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How I lost five brothers to Kaduna violence –Widow

SPECIAL REPORT

Death toll rises to 28, victims get mass burial

AZA MSUE KADUNA

Yero

Vol. 3 N0. 592

Henry Okah:

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50-year-old widow, Mrs. Hanatu Bulus Veronica, yesterday said that she lost five brothers during the Easter

attacks on some villages in Southern Kaduna. The death toll from the attacks has risen to 28, acCONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

J Jimoh Ibrahim leads 200 le EEnergy Group managers m tto Dubai Conference C A1-A16

Thursday, April 4, 2013

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MEND threatens fresh attacks on oil installations We’re ready to tackle any upheaval, says JTF N’Delta youths protest allocation of 11 oil blocks to non-indigenes SOLA ADEBAYO, SAM OLUWALANA AND EMMA GBEMUDU

T Nebo

Power outage likely as gas plant shuts down FG constitutes boards of Federal varsities

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PDP govs not planning to dump party –Anenih P.13

L-R: Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke; Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; Minister of Culture and Tourism, Chief Edem Duke and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Nurudeen Mohammed at the Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

he Movement for Emancipation of Niger Delta, MEND, yesterday declared its readiness to resume attacks on oil installations in the region, beginning from tomorrow. MEND in a statement signed by its spokesman, Gbomo Jomo, said it will begin “sustained attacks” on oil and gas infrastructure under an operation codenamed “Hurricane Exodus” as from midnight on Friday. The militant group said its planned attacks were provoked by the way and CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>

ASUU, NUT kick against scrapping of UTME, NECO Fear grips NECO workers

No plan to turn National Theatre to hotel –FG

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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

ASUU, NUT kick against scrapping of UTME, NECO TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE, MOJEED ALABI, PRISCILLA DENNIS AND IJEOMA EZEIKE

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eactions yesterday trailed alleged decision of the Federal Government to scrap the National Examinations Council, NECO, and Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, UTME, with many stakeholders in the education sector, such as the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Nigerian Union of Teachers, NUT, among others, in total disagreement with the decision. They insisted that scrapping the two organisations wasn’t a wise decision. ASUU’s National Treasurer and University of Ibadan’s branch chairman, Dr. Ademola Aremu, said both organisations had not lost integrity in conducting credible examinations, which was their major mandate, and therefore should not be tampered with. He asked rhetorically whether the Federal Government would want to say, for instance, that the reason NECO was established as a perfect substitute to WAEC are no more in existence. According to him, the Orasanye’s Committee’s recommendations were not enough to scrap not only NECO but any other government agency or institution established by law and saddled with specific responsibilities. “So, government should have subjected the recommendations to public debate, perhaps superior ideas to run those agencies may be provided before taking any decision on them. I don’t, in any way, believe that scrapping is a solution, especially as regards the financial implication of that action,” he said NUT National President, Comrade Michael Olukoya, said Nigeria was tired of government’s policy somersaults. According to him, every government would want to be known with one particular policy or the other, irrespective of the public importance of such policy. “If the Federal Government was to beam its searchlight to curtail expenses on its agencies and institutions, it should let

it get to the ministries and every other areas of the economy,” he said. But the action appeared to have sent members of staff of NECO into panic mode. Though, the staff reported at their duty post yesterday, many of them at national headquarters in Minna, the Niger State capital, were seeing clustered at various points, discussing the issue. It was evident that the recommendation has created fears among them as they discussed the development, especially since it affects the source of their livelihood. However, the Registrar and Chief Executive Officer, NECO, Prof. Promise Opkala, could not be reached for comments at his office while calls to his mobile phone did not go through. Also, key officers of the council refused to comment on the situation, but one of the top officers, who did not want his name in print explained that, though they have heard and read the purported plan to scrap the 10-year-old examination body, the organisation was yet to receive a letter to that effect. “Though, the report came to us as a surprise, I want to state that we are really worried by what we read on pages of the newspapers. This is because in Nigeria, anything can happen and what we read is enough to create fears in every member of staff of this organisation,” he said. The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB, however, said it would conduct this year’s UTME as scheduled. It also said the Federal Government did not scrap the board but was critically looking into ways of strengthening its power. The board stated this yesterday in a statement made available to National Mirror as a way of reassurance for the over 1.4 million candidates registered to write the exam scheduled for Saturday, April 27, across the 36 states of the Federation and Abuja. The board’s Public Relations Officer, Mr. Fabian Benjamin, who signed the statement, said the organisation’s reassurance for its candidates and the public

became necessary in view of yesterday’s media reports that the Federal Government had scrapped the board and may have cancelled the UTME exam. “The board wishes to state that as a responsible and responsive organisation, it is not against innovation, changes and government policies that are designed to improve the education sector but the organisation has not changed the date of the Paper and Pencil-Based exam for this year while that of the Computer-Based Test (CBT) will

be communicated to candidates soon,” the statement said. The JAMB spokesman noted that arrangements had been completed as relevant stakeholders had been sensitised about the examination even as the board had also deployed all necessary logistics and materials to the designated centres to conduct a hitch-free examination. Also, parents and students expressed mixed feelings on the alleged scrapping of NECO. Mr. Akin Amugiri, a par-

ent, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the plan to scrap NECO would hamper the smooth foundation already laid down in the education sector. Amugiri said the scrapping of NECO would be like returning to status quo, where people would wait for a long time before results would be released. He noted that before the scrapping of NECO, other plans should be put in place to give hope to candidates at that level. Another parent, Mrs.

Edith Okafor, however, said that the scrapping of NECO was a good initiative. According to her, NECO is a duplication of WAEC’s efforts. I see WAEC as having a wider sphere than NECO and more authentic. “Students seem to pass NECO more than WAEC, which is an indication that it is not well regulated,” Okafor said. A student, Miss Adelewa Adeniyi, said the scrapping of NECO would affect the majority of students who relied on the organisation’s certificates.

L-R: President Goodluck Jonathan; Vice-President Namadi Sambo; Alhaji Maitama Sule and Mr. Paul Unongo during a meeting of the president with Northen Elders’ Forum in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: STATE HOUSE

MEND threatens fresh attacks on oil installations CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

manner the trial of its leader, Henry Okah, on terrorism charges, was handled in South Africa. According to the group, the conviction of Okah was based on “a forged threat letter contrived by the Nigerian and South African governments purporting to have originated from MEND.” “This fake letter was used as evidence against Henry Okah for which a 13 years sentence was passed. To make matters worse, the prosecution’s second witness Mr. Sele Victor-Ben exclaimed in court that the letter was fake after failing to catch the prosecutor’s eye who wanted him to lie under oath. “We are now determined to conjure this imaginary trumped up threat into a painful reality. “The attacks will be sustained until an unreserved apology is offered to MEND and the Nigerian government shows their willingness to dialogue. The same

way they are willing to dialogue with Boko Haram,” MEND said in the statement widely circulated to the media. But the Joint Task Force, JTF, codenamed Operation Pulo Shield dismissed the threats and asked persons “parading themselves as MEND” to embrace the peace in the region. JTF in a statement signed by its Media Coordinator, Lt. Col Onyema Nwachukwu, said it had positioned its troops in strategic places and put them on alert to tackle any possible upheaval. The statement said: “Niger Deltans are not in any bondage and therefore do not require armed struggle or emancipation as claimed by this threatening gang. “What Niger Deltans are in a dire need of now is peace for sustainable development having emerged from the dark days of turbulence in the region. “Informed by this development we have effected some redeployment to tack-

le any upheaval. This set of people are advised to toe the path of law and order in addressing whatever grievance they have and to desist from any action that will upset the peace and development of the Niger Delta. “The good and peace loving people of the Niger Delta are enjoined to dissociate themselves, their communities and leadership from this unwholesome approach as portrayed by this group.” The MEND threats came amid fresh tension already brewing in the Niger Delta over the allocation of 11 oil blocks located in the region to non-indigenes of the area under an asset redistribution programme by the Federal Government targeted at facilitating more indigenous participation in the industry. The Niger Delta indigenes, especially the youths of the oil-rich belt are angry with President Goodluck Jonathan that the oil assets located in their areas were allocated to individu-

als who come from outside the region by the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources. The latest development came to the fore just few weeks after allegations that virtually all oil blocks in the country were being operated by Nigerians of northern extraction. Consequently, the youths have asked Jonathan to suspend the transactions supervised by the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Deziani Alison-Madueke, and ensure that the indigenes of the host communities to the oil assets were given the right of first refusal in their management. National Mirror gathered the tension stemmed from the allocation of the oil blocks in the region, especially OMLs 4, 26, 30, 34, 38, 41 and 42 to beneficiaries outside the region in clear contravention of the Nigerian Content Development Law of 2010. It was gathered that relevant stakeholders in CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>


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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

L-R: Wife of Lagos State governor, Mrs. Abimbola Fashola, Lagos State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire and member of the state House of Assembly, Hon. Tayo Oduntan, at a seminar marking the 2013 International Women’s Day organised by the state Ministry of Women Affairs & Poverty Alleviation, in Lagos, recently. L-R: Chairman, Oodua Investment, Alhaji Sarafadeeen Abiodun Alli; Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka and General Managing Director, Oodua Investment, Mr. Adebayo Jimoh, at the inauguration of the Oodua Hall of Fame and Museum in Ibadan, yesterday.

L-R: Director, Federal Ministry of Education, Mr. Oladele Olateju; Managing Director, Premier Medical International, Dr. Kayode Obembe and book reviewer, Dr. Olayinka Ogunbode, at the launch of a book on accidents, emergencies and the pregnant woman in Ibadan, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

L-R: Director-General, Standards Organisation of Nigeria, Dr. Joseph Odumodu; Marketing and Technical Assistance, UNICEM, Mr. Vipul Agrawal and Country Chief Executive Officer, Lafarge Cement, Mr. Jean-Christopher Barbant, at the Cement Manufactures’ Association of Nigeria Forum on Concrete Specifications and Cement Standards in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

National News

No presidential directive on Tinubu, APC –Presidency ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA

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he Presidency yesterday debunked report of purported presidential directive on the former Lagos State governor and leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and the planned fusion of opposition parties into the All Progressives Congress, APC. This is contained in a statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati. According to the report, the President allegedly issued a directive to implicate Tinubu, get him arrested to frustrate his political ambition. The report also alleged that the President also directed that APC should not be registered. Abati described the report as the handiwork of desperate politicians, who did not mean well for the country or have respect for the office and person of the President. The special adviser, who

was reacting to a publication in a national newspaper on the purported presidential directive, said: “What is being bandied around by a section of the media as a ‘Presidential directive’ on Tinubu, APC and other matters, is fictitious, designed to mislead the public, discredit the person and office of President Goodluck Jonathan and cause disaffection within the polity. “A careful examination reveals a mishmash of deliberately arranged and concocted lies, presented to the public as evidence of a document emanating from the Presidency. “This is not only dubious but raises concerns as to the length certain persons will go to perpetuate falsehood for the sake of their selfish ambitions.” Abati said no such directive was ever conceived or was any such directive put forth by Jonathan or his aides. He said: “It is ironic that this is coming at a time when the President is actively engaged in serious discussions with various interest groups on how to fur-

ther deepen the democratic experience as well as the key issue of how to build an economically viable federation. “Nigerians should be wary of such tactic of old, one that seeks to undermine a current administration by creatively espousing imaginary fault lines, with the aid of fake documents to create doubt, fear and disbelief in the minds of citizens and true patriots.

“We unequivocally state that in this case, as in others that may follow the same path, the Goodluck Jonathan administration has no desire to create any inhibitions to the expression of democratic ideas in the country. “With regards to the imaginary ‘Presidential directive’ released to hoodwink the general public, the government is confident that the discerning public

is well aware that this purported document is alien to how things are done within this Presidency. “The physical quality of the unsigned document published today in the Leadership newspaper, with jagged and irregular edges (which make a mockery of both presidential correspondences and the quality of attention paid to sensitive issues and development-oriented policies of government)

should signpost the level of desperation by those who seek to mislead the enlightened electorate of the Federal Republic. “The publication of this spurious document (which was to all intents and purposes hurriedly put together in a roadside business centre!) and the passing-off of same by some media entities should serve as an index on their credibility and sovereign interest.”

FG’ll concession Abuja, Lagos stadia –Minister ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA

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he Federal Government has concluded plans to concession the Abuja and Lagos national stadia as it could no longer fund their maintenance to make them functional and effective. The Minister of Sports, Bolaji Abdullahi, who briefed the Federal Executive Council, FEC, on the activities of his ministry, told State House Correspondents that the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, ICRC, was al-

ready working out the process of the concession. According to him, state governments are to take over the maintenance of other national stadia such as the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium in Enugu, Tafawa Balewa Stadium, Bauchi, Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna and Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, Ibadan in Oyo State. Abdullahi explained that the President had already approved the request of Enugu State Government to take over the stadium in the state while Bauchi’s request was being considered.

The minister said the Federal Government would encourage Kaduna and Oyo states to also make similar request to take over maintenance of the stadia located in the two states. He said: “The Enugu stadium has been approved by the President for release to Enugu State Government. The Bauchi State Government has applied to Mr. President for us to release the Bauchi stadium to the Bauchi State Government. “So, we hope that other state governments will also take over other stadia because it is no longer possible

for the Federal Government to continue to maintain these facilities. “We will now be left with Lagos and Abuja. You will recall that last year, Mr. President set up an interministerial committee to come up with a sustainable plan for managing these two mega sporting structures. “Since then, we have been working with the Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission, ICRC, to come up with the frame work for concessioning the facilities to the private sector.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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How I lost 5 brothers to Kaduna violence –Widow CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

cording to official sources while the victims have been given a mass burial. The widow, who is one of the displaced people taking shelter at Model Primary School, Fadan Attakar, said government must bring the perpetrators of the dastardly act to book. She said: “My five brothers were killed by the attackers. I am left with nobody now. My hus-

band died in a mysterious way. There is nobody to farm for me at my age and no food to feed my two children.” Fadan Attakar in Kaura, which shares a boundary with Plateau State and is about 320 kilometres from Kaduna city, became a Mecca of sorts, as people have continued to troop in to condole with the residents under tight security. The paramount ruler

of Takad Chiefdom, Mr. Tobias Nkom Wada, disclosed the new casualty figure when members of the House of Representatives from Southern Kaduna made an on-the-spot-assessment visit to the area. The paramount ruler, who called on security agencies to dislodge the attackers still on the hills, appealed to the government to immediately rehabilitate the displaced people.

He said: “About 2a.m. on Saturday, armed Fulani herdsmen launched an attack on the villages on the hills; the place is our ancestral homes. They killed 28 people; we held mass burial for the dead on top of the hills on Tuesday. “Three churches, 200 houses were burnt. I don’t have any community on the hills again because Fulani who killed our people are still hiding

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power, Ambassador Godknows Igali (left) and Chief Representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Mr.Tetsuo Seki (right), at the JICA Advisors team workshop with the Ministry in Abuja, yesterday.

there with weapons. I am appealing to government and the National Assembly to find urgent way for my people to go back to our ancestral homes.” Hon. Gideon Gwani and Hon. Godfrey Gaiya, who spoke on behalf of other members of the House of Representatives from the Southern Kaduna, said the constituents’ rights to life as enshrined in the constitution must be guaranteed. The lawmakers, however, called on the people to remain calm and peaceful despite the attack. Meanwhile, a NonGovernmental Organisation, NGO, Centre for Development and Rights Advocacy, CEDRA, has raised the alarm over the genocide going in Southern Kaduna. CEDRA called on the United Nations to intervene immediately to avoid a repeat of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. In a statement signed Dr. John Danfulani, the group urged the Kaduna State Government to ur-

gently prepare a robust resettlement action plan for the displaced people in refugee camps. The statement reads in part: “From the foregoing, it is clear that the Federal Government, security agencies and Kaduna State Government are playing politics with the security situation at hand, thereby the laxity and non-cogent security measures in the areas. All these are pointers that there are forces hell bent in committing genocide against the people, and have ‘unknown backers’ arming them with sophisticated weapons to carry out their evil acts with impunity without any counter-actions by security agencies. “There are about 5,000 persons comprising old men and women, children and young men and women scattered in other parts of Southern Kaduna as refugees in their own land, owing to the choice of blood thirsty group of killers invading villages and carrying out gradual genocide.”

PHOTO: NAN

MEND threatens fresh attacks on oil installations CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

the region were further aggrieved that the exercise was concluded without due consideration of the interests of the qualified members of the immediate environment to the oil assets, who bear the horrendous social and environmental burden of oil and gas exploitation and exploration. Specifically, stakeholders in the region have raised the alarm that Oil Mining Lease 42, currently producing about 12, 000 barrels of crude oil per day (bps), was allocated to one Dr. Ernest Azudialu, from Anambra State. OML 42 is currently in a joint venture operation between the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and Neconde Energy Limited owned by Azudialu. The OML 42 is made up of oil assets in Odidi, Jones Creeks, Batan, Egwa and associated oil fields in the coastal axis of Delta State. The youths also said that OML 30, Nigeria’s biggest

production onshore block, which produces about 35,000bpd was allocated to Heritage Oil owned by one Tony Buckingham and Paul Artherton and Shoreline Natural Resources Limited owned by Mr. Kola Kareem from Kwara State. The operators of the two companies were accused of fronting for some northern interests. The indigenes were further angered following the revelation that the Federal Government’s 55 per cent stake in the asset allocated to NPDC for management was further consigned to Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept Limited owned by one Jide Omokore, in violation of the Public Procurement Act 2007. Omokore’s company, which was registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, on July 19, 2010, was preferred by the management of NPDC to the exclusion of some indigenously-owned companies endowed with requisite technical expertise and sound financial background, they said.

Findings by National Mirror showed that Atlantic Energy was considered on a single-sourced procurement basis in violation of the extant laws of the Federal Government. Also, OML 26 had been allocated to a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dr. Rilwan Lukman, who hails from Kaduna State. The block, which comprises oil fields from Ogini, Ovo, Aboh and Isoko area of Delta State, currently produces about 10,000bpd. To this end, indigenes of the region under the aegis of Savannah Delta are very restive about the latest development in the allocation of the oil assets in the area. The group in a statement made available to our correspondent yesterday, said that Jonathan and AllisonMadueke have disappointed the region. The Savannah Delta, in the statement signed by its leader and Itsekiri top traditional title holder, Chief Ayirimi Emami, said the hopes of the people of Niger Delta for a better deal under Jonathan administration

had been dashed. Emami, a frontline Niger Delta rights activist and the Akulagba of Warri Kingdom, said: “Since the incumbent President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is a Niger Deltan, it is reasonable for the good people of the region to expect a far better deal from government vis-à-vis the critical issues underlying the Niger Delta struggle. Furthermore, since the Petroleum Minister appointed by the President, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, is also a Niger Deltan, I believe that it is our God-given right to expect government to speedily restructure the Nigerian oil and gas industry in a way that is just and fair to the people of the Niger Delta who have borne the horrendous social and environment burdens of oil and gas exploration and production in Nigeria. We obviously cannot expect anything less than this. “However, today, to our utmost surprise and dismay, President Goodluck Jonathan and Hon. Minister Mrs. Diezani Alison-Ma-

dueke have clearly decided to be completely unfair to the good people of the Niger Delta in their programme to restructure the most important segment of the nation’s economy. “To be very clear, the opening-up of participatory and ownership access to local players in the nation’s upstream oil and gas assets is totally unacceptable when the definition of ‘local players’ is construed to exclude ‘indigenous players’. How in the name of God Almighty can President Jonathan and Alison-Madueke decide that only non-indigenous local players should be given participatory and ownership access to national upstream oil and gas assets being currently restructured? In fact, should it not be the case that, in the spirit of fairness and justice, that indigenous players should be given the right of first refusal over these assets?” Emami added: “That indigenous players are being deliberately denied participatory and ownership access to the upstream assets being restructured is true.

For the avoidance of doubt, the same discriminatory approach towards indigenous players was played out on all the assets restructured so far under President Jonathan and Alison-Madueke. “I am therefore calling on Mr. President to realise that the right of first refusal on the upstream oil and gas assets being restructured under his administration is a fundamental right of the host communities of such assets. I call on Mr. President to urgently mandate full redress on all such restructured assets where this fundamental right of the Niger Delta people has been breached. I call on Mr. President to accept that granting privileged participatory and ownership access to indigenous players vis-à-vis the oil blocks being presently reacquired is a far more fundament call of justice than the need for him to find ways and means to ensure the reflection of the federal character in the number of blocks owned by Nigerians before the inception of his administration.”


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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

FG sets up committees to complete privatisation of GENCOs, DISCOs UDEME AKPAN

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he Federal Government has established transitional committees to complete the privatisation of the nation’s electricity generation companies, GENCOs and distribution companies, DISCOs. This is in compliance with Share Sale Purchase Agreement (SSPA) approved by the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) transitional committees for the 15 Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) successor firms, whose preferred bidders have paid 25 per cent of the bid value have been constituted. The committees were inaugurated yesterday by the Chairman of the NCP Technical Committee, Mr. Atedo Peterside. Earlier, the Acting Director- General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Benjamin Ezra Dikki, explained that each successor company had a three-member committee. The members are each from the BPE, the management of the successor company and the preferred bidder. The BPE nominee is the chairman of each committee. According to Dikki, BPE and the new owners have a mutual interest in ensuring the companies operate in a way so as to maintain the

value of the company during the transition period. He added that the transition period could be within a month or a maximum of six months depending on full payment. Transitional arrangements will allow a platform to ensure that both the companies and purchasers are ready for the handover process. He emphasised that the managements and boards of the successor companies will continue to exercise their functions during the transition period without interference from the transitional committees.

The transition committees are expected to facilitate the smooth transition and eventual handover of the management and operational control of the successor companies to the purchasers. They are expected to allow purchasers access to the companies in order to prepare for the implementation of their business plans laid out in the proposals submitted to the Bureau of Public Enterprises. The transmission committees are also to provide a forum for purchasers to engage with existing man-

•We’ll resist such move, artistes kick

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he Federal Government has denied plans to turn the National Theatre to a five-star hotel. Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Mr. Edem Duke, made this known when he spoke to our correspondent on telephone yesterday. The minister said the letters sent to agencies and parastatals which have offices at the edifice were meant to inform them about the decision to implement the National Theatre Master Plan, which was originally designed to include a hotel. Duke said that he had held meetings with the heads of the agencies and parastatals over the issue. He said: “This is only a temporary relocation so that

to the preferred bidders following the down payment of 25 per cent of the share purchase price within 15 business days after signing and the payment of the outstanding 75 per cent within 90 working days after the signing. The preferred bidders for the Discos as approved by the NCP are Kann Consortium for Abuja Distribution Company at $164m; Vigeo Power Consortium for Benin at $129m; West Power & Gas for Eko at $135m; Interstate Electrics Limited for Enugu at $126m; Integrated Energy for Ibadan at $169m;

Former Head of State, Generals Abdulsalami Abubakar, signing a condolence register in honour of the late literary giant, Prof. Chinua Achebe, at the Nigerian High Commission in London, yesterday.

No Plan to turn National Theatre to hotel –FG TERH AGBEDEH

agement and employees to ensure a smooth transition and handover; and allow BPE and the purchasers to monitor the on-going operations of the company to ensure they are operating in an efficient manner and in compliance with the terms of the Share Sale Agreements. It would be recalled that Share Sale Agreements were executed between the preferred bidders and BPE on February 21, 2013. With the signing of the agreement, the stage is now set for the handing over of the Discos and the Gencos

work can commence on the National Theatre Master Plan and we are only at the technical stage of revamping the edifice so that work can commence.” The minister said the service of a technical adviser had been sought, whose name would be made public in due course and that the Federal Ministry of Works had been asked to provide alternative accommodation for the affected agencies. However, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Dance Troupe, Martin Adaji, who receipt of the letter, said he was not part of the meeting. He said: “I got the letter and responded to it, but I have not gotten a reply. My response was that I was not part of the meeting, neither was I privy to the relocation site, which they must have

discussed at the meeting in which I was not present.” He said that if he has an alternative location, he would move. Adaji, who said his artistes were at the moment in camp, explained he is still waiting for a reply from the minister and is yet to receive it. He said: “I don’t have a place to move to and I have artistes who are in camp and we have a joint decree with the National Theatre. I don’t know if the National Theatre got the same letter, I don’t know which other agency got the same letter. So, I am still waiting for his reply.” However, a stakeholder, Prof. Femi Osofisan, described the alleged plan to turn the National Theatre to a hotel as a severe blow to the nation’s cultural development. He recalled that the art

community rose against the planned balkanisation of the edifice in the past, adding that the same thing would happen now if attempt is made to turn it to a hotel. Osifisan said: “It is the only National Theatre we have and somebody is thinking of turning it into a hotel. At the same time, they are even talking of building one in Calabar. Meanwhile, the one in Abuja has not even been built. The land is there, the plan has been drawn, just ready to be done and they didn’t even talk about that. Suddenly I am hearing of turning the place into a hotel. “It is absolute rubbish as far as I am concerned. What is the logic behind it? It is the only national theatre we have. At the last playwright confab which I convened in Ife, people are even asking for more theatres and that even local government councils should be mandated to build a theatre each.”

NEDC/ KEPCO for Ikeja at $131m; Aura Energy Ltd for Jos at $82m; Sahelian Power SPV Ltd for Kano at $137m; 4Power Consortium for Port Harcourt at $124m and Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing for Yola at $59m. For Gencos, the preferred bidders include Amperion for Geregu Plant at $132m; Mainstream for Kainji Plant at $50.76m with commencement fee of $237,870,000; North-South for Shiroro Plant at $23.60m with commencement fee of $111m; Transcorp/Woodwork for Ughelli Plant at $300m and CMEC/Eurafric for Sapele Plant at $201m. The BPE had last year signed a $23m Management Contract Agreement with Manitoba Hydro of Canada for the management of the Transmission Company of Nigeria for an initial period of three years. In 2005, the Federal Government commenced the process of reforming the power sector with the enactment of the Electricity Power Sector Reform Act, which paved the way for the privatisation of the PHCN successor companies. At the beginning of the privatisation of the Discos and Gencos in 2011, the Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, received 301 Expression of interests (EOIs) and later shortlisted 207 firms that met the minimum qualification standards set.

Power outage likely as gas plant shuts down for maintenance CHIDI UGWU ABUJA

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agos State and its environs may experience three days disruption in electricity supply following a scheduled gas maintenance exercise at the Chevron Escravos Gas Plant from April 5 to 7, 2013. The Presidential Task Force on Power (PTFP) said it is coordinating with Chevron, Nigerian Gas Company (NGC)/ NNPC and the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to ensure minimal power supply disruption. In a statement, the Senior Performance Monitor, Media and Communications Unit, Awele Okigbo, quoted Chairman of the PTFP, Mr. Beks DagogoJack, as saying that the

outage would take about 800 megawatts out of service during the three day period. It added that the outage is also inclusive of the Shell Afam VI scheduled maintenance which contributes about 200 megawatts to the power shortfall. “The PTFP is coordinating with the relevant project owners to further mitigate the effect of the expected power shortfall,” the statement said. Dagogo-Jack likened the maintenance exercise to the periodic servicing of a vehicle. “In order to get the desired level of service reliability even basic machines like our cars must be maintained at determined intervals not to talk of power plants” he said.


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NSCDC rescues 32 teenage pregnant girls GEORGE OPARA ABIA

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peratives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NCSDC, have rescued 32 pregnant teenagers from a maternity home where victims are induced to sell their babies after delivery. NSCDC Public Relations Officer, Abia State Command, Mr. Victor Ogbonna, who paraded the victims before journalists yesterday in Umuahia, said the maternity, named Chigaemezue Care Centre, was uncovered at Umuzuo, Osisioma in Abia State. Ogbonna said the owner of the centre, one Mrs. Nnenna Mba, and two men, Mba Agbai and Chinwoke Mba, who aid and abet the crime, were equally apprehended by the NSCDC team who acted on a tip-off. According to the image maker of the command, the arrest was made in the early hours of Tuesday, April 2, at Umuzuo community while the teenagers and the owner of the home were around. He said intelligent gathering by the NSCDC revealed that the victims were induced to sell a baby-boy for N100, 000 while a baby-girl goes for N80, 000. “More investigations conducted showed that the owner of the maternity

thereafter resells a babyboy for N450, 000 while a baby-girl goes for N400, 000,” he said. Ogbonna told reporters that findings by NSCDC showed that the home was established in 2009, but got registered with the state government in 2012. “Despite its registration with government, investigations by our men revealed that the owner hides under the registration to commit evil because some of the victims made confessional statements on the illegalities taking place there,” he said. He said that more investigations were on-going in the matter, noting that relations of the victims are being contacted to re-unite them with their people. Mrs. Mba, the owner of the home, who spoke with reporters, denied claims that she victims were induced to sell their babies to child-less families. She said rather, the centre officially registered with the state Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, assist teenagers who got pregnant and are finding things difficult. Chinwoke Mba, one of the men arrested claimed he was a member of Abia State Vigilance Service deployed to the centre officially, noting that the NSCDC officials overpowered him before the arrest.

Suspected armed robbers, transformer vandals arrested ADEOLU ADEYEMO OSOGBO

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wo suspected armed robbers and three vandals have been arrested by the Osun State Police Command for robbery and stealing of transformer cables belonging to the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, in the state. The suspects, who are now being interrogated at the criminal department of the command, were said to have been in the nefarious act a long time ago before nemesis caught up with them. Speaking on the arrest, the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Mrs. Folashade Odoro, in a statement made available to journalists yesterday, said that the suspects; Badesomo Folorunsho and Olumide Ekuoyeomo, were the ones terrorising the

inhabitants of Ayecooker village and Garage Olode in Ife South Local Government Area of the state while the transformer vandals, Akinsola Wale, 21; Suraju Rilwan, 20, and John also fond of disturbing the peace of people living in Ilesa and environs. Odoro said the police was able to arrest them following a tip-off from members of the public and charged them to maintain the tempo. She pointed out that; “Seven exhibits including one hack saw, four round spanners, one flat spanner, nine pieces of razor blades, eight transformer cables, one unregistered day long motorcycle and two pieces of transformer cable insulators were recovered from the suspects and they are all residents of Ibadan, Oyo State. In fact they are known for transformer cable vandalism.

L-R: Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi; Mrs. HID Awolowo and the eldest surviving daughter of late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Mrs. Tola Oyediran (right), during the governor’s condolence visit to the Awolowos over the demise of Chief Oluwole Awolowo at Ikenne in Ogun State, yesterday.

Policeman, terrorist killed in another gun battle AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST KANO

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n yet another gun battle that raged for hours in Kano yesterday between men of the military Joint Task Force, JTF, and suspected Boko Haram members, two persons were killed, while one terrorist was arrested in the operation. One of the victims was a

police officer attached to the JTF while the other was a Boko Haram member. As part of efforts to free Kano from the grip of the terrorists, the JTF operatives have intensified the their raids lately on suspected hideouts of the extremists. It was gathered that in their recent raids, the JTF stormed Gwammaja, Yandabai and Yankaba, where

three police officers, including an Inspector, all attached to Bompai Police Division, were killed on Monday night inside a restaurant. It was further gathered that this murderous activity of the sect informed yesterday’s raid in Yankaba by the JTF. Our correspondent reports that sporadic gun shots rented the air for the greater part of yesterday

morning as the JTF cordoned off the Yankaba Market area, ostensibly to enhance their house-to-house search for possible suspects and weapons. JTF spokesman, Captain Iwedichi Iweha, said one terrorist was killed while another was arrested. The state Commissioner of Police, Musa Daura, said the command lost an officer attached to the JTF.

Ex-NITEL MDs, union members blast El-Rufa’i over Pentascope deal KUNLE AZEEZ

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ome former chief executives, union members and retirees of failed national carrier, the Nigeria Telecommunications Limited, NITEL, have asked the Federal Government to hold the former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mr. Nasir El-Rufa’i, responsible for the organisation’s collapse. They said that the appointment of Pentascope, a little known Dutch company, to take over NITELs management in 2000 by the Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, during El-Rufai’s tenure as director-general was the cause of NITEL’s death and dismissed attempts by the former minister in a new book to pin the blame on former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar. A former Managing Director of MTEL, NITEL’s GSM subsidiary, Mr. Kunle Bello, said yesterday that he foresaw the collapse of NITEL/MTEL due to insincere and inconsistent implementation of policies

by the El-Rufa’i-led BPE. Bello, who said he voluntarily resigned, described the Pentascope management brought in by El-Rufa’i as a disaster for the company and the staff, “who have been dying one after another” due to nonpayment of pensions. Bello, an ITU telecommunications expert said Pentascope squandered more than N100 billion of NITEL’s hard-earned money, besides the loss of revenue without adding a single telephone line. He challenged the nation’s judicial and executive arms of government to rise to the occasion to acquaint themselves of blame by going after the perpetrators of the fraud. The former workers also said in a statement issued yesterday that the claim in a widely-circulated statement by El-Rufa’i that former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar approved the appointment of Pentascope, the failed management consultant hired to manage NITEL in 2003, was false. The former workers, who said they held El-

Rufa’i responsible not only for the collapse of NITEL, but also the destruction of their careers, said the issue at stake is beyond the debate of who signed and who did not sign. “The issue is who issued or originated the memorandum to the National Council on Privatisation, NCP? How did El-Rufa’i, as BPE director-general pick Pentascope to manage NITEL?” The retirees accused El-Rufa’i of misleading, not only the NCP, but the Federal Government by presenting Pentascope as a capable management company that could turn NITEL around. The retirees went on to say that the true story of the destruction of their national carrier has been revealed in two reports by the House of Representatives and the Senate. Quoting from the report, the retirees said that; “Rather than using Atiku as scapegoat for the collapse of NITEL to serve his hidden agenda, the concerned group of former NITEL workers advised El-Rufa’i to be honourable

enough to accept responsibility for rail-roading and blackmailing the former NITEL board and the privatisation council into approving a contract that had short-changed Nigerians and children yet unborn. Meanwhile, a former Managing Director of NITEL, Prof. Buba Bajoga, who agreed to speak on record, described the destruction of NITEL as “very painful.” He said by the time he left the organisation as its head in 2000, NITEL was a very viable commercial organisation. “We approved the payment of dividends to government and I remember that I left N15 billion and $200 million in the coffers of the organisation,” he said. Bajoga said NITEL made more profit than most banks. “We paid all our bills and were financing all our projects,” he added.


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South West

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Lagos transfuses 90,788 units of blood in five years MURITALA AYINLA

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o fewer than 90, 788 units of blood have been transfused into patients in public hospitals in Lagos State in the last five years, state Blood Transfusion Committee has said. According to the statistics released at the opening ceremony of the Strategic Planning Workshop organised by the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Committee, LSBTC, between 2008 and 2012, 90, 788 units of blood were used up by all public hospitals in Lagos for patients that needed blood transfusion. The workshop, which was held at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCC1, Ikeja, Lagos, also showed that out of the 423, 893 pints of blood received and screened by the LSBTC between 2005 and January and February 2013; 4, 840 of them were found to be HIV infested; 8, 830 have Hepatitis B; 3, 418 units contain Syphilis, while 393, 165 units of blood were certified okay for use by public and private hospitals. Speaking at the open-

•Says 4, 840 blood pints HIV infested

ing ceremony, Chairman, LSBTC, Dr. Adetoun AgbeDavies, said the state has less than 10 percent blood transfused from voluntary donation, different from the target of 100 percent. Her words: “We still have less than 10 percent of blood transfused in the state coming from voluntary blood donors. This is far from the 100 percent target set by the World Health Organisation, WHO, for the whole world to achieve by 2020. We have engaged the services of consultants to assist and guide us through the processes. “We should therefore focus our attention on formulating a robust plan that we can implement in the next few years - be it three or five years.” In his remark, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, lauded the steady increase in response to voluntary blood donation in the last nine years, saying the number of donors started from less than 500 blood donors in 2005 to more than 3, 000 in 2012. Idris, who was represented by the Permanent

LAUTECH acquires eight dialysis machines KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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etermined to raise the standard of the teaching hospital of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, LAUTECH, Ogbomoso, the Oyo and Osun State governments have acquired eight haemo-dialysis machines to boost the hospital’s infrastructural facilities. A Consultant Nephrologist at the institution, Dr. Edward Ayodele, who made the disclosure in a statement made available to journalists in Ibadan yesterday, said six of the machines will be made available to patients suffering from HIV negative and Hepatitis, while two will be made available to HIV/ Hepatitis B Surface Antigen positive patients. “The increase in the number of the heamodialysis machines, which is about the highest in any hospital in the South-West, would improve the quality of life of the people suffering from serious illnesses, particularly those with kidney

failure, HIV/AIDS amongst others,” he stated. It will be recalled that the teaching hospital, which was constructed and inaugurated by the administration of Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala, cost the Oyo State government then about N24billion. Reacting to the development, Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Ogbomoso, Rev. John Adetutu, who said he was always going to the teaching hospital to assess its development, said that the procurement and installation of the equipment were most welcome to the people of the community. His words: “I am happy about the procurement and installation of the eight dialysis machines at LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso. The community will now be better for it. It is what we have wanted for years, and thank God for its establishment by the last administration of Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala. I thank whoever is in charge of the running of this teaching hospital.”

Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Femi Olugbile, added that the state government is committed to ensuring that blood transfused in Lagos State is safe at all times and supply is adequate, by supporting the drive for voluntary donation, screening and quality assurance in processing.

He explained that there had been a satisfactory level of compliance with both private and public blood banks in issuing out blood certified by Lagos State as well as with hospitals transfusing only blood certified by the state. His words: “The blood transfusion service start-

ed with the screening of 35, 000 units of blood in 2005 which has progressively increased to over 60, 000 in 2012. The state government is committed to ensuring that blood transfused in Lagos State is safe at all times and supply is adequate, by supporting the drive for voluntary donation, screening and quality assurance in processing.

“The objective of the workshop was to consolidate the progress so far, identify challenges and gaps and make plans on the way forward. The last strategic plan has now expired and the committee is ready to review how much of the previous plan was implemented, identify the constraints and deliberate on further plans,” he explained.

L-R: Chairman, Abeokuta North Local Government Council, Hon. Taofeek Olabode; chieftain of the Action Congress of Nigeria, Chief (Mrs.) Iyabode Anisulowo; Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun and Chairman, state chapter of the ACN, Alhaji Tajudeen Bello, at the party’s membership re-validation exercise in Abeokuta, on Tuesday.

