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Global Fleet Group marks 9th anniversary Staff celebrate

ELLA OLAMIJU

G

lobal Fleet Group, a conglomerate of fast growing

Jimoh Ibrahim

SSS grills El-Rufai as Farouk Lawan travels out

Vol. 2 N0. 422

companies, yesterday commemorated its ninth anniversary amidst track records of excellence and

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proven growth. The multi-sectoral group of companies, CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Dana crash:

N150 FRANCIS FAMOROTI AND TOBORE OVUORIE

DNA results out, 132 T bodies for collection

wo months after plane Dana crashed in Lagos, killing all 153 passengers on board, the Lagos State yesterday Government said that 132 bodies of the victims were ready for collection by their relatives from today. the followed This the of conclusion

16 others still being processed

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Jonathan

FG unfolds framework for 2013 budget Officials of the National Emergency Management Agency at the scene of the collapsed two-storey building on Ademola Awosika Road, Kubwa Extension, Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

Three die, 10 injured in Abuja building collapse

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DAY 21

‘Fasting revives P.50 virtues in Muslims’

...targets $75 per barrel benchmark P.6

Police arrest three suspects over Kogi church attack P.2

...avert bomb explosion in Sokoto PDP secretariat Opposition senators move against Akume P.7


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Thursday, August 9, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

DNA results out, 132 bodies for collection CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

Deoxyribonucleic Acid results, otherwise known as DNA, in the United Kingdom. DNA is the hereditary material in humans and almost all other organisms. Speaking during a meeting with the affected families at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, Ikeja, yesterday, Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, disclosed that the results were out. Some of the medical personnel who carried out

the tests were also present at the meeting, while the families of the victims had been appropriately notified which day of the week their representatives would come for the corpse. Idris said that the state government would be releasing the 132 identifiable bodies to relatives of the victims in batches of 20 to authorised claimants from today. He said the bodies would be released in alphabetical order and the names of the victims that had been iden-

tified would be pasted at the Lekan Ogunshola Memorial Morgue, adding that relatives should come with appropriate documents to claim the bodies. Idris said: “We have got some of the results of the DNA analysis from the UK. “The experts have released the results and we felt it necessary to brief the families of the victims on the processes and documentation needed to claim the bodies. “We will release the bodies in batches of 20 in al-

phabetical order daily from Thursday to reduce the chaos and to resolve some legal processes needed to claim the bodies.” LASUTH Chief Pathologist and Chief Medical Examiner, Prof. John Obafunwa, said that 16 other bodies were still being processed. Obafunwa said that the corpses would only be released to their next of kin after the presentation of necessary documents. He listed the order of priority for the next of kin as spouses, children, parents,

Suspected terrorists paraded by the police in Lokoja, Kogi State yesterday.

Police arrest three suspects over Kogi church attack OMEIZA AJAYI AND ADEMU IDAKWO

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olice authorities in Kogi State yesterday arrested three persons for alleged involvement in the Monday’s attack on the Deeper Life Bible Church in Otite, Okehi Local Government Area of the state and killing of two soldiers at the Okene Central Mosque. The state Police Commissioner, Alhaji Muhammed Musa Katsina, while parading the three suspects before newsmen at the police headquarters in Lokoja, said that his men apprehended the terrorists at Ibilo in Edo State after a tip-off. Among the three suspects was a middle aged woman, whom the police said preliminary investigation revealed that she was an accessory after the fact.

“This woman was said to have assisted the wounded terrorists under the cover of darkness to Ibilo after the exchange of fire with the police during the attack,” he said. Katsina explained that while effecting the arrest, the hoodlums engaged the policemen in a fierce gun battle until they fell to the superior power of the law enforcement. He said many of them escaped with serious injuries, but two were arrested on the spot. The commissioner, who also confirmed the arrest of some politicians in connection with the dastardly acts in the area, added that as an intelligent community, they were using general approach syndrome to uncover the mystery surrounding the killings. He called on the medical centres in Kogi and Edo states not to admit anybody

with bullet wounds to their hospital without a written permission from the police, stressing that some of the hoodlums ran away with bullet wounds. The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, in the state yesterday declared a three-day fasting and prayer for divine intervention in the security situation of the country. The state CAN Chairman, Archbishop Emmanuel Egbunu, disclosed this in Lokoja at a media briefing on the Otite church killings. Bishop Egbunu, of the Anglican Diocese of Lokoja, said that while the attack was not an isolated one against Christians at worship in recent times, it was a new and dangerous dimension in Kogi. “Our hearts are heavy over the cold blooded murder. This unprovoked attack against unarmed, innocent

citizens right in the place of worship leaves us in no doubt that it was a premeditated, calculated and clearly targeted attack. “We call on Christians to observe prayer and fast in their assemblies between Wednesday and Friday to implore divine intervention in our nation and state. This should be continued in the foreseeable future. The CAN chairman, however, reminded the perpetrators that “God will call everyone to account for every unprovoked bloodshed in times of peace and His justice cannot be escaped however long it takes.” The Archbishop also called on all Nigerians to turn to God in true repentance, saying sin and wickedness constituted a reproach that could only lead to more darkness. He implored people of goodwill to join in the camCONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

siblings, half- brothers and sisters, grandparents, nephews and nieces. “The next of kin is in this order and they have to present legal documents before the bodies would be released to them. “But, in the case where the next of kin is not available, he or she has to authorise someone else to collect the body with appropriate identification. “The authorised person has to come with the driver’s licence, national identity card, international passport and letter of authorisation by the next of kin,” he said. Already, service of songs had been held for some of the victims of the plane crash. It will be recalled that one week after the crash, the Lagos State government withheld the corpses on the grounds that DNA tests must be conducted on them for identification purposes to avoid giving bodies to wrong families. This action brewed controversies. Concerned relations were told to wait until the results were released before coming for collection of bodies. One of the major reasons the state government took the decision was as a result of controversies and physical confrontations among some family members over the rightful owners of some bodies. This consequently led to a build-up of tension at LASUTH mortuary, which later got to a peak when an angry relative attacked morgue officials with a cutlass following the state government’s refusal to release the bodies already identified by family members. The assault was interrupted by a special squad of the Rapid Respond Squad, RRS, of the police. As the police held the angry relative, he was shouting, “You people can eat my brother’s body if you want, since you don’t want to release him to us.” The police had to station a team of RRS to man the mortuary 24 hours because of these unpleasant developments at the mortuary. Meanwhile, a Lagos State Coroner’s court conducting inquest into June 3 Dana plane crash was yesterday told the challenges some rescue agencies faced in responding to the disas-

ter. Testifying at the resumed inquest proceedings yesterday, an Assistant General Manager, Airports Rescue and Fire Fighting Services, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, Mr.John Ekpe, told the coroner, Mr. Alexander Komolafe, that there was no emergency agency that had all the equipment required to save the lives of victims. The witness said the FAAN rescue team was at the crash site early enough with two fire trucks and a water tanker ahead of other agencies but could not access the actual site of the incident because of the crowd. Ekpe said by the time his team could accessed the site, “our team recovered dead bodies from the nose of the plane, which was not completely burnt, while Julius Berger was called to evacuate the affected buildings and wreckages with their heavy equipment.’’ Ekpe also told the coroner that FAAN had an emergency plan and disaster emergency team but the search and rescue functions outside the airport falls on the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA. Another witness, a Chief Fire Fighter Station Commander /Head of Department of the Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting Services of FAAN, Mr. Sanni Enessi, said that the authority had a checklist of agencies it often call for emergency plan. Cross-examined by lawyers at the proceedings, Enessi explained that there was no source of water supply near the crash site, adding that the Water Corporation was far away from the scene, hence that the team had to go back to the airport to collect water. The fire chief said the challenges the team faced on its way was that the road was too narrow and bad, and the surging crowd inhibited the emergency operations. Enessi added that the number of police drafted to the scene was not adequate initially but later more men arrived. The coroner adjourned the inquest proceedings till tomorrow when the officials of the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, Total Oil, Forte Oil and two other witnesses are expected to appear.


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Thursday, August 9, 2012

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

GLOBAL FLEET @ 9: THE 9TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE GLOBAL FLEET GROUP WAS MARKED WITH A SPECIAL THANKSGIVING SERVICE AT THE GROUP’S CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS IN LAGOS YESTERDAY

Group Managing Director, Global Fleet Group, Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim (OFR) (left) and the General Evangelist of Christ Apostolic Church Worldwide, Prophet (Dr.) S. K. Abiara.

Editor, Saturday Mirror, Gbemi Olujobi (left) and Managing Director, Newswatch Daily, Mr. Moses Jolayemi.

Rev. Dorcas and Bishop Jim Okewu.

L-R: Prophet Abiara; his Senior Personal Assistant, Protocol, Pastor Olumuyiwa Oshati and Chief Security Officer, Pastor Yemi Adeniyi.

Managing Director, Air Nigeria, Mr. Kinfe Kahssaye (left) and Arc. Olusola Agbesua.

Managing Director, Nigeria Re, Lady Isioma Chukwuma (left) and Executive Director, Finance and Admin, Mrs. Adetutu Ajayi.

L-R: Brands and Marketing Correspondent, National Mirror newspapers, Ms. Ella Olamiju; Head, IT, Mrs. Esther Uwadia and Deputy Admin Manager, Mrs. Folake BewajI.

Business Development Manager, Global Fleet Group, Mrs. Bukola Ogundare-Oluyele (left) and Legal Officer, Global Fleet Oil and Gas Ltd, Barr. Mololuwa Adebiyi.

L-R: Secretary to the GMD, Lady Pat Odoh; Acting General Manager, Projects, Mrs. Bose Jinadu and Acting General Manager, Admin/HR, Nigeria-Reinsurance, Mrs. Biodun Olanipekun.

Members of staff of Global Fleet during the cutting of the anniversary cake. PHOTOS: YINKA ADEPARUSI


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Thursday, August 9, 2012

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Global Fleet Group marks 9th anniversary CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

which started with a filling station in Lagos nine years ago has since grown to 18 companies within and beyond the borders of Nigeria with a workforce aproximating 21,000 staff members. Speaking at the occasion held at the Group’s headquarters in Lagos, the Group Managing Director of Global Fleet Group and Ambassador of the Republic of Sao Tome and Principe to Nigeria, Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim, OFR, highlighted fundamental business ethics and practices that have set the fledging company on the path of greatness. He said: “Foresight and dogged commitment to

signs of the times are critical to steering business affairs of such magnitude, determination, hard work, and courage to pursue have helped in positioning the companies on the path of growth and the future is very bright for us.” In his speech, Dr. Ibrahim acknowledged the tough environmental challenges facing businesses in the country while admitting that only a meager fraction of registered companies make due returns to the federal purse due to increasing fold-up of registered companies. This, he said, was owing to environmental hiccups which strategic positioning, insight, and core busi-

ness ethics practice have helped the Global Fleet Group surmount. He advised all upwardly mobile businesses and staff to take intellectual property seriously as it is a key path to the successes being celebrated. From a sizeable company, the Global Fleet Oil & Gas, the Group has grown to include companies such as NICON Insurance, Nigeria Re-Insurance, NICON Luxury Group of hotels, National Mirror newspapers, Energy Bank of Ghana, Air Nigeria, Newswatch magazine and Newswatch newspapers amongst notable others. Industry captains from the banks, insurance, aviation, oil and gas sectors and

the academia, who were present at the event, attested to the uncommon strides achieved by the Group and its boss, noting that the exceptional business acumen and ethics of the Group’s GMD had sustained the organisation over the years. According to Prophet S. K. Abiara of the Christ Apostolic Church, who offered special prayers for the staff, said the Group had succeeded this far in nine years due to the hand of God upon the GMD. Bishop Jim Okewu who was also part of the thanksgiving service, said: “I have followed the achievements of the company over the years and it is uncommon grace that God has given

L-R: Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim; Vice-President Namadi Sambo and President Goodluck Jonathan, at the Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

to Barrister Ibrahim. He is very hard working, a billionaire who still reads, and God will continue to lift him and his businesses to greater heights.”

Among the dignitaries that witnessed the event were Chief Executive Officers of subsidiaries of the conglomerate, staff and guests.

Utomi gives panacea to security challenges NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA

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seasoned economist, Prof. Pat Utomi, has said that the present security challenges being faced by the country can be solved through enthronement of equality among the various ethnic nationalities. “Our leadership must enthrone equality among ethnic nationalities that make up the country for us to solve the present social security challenges and I believe that our people still want to be one due to long and existing historical and brotherhood ties", Utomi said yesterday. Utomi, who spoke in a paper he delivered at the Basillica of the Most Holy Trinity, Onitsha, during the National Annual Conference of the Catholic Youths Organisation of Nigeria, CYON, however, blamed the country’s socio-economic crisis on the high rate of unemployment among

youths. He added that all tiers of governments should concentrate on job creation to tackle the situation. In the paper entitled: “The Catholic youths and the C-challenges of economic empowerment,” Utomi noted that the country’s economy had been under-performing and needed boost which agric and agroallied business could create since that was what we had in abundance and to the country’s advantage. Anambra State Governor Peter Obi said the youths could change the country by playing active role in the economy and making sure they help to enshrine good and accountable leadership. He said that they should see themselves as agents of change, adding that touths could change the country through positive living and readiness to challenge the ills of the society and the excesses of those in government.

Police arrest three suspects over Kogi church attack CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

paign against ethical and moral bankruptcy in the country. Egbunu commended Governor Idris Wada and the security chiefs in the state for their prompt response to the situation even as he decried the increasing surge of insecurity and “the abuse of Christian grace and forbearance.” He said CAN and the Council of Ulama in the state were forging peaceful co-existence and urged Christian and Muslim youths to strengthen the resolve by rejecting evil acts under any guise. The state Overseer of the Deeper Life Christian Bible Church, Pastor Raymond Ogunjobi, who was also present at the briefing, said that 17 persons died in the onslaught against 16 the media reported. Ogunjobi said 15 members of the church were

gunned down and died on the spot while two died on their way to the hospital, adding that 10 injured persons were receiving treatment at Okene General Hospital with eight at Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja. In Sokoto State, the heroic deed of a police corporal prevented a powerful bomb from wreaking havoc in front of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, secretariat on Sultan Abubakar Road in Sokoto yesterday. The officer was reported to have sighted three fastmoving motorcyclists about noon dropping a polythene bag at the second entrance of the secretariat and raised the alarm. “When I saw that, my mind told me it was a bomb, so I came outside and began to stop all road users telling them, ‘bomb, bomb, bomb, don’t come near this place.’ “I had to go to the two junctions to tell the traf-

fic wardens to divert all road users from the lane. When, I returned, I alerted all neighbours, including operators of shops on the other lane that there was a bomb dropped by some fastmoving persons on a bike,” he said. The corporal said that having condoned off the whole area, he called the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, who later informed the police commissioner and the AIG before the antibomb squad could be mobilised to the scene. An eyewitness said that it took the anti-bomb squad team about three hours before they could arrive at the scene, “and when they came, they used some devices attached to a long wire to defuse the bomb before it burst into pieces. “They told all onlookers to vacate the premises before they detonated it and it burst into pieces without

any damage to the building or anything within the vicinity. The state PDP Deputy Chairman, Alhaji Ibrahim Balarabe Goronyo, who confirmed the incident, said that officials of the party witnessed the detonation which made a loud noise but did not affect the building or did any damage whatsoever. He said the bomb, if not detonated, would have wreaked havoc in the area and called on the public to be extra vigilant on any suspicious elements, luggage, boxes or polythene bags around public buildings in the state. Meanwhile, two policemen were shot dead in Bauchi. It was learnt that the policemen were attacked in the morning during a patrol close to a police check point in Gubi village on Ningi/ Kano road in the state.

Bauchi State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Muhammad Ladan, confirmed the incident. He said that the two policemen were rushed to the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, ATBUTH, Bauchi, where they died. The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, has urged Nigerians to be more vigilant and security conscious to assist security agencies in the fight against terror and organised crime. The IG, who spoke in the aftermath of yesterday’s controlled detonation of a high calibre explosive by the Sokoto State Police Command, however, restated the commitment of the force to stamp out crimes. Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Frank Mbah, also recounted the details of the Sokoto incident.

He said: “About 11a.m., the Sokoto State Police Command received information from a civic-minded citizen that an unknown person riding an unregistered motorcycle had dropped off a black polythene bag in front of the secretariat of one of the national political parties located at Rigiya area of Sokoto metropolis. “On receipt of the information, the AIG Zone 10, Ibrahim Muktari and the CP of the Command immediately dispatched a team of police operatives from the Bomb Disposal Unit to the area. The timely response of the police saved the day. “The polythene bag was located, examined and discovered to be containing high calibre IED. Personnel of the Police Bomb Disposal Squad thereafter carried out a controlled detonation of the explosives. No casualty of any kind.”


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National News

Thursday, August 9, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

SSS quizzes el-Rufai at Lagos Airport O LUSEGUN KOIKI

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L-R: Alleged fraudsters Sunny Obazee, Olajide Oshodi and Ashok Isran with officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, during their trial at the Lagos High Court in Ikeja, yesterday.

2013 budget: FG unveils framework, targets $75 per barrel benchmark ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA

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he Federal Government yesterday unfolded the Medium Term Fiscal Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper for the 2013 budget. According to the framework, the country is expected to produce 2.53 million barrels of oil per day with a benchmark of $75 per barrel as against 2.48 million per day at $72 per barrel in 2012. The 2013 budget framework tagged: “Physical Consolidation with Growth and Job Cre-

ation,” which has been approved by the Federal Executive Council, FEC, has a projected expenditure of N4.929trn with a projection of N3.891trn revenue. Briefing State House Correspondents on the outcome of the weekly FEC meeting, the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said the government was also working towards a new approach in managing domestic debt. The minister said the government was projecting N727.19bn for the 2013fiscal year.

She said: “We have been managing down the yearly domestic borrowing from N852bn in 2011 to N744.44bn in 2012 and we are projecting N727.19bn for the fiscal year 2013. We are gradually bringing this down.” Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala noted that the projection of the government was to ensure that by 2015, yearly borrowing would go down to N500bn, adding that though the figure would not be the entire debt stock., it would mean that the stock of debt would grow at much slower pace. She said: “Fiscal deficit is coming down with

projected fiscal deficit expected to come down to 2.17 per cent of Gross Domestic Product, GDP, as against 2.82 per cent of GDP which is well below the 3 per cent prescribed in the fiscal responsibility bill. “We are going to start a sinking fund, with Mr. President’s approval we will be devoting the sum of N25bn to a sinking fund because we must be putting aside money to retire the debt that we have been building up, our domestic debt and we will also put aside N75bn to help retire a bond that is coming due in February next year.”

en of the State Security Service, SSS, yesterday grilled the former Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Minister, Mallam Nasir elRufai, at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA, in Lagos. The former minister was billed to travel to Dubai for an unknown reason with Emirates Airlines before the SSS men picked him up for questioning. It was learnt that the SSS personnel also seized el-Rufai’s travel documents such as international passport and air ticket. An SSS source told our correspondent that el-Rufai was approached at the check-in area of the airport and was told that he could not travel, but the former minister insisted that he had an important meeting in Dubai. After he was delayed for about four hours, the SSS operatives retuned his travel documents to enable him continue his journey to the United Arab Emirates. The source said that el-Rufai’s interrogation might not be unconnected with his ardent criticism of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration in recent times, adding that

he had been on the watch list of the government for over a year. When our correspondent visited the SSS office at MMIA, the officer, who declined to reveal his identity, could not confirm or deny elRufai’s interrogation. He directed our correspondent to speak with the SSS spokesperson, Marylyn Ogar in Abuja. However, efforts to get the SSS to comment on the issue were abortive at press time. Meanwhile, contrary to report that the former Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Subsidy regime, Alhaji Farouk Lawan, was arrested at MMIA, it was learnt that he actually travelled to Saudi Arabia for lesser Hajj on Tuesday. Lawan, it was also gathered, was escorted into the check-in area of the Emirates Airlines by an SSS official, when he boarded the plane to Saudi Arabia.

Mallam el-Rufai

N855m fraud: EFCC arraigns Bank PHB officials, Indian, others FRANCIS FAMOROTI

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hree employees of Bank PHB (now Keystone Bank Plc) and a Swiss-Indian national, Ashok Isran, were yesterday arraigned before an Ikeja High Court for alleged conspiracy and fraud involving about N855m. The bank officials cited as the first, third and fourth defendants respectively are Anayo Nwosu, Olajide Oshodi and Sunny Obazee. Also Nulec Industries Limited and Bank PHB (now Keystone Bank Plc)

were charged as the fifth and sixth defendants. Justice Habeeb Abiru, before whom they appeared, however, granted them bail. He, however, ordered them to be remanded in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, until they perfected their bail conditions. In his ruling on the bail applications filed by the defendants, the judge held that the Chairman and the Managing Director of Keystone Bank/ Bank PHB should, among other conditions, provide an undertaking and guar-

antee that Nwosu, Oshodi and Obazee would appear on each adjourned date in court for trial. As for Isran, said to be a director of Nulec Industries, the court barred him from travelling outside the country during the pendency of the case. Specifically, the de-

fendants were accused of conspiracy to obtain money by false pretence and theft of N855m from Sir Daniel Chukwudozie of Dozzy Oil and Gas Limited sometime in 2008. The two-count information preferred against the defendants reads: ‘’ *Conspiracy to obtain money

by false pretence contrary to Sections 8(A) and 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Related Offences Act No. 14 of 2006. Anayo Nwosu, Ashok Isran, Olajide Oshodi, Sunny Obazee, Nuclec Industries Limited and Bank PHB now known as Keystone Bank Plc

sometime in 2008 at Lagos within the Ikeja Judicial Division, with intent to defraud, conspired to obtain money by false pretence from Sir Daniel Chukwudozie of Dozzy Oil and Gas Limited. As soon as the charges were read, the defendants pleaded not guilty.

Jonathan leads delegation to Mills’ burial ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA

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resident Goodluck Jonathan leaves Abuja for Ghana today as the head of the Nigeria’s official delegation to the burial of Pres-

ident John Atta Mills who died on July 24. The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, said in a statement in Abuja yesterday that Jonathan would participate in the funeral

rites of Mills scheduled for tomorrow and also meet with Ghana’s new leader, President John Dramani Mahama. Jonathan is expected to return to Abuja tomorrow. Ghanaian Minister of

Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Hon. Muhammad Mumuni, had on July 31 brought a special message from President Mahama and an invitation to President Jonathan to attend the burial.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

News

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Three die, 10 injured in Abuja building collapse A t least three people lost their lives and about 10 others were injured in the early hours of yesterday when an uncompleted two-storey building in the Kubwa area of Abuja, collapsed. Located at No. 2 Ademola Awosika Street, Kubwa Extension III, the building was said to have been in the area for about 12 years and despite warnings earlier this year about the state of

the structure, some artisans and commercial motorcycle riders continued to live there. National Mirror learnt that on January 19 this year, the Department of Development Control in the FCTA marked the structure for demolition but the whereabouts of the owner of the structure could not be immediately ascertained. Most of the injured that

were rushed to the Kubwa General Hospital were said to have left the hospital fearing the possibility of a piling medical bill. Ridwan Ali, who survived the incident told National Mirror that the structure actually collapsed around 1.00 am yesterday, explaining that there were more than 50 people living in the ill-fated structure. “It happened around 1.00

am, when most of us were already asleep. Only three people died. Most of us who stayed there are Okada riders or labourers,” he said. A combined team of rescuers led by the National Emergency Management Agency were on hand to salvage the situation. NEMA spokesperson, Yushau Shuaibu, said the situation was under control as rescue efforts were about being completed last night.

L-R: Executive Director, Strategy and Research, Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Alhaji Abdulateef Shittu (left) and Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola, during the meeting of Nigerian Governors’ Forum on Constitutional Amendment and Polio Eradication in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

Opposition senators move against Akume GEORGE OJI ABUJA

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pposition senators who are dissatisfied with what they described as the weak leadership being provided by Senator George Akume, their leader at the upper chamber, have commenced moves for his replacement. Akume was accused of selling out to the majority Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and not protecting the interest of the opposition senators at the red chamber. Besides, the former governor was also accused of being incoherent and unserious in his contributions to debates on the floor of the senate. In addition, he was alleged to be playing truancy in the senate, resulting in other opposition principal officers acting in his place most of the time. Incidentally most of the senators that are opposed to his leadership are drawn mainly from the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN)

camp. However, in order not to incur the anger of the leadership of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the ACN senators do not want to come out in the open to express their dissatisfaction with the leadership of Akume. Instead, the ACN senators were said to be enlisting the support of other opposition senators from the All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP), Labour Party (LP), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) to champion the removal of Akume. National Mirror, however, gathered that an opposition senator from the North-East is the one currently leading the move to oust Akume. The opposition senators are reported to have already started lobbying the senate leadership to see reasons with them for the leadership change. The plan is to conclude all arrangements concerning the leadership change before the senate resumes

sitting from its current annual vacation in September, when the new leadership is expected to emerge. National Mirror further gathered that the opposition senators are already positioning Senator Solomon Ganiyu (Lagos West) who is currently the Minority Whip to take over from Akume. Before emerging as the Minority Whip at the commencement of the 7th senate in June last year, Ganiyu was the strongest contender to the office of minority leader, but lost the slot following the intervention of Tinubu who imposed Akume on the senators. Indeed, if the position of the Minority Leader had been thrown open for contest, Ganiyu would have conveniently won the seat. Tinubu’s argument was that Akume’s candidacy would make the ACN assume a look of a truly national party as opposed to Ganiyu, which would have made a lot of people to perceive the party as a regional party for the South-West.

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Clark to IBB: Tell Nigerians why you’re avoiding Boko Haram OBIORA IFOH ABUJA

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ormer Federal Commissioner for Information and Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark, yesterday stood his comment that former Military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, has not done enough to assist government solve the problem of insecurity posed by Boko Haram sect. He insisted that the former military president must tell Nigerians why he has not deemed it fit to talk to the members of the sect the way he did during the Niger Delta crisis. Clark said Nigerians will like to find out why Babangida has been silent for so long and why he is refusing to talk to Boko Haram, since he is such a great patriot as claimed in the statement he made. The 85-year-old statesman was reacting to Babangida’s condemnation of his comments which noted that Clark might have been beclouded by his old age to the extent he could no longer notice his (Babangida) efforts towards resolving the Boko Haram debacle. Clark’s comment on Gen. Babangida came shortly after his (Babangida’s) joint statement with former President Olusegun Obasanjo, harping on the urgent need to resolve the security is-

sues in the country. The comment, which did not go down well with Gen. Babangida was made by Clark when he addressed a state of the federation lecture recently at the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) in Abuja. Clark, who apparently stood his ground as contained in a statement he issued in Abuja which was signed on his behalf by his Legal Adviser/Consultant, Mr. Kayode Ajulo, noted that the popular amnesty programme which late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua deployed to stop the activities of Niger Delta militants, was made possible by Clark’s going to the creeks with the then VicePresident Goodluck Jonathan, to talk to the militants to drop arms and embrace peace. He said the recent utterances made by Babangida to portray Clark as one who has lost grip of the happenings in the country on account of his old age is unnecessary. According to Ajulo, “Ordinarily, Gen. Babangida should have joined many other Nigerians who applauded Chief E. K. Clark for crying out over the wanton loss of lives being experienced daily over the senseless killings of Nigeria’s women and children, Christians and Moslems alike”.

Fresh crisis looms in power sector UDEME AKPAN AND JOHN UWE

A Akume

The arrowhead of the ‘Akume Must Go Senators,’ who does not want his name in print said, “If you are conversant with what is going on in the senate, nobody will tell you that the opposition have lost their voice in the senate because of the type of leadership foisted on us, this is quite clear. We are only opposition senators by name as you can see from what is going on in the senate. I wish we can regain our voice and play our role as true opposition senators.”

major crisis is looming in the power sector again following a sharp disagreement between the Federal Government and Labour over the payment of total terminal benefits and severance package to workers of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN). The PHCN has pushed for the payment of the workers in order to pave way for the implementation of the remaining part of President Goodluck Jonathan transformation of the power sector. In its advice, ahead of actual payment, PHCN informed the workers that the components, including pensions, gratuity and severance, were based on factors such as condition of service, industry standards, pension laws and relevant

laws of the nation. The PHCN stated that; “This payment advice is an ‘advance statement’ of terminal benefits due to you for your review and feedback so as to avoid unforeseen computational error. If any change (not contrary to paragraph 2 above), your feedback should be indicated in the attached duplicate copy to the advice.” The total severance component and the 25 percent of the total accrued benefits were to be paid upfront in view of the forbearance obtained from PENCOM by the Federal Government of Nigeria in that regard. It maintained that, “The balance due to you will be domiciled in your Retirement Savings Account (RSA) in line with PENCOM guidelines. Your response, through the CEO of your office should reach the office of the MD/CEO on or before 10 August 2012.”


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South West

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Sacked workers: Opposition trying to incite labour –ACN KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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ction Congress of Nigeria, ACN, has denied the allegation by the Socialist Party of Nigeria, SPN, that Governor Abiola Ajimobi, refused to comply with the resolution of the Oyo State House of Assembly to reinstate the 3,000 workers recently sacked by the government. The state Publicity Secretary of ACN, Mr. Dauda Kolawole, said in a state-

ment yesterday that the state chapter of SPN was attempting to use the issue of the sacked workers to incite the labour against the state government. He said: “While it is true that the House of Assembly, due to the controversy generated by the workers’ sack, constituted a panel to offer those who felt they had genuine cases the opportunity to do so, it should be stated that no resolution has been passed by the Assembly calling for the re-absorption of the affected workers.

“Of course, the House Committee could not have called for the reinstatement of the entire 3,000 sacked workers, having said emphatically that majority of them were actually guilty of the offences that led to their disengagement from the state civil service.’’ Kolawole also quoted the Chairman of the House Ad-hoc Committee on sacked workers, Hon. Segun Ajanaku, as saying that, “while some of them actually falsified their certificates, others, after being in

service, went to acquire fake certificates probably to retain their jobs, get promoted or whatever reason. We also have cases of those who had stayed long in service and due for retirement but who falsified their ages in order to escape retirement’’. The ACN spokesman therefore challenged the SPN to come out and tell the whole world who it sponsors were rather than playing the devil’s advocate and exhibiting absolute ignorance on the workings of the government.

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INEC won’t conduct fresh voters’ registration in Ondo –REC HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE

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he Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, said it would not conduct a fresh voters’ registration in Ondo State for the October 20 gubernatorial election. The state INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, Mr. Akin Orebiyi, disclosed this yesterday in Akure while addressing participants at a stakeholders’ forum organised by the state police command and his commission. He explained that fresh registration of voters had been cancelled. Orebiyi also disclosed that the October 20 date for the election would not be changed. The REC, however, said the commission would conduct a nationwide continuous registration of voters after the governorship election in Ondo State.

He said names of all eligible voters in the state were still intact, adding that the commission was doing everything possible to ensure that the names of those who were registered and eligible to vote would be made available soon. Orebiyi noted that the commission had records of those whose names were missing in the electronic register last year and that the document would serve as a back-up again for the e-register this year. Speaking at the forum, the Secretary of the state chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Mr. Adegboyega Adedipe, said his party was prepared to challenge the INEC position in court, arguing that the commission had no right to change the rule at this critical stage. He pointed out that there is a provision in the electoral law which gives room for the fresh registration exercise before election.

Family week: NAWOJ demands crèches in workplace SEKINAH L AWAL

T L-R: Mrs. Yejide Falode; widow of the late Chief Segun Taiwo, Chairman of Ogun Central Senatorial District of the Action Congress of Nigeria, Adenike and Governor Ibikunle Amosun, during a condolence visit to the family of the deceased in Asero, Abeokuta, yesterday.

Nigeria needs new constitution to survive –Don KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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igeria’s constitution is no longer appropriate for the continued corporate existence of the country, a university lecturer, Prof. Kolawole Ogundowole, has said. Ogundowole, a professor of Philosophy of Science, said this yesterday in an interview with journalists after delivering a lecture at the 55th anniversary celebration of “Self Government, the Foundation for the ongoing Constitution Review.” The lecture was organised by a pan-Yoruba organisation, Atayese. He said there was no basis for the ongoing constitution review embarked upon by the National Assembly, adding that such would at the end of the day amount

to a mere waste of time and the country’s resources. Ogundowole said the present constitution was totally inappropriate for the country’s corporate existence, adding that “if something is bad, it is already bad and the best thing to do is to have another one”. He said that the present constitution had become a subject of a series of amendments with nothing to show for it. “The fact is that the constitution has been amended many times but this time around rather than wasting time amending it, what we need to do is to write a new constitution,” Ogundowole added. The lecturer said that it was not possible for the National Assembly to write a constitution that would be appropriate for a multi ethnic country like Nigeria,

adding that many ethnic groups in Nigeria were not represented at the National Assembly, as presently constituted. Ogundowole said that there was no going back on the call for the convocation of a Sovereign National

Conference, SNC, which he said was for now the only way out for Nigeria as a country. The Chairman of Atayese, Mr. Tokunbo Ajasin, called for urgent return to regional autonomy for the country to move forward.

he Lagos State chapter of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists, NAWOJ, has called on employers to provide crèches in the workplace to boost productivity. The state Chairperson of NAWOJ, Mrs. Dupe Olaoye-Osinkolu, made the call at a special congress held at Ladi Lawal Press Centre, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, to kick off the association’s family week. Mrs. Olaoye-Osinkolu said this year’s family week was special because of its dedication to issues affect-

FG breaching agreement with Bi-Courtney –Babalakin

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he Chairman of the construction giant, Bi-Courtney, Wale Babalakin, has accused the Federal Government of breaching a concessional agreement with the company. He also said the breach could discourage investors. Babalakin said the Federal Government’s refusal to implement the agreement, despite the court judgments in favour of his company, had reduced Bi-Courtney to a company which could not actualise a

Babalakin

simple transaction. In a petition to the Director-General, Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission, ICRC, Bi-

Courtney had blamed the Ministry of Aviation for reneging on the agreement and resolutions of the Coordinating Committee set up by the Attorney-General, which had resolved the dispute in favour of the company. Babalakin disclosed that the committee, among others, resolved that, in accordance with the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, FAAN’s offer to Bi-Courtney and law, the term of the concession was 36 years.

ing women as the nucleus of their respective families. She said: “We are the stronghold of every family. Our husbands look up to us for attention, we pamper them. Our brothers see us as perpetual protectors, we strive to protect them. Our children believe so much in our power of creativity, always bringing something out of nothing, we struggle not to disappoint them. We always nurture them. “Our multiple roles therefore behove on us to lend our voices to policies and decisions that will benefit our families, and ensure their comfort under any circumstance.” Mrs. Olaoye-Osinkolu urged employers to be more baby-friendly by establishing crèches within the work environment so that nursing mothers could easily breastfeed their babies within a short time and return to their duties. “The establishment of crèches in public and private workplaces would encourage mothers to adequately breastfeed their babies. By providing crèches for nursing mothers, their babies would become healthier and productivity would also increase,” he said.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

South West

Thursday, August 9, 2012

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Boko Haram warned against desecrating Ramadan month OLUSEGUN KOIKI AND FEMI OYEWESO

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n Islamic group, the Ahmadiyya Movement-In-Islam yesterday warned the Boko Haram sect and other groups to desist from the wanton killing and destruction of properties of innocent citizens in the country. The movement described such killings as the desecration of the holy month of Ramadan. Speaking at the Movement’s Annual National Ramadan Lecture 2012 held in Lagos, the guest lecturer, Chief Imam of Ottun - Ota Mission of the Movement, Alhaji Abdulfatai Odunaye, expressed sadness over the continued killing of innocent Nigerians, particularly as Muslims all over the world are observing the holy month of Ramadan. Odunaye admonished the groups responsible for the killings to desist from the act that was capable of destroying the very fabric of the country. A statement signed by the Chairman, National Think-tank and Publicity Committee of the Movement, Alhaji Muftau Ayorinde, said the Movement was disturbed that such act of killing and bombing continued even in the holy month of Ramadan, which was supposed to serve as a month that all mankind should move closer to Almighty Allah (S.W.A) to

•Group tasks Jonathan on sect

seek forgiveness and repentance from acts that are contrary to the wishes of Allah for mankind. The lecture, which has as its theme; “The Importance of Ramadan to Mankind” was presided over by the Movement’s First National President, Alhaji Samodi Shekoni, while the Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Projects Implementation and Monitoring, Alhaji T. P. L. Sulaimon Yusuf, chaired the occasion. Speaking on the significance of Ramadan, the guest lecturer said the holy month of Ramadan was that in which the Holy Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammed and that the Holy Quran specifically stipulated the 24th day of Ramadan as the commencement date of the revelation while other Hadiths mentioned 25th, 27th or 29th day. The revelation was repeated yearly in the holy month by Angel Gabriel until the demise of the holy prophet of Islam. He listed the benefits of fasting to be moral rejuvenation; spiritual upliftment and physical attainment by persons fasting, among others. He also noted that those exempted from fasting are old men; very young children; weak persons; pregnant women and lactating mothers, who are still breast-feeding their ba-

Ogun initiates programme to reduce maternal mortality

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gun State government yesterday said it is set to implement a Conditional Cash Transfers programme for women aimed at providing cash, food and relevant materials to poor pregnant women during four ante-natal visits, delivery and one postnatal visit. State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, disclosed this in Abeokuta during a meeting with some local government chairmen, whose councils would be used for the pilot test of the programme. Governor Amosun said the programme was part of an attempt at setting a standard in health care delivery in the state. He said local government areas played a pivotal role in achieving qualitative health care delivery at the grassroots and promised that the programme would be extended to other local councils in the state.

