines and
coaches locally had helped to save cost. “We are going back to the good old days, where everything was done in-house. A lot of this equipment is specialized, but we are looking forward to a time when our staff will produce them locally and we are starting now. Compared to contract cost,
in-house refurbishments will save a lot of money. It’s not just about the immediate savings, we are also talking on the long term benefits when we learn to do everything in-house.’’ In his remarks, the Niger State Commissioner for Transport, Alhaji Abubakar Ahmed, appealed to the Federal Gov-
ernment to rehabilitate and upgrade the Baro railway line. “We are aware that the Federal Government is dredging the Baro River and the road is terribly bad. So we are calling on it to rehabilitate and upgrade the Baro railway station to aid the movement of people and goods.”
Detained hotelier granted bail in Anambra NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA
n Otuocha High Court in Anambra State, presided over by Justice J. I. Nweze has admitted to bail, Prince Christopher Arthur Udoh, proprietor of Arthur Garden Hotels Limited, Nkpor, near Onitsha. Udoh and his brother-in-law, Prince Godwin Onwukwe, were arrested by the police in Enugu State on August 9, 2012 and taken to Anambra, where they were detained at the State Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, headquarters, Awkuzu for allegedly allowing his hotels to be used as kidnappers’ den. However, his brother-in-law Onwukwe, was granted bail by the police few days later, while Udoh is was kept in the police cell. In his ruling, after hearing the submissions of both counsels to the applicant and police, Justice Nweze, granted him bail in the sum of N5 million with three sureties in the like sum and a statement of his account in the bank. Nweze maintained that he should be granted bail because the police have not adduced enough reasons, showing that his hotel was involved in any kidnap allegation. On the submission of the police counsel that it was Governor Obi who authorized Udoh’s detention and sealing of his hotels, since the police investigations could not link him to those offences,
Justice Nweze asked rhetorically: “can the police kill somebody just because the governor asked so”? However, Udoh could not rejoin his family and well-wishers who thronged the court premises, because at time all conditions were met, the presiding judge who should sign the order for release had left the court premises. Governor Peter Obi had led a team of security agencies to seal the Phase One of Udoh’s hotels at Umusiome village, Nkpor on, August 5, accusing him of using the place as kidnappers’ hideout and a holding pen for kidnapped victims. On August 9, he was arrested in Enugu, while Phase Two of the hotels was equally sealed on the same allegation, a situation that made his family, relations and some prominent indigenes of Nkpor, described the action as stage-managed. The court had on August 10, granted a motion on notice for an interim order directing the police, their agents or privies to release the applicant from their custody forthwith and re-open his hotels and business premises situate at Onitsha and Nkpor illegally sealed up by them, pending the determination of the motion. Meanwhile, a committal notice (Form 48) also filed by Udoh, against the six respondents, including the Inspector-General of Police, Commissioner of Police Anambra State, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, SP. James Nwafor (O/C SARS Awkuzu), CSP Kanayo Uzuegbu and Raphael Nnabuife, is still pending before the same court for adjudication.
A young girl mulling the demolition of houses at Maza-Maza area of Lagos.
PHOTO: OLUFEMI AJASA
Man jailed for importing fake drug KAYODE KETEFE
Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has sentenced a middle-age man, Uzoma Madueke, to three-years imprisonment for importing fake fulcin tablets into Nigeria. In his judgment, the presiding judge, Justice Okon Abang, stated that it was very sad that Madueke chose to intentionally indulge in a venture that could result in the death of many Nigerians. Madueke had been charged before the court by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, for importing the fake drug. The convict had earlier pleaded not guilty, but he later confessed to commission of the crime.
The one-count offence signed by Mr. MHA Baba, was committed on June 25, 2009 in Epe area of Lagos. The charge sheet had reference number FHC/L/43C/ 2010, reads: “That you, Uzoma Madueke of No 47, Lagos Road, Epe, Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, on or about the 25th day of June, 2009, did import fake and substandard tablets to wit: Fulcin Criseofulvina tablets and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1 (a) of the Counterfeit and Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Food (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act No. 25 of 1999 and punishable under Section 3 (1) (a) of the same Act.” During the review of facts to establish the guilt, NAFDAC’s lawyer, Mr. Chris Okeke, told the
court that Madueke intentionally imported the fake drug, to make maximum profit, not minding the side effect of his action to Nigerians. Counsel for the convict, Mr. O. Amobi, had urged the court to temper justice with mercy, on the grounds that his client was a first offender who had learnt a bitter lesson. Amobi also added that the convict has vowed never to indulge in the crime again. In his judgment, Justice Abang said, “the action of the convict is bad because there are other legitimate means to make money. “If not for vigilance of NAFDAC in apprehending the convict, anybody could have been a victim of the fake drug. Such abnormal behaviour requires drastic action,”
Thursday, August 30, 2012
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Health empowerment scheme inaugurated in Ogun FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA
he Ogun State government has inaugurated a 3 day Youth Health Empowerment Programme (YHealth) on prevention of HIV/AIDS as part of effort to create health awareness among youths in the state. With specific reference to preventing health problems and stigmatisation associated with HIV/
AIDS the government in partnership with Institute of Human Virology - Nigeria has also moved to establish Health Cadet in the state. The health enlightenment and empowerment programme which held at the Valley View Auditorium, Isale Igbein Abeokuta, also featured participants that included nurses, teachers, students from selected schools, youths, leaders of uni-
formed youth voluntary organisations, leaders of recreational clubs, members of the National Youth Service Corps and members of the Youth Council of Nigeria, Ogun State. The Senior Special Adviser to the governor on Health, Dr Olaoluwa Lawson, said the health cadets, will be in every school, as intermediaries between the government and students. Olaoluwa explained that
the cadets to be trained as health champions, will be charged with the task of researching on HIV or malaria or STD, and come out with solutions. Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Olaokun Soyinka, said the programme is targeted at eradicating misconception on HIV/AIDS, even as he said they will be empowered to solve most of the health problems.
The Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Olugbenga Otenuga, said the programme was aimed at improving the knowledge base of the youths which will turn them to ‘Peer Group Leaders’ of various constituencies in the 18-35 years age bracket. The Regional Manager (South west) of Institute of Human Virology - Nigeria, Dr. Timothy Akinmuredele, said the programme is catego-
rised into two which is the in-school and out-of -school. He further stated that the in- school is meant for students, while out –of-school is meant for motor park workers, NYSC among others. He however, commended the effort of the government, stressing that the opportunity provided by the training would bring the youths closer to government.
Lawmaker inaugurates committee on boundary dispute SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN
lawmaker in the Edo House of Assembly has constituted two committees charged with ensuring resolution of boundary disputes with neighbouring communities in Delta State, and the total development of the constituency. Hon. Friday Osakpamwan Ogierhiakhi, representing Orhionmwon South (II) Constituency, under the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria, also inaugurated the Scholarship/ Empowerment Committee and Orhionmwon South Constitutency Summit Committee in fulfillment of his campaign promises in 2011. Community Mirror gathered that the Scholarship/ Empowerment Committee would amongst other tasks determine and select 120 students and pupils of for scholarship while the Summit Committee is charged with convocation of a summit that would resolve the protracted boundary dispute between Orhionmwon South communities and their neighbours in Delta State. The second committee is also charged with de-
termination of desirability or not of a university faculty in the constituency. Speaking at the assembly chamber, Ogierhiakhi, said, “It is not a happenstance that we inaugurated two committees that will change the face of Orhionmwon in a progressive manner. It is however expected that you would work within the terms of reference and achieve the desired results. I enjoin you to see this as an opportunity to serve your fatherland and put your very best. Your service may not be financially rewarding but I assure you that posterity will not forget because you are helping to touch lives positively.” On the two committees, Ogierhiakhi said, “The Summit Committee is a special town hall meeting of my constituency. We hope, therefore, that this summit when successfully convoked would come out with resolutions on the various key issues that this committee may formulate. I believe we should be able to take decisive and far-reaching decisions on the protracted issue of boundary dispute between us and our neighbours in Delta State and the desirability of a university faculty”.
Pupils of St. Saviour’s School at their graduation ceremony in Ebute Metta Lagos recently.
St. Saviour’s School holds 2012 graduation ceremony MOJEED ALABI
t was a moment filled with emotion last week when the Saint Saviour’s School, Ebute Metta, Lagos, held its 2012 edition of the annual valedictory service and graduation ceremony for Primary Six pupils. The pupils including this year’s winner of Loyola Jesuit’s College scholarship of N7.2 million, Chidera
Chime, were described as rare breed by the Head Mistress, Mrs. Ailsa Griffiths. Meanwhile, this year’s annual prize-giving ceremony’s like those held in the past, acknowledged diligence and excellence in academic performance, social engagements, sporting activities, moral uprightness and other extra-curricular activities. The school’s Board of Management Chairman, Mr. Tom Ogboi, said that in the
Wheel barrow pusher arraigned for stealing FRANCIS SUBERU
33-year-old wheel barrow pusher, Emmanuel Nwankwo, has been arraigned before an Ojo Magistrates’ Court, Lagos for allegedly stealing a bag of rice valued at N8,
000 belonging to Mr Sunday Okereke. Police prosecutor Friday Eze, told the court that Nwankwo also stole the sum of N200, 000 he found in a nylon bag in Okereke’s shop. Eze said the accused, who resides at the Iba new town, was standing trial
on a count-charge of stealing. He said that Nwankwo committed the offence on July 30, when he entered Okereke’s shop at the Iyana-Iba market on pretence of wanting to assist a customer. The prosecutor explained that while Oker-
eke was bargaining with his customer, the accused removed a bag of tomato brand of rice and a nylon bag containing N200, 000. Eze said the accused was about fleeing when Okereke noticed and accosted him. He told the court that the accused claimed he
over 60 years of its founding, the school has taken pride in offering comprehensive education by teaching Christian values, moral instruction, which are taught as core subjects like every other. According to Mrs. Griffiths, the school has benefitted from the commitment its board of management, through massive investment in infrastructures and facilities. “The board has not only installed interactive white-
boards in every classroom but has also undertaken construction of a new block of eight state-of-the-art classrooms. These, together with overseas training for staff, that link us with good schools in the UK, South Africa, among others, will ensure the pupils enjoy a broad and balanced education provided in an environment that is stimulating and conducive to high quality teaching and learning,” she said.
thought the rice had been bought by the customer, and was only trying to convey it to the bus stop, even as the customer denied asking him to help convey the rice. “The nylon bag was also recovered from the accused and he was immediately taken into custody,” Eze said. He said the offence con-
travened the provisions of Section 285 of the Criminal Code Laws of Lagos State, but the accused pleaded not guilty to the charge. Magistrate T.O. Shomade, granted the accused bail in the sum of N208, 000 with two sureties in like sum, and adjourned further hearing to September 14, 2012.
Thursday, August 30, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Former Indian minister faces death penalty for role in massacre
“We are not going to allow outside forces to incite Kenyans to create religious war” – KENYAN PRIME MINISTER RAILA ODINGA
Hijacked Greek tanker located in Nigerian waters TOBORE OVUORIE
WITH AGENCY REPORTS
OMEA Greek-operated oil tanker seized off Togo was tracked down on Wednesday off the coast of Nigeria under the control of pirates, the ship’s operator and Togolese authorities said. The seizure early on Tuesday of the ship, which is operated by Golden Energy Management, underscored the growing risks to ships in the Gulf of Guinea, where piracy is rising, but still not as common as off the coast of Somalia. “The vessel is presently sailing off the coast of Nigeria under the control of pirates who have the intention to steal the cargo,” Golden Energy Management said in a statement. The firm said they were in touch with a French naval ship that was nearby. The crew are believed to be in good health and unharmed, the statement added. The Greek coastguard said there were 24 people on board, none of
Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Wednesday called for the nation to come together to stop religious violence, after two days of deadly rioting sparked by the killing of a radical cleric. “We are not going to allow outside forces to incite Kenyans to create religious war,” Odinga said after flying to the port city of Mombasa, where four people died in street battles that broke out on Monday. Police said Wednesday that they had restored calm to the town, after hundreds of angry youths fought running battles with police -- looting churches, torching cars and attacking a police truck with a grenade -- following the assassination of preacher Aboud Rogo Mohammed.