Soyinka, Ishola task Yoruba on preservation of culture KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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obel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka and foremost writer, Prof. Akinwunmi Ishola, yesterday called on stakeholders in Yorubaland to be more committed to the preservation of Yoruba culture, language and monuments. They made the call in separate addresses at the inauguration of Odu’a Hall of Fame and Museum at Cocoa House, Ibadan, organised by the Odu’a Investment Company Limited. Soyinka, who was the special guest of honour on the occasion, said things

ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

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regnant women and nursing mothers in Ekiti State have been urged to patronise public health institutions in the state to reduce maternal and infant mortality rates. State Health Commissioner, Prof. Olusola Fasubaa, said the benefits of antenatal and postnatal care in government hospitals cannot be over emphasised for the health of the citizens.

went wrong at some point for the Yoruba as well as the entire country with the neglect of the people’s heritage and monuments. While describing Oduduwa as the generic father of the Yoruba nation, he said; “There is need to right the wrongs. With this initiative (hall and museum), I see the beginning of Yoruba technology. I am happy that appeal had been made earlier on the need to develop our culture. “However, there is one negative aspect, not just Ibadan, not just the SouthWest, but the country and its institutions just went into downward spin, includ-

ing the premier university, the University of Ibadan. “This cooperative building (Cocoa House) was a victim of deterioration simply because the normal facilities that were in place at inception had decayed. Cocoa House could not safe itself. “But what I have seen today shows that things are being brought into proper shape. We can say that Cocoa House is the contemporary Opa Oranyan of the Yorubas. “I, therefore, congratulate Odu’a Investment for resuscitating and re-invigorating what is so essential to us as a people.”

Ishola said there should be attempt at promoting the culture of ‘Omoluabi’ as such shows that a child must differentiate between right and wrong. His words: “The idea behind setting up the hall of fame and museum is good. But what will help our culture is the preservation and promotion of Yoruba language so that the younger generation can imbibe the culture of Omoluabi. “Odu’a must find a way of teaching the younger generation the Yoruba language. Let writers write folktales and short stories that could be developed into cartoon.”

Ekiti raps pregnant women, mothers on medicare Fasubaa, who spoke yesterday at a media briefing marking the beginning of the seventh Free Health Mission of Governor Kayode Fayemi, appealed to people of the state to patronise the 35 primary health centres in the state for access to healthcare delivery, particularly in the rural areas. The commissioner said the state government was committing enormous resources into primary

health centres and the health sector in the state in view of the commitment of the Fayemi administration to healthcare delivery. He said the seventh free health mission that would be executed statewide in collaboration with members of the state House of Assembly would gulp N70 million. Fasubaa said that patronage of the primary and secondary healthcare

delivery centres would reduce unnecessary pressure on the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti. The commissioner described the health intervention scheme as cost effective health services targeted at making medicare available to all the citizens of the state, saying such opportunity, if well explored, had the tendency to increase the life expectancies of the people.


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Ekiti killing: ACN chair whisked to Force Headquarters •Fayose accuses govt of frustrating investigation •Ex-governor lied –Commissioner ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

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ndications emerged yesterday that the Ekiti State Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Chief Jide Awe, has been whisked to the Force Headquarters in Abuja for interrogation over his role in the killing of a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) member, Mr. Ayo Jeje. Jeje was allegedly killed last Saturday by some suspected ACN supporters at Erinjiyan-Ekiti. Awe was said to have been whisked to Abuja at about 5:am yesterday on

the order of the Police Inspector-General (IGP), Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar. He was initially detained at the state police command on Tuesday in Ado-Ekiti after he was quizzed on the matter by the Commissioner of Police, Mr Sotonye Wakama. PDP had accused Awe of complicity in the murder of Jeje, a former ACN member, who was to defect to the party alongside many others on Sunday. ACN Publicity Secretary, Prince Tunde Adeleke, who confirmed that Awe was invited to the Force Headquarters

for fact-finding, disagreed that the party leader was detained. Adeleke said: “Awe is not a criminal and no case has been established against him, so why must he be detained by the police? There is no iota of truth in the rumour that Awe was detained before being taken to Abuja. “It was true that our chairman was invited to Abuja and the invitation was just for fact-finding over the Erinjiyan issue. He was neither arrested nor harassed as being peddled around by the PDP. The invitation is normal

under this circumstance.” But the Ekiti State police spokesman, Mr. Victor Babayemi Olu, told journalists on phone that Awe was invited on Tuesday and was allowed to go after interrogation. The spokesman, who said he could not confirm whether or not the ACN chairman had been invited by the Force Headquarters, added: “Chief Jide Awe is a Nigerian and I think if Abuja has something to confirm from him, he can be invited”. This was even as former Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose accused the ACN-led government of mounting pressure on the police to sweep the killing under the carpet.

L-R: Secretary to the Government of Ekiti State, Alhaji Ganiyu Owolabi; Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Yemi Adaramodu; his wife, Toyin; wife of the SSG, Dupe, and National President, Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria, Alhaji Lateef Okunnu (SAN), during a presentation of National Merit Award to Owolabi at the 7th triennial conference of the society in Osogbo, yesterday.

Policeman kills pregnant woman over N20 bribe HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE

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pregnant woman was allegedly shot dead by a policeman on Tuesday evening in Akure, the Ondo State capital. The incident occurred at about 6:00pm when the policeman, who was attached to the Ijapo Police Post, de-

manded a N20 bribe from a commercial motorist. According to an eye witness, the driver, who was on his way to Akoko area of the state in a Nissan Almera car marked: Ondo KAA 80 AAA, objected to the policeman’s demand. It was gathered that the policeman was infuriated by the driver’s refusal to give him the N20 bribe.

The policeman subsequently cocked his gun and released a shot which pierced through the wind screen and hit the pregnant woman sitting in the front of the car. The woman died immediately before any help could reach her. The policeman was, however, aided by his colleagues to flee the scene when they

discovered that youths have gathered to protest the killing. The angry youths mobilised and moved to the Ijapo Police Post to demand the release of the suspect to them. They also barricaded the road leading to the station. Stern looking anti-riot policemen, however, fired several shots into the air to scare away the angry youths.

APC: Amosun mobilises party members for merger

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gun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun has urged members of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the state to fully participate in efforts aimed at integrating the party into the All Progressives Congress (APC). The governor spoke on

Tuesday after re-validating his ACN membership at the Gateway Secondary School at Ita Iyalode in Abeokuta North Local Government Area after which he was issued with a membership card number 264810 by the party's Ward Chairman, Prince Adetunji Adebowale.

The exercise was conducted simultaneously in the 236 wards and 20 local government areas of the state in accordance with a directive of the ACN national leadership. The governor said: “The exercise will afford members to have a readymade data as ACN gets

ready for merger with some other opposition parties of like minds to form the All Progressive Congress (APC).” He also said the exercise would reveal the numerical strength of ACN, urging members to support the merger plan in the interest of all.

Fayose, who called on the IGP to ensure proper investigation into the matter was conducted, also asked the state police commissioner to resist attempts to frustrate the issue. The former governor told journalists at his Afao-Ekiti residence yesterday that the spate of killings perpetrated by ACN supporters was worrisome, adding: “More disturbing is the impunity with which they carry out these dastardly acts”. Fayose said: “We are telling the IGP to do something about killings in Ekiti State. Something is fundamentally wrong here. A state of anarchy may be created here if the Police High Command does not do something urgently. “The killings perpetrated by ACN supporters are evidence that the Fayemi government has failed. If not, why should they be killing when they are in government?” The former governor asked the police to make public the outcome of the investigation conducted by the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) on the series of attacks launched against his campaign train last year November and other reported cases of murder in the state. But the Commissioner for Information, Mr Tayo Ekundayo, said Fayose’s allegations were figment

of his imagination, saying the government was not frustrating the police over investigations into the Erinjiyan killing. Ekundayo, who said Fayemi would not aid nor abet criminality under any guise, said the ACN would come out with its position on the alleged indictment of some of his members in the Erinjiyan killing. He said: “Killing is a grievous offence and Fayemi frowns at it. So, we are appealing to the commissioner of police to investigate the matter thoroughly and in most professional way and bring the culprits to book”. Meanwhile, a member of the House of Representatives, Hon Oyetunde Ojo, has accused PDP of using the federal might to oppress members of the ruling ACN on the killing. Ojo, who described the arrest of ACN chairman as oppression, said: “ACN knows nothing about the Erinjiyan killing. It is disheartening that our chairman was arrested by the police. No member of the PDP has been invited by the police since they started investigation. "Chief Jide Awe was invited by the police on Tuesday because he is a chief in the town. I learnt that he was arrested by policemen this morning (Wednesday) and whisked away to an unknown destination.”

Cancer: Women asked to embrace regular screening HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE

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igerian women have been advised not to see cervical cancer as a death sentence. The advice was given by the President of the Maternal Pulse Foundation and the wife of Ondo State Governor, Mrs Olukemi Mimiko, during the screening of about 200 women for the disease under the Women Health exercise put together by the Foundation. Urging women to always go for periodic screening, Mrs. Mimiko lamented that failure to embrace it had led to lose prominent women whose death could be prevented if the disease was detected early. She said that of the 10

women under the care of the Foundation, eight had died of complications arising from cancer. Mrs. Mimiko said: “Efforts should be geared towards ensuring that the disease is detected at the early stage.” She, however, said the screening was part of her promise made during the 2013 World Cancer Day celebration, which was aimed toward saving lives of women. She said: "Cervical cancer should not be treated as death sentence, we should create awareness on regular screening, our women should make full health screening as a birthday gift, if detected early, cervical cancer can be managed, through this we will be able to know what goes on in our body."


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South East

CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI

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pinion leaders in the South-East have called on the Federal Government to immediately end the killings in the North or the Igbo would resort to self help. The leaders said this while reacting to the threat by the leader of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, Chief Ralph Uwazuruike, to declare war on the North over the killing of Igbo during a bomb attack on a Lagos-bound luxury bus in Kano by terrorists. They said since the Federal Government had remained indifferent to the killings, the Igbo had no option but to de-

Thursday, April 4, 2013

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Boko Haram: We’ll defend ourselves –Igbo

fend themselves. Speaking with our correspondent yesterday, the President-General of Igbozurume, Col. Joe Achuzie (rtd), said while MASSOB could not represent the opinion of the Igbo, the North should know that there were active and radical groups in the South-East ready to protect the interest of the region. The former Biafran warlord, however, said issues like this should be resolved in a civilised manner. He said: “But that will not give right to groups that are uncivilised to continue killing people as if they are slaughtering animals. That

we cannot take any longer. “If this killing does not stop we may react. But we are appealing to government to do something fast to stop this senseless massacre of innocent people. “It should stop because when we react, we may react foolishly, but we are not foolish that is why we want them to resolve the matter quickly. “We are not going to run away from the North just because some people engaged themselves in senseless killings of others, but we are ready to defend ourselves because Nigeria is our country which we built together.” Also speaking, the former President General of

Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Dozie Ikedife, said the killing of Ndigbo “is a serious indictment on the government. It is disturbing that one’s safety is not guaranteed in his country.” Ikedife said the prediction that 2015 would be bloody was gradually becoming a reality. He said: “There is nothing strong to show that the issue is abating, no condemnation on the side of the government, no arrest; this does not look right.” In his own reaction, former Governor of Anambra State, Chief Chukwuemka Ezeife, regretted that the attack was targeted only at

the Igbo but he warned that Ndigbo had the right to defend themselves. He said: “It should be clear to everybody that Igbo are targeted people in parts of North. It is now time for the President, governors, police, Army and all security agencies in the land to not only recognise this fact but also accept the necessity for the Igbo to defend themselves.” Ezeife called on government to help Igbo procure equipment for self-defence.

Imo drivers plan protest over police checkpoints, extortion CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI

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L-R: Pastor Pat Ezem; President/founder, Lively Hope Ooutreach, Rev. Benson Ezem and Abia State Governor Theodore Orji, at the presentation of award of excellence to the governor in Umuahia, recently.

South-East govs diverting SURE-P funds –CD CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI

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he Campaign for Democracy, CD, has raised the alarm over the mismanagement of the Subsidy Re-investment Programme, SURE-P, funds in the South-East. The South-East CD said in a statement signed by its Chairman, Dede Uzor Uzor, and Secretary, Dr. Jerry

Chukwuokolo, that there was serious unemployment challenge, which the funds ought to have tackled. The group observed in the statement issued yesterday that the funds were well utilised in South-West, but alleged that the South-East governors were diverting the funds. The statement reads in part: “Currently now in Ondo, Osun and Lagos,

their various governments had employed 3,000 youths with the money released for the states. But it is very sad that up till now, SouthEast governors have not made any move to start the programme and spreading its benefits to her people, after collecting their own share of the money from the Federal Government.’’ CD also blamed the high rate of crime on the

prevailing rate of unemployment and zero human capital development in the zone. It, however, issued a 14day ultimatum to SouthEast governors to do something urgent about the programme. CD said failure to do this it might drag the governors and their chairman to the National Industrial Court.

Obi applauded for checking abduction, ritual killings OBIORA IFOH ABUJA

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he Nigerian Governors’ Forum State Peer Review Mechanism, SPRM, has commended the Governor Peter Obi for curbing kidnapping and ritual killings in Anambra State since he assumed office. The SPRM also identified the State Peer Review as a

significant process for driving development for the benefit of the electorate. The SPRM National Coordinator, Dr. Afeikhena Jerome, told journalists in Abuja yesterday that Obi was an ardent believer in the development process and had embraced the mechanism. He said: “The turbulent crisis that characterised Anambra State seems to

have abated following the second reinstatement of Governor Peter Obi in 2007.” Jerome attributed the governor’s success to his effort at creating an enabling environment for commercial and industrial activities in the state. The coordinator said the right step taken by the state government attracted foreign direct investments and encouraged the indigenes

to embrace more profitable ventures. He said Obi’s administration had not only supported the process, but was also committed financially towards promoting its application in good governance. The coordinator commended Obi’s pioneering efforts, saying that the priority accorded the process now followed the initial move by the governor.

The former governor, however, called on the people not to wait for such assistance before they defend themselves. He said: “The defence mechanism can take the form of vigilance/security group, properly registered and supervised by the authorities.” Ezeife urged government to amend the law on gun control because some people in the North were being targeted.

ommercial drivers in Owerri, the Imo State capital, have threatened to shut socio-economic activities in the town to protest constant police harassment and extortion at new checkpoints across the state. The drivers called on the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, to prevail on the state Commissioner of Police, Musa Mohammed Katsina, to dismantle all illegal police checkpoints in major cities and highways in the state. They alleged that the police in the state had reintroduced roadblocks against the order of the IG, which abolished checkpoints across the country. According to them, they are forced to pay toll ranging from N50 to N100 at the different checkpoints that are

particularly seen between 6am and 7pm. Speaking with our correspondent, a man, who identified himself as Chief Innocent Nwaneri, said: “The police roadblocks are fully back in the state. They force motorists, including tricycle drivers, to pay toll at all the checkpoints in the state capital and on the highway. “In certain cases, some drivers are brutalised while their vehicles are parked for several hours for refusing to give money to the policemen. “Even passengers are not spared the harassment by the policemen, who often beat up the hapless passengers for daring to question their actions.” He said if nothing is done to arrest the ugly situation commuters in the state will soon embark on indefinite strike to protest the extortion and harassment.

Save Anambra varsity Law Faculty, CLO begs gov CHARLES OKEKE AWKA

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he Civil Liberties Organisation, CLO, has asked Governor Peter Obi to act fast and save the Law Faculty of the Anambra State University, ANSU, Igbariam campus, from losing its provisional accreditation. In a letter dated March 25 signed by the state Chairman of CLO, Aloysius Attah, and the Secretary, Justus Ijeoma, the organisation said there was palpable fear among the students and lecturers of the university that if no urgent step was taken towards meeting the requirements of the Council of Legal Education and National Universities Commission, NUC, for accreditation,

the Law Faculty would most likely lose its accreditation. The CLO contended that its letter to Obi was driven by the fact that the interim accreditation or compassionate quota which the ANSU Law Faculty was enjoying since 2009 was at the risk of being withdrawn because of some prevailing deficiencies, like lack of functional e-library, lack of required books, journals and law reports, among others. Shedding light on how the Law Faculty got to its present precarious position, the CLO said: “The interim status was arrived at when the accreditation team visited the faculty in October 2009 and noticed some deficiencies in the standard, the faculty was given time to remedy those deficiencies.


Thursday, April 4, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

13

Politics

Jang’s public service reorganisation excites Plateau

LG poll: ACN, PDP renew battle in Edo

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Boko Haram: Nigeria is under evil attack, says Tukur AYODELE OJO

WITH AGENCY REPORT

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he National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Bamanga Tukur, has once again raised the alarm on the growing insecurity in Nigeria, saying that the nation was under an evil attack. Speaking against the backdrop of the Boko Haram insurgency in the North, Tukur stated that the attack is being coordinated by enemies of Nigeria’s unity. Tukur, who spoke in London at the “2013 Nigeria Arise Award” media chat said: “Nigeria is under attack and these people at-

tack churches, mosque, market places, schools, and even telecom facilities. It is not attributed to any part of the country, tribe or faith alone. “It is an evil that we must all challenge, don’t give it any other name other than evil, as a big party, I am calling on leaders of all the political parties, and this is not politics, CPC, ACN, and all other political parties to come together to fight this evil,” Tukur said. He, therefore, called for collective effort to curb the security challenges posed by these enemies of progress. On the state pardon granted to the former governor of Bayelsa, Diepreye Alameisegha, Tukur said: “It’s the guilty that is par-

doned, not the man who did the right thing. It is not the quantum of guilt, but the admittance of guilt based on self confession.” He called for the understanding of Nigerians, saying the pardon was in good faith. Tukur said the media had a key role to play in creating awareness to enable all Nigerians wake up to the challenge which was fast

destabilising the nation. He also expressed the PDP commitment to resolving internal crisis rocking it through reconciliation, education and dialogue among others to unite the party. He commended the “Nigeria Arise Award” initiative, saying it would encourage Nigerians to strive to achieve in their various field. Just last week, Tukur

declared that Nigeria was under siege. In an interview with journalists, Tukur had said: “Today, there is fear everywhere, churches are being burnt, mosques are being attacked, United Nations building bombed, motor parks are being bombed, people cannot go to motor parks again to travel for the fear of being attacked, security installations such

as police stations, prisons are being burnt down and inmates released at will, nobody knows the next target of attack. “Surely our nation is under siege. It is not the question of PDP, ACN, CPC or any political party or any religion, the truth is that Nigeria is under siege therefore all of us must come together and face this challenge.

PDP govs not planning to dump party –Anenih

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hief Tony Anenih, the chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday said that none of its governors was planning to dump the party. Anenih declared that the party was intact and would come out stronger and more united. Anenih made the statement in Sokoto while addressing newsmen shortly after leading other BoT members to a closed-door meeting with Governor Aliyu Wamakko and other stakeholders. The meeting, which lasted for more than three hours, was attended by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, the state Deputy Governor, Mukhtari Shagari, zonal and some national officers of the PDP. According to Anenih, “the visit to Sokoto is to appreciate Governor Wamakko for the good work he is doing in the state.” The PDP BoT chairman said the party was happy with the way Wamakko handled the affairs of the state, especially security.

“We have also discussed issues about the corporate existence of the country and other issues where there is a disconnect between the party’s national secretariat and the states. “These issues also include those of relations between the executives and the legislatures and the general welfare of Nigerians,” Anenih said. He stated that the meeting was a family one between family members, adding that it was “purely private.” According to him, “we are pleasantly surprised about the warm reception we have received in the state”. Wamakko had earlier told newsmen that the visit was part of the BoT’s tour of the PDP-controlled states. “This is with the view of making the party stronger and formidable, to ensure a better and brighter future for the PDP,” he added. Wamakko, however, stressed the need for the PDP to ensure justice, fairness and equity amongst the party members and states nationwide.

L-R: (Front row) Sokoto State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Muktari Shagari; Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal; Dr. Bello Haliru; Governor Aliyu Wamakko; Chief Tony Anenih and Senator Barnabas Gemade, after a meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party leaders in Sokoto, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

PDP Crisis: NEC has no powers to sack NWC –Metuh Says APC is destined to die soon

ISE-OLUWA IGE AND OBIORA IFOH

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he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday said it is untrue that some members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) was plotting to sack the National Working Committee (NWC), stressing that they have a constitutionally guaranteed tenure that ends in 2015. The party also disclosed that issues which prevented it from convening its NEC meeting, which was last held in June 2012 have been resolved with the election of the chairman of the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT). National Publicity Sec-

retary of the party, Olisa Metuh, who made these clarifications in Abuja added that rather than be afraid of the merger of All Progressives Congress (APC), the PDP would be happier if they meet the constitutional requirements for registration, as they (APC) would soon disintegrate through unresolved crises. The PDP spokesman who explained that it was wrong for some people to insinuate that the PDP-NWC would be dissolved at the convening of any NEC meeting explained that not only do NEC lack the powers to remove any member of the NWC, there were no immediate internal threat that would warrant any unconstitutional moves against

the party’s leadership. His words: “What we read in the papers is that there appears to be clear war in the NWC. This is untrue. We have read all kinds of doomsday predictions in the papers and these are grossly exaggerated. I can assure you that after the Easter break, we shall hold our NEC meeting. “We are not embattled, either in the NWC or with our governors. I can assure you, this NWC has come to stay; this NWC will conduct elections; we will be in-charge of our party administration until our tenure ends in 2016. “There is no attempt to remove anyone in the NWC. There is no problem, there is no crisis. We have differences in ideas and approach but definitely we are united in being

together to drive the vision of our founding fathers.” He also said there were no “Judases” among the top echelon of the party, nor with the governors nor other members of the party, stressing that the reconciliation tour embarked on by Tukur and Anenih was to ensure that all sections of the country and every individual are reconciled. On the issue of registration of the APC, he denied there was any presidential directive issued to the INEC against the registration of the party, stressing that the people who fabricated the matter were so unintelligent that they forged what they dubbed the so-called directive which was in writing, wondering if anybody would want to do such a hatchet job in writing.


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Politics

Thursday, April 4, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Jang’s public service reorganisation excites Plateau THE ONGOING

JAMES ABRAHAM writes on the reorganisation of the Plateau State civil service by Governor Jonah Jang.

REORGANISATION WAS NO DOUBT INEVITABLE...

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hen Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State announced during his inaugural speech on May 29, 2011 that his second term administration would be run on a three-pillar policy, not many envisaged that the policy instrument will start bearing fruits shortly afterwards . The three-point policy which many see as a new approach to governance is anchored on human capital development, infrastructural development and financial options. It primarily seeks to lay a solid foundation for sustainable resource development, wealth creation, poverty reduction, value reorientation and the emergence of democratic governance structures. Importantly, the agenda seeks to consolidate and strengthen the achievements recorded during his first term as governor and also to build a new Plateau in the plan of God. Thus, when the governor began the reorganisation of the state public service which eventually culminated in the appointment and swearing-in of 15 new permanent secretaries and a head of service to fill positions which have been left vacant over the years, Plateau people did not only hail the workability of the policy but identified with one of its objectives which is to put in place people who are working together; responding positively to the developmental challenges of building a new era of progress. The swearing-in of the top public servants last week at the Rayfield Government House in Jos, no doubt, surprised many stakeholders and other watchers of events in Plateau State. For one thing, the occa-

TOWARDS ATTAINING DISCIPLINE AND EFFECTIVENESS IN SERVICE DELIVERY

Jang

sion was particularly significant because never in the history of the state has there been any such number of top civil servants brought on board in one fell swoop. Stakeholders openly praised the governor for not only ensuring equitable distribution of the topmost jobs across the 17 local government areas of the state but for placing square pegs in square holes in order to ensure effective service delivery. Speaking during the ceremony, Jang told the new appointees: “I wish to remind you that you are stepping in at a very critical point of the service in the state which is undergoing reorganisation. It means you are to arm yourselves with the necessary tools and bring to bear your intellectual acumen and service to midwife this change as driven by the three pillar policy. “Since the inception of this government, the civil service has remained close to our hearts thereby engendering our desire to get the best out of it. To achieve this, the

ongoing reorganisation was no doubt inevitable. In line with this, we are revising various instruments of operations such as civil service rules, scheme of service, financial regulations and stores rules all towards attaining discipline and effectiveness in service delivery.” Jang further said that his administration was confronted by a system that was highly challenged with some disturbing trends including corruption, apathy, indiscipline, low morale, poor policy focus and strategic direction. According to him, the sum of these is the poor image of the public service which he said, has been brought about by some elements within the system. The governor also added that his administration was planning to establish an institute aimed at training the civil servants as well as update them on latest trend in public service. Before the swearing-in of the top civil servants believed to be the engine room of governance, the decay in the public service had prompted the governor to embark upon a number of measures aimed at repositioning the service for greater productivity. For instance, the rot in the state civil service recently manifested in the shameful discovery of 6,000 ghost workers including ghost commissioners on the pay roll of the state government. The Economic and

Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has commenced prosecution of those allegedly involved in the law court. This did not just happen. It took the intervention of a committee set up by government in October last year to conduct biometrics verification exercise on the state workforce. The discovery was shocking as, according to government, before the implementation of the biometrics verification in October last year, the staff strength fluctuates within the region of 22,000 monthly on the payroll. However, since the automation of the salaries in October to December last year, the figure dropped to 17,000. What this means is that the money which would have been used for the development of the state was being siphoned through payment of salaries to non-existing workers. But for the bold move taken by the committee, the people would still have been in the dark as to the true nature of corruption that pervades the sector. As it is, the determination of government to know the actual staff strength of the state workforce has led to further scrutiny of the 17,000 figure. National Mirror investigations reveal that the outcome of that exercise shows that of the estimated 17,000 state workforce, over 10,000 were cleared while over 6000 workers were found to have issues that must be further investigated to determine the authenticity of their employment. In spite of the controversy that trailed the conduct of the exercise, the success recorded by the committee at the state level has led to stringent calls by stakeholders for government to replicate the biometrics exercise at the local government in order to achieve the overall objectives of cleansing the Augean stable in public service . By the time the current reorganisation of the civil service in Plateau State is completed, the oft quoted remarks of Governor Jang to transform every structure of governance using the three-pillar policy would have turned out to be prophetic.

Sambo, icon of new leadership in North –Survey FELIX NWANERI

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he report of an independent survey carried out by the Northern Leaders Transformation Initiative (NLTI) across the northern states of the country has rated Vice President Namadi Sambo, as the icon of the new generation of political leaders the people of the region are yearning for. The most significant development in the Northerners’ perspectives on preferred leadership qualities for future politics in Nigeria, especially the 2015 general elections, as revealed in the report released in Katsina, headquarters of the NLTI, is the stoppage of the Ahmadu Bello and Abubakar Tafawa Balewa templates for assessment and expectations of Northern leadership potentials. “Northerners have generally stopped using the Ahmadu Bello, Sardauna of Sokoto and Abubakar Tafawa Balewa templates for assessment and expectations of Northern leadership potential for the obvious reasons of the obsolescence of such templates in the context of contemporary politics of Northern Nigeria, due to major permanent changes in the political config-

uration of the region,” the report said. Signed by Rilwanu Charanchi and Ezekiel Edeh, who coordinated the sampling, the report further explained that far-reaching changes such as the steady fragmentation of the region into states and the resultant erosion of the Northern hegemony have triggered new trends in political thought and attitudes, which indicate support for a new generation of political leaders with special consideration for national stature, strong professional credentials, positive track record in pragmatic service and promotion of unity in diversity in the North and building bridges of peaceful cooperation with other sections of the country. It also revealed that a tangible majority of respondents in the rural and semiurban areas, readily mentioned Sambo as “the leading Northerner in the national political arena who has successfully blended with other strong constituencies, especially in the South-South, South-West and South-East to promote the interest of Northerners in the Nigerian federation” and therefore regard him as “our best bet for the future.” The Vice President gained also significant percentage points ahead of other mainly dark horses in the Northern leader-

ship bracket principally as a result of his “well-appreciated” performance as governor of Kaduna State where he entrenched effective security measures to complement his courageous campaign for peaceful coexistence thereby curbing crises and restoring people’s confidence in government. The report also highlighted Sambo’s political maturity and personal human relations as demonstrated in his crisisfree partnership with President Goodluck Jonathan and generally cordial ties with all other important personalities and leaders across the country as another common reference point in a majority of respondents’ assessment of his performance at the Presidency. This, they described as “the best thing that has happened to the North following the deplorable period of geo-political tensions” because the Vice President was seen to have checked the excesses of the hawks in the region without diminishing the North in the national arena of politics and governance. Also mentioned in the report is the consensus of opinion on the expiration of the political relevance of the “old brigade” of Northern leaders who succeeded the Ahmadu Bello/Tafawa Balewa era but failed

Sambo

woefully to match the development strides witnessed in the North prior to their emergence as well as the widespread rejection of the ambitious and corrupt clique of Northern governors and their tendency to betray and disown their political benefactors and leaders in their unbridled lust for power at all costs. Noteworthy also was the report’s reference to respondents’ response when asked to advise President Jonathan on the way forward where it quoted a substantial majority of the people apparently more interested in the restoration of law and order and peaceful coexistence in the North than the quest for elective offices in 2015.


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Politics

Thursday, April 4, 2013

LG poll: ACN, PDP renew battle in Edo On April 20, electorate in Edo State will file out to elect representatives that will pilot the affairs of the 18 local government areas of the state. The importance of the election has made the political parties to embark on intensive campaigns ahead of the poll. SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN reports on the preparations for the election and allegations and counterallegations among the parties.

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head of the April 20 local government election in Edo State, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have embarked on aggressive campaigns to emerge victorious in the 192 wards and 18 council areas of the state. However, allegations of plots to rig the polls are being traded by the two main parties. Going by the guidelines of the Edo State Independent Electoral Commission (EDSIEC) that has effectively been followed by all the contesting political parties since Wednesday, January 9, the names of voters and location of polling stations in the respective wards, should be known by Friday, March 29. Last weekend also marked the deadline for the submission of names of party agents to EDSIEC. While candidates must end their campaigns by Thursday, April 18, election holds two days later with run-off or re-run elections scheduled for the following weekend, Saturday, April 27. Speaking to National Mirror on the preparedness of EDSIEC, its chairman, Mr. Solomon Ogoh said no stone is being left unturned in the bid to make the election free, fair and credible. He said not less than 8, 000 personnel would be deployed to man various aspects of the tasks to enthrone democracy and good governance at the local government level in Edo State. His words: “Most of the faults in past elections in Nigeria are the faults of most Nigerians. I am not saying that EDSIEC, INEC or other agencies have no faults of their own. All I am saying is that to have a free, fair and credible election is a task for all of us. Having said that, I assure you that the coming council election will be free and fair. I assure all of a level-playing field. We have no doubt that we will conduct an election that will be a reference point in the country.” Indeed, as the election draws closer every day, the secretariats of the different political parties have become beehive of activities as visits by our correspondent revealed. Candidates have since embarked on intensive campaigns that have taken them to the nooks and crannies of the each local government areas. While some prefer the house-to-house strategic type of campaign otherwise known in political parlance as ‘mosquito campaign’, others prefer the rally type that gathers party faithful in thousands at a venue for direct address. One key feature of the campaigns, especially for the PDP, is the absence of its national leaders. Particularly, the party’s governorship candidate in the July 14, 2012 governorship election, Major-General

Oshiomhole

Orbih

EDO PEOPLE KNOW THOSE USING PUBLIC FUNDS LIKE SURE-P TO BRIBE SOME MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC. BUT THAT WILL NOT SAVE THEM ON APRIL 20 AS EDO PEOPLE WILL, AGAIN, RENEW THEIR COVENANT WITH COMRADE OSHIOMHOLE BY VOTING ALL ACN CANDIDATES Charles Airhiavbere (rtd), has been missing amongst the familiar faces campaigning for the party led by the State PDP Chairman, Chief Dan Orbih. On the other hand, the ACN campaigns have been missing the leadership of Governor Adams Oshiomhole, who only returned back to the country during the week. However, in his absence, the Deputy Governor, Dr. Pius Egberanmwen Odubu has been leading the party effectively. Speaking on his party’s preparedness, Edo State ACN Chairman, Hon. Thomas Okosun said the party is ready to contest the poll. He said ACN was quite prepared to contest and win in all the 192 wards and 18 local governments in Edo State. He said that is why the party fielded chairmanship and councillorship candidates in all the constituencies. The same enthusiasm was echoed by the PDP Publicity Secretary, Mr. Matthew Urhoghide, who said that the PDP is determined to stop the ACN this time around in every local council and ward in the state, where the PDP is also fielding candidates. He urged EDSIEC to ensure a level playing ground for all contestants. Although most analyses of the election seemed to centre only on the two parties, there are other parties contesting the election. The other parties include the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP), the Congress of Progressive Change (CPC) and the Labour Party (LP). Confirming his party’s readiness, Edo State CPC Chairman, Comrade Godwin Erhahon said the party expects to win in the few places it is presenting candidates. The Edo State LP Vice Chairman, Comrade Patrick Eholor and state ANPP Acting Chairman, Deacon Goodluck Imokhide also expressed hope of victory. The high level of enthusiasm, confidence and hope accounted, perhaps, for the suspicion of each party by the others, resulting in allegations and counter-allegations pres-

ently being traded between PDP and ACN. To this end, the PDP has accused the ruling ACN government of planning to arm and deploy the Neighbourhood Watch, a voluntary community-based security outfit that assists the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies to tackle crime in Edo State. But the government has fired back, accusing the PDP of crying wolf because the party’s plan to buy votes with the proceeds from SURE-P was not yielding dividends. Raising the allegation during PDP campaigns, Edo State PDP Chairman, Orbih, said the party learnt that the state government was buying uniforms and guns for the Neighbourhood Watch in a bid to use them against PDP voters on April 20. Orbih alleged: “The PDP has uncovered a plot by the Adams Oshiomhole-led ACN government to deplore members of the state’s vigilante group, Neighbourhood Watch, to intimidate, harass and obstruct members of the PDP from casting their votes during the forthcoming election. To this end, our informant also disclosed that the state government has bought large ammunition for the group to be used on election day. “Following the disclosure of this dangerous plot, the PDP has decided to write a strongly worded letter to Edo State Commissioner of Police to inform him about this dangerous plot. Copies of the letter will be forwarded to the Inspector-General of Police and Assistant Inspector-General of Police (Zone 5) for appropriate action. It is our belief that Neighbourhood Watch and other bodies formed by the state government for the purpose of rigging the council election are not known to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. While they are clamouring for state police, what they have not been able to achieve with state police, they now want to achieve with Neighbourhood Watch. “For the purpose of peace and credibility, the police should arrest anybody caught

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carrying arms on that day. The PDP will resist any attempt by Edo government to use these illegal bodies. Members of our party should remain vigilant as they embark on the current house-to-house campaign for PDP candidates.” In his response, Edo State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Louis Odion said the state government was only responding out of pity for the PDP. He said: “We really need to pity Mr. Dan Orbih. He is a political jester who seems unaware that Edo people have since grown tired of his old theatrics. Now, he says Comrade Oshiomhole will use the Neighbourhood Watch to rig the coming elections. But if one may ask: did Oshiomhole need them to win the 18 local governments in the governorship poll of July 14 last year when Orbih and his master, Chief Tony Anenih lost woefully? Of course, the answer is no. You can then see the fallacy in Orbih’s argument.” He added: “To be sure, the Neighbourhood Watch is a voluntary outfit assisting the Police to fight crime in Edo State. On the contrary, Edo people know those using public funds like SURE-P to bribe some members of the public. But that will not save them on April 20 as Edo people will again renew their covenant with Comrade Oshiomhole by voting all ACN candidates.” Besides the direct allegations, the political parties have also been striving to gain an upper hand in the political mind games leading up to the election. For example, the PDP has been highlighting the issue of alleged imposition of candidates by Governor Oshiomhole, which the party hierarchy and members have repeatedly denied as a figment of the opposition’s imagination. Unsurprisingly, the kite of this allegation has received willing flyers from members of the civil societies such as Mr. Tony Erah and Pastor Olu Martins, both of whom have likened it to the absence of internal democracy. Defending the mode of election of ACN candidates earlier, a member of the House of Representatives for Owan Federal Constituency, Hon. Pally Iriase, said affirmation was the best option for a ruling party. He said: “Yes, what we did is affirmation. People say they don’t like the word consensus. But I think the ultimate thing is to allow Nigerians make their choice. What I see is that if people are in a hurry to get into office, they want failure. The fact is that Edo ACN has witnessed a lot of influx for which reason you need membership cards to vote. Many of them do not have these cards. The result of direct primaries could have resulted in violence.” But in an apparent response to the allegation of imposition, some analysts have argued that while the governor has continued to be vilified, rightly or wrongly, the reality on ground shows that the PDP is actually the party that may suffer the negative impacts of imposition. Such analysts justified their belief with the Edo State High Court order made last week, which restrained the party on the issue of the authentic PDP candidate for election into the Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area seat. Considering that the election is a matter of days away, they have therefore called on Edo PDP leadership to quickly put the party’s house in order not only in Ikpoba Okha but also in the other councils where its members are dissatisfied, so as to nip in the bud the anticipated backlash, the imposition may have on its participation in the council poll.


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Politics

Elliot Ukoh is the National President of Igbo Youths Movement (IYM). In this interview with FELIX NWANERI, he speaks on the need for the convocation of a national conference to address imbalances in the Nigerian federation before the 2015 elections, as well as the security situation in the country. Excerpts: The various speakers at the 14th annual convention of the Igbo Youth Movement, recently in Enugu, called for the convocation of a national conference before the 2015 elections. How feasible is that with the National Assembly’s opposition? It is not a matter of National Assembly agreeing with anybody. Rather, it is the issue of truth and reality. Does anybody really believe that Nigeria will move ahead without a national conference; without restructuring? Does anyone really think postponing it would make the demand for it die down? The truth is that no matter how long you try to stifle it, Nigeria cannot move on without a fundamental restructuring through a national conference. It is the only roadmap to a truly greater Nigeria. From the volume of emails and calls we’ve received from eminent Nigerians who are really excited and supportive of a national conference before the 2015 elections, you can tell that the National Assembly will see reason to heed to the call. Those afraid of a national conference fall actually into two categories: our compatriots who fear for the survival of the entity called Nigeria and politicians who are blinded by their desire for self accommodation in the present Nigerian system and can’t see the danger ahead if a dialogue is delayed. Both groups are wrong. Only a national conference will save Nigeria. That is the truth. Prof. Ben Nwabueze’s comments at the event elicited angry response from the Presidency, which spoke through the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe. What is your take on that? What Nigerians saw was an overzealous Okupe abusing Prof. Nwabueze, but events since then have vindicated the eminent scholar. Gen. T.Y Danjuma used words like ‘total anarchy, civil war and human life cheapened’ to describe the country and Okupe has not told him his remarks are irresponsible and unpatriotic. Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue State said in Kaduna exactly the same thing Prof. Nwabueze said – that Nigeria is drifting towards a failed state status. Other commentators are also telling us by the day that our categorisation with Iraq, Afghanistan, Mali, Somalia etc. is a situation Nigerians would want to come out from. So, Okupe’s outright insult on the person of the eminent constitutional lawyer and his use of adjectives such as irresponsible and unpatriotic to describe the elder citizen’s genuine concern over the parlous state of the Nigerian ship, merely confirms him as an unpolished man. If he disagrees with Prof. Nwabueze or any other commentator for that matter, he

Thursday, April 4, 2013

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Igbo’ll hold Northern leaders, politicians responsible for killings –Ukoh ram. We will not react the way they hope we will react. We will not kill innocent Northerners; it is not in our character anyway. Boko Haram cannot manipulate us to dance to its script and set Nigeria on fire on their own terms. We will not do their bidding. But Ndigbo will take a decision after the ongoing consultations. We have got past the stage of screaming in the media, afterwards nothing happens. We will not shout in the media anymore. We call for calm and restraint.