The governor said qualitative health service remained a cardinal part of his administration’s fivepoint agenda, assuring that all primary health centres in the local government areas in the state would be upgraded and equipped with necessary personnel to boost efficiency in health care delivery. Speaking earlier, Special Adviser to the Governor on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Mrs. Hafsat Abiola-Costello, said the programme was designed to encourage poor pregnant women to use modern health facilities during child delivery, stating that the state was the first in the country to pioneer the use of conditional cash transfers. She said about 545 women out of every 100, 000 died during child birth and that Nigeria had two times the global average for maternal mortality.

bies. He advised Muslims to always hasten to break their fast without delay and also to shun evil deeds, reiterating that the main reason for fasting was the attainment of TAQWAH - piety, righteousness and protection against sin. Meanwhile, an association of Muslim professionals; The Crescent, has called on President

Goodluck Jonathan to be firm and decisive in dealing with the menace of the dreaded sect. The Muslim professionals were speaking at the annual Ramadan lecture held in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, yesterday. The group frowned at the purported demand of the sect that President Goodluck Jonathan should convert to Islam before it

could cease fire. The Crescent’s President, Alhaji Rasak Ola Bello described Boko Haram as non-muslims and stressed that Islam does not support compulsion of religion. Citing Tuesday’s attack on the central mosque in Okene, Kogi State as well as the recent one in another mosque in Yobe State which targeted the Emirs and worshippers during Friday’s prayer, The Cres-

cents declared that Boko Haram’s agitation has gone beyond religion. “There is no compulsion in Islam, I want the president of the country to note that this has gone beyond religious problem, it is a political situation or how can you interpret it when this same set of people now go to the central mosque targeting Emirs and worshippers on Friday, so you can see that it has gone beyond religion.”

L-R: President, Pacesetters Club, Mr. James Popoola; Owa of Otan Ayegbaju, Oba Lukman Fadipe; Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola and Chairman, Planning Committee, Mr. Segun Aina, at the handing over of Medical Staff Quarters donated to the state government by the club at Otan Ayegbaju in Osun State, yesterday.

NCC frustrating our efforts, says Aregbesola

WALE FOLARIN OSOGBO

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arely 48 hours after Osun State government launched its joint security force named Swift Action Squad (SAS) the governor Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, has accused the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) of frustrating his administration’s efforts at ensuring security of lives and property in the state. He said his administration’s determination to combat crime in all ramifications using modern telecommunication gadgets have been subtly frustrated

by the foot-dragging attitude of NCC, resulting in the non-issuance of security telephone numbers at the inauguration of the outfit. The governor, who made this disclosure during the inauguration of SAS, said all attempts at securing three-digit telephone line from the nation’s telecommunication regulatory agency have met a brick wall because of its lack of cooperation. His words: “We have tried to secure a three-digit security number for our security outfit so as for them to be able to provide 24hour security surveillance across the state as well as

to swiftly respond to crime activities within 20 minutes of receiving a distress call from the people anywhere in the state. “But it is unfortunate that our efforts have been frustrated by the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) from acquiring the number. But I will now take it upon myself to visit the NCC office to see things for myself. The security of our citizens is very dear to us. “We want Osun to be save against any act of malfeasance, be it armed robbery, kidnapping, rape or whatever crime. We are up to the task and we guarantee our

people of prompt and adequate security to their lives and properties. Hence, this administration will leave no stone unturned to make sure the state is crime free.” According to him, with the three-digit security number, the aim of government was to respond to distress call and arrive at the scene of crime within 30 minutes in any party of the state. Meanwhile, the governor has bemoaned the level of infrastructural decay in the country, even as he called on engineers in the country to rise up and assist in the total overhauling of the nation’s social and infrastructural needs.

Lawmakers charged to step up oversight functions ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

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embers of the Ekiti State House of Assembly have been urged to step up their oversight function of budget tracking process to ensure accountability, openness and delivery of democracy dividends. Speaker of the House, Dr Adewale Omirin, who described it as a major pillar of democratic process for development, also called

for sponsorship of private bills from members of the public. Omirin, in a statement by his Special Adviser, Media, Mr Wole Olujobi, encouraged members to continue to initiate bills in the new legislative session for effective discharge of their lawmaking responsibilities to move the state forward. He charged his colleagues to continue to support the state government and inform their constituents of their activities as

well as engage in public enlightenment on government programmes. The Speaker said: “It is gratifying that infrastructural development projects are on-going across the state and our people are happy for this. We must continue to encourage the executive in this direction so that together we can raise our heads in our communities as development partners in building Ekiti to a state of our collective dream.” Omirin charged the law-

makers to see their performance in the first session which saw the passage of 31 bills as the benchmark through which they would be assessed in the new session. He expressed delight that the members fulfilled their obligations to Ekiti people through their outstanding performance in the last session, saying their performance was appreciated by the people through their comments within the state and outside.


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South East

Thursday, August 9, 2012

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Bus drivers protest against illegal levy CHARLES OKEKE AWKA

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ommercial bus drivers under the umbrella of Anambra, Enugu and Ebonyi States Drivers’ Welfare Association yesterday staged a protest in Awka, the Anambra State capital, against the imposition of illegal levies on their activities. The association said they were also protesting against the seizure of their buses by a purported agent of government that goes by the name Winnerlack. The protest, which lasted for several hours left many travellers stranded.

It started when hundreds of members of the association stormed the Arroma Junction section of Awka to Enugu Expressway, compelling all commercial buses coming from Enugu that had arrived in the area to terminate their journeys abruptly. As the protest persisted with their respective travelling buses now grounded, the passengers resigned to fate and waited for a time when they would be allowed to continue on their journey to Onitsha and other destinations. Chairman of the bus drivers association, Chief Daniel Ojii, had in an interview with National Mirror

• Travellers stranded in Awka said they were protesting because they were being forced to pay N14, 000 interstate levy by Winnerlack, the company he also accused of impounding their buses illegally. In his words: “Our major grouse is that our vehicles are being impounded illegally and N14,000 collected from every bus as interstate fee and we don’t know on whose authority Winnerlack is doing this as he

was not issuing any paper. “They called it interstate fee and insisted that each bus must pay. We wrote to the Commissioner of Police and the State Security Service (SSS) to enable them react. But, up till now, there was no reply from them.” He said they were waiting for the government to come to their assistance. Chief Ojii, who said they sent a complaint to

the former commissioner for special duties on the issue without achieving any result, said their major demand now is that the interstate levy be abolished, while buses seized from their members, which are about 20, be released to them immediately. He lamented that the alleged forceful collection of the levy by the agent has destroyed their business. Meanwhile, the protest which was planned as a two day-event was expected to

continue today. A member of Anambra State House of Assembly, representing Aguata 1 Constituency, Dr Umeh has, however, waded in to the issue with a promise that he will liaise with the relevant authorities to ensure that the seized buses are released to their owners. He made the offer to intervene to resolve the problem when he spoke to leaders of the association on their grievances at they were protesting yesterday.

Kidnap victim raises the alarm over others in ritual camp DENNIS AGBO ENUGU

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22-year-old sales girl, Miss Chinenye Ugwoke, who was released by ritualists last Tuesday in Nsukka, Enugu State, has raised the alarm over three teenage girls, who are still in the ritual camp. Narrating her ordeal in the hands of ritualists to journalists yesterday, Ugwoke said she was lured into the den of the ritualists in a thick forest in Nsukka in the morning of the fateful day. Reprieve, however, came her way when the leader of the ritualists, after watching her closely, said she was not the right person for the ritual and instructed his men to set her free. Ugwoke, who told journalists that she was a sales girl at Ogbete main market in Enugu, said she unknowingly, joined what appeared like a commercial bus as early as six o’clock in the morning of that fateful day at Nsukka bus park to return early to Enugu without knowing that other occupants of the bus were all members of a ritual gang. She said the gang members initially pretended to be passengers but as they moved on, the driver said he would move through the old road, adding that none of them raised any objection. She averred that she was surprised when the driver of the vehicle drove into a thick forest which she said she could no longer recog-

nise. Ugwoke said it was at that point that she realised that she was the only stranger in the bus as the other two girls who were in the bus started playing, smoking and chatting with the gang members. She said luck came her way when the ring leader of the gang came out and ordered that she should be set free and taken away because she was not fit for the ritual. According to her, the men obediently carried out the instruction and drove her out to a place near the main road. She said it was at that place that she saw an old woman along the road who had compassion on her and took her to her house, fed and sheltered her till the next morning. When contacted, the Enugu State Police Public Relations Officer PPRO, Mr. Ebere Amaraizu, advised the victim go back to Nsukka and lodge a formal complaint to enable the police at Nsukka commence investigation, and send the signal to police headquarters in Enugu.

L-R: Chairman of ASA (USA), Dr. Allison Anadi; Francis Cardinal Arinze and Anambra State Governor Peter Obi and some members of the medical mission at the flag-off of the ASA USA 2012 Medical Mission at the Community Health Centre, Ezeowelle, yesterday.

Prioritise children issues in states, UNICEF tells govt DENNIS AGBO ENUGU

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he United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has pleaded with state governments in the country to appreciate the benefits of children’s issues by placing priority on them. The body said studies have shown that progress in children’s rights has been achieved by spending more and targeting resources on key basic social services, governments could place priority on child-related issues

children’s rights, to help children meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential. He further stated that UNICEF supports the government and the civil society to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the areas of basic education, child protection, health and nutrition, water sanitation and hygiene, as well as social policy and communication. “That is why we are here today to share ideas and experiences and identify ways forward in our col-

laboration,” said Nzuki. The UNICEF boss challenged the government functionaries to have action plans even as the need to invest more in children, focus on equitable development and strengthening of the state systems, grows daily. He added that there was also the need to translate the existing polices into visible results for children, the practice of quarterly monitoring of key development and relevant indictors should be adopted as part of state government priorities.

NSCDC warns crude oil vandals in Enugu DENNIS AGBO ENUGU

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to make it more meaningful. UNICEF ‘A’ Field Officer in Enugu, Mr. Charles Nzuki, said this during the August 2012 high level permanent secretaries and secretaries to state governments’ meeting at Enugu that was made up of five states of the SouthEast, four states in SouthSouth and Benue State. Nzuki told the gathering that UNICEF works with development partners, individuals, businesses, foundations and civil society to advocate for the realisation of

he Enugu State command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has sounded a note of warning to wouldbe vandals in the state to desist from their nefarious even as plans were under-

way to revitalise the Enugu depot of the Nigeria National Petroleum Company (NNPC) for lifting of crude oil products. Commandant of NSCDC in Mr. Sikiru Adisa Raimi, in an interview yesterday said the resolve of his command to rid the society of oil pipeline vandals, water pipeline

vandals and NITEL cable vandals, was at an all time high. Sikiri said his command has retooled and evolved new strategies to combat the activities of vandals in the state, adding that the command has sufficient manpower to weather the storm. He commended the ef-

forts of other sister security agencies, saying that a harmonious working relationship was pivotal to the success of the protection of lives and property of the populace, maintaining that all the security agencies in the state share intelligence briefs to enable them nip the activities of unscrupulous citizens in the bud.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

South South

Thursday, August 9 , 2012

Bayelsa Assembly sacks five LG chairmen over incompetence EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA

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he Bayelsa State House of Assembly yesterday sacked five local government chairmen for non-performance and incompetence. The decision to sack the chairmen was taken at a closed-door plenary session in Yenagoa, presided over by Speaker Konbowei

Benson. It was the outcome of a probe of eight local government chairmen ordered by the Assembly. The lawmakers launched the probe into the financial activities of the councils, a development which sent jitters down the spines of some of the local government officials. The affected chairmen, whose tenure is expected to end next April, are Tiwei

Orunimighe of Southern Ijaw Local Government, Ngo Sylva (Brass), Eddy Julius (Ekeremor), Pere Pereotu (Sagbama), and Sammy Boy (Ogbia). Only three of the eight chairmen, who were investigated, were spared. The local governments are Yenagoa, Nembe and Kolokuma/Opokuma. Petitions by councillors in some of the councils necessitated the investigation

by the Assembly. During the probe, the Assembly discovered a lot of anomalies in the transactions of the councils. Governor Seriake Dickson has never hidden his dislike for the high scale of corruption and indolence in the councils. He had repeatedly called for the overhaul of the third-tier system of government to enhance development in the hinterlands.

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Aides groan as cash crunch hits Dickson’s govt EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA

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here are indications that the cash crunch being experienced by political appointees in Bayelsa State is crumbling government activities. The situation is not going down well with Governor Seriake Dickson’s aides. Some aides regretted that the governor hardly approves their memo, while others complained that he often slashes the sum specified in the memo. Investigation showed that the appointees, including commissioners, special advisers, senior special assistants, complained that their salaries and allowances could hardly meet their needs. In one of Dickson’s public outings in the state, he had announced that the monthly take-home of his political aides, including himself and the Deputy Governor, John Jonah,

had been slashed by 15 per cent, describing it as a sacrifice to the state. Almost six months in office, the governor’s aides have not been allocated their official vehicles to facilitate their job. Some of the aides also threatened to resign their appointments if the situation continued. It was gathered that some of the appointees do not have offices, but only collect their monthly income as a political patronage. Worried by the grumblings by the appointees, it was learnt that on Tuesday, Dickson convened a closed-door meeting with about 300 political aides inside the Banquet Hall of the Government House in Yenagoa. One of the political appointees at the meeting told our correspondent that the governor said the state was facing some financial difficulties as N3b was deducted at source from the state’s allocation from the federation account.

Religious leaders flay calls for Jonathan’s resignation Members of the Nigeria Medical Association, Rivers State chapter, protesting the abduction of their colleagues in Port Harcourt, yesterday.

UNEP report: $1bn must be for Ogoni alone - MOSOP CHINEDUM EMEANA PORT HARCOURT

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he Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People, MOSOP, said the $1bn recommended by the United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP, as start-up fund for Ogoni clean-up for the first five years must be spent on Ogoni alone. This is against the Federal Government’s decision to adopt a regional approach to the UNEP report

recommendation for Ogoniland by setting up Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Pollution, HYPREP. The people arrived at this decision after a Congress of the Ogoni People held at the Peace and Freedom Centre, Bori, to mark one year of the release of the UNEP report. This is contained in a statement signed by the Chairman, MOSOP Provisional Council, Prof. Ben Naanen, and member, Bishop Solomon Gberegbara. The Ogoni people, according to the statement,

also expressed concern that it took the Federal Government one year to take action on the UNEP report. However, the Ogoni said they decided to give the Federal Government the benefit of the doubt, by accepting HYPREP, realising that other parts of the Niger Delta also suffered oil-related pollution like Ogoni, and having received some guarantees from the representatives of HYPREP and National Oil Spill Detention and Response Agency, NOSDRA. The statement reads in

part: “The UNEP recommendations on Ogoni will be fully and faithfully implemented irrespective of HYPREP’s intervention in other areas. “The $1bn recommended by UNEP as start-up fund for Ogoni clean-up for the first five years must be spent on Ogoni alone. “The Ogoni people will be given first priority in the business and job opportunities connected with the clean-up in the Ogoni area as a means of ameliorating the dire poverty and joblessness in the area.”

EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA

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hristian and Muslim leaders in Bayelsa State yesterday condemned a recent call by Boko Haram on President Goodluck Jonathan to convert to Islam or resign from office. The religious leaders prevailed on the Federal Government and security agencies to step up efforts to curtail bomb attacks and reckless killing of innocent people in parts of the country. This is contained in a communiqué issued in Yenagoa after the leaders rose from an interactive session

Warri: Attackers of journalists are impostors - Amnesty Office

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he Presidential Amnesty Office has described those who attacked journalists at the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Secretariat in Warri, Delta State, as a group of impostors. The Head of Media and Communications of the Amnesty Office, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, in a statement yesterday, dismissed the protesters’ claim that they were being owed their monthly stipends. He said: “For purposes

of clarification, our records show that the so-called protesters, who claimed to be former agitators under Phase Two of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, PAP, are not known to this office. Clearly, they are impostors trying to reap from the success of the amnesty programme. “Information available to us also shows that this was the same group that attacked the Benin NUJ secretariat last week and made similar claims.”

Alabrah said the protesters were not part of the amnesty programme, but belonged to one of the numerous groups clamouring to be absorbed into the programme under a third phase. He said: “The Amnesty Office is not owing any Niger Delta youth under the Presidential Amnesty Programme, as their stipends are paid through their banks from the 25th of every month. The payment process is computerised

and no one is paid by hand. “The Amnesty Office, however, notes the campaign of calumny and the attempt to blackmail the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Hon. Kingsley Kuku, by some disgruntled elements for reasons best known to them. “We have resolved to do what is best for the Niger Delta and Nigeria through the PAP. No amount of neg-

ative or hate campaign can make us lose focus. “In furtherance of President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda for the country and our region, we will continue to work with the security agencies to foster peace and economic growth in the Niger Delta. The dividends of the amnesty proclamation have already ensured a steady rise in crude oil production, which only recently hit 2.7 million barrels per day.”

convened by the Special Adviser to Governor Seriake Dickson on Civil Society Matters, Faithful Toifatei. The leaders said Boko Haram contravened the constitutional right of individuals to freedom of religion. “We as religious stakeholders in the state do condemn the activities of the religious sect, Boko Haram, and also the recent comment credited to the sect to the effect that President Jonathan should convert to Islam or resign his office,” they said. The religious leaders reasoned that both Christianity and Islam preach peace and urged their adherents to always apply dialogue in resolution of conflicts. The communiqué noted that both religions had coexisted peacefully in the state and called for sustenance of the peace by being their brother’s keeper at all times.

President Jonathan


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North

Thursday, August 9, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

ALGON expresses concern over STF’s operation JAMES ABRAHAM JOS

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he Plateau State chapter of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) yesterday expressed concern over the ongoing military action in some communities in the state by members of the Special Task Force (STF) on Jos crisis.

It will be recalled that authorities of the STF had on July 14 ordered residents of five villages including Mahanga, Kakuruk, Kuzen, Maseh, Shong; one and two in Barki Ladi and Riyom Local Government Areas of the state to vacate their settlements within 48 hours to enable them carry out military operation against terrorists that before now had launched series of at-

tacks on the villagers leading to several deaths. But, Chairman of ALGON in the state, Hon. Emmanuel Loman, who spoke with journalists on the matter yesterday, said since the operation started last month, the people were yet to experience any tangible benefit of the operation as the people were still being killed by the terrorists. “Just last week, the Fu-

lani herdsmen killed three Tarok people in Langtang axis of the state. Also some people in Gashit district who went to apply fertilizer on their farms were attacked as well.” Loman, who is also the Chairman of Barki Ladi Local Government Area added: “You see the problem I have with the ongoing operation is the way

L-R: Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, Dr. Godknows Igali; Etsu of Yaba, Alhaji Abdullahi Adamu; Supervisory Councillor, Abaji Local Government, Mr. Abubakar Sokodabo and Chairman, Tulsi Chanrai Foundation, Mr. Jagdish Chamrai, during the commissioning of Rehabilitated Hand Pump Boreholes in Abaji Area Council of the FCT Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

Kaduna govt lifts two-month-old curfew A ZA MSUE KADUNA

K

aduna State government yesterday lifted its two months old curfew imposed in the wake of the religious crisis which claimed lives and property in the state. A statement signed by Governor Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa’s Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Reuben Buhari, said the restriction of commercial motorcyclists’ movement from 9.00 pm to 6.00 am remained in force. The statement said in part: “In view of improved security situation in Kaduna State, the security council met today and after extensive deliberation decided to lift the curfew that has being in place with effect from today. “Also Achaba/Okada operators in the state are to adhere strictly to the restriction of their movement which starts by 9.00 pm and ends by 6.00 am. Meanwhile, all are requested to remain law abiding and cooperate with security personnel.”

Police quiz workers over textile market robbery AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST KANO

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orty-eight hours after a six-man robbery gang invaded the popular Kantin Kwari textile market in the commercial city of Kano and looted about N100 million from a textile shop owned by a Lebanese, detectives from the Kano State Police Command have arrested all the workers for interrogation. A source close to the traders at the market hinted that the Lebanese owner of the shop invited the police to arrest all his workers, all of whom he was suspecting to have connived with the armed robbers to snatch the N100 million, stacked in many Ghana-must-go sacks, and about to be deposited in a nearby bank, before the robbers struck. According to the source, armed robbers at about this same period last year raided the same textile shop and carted away millions of naira, which the Lebanese owners of the shop are yet to recover from.

In its efforts to the recover the loss, according to our source, the owners of the shop hiked the prices of the various grades of textile materials and fabrics they have in stock by about 50 percent. “That the robbers struck when the N100 million was about to be conveyed to the bank, just like they did the same period last year, was enough indication that there must be an insiders’ connivance, hence my resolve to seek the intervention of the police to quiz the workers individually to determine the extent of their involvement and the role they played in aiding and abetting the robbers.” While the robbers were escaping, it was learnt that they were not only sporadically firing into the air to ward off danger but were also raining bundles of naira notes on the crowd that dotted their escape route, leading to desperate scrambling for the money and in the ensuing confusion, they made good their escape. Also, it was gathered that

some petty traders among the passersby, who benefited from the robbers largesse, have started replenishing their shops, a development that was baffling to some of their co-traders, who were aware that before the robbery incident, they were barely struggling to keep their shops afloat. National Mirror confirmed that the police on arrival at the robbery scene were handicapped, as they could hardly open fire on the robbers who were busy showering bundles of naira notes on onlookers, all of whom were scrambling for the loot.

Kwankwaso

and manner they set out to carry out the exercise in the first place. “How do you explain a situation where they went on air to announce their plans to go after the terrorists before carrying out the operation proper, is that not funny? Will the enemy be there waiting for the soldiers to come and swoop on them? “So it smacks of lack of genuine desire on their part to apprehend the terrorists who had been killing the villagers with impunity. “Apart from that, our people were asked to vacate their settlements, we said no problem if that will bring the desired peace on the Plateau and we wasted no time to encourage the villagers to leave which they did. “But, we discovered that the Fulanis were not made to vacate the areas they occupy. And the irony is that while the military operation was going on, the Fulanis were busy destroying

the property owned by the indigenes while the military men were there. “Not only that, out of the five villages under military operation, four were recently asked by the STF to return to their villages but some of them who returned were attacked by the terrorists again. “They also discovered that the houses they left behind have also been destroyed. So we suspect there is a conspiracy in the whole exercise. Let the STF tell the people what they have achieved since they started the operation.” The chairman, who was on the delegation of Gbom Gwom Jos, Da Jacob Gyang Buba, who visited President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday over the recurring crisis in the state added; “We have told Mr. President what the people on the Plateau are passing through. So, we expect him to take a very drastic measure to solve the problem once and for all.”

Plateau youth urged to embrace peace JAMES ABRAHAM JOS

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ouths in Plateau State have been asked to shun any negative tendency and allow peace to prevail in the state. They were also urged to see each other as one created by the God Almighty, who places a very high value on human lives, too precious to be wasted at will. These were some of the views raised yesterday at the Azi Nyako Youth Centre in Jos, where about 1, 470 youths made up of various ethnic groups resident in the state including the Hausa-|Fulani and the Berom ethnic nationalities, gathered to seek peace. The meeting was well attended by top security personnel in the state and was supervised by the representative of the Chief of Defense Staff, Brig.-General B. Y. Bukar. Addressing the multitude, the chief convener and the Special task Force Commander, Maj.-Gen. Henry Ayoola, told them that if they are beginning to realize that “God is too busy and too purposeful to

create them for nothing” they will be focused and conscious to trade the path of peace instead of going after one another’s life and property. The taskforce commander reminded youths of the two faiths that the security around them cannot guarantee total security, if the youths themselves have not resolved solemnly to live together in peace. He said the command has packaged the parley to work on the psyche of the youths to remove from them the despondency that existed among them as a result of the crises. The task force commander tasked them to remain vigilant and give early warning to the security for quick response and avoid acting on false rumours as well as dispel the myth of a no-go-area syndrome and reunite as Muslims and Christians, to fight the common enemy. He assured the public that as officers commissioned to serve as the last hope of a common man they will discharge their responsibilities without favour so as to keep Nigerian one.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

PDP’s volte-face on Edo guber poll

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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Politics

I didn’t abandon Yar’Adua’s projects – Shema

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Airhiavbere defies PDP on petition against Oshiomhole SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN

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he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the July 14 governorship election of Edo State, Major-General Charles Airhiavbere (rtd), has decided to pursue the petition he filed before the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal for Edo

State, contrary to his party’s directive that he should immediately withdraw it. Airhiavbere, who lost the governorship election by 144, 235 votes to the winner, Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s 477,478 votes, yesterday confirmed to National Mirror his decision to go ahead and pursue his petition at the tribunal against of his party’s directive.

“I’m still going ahead with my petition to challenge the irregularities in the election. I’m a party in this matter and I have the right to challenge the injustice done in the election. My lawyers are going ahead with the petition,” Airhiavbere told National Mirror. The PDP candidate, however, had on Tuesday got the backing of some chieftains

of his party in Edo South District, who met at the home of the former district chairman, Owere Disckson Imasogie and resolved to back Airhiavbere. But speaking with National Mirror on the impact of Airhiavbere’s decision on the directive of the PDP, a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Chief Olisa Agba-

koba, stated that nothing is wrong if the PDP candidate decides to pursue his petition alone, adding that “the fact that his party has pulled out of the pursuit of the petition is not a good sign for him.” Agbakoba said: “Whether the petition succeeds or not is not the issue. Airhiavbere is the petitioner. PDP is not the petitioner because Airhiavbere is the candidate. But you must understand that in law, not all petitions can be brought by a party. Some petitions can be pursued by the candidate alone.” A visit to the venue of the petition at Court 1 of the High Court of Justice Complex located on Sapele Road in Benin City yesterday showed that copies of the petition marked: EPT/ ED/10/2012, has been for-

mally served to the respondents who are expected to reply the tribunal ahead of a pre-conference hearing or trial that should follow. Apart from Oshiomhole, other respondents in the petition include: the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and INEC Returning Officer for the election, who is also the Vice Chancellor of UNIBEN, Prof. Godwin Osayuki Oshodin. Speaking on behalf of the state leadership of the party, the Publicity Secretary, Mr. Matthew Urhoghide said the order not to contest the election result in court came from the national secretariat and supersedes any individual ambition of the candidate.

ACN tasks President to convoke national conference

T L-R: Chief launcher and chieftain of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Dr. Paul Akintelure; Ekiti State governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi and author of the book: The Nigerian Political Turf; Polity, Politiics and Politicians, Mr. Mobolade Omonijo, during its launching in Lagos. PHOTO: OLUFEMI AJASA

CNPP blames Jonathan on renewed violence OBIORA IFOH

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onference for Nigerian Political Party (CNPP) has called on Nigerians to hold President Goodluck Jonathan and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) responsible for the escalation of the activities of the Boko Haram Islamic sect in the country. The umbrella body of the political parties also warned against the plot by the PDP to enthrone one-party state by working against the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA). Addressing journalists in Abuja yesterday, the Chairman of the CNPP, Alhaji Balarabe Musa expressed worries that President Jonathan could not do anything to arrest the incursion of the terrorist

group when he had told Nigerians that he know the sponsors of the sect. His words: “How can I hold any Nigerian responsible over the menace of the Boko Haram when the President himself has displayed the most irresponsible attitude towards the security situation in Nigeria? He said publicly that he was aware that Boko Haram was in his government and he has not done anything about it. Even at a time when one quarter of the annual budget is devoted to security, is that not gross irresponsibility, gross misconduct? Deal with it first before you start dealing with the problem of every Nigerian.” He said that the way the President is handling the cases of corruption particularly the oil subsidy probe

leaves much to desire. The CNPP warned against any attempt to destabilise opposition political parties using the judiciary as a cover. Musa said: “We are worried that if

nothing is done to halt this new decent into lawlessness there would be no opposition parties left to challenge the ruling party when the time comes for general elections.”

he Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to convoke a national conference on the worsening insecurity in the land instead of offering platitudes any time the deadly Boko Haram strikes snuffing out lives out of innocent Nigerians. In a statement issued in Ibadan yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the govern-

PDP challenges Aregbesola over debt profile OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU

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sun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the state governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, of causing confusion over the debt profile of the state. The party cautioned the governor to stop deceiving people that the state is not indebted to any financial institution in the country. The Osun PDP Director of Media and Strategy, Prince Diran Odeyemi,

in a press statement in Osogbo, the state capital, said that Aregbesola was economical with the truth when he stated that he did not borrow from any bank. Odeyemi said: “We all knew that the current Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) government in Osun State is deceiving us on the issue of the debt profile of the state. We are not unaware of the fact that the state is in serious financial mess. “It was public knowledge that Mr. Aregbesola took N25 billion loan from

the First Bank of Nigeria Plc, but we are surprised that the governor is now saying that he has not borrowed money at all since he became governor of Osun State.” Odeyemi added that Aregbesola was only trying to confuse the people of the state by telling lies that he did not borrow money from any bank, saying that the governor should tell Osun people whether the N25 billion he borrowed from First Bank of Nigeria Plc has been paid or not.

ment must admit that it is clearly not winning the war against terrorism and as such must adopt a completely new strategy, if we are not all to be consumed by the raging violence even as it condemned in very strong terms the recent needless bloodletting in Kogi, Sokoto, Yobe and Borno states. “Nigerians today are not safe in their homes, offices, roads or places of worship. Terrorists, kidnappers, armed robbers and arsonists have taken complete control of the country and all the government can offer are platitudes,” the party lamented. Calling on President Jonathan to free himself from self-serving advisers and reach out to all leaders across the nation irrespective of political loyalties, religious or ethnic prejudices to find an urgent solution to this scourge, the ACN called on all leaders, political, ethnic or religious to refrain from inflammatory statements as some of these pronouncements have done nothing but fanned the ember of discord.


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Politics

his is not the best of times for Major Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (retd), the defeated candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the July 14 governorship election in Edo State, who is presently at a crossroad in his bid to upturn the victory of the incumbent, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). The former commander of the Army Finance Corps, who did not hide his displeasure with the outcome of the poll had on August 2, filed a petition before the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, sitting in Benin, the state capital, citing electoral flaws as reasons why the result declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), should be invalidated. Airhiavbere and his party (first and second petitioners), in challenging Oshiomhole’s victory, joined four others; the ACN, INEC, Edo State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) and the governorship Returning Officer as respondents in the case. The petitioners claimed that the “purported election” was invalid due to corrupt practices and non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended; alleged intimidation and harassment of voters as well as deprivation of voters of their franchise and constitutional rights in 11 local government areas of the state. While several stakeholders, including some chieftains of the PDP in the state, advised Airhiavbere to accept defeat and shun the tribunal, the state chapter of the party explained that its petition will apart from nullifying the poll, further deepen the nation’s democracy and the rule of law in the overall interest of the people of Edo. A former Minister of Defence and chieftain of the Edo PDP, General Godwin Abbe, who cautioned against the legal option, described it as unpopular, as the election is one of the most credible in the history of the country. Abbe said: “I was told my party had gone to court to challenge the governorship election. I just want to advise that my brother Charles Airhiavbere should join hands with Comrade Adams Oshiomhole to build our state, while I also advise him to start working towards 2016.” The PDP national leadership, it would also be recalled had shortly after the poll congratulated Oshiomhole over his victory even as it expressed mixed feelings over the result. National Publicity Secretary of the party, Olisa Metuh, in a statement then said: “As a party that respects the institutions of democracy and in demonstration of the spirit of sportsmanship which is the acclaimed principle of the PDP under the leadership of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, we call on all our supporters to accept this result as declared by INEC….” President Goodluck Jonathan, who is the leader of the party by virtue of his position, also congratulated Oshiomhole. In a statement signed by his Special Advicer on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, he described the fresh mandate given to the governor as an endorsement of his outstanding performance in his first term and an expression of the people’s desire for a continuation of his focused, purposeful and dynamic leadership. But the Edo PDP through a statement signed by its Director of Publicity, Mr. Okharedia Ihimekpen, explained that the party was contesting the results of the election on the following grounds: “That

Thursday, August 9, 2012

PDP’s volte-face on Edo guber poll FELIX NWANERI writes on the sudden twist in the petition filed by the Edo State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in the July 14 election, Major Gen. Charles Airhiavbere, against the victory of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.