UN ‘alarmed’ at reports of massacres in DR Congo
The hijacked tanker on Nigerian waters yesterday.
whom were Greek. Colonel Inoussa Djibril, spokesman for the Togolese army chief of staff, confirmed
the ship had been located on Wednesday morning in Nigerian waters with pirates onboard. According to the Internation-
al Maritime Bureau’s website, there have been eight attacks and attempted attacks off the coast of Togo since January.
Leader of anti-Islamist militia ‘kidnapped’ in Bamako he leader of a Malian youth militia against the Islamic occupation of the country’s north has been “kid-
WORLD BULLETIN Kenya’s PM wants country to unite after deadly riots
napped” in the country’s capital of Bamako, his associates told AFP. Mahamadou Diouara is
the head of Bouyan Ba Hawi (“Death is worth more than shame” in the Songhoi language), one of several self-de-
About 300 Malian civilians receiving military training near Mopti last week on how to fight Islamists occupying the north of the country. PHOTOS: AP
fence groups which have formed over government’s perceived inaction against the northern occupation. Souleymane Maiga, a member of the militia which counts several hundred youths, told AFP Dioura “was kidnapped” last week. “We don’t know if he is alive or dead,” he said, without giving further details. The disappearance of Diouara was also reported by the Committee of Youths Following the Crisis in the North, of which he was the head of security. The group’s leader Almamy Alphamoye Haidara said Dioura was taken from his home on the evening of August 25. “According to his family he was kidnapped by about 30 people wearing balaclavas who were on board three 4x4 vehicles,” Haidara said, adding that the movement was carrying out their own investigation.
The United Nations said Wednesday it has received reports of new massacres in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, raising alarm over allegations of hundreds of civilians being slaughtered. The UN said it had sent four fact-finding missions to investigate reports of mass killings since the beginning of August in the remote Masisi territory, in the eastern province of North Kivu, an area haunted by numerous armed groups. “Allegations of hundreds of killings are still being verified,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. “However, the preliminary findings suggest that a significant number of people -- most of them women and children -- were slaughtered. The sheer viciousness of these murders is beyond comprehension.
South Africa hosts ‘peace talks’ in mine standoff South African officials Wednesday brokered closed-door talks between workers and management of Lonmin’s platinum mine to end a strike where violence has killed 44 people. Almost three weeks into the work stoppage, about 50 negotiators from unions, non-union workers, the mine and the labour ministry met in the Rustenburg town hall, near the Marikana mine in North West Province. Fewer than eight percent of the 28,000 employees showed up for work on Wednesday.
WORLD BULLETIN Hurricane Isaac weakens slightly as it moves slowly inland Hurricane Isaac weakened slightly as it moved slowly inland over southeastern Louisiana, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. At around 10 am EDT (1400 GMT), the center of hurricane Isaac was located 5 miles east of Houma, Louisiana, and about 50 miles south-southwest of New Orleans, Louisiana, the NHC said. Isaac is moving toward the northwest around 6 miles per hour (9 km/h) and this general motion is expected to continue through tonight. Isaac was packing maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 km/h).
Man faces life sentence for killing Brooklyn Jewish boy A man faces life in prison at his sentencing yesterday for the grisly murder of an 8-year old boy who got lost on his first walk home alone from camp in their close-knit Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn. Levi Aron, 36, pleaded guilty on August 9 to second-degree murder and kidnapping in the death of Leiby Kletzky. The boy went missing on July 11 last year and his body was found two days later. Prosecutors said they will seek a sentence of between 40 years and life in prison when he is sentenced in Brooklyn state court on Wednesday afternoon. Aron kidnapped Kletzky after he sought the man’s help on the street when he lost his way walking home after religious camp, prosecutors said. Instead, Aron led the boy to his apartment and the child’s disappearance triggered a massive search by the community and police. After seeing missing child flyers plastered throughout the neighborhood, Aron said that he “panicked,” and drugged the boy with prescription medication and suffocated him with a towel, according to court documents.
Police general killed in Baghdad Five security forces members, including two senior officers, have been killed in a series of shootings and bombings in Iraq, officials say. Police Brig-Gen Nadhim Tayeh was driving to work in the capital Baghdad when gunmen fire on his car. Later, an army colonel died in a bombing. In the northern city of Kirkuk, three policemen were killed and six others were wounded by a bomb explosion. On Tuesday, at least six soldiers died in attacks across the country. Four, including another colonel, were killed when gunmen ambushed the officer’s convoy just north of Baghdad. The deaths took to 270 the number of people killed so far in August, including 106 members of the security forces, according to the AFP news agency. Last month more than 240 people were killed in militant attacks.