Ukoh

should not resort to insults. If he believes that Nigerians could be fooled about the reality of the Nigerian situation, then it is lamentable and he needs to be pitied. Google’s failed state index places Nigeria at number 12, while Somalia is number one among over 200 countries of the world. There is only one way out - a national conference. But there are Nigerians who still believe that the constitution amendment project by the National Assembly will address the issues, which you have raised and that there is really no need for a national conference. Let them call for a referendum, asking Nigerians whether they want a national conference or not. I assure you that 98 per cent will vote for a national conference. Nigerians want to save Nigeria and everybody understands that only a national conference will move this great country forward. The masses might endorse a national conference for different reasons. I mean, the North could desire Sharia rule, the South-South, resource control etc. Democracy is about letting the will of the people prevail. For how long are you going to suppress the will of the people? The refusal to restructure Nigeria peacefully through a national conference could prove costly, sooner than later. Just look at the gains. One: government will be closer to the people at the regional level and more responsible and more responsive; two, people will have

more confidence in the regional governments; three, corruption will be reduced to the barest minimum; four, there will be healthy competition between the regions like it was in the First Republic; five, regional governments will be forced to develop and explore alternative to oil revenue, diversify their economies boosting agriculture, manufacturing etc; six, the army of political jobbers who feast on the Nigerian situation will be forced to become useful one way or another; seven, insecurity and violent crimes will be drastically reduced. Nigeria cannot go on like this. A national conference before 2015 will guarantee that 2015 will turn out the best year for this country. Nigeria must restructure before 2015 so that the elections will usher in a new era. The IYM met recently with other youth groups in the South-East, where the rising insurgence in the North as it affects Ndigbo, living in the region was reviewed. What decisions did you arrive at? We called for calm and restraint because we are still consulting. Ndigbo will take a solid decision next week. The sponsors of Boko Haram have murdered sleep. Kano bombing is unpardonable, but we will not scream in the media. It serves no useful purpose. The strategy to deliberately attack Ndigbo and draw us into the fray is evil and heartless. We hold Northern leaders and politicians responsible, but we will not dance to the script of the political strategists of Boko Ha-

DEMOCRACY IS ABOUT LETTING THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE PREVAIL. FOR HOW LONG ARE YOU GOING TO SUPPRESS THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE? THE REFUSAL TO RESTRUCTURE NIGERIA PEACEFULLY THROUGH A NATIONAL CONFERENCE COULD PROVE COSTLY, SOONER THAN LATER

Some people may be surprised that you are warning Ndigbo against reprisal. What informed the position? The IYM advised individuals and groups in the South-East against embarking on demonstrations and rallies of any kind against the Kano incident because they could get out of hand. Properties could be damaged and lives lost. We should not reply to the Kano bloodshed with more bloodshed. Painful and regrettable as the bombings were, we call on Ndigbo all over Nigeria to show restraint and maturity at this time. Doing otherwise will amount to eventually achieving the aim of the anarchists who bombed those buses. Their agenda is to deliberately provoke Ndigbo to revenge and kick off mayhem that would lead to an uncontrollable conflagration. Do we play into their hands? Who benefits if Nigeria is set on fire. We, once again plead with all aggrieved Ndigbo to remain calm and cautious. However, we call for adequate security across the country to stem the rising insecurity. It is now clear that bomb detecting equipment must be deployed to all bus stations nationwide and we urge the government and the luxury bus union to network immediately and safeguard the lives of passengers and commuters especially within the flashpoint zones. But the Federal Government seems helpless at the Boko Haram onslaught. Exploiting religion and ethnicity has always been the Northern politicians’ card for decades. It is purely political. They are struggling for power with President Goodluck Jonathan and as usual, Ndigbo have become the victims. It’s all about 2015; it’s all about political power. Discerning Nigerians saw this desperation for central power long ago. Boko Haram is merely a tool in the hands of ruthless politicians who promised to make Nigeria ungovernable. We believe President Jonathan understands the dynamics. We sympathise with him, but we will no longer wait for him to protect Ndigbo. How do you see the merger of the opposition political parties to challenge the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the forthcoming elections? Whereas a strong opposition is good for the development of a strong democratic culture, we all should be more interested in saving Nigeria from implosion. Restructuring Nigeria through a national conference is far more important than mergers.


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Thursday, April 4, 2013

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A nation on the brink? EXISTENTIAL HUMANISM

FRY

NDUBUISI fryndubuisi@nationalmirroronline.net (08023016709 SMS only)

O

ur home grown terrorists are hitting very hard at us, thus giving sleepless nights to this administration and the security personnel. The calculation that a change of National Security Adviser could reverse the ugly trend is turning into a big illusion. The successes Boko Haram has registered since Sambo Dasuki’s appointment as the NSA have created more orphans, widows and widowers in the country and spread more sorrows and traumas. We might have had in our hands a limited civil war. General TY Danjuma is right after all. The most devastating attack so far was the recent Kano Central Motor Park bombing that wasted about 70 lives. The targets are non-Muslims groups. That this happened at a time the Presidency thumbing its chest on the success its counter insurgency efforts had achieved is disheartening .The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Azubuike Ihejirika, was quoted to have said that his counter insurgency

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oday precisely marks the 45th anniversary of the brutal assassination of Martin Luther King Jr, one of the greatest social reformers of modern times. This illustrious African-American was born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America. He was a thorough-bred human rights activist, Christian minister, social reformer and a pioneer in the African-American Civil Rights dynamics of the 20th century. His philosophy of non-violent struggles stood out palpably as a phenomenal virtue. He was an ardent admirer of Mahatma Ghandi , the apostle of non-violent resistance. Shortly after visiting India in 1959, King’s fledgling non-violent human rights dynamics became radically crystallized and he spoke of this pacifist orientation in the following terms: “I am more convinced than ever before that the method of nonviolent resistance is the most potent weapon available to oppressed people in their struggle for justice and human dignity”. He was a man singularly talented with uncanny abilities of leading a worthy cause that he profoundly complemented with his inimitable oratorical prowess. King was an embodiment of alluring virtues. People would gather and listen to him and instantly become transported with the sheer powers of his diction. They would become enamored and inspired with his insightful rhetoric as he reeled out the immutable truths that penetrated all way to the soul. You could not listen to him and remain the same. More importantly, he practised what he preached. Such was his talents that his “quotable quotes” ran into thousands of witty say-

operations had put the sect on reasonable check. As if in response to this lame claim, Boko Haram unleashed well coordinated attacks that have terribly impacted on the nation. Characteristically, the Presidency has continued to feed the nation soured menu of platitudes and hope, reassuring Nigerians it has the capacity to free the nation from the menace of the insurgents. In the meantime there are foreboding reprisal fears from Ndigbo in the South East. The Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) seized the initiative from the de jure Ndigbo leaders when it declared days of mourning for the lost souls, while there is restiveness among Igbo youths. Reprisal may not solve any problem, rather it will compound the already charged nation and lead to further bloodshed. After all, the Hausa communities in the South East have been living peacefully with their host communities for ages. There have been more attacks by the militant Islamic sect since after the Kano mayhem. The sect has extended its frontiers by attacking police formations, prisons and other government outfits. It is a big paradox that they strike with immense success. Almost on a daily basis they attack Borno, Yobe and Plateau states. It was a bloody Easter in Kaura LGA of Kaduna State; at least 20 people were shot dead. Boko Haram penetrated the Univer-

SECURITY OF LIFE AND PROPERTY IS THE MOST SIGNIFICANT COVENANT THE STATE HAS WITH THE PEOPLE sity of Maiduguri community to murder of one of its professors. That means that Borno State has been become a theatre of war. The pertinent question to ask is what has happened to the nation’s security infrastructure? Overwhelmed by the sect’s superior arsenals and intelligent thinking? What about the big budget for security? Those charged with the responsibility of securing this nation must note the magnitude of what we are confronted with and that it has the potentials of tearing this country asunder. Everything in the country - economy, social lives etc is getting grounded. It will be sad and unthinkable to imagine that the country’s leadership does not have the capacity bring the situation under control, when in the past we assisted in restoring peace in neighbouring countries torn apart by internal strife. We are still doing it as in the case of Mali. Every life that is wasted by these terrorists means a lot to this nation. We are getting used to counting the number of the dead as if we are counting ordinary

slaughtered animals. Enough is enough. The Goodluck Jonathan administration must reassure Nigerians that it is in control of the situation. Security of life and property is the most significant covenant the state has with the people. When this is not available a failed state prospect stares at us in the face. Paradoxically, the call for amnesty for Boko Haram is coming on the heel of the upsurge in its nefarious activities. Amnesty should be encouraged in reasonable circumstances. The situation at hand seems to have defied many conjectures. Foremost, what the sect is fighting for is not clear. It could easily be associated with religion, but respected voices in Nigeria’s Islam have unequivocally disclaimed Boko Haram. In the same pattern, Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka recently decried the activities of the sect, accusing their members of lack of requisite knowledge about Islam under which cover they perpetrate violent acts. The political leaderships and indeed all Nigerians must search for a quick solution to this rage. All the calls for national dialogue seem not to have impressed this government. It is significant for the nation to note that the state of insecurity in the land is much more a pressing problem than the 2015 general elections. Professor Ndubuisi, an attorney of law, is of the Dept. of Philosophy, UNILAG

Martin Luther King Jr: 45 years after THERE ARE MANY NIGERIANS TODAY WHO IN THEIR LATE

60S ARE STILL BUSY STEALING PUBLIC FUNDS MADDENINGLY AND WITHOUT COMPUNCTION ings and aphorisms, all of which thematically revolved around his life-long preoccupation with egalitarianism and social justice. These notable quotes do not only furnish insight into his non-violent philosophy for social-re-engineering and racial equality, but also constitute literarily enduring nuggets of wisdoms in human relations anywhere in the world. Sample few of them. I. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character. II. We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies. III. Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A

man can’t ride you unless your back is bent. IV. An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity. It was through the foundations of egalitarian agitations and sacrifices made by human rights pioneers like King that ultimately procured a new America where it is now possible for somebody like Barrack Hussein Obama to become a President. Longevity of life has very little to do with accomplishments, Jesus Christ spent only 33 years and he accomplished his divine mission, becoming the greatest man that ever lived. Martin Luther King Junior spent only 39 years and he changed the concept of social relations in United States forever. Conversely, there are many Nigerians today who in their late 60s are still busy stealing public funds maddeningly and without compunction. What is the meaning of a long life spent exclusively on narrow pursuit of individualistic interests? Every person who is so selfless as not to shirk from sacrifices bringing personal misfortunes in altruistic pursuit of selfassigned task of making the society better than they met it are in the same league with Martin Luther King. We have had and still having such prophets in Africa, though they are regrettably in short supply. We have had people like Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Patrice Lumumba, Kwame Nkrumah, Thomas Sankara, Julius Nyerere, Nelson Mandela, Ken Saro-Wiwa etc. Incidentally, the last mentioned hero, Saro-Wiwa, had a life

KAYODE

KETEFE

kketefe@nationalmirroronline.net 08032147720 (SMS only)

with a lot of parallelisms with King. They both led fearless lives devoted to the uplift of a particular section of downtrodden people - the Niger-Delta people and American Blacks respectively; they were both great orators, outspoken and irrepressible; they were feared by the establishment; they were both inexorably committed to non-violent struggles; and they were both prize winners – King won Nobel peace Prize while Saro-Wiwa won the Right Livelihood Award and the Goldman Environmental Prize. Alas, both were murdered in the prime of their youth! Nigerian society today would do well to imbibe the philosophy of King. It is tragic that our present society is one which has proven incapable of coping even with the slight tension. We need the King’s spirit for a true national rebirth. 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.


18

Editorial

Thursday, April 4, 2013

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

STEVE AYORINDE

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MD/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

YELE AKINROLABU

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ED OPERATIONS

SEYI FASUGBA

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DAILY EDITOR

BOLAJI TUNJI

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SUNDAY EDITOR

GBEMI OLUJOBI

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SATURDAY EDITOR

DOZIE OKEBALAMA

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COORDINATOR, EDITORIAL BOARD

ADESOYE ADEKOYA

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CONTROLLER, PRODUCTION

CALLISTUS OKE

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EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR

ISE-OLUWA IGE

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ABUJA BUREAU CHIEF

KAYODE BALOGUN JNR

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SM, STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT

FRANK OBOH

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HEAD, GRAPHICS

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Obasanjo on dangers of unemployment

ormer President Olusegun Obasanjo recently drew attention to the alarming rate of youth unemployment in the country. Speaking during a lecture at the Agricultural and Rural Management Training Institute, Ilorin, Kwara State, the ex-president alerted the nation on the dangers of having an army of unemployed, young graduates roaming the streets without any hope. He described the nation as one sitting “on a keg of gunpowder if there is no visible and concerted effort to address the danger…’’. For a nation that that parades close to 150 universities and over 200 colleges of education that churn out young graduates with no prospects of employment, the former president’s observation can scarcely be disputed. Indeed, the country stands a hair’s breadth away from grave danger. Incidentally, however, this is not the first time that such an alarm is being raised about the scary level of unemployment and underemployment in the land, while government at all levels revel in hollow promises and pay lip service to tackling the monstrous menace. Year-inyear-out, the country is faced with the experience of a situation where graduates, in their thousands, roam the streets without any gainful job or hope for one. Some have resorted to doing menial jobs for survival,

while others have drift into all manner of criminal activities in the face of an uncertain future. Foreign embassies across the country routinely battle with countless applicants, mostly young Nigerian graduates that are desperate to leave the country by all means, often erroneously believing that the good life is waiting for them in foreign lands, just for the asking. Not long ago on the floor of the House of Representatives, a motion that sought stipends for unemployed graduates to assist them in cushioning the harsh effects of unemployment failed woefully and was thrown out by the lawmakers, who, perhaps, spared no thought on the seriousness and devastating effects of joblessness and how best to tackle the problems from the grassroots. It is saddening that no concrete action is being taken by the government to contain the burgeoning level of unemployment in the country. The private sector that should be encouraged to create jobs is not also achieving much in that direction mainly because of the unfriendly business environment under which they operate. The power sector is still epileptic, roads are decrepit, among other lacking basic infrastructure and social amenities that are capable of boosting job creation by the private sector were they

ALL TIERS OF GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE WARY OF PERVASIVE

CORRUPTION, WASTEFUL EXPENDITURE AND PROFLIGACY, AND

SINCERELY EMBRACE CONCRETE POLICIES AND PROJECTS to be in good shape. How puzzling it is that a nation blessed with a large expanse of land, and a major producer of crude oil, has failed woefully for decades in creating jobs for its school leavers. The country has been in the business of oil production for well over 50 years, but cannot boast of enough refined petroleum products for domestic consumption. Had the government taken the critical decision not to indulge in petroleum products’ import for local consumption, the nation’s refineries would be forced to work to satisfy domestic demands, as well as for exportation. Had such been the case, the multiplier effects would have also positively impacted on the entire economy, including the generation of employment for the teeming population of the jobless. The same would have applied to the

agricultural sector had conscious efforts been dedicated to extracting the best possible from the country’s vast arable land through mechanised farming. Not a few youths would find the sector attractive and self-fulfilling. Presently, however, the country spends billions if not trillions of Naira to import all manner of foodstuff, creating employment for youths in the countries of export, and starving Nigerian youths of their means of livelihood. When will the nation be delivered from the petro-dollar curse? This seems the time to avert the imminent catastrophe that awaits the nation as a result of growing youth unemployment. It is really dangerous to harbor an army of skilled and educated youths with no jobs to sustain them. It is no longer news that ongoing campaign of violence threatening the country’s peaceful co-existence in the North; and various brands of crimes in the South, draw strength from the pool of idle hands. More havoc lurks ahead like Obasanjo and many other Nigerians have been warning. All tiers of government should be wary of pervasive corruption, wasteful expenditure and profligacy, and sincerely embrace concrete policies and projects that will promote public good and improved living conditions. To be forewarned is to be forearmed.

ON THIS DAY April 4, 2007 Fifteen British Royal Navy personnel held in Iran were released by the Iranian President. Iranian military personnel had seized 15 Royal Navy personnel in 2007 and held them for 13 days. On March 23, 2007, 15 British Royal Navy personnel, from HMS Cornwall, searching a merchant vessel were surrounded by the Navy of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and subsequently detained off the Iran-IraqcoastandinsistedthattheywereinIran’sterritorialwaters.

April 4, 2002 In what became known as the Society Murders, Matthew Wales killed his parents in Melbourne, Australia. The Society Murders is the name given to the April 4, 2002 murders of husband and wife millionaire socialites Margaret Mary Wales-King (69) and her husband, Paul Aloysius King (75) in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, by their son, Matthew Wales. The crime and subsequent trial receivedwidespreadmediacoveragethroughoutAustralia.

April 4, 1979 President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto of Pakistan was executed. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (January 5, 1928 – April 4, 1979) was a Pakistani politician and statesman who served as the 9th Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1973 to 1977, and prior to that as the 4th President of Pakistan from 1971 to 1973. He was also the founder of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and served as its chairman until his execution in 1979.


Thursday, April 4, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

19

Education Today ‘TASUED has come to stay’ 21

For Ruqayyatu, it’s no time for media questions Journalists are naturally made to hunt for news; hence, the rise in their hope whenever they come across newsmakers such as public office holders. However, there are some of these public figures whose responsibility is to clarify issues but who would rather unnecessarily keep mute. One of such is the incumbent Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufai, who, especially whenever she is in Lagos, entertains only one question from a crowd of education reporters. In this report, TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE and MOJEED ALABI take a look at the minister’s policy and its effect on the sector she superintends.

•Frustrated Lagos education reporters nickname her ‘Minister One Question’

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o journalists on the education beat, especially those based in Lagos, the Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufai is one public officer they will like to avoid in the course of their duty, if given the choice. This is because she makes the job of a reporter more tasking with her policy of withholding vital information from them. Nicknamed “Minister One Question” by the Lagos education reporters, Prof. Ruqayyatu has never answered more than one question from the Lagos press since she became minister in 2010. Expectations are usually high among the reporters whenever the minister is visiting Lagos for official engagements as such visits should normally afford them the rare opportunity of clarifying series of pending issues of public importance. As a result, no media house from print, broadcast to online would want to miss the expected interviews with the minister more so that nobody can tell if such interviews could offer them access to strong policy statements that make good stories. And for a minister who has spent almost three years in office, journalists usually look forward to good outings with her. However, since the Professor of Curriculum Education assumed office National Mirror can reveal authoritatively that she has never entertained more than one question form reporters at any event in Lagos. It has been either the Jigawa State born-minister would turn down journalists’ request for a chat after waiting endlessly or at best, choose to answer only one question, which must come from a journalist in any of the Federal Government-owned media- the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), News Agency of Nigeria, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria or Voice of Nigeria. At every event attended by the minister in Lagos and covered by our reporters

Ruqayyatu

AT EVERY EVENT ATTENDED BY THE MINISTER IN LAGOS AND COVERED BY OUR REPORTERS HER REPLY

TO REQUESTS FOR INTERVIEWS ARE ALWAYS THE SAME:

ONLY ONE QUESTION AND NOT EVEN A FOLLOW UP FROM HER RESPONSE, WOULD BE ENTERTAINED

her reply to requests for interviews are always the same: Only one question and not even a follow up from her response, would be entertained. Sometimes, the honourable minister would ask the journalists to confer among themselves and condense all their questions into one. For instance, at the recent convocation ceremony of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) held at the National Theatre, Iganmu, only the News Agency of Nigeria correspondent was given the opportunity to ask the one question allowed. Yet, many journalists at the scene were eager to clarify the rumour then milling round that the certificates of the then graduating students of the University of Lagos would not bear the name UNILAG but Moshood Abiola University. There were other issues of national importance such as the reports of the Needs Assessment Committee on Nige-

ria’s public universities, which recommendations Nigerians are awaiting their implementation; clarifications on allegation of fraud against principals of Federal Government Colleges; implementation of budget allocated to the education sector; the overlapping responsibilities of both the states and Federal Governments on the distribution of text books to schools, among several others. Similarly, during the 36th convocation ceremony of the Federal College of Education (Technical), Akoka, Yaba, Lagos, efforts by independent journalists to interview the minister were almost rebuffed by her numerous aides. When eventually she decided to answer, she directed that the questions be streamlined to only one as usual. The more embarrassing situation arose very recently during the minister’s last visit to Lagos on March 23. She was at the University of Lagos

(UNILAG), Akoka, to commission the Omatek Computer- built solar energy plant on and also visited the computer company’s manufacturing factory at Oregun Road in Ikeja. Journalists who got wind of the minister’s visit to Lagos abruptly aborted their plan to go to church and dashed out of their homes armed with various questions begging for answers to meet with the minister. But as usual, ‘Minister One Question’ refused to change her policy. A reporter from The Nation Newspaper, Kofoworola Bello-Osagie was in the middle of her questions when Prof. Ruqayyatu and her aids found out she was not from either NTA or NAN. Kofoworola was simply ordered to hold on until an NTA correspondent brought his camera and was asked to consider whether her question was appropriate for his recording or not. NTA’s approval of the question was the basis upon which the Kofoworola received a response and expectedly, there was no room for followups and efforts by the journalists to get the minister to speak, this time around, further was rebuffed. But the journalists were anxious to get her reaction to several burning issues in the sector and her ministry. For instance, National Mirror had wanted to know her ministry’s position on the cancellation of May/June 2008 SSCE result of Ogudu Senior Grammar School, GRA, Ojota Lagos four years after earlier release by the West African Examination Council (WAEC). Many have argued that WAEC’s attitude of acting with impunity is not unconnected with the ministry’s nonchalant attitude and loss of grip on the exam body. Similarly journalists had wanted to know her reactions, among others, on the comment by the Director- General of the National Youths Service Corps, Brigadier-General Nnamdi Okore-Affia, that many Nigerian graduates could neither read nor write correctly in English language;. There was also a question on what the Federal Government was doing to actualise the 2015 Education for All goal and the nation’s attainment of Vision 20: 2020, among others. The questions remain answered till date as Prof. Ruqayyatu keeps mum. The minister’s anti-media stance is already being copied by officials in some of the parastatals under the Education ministry. Meanwhile, For instance, the Registrar of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Dibu Ojerinde hardly picks his calls or reply text messages sent to his mobile phone just like the NUC Executive Secretary, Prof. Julius Okojie. Also, heads of academic institutions such as vice-chancellors, rectors and provosts hardly entertain questions from journalists giving excuses of not wanting to be misrepresented in the media.


20

Education Today

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Thursday, April 4, 2013

ALMA MATER

e was very young and with small stature when he gained admission into Priscilla Memorial Secondary School, Oguta, Imo State (then East Central region) in 1973. His experience back in the school 36 years after graduation still remains fresh in his mind. Ugo Onuoha, a former Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of Champion Newspapers, told National Mirror that he was proud to be an alumnus of Priscilla, the school he said was among the best in Oguta and its environs in the 70s. According to him, the school was known for excellence as it prepared its students with spirit of hard work, commitment and sportsmanship, among other virtues, which many alumni are enjoying till today. Another school in the area that was equally good, according to Ugo, was Trinity High School and parents chose between the two schools to enrol their wards. “Originally Priscilla was a mission and boarding school owned by the Anglican Church, but it was taken over by the government in 1970,” Ugo said, noting that, students at the period spent just four years in secondary school. Among Ugo’s mates is Mr. Kevin Ome, who was then popularly called ‘Swagger.’ I knew him to be working with Afribank plc at a time, but I don’t know if he is still there. Another person I cannot forget his name is Clifford An-

‘Priscilla Memorial Secondary School, Oguta, thoroughly baked us’ Mr. Ugo Onuoha has been a journalist all his life after graduating with first degree from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN). He started as a reporter with Champion Newspapers in the 1980s and rose to become the Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of the newspapers, the position from which he retired last year. Ugo attended Priscilla Memorial Secondary School, Oguta, Imo State between 1973 and 1977 and he relives his experience while in the school with TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE. thony. He was very brilliant such that he always came first in class. Even when it appeared that he did not read his books during exams, he would still come out best when the results came out. I can also remember Austin Anuforo, who was very good in History as a subject. Ugo noted that some of his mates were older than him as they were among the Biafra soldiers, who deemed it fit to return to school after the war. He is still in contact with a few of them. As a boarding school, students had regimented daily routinesthe usual lesson hours, prep time, siesta time, sport and game hours, among other activities, which every student was used to and actively involved. Ugo’s most memorable moment was the day their principal, whom he simply identified as Mr. Okafor, flogged a student on his bare chest with horse tail ‘koboko’.

Onuoha

“That principal Flogged a student wasn’t my problem but that he flogged him on bare chest and neither on the hands nor buttocks was my most frighten-

Ijebu-Ode Grammar School alumni elect officers

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ormer students of Ijebu-Ode Grammar School, Ijebu-Ode, in Ogun State, have elected a new set of leaders to run the affairs of the association for the next three years. The alumni, under the platform of Ijebu-Ode Grammar School Old Boys Association (JOGSOBA), gathered at the school’s hall

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and elected a retired Professor of European Studies at the University of Ibadan, Prof. Segun Odunuga, as its new president. Also, one of the first set of students of the school who later became the school principal, Chief Oluwole Kujore, emerged as the new vice president, while Otunba Dele Bolujoko was elected

as the general secretary. Other elected officers include: Mr. Gbenga Omilola, the Public Relations Officer of Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED), IjebuOde as the association PRO; Mr. Olanrewaju Onafuye as assistant secretary while Mr. Ademola Oresegun became the national treasurer, among others.

L-R: Chief Technology Officer, DAAR Education Service, Patrick Abraham; Special Adviser to Osun State Governor on Innovation, Technology and Science; Mr. Haziz Adekunle Ajayi; Osun State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Titi Laoye-Tomori, and Managing Director, DAAR Education Service, Mr. Raymond Dokpesi Jr. after a meeting with stakeholders in the state’s education sector in Osogbo, recently.

ing experience in that school. I couldn’t remember the exact offence the student was said to have committed again, but I can never forget the incident. To me, it was too harsh of not only a principal, but any person at all to flog somebody on bare chest irrespective of the gravity of the offence committed.” Ugo was one of the school prefects but not of the conventional one. He was the officer-in- charge of food and that position made him very popular such that every other student liked to associate with him. “We called food prefect, the ‘table head’ and it was a very important position as the responsibility of what quality and quantity of food to serve the students lied in my hand,” he said. He was among the brilliant students at the period and his best subject was English Language while he disliked Geography just

for no concrete reason. He used to love music and raggae music in particular and interestingly, he had a T-shirt with a bold picture and the name of Jimmy Cliff at the back, which he wore quite often in the hostel. “People knew me with the T-shirt and because of that, they nicknamed me Jimmy Cliff,” he said nostalgically. Ugo loved sport, especially football, thgough, he didn’t have the opportunity to be in the school team. “Why I wasn’t in the school eleven was not for lack of skill but was simply because of my small physique. I was so small in stature to the extent that some of my mates used to call me Kekere (boy with small physique),” he said. “So there was no way I would have outmatched the bigger boys some of whom had just returned from the Biafra War.” When last he visited the school, which was about five years ago, Ugo wasn’t happy with what he met on ground. “From the look of things, I observed that there had been deterioration in the school in terms of infrastructure and that didn’t give me any joy. I was on a boat ride that day alongside my children and some cousins when I visited,” he said.

Again, Osun clears air on school uniform controversy MOJEED ALABI

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he controversy surrounding the inscription of ‘ELLA’ on the school uniform recently distributed freely to school pupils in Osun State by the state government has refused to douse as religious groups, particularly Christian societies, have continued to accuse government of introducing idols to the students. It was against this background that the state’s Deputy Governor, Otunba Titi Laoye-Tomori, has again called on religious institutions not to misconstrue the state’s good intention of transforming the rotten education system in the state and relieve poor parents by offering pupils the free uniforms.

Tomori, who made the clarification in Osogbo during the Easter thanksgiving service at Saint Benedict’s Catholic Cathedral Church, said the abbreviation “Ella inscribed on the uniforms was only an acronym for education, learning, living and advancement and not Ela as represented by Ifa in the African traditional religion.” According to her, the uniforms were given in good faith in a bid to rebrand the daily turnout of the state’s future leaders, insisting that the inscription has no bearing on “Ifa” as insinuated by many people.” She asked for the prayers of the religious leaders not only for success in the efforts of the political administration to take the state to a greater height but also for President Goodluck Jonathan and other leaders across

the nation to be Godly in their undertakings and do Nigeria proud. In her speech titled; I want to be like Jesus, the deputy governor emphasised Christ’s characters of patience, tolerance, determination, among others, and enjoined everyone to always put the people’s interest first in their actions and inactions. In his sermon, the Catholic Bishop of Osogbo Diocese, Bishop Leke Abegunrin told the congregation that the victory of Jesus is a victory for everyone and that the victory must be maintained. In attendance were the Commissioner for Justice, Hon Wale Afolabi; Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Sunday Aker; Special Adviser to the Governor on Lands and Physical Planning, Ayodele Owoade; Senator Olu Alabi, among many others.


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Education Today

Thursday, April 4, 2013

21

TASUED has come to stay –Ogun lawmakers FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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gun State House of Assembly has vowed to resist any attempt by the state government to close down Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED), Ijagun, Ijebu -Ode or any other institution in the state without amending the laws that established them. Referring to the purported delisting of TASUED from the number of higher institutions owned by the state government, the legislators allayed the fears of the public, particularly parents, who have children in the institution, stressing that the university is still

very much in existence. The lawmakers declared that in as much as the institution was a creation of the law, such laws establishing it would have to be amended to pave way for delisting. In an exclusive interview with National Mirror, Hon. Remmy Hazzan, from the constituency where the university is located, declared emphatically that any higher institution established by law could not just be de-listed on the pages of newspapers as erroneously reported. “If those laws are still in place, it means those schools are also still in existence. So, people should not entertain any fear over

the hearsay that the government has scrapped the school,” he said. He disclosed that the House had made adequate financial provisions for all the state-owned 19 higher institutions in the current appropriation law, adding that “as far as lawmakers are concerned, nothing has changed”. Speaking in the same vein, Chairman of the Ogun House Committee on Public Account, Hon. Abiodun Akovoyan, said it was only the state house of assembly that could delist a school and after considering stakeholders’ inputs in that regard.

L-R: Guest of honour, Prof Dora Akunyili; Founder, Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), Aare Afe Babalola; Best lecturer of the year, Mr. Akomolafe John; Wife of the founder, Yeye Modupe Babalola; Representative of Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Eniola Ajayi and ViceChancellor, Prof. Sidi Osho at ABUAD’s founder’s and prize giving day ceremony, recently.

ABUAD splashes N28.5m on outstanding students ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

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fe Bablola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD) rolled out the drums last week to celebrate excellence, which, it said, the institution stood for. The event was the Third universities for the attain- country any good. Founder’s Merit Award CelHAKEEM GBADAMOSI “It is clear that funding ebration where 256 outstandment of national developAKURE ment,” Olanipekun noted and administration of uni- ing students were honoured ro Chancellor, Uni- that public universities in versities in Nigeria are dys- with cash rewards, just as 20 versity of Ibadan and the country were poorly functional,” he stressed. members of staff had their He also said the state of funded by owners, the reason former Chairman of names enlisted in the hall of Nigerian Bar Association he said many of them had Nigerian university sys(NBA), Chief Wole Ola- failed to achieve the purpose tem was not encouraging Honour. The ceremony, which atenough, especially as there nipekun, has pointed out of their establishments. tracted parents and the acais inadequate investment in The legal luminary said that poor funding of educational sector had been a many of these universities, research development and demic, was graced by Ekiti hindrance to the develop- especially those established innovations in the system. State Governor Kayode FayOlanipekun however, emi, Imo State Governor Roment of education in the lately were only set up for political consideration, say- suggested that universi- chas Okorocha and former country. He stated this during the ing most of them were not ties should be encouraged Information Minister Profirst distinguished lecture needed in the communities to merge, proposing that fessor Dora Akunyili. private universities should and the maiden matricu- where they were located. Founder of the uniAccording to him, politi- merge with themselves or lation ceremony of the versity , Chief Afe BabaElizade University, Ilara- cal office holders in the coun- vice versa. lola (SAN), who lauded Speaking earlier, the Mokin in Ifedore Local try are now establishing the beneficiaries for their Government Area of Ondo universities to secure cheap founder of the university, outstanding performances, Chief Michael Ade Ojo, political points and this is ilstate, recently. urged the National Univer- said such people should be Olanipekun, a Senior logical. Making reference to the sities Commission (NUC) to encouraged to do more and Advocate of Nigeria, also condemned the establish- latest Webometrics univer- relax its regulations on pri- as well challenge others to ment of new universities sities’ world ranking which vate universities to enable perform better. in the country by the Fed- ranked Nigerian Universi- them deliver on the aim of Babalola said: “What I eral Government, saying ties very low , Olanipekun their establishment. have done today is one of He said the commission the economic realities in lamented that N426 billion, those things that will make the country do not favour which is 8.7 percent of the should allow the private university education grow”. setting up a new set of uni- N4.9 trillion of the 2013 bud- universities to develop at The ABUAD founder, who get allocated to education their pace, saying it would versities. said the programme had been Delivering his lecture, sector with significant per- be wrong to expect public a stimulant to the students in and private universities to centage use to settle overtitled: “Forging a synergy the development of academbetween public and private head cost would not do the develop at the same level. ics and character, said; “my purpose is to help humanity”. The legal luminary described ABUAD as a unique university he deliberately designed to reform education and live by example as he expressed confidence that the three-year-old university would be the best in Nigeria in the next two years and one of the world’s best in the next five years. Speaking earlier, vice Tutor General/Permanent Secretary, Lagos Education District 1, Mrs. Mary David; Commissioner chancellor (VC) of the unifor Education, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye and former Tutor General/Permanent Secretary of the district, Mrs. Aneth Adeoba, at the annual merit award ceremony organised by the district to hon- versity, Professor Sidi Osho, our its outstanding teachers, recently. Photo: LATEEFAT IBRAHIM-ANIMASHAUN had described ABUAD as

Poor funding, bane of education development –Olanipekun

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a fast growing university which “Webmetrics has ranked the second best Private university in Nigeria and 16th position in over 130 universities in Nigeria”. The VC said the university had realised that recognition and motivation “are vital to encourage and challenge students and staff, not to rest on their oars, but to strive harder so that the vision of the founder can be achieved”. According to her, the cash reward is a trademark of Afe Babalola, a purposeful and philanthropist per excellence, whose life is to encourage others to build communities and be a main agent of education reform and change. Governor Fayemi, represented by state Commissioner for Environment, Dr Eniola Ajayi, charged the students: “I want to see you at the top. Good seeds produce good fruits”. His Imo State counterpart, Rochas Okorocha, who expressed satisfaction with the programmes and environment of ABUAD as well as the founder’s vision, pledged to support the Award for Excellence with five million naira yearly form next year. In her charge to the students, Professor Akunyili said: I want you to be greater than us. I want you to believe in yourselves. I want you to translate the love you have received to hard work. Stay focused and committed to achieve your dream and imbibe good virtues that will take you to the top”. Akunyili described rewarding excellence as a giant effort in fighting corruption and encouraging hard work, adding that the programme had, no doubt, impacted positively on the students and improved the culture of reading and by

extension, developing character and content. The former minister, who took pride in ABUAD, described the institution as “a first class environment supplying what students need, adding: “I could not believe that a university can have virtually everything as I have found here. “Tonight, we are celebrating excellence. This justifies the NUC rating of ABUAD as the fastest growing university,” she said. Beneficiaries of the award, whereby over N28.5 million was given out, fall under the various award categories: Academic Award for students having 5.0 Cumulative Gross Performance Average (CGPA) (N500, 000 each); Academic Award for students having 4.5 – 4.9 CGPA (N75, 000 – N100, 000 each); Students with satisfactory proof of inability to continue university education in ABUAD (N400,000 each). Others in the students’ category include Merit Award for students who have distinguished themselves as most disciplined student, neatest student, best dressed student, most outstanding student leader, most outstanding student of integrity, most industrious student, most responsible student, most preserving indigent student, sportsman of the year (N50,000 – N100,000 each). For staff, the award categories include Merit Award for Lecturer of the Year, Most Engaged Lecturer, Most Preserving Lecturer, and Most effective Academic Staff (N100,000 each); and award for Non Teaching Staff, Best College of the Year and Most performing Venture Staff (N50,000).


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Education Today

Thursday, April 4, 2013

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Firm launches internet service to grow research MOJEED ALABI

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n Information, Communication and Technology company, Ambion Wireless, will today officially roll out its internet service, using the super WIFI technology to make academic and business activities easy and affordable for Nigerians. The business initiative, owned and managed by young Nigerian entrepreneurs in conjunction with Hong-Kong-based Altai Technologies, will according to the company, greatly reduce the difficulties currently being experienced by Nigerians in the use of internet facilities and the high cost of maintaining

TUNBOSUN O GUNDARE

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ndigenes of Ogun State in institutions of higher learning have been advised to always allow moral

them. According to the company’s management, its focus is to enable individuals, particularly students and members of academic environments gain access to fast and cheap internet facility that will make learning less difficult and thereby making the national economic growth and development achievable. The Super WI-FI technology as introduced according to the experts is unprecedented in the country “because users will not be using the usual modem to connect to the server and the only necessary payment will be the N3, 000 for 1.5 gigabyte access for a duration of one month.” Talking about the challenge of slow internet service being experienced in

Nigeria, the company’s Managing Director, Mr. Tolu Buraimoh, blamed the development on the service providers, who he accused of greed. “Nigerian service providers are too greedy, they always want to maximize profit, thus, rather than providing their clients with quality services they end up sharing bandwidth meant for a single user among about seven of them, thereby subjecting the users to slow service as soon as their traffic grows. “We have watched events all over the world and what we have found out is that no nation can grow outside the happenings on her academic institutions. What universities, vocational and technical colleges and other aca-

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total of 21 students and staff of Divine International Schools, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State have departed for the United Kingdom on excursion. The trip, described by the school management as an act of fulfilling its mandate for globalisation and cultural exchange, will see the participants visit many

demic institutions do in advanced countries is to conduct researches and relate industries to implement the result of their findings. But could that be possible in a country where internet service has become luxury? That is why we are here to break that barrier,” Buraimoh explained. Similarly, the company’s technical expert and repre-

sentative of Altai Company, Engr. Liao Jian Chong, said the new Super WI-FI technology was being championed by Microsoft and Google as safe, cheap and effective internet service provision technology. The company’s Executive Director, Mr. Olumide Oladimeji, explained that the service that would be rolled out today would ini-

tially cover Alausa and CBD Road in Ikeja offering two-kilometre-radius for individual users to its POP located within the Elephant Cement House in Ikeja. He added that for corporate clients, there would be distance coverage of 10-kilometre radius to its POP with the aid of their Customer Premises Equipment (CPE).