Airhiavbere

Governor Oshiomhole was invalidly returned by the Resident Electoral Commissioner (Edo State) as duly elected, despite the fact that the poll was not conducted in compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended). “That the Returning Officer for Edo State governorship election wrongly proceeded to declare Oshiomhole winner of the election by issuing him Form EC8E on the 15th day of July, 2012; that the Resident Electoral Commissioner also subsequently and wrongfully issued Oshiomhole with the Certificate of Return on behalf of INEC.” Other reasons advanced by the party included: “That Oshiomhole was purportedly returned as the winner of the said election as he was not qualified to contest the said election for the office of the governor of Edo State. Furthermore, despite the non-revision and non-amendment of the voters’ register, amended and criminally altered, the voters’ register were used in various wards and polling units in the three senatorial districts.” On Oshiomhole’s academic qualification, the party stated: “We are contesting the relevant academic qualifications of the ACN candidate, Adams Oshiomhole. He only tendered a modern school leaving certificate without a primary school certificate which by the constitution does not qualify him to contest the election. Even the modern school certificate he presented on oath to INEC has also been found to be fake.” According to Section 177 of the 1999 Constitution, “A person shall be qualified for election to the office of governor of a state

Orbih

THOUGH PAINFUL, FOR NOW, THE

PDP HAS DECIDED NOT TO FILE ANY PETITION BEFORE

GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION PETITION TRIBUNAL IN THE THE

INTEREST OF THE STATE if: (a) he is a citizen of Nigeria by birth; (b) he has attained the age of 35 years; (c) he is a member of a political party and is sponsored by that political party; and (d) he has been educated up to at least school certificate level or its equivalent.” Oshiomhole, who however dismissed the allegation, said: “I read that some lawyers have volunteered to render legal service to my opponent in the election. They said I possess only Standard Three. We will know when we get to court.” Information obtained by National Mirror on the governor’s educational background from his online page showed that he graduated from Ruskin College, Oxford, United Kingdom, where he majored in Economics and Industrial Relations. The check also revealed that he is also an alumnus of the prestigious National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru. While many argue that Airhiavbere’s

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

petition amounts to an effort in futility, a few analysts are however of the view that it is in order. To these analysts, the court is the only place to seek equity and redress, as the judges would only be guided by verifiable facts and will eventually rule only on points of law, especially where the issues are clear and straightforward. It was against this backdrop that the Airhiavbere’s camp was however thrown into shock when the Edo PDP, in a most unanticipated twist, announced the withdrawal of its petition against Oshiomhole, just three days after it was filed and a day after the party explained why it headed to the tribunal. The state chairman of the party, Chief Dan Orbih, who made the announcement on Monday, said the decision was taken after the party analysed the poll’s result, divergent views, public expressions and legal options. His words: “About three weeks ago, Edo people went to the polls to elect a governor to administer the affairs of the state. The results that were declared by INEC were in favour of the ACN candidate, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. “However, we have fully consulted the leadership of the party both within and outside the state. During these consultations, legal opinions were sought and it is the conclusion of the party that while we appreciate the effects the results declared by INEC will have on our teeming members, we are also mindful of the consequences which the state may run into with protracted litigation. “Consequently, though painful, for now the PDP has decided not to file any petition before the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in the interest of the state. We in PDP in Edo State should continue to remain steadfast and not be discouraged by setbacks as this election defeat may just be a stepping stone to a future victory.” The sudden twist, though the man at the centre of the drama, Airhiavbere has insisted on proceeding with his petition, some political observers believe, may not be unconnected with the crisis of confidence which hit the Edo PDP shortly after the election with some party members calling for the sack of the Orbih-led executive. Oshiomhole, on his part has described the party’s decision as a step in the right direction and consequently extended the olive branch to all members of the opposition in the state. He said: “I wish to extend my hand of fellowship to all men of goodwill to join hands with government to move the state to the next level, because, despite all the successes recorded in the last three and half years, Edo state is still work-in-progress. “I look forward to more collaboration between my government, other political parties and interests in the state. I want to restate my full respect for the PDP leader, Chief Tony Anenih, whom I hold and will continue to hold in high respects. I also wish to assure the PDP candidate, Maj.Gen Airhiavbere (rtd) whom I regard as a friend now that we have put the election behind us; my doors are open so that together, we may lift our state to the high level where it should be.” Oshiomhole’s hand of fellowship, not withstanding, the question is: will Airhiavbere, like his kind (army generals), who are not known to give up easily in battles for conquest such as that for Edo State’s number one position, call it a day, now that his troops seem to have deserted him?


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Politics

Thursday, August 9, 2012

15

I didn’t abandon Yar’Adua’s projects – Shema Governor Ibrahim Shema has been piloting the affairs of Katsina State in the last five years. In this interview with JAMES DANJUMA, he speaks on the challenges of administering a state and his efforts at repositioning Katsina. Excerpts: You have been in office for the past five years, how has it been administering a state like Katsina? Administering anything is always a challenge. Administration of a local government, state, nation and even a family is always a challenge. And I’m glad that the challenges in Katsina have not been insurmountable. The challenges in Katsina are like the challenges elsewhere in Nigeria. The issues of poverty, unemployment, infrastructural decay, which requires attention and development, educational standard that needs to be uplifted, agriculture and livestock development that needs all attention, and the security that requires all hands to be on the deck. In the past five years in Katsina, we have tried to do our very best to deliver services to our people in all and more of these areas I mentioned and didn’t mention. Of course, it’s quite interesting too to say that in the process, I learnt a lot, because every time you have opportunity to manage the affairs of men and material, if you handle it right, you come out with a lot of extra knowledge of what you didn’t know before you went in there. Right now as I’m talking to you, five years down the line, I’ve learnt a lot in terms of administration of men and material, people and resources, and I’ve been able to share my views and opinion with people. I receive a lot of advices from people from across the length and breadth of the state, and even from outside the state. I use most of those advices for the good of the people and we have made a lot of progress in terms of development of Katsina State. The issue of development in Katsina State is not new. In the past five years, things are there on ground for everyone to see. Whenever we talk of development in education, which is our number one priority, agriculture, human capital development, resource development and solid minerals, youth empowerment, job creation and governance; this administration has strived hard to make sure that we make a difference in the lives of the people. What efforts have you made to give the education sector a face-lift? No doubt, education is one area we have worked to make maximum impact. Currently, we have the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua University which I met under construction and which has been completed by this administration. We’ve equally been able to get a federal university located in Katsina, the status of our tertiary institutions have been upgraded, students acquire education for free in primary and secondary schools, while at the tertiary institutions they get scholarships. Every child in public school in Katsina doesn’t have to pay for WAEC and NECO fees; we have been paying for this in the past five years. We built over 165 new secondary schools, we provided lots of furniture to most of these secondary schools, we upgraded over 28 primary schools, and we have been able to introduce one girl-child primary school in every local government. We have provided scholarship for foreign training in the fields of medicine, pharmacy, nursing, calligraphy, Arabic computing for well over 270 students of Katsina origin. We don’t just pay for one year; every student’s scholarship is paid for the entire duration of his course. If it’s medicine, five years or six years, we pay the whole. So, in the field of education, this administration has left no stone unturned, and we are striving hard and working much harder and we intend to do much more than what we’ve been doing before. We are looking at the areas where corrections are to be made, and by the grace of God, we will take up the gauntlet and make sure that all those areas that require correction are addressed. Education, no doubt, provides a society the opportunity to move forward. By educating people, you are providing

Yar’Adua Child and Maternal Healthcare Hospital, you’ll see the date of commissioning and the function as it is today. Electrification projects; every single one we met we have completed. All the eight road projects commenced by the late President that I met on ground, have been completed. So, in a nutshell, I’m telling you, that to my knowledge, there is not a single Yar’Adua project left uncompleted within my first two years in office, but please if you have any that you know, kindly tell me.

Shema

a huge opportunity for the nation to move forward, not to move backward. So, we’ve been working hard in all of these areas, we did not leave other fields just like agriculture and livestock development. Your critics have accused you of failing to give attention to some of the projects you inherited from the late President Umaru Yar’Adua against the campaign promises you made. What is the real position? This is a question hinged on promises I made in 2007. I told anyone who cared to listen that Nigeria is littered with uncompleted projects, and I want to make a difference and change that trend by ensuring that wherever every penny of taxpayers’ money is put, it is completed and put to use. So, when people say I have not completed all the projects inherited from Yar’Adua; it’s very simple, late President Yar’Adua of blessed memory awarded the contract for the expansion of Katsina International Airport. I completed that in the space of nine months of my coming into office. It’s up and running; it has done five Hajj operations with Boeing 747 aircraft landing and taking off. Our late President, then governor here, equally started the construction of the Katsina State University; within 18 months of the coming of this administration, that university has not only been completed and equipped, but students have moved in and lectures are taking place. We are doing a lot of expansions there; we are building more hostels for 1,500 students, a lecture theatre that has the capacity of 1,500 people. We have completed the entire project that late Yar’Adua stared in that area. Late President Yar’Adua equally awarded contract for the construction of the Child and Maternal Care Hospital, which has 165-bed capacity. That project was completed, furnished, and today, if you leave here, go to Turai

WHEN PEOPLE SAY

I HAVE NOT

COMPLETED ALL THE PROJECTS

YAR’ADUA; IT’S VERY SIMPLE... TO MY KNOWLEDGE, THERE IS NOT A SINGLE YAR’ADUA PROJECT

INHERITED FROM

LEFT UNCOMPLETED WITHIN MY FIRST TWO YEARS IN OFFICE

How relevant is the free education policy in the face of mass failure of students in the school certificate examination? On this education thing, the challenge is for all of Nigeria. From the results we have been seeing in the nation from both WAEC and NECO, certainly a lot has gone wrong in the entire educational system in the county. Yes, Katsina runs a free education policy; we did that for one fundamental reason from the beginning; when I became governor, you hardly see students in classrooms 10 days after resumption date. Two weeks later, students would just be trickling in. And the enquiry I made was that parents were struggling to get money to pay the basic school fees. When we computed the figures annually collected from students, we found that a single contractor may end up making that kind of money in the state. Why don’t we assist the students by making education free? The concept of free education itself is that every child should have access to free education at primary and secondary levels. That you cannot deny anybody, whether sharp or daft, rich or poor; you have to give equal opportunity to everybody. But when it comes to writing examination, yes we have an open gate for everyone, because when you start up something on a pilot scheme, you watch how it works, you look at areas where there is need to make amendments or adjustments. And one of the areas we have now seen and we require to make adjustment on is the introduction of mock examinations. The Commissioner for Education intimated me that they are looking at those areas of introducing mock examinations before writing the WAEC or NECO. Those who pass that examination, certainly, will be qualified to get their examination fees paid for. If you don’t introduce certain levels of control, you may lose the point of getting everybody to write the examination. But fundamentally, it’s a good principle to ensure that every child has access, not just to education but to final exams, because our concern was this: from very humble or poor homes there may be very brilliant students across the length and breadth of the state. They may acquire the education for free. In fact, some parents can even afford to send them to school to pay in those days, but when it comes to writing WAEC, they may not have the money to pay for it and that child has lost out the chance. So, for that reason, we said we must give every child the right to have access to free education. Most states rely on federal allocation for survival. What are you doing to change the trend in Katsina? In the area of commerce, we are re-energising the Katsina Investment Property and Development Company (KIPDECO), which is now gearing up towards helping commerce and industry to thrive. We have sponsored some private business people to China on investment and business trip; we’ve encouraged the thriving of the chamber of commerce of the state which was virtually moribund befeor the advent of this administration. Now, the Katsina State Chamber of Commerce is vibrant, organising trade fairs across the nation. We have taken very deliberate measures in the area of investment. We try to invest in banks; in the last four and half years, this administration has made over N9 billion from interest deposits in our banks; N9 billion extra cash, liquid funds to the administration. Till date, we have not borrowed a kobo; all these projects you see or you read or you hear about, the state administration has not borrowed a kobo from a local or foreign source to complete them.


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Politics

At a recent public lecture in honour of Hon. Opeyemi Bamidele, the issue of Sovereign National Conference (SNC) came to the fore. MUYIWA OYINLOLA, who covered the event, reports on the renewed call.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Babalola, others echo SNC

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choes of the need to convoke a Sovereign National Conference (SNC) as a panacea to the series of imbalances in the country reverberated recently as notable Nigerians gathered in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State capital, to felicitate with one of their own, a member of the House of Representatives on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Michael Opeyemi Bamidele. Although the event was the 5th annual lecture series in commemoration of the politician’s 49th birthday, statesmen, opinion moulders and politicians took time to x-ray the state of the nation and also propound solutions to them. First to fire the salvo at the event held at the Alumni Hall, Christ School was a senior member of the inner bar and chairman of the occasion, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), who lashed at opponents of the convocation of SNG, especially some members of the National Assembly, who hold the position that there is no need for the conference when the National Assembly is in place. While maintaining that sovereignty resides with the people, and not necessarily with any institution, Babalola attributed the problems of the country to what he termed the defects in the 1999 Constitution, noting that the process of making the constitution was not all-encompassing. He said: “I have remained resolute in the belief that many of the problems currently facing the country are a direct result of the lopsidedness of the 1999 constitution. This is itself traceable to the fact that the 1999 Constitution, on which our democratic government is hinged, was imposed on us by the military without any input by any of us. “As a result of this diversity, it was and is still necessary that the constitutionmaking process should take into recognition all factors aimed at bringing about a true people’s constitution.” Backing his claim with Section 14 (2) of the 1999 Constitution, the legal luminary said “the sovereign rights of Nigerians entitle them to amend the existing constitution or substitute a new one for the existing constitution.” Babalola maintained that “it is not for those who were elected under the existing constitution and empowered to govern, rule or make laws and regulations to deny the people of Nigeria their sovereign right to jettison the old constitution or substitute a new one for the existing constitution. The sovereign right belongs to the people and not to their delegates.” He disagreed with the Senate President, Senator David Mark who opposed the idea of convening a conference, saying “I consider the statement of the President of the Senate as pre-emptory. I believe that Nigerians should have the ultimate say as to whether a sovereign national conference is necessary or not. Again, I must emphasise that sovereignty does not reside in the

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L-R: Babalola, Bamidele and Oba John Ademola Ajakaiye, the Oluyin of Iyin-Ekiti

IT IS NOT FOR THOSE WHO WERE ELECTED UNDER THE EXISTING CONSTITUTION AND

EMPOWERED TO GOVERN, RULE OR MAKE LAWS AND REGULATIONS TO DENY THE PEOPLE OF

NIGERIA THEIR SOVEREIGN RIGHT TO JETTISON THE OLD CONSTITUTION presidency or the executive, the National Assembly or the judiciary but in the people.” Speaking in the same vein, a former governor of the old Ondo State, Evangelist Bamidele Olumilua, who traced the problems of Nigeria to the 1999 Constitution, also faulted the presidential system of government currently being practiced. He stated that “if we trace the problems facing Nigeria, it will be found in the 1999 Constitution. To me, the presidential system of government is abominable; it is a big departure from what we expected. Unfortunately, we did not adopt all that is enshrined in the presidential system; even the so-called federal character is lopsided.” Olumilua further argued that “if we had done the right thing, we would not be in this present situation. We must convene a sovereign national conference because there are absurdities and inconsistencies in our system. We are unequally yoked in this country and so a conference is called for.” The guest lecturer, Prof. Kunle Ajayi, who spoke on the theme: “Legislating in Troubled Times: National Assembly and challenges of Legislating for Good Governance in Nigeria,” stated that government at all levels have failed to perform in their respective constitutional responsibilities. The don, who is the Head, Department of Political Science, Ekiti State University, blamed the present crop of politicians for failing to provide good governance for the people. He stressed: “Bad governance rather than good governance is what governments are rewarding us with for voting them into power.” Ajayi, therefore, called on the electorate

to hold public officials accountable, saying: “While the legislators are failing in their over-sight powers over other arms of government with many abandoned projects all over the country and non-performance of the ministries and parastatals, we need to exercise over-sight functions over our parliamentarians”. He added: “We need to take a register of their attendance at House sittings and how often they visit and live in their constituencies. We must learn how to exercise the people’s power in democracy.” He also likened the way and manner Nigeria handles the conduct of elections to what obtains in a war situation, saying the deployment of soldiers in election zones was laughable and antithetical to the sustenance of democracy. He said such exercise portended doom for the sustenance of democracy and was a “mark of incompetence of the state.” He said: “The military has nothing to do with elections. Inviting the military into political and electoral theatres is very dangerous to democratic sustenance as it is an indirect way of involving them in politics and a subtle invitation to take over governance ruler ship”. While noting that corruption is endemic in the country, he advised the National Assembly to work with the executive to rework the constitution to strengthen the anti-corruption agencies to be able to tackle the social ill. In his remarks, Bamidele said: “I will not be one of those lawmakers who will not be heard until after four years; indeed, it has been one year of walking my talk on the floor of the House of Representatives”. The lawmaker said he was committed to delivering dividends of democracy to the people of his constituency. His words: “The events of the past one

year have shown that so much is expected from us as your representatives to make good our promise to make Nigeria a better country. Though we are not unmindful of other forces who wish otherwise, I assure you that we will do more than our best”. The highlight of the occasion was the distribution of past questions in University and Tertiary Institutions Matriculation Examination (UTME) conducted by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) to the secondary schools in communities that make up the constituency of the lawmaker. Bamidele, who is also the Chairman, House Committee on Legislative Budget and Research, also distributed 7,200 text books worth N15 million to 7,200 secondary school students in the 52 secondary schools in Ekiti Central Senatorial District. Principals of Ola Oluwa Muslim Grammar School, Ado Ekiti, Mrs. Fasanmi Dada; and Mary Immaculate Grammar School, Ajilosun, Ado Ekiti, Mrs. Rolake Fagbenro, received the items for their schools and expressed delight at Bamidele’s gesture. They urged other community leaders and representatives to emulate the lawmaker and help in building better communities by impacting on the younger generation. The lawmaker said the distribution of the past questions was “meant to shore up students’ performances in UTME and raise the enrolment of indigenes of Ekiti State in admission quota of the country.” He stated that the programme was part of the activities marking his 49th birthday and the second ‘MOB Empowerment and Supports Programme.’ Bamidele, who represents, Ado-Ekiti/ Irepodun-Ifelodun Federal Constituency, lamented the fall in the rate at which indigenes of the state gained admission to study core and strategic courses in Nigerian universities, noting that “the trend could increase unemployment rate if not tackled.” The lawmaker’s 80-year-old father, Pa Steven Bamidele, who anchored the programme, distributed the books to principals and students of the benefitting schools. According to the elder Bamidele, the lawmaker expanded the scope of beneficiaries beyond his constituency to compensate the people of Efon/Ijero/Ekiti West Federal Constituency for their support during his senatorial aspiration. Bamidele assured the beneficiaries that he would spare no effort as their representative to ensure that indigenes of the state continue to gain admission to study professional courses in Nigerian nniversities. He said studying of professional courses remains one of the potent tools to tackle the level of unemployment among Nigerian graduates. The compendium also contained a letter written to the students by the lawmaker entitled “Surely You Can Do It”, where he urged them to “be hardworking and stay out of trouble while at all times, assuring yourself that “I can do it”. I will join you as well as your parents and patriotic teachers in trusting God for a most successful future ahead of you.”


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Thursday, August 9, 2012

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Growing fear in the land IT IS SAD THAT THE EXISTENTIAL HUMANISM

SECURITY AGENTS DO NOT HAVE THE

FRY

STRUCTURE ON

NDUBUISI

GROUND TO FIGHT

fryndubuisi@nationalmirroronline.net (08023016709 SMS only)

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igeria is passing through one of its toughest tests in her chequered history. Only the pogrom of 1966 and the civil war (1967-70) compare. There have been rash of religious fundamentalism in the past, but none on the scale we now have on ground. The country weathered all the storms. On the political level, we had the June 12 debacle. It had focus and purpose. Then the government knew who it was dealing with. The Niger Delta militancy was also another major challenge faced by the nation. The militancy was no case of faceless marauders on rampage. The mission of the militants and identities of the leadership were known. But can we say the same for this present scourge? The rapacity of insurgency in the North is such that all other challenges in the country are subsumed under it. Every attention seems to be on these strange fellows executing the most challenging insurgency in Nigeria of today. Nobody is safe, given their modus operandi. Of compelling attention also is the rage of limited but

TERRORISM AND OTHER HIGH PROFILE CRIMES equally awesome insecurity in the South and elsewhere. The Delta State police commissioner, Ikechukwu Aduba, recently painted the gory scenario of a state gone mad when he said that no fewer than 150 persons had been arrested for kidnapping and armed robbery within the last three years. Two weeks ago in Lagos, the Editor of Daily Sun, Steve Nwosu was shot by armed robbers. In Kwara State, SSS operatives arrested seven students for alleged abduction, rape and possession of arms. In Port Harcourt, Rivers State, gunmen kidnapped ex- senator’s daughter. What about the members of Deeper Life killed in Okene, Kogi State this week? We can go on and on. One fact stands out: The security agencies are overwhelmed by the challenges. It is crystal clear that the police in particular, cannot match the ferocity of the fire power of the insurgents. What about the members of the armed forces providing support

for the paramilitary forces? Have they not been hobbled by the challenges? Recently, in what appears a frank assessment, an army general, at a Ramadan lecture in Abuja, stated that the war on Boko Haram was over-stretching military resources, adding that an estimated seven millions assorted illicit weapons are in circulation in Nigeria. The most worrisome part of the revelation by the general is his disclosure that there is no structure on ground for proper investigation and tracking of the perpetrators of crimes. The challenge of investigation, he said, was not helped by the fact that many Nigerians do not have international passports; no national identification numbers; no social security numbers and no drivers’ licences. This is in addition to the absence of reliable data banks for forensic investigations like DNA profiles and fingerprints. Equally problematic, he said, is the lack of cooperation among security agencies involved in the drive to arrest the escalating violence in the country. The situation is depressing enough; this administration is distracted in all fronts. It cannot address the myriad of problems facing the country, especially the underperforming economy and deficit infrastructural provisioning. But the question must be asked: How prepared are the security agencies for this all important assignment of securing the country? The revelation that they lack the structure to contend

with the challenges is very disconcerting. Where have all the funds voted for security this year gone? At the heat of this impasse, Nigerians were informed that a good number of military personnel were sent abroad for training. Are they back? If ye, what difference have they made? It is sad that the security agents do not have the structure on ground to fight terrorism and other high profile crimes. It is even more worrisome that there is no unity of purpose among them. These issues must be addressed, both in the short and the long time, for proper effect. A house divided against itself cannot stand. I agree with the deposition that the resources of the armed forces, human and materials have been overstressed by their involvement in the ongoing war. This might be unfortunate, but they are used for a worthwhile cause. Their current engagement is a call to duty, an opportunity to show their skill and demonstrate their patriotism. They should see the task of restoring order in the country as a most patriotic one than their past international assignments. This (internal security) is in fact more crucial. For the other security agencies, they should see the current impasse as an opportunity to advance their operational systems in tune with modern trend. Prof. Ndubuisi, an attorney at law, is of the Dept of Philosophy, UNILAG

New traffic law: Is Lagos on track?

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ne of the laws in Robert Greene’s book, 48 Laws of Power, is “Do not reform too much at a time”. The rationale behind this advice is that human beings are addicts of traditions and would go any length to resist sudden change that significantly affect the status quo. Greene cited some examples of good leaders who ended up with ironic consequences for their revolutionary measures to transform the polity. But it appears that Lagos State government might be oblivious of this Greene’s injunction. I reason within the context of the government’s proclivity of wanting everything to move at jet speed towards socio-cultural renaissance, in its consuming passion to transform the state in a most comprehensive ways in the briefest possible time. This is how we can situate the birth to its New Traffic Bill signed into law last Thursday. The new law contains provisions ranging from the norms to the desirables and, no doubt, to the bizarre! Under the new law, any motorist/okada rider caught driving against traffic is guilty of an offence, and liable on conviction to one year imprisonment as first offender and three years imprisonment (which may come in form of community service) for repeated offence(s). Driving of unregistered or unlicensed vehicle constitutes offence punishable with N20, 000 fines. If the offence is repeated the sanction becomes N30, 000 fines or three year imprisonment, or both! The law also bans activities of National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) across the various motor parks

in the state; they are henceforth to operate in offices outside the motor parks. The law further outlaws agbero and all their road operations. All conductors and drivers are now to have identifications marks and all the vehicles for commercial operations are now to be specially registered. Furthermore, it is now an offence to sell alcohol, herbal or pharmaceutical drugs within 100 meters of a bus stop, terminus or motor parks. Okada riders are prohibited from plying certain routes within Lagos metropolis. They are also prohibited from carrying pregnant women and children below the age of 12. The law goes on and on. Most of these provisions are obviously good and well-tailored to address some of the problems we are familiar with as road users in the state, but there are many that on their face value appear loaded with far more potential problems than the ones they seek to solve. I belong to a school of jurisprudence that insists that punishment must be commensurate with sanctions. I don’t believe in punishments that are too irrationally severe like sending ‘one-way’ offender to three years imprisonment. Although there are some advanced countries of the world with tough traffic laws like Canada and Germany, we are simply not in the same league with them. This is a country where majority are still illiterates; where 90 per cent of commercial drivers are unlettered and some of them don’t understand highway codes ; and where law enforcement agents are ill-trained, unmotivated and majority of them bribe-takers. Given our-socio-cultural-context, a com-

I DON’T BELIEVE IN PUNISHMENTS THAT ARE TOO IRRATIONALLY SEVERE LIKE SENDING

‘ONE-WAY’ OFFENDER TO THREE YEARS IMPRISONMENT

plex legislation like the new Lagos Traffic Law would simply make some people endangered species while making another set, the unscrupulous traffic law enforcers, very rich! Perhaps, the law should have followed the system used in England whenever any revolutionary legislation is about to be introduced: some basic aspects of the law would become enforceable at once while other more detailed aspects would be made gradually enforceable at some future dates till the entire law becomes fully operational, after the impact of the preceding provisions have been fully assessed. That, at least, is the system used to introduce the English Companies Act (2006), which is not even a penal law. Law may be a tool of development, but unleashing catalogue of penal sanctions in one fell swoop to extirpate unwanted practices, to me, does not necessarily amount to an effective social engineering. What is the extent of the campaign the government has carried out to sensitise the people on traffic norms prior to making the law? Have the entire infrastructural/

KAYODE

KETEFE

kketefe@nationalmirroronline.net 08032147720 (SMS only)

operational wherewithal for the effective enforcement of the law been put in place? What about the officials who would enforce the law, have they been specially trained and orientated to enforce the law incorruptibly or do we expect the leopard to change its skin overnight simply because a new law is in place? What about the agbero whose means of subsistence have just been legislated into extinction? Is government doing anything to rehabilitate them? These are pertinent questions, which shows that good law making simply goes beyond criminalising this and that; law should be wielded as a tool of development. I can bet the agbero will not simply disappear, we all know what they are capable of doing! 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.


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Editorial

Thursday, August 9, 2012

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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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FRANK OBOH

HEAD, GRAPHICS

Jonathan on crude oil theft

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he unhindered bare-faced robberies perpetrated against the nation through continued crude oil theft were lamented by President Goodluck Jonathan recently. The president also made mention of his government’s resolve to put a stop the menace. According to him, given the profound significance of the maritime sector to the nation’s economy, the Federal Government would do everything possible to safeguard the nation’s territorial waters against all threats, including poaching, pipeline vandalism, coastal insecurity, illegal bunkering, non-payment of statutory levies and charges and illegal entries of ships, among others. Speaking at a presidential retreat on the maritime sector, Jonathan stated that “it is extremely embarrassing that it is only in Nigeria that crude oil is stolen. It is a very bad news and I believe Nigerians and foreigners who are indulging in this act need to throw their heads under the pillow because all over the world, it is only in Nigeria that crude oil is stolen”. Jonathan charged the security agencies to “place focus on evolving a strong intelligence base and an information gathering system and related measures that could help the country completely eliminate crude oil theft. Enormous has been the financial haemorrhage the nation’s fragile economy is routinely subjected to through crude oil theft. We recall that the oil giant, Shell, revealed recently that the country loses

about 150,000 barrels of oil annually worth about $5bn to high wire oil thieves. But the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said the annual loss amounted to $7bn, which is $2bn higher than the figure Shell gave. This situation is unacceptable and demands urgent confrontation by the authorities; especially considering the parlous state of the economy despite the FG’s assurances that all is well. Putting it mildly, the commentary is saddening that the nation’s maritime sector has become so porous and scarcely policed to the extent that foreigners, in collaboration with criminally-minded Nigerians, freely steal the mainstay of the country’s economy. More puzzling and embarrassing is the fact, according the president, that only Nigeria is experiencing the brazen theft. The estimated $5bn or $7bn that is lost to oil theft is enough to finance up to 25 per cent of the 2012 budget of N4.7trn, for instance. Such amount of money that should make appreciable impact on the lives of citizens if properly utilized is what the nation allows mindless criminals to cream off from its coffers. At Okonjo-Iweala’s $7bn figure, the amount translates to roughly N1.12trn, which is about a quarter of the said budget. The future of a country as backward and under developmental pressure as ours, that wastes such mind boggling amount to common marauders is undoubtedly grim and must take a harsh look at itself.

NOW THAT THE EYES OF PRESIDENT JONATHAN HAVE BEEN OPENED TO THE

REALITIES ON GROUND, THE NATION EXPECTS FIRM MEASURES TAKEN AGAINST

THE PERPETRATORS, NOT THE HELPLESS WRINGING OF HANDS BY A PERPLEXED GOVERNMENT The high profile nature of the theft implies that mostly highly placed and privileged Nigerians and their foreign partners are perpetrating the illicit business. The foreigners can hardly thrive in the organized robbery without local collaborators. Indeed, accusing fingers are being pointed at officials of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), party big wigs, security chiefs, etc. Besides, it is worrisome that the theft goes on despite the fact that the FG, not long ago, awarded a N16bn security contract for the policing of the nation’s coastal waters. Reports had it recently of how foreign nationals, including Ghanaians, were apprehended

alongside complicit Nigerians while attempting to stow away with stolen crude. To portray how sophisticated the syndicate must have become, reports said the thieves, whenever in operation, employ latest communication technology to block off the country’s maritime security radar from monitoring the movement of ships. It is believed that this evil has been going on for so long without meaningful and diligent measures as yet to stop the rot. It may not be contested that some public officers entrusted with the responsibility of securing the maritime sector have soiled their hands with the illegal business and are dead in conscience to bother about the call of duty. This will help explain why the security agencies act the toothless bulldog while crude thieves have a field day. Now that the eyes of President Jonathan have been opened to the realities on ground, the nation expects firm measures taken against the perpetrators, not the helpless wringing of hands by a perplexed government. The various security agencies charged with maritime matters should be compelled to perform their jobs with patriotism or get booted out. No nation can thrive with uncommitted personnel charged with very sensitive duties. The nation cannot afford to remain a castrated giant bereft of the capacity to cater for the security and welfare of its citizens because of the activities of few privileged criminals.

ON THIS DAY August 9, 2006 At least 21 suspected terrorists were arrested in the 2006 transatlantic aircraft plot that happened in the United Kingdom. The arrests were made in London, Birmingham, and High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, in an overnight operation. The 2006 transatlantic aircraft plot was a terrorist plot to detonate liquid explosives carried on board at least 10 airliners travelling from the United Kingdom to the United States and Canada.

August 9, 1993 The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) of Japan lost its 38year hold on national leadership. The LDP is a centre-right political party in Japan. It is one of the most consistently successful political parties in the democratic world and ruled almost continuously for nearly 54 years from its founding in 1955 until its defeat in the 2009 election. Prior to 2009, the party had only been out of power for a brief 11 month period between 1993 and 1994.

August 9, 1965 Singapore was expelled from Malaysia, making it the first and only country to date to gain independence unwillingly. The history of the Republic of Singapore began when Singapore gained its independence and became a republic following an ejection from Malaysia on August 9, 1965. After the separation, the fledgling nation had to become self-sufficient, and faced problems including mass unemployment, housing shortages and lack of land and natural resources.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

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19

Education Today

We produce graduates to impact on society –FUTO VC 20

UNIABUJA CRISIS:

We want transfer to other varsities - Medical students IJEOMA EZEIKE writes on the renewed struggle by medical students of the University of Abuja over the recent suspension of their courses by the National Universities Commission

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hen the National Universities Commission (NUC), suspended the courses that are being run by the Medical School of University of Abuja in April this year, the students of the school felt bad about the development. They expressed their disappointment in the university’s management for running unapproved courses and consequently went on rampage to register their grievances while demanding for immediate intervention of the Federal Government in resolving the issue. At the period, however, the Federal Government through the Ministry of Education came into the matter and assured the students, as well as other stakeholders, that in two to three months or maximum of six months time, the necessary facilities would have been provided and courses reaccredited by the NUC. With this assurance, students felt relieved and their hopes to continue with their studies were raised. Now it is three months after and the condition of the school and its courses remain the same and neither the school management nor the Federal Government has come out to say anything about the issue, leaving the students to their fate. For this, the affected students can no longer be patient. Last week, they relaunched their approach on the issue as they went to the streets of Abuja to protest the development, barricading the major roads leading to the Federal Ministry of Education. Unlike before, this time around their demand was only one. They wanted the Federal Government to order their immediate transfer to any other federal universities with accredited medical courses in the country. It would be recalled that the university in recent times had been confronted with various challenges ranging from accreditation problem of some of its courses, inadequate funds, infrastructural deficiency, poor learning aids to leadership problem. I would also be recalled that be-

Main entrance of the institution

cause of these problems, which resulted in the suspension of its Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and Engineering programmes by the NUC. Last week, the students carried placards with different inscriptions, chanting songs about their plights while insisting that unless the issue was addressed by the government, they would not retreat in their struggle. Even the presence of security personnel could not prevent them from protesting. Speaking on the matter, the Medical Student’s President of the university’s chapter, Uchenna Anyanwu told National Mirror that the students hand been idle for the past three months and now there was need for the Federal Government to save them from stagnancy. The student leader recalled that they were led into believing that facilities at the institution’s Medical School would be ready for accreditation by now. “The Minister of Education on April 12 assured us that things would be put in order within two to three and maximum of six months and now three months after, there is nothing to point to on ground as a commitment to bring about the solution,” he explained. “So, we would want the minister to work out our transfer to other accredited medical schools where we can complete our studies. We can no longer wait as we are wasting away here.” Prior to the protest, the Federal Government had dispatched a 45-man panel to probe the improprieties that might have resulted in the rot in the institution and to examine the university’s activities from its inception in 1988 to date.