Thursday, August 30, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Former Indian minister faces death penalty for role in massacre
former Indian state minister was found guilty yesterday of murder in one of the country’s worst religious riots, the highest-profile conviction in a case that casts a shadow over the country 10 years on. Human rights groups say about 2,500 people, mostly Muslims, were hacked, beaten or burned to death in Gujarat state after a suspected Muslim mob burned alive 59 Hindu activists and pilgrims inside a train in February 2002. Prosecutors have demanded the death penalty for lawmaker Maya Kodnani, who was among a group charged with “beating, cutting down, burning alive and causing the deaths of women, men and children”, according to the charge sheet, in an episode of the Gujarat bloodletting known as the Naroda Patiya massacre. Kodnani’s conviction comes as her Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) prepares for elections in the western state of Gujarat. Narendra Modi, leader of the economic powerhouse state, is often touted as a future prime minister. One witness alleged Kodnani, who became a minister in the state government five years after the riots, identified Muslim targets to be attacked and at one
Maya Kodnani (centre), a state assembly lawmaker and former Gujarat state minister being escorted to prison by police after a court hearing in the Western Indian city of Ahmedabad yestersay. PHOTOS: REUTERS
point fired a pistol. The Congress party, in power nationally, signaled the case would likely feature in its Gujarat election campaign, saying Kodnani’s conviction was proof of the BJP’s involvement in the riots. The BJP said the court ruling was proof that the state’s criminal justice system was free from bias. The savagery of the killings still haunts a country that has witnessed many bouts of reli-
gious and ethnic violence since independence from Britain in 1947. Modi, who was chief minister at the time of the riots, has been accused by critics of turning a blind eye to the violence. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal published on Wednesday, Modi responded to the criticism, saying he saw no reason to apologize. “One only has to ask for forgiveness if one is guilty of a crime,” he said. Some senior members of the
right-wing BJP worry, however, that the enduring legacy of the riots could hurt their chances of unseating the Congress party in national elections due in 2014. The anti-Modi camp among the BJP’s allies believes he is too tainted by the Gujarat riots to be a viable candidate for prime minister despite his success in attracting foreign companies like Ford Motor Co to his state and managing a booming economy there that has averaged double-digit growth annually.
citizen who knows of someone who wishes to flee but is hesitant to do so he should encourage him,” he said with a smile. He tried to blame his difficulties in defeating the rebels on what he claimed to be outside forces fueling the rebellion. Over the past few months, the military has increasingly been stretched thin fighting on multiple fronts against rebels seeking to oust Assad’s authoritarian re-
gime. His forces have been unable to quell the rebellion as it spread to the capital Damascus with significant clashes that began in July and to Syria’s largest city, Aleppo, a few weeks later. At the same time, the military is fighting in a string of other cities and towns around the country. The comments were released in an advance excerpt of the interview to be aired by Dunya in full later in the day.
Taken together with his comments to a visiting Iranian official over the weekend, Assad shows willingness for an even more prolonged conflict, even with more than 20,000 estimated dead in more than 17 months of fighting. He told the Iranian official his regime would continue the fight against the rebels “whatever the price.” Rights groups monitoring the violence now report the deaths of 100 to 250 or more Syrians on daily basis, though the figures are impossible to independently verify. The fighting has been intense enough to force hundreds of thousands to flee their homes, seeking refuge elsewhere in the country or in neighboring nations. Assad responded with a hearty laugh when told by the interviewer that rumors about his whereabouts often made the rounds among Syrians. “I am here with you in the studio in Damascus,” he said. Assad has rarely appeared in public since four of his top security officials were assassinated in a July 18 rebel bombing in Damascus.
Syrian president vows to win country’s civil war
yrian President Bashar Assad said in a broadcast yesterday that his regime needs more time to win the civil war, acknowledging that his forces are struggling to contain the rebel challenge. He also addressed the growing stream of defections from the military and the government, but tried to play down the flight by saying it was healthy. “We are fighting a regional and global war, so time is needed to win it,” Assad said in an interview with the pro-regime private TV station Dunya. “We are moving forward. The situation is practically better but it has not been decided yet. That takes time,” he told the station, which is majority owned by Rami Makhlouf, a cousin of Assad and one of Syria’s wealthiest men. He appeared to make light of the significant number of defections, some of them senior military and political officials — including the prime minister — and diplomats. “Defections are a mechanism of self-cleansing of the nation,” said Assad. “If there is a Syrian
A Syrian man searches for belongings through the rubble of his house which was destroyed from a Syrian government forces shelling, in Azaz, on the outskirts of Aleppo, Syria. PHOTOS: AP
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Thursday, August 30, 2012
Katsina targets N6bn annual IGR JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA
Jambutu, one of the flooded wards in Yola, Adamawa State, following the release of water from Lagdo Dam in Cameroun. PHOTO: NAN
War against crime successful, says Kano CP AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST KANO
uthorities of the Kano State Police Command said yesterday that the war against crime in the state has been hugely successful, leading to the return of peace in the commercial city and the restoration of commercial activities, hitherto disrupted by terrorists’ acts. State Commissioner of Police, Ibrahim Idris, told journalists at a press briefing that the security environment in the state has continued to improve, attributing
the development to the support and cooperation the security agents have received from members of the public, traditional institutions and the state government. Idris also noted that the gallantry, professionalism and commitment of officers and men of the Kano police command, contributed greatly to the improved security situation in the state. “The joint operation with the Joint Task Force (JTF) have led to drastic reduction in crime in the state”, he said; adding that economic and social activities have picked up, with
Kano restoring its status, as the economic nerve center of the north. To achieve peace, the police boss said some new strategies were adopted, including visibility policing in addition to the traditional raids on criminals’ hideouts, which he said led to the arrest of over 150 criminals within two weeks. Within the period under review, the police commissioner said assorted dangerous weapons, such as arms and ammunition, drugs, stolen vehicles and motorbikes, cell phones, generators, as well as bales of weeds suspected to be Indian Hemp, were recov-
ered. Idris further said that the 150 suspected criminals were apprehended for offences ranging from armed robbery, car theft, unlawful possession of firearms and other dangerous weapons, printing of fake local and international currencies, among others. “In the period under review, we have smashed five notorious gangs, arrested criminals involved in removing vehicles at parks, printers of fake dollars and naira and an individual who duped unsuspecting members of the public by posing as a ghost, claiming to be 700 years old.”