Ogun undergraduates urged to be well-behaved uprightness be their guiding principles in whatever they do and wherever they are. They were also advised to refrain from

any act that could tarnish their integrities, that of their families, schools and the state. The state’s Commissioner for Education,

Ogun State Commissioner for Education, Science & Technology, Mr. Segun Odubela (right) receiving his award plaque from representatives of the Oduduwa Students’ Association of Nigeria, who honoured him with the Distinguished Excellent Award in education, at his office in Abeokuta, recently.

M OJEED A LABI

L-R: Technical Support Executive, Ambion Wireless Limited, Liao Jian Chong; Company’s Managing Director, Mr. Tolu Buraimoh, and the Executive Director, Mr. Olumide Oladimeji, during a media briefing in Lagos to announce the launch of the internet service.

Science and Technology, Mr. Segun Odubela, gave the charge while receiving an exemplary perfor mance award, entitled: “OSAN icon of nation building” from the Oduduwa Students’ Association of Nigeria (OSAN) in his office in Abeokuta, last week. Noting that most vices ravaging the country today are perpetrated by the youths, the commissioner advised the students to always be well- behaved and obedient to constituted authorities in and outside the school. He stressed that the present administration

in the state would continue to support them, especially by making schools more studyfriendly, as well as taking their welfare very seriously. Earlier in his address, Secretary-General, OSAN, Mr. Ayano Adeola, described the commissioner as a performer, adding that the award bestowed on him was in recognition of his immense contribution to the education development and by extension, the socio-economic development of the state and the country. In another development, the commissioner commended the leader-

Bayelsa school visits UK for excursion

places of interest for the two weeks. It will also provide an opportunity for the students to explore cultural exchange in the UK, even as they are billed to visit Nigerian House in London, where a courtesy visit will be paid to the office of the High Commissioner to the country, Ambassador Tafida Dahaltu. Speaking in an inter-

view with journalists, the school’s administrator, Mrs. Nneka Latunde-Dada, explained that the trip would also afford the school to have firsthand experience of the educational system in the United Kingdom, with a view to bringing back home experience that would improve the teaching and learning skills for both the students and their teachers.

She explained that the excursion would also serve as a window for the students to see for themselves things they have read about Nigeria’s former colonial master, adding that such historical and cultural relationship would broaden the understanding of the students. “We will also make use of this opportunity to link up with relevant

educational institutions in the UK with the sole aim of ensuring network for partnership and possible setting up of academic centres in our state in the preparation for students and candidates for international examinations,” Latunde-Dada. The students were accompanied on the trip by medical personnel to attend to medical

ship of various public secondary schools in the state for the smooth conduct of their just concluded second term unified examinations, saying the unified exam, had in no small measure, helped in improving students’ performance in public exams. The commissioner, who gave the commendation while performing symbolic presentation of result sheets to some students in the state-owned schools in Abeokuta, used the medium to urge parents and guardians to monitor the conduct of their wards, especially during holidays. emergencies that may arise for the two-weekduration as a result of a change in climate and environment. The students, who were excited by the experience, used the opportunity to tour the Muritala Muhammed International Airport in Ikeja, as they were conducted round the facilities, including the lounges, departure halls, and were introduced to check-in procedures.


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Education Today

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Are we ready for this war?

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he recent declarations by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) and the National Universities Commission (NUC) seem to suggest that the two government agencies have woken up from a deep slumber to battle the hydra-headed monster called corruption that has devastated the education sector, including the higher education in the country. Prof. Julius Okojie, the Executive Secretary of NUC, who noted that corruption, had assumed a worrisome level in the country indicated that the commission had put in place a mechanism to eradicate it. Meanwhile the ICPC chairman, Mr. Ekpo Nta, said his commission would study the university system and processes that had led to the worrisome state in the institutions so as to proffer lasting solutions. I had imagined that after this long period of slumber, they would have had sufficient revelations on the practical ways to tackle the problems that have stunted the development of the country as a whole and turned the giant of Africa into a cringing dwarf. In case they have forgotten, corruption in the higher institutions in Nigeria is entrenched. It has affected every facet of life in the

tertiary institutions from funding to graduation of students. It is the major determinant in the quality of infrastructure and facilities, administration, staff, as well as graduates being produced. Sometimes, it even appears that some level of corruption is now required for appointments, election or promotion to some positions in the universities. So, where are the existing supervising machineries of NUC that has the oversight function of all Nigerian universities? What has become of the numerous accreditation programmes that were meant to assure the standard of graduates produced from the accredited departments and programmes? What about the recently established institutional accreditation programmes? What new mechanism has the commission put in place that would eradicate corruption in the university system where all the previous mechanisms appear to have failed? Is it because the NUC has lost its grip on the university system that it has become necessary for the ICPC to step in with their search light on the high beam to expose the rot that has now come to characterise the topography of Nigerian universities? How many more new staff will ICPC need to

THERE IS CORRUPTION IN THE AWARD OF CONTRACTS, ESPECIALLY BY THE UNIVERSITIES GOVERNING COUNCILS investigate aspects of academic fraud in which they have not been known to be experts? Or will they be acting in a supervisory capacity to NUC that statutorily has the expertise in academic matters. How many persons would they need to deploy to each university for the proposed period of two weeks, and at what cost, to unravel what NUC has not been able to do in her entire life time? Will the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board be visited by the combined teams of the NUC and ICPC to discover why the board has failed to conduct a free and fair exercise for admission into the tertiary institutions for the past decade? Or is this another jamboree cleverly designed by the commissions to deplete the scarce funds meant for the university system under the guise of solving an intractable problem? I will suggest that the ICPC should begin by visiting the NUC

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Education as I see it

by Vincent Otokunefor

info@alphaedufoundation.org 08084230513 (email/SMS only) offices to evaluate the reports on the numerous accreditation exercises carried out at great cost to the nation to know why they have failed to check the all pervasive corruption in the tertiary institutions. Or could it be a case of corruption or incompetence in the NUC itself; for corruption is not a respecter of persons or organisations? In either case, the NUC may probably need to be overhauled first for the ICPC to make a head way in what I see as an unusual association. An investigation of the problem of corruption in the universities should begin in the ministry of education itself. There is corruption in the disbursement of funds allocated to the universities; there is corruption in the expenditure of the halffunds received by the universities. There is corruption in the award of contracts, especially by the universities governing councils. There is corruption in the collection and disbursement of internally generated revenue. Has the NUC ever wondered why there is a proliferation of part-time programmes by virtually every mushroom univer-

sity? There is corruption and gross incompetence in the administration of the universities at virtually every level. There are official misdemeanors at the highest level of administration with respect to the implementation of academic policies, including the computation of degree results in some universities. All these are in addition to the perennial plague of examination malpractice involving students and lecturers which has become the main features of the Nigerian educational terrain. Is the ICPC sure it is prepared to embark on this mission? What are the cost estimates and what are the prospects of succeeding? Are we ready to wage this war in an all out onslaught or are we going to adopt a guerilla tactic? Have we formulated penalties, I mean enforceable penalties that will serve as deterrents to would be mal-practitioners? These are foods for thought! Otokunefor is a professor of microbiology and teaches the subject at the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

UNCTAD enrols UNN as member of institute TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE

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Head of Biology department, Tesjok Group of Schools, Ikotun, Lagos, Mrs Ololade Ogundeji (extreme left) with students of the institution in a laboratory, during a media facilities tour of the school, recently.

he United Nations Conference on Trade and Development has enrolled the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) as the 39th member of its Virtual Institute with the Department of Economics as lead representative. By the enrolment, the university brings the number of countries represented in the Virtual Institute to 13 in Africa and 42 worldwide. The Virtual Institute is a capacity-building and networking programme for academic institutions in developing and transition countries.

The institute will therefore cooperate with the UNN’s Department of Economics for research purposes that will cover macro-economic and trade issues that include economic partnership agreements, ECOWAS common external tariff, foreign portfolio investment, exchange rates, and the links between trade policy, gender and poverty among the UN member states. The collaboration activities, according to the university authority, would be coordinated by Hyacinth Ichoku, a senior lecturer in the department of economics. Ichoku, whose research covers health economics and

FUT VC expresses hope of better varsity ranking PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA.

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he Vice- Chancellor, Federal University of Technology (FUT), Minna, Prof. Musbau Akanji has expressed optimism that soon Nigerian universities would no longer be rated poorly among its peers in the world. He said this could be achieved as a result of improved funding of the institutions by the Federal

Government, hence in no distant future; they would stand at par with others in ranking in the world. Reacting to the Webometrics and other related organisations reports that ranked the standard of Nigerian universities low, the VC, in an interview in Minna, said initially when Webometrics’ report was published, he felt really bad as no Nigerian university made it to the first 100 universities in the world.

He lamented that with the 126 universities in the nation, none made it to the best 100 ranking in the world, except the South African university that featured among them in Africa. Akanji recalled that before now, the University of Ibadan (UI), was among the best in the world, lamenting that increasing number of intake of students, broken down facilities, as well as inadequate funding, had affected the

institution and even its ranking. He observed that with enough funding, universities could conveniently upgrade their infrastructure, carry out research work as those are the things, organisation responsible for the rating use in ranking the universities all over. According to him, with the establishment of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) by the Federal Government, things are now changing

for the better for Nigerian universities. ‘As a result of that, we have started making our presence felt in Africa and you know it will be a gradual thing, but we will get there. “The problem used to be funding, but, today funding of Nigerian universities have really improved and soon there will be a change. And because of that, many universities are coming on board,” he added.

various aspects of poverty analysis, will be responsible for courses on macro-economic policies, economics of international trade, and foreign direct investment. Speaking on the collaboration, UNN’s Vice -Chancellor, Prof Bartho Okolo, said the development would boost the institution effort towards achieving its goal of being a globally competitive, research-focused university and responsive to the needs of the society. Okolo stressed that UNN would continue to partner relevant world institutions and agencies that could add value to it, noting that the university is in partnership with over 110 institutions, from universities to research institutes globally. Congratulating UNN on the enrolment, Nigerian Ambassador to the United Nations, Dr. Umunna Orjiako urged the university to use the opportunity to strengthen the vision of the founding fathers of the university. Orjiako in a message to the VC said: “It is my hope that UN becoming a member of Virtual Institute will reposition the university to achieve its foundational goal of delivering world-class education and imparting the skills and knowledge direly needed by Nigeria to upgrade its place in the committee of nations.”


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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Research: Don decries disconnect between varsities and companies PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA.

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he Vice- Chancellor of Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University (IBBU), Lapai, Prof. Ibrahim Kolo, has decried the disconnect among the universities, development agencies and manufacturing companies in the quest to utilise research findings from the universities. Kolo, who stated this at the university’s first inaugural lecture at Lapai on Tuesday, said Nigeria was unlike a developed country where research findings are used to develop various areas of human endeavours. According to him, there is disconnect between what Nigerian universities are doing in the area of research and what the development agencies are doing, whereas, government should be able to explore research findings of universities to develop the economy. He said no meaningful development could take place where researchers inputs are lacking.

EDITED BY MOJEED ALABI mojeedalabi2@yahoo.co.uk

UI emphasises relevance of History Studies, honours don HAMMED HAMZAT, 300L, EDU MGT., UI

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cholars at the University of Ibadan, Oyo State, have reiterated their call on stakeholders in the nation’s education sector to ensure that adequate priority is accorded History as a subject of study in the middle and higher schools. The scholars, including the former Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Ayo Banjo; the first female Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief (Mrs.) Folake Solanke; President of the Historical Society of Nigeria, Professor Olayemi

Akinwunmi, among several others, stated this recently during the presentation of a book in honour of the institution’s former Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Prof. Obaro Ikime, by the Department of History. The book, which is a compendium of essays by seasoned 24 scholars, is titled: The Dynamics of Inter-Group Relations in Nigeria Since 1960. It explores the major dynamics of inter-group relations among people of different races, ethnic backgrounds, political views and orientations in a society like Nigeria. Ikime, described by the

guests as the father of inter-group relation in Nigeria, was said to have made many contributions on the field in his career as an academician. The guests in their unison emphasised the essence of History as a pertinent subject to be taught in the country’s schools saying it is a relevant panacea to the violent crises rocking Nigeria. Chief Solanke, who described Nigeria as a country where History has lost its status, called for urgent implementation of the people’s call for the reintroduction of History into Nigeria education curriculum. She said this will

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enable students of this generation to know and appreciate those that have contributed immensely to national unity, development and progress. She also urged the students of History not to abandon their chosen profession after graduation and that they should be ready to spread the gospel. The Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Prof. RemiRaji described the book presentation in honour of Ikimeas a well-deserved honour “for a scholar per excellence like this academician who dedicated his robust career to the intellectual development and administration of our faculty.” Other dignitaries who graced the occasion included Prof. Kunle Lawal from Lagos State University; Dr Martin Olomi who represented the Bayelsa State Government, among several others. The honouree thanked the department, the Historical Society of Nigeria, and other individuals and corporate organisations that attended the ceremony for deeming it fit to honour him.

LAUTECH MSSN holds writing workshop MOJEED ALABI

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s part of its efforts to hone members’ writing skills, the editorial committee of the of Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, in Oyo State, is organising a workshop on writing and editing. The workshop, scheduled to take place between Saturday, April 6 and Sunday, 7, will, according to the association’s editor, Ajayi Abdulganiy, feature experts like Dr. Mahfouz Adedimeji who lectures at the Department of English language, University of Ilorin, Kwara State; The Editor, Al-Jazeera Magazine, Alhaji Dawood Ajetunmobi, and the Chief Executive Officer of naijawriterscoach.com, an online training company, Mr. Muhammad Abdullah, among others. The workshop, which according to the organiser is titled: “The Voyage with pen”, and scheduled to hold in sessions, will cover topics such as fundamentals of writing and editing.

Vice-Chancellor, Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijebu-ode, Prof. Oluyemisi Obilade (middle) during her inspection of the Engineering Department of the university, recently

Winners Fellowship wins FUTMINNA Christian football competition SHAIBU SUCCESS, 400L, FUTMINNA

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n what could be described as a keenly contested competition the Winners’ Campus Fellowship (WCF) of the Federal University of Technology, Minna (FUT MINNA), Niger State, has won the maiden edition of the football competition organised among the numerous fellowship groups on the campus. The competition, which was organised by the Joint Christian Campus Fellow-

ship (JCCF), recorded large turnouts of participants including the Redeemed Christian Church of God Fellowship (RCCGF), Nigerian Fellowship of Evangelical Students (NIFES), and The Apostolic Church Student Fellowship of Nigeria (TACSFON). It held at both the Gidan Kwano and Bosso Campuses while the exciting final match took place at the former campus. The semi-finals pitched the WCF against the RCF while the Nigerian Fellowship of Evangelical Stu-

dents played against The Apostolic Church Student Fellowship of Nigeria. The WCF and NIFES were the two teams that were through to the final. The final of the competition, which started around 8am, became tension soaked when 90 minutes of playing time could not produce a winner. The 30-minute extra time was added but was also not enough to decide the winner as the score line still stood at 1:1. Expectedly, the referee ordered a penalty shootout which ended 4-1 in favour of

the Winners’ Campus Fellowship (WCF). For the players as well as the entire members of winning side it was a moment of celebration, as they clinched claimed to have set a record of being the first fellowship to lift the competition’s trophy. The fellowship’s General Co-ordinator, Oyedele Bello Mohammed, who incidentally is also the team captain and goal keeper, said he was happy to be used by God almighty to crown the fellowship the winner of the maiden edition.

‘Why I am contesting for BUSA’s scribe’ OLUWASEUN L AWNSON

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ome Sunday, April 7, the students of Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State, under the umbrella of the Babcock University Students’ Association (BUSA), will be electing new officers to pilot the affairs of the association for the next academic calendar year. The association, which recently hosted the leadership of the All African Students Union that visited the institution to honour its Vice-Chancellor, Prof. James Kayode-Makinde as the head of the ivory tower selected by the students as the best African private university, is said to be a veritable training ground for Africa’s future leaders. In this election, a 400 level student of the institution’s School of Law and Security Studies, Oluwadamilare Ojo, who is contesting for the association’s post of secretary general, has expressed his optimism that he would be elected by his teeming supporters. Ojo, who is the outgoing assistant secretary general of the association, says he is more qualified for the job having spent a whole academic session to learn the trade as the deputy to the incumbent. “Apart from that, I am a student of Law where documentation is essential to our calling. And personally too, I like to be meticulous about my work and to keep adequate records too. So I think all these informed my decision to consider the position and I believe all these will prepare me for future challenges,” Ojo told National Mirror. However, Ojo’s opponent and outgoing President of the Department of Economics Students’ Association, Olowoshere Isaac, is looking forward to be elected as the association’s scribe citing his track records as departmental association president as his weapon.

Ojo


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Campus News

Thursday, April 4, 2013

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Private varsity students list obstacles to Vision 20:2020 The maiden edition of the Nigeria Private Universities Debate (NIPUD) challenge has successfully held with a total number of 15 participants out of the nation’s 51 duly accredited 51 private universities. The finals of the competition, which held between Tuesday, March 26 and Thursday, 28, at the Babcock University, IlishanRemo, Ogun State, drew stakeholders in the education sector, including an official of the National Universities Commission (NUC). MOJEED ALABI reports.

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hemed, ‘Nigeria’s Vision 20: 2020: The Facts, the farce and the figures,’ the pioneer edition of the debate competition among students of Nigeria-based private universities was, according to its organiser, an avenue for students to lend their voice to a major government policy that could determine the brightness or otherwise of their future. Organised by the newly established body-Nigeria Private Universities Debate (NIPUD), and sponsored by Diamond Bank Plc, the competition offered the participants opportunities to research into the feasibility of Nigeria joining the world’s best 20 economies by the year 2020. And expectedly, their responses were not only harsh; they anchored the nation’s dream on her desire to quickly quench the raging fire of bombings, kidnapping, violent armed robberies, corruption and the culture of impunity, which they attribute to her cur-

rent retarded growth. After the regional presentations, which held in the nation’s six geo-political zones, only four institutions could make it to the finals; they are the Fountain University, Osogbo, Osun State; Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State; Western Delta University, Oghara, Delta State, and Igbinedon University, Okada, in Edo State. At the semi final stage, Western Delta University beat Igbinedon University to face Babcock University which also trounced Fountain University during the semis. During the final challenge, the students considered various other subthemes such as the reversal of the current rural-urban migration, dearth of infrastructural facilities, brain drain, collapse of education system among others, as major areas the country needs to work on to achieve her desired dream. Babcock University represented by Okezi Meshack,

Provost, Ben Carson School of Medicine, Babcock University, Ilisan-Remo, Ogun State, Prof. Iheanyi Okoro (left) presenting a certificate to the leader, Babcock University Debating Team, Okezi Meshack, while others watch during the finals of the NIPUD debate competition, recently.

Madu Chibuzor and Olusile Christiana, which spoke against the idea that the vision could only be achievable if the current rural-urban migration is reversed beat the Western Delta University’s representativesEdwina Peters, Christabel Israel and Igbinobaro Paula, which argued in favour of the motion, to emerge the overall winner. Babcock University won with a total of 250.1 points while its opponent scored 231.8 points. The third posi-

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he Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on Youth Development and Student Matters, Mr. Jude Imaghue, has lauded efforts of the leadership of the Federal Polytechnic, Offa, especially over the mature manner by which the institution conducted its students and teachers during the recent communal clash involving neigbouring communities of Offa and Erin Ile. He gave this commendation during his two-day visit to the polytechnic to assess situation following the communal clash, where many lives and

property worth millions of naira were lost. He, however, advised the students to always contribute to the growth and sustainability of peace in the society, as well as joining hands with the school management to move the institution forward. On infrastructure development at FEDPOFFA, Imagbue applauded the institution’s management in its transformation effort to make the polytechnic globally competitive. He promised to make a case with the president on the speedy relocation of the polytechnic to its permanent site. Earlier in his welcome address, the rector of the institution, Dr. Mufutau Olatinwo, thanked the vis-

affairs, national economic and political policies were also accorded relevance in their judgment. In his speech at the event, the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Julius Okojie, said his support for private universities was not to kill the public ones but to create a good room for healthy rivalry and competition and offer opportunities to wealthy men and wealthy to contribute to the university sector

Journalist to give lecture at AUN commencement ceremonies TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE

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m u l t i p l e - aw a r d winning journalist, author and civil rights icon, Ms. Charlayne Hunter-Gault, will deliver a keynote address at this year’s commencement ceremonies of the Ameri-

Crisis: President’s aide commends FEDPOFFA SEUN L AWSON

tion went to Igbinedon University with a total point of 235 against Fountain University’s 218.5 points. The panel of judges led by a Professor of Literature at the Department of English, University of Ibadan, Ayo Kehinde, lauded the initiative for offering the students opportunity to gain all-round knowledge. They argued that not only the grammar, composure and presentations were considered, but that their in-depth knowledge of international

as it is done in advanced countries. Okojie, who was represented by the immediate past Vice-Chancellor of Federal University of Technology (FUT), Akure, Ondo State, enjoined other private universities to join the train and make the competition an activity everyone will always look forward to be part of. The representative of the sponsor and Regional Director (West), Mr. Sola Ajayi, said the bank decided to partner the organisation as part of its corporate social responsibility and that all efforts to rebuild the country will be supported by the bank. The NIPUD President, a Professor of Policy Management & Conflict Resolution, said the debate is a good vehicle to hone the potentials of the nation’s teeming undergraduates “who should by reason of extra-curricular exposure, move beyond their counterparts in non private universities.” The organiser promised to forward its communiqué to the Presidency as part of its contributions to nation building.

itor for having interest of the polytechnic at heart, promising that the institution would not compromise standard. In another development, the polytechnic organised a sent-forth party for members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) under 2012/2013 Batch A that served in the polytechnic. Speaking on behalf of the rector, the Deputy Rector in charge of administration, Pastor John Ayeni thanked the corps members for their commitment to duties and selfless service during their stay. He enjoined them to look inward to develop their potentials to be selfreliant and job-providers rather than job seekers.

can University of Nigeria (AUN), Yola, Adamawa State, scheduled for May 11. She will be conferred with the university’s honorary doctorate degree on the occasion, where no fewer than 250 students of the institution will also be conferred with degrees in science, arts, and the humanities. Ms. Hunter-Gault had worked with The New Yorker magazine and The New York Times, both of the American public broadcasting networks, PBS and NPR, and served as the Bureau Chief for CNN in South Africa.

She has received two National News and Documentary Emmy Awards and two Peabody Awards, one for “Apartheid’s people,” a PBS NewsHour series about South African life during apartheid. She also received the 1986 Journalist of the Year Award from the National Association of Black Journalists, the 1990 Sidney Hillman Award, the American Women in Radio and Television award, the Good Housekeeping Broadcast Personality of the Year Award, and a 2004 National Association of Black Journalists Award for her CNN series on Zimbabwe.

“We are very proud to have Ms. Hunter-Gault serve as our keynote speaker,” said AUN President Margee Ensign. “She is one of the most highly regarded journalists on the continent and in the US. I believe her life of struggle, dedication to civil rights, integrity and professional success will resonate with our AUN community.” This year’s ceremonies will be preceded by the seniors week (May 6-9), Honours Society Awards Dinner (May 9) and the Senior Awards Ceremony (May 10).

Re-union of some former students’ union leaders of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, during the wedding ceremony of a colleague, Mr. Akinkunmi Olawoyin, in Lagos, recently.


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Thursday, April 4, 2013

“PENGASSAN strike: FG summons stakeholders meeting for Thursday” Why not stakeholders’ meeting? “Our people should have faith don’t (sic) loose (lose) hope….” “While our nation, as it has been acknowledged by many, has enough for the need of majority (a majority) of our people….” “We therefore use this Easter season to call for a renewed patriotism in Nigerians even as we seek to restore the power of moral indignation in (to) our citizenry.” Yank off ‘a’ preceding ‘renewed’ as we head for the last two infractions from the Apapabased weekly under review. “At another levels (level), we must raise the standards of public behaviour.” “Our political office holders must learn to imbibe the ethics (ethic) of hard work and integrity in their respective offices.” “Southeast bound (Southeastbound) passengers stranded at Lagos Airport” “Obasanjo commended over (for/on) resignation as BoT chair” “Facilities at AOCOED excites (why this?) NCCE team” “I had it rough at (in) the beginning—Proprietress, Carol School” “CAF mourns late Somalia FA boss” A rewrite: CAF mourns Somali FA boss. Do we mourn someone who is alive? “CSR: Between philantropy and palliatives” Brands and marketing: philanthropy “...Toure’s kids’ gloves treatment of the Tuareg rebels (rebels’) insurgence as its main rea-

Poverty of media expressions son to....” All the facts, all the sides: kid gloves. “Akwa Ibom Commissioner dies in motor accident” (Headline) Now the first sentence: “Immediate past Commissioner for Youths and Sports in Akwa Ibom....” The misleading headline gives the impression that it is a serving commissioner! Next time: ex-commissioner. “Woman arrested for killing mum” It is obvious that the subeditor who treated this story has never heard of ‘matricide’! So, woman arrested for matricide. “The elevation of some police officers and retirement of 13 Assistant Inspectors General has (have) led to some bad blood (delete the word preceding ‘bad blood’) in the force....” Elevation and retirement are distinct milestones that cannot be collapsed into singularity! “When Hafeez Ringim, then an Assistant Inspector General (a comma) was elevated to the rank of Inspector General (another comma) all his seniors (DIGs) had to retire.” Not true: they were retired to pave way for the Ringim ultimate disaster! “You have undoubtedly brought to bear stability and credibility to (on) the National Assembly.” Let us ignore the convoluted lexical arrangement to save space and time. “My dear distinguish Senator Mark...Indeed, we are celebrating a statesman whose dedication and service to his fatherland is (are) worthy of emulation.” On

LAST WEEK WEDNESDAY….” EITHER: LAST WEDNESDAY OR WEDNESDAY, LAST WEEK.

the plateau: My (Our) dear distinguished Senator.... “Your unassailable wisdom and sterling qualities have made you stand out as trustworthy and reliable leader.” Happy Birthday: a (note the article) trustworthy and reliable leader. “Your ability to work out (answer/do) knotty political puzzles...makes you worth (worthy) of emulation.” “Indeed, its (it’s) really a pleasure working with you....” “...so he could not have seen fire and tell (told) me to put my hand.” Alternatively, he cannot see fire and tell me to put my hand. “...the APGA governorship candidate in Abia State at (in) the April 2011 elections....” “Why change your wardrobe every five minutes while all it takes is a different accessories.” All it takes are different accessories. “Like water and oil, they can never mix, talk-less blend.” ‘Talkless’ is balderdash. Employ let alone/not to talk of ’.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

“…the dignity of a matured (mature) politician....” “For those who may have forgotten, the legislators tore at each other’s (one another’s) throat and flung chairs at themselves (one another), forcing David Mark to beat a hasty retreat for dear life.” “The wild drunken, licentious revelry that precede many of these attacks in (on) the campus are often ignored.” “Three pupils dead in Ibadan school bus fire” Truth in defence of freedom: Three pupils die… “…no amount of pressure would make the Senate sweep any of its probe report (reports) under the carpet” “Jos: Three arrested over (for) policeman’s death” “Handover (Hand over) our VP for trial, Iraq urges Qatar” “Segun Toriola: Record sixth times (time) at the Olympics” “…but the payoff was last week raised to a whooping (whopping) N100 million.” “When Diaspora Ohaneze converged in (on) Ogwashi-Ukwu” “Senate blames judiciary over (for) 33,692 awaiting trial inmates” “If they say they want to vote for PDP (a comma) no problem about that but majority (a majority)….” “Last week Wednesday….” Either: last Wednesday or Wednesday, last week. “Movement of cattle has often pitted Fulani herdsmen with (against) local farmers whose crops are destroyed by cattle.”

“Ezeonu came at a time when health care delivery services in Ebonyi State was (were) challenged.” “This smacks off double standard.” Grammar you can trust: smacks of. “PDP must restore hope in (to) Nigerians, says Lamido” “These children disappeared atimes from home after their parents had gone to search for daily bread….” Children for sale: at times. “No sooner had the morning papers commenced at (on) the main campus of the university at about 10.a.m....” Either at or about 10.a.m. ‘At about 10 a.m.’ gives room for confusion. “Having shown that he means business…all shades of people are quickly jumping into (on/ aboard) the ‘anti-corruption’ bandwagon.” “Another feather to (in) Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s cap on his lavish 61st birthday” “Conceeding defeat is a herculean task.” Spell-check: concede and conceding. “…following reports of molestation and harassment of lawabiding citizens by members of vigilante groups supposedly in anti-robbery patrol.” Get it right: vigilance committees/groups. “I do not intend to bore you with beer-parlour (pub) gossips” ‘Gossip’, in this context, is uncountable. “…the ‘officials’ who would be carrying files from Abuja to Lagos to treat in the morning and return them back in the evening.” No linguistic sabotage: delete ‘back’.

NG0 boosts education in Badagry TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE

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non-governmental organisation, LSR Foundation, based in Badagry Local Government Area of Lagos State, has donated uniforms, notebooks and some instructional materials, including mathematical sets to some secondary schools students in the local council area. The items were handed over to beneficiaries last Thursday at the Badagry Town Hall, where the students, who are from financially backward homes and numbering about 200, assembled for the purpose. Speaking about the rationale for the donation, the founder and chief executive of the foundation, Mr. Rilwan Sejoro Layode, said the foundation donated the items as a way

of assisting the parents of the students in meeting the educational and other basic needs of their wards. Recalling the past in the ancient town, Layode said it was only nowadays that many parents in Badagry and its environs are sending their wards to schools as a result of enlightenment campaigns as regards the value of education to their progress and that of the society. “So now that many children are in schools, the foundation deems it fit to encourage parents of indigent ones among them by assisting them in a little way possible with some items to aid their learning in school,” he stressed. While acknowledging the impact of the free education policy of the state government and the provision of basic learning tools for students at both

primary and secondary school levels on parents, Layode said his foundation believed that government could not do it all alone, especially in communities where poverty level is very high, hence the donation. He disclosed that this particular gesture which he said devoid of political affiliations was the debut edition with the hope of making it a quarterly affair and to be expanded in scope to cover indigent students in primary schools in the council area in the nearest future. He said the tendency for students to perform well in their studies and other undertakings that could add value to their lives was high when they lack no basic needs that could aid their learning in class. Some of the beneficiaries commended the organ-

A cross section of secondary school students in Badagry, Lagos, at a seminar and distribution of instructional materials by the LSR Foundation, recently

isation for its benevolence. A majority of them told National Mirror that the only uniform and a pair of worn-out sandal they had were the ones they wore to the programme. They said most times because of that, they appeared rough to school

and consequently feel inferior to their mates in class and this slows down their levels of assimilation. Among the beneficiaries were: Vivian Ogabi, 12, and from Methodist High School; 18-year old Benard Gbojuru and

Deborah Henniuat, both in JSS3 at Topo Grammar School; Kingsley Okereafor and Serifat Fagboro, both in JSS3 at Badagry Grammar School, as well as Tayo Aladeotan, 14, from Answarudeen High School, among numerous others.


Thursday, April 4, 2013

AfroBasket 2013: NBBF rates D’Tigers’ chances high 30

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

NPFL: ‘Sharks may be relegated’

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Obafemi Martins (r) in action for Seattle Sounders

Sounders fear for Martins N igeria’s striker, Obafemi Martins, could be sidelined for long time after he missed Seattle Sounders CONCACAF Champions League 1-0 home loss to Santos Laguna. Seattle Sounders’ manager, Sigi Schmid, said he was worried about Martins’ injury as he did not know how long the striker would be out.

“Oba (Martins) tried to play in Salt Lake, had a little bit of an injury going into that game and tried to play something that had bothered him when he played with Nigeria. He felt he could maybe get through it, and that game didn’t make it any better, it made it worse,” the Sounders boss said. “We figured if we tried to play him today (vs San-

tos Laguna of Mexico), we didn’t know how long that would knock him out.” Martins’ strike partner, Eddie Johnson, is also out of action due to a hamstring injury. He has played two games for Seattle Sounders against Portland Timbers and Salt Lake since his sensational switch from Spanish La Liga side, Levante.

Eagles await Dangote, others to redeem donation

Okuoka is happy at Heartland

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eartland’s Happy Okuoka has emerged the MTNFootball.com top star for the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Week 5 for his brace in their 4-0 demolition of Gombe United. Okuoka was rated ahead of his team mate, Akor Isah, Kano Pillars’ Gambo Mohammed and Alaba Johnson of the Wikki Tourists. Okuoka is playing only his first season in the league and has thus far made a statement with his Owerri team. “I am enjoying my game. I am happy and thank God I scored against Gombe. I won’t promise or target any number of goals I want to score. I just want to keep playing well and scoring goals,” he said. Okuoka, who almost joined a Turkish club but opted to stay back at Heartland to gain first-

Sport

My international retirement is irreversible. I will look back on my past service with utmost pleasure -Real Madrid’s midfielder, Michael Essien

AYC: Aminu finally in Africa XI

he Confederation of African Football (CAF) has finally picked Flying Eagles’ striker, Umar Aminu, for the 2013 AYC XI after it admitted a mistake for overlooking the tournament’s top scorer. CAF technical director, Abdel Moniem Hussein, specially informed MTNFootball.com that Aminu has now been selected for the tournament XI for the 2013 African Youth Championship. “The tournament XI was picked before the final round of matches but with Aminu finishing as top scorer, he has to be included in the team,” said Hussein, who is better known as Shatta. “He’s a very talented player and he deserves his nomination.” It is believed that Ghana striker, Ebenezer Assifuah, who along with Hamid Mahmoud of Egypt finished as second leading scorers at the U-20 championship with three goals apiece. Wikki Tourists’ striker, Aminu, finished top at the AYC with four goals to succeed compatriot, Uche Nwofor, who was Goal king at the 2011 edition of the tournament in South Africa. Aminu has attracted overseas interest since his exploits in Algeria. The 18-year-old striker has said Club Africain of Tunisia as well as a host of Turkish clubs had approached him.

27

EVEREST ONYEWUCHI

S Okuoka

team experience, said he admires Mikel Obi, while his role model is Thiery Henry. “I love Mikel, I admire him, love his calmness on the ball. But my role model is Thiery Henry. He is a complete striker I wish to be like,” he revealed. “I support and like Arsenal. This is a team I would want to play for.” Born on May 18, 1991, the 21-year-old was with Paddysco Academy, Lagos, before signing for Heartland.

uper Eagles’ players have praised the Globacom Chairman, Otunba Mike Adenuga; Chief Emeka Offor, Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan; his Lagos State counterpart, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, Obong Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State and Cadbury Nigeria Plc for fulfilling promises made to the team for winning 2013 AFCON in South Africa. In a statement sent to National Mirror by the Eagles’ Media Officer, Ben Alaiya, the players also said they believe that other prominent Nigerians who announced monetary rewards for the team like Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote; Alhaji Isyaku

Rabiu, Mr. Jim Ovia, former Anambra State governor, Senator Chris Ubah and former UBA Plc Chief Executive, Tony Elumelu, will also make good their promises. “We believe that these patriots will help our cause in the next round of games by making good their promises to the team. Their busy schedule may have been the hindrance but we thank them in advance and call on them not to relent in their continued support for the growth and development of Nigerian football,” the statement said. National Mirror recalls that Dangote announced a donation of N130million to the team for reaching the AFCON semi-finals, after beating the pre-tournament favourites, Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire 2-1 in the quarter-finals.

ormer secretary of Sharks FC of Port Harcourt, Cyril Dum Wite, says the Blue Angels could be relegated unless sweeping changes are made at the club. Sharks currently sit in 19th position in the 20-team 2012/13 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) with four points from their first five games and Wite does not see things changing for the better anytime soon. “Sharks as a football club is not run professionally. The team is run by a sole administrator, (acting general manager) Okey Kpalukwu, who is not even qualified to hold such a position. He is a civil servant in the ministry and under the rules of the league should not head a professional club. “Interestingly, he acts as general manager, secretary, welfare officer and basically everything to Sharks FC,” Wite told supersport. com. Wite also accused Kpalukwu of putting the lives of Sharks’ players at risk by compelling them to travel to match venues in “rickety buses at unconventional hours.” “I feel sorry for the players who are made to travel to honour matches in rickety buses at unconventional hours. Most times the players arrive at match venues on the day of the games and this is pathetic and unacceptable. “The players of the club are made to stay in sub-standard hotels which they reject most times. A case in point was just before the Matchday 2 NPFL game between Sharks and Kaduna United in Kaduna.” Reacting, Kpalukwu described Wite as a “disgruntled individual looking to score cheap points.” “I don’t understand what Wite means when he says I am not qualified to run the club. I am a qualified administrator in the civil service. Cyril is just a disgruntled individual looking to score cheap points. “He has a lot to answer for because when he was acting secretary of Sharks, a lot of wrong decisions were taken at Sharks. “ Meanwhile, newly-appointed technical adviser of Sharks, Gbenga Ogunbote, has revealed that he spoke with his immediate predecessor, Augustine Eguavoen, shortly before he took the reins at the Port Harcourt club.


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Sport

Thursday, April 4, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Ba opts f

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Robben with the ball

Robben hails ‘good result’

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ayern Munich winger, Arjen Robben, yesterday described his side’s 2-0 victory over Juventus in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday as a good result. Bayern, runner-up in two of the last three finals, took a first-minute lead through David Alaba’s deflected longrange strike before Thomas Muller tapped in a second goal just after the hour mark at the Allianz Arena. The German giant had chances to increase its lead but Juve goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon made a number of telling saves to deny the host and keep his side in the tie heading into the second leg in Italy. Despite not making the most of their chanc-

es though, Robben, who started on the bench but was thrown into the action after just 16 minutes due to an injury to Toni Kroos, was happy with the result. “When we spoke about the game before we said we couldn’t concede a goal today, that was the important thing and in the end 2-0 at home, good advantage,” the Netherlands international said. “I think it was a very good game to watch, because both teams were pressing forward and it was almost one against one all over the pitch. “There was a period in the first half, just after I came on, where they made some mistakes and we had some good chances. It was just a bit unfortunate that we didn’t score another goal.”