The panel, which was subdivided into seven smaller groups, was inaugurated by the Minister of Education with a view to preventing further breakdown of law and order in the university. Inaugurating the panel, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufa’I said the panel which had six weeks to complete the assignment, would examine the financial auditing, project administration and procurement of the university. Other critical areas to be looked into by the committee according to the minister include the programmes audit, staff and student audit; admission & examinations administration; general administration (Senate &Council Affairs); conduct of academic & non-academic staff and as well make appropriate recommendations that would enable the university achieve its mandate effectively. The special visitation panel composed of seven teams each, comprising five members, which would be chaired and co-chaired by Dr. Theo Chike Osanakpo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and Prof. Aliyu Mohammed respectively will examine various issues affecting the smooth running of the university. The terms of reference are: “Determine the relationship between the institution and the various statutory bodies it interacts with in according to its laws for purposes of supervision, planning, finance, discipline and guidance. Such bodies include the Governing Council and the Supervising Agency; National Universities Commission and the Federal Ministry of Education, as well as the Visitor. The committee will also examine the leadership quality in the institution in terms of the role the Governing Council,

the management, the Senate , the ViceChancellor and other principal officers in general administration; examine the financial management of the institution over the recommended period and determine whether it was in compliance with appropriate regulations; investigate the application of funds, particularly the special grants and loans meant for special projects to determine relevance for further funding; examine the ‘Law’ establishing the institution and see in what ways the Law has been observed, in all its ramifications by competent authorities and also suggest any necessary modification to the law in order to enable the university to achieve its objectives better. Others are: to conduct a detail staff and students audit, examine welfare policies and advise on best practices; study the general atmosphere of the institution during the period under review; examine the general conduct of academic and non-academic staff in the delivery of the mandate of the institution, examine the admission procedures and the general administration of examinations and make appropriate recommendations for possible improvement. However, efforts to reach the institution’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Joseph Adelabu for his reaction proved abortive. But the Dean of Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Prof. Tunde Ajagunna said the situation was responsible for the non-graduation of some of the affected students, some of whom he claimed had spent eight years for programmes which ordinarily should run for five years.


20

Education Today

Thursday, August 9, 2012

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We produce graduates to impact on society –FUTO VC Prof. Chigozie Cyril Asiabaka, the 6th substantive Vice- Chancellor of Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), Imo State, is formerly the Dean of the School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology of the institution. He joined the university as a lecturer II in 1986 and rose to the rank of professor of Agricultural Extension 11 years after. In this interview with CHRIS NJOKU, the renowned scholar speaks on his first anniversary in office and other educational issues. Excerpts: How far have you gone in bringing into reality your vision and mission statements made on your assumption of office a year ago for the university? My vision and mission is to transform the university into a first class institution and this philosophy has been guiding our activities in the last one year. In reviewing what we have done so far, we have introduced balance-budgeting to ensure prudent spending of our funds. Our aim is to forestall debt that past administrations used to incur yearly. We have also re-classified our decision making process to ensure well-coordinated flow of information in the system. Now, our line of operation is routed from the Heads of Departments (HODs) to the Deans of Schools and then to the Vice- Chancellor’s office. We want to be operating good corporate governance practices whereby we follow the extant rules and regulations in our operations. Let me also say that over years, FUTO has been confronted with poor infrastructural facilities but we have started the process of tackling the problem, as well as expanding our facilities to meet the growing students’ population. This administration has facilitated the nomination of the university for the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) schools support programme. Through this, the university has received 110 laptops on behalf of members of staff , two 5.5KVA generators and other ICT accessories from the commission. We have also been able to complete the Public Procurement Research Centre, construct a new building complex to house the School of Engineering and Engineering Technology (SEET). This complex will accommodate six departments in the school; we have initiated the construction of New Engineering and Nuclear Science Building; we have also been able to restore regular supply of electricity on campus; supply and install laboratory and teaching equipment departments such as mechanical, chemical and civil engineering; launch FUTOWATER Limited as a commercial venture producing FUTO bottled and sachet water. We have equally established National Information Technology Development Agency Centre, installed laboratory equipment for soil testing for the Department of Civil Engineering; constructed and furnished a 1, 000 sitting capability lecture theatre strictly for the use of students on foundation courses, installed two 25KVA solar energy plants for additional power generation, installed a

24 Channel DVR closed circuit TV facility on campus, among other developmental projects. What new improvement has your administration brought into the school admission process? Our last admission exercise provided us with the opportunity to institute transparency and fairness in our admission process, which was evidently lacking over the year. Now our admission procedures start with the Departmental Admission Committee (DAC) and pass through the Schools’ Admission Committee (SAC) and finally get to the University Admission Committee (UAC), for final approval. This process has re-established confidence in our system as only the qualified candidates are being screened and admitted into various departments. The method was a huge success last year and we hope that this year will not be different. What are the challenges confronting the university? A big university like ours requires adequate infrastructural facilities that will meet the need of our growing students and staff population. But we are poorly funded as our allocation from the Federal Government can barely meet our operating cost. Our laboratories and classrooms are not only grossly inadequate, they are poorly equipped and this condition hinders effective teaching and learning. The erratic power supply by Power Holding of Nigeria is also affecting our research activities and administrative machinery negatively. Part of our land has also been encroached on by the host communities. But on our part, we will make judicious use of the available resources at our disposal as we will not allow challenges to derail us from this task, while we will also continue to solicit support of our benefactors other than government agencies in our endowment initiatives. Will the challenges not take a toll on the standard of the university? They may, in a way but not to the extent of taking great toll on our standard. FUTO is still the best in the country as far as technology education is concerned. We have never compromised this. The school has been doing excellently well in all fields of endeavour, the challenges notwithstanding. Our students also are well disciplined. As a matter of policy

Asiabaka,

we retain all our first class. What is the welfare package for your students? The paramount reason for establishing this university is for students to be trained in various fields of endeavours. While carrying out this task, their welfare, safety and progress must also be adequately protected. So, we have commenced negotiations with various local and international organisations that will provide affordable transportation service in the university and additional students’ hostels on Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis. This will be in form of endowment. We have equally engaged the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), which has already resumed construction work on a 600room hostel for our students and this is expected to be completed in six months’ time. Also, the recent appointment of Hostel Masters /Mistresses and Hostel Administrators is to ensure proper monitoring and mentoring of our students. We want them to be somebody, who can influence affairs of the world and that of their chosen fields upon graduation. We don’t want to produce just any graduate but the ones that will be able to impact on the society. What about members of staff? This administration has placed a high premium on staff development and training so as to motivate them for optimal performance. To achieve this, we have increased our operational budget on research, publications, conferences and workshops for our staffers. Our academic staffers in particular are beneficiaries

of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETF) organised training programmes. It is gratifying to state that our transparent, focused and open governance has endeared the administration to the leadership of the unions as a harmonious co-existence and trust has been re-established. Issues affecting the welfare of staff members are now jointly discussed and the outcome judiciously implemented. Now to be specific, we have institutionalised the ‘Best Staff Award’ with a sumptuous reward attached, we have introduced bus shuttle service to ease staff movement in and out of the campus. On this, we have gotten the delivery of the first seven buses out of the 14 earmarked for the project; we have also distributed to them 200 pieces of office chairs, tables and cabinets, we have promoted 233 nonteaching and 100 academic staffers, and confirmed appointment of no fewer than 46 senior non-teaching staffer in the last one year. We have equally provided quarters for interested staff members. What is your projection for the university for the next five years? The projection is to make FUTO the destination of choice for high –achieving academic students and staff members, who wish to benefit from and contribute to a rich and rewarding learning and working environment. I also want to see that we contribute positively by the day to the country’s technological development. On my part, I will continue to operate open-door policy and protect the interest of all stakeholders, including students and members of staff. FUTO must be an ivory tower in a couple of years to reckon with in Africa.


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Thursday, August 9, 2012

ALMA MATER

Impact of Okuta Baptist Grammar School on alumni, unquantifiable – Commissioner

Hajiya Hassana Adamu, Niger State’s Commissioner for Gender Affairs and Social Development attended Okuta Baptist Grammar School (now Batno Grammar School), Okuta, Kwara state, between 1973 and 1977. Before her appointment, she was the Permanent Secretary 3 in the state’s Universal Basic Education Board. The commissioner relives her memories while in the secondary school to our reporter, PRISCILLA DENNIS.

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ithout electricity, enough classrooms and pipe borne water, the founding fathers of Okuta Baptist Grammar School, a mixed school in Kwara State, held on to their mission and vision to produce future leaders that would affect the nation positively and be reckoned with in all spheres of endeavours. One of such students is Hajiya Hassana Adamu, the current Niger State’s Commissioner for Gender Affairs and Social Development. Ordinarily, Hassana wouldn’t have attended the school, not because she didn’t like it but because her mother was not so comfortable releasing her, being the last born in the family of five, to go to a school far away from their home town, Wawa in Borgu Local Government area of Niger State. “My primary school headmaster had to intervene and convinced my parents, mum in particular, by telling them that Okuta was one of the best secondary schools in the area at that time and his intervention settled the matter,” she explained, noting that, “my mother’s argument was that she wouldn’t want me to be far away from family members as the baby of the family.” In fact, on the day young Hassana was to leave her village for the school, leaving behind her two other siblings, her mother insisted on accompanying her to the next two villages just because there was no familiar person that was going towards her direction. “She followed me to Kayama Village which was about four kilometers away from home before she disembarked from the vehicle. We met some students who were also going the same direction and it was when one of them, who later became a friend, but now late, persuaded her to return home that she agreed to go back.” However, Hassana noted that the school was not only for academic excellence. It is also for character formation. “We were taught how to respect elders and we valued customs and norms of the society. We respected our teachers and family names. So, we didn’t allow anything that could tarnish the reputation of the family and that of the school. We were specially molded towards a particular direction that could pave way for our success in future. As a secondary school student then, you had clear picture of what you want to become in future.” Hassana recounts that discipline, hard work and sincerity were the hallmarks every student had striven to achieve then. “That of the Okuta Baptist Grammar

School was even with a difference. The school was very strict on these. For instance, you dare not cheat in any examination because if you did and you were caught, you would be expelled from the school.” Hassana graduated from the school with very good grades in all her subjects, thanks to her numerous encounter then which, she admits, toughened her to face the challenges of life with hard work and perseverance. “We had no pipe borne water and electricity. We also trekked several kilometers to fetch water in a village stream while we studied at nights with lantern and at times, especially during examinations, we used to go to the forest to read. That was the condition under which I had my secondary education and yet I came out in flying colors in my final exam and I used the result to gain admission into Ahmadu Bello University to study Diploma in Mathematics/Education. I even had three different admission letters before I opted for the course, although against the wish of my class teacher who had wanted me to study Literature in English,” she explains. As an Art student, Hassana loved Literature as a subject and acted most stories in the Literature books with her classmates, like Yemisi, Fatima Aremu, the then head girl. She easily recalls some of her mates who have also excelled in different fields of human endeavour. These include Tajudeen Jimoh, who has established a private hospital in BoduSaadu, Kwara state where he lives, Suleiman Ibrahim, a staff of Federal Ministry of Works, Abuja, Margret Joseph, a primary school teacher, Aliyu Mohammed alias, Alkotima, among others. For her love for Literature teacher, Hassana says this could be traced to her teacher Mr. Kparugi, now late who was always encouraging her. She explained that although she loved all her subjects, the mastery brought to bear by her teacher made her to love the subject dearly. The Commissioner also recalls some of her high and low moments at Okuta Baptist Grammar School: “I had a smallish stature when I entered secondary school while many of my classmates were fat. I used to be the one reading textbooks for them, I would also explain what I understood from my reading. We used to gather under the trees and hostels to do this. Although I saw the practice as punishment then later I discovered it really helped me academically.” Although the school was located

Mrs. Adamu

within the town, the number of classrooms were not enough even for the number students on admission then. The students thus had to construct additional classes by themselves to make learning easy. Not only than, every student was forced to own a lantern as the main source of light. “We were provided with almost everything such as Butter, milk, eggs from our school, which we used to take tea and bread on Sundays. Our principal too usually joined us for breakfast.” In the area of sports, Okuta Baptist Grammar, like in most schools those

WELLSPRING UNIVERSITY BENIN CITY, NIGERIA

Candidates who did not choose Wellspring University in the 2012 UTME should apply.

days, created time for leisure for its students in sporting activities. Hassana was active in sporting activities. Her best areas were field and track events, high and long jump. She was also an active member of the school’s drama club and her involvement greatly motivated her love for Literature in English. Unfortunately, her busy schedule has not allowed her to visit the school for some time. But this will soon change as she’s planning a grand return soon not only to see how the old school is faring but also to look at the area she could contribute to its development.


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Education Today

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Don’t truncate your future, SSS3 graduands told TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE

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total of 62 SSS3 students of Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education International School (AIS), Otto/ Ijanikin, Lagos State, have passed out of the institution this year. At a recent valedictory ceremony organised by the school in their honour, they were told not to involve in things that would jeopardise their future now that they have left secondary school. They were equally urged to carry on with the good moral and academic trainings they were exposed to in the school, as well as to shun all forms of violence and other social vices that could truncate their dreams and aspiration for life. The school’s Proprietor and Provost, Adenirain Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED),

Mr. Wasiu Bashorun, gave this advice through the Dean, AOCOED’s School of Technical and Vocational Studies, Mr. Olawale Adeshina. Bashorun told them that AIS had within the period of three to six years, prepared them to meet the next challenges of life and they should therefore go into the world and make the school and themselves proud. The guest speaker and Registrar, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Mr. Olutoyin Adepate, represented by Dr. Alaka Abayomi, advised the students to set reasonable targets for themselves and pursue them with vigour. He equally advised them to develop strategies that would help them on their path to greatness. On his part, the chairman, Parent-Teacher Association, Mrs. Molayoto Abiola, told the graduands to be worthy ambassadors of their Alma Mater, add-

Cross section of graduands and some staff of the school at the event

ing: “We are sending you into the world to make impact for the common good of the society.” The school’s Principal, Mrs. Aduke Odewunmi, also asked the graduands to avoid anything that could distract their good intent and purposes but to remain focused and determine in their future

schools. “Nigeria has got a long way to go in terms of development and until governhe Proprietor of Barachel Model Col- ment builds lasting infrastructures, inveslege, Ifako-Agege, Lagos State, Pastor tors will continue to run away from here. Olusegun Alonge, has decried the in- Imagine, as a school owner, I know how frastructural problems confronting Nigeria, difficult it is to get students to school parsaying private school owners are seriously af- ticularly during wet season. School buses hardly last more than a year and students fected by the development. Alonge, who stated this last week dur- don’t get to schools until 11.00am when ing the graduation ceremony of the Ifako almost two periods of classes would have branch of the group of schools, said the been over,” Alonge said. The Proprietor revealed how his school decision to create branches was to beat the road network problems being faced by the management resolved to address the ugly situation by evolving branching methods which he said had helped in a long way. He appreciated the commitment of his staff and members of the management team for what he Graduands with the staff of the school during the ceremony. referred to as

MOJEED ALABI

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pursuits. At the ocassion, some graduands, including the Head boy, Olanrewaju Adewumi, who emerged as the ‘Overall Best’ student and the Head girl, Sedoten Ogun, who emerged as the ‘Best Behaved’ student, were rewarded with different prizes for their exemplary performances.

their unalloyed loyalty and spirit of collective responsibility which he said had combined to help the school overcome the challenges. Meanwhile, the school this year has graduated a total of 70 students, whose senior school certificate examinations results conducted by both the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and the National Examination Council (NECO) are currently being awaited. The proprietor assured of excellent performance whenever the results are released. “If you look at our past records, you will understand why we are full of pride. It is normal for whoever that had paid his or her dues to expect victory. This is just one of our six major schools and you can see the population of students. Failure does not attract crowd but success. It is the parents, who saw the challenges we were witnessing to convey the students to schools that encouraged us to create the branches,” he explained. The Special Guest at the occasion, Prof. Esther Adegbite of the Finance Department, University of Lagos, in her speech enjoined the graduands to accept the reality of life which she said were the challenges of wants and the limited resources. She also told them to gird their loins and refuse to sleep now so that they can sleep in future.

UBEC tasks faith-based organisations on quality education ABUJA

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he Executive Secretary of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Dr. Ahmed Modibbo has challenged faith- based organisations on the delivery of quality education in the country. Modibbo made the call in Abuja recently while receiving members of the women wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN). He said UBEC had been looking for an opportunity to interface with major faith- based organizations in the country, claiming that government cannot take the responsibility all alone. “We must bring everybody interested in partnering with government in the development of the educational sector together

Akinfeleye’s successor at UNILAG promises sound legacy MOJEED ALABI

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Poor infrastructure affects investment in education –Proprietor

IJEOMA EZEIKE,

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as I strongly believe in the contribution of religion institutions,’’ he explained. The UBEC boss, who said the support and partnership of faith-based organisations with the government was necessary for transformation of the education sector, stressed that there was no doubt that the sector was confronted with many challenges, which cannot be tackled all alone by the government. Speaking about the position of the Education Research Development Council on Islamic and Christian Religions that both religions are still incorporated in the new education curriculum, Modibbo said the idea was to ensure that children undertake faith-based lessons that would help them have a better grabs of basic education delivery. He observed that “the terrorist activities

in the country in recent times is beyond religion inclination as the two major religions preach peace and development which education is all about. Earlier, the Acting National Chairperson of the Association, Mrs. Leah Solomon, said they were in UBEC to seek partnership in pursuance of improved standard of education in the country. Solomon said the association had observed UBEC’s commitments in providing access to quality education in the country. She said the association was also aware of efforts being made by UBEC in providing a conducive learning environment for schools in all states of the federation, adding that association has engaged in setting up nursery and primary schools, which she sought UBEC’s assistance in the funding of the project.

fter two terms of office, the renowned Prof. Ralph Akinfeleye of the Department of Mass Communication, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, has stepped out of office as the head of the department after he was replaced by another senior lecturer, Dr. Charles Daramola. Daramola, a specialist in Public Relations and Advertising, who resumed office last week Wednesday, has promised to leave a sound legacy of a properly structured administration and academic excellence. In an interview with National Mirror, the new helmsman said he would want other courses being run in the department to gain full-fledged accreditation to award bachelor’s degree certificates. “It is also important to note that as a department that has been in existence for about 46 years, I would like to leverage on this to bring in monumental development by linking it with several foreign institutions and industries of similar interest. “Within the next four years, I want to see a department with difference building on the legacies of my predecessor,” Daramola said.

Ogun urges parents to enrol wards in primary schools TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE

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he Ogun State government has urged parents and guardians to enroll their wards, who are of school ages into the public primary schools nearest to them across the 20 local government council areas of the state. The government said there was no excuse for any parent or guardian not to do so since education at both primary and secondary school levels was now free in the state. The state’s Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mr. Segun Odubela, stated this in a release made available to National Mirror on Tuesday. He noted that his ministry had commenced the registration of eligible pupils under the Universal Basic Education Scheme into Primary One for the next academic session, urging head teachers of various schools to take the exercise very seriously. Odubela, however, reiterated the state’s government commitment to construct new blocks of classrooms that would be equipped with necessary facilities to accommodate the expected new intakes.

Mediators urge OAU’s SSANU to call off strike

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call has gone to the National Executive of Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) to prevail on its Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife branch to suspend its industrial action. This was one of the resolutions reached at the mediatory meeting between the Association of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (AVCNU), SSANU and management of the university in Abuja on Monday. The three-paragraph statement was signed by the trio of Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, AVCNU Chairman; Mr. Emmanuel Bankole, Deputy National President, SSANU and Prof Bamitale Omole, the OAU’s Vice- Chancellor. The meeting appealed to the leadership of SSANU to prevail on its OAU branch to suspend any form of industrial action, including protest and abstinence from duty pending the resolution of the matter.


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Education Today

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Triple celebrations as don clocks 70 MOJEED ALABI

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t was a three-in-one event: an academic conference, a book launch and a birthday celebration held in honour of an erudite scholar, Prof. Ayodele Ogunye, the pioneer Head of the Chemical Engineering Department, University of Lagos (UNILAG). The occasion, held last week at the University of Lagos was witnessed by many high profile individuals, some of whom were his former students. They included the immediate past governor of Ogin State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel; the National Chairman of All Nigerian People’s Party, Dr. Ogbonaya Onu, the Acting Vice Chancellor of University of Lagos, Akoka, Prof. Rahman Bello and a host of others. The forum gave them the opportunity to extol the virtues of their former teacher as he joined the league of septuagenarians. Prof. Ogunye, popularly called “AFO” by his friends was described as an achiever, a disciplinarian, and hardworking personified, who is worthy to be emulated by anyone hoping to make a mark in the sands of time. The Chairman of the occasion and former Chairman, UNLAG Consulting Board, Dr. Olumide Philips, said he was particularly happy the manner in which Prof. Ogunye still relates with his former students as if they are mates, noting that he is one of the most successful teachers he had ever come in contact with.” The duo of Otunba Daniel and UNILAG VC also extolled the celebrator’s virtues while thanking him for his mentorship back in school. However, the former university teacher, who served in UNILAG between 1973 and 1995, it was gathered, was prematurely retired from the university. Although, the detail of his travails was sketchy, it was revealed that he was sacked from the institution in 1980 over allegation of inciting staff of the university against the management. He

L-R: Chairman of the Occasion, Dr. Olumide Philips; former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel and the National Chairman, All Nigerian People’s Party, Dr. Ogbonaya Onu at the event.

challenged the school authority in court over what he called unlawful dismissal and he was subsequently vindicated by the Supreme Court which upturned the decision of the lower court in 1986. He was returned to the service of the university a year later. Thereafter he fought for his entitlements of pension and gratuity; the legal battle he said was not motivated by the material value but to “prove that justice and fairness can prevail if pursued diligently.” However, when he was eventually paid the entitlement, it surprised many people that he could invest the entire sum in the same university’s endowment fund tagged: “Ogunye Professorial Endowment Fund,” which is designed to develop teaching and research, as well as rewarding excellent performance among students of Chemical Engineering Department of the institution. The academic conference, which had as its theme: Chemical Engineering for Sustainable Development, had in attendance emeritus professors, industrialists and manufacturers, who discussed issues of energy challenges in national development, roles of elites in the nation’s development, alternative energy sources, among others. The book, comprising Ogunye’s biography and articles written by various scholars including a Director of United Nation’s Habitat, Prof. Banji OyelaranOyeyinka, was titled: Ogunye: Giant Strides in Engineering Education, Research and Innovations: A Festschrift in honour of Prof. Ayodele Francis Ogunye.

Also, a total of three exceptionally brilliant students of the university were rewarded with cash prizes which according to the donor was not to monetise their academic performance but to appreciate their excellence. Akinbola Oluwafunmilayo of the institution’s College of Medicine, who won awards in four categories and rewarded with N100, 000 for each category. The duo of Oliyide Titilola and Fayode Aduragbemi were also rewarded with N100, 000 each for being the best graduating students in Chemical Engineering for the 2010/2011 and 2011/2012 academic sessions, respectively. In his review of the book, the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Prof. Omotayo Fakinlede, had this to say; “Ogunye is a leader in the amount of mentoring and impact on younger people, many of whom, today, are great society leaders in their own rights. He can easily tell that he has paid his dues to society. When you add the number of people he goes out of the usual call of duty to assist, then we can even justifiably say he has done more. More on this follow in the biographical sketch from family, colleagues and former students completing the first section of the book. His children are also successful.” In his remarks, the celebrant, who dedicated his success to God and the commitment of his late father to build a bright future for him, said the road to success was rough and full of thorns but that as rough as it was he benefited from his kindness and friendship with his students and fellow teachers.

Editor, National Mirror, Mr. Seyi Fasugba (2nd left) presenting a copy of the newspaper to the Deputy Registrar (Information), University of Lagos, Akoka, Mr. Adebisi Dare. Others are members of staff of National Mirror and the university during the paper’s courtesy visit to the institution on Tuesday. PHOTO: BAYOOR EWUOSO.

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‘Private village schools deserve government support’ MOJEED ALABI

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s part of the basic requirements to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and her vision 2020:20, Nigeria has been advised to step up the campaign for mass education particularly at the grassroots and remote villages. This call has been reiterated by the Founder and Director of Uncle Bayus International College, Ewu-Oliwo, Ijede, Lagos State, Mr. Adebayo Idowu, who held the view that part of the measure to achieve the objective, was to encourage those school owners in villages and emerging communities. He said the demand was similar to the request by teachers posted to remote communities for incentives because any student being trained in such environment requires additional efforts. He noted that teachers in such schools had limited access to information that are available to their contemporaries in the cities and “yet they are expected to be taught with the same syllabus and write the same examinations as their colleagues.” He made this disclosure recently during the 10th anniversary celebration of his college and the 15th edition of the graduation ceremony of the nursery and primary category which he founded about 23 years ago. At a colourful ceremony last weekend, the school management appreciated the parents, staff and well-wishers of the institution for what he described as their steadfastness in their support for the establishment. Idowu said investing in education goes beyond wealth creation but that anyone who would be successful in the business must be somebody who has passion for the

role of building future leaders; the task he said could be discouraging at times due to the socioeconomic challenges confronting the country. “At a tender age of 23, I decided to invest my time and knowledge in shaping the future of kids and my closeness to the grassroots really influenced my interaction with the kids because I knew virtually all of them from birth and it really helped in understanding their potentials and limitations. It was possible because I had passion for it and I went ahead to continue with my studies in education. “Today, this college which came as a result of the wise counsel of our admirers has impacted positively on many homes as our students have continued to excel in both local and state competitions. But if government will do it well, I will advise that we deserve support from government because it is not easy to manage a school in a rural setting,” Idowu said. The graduate of Tai Solarin University of Education also advised parents to be watchful of their wards particularly in their use of mobile phones, televisions and internet facilities, which he said the students are not using to their advantage but that they further distract them from their studies.

Adebayo Idowu

Yakowa signs Education Quality Assurance Law A ZA MSUE, KADUNA

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overnor Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa of Kaduna State has signed the Education Quality Assurance Board bill passed by the state House of Assembly into law. He said the new law would enable the board to improve on the quality of teaching and learning in schools. The governor stated this in Kaduna at a workshop organised for head teachers and local government supervisors of education on quality assurance evaluation in the state. He explained that for the law, the state established a database where quality assurance reports would be processed and stored for easy access by all stakeholders. Governor Yakowa while commending the Federal Ministry of Education, through the Federal Inspectorate Service (F.I.S) for the

zeal towards the production and review of the Uniform Education Quality Assurance Handbook and instrument for Nigeria, said the review had resulted in a paradigm shift from the traditional inspection practices to a holistic approach. He promised the people of the state that his government would continue with the renovation of existing school structures, constructing of new classrooms, providing science and technical equipments, ICT facilities, as well as instructional materials to enhance the quality of education in the state. He added that government in its efforts to improve quality of teachers in the state’s owned schools had repositioned the State Universal Basic Education Board and trained about 4,600 teachers through the Strengthening Mathematics and Science Education Scheme of the National Teachers Institute with support from the Japanese Government.


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Education Today

Thursday, August 9, 2012

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FROM OTHER LANDS

Indian scientist wins $3m Physics award

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heoretical physicist Ashoke Sen, a string theorist at India’s Harish-Chandra Research Institute, is one of nine winners of the first Yuri Milner Fundamental Physics Prize. At US$3 million, the award is worth nearly three times more than a Nobel and is the most lucrative academic prize in the world. The prize was created by Yuri Milner, a Russian physics postgraduate student, who dropped out and subsequently became a bil-

lionaire by investing in internet companies. Sen (56) has spent nearly three decades pursuing work in fundamental physics, particularly ‘string theory’, an attempt to unify the theories of gravity and quantum mechanics and to complete a task that Einstein began. He was the only developing country scientist to clinch a Milner prize. Seven of the other winners are based in the United States and one is in France. During the mid-1980s and

1990s, physicists churned out several string theory versions, all of which appeared correct and thus drew scepticism from some fellow scientists. According to the Milner Foundation, which instituted the prize, Sen’s work has helped show that multiple string theories are all different versions of a single, underlying theory. Sen says what the prize means to him was “This is certainly the biggest award I have got. I hope that this will be an encouragement

Varsity tuition fees to rise in England next year

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tudents will pay over £8,500 on average with a third of English institutions charging maximum £9,000 as standard for a degree University of Sussex freshers’ week: 77% of institutions will charge£9,000 for at least one course, and 34% will charge the maximum as standard. Photograph: Martin Godwin University tuition fees are set to rise next year, with students paying on average just over £8,500. A third of English institutions will charge the maximum £9,000 as standard for a degree, according to official figures. Around three in four will charge the top rate for at least one of their undergraduate courses. Union leaders said that the latest figures show that fees of more than£6,000 are becoming the norm rather than the exception. English university fee levels for 2013/14 were published by the Office for Fair

Access (Offa) on Wednesday, when it released individual institutions’ latest plans for ensuring that disadvantaged teenagers were not priced out of higher education. Under a major overhaul of the system, every university that wants to charge students more than £6,000 and up to £9,000 must submit an annual “access agreement”, which has to be signed off by Offa. Institutions that fail to meet targets in their agreement on recruiting and retaining students risk a hefty fine or losing the right to charge more than £6,000. In total, 122 universities and 28 further education colleges have access agreements in place for 2013/14, the second year of the tuition fee increase. Students starting degree courses in autumn next year will pay estimated average tuition fees of £8,507, up from the latest estimate of £8,385 for 2012/13 It is understood the rise has been driven by univer-

sities making changes to their fee levels for next year. After fee waivers, which reduce the charge for poorer students, the estimated average fee will be £8,263, Offa said. The figures show that 94 of 122 universities (77%) will charge £9,000 for at least one of their courses, and 42 institutions (34%) will charge the maximum as standard. Among the further education colleges, three are expected to have fees of£9,000 for at least one course, and one will charge the maximum across the board. Offa insisted that when all financial support is taken into account the estimated average fee for 2013/14 will be £7,898. Ten universities and colleges will charge an average of £9,000 after fee waivers are taken into account, the organisation added. These institutions are likely to provide bursaries or other forms of financial support. Culled from: the Guardian

Music teacher invented fatal car crash to avoid work

A

music teacher fabricated a lie about knocking down a girl and killing her in a car crash so he could avoid going to work, a disciplinary panel heard. Derek McGlone, 42, claimed he could feel his car wheels running over the girl’s body in a ploy to stay at home. The teacher, who described himself as a “respected” head of music, art and design at Calderhead High School in North Lanarkshire, also told the school’s deputy head that he had been caught up in the Icelandic ash cloud when he was at home in

Glasgow. McGlone admitted making false statements about his absence between June 2008 and May 2011 at a General Teaching Council Scotland (GTCS) hearing. Representing himself, he said he was “embarrassed and sorry” for his actions” and told the panel he still had a “passion” for teaching. “I can give no reasonable explanation for my actions,” he said. The GTCS panel also heard how his colleagues had complained about his drunken rants on Facebook in which he called other staff members

“bitches”. In a statement read by the council’s solicitor, Neil McLean, Calderhead High head Joyce Kilmartin said there were a “number of occasions” when McGlone had lied to take time off. Her statement added: “He started off telling a few silly lies. He then lied about knocking a girl over and killing her – he said he felt his car wheels running over her body.” McGlone received a 12-month reprimand against his name on the teaching register. Culled: Daily Telegraph

for young students who are interested in basic research to take it up as a career option,” Sen told University World News. “I would like youngsters to take up science not for the glamour of an award, but for the joy and knowledge that it brings.” However, Sen added, the award did not endorse any scientific theory. His win has shone a spotlight on fundamental research in India, which according to him is “certainly ahead of many other developing countries and also well ahead of many devel-

oped countries. “In our area [string theory] the Indian contribution has been extremely significant. There are many people working in different parts of India who are widely recognised as leaders in the field,” Sen said, giving two reasons for this. “The subject itself does not require much infrastructure except for a computer, good internet connection and some travel money to visit other places and invite others to visit. The second reason, perhaps not unrelated to the first, is that during the last

Sen

30 years many outstanding researchers in this area have returned to India from abroad.” The tremendous improvements in communication, and better travel funding, had helped Indian theorists, Sen argued. “For example, now we can publish our result on the arXiv [an archive for electronic pre-prints of scientific papers] the day after a paper is typed, whereas earlier it would take months before we could make copies of our pre-print and send it to others,” Sen said. Sen has received many awards over the years, among them the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize, India’s highest science award, in 1994, and the Infosys Prize in 2009, an award intended to elevate the prestige of scientific research in India. He feels that most research in India should be carried out in universities rather than the research institutes. “For this it is essential that the teaching and administrative loads at universities be kept at a sufficiently low level so as to allow people to spend a large fraction of their time towards research. Culled from: World Universities News

Number of out-of-school kids increasing worldwide - Report

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rogress in reducing the number of children out of school has stalled across the globe. 61 million children were out of primary school in 2010, a similar number to the previous year. This is according to a Policy Paper released jointly by the Education for All Global Monitoring Report (GMR) and the UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Entitled “The number of out-of-school children is stagnating”, the GMR paper shows the decline in out-of-school figures has slowed down since 2005 and, therefore, will make it difficult to reach the six Education For All goals by 2015. These commitments were made by world leaders at the World Education Forum in Dakar in 2000 and progress was greatest in the immediate aftermath. However, the decline in out-of-school figures has stalled since, underlining that millions of children are still denied their right to education, and jeopardising develop-

ment progress more generally. These children are typically poor and living in rural areas, the policy paper points out. In all countries, whatever their level of development, some individuals and groups experience extreme and persistent disadvantage in relation to their education. Children from the poorest households are four times more likely to be out of school than those from the richest. Moreover, rural children are twice as likely to be out of school as urban children. Girls are more likely to be out of school (28%) than boys (25%), even though efforts to improve educational access for girls have been relatively successful. In 2010, girls accounted for 53% of out of school children compared with 58% in 2000. Nevertheless, the greatest disparities exist between rural girls and urban boys. According to the GMR paper, much of the global

stagnation is due to trends in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the number of children out-of-school has actually risen over the past three years, from 29 million in 2008 to 31 million in 2010. Consequently, this region accounts for half of all out-of-school children worldwide. For instance, Nigeria alone was home to 10.5 million out-of-school children, 42% of its primary school age population. In stark contrast, South and West Asia have made great gains over the past two decades, reducing the number of out-of-school children by two-thirds, from 39 million in 1990 to 13 million in 2010. The remaining regions have significantly fewer children out of school: Arab States (5.0 million), Latin America and the Caribbean (2.7 million), North America and Western Europe (1.3 million), Central and Eastern Europe (0.9 million), and Central Asia (0.3 million). Culled From: Daily mail


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

with Mojeed Alabi mojeedalabi2@yahoo.co.uk or mail@mirroronline.net

Ibadan Poly students in fear over flood MOJEED ALABI

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tudents of the Polytechnic, Ibadan, who are resident in the Apete village, now see every dark cloud as a threat to their survival due to their usual harrowing experiences whenever it rains heavily in the community. Like they witnessed in August 2011 when major parts of the ancient Ibadan city was ravaged by flood which claimed the old bridge that linked the community with Ojoo, the Ibadan Polytechnic’s host community and students of the institution recently suffered same fate as the wooden bridge that re-

placed the former one was again washed away. Troubled by the development, the school management had to declare a week break on the campus to enable government evolve a temporary solution to the perennial problem. The Oyo State government in a swift reaction also revoked the reconstruction of the bridge’s contract earlier awarded to KBP International, a civil engineering company, over what the government termed unnecessary delay in the project execution. Commenting on their experiences during the period, the students and a few of their lecturers, who spoke to National Mirror,

expressed dissatisfaction with the situation, which they said had subjected them to tough times “for the second time within a year.” Lakunle Sodiq, an ND I student of the Department of Accountancy said it was not a good time for anyone to pass through. “As students, apart from the physical stress we went through, we also had our pocket drained because where we used to ply with just N40 suddenly rose to as high as between N250 and N300. It was so because the bridge we would have just crossed over to the campus had collapsed, therefore, we would then need to board a bus to Sango at the rate of

LASU Muslim students hold Jihad Week NURUDEEN YUSUF AND MUSBAUDEEN SHEKONI

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he Muslim students of the Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, under the platform of the institution’s chapter of the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN), have described members of the terrorist group in the North as non-Muslims, saying Islam is not a religion of violence but of peace. The association made this disclosure recently while meeting the press to announce the details of this year’s annual Islamic sensitisation programme on the campus otherwise known as “Jihad Week,” which according to the

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

association’s President, AbdulMojeed Olayinka, is a programme aimed at advancing the course of Islam through lectures, seminars, sporting and social activities “done in a way that does not negate the dictates of God.” This year’s event witnessed series of activities including visitations to other campuses of the university in Ikeja, Epe and Oju-Elegba; procession round the campus by members; award presentations to Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State among others. Also, the body organised a football competition tagged: Ameer’s Cup, where male members participated actively with the Association of Management

Female members of the Muslim society during the procession.