Yuguda promises to resettle flood victims EZEKIEL TITUS BAUCHI
auchi State Governor, Isa Yuguda, has assured all flood disaster victims in the state that his administration will do everything humanly possible to come to their aid while it pursues further assistance from relevant Federal Government agencies. Governor Yuguda, who sympathised with the victims also promised to resettle them while urging them to see the disaster as an act of God. The governor, who was at Kula village in Ganjuwa Local Government Area to access the situation, lamented that the disaster has negatively affected the living standard of the people as most of them have lost their farmland, agricultural produce and houses; add-
ing if the situation is not immediately addressed, it may lead to more calamity. Governor Yuguda told the victims to continue to take refuge in the temporary place provided for them by government; adding that the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) has been directed to go round the state and take stock of all the places and people affected by the disaster to give government an idea of what assistance to give to them in the interim. While inspecting the collapsed Kula Bridge that links Bauchi State with others like Kano, Jigawa and other parts of the state, the governor directed the Ministry of Works and that of Special Duties to take interim measures to salvage the bridge while a comprehensive report will be
sent to the Federal Ministry of Works through the zonal office of FERMA to carry out a permanent repair. At the Palace of the Madakin Bauchi, who is the District Head of Kafin Madaki, Governor Yuguda lamented the damage done to one of the existing monuments of Bauchi Emirate, the Babban Gwani, assuring the people that efforts will be made to put it back in
shape; adding that the monument will not be allowed to waste. While briefing the governor earlier, the Caretaker Committee Chairman of Ganjuwa LGA, Danlami Isah Siyi, said over 150 households were affected by the flood, adding that his council has evacuated the victims to Kula Primary School and that relief materials have also been distributed to them.
atsina State government has, again, reiterated that it is targeting N6bn annually as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) with plans to begin generating N500 monthly instead of the present N300 million. Speaking on the issue yesterday, the state’s Finance Commissioner, Lawal Moh’d Jari, said the need to increase the amount from the annual N3.6bn to N6bn was to enable government execute more projects. Jari, therefore, directed the state’s Board of Internal Revenue to devise means of generating the amount within the com-
ing months, even as he inaugurated the board members of the revenue board that would work for the realisation of the set target. The commissioner observed that though the state’s revenue had substantially increased recently, the board must, however, not rest on its oars, but ensure it generates more revenue to expand government’s developmental policies and programmes. He, however, announced the creation of six additional revenue offices to improve revenue generation and collation, adding that government had recently provided equipment for the board’s routine work.
Kwara saves N1.9bn in LGs joint account WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN
wara State Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Ademola Banu, yesterday said that the state government has saved about N1.9bn in the Kwara State Local Governments Joint Account System coordinated by it. The account, initiated by the immediate past government in the state, according to the commissioner, was meant to help the councils execute meaningful projects in their respective areas. Speaking at a press conference presided by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Isiaka Gold, Banu dispelled speculations that the “state government or an individual is collecting local government funds” and that it has hindered them from meeting their salaries’ obligations.” He said the shortfall in allocation to the local governments was respon-
sible for the state workers’ plight of late, pointing out that the situation has now forced the government to access a joint reserve excess crude oil fund to save the situation. The commissioner disclosed that the shortfall had been N350 million in May; another N350 million in June and yet another N550 million in July, promising to jump each month and push Kwara workers into an abyss. He said the N1.9bn Joint Account System, however, is being depleted to arrest the trend.
Nomadic Education Commission embarks on staff auditing AZA MSUE KADUNA
he National Commission for Nomadic Education (NCNE) has embarked on staff auditing to fish out fake or ghost workers as a way of reducing personnel wastage. In a statement signed by
Fidelis Idoko, for the Acting Executive Secretary of the Commission, Mallam Ibrahim Yamtu, said the staff audit team, headed by the Commission’s Head of Administration, Mrs. Ijeoma Amugo, had interacted with the staff over the exercise. According to the statement: “The exercise is
not meant to witch hunt any staff, but a routine exercise aimed at enhancing the performance of staff and determine the appropriateness of staff placement and career progression and subsequently make appropriate recommendation to the management. “Any staff with doubtful
credentials will be properly investigated with the appropriate institutions contacted to confirm genuineness of certificates” it said. The statement further said the commission has undertaken a nationwide distribution of instructional materials and teaching aids.
Thursday, August 30, 2012
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How public varsities’ fee hike Unknown to advocates of quality education at affordable cost, the recent increase in tuition fees of public universities, in some cases, has truncated the ambition of many youths. MOJEED ALABI captures the trend in this reports.