Messi fitness boost for Barca Lionel Messi netting a goal against PSG in Paris on Tuesday

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arcelona’s inspirational forward, Lionel Messi, could be fit for his side’s Champions League quarter-final decider against Paris Saint-Germain after tests revealed his hamstring injury is not as bad as first feared. The four-time world player of the year, who limped off at half-time during Tuesday’s 2-2 draw, prompting worries he had suffered a torn muscle that would end his season early, is certain to miss Saturday’s Primera Liga clash with Mallorca but could yet feature in the return

leg against Carlo Ancelotti’s side at the Nou Camp on 10 April. “The club’s medical services have revealed that Leo Messi’s hamstring injury will definitely rule him out of this weekend’s game against Mallorca, whilst his availability after that will depend on how the injury progresses,” a statement on Barcelona’s website said yesterday, adding, “Messi felt a twinge in his right hamstring towards the end of the first half.” The petit player, whoever, con-

Buffon tagged ‘pensioner’ Beckham eyes Camp

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ayern Munich’s Honorary Club President, Franz Beckenbauer, yesterday likened Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon to a pensioner after the revered safe hands failed to stop the Germans’ goal rush on Tuesday. “David Alaba’s shot from 120 metres out made Buffon look like a pensioner,” Beckenbauer said. “There’s no need for him to get upset but he should be catching that shot.”

Buffon is renowned as one of the world’s best keepers having guided Juventus to the Serie A title last season and Italy to World Cup glory in 2006, but Beckenbauer feels he is starting to show his age. “Maybe he didn’t think that Alaba would kick it from there. “We can be satisfied with the result especially considering the fact we didn’t concede. It’s never easy to beat an Italian side who plays that way.”

Nou ‘turn around’

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SG’s winger, David Beckham, is confident the Paris club can reach the UEFA Champions League semi-finals after its dramatic 2-2 draw at home to Barcelona on Tuesday. A deflected stoppagetime goal from Blaise Matuidi, whose earlier booking meant he will be suspended for next week’s return leg, left the quarter-final tie in the balance. Barcelona’s possession forced Beckham into a deeplying role in tandem with the energetic Matuidi, but

the former England captain felt his side was good value for a share of the spoils. “In the first half, especially in the first 10 minutes, we had a few very good chances and if we’d have put one of those away it might have been different,” Beckham said yesterday. “Then obviously they got their goal, then it was an uphill battle, but I think we deserved the draw. “It’s better than it was at 2-1. We go there, it’s going to be difficult but there’s no reason we can’t go there and get a result.” Beckham

firmed the injury was less serious than first thought in a statement posted on his official Facebook page on yesterday. “I will return soon,” he said, stressing, “Thankfully, it was not so serious.” Messi’s absence against Mallorca will bring to an end his incredible 19-game scoring streak in La Liga. He became the first player to score against every other team in La Liga consecutively when he netted in a 2-2 draw against Celta Vigo at the weekend.

helsea strike Ba, admits in the FA Europa League is portant than fini the top four of the Premier League, he wants to be rem as a trophy winner. Ba, 27, scored ner in Chelsea’s quarter-final win Manchester United day after being r the trip to Southam days earlier. The Senegal tional has defend Benitez’s rotation which was highly c by Chelsea fans the Blues must ta hopes of winning this season serious “When you re one remembers t finished in the to Ba said yesterday today’s Europa Lea leg clash with Rubi “But they do re you won a trophy, s portant as a player win a trophy. Yes four is very impor we want a trophy. “We are looki good in two comp the Europa League FA Cup. I think w ing to do everythin them both.” Ba is yet to win in his professiona and will have to hel overcome Manche in the FA Cup sem that drought is to b “Hopefully this the season that We’re playing aga who are of the be in the country, but

Pardew cou

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ewcastle ager, Pardew, ye claimed his team pean adventure h at a cost to the league performan says his approa not change even w club’s top-flight still not assured season. “It has cost us and without a of a doubt we wo be in this positio were not in the League,” Pardew s terday ahead of Europa quarter fi leg tie with Benfic


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

internaded Rafa n policycriticised -claiming ake their a trophy sly. etire, no that you op four,” ahead of ague first in Kazan. emember so it’s imr that you s, the top rtant but

ing very petitions; e and the we’re gong to win

n a trophy al career lp his side ester City mi-final if be broken. s will be happens. ainst City est teams t we’ll go

to Wembley to win,” he said. The striker’s spectacular volley at Stamford Bridge will go down as one of the goals of the season, but Ba preferred to deflect the praise onto Juan Mata, who provided the assist with a delicate chip. “I don’t know if it was the best goal I have ever scored but it was brilliant and it was in a very important game as well, which makes it even more exciting.” Last season’s UEFA Champions League triumph left the west Londoners with just Europa League honours missing from the club’s trophy cabinet, having already lifted the now-defunct Cup Winners’ Cup on two occasions in 1970/71 and 1997/98. Meanwhile, Chelsea will be without defensive duo Ashley Cole (hamstring) and Gary Cahill (knee) for both legs of the Europa clash. Goalkeeper Petr Cech, however, insists the defending European champion will enter the fixture in a positive frame of mind. “Our win over United shows we can still beat the top teams and it gives us confidence to play another game tomorrow (today),” he said.

s points shadow ould not on if we Europa said yestoday’s inal first ca.

Falcao Atletico Madrid striker, Radamel Falcao, has studied English since he was a teenager, according to his father, Ramedal Snr. “My son studied English while he was at River Plate,” he said. Falcao is expected to move to Chelsea in the summer, though Manchester City is also interested. “He will decide his future after this season, but for now he just thinks of helping Atletico,” father said.

Ba

“You can fault us for that, but we think that’s the right approach and we will carry that forward to Portugal,” he added. Portuguese table-topper Benfica is unbeaten in the league this season, while the side’s 13-match unbeaten home run in the Europa League dates back to the advent of the rebranded competition.

Today’s fixtures Chelsea

vs Rubin Kazan

Tottenham

vs Basel

Benfica

vs Newcastle

Fenerbahce vs Lazio

YEMI OLUS

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Defoe

Tottenham Hotspur striker, Jermain Defoe, is likely to be on the sidelines for around three weeks after aggravating a muscle injury. The 30-year-old is out of today’s Europa League quarter final against Basel at White Hart Lane. “Jermain has a muscle injury which is probably going to take him out of the next two games definitely and maybe Basel away,” manager Andre Villas-Boas said yesterday.

Adebayor

Tottenham Hotspur has unfolded plans to cash in on striker Emmanuel Adebayor in the summer. According to reports, Spurs will listen to offers for Adebayor, who has scored only four times for Tottenham since joining on a permanent contract last summer from Manchester City. The stumbling block to any move will be Spurs finding a buyer willing to match the wages they pay the Togo international.

Szczesny

unts Europa costs

ManAlan esterday m’s Eurohas come e club’s nces but ach will with the status for next

Team Nigeria claims AJC medals

Tit bits...

for silverware

er, Demba success Cup and more imishing in e English insisting membered r. the winFA Cup against d on Monrested for mpton two

Sport

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Arsenal’s outof-favour goalkeeper, Wojciech Szczesny, is desperate to stay with the club. The Pole has lost his first-choice status in recent weeks, but is determined to fight on, according to latest reports. Sources close to Szczesny said he, aside being ready to fight for his place in Arsenal, also plans to build a property portfolio in England as his girlfriend, Sandra Dziwiszek, is said to have “considerable influence” over his decision-making.

Robinson Blackburn goalkeeper, Paul Robinson, is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines after suffering serious respiratory complications following a back operation last week. The 33-year-old former England international developed a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lung), which will rule him out for the next six months. Robinson has returned home to recover after being held in hospital over the bank holiday weekend.

Top athlete Blessing Okagbare is one the stars expected to meet AFN standards for the World Championship

igerian contingent yesterday enjoyed a medals rush after three days of competing at the ongoing International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Africa Junior Championships in Nabeul, Tunisia. The men’s U-21 team led by Ojo Onaolapo won a bronze medal, having earlier qualified from the group stages as one of the top two teams. Other members of the team including Sunday Ayodele, Kehinde Awobajo, Ojo Onaolopo and Olijade Omotayo lost 3-1 to Tunisia in the semis while top seeds, Egypt outstroked Algeria 3-0 in the second semi final match. Nigeria further compounded Algeria’s woes in the third place match as they dominated the North Africans 3-0 while the final match between Egypt and Tunisia was yet to be decided at press time yesterday. South Africa finished in fifth position and was followed by Congo Brazzaville, Morocco and Libya respectively.

The girls’ junior team secured another bronze medal in a keenly contested match against Tunisia which Nigeria won, 3-2. In the girls’ U-21 category, Nigeria finished in fifth position as the team failed to advance to the semis having finished third in their group. A 3-0 victory over the Angolans secured that spot for the team. Congo Brazzaville occupied the seventh spot while Morocco finished at the bottom of the category. The girls’ cadet team qualified for the final after a 3-0 trouncing of Angola in the semis. Esther Oribamise and Onyinyechi Mbah would be faced with the herculean task of defeating Egypt in the finals. The duo had earlier succumbed 3-2 to the superior power of their North African opponents during the group matches. These matches, as well as the third place match between Nigeria and Congo Brazzaville in the boys’ junior category, were yet to be decided at press time. The team is made up of Sunday Ayodele, Kehinde Awobajo and Olajide Omotayo.

AFN sets Moscow 2013 standards YEMI OLUS

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he Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) has said that the qualifying standards for athletes aiming to represent Nigeria at the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championship slated to hold in Moscow from August 10 to 18 must be met by July 15. According to AFN Secretary and IAAF Women Committee member, Maria Wophill, the federation will take cognizance of the athletes’ performance from January this year. “Training grant will be given to athletes listed on the IAAF Top10 and A Standard athletes,” Wophill explained. The AFN official said the sprinters must return a time of 10.10 and 11.10 in the men and women’s 100m respectively during the period, in addition to a time of 20.20 and 22.60 in the 200m. “A time of 45.20 must be achieved by the male quartermilers while their female counterparts must have secured a time of 51.00 seconds flat and athletes competing in the 400m hurdles must have run a time of 49.10 and 55 secs respectively. “The jumpers must also meet the target of 2.31 and 1.98 in the high jump while the long jumpers must make a leap of 8.25m and 6.85m and the 4x100m men’s relay team must run a time of 38.40secs with the females attaining a Ojo Onaolapo is spearheading Nigeria’s medal rush in Tunisia standard of 42.00secs.”


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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

SLAMMING AND E-mail: folashayoezekiel@yahoo.com Phone: 08027536696

DUNKING

With SAYO OGUNDEJI

Zenith League: Deepwater holds the ace in defence

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igeria’s women league champion, First Deepwater Basketball Club, made a point as the most defensive side at the close of the first phase of the Zenith Bank league in Abuja, leading other teams in defence with a +310 and an average of 2.49 having scored 517 points and conceded 207 in the seven group-A games. With an average of 73.85 points per game the team cannot be said to have done badly in the first phase of the league. The Coach Lateef Erinfolami tutored side though trail arch rival First Bank Basketball Club who led the 15 other clubs in scoring with a total of 533 points to join the champion as the only two teams that did not lose a single game in the first phase to lead group-B

going into the second phase billed for Asaba in May but the former champions conceded a whopping 275 points to finish behind the reigning champions on the cumulative table. Coach Erinfolami who was a one time captain of Nigeria’s senior men’s national team stated that the team would continue to strive to maintain its hold on the Nigerian league with a view to equalling First Bank’s record of ten-year reign (2001-2010) and possibly set a new national record. He said, “Our fans should not lose sleep about the margin we recorded in some of our games during the first phase, but should look forward to a better performance in the second phase coming up in Asaba and the play-off in Lagos.”

Diogu lands first pro title

Nigeria’s Chamberlain Oguchi (right) bringing the ball up court against Nando de Colo of France during the Men’s Basketball Preliminary Round match at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

AfroBasket 2013: NBBF rates D’Tigers’ chances high

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the rise. The LSBA boss says the impressive showings of the team both during the London 2012 Olympics qualifier and the Games proper are indicative of Nigeria’s readiness to rule the continent. He however admitted that the likes of Tunisia and Angola remain top teams as far as the tournament is concerned but added that Nigeria currently possesses top quality players capable of dethroning these so called super-powers. He said, “This tournament is a perfect avenue for Nigeria to show the whole continent that they are ready to dominate the game and I am confident they can make it happen this very year in Abidjan. “We have had teams like Tunisia,

board member of the Nigeria Basketball Federation, (NBBF) and chairman, Lagos State Basketball Association, (LSBA), Babs Ogunade, says the country’s senior men’s team otherwise known as D’Tigers is now a better team and will do well at this year’s Afrobasket tournament billed to hold in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. Nigeria, last the weekend was drawn in Group D alongside Cameroun, Congo and Mali for the 27th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations tagged Afrobasket holding from August 20 through 31. Though D’Tigers have never won the competition before but their third place finish in the last edition, according to Ogunade, is a testimony that Nigeria’s basketball is on

Angola and Cote d’Ivoire dominating the continent for years but the way Nigeria beat some of the best teams in the world to qualify for the last London Olympic Games means we can defeat any side as far as the game is concerned.” Ogunade also believes the delay in the commencement of the men’s domestic league will not affect the chances of D’Tigers at the tournament negatively, saying the dedication of the players and their readiness to write their country’s name in gold will help them at the biannual competition. The 2013 Afrobasket will serve as 2014 FIBA World Cup qualifier slated for Madrid, Spain with first three placed countries carrying the continent’s flag at the mundial.

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igeria’s forward Ike Diogu has won his first professional basketball title after helping Guangdong Southern Tigers recapture the league crown in China last week. Diogu, who joined Guangdong after a short stint with another CBA team, Xinjiang, last year, hadn’t won a pro title since graduating from high school in Garland, Texas, in 2002. The CBA championship came as a form of justification for an eight-year pro career which began when he was drafted by the Golden State Warriors in 2005. “It’s really important. This is my first championship aside from high school,” Diogu told China

The groups Group B

Group A

Group D

Group C

Cote d’Ivoire

Tunisia

Angola

Nigeria

Egypt

Rwanda

Central Africa

Cameroon

Senegal

Burkina Faso

Mozambique

Congo

Algeria

Morocco

Cape Verde

Mali

Ike Diogu with the ball

Daily after Guangdong thrashed Shandong, 94-74, last Friday. “I never went to the playoffs when I was in the NBA. So winning the championship and being the first team to go undefeated in the playoffs is a really big deal. I am just really happy.” Diogu’s excitement was blatantly obvious as the 29-year-old showed off his champion’s gold medal to all and sundry at the airport and even posted a photo of himself showing flight attendants on the plane heading back to Guangdong. Standing at 2.06 metres, Diogu is considered slightly undersized for an NBA power forward, but he makes up for a lack of bulk with a long wingspan.


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Business & Finance We have the opportunities, population, direction and forecasts in Nigeria. Therefore, the way to go for ICT practitioners is to continue to innovate and continue to think of meeting the needs of users. Founder, Visafone Nigeria, Jim Ovia

High transportation costs and excessive transit time has made intra-regional trade non-competitive, especially as West and Central African transport and logistics costs are identified as one of the highest in the world THE MANAGING DIRECTOR OF NIGERIA EXPORT IMPORT (NEXIM) BANK, ROBERT ORYA

NDIC to offer grants to PMBs, MFBs TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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he Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has indicated its readiness to grant financial assistance to deserving Primary Mortgage Banks PMBs and Microfinance Banks, MFBs as part of its efforts at repositioning the sub-sectors for improved performance. Giving the assurance when he played host to Directors and Management of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) during their visit to his office in Abuja, NDIC Managing Director, Alhaji Umaru Ibrahim, said the corporation was already developing the framework for the proposed the financial assistance but stressed that stringent conditions would be required to be met by MFBs and PMBs before they can access the grant. A statement by the Head, Communications and Public Affairs Unit, Mallam Hadi Bichi, quoted the NDIC boss as saying however that MFBs and PMBs that were deliberately being mismanaged by their owners would not be eligible for such funding support. He added that details of the framework would soon be made known to stakeholders once it is approved by the board of the corporation. While emphasising the strategic role of mortgage financing in the development of the financial services

sector, Ibrahim said that the Federal Ministry of Finance, Central Bank of Nigeria and the Corporation were working on possible measures aimed at reviving the sub-sector towards achieving the transformation agenda of the Federal Government in the area of affordable housing for all taking cognisance of the huge deficit existing in the industry. He pointed out that the measures include, the CBN’s revised supervisory guidelines for PMBs, refinancing scheme in the mortgage sector and the proposed review of the Land Use Act. The NDIC boss who disclosed the commencement of liquidation of seven out of the 25 PMBs

recently closed by the CBN with payment of compensation to their depositors, lamented the difficulties being encountered by the corporation in the liquidation process as many of them merely existed as paper institutions. He said the seven were those the NDIC could identify after frantic search at the Corporate Affairs Commission to determine the management, board, shareholders and other details of the closed PMBs, adding that even then it was difficult to determine the PMBs’ deposit liabilities due to their failure to render statutory returns to the CBN and pay mandatory premium to the

L-R: Vice President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chief Nike Akande; Chairman, Membership Committee, Dr. Wole Ogunpehin and President, Mr. Goodie Ibru, at the presentation of certificates to new members of the Chamber, yesterday.

Naira appreciates, as oil companies sell dollars

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he naira strengthened to its highest in six weeks against the U.S dollar on the interbank market on Wednesday, buoyed by increased dollar supply from two oil companies and a drop in demand for dollars at the official foreign exchange

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NDIC. Ibrahim urged management of the yet-to-be fully recapitalised PMBs to see the recent extension of recapitalisation deadline for their institutions by the CBN to December this year as an opportunity that must be well utilised and warned that more drastic actions may be taken at the expiration of the deadline. In his remarks, the Chairman, FMBN Mr. Bisi Ogunjobi, stated that they were at the NDIC to explore areas of mutual collaboration between the two institutions with a view to enhancing their service delivery and improved efficiency and ensuring affordable housing to Nigerians.

window. The naira closed at 158.05 to the dollar on the interbank market, firmer than the 158.60 it closed at on the previous day. It was its strongest since February 25, when it closed at 157.45 to the dollar. Traders said a unit of Royal Dutch Shell sold an unspecified amount of dollars to some lenders, while ExxonMobil’s local sold about $56.4 million, boosting dollar liquidity in the market

amid low demand. On the twice-weekly auction on Wedenesday, the central bank sold $237.2 million at 155.74 naira to the dollar, short of the $300 million it initially offered at the auction. The bank sold $300 million at the previous auction last week at 155.75 to the dollar. Traders said central bank also sold additional dollars directly to some lenders on Tuesday, its third intervention in the foreign

NPC Minister assures on commitment to Performance Contract

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exchange market this year, helping the local currency to regain some of its lost value. “We see this trend continuing as long as there are continued dollar flows from oil companies, otherwise, the naira should depreciate marginally to around 158.30 to the dollar in the short term,” one dealer said. Traders said more energy companies are expected to sell dollars in the market in the days ahead, which could help boost support for the naira.

Stakeholders Targeting youths to underscore why leverage software development rebranding Nigeria failed

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Niger Insurance targets N16bn premium for 2013 MESHACK IDEHEN

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he Managing Director of Niger Insurance Plc, Mr. Kola Adedeji, said the company has set a new target for itself for 2013, adding that the company hopes to rake in premium income worth N16 billion before the end of this year. Describing Niger Insurance Plc as one of the leading composite risks insurance groups in the country, Adedeji in an interview with journalists, said the management of the firm has put strategies in place to achieve this target. He added that the manage-

ment is consolidating on recent successes and building a stronger company that will be more responsive to the needs and yearnings of customers, and will be efficiently run in the way that Niger Insurance has been known for over the decades. According to him, the company has reorganised its operations with a view to surpassing the needs of its customers, with the business model of the company now driven by information communication technology (ICT) to ensure that it continues to render excellent services. The Niger Insurance boss explained the company has engaged

the services of a specialist to do an evaluation of its products, processes and people including both management and pipeline staff, in an attempt to make the company stronger, adding also the company has a policy to train and retrain its manpower, conscious of the fact that the human resource is the most valuable resource of the organisation. He also annouced that Niger Insurance, has secured regulatory approval for its life annuity product in line with the provisions of the Pension Reform Act, 2004 even as it is working on other traditional products to meet the needs of the insuring public.

He said,” We are also working on other traditional products to make them more user-friendly because our focus now is on the customers. What we are trying to do is for them to always come back to make repeat purchases, we want to have satisfied customers, because here, customer is king. Speaking further, Adedeji reiterated the company’s commitment to making people see the relevance of insurance and the need to protect their lives and assets, saying also that the company is introducing retail insurance that attracted little premium in return for huge benefits to

the policy holders. “Niger Insurance is constantly strategising on how to render improved services to its teeming customers and determined not only to meet the expectations of customers but to also surpass such expectations”, he said. He also reassured shareholders of better returns on their investment saying; Niger Insurance is constantly embarking on restructuring to ensure that the customers get qualitative services at all times while striving to ensure that shareholders get better returns on their investment on a timely basis.

FG urged to encourage Diaspora professionals to return home MESHACK IDEHEN

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L- R: Marketing Manager, Samsung Electronics, Mr. Chima Ezewanne; Coordinator NEPWHAN, Mr. Ekwoyi Ochisobo; Product Manager, Enterprise Business Solutions Samsung Electronics, Mr. Bennett Nwogu and Sales Executive, Ethel Ventures Ltd, Ms. Amaka Ojike, at the Samsung Exhibition Fair in Abuja.

Emirates to delay commencement of Abuja flights OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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here are indications that the leading United Arab Emirates, Emirates Airlines may not commence flight operations into Abuja very soon as anticipated despite the approval of the Federal Ministry of Aviation given the carrier to commence operations into the route. Also, National Mirror gathered that another foreign carrier Turkish Airlines may have seek the approval of the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah to commence direct flight operations into Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA), Kano. Emirates Airlines had earlier in the year indicated interest to commence flight operations into Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja, a request, which was approved by The Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah. Currently, Emirates operates twice daily to the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos from its base in

Dubai. It does 14 frequencies weekly to Nigeria. With the approval of the Abuja route, its frequencies would have increased to 21 weekly into the country. On the part of Turkish Airlines, currently, the airline flies seven times into Nigeria weekly and the approval of the Kano route may increase the frequencies to 14 weekly. A document made available to National Mirror and duly signed by the minister, revealed that approval to fly into Abuja was given Emirates Airlines on the 14th February, 2013 by Oduah. The letter with the reference number: FMA/ATMD/501/S.1/ C.114/v/626 was copied to the Country Manager of the airline while one Mr. Paulos Legesse was attention by the minister. The letter with the title, ‘Permission for passenger operations into Abuja,’ reads in part, “I wish yo convey my approval for your airlines to operate passenger flights into Abuja in accordance with the subsisting Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA)/Memorandum of

Understanding (MoU) of May 2008 between Nigeria and United Arab Emirate. “However, you are hereby directed to liaise with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority for further documentation.” But the airline in its response to the approval on the 20th March, 2013 said that it might not commence the Abuja route in anytime soon due to some identified challenges in the sector. The letter, which was signed by the Senior Vice President, Public, International, Industry and Environment Affairs, Mr. Andrew Parker, confirmed that the airline management was considering enhancing its operation to Nigeria with Abuja on its radar. He however said that the airline had not fixed a definite date for the commencement of operations into the airport due to the high cost of Jet A1 (aviation fuel) and the market conditions at the Abuja Airport, but assured that at an opportune time, the airline would come up with a deployment plan for Abuja.

he President of Trade Union Congress (TUC), Mr Peter Esele, said Nigerian professionals should be encouraged to return and occupy strategic positions in the nation’s economy, in order for sustainable growth and development to be achieved. He said the Federal Government should employ competent people that are professionals into strategic positions, so that the social and economic growth of Nigeria can be enhanced. The TUC president said these on yesterday while reacting to suggestions made by some individuals and groups that the Federal Government should encourage its professionals abroad to return home, and help develop the country.

He explained that a former United States of America president, Mr. Bill Clinton, had only recently, also urged the government of the United States to encourage its professionals abroad to return and develop the US. According to the TUC president, “Nigerians are everywhere and in strategic positions. It is sad that this country Nigeria respects mediocrity at the expense of professionalism. We do not put round pegs in round holes in this nation. It is a matter of whom you know and this has affected the sustainable development of the economy and other aspects of the country’’. Esele added the government must bring back the professionals and employ them in their specialised areas, irrespective of their tribe or region.

Power Ministry partners Japan on capacity building CHIDI UGWU ABUJA

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he Japanese International Corporation Agency (JICA) on Wednesday in Abuja, organised a one-day training workshop on capacity and power management for the senior staff of Ministry of Power. The Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Amb Godknows Igali, expressed gratitude to the agency urging it to provide technical advice on the formulation of power development plans for the ministry. He explained that the workshop would promote capacity and policy development for the staff and the policies of the ministry to ensure that power sector was moved forward. According to him, JICA’s sup-

port for the ministry will assist in reviewing the design of hydro power projects in the country. Igali said that JICA has been providing technical advice on power development and planning for the ministry since November 2012. He commended the orgainisation for reviewing the engineering design of Zungeru power plant, Mambilla Hydro power project also for its advice on Roadmap on power sector reform. He called on the agency to assist the ministry in identifying capacity gaps in the nation’s emerging electricity industry. Igali also sought for the assistance of JICA on the analysis of the feasibility on new projects on generations as well as renewable and transmission.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Business & Finance

Thursday, April 4, 2013

NPC Minister assures on commitment to Performance Contract TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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he Minister of National Planning Commission, Dr Shamsuddeen Usman, yesterday presented his Commission’s performance report for 2012 to the Federal Executive Council, with an assurance of his commitment to consolidate on the modest achievements of the Commission and ensuring the success of the Performance Contract agenda in public service in the years ahead. In his presentation at the Council, Usman, who is also the architect of Performance Contract Agreement signed by President Goodluck Jonathan with members of his Executive Council on August 22, 2012, said the Commission had continued to drive institutional transformation for effective achievements of

NV20:2020, the 1st NIP and Transformation Agenda, through the provision of evidence - based research and policy advice. The contract agreement was designed to measure performance of public office holders in governance, and aimed at providing effective budget implementation and service delivery to Nigerians and also to ensure a paradigm shift to Results Based Management: from ‘’financial and output’’ to ‘’performance and outcome’’ measurement Usman reported that the Commission’s seven agreed performance outcomes are in the areas of effective coordination of plans implementation, effective monitoring and evaluation of policies, programmes and projects, and effective management of the statistical system. Others are, managerial capacity building for national develop-

ment, coordination of development assistance and provision of evidence based research and policy advice and provision of policy regulatory and administrative services. The Minister listed some of the key outputs achieved by the Commission in line with the agreed performance outcomes during the just ended year as 32 policy research and 8 policy dialogues have been undertaken by the commission, in its quest to provide evidence-based research and policy advice, amongst others. In the area of Monitoring and Evaluation (M & E) Policies, Usman disclosed that 30 Federal MDAs were now using scorecard, and that 10 M&E Reports had also been produced by the Commission while 40 MDAs had established their M&E units so far.

FG boosts grid capacity with 150MVA transformer CHIDI UGWU ABUJA

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ederal Government yesterday boosted the nation’s power grid capacity following the successful installation of a new 150MVA, 330/132/33kV power transformer in Ayede Transmission Station, Ibadan, Oyo State by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN). Electricity consumers in Oyo and Ogun states may now hieve a sigh of relief as the new transformer is expected to greatly improve supply in the regions. In a statement signed by the company’s Assistant General Manager (Public Affairs), Mr. Dave Ifabiyi, the new 150MVA power transformer was provided by the World Bank, through the Power Holding Company of

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viation Security, AVSEC of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) yesterday arrested two passengers aboard Med-View Airlines when they attempted to steal N1.5million belonging to another passenger onboard. The arrested passengers were on their way to the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport (NAA), Abuja before they were arrested by AVSEC. An online statement signed by the General Manager, CorpoL-R: Managing Director, Greenview Development Nigeria Limited, Alhaji Bukar Hassan; Managing rate Communications, FAAN, Director, Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc, Engr. Abdullahi Sule and Managing Director, Dangote Ports Mr. Yakubu Dati stated that Operations, Captain Joshua Oyewunmi (Rtd), during the commissioning of Dangote Sugar Refinery Ultra the money was kept inside the Modern Cloakroom, in Lagos on Wednesday.

B

anks operating in the country may report increased loan losses from next year amid growth in lending, according to Standard & Poor’s. Banks are expected to see loans and deposits rise 20 per cent to 30 per cent this year helped by foreign exchange and non-oil industry lending, said Matthew Pirnie, a Johannesburg-based analyst at S&P. Lenders had “muted” credit growth last year of about 12 percent as they pushed down ratios of non-performing loans, he said. Nigerian banks are returning to health after a debt crisis in 2008 and 2009 triggered by loans given to stock market speculators. The Central Bank of Nigeria, led by Governor Lamido Sanusi, began a reform of the industry and

fired eight chief executives of the country’s 24 banks and the government set up the Asset Management Corp. of Nigeria, or Amcon, to buy the debts and stabilize the banking industry. “We expect increased losses in 2014 to 2015,” Pirnie said in an e-mailed reply to questions yesterday. “We tend to see quite short credit cycles in Nigeria.” S&P rates six of the nation’s banks, which reported higher profits and loan growth last year. Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Nigeria’s largest lender by market value and rated BB- by S&P, said yesterday that profit for 2012 jumped 69 percent as loans and deposits grew. Zenith Bank Plc, the third-largest and also rated BB- by S&P, said profit for the year more than doubled to 100.6 billion naira ($635 million). Loan book diversification is

happening “slowly” as there are unknown risks to lending in areas such as agriculture, said Pirnie. “Lending is still to a narrow group of large corporates with banks holding many of the same names in their portfolios,” he said. The West African nation’s economy is forecast to expand more than 7 percent this year, compared with 6.3 percent last year, the International Monetary Fund said in a March 28 statement. Amcon’s cleanup, supported by political stability and economic growth, will spur expansion of the country’s banking industry this year, S&P said in a March 13 report. Benchmark interest rates, held by the central bank at a record high since October 2011, have helped Nigerian lenders make money, said Pirnie.

Nigeria (PHCN)’s Project Monitoring Unit (PMU). The newly commissioned transformer replaces a previously failed 150MVA, 330/132/33kV power transformer in the same transmission station. According to the statement, the installation of the new 150MVA 330/132/33kV power transformer was successfully carried out by Areva Alston Engineering, in conjunction with TCN engineers, thereby increasing the wheeling capacity of the Ayede Transmission Station from 300MVA to 450MVA. TCN also said that with the increased capacity of the Ayede Transmission Substation, it can now wheel more electricity to Ibadan Metropolis as well as the Shagamu and Ijebu Ode 132/33kV Transmission Substations.

FAAN security arrest thieving passengers aboard Med-View Airlines OLUSEGUN KOIKI

Banks to see increased loan losses next year says S&P

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compartment of the aircraft as hand luggage. Yakubu stated that the flight, which was scheduled to depart the Murtala Mohammed Airport Two, MMA2, at 9.00am was delayed as a result of the incident. He explained that the AVSEC personnel got wind of the incident when one of the cabin crew of Med-View Airlines engaged in a hot argument with two passengers over missing money inside the aircraft. He added that two of the passengers who were suspected by the passenger who raised the alarm were later subjected to body search and substantial amounts of money were found on them.

Guinness gets recognition for supporting water sector STANLEY IHEDIGBO

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uinness Nigeria Plc, a key player in the country’s beverage industry has been recognized by the Ministry of Water Resources and Rural Water and Sanitation Initiative (RWASI), as the Most Socially Responsible Private Sector Company supporting government to ensure the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for safe water and sanitation in the country. Speaking during the 2013 Water Awards commemorating the World Water Day in Abuja, Honorable Minister for Water Resources, Mrs. Serah Ochekpe, said, “Guinness Nigeria’s commitment to improving access to potable water and sanitation in rural and urban areas of the coun-

try through integrated water resources projects is commendable. “The company has shown outstanding commitment to the development of the water sector by delivering effective and efficient water projects to a large number of Nigerians. For its commitment, we are presenting Guinness Nigeria a special recognition award as the Most Socially Responsible Private Sector Company to encourage it to do more to support the water sector.” While calling on private sector organizations to emulate Guinness Nigeria to enable the country achieve 100 per cent access to potable water by 2025, she also urged the three tiers of government, especially the local government, being the closest to the people to treat the provision of potable water as a priority.


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Targeting youths to leverage software development

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igeria is today recognised as the largest Information and Communication Technology market in Africa, given its large population while its market potential is currently being tapped by foreign companies who gravitate to the nation’s economy the day. While she also recognises the huge potential in software sector and what would be its significant contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product, if well harnessed, not much is being done until recently, concerning purposive leveraging of software as a major source of revenue for the country. Acknowledging the potential of the industry, the Director-General of the National Information Technology development Agency, Prof. Cleopas Angaye, recently told National Mirror that the industry was worth $6 billion in Nigeria. Also, the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), has unequivocally submitted that potential revenue of software sector into the nation’s economy was estimated at N200 billion annually. Gartner, a global research firm, has projected that global IT spending will hit $3.7 trillion by the end of 2013, noting that software spending will reach $158 billion by 2016. Meanwhile, Angaye noted that the industry can surpass the contribution from the oil industry, especially as the software industry is not a capital intensive sector, stressing that the software industry is of utmost importance to future competitiveness for economies across the globe especially with its halo effect in creating related business opportunities. In Nigeria, the development of IT in almost all sectors of the economy has led to considerable investment mostly on imported software especially in the financial, telecommunications, oil and gas and both public and private sector. According to the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion, Nigeria currently records about N10 billion annual capital flight in various technology transfer frees, where software is an important element. In 2007 alone, India’s software services industry employed about two million people and contributed about 4.8 per cent of India’s GDP while available records show that India exports software and services to nearly 95 countries around the world. It is on this basis that experts in the ICT sector have called for a purposive action aimed at building capacity building among the youths as a measure for retooling the country’s work force; venture capital opportunities for budding and promising young IT entrepreneurs as well as sustain extant public and private initiatives aimed at development Nigeria’s software industry with focus on the youth. Nigeria has a large youth population that can be leveraged and according to World Bank statistics, with 60.3 per cent youth population she is definitely a nation to reckon with in the emerging information society. As such, experts are of the opinion that if youths can channel their energy into a more productive activity, such as ICT with special interest in software development, such move will not only reduce the army

To leverage the potential of software sector in driving economic development, experts say attention must be focused on building capacity among Nigeria’s IT entrepreneurs. KUNLE AZEEZ writes.

Automation software (inset) Johnson

WITH 60.3 PER CENT YOUTH POPULATION, NIGERIA IS DEFINITELY A NATION TO RECKON WITH IN THE EMERGING INFORMATION SOCIETY of unemployed youths in the country, but also jumpstart the economy into becoming more competitive in the global IT space. However, while software prospects remain bright and there are people to leverage in terms of capacity building to drive the industry, accessing capital for its development has become a challenge for young entrepreneurs in Nigeria. According to a United States study, ICT software and services are dominated by the developed world but developing economies are catching up, as funding has been a major hindrance for software entrepreneurs. Apart from low venture capital, the study shows that piracy, poor ICT infrastructure and inadequate protection of intellectual property rights as some of the major challenges hindering ICT software development and service expansion in developing regions such as Africa. In spite of these challenges impeding growth of software sector, the report maintained that local software production and development can spur economic growth in Africa and other developing economies. The report urged governments in developing countries, regarded as potential significant buyers of software, to help the software sector by putting in place policy measures to facilitate the development of affordable ICT infrastructure and introducing legal frameworks to protect intellectual property rights. Similarly, at a recent ISPON’s forum, stakeholders espoused the need for government to improve local software development in Nigeria. Speaking at that forum, the founder, Visafone Nigeria and former President, Nigeria Internet Group, Mr. Jim Ovia, said despite several challenges, the coun-

try recognises software practitioners as capable of boosting the economic lot of the country. According to him, there is need to encourage, motivate and inspire ICT entrepreneurs, stressing capacity and passion were two major things required in ICT development. He said that private sector must be willing and ready to support local initiatives whenever they are called upon while government would do well by implementing friendly policies that encourage funding, capacity building and patronage of local capacity. He called for more innovation from Nigerians, stressing that a major breakthrough in new technology will put the country on a higher pedestal. “We have the opportunities, population, direction and forecasts favour Nigeria. Therefore, the way to go for ICT practitioners is to continue to innovate and continue to think of meeting the needs of users. Microsoft, Apple, Dell, HP, Facebook, Amazon, Oracle are all American firms. “They have been on for long and remained very strong. There must have been a pattern of encouragement that makes all of them to remain strong and that is one lesson we must learn in Nigeria. They get local patronage,” he stated. In the same token, ISPON President, Dr. Chris Uwaje, noted that 2012 was a year of multiple challenges for the ICT sector in terms of venture capital investment, adoption of national software strategy, policy and patronage for indigenous software. However, Uwaje said there was a need to look at the 2013 ICT outlook and its windows of opportunities for IT entrepreneurs, with particular reference to software startups. “The comfortable mantra seeking to explain the inability to designate special

funding scheme to promote innovation and youth entrepreneurship start-up development on the grounds of lack of realistic for lending opportunities collateral for lending opportunities, is to state the least, a blatant misinformation to the pioneers and champions of software Nigeria,” he stated. Vice Chancellor, Covenant University, Ogun State, Prof. C.K. Ayo, also speaking at the ISPON forum said; “If software development must attract venture capital, there is need to resolve the missing link in the nation’s knowledge capacity; stimulate software capacity development amongst Nigerian youths; recognise and mentor the best software start-up of the year and turn Nigeria into a globally recognised software development nation.” He lamented that over 90 per cent of the total ICT software and infrastructure used in Nigeria by corporate bodies government and individuals are imported. Meanwhile, there have been some public private partnership initiatives going on to build software capacity and make venture capital available to growing and startup software entrepreneurs. These include the much-awaited $15 million venture capital fund for software developers, which the Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson has promised that the government would launch before the end of April this year. Also, Microsoft, Nokia and Blackberry are running various initiatives, all directed at empowering young software developers, in both enterprise applications but in mobile applications. The companies are collaborating with Co-Creation Hub, a privately driven software incubation centre and other IT hubs in the country. These young entrepreneurs to be developed in the various schemes are expected to join few other successful software companies such as Systemspecs, Connect technologies and others towards building an ICT industry where local content and capacity play vital role.