Science Muslim Students (AMAMS) lifting the trophy. Speaking on the success of this year’s event, Ahmed Kosoko, said; “the just concluded Jihad Week is the first of its kind on our campus and it will go a long way in changing the lives of many Muslims students within and outside our university because many issues we raised during the series of lectures and symposia that we had, the movies we showed and other activities helped many of us to gain access to international perspective on major issues of concern such as terrorist attacks in the north, the violence in Syria, the perennial crisis between Isreal and Palestine, among others.

N200 or ride on motobike at N300 and alight at school gate. It was a terrible experience” Sodiq lamented. Another student, Busola Tunmise of Computer Science Department on her part, would have wanted the government to fast track the construction of a modern bridge at the site so that the village can

experience some development “as it accommodates many workers and students of the institution. The situation is bad that each time it prepares to rain people are terrified and they begin to go into prayers.” One of the lecturers in the school who preaded anonymity said develop-

ment of the village would drive more people away from the nucleus of the city of Ibadan and would serve the polytechnic a better opportunity of creating a village-like setting that would add value to the institution “It may also increase its internally generated revenue if properly handled,” he said.

Students of the polytechnic helplessly looking at the wreckage of the bridge.

Bowen varsity obtains accreditation for medical college

B

owen University, Iwo, Osun State, has been formally awarded the licence to operate its college of medicine by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), ranking it the first private university to have a full-fledged teaching hospital to run its medical programme. The feat according to the faith-based university was made possible by the commitment and dedication of staff and students of the university towards quality

assurance and the status of the university’s teaching hospital. It added that the university fulfilled all requirements through its strong focus on academic learning and development, huge investment in competent manpower and infrastructural development. The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Timothy Olagbemiro, while speaking on the accreditation recently said it was the vision of the university to provide highly skilled grad-

uates in key disciplines, adding that; “the college of medicine is one of the strategic plans of the university to become a centre of learning and research of distinction.” In his remark, the Acting Chief Medical Director of Bowen University Teaching Hospital and Provost, College of Medicine, Prof. Olusola Akute said the accreditation by the MDCN was basic and fundamental to the activities of the college.

MTN upgrades e-libraries in UNILAG, ABU

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n a bid to upgrade the facilities provided by the MTN Nigeria under the UniversitiesConnect project in federal universities across the country, the MTN Foundation has commenced renovation work at a number of locations starting with the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka and Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria. The first and second phases under this project were commissioned at the University of Lagos, Akoka in 2005, and the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, in 2009. The University of Nigeria, Nsukka and the University of Benin libraries under the project were inaugurated during the 3rd and 4th phase, respectively. According to the Corporate Services Executive,

MTN Nigeria, Mr. Akinwale Goodluck, the project is designed to provide sustainable online access to up-to-date information in federal universities and that it aims to provide students and lecturers with access to the vital online information they need to excel in their studies. “In addition, it offers youths the platform that will enable them compete favourably with their counterparts in other parts of the world.” He added that the project empowers the university communities to seek and find knowledge beyond the confines of their institutions. Goodluck revealed that the MTNF UniversitiesConnect digital library consists of 121 networked computers, four networked

computers for administrative use, three servers, two high capacity printers, one sound proof 100KVA generator, VSAT equipment and internet connectivity. The library, he explained, was linked to world-class digital libraries across the world, providing access to electronic resources like books, journals and magazines, covering all subjects from Arts, Law, Architecture and Medicine to Engineering and the Sciences. The undergoing renovation work in ABU and UNILAG National Mirror was told involves the installation of 125 brand new branded systems, servers, databases and refurbishment of the fittings and furniture along with repainting of the facility.


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Thursday, August 9, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Unmasking oil subsidy scammers T

HE NATION ON SUNDAY of August 5 offered readers two gaffes: “It cannot be funny that sons of two PDP National Chairmen have been charged for (with) oil subsidy scam.” “Asides (Aside) love, the most important thing is trust.” Next is The Guardian of July 31: “Barring (Baring) last minute (last-minute) change of plans….” Let us welcome TheNEWS to this column for the first time. Its edition of May 30 circulated this gaffe: “A week to the end of his stay in the House and office, the reputation of the House and that of himself look (looks) wretched.” “Osun Deputy Governor, SSG, others pay last respect as Agbelekale goes home” (THE NATION, May 21) May his soul rest in peace (not perfect peace, by the way, as emotional people write): pay last respects. “Testimony galore at RCCG Holy Ghost Service for May” (National Mirror, May 22) In the interest of eschatology: Testimonies galore…. “Ameobi lays siege for Baggies” (THE NATION, May 22) Sportsmanship: lay siege to (not for), if at all this lexical structure has to be used! “Why Tantalizers is re-opening (reopening) Abibu-Oki outlet” (National Mirror, May 21) Yet another phrasal verb catachresis. “Izunaso sets to dump PDP for

APGA” (Nigerian Compass, May 19) All the news, all the time: Izunaso set (not sets) to dump PDP… “Despite the fact that these ex-bank chiefs are on bail and has never negate any condition of their bail….” (DAILY INDEPENDENT, May 19) How did we arrive here? The ex-bank chiefs are on bail and have never negated…. “Katsina-Alu, Salami should have stood aside while investigations last (lasted)” (DAILY INDEPENDENT, May 19) “It hasn’t been too good (sic) in the last four years and it’s something that borders (bothers) me.” (Nigerian Compass Politics, May 18) Next on feature is THISDAY of May 18: “The euphoria among workers over this year’s May Day find (finds) expression in the fact that they can now take their destiny in their own hands.” “It was an unenviable task given the palpable hostility that rented (rent) the air.” “ACN senator-elect advises colleagues to brace-up for the next republic” Politics Today: Still on phrasal verb brouhaha (brace up). It is not a syllabic entry. “The lack of adequate knowledge of the areas have (had) often made past exercises to be.…” “…execute programmes and policies which they promised the electorates (electorate) before being voted for.” “The redeployment of the

MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE (NOT PERFECT PEACE sports administrator comes in (on) the heels of sweeping changes presently (sic) going on in the federal civil service.” Yank off ‘presently’ in the interest of purity and word economy! “…we are assuming that among the privileged specie (species) of homo sapiens….” “A major platform under (on) which banking regulation has been carried out in Nigeria over the years has been through the use of statutory regulation.” “…I thought I heard the preacher talked (talk) about the message of Jesus being rather simple….” “But, of course, the country is still indebted to the tune of a whooping $29 billion to the same IMF with service arrears mounting by $1 billion annually.” Spellcheck: whopping. “Without my vote it could have been minus one vote for either of the two candidates.” It couldn’t have been ‘either of four candidates’! Delete ‘two’ in the interest of purity. “…that we are indeed free at last to breathe easy and live without the fears of yesteryears.” The last word in the excerpt cannot be pluralised. “Lack of other skills force (forces) men and women into occupations that carry more risk

than others.” “The other week, illegal fuel hawkers at Ojuelegba, in the Lagos metropolis, fell out with some of their co-dealers and fourth themselves.” The miscreants fought one another (not themselves). “Areas like…have had one skirmish or the other (another) since last week Thursday. “Either last Thursday or Thursday, last week. “Ikedi Ohakim looked dazed and traumatised even as he beamed smiles to the crowd.” The man could not have beamed a frown! We should not ignorantly circumscribe meaning of words through redundancies. “It is regrettable that the police has (have) virtually turned Mushin and parts of Isolo into a police state, subjecting such areas into (to) a nightmarish reign of terror and anarchy.” “…the new chairmen and councilors would usher in improved grassroot development schemes for the welfare of the people.” Always: grassroots. “During his investiture ceremony held at the college campus.…” Always on (not at) the campus. “The truth of the matter is that both the Liberian and Sierra Leonean crisis cost Nigeria a

fortune.” Singular: crisis; plural: crises. “Also, the country’s educational and health institutions are in total shambles.” This way: in a total shambles. “Building and construction firms have began (begun) to submit bids for….” “…Nigeria was observing a mandatory requirement for the conferment of validity to (on) its 2011 elections.” “Your life is an examplary one…” This way: exemplary. “He who pays the piper dictates the tune.” He who pays the piper calls the tune. “In spite of distance and regional location, the two countries at one time has (had) so much in common.” “Murder: Lack of funds stall (stalls) prosecution” I appreciate the source of confusion. It is a recurring shibboleth. “…many Nigerians are dead, millions are today walking corpses, while unemployment, hunger and destitution is (are) rife in the land.” “Personal sacrifices and discipline are the only ammunitions civilians have for rescuing the nation from.…” This way: ammunition. “One had thought that after the allegation levied (levelled) against Lionel Messi.…” “The UNIBEN Alumni Association has congratulated two of its members for (on) their achievements in politics.”

QUOTES •Imagination is the •What’s the purpose of education if it cannot produce any benefit to society? I am beginning of creaasking this question because despite the fact that a lot of Nigerians are “educated” tion. You imagine Nigeria is still a poor country. This means that the educational system is not adding what you desire, you value to the economy through the creation of jobs. The main culprit here is the Nigewill what you imagine rian educational system. The Nigerian educational system is one of the worst in the and at last you create world. Our educational system is not producing innovators but only people who know what you will• how to pass exams by cramming. At best, our school system only produces crammers George Bernard Shaw who pass exams by writing 20 fullscap sheets of information but can hardly solve •It is the supreme real world societal problems. It seems that the mentality of the policy makers just like art of the teacher to most Nigerians is very skewed. They, just like most Nigerians, think that being educatawaken joy in crea- ed means being able to speak English properly and use big words in the dictionary to tive expression and impress people thereby looking down on people who make grammatical errors while knowlege• regarding others that can’t even speak English as “local”, “omo-ita” or “agbero’s• Albert Einstein

- David Osagie, University of Benin


Thursday, August 9, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

27

Sport

We are trying to get prepared for the game against Mena of Niger in a very special way - Super Eagles goalkeeper trainer, Ike Shorunmu

Farah makes final, eyes double honours 30

XXXTH OLYMPIC SUMMER GAMES

London 2012

EVEREST ONYEWUCHI REPORTING

July 27 - August 12, 2012

First Bank sticks with Okagbare

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igeria’s top sprinter and First Bank Nigeria Plc’s Brand Ambassador, Blessing Okagbare, retains the support of the bank despite her failures in the women’s 100metres and long jump finals at the ongoing London Games. Okagbare surprisingly finished last in the 100m final with a disappointing time of 11.01 secs and only jumped 6.34metres inside the Olympic Stadium on Tuesday evening. However, First Bank has reassured her of its support as the relay events beckon. In a statement released by First Bank’s Head of Marketing and Corporate Communications, Mrs. Folake Ani-Mumuney, in support of Okagbare’s long jump medal quest, which unfortunately the athlete failed, the bank expressed its support. “Blessing will continue to have the cheering support of First Bank Nigeria,” Ani-Mumuney said. “Blessing is a very focused and her dedication and reach for glory are only some of the values First Bank spotted in her when we chose her as our worthy ambassador for the Olympics. We will remain solidly behind her.”

Ogho-Oghene Egwero (l) trailing Jamaican and British athletes is typical of Nigeria’s ria’s poor run at the London 2012 Olympics Inset: Tunde Popoola

Olympic fund: NOC received only N50m from NSC–Popoola W ith only four days to the end of the 30th Olympiad and the blame game starting on why Team Nigeria performed poorly at the London 2012 Games, Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) has disclosed that the National Sports Commission (NSC) starved it of funds. NOC is the affiliate of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the recognised body to enter Nigerian athletes for Olympic events and takes charge of their participation in the Olympics. The Federal Government early this year released the sum of N1.9bn for Nigeria’s participation in the London Games through the Ministry of Sports/National Sports Commission. But with the present situation here in Team Nigeria’s camp and the stark reality that unless with providence, Nigeria may not win a medal in this Olympics, the truth is beginning to come out. Secretary-General of the NOC,

Tunde Popoola, told National Mirror here exclusively that the funds were withheld and operated by the NSC, leaving the IOC affiliate in the dark on its usage. “Quote me, the NOC only received N50m from the NSC out of the N1.9bn released by the Federal Government and we don’t know what they did with it or how it was used. We have tried to manage the team with what is available to us,” Popoola said. Asked if funding was the only

reason why Team Nigeria athletes who raised a lot of hope pre-London 2012 Games crashed out in the preliminary rounds of their events, the NOC secretary, who is a former national hockey team player said: “I have been saying it and I will continue to say it, our preparations are not the best. We leave it till the last minute and this one (London Games) is not much of an exception, but it’s just a little better than it used to be. It’s still the same thing.”

Taekwondo: Isa opens medal quest

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igeria’s Isa Mohammed will begin the country’s chase for a medal in the taekwondo event today. Two Nigerian athletes, Isa, and Team Nigeria’s captain, Chika Yagazie Chukwumerije, are bearing the country’s burden

here as the last minute search for a medal reaches feverish pitch. Isa will fight a Jordonian, while Chukwumerije, a bronze medallist in Beijing 2008 Olympics, will open his account on August 11 against the fourth seeded Cuban,

Decathlete succumbs to injury

F Okagbare

ormer world record holder, Roman Sebrle, pulled out of the Olympic decathlon yesterday after the first event with an injury to his right heel. The 37-year-old Czech,

Olympic champion in 2004, was the slowest of all the decathletes in the 100 metres heat in 11.54 seconds. “The 100 metres was OK with the pain but not with the time. For the long jump,

I couldn’t run,” Sebrle told reporters. His time was over a second slower than American title favourite, Ashton Eaton (10.35), who broke Sebrle’s world record in June.

who is the 2011 World University Championship winner. The two fighters had prepared in South Korea and have a Korean coach, Keum Silwan, assisted by Carl Lewis Langan. President of the Taekwondo Federation of Nigeria (TFN,) Chief Jonathan Nnaji, told National Mirror yesterday that Isa and Chukwumerije were in high spirits. “From what is happening now, they need prayers from all Nigerians. But they are battle ready,” Nnaji said.


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Thursday, August 9, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Weightlifting body hails LOCOG XXXTH OLYMPIC SUMMER GAMES

London 2012

EVEREST ONYEWUCHI REPORTING

July 27 - August 12, 2012

Iranian Behdad Salimi’s lift has lifted the IWF at the games

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he International Weightlifting Federation (IWF), has declared its delight at this summer’s Olympic Games and hailed the work done by London 2012 organisers. Weightlifting at ExCeL ended on Tuesday night, with men’s super heavyweight Behdad Salimi of Iran claiming the final gold medal of 15 awarded over the past 11 days. A total of 44 Olympic and world re-

cords were broken during an exhilarating competition, with around 6,000 partisan supporters packing South Arena 3 for each of the 23 sessions, regularly three per day. “We are entirely happy and satisfied with these Olympic Games at all levels and in all respects,” an IWF statement. “The organisation overall, in particular within ExCeL and weightlifting, was really impeccable and the technical facili-

ties as everything was to perfection. “Weightlifting has won over Britain and recaptured British people’s hearts after a very, very long time. “We are very grateful to the audience. How they supported the lifters and understood immediately the sense of the sport and this competition. “We never had a problem with empty seats as all our sessions were full with great audiences.”

GB duo miss medals

G Adams

Boxing: Adams squares Chinese

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icola Adams will fight old foe Ren Cancan of China for the women’s flyweight gold medal today after getting the better of five-time world champion Mary Kom in their semi-final at ExCeL. After both fighters were roared to the ring, Indian superstar Kom went straight on the offensive, but the early moments were messy as the Indian sought to muscle up close and was repelled by the much bigger Adams. The Briton’s major reach advantage helped her score with a pair of left jabs, but Kom made light of the size discrepancy by landing a right hand of her own as Adams took the opening round 3-1 on the scoreboard. “I’ve been training for this moment since I was 12 years old and to think it is finally here

is just incredible,” Adams, who also holds a one-point win over Ren from the Strandja Cup in February, said. “Hopefully the crowd will give me a boost to edge away and I can get the gold. I’ve beaten her once before and I’m confident I can do it again.”

O

reat Britain’s Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes saw their hopes of a bronze medal end as Australia got another gold on the board off the Weymouth coast. Britain’s Exmouth sailors have had an indifferent regatta, only managing to show flashes of their true ability, and came into the 49er class medal race six points off the bronze medal-the only podium position yet to be decided. However, Morrison and Rhodes fell short in a tense race on the Nothe Course and finished fifth as Denmark’s Allan Norregaard and Peter Lang secured bronze. Australia’s Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen had already wrapped up gold, while New Zealand pair Peter Burling and Blair Tuke had also already sealed the

Morrison (l) and Rhodes

silver. The teams only had to turn up and compete in the medal raceeven if they finished last-to clinch the victory, which they duly did to leave just bronze up for grabs. Morrison and Rhodes came into the medal race in fifth place, six points behind Norregaard and Lang in third after the 15 opening fleet races, and were one of a number of teams in with a chance of a podium finish.

Jackson

B’ball: Jackson breaks scoring record

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t was another memorable day at the Basketball Arena yesterday as the semi-final line-up for the women’s competition was finalized. Lauren Jackson broke the all-time Olympic scoring record as Australia overcame China 75-60 to reach the last four. Jackson, playing in her fourth Games, finished with 12 points, and her final layup in the fourth quarter was enough to edge her ahead of Janeth Arcain with 536 points in Games competition. The Opals had surrendered a firstquarter lead to be trailing at half-time and throughout most of the third quarter. They finally got back in front with a little under two minutes remaining in the third with a 6-0 run that made it 55-50 on a lay-up from Liz Cambage, who led all scorers with 17 points. “It’s nice, but this is a team sport and I can’t be happy with something that’s just me,” Jackson said, apparently downplaying her feat. Australia will next face the USA, who ran out 91-48 winners against Canada and remain on track for a record fifth straight Olympic gold medal.

Finch rues poor run

utgoing Great Britain basketball coach, Chris Finch, has admitted the collapse against Australia that cost his team a quarter-final appearance at the London Olympics will haunt him for the rest of his career. Britain was eliminated from contention when it lost penultimate group game 10675 to Australia, a game in which they blew a 15-point second-half lead to be out-

scored 70-24 in the final 19 minutes. That made Britain’s 90-58 victory over China in their final game-their first Olympic win since 1948-purely for pride, and while Finch came away from the Games pleased with his team’s overall performance, the one that got away is going to stay with him. “I told the guys we’ve played well for 16 out of the 20 quarters in the tournament,” Finch said yesterday.

“Normally that would get you a couple of wins, but given the level of competition we were playing against, wins are really tough to come by. “This part of my relationship with British Basketball is over, but I will always have a strong affinity because this is where I began as a player and as a coach.” While expressing hope for the future, Flinch said: “Who knows? Maybe one day they’ll have an NBA team here.”

Finch


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sport

Thursday, August 9, 2012

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FROM THE LONDON 2012 LENS

XXXTH OLYMPIC SUMMER GAMES

London 2012

EVEREST ONYEWUCHI REPORTING

July 27 - August 12, 2012

Medal count

Kim Bokyung of Korea is challenged by Oscar and Leandro Damiao (falling) of Brazil during their semi-final match which Brazil won 3-0

Lee Daehoon of the Republic of Korea (r) competing against Pen-Ek Karaket of Thailand in the men’s -59kg preliminary rounds

Country

G

S

B

Total

China

35

21

19

75

United States

30

19

23

72

Great Britain

22

13

13

48

Republic of Korea

12

6

6

24

Russia

10

18

20

48

France

8

9

11

28

Germany

7

15

10

32

Italy

7

6

4

17

Hungary

6

2

3

11

Kazakhstan

6

0

2

8

Australia

5

12

9

26

Netherlands

5

4

6

15

Islamic Republic of Iran

4

3

1

8

DPR Korea

4

0

1

5

15 Cuba

3

3

1

7

New Zealand

3

2

5

10

Belarus

3

2

4

9

South Africa

3

1

0

4

Ukraine

3

0

6

9

Japan

2

13

14

29

Jorge Maqueda Peno of Spain (red shirt) shooting against France during their quarterfinal match

Germany’s Matthias Steiner fails to lift the weight in the Men’s +105kg event yesterday

Emanuel Rego of Brazil diving for the ball during the Men’s Beach Volleyball semi-final match between Brazil and Latvia

Arnor Atlason of Iceland (red shirt) is challenged by Ferenc Ilyes of Hungary during the Men’s quarterfinal match. Photos: www.london2012olympics.


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Sport

Thursday, August 9, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

XXXTH OLYMPIC SUMMER GAMES

London 2012

EVEREST ONYEWUCHI REPORTING

July 27 - August 12, 2012

Saudi runner makes history

S

arah Attar has become the first Saudi Arabian woman to compete in Athletics at the Olympic Games and she hopes her participation at London 2012 will make a difference. Wojdan Shaherkani, the other female member of the Saudi team, competed in the Judo last week with Attar having to wait until yesterday to make her appearance. Although she came last in the final heat of the 800m, the 19-year-old is aware that was the least important aspect of a historic day. “It is the biggest honour to be here to represent the women of Saudi Arabia,” Attar said. “It is a historic moment. I hope it will make a difference. It is a huge step forward. It’s a really incredible experience.” Attar, who finished in a time of 2:44.95, will now return to Pepperdine University in California.

Farah makes final, eyes double honours Mo Farah

B

ritish sensation, Mo Farah, booked his place in the final of the 5,000m after finishing third in the morning’s heat yesterday. Farah remains on track for a golden double after winning the 10,000m on Saturday night. The African-born Briton’s coach, Alberto Salazar, had said on Tuesday he thought the 29-year-old had recovered well from his exertions in the longer race, but Farah was still

made to work hard to advance in a time of 13 minutes 26 seconds. “It was pretty difficult,” Farah said yesterday. “I was a bit tired, it took a bit more out of me than I was expecting, but I’m really happy with where I am now and I’ve got a couple of days off. “I kept getting caught, there was a lot of pushing and shoving going on, that’s what happens in the heats. Hopefully it will settle down in the

final. I’m going to go out and give it 110 per cent, that’s all you can do. It just depends how my legs allow me to run. “I will have done 50 laps around that track by the end of the 5,000m final and it wasn’t the easiest 10k, but I’ve got a great medical team and will be in good hands.” Farah feels there is a target on his back following his 10,000m triumph, but vowed to give everything in his bid for the historic double.

Golden Meares takes break

A

nna Meares has revealed plans to take a sabbatical from cycling after claiming the Olympic women’s Sprint title at London 2012. Australian Meares earned gold due Great Britain rival Victoria Pendleton’s relegation in the first race and a tactical master class in the second. Although Meares, 28, is still harbouring hopes of defending her title at Rio 2016, she first plans to spend some time away from the sport. “I’m looking forward to taking a break,’ she said after collecting a second Olympic gold to go with the one she won in Athens,” she said. “I want at least a season away from the sport just to give some time back to my family and friends. I’ve asked so much sacrifice from them for so long. “I am currently looking at Rio but I don’t want to make that decision now because you can be swayed by the emotions,” she submitted.

Attar

German duo in men’s final

G

ermany’s Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann made it through to the final of the men’s Beach Volleyball competition yesterday with a straight-sets win against Reinder Nummerdor and Rich Schuil of The Netherlands. The Germans made their intentions clear early on, with their impressive form helping them to a 9-4 lead. The Dutch pair struggled to recover, with Reckermann strong at the net. Nummerdor and Schuil brought it back to three but the Germans then raced away to take the first set 21-14. They continued in the same form in the second, with the Dutch duo lacking the force to overcome Brink’s defence at the back of the court and Reckermann’s power. The Germans will now face Brazilian duo Alison Cerutti and Emanuel Rego for the gold medal following their victory over Latvian pair Martins Plavins and Janis Smedins, who will contest the bronze match with Nummerdor and Schuil.

Lazaro

Cuban suffers pole loss

T

he Olympic Games didn’t work out as planned for Cuba’s Lazaro Borges yesterday. Qualifying for the men’s pole vault was fairly undramatic until Borges stepped up to the plate. There were gasps in the Olympic Stadium as Borges’ pole snapped. Thankfully, the athlete didn’t appear

to be hurt, as the incident was replayed time and time again for television audiences. Spectators’ minds must have wandered back 24 years to the Seoul Olympics, when the same thing happened to Britain’s Daley Thompson in the decathlon, sparking the age old dictum that news repeats itself at the Games.

Meares


Thursday, August 9, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

31

Business & Finance For lasting success of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s cash-less policy, there must be a reliable centralized national identity management system in place

Broadband Internet availability in Nigeria remains very high in the priorities of the Commission EXECUTIVE VICE CHAIRMAN, NIGERIAN COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION, DR. EUGENE JUWAH

DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF COMMISSION, CHRIS ONYEMENAM

Naira decline may persist despite onetary tightening – Experts ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI

F

inancial analysts have said that the naira may continue to decline against the United States dollar despite liquidity tightening measures introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The analysts who spoke yesterday at the Financial Correspondents Association of Nigeria’s half year economic review for the last six months and outlook for the remaining

half of the year said continued demand pressure on the foreign exchange market needed to be addressed in multiple ways. According to Currency Analyst at the ForexTime Trading West Africa, Mr. Bade Oludahun, the excessive demand pressure on naira as a result of failure of the government to ensure that other economic growth indicators are well implemented will largely affect appreciation of naira. “The outlook of the economy does not give hope to naira in future appreciation,” he said.

Oludahun observed that various conventional and unconventional measures adopted by the CBN to support naira appreciation may not yield any result in as much as export output, insecurity, poor implementation of fiscal policies and the global headwinds does not improve. “All we see is a situation whereby the naira gains by 0.5 per cent or a little more in one day against the dollar but the dollar dominates for a very longer trading period,” he said. On year-on-year basis, the

L-R: Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Digital Jewels, Mrs. Adedoyin Odunfa; Head, e-banking Risk Management, United Bank for Africa Plc, Mr. Ugochukwu Egerue; Executive Director Business Development, Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System, Mrs. Christabel Onyejekwe; and Director, Mkudi Nigeria and Vanso Group Business Development, Mr. Jason Mycroft, during the Digital Jewels Monthly Information Value Chain Breakfast Forum in Lagos, yesterday.

currency analyst observed that “Excessive demand pressure at the foreign exchange market remained unabated in 2011 even into 2012, causing the value of the naira to slide against the US dollar.” According to Head, Credit Risk Management, Access Bank Plc, Mr. Joe Osojie, noted all the liquidity mop-ups by the CBN are targeted at moderating inflation and tighten liquidity as part of efforts to support naira. He, however, said CBN’s efforts were not very effective, as a result of, amount of money being stolen and taken out of the country. “The culture of taking money abroad, raising demand for dollars will continue to be a fundamental issue that will continue to put pressure on naira. If the trend continues, naira will continue its decline,” he said. Osagie said the naira needs not only to gain strength but that such value should be sustainable over a long period of time to attract investors in the forex market. “If the naira doesn’t gain more strength against the dollar, it does not really matter. What matters is stability of the naira”, he stressed. The Executive Secretary of Financial Market Dealers Association, Mr. Akinwale Abe, however, said what determines naira value are global developments, which are affecting commodity prices, especially crude oil, with significant implications for Nigeria.

IFC, Diamond Bank sign $70m convertible loan deal JOHNSON OKANLAWON

I

nternational Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank has said it would provide $70m worth of convertible loans to Di-

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amond Bank to boost lending activity to real sector entities. A statement from the IFC yesterday quoted the Nigeria’s Country Manager, Mr. Solomon Adegbie-Quaynor, as saying that the funding which is being provided in partnership with the Africa Capitalisation Fund, a pri-

vate equity fund managed by IFC Asset management Company, would help finance lending to small and medium-sized businesses. He said, “Our strategy in Nigeria is to support banks in reaching smaller businesses, which form the backbone of the economy. By working with a long-term partner like Diamond Bank we can

FG targets 31 per cent capital budget in 2013

32

increase access to finance for those critical sectors, supporting sustainable economic growth and job creation.” The Head of the Africa Capitalisation Fund of IFC, Mr. Marcos Brujis, said the investment provides a unique opportunity for the Africa Capitalisation fund to support the bank’s expansion into

FLIGHT SCHEDULE Air Nigeria International (Lagos - London) Los- LGW (VK293): Tue, Thurs, Fri & Sat 11.55pm LGW-Los (VK292): Wed, Fri, Sat & Sun 10.50am

Arik Air Los-Abj: 07:15, 09:15, 10:20, 15:20, 16:20, 16:50, 18:45 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun) Abj-Los: 07:15, 09:40, 10:20, 12:15, 15:15, 16:15, 17:10, (Mon-Fri/Sat); 12:15, 15:15, 16:15 (Sun) Los-PH: 07:15, 11:40, 14:00, 16:10, 17:15, (Mon-Fri) 07:30, 11:40, 15:50 (Sat) 11:50, 3:50, 17:05 (Sun) Abj-PH: 07:15, 11:20, 15:30 (Mon-Fri) 07:15, 16:00 (Sat) 13:10, 16:00, (Sun) PH-Abj: 08:45, 12:50, 17:00 (Mon-Fri) 08:45, 17:30 (Sat) 14:40, 17:30 (Sun) Abj-Ben: 08:00, 12:10 (Mon-Fri/Sat) 08:55, 12:10 (Sun) Ben-Abj: 09:55, 13:30 (Mon-Fri/Sat) 10:50, 13:30 (Sun)

Aero Contractors Los-Abj: 06:50, 13:30, 16:30, 19:45 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun) 12:30 (Sun) 16:45 (Sat). Abj-Los: 07:30, 13:00, 19:00 (Mon-Fri/ Sat) 10:30, 14:30, 19:30 (Sun) 18.30 (Sat) Los-Ben: 07:45, 11:00, 15:30, (Mon-Fri/Sat/ Sun) 12:30 (Sun) 15:30 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun) Ben-Los: 09:15, 12:30, 17:00 (Mon-Fri/ Sat/Sun) 17:00 (Sat), 14:00 (Sun) EXCHANGE RATES

key economic sectors that have relatively low banking penetration and, therefore, offer significant growth potential for investors. According to the statement, the IFC Advisory Services will provide further assistance to help the bank enhance its range of financial services for agricultural sector clients.

Cashless: Imperatives of centralised ID system

35

WAUA

234.6271

USD

155.84

CHF

159.2642

SDR

235.0535

CFA

0.2924

GBP

244.1701

EURO

191.3715

OIL / GAS FUTURES ICE BRENT

$123.39

-0.78

NYMEX

$108.45

-0.11

OPEC BASKET

$122.86

+1.16

NATURAL GAS

$2.83

-0.03

Counting the gains of direct marketing

37


32

Business & Finance

Thursday, August 9, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

FG targets 31 per cent capital budget in 2013 TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

I

n furtherance of its promise to get the 2013 Appropriation Bill to the National Assembly by next month, the Federal Executive Council yesterday discussed a memorandum on the 2013-2015 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper. Based on its projection, about 31.4 per cent of the budget will be committed to capital budget as against the current 28.53 per cent in the current year. A statement by the Senior Special Assistant (Media) to the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Mr. Paul Nwabiukwu, disclosed that a memorandum which sets the broad framework and priorities of the budget has been submitted to the cabinet by the Minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. According to the statement, this is even as government “is intensifying efforts to ensure further improvement in the implementation level of the current budget. The implemen-

tation level, as at June 20, following four months of implementation starting from April, is 41.3 per cent. “President Goodluck Jonathan who is personally leading the drive for higher performance has been meeting with ministers to ensure that the momentum is maintained. “The 2013 budget proposal is anchored on the key goal of the 2013-2015 Medium Term Expenditure Framework - fiscal consolidation with growth and job creation. “To achieve this, the resources of the country will be managed prudently and transparently while ensuring priority is given to the key growth sectors of the economy and national security” it added. The document stated further that fundamentally, the focus of the Federal Government’s proposals on Budget 2013 as reflected in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework and the Fiscal Strategy Paper is that the budget should make practical impact on the areas that matter most to the Nigerian people – job creation, power supply, roads, rail, other infrastructure

L-R: Facilitator, Mr. Stanley Okocha; Nigerian Ambassador to Brazil, Amb Vincent Okoedion and International Relations Advisor, Queiroz Galvao Construction, Mr. Frederico Marchiori, during an investment promotion to Nigeria in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

and, of course, agriculture. In addition, it clarified that in order to help achieve this central objective, a key proposal of the Fiscal Strategy Paper is the continuation of the downward trend in recurrent expenditure and upward trend in capital expenditure. “Specifically, recurrent expen-

Ekiti young farmers receive N500m to boost arable production DAYO AYEYEMI

E

kiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has presented cheques of N500m to 150 graduating participants of the Youth in Commercial Agricultural Development (YCAD) programme to boost commercial production of High Value Crops. In a statement made available to National Mirror yesterday by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Yinka Oyebode, beneficiaries of the loan have participated in a two-week agro-business

start up and managerial training programme tagged, Start and Improve Your Business” (SIYB), under the Youth in Commercial Agricultural Development (YCAD) programme of the state government. Presenting the cheques to the beneficiaries in Ado Ekiti on Monday, Fayemi said that each of the 150 participants would now have access to an expandable credit facility of not less than N1.4m to boost commercial production of rice, cassava, oil-palm and cocoa. Fayemi said that the state government is directing its at-

tention on deliberate policy measures and targeted investments aimed at facilitating the participation of youths in practising modern agriculture, as commercial entity; adding that this is now being framed by a managerial and entrepreneurship capacity building programme for emergent farmers in the state. He added that a performance based structure had been built into the disbursement plan to de-emphasise cash disbursement, but emphasise effective business fund utilisation for delivery of this programme’s objective.