hen she gained admission into the Lagos State University, LASU, to study English Arts in 2011, nothing suggested to Bola (surname withheld) that there could be other obstacles aside the hurdles of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) and the post-UTME examinations, which she had successfully scaled through. Her dream had been to study English Arts in the university and become a broadcaster in future. Bola, 19, sat for the UTME for the second time having scored below the cut-off mark in the previous year. On the two occasions LASU had been her preferred choice for what she described as its affordable fees and short distance to her home. “LASU is within Lagos and it would relieve me of accommodation fees while I could still help my mother in her shop whenever am not in school,” she said. This time, putting an extra effort, she did well in the UTME and equally scaled through the post-UTME screening examination conducted by LASU. She was very excited when she learnt that the university had offered her the much anticipated admission. Like many in her shoe, Bola refused to take serious the rumour then flying round that the institution’s tuition fees had been increased. Expectedly, she went to the school to enquire about the registration procedures. On getting to the admissions office, she got a shock of her life. The school fees had gone up astronomically. Bola went through the university’s bulletin which contained the details of the fees and the payment deadline and could not believe her eyes. From N25,000 per session, the fee has been increased to between N193, 750.00 and N348,750.00 per student for the same period, depending on courses of study. The faculties of Arts and Education charged the lowest while that of Engineering and College of Medicine, the highest. Bola, who had prepared her mind for the old rate of N25,000 now need to cough out the new fee of N193, 750, representing over 700 per cent increment which although could be paid on instalmentally but within a month. This amount was too outrageous for her. She told National Mirror amidst sobs that she can’t afford the payment. “There was just no way I could meet up. Even with the old fee, I only wanted to try because I lost my father three years ago while my mum sells pepper at Mushin Market,” she lamented, adding that; “My parents gave birth to four of us and I am in the second position. So, the family was proud of me when I gained admission more so that my elder sister was asked to learn a trade just to allow me to go to school. But this school
fees won’t allow me to achieve my dream. I don’t know what to do next.” Tunde Wahab, 21, shares similar fate. He was also offered admission to LASU to study Mass Communications but with the new fees, he had shelved that dream at least for now not knowing whether it would ever be possible to pursue his dream of having a higher education again. “Where would I get N238, 750?” Tunde asked rhetorically. He explained that although, he is an indigene of Lagos and privileged to get a bursary allowance of N50,000, but the fact that the bursary was not made available by the State Government worsened the situation. “We were asked to pay the fees first and that government would refund the N50,000 to us later. Even if one goes ahead to borrow, how sure are we that the refund would be made? I learnt those who paid have not received the bursary till date,” Tunde explained. Unfortunately, he did not write the last UTME perhaps he may have been considered by another school with affordable fee. “So that means I have to wait for another two years if something good would happen,” he lamented. “So tell me what I would be doing for these whole two years? Or I should go and learn trade so that I could be derided by my mates? I am just frustrated about the whole development.” These are two of the 2,952 students, who could not join LASU last academic session due to fees increment during the 2011/2012 academic session alone. Only 1,951 of the 4,903 applicants the university offered admission could make the payment despite several weeks of deadline extension. Similarly, Wole Lokoyi had graduated from the Law Faculty of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, since 2008/2009 academic session but up till now, he is unable to go to Law School, which is mandatory for law graduates to be called to the country’s bar. John’s only impediment is also the high tuition fees currently charged by the school. The school’s tuition fee rose from N120, 000 to N220,000 in the year John graduated. He tried to no avail to raise the money to register for the one-year programme that same year but before he knew what was happening, the fee had jumped up the following year to N245, 000, leaving him to bemoan his fate. Lokoyi told National Mirror that he had it very rough even as an undergraduate. “I studied many times on empty stomach. My father is aged and he could only give a little to support my education while I have lost my mum the year l graduated,” he said, stressing that even if all hope was not lost, he had wasted some years which may be difficult to regain forever. Today, against his wish, Lokoyi is a retailer of computer accessory at the students’ union building on OAU campus; a business introduced to him by his friend. “I am trying to raise enough money to enable me register in Law School for the oneyear programme so that I can build my cherished career as a legal practitioner,” he explained. Nevertheless, about 25 others among Lokoyi’s classmates had similar problem. Oluwole Adisa, who was one of them,
LASU student union President, Akeem (L) and Speaker, Rasheed (R) adressing the students on fee hike
TODAY, AGAINST HIS WISH, LOKOYI IS A RETAILER OF COMPUTER ACCESSORY AT THE STUDENTS’ UNION
BUILDING ON OAU CAMPUS Bola
sponsored himself throughout his undergraduate study, which lasted five years. While studying, he was also doing parttime teaching at an examination preparatory institute in the town. “I had prepared for the old rate of N120, 000 but when suddenly the fee was increased to N220, 000 I could not afford it. So I had to lose my placement for that year. I struggled to for another chance the following year and though I made it that year, it was painful to see one’s mates leaving one behind not on the ground of academic incompetence but due to lack of fund,” Adisa, now a lawyer with Sunny Chuks Ukabam & Co, Yaba, Lagos, explained. In the same vein, both Ekiti and Osun states are also accused of raising fees beyond commoners’ reach. When Osun State University was established in 2007, one of those who applied for admission was Adunola Akeem, who coincidentally was one of those who had staged a protest march demanding for its creation and location in the state capital. “I was so happy that I passed the entrance examination but when the fees were released I ditched the whole admission process,” Akeem, now a retail kerosene trader, said. Law and Medical students were to pay N225,000 while fees for other non-science based courses were pegged at N195,500 until Governor Aregbesola took over power in 2010 and reduced the N225,000 to N125,500 while all non-science-based students now pay about N100,000. The newly released tuition fees for the rechristened Ekiti State University (EKSU), Ado-Ekiti, also range from
N120,000 to N250,000 depending on the courses of study; the development resulted in weeks of mass protests in a manner similar to LASU students’ reactions over their fee hike. “We are offering this goat as a sacrifice to the gods to soften the minds and hearts of our leaders so that they can reverse this obnoxious policy to enable us and the generations coming behind us to gain access to university education,” One of LASU student leaders, who preferred anonymity, had said while offering a goat for sacrifice during one of the protests. Meanwhile, harder times await the poor, who statistics say constitutes about 70 per cent of the country’s population, should the Federal Government adopt the recommended tuition fees increase in federal universities as contained in the report of the Committee on the Restructuring and Rationalisation of Federal Government Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies, headed by a former Head of Service, Mr. Stephen Oronsaye. Orosanye’s committee like others before it that had made such suggestions in the past has given as reason for Nigeria’s needs for quality university education, which they claim cannot be attained cheaply, as the reason for their position. Some even said university education is not for everyone so others should apply to vocational schools to grow the country’s technical manpower. “When we introduced the new fee structure for the new intakes in LASU we went to great ends to explain that this new fee regime is just one of the great recommendations of the visitation panel which we accepted in order to restore the image of the university and position her for academic excellence. Many of our citizens have accepted our position because they see the
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, August 30, 2012
truncate students’ ambition Nwachukwu
THE POLICY CAN ONLY FURTHER TAKE EDUCATION OUT OF THE REACH OF THE COMMON
Lokoyi at his stand on OAU campus.