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Info Tech

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Nigeria loses 70% PC market to foreign brands KUNLE A ZEEZ

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ver 70 per cent of Nigeria’s personal computer market is controlled by foreign PC brands of HP, Dell and others, Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, has said. The minister disclosed at a recent summit in Lagos, where she provided insights on the current state of the country’s Information and Communication technology industry. According to the minister, Nigeria’s ICT industry is dominated by multi-nationals, which she said needed to be reversed for Nigeria to record “true development” through ICT. Though, she noted that ICT currently accounts for over 5 per cent contribution to the country’s Gross Domestic Product, concerted effort is required to reverse the situation. She also said that, “Hundred per cent of mobile phone market share is controlled by

foreign mobile device manufacturers” without any local firm manufacturing phones in the country. “Also, 78 per cent market share of mobile network operators are controlled by multinationals and there is a need for this also to change,” she added. She pointed out that the domination by foreign firms in the ICT companies in Nigeria both in the area of hardware and software is robbing the country of huge amount of money in capital flight. “For instance, data from the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion reveals that the country loses over N10 billion in technology transfer agreement fees to capital flight annually,” she said. In Nigeria, original equipment manufacturers and assemblers such as Zinox, Omatek and the not-too-visiblet Beta, Briam and Veda computers have been facing a number of challenges ranging from poor access to

funding, inadequate patronage, unfavourable perception about the quality of locally-assembled PCs which have all conspired again their competitiveness. The minister, who noted that the poor patronage from the general public has made indigenous OEMs highly dependent on government contracts, also said, “Tariffs and duties put local companies at a disadvantage and do not reflect high cost of local production.” But as government, through the National Information Technology Development Agency is putting measures in place to tackle the issue of quality and standards in locally-assembled computers, the minister also spotted inadequate manpower as a factor that has been making it difficult to participate in key ICT areas. She said: “Domestic value addition and local participation in key ICT areas is sub-optimal due to inadequate skills and unsupportive enabling environment.”

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Tech Box Sony Xperia Z:

Designed with unparalleled features

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ony Mobile Communications, one of the frontline mobile device makers, recently showcased its new innovation in mobile technology with the introduction into the Nigerian market of its flagship Android smartphone, the Xperia Z. The multi-faceted phone was unveiled at Lagos Oriental Hotel, in the presence of top officials from Sony Mobile. The Nigerian launch is the second after the Dubai launch of the products last month. The reason according to Sony Mobile officials was to underscore the importance that the new company attached to the Nigerian market as a hub of its mobile activities in Africa. The new Xperia Z boasts a range of unparalleled features, including a 5” Full HD 1080p Reality Display, Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor, the Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2 and a 13 megapixel fast-capture camera. Offering the ‘best of Sony in a smartphone’, the device uses advanced technology from Sony’s entire range of multimedia products. The company’s Marketing Manager Africa, Younes Cherkaoui, at the launch declared that

“the Xperia Z is a gamechanger in smartphone technology. It has generated a great deal of excitement inter nationally since its official launch at the CES in Las Vegas. We anticipate the ultimate range of rich user experiences offered on this stellar model from the Xperia range to increase the momentum several times over in key African markets and Nigeria is one of these key markets.” Xperia Z’s razor sharp Reality Display, powered by Mobile BRAVIA Engine 2, brings Sony’s long-standing TV expertise to the smartphone and delivers an immersive viewing experience with super brightness and clarity. The smartphone shares capabilities with Sony digital cameras and features Exmor RS for mobile, the world’s first image sensor with High Dynamic Range video recording for smartphones.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0:

Offering multi-tasking capabilities

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L-R: Country Manager, Microsoft Nigeria, Mr. Emmanuel Onyeje; Partner Manager, Developer Experience, Nokia West Africa, Mr. Olumide Balogun; Developer & Platform Evangelism Lead, Microsoft Nigeria, Mr. Oyeshina Oyetosho, during the announcement of Microsoft 9jApps Competition in Lagos recently.

ATCON charges members on global cellular conference KUNLE A ZEEZ

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ssociation of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria is currently mobilising its member companies to take active part in the 2013 edition of the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA), Wireless conference. In a circular by ATCON, which was signed by its Executive Secretary, Mr. Jibola Olude, the telecoms body said: “We would like to use this opportunity to inform you that the Commercial Service of the United States Mission to Nigeria is organising an official Nigerian delegation to CTIA Wireless 2013. Scheduled to hold from May 21 to 23, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada, CTIA is an international organisation that represents all elements of wireless communications such as cellular, personal communications

services, enhanced mobile radio, and mobile satellite services, serving service providers, manufacturers and suppliers. ATCON said CTIA Wireless is a high ranking wireless show in North America, representing the fastest growing, most dynamic segments of the telecom industry comprising wireless communications, internet, computing and mobile data. According to the Nigerian telecoms association, in addition to drawing the traditional wireless audience of network providers, carriers and manufacturers, it also brings in other industries that are being revolutionised by wireless technology including healthcare, government, education, automotive and entertainment. ATCON statement said: “The CTIA Wireless show 2013 is expected to feature more than 50,000 qualified attendees from across the United States and from around

the world. It will host over 1,000 exhibitors; attracts more than 1,100 press and analysts worldwide, and offer top-level speakers and the most comprehensive educational programming in the industry. “Product categories to be demonstrated at the International CTIA Wireless 2013 include all segments of the wireless, fixedmobile convergence, broadband communications, internet, computing and mobile data industries, including application and software providers / carriers; content providers and aggregators as well as a fixed wireless providers.” Others, according to ATCON, include gaming and m-entertainment developers; Internet Service Providers; land mobile radio; components manufacturers; hardware and infrastructure; original equipment manufacturers; software developers; telephone handsets and accessories.

amsung Electronics, the world’s leading electronic manufacturer has again blazed the trail of innovation with the launch of a new tablet specifically designed to add value to lives of its consumers whether at work or at play. The sleek new tablet, Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is a compact device offering convenient, multitasking capabilities and sophisticated S Pen features for the busy, modern and creative person. Speaking on the product, Samsung’s Managing Director, Samsung Electronics West Africa, Mr. Brovo Kim, described the latest product as a slim and compact onthe-go work and play companion, which brings powerful performance and functionality support even to the most demanding of lifestyles. “The GALAXY Note 8.0 tablet has the power and advanced technology to evolve the tablet experience and ensure consumers achieve efficient multi-tasking. Using an intelligent S Pen, you can now enjoy the ease of a traditional pen and paper with the latest in Samsung notebook technological innovation, creating a sophisticated mobile experience that will enhance life on the go.” He said. Shedding more light on some of the features of the product,

Head of Sales, Hand Held Products at Samsung Electronics West Africa, Mr. Olumide Ojo, said the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 is packed with features to engage, entertain and excite. “The GALAXY Note 8.0 supports users’ practical everyday needs. Reading Mode transforms the GALAXY Note 8.0 into an eBook reader, providing optimal reading conditions to help ensure consumers can curl up and enjoy a good book.” Samsung also introduced its HomeSync, a home hub solution that is a shared storage fit for a family, the best entertainment experience on a big screen TV, and a new way of enjoying your HDTV through a familiar and smarter Android user experience. The HomeSync’s 1TB drive can synchronize multiple devices, support eight separate accounts to cover a whole family, allows each user to upload and download content from multiple devices and instantly share with other family members.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Many Nigerians have tagged past national rebranding projects as huge failures, but stakeholders within the marketing communication industry and the government argued at a just concluded forum that repositioning Nigeria goes beyond sloganeering. ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI reports.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Brands & Marketing

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Why rebranding Nigeria failed

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o issue has ever assumed serious public discourse in recent times within the marketing communications industry than rebranding and repositioning Nigeria as a business friendly nation with huge market and good people. While there has been so much hype about how power of rebranding could do the magic, stakeholders are beginning to ask the government to get serious about true rebranding, which according to them start from the wellbeing of the citizens and committed leadership. At the just concluded VERDANT ZEAL 2013 Innovention Lecture series, stakeholders tasked government to readdress the rebranding campaign through a process that will make the citizens, local investors, media and other entities portray the country to the outside world as truly worthy brand. Although, a recent report by findmehotels. com said the country is the ninth most visited country in Africa with 1.4 million arrivals, the leading destination of foreigners in West Africa and more favoured by usual tourist destinations such as Kenya and Namibia but as it appears, stakeholder’s opinion is that Nigeria’s image remains largely negative despite an improvement in Transparency International’s perception ranking from 139 in 2011 to 143 in 2012. While addressing stakeholders at the forum, Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, said the reason past rebranding projects failed was largely due to public apathy. “A few years ago, Professor Dora Akunyili, who was then the Minister of Information, launched a campaign to rebrand Nigeria. The campaign slogan was Nigeria: Good People, Great Nation. Despite the best of intentions, the campaign was not only dismissed by most Nigerians, it failed to gain traction. In the few months that the controversy over the campaign lasted, much of it was about deriding the campaign, rather than enhancing the image of Nigeria. Before this, there was another attempt to brand the country. That earlier attempt had a different, but no less rousing, slogan: ‘Nigeria, Heart of Africa,’ he said. According to Fayemi, The Economist of London summed up the (re)branding efforts in an epigram: Good people, impossible mission. While the respected international magazine reported that the previous exercise failed, and there is little reason to expect the latest one to do much better, Fayemi affirmed that there is need for government to tackle the country’s fundamental problems such as power

Olugbodi

shortages, crime and corruption before worrying about its rebranding. In the same vein, the Group Managing Director of SO&U Limited, Mr. Uffot Udeme, said rebranding Nigeria is a nightmare and goes beyond sloganeering. He said the effort demands strong alignment of people’s actions and values, which suggest to the world how the nation is perceived. “Nation branding is not arrived at through sloganeering, it cannot be conjured through any wishful thinking, it must be delivered through actions and attitudes that have been shaped by values and principles that are held dear by majority of the populace. Those values over time become a part of the culture of the people. To build a sustainable Brand Nigeria, we must revisit our values as a nation and chart for ourselves a new course that will engender the respect of the rest of the world,” he said. To have a positive brand name, Udeme, tasked both office holders and the citizens to engage in actions that will stop Nigeria from being ranked amongst the world’s most corrupt nations, full of advance fee fraudsters, a transit point

Udeme

Fayemi

NATION BRANDING IS NOT ARRIVED AT THROUGH

SLOGANEERING, IT CANNOT BE CONJURED THROUGH ANY

WISHFUL THINKING, IT MUST BE DELIVERED THROUGH ACTIONS AND ATTITUDES of illicit drug trade, no respect for rule of law, time-wasting in seeking redress in the law court, worthless educational certificates and a nation where nothing works. Udeme said the moment Nigeria could do away with these perceptions; there would be new sense of identity and pride which can be leveraged on to reposition her to the world. “Keying an effective values reorientation programme into this wave of creativity and self awareness can

unleash a potential that can launch brand Nigeria to heights that can only be imagined,” he concluded. However, the Chief Executive Officer/ Managing Director of Verdant Zeal, Mr. Tunji Olugbodi, believes there is need to have a new brand name for Nigeria, the country needs creative thinkers as leaders who can set agenda with strong will to power the rebranding Nigeria. “We believe what our nation needs, in large doses, is less of Ogas at the top but more creative and constructive thinkers who can set a new agenda that breeds progressive growth. We believe what our nation needs to do is to expense energy on agendas that emancipate us from the shackles of ignorance and retrogressive practices, such as the development of the human creative capital. “We are hopeful that through Invention and innovation we can further achieve emotional balance in our national life by pointing in the direction and helping to foster brands that are organically Nigerian so we can be in good stead with the gold rush, that has made Nigeria an attractive destination for investment, despite all odds,” he said.

Experiential marketing conference to reshape industry –Expert

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ith the projected surge of 35 per cent by 2015 in global experiential marketing budgets, the marketing communication industry in Nigeria must re-strategise to maximally benefit from this trend, Redbutton International has advised. The increase in the budget, according to the company, signifies a slight restructure of conventional advertising budgets, with a view to supporting experiential marketing initiatives, as growing convergent technologies will keep encouraging digitalexperiential bodies to invest in real-time, on-premise consumer connection points. To further strengthen the industry and position the players strategically, Redbutton International is organising a two-day national conference in Lagos with the theme: The Experiential Marketing Para-

digm- What Today is saying about Tomorrow. Spokesperson for Redbutton International, Mrs. Funmilayo Elliott, said the conference will discuss trends in the marketing communications industry and how experiential marketing is set to take center stage. “The link between conventional, digital and experiential marketing as exists in international communities will also be exposed and discussed. There will be exhibition points for brands to showcase their products and services”, she added. She listed speakers expected at the conference scheduled for the Civic Centre, Lagos on the 28th and 29th of June to include renowned global speakers and Experiential Marketing gurus, Erik Hauser, a chief experiential methodology strategist, Executive Creative Director Epicenterx USA,

Founder Experiential Marketing Forum and Founder International Experiential Marketing Association (IXMA) and Max Lenderman, Executive Creative Director MDC Partners. He’s also the Director Outeractive at Crispin, Porter + Bogusky, an author, and a global speaker on subjects of strategic branding, experiential marketing and emerging global business trends. Speakers with hands-on experience in the Nigerian marketing industry include, Folake Ani-Mumuney, Head, Marketing and Corporate Communications, First Bank Group. She previously served as Chief Marketing and Communications Officer for the Dangote Group, and held various roles with British Airways Plc., managing diverse portfolios. She has vast understanding on creating brand experiences with consumers.


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Brands & Marketing

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Nigeria prepares for AUC-backed first African PR summit STORIES: ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI

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ollowing support from the African Union Commission (AUC), Nigeria is prepared to be part of the first All African Public Relations & Strategic Communication Summit tagged: APRA Addis Ababa 2013, holding in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from May 8 to 10. This fact was stated by the APRA Secretary General, Mr. Yomi Badejo-Okusanya at a press briefing recently to kick start Nigeria’s preparation for the APRA’s first Africa Public Relations & Strategic Communications Summit. Badejo-Okusanya disclosed that the choice of Ethiopia for this year’s flagship event is not accidental but strategic to enable APRA get closer to the seat of the AU, especially as the organisation marks 50 years of its existence. “In fact, you will be pleased to

know that the first All Africa Public Relations & Strategic Communication Summit has been designated as one of the official events to mark the 50th Anniversary of the African Union, a fact which we are immensely proud of”, he said. Consequently he added, “The ultimate goal of the conference will be to set a communication agenda for Africa. While a Road map for positioning Africa in the global context will be produced at the end of the conference. The conference will also produce and catalyze the much needed synergy between the AU, national governments, communications professionals, the media and of course the people of Africa towards the ultimate goal of a positively viewed Africa.” He said that the summit will provide a glorious moment for public relations in Africa to be recognised at the highest of levels

on the continent. “To this end, the 2013 APRA Summit has earned the recognition and support of the African Union Commission whose Deputy Chairperson, His Excellency, Mr. Erastus Mwencha opined that the summit is even more timely as the commission is in the process of building a continental communication campaign that defines the true essence of Africa, Africans and the Union, an initiative he hoped APRA will play a significant part in. In line with this, Mwencha called for greater collaborative effort between the AUC and APRA, asking that the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between both organisations should be executed swiftly,” said Badejo-Okusanya. With the theme, Rising Africa: The Imperative of Communication, Badejo-Okusanya, said it is very profound and apt against the background of the 50th Anniversary of the AU.

The Asagba of Asaba, Professor Chike Edozien and Promotions Manager, Grand Oak Limited, Mr. Olumide Adeyemi, during the presentation of certificate of participation to Grand Oak Limited at this year’s Anioma Cultural Festival held in Asaba recently.

StarTimes offers more channels across all bouquets ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI

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ithout increasing its price, NTA STAR TVStarTimes, the leading and award winning Digital Terrestrial Television pay TV provider in Nigeria, has announced a new offering of Easter to subscribers. Tagged: Easter Family Reward, the Public Relations Manager of the Pay TV, Mr. Irete Anetor said in Lagos on Wednesday that the three bumper family package for the Easter season comes with more channels across all the bouquet at no extra cost while the M35 mobile TV has been slashed for StarTimes subscribers during the period of the promo. “StarTimes more Channel, same price campaign is to ensure that its new and existing subscribers in Nigeria enjoy quality,

affordable digital entertainment with upgrades of its various bouquets. Basic bouquet for N1,000 can now enjoy 35 channels to its former 32; Classic bouquet for N2,000 can enjoy 55 channels to its former 45 channels and the Unique Bouquet for N4,000 can enjoy over 70 plus channels. The upgrade and unification of the bouquets is to afford every one of its subscribers great entertainment in digital broadcasting,” said Iretor. According to him, the new stations include African Movie Channel, a 24 hour Nollywood movies Channel;Europe sport News, latest top sports information in the world; B4U Movies, the first premium Bollywood movie pay channel; Television Continental News (TVC NEWS), a pan Africa new channel; TLC, primarily focus towards realitystyle series involving lifestyles, family life, and personal sto-

ries. Other channels include, MCS Sport International, the English version of MCS Sports Channel, which features soccer, basketball, Golf, wrestling, kick-boxing and CCTV Documentary, NTA Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa. “It’s more exciting channels for the viewing pleasure of all our subscribers,” he said. Irete said further that with the new package which ends in May, the subscribers to StarTimes Easter Family Reward can save up to one thousand naira on purchase of a Decoder and antenna plus 10 meter cable with Free Door To Door home Service while existing subscribers can also enjoy on recharge to any bouquet and get an Antenna with 10 meters cable at a discounted rate of N1500 and also still enjoy Free Door To Door home service.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

GTB sponsors seminar on Autism week

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n an effort to sustain its brand equity in the corporate social responsibility and sustainability reporting driven-corporate world, GTBank has unveiled plans to raise awareness about Autism during the GTBak Autism Week. While speaking to the press alongside its partner, Blazing Trail International, on Tuesday, the General Manager and Corporate Head, Corporate Communications and External Affairs, Mrs. Lola Odedina said the GTBank sponsored initiative with an Orange Ribbon was initiated to ensure continuous societal awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorder, to stimulate advocacy establishment of comprehensive and inclusive school for affected children as well as integrate centre

for adults, to sponsor, support and protect the right of individuals living with developmental disabilities. She said the initiative is also to encourage government and practice organization to fund research in Autism and to reorientate societal thinking regarding the fallacies concerning ASD. In its season three, Odedina said the Autism week seminar Wife of the Lagos State governor, Dame Abimbola Fashola in attendance while many governors and key government officials are also being consulted to partner GTBank initiative. “We are working with our partners Blazing Trail International to raise awareness and educate parents about the disorder,” she said.

Truconact announces theme for 2013 SERA Awards

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n a continuous bid to make Nigerian companies socially responsible to their host communities, Trucontact, the organiser of the Nigeria CSR Awards (The SERAs Awards) has announced the theme for this year award. Tagged, Shaping the Future through Innovative Value Creation: Making a World of Difference the managing partner, Mr. Ken Egbas during a press briefing in Lagos recently said the award is coming up on the September 21 at the Shell hall of the Muson centre, Onikan. Egbas said the 2013 SERAs will identifying and showcasing how Nigerian businesses are creating shared values in a manner that benefits the business enterprise as well as its various stakeholders. He said further that SERA

Awards will look at innovative thinking and strategies that create and adding value while differentiating their brands because they are bold, deliberate and not afraid to stand apart in a bid to rewrite history. “In this edition we are going to tell soul-stirring stories of brands that have begun and will continue in the near future to impact positively the environmental, social and governance structures in the place where they do business. However, the awards will be handed out in several categories such as labour/employment practices, human rights, enviromental sustainability, most improved CSR, sustainable stakeholder engagement and Tumise Adekunle Award for CSR reporting for journalists.”

LaffMattazz: Squadron treats customers to Easter funfair

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quadron Dark Rum and Action Bitters brands from the stable of Intercontinental Distillers Limited have fulfilled their promise during the Easter, bringing refreshing experiences to consumers in Ibadan for musical and comedy show. Tagged “THE HOME-COMING,” the Distillers sponsored the show to connect the consumers with the two brands by bringing a leading Nigerian stand-up comedian, Gbenga Adeyinka, on its Laffmattazz to his home town to celebrate the Easter period with the consumers. The event, which featured comedy, music and dance, was done to promote the city as a prominent place on the continent. While speaking at the event, the Brand Manager of Squadron Blended Dark Rum, Mr Zekeri Dokpesi, said “the company plans

to partner with Laffmattazz, every year, to bring out the fun and excitement in the people. This is so because; the brand is very much interested in the success of the Nigerian entertainment industry, this is therefore, one of the major reasons it partners with Laffmattazz”. The event, which was well attended by personalities, had in attendance the First Lady of Oyo State, Mrs Florence Ajimobi; the Commissioner for Lands, Rural and Urban renewal in Osun state, Muyiwa Ige and leading personalities in the Nigerian entertainment industry such as Doris Simeon, Muyiwa Ademola, Olumide Bakare and Bidemi Kosoko. Other celebs brought by the brand were Funke Akindele, Davido, Dammy Krane, Jaywon, MayD, LKT, Omo Baba, Lepacious Bose, Owen G, Baba and Gboin.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Brands & Marketing

Thursday, April 4, 2013

ad VA NT AG E icon

‘Digital still treated as lost cousin of advertising’ Princewill Omorogiuwa, a Chartered Marketer and Chief Executive Officer of Simon Page Business School, in this interview, explains the imperative of digital marketing in driving brands in competitive market. He spoke with ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI Digital marketing is redefining competition across brands, how much has Nigerian brand and marketing managers deployed this tool for competitive advantage? Poorly. Deploying digital marketing for competitive advantage presupposes that the discipline is thoroughly understood and has been aligned with core marketing deliverables in order to deliver superior value to customers and organisations. The issue in Nigeria currently is that digital is still being treated as a long lost cousin of advertising. An afterthought that is added with a post-it-note to a marketing communications campaign without any thought given to its integration. Thus, as a tool for dynamic marketing engagement with so much potential, this continues to be a under utilised tool. Corporate Nigeria has not yet woken up to the potential that digital marketing presents for customer engagement, cost saving, research through direct feedback, reputation management etc. Though there are some examples of some very limited uptake and deployment by some corporates, we are far from the notion where marketing thinks digital, first. Simon Page is a leading and modern professional training school, what has been your experience with brand and marketing managers during your training as regard their level of knowledge in digital marketing? There is a lot of enthusiasm

programmes as well as our digital marketing conferences. These are designed to ensure that we bridge the knowledge gaps and ensure that our professionals are able to compete globally.

Omorogiuwa

IT WILL TAKE SOME TIME BEFORE WE GET TO THAT

POINT IN NIGERIA BECAUSE THERE ARE ENTRENCHED MEDIA PLAYERS, HABITS AND CULTURES from our delegates about digital marketing. Remember that we attract professional people who want to remain relevant in the changing world of business. Currently, as a leading provider of professional digital marketing training, we are making a much needed contribution to the development of digital marketing capability within the country. Naturally, one of the reasons digital is poorly practiced is a lack of understanding of how it works and this is what we are seeking to address through our training

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Has digital marketing come to overtake the traditional means especially as we are witnessing rising wave of web commerce or marketing? This has already happened in some markets like the UK and the USA. However, it will take some time before we get to that point in Nigeria because there are entrenched media players, habits and cultures. Regardless, the objective is not really for primacy of digital over traditional. It is about effectiveness of marketing. This simply means that we need to deploy the most effective tools for achieving our marketing goals as cost effectively as possible. With that in mind, you will quickly realise that digital does have a role to play in helping organisations realise both their marketing and corporate goals. You are holding a conference on Deploying Digital Marketing for Competitive Advantage, what issue are you addressing? We want to focus on the value that digital adds to organisations as a whole. Competitive advantage means that there is something that you are able to do better than the competition. Thus, we want to be able to demonstrate that with digital marketing, you can indeed help your organisation deliver better returns.

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ictor Dairo, Deputy Creative Director of Prima Garnet, is a scion of the legendary highlife musical maestro, I.K Dairo. Barely after his father’s death, he has spent his time nurturing his younger brother, Paul Play Dairo and other young artists thinking that he could leverage on his father’s legacy. But when some of his father’s friends could not support them from continuing his father’s legacy, Dairo ventured into advertising. However, the Fine Art graduate of Yaba College of Technology grew to become one of the rare breeds in the creative industry. Coming from a family with musical talent, it was easy for Dairo to connect with advertising while his training in art of painting and graphics of communication at Yabatech further gave him a nitch among his peers in the industry. Dairo cut his professional teeth at Kelvin and Associates and later moved to Insight Communications where he said he first got the real drill as professional creative egg head. He later moved to SO & U Saatchi Saatchi. With the level of his working experience at the leading creative ad agencies, he was poached by STB McCann Erickson before he found a nest at Prima Garnet where he presently works. Born on November 16, 1961 which he often prefer to write creatively as 161161, He has worked on leading brands and

Dairo

THE FINE ART GRADUATE OF

YABA COLLEGE OF TECHNOLOGY GREW TO BECOME ONE OF THE RARE BREEDS IN THE CREATIVE INDUSTRY his works has dot many billboards, TV, press among other point of exposure to leverage key brands in Nigeria. Such brands that have felt his creative spark includes GTB, Fidelity, CocaCola, Maggi, Pfizer, Shell Petroleum, Unilever, Chams, Sheraton Hotel & Towers, Royco, ABC Wax, UNTL, among others. Dairo is an Associate Member of APCON.

Deepening brand penetration

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everal years ago, it was portrayed as foreign brand with a local market presence. However, over the years, it has made significant inroads to retain a strong brand pedigree. Multichoice has adapted several innovative strategies to localise its contents and develop enriching programming for its teeming audience. It is not surprising then that Multichoice has invested N15billion in locally produced programmes for its audience in Nigeria. Through this, Multichoice has impacted the capabilities and competences of local producers. The Multichoice brand has remained dynamic and consistently striving to raise the bar. The brand has been able to meet the yearnings and aspirations of the Nigerian audience. The huge investment in local content development is

poised to meet the desired expectations of the audience. There is nothing wrong with a brand having a foreign flavour but it should colour its image with a strong local brand presence that resonate with the target audience. This is one issue that some brands are yet to adopt as fundamental to building brand equity. A notable feature of the Multichoice brand is its mass appeal across key consumer segments and connecting with a new generation of audience. Its efforts to align with the values and lifestyle of the audience are equally commendable. The Multichoice brand has never stopped its neverending cycle of constant improvement. It has remained dynamic and vibrant. It has created a niche for its brand thus making it difficult for competitors to destabilise the balance of added value of its

Brand X-Ray with Ayodeji Ayopo Tel: 08023448199 E-mail: mayomipo@yahoo.com established presence. Through its brand offerings DStv and GOtv, Multichoice has been able to capture the market not only to increase brand visibility but also to deepen penetration. The offerings of Multichoice brands are anchored on creativity, excitement and entertainment. This creates a compelling experience for the consumers to maintain both physically and emotional attachments to the brand. The renewed focus on customer satisfaction is key to retaining strong

brand pedigree. The investment in local content production is a veritable way to bridge the gap through innovation and value service. Through its innovative strategies, it has been able to deliver more value to the audience and raising the bar of differentiation. The business model of the company is commendable and it is one worthy of emulation by other brands. According to Multichoice CEO, John Ugbe, several programmes commis-

sioned initially have brought out the biggest producers in Nigeria. Multichoice also developed a diploma programme in sports administration to equip ministry officials and develop their management capabilities. The programme is a partnership with a South African University and also with the University of Nigeria; Nsukka. I must admit that I never knew Multichoice has instituted such a laudable programme which will impact positively on sports administration in the country. Brands should always create positive news. The edge of Multichoice in television contents and programming remain incontestable. The reason is because it has never stopped innovating and gaining insights to drive its business processes and brand communication.


40

Global Business

E

uropean finance ministers voiced confidence that Greece will pull off a successful bond buyback, the key element in a revamped effort to stem the debt crisis in the country where it started. Greece began the 10 billion-euro ($13 billion) repurchase of bonds maturing from 2023 to 2042 on Monday, offering a higher-than-planned price in order to increase demand for the debt-reduction measure. “I’m confident it will go well,” French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici told reporters after euro-area finance chiefs met in Brussels. “It seems to be happening under satisfactory conditions.” European governments are counting on the buyback as a market-based way of cutting Greece’s debt, paving the way for continued aid payouts. Finance ministers set a December 13 meeting to release the next 34.4 billion euros for Greece and possibly wrap up bailout talks with Cyprus, which would become the fifth country to tap international aid since the crisis erupted in late 2009.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Euro finance chiefs confident of Greek buyback success

Moscovici

Once dismissed by European officials as a high-risk, low- reward method of debt reduction, the buyback became part of the Greek package after Germa-

Hollande loses bond market as growth stalls

F

rench President Francois Hollande’s honeymoon with bond investors may be ending as economic reality bites. Hollande, who returned from a 15-day summer break last week, faces an economy that hasn’t grown in three quarters, rising joblessness, a ballooning trade deficit and the task of coming up with a plan in the next few weeks to plug a budget hole of more than 30 billion euros ($37 billion) for next year. The challenges ahead may undermine the rally in French bonds that has allowed the country to sell bills at negative yields for the first time. During Hollande’s first 100 days in office, the premium demanded to hold French 10year debt rather than comparable German securities fell to the lowest in more than a year. That trend may be reversing. “France’s fundamentals -- rising unemployment, widening current account deficit and budget deficit -- would not support its bonds,” said Jamie Stuttard, head of international bond investments at Fidelity Investments in London, which has $1.6 trillion under management. “The more expensive French bonds go, the harder the case becomes for French government debt.” The French 10-year yield is at 2.06 percent, near the record-low of 2 percent reached on August 3 and down from 2.89 percent on the last trading day before Hollande’s election on May 6. While the premium France pays over Germany to borrow for a decade fell below 60 basis points for the first time in more than a year on August. 15, it’s rising again. It was 73 basis points yesterday. French government securities returned 0.34 percent this month after earning investors 3.98 percent in July, trailing bonds from Belgium, Ireland and Portugal, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch data. Sovereign debt from France, which was stripped of its AAA rating by Standard & Poor’s in January, got more expensive throughout 2012 -- notably since

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

ny rejected the writeoff of official loans as a way of easing the country’s financial plight. The euro fetched $1.3070 as of 7:47 a.m. in London from $1.3054 yes-

Connecticut homes biggest losers as Wall Street cuts jobs

C

Hollande

Hollande’s victory. The rally came as the European Central Bank cut its main interest rate to a record low and reduced its deposit rate to zero as the euro area teetered on the verge of recession and Spanish and Italian 10-year bond yields climbed above 6 percent.

terday, when it touched $1.3076, the most since October. 23. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has since indicated, in a Dec. 2 Bild newspaper interview, that official debt relief might be in the offing, as long as Greece starts posting operating budget surpluses in 2014 or 2015. That timeline would put off a decision to lump German taxpayers with losses on loans to Greece -- something Merkel promised would never happen -- until after a German election in late 2013. To persuade the International Monetary Fund to continue chipping in a third of the Greek loans, the euro ministers last week announced debt-reduction steps including lower bailout loan rates and a recycling of the European Central Bank’s profits on Greek bonds back to the Athens treasury.

onnecticut, for 25 years the state with the highest per capita income in the United States, is now leading the nation in home-price declines as Wall Street trims jobs and bonuses that had driven multimillion-dollar property sales. Prices in the Fairfield County area, home of the banker bedroom communities of Greenwich and New Canaan, tumbled 12.9 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, the biggest decline of the 147 U.S. metropolitan areas measured by the National Association of Realtors. While the number of home purchased within the state financed with conventional mortgages rose 8.4 percent in the first half, deals using jumbo loans for pricier properties slid 9.4 percent, according to Warren Group, a real estate tracker. “We’re in a tough slog here relative to everybody else, which is surprising given where we’re located, near New York and Boston,” said Terence Beatty, director of the new homes and land division of Prudential Connecticut Realty in Wallingford. The state, which hosts the world’s two largest bank trading floors within UBS

AG (UBSN) and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc (RBS)’s Stamford offices, is falling behind a U.S. housing recovery after losing 3,900 financial-services jobs since July 2011, the most of any industry. Connecticut also is struggling with rising foreclosures, posting the nation’s secondbiggest jump in notices of default and repossession last month.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy

Brezhnev bonds haunt Putin as investors hunt $785 billion

T

he European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ordered Russia last month to pay Yuriy Lobanov, a septuagenarian from the Ivanovo region near Moscow, 37,150 euros ($46,497) in compensation for the 1982 notes he held, or about 140 times the average monthly pension. Mariya Andreyeva, a 95-year-old survivor of the Nazi blockade of Leningrad, won a preliminary 4,300 euros on the bonds, which doubled as lottery tickets. The securities are part of the 25 trillion rubles ($785 billion), equal to almost half of Russian economic output, the government says it still owes the public from lost Soviet savings. Putin is stalling, most recently signing an order in April to halt

payments on the notes until at least 2015. Now, armed with court rulings, veteran speculators are joining pensioners in seeking to cash in. “This all should have been settled back in the 1990s,” said Boris Kheyfets, a Soviet debt specialist at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Economics in Moscow. “How do you assume a debt that huge? It would collapse everything immediately.” Soviet authorities began selling the 20year certificates in 1982 for 25, 50 or 100 rubles, partly to redeem earlier bonds and partly to sop up cash from a command economy with few consumer goods. The State Domestic Lottery Bonds offered a token 3 percent interest and a chance at

payouts of as much as 10,000 rubles, Kheyfets said. The top winners were entitled to a “chic” Volga sedan, while second prize was a Zhiguli. Unlike other former Soviet republics that settled similar debts in the 1990s at a fraction of what was lost, Russia pledged to cover the whole amount. President Boris Yeltsin signed a law in 1995 ordering the government to restore savings via bank deposits and Soviet bonds based on what those holdings could have purchased in 1990. Payments started in earnest during Putin’s first term, when surging oil prices pushed the budget into surplus. Now Putin is back in the Kremlin for a third term and the budget is barely breaking even.


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Thursday, April 4, 2013

41


42

Capital Market

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Equities rise by 0.57% as regulators’ approve more corporate results DAMILOLA AJAYI

T

he benchmark index of equities rose further on Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, as more investors took positions on stock with good earnings. The All Share Index appreciated by 0.57 per cent to close at 34,548.73 points, compared to the increase of 2.43 per cent recorded the preceding day to close at 34,351.87 points. Market capitalisation increased by N6bn to close at 11.05trn, lower than the

increase of N26bn recorded the preceding day to close at 10.99trn. The Consumer Goods index led the sectorial indices with 0.89 per cent to close at 1,002.65 points, followed by the NSE 30- index with 0.61 per cent to close at 1,651.47 points. Lotus Islamic index rose by 0.15 per cent to close at 2,272.81 points, while the Banking index appreciated by 0.12 per cent to close at 423.46 points. The Insurance index and the Oil and Gas index lost 2.47 per cent and 0.65

per cent to close at 148.73 points and 204.29 points respectively. Okomu Oil Plc led the gainers’ tablw with N7.97 or 9.99 per cent to close at N87.72 per share, followed by Beta Glass Plc with 94 kobo or 9.91 per cent to close at N10.43 per share. Africa Prudential Registrars Plc rose by 17 kobo or 9.55 per cent to close at N1.95 per share, while Sterling Bank Plc gained 26 kobo or 9.45 per cent to close at N3.01 per share. ABC Transport Plc added six kobo or 8.96 per cent to close at 73 kobo per share.

On the flip side, Presco Plc lost N2.50 or 10 per cent to close at N22.50 per share, while MRS Plc shed N2.48 or 9.97 per cent to close at N22.40 per share. Prestige Assurance Plc dropped by 64 kobo or 9.86 per cent to close at 64 kobo per share, while Unity Bank Plc dipped by eight kobo or 9.76 per cent to close at 74 kobo per share. Paint Manufacturing Company Plc fell by 15 kobo or 9.68 per cent to close at N1.40 per share. A total of 516.3 million shares valued at N6.45bn were traded in 7,897 deals.

Source: NSE

Source: Afrinvest

Forte Oil profit rises by 105% on business restructuring JOHNSON OKANLAWON

F

orte Oil has declared a profit after tax of N1.02bn for the financial year ended December 31, 2012, an increase of 105 per cent, from loss after tax of N19.5bn recorded in the same period of 2011. The company’s profit before tax stood at N1.15bn in 2012, compared to a loss of N19.95bn recorded in 2011, an increase of 106 per cent. According to the result which was in compliance with International Financial Reporting Standard, gross profit margin increased from seven cent to 11 per cent, but the revenue dropped by 22.2 per cent.

Analysis of the statement from the company showed that operating expenses as a percentage of sales, dropped from 19.2 per cent to five per cent. The company’s net cashflow from operating activities also recovered from a huge negative balance of N10.5bn in 2011 to a positive net operating cashflow of N3.5bn. The statement quoted the company’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Akin Akinfemiwa, as saying that 2012 marked the beginning of the company’s three-year transformation plan to a lean, talent-based and technology-driven organisation. He noted that the result showed clearly a testimony

of the company’s improved operational efficiency and cashflow management. “As we move into 2013 and beyond, we are positive that we shall consolidate on the gains of 2012 to achieve exceptional performance as we move towards our vision of becoming Africa’s number one energy solutions provider” “You may recall that forte oil plc in 2011 carried out a complete restructure of her business with the objective of transforming it into a lean, talent- based and technology-driven organisation that will be more responsive to the needs of its customers, “ he said. Akinfenwa pointed

out that as part of its now improved operational efficiency, controls have improved across business lines, stronger corporate governance and compliance are being ensured at all levels as well as the introduction of the foremost business enterprise solution-SAP. He added that the improvement on the result is an indication that the company has finally turned the corner towards full recovery. “Forte Oil plc believes its efforts will in no time; translate to strong market dominance and thereon strong and sustainable profitability and robust returns to our shareholders,” he said.

Sterling Bank grosses N67bn in 2012 JOHNSON OKANLAWON

S

terling Bank yesterday declared gross earnings of N68.9bn for the 2012 financial year, an increase of 50.8 per cent when compared to N45.7bn recorded in the same period of 2011. The bank’s net interest income rose by 43 per cent, from N16.7bn in 2011 to N23.9bn in 2012, while noninterest income increased to N15.3bn in the review period, from N13.4bn recorded in 2011. A statement from the bank yesterday said net operating income after impairment loss rose by 51 per cent to N39.5bn, compared to N26.1bn in 2011, while

the ajusted for income from discontinued operations, profit before tax grew by 108 per cent to N7.5bn in 2012, from N3.6bn in 2011. With a net profit after tax of N6.95bn in 2012, the board of directors has recommended a 100 per cent increase in cash dividends to shareholders from 10 kobo paid for the 2011 business year to 20 kobo in 2012. The statement explained that in spite of the doubling in cash payouts, the strong growth in net earnings would still see the bank ploughing about 55 per cent of net earnings into reserves for business growth. At current market price, the recommended dividend represents a dividend yield of 7.3 per cent.