BCI seeks full capital budget implementation STANLEY IHEDIGBO

T

he President, Business Club Ikeja (BCI), Mr. Suleiman Tella has bemoaned the trend where delays in the budget approval process resulted in unspent capital allocations being returned to the treasury at the end of the fiscal year. Tella, who spoke yesterday in Lagos at the 20th Annual General Meeting of club, said that there is an urgent need for the restructuring the government spending in favour of capital expenditure in view of the huge infrastructure deficit confronting

the nation . He added that relatively low performance of the capital budget, which hovered around 67per cent at mid-November 2011 when compared with the almost 100 per cent implementation of recurrent expenditure is not development friendly. The BCI President advised that there is need to revisit the issue of the economy, and from all indication, business in Nigeria is operating under a non-conducive environment, especially the real sector of the economy. He lamented that the real sector of the economy did not register the growth envisaged by the

various policy and interventions of the government, adding,” once again we are constrained to draw the government attention to the need to put the economy first, so as to ensure enthronement of a conducive environment for the real sector and nation in general to flourish”. He further lamented that the deplorable state of infrastructure, multiple taxation, insufficient or non-availability of short and long term loans and the high level of insecurity in the country as issues, which require urgent attention in order to accelerate the development of the economy.

diture will decline from 71.47 per cent in 2012 to 68.66 per cent in 2013 and continue to decline in the medium-term. Within the same period, capital expenditure is expected to rise from 28.53 per cent in 2012 to 31.34 per cent in 2013 and will continue in like manner in the medium-term. “In the same vein, the govern-

ment is putting in place for the first time a strong strategy for managing domestic debt. The first part of this strategy is to ensure a decline in fiscal deficit and domestic borrowing from 2.85 per cent and N744.44bn in 2012 to 2.1 per cent and N727.19bn in 2013 respectively with further decline up to 2015.

Electricity union say 60% of Nigerians are without power MESHACK IDEHEN

T

he Acting General Secretary of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE). North-West zone, Mr. Moses Amedu, has said the union is convinced that nothing less than 60 per cent of Nigerians are without public power supply. According to Amedu, only 40 per cent of Nigerians have access to electricity, and of those 40 per cent that are connected to the grid, more that 35 percent are plagued by frequent outages and non provision of power in some instances. Speaking with our correspondent on Wednesday from his base in Kaduna, Amedu said further that the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), is not ripe for privatisation. According to him, NUEE have severally told Nigerians that with the present state of development in the country that the electricity company is not ripe for privatisation because a lot of things, particularly infrastructure and are not yet in place. Amedu explained that what the government has been doing was the last things first, adding all and every issue about the PHCN should have been re-

solved, before the privatisation commences. He said, “We do not have adequate supply of electricity, you will find out that in the whole country, less than 45 percent of Nigerians have access to electricity and that means over 60 percent are still without electricity and in darkness. Private individuals will do anything possible to make profit and if government is not ready to extend electricity to this 60 percent, is it the private man that is going to do it?” Speaking further, the electricity workers leader said the duty of government is to develop the country adding now that the government is thinking of privatisation, the implications of the government’s action were many. “Soon, we are going to get to a situation where even the woman on the street selling pure water will not be able to sell it because the cost of freezing the water will be so high that people will prefer drinking water from the well. Look at our industries, most of them are going to die because the cost of electricity is going to hike and it is already going up. If the cost of generator is up and the electricity tariff is up, then definitely the cost of goods is going to be very high.”


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Thursday, August 9, 2012

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Business & Finance

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Agbekoya Farmers Association gets N5.6b agric loans MESHACK IDEHEN

T

he Agbekoya Farmers Association (AFA) said it has secured successfully N5.6bn loans from Stanbic IBTC and Keystone banks, in order to expand its agricultural and food production and processing activities in the country. Furthermore, the association said the loan from the two banks is also for securing the infrastructure needs of its farmer’s members, including purchasing of modern agricultural equipments such as tractors and harvesters that can support agriculture activities. The President of the association, Chief Kamorudeen Okikiola, in a statement that was made available to journalists on Wednesday after the inauguration of the association’s Abuja Chapter, said the

development is the first time any farmers association in the country; and without any government’s support went to the banks to secure loan for farmers. He said further that Agbekoya farmers association because of its belief in the capacity of members to do agro business successfully stood up and spoke to the two banks, convincing them that the association also know how to do the business agriculture. Okikiola explained that the AFA with more than 150 members has successfully repositioned itself to fully embark on agri-business that will be worth more than N8bn in the next five years. According to him, the group has already started the cultivation of 65, 000 hectares of land for cassava, maize, rice, yam, oil palm, cocoa and sorghum in several parts of the country, adding also that the

proposed Agbekoya Farm Settlement will accommodate 5,000 hectares of land for various farm activities. “The Agbekoya Farm Settlement will accommodate 5,000 hectares of land for planting cassava, rice, oil palm, maize, 1.2 million chicken and 29 million tons of fish in the next planning season throughout the FCT,”Okikiola explained. While appealing to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT,s), Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, to support the association with arable land for agriculture, the Agbekoya farmer’s association president added that the activities of the group will further secure the country in the areas of food security and job creation. He explained that the FCT administration is known to always be ready to support farmers who engage in cassava, rice, maize, sorghum farming and aquaculture.

L-R: Head, Credit Risk Management, Access Bank Plc, Mr. Joe Osojie, Currency Analyst Consultant, ForexTime Trading, West Africa, Mr. Bade-Ajidahun and President, Finance Correspondent Association of Nigeria (FICAN), Mr. Babajide Komolafe and Mr. Bunmi Asaolu of FBN Capital during the FICAN roundtable on the economy held in Lagos, yesterday.

SON seeks traders support on war against substandard products STANLEY IHEDIGBO

T

he Director General of Standard (SON), Dr. Joseph Odumodu, has asked auto parts traders to support the war against proliferation of substandard products in the country. The DG restated that such a move was necessary to checkmate various substandard products from fairly used tyres to other spare parts, which has killed many Nigerians more than HIV diseases. Speaking at Ladipo Auto Market, in Lagos, during a campaign on zero tolerance for substan-

dard products, Odumodu said the partnership and collaboration of the market executives and the traders with the agency was necessary its bid to free the markets from substandard products. The SON boss, who was represented by the Director of Enforcement, Mr. Lewis Njoku, appealed to the traders to constitute a market task force that will monitor products on sale and assist the organisation in its war against using and selling used tyres as well as the new tyres that are substandard in the country, He urged the traders to always ask questions from the agency in order to get it right

in the kind of products they bring into the country and be conscious of quality of standard. A note of warning was giving to the traders, as the DG said, “SON is poised to invoke the authority provided under its enabling Act to enforce the provisions of the Nigeria Industrial Standards (NIS) , as their next visit to the market will be to impound fairly used tyres and several goods suspected to be substandard products”. The President, Ladipo Auto Central Executive Committee, Mr. Iyke Animalu, pledged their readiness and commitment to support them in their war against substandard product.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

FAAN arrests air passenger for stealing $6,000 OLUSGEUN KOIKI

A

viation Security under the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria on Tuesday night arrested a passenger (names withheld) for attempting to steal $6, 000 belonging to a co-passenger. The passenger according to a source close to FAAN had boarded Arik Air flight W3 071 from Lagos to Accra, Ghana before attempting to take the money inside the bag belonging to another passenger onboard. The source explained that the passenger was caught by a cabin crew when he attempted

to open the bag in the overhead baggage hold and subsequently raised an alarm, which led to the arrest of the passenger by FAAN security officials. National Mirror learnt that the passenger had been handed over to police for further investigation. The source said, “The passengers aboard the flight had checked in when the suspect was caught by an eagle eyed cabin crew taking the money from a bag in the overhead baggage hold. An alarm was raised and the passenger was arrested by FAAN security and handed over to the police. He was later transferred to Beesam Police station.”

Keystone Bank to give out buses, daily cash in Awuf promo of providing innovative and ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI

K

eystone Bank has embarked on a promo to reward its loyal customers following the success of the bank since it was nationalized. Tagged the Keystone Daily Awuf Promo, the initiative is developed to reward the teeming loyal customers of the bank and to encourage saving culture among Nigerians. In a release made available to National Mirror, the promotion which runs from August to October ending is open to customers with either active or dormant account as well as new customers. The Executive Director, Retail Banking, Mrs. Yvonne Isichei stated that, “the promo is designed to give back to our esteemed customers as Keystone Bank marks one year

best-in-class services”. She also hinted that activities during the savings promo would include daily cash gifts for 20 qualifying customers, instant gift items for all new customers and reactivated accounts. At the grand finale regional draw, three lucky customers would drive away with one brand new 14-seater bus each, while four customers per branch would receive consolation prizes. The consolation prizes are Generators, Rechargeable Fans, Satellite TV decoders and DVD players. Speaking further on the promo, Isichei confirmed that, “the decision to give out buses was informed by Keystone Bank’s mission to empower the low and middle income earners of the economy. We expect that winners of these busses will put them to profitable entrepreneurial use.

Air France-KLM loses $1.1bn in restructuring costs OLUSEGUN KOIKI

A

ir France-KLM has said that its net loss ballooned to nearly 900m ($1.1bn) in the second quarter after it took a hefty charge to pay for restructuring that will see it shed about 10 per cent of the airline’s workforce. The Franco-Dutch airline operator said its net loss grew to 895m in the three months compared to a loss of e197m a year earlier. In a statement, the airline said its accounts included a e368m provision to pay for restructuring that is expected to eliminate 5,122 jobs out of a workforce of 49,301. The airline expects “natural” attrition to produce 1,712 of the

cuts, and then it plans to eliminate 2,056 ground staff, 904 cabin crew and 212 pilots. Last month, the airline said it was seeking voluntary changes in union contracts to avoid layoffs but that forced departures may not be avoidable. The airline said, “Uncertain outlook” for the global economy and volatility in fuel prices and the euro currency “made forecasts for the latter part of the year difficult.” European airlines are struggling to cope with high fuel prices and weak economic growth due to Europe’s financial crisis. Air France-KLM’s revenue rose 4.5 per cent to 6.5bn in the second quarter, lifted by a 2.4 per cent increase in passenger traffic, the company said.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

InfoTech

Thursday, August 9, 2012

35

Cashless: Imperative of centralised ID system To ensure a well-coordinated identity management for electronic transactions in Nigeria, industry stakeholders have emphasised the need to fast-track the building of a robust centralised ID management system, through the National Identity Management Commission, in order to build enduring cashless economy in the country, writes KUNLE AZEEZ.

A

s cashless banking, financial inclusiveness and mobile payments gradually take firm root in the country, stakeholders have highlighted the need for a centralised and reliable identity database and its adoption in the financial services sector to reduce fraud and improve Gross Domestic Products, among others. Nigeria currently runs what can be termed a decentralised identity management system of its citizens with various government institutions and orgainsations in the private sector of the economy, particularly in the financial services sector having disparate databases of their respective customers. With one form of ID verification or the other currently in use in the country, experts, who assessed the imperatives of having an effective nationally centralised ID management system in the country to having lasting success of the cashless economy in Nigeria, were of the view that the current forms of multiple ID cards being used come short of the modern and the most functional way of managing identity. Over the years, it has been said that the challenges facing the centralised ID system arose from the hitherto multiple identification initiatives by the pension commission, land registers, Federal Inland Revenue Services , Subscriber Identity Module registration, law enforcement agencies, financial institutions, the Independent National Electoral Commission, Nigerian Immigration Services, the Federal Road Safety Corps and several others, who have to embark on their own registration and the absence of core identity sector infrastructure to coordinate the disparate databases. This has resulted in a situation where at the moment, personal data of Nigerians are in bits and pieces from the National Passport Office, to the drivers licence, INEC voter registration, National Population, former national identity card, bank cards, among others. According to experts, Nigeria has lost huge economic benefit for not having a credible identity card system. In most countries, workers are able to access credit from banks through the use of credit cards. This is what drives production as it empowers the ordinary citizens to make purchases on credit.

Governor, Central Bank, Sanusi Lamido

Onyemenam

FOR LASTING SUCCESS OF THE CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA’S CASH-LESS POLICY, THERE MUST BE A RELIABLE, CENTRALISED NATIONAL IDENTITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM IN PLACE The non-availability of a veritable identification scheme is an inhibiting factor in business and other transactional relationships between people. Recognising the problems associated with multiple ID initiatives in the country, however, the Federal Government, in 2007, established the National Identity Management Commission to reverse the poor ID management. The NIMC has the mandate, “to establish, own, operate, maintain and manage the National Identity Database in Nigeria, register persons covered by the Act, assign a unique National Identification Number (NIN) and issue General Multi-Purpose Cards (GMPC) to those registered individuals, and to harmonise and integrate existing identification databases in Nigeria.” However, while not much has been felt by Nigerians on NIMC mandate five years after its creation and in view of the ongoing effort of the Central Bank of Nigeria to transform Nigeria into a cashless economy, stakeholders have emphasised the need for the Federal Government to fast-track measures towards building a centralised identity management infrastructure for the country. A public analyst, Mr. Robinson Tombari, said, “I’m not quite sure much has been achieved since then but if they want to do a thorough job, they must be ready to put an end to these disparate databases. If they don’t want to waste another round of tax payer’s money, they must take time to plan on the right strategy.” Consequently, a business organisation now engages its customers in some form of ‘Know Your Customer’ exercise or the other but this is still considered

grossly inadequate for proper identification of customers, when compared to having a robust national database to query for any information about an individual. Speaking on the desirability of having a robust national ID management system, the Executive Secretary of the Electronic Payment providers Association of Nigeria, Mrs. Regha Onajite, said the success of the cashless economic policy would depend on how best the country was able to manage its ID system to boost credit system. “I think it is important for the ID management system to be put in place because that is the only thing that will ensure proper identification, reduce fraud and foster credit economy,” she said. Onajite, who challenged NIMC to ‘wake up’ towards delivery its statutory mandate ‘at this critical moment when we are driving a cashless economy where relies on reliable Identity system’ also noted that though various orgainsations in the public and private sectors now have their respective databases of Nigerians, harmonising these databases should be undertaken by NIMC without further delay. She pointed out that, in a wellplanned economy, the creation of individual ID database for personal use by orgainsations is un-called for. According to her, “If there is a national ID system, banks don’t have to disturb themselves building their own ID data or different government institutions building their various ID systems. All these are just a waste of resources. But now that NIMC has come on board, one would expect that it deliver on time to boost the integrity

of the cashless economy, albeit its activities must be well planned to eschew possible hitches during implementation.” Supporting Onajite’s view, the VicePresident of the Information Society Security Association of Nigeria, Mr. Laja Sorunke, said “having a centralized and well protected national database where al institutions can tap into for any form of information about a person should be the dire of any country rather than the current multifarious databases we have in Nigeria,” adding that the cashless policy is in dire need of such a national database for success. Meanwhile, NIMC has reiterated its readiness to roll out the registration of Nigerians soon and its desire to ensure that, with support from other necessary stakeholders, Nigeria has a reliable ID database to back the cashless policy. The Director-General of Commission, Mr. Chris Onyemenam, who spoke at the 24th annual confab of the Nigeria Computer Society which held in Akwa Ibom State, recently said, “For lasting success of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s cash-less policy, there must be a reliable centralized national identity management system in place.” According to him, “The National Identity Management System (NIMS) is central to the success of a cashless economy project” he said, adding that “a Universal Identification Infrastructure (UIDI) is unique, secure, accessible and reliable, recommended for identity authentication (Identification/Verification) and tying individuals to transactions (non-repudiation and with a history) as the current methods rely on two-factor identity authentication are still challenged with effectively managing identities” “A secure UIDI is a precondition for financial inclusion. The NIMS will tie captured biometrics and unique National Identification Numbers (NIN) of Nigerians to bank accounts, voter registers, immigration, and law enforcement agencies among others” he said. According to him, “Existing databases have not met international standards such as ISO/IEC, NIST, IEEE, ICAO, and others, and they have been non-centralized, unreliable and incomplete. Also, regular updating have not been possible and there have not been centralized and irrefutable way of tying individuals to transactions until now. He said this recommended move, if followed, will unleash in the nation, the opportunity in consumer credit experienced all around the world, reduce fraud, fight terrorism, improve GDP, and create a robust and dependable identifier. Meanwhile, Onyemenam has identified key challenges of the commission which include centralising the identity authority, privacy issues especially in a cultural context, marketing the NIMS and/ mass appeal, stakeholder revenue model, political support and supervision, dealing with vested interests, privacy issues especially in a cultural context, and dealing with vested interests; among others.


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InfoTech

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Nigeria’s telephone subscriptions grow 5% STORIES: KUNLE A ZEEZ

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igeria’s telecommunications sector recorded a growth of 5 per cent or additional 5.6 million telephone subscriptions in a year to reach a total of 101.8 million at the end of May, 2012. According to the latest monthly statistics from telecom regulator, the Nigerian Commutations Commission, from active telecoms subscriber base of 96.1 million in January 2012, the networks recorded additional active 5.6 phone lines on their networks for the first five months of the year. The strong annual growth rate was pooled mostly by the Global System for Mobile Communications operators while rather increase, subscriptions on the Code Division Multiple Access operators as well as the fixed line operators, have nosedived. Active subscriptions on GSM

networks including MTN, Globacom, Airtel and Etisalat grew from 91.05 million in January to reach 97.5 million at the end of May 2012. In February, March and April, the subscriptions were 92 million, 94.5 million and 96.6 million respectively. The increase in subscription for the five months represents a growth of 7 per cent on GASM networks in the year. On the CDMA networks, the subscriptions revealed a gloomy outlook as the number of active telephone lines on Starcomms, Visafone, Multi-Links, and Zoom Mobile fell from 4.41 million in January 2012, to reach 3.71 million. The subscriptions stood at 4.03 million; 4.01 million and 3.9 million in February, March and April in that order while the five-month consecutive decline in subscriptions represents a fall of 15.8 per cent in total CDMA subscribers. Similarly on a downward trend, the fixed line subscriptions which stood at 688,333 telephone lines

maintained continuous fall to reach 542, 955 active lines as at the end of May, 2012. Meanwhile, it was gathered that the decline in subscriptions has also led to the CDMA operators not willing to increase the capacity on their network as they have adequate traffic capacity being left unused due to the subscriber base decline. For the three months running from January through March, 2012, the NCC statistics showed that the CDMA networks’ installed capacity remained at 17.23 million lines though they currently have active subscriptions of 3.71 million on their networks. Installed capacity is the total number of telephone lines which a network can carry at a given time and this is dependent on the network upgrade activities carried out by the operators. Analysts say the decline in CDMA subscriber base has discouraged them from investing in building additional capacity on their network.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Tech Box SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 10.1

Unique in large screen design

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fter a long wait, Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1 is finally launching anytime this month. The device, which was first unveiled at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona earlier this year, comes with a 1.4GHz quadcore processor and Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich). The most notable advancement over its predecessor, however, is the device’s screen, which measures 10.1 inches. The original Samsung Galaxy Note comes with a 5.3-inch screen. The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 is essentially a Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 with a long cavity in the tablet’s upper right corner, which the included S Pen Stylus fits perfectly into. We’ll discuss the S Pen and how it works to make the Note 10.1 unique among tablets later. The Galaxy Note 10.1 comes with Samsung’s S Pen stylus, allowing users to “write” all over the screen. The device comes in

SONY RX100 CAMERA L-R: Chief Sales Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Mr. Inusa Bello; Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Airtel Nigeria, Mr. Rajan Swaroop; Dr. Uno Uwaga, Deputy President, Nigerian Institute of Management and Registrar/Chief Executive, NIM, Mr. Maurice Lakanu, during a courtesy visit of officials of NIM to Airtel Nigeria in Lagos recently.

Masts regulation: Lagos urges telcos, others on compliance

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agos State Government has appealed to telecoms operators, Internet Service Providers, ISPs, banks and other firms that provide various services through the use of masts, towers and base stations, to strictly adhere to the state directives on mast regulation. The warning was handed down by the General Manager, Urban Furniture Regulatory Unit, Mr. Joe Igbokwe, saying the appeal became necessary, following the delay on the part of most telecoms operators and other mast users in the state to comply with the Lagos State Government’s directives on mast regulation. UFRU is the body established by the Lagos Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development to regulate the activi-

ties of telecoms operators ISPs and banks, in the area of masts and towers installations. According to Igbokwe, “It has been more than a month since we made formal request to telecoms operators, banks and other builders of masts and base stations in Lagos to furnish us with the number of their structures in Lagos and addresses to enable us carry out integrity test on them and keep a database for record purposes.” He said after the first letter was written, there was a reminder letter on the same issue, but that majority of telecoms operators in the state, refused to acknowledge the letters. He however, commended 21st Century, Mobitel, Multilinks and Lighting Networks for their compliance, but warned those

that were yet to comply to do so within the next two weeks. Igbokwe also noted that a number of banks including Standard Chartered, Wema Bank, FCMB, Finbank, Enterprise Bank, Keystone Bank, Bank of Industry, GTBank, Zenith Bank, Union Bank, Citibank, Stanbic IBTC, and Skye Bank, have complied with the directive. He said Eco Bank had written the regulatory body, asking for more time to submit its data. He said that masts used by banks, ISPs and other masts users in the state, constitute the biggest threat to lives and property, since over 80 per cent of the masts are either weak as a result of over age, or are totally defective and do not have landscape worthiness to continue to exist.

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amera design is all about compromise. Great pictures ideally need large sensors and fast lenses, but this usually means a heavier burden on one’s camera bag or wallet. Mirrorless cameras try to strike a middle ground by helping you capture digital singlelens reflex-style images in a smaller, often less expensive package, but they are not truly portable. Until now, the vast majority of compact cameras haven’t had much to offer. Perhaps, the best to date has been the Canon S100, a fairly tiny point-and-shoot that offers excellent manual control and relatively impressive image quality, but its compact-sized 1/1.7-inch sensor and somewhat slow lens limit its creative possibilities. With smartphones eating into the market for convenient cameras that can fit into your pocket, camera lovers have been waiting for something that can offer a genuine leap in quality without compromising on

a Wi-Fi-only model, as well as a version equipped with Wi-Fiand 3G HSPA+. A WiFi-and-LTE option will be launching later this year. It’s worth noting that the Galaxy Note 10.1 is not a replacement for Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1. The Galaxy Note is a distinct product that Samsung sells alongside its tablets. The integration of the stylus is perhaps the most notable difference between the devices. On the software features, as the first major Android tablet release since the Nexus 7, it’s a bit disappointing that the Note 10.1 ships with only Android 4.0 and not Jelly Bean. The Note 10.1 houses a 1.4GHz quad-core Exynos 4410 CPU, and 2GB of RAM. Though no official word yet on storage memory configurations, some have speculated at least 16GB of storage being supported. Whereas the original Galaxy Note was somewhere between a phone and tablet, its enlarged 10.1-inch sibling is clearly in the latter category. The Galaxy Note 10.1 runs Google’s Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS and features the same S-Pen stylus support and handwriting recognition found in the original Note.

Large sensor, fast lens

portability. Sony thinks it’s found the right mix with its new RX100. Fresh from success with its popular NEX range of mirrorless cameras, the company’s now trying to one-up Canon’s S100 with a larger sensor and faster lens in a very similar body. The camera uses a 20-megapixel, 1-inch sensor, the same size employed by Nikon in its V1 and J1 mirrorless cameras — and pairs it with an f/1.8-4.9, 28-100mm equivalent Carl Zeiss lens. All this, however, has somehow been crammed into an average point-and-shoot frame.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Brands & Marketing

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Due to its cost effectiveness and personal nature, direct marketing has become a strategic sales method deployed by many businesses today. ELLA OLAMIJU writes on its intricacies, the intrusive factor, and how passive businesses could explore the opportunities it offers.

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irect marketing could be a controversial sales method by which advertisers approach potential customers directly with products or services. The most common forms of direct marketing are telephone sales, solicited or unsolicited emails, catalogs, leaflets, brochures and coupons. Successful direct marketing has been known to involve compiling and maintaining a large database of personal information about potential customers and clients. These databases are often sold or shared with other direct marketing companies. Direct marketing is a channel free approach to distribution and/or marketing communications. So, a company may have a strategy of dealing with its customers ‘directly,’ for example banks or computer manufacturers ; in which case there are no channel intermediaries such as distributors, retailers or wholesalers. Therefore, marketing is ‘direct’ in the sense that the deal is done directly between the manufacturer and the customer. For many companies or service providers with specific markets, the traditional forms of advertising, which include the radio, newspapers, television, etc may not be the best use of their promotional budgets. For instance, a company selling hair loss prevention product would have to find a radio station whose format appeals to older male listeners who might be experiencing this problem. There would be no guarantee that this group would be listening to that particular station at the exact time the company’s ads are being broadcast. Messages sent may or may not reach the type of consumer who would be interested in a hair restoring product. This is where direct marketing becomes appealing. Instead of investing in a scattershot means of advertising, companies with a specific type of potential customer often send out literature directly to a list of pre-screened individuals. Direct marketing firms may also keep email addresses of those who match a certain age group or income level or special interest. Manufacturers of a new dog shampoo might benefit from having the phone numbers and mailing addresses of pet store owners or dog show participants. Direct marketing works best when the recipients accept the fact that their personal information might be used for this purpose. Some customers prefer to receive catalogs which offer more variety than a general mailing. Direct marketing does have some negative aspects, however. Many people are unaware of how the personal information they include on an order form or survey may be used for targeted advertising later. One prevailing philosophy in direct mailing circles is the idea that if a customer

Counting the gains of direct marketing THERE IS THE CONCERN THAT PERSONAL INFORMATION COLLECTED BY LEGITIMATE DIRECT MARKETING AGENCIES COULD BE PURCHASED BY UNSCRUPULOUS OR SHADY COMPANIES FOR THE EXPRESS PURPOSE OF FRAUD orders a product as swimsuit from a clothing catalog, he or she might naturally be interested in swimming pool supplies or exercise equipment as well. This could lead to direct marketing overload, as potential customers and clients become overwhelmed with catalogs, unsolicited emails and unwanted phone calls. There is also the concern that personal information collected by legitimate direct marketing agencies could be purchased by unscrupulous or shady companies for the express purpose of fraud. Recent research suggests reveals that the ideal is for direct marketing companies to belong to self-policing associations which actively discourage fraudulent or invasive use of their databases. Legitimate direct marketing firms should also offer methods by which individuals can ‘opt out’ of these lists by request. Although some consumers in the Lagos environ lamented the influx of unsolicited text messages and calls it is much in doubt if oversight on such isues are being adequately attended to. Ms Kate Udoh had complained, “I always wonder how they got my number, some of them even when you unsubscribe, they keep sending you the messages and it is so annoying.” Direct marketing agencies need to respect the do-not-call list maintained

by government regulatory agencies. Customers also have the right to unsubscribe to unsolicited catalogs and to block bulk emails from their in-boxes. Direct marketing can be a very cost-effective sales tool for specialized companies, as long as it is used properly and sparingly. As suggested earlier, ‘direct’ can also be in the sense that marketing communications are targeted at consumers by the manufacturers. For example, a brand that uses channels of distribution would target marketing communications at wholesalers/distributors, retailers, and consumers, or a blend of all three. On the other hand, a direct marketing company could focus on communicating directly with its customers. Direct marketing and direct mail are often mixed up although direct mail is a direct marketing tool. There are a number of direct marketing media other than direct mail. These include but are not limited to inserts in newspapers and magazines, customer care lines, catalogues, coupons, door drops, TV and radio adverts with free phone numbers or per-minute-charging and most importantly, the internet and new media. According to marketing expert, Mr. Michael Pollick, “The Internet and new

media e.g. mobile phones or PDA’s are perfect for direct marketing. Consumers have never had so many sources of supply, and suppliers have never had access to so many markets. There is even room for niche marketers - for example, Scottish salmon could be ordered online, packed and chilled, and sent to customers in any part of the world by courier.” Many companies use direct marketing, and a current example of its use, as part of a business model, is the way in which it is used by low-cost airlines. There is no intermediary or agent, customers book tickets directly with the airlines over the internet. Airlines capture data that can be used for marketing research or a loyalty scheme. Information can be processed quickly, and then categorised into complex relational databases. Example of this is the fact that special offers or new flights destinations can be communicated directly to customers using e-mail campaigns. Data is not only collected on markets and segments, but also on individuals and their individual buyer behaviour. It is on record that companies such as Amazon are wholesalers of books ,they do not write or publish books so they use Customer Relationship Management and marketing communications targeted directly at individual customers - which is another, slightly different example of direct marketing. Upwardly mobile businesses would definitely be counting more gains by taking a careful look at direct marketing and observing good business ethics with it.


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Brands & Marketing

Thursday, August 9, 2012

SERAs 2012 to promote shared value ELLA OLAMIJU

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he Nigeria CSR Awards, the SERAs now in its 6th edition has promised to highlight the concept of shared value in wealth creation. Speaking at a media parley announcing this year’s gathering of corporate giants and captains of industries who are making remarkable contributions in various forms of corporate social responsibility, the initiator of SERAs and Managing Partner, TruContact, Dr. Ken

Egbas announced that the 2012 SERAs would be an epoch event poised to change the course of social responsibility practice in the country. He said, “The world is at a crossroads. For developing countries battling hydra headed development challenges posed by poor governance structures, increasing poverty, high unemployment, energy crisis and compounded by political / civil upheavals. SERAs 2012 is set to address the new economy, driven by entrepreneurs set to turn the world upside down and chart new ways to understand the

L-R: Arsenal footballer Mr. Bakary Sagna, Head, Innovation, Guinness Nigeria, Mr. Sola Oke, Arsenal star, Mr. Per Mertesacker, Brand Manager Malta Guinness, Mr. Wole Adedeji, Arsenal star, Mr. Lukas Podolski and Marketing Manager Malta, Mr. Emmanuel Agu, at the launch of the Malta Guinness Low Sugar Workout in Lagos recently.

role of business.” He added that, “Africa enjoys an enviable position in this new economy - the quest to harness and take pleasure in nature’s resources in a responsible manner. The continent has a wealth of virgin land, untapped mineral and human resources and a mind-boggling creative potential but does the continent possess the will, commitment and the necessary skills to navigate the new path successfully? What will it take Nigeria, Africa to achieve this; or to start the journey at the least?” Egbas noted that the idea behind the SERAs 2012 is to find sustainable ways around corporate social responsibility and explore the avenues of creating and sharing wealth in more beneficial manner and with negligible harm to the environment. Over the years, the SERAs has kept keen watch over CSR activities through audit and performance checks with a view to promoting enduring values and development. So far, 60 entries have been received in compliance with the ISO 26000 baseline standards and will be rewarded for their contributions in 14 categories including corporate governance, human rights and gender, labour practices, fair operating practice, community involvement and development amongst others. The 2012 SERAs is scheduled for September in Lagos.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Airtel sponsors Africa Business Leaders’ Awards

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elecommunications services provider, Airtel Nigeria, in partnership with CNBC Africa and business news and financial information source, Forbes, have announced that they will stage this year’s edition of the All Africa Business Leaders’ Awards (AABLA). The All Africa Business Leaders’ Awards, an event which takes place on Thursday, 9 August 2012 at the Porsche Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria, is a celebration of leaders who are making a difference through innovation and inspiration in their industry sectors. The initiative also serves as a platform to discover business leaders that are creating a culture of entrepreneurship, developing best practices and carving out powerful and sustainable business models in the globa leconomy. Speaking on Airtel’s sponsorship of the awards, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Airtel Nigeria, Mr. Rajan Swaroop said the company is passionate about creating solid platforms for the celebration of the very best of Nigerian and African talents and leaders. “As an employer of choice, Airtel Nigeria is interested in identifying opportunities that will discover and celebrate exceptional individuals. We are pleased to partner with CNBC and Forbes to honour the finest corporate leaders in Nigeria and Africa,” Swaroop said. The All Africa Business Leaders’ Award encourages individuals to strive for sustained excellence and also promote their profiles in Nigeria, Africa and by extension around the world.

How to develop effective market penetration strategy

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t is very common that we talk about market penetration in a company. We even have targets in our annual business and marketing plans to achieve higher penetration. Consider the following advice before making your decision on how to implement an effective market penetration strategy. Think and calculate before you make your decision.There are a few issues to consider before you decide if you really need to apply a market penetration strategy at your company’s current stage. Furthermore, you must think about where you are and if “penetration strategy” is the appropriate strategy amongst other possibilities. Ask yourself the following questions. • Why do I need higher market penetration? • Do I need it in order to increase total profitability? • Do I need it in order to increase profitability per product line? • Do I need it to secure profitability? • Do I need it to survive in the market situation? • Is it necessary for my immediate or future development? If you decide a market penetration strategy is called for after answering these questions, start drawing up business scenarios and calculations. Before moving to action, you have to think about and calculate whether or not you can gain

the additional market share with the same products and structures. Decide what sort of investment you need to make. Since a new marketing strategy implies expensive investments that will not be translated into profits for a reasonable time span, you should reconsider the approach of your market penetration strategy. For example, if you have to design new processes or train a lot of people or advertise heavily, you need to estimate in advance what your return on investment is expected to be. Of course, you also need to designate a specific budget and time plan that will be monitored. So in your scenarios for market penetration strategy, you should consider the four following factors: • Market size and potential for growth • Costs for investments — from price offers to advertising, training and even processes & systems modifications to adapt to new strategy , etc. • Possible change in product positioning with all negative and positive implications • Advantages for the whole product line and company from publicity or advertising to your competitors’ reactions Consider your competitors’ reactions and expect to invest more and more in some marketing activities such as special offers or advertising. Once your market penetration

strategy takes effect, your competitors will react to protect their market share. You need to keep this in mind and be prepared not only with strategic plans and clever marketing activities, but with budgets too. The following are the various marketing penetration strategies your company can use: Cut price or lower your offer. The easiest and most commonly used market penetration strategy is to offer lower prices through special offers and coupons or more product at a cut price. • Pros: A cut price can attract new customers to try your product. This means that new clientele will get to know the product and will create a new market share immediately. Some of these clients will like the product, repurchase and become loyal, leading to a more long term market share increase. • What to consider: Monitor this marketing strategy carefully because your competitors will react in a similar fashion. Your company may need to further reduce price or maintain the same offer for longer than planned in order to match their offer. Customers get used to lower prices and offers; in this way, you can train them to look for the cheapest. Besides that, your company may enter a price war with competitors and, in the end, only the cheapest will survive. Therefore, you should only follow this strategy for a short period of time and only

occasionally. Otherwise, your company may end up with a repositioned product. Promote a new use of the product and enhance its features.This is a very clever and subtle market penetration strategy — use the same product, but promote it with additional features. For example, a company well known for its ready made soup in powder started promoting the same mix as a mix for fresh salads seasoning. It was a brilliant idea that almost immediately picked up! Same product, same price, but it was promoted to both new and existing customers with a new use. • Pros: This marketing strategy has the potential to attract both new and existing customers to try the product in a new use. Therefore, it increases the purchased quantity and leads to higher market penetration. Also, it leads to more new customers that get to know the product and offers new market share. • What to consider: Be careful not to ignore or depreciate the current characteristics and uses of the product. You don’t want to lose your existing customers by any means. After the new use is adopted by customers, remind them of the typical use of the product in order to preserve your customer basis. Again, there is a risk of repositioning by mistake, so monitory your activities and your customers’ feedback and take any suspicious signs into consideration. Source: www.task.fm


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Brands & Marketing

Thursday, August 9, 2012

39

LUPAN seeks support to standardise lubricant market icon ELLA OLAMIJU

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ubricant Producers Association of Nigeria (LUPAN), in their continuous effort to ensure the sanitisation of lubricant market in Nigeria, have carried their request to the Comptroller General of Customs to help curb the influx of substandard lubricants been imported into the country by some unidentified marketers. At a visit to the Comptroller General of Customs, Alhaji Abdullahi Dikko, the LUPAN executive council members lamented the rising trend of the importation of these substandard products which mostly are produced from recycled oil and lack the required additives, as well as been sold at ridiculously low price to unsuspecting customers to the detriment of genuine locally produced lubricants. The

outcome of which includes malfunctioning or damage to machineries, environmental pollution and of course loss of sales for local producers which in turn result to low capacity utilisation and eventual closure of production plants. All these adversely affect the nation’s economy not to talk of the attendant loss of jobs that will arise. According to the Executive Secretary of LUPAN, Mr Emeka Obidike, the body have in the recent past paid similar visits to the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON). He, therefore, enlisted the support of the Comptroller General of Customs to ensure that these products do not indiscriminately enter the country through any of the ports. He said, “ This position is not in tandem with the transformation agenda where the country is expected to encourage local pro-

duction. It is expedient to review downwards to 5percent duty tariff on Base Oil in order to protect local producers, prevent job losses, increase capacity utilisation and creating more jobs. Also, LUPAN wants the duty tariff on imported lubricants to be reviewed upwards to 50percent so as to discourage the influx of substandard lubricant into the country. We also enjoin Customs to ensure that relevant regulatory bodies certify the lubricants to be okay before releasing them to the importers and monitoring and control at the various entry points for these lubricants is fundamental to the desired sanitisation of the market.” In his response, Dikko expressed appreciation for LUPAN’s sensitisation activities, which he agreed can assist the Customs in checking unwholesome practices of some of the lubricant importers.