sense in it but others have remained skeptical and this is not unexpected. Even in the most powerful nations of the world, people pay good money to get the kind of education that they would not have had if they do not borrow to fund it,” Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola explained in defence of the increment in LASU fees. However, many including parents, students and members of civil societies have refused to accept Governor Fashola’s argument. Taiwo Hassan is President, Education Rights Campaign, an education-biased non-governmental organisation, who said the hike in fees of the public academic institutions is part of a calculated attempt to close doors of education and enlightenment against the children of the poor “to deny them access to power in future.We see this argument as irrational because Nigeria’s minimum wage stands at N18,000; tell me how the earner can afford to send his child to school without being corrupt. It is clear that larger percentage of Nigerians cannot afford this with their legitimate pay,” Hassan said, adding that; “It is a way of further worsening the corruption situation in the country.” Also, a former President of Obafemi Awolowo University Students’ Union and now a medical practitioner with Bayero University Teaching Hospital, Kano, Dr. Adeniyi Adenekan, said the policy can only further take education out of the reach of the common man, worsening economic inequality and social insecurity. “Except our aim is continued underdevelopment, no nation takes education out of the reach of her people. It is simply another poverty- aggravation strategy. Unfortunately, there are no corresponding facilities to justify this increased pay; no hostels, adequate lecture halls, power, good roads or internet facility yet, those introducing this kind of policy either enjoyed tuition-free school system or were supported through adequate bursaries, scholarships or loans,” Adenekan said. Considering the fragile nature of the country’s security situation and her aspiration to achieve the vision 20:2020, others like the activist lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana; Pastor Tunde Bakare and the Commandant General of Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Dr. Ade Abolurin be-
ECONOMIC INEQUALITY AND SOCIAL INSECURITY
lieve the nation cannot achieve sustainable growth as long as it cannot invest in education and make it accessible to all. Falana, who was recently a guest speaker at a student- financing summit organised by Sam Ohabunwa Foundation for Economic Empowerment, quoted Nigeria’s constitutional provision of Chapter II, Article 18 that;’’ government shall direct its policy towards ensuring that there are equal and adequate educational opportunities at all levels; shall promote science and technology; shall strive to eradicate illiteracy; and to this end shall as and when practicable provide free, compulsory and universal primary education; free secondary education; free university education; and free adult literacy programme’’. But commenting on the rights of Nigerians to education, the Principal Counsel, Lekan Alabi Chambers, Ikeja, Lagos, Mr. Lekan Alabi, said Nigerians’ rights to education beyond basic schools is not enforceable through legal means, adding that university education cannot be made free putting into consideration the poor state of economy. Yet, he argues that ‘privatization and commercialization of education’ as adopted by the nation’s government at all levels cannot be in the best interest of Nigeria. However, Falana does not believe Nigeria cannot afford free university education for its citizens. He hinged his position on the volume of theft, corruption and diversion of public funds in government offices. He said Nigeria, in terms of human and natural resources, is richer than Scandinavian countries like Sweden, Finland and Norway, where he said government offers
free education to both local and international students including Nigerians. “The crisis in this country is obviously too grave to be overlooked. Before now, we used to say that Nigerians would never commit suicide because they love life but today our youths could decide to move into the creeks and carry weapons because life has offered them no hope,” Falana said. The lawyer identified the sum of N1.7 trillion allegedly expended on fuel subsidy, about N33 billion UBEC fund not accessed by the state governments and about N3 trillion channeled to bail out distressed banks by the Central Bank of Nigeria, among others as parts of the public funds that could have easily taken care of the country’s collapsing education system. Also, the Director of Enterprise Trust and Development Company Limited, a finance management institution, Mr. Nathaniel Abara, said only sound education is the solution to the country’s multi-faceted problems. He lamented the cost of education in Nigeria when compared with the welfare condition of an average Nigerian, saying “it is the highly educated that drives a country’s economy and until they are available in abundance in Nigeria, then our economy will continue to have problems.” Abara, who revealed how he enjoyed scholarships from various levels of government including county councils, in the ‘70s, said the real solutions to making education-for-all achievable lies in the hand of government “and whatever any other institution would contribute can only be complementary.” He, therefore, suggested a re-introduction of the defunct student loan schemes, bursaries, scholarships and allowances for willing students at all levels. But in his reaction to the student longterm loan idea, the Managing Director, Leasing Company of Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of Bank of Industry, Mr. David Nwachukwu, said the scheme is not only in the purview of the mandate of the nation’s commercial banks, but that it is also not sustainable due to so many factors.
“As a beneficiary of student loan scheme in the ‘70s in my undergraduate days as a student of the University of Lagos, I would have been the first person to endorse the idea but the reality is that, it is not sustainable. In the foreign countries where it is practiced, as soon as students are in their final classes employers of labour are already visiting their various schools to conduct aptitude tests towards hiring them. How would it then be difficult for them to refund these loans? “But here in Nigeria where five years after graduation, school leavers are still unemployed how do we ensure the refund or who do we blame for their inability to secure jobs? Government would still have to bear the responsibilities because it has failed to provide the enabling environment for these young men and women whose shoulders we ought to rest the country’s economy,” Nwachukwu said. As solutions, others have suggested the re-prioritising of Nigeria’s reward system and to playless emphasis on university degrees and certificates as means of evaluating individuals. The Vice-Chancellor, Bells University of Technology, Ota, Ogun State, Prof. Isaac Adeyemi suggested a comprehensive development of technical and vocational education system and adequate reward for whoever graduates from such schools. “If we have good schools of technologies like ours with adequate support from government, we can build more technicians who would be more useful than the theorists that many of our universities produce. With these well - trained technicians, institutions can partner auto companies for repairs, assembly and possibly production of motor parts at cheap prices,” Adeyemi said. He also suggested that good remuneration for teachers and special bonuses for students willing to study education courses in schools will reduce the figure of those who, for the sake of prospects, opt for courses they do not have both the mental capacity and financial strength to study. Similarly, Nwachukwu also believes the country’s reward system must be restructured to accord deserving respect to other levels of education as a way of distracting many from insisting on university education. “It is our system that discriminates against polytechnic graduates and even skilled workers that has allowed the system to degenerate to this level. As an individual, I hold a different view about university education and it is my opinion that it should not be for everybody like in other climes where skill workers are paid on hourly basis. University education has no special importance attached to it. In fact, a motor mechanic may earn more than a university teacher, but here everyone wants to attend a university because it is the respected certificate and that has actually made the certificate to become ten for one kobo,” Nwachukwu noted. Alabi also advised parents to cut their coats according to their sizes and that “the act of irresponsibility on the part of the government officials can also be curtailed through mass action.”