Beyond the profit and loss accounts, the bank’s balance sheet size and structure improved remarkably during the year. Total assets increased from N504bn to N580.2bn, while customer deposits increased by 18 per cent to N463.7bn, from N392bn recorded in 2011. Speaking on the result, the bank’s Managing Director, Mr. Yemi Adeola said the 2012 results reflect the enhanced capacity of the bank following the business combination with Equitorial Trust Bank. According to him, the growth was driven by a marked improvement in core banking operations whilst the bank maintained a tight grip on asset quality, with

non-performing loans dropping to its lowest rate of 3.8 per cent despite a 42 per cent growth in loans to N229.4bn. “Going into 2013, our goal is to reduce our cost of funds, enhance our brand presence in our target markets and improve operating efficiency,” Adeola said. He outlined that in furtherance of its medium to long term strategic growth plan, the bank plans to raise supplementary equity funds of up to N32 billion, about $200 million, through the issuance of equity instruments. Adeola added that the bank has been implementing several key initiatives to broaden its customer base and enhance customer satisfaction.

Market indicators All-Share Index 34,548.73 points Market capitalisation 11.06 trillion

Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

CHANGE

OKOMUOIL

79.75

87.72

7.97

% CHANGE 9.99

BETAGLAS

9.49

10.43

0.94

9.91

AFRIPRUD

1.78

1.95

0.17

9.55

STERLNBANK

2.75

3.01

0.26

9.45

ABCTRANS

0.67

0.73

0.06

8.96

LIVESTOCK

2.41

2.62

0.21

8.71

JAPAULOIL

0.71

0.76

0.05

7.04

FCMB

4.82

5.15

0.33

6.85

CILEASING

0.59

0.63

0.04

6.78

SKYEBANK

6.65

7.05

0.40

6.02

LOSERS COMPANY PRESCO

OPENING

CLOSING

25.00

22.50

CHANGE

% CHANGE

2.50

-10.00

MRS

24.88

22.40

2.48

-9.97

PRESTIGE

0.71

0.64

0.07

-9.86

UNITYBNK

0.82

0.74

0.08

-9.76

PAINTCOM

1.55

1.40

0.15

-9.68

MAYBAKER

2.39

2.16

0.23

-9.62

NPFMCRFBK

0.99

0.90

0.09

-9.09

ROYALEX

0.69

0.63

0.06

-8.70

NEM

0.78

0.72

0.06

-7.69

GUARANTY

27.45

25.68

1.77

-6.45

Primary Market Auction TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

91-Days

31,838.40

15.05

28-Mar-13

335-Days

92,093.70

14.50

28-Mar-13

-

-

-

-

Open Market Operations TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

357-Days

47,494.49

15.06

4-Apr-13

339-Days

51,759.76

14.40

4-Apr-13

Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED

MARKET DEMAND

AMOUNT SOLD

DATE

$300m

N/A

$237m

3-Apr-13

$300m

N/A

$300m

27-Mar-13


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Capital Market

Thursday, April 4, 2013

43

Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at April 3, 2013 1st Tier Securities Sector

Company name

1st Tier Securities No Of Deals

Quotation(N)

Quantity Traded

Value of Shares(N)

Sector

Company name

No Of Deals

Quotation(N)

Quantity Traded

Value of Shares(N)


44

Thursday, April 4, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

STORIES : LEONARD OKACHIE

M

ore schools have benefited from MultiChoice’s audio- visual learning aid as Nigeria’s provider of premium pay entertainment, has added 43 new resource centres to existing 201 to bring the number of its educational resource centres to 244 in 24 states across the federation. The announcement was made during the commemorative commissioning ceremony of eleven new MultiChoice Resource Centres (MRC) in Benue State held at Mount Saint Gabriel Secondary School, Makurdi, recently. The Benue launch completed the schedule for the Phase Eight of the MRC project. The beneficiaries in Benue State are: Government College, Makurdi; Government Model Secondary School, Makurdi; Government Girls Secondary School, Makurdi; Mt. St. Gabriel Secondary School, Makurdi; Special Science Senior Secondary School, Makurdi; Tilley Gyado College, Makurdi; Government Secondary School (North Bank), Makurdi; NKST Secondary School, Makurdi; Mt. Carmel College, Makurdi, Community Secondary School, Makurdi and Methodist High school, Igumale. The MRC was established in Nigeria in 2004 to transform learning in the classroom and improve learner performance through equipping educators with equipment and required knowledge infrastructure and skills to use video based technologies to improve teaching and learning and among others. General Manager, Trade and Distribution, MultiChoice Nigeria, Mr. Akin Salu, who represented the Managing Director, MultiChoice Nigeria, Mr. John Ugbe, at the ceremony, said: “The launch of MultiChoice Resource Centres in Benue is happening almost 10 years after the inaugural launch of the project in Abuja in 2004 to commemorate what was then MultiChoice’s 10th anniversary in Nigeria. It is befitting that we are launching another set of resource centres in Makurdi, Benue State, to mark MultiChoice’s 20th anniversary in the country. The resource centre initiative is our corporate

L-R : Managing Director, Innovative Technology Literacy Services Ltd, Mrs. Ronke Bello;, Permanent Secretary, Benue State Ministry of Education, Dr. Tornge Tor-Anyiin ; General Manager, Trade and Distribution, Mr Akin Salu, and Head, Public Relations, Mr. Segun Fayose both of MultiChoice Nigeria, at the commissioning ceremony.

MultiChoice boosts students’ skills with resource centres social investment project that has grown from only four centres at inception to 242 schools in 24 states of the federation.” Mr. Salu added that MultiChoice’s strong conviction that the technological, economic, social and political advancement of any country has a direct correlation with its level of educational development and that the future of a country is intrinsically tied to the quality of education that the youths are exposed to is the belief that underpins the company’s roll-out of the audio-visual learning aid across the country. He further said that MultiChoice plans to have the resource centres in all the states of the federation. Managing Director, Innovative Tech-

Participants at the Lagos Heritage Carnival on Monday.

nology Literacy Services Ltd, Mrs. Ronke Bello, the project managers for the MultiChoice Resource Centre project, described Benue State as a lucky beneficiary of the MRC project in this phase. She said: “The MultiChoice resource centre is designed to grant beneficiary schools access to the special MultiChoice Education Bouquet with the aim of inte-

PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI

grating the programmes into their curriculum to further enhance the teaching and learning processes in the classrooms. The media deployed include: a TV set, a HD PVR decoder, satellite dish, a generator, stabilizer, a set of chairs and desks for the laboratory, among others.” She added that Innovative Technology Literacy Services also conducted a Teacher-Training programme for 50 selected teachers, five each from the ten beneficiary schools.” Permanent Secretary, Benue State Ministry of Education, Dr. Tornge Tor-Anyiin, said: “Benue State Government is delighted to partner with MultiChoice Nigeria and Innovative Technology Literacy Services Ltd on the MRC project, as their objectives tally with the government’s policy, which stresses the importance of ICT education for the overall development of the Benue child in line with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This partnership to establish MultiChoice resource centres in 11 of our schools is to kick-start ICT-driven education in the state, enabling these schools to have access to MultiChoice Education bouquet with a view to enhancing technology integration into classroom instruction.” According to the Head, Public Relations, MultiChoice Nigeria, Segun Fayose in the Phase Eight of the MRC project, Ondo and Anambra States got 10 new centres each while Benue got 11 Centres. The Federal Capital Territory, Abuja got extra ten Centres while Ogun and Akwa Ibom States received an additional centre each at the Federal Government College, Ikot Ekpene and Saint Peter’s College, Olumore, Abeokuta to bring the total number of resource centres in the country to 244. The MRC initiative, which is the company’s major Corporate Social Investment project, started in 2004 with launches in Abuja and Lagos states.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Young & Next Generation

Thursday, April 4, 2013

45

The Future Project engages Edo youth T he Benin edition of The Future National Enterprise Conference has been announced to hold on Friday, April 12 at the Main Auditorium of the University of Benin. Themed: 'Our generation needs to get to work', the conferences kicked off on January 26, this year at the main auditorium of the University of Lagos to an audience of over 1500 young people. Speakers/Mentors included Nestle Executive Director, Iquo Ukoh, Microsoft Manager, Ugochukwu Nwosu, media entrepreneur and presenter, Mo Abudu, actors Stephanie Okereke and Rita Dominic, amongst others. "Our work is centred on inspiring leadership and building enterprise and this focuses on the latter," said Chude Jideonwo, who is executive director of The Future Project. "Whether as entrepreneurs, or professionals, we need to build the capacity of young people entering the

job market, as well as connect to opportunities to add value to Nigeria's economy. We are grateful to MTN for helping us actualise our vision of engaging young people in Edo this year." Speakers include The Future Awards winner for Innovator of the Year (Science & Technology) Seun Onigbinde, winner for On-Air Personality of the Year (TV) Denrele Edun, Finalist for the Best Use of Advocacy Priscilla Usibaifo and Samson Aligba, CEO BE! Technology. The event will also feature the Benin launch of TFESS.com (The Future Enterprise Support Scheme), an online app/community to help connect students, school-leavers and graduates to jobs and opportunities. The Benin event is presented by The Future Project in conjunction with MTN and the Start-Up Hub with support from PANS and Congos Edo state.

NGO urges training of nannies for quality care

F

ounder of Afribaby, a Non-Governmental Organisation, Dr Oscar Odiboh, has called for training of nannies for careful handling of babies in their care. Odiboh made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos. He said that such training would update, upgrade and professionalise the practice of baby care for healthy growth and development of babies. According to him, nanny services are on the increase as many mothers have taken to different careers to make ends meet in the home. "There are lots of career mothers and single parents, especially in the cities and commercial towns, who desperately need the services of a nanny. But, it is unfortunate that these parents leave their babies in the care of

A

six-year-old Afghan girl sold by her father into an impending marriage to pay off a family medical debt got a reprieve Monday: She will now get to stay with her parents, thanks to an anonymous donor who is paying off the debt of $2,500 through an American lawyer, according to a still-developing New York Times report. The girl, Naghma, wound up being battered by father Taj Mohammad after he borrowed the $2,500 from a fellow refugee-camp resident over the course of a year. The money was to pay for a hospital treatment for his wife and medical care for some of his nine children, including a three-yearold who later froze to death. If he couldn’t pay it off in another year, Naghma would be forced to

untrained nannies who do not know how to handle babies," Odiboh said. He said many of the nannies lacked motherly skills to make babies safe, happy and healthy. He said that many babies and children took ill and contracted diseases easily in the hands of untrained nannies. Odiboh said that proper training for nannies would ensure quality child care and education. He continued: "Some children have died due to unsafe and dirty environment, some have been permanently deformed and some fell sick indiscriminately because the nannies are unskilled. "Nannies are supposed to be educators, ensure child development, child safety and time management. The training of the nannies will give parents assurance that their kids are in safe hands and will get all the care.”

L-R: President, Talent Groom Foundation, Mrs. Nelly Egbo (5th from left) with President Helpline Foundation for the Needy Mrs. Jummai Ahmadu celebrating with the children.

Foundation lifts Abuja orphans at Easter OMEIZA AJAYI

A

s part of its community development programmes aimed at bringing succour to the less privilege in the society, an Abuja-based non-governmental organisation, Helpline Foundation for the Needy, has extended its hands of charity to orphans of St. Mary’s Home for Orphans and Destitute in Gwagwalada, a suburb of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The gesture according to the Foundation is part of efforts to commemorate the Easter celebration and to demonstrate love for the less privilege in the society. President of the Foundation, Mrs. Jumai Ahmadu while presenting the items to the beneficiaries of the Home noted that the Easter celebration is an occasion to demonstrate what she described as "unparalleled love to fellow humans as exemplified in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, especially for the needy in the society. “If Christians all over the world celebrate Easter to mark the death and resurrection of Christ, then there is no better season to demonstrate love to our fellow human than Easter because Christ died for our sins so that we can live abundantly,” she stressed. Mrs. Ahmadu affirmed that Helpline Foundation will continue in its reach-out programmes for orphans and widows in the society, pointing out that this year Easter celebration with orphans in Gwagwalada is one of the series of events lined for the needy in

the society. In a brief presentation on “character development”, Mrs. Ahmadu explained that character development is a very crucial issue in the lives of the youth, while calling on the children of the Home to develop good character capable of sustaining them in the future. She said, “Our character informs us, defines who we are before our audience and determines how far we can go in life. God almighty who is the creator of everyone here has interest in developing our character when he said in the bible that blessed are the peace makers for they shall be called the children of God. This means that when you make peace among yourselves and whenever you are you shall be called the children of God. Whenever we find ourselves in life, what so ever the circumstances let us be determined to build a good character”. She enjoined the children to imbibe qualities such as honesty, respect for elderly in the society, self control, hard work and diligence in resources. Receiving the items on behalf of the Holy Family Sister’s of the Needy, the Co-coordinator of the Home, Rev. Sister Josephine Nnwaogugu expressed gratitude to Helpline Foundation for showing love and care to the needy in the society, even as she called on other spirited Nigerians to emulate this kind gesture. The high point of the occasion was the cutting of birthday cake of Master Paschal Chinemerem Okereke who marked his one year birthday with orphans of the Home.

Afghan Girl, 6, rescued from child marriage wed the lender’s 17-year-old son. “They said, ‘Pay back our money,’ and I didn’t have any money, so I had to give my girl,” Mohammad told the New York Times. “I was thankful to them at the time, so it was my decision, but the elders also demanded that I do this.” Soon after the deal was struck, the boy to whom Naghma was engaged insisted that she stop attending school, which she loves, her father said. On Monday afternoon, there was no word on who paid off the debt or how. But now that it has been paid, said a New York Times follow-up story, the girl, Naghma, will remain with her family. She will no doubt continue to live in extreme poverty

in the Kabul refugee camp, and will perhaps even be forced into marriage when she’s older. Still, she is one of the luckier girls of Afghanistan, where half of all girls are forced to marry under age 15, according to estimates by the United Nations agency, UN Women. That’s despite the legal age for marriage in the country being 16 for girls. Ending the practice remains a huge challenge in Afghanistan's patriarchal society, where it’s somewhat traditional to give girls away to settle debts or pay for their relatives’ crimes. Tribal customs often condone marriage once puberty is reached, or even earlier, and the government has been unable or unwilling to chal-

lenge the law effectively. Manizha Naderi, the executive director of Women for Afghan Women, a group that runs various shelters in the country, told the New York Times in a previous article that poverty is the motivation for many child marriages. That’s either because a wealthy husband pays a family well for his bride, or because the father of the bride will then have one less child to support. “Most of the time, they are sold,” Ms. Naderi said. “And most of the time it’s a case where the husband is much, much older.” Stories like Naghma’s come at a slow, but steady clip out of Afghanistan and many other countries, including India. In

2010, two girls, ages 13 and 14, dressed as boys, fled their elderly husbands after refusing to consummate the marriages. They made it far from their remote village, but were eventually caught by police and returned home, where they were publicly, viciously flogged. Authorities did nothing, despite the flogging being caught on tape and human-rights groups’ efforts to intervene. While the case may have been shocking, Fawzia Kofi, a prominent female Member of Parliament, told the New York Times that, it was far from the only one. “I’m sure there are worse cases we don’t even know about,” she said. “Early marriage and forced marriage are the two most common forms of violent behavior against women and girls.”


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Media

Thursday, April 4, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

L-R : Unilag Bursar, Mr. Lateef Odekunle ; Director-General, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Engr. Yomi Bolarinwa; Deputy Director, Training and Capacity Building, NTA, Abuja and Guest Lecturer, Mrs. Eugenia Abu; Unilag VC, Professor Rahamon Bello; MD, Raypower, Mr. Kenny Ogungbe; Deputy VC (Management Services), Unilag, Professor Duro Oni and Unilag Deputy Registrar, Academic Affairs, Mrs. Debowale Ukaiwe.

STORIES: LEONARD OKACHIE

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ack of professionalism within the broadcast industry in Nigeria in recent time has become a source of worry to many stakeholders. Deputy Director, Training & Capacity Building, Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), Mrs. Eugenia Abu, who has shared similar view said, “I have been largely disappointed over the years by the way in which professionalism within the broadcast industry has been thrown to the dogs. But I am getting ahead of myself.” Abu, who said this as a guest lecturer at the 8th anniversary of Radio Unilag 103.1FM, which held at the University of Lagos recently, pointed that most broadcasters have devalued themselves in their search for content. The veteran newscaster who read network news on NTA for 17 years, noted that she has paid her dues, with 31 years in broadcasting and 32 years in journalism. She explained that her apprenticeship had prepared her for the big picture, but wondered how many young broadcasters are ready to professionalise or are prepared for apprenticeship? She spoke on the topic: “Professionalism in contemporary broadcasting: the way forward for campus radio and television stations in Nigeria” The ace journalist and author stated that Reality TV, which has become the order of the day at most broadcast stations, is killing broadcasting as it is about back -stabbing, which in turn is impacting negatively on the young people. She attributed this challenge in the industry to the faulty hiring of most broadcast institutions, saying, “Let us take our young broadcasters today who because they are not properly processed by their establishments arrive on the scene very green as we all did, but they are unleashed on the hapless public within two weeks without any training. A good voice is not necessarily a profes-

Eugenia Abu points way forward for broadcasters …As Unilag FM marks 8th anniversary

sional broadcaster; there are processes of becoming one. “We put the cart before the horse. A lot of young people come in to become stars in two weeks and deepen their illiteracy. Most people join because they want to become stars. I do not consider myself a star; I am just a role model or a public figure. Once you hire on that premise, you are on a faulty ground.” The motivational speaker and media strategist urged broadcasters to acquire more training for the demanding job of broadcasting. She said that a professional broadcaster is one who is skilled in his task, good at communication, good at analysis, an expert at interviewing, has good judgment, has a good sense of fair play, is sensitive, is polite and understands how to report a tragedy. She stressed that a broadcaster does not form an opinion on air or has his own, but delivers the facts accurately with a sense of social responsibility and then allows the public form their opinion. “He is also an agenda-setter, allowing his audience to follow an issue of great national concern and elevating discourse on the matter,” she pointed out. Abu emphasised that the broadcaster with a professional pedigree helps to shape national policy by affecting it positively and bringing the people’s voices to bear in matters of national interest. “A lot of times in these climes, we are disappointed in more than one by the broadcasters we see on television and on radio who do not possess up to three

of the qualities I have espoused above.” However, she said the campus radio and television while complementing commercial stations can also show the way in order to overcome this challenge, adding that a campus radio is both a training ground and a trendsetter. The multiple-award winning journalist lauded the University of Lagos, for having the first campus radio station in the country, thereby giving its students of mass communication what many universities are unable to give. She remarked that the campus radio holds the key to content sharing with commercial stations because of their position and their unique listenership, but regretted that the exciting possibilities of campus radio are under-utilised within Nigeria. Earlier in his address, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Rahaman A. Bello said the title of the lecture is not only timely, but relevant due to the rising number of campus radio stations in the institutions of higher learning across Nigeria. He said that the success of Unilag FM 103.1 has spurred that university to commence the march towards getting a licence to run the first university television station. He, however, appealed to the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to hasten and complete the cycle by approving their request so that they can be the first university to run a television station. Chairman, Radio Unilag Management Board, Prof. Ralph Akinfeleye appealed to the regulator to be granted

limited advert so that it can be able to cater for its expenses, as well as the renewable license fee of N1 million every four years. He disclosed that Unilag FM is unique, has variety of programmes and is not competing with other commercial stations. Highlight of the event was the presentation of awards to some personalities who have made invaluable contributions to the campus radio .Some of the awardees were Chief Olusegun Obasanjo (former President of Nigeria); High Chief Raymond Dokpesi (Chairman, DAAR Communications); Mrs. Eugenia Abu (Guest Lecturer); Oluwa Shodimu (Registrar, University of Lagos); Prof. Oyewusi Ibidapo-Obe (Former Vice-Chancellor, Unilag and Vice-Chancellor, Federal University, Ebonyi State and Engr. Yinka Bolarinwa (Director General, NBC).

We'll partner

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ayelsa State Governor, Hon Seriake Dickson has expressed his administration’s willingness to partner with the Media in its efforts at projecting the positive image of the state and the country to the outside world, particularly at this challenging period. According to the statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, Gov. Dickson made this remark while speaking on a live interview programme on Ray Power 102.5, Elebele, Yenagoa. Describing DAAR Communication, owners of Ray Power radio and African Independent Television, AIT, as a


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Media

Thursday, April 4, 2013

SOTU, CISLAC seek media support on AU instruments’ implementation TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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pparently worried by the nonchalant attitude of Nigerian and other African leaders to domesticate and implement African Union instruments at national level, a coalition of continental civil society group, the State of the Union (SOTU), working in collaboration with the Nigerian-based Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, has called on the media to bring to the fore through incisive reportage the need to implement the instruments in order to address the challenges of poverty and other socio-economic scourge in various countries. Rising from the Media Roundtable on the State of Ratification, Domestication and Implementation of African Union Instruments in Nigeria held last week in Abuja, participants at the forum gave a verdict that Nigeria and other countries were not doing enough to domesticate the ratified instruments with the attendant negative implications for socio-economic development of their countries. They believed that so far the leaders have demonstrated their eagerness to only happy at endorsing and reluctant to implement the instruments. Some of the instruments that formed the subject of discussions at the event and which participants noted have huge potentials for lifting millions of Nigerians and other countries’ citizens out of socio-economic and political deprivations if implemented include, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights in Africa (1981); African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (2007); African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption (2003); African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (1990) and African Health Strategy 2007-2015 (2007). Others are, The Treaty establishing the African Economic Community (1991); the NEPAD Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Plan (2003); Abuja Call for Accelerated Action Towards Universal Access to HIV/AIDS; Tuberculosis and Malaria

by 2010 (2006); African Youth Charter (2006); Maputo Plan of Action for Implementing the Continental Sexual and Reproductive Health and Right Policy Framework 2007-2010 (2006) and African Convention on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, amongst others. At the parley which focused on the SOTU-CISLAC designed 14-Steps to a Stronger Africa agenda with the theme ‘Claim Your Dream’ participants from electronic and print media, noted that there was an urgent need for the Nigerian leadership to demonstrate beyond political rhetoric its commitment to the implementation of the instruments, particularly those that have to do with human rights, corruption and democracy and good governance, by domesticating them and bringing to justice agents of corruption and antisocial vices in the country. Flagging the discussions off, Kenyabased SOTU’s Capacity Development Coordinator, Nicholas Ngigi, lamented the poor socio-economic state of many African countries, pointing out that if

the leaders had been committed to the implementation of some, even if not all, of the instruments in their countries, the incidence of poverty, diseases, insecurity and other problems ravaging the poor people would have been minimised. Ngigi, who noted that much of the efforts of the leaders had been concentrated on pursuit of selfish political interests to the detriment of governance issues, said it was most regrettable that as the AU will be 10 years with many of the instruments like the Maputo Protocol and African Peer Review Mechanisms also being in place for several years and the OAU will be 50 years this year, most African countries still lacked the capacity to achieve good governance. In his remarks, Okeke Anya, CISLAC’s Coordinator for SOTU and roundtable moderator, specifically noted that despite Nigeria’s huge manpower and natural resources endowments, problems of poverty and corruption remained formidable even as there were no indications that the political leadership was prepared to frontally tackle them.

Gombe signs N35.9m contract for NUJ Press Centre DANJUMA WILLIAMS GOMBE

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ontract for the construction of a Press Centre worth N35.9 million, which was awarded to AGS Power Ventures Nigeria Limited has been signed by the Gombe State Government. Signing on behalf of the Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo, Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Reverend Habu Dawaki said the project, which is expected to be completed in 15 weeks, would have modern facilities that would enhance the working conditions of journalists in the state. According to the commissioner, the Press Centre, which is first of its kind since the creation of the state

in 1996, would have two conference halls, a restaurant, some chalets and offices among many other facilities for journalists. He commended the governor for graciously approving and facilitating the commencement of the project which past administrations could not undertake. Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of AGS Power Ventures Nigeria Limited, Alhaji Namanu Komanda who signed for the company, promised to adhere strictly to contractual specification and deliver the project on time. While thanking God and the State Government for awarding the contract to his company, Alhaji Namanu also expressed happiness that no problem was experienced up to the time of signing the contract.

media to project Bayelsa –Gov. Dickson dependable partner, he saluted the courage of the media organisation for pioneering private broadcasting in the country and in Africa as a whole. Governor Dickson also lauded the media outfit for collaborating with the state government in not only addressing negative issues, but promoting the right values both in the state and the country in general. The Governor, who explained that he was at the Yenagoa office of DAAR Communications to assess the level of destruction caused by last year’s flood, also used the occasion to respond to

questions on government’s plan for the impending flood and other issues. Governor Dickson, who praised the staff and management of DAAR Communication for their doggedness in the performance of their responsibilities, was conducted round the facility of DAAR Communications, Yenagoa by its Chairman, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi. Responding, a member of the board of AIT, Prince Shedrack Akolokwu expressed appreciation to Governor Dickson for identifying with the Media as a catalyst for the enthronement of positive change in society.

Dickson

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Media Abroad

Burma gets first private newspapers in 50 years

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rivately owned daily newspapers have hit newsstands for the first time in 50 years in Burma, where a state monopoly on the daily press once kept news to a strict minimum, generally by threat of censorship, imprisonment or torture – or all three. Covering topics from sim card prices to recent religious violence, four dailies went on sale on April 1 – also the first anniversary of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi's election to parliament. Twelve more publications will follow suit in the coming months as they work out printing and distribution logistics. "We've been waiting half a century for this day," said Khin Maung Lay, chief editor of the new daily Golden Fresh Land, whose initial print run of 80,000 copies had sold out by late morning. "It shows how much people long for private daily newspapers. This morning, I was in tears seeing this." Once home to a vibrant print culture – where daily papers in Burmese, English, Chinese and Indian languages flourished – Burma closed all private daily print production in 1964 under a military junta headed by General Ne Win. For much of the next five decades, the country became better known for spying on, censoring, jailing, torturing and seizing equipment of journalists deemed against the state.

Human rights reporting contest opens

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he German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, in collaboration with Deutsche Welle broadcasting corporation, is accepting entries for the German Development Media Awards. The aim of the contest is to honour journalists reporting on human rights and development issues. Journalists from Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Germany can participate in this contest. Entries must have been published or broadcast in print, radio, television or online media between January 1, 2012 and May 31, 2013. Works must be written in one of the following languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Russian or Spanish. The seven winners will receive cash prizes at €2,000 (US$2,575) each. In addition, the awards also cover the costs for each of the seven winners to attend the awards ceremony to be held August 14, 2013 in Berlin, Germany. The deadline is May 31. For more details visit http://www.dw.de

Entries for environmental photography opens

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he European Wind Energy Association and the Global Wind Energy Council are accepting entries for the Global Wind Day 2013 photo competition. Participants are invited to submit photographs that capture personal stories behind wind energy technology. Each photograph should include a short text (no more than 300 words). The contest is for Professional and amateur photographers worldwide The text should describe where and how the picture was taken, and explain the decision behind capture that exact moment. It can also include personal views on wind energy and the photographer's relationship to it. The global first-prize winner will receive an Amazon voucher with a value of €1000 (US$1,290). There will be five runners up; one per continent (Europe, Asia, America, Africa and Australasia). Each continental winner will receive an Amazon voucher with a value of €250 (US$320). The deadline is May 5. For more information, http://www.dc4mf.org


Cocktail

48

x

Thursday, April 4, 2013

FOR YOUR SUCCESS

WITH DR. DEJI FOLUTILE

Today's Tonic (122) “Many people dream of success. To me success can only be achieved through repeated failure and introspection. In fact, success represents the 1 percent of your work which results only from the 99 percent that is called failure.” –Soichiro Honda Founder, Honda Motor. *** Reject The Fear Of Failures! Great super achievers are known for ONE THING: they are not afraid to fail. They are not afraid to try, try and try before they taste the grapes of success. Fear of failure has crippled many destinies. The truth is that if we don’t fail, we cannot succeed. Great inventors of all ages failed woefully many times before the universe rewarded their unceasing labours. Let’s reject the fear of failures and move into the arena of winners by pressing forward in spite of repeated failures in doing what we know we are gifted to do in life. SUCCESS WILL COME! TEL 08104942999 E-MAIL deji.folutile@gmail.com Follow me @TwitterOWOTIDE

Man ttried M i d tto pay cab b ffare with ith marijuana ij

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hiladelphia police said they arrested a man accused of trying to pay a cab fare with marijuana while officers were standing nearby. Sixth District Capt. Brian Korn told KYWTV, Philadelphia, officers stopped at the side of a road Friday night in the Old Town neighbourhood when they spotted a taxi cab double-parked, and the driver said a customer who owed $8 had

left his phone behind as assurance that he would be right back with the money, Philly.com reported Tuesday. Korn said officers were still standing nearby when the man, Michael Medvec, 23, returned to the scene, still without any cash. “He just tries to slip him, out of view of the officers, you know, a bag of marijuana to pay for the fare,” Korn said.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Oddities

Error led to early release for suspected killer

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white supremacist parolee suspected of killing Colorado’s prisons chief and a pizza delivery man last month had been mistakenly released from prison in January - four years early - due to a clerical error, court officials said on Monday. Evan Spencer Ebel, 28, was killed in a roadside gun battle with police following a high-speed chase in Texas, two days after the March 19 killing of Tom Clements, executive director of the Colorado Department of Corrections. Ebel had been released from prison in Colorado early after a judicial assistant failed to note on his prison file that sentences he received in 2008 for second-degree assault were supposed to be served consecutively rather than concurrently, the chief judge and district administrator for the 11th Judicial District said in a statement. Ebel, who pleaded guilty to the assault charge and received a reduced sentence

in a deal with prosecutors, was released on mandatory parole on January 28 of this year, according to the Colorado Department of Corrections. “The district has undertaken a review of its practices in an effort to avoid a re-occurrence of this circumstance,” Chief Judge Charles Barton and District Administrator Walter Blair said in the statement. “The court regrets this oversight and extends

Ebel

condolences to the families of Mr Nathan Leon and Mr Tom Clements,” they said. Authorities have also named Ebel as a suspect in the killing of Domino’s pizza delivery driver Nathan Leon in the Denver area two days before Clements was shot dead when he answered the door at his home 45 miles (72 km) south of Denver. Ebel was a member of a white supremacist prison gang, the 211 Crew. According to Colorado

court records, he was arrested at least seven times between 2003 and 2010 for crimes including burglary, weapons possession, assault, menacing, robbery and trespassing. Authorities have said they were looking for ties between the murder of Clements and the January slaying of Mark Hasse, a prosecutor in the Kaufman County District Attorney’s Office. Kaufman County is east of Dallas.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

South South

Thursday, April 4, 2013

49

FG tasked on Cross River, Ebonyi boundary dispute RICHARD NDOMA CALABAR

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Rivers State Ministry of the Environment removing abandoned vehicles on major roads in Port Harcourt, yesterday.

PHOTO: NAN

Edo to spend N1bn on LG poll SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN

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he Edo State Government will spend N1 billion on the April 20, 2013 local government election, National Mirror learnt yesterday. The amount, which a senior government official confirmed, will be spent on procurement of the election materials, organisation of the poll and logistics. The confirmation followed opposition parties’ calls to the ruling Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) to provide adequate money for the State Independent Electoral Commission (EDSIEC) to ensure an organised poll. The confirmation also came on the heels of assurances of a free, fair and credible election by Governor Adams Oshiomhole. Speaking yesterday in his office, the state Commissioner for Information

and Orientation, Mr. Louis Odion, told journalists that the money was duly appropriated in the 2013 budget. Odion said: “Edo State will be spending N1 billion on the forthcoming local government election. The amount represents the sum total approved for the procurement of election materials and management of the actual election. “As you know, EDSIEC is responsible for the organisation of the election. The money that the government approved was duly appropriated in this year’s budget. “The government’s work is to hand over the money to the commission, which in turn makes use of the money as it deems fit for the election.” Going by the guidelines of EDSIEC that took effect on January 9, the election will open with voters’ accreditation from 8:00am on April 20.

Already, names of voters and location of polling stations in the respective wards and units have been released by EDSIEC since March 29 following the submission of names of party agents. Ongoing campaigns must also end on Thursday, April 18, even as runoff and re-run elections have been scheduled for Saturday, April 27. Speaking at the ACN campaigns held in Oredo, Egor and Ikpoba Okha local government areas, Governor Oshiomhole dismissed the fear that the election would be manipulated or rigged. He insisted the election would be a litmus test for his one man, one vote electoral reform campaign. The governor said: “It is to me a thing of joy that we are going to conduct a clean, transparent local government election on the basis of one man, man vote. “This one is a com-

mitment and that is our power. That is why we are mobilising, organising and reminding the people that politics is not a game without purpose.” Specifically denying the allegation that ACN was planning to deploy the Neighbourhood Watch on Election Day, Oshiomhole asked: “Who established the Neighbourhood Watch? Who made the law? The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) made that law. All we have done is to implement the law. We went for a citizen of the rank of a Major-General; a man who even President Goodluck Jonathan had approved to command the Joint Task Force in the Niger-Delta and who commanded the forces admirably until he retired voluntarily. Those are the kind of people ACN goes for. We appointed independent men and women who are neutral because we are different. We trust the people.”

One student dies, six injured as varsity hostel collapses OLUFEMI OLARINDE PORT-HARCOURT

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ne student died and six others were injured yesterday when a hostel collapsed in Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Rumuolumeni, Port-Harcourt, Rivers State. According to an eye witness, the hostel col-

lapsed when majority of the student-residents have gone to a building popularly known as New Lecture Hall to read in preparation for their forthcoming examinations. The witness said that immediately the hostel collapsed at about 3:0am, panic-striken students began jumping from the twostory building, which led

to the dead of the student. The deceased, simply identified as Charles, was a 200 level student of French Department. He was said to have died from the head injury he sustained from the incident. The deceased’s body has, however, been deposited in the mortuary. In a chat with National

Mirror, some students disclosed that similar incidents occurred two years ago in the school, but no life was lost in both. When the university’s Public Relations Officer, Mrs Ngozi Okiridu, was contacted, she refused to comment on the incident. She said: “I will make a statement available to you people later.”

he Cross River State House of Assembly has called on the Federal Government and its relevant agencies to deploy permanent military personnel to the areas of dispute between Amaegu community of Ebonyi and Adadama in Cross River states. The House made the call following a motion by a member representing Abi constituency, Hon. John Gaul Lebo. The House also urged the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Attah Ochinke, to compel the National Boundary Com-

mission (NBC) to intervene in the issue. The House, however, expressed worry over the influx of displaced persons to the state. It called on the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to provide relief materials to them. The House appealed to the state government to immediately build the Adadama Police Station as one of the measures to ensure adequate security of lives and property. It also asked the government to build staff quarters and access roads in Adadama community.

Workers’ action negated our agreement –ALSCON TONY ANICHEBE UYO

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he Management of the Aluminum Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON) has said that the action taken by the company’s employee and the local residents to block the entrance of the plant falls short of the understanding reached with them before it announced temporary suspension of production. It was gathered that a group of over 300 employees and the local residents yesterday blocked the entrance of the plants to press for full payment of their entitlements, including gratuity due to them as redundant staff after they were laid by the company’s management. In a statement yesterday, the company’s Director in charge of Public and Governmental Affairs, Tatyana Smirova, regretted that despite the measures undertaken by the management to fulfill the terms of the collective agreement in regards to compensation payments and sustaining production activities in the power generation mode, the employees still went ahead with their planned demonstration. “During the talks with the rebelling employees, the company repeatedly emphasized that in order to fulfill all its obligations, it is necessary to ensure stable conditions for the operations of the plant, namely to avoid the possibility of conflicts,

disturbances and coercive pressure on the administration of ALSCON,’’ the statement reads. These demands from the management of the plant, according to Smirova, have not been met by the employees. She said the ALSCON’s management was doing all in its power to sustain a stable social environment and a dignified level of living for the personnel for their family members and for the residents of Ikot Abasi. Aside the compensation payments to the employees, she said ALSCON had declared that all contracts with local companies from Ikot Abasi would be fulfilled and the implementation of all the social programmes within the framework of the collective agreement would be sustained. According to her, the forceful takeover of ALSCON could lead to a complete termination of operations of the plant and could also lead to the exit of foreign specialists. She said: “If this happens, the plant will be totally shut down, the supply of water and gas to the housing estates will be stopped and no compensation payments will be made.” The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Chairman in Akwa Ibom State, Mr Unyime Usoro, flayed the company’s decision to shut down the plant’s operations and the sack of over 300 Nigerians workers.


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North

OMEIZA AJAYI AND CHIDI UGWU

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bout 18 people died yesterday in an early morning auto crash on the Kwali - Gwagwalada Road in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja. Nine people were also injured in the accident which occurred about 1:35am. It involved a Marcopolo luxury bus with registration number XG 413 FGG and a J5 bus with registration number XA 726 NSR. It was learnt that the J5 was heading to Sokoto from Lokoja while the Marcopolo bus belonging to GUO Group of Companies, was on its

Thursday, April 4, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

18 die, nine injured in Abuja auto crash

way to Lagos from Kano. According to the Corps Public Education Officer, the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, Jonas Agwu, the J5 driver suddenly left his lane and ran into the other lane, apparently due to fatigue, and collided with the luxury bus. Agwu said 17 occupants of the J5 bus were confirmed dead, one person died at the hospital while nine others sustained serious injuries. He said: “The rescue team also recovered the sum of N217,000 from the wrecked J5 bus which will be handed over to the victims’ relations.”

Agwu said of the 96 people involved in the crash, 70 were male, 16 female and 10 children comprising seven males and three females. “Among the nine who were injured, two were females while all dead victims were male adults. Thirteen of the corpses were deposited at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital mortuary while four others were taken to the morgue at Kwali General Hospital,” he added. Agwu also urged Nigerians whose relations embarked on a night travel along the route to check the morgue of the University of

Abuja Teaching Hospital in Gwagwalada for identification and collection of corpses. He said: “The FRSC wishes to urge members of the public, especially those whose relations travelled through the Kano – Lagos and Lokoja – Sokoto routes, to check the Kwali General Hospital and University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada for identification and collection of the corpses. “The injured victims were also taken to the Gwagwalada Teaching Hospital for further medical attention.” Agwu expressed shock

over the crash “which occurred barely a few hours after the end of the 2013 Easter patrol operations which was deemed to have recorded fewer crashes compared to last year’s Easter celebration.” He also appealed to motorists to strictly avoid night journeys, owing to the inherent dangers associated with such trips, assuring the public of determination of the FRSC to bring down road crashes by 30 per cent and fatalities by 20 per cent by the end of the year. He said: “Similarly, the FRSC wishes to remind the

Return to work now, Jang tells striking workers

In-fighting in ACN treatens Kwara APC WOLE ADEDEJI

JAMES ABRAHAM

ILORIN

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n fighting in the Kwara State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, is now threatening the All Progressive Congress, APC, expected to fully kick off later this month in the state. The party had during Easter break announced the removal of the Chairman of the State Caretaker Committee, Mr. Kayode Olawepo, and replaced him with his Secretary, Mr. Toyin Ayinla. But Olawepo’s committee and other members of the party yesterday described the action as unconstitutional. ACN had said Olawepo’s removal was to reposition “the party ahead of the tasks ahead”. However, the Deputy Chairman of the Committee of the Local Government Area Chairmen, Mr. Ayanda Fejenyo, told our correspondent yesterday that the “purported meeting where the decision was taken was illegal and wrongly constituted.” He said the Caretaker Committee could only be removed by the national body who put it in place and that the committee did not in recent times neither did it take such decision. Also, Fajenyo and Alhaji Raimi Idera said in a statement that “the decision to remove our party chairman in Kwara State is being nursed and nurtured by a former governorship candidate of the party and his cronies using the media to achieve what they could not achieve in the real sense of it.”

motoring public to report any road crash to the Corps’ emergency ambulance response centres located at the Old Parade Ground Abuja, Central Business District (opposite the Federal Secretariat, Abuja), Old and New City Gates, Abuja, Kubwa Road, Keffi flyover, Yangoji, Sabon Wuse (Kaduna Road), Koton Karfe, Barde Junction (Kaduna), Mararaban Jama’a roundabout (Jos) and Kugbo market (Nyanya, Abuja) or call the toll free line 122 and 070022553772 for prompt response to road crashes and any other trafficrelated challenges.”