L-R: Director General, Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO), Dr. Elemo Gloria Nwakaego presenting the ‘Most Endorsed Consumer Package Goods Company’ award to Communications Manager, West Africa Procter and Gamble, Mr. Ayotomiwa Ajewole at the second edition of the CSR Nigeria Awards held in Lagos recently.

Sustaining good customer service culture

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have often wondered whether good customer service can be achieved. This is due to the non-challant attitude of corporate organisations to provide customer centric services. Nonetheless, this is not to portray all organisations as having bad customer service culture. Some organisations have strong focus on customer service while others treat it with levity. Customer service is the life wire of any business and when the customers are not happy, the existence of such organisation is threatened. Before the Lamido Sanusi tsunami that swept through the banking sector, some of the banks never focused on their small retailcustomers. The banks placed high premium on the big customers they had business dealings with. When the bubble burst through investigations, the so called big customers put the banks in turmoil. The issue here is that the retail customers suddenly became the new

bride of the banks. It is surprising to note that the middle class customers are now being accorded dignity unlike what obtained in previous years. This trend is one that is illogical and should be condemned in its entirety. The arrogance of the banks and their staff has been dealt with and they can now descend to the level of other customers. Customer service culture is predicated on a strong bond between a brand and the customers. It is also essential to state that an organisation should incorporate the culture of customer service in its overall corporate strategy. The rationale for this is that once the culture is embedded as a corporate instrument, the internal stakeholders do not have any choice but to conform to it. I wrote on the topic, “The customer is no longer king”, some weeks ago and this is the truth. I used the banking sector as an example earlier but the banks are

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egarded in both global and national advertising space as a strategic thinker whose exceptionally creative mind spurs wonder, Akin Adesola’s rich advertising career has seen him raise creative standards with renowned foremost ad agencies Insight Grey, Rosabel Leo-Burnett, and S.O.& U Saatchi & Saatchi. Known majorly for his trademark of excellence, Adesola’s commitment to what he loves to do best shows in the peculiar qualities of his creative works. Currently, the Creative Adesola Director at wave-making ad agency, LOWE Lintas, and IS LIFE THRUST Managing Director cum Chief IS THAT THE MIND Creative Officer at The NewREMAINS THE ONLY ton Project Room Limited, the creative icon has made THING THAT COULD remarkable strides including NOT BE COPIED being the country beneficiary GIVES HIM THICK of the 2011 Cannes Creative CONFIDENCE IN Leaders Bursary Programme, involving high level trainEXPRESSING HIS ing at the prestigious Berlin’s UNIQUE CREATIVE School of Creative leadership INGENUITY and global toast of creative minds, France’s Cannes FesIlorin and past jury member of tival of Creativity. Also eduboth the national creative bar, cated at the South Africa MoLagos Advertising and Ideas tion and Picture Medium and Festival (LAIF) and Middle East Live Performance, Adesola’s & Africa’s Advertising and Marlife thrust is that the mind keting Effectiveness Awards remains the only thing that (AMEA), the February born ad could not be copied gives him guru keeps a disarming smile thick confidence in expressing that reflects an inner tranquility his unique creative ingenuity. that endears him to many as well as keep him on top of his game. A graduate of University of

Brand X-Ray with Ayodeji Ayopo Tel: 08023448199 E-mail: mayomipo@yahoo.com not the only culprits. The Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs) are the worst in this regard. The disposition of the staff to the customers is worrisome and it is a trend that these organisations should look into. It seems the franchise arrangement is creating challenges for some of the brands. The staff exhibits some habits that portray the QSRs in bad light. Some of the staff do not have customer service etiquette and their response to customer enquiries diminish your interest in the brand. A key ingredient in customer service is a strong bond with customers. A good customer service thrives on a solid relationship with the customers. A close rela-

tionship with customer goes beyond delivery of the basic product or service. The customers are recognized as individuals and services are provided and tailored to meet their specific needs. The key question organisations and brands should answer is “How involved do they really want to be in their customers lives?” It is a potent marketing tool when brands maintain a one-on-one relationship with their customers. I mentioned QSRs the other time and I wonder whether they keep touch with their customers. Most of them just want their customers to eat and leave their environment. This is an approach that leaves a sour taste in the mouth of their customers. The

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QSRs should wake up to the reality of building their brands in the minds of customers. Right impressions should be created to gain the required level of share of mind. Most organisations do not know who their customers are and whether they are patronizing the brand as a first time experience or not. A brand that does not have customer centric goals cannot endear itself to the customers. Such brands cannot also gain relevance in the market place. Customer focus and attention are basic imperatives to remain active in a highly competitive business environment. A major reason I love the One Customer concept of Sterling Bank is the strategic thought behind it. Every organisation should adopt the concept to create a niche and deepen consumer experiences. The customer should be the overall focus and they should be placed in a pivotal role as key partners to the continuous existence of brands.


40

Global Business

Thursday, August 9, 2012

King backs Cameron budget plan as BOE lowers outlook

B

ank of England Governor Mervyn King signalled continued support for Prime Minister David Cameron’s budget squeeze as he cut forecasts for economic growth and said Britain’s recovery will be a “slow process.” “If you go back to 2010 when the rebalancing program was put in place, that looked pretty sensible,” King told reporters in London today. The plan incorporated spending cuts, tax changes and automatic stabilizers and “those still seem to me exactly the right three things,” he said. The government’s spending cuts, along with the euro-area debt crisis, have curbed demand in the U.K. While the economy

shrank the most in more than three years in the second quarter, Cameron and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne have pushed back against calls from the opposition Labour Party to scale back the fiscal programme, saying it is needed to insulate the country from the euroarea debt turmoil. King was speaking after publishing the central bank’s quarterly Inflation Report, which included forecasts showing annual gross-domestic-product growth of about 2 percent in two years. That compares with a projection in May of 2.5 percent. He said while the government has cut spending faster than planned, contributing to a weaker-than-

King

expected economic performance, “that means there’s less consolidation to do in the future, so there will be less need for fiscal tightening in the future than was thought two years ago.” Asked whether the government should have a “plan B,” King said “no.” Exaggerated Weakness The Bank of England

also said in the report that while one- time factors exaggerated the second-quarter contraction, the economy is likely to remain subdued in the near term. Britain faces a struggle to recover from a double-dip recession amid the efforts to cut the budget deficit and the euroarea debt crisis.

Japan gets reprieve as drop in oil eases trade impact

J

apan posted a biggerthan-estimated current-account surplus in June as oil prices fell to a low for the year, easing concern that the nation is at immediate risk of needing overseas funding to service its debt burden. The excess in the widest measure of the nation’s trade was 433.3 billion yen ($5.5 billion), compared with 215.1 billion yen in May, the Ministry of Finance said in Tokyo yesterday. The median estimate of 21 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a surplus of 415.4 billion yen. The decline in crude prices limited Japan’s fuel bills, as trade figures showed the first drop in imports since 2009, after last year’s earthquake and nu-

Maruyama, chief economist at Itochu Corporation in Tokyo. “There will be no change to the picture that the income surplus will make up for the trade deficit.” The current account’s trade portion showed a 112 billion yen surplus in June, after an 848.2 billion yen deficit in May. Japan posted a 3.44 trillion yen trade deficit in the fiscal year ended March 31. Income from Japan Prime Minister, Taro Aso investment abroad, which clear meltdown bolstered includes interest payments demand for imported oil. and dividends on equities The nation has become and securities, has served more reliant on overseas in- as a buffer against a slide vestment to support its cur- into a current-account defirent account with the trade cit. The yen has risen more portion in deficit for eight than 6 percent against the of the last 12 months. “The rebound pushes dollar since mid-March back concern that the cur- and is hovering close to rent account will dete- last year’s postwar record riorate,” said Yoshimasa of 75.35 against the U.S.

currency, appreciating last month to the highest against the euro in 11 years. The currency’s strength is battering companies dependent on overseas sales, with Sony Corp. (6758), Japan’s biggest exporter of consumer electronics, cutting its full-year profit forecast on August 2. Crude oil touched $77.28 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on June 28, the lowest price for the year and down 29 percent from a high this year of $110.55 on March 1. The yen was at 78.53 per dollar at 2:34 p.m. in Tokyo. Japanese stocks rose for a third day, with the Nikkei 225 Stock Average up 0.9 percent. Benchmark 10-year benchmark bond yields climbed to 0.810 percent.

Productivity in U.S. rebounds as employers try to curb costs

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he productivity of United States workers rebounded in the second quarter as employers sought to protect earnings by squeezing more out of existing staff. The measure of worker output per hour increased at a 1.6 percent annual rate following a revised 0.5 percent drop in the prior three months, figures from the Labor Department showed yesterday in Washington. Expenses per employee climbed at a 1.7 percent

rate after surging a revised 5.6 percent. The drop in productivity at the start of 2012, pared with a slowdown in profits, may be prompting companies to focus on enhancing efficiency to curb costs, making a pickup in employment more difficult to spur. A jobless rate that has held above 8 percent for more than three years is among reasons Federal Reserve policy makers said they are ready to take additional action if needed.

“Firms are going to be a lot more cautious in terms of how they increase spending,” said Michael Hanson, a senior U.S. economist at Bank of America Corp. in New York, who correctly forecast the gain in productivity. “Productivity is going to hang in there. There is no doubt that the hiring environment is much more challenging.” Stock-index futures held earlier losses after the report as weakening American demand for oil

and slowing German exports fueled concern the global economy is faltering. The contract on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index maturing in September fell 0.4 percent to 1,391.9 yesterday. in New York. Second-quarter productivity was projected to rise 1.4 percent, according to the median forecast of 59 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Estimates ranged from gains of 0.9 percent to 2.9 percent.

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Key sees scope for rate cuts as New Zealand bill grows

N

ew Zealand Prime Minister John Key signaled the onus is on the nation’s central bank and private investors to aid economic growth as he seeks to eliminate a budget deficit while funding post-earthquake reconstruction. “The government’s Key preferred position is not to be stimulatory,” Key the next four years, Key said in an interview yes- said. Meantime, an apterday in a government preciating exchange rate office in Christchurch is easing pressure on overlooking the business monetary policy makers, district devastated by giving “room to move if last year’s earthquake. they want to,” he said. Key’s remarks reflect “We want to get back to surplus. We think the pri- the balancing act of a vate sector can pick up a government that’s trylot of the slack and is go- ing to avert deeper cuts in the sovereign-credit ing to.” Eighteen months after rating and to oversee a revival of the South Isthe worst in a series of temblors struck Christ- land’s largest city. The church, the government’s planned fiscal tightening share of reconstruction coincides with threats costs might escalate, posed by the European with the administra- debt crisis, which has tion potentially needing damped demand growth in New Zealand’s trading to apply proceeds of planned asset sales over partners.

German June industrial production fell on construction output

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erman industrial production declined in June, led by a drop in construction output. Production fell 0.9 percent from May, when it gained a revised 1.7 percent, the Economy Ministry in Berlin said today. Economists had forecast a drop of 0.8 percent, the median of 34 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey showed. Production fell 0.3 percent from a year earlier when adjusted for working days. This report is the third this week to signal Europe’s largest economy is cooling as the sov-

German Chancellor, Merkel

ereign debt crisis erodes demand for its goods. German factory orders declined twice as much as economists had forecast in June and exports dropped, data showed yesterday and today. While the Bundesbank last month estimated moderate growth in the second quarter, aided by domestic spending, the manufacturing industry is contracting and business confidence fell for a third straight month in July. “The crisis has arrived in Germany,” said Nick Kounis, head of macro research at ABN Amro in Amsterdam. “While the economy will continue to outperform the euro area, the crisis will continue to restrain business and household spending across Europe and the global economy is stop-and-go as well.” Manufacturing output fell 1 percent in June, the report showed. Capital goods production fell 1.6 percent and construction activity was down 2 percent, after jumping 2.6 percent last month.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Thursday, August 9, 2012

41


42

Capital Market

Thursday, August 9, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at August 8, 2012 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)


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Forte Oil forecasts N952m Q3 profit as equities shed 0.9% on NSE JOHNSON OKANLAWON

F

orte Oil Plc has forecast a profit after tax of N952.1bn for the third quater ending September 30, 2012. In a forecast presented to the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, the company expects revenue of N72.9bn and gross profit of N9.98bn in the quarter. Cost of sale is estimated to hit N62.9bn in the quarter, while it forecasts N273.5m for taxation. Meanwhile, bearish trading continued in the equities segment of the Exchange yesterday, as more investors took

Capital Market

Thursday, August 9, 2012

profit from the gains recorded last week. The Chief Executive Officer of Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Mr. Bismarck Rewane had forecast that the increase in the banks’ cash reserve ratio to 12 per cent from eight per cent and reduction of net foreign exchange open position to 1.0 per cent from 3.0 per cent may adversely impact stock market sentiment. The All-Share index lost 0.96 per cent to close at 23,166.58 points, as against the depreciation by 0.11 per cent recorded the preceding day to close at 23,391.79 points. Market capitalisation dropped by N71.7bn to

close at N7.37trn, higher than the decline by N8.55bn recorded the preceding day to close at N7.44trn. Berger Paints Plc led the gainers’ table with 34 kobo or 4.88 per cent to close at N7.31 per share, followed by Eterna Oil Plc with 11 kobo or 4.72 per cent to close at N2.44 peer share. RT Briscoe Plc gained seven kobo or 4.52 per cent to close at N1.62 per share, while Smurfit Print Nigeria Plc appreciated by five kobo or 4.24 per cent to close at N1.23 per share. UTC Plc rose by three kobo or 4.11 per cent to close at 76 kobo per share. On the flip side,

WAPIC Nigeria Plc dipped by three kobo or five per cent to close at 57 kobo per share, while Abbey Building Society Plc shed seven kobo or 4.86 per cent to close at N1.37 per share. Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc dipped by 21 kobo or 4.78 per cent to close at N4.18 per share, while Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc fell by N2.50 or 4.76 per cent to close at N50.00 per share. Continetal Insurance Plc depreciated by three kobo or 4.48 per cent to close at 64 kobo per share. Transaction volume in equities dipped by 40 per cent, as a total of 190.36 million shares worth N1.59bn were exchanged in 3,926 deals, compared to 317.24 million shares valued at N2.80bn traded in 4,388 deals the preceding day.

Source: NSE NIBOR QUOTES 7 AUGUST & 8 AUGUST 2012 25.00 24.00 23.00 22.00 21.00 20.00 19.00 18.00 17.00 16.00 15.00 14.00 13.00 12.00 11.00 10.00 9.00 8.00 7.00 6.00 5.00

7-Aug-12

M

share excludes certain one-time items. MTN, which does busines across Africa and in parts of the Middle East, said revenue in the six months to end-June totalled 66.43 billion rand ($8.16bn), compared with 56.5 billion rand in the same period last year. Group subscribers increased by seven per cent to 176 million. The company is embroiled in a scandal over alleged corrupt practices in its bid to win a licence

in Iran in 2005. Turkish rival Turkcell, which lost out on the lucrative licence, has sued MTN for $4.2bn in the United States. MTN, which has said the case lacks any legal merit, has filed a motion to have the case dismissed. It said that it plans to file its next brief related to the case on August 15, with a decision on the motion to dismiss expected in late 2012 or early 2013.

MTN has said earlier this year that it had struggled to repatriate profits from its lucrative Iranian business because of Western sanctions. The telecoms regulator in Nigeria, its biggest market, fined MTN N360m ($2.23 million) along with three other rivals in May for poor quality service. MTN shares are up seven per cent this year, underperforming a 10 per cent rise in Johannesburg’s top-40 index.

US stocks advance on Fisher stimulus remarks

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nited States stocks rose, rebounding from earlier losses in benchmark indexes, as a rally in Hewlett- Packard Company offset Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Richard Fisher’s remark that adequate stimulus is in place. Hewlett-Packard Copany rose 2.7 per cent after raising its earnings forecast and appointing a new head for its enterprise services unit as it restructures the business. Dean Foods Company surged 37 per cent as its WhiteWave unit filed to raise $300m in a US initial public offering, while McDonald’s Corporaion slid 1.6 per cent amid unchanged July global sales.

Priceline.com Incoporation, the biggest US online travel agency by market value, tumbled 16 per cent ona disappointing earnings forecast. The Standard and Poor’s 500 Index rose 0.1 per cent to 1,402.55 points, after falling 0.4 per cent earlier, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 17.82 points, or 0.1 per cent, to 13,186.42 points. Trading in S&P 500 companies was down 10 per cent from the 30day average. “The corporate side looks pretty good still,” Rick Fier, director of equity trading at Conifer Securities LLC in New York, said in a telephone interview. His firm oversees $12bn in assets.

“Earnings are done for the most part. Now people are scratching their heads. The market has fallen into a bit of a buythe-dip mentality at this point.” The S&P 500 has rebounded almost 10 per cent from a five- month low on June 1. The rally brought the index to 1,401.35 points, the highest level since May 2 and above 1,389, which is the average year-end forecast among Wall Street strategists. Equities dropped earlier today as the Fed’s Fisher said global central banks may not have the capacity to undertake additional measures. Stocks rose yesterday as Fed Bank of Boston President

Eric Rosengren said the central bank should pursue an open-ended easing program of substantial magnitude. “Stimulus can’t hurt, but the problem is that it has less and less effect,” said Madelynn Matlock, who helps oversee about $14.7 billion at Huntington Asset Advisors in Cincinnati. “Any argument by policymakers is going to pull the market in various directions, depending on what they are saying.” Investors also watched corporate results. Almost 59 per cent of S&P 500 companies which reported second-quarter sales so far have missed analysts’ estimates, Bloomberg data showed.

8-Aug-12

Source: Afrinvest

Market indicators All-Share Index 23,166.58 points Market capitalisation 7,373trillion

MTN’s profit up 14% on Iran, Ghana growth TN Group has reported a 14 per cent increase in first-half profit yesterday, as solid growth in South Africa, Iran and Ghana helped it overcome tougher competition its key Nigerian market. The Johannesburgbased MTN told Reuters that its adjusted headline earnings per share totalled 537.4 cents for the six months to end-June, compared with 470.1 cents last year, saying that headline earning per

43

Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

CHANGE

BERGER

6.97

7.31

0.34

% CHANGE 4.88

ETERNA

2.33

2.44

0.11

4.72

RTBRISCOE

1.55

1.62

0.07

4.52

SMURFIT

1.18

1.23

0.05

4.24

UTC

0.73

0.76

0.03

4.11

UBN

4.55

4.73

0.18

3.96

LIVESTOCK

1.31

1.36

0.05

3.82

UBA

4.36

4.51

0.15

3.44

ETI

10.20

10.40

0.20

1.96

GLAXOSMITH

29.02

29.55

0.53

1.83

CHANGE

% CHANGE

LOSERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

WAPIC

0.60

0.57

0.03

-5.00

ABBEYBDS

1.44

1.37

0.07

-4.86

CCNN

4.39

z4.18

0.21

-4.78

FLOURMILL

52.50

50.00

2.50

-4.76

CONTINSURE

0.67

0.64

0.03

-4.48

UPL

4.39

4.20

0.19

-4.33

VITAFOAM

3.13

3.00

0.13

-4.15

PZ

25.00

24.03

0.97

-3.88

DANGCEM

118.50

114.00

4.50

-3.80

GOLDINSURE

0.54

0.52

0.02

-3.70

Primary Market Auction TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

91-Day

32,057.31

13.90

9-Aug-12

182-Day

50,000.00

16.10

9-Aug-12

364 -Day

60,000.00

9.05

9-Aug-12

Open Market Operations TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

252-Days

26,036.45

16.39

9-Aug-12

248-Day

11,644.09

16.40

9-Aug-12

Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED

MARKET DEMAND

AMOUNT SOLD

DATE

$250m

N/A

$250m

6-Aug-12

$250m

N/A

$250m

1-Aug-12


44

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Participants at the unveiling of the book, Epistle of Sex

Sex and abstinence: When young people speak LEONARD OKACHIE

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alk on sex is usually that which many won’t like to discuss, especially young people in Nigeria, though they live in a highly wired world in which media exposure brings onslaught of sexual subjects. In a bid to get more education on the dangers of premarital sex, a group of youths gathered recently for sex talk seminar tagged, Romance with wolves at the Theatre Hall of the University of Lagos Guest House. The occasion which also saw the book launch of Matthew Adedoyin’s Epistle of Sex, was an opportunity for participants to ask the facilitators, some salient questions bothering on sex. One of the speakers, Miss Florence Udu, told the youths that she was always the most excited person whenever she stood to talk on sex because she would be looking at destinies to be impacted and souls that will be liberated. Speaking on Romance with wolves, she said: “Wolves are like hunters. A hunter sees you, he doesn’t shoot immediately. He is calculated. He targets you but his aim is to kill or injure you.” She cautioned them on wrong relationship with the opposite sex, saying, “Some of these guys get into the girls and leave them battered and even some of the girls getting into the lives of the guys and leaving them worse than they met them.” Udu, who is the associate consultant at Prince Fowuwe International and who has been counseling young people on sexual purity, gave basic keys they can use to abstain from sex. These include: selec-

tion of friends, sprinting, swerving and speaking out. She urged abstinence, adding: “I believe the fact that we live in a sexually perverted generation does not mean we flow with the trend. What I do is give people tips on how to live beyond sexual temptations in life. I tell young people how possible it is, to be sexually pure because I see those who keep telling others it is not possible. "So over the years, I have been able to groom people and I am proud that I have a lot of them as virgins and they are doing well. I empower them as well. And some ripe to be in relationship, I also counsel on what to do to make their relationships go on without sex. "I tell young people to develop themselves because my life is a testimony of self development. I am a child who grew up, not and knowing how to pronounce my name. I dropped out of the university, got back and today, I am impacting on lives. The best thing to do is to keep yourself not just because you don’t want to get pregnant but also because God commands it. It also makes you a responsible citizen in the society.” Another facilitator, Daniel Adeniyi, who spoke on Rediscovering yourself, advised them on the need to eliminate things such as laziness, procrastination and bad companion in their lives after rediscovering themselves, so as not to take the back seat when confronted with obstacles. Adeniyi, a life coach, business development expert and a leadership trainer, encouraged them to get mentors, good companion as well as get closer to God, so as to have an easy flow to achieving their dreams.

Reviewing the book, Epistle of Sex and subtitled “Your Guide to Living a Sexually Pure Life”, Femi Owolabi, pointed that Adedoyin revamped things about sex in better form. Owolabi said: “In times past, euphemisms and metaphors were used to clothe lewdness, but today, the society has grown into using flagrant obsceni-

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ties. This unarguably has fuelled immorality. In this book, Matthew carefully dwells on the subject of chastity in an engaging manner. And for some who have transgressed the bounds of decency and in a way lost their virginity, here we have a message of restoration. The book also keeps the virgin in check. “The book is largely rooted in biblical scriptures and its structuralism is very simple. The author has written in an epistolary style. However, I am worried on the title; Epistle of Sex. This is easily criticised for equivocation. If epistle literally means letter, then can we rewrite the title as Letter of Sex? Following the author’s pattern which is obviously traced to what we have in the Bible, one would have expected the title to also take this form- The Epistle of Paul the Apostle... And an opposite title for these letters should have been- The Epistle of Matthew the Apostle of Sexology... "In size, Epistle of Sex is a small book of 70-plus pages. It is a quick read. In contents, even the shortest line’s magnitude is too paramount to be discarded. The messages are weightily laced with insights. If one’s mind is largely influenced by what he or she reads, Epistle of Sex is a book I will ensure t my daughter reads. The book has 15 epistles. Apart from the beautiful cover design, the depth of information in the introduction is worth the price of the book.” The author and organiser, Adedoyin, who was elated by the turn out of the fourth edition of the annual seminar, said he chose to talk and write on sex because it gave him joy in encouraging people, advocating for abstinence and it has been the greatest motivation. He said: “People keep asking why I chose to write on sex. It is because I have passed through the trauma of being abused and being addicted and by the glory of God; I retraced my steps and felt I have this strong urge to liberate people undergoing the process I have passed through. I have the boldness because if we refuse to talk, the lies will be taught from generation to generation and truth will not be heard. Youth should live an abstinence live, try to become an abstinence icon.” The event witnessed poem recitations, comedy, music and dance from budding artists.

School exemplifies religious L ATEEFAH IBRAHIM-ANIMASHAUN

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n engineer and motivational speaker, Imran Rufai has commended Tolulope Schools for effort towards raising religious tolerant pupils by encouraging different adherents to interact while retaining their identities within the school. This commendation came at end of the year party and graduation ceremony of the school, held at Mobile Police Barracks, Ogudu Orioke, Ogudu where he urged parents to emulate the philosophy of the school where Christianity and Islam have morning and afternoon assembly respectively. ‘’Here, Christians have separate assembly and Muslims have theirs and there has been no clash of interests.

This has given pupils, the opportunity to pray in their respective ways without friction,” he said. He urged parents to treat their children with respect and fairness rather than giving preference over one another in order to promote love and understanding. He asked schools to task students on assignments on what they intend to do for growth and stability of the country, so as to challenge them to be interested in improving their immediate environment. Meanwhile, Pastor Tunde Eniade, another guest speaker told pupils that Jesus is the Prince of Peace and that Islam is also a widely known as a religion of peace which is reason there is no place for violence in both religion. He enjoined them to be dedicated to


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Young & Next Generation

45

Curbing youth unemployment through vocational training MURITALA AYINLA

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ttempt to drastically reduce youth employment through vocational training has been yielding desired result in Lagos State as the state technical colleges graduated 6,467 youths for 370 vocations. The graduation of artisans, which coincided with the commissioning of the Samsung Engineering Academy, designed to train and re-train graduates from technical colleges, by Governor Babatunde Fashola, was a strategic plan to reverse the trend of joblessness and over dependence on university degrees. All these came three months after the government unveiled the School Leavers Modern Apprenticeship (SL-MATP) and Graduate Vocational Employability Skills (GV-ESTP), to stem crime rates and develop technical manpower in relevant areas of specialty. To actualise the training of more youths, the government recently inaugurated the CG EKO LLP Automobile Training Centre at Ikeja; an outcome of the state’s partnership with Coscharis Motors Limited, designed to offer technical training to 640 auto technicians. According to the Chairman of Odu’a Educational Trust Fund, Sen. Olabiyi Durojaiye, all these will help the government develop technical skills in relevant areas and further reduce crimes and unemployment in the state and nation at large. He added that billions of naira lost to other countries as result of patronage would also be saved. “We can save N960 billion from nationals of Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, Benin Republic and other West African countries, currently working as artisans and technicians. This programme is first of its kind in Nigeria, strategically designed

to create synergy between industries and educational institutions. The benefits will not be for Lagos alone. Other states of the federation and countries will indeed benefit from it. This deserves our support, and we need to team up with the government to ensure the programme succeeds,” he said. Speaking at the ceremony at the Lagos Technical School premises in Agidingbi Ikeja, Fashola described the event as a landmark achievement toward driving the state’s economy through reduction of over dependence on university degrees, which in most cases do not match society’s demands. He called for greater attention to technical and vocational education, saying government’s partnership with industries was to develop the technical capacity of youths in different specialties. While urging the graduands to be honest in their dealings so as not to betray the trust of their prospective clients, Fashola stressed that the dearth of people with technical know-how, is contributing to unemployment, saying the development has made foreign technicians to take over some jobs in Nigeria. He stressed the need for trainees to see themselves as an important element of the society. He said: “Your customer will rely on you; they will trust you and you must make sure you do nothing to betray such trust. Trust is instrumental to your profession. How will you feel if your doctor deceives you? How will you feel if you employ a lawyer who is colluding with your opponent in court to defeat you? That is the way we feel when we have a bricklayer cheating on the cement and sand.” The governor who commended Samsung on establishment of the engineering academy, expressed optimism it will go a long way to impact on the technical skills of the youths.

Gov. Fashola presenting a prize to one of the outstanding graduands of the school.

In his goodwill message, the Managing Director of Samsung Electronics West Africa, Mr. Nicholas Shin, said the academy is aimed at training electronic engineers who will be relevant to the company after graduation. He also canvassed a shift to Information and Communication Technology (ICT), without which the governor said, would be difficult for the economy to grow. He explained that Nigeria is moving into cashless banking. "A lot of electronic data will be needed. Where are the technicians to do the job? I see them in the students of this academy and future generations. We need homes and power. We need to produce more water. So, we are going to need the engineers and technicians in very large numbers”. Fashola called on other entrepreneurs to partner with the government in four other technical colleges at Epe, Ikotun, Amuwo Odofin and Ikorodu, to make them models. “We are seeking for other partners to make any of the technical colleges a model either in carpentry, block-making or masonry. We are looking forward to such strategic partnerships with us”. On his part, the Executive Secretary of the State Technical and Vocational Education Board (LASTVEB), Mr. Olawumi Gasper, urged the students to remain loyal and good ambassadors of their noble colleges, adding that great future and opportunities await them. He said Samsung Engineering Academy is a pilot project designed in a way that industry trainers

tolerance among pupils their studies and make their parents proud in the end, as he urged the school to continue imbibing the culture of tolerance by giving pupils of different beliefs opportunity to practice their religions within and outside the school. Meanwhile, the Head Teacher, Mr. Tolulope Animashaun, said the school gives Muslims special uniforms that include the hijab, while the Christians can expose their hair. “We conduct Muslim and Christian assemblies anchored by Muslim scholars and deaconess respectively, so no pupil is be forced to do something against his or her religion,” he said.

Primary Six graduands of Tolulope Schools, on stage at the end of session cum graduation ceremony of the school in Lagos recently.

will teach and train students in such area as refrigeration, air-conditioning and electronics instrumentation. Harping on several benefits, a guest lecturer, Mr. Francis Onipede, urged the graduates not to play second fiddle in the society. Onipede said engineers and technicians all over the world are proving their worth. He explained how he started his academic career with the City and Guild; later went to the university and proved his mettle locally and internationally.

SCIENCE FOR KIDS

Why do frogs hop?

T

he fishes swim, horses gallop, snakes slither and the frogs will jump. It is usual for frogs to jump or hop. One of the probable reasons for the frogs to hop with the help of their hind legs is to escape from the predators. It was found that some frogs are capable of jumping to a distance of even 20 times to that of its body length. This is done by them in just one hop. The frogs also jump in a zigzag manner which can make the predator to get confused about the movement of the frog. The hopping in zigzag pattern can make the frogs to escape very easily from the predators. Frogs by nature hop instead of walking to move from one place to the other. It is the opinion of some experts that the frogs are built and possess such body shape which is congenial for hopping. The shape of their bodies tends to help in jumping rather than in carrying out any other type of locomotion. The frogs that are visible these days have long legs along with very strong bones in the hip region. The bodies of the frog are very small which allows them to leap to the front very easily and comfortably. In the case of fossil frogs, their bodies were found to be long with short legs. They might be walking apart from leaping. But evolutionarily, frogs got adapted to leaping than any other kind of movement for unknown reasons. It is only the opinion of the experts that the hopping has been developed by the frogs only to protect them from the predators. This can be considered as the confirmed cause for them to hop as the frogs do not have any other defensive body part to protect themselves from their enemies. - Knowswhy.com


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Thursday, August 9, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Transparency International invites young African journalists

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oung journalists working in the sub-Saharan Africa region are being invited by Transparency International and the hosts of the 15th International Anti-Corruption Conference (15th IACC) to be part of the anti-corruption conference that will be held in Brasilia, Brazil from 7-10 November 2012. The person, who will not be someone over 35 years old, must be a working journalist of any nationality with at least one year of work experience. He or she must also be currently based in one of the following countries: Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea Conakry, Malawi, Mali, South Africa, South Sudan and Tanzania. According to the organisers, two young journalists will be selected and will work together with a group of young journalists from America, under the guidance of Transparency International's Social Media Unit to report on the conference sessions through various social media and new media channels including the IACC blog, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. The organisers said they are looking for looking for photojournalists; video broadcast journalists, print/online journalists and techsavvy journalists with experience working across different platforms. The selected journalists will also have the opportunity to submit stories to their own news outlets, write monthly blogs/articles for the IACC website and have a chance to engage with Transparency International's national chapters in their respective countries. It is for journalists who have an interest in creating change and fighting corruption, who are keen to learn more about Transparency International, the IACC Series and the issues they work on. The applicant is expected to write a short essay (250-300 words) in English, French or Portuguese on why he/she wants to join the organisers’ social media unit and what he/she can do to contribute to the social media unit from now until the 15th IACC, as well as during the conference. “If you're chosen, you will be invited to report on the 15th IACC in Brasilia, Brazil. You'll receive a pre-conference training session with Transparency International, a round-trip economy travel ticket to Brasilia, refund for any visa costs, accommodation for five nights, airport transfers, meals and the opportunity to learn more about corruption at a global scale and meet key players in the field. You will however be responsible for your own travel insurance,” the organisers said. Deadline for applications is Monday, August 27, 2012.