Longest known case of argyria Vol. 02 No. 437
Thursday, August 30, 2012
Rosemary Jacobs (b. 23 August 1942 in USA) has been affected by argyria from 1956 a couple of years after she started taking nasal drops containing colloidal silver (CSP). Argyria is a condition caused by improper exposure to chemical forms of the element silver causing the skin to developed an irreversible grey tinge.
A nation under devaluation seizure
hat devil has possessed the soul of this nation? What exactly is wrong with this otherwise great country that it continues to slide into the abyss? Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, is a first class brain. He is intelligent, highly cerebral and hugely eloquent. But the affairs of the apex bank of a country should not be left to the whims and caprices of a Robin Crusoe! Only God can tell what exactly went into the riotous and roaring mind of Mallam Sanusi and forcing him to conjure a crazy idea of imposing a 5000 Naira note on Nigerians while his masters in Britain still hang on to their 50 Pound note as their highest denomination. Canada and the US are still stuck to their 100 Dollar note as their highest denomination. What is the compelling reason to
make currency change in whatever form a priority now that our economy is crumbling in the face of existing choking devaluation and resultant inflation? How does Sanusi want to combine and confuse Cashless policy with printing huge cash? Why does anybody want to kill this country? Last Thursday I looked at the bust of fiery Murtala Muhammed sitting majestically on the 20 Naira note dedicated to his memory and fought back tears. I recollect that in 1981 at the formal dedication of my country home in Ago-Iwoye, not a single guest pasted 20 Naira bill on my forehead. The highest denomination of Naira the wealthy in the gathering could part with was 5 Naira note. Recollect also that at that time a crate of 24 bottles of Coca-Cola was only two naira. Just 30 years ago, a Peugeot 504, one of the leading vehicles in the market then, cost about N5, 000, but today you need about triple that amount to buy just one tyre for the same 504! The same goes for the escalation in the price of Coke. You will need 10 times the amount you paid for 24 bottles in 1981 to buy just one bottle of the same product now. Whereas the difference in the price I paid for a bottle of Coke in England in 1977 and now are perhaps a few pence more.
What went wrong?
How come our currency, the symbol
HOW DOES SANUSI WANT TO COMBINE AND CONFUSE
CASHLESS POLICY WITH PRINTING HUGE CASH?
of our nation’s sovereignty got so devalued almost to a point of extreme worthlessness? How come that one kobo, 20 kobo, 50 kobo and one naira had all disappeared from our currency usage while Britain still proudly parades her pence and America her cents? A Nigerian professor teaching the same course to Nigerians here on our soil will be paid almost a tenth of what he will be paid in the US for the same course and to the same number of students. This is a clear case of devaluation of one’s service; one’s labour, one’s worth on one’s soil. Searching through all possible reasons for the degradation of our individual and collective worth as a people and as a nation, the only answer I found was the unpardonable devaluation of our currency by successive regimes, most especially by the military and latterly by the civilian governments. Lack of commensurate productivity
had always been cited as the major culprit of our woes, but the real reason of course is the lack of political will and the greater lack of the understanding of the dynamics of international politics and the dynamics of power and the pride of sovereignty. And this is the crux of my treatise today. Nigeria for most part had been administered by nincompoops masquerading as national leaders. Buffoons who knew next to nothing about any subject under the sun but who unfortunately [for all of us] got catapulted to the undeserved position of power through either the barrels of the gun or the ‘do-or-die’ political abracadabra that have been calling the shots. And once they got into power, even a tout-turned governor or senator or even local government chairman would start pontificating on every issue as if becoming a council chairman automatically opens up a person’s skull and puts an encyclopaedia there. And as I ruminate over this sad situation I cast my mind back on the good old days. Nigeria had not always been like this. We used to have leaders that anybody would be proud to call leaders. The great Obafemi Awolowo was acknowledged by a onetime British prime minister as a genius capable of administering Britain and the United States put together. He was a Nigerian. The great Nnamdi Azikiwe made his inimitable mark both in the US and Ghana before coming to mesmerise his peers here in Nigeria. The great Ahmadu Bello opened the giant North to modernisation. And to cap it all he understood the dynamics of power and the prime place of the military in power equation. To be continued Akogun Adeniyi is the Jagun Oodua of Yorubaland and former chairman, Daily Times of Nigeria
emi-finalists have emerged in the female event while only two male teams have reached the semis in the on-going International Energy Insurance (IEI) National Premier Hockey League in Abuja. Women’s defending cham-
Hockey: IEI League enters semis pions, Bayelsa Queens, led Group A with 5 points while Yobe Queens also qualified from the group with same points although with inferior goals difference. In the Group B, Plateau
Queens topped with 4 points ahead of IG Babes who drew all their matches in the preliminaries. Bayelsa Queens will flick with IG Babes in the first semi final tomorrow while
Yobe Queens will meet Plateau Queens, even as Bayelsa Yobe girls are favoured to advance to the final scheduled for Saturday. In the men’s event, Yobe Desert Warriors and Kano
Flickers, who emerged from Group A, will meet the semi finalists from Group B who were yet to emerge at press time yesterday, although defending champion Union Bank and 2010 winners Niger Flickers were tipped as favourites.
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All the fact,...all the sides