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Emir of Dutse, Alhaji Nuhu Sunusi (left) and Vice-Chancellor, Federal University, Dutse, Prof. Jibrila Amin, during the monarch’s visit to the institution, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Police Service Commission dismisses five officers, elevates 113 others OMEIZA AJAYI ABUJA

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he Police Service Commission has dismissed five police officers and reprimanded two others for committing various offences. The spokesman of the commission, Ferdinand Ekpe, who disclosed this, said the affected officers breached the code of conduct for officers. The commission also demoted two officers for engaging in acts it said undermined the operations of the force. Although the commission, which took the decision at its 35th Plenary Meeting yesterday in Abuja, refused to give the names of the affected officers, its spokesman said they were between the ranks of an Assistant Commissioner of Police,

ACP, and an Assistant Superintendent of Police, ASP. Ekpe disclosed that the commission also elevated about 113 officers to the next ranks. He said a lot of issues bordering on the repositioning of the Nigeria Police Force and the internal administration of the commission were also discussed at the meeting. Ekpe said the meeting considered various disciplinary cases pending against some serving “superior officers and awarded penalties or exculpation where necessary”. The spokesman said approval was also given for the dismissal of one ACP, one CSP, one SP, one DSP and an ASP for acts unexpected of senior police officers. He said: “Furthermore, it also approved the reduction in rank of an SP and a DSP, while severe reprimand,

reprimand and letter of advice were awarded to some superior officers for acts unexpected of senior police officers.” Ekpe said the commission considered the recommendations of the Inspector-General of Police, Muhammed Abubakar, for the promotion of some superior police officers, adding that all the promotions took effect from April 3, except for the CP to AIG which would take effect from July 31, 2013. He said two of the commissioners of police were in acting capacity. Among those promoted was a commissioner of police who is now an Assistant Inspector General of Police, AIG; 13 deputy commissioners of police were elevated to the rank of commissioner of police; 22 assistant commissioners of police to the rank of deputy commissioner

of police; nine chief superintendents of police to the rank of assistant commissioner of police. Others are 10 superintendents of police to chief superintendents of police; 16 deputy superintendent of police to the rank of superintendent of police; 52 assistant superintendents of police to the rank of deputy superintendent of police and seven inspectors to the rank of assistant superintendent of police. The Chairman of the commission, Mr. Parry Osayande, congratulated the newly promoted police officers. He noted that the commission would always elevate hard-working officers subject to availability of vacancies, merit and passing of promotion examinations; while underlining that all acts unbecoming of police officers would be punished appropriately.

lateau State Governor Jonah Jang has directed the striking workers of the state-owned tertiary institutions to resume work immediately. The Commissioner for Information and Communication, Pastor Yiljab Abraham, said this yesterday while briefing journalists at the Government Lodge, Jishe in Jos, the state capital. He said: “The state government has directed heads of the state government tertiary institutions to open registers for all staff to return, register and continue with their assigned duties. “We assure that we are providing security cover for the safety of teachers, students and administrators. “The state government is determined to continue to work towards the goal of leaving behind and enduring legacy in the Education sector. “Governor Jang has the responsibility to secure the future of the teeming young people in the state whose educational aspirations are right now at stake as a result of the three months strike.” According to Abraham, all managements of institutions are to ensure they remain at work and process the payment of those at work. He said: “Government is not against genuine agitation by its workforce for improved working and living conditions, but it does not accept that blackmails and impatience must be the only keys that unlock the doors of opportunities.”


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Ogunlewe, Muazu, others head varsity boards OMEIZA AJAYI

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resident Goodluck Jonathan has approved the composition and appointments of the chairmen and members of the Governing Councils of 21 federal universities. According to a late evening statement issued by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Anyim Pius Anyim, legal luminary, Yahaya Mahmood (SAN) is the chairman of the Governing Council of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, University, Bauchi. He is to be assisted by Hajia Hauwa Bukar, Alhaji Isa Tafida Mafindi, Chief Mark Odua and Dr. Chinweokwu AnyameneOkeke. For Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Mr. Mohammed Dewu is the chairman. Members of the council are former Inspector General of Police, Mike Okiro, Mrs. Moremi Soyinka-Onijala, Suleiman Lawal Kaurua and the Managing Director of the Sun newspapers, Tony Onyima. Former Bauchi State Governor, Adamu Muazu heads the Council of Bayero University, Kano and he will be assisted by Hon. Fatima Rasaki, Prof. Josephine Okpoko, Dr. Yakubu Kwari and Dr. Ahmad Abubakar. Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe is the chairman of the Governing Council of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta. Members are Chief

Kayode Akindele, Hon. Ghali Na’abba, Prof. Femi Otubanjo and Abba Dasuki. For the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Chief Chike Cletus Udenze is the chairman. Members are Pivlumon Aminde, Princess Ethel Eweka, Rear Admiral Peter Ebeleme (rtd) and Abdul-Mujib Adetokunbo Mumuni. Alhaji Yarima Abdullahi is the chairman of the Governing Council of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, while members are Chief Joel Madaki, Lukman Erogbogbo, Hon. Jelani Mohammed Yauri and Mr. Benjamin Chijioke Nnaji. For the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Prof. Ahmed Rufai Alkali is the chairman, while members are Dr. Godfrey Imoagened, Ahmed Tahir, Alhaji Abubakar Ibrahim Umar and Prof. Taoheed Adedoja. Dr. Emmanuel M. I. Enemuo is the chairman of the council of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, while members are Pastor Godwin Akpovie, Bright Nebedun, Gen. T. Hananiya and Ambassador C. C. Agubuzo. For the Federal University of Technology, Yola, Sanusi Munguno is the chairman. Members are Dr. Adewunmi Williams, Dr. Kaleel Ibrahim Ahamad, Senator Abubakar Danso Sodangi and Princess Taibat Adeyemi-Agaba. For the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, AVM Larry Koiyan (rtd) is the

chairman while Mr. John Nwodo, Chief J. M. Aseh, Buhari Bala and Senator Fidelis Okoro are members. Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia is the chairman of council of the University of Abuja, while members are Alhaji Mahe Dange, Prof. O. Adegbulube, Aisha S. Mamuda and Prof. Ediga Agbo. For the University of Calabar, Calabar, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu is the chairman, while former Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Phillips Salawu, Sulieman Nakowa, Bassey Ebir Asuquo and Otunba Mohammed Iluoeju are members. For University of Ibadan, IbadanGen. Adeyinka Adebayo (rtd) is the chairman, while members are Amb. Lawrence Ekpebu, Sen. Jubril El-Mas’ud Doguwa, M. Samuel Iheo-

EZEKIEL TITUS BAUCHI

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ragedy struck on Easter Sunday when two unidentified students of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi and other person got drowned in Gubi Dam in Ganjuwa Local Government Area of Bauchi State. According to sources, the incident occurred when some students of the university, who were on holiday, came to the dam to celebrate the Easter festival. National Mirror gathered that one of the students decided to swim in the dam and

are Hon. Patience Onah Ogodo, Alhaji Yusuf Yabo, Kashim Muktar Mahmud and Alhaji Bello Abdullahi Sokoto. For the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Prof. Emeka Enejere is the chairman. Members are Hon. Salisu Buhari, Chador Labar, Mr. Harison Onwu and Chief Akin Taiwo. Prof. Chukwuma Okonjo is the chairman of the University of Ilorin Governing Council while members are Prince Felix Akande, Dr. Abdulrasheed Salam, Dr. S. Ogbere and Dr. Bayo Aluko-Olokun. For the University of Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State, Prof. Kimse Okoko is the chairman. Others are Gen. John W. Gbor (rtd), Alhaji Aliyu Kaulaha, Isaiah Adegbemiga Abiola and Rev. (Mrs.) Grace Ekanem. For the Fed University

of Petroleum Res, Effurun, Sen. Barigha Amange is the chairman. Members are Dr. Ngozi Iheduru, Adamu Yusuf Dari, Sen. Victor Kassim Isa-Oyofo, and Dr. Anthony U.Eze The statement said each University Governing Council shall also include the vice-chancellor, the deputy vice-chancellor and one person from the Federal Ministry of Education; four persons appointed by the Senate from among its members; two persons appointed by the congregation from among its members; and one person appointed by convocation from among its members. It said: “The dates for the formal inauguration of the above boards will be announced in due course by the Minister of Education.”

Bauchi State Governor, Isa Yuguda (right), presenting a car key to the winner of the 1st category of the 60 Hizb with Tafsir, Aishatu Adam, at the 2013 National Qur’anic Recitation Competition in the state, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Two varsity students, other drown in Bauchi in the process got drowned. Another student, who attempted to save the life of his friend, also got drowned. Attempts to rescue the two subsequently led to the death of another person who also got drowned while making frantic efforts to save them. Some of the residents told National Mirror that many people have lost their lives in the dam in the past and wondered why some people still toil with their lives by swimming there. They called on the state government to enact a law that will ban people from going close to the dam because of the tragic incidences that

ma Nwatu and Dr. Anthony Uche Mba. Chief Don Etiebet heads the Governing Council of the University of Jos, while Hon. Tunde Akogun, Anthony Sani, Alh. Adamu Jamfala and Mrs. Uju Uzoka are members. For University of Maiduguri, the chairman is Kashim Imam, while members are Engr. Paul Attah, Princess Gloria Frazer, Adamu A. Waziri and Chief Innocent Okparadike. For the University of Port Harcourt, Mr. Gesi Asamowei is the chairman, while members are Mrs. Joyce Bozimo, Mohammed Iyimoga, Dr. Nelson Olaniyi and Mr. Okey Ajunwa. HRH George Oshiaphaghor is the chairman of the Usman Dan Fodio University Governing Council, Sokoto, while members

that had occurred in the past. The General Manager of Bauchi State Water Board, Engineer Aminu Aliyu Gital, confirmed the incident to journalists, saying that the three bodies have been recovered from the dam. Aminu, who expressed shock over the incident, called on parents and guardians to always monitor their wards, so as to prevent such occurrences in the future. His words: “We want to warn people against going to the dam to celebrate any festival. There are many ways people can celebrate a festival than exposing themselves to danger.”

N4.5bn abandoned road project worries FG E ZEKIEL TITUS BAUCHI

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he Federal Government has expressed dismay over the abandonment of the N4.5 billion DassTafawa Balewa road project by the construction firm, TRIACTA Nigeria Limited for the past three years. Commissioner for Finance and Administration in the Fiscal Responsibility Commission, Hon. Isma’il Hassan, while inspecting the road project yesterday in Bauchi, said that the Federal

Government through the Federal Ministry of Works has awarded the contract since September 2010 and that all the required funds had been disbursed to enable the contractor carry on with the project, but lamented that the project is yet to be completed. Hassan, who revealed that the road is 75 kilometres long, decried that TRIACTA Nigeria Limited has only completed 43 kilometres, which is unacceptable considering the time the contract had been awarded and the huge amount that had been

paid to the firm. He also expressed dissatisfaction with the company for failing to show up during the inspection tour to explain why the work had been abandoned, adding that the stoppage has a negative implication on the government budget implementation process. The Fiscal Responsibility Commission said the Federal Government would not condone any fraudulent and irresponsible contractor, who fails to meet the contract agreement, adding that public funds are meant to be expended judiciously.


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Community Mirror “It has been established that Boko Haram sect get their funding from bank robberies, payment of protection fees through intimidation of individuals and through external funding.”

CHIEF OF ARMY STAFF, LT. GEN. AZUBUIKE IHEJIRIKA

Woman regains sanity after seven years OJO OYEWAMIDE AKURE

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mentally ill woman in Ondo town, Mayokun Ojo-Makinde, has suddenly regained consciousness after seven years of insanity. The recovery of Mayokun, popularly known as “Geneva” came exactly a month after another woman, Olaolu Akinbilije, who was insane for 20 years, regained sanity in the same town. Investigation revealed that the woman, who was always found on Oreretu Street, became sane last Saturday, during the monthly environmental sanitation exercise. Community Mirror learnt the supervisor for environment in the council area, Fadejimi Adediji, had led some officials to where the woman always stays in order to evacuate the refuse heaps. Following this, Mayokun resisted, as that led to exchange of words between her and the sanitation officials. But calm later prevailed with the arrival at the scene of Rotimi Bolawa, the officer charged with supervising the sanitation exercise at the township market. And to the surprise of people around, Mayokun agreed to partici-

pate in the environmental exercise and in the process, suddenly regained consciousness and started praising God. Some of the surprised residents helped her to remove some of the rags she was wear-

ing, even as she asked for water and soap to take her bath After putting on new clothes given to her by some public spirited persons, Mayokun was reportedly taken to the palace of Osemawe of

Mayokun after regaining sanity

AWKA

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he Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi has inaugurated the reconstruction of Uzoakwa-Ubahuekwem-Oseakwa road, with a spur to Oluoha Okechukwu road in Ihiala. The16 kilometre road awarded at cost of N2 billion would be completed this year. When completed, the road will give easy access to communities in the area to evacuate their agricultural produce to the market. Speaking at the ceremony, Obi said the project was in line with objective of his administration to connect all parts of the state with quality road network. He disclosed that the second project phase will link Ihiala to Ogbaru and provide alternative route to Onitsha, even as he urged

the contractor to complete the work on schedule. The Commissioner for Works, Sir Callistus Ilozumba said the project was designed with concrete drains and contractor duly mobilized, even as the government would maintain prompt payments of all certificates generated. Ilozumba said the road would open the hinterland and enhance easy evacuation of agricultural produce. The APGA senatorial candidate in the 2011 elections, Chief Chuma Nzeribe, thanked Governor Obi for the contract, noting that it was strategic for people of Anambra South,while the transition Committee Chairman for Ihiala Local Government Area, Mr. Chinedu Ukachukwu, expressed gratitude for the various projects completed in the area.

as she remembered she has a son named Olomitutu and husband, Ojo Makinde before her travails began, adding that she is a native of Ondo, while her family house is on Ogbodu Street.

As a mentally ill woman

Army Chief petitioned over attacks

Governor Obi inaugurates road project CHARLES OKEKE

Ondo kingdom, Oba Victor Adesimbo Kiladejo. Speaking with Community Mirror, she attributed her miraculous recovery to God, saying she could not recall how she lost sanity, even

In another development, Governor Obi has called for the revival of self-help development initiatives among communities. He was speaking while inaugurating the reconstruction of Oyeakpu-Nkwozu Road, embarked upon by the Ezinifite community in Nnewi South Local Government Area. He said there was need for communities to participate actively in the on-going upgrading of infrastructural facilities to complement the efforts of the government. He reiterated that his administration has linked all hitherto neglected communities with quality roads, which he said has increased the tempo of socioeconomic activities. The governor said, in addition to already completed projects, the government would soon initiate more of them to further develop the area.

HENRY IYORKASE MAKURDI

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he people of Moon District, Anyiase in Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State have petitioned the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Azuibuke Ihejirika following the molestation by soldiers believed to be from the 4th Motorized Battalion of the Nigerian Army in Takum, Taraba State. In the petition signed by the district head, they alleged that on January 16th, 2013, an unidentified soldier, mounted road block into the community, while extorting money and intimidating those that refused to oblige. The kindred head of Moon, Chief Anule Zuaga reported the matter at the Anyiase police post, after which one Cpl. Moses David accompanied him to interview

the alleged soldier, who claimed to be an intelligence officer on official duty, even as he gave his name as Christopher. When questioned further, the said Christopher threatened to deal ruthlessly with Chief Zuaga for daring to obstruct his official assignment. And to make true the threat, the said Christopher in the company of other colleagues came in an armoured car and assaulting anyone in sight, even as several houses were ransacked and properties looted. Recounting his ordeal, the Kindred head Chief Anule, said he was arrested and tortured alongside Steven Iornum, Terlumun Shie, Bem Anule and Vihinga Shie for seven days ,while N100,000 belonging to head of Yaav, Chief Iortile Uta was stolen.


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World News

“I’ve long since given up trying to persuade people it was the right decision” –EX-BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, TONY BLAIR

Airline begins charging passengers by their weight PAUL ARHEWE,

WITH AGENCY REPORTS

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amoa Air has become the first airline in the world to introduce a ‘pay as you weigh’ system - charging passengers per kilogram rather than per seat. The company claims their system is fairer than simply charging per seat, and that many families with children are benefiting from the scheme. Under the new move, passengers input their weight into the airline’s online booking section. Rates start from around 70p a kilogram for the total weight of the traveller and their baggage for the shortest domestic route. The price goes up to around £2.75 per kilogram for the longer route from Samoa to American Samoa. Pilot and chief executive of Samoa Air, Chris Langton, told ABC News: “Planes are run by seats, not by weight, and passengers should be educated on this important issue.” “There is no doubt in my mind that this is the concept of the future. We always weigh the mass that is on an aircraft... It doesn’t matter whether you are carrying freight or people. “Anyone who travels at times has felt they have been paying

An overweight air passenger.

for half of the passenger next to them. The standard width and pitch of the seat are changing as people are getting a bit bigger wider and taller than they were 40-50 years ago.” Langton also told Reuters, “The industry has this concept that all people throughout the world are the same size”. “Airplanes always run on weight, irrespective of seats.” “There is no doubt in my mind that this is the concept of the future. This is the fairest way of you travelling with your

PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

family, or yourself.” He added that it would raise awareness of public health and obesity issues. Speaking in The Sun, he said: “We have worked out a figure per kilo. This is the fairest way of you travelling with your family or yourself. You can put your baggage on, there are no extra fees in terms of excess baggage or anything, it is just a kilo is a kilo is a kilo. A spokesman for Samoa Tourism said he believed the policy would also help with safety standards.

Uganda suspends hunt for warlord Kony

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ganda has suspended the hunt for fugitive warlord Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army fighters, blaming hostility towards foreign troops by Central African Republic rebels who seized power last month. About 100 U.S. special forces helping with intelligence and logis-

Kony

tical support also called off operations temporarily, a U.S. embassy official said, but it was not immediately clear if troops from other countries in the regional force were also giving up the search. Kony is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes. He and his commanders are accused of abducting thousands of children to use as fighters in a rebel army that earned a reputation for chopping off limbs as a form of discipline. Uganda provides more than 3,000 troops of a 5,000-strong African Union force hunting Kony and his fighters, thought to be hiding in jungles straddling the borders of Central African Republic, South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo. A separate coalition of rebels in Central African Republic, known as Seleka, toppled President Francois Bozize last month.

They swept into the capital Bangui in a lightning offensive which triggered days of looting and drew international condemnation. The Seleka rebels also killed 13 South African soldiers during their attack on Bangui. “These rebels have been openly hostile to us and following that, the president (of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni) has ordered us only to be in defensive positions,” said Dick Olum, head of Ugandan troops in the force hunting Kony and also the overall force commander. “So we’ve temporarily suspended offensive operations against the LRA for now until we receive further orders,” he told Reuters on Wednesday. Crane Elise, U.S. embassy information officer in Kampala, said U.S. special forces had “temporarily paused the operations against LRA to give us time to

He told The Metro: “When you’re only fitting eight to 12 people in these aircraft and you’ve got some bigger Samoans getting on, you do need to weigh them and distribute that weight evenly throughout the aircraft, to make sure everyone’s safe. The subject of charging overweight fliers more has long been a controversial issue in the aviation industry. Last year, former Qantas economist Tony Webber suggested heavier people should pay more to fly. consult with our partners.” Uganda’s Daily Monitor newspaper had quoted her saying the consultations would be with the State Department, but Elise amended those comments, telling Reuters she had been misquoted. LRA fighters fought the Ugandan government for nearly two decades before being ejected from their strongholds in the north of the country in 2005, forcing them to establish bases in the jungles of other countries in the region. Children’s rights groups urged the Ugandan and U.S. governments to keep their pledges to hunt down Kony. “In spite of what is happening in CAR, we are reminding decision makers - both in Uganda and the US - to uphold commitments they have previously made towards bringing to an end the LRA conflict,” said Michael Mubaginzi, the regional public relations and advocacy officer for Invisible Children Uganda.

WORLD BULLETIN Afghanistan courthouse attack kills over 53

A suicide bomb and gun attack on a courthouse in western Afghanistan has left 53 people dead and 90 injured, most of them civilians. Militants disguised as soldiers tried unsuccessfully to free suspected Taliban members in capital of the Farah province, Afghan officials said. A provincial governor says at least 53 people, including nine attackers, have been killed in the daylong gunbattle. After a fierce initial gun battle, shooting continued as militants took cover in nearby buildings. The Taliban said they were behind the attack in Farah, which borders Iran. This was the deadliest attack in Afghanistan since December 2011, the BBC’s Caroline Wyatt in Kabul reports. A bomb and gun attack on the governor’s compound last May left six policemen, a civilian and four attackers dead. Afghan officials say insurgents - working with drug dealers - want to destabilise western Afghanistan by launching attacks in Farah.

Egypt court stops extradition of top Gaddafi’s aide

Egypt’s state news agency says an Egyptian court has ruled against the extradition to Libya of a former close aide of ousted dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Ahmed Qaddaf al-Dam, a relative of Gaddafi who for decades coordinated relations between the Libyan and Egyptian regimes, had contested a Libyan request to extradite him following his arrest last month in his Cairo home. Two other Libyan officials arrested alongside him have already been sent back to Libya. Libyan authorities sought the men for alleged corruption and roles in Libya’s eight-month civil war that ended with Gaddafi’s death in 2011. Libya has already asked Egypt to handover around 100 other former regime officials.

Sudan should face war crimes charges –US group A U.S. based advocacy group alleged in a new report yesterday that Sudan’s government has committed war crimes since mid-2011 in two of its southern states near the border with South Sudan. The Enough Project said that two years of eyewitness reports, photos, video and satellite imagery present strong evidence that Sudan should be referred to the International Criminal Court and that the U.N. should open a commission of inquiry. The group said it has documented the deliberate burning of nearly 300 square miles (756 square kilometres) of farms, orchards and grasslands for grazing cattle, and the deliberate destruction of 42 villages in the states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile. Residents there are more aligned with South Sudan than Sudan.


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Super Eagles: Doubts, lamentations

Reigning African champions, Super Eagles, are the latest beneficiaries of government largesse, but Coach Stephen Keshi (inset) is yet to get his 1994 AFCON reward

President Goodluck Jonathan rewarded the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) victorious Super Eagles with money and plots of land in Abuja. But AFOLABI GAMBARI reports that like their predecessors who were promised houses in 1994, the players may not get their land.

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he mood inside the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja on the night of February 12, 2013 was exceptionally bright as the newly crowned African champions, the Super Eagles, settled in their seats waiting for the all-important welcome speech to be delivered by President Goodluck Jonathan. It was really not so much about the speech than the reward that the continental conquerors expected from the president. Therefore, when Jonathan congratulated the team for “your wonderful performance in South Africa”, the audience, who included sports stakeholders, politicians, business persons and members of the diplomatic community, still expected more. Even as the number one citizen announced cash awards as well as invited the players and their coaches one after the other to receive national honours, the hall was still filled with suspense. But the audience erupted as the President announced the award of a plot of land each to the players and coaches. The reaction was not unexpected, though. Jonathan had given

the heroes the assets that would last them their life time. Yet, in the award that seemed the most important of the night, there was a snag that left questions unanswered. No mention was made by Jonathan on where the plots were located or whether the beneficiaries would get the plots promptly. As expected, the loophole only left everyone in the hall with the assumption that “government owns the land and can allocate plots thereof to anyone, anywhere and at any time.” The plot allocating agency, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), announced on March 4 that each of the awardees would have to fill forms and have same returned to the authority “as soon as possible” before they were allotted the plots. Although the FCTA expected its directive to be adhered to promptly, it only made the process look far-fetched. One fact remains crystal clear: the area where the plots would be allotted has yet to be sorted and the allotting authority merely tried to buy time by spewing a bureaucratic procedure. The unfolding scenario is a sharp contrast with the 2007 awards of blocks of flats to the national U-17 team and its coaches after winning the cadet World Cup hosted by South Korea. Late President Umaru Yar’Adua had followed his announcement at the reception for the team in Abuja with the award of the Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) to each of the beneficiaries while also encouraging the heroes to “exploit the opportunity of the houses located in the same area to live close to yourselves.” It turned out that some of the

Odegbami(r) and Amiesimaka: Beneficiaries of FESTAC property

ONE FACT REMAINS CRYSTAL CLEAR: THE AREA WHERE THE PLOTS WOULD BE ALLOTTED HAS YET TO BE SORTED AND THE ALLOTTING AUTHORITY MERELY TRIED TO BUY TIME BY SPEWING A BUREAUCRATIC PROCEDURE beneficiaries leased out their houses almost immediately. But the ownership has not been in question till this day. It is not unlikely that the latest beneficiaries will wait for some time before having their plot-ownership dream realised. But it is not without a precedent. The late Head of State, General Sani Abacha, announced an award of houses for the 23-man Africa Cup of Nations-winning Super Eagles in 1994. A combination of the political crisis that engulfed Nigeria at the time, as well as the sudden death of Abacha four years later, however rendered the order on the Abuja houses null and void. More than 19 years after, a large number of the players are yet to get the houses. Indeed, there is no official record of those who received theirs, apparently for fear of causing animosity among those who were left out of the largesse. Current Super Eagles’ coach, Stephen Keshi, and his assistant, Daniel Amokachi, were members of the 1994 heroes’ squad. Ironically, while Amokachi got his house through some measure of good fortune, Keshi’s hope for the house is still hanging. Nduka Ugbade, currently an assistant coach with the national U-17 team, also belonged to the AFCON 1994 group. Like Amokachi, he also had luck to thank for the possession of the Abacha windfall. But another member who is also assistant coach with the Eaglets, Emmanuel Amuneke, who scored the winning goals against Zambia in the final, is still waiting for his luck to shine. Likewise, Sunday Oliseh who was also a distinguished member of the cup-winning team. “I am yet to get mine,” Oliseh told National Mirror recently with regret. “I wouldn’t know now if I will ever get it again so I don’t really think about it anymore,” he added. Another member, Finidi George, suggested that he was still waiting to be rewarded, as he declared in an email interview with our correspondent: “I would rather not comment about it”. Thompson Oliha, who is also a 1994 hero, would not give up totally as he has resorted to pleading for his due. “I need


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over presidential gifts to athletes MORE THAN 19 YEARS AFTER, A LARGE NUMBER OF THE PLAYERS ARE YET TO GET THE HOUSES…

IRONICALLY, WHILE AMOKACHI GOT HIS HOUSE THROUGH SOME MEASURE OF GOOD FORTUNE,

KESHI’S HOPE FOR THE HOUSE IS STILL HANGING

Late Abacha’s promise unfulfilled

Late Yar’Adua delivered promise

Shagari: His government revolutionised reward for footballers

this house to show my children that I served Nigeria to the best of my ability,” the formers swashbuckling FC midfielder, who currently lectures at the Kwara Football Academy, said last year. Instability in government, explicitly expressed by frequent changes at the Sports Ministry, may have undone the 1994 heroes. Not less than 10 ministers have passed through the ministry in the past 19 years, such that a sitting minister today would easily feign ignorance of the Abacha largesse

and would, at best, only promise “to see what I can do.” But this was not exactly how the reward system for sporting heroes started. Fourteen years before Keshi and his group won the AFCON trophy for Nigeria in 1994, Christian Chukwu led squad had won it for the first time. The government of Alhaji Shehu Shagari, then reeling in oil wealth in a nascent democracy determined to unite a country that had sat on the edge a few months earlier after a controversial election which brought him to office, gave out a Peugeot 504 saloon car and a flat each at FESTAC Town, Lagos (then federal seat of power) to the players. It was at the time the biggest reward ever to be accorded any such laurel-winner in Nigeria since independence in 1960. “All the 22 of us got a house each,” a prominent member of the 1980 AFCON-winning team, Chief Segun Odegbami, told National Mirror. “We felt so proud to have served Nigeria, although I must say that most of us didn’t quite expect such wonderful appreciation,” Odegbami, who now runs an international sports academy but still harbours an ambition to be president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) someday, added. Although the players got their houses in the same area of FESTAC Town, Odegbami, however, would not say if all the players still reside there. “I still own mine, even if I don’t stay there,” he said, suggestive that he has turned the property into investment and would have Nigeria to thank for the 33-year-old gesture. Another of the 1980 heroes, Chief Adokiye Amiesimaka, has not lived in the FESTAC property, but has maintained its ownership nonetheless. “I believe the houses are all in productive use, although it is just normal for each of the beneficiaries to speak for himself with regard to the property,” the renowned wing wizard of the then Green Eagles said, adding, “I have used income from mine to buy several plots of land and even develop some.” Nothing suggests efficient personal planning and focus more than the Amiesimaka example. But it still derived from government’s prompt delivery of rewards promised national heroes. However, despite the life-changing trend that the reward system has visited on footballers from 1980 till date, it has been a different stroke for representatives of Nigeria in other spheres of the sporting sector. “We got only a presidential hand shake, despite our silverwinning feat in the 4x100 metres event at the Sydney 2000 Olympics,” a member of the quartet, Enefiok Udo-Obong, who is reputed for his investment inclination, recalled recently in a radio interview monitored in Lagos. By some sheer stroke of fortune, the Sydney silver was turned to gold after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced last year that the American quartet who won the gold had been stripped of the medal after they were found guilty of enhancing their performance with banned drugs. “I feel the government owes us a reward for our golden performance and I think it should not delay further now that we have taken delivery of the gold medals, no matter that the Sydney Olympics was some 12 years ago,” the retired athlete said. According to Udo-Obong, Olympic gold medal is worth more than AFCON gold in terms of recognition. “I believe this fact needs not be over-emphasised, because we are talking about global reckoning here. I want the government to see the fact of the matter with a view to according us our rightful place in the history of sports in Nigeria and I think this will not be too much to do at this moment

in time.” Udo-Obong contended that the arrival of the long-awaited medal from the IOC, only a few days after the AFCON glory in South Africa, would pose a challenge to government to effectively design a reward formula for Nigeria’s sporting heroes in the future. “Anyone who flies the Nigerian flag in any aspect of sports, be it athletics, boxing, table tennis, swimming and football, is a patriot and deserves to be so treated,” he said. “Therefore, in a country as ours where talent abounds, it is only fair that equity comes into play at all times when remuneration comes to the fore so that no one feels inferior to the other in terms of the sports where each is representing the nation. If this can be achieved through a well-designed policy for rewarding efforts, I have no doubt that Nigeria will excel particularly in international competitions,” he further said. Perhaps, the hopes for the plots of Abuja now hanging in the balance for the reigning African football kings would have been avoided if a committee for the reward of Nigeria’s athletes’ efforts had been instituted. Such committee would have, upon exhaustive deliberations, made appropriate recommendation to the country’s leadership on equally appropriate reward for the sporting excellence. Political instability would also have little or no bearing on this committee which could become an institution over a period of time. The 1980 Eagles smiled to their homes and have smiled ever since. Majority of the 1994 Eagles were not as lucky. Hope resurfaced for the Eaglets of 2007. Six years later, however, plots of land became a sort of kite-flying game for the Eagles and they may yet need luck to get the plots should the Jonathan administration not go beyond 2015.

T

LATEST ON EAGLES’ LAND

he Senior Special Assistant on Information Management System to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Hajia Jamila Tangaza, told National Mirror that the Federal Government had already issued documents to the 2013 victorious Super Eagles players, which they are expected to fill and submit to the FCT Administration. “We have given them the actual form and a commitment to give them the land. They are to fill the form and bring it back with all the necessary documents. “I took down their names personally. I learnt one or two of them have returned theirs. Now, giving them the land is dependent on their own commitment to filling those forms,” Tangaza said. Although she said the layout of the area to be allocated had already been designed, she however explained that she would not know the exact part of the city to be allocated until the land papers are signed by the Minister, Alhaji Bala Mohammed. “The layout, as I learnt, has already been designed. The government is serious about it. We are ready to give them the land as soon as they complete the forms which we put in the envelopes that were given to them at the Presidential Villa during the reception. The layout has been designed. Everything is ready. It is left for them to just fill those forms and then submit to us,” she added.

Udo-Obong advocates systematic reward policy


WORLD RECORD

Most powerful rocket engine Vol. 03 No. 592

N150

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Most powerful rocket engine was built in the former USSR by the Scientific Industrial Corporation of Power Engineering in 1980, the RD-170 has a thrust of 7,890 kN 1,777,000 lb in space and 7,246 kN 1,632,000 lb at the Earth’s surface.

Much ado about My Oga at the top

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is story just won’t stay forgotten. The iconic Shem Obafaiye, who attained celebrity status overnight for a less than ideal reason - as a man who couldn’t recall the web address of his organisation on live television. In what has since become the most spectacular gaffe of the year, Obafaiye, speaking on Channels television’s popular morning talkshow as the Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, told an astounded set of interviewers that he would choose to be careful about releasing the web address of the NSCDC for public consumption just in case the address he intended to give was different from the one his boss, who he euphemistically referred to as his ‘Oga at the top’, had in mind. Convinced that websites, like number plates, are not something to be shrouded in secrecy, Obafaiye was encouraged to say the web address nevertheless. His response, a classic in verbal subterfuge, may hunt the

PILGRIMS WEFARE AGENCY

NOW, SOME THIEVING

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iverpool Manager, Brendan Rodgers, has dismissed speculation linking goalkeeper Pepe Reina with a move away from the club by insisting their relationship is strong. Reports have suggested that Reina could be a summer target for Barcelona, with Victor Valdes expected to leave after announcing that he does not in-

SOMETHING BEFORE THE WEEKEND

Steve Ayorinde

sayorinde@nationalmirroronline.net (08054500808 sms only)

vibrant officer for the rest of his life. “If you want to know about the NSCDC as at now”, he says, “ok, www.nscdc....” a forced and vociferous cough follows, and then the facesaving quip, “that’s all!” What sort of a web address could this be? But then, what has followed since the Tuesday, March 12 interview is an unprecedented hype and hullabaloo, mainly on social media, around the blunder by that poor man. Compressed into a one-minute, eight-second video, the interview has set new record as the most-watched video on YouTube and other social media. And it’s all about the new buzz word arising from Obafaiye’s gaffe. My Oga at the top now resonates everywhere. T-shirts, mugs and memorabilia with the insignia of My Oga at the top have surfaced at retail shops all over Lagos and even in some Nigerian communities abroad. A remix of the buzzword is now a hit on many music applications and ringtones. And expectedly, a new Nollywood movie by that title has just been shot. Nothing demonstrates Nigerians’ penchant for overcooking the meal than the way this poor officer has been vilified. So infectious has the buzzline become that it has found its way even to the churches and prayer points. Every Oga on top of their promotions and blessings, some faithful are now wont to say, will have their ‘web addresses’ (read to mean relevance) cut short. The jibes these days would make every boss hesitant of being identified as an Oga, let alone one who is seen to be on top. While his family aches over this painful celebrity status, Obafaiye himself must

NOTHING DEMONSTRATES

NIGERIANS’ PENCHANT FOR OVERCOOKING THE MEAL THAN THE WAY THIS POOR OFFICER HAS BEEN VILIFIED still be in dilemma over what might become of his career. It was thought that he got deployed to the Oyo state command in the wake of the massive negative publicity

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that followed the ill-fated interview. But fresh evidence emerged yesterday that it was the dramatic personae himself that requested to swap positions with his colleague in Ibadan, Clement Adesuyi, in order to avoid the intensity of the Lagos heat. Yet, others, I learnt, remember him for good reasons. He may not be the best of speakers, but a good officer he is thought to be, so much so that those who know him say the tragedy that befell two officers of the NSCDC commandant in Lagos last week when they were allegedly killed by police officers who are believed to be conniving with pipeline vandals could have been avoided, if Obafaiye was in command. I certainly abhor the type of lopsidedness that would permit a representative of a government body to misrepresent his authorities. But a man need not lose himself on account of a single goof. The clarification by NSCDC’s Commandant General, Mr. Olu Abolurin, should suffice, in that Obafaiye has committed no offence: “If a person is being interviewed and in the process he could not comport himself, that does not result to a crime; it is a question of maturity.” We should let Obafaiye be.

Destination Dubai!

ow should corporate managers react in turbulent economic times, when the burden of crisis appears too heavy to bear? The answers will emerge in Dubai, the sprawling commercial nerve-centre of the United Arabs Emirates next week where the Energy Group has chosen for this year’s annual Group Managing Director’s conference. I look forward to that intellectually-stimulating experience as a delegate from National Mirror, one of the companies in the everexpanding Energy Group. The corporate generalissimo himself who is the GMD of the conglomerate, Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim, OFR will lead about 200 mid-career officers and senior managers from the 16-member group to a five-day management conference starting this Sunday. The selection of the delegates is instruc-

tive. Young and promising entrepreneurs, like their Ogas on top, deserve consistent training and management pupillage in order to withstand turbulent times. Yet, in a situation where top leadership of an organisation jets out on an intellectual pursuit for a few days, a rare opportunity beckons on the next level of officers to prove their mettle and demonstrate their worthiness as potential leaders who are waiting in the wings. This is the concept of leadership training in Energy Group that has endured over time. And for those who have partaken in previous GMD’s conferences, either in Lagos or Abuja, Sao Tome or London, such opportunities seldom exist elsewhere where today’s managers are fed with nourishing management meals; enjoy an admix of business and pleasure and, of course, confront the brutal facts.

Sport Extra

Reina gets Rodgers’ vote for Anfield stay tend to sign a new contract at Camp Nou. However, Rodgers has stressed that Reina remains a key part of his plans for the future at Anfield, saying he has never had a problem with the 30-year-old. “I think a lot of the stuff this year has

just been based on the speculation that Valdes is going,” the Reds boss said yesterday. “I am counting on him for next season, yes. He’s never been unsettled and our relationship is very

strong. He’s a good man and I’ve real respect for him.

Champions League Results Malaga

0-0

Dortmund

Madrid

3-0

Galatasaray

Pepe Reina

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Thursday, April 4, 2013  

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