Chantal Uwimana, Head of Sub Saharan Africa at Transparency International

L-R: Dr. Segun Ige, Prof. Pat Utomi and Prof. Emevwo Biakolo at the colloquim organised by School of Media and Communication, Pan African University...recently.

SMC, AAR hold colloquium on rhetoric and leadership LEONARD OKACHIE

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he African Association for Rhetoric (AAR), in collaboration with the School of Media and Communication (SMC), PanAfrican University, Lagos recently organised the 2012 Colloquium on the theme, Rhetoric and Political Leadership. The event was held at the Pan-African University, Victoria Island Campus and Four Points by Sheraton on July 26th – 27th, 2012. The inaugural colloquium of the African Association for Rhetoric (AAR) was held in South Africa in 2007 and had as theme - Rhetoric, Protests and the Economy. Themes of other past colloquium include Rhetoric in the Time of AIDS: African Perspectives (2009), Inter-Cultural Negotiation of the Global Space: African Perspectives (2011), and the 2012 event which was held in Nigeria. Nigeria seemed the appropriate location given its robust history of the activities of political orators. Some research have been done on Nigerian orators, however, most of the findings have not helped in informing rhetorical practice due to lack of proper dissemination. Other competing factors that militate against the effective use of rhetoric in Nigeria are ‘dirty hand’ politics, violence, ignorance, etc. Scholars strongly agree that nations are products of discursive enterprise.

According to the co-conveners of the conference – Dr. Segun Ige, Chair, Steering Committee, African Association for Rhetoric and Prof. Emevwo Biakolo, Dean, School of Media and Communication, Pan-African University, the discussions around the theme – Rhetoric and Political Leadership have brought to fore, knowledge which can inform social and political practice in Nigeria. This colloquium critically examined Rhetoric from a global and local perspective. This was ascertained in the keynote address by Prof. Pat Utomi, founder, Centre for Values in Leadership who spoke on the topic - The Changing Dynamics of Political Leadership in the 21st Century: Implications for Africa. The second keynote address titled Rhetoric and Political Leadership: A Practitioner’s Reflection was delivered by Hon. Farouk Adamu Aliyu, former member of the House of Representatives and governorship aspirant, Jigawa State. And Dr. Wale Okediran, also a former member of the House of Representatives and author, Tenants in the House delivered a lead paper on Rhetoric, Dirty Hand Politics and Public Ethics. They engaged discussants and other paper presenters with insights on pressing issues surrounding the rhetoric of political leadership from various perspectives. Paper presentations were made by scholars including Prof. Ambrose Adebayo from University of Kwazulu

Natal, South Africa; Dr. James Tsaaior; Dr. Austin Tam-George and Dr. Isah Momoh, all of School of Media and Communication, Pan-African University and many other scholars from OAU, Ife; BOWEN, Osun State; Western-Delta University,Delta State; Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo State; University of Ibadan and Crowther Solicitors from the United Kingdom. In essence, it was not just a colloquium for Nigerian scholars, but an international engagement around democratic best practice for practicing political orators and a gathering of scholars for the advancement of rhetoric on the continent. The sub-themes included Rhetoric, Democracy and Democratisation in Africa; Election Campaign: Use and Abuse of Rhetoric; Speech Writing, Oratory and Public Identity; Political Responses to Environmental Changes in the 21st Century; Rhetoric, Financial Crisis and Africa; Women Talk: Gendered Political Discourse; Transformational Education and Research in Rhetoric; Rhetoric, Dirty Hand Politics and Public Ethics; and a special panel discussion on Mass Media, Political communication and the Nigerian Public. While the roundtable dinner discussion centred on the Prospects of Rhetoric in Nigeria. The Nigerian chapter of the association was inaugurated with its secretariat located at the School of Media and Communication, Pan-African University, Lagos, Nigeria.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Young & Next Generation

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Flashback magazine debuts STORIES: LEONARD OKACHIE

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he Nigerian magazine market has a new addition with the introduction of Historical Flashback. The maiden edition hit the newsstand a few weeks back with lead headline: Difference between 1972 and 2012 state administrators: How governors steal your money. It also has other promos like History of Nigeria’s new democracy, Where were you when the Queen visited Nigeria in 1956? among others. Flashback is an idea to bring

out documented facts about Nigeria’s past, while the objective is to use historical events to adjust the present happenings in order to have a better future. It is published by Flashback Publishers Limited, Ikosi-Ketu, Lagos. A statement by Banke Akinlaja for the Flashback Publishers said: “We observed that our past is being forgotten and it has become imperative that we remind ourselves. Those who cannot remember their past are condemned to repeat it, and when we write about the past we are actually writing about today

and tomorrow as well. “This monthly magazine promises in-depth research into the Nigeria’s past and how it is linked with the present, thereby becoming an invaluable material and credible source of information for those interested in our national affairs. “Historical Flashback is a Nigerian national memoir. We want to bring the history of the country to memory so that the present generation can understand their country better, and use the information to help in building a politically, economically and socially virile nation.”

DStv, Eutelsat Star Awards back

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ow can satellite technology help expand Africa’s horizons into the future? This is what the 2012 DStv Eutelsat Star Awards want to know from African students. Now in its second year, the awards, which are a product of the partnership between Eutelsat and MultiChoice Africa, aim to inspire innovative thinking among secondary and high-school students, to create awareness on how science and technology can be applied to everyday life, and to showcase the many ways that satellites already impact on the development of the African continent. The awards take the form of a competition open to 14-19 yearold students in 42 countries. Students are invited to write an essay or design a poster depicting how innovative use of satellite technology in the fields of communication, earth observation or navigation can propel Africa into the future. Winners at national levels win prizes such as computers or tablet computers and go forward to compete in the overall awards as winner or runner up overall essay and poster entries respectively. The winning essay recipient will win a trip with parent or guardian to Eutelsat in Paris and to witness a live rocket launch. The best poster winner and a parent or guardian will also win a visit to Eutelsat in France and to a satellite manufacturing facility. The overall runners-up win a trip for two to visit MultiChoice facilities and the South African Space Agency near Johannesburg, South Africa. The schools attended by the overall award winners and runners-up will also be rewarded with a DStv installation, including dish, television, state-of-theart PVR decoder and free access to the DStv Education Bouquet.

To enter, students need to pick up copies of the entry form and rules at their nearest MultiChoice office or download a copy at www.dstvstarawards. com. Entries for the awards close on October 8, 2012. Commenting on MultiChoice Africa’s involvement in the Awards, MultiChoice company President Nico Meyer stated that technology-based companies operating in Africa face growing concern that Africa is not producing sufficient graduates in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics. These fields are a prerequisite for sustained economic growth and is thus of strategic importance to the Continent. “For MultiChoice, as an African business, the situation is particularly pertinent as we need to draw on employees with knowledge and skills in these fields. The awards therefore, represent our commitment as a company to contribute towards the growth of Science & Technology in Africa”, he said. Michel de Rosen, CEO of Eutelsat Communications, added that the first edition of the DStv Eutelsat Star Awards was a re-

sounding success, attracting over 800 entries from across Africa. He stated that Eutelsat was delighted to again partner in the 2012 awards with the shared objective of harnessing the allure of space to get young Africans excited about science and technology. “The 2011 winners, Mary Musimire and Michael Yeboah, who both visited us in Paris impressed us with the quality of their work and we look forward to again show case emerging new talent in the 2012awards,” he said. In order to support students to produce quality entries, MultiChoice and Eutelsat have also produced a resource booklet on how satellites work and the application of satellite technology in everyday life. The booklet also contains some guidelines for students on preparing their entries. Copies are available from MultiChoice offices or on the Star Awards website. Two 26-minute programmes, produced by Eutelsat, on the conquest of space and how satellite applications impact directly or indirectly on everyday lives, will also be broadcast on DStv.

Media Abroad

How data journalism is tracking corruption in Colombia

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new visual guide will expose areas of corruption in Colombia, where misuse of funds, bribery and fraud are common. The "Monitor de Corrupción" (or "Corruption Monitor") will give journalists and citizens the opportunity to digitally map reports of political misconduct. About 60 reports from journalists have been mapped since the project launched July 24. No citizen reports have been incorporated into the mix yet, but the map's administrative staff and journalists will confirm them once they are submitted. "What makes our map unique in Colombia is our two-tiered reporting system that allows both journalists and citizens to submit reports about corruption in their communities, municipalities and on a broader scale, regionally and nationally," said Ronnie Lovler, a Knight International Journalism Fellow. Lovler created the mapping system with investigative journalism group Consejo de Redacción. The idea for the map grew out of a similar project of Knight International Journalism Fellow Jorge Luis Sierra. Lovler said naming the map was a challenge, because it re-

quired a label that would be accurately descriptive in both Spanish and English. "Corruption Monitor" was translatable and is easy to find via search engines, she said. The fellow approached Consejo’s administrative staff with her idea in January. It was then presented by the executive board to the annual members' assembly in March. The team then established 11 categories of corruption and developed the system using the Ushahidi mapping platform. The project is also supported by the offices of the United Nations Organization for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Colombia and the Javeriana University. To encourage public participation in the project, Lovler will offer citizen journalists handson training in workshops beginning in August at La Patria newspaper in Manizales. “From the Arab Spring through the defeat of the proposed judicial reform in Colombia, we have seen how citizen movements have regained their dominant role in the democratic debate,” said Fabio Posado, president of the Consejo de Redacción. ICFJ

New Media Awards open for Africa

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he Telkom-Highway Africa New Media Awards 2012, sponsored by Telkom, will recognise African journalists for using digital technology in creative and innovative ways. Winners will be announced at this year's Highway Africa conference, which will take place at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa. The awards span three categories: innovative newsroom,

best African ICT blog and innovative use of technology for community engagement. Each entry should serve to advance press freedom in Africa, encourage social empowerment amongst marginalized communities and highlight creative use of global technology to benefit Africa’s overall media development. The application deadline is August 24. Source – ijnet

United Nations journalism award calls for entries

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Managing Director of Multichoice Nigeria, John Ugbe

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he United Nations Correspondents Association (UNCA), is accepting written and electronic works for a UN coverage contest that consists of four categories: print and online, broadcast, climate change and humanitarian/development. Acording to ijnet, journalists worldwide who cover the United Nations, including its agencies and field operations, are eligible for this award. The prizes amount to over

$50,000 with $10,000 each for the main categories. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will present the prizes at the Awards Gala dinner in New York on December 19. Entries that are not in one of the official languages of the UN should be translated into English or French. Video entries should be in DVD (preferably NTSC format), and a minimum of two copies should be sent of each entry. The contest deadline is September 15.


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Thursday, August 9, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Community Mirror Anxiety in Gaun over enrolment order

“The subsidy trial may not take us anywhere; it will soon disappear like others before it .”

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FMR. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE OF THE NRC, ALHAJI BASHIR TOFA

Oba denies receiving staff of office from government SAM OLUWALANA

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he ongoing legal tussle over the installation of Prince Adegoke Olu Adeyemi, as Alara of AramokoEkiti by the ousted Segun Oni administration may soon come to an end, as first defendant (Prince Adeyemi) denied receiving staff of office from the state government. This was made known in a counter affidavit on December 10, 2009 by one Ibrahim Tayo Mohammed, solicitor to Adeyemi and the second defendant, High Chief Amos Ajayi, at the High Court of Justice of Ekiti State in Ijero Ekiti Judicial Division, presented for hearing in Ado-Ekiti High Court on July 19, 2012. In the affidavit, Mohammed stated that, “I have the consent, mandate and authority of both the 1st and 2nd defendants/respondents to swear to this counter affidavit.” The decision of the state government not to present the staff of office to Prince Adeyemi, ,as Alara of Aramoko-Ekiti may have been hinged on the motion No H1J/51M/2009 served on all respondents in the matter including Prince Adegoke Olu Adeyemi, High Chief Amos Ajayi (the Oloje

of Aramoko-Ekiti for and on behalf of all kingmakers of Alara of Aramoko-Ekiti), Ekiti West Local Government and Attorney General of Ekiti State. The attorney to the 1st and 2nd defendants stated in the affidavit “that I know as a fact, that a copy of Motion No H1J/51M/2009, dated October 16, 2009 had been served on the 1st and 2nd defendants/respondents through the chambers of I.O. Ogundele and company. The deponent stated inter alia in the counter affidavit, that the 1st respondent informed him that, “at no time on October 16, 2009 or at any date whatsoever, did the governor of Ekiti State, present the staff of office to him(the 1st defendant) as the Alara of Aromoko-Ekiti; that the governor of Ekiti State, did not present the staff of office to him the 1st defendant/respondent) as the Alara of Aramoko at the Governor’s Office at about 2:00 pm or at any other time whatsoever on October 16, 2009 or at any other date whatsoever.” The deponent denied that his client(1st defendant) received the letter allegedly written by the Aramoko community to Chairman of Ekiti State Council of Traditional Rulers, Attorney General of Ekiti State, Ekiti West Local

Government, Ministry of Local Government Affairs, Director of State Security Service and Commissioner of Police, Ekiti State, informing them that the existence of motion which restrained the governor from installing Prince Adeyemi as Alara of AramokoEkiti, warning that there would be chaos if the attached copy of the motion was not obeyed.

Ibrahim also stated in the counter affidavit that, “the purported 1st signatory to the purported letter of October 8, 2009 namely Jeremiah Sukulubi, has no finger and as such, cannot sign.” The legal tussle over the installation of Prince Adeyemi as Alara of Aramoko-Ekiti, was aggravated when former Governor Segun

Oni-led administration, flouted the court injunction issued by Ijero High Court which called for stoppage of installation process of the traditional ruler which had been challenged by Prince Olusegun Aderemi in court of law. The hearing of case, which had since been transferred to AdoEkiti High Court, was, however, adjourned till October 11, 2012.

Police barracks get solar powered boreholes JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA

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olice barracks in Katsina State now boast of solar powered boreholes built at a cost of N6.4m and also hand pumps at N6.4 million, constructed by the state government as a way of easing water shortage. Speaking at commissioning of the projects, Governor Ibrahim Shema, said the project was initiated in response to complaints by the community where the barracks are located. Shema, who was represented by his Senior Special Assistant on Societal and Diplomatic Relations, Sada Salisu Rumah, said construction of the boreholes was to rescue the police command from shortage of potable water as he reiterated commitment of

the administration to improve water supply to every part of the state. Earlier, Executive Director, state Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency, Abubakar Mamman Gege, said the projects’ cost the government more than N6 million and they are to provide 24,000 litres of water daily. He said for maintenance of the project, the agency will train persons to handle it and called on the police to guard the project against vandalism. In his remark, the Police Commissioner, Mr. Abdullahi Magaji, said the compound had been faced with water scarcity, but with construction of the borehole, that is now over. He commended the government for the projects and assured that they will be judiciously used and guarded against vandals.

A woman porter trying to cross the road demarcation on Abeokuta-Oshodi Expressway. PHOTO: AKINLABI ADEMOLA

Imo to provide loans to traders CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI

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he Imo State Government has banned collection of levies and taxes from traders until end of this year, and rather is to provide a N50 million interest free revolving loan to them. Governor Rochas Okorocha, disclosed this at an interactive meeting with the traders at Government House, Owerri. He said the suspension of all levies would enable government

reform all taxation laws and ensure that levies are accounted for. “Currently, most taxes and levies end up in private pockets and that is unacceptable. The loan will assist traders to succeed. The government is giving it to empower them and make their business more profitable”. He said government has plans to give a face lift to the four markets in Owerri metropolis, and build additional new one to provide space for those without stalls.

On security, the governor said his administration has reduced the spate of kidnappings in the state as he solicited support of the traders to his administration’s Fourth Tier Government, which he said is meant to bring back power to the people and strengthen economic development through rural agriculture. Responding, President of the market association, Mr Chukwudi Onuoha, thanked Governor Okorocha for his developmental strides and for the reception accorded them.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Community Mirror

Thursday, August 9, 2012

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Anxiety in Gaun over enrolment order FRANCIS SUBERU

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nxiety has gripped residents and business operators in Gaun community on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway in Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun State following enrolment order from an Ogun State High Court

restraining the two parties, involved in the battle for the land, from working on it. The presiding Judge, N.I Agbelu had on the July 30, 2012, issued an order restraining the two parties on the disputed land from trespassing or working on it. He, however, allayed fears of the residents and farmers, when he stated

that, “for the avoidance of doubt, this order will not affect parties residing on the land in dispute or farming thereon “ The claimant, Messrs Land Development Co. Ltd, and 13 others, including Mr Ajiwun Balogun, Tunde Balogun, Sunmonu Seidu, Nureni Jimoh, Asimiyu Adisa, Nojeem

Olaiya, Kehinde Oriyomi, Adisa Raji (for themselves and on behalf of Olubete Balogun Family) IT World, Ambassage Properties Limited, Techpack Limited and Forthright properties Limited, (defendants) are battling for a vast expanse of land in the community Counsels to both parties had earlier agreed that

each be restrained from going unto the land in dispute. The order states, “Accordingly, all the parties in this suit are hereby restrained either by themselves, privies agents, servants or assigns from further alienating, selling, leasing, developing or tampering with any portion of

the land in dispute , pending the hearing of the substantive suit “ The judge also ordered the defendants to file their statement of defence and or counter claim on or before August 31, 2012, while the claimant should file any consequential processes, within 14 days upon the receipt of the process.

Woman arraigned for maltreating house maid NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA

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n Atani Chief Magistrate Court in Anambra State presided over by Mrs. E.G. Offor, has granted bail to Mrs. Ifechukwu Obi, now standing trial before the court for allegedly maltreating her maid. Offor had earlier remanded the accused person in prison custody at Onitsha, for the same offence when she was first arraigned before the court. In her ruling shortly after hearing a bail application brought before it, Offor granted her bail in the sum of N100, 000, with one surety who has three years tax clearance. According to the Chief Magistrate, the surety must be a civil servant of grade level 15 and residing within the jurisdiction of the court. She, therefore, adjourned the case to September 9, for further hearing.

The accused person had been remanded for alleged maltreating her house help, Miss Chinenye Emek, 13, in which she inflicted bodily and mental harm on her with an electric pressing iron. Police prosecutor, Mr. Boniface Ugo, had told the court that Obi had remained sober while in the prisons, and had received counsel from her relatives and pastor. “My Lord, I believe that going through the prisons experience for days and the counseling to her by associates and relatives would make her behave better henceforth”, Ugo said. Obi, a mother of four, pleaded with the magistrate to grant her leniency; adding: “I would not engage in this act again, please release me to take care of my children and Chinenye’’. It would be recalled that on July 25, 2012; Obi used an electric iron on the buttocks of her house help, thereby inflicting bodily harm on her.

Taraba governor commends bank on CSR FRANCIS SUBERU

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araba State Governor, Danbaba Danfulani Suntai, has described the Fidelity Helping Hands Programme (FHHP), as a viable tool in mitigating social inequalities in the country. Governor Suntai made the assertion in Jalingo while commissioning the Jalingo Blind Workshop renovated by Fidelity Bank staff of Jalingo branch. Speaking through Alhaji Hussain Modibbo, Permanent Secretary in the state’s Ministry of Social Welfare, Youth and Sport, the governor said that such gesture is rare,

especially among organisations whose operations are supposedly driven by commercial considerations. “Reviving this legacy institution is a noble act. For staff of Fidelity Bank to take time out, take notice of a need such as this and raise funds to meet it is remarkable indeed”. He thanked the Board, Management and Staff of Fidelity Bank for coming to the aid of the needy in the society and promised that the government would take proper care of the centre. Suntai also promised to equip centre which was built in 1976 by the then Gongola State Government to train blind students in arts and crafts.

Mobile Policemen taking cover from the rains in Abuja.

PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

Group accuses Niger Delta Ministry of bias GEORGE OPARA ABIA

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group of persons from Obohia Ndoki in Ukwa East Local Government Area of Abia State have accused the Ministry for Niger Delta and a construction company, CCECC Nigeria Limited, of lack of transparency in respect of under assessment and valuation of properties. Some properties located along the dual carriage way known as ObehieAzumini Ukanafun were allegedly been left out, while those far from the construction site were recommended for compensation. A leader of the protesting community, Onyema Okerenta, had dismissed the report and outcome of the valuation by the min-

istry, insisting that only a comprehensive evaluation of entire buildings and premises belonging to him and others in the community will be acceptable. “My storey building and boys quarters with modern facilities and appurtenances are among the nearest to the road. It is 62 feet from edge of the existing road and 92 feet from location of the boy’s quarters. Neighbouring houses further away were approved for demolition in their respective valuation report, while their owners had smiled to the banks with commensurate monetary compensation paid by the Federal Government. My building and boys quarters were excluded. Only the fence was slated for demolition”, Okerenta lamented.

Consequently, he said that Power Holding Company of Nigeria, (PHCN), has located its poles to the direction and location of his house as the wires are almost touching the roof of the building. “With the demolition of the fence, I can no longer sleep in my house. I now sleep in hotels in Port Harcourt for safety. Members of my family dare not visit home again, as they will be exposed to criminal elements”, he said. Okerenta, however, urged the ministry to direct the accredited surveyors and valuers to rectify the anomaly, by issuing fresh valuation report and causing commensurate compensation to be paid to him. Also, an old widow complained that before commencement of the dual carriageway, a sur-

vey of her eight room bungalow and others was carried out. According to her, “I was given a valuation report and told that the demolition of the house has been approved. No one told me that only three out of the eight rooms would be demolished and monetary compensation paid only on them. My orange tree was also uprooted but nowhere was it specified in the report and no compensation was paid on it. It is anomalous and unprecedented to demolish part of a structure located on the route of a public highway, leaving the remaining part in place. My neighbours had their entire buildings demolished and adequate monetary compensations paid to them and why should my case be different?”


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Ramadan Special

Thursday, August 9, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

‘Ramadan revives virtues in Muslims’

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cleric, Alhaji Mufutaudeen Balogun, said on Wednesday in Abuja that the Ramadan fast helps to revive many virtues taught by Islam but not practised by some Muslims. Balogun, who is the Leader of Dairat Jafariyat Fitorikat Tijaniyat Islamic Organisation, Abuja branch, made the observation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). He said Islam teaches Muslims to help the poor and the helpless, particularly orphans and widows, adding that the organisation sees Ramadan as a refining period for Muslims to imbibe such virtues. “The Holy Prophet Muhammad is reported to have said that whoever

gives food or drinks to a person who is fasting in the month of Ramadan, Allah’s angels will invoke Allah’s blessings on the person throughout the month.’’ Balogun said that a man who has never felt the pangs of hunger might not appreciate what the wretched beggar who pesters him goes through. He noted that in the past, there were some people who dedicated the proceeds of their farms to the feeding of the poor. “Others empowered the poor by giving them jobs and paying them very well. These are things Muslims should do which we have not been doing. Ramadan fast, therefore, seeks to re-awaken in us those virtues that sustain human-

ity. Fasting is a spiritual exercise that is found in different hues and colours in most religions. It is in this light that Allah declares in the Holy Quran that fasting was prescribed for those who came before the Holy Prophet Muhammad.” He also said that fasting protects man from many ailments because it enables the human body to achieve equilibrium in its functions as well as regulates the activities of the cells. Balogun urged Muslim faithful to dedicate the last 10 days of Ramadan to praying for forgiveness, peace and stability in the country. He said that devoting the last 10 days was imperative because Allah showers His blessings during the Night

of Power, adding that it is important for this Night of Power to meet our Muslim brothers and sisters in a place of worship. Based on the Zakat distribution pictures published in National Mirror so far, he commended Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation for usually giving out millions worth of Zakat to several beneficiaries across the country. They are given to support the economic empowerment of the less-privileged. Interested individuals and corporate bodies can pay into ZSF Access Bank Account: 0030378184 or GTBank: 0016101110. Other areas of disbursement include healthcare, education, accommodation, debtrelief and welfare supports.

Day 21

... Reduces business activities

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usiness activities in Bogobiri, a large community of Muslims from the northern part of the country in Calabar, have witnessed a lull as a result of the ongoing Ramadan. A market survey by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in the area on Wednesday revealed that business operators in the area now operated only partially to minimise their

losses. Mrs. Helen Umoh, a restaurateur, told NAN that the lull in business had forced her to reduce the quantity of food she prepared daily. “Well, I am used to it. Normally, during Ramadan, the numbers of customers are reduced, so I also reduce the quantity of the food I cook. This is because most of my customers are fasting,” she said. “But in the evening

time, during the breaking of the fast, we make small sales of sachet water and soft drinks,” she said. Alhaji Seriki Abdullahi, the Seriki Hausawa of Bogobiri, attributed the drop in business activities in the area to the Ramadan. “This is because we take our time to concentrate on the Ramadan for the spiritual benefits; so we slow down our business activities,” he said.

L-R: Executive Director, Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation (ZSF), Imam Abdullahi Shuaib; Managing Director APT Securities and Funds Limited, Alhaji Kasimu Garba Kurf presenting a cheque to a beneficiary of Zakat distribution ceremony organised by Zakat & Sadaqat Foundation (ZSF) at the Multipurpose Hall, Lagos Secretariat Central Mosque, Alausa while Chairman, ZSF, Alhaji Sulaimon Olagunju looks on.

Exclusive breastfeeding is a child’s right –UNICEF L ATEEFAH IBRAHIMANIMASHAUN

A Chairman/CEO Y.K.M. Limited, (m) Alhaji Yusuf Kayode presenting a grinding machine to a beneficiary of Zakat distribution ceremony organised by Zakat & Sadaqat Foundation (ZSF) at the Multipurpose Hall, Lagos Secretariat Central Mosque, Alausa while Imam Trimizhi Jamiu of ZSF looks on.

Dr. Saheed Timeyin; Alfa Idris Gbedemuke; Alhaji Kewulere Abdul Rafiu during the annual Ramadan Lecture organised by Alade Market Muslim Brothers and Sister’s Association, Ikeja Lagos.

clarion call has gone to all to focus on exclusive breastfeeding which has been described as a right of any child. Ironically, research has shown that in Nigeria, only 13 percent of women exclusively breastfeed their babies within the first six month of birth which usually results into infections and abnormalities associated with the growth of the baby. These were disclosed by the representative of United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), Mrs Ada Ezeogu during the Baby Show programme organised by (NTA) Channel 10 in collaboration with UNICEF to commemorate the annual breastfeeding week held at Surulere lo-

cal government area of Lagos. She urged women who have already experienced the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding to spread the message across to others as she said this will be a potent way of ensuring effective and exclusive breastfeeding among women. She discouraged introducing water as part of the feed of babies who have not clocked 6 months. “Such habit will dilute the already provided nutrients by the breast milk and will make it less effective. Also, a Consultant Pediatrician at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, Yaba, Dr. Nkiru David encouraged women with HIV/AIDS to use anti-retroviral drugs right from pregnancy to prevent the children from contacting the virus from them. According to her, gone

are the days when women cannot freely give their children breast milk due to the virus and that advancement in the healthcare delivery system has shown that a woman can breastfeed her child without the baby contacting the virus. She lamented the situation whereby a large percentage of women in the country is yet to know their HIV status and that some get to know when the pregnancy is 8 months or 9 months which she said will not help the health care providers to monitor the babies and the mothers well before delivery. The founder of Child Health Initiative, Mrs. Ololade Alonge called on women to stop the practice of giving water to children before six months while she added that everything the baby needs is contained in the breast for six months.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

North

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Gunmen kill two policemen in Bauchi EZEKIEL TITUS BAUCHI

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wo policemen were shot dead in Bauchi State yesterday when armed men laid an ambush for them on Bauchi -Kano Road. The incident happened barely two weeks after four policemen were killed by gunmen at different locations in Bauchi metropolis.

• Two political ‘thugs’ die in reprisal attack

Also yesterday, two people believed to be political thugs, were killed in a reprisal attack in Bauchi metropolis. The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ladan Mohammed, who regretted the murder of the policemen, told journalists in Bauchi that they were killed while serving their fatherland.

Ladan bemoaned the recurrent attacks on policemen and officers in recent times in the state. He, however, said that his command had commenced investigation to apprehend the killers. Charging the public to provide useful information to the command to curb the insecurity in the state, the

commissioner disclosed that the policemen were on a routine patrol before they were killed. A witness, who did not want his name in print, told newsmen that the gunmen fled after killing the mobile policemen to escape arrest. But the two suspected political thugs were killed

in Karofi Madaki behind the Emir’s Palace in Bauchi metropolis in a reprisal attack. A witness said traders hurriedly closed their shops because of the killing, adding that policemen were drafted to contain the situation. It was gathered that the two men had earlier in the morning unleashed terror on their rivals before they were killed.

Benue Assembly summons commissioner over anti-lawmakers’ remark HENRY IYORKASE MAKURDI

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enue State House of Assembly has summoned the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Conrad Wergba, for accusing the legislature of arm twisting the government. In a statement last week, Wergba said the Assembly was raising concerns bordering on the finances of the state. He also accused the lawmakers of trying to intimidate the executive for pecuniary motives. The commissioner was reacting to the decision of the Assembly to summon the finance commissioner to explain the financial status of the state. The resolution followed the delay in the payment of some civil servants’ salaries, including some members of the Assembly. Reacting to Wergba’s remark at the resumed sitting of the Assembly yesterday, Hon. Dickson Sule Audu, representing Apa state constituency, moved the motion condemning the commissioner’s comments, which he said portrayed the desire of the lawmakers in bad light.

Two police patrol vehicles burnt by gunmen at Shagari Divisional Police Station in Sokoto, on Monday.

PHOTO: NAN

Kogi attacks: Beggars may be working for Boko Haram - Group ADEMU IDAKWO LOKOJA

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group under the auspices of Kogi Re-birth, KRB, yesterday called on the state government to immediately return the destitute and street beggars besieging Lokoja, the state capital, to their states of origin. The KRB Chairman, Mr. Mark Salihu, who made the call in a statement issued in Lokoja, said the destitute and beggars constituted health and security haz-

ards to the residents of the ancient town. He said in view of the prevailing security challenges facing the state arising from terrorism and other crimes, there was need for proper scrutiny of those who would be seen around public squares and government buildings. Salihu said it was not enough for the government to give directive which would not be implemented “as in the case of the recent order to flush out suspected hoodlums in some of the

undeveloped properties and buildings in the state capital which was not carried out”. He alleged that some of the destitute might be spying for their sponsors. Salihu added that since some of the destitute were generally regarded as mentally deranged, security agents’ attention might not be on them, which would give them the opportunity to wreak havoc on the town. One of such cases, according to him, was the incident in Lagos a few years ago where a man

(Clifford Orji) regarded as a mad man leaving under the bridge later turned out to be a cannibal. When contacted on the issue, the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Mameh Memuna Patience, said her ministry was already looking for a way to tackle the situation. She expressed the determination of the present administration to provide a conducive atmosphere for growth and development.

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Niger records two new wild polio virus cases PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA

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wo new cases of wild polio virus have been recorded in Niger State, the Executive Director of the State Primary Health Development Agency, Dr. Shehu Yabagi, has said. Yabagi, who made the disclosure in Minna, said the polio virus re-emerged between April and July, three years after the state achieved the status of free wild polio virus. He said while the first case was recorded in Bangi in Mariga Local Government Area in April, the second case was recorded last month in Gulbin Boka village, in the same council. The executive director explained that as part of measures to immediately address the situation, a team of health experts from the state agency had been drafted to the area to look into the immediate and remote causes of the reappearance of the virus. Yabagi also disclosed that the experts, on arrival at the affected areas, commenced work with the immunisation of children of Guibin Boka village and the surrounding communities. According to him, one of polio victims was a child of a nomad Fulani who had already moved from the area.

Gov. Aliyu

Nigeria heading for bloody confrontation, Bishop warns AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST KANO

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he inability of the Federal Government to deal decisively with the insecurity challenges facing the country may plunge Nigeria into war. The Chairman of the Kano State chapter of the

Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Bishop Ransom Bello, said this yesterday in an interview with our correspondent in Kano. He said the country was gradually heading for a bloody confrontation which might at the end decide its fate as a corporate entity.

The General Overseer of the Kano-based Calvary Life Assembly said he was worried about the future of the Nigerian nation owing largely to the insensitivity and the inability of the Federal Government to tackle the security issues and other problems threatening the corporate existence of the country.

He said that apart from the concerns over the security challenges posed by the activities of the Boko Haram, “there are a number of other issues promoting conflict in the country, with government not really doing anything to address the situation, which makes the country’s problems multi-di-

mensional”. Bello was particularly disturbed over the war of words between some youths in the South-South and the North, which he said was unhealthy for “our corporate existence”. The cleric described as volatile, the statement credited to Arewa Youth Forum, AYF, that

“the North is not afraid of war”, in response to a threat from the leader of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force, Alhaji Mujahid Asari-Dokubo, that “if the current trend of insecurity degenerates into a war, the SouthSouth will cut off the North from both food and weapon supply”.


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Thursday, August 9, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

World News “The president (Obama) held a phone call, a conversation with the prime minister of India. The president expressed his condolences to the prime minister because ... several of the victims of the shooting in Wisconsin were Indian nationals” - White House Spokesman, Jay Carney

WORLD BULLETIN South African pleads guilty in honeymoon slaying The South African man who drove a Swedish bride to her death after allegedly being hired by her British husband to kill her on their honeymoon pleaded guilty yesterday to the slaying and received a 25-year prison sentence after offering chilling details about the killing. Mziwamadoda Qwabe, 27, described in a statement how he wore yellow gloves to avoid leaving fingerprints the November 2010 night he and alleged accomplice Xolile Mngeni kidnapped and killed Anni Dewani. Qwabe said he helped carry out the killing of the 28-year-old bride for only 15,000 rand (about $2,100), and said he knew her accompanying husband Shrien Dewani paid for the slaying and wanted her dead.

Egypt’s president sacks intelligence chief over Sinai attack PAUL ARHEWE

WITH AGENCY REPORTS

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gyptian President Mohammed Morsi fired his intelligence chief and the governor of Northern Sinai yesterday following the deadly weekend attack on troops by suspected militants in Sinai.

In a major shake-up, Morsi also asked Defence Minister Hussein Tantawi to replace the commander of the military police, a force that has been heavily used since the ouster 18 months ago of Hosni Mubarak. He also fired the commander of the presidential guards and named new chiefs for security in Cairo

and the police’s large central security, a large paramilitary force often deployed to deal with riots. The changes followed the killing on Sunday of 16 soldiers at a post in Sinai along the border with Israel and the Gaza Strip. The attack raised questions about the readiness of Egyptian forces in the area, particularly

Clinton urges South Africans to fulfill Mandela’s legacy South Africans must live up to Nelson Mandela’s legacy by promoting human rights and democracy among their neighbours and around the world, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said yesterday. Clinton challenged students at the University of the Western Cape to look beyond their borders and spread the ideals espoused by Mandela. South Africa’s first black president spent 27 years in prison for his fight against racist apartheid rule and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts. Clinton visited the 94-year-old Mandela, who’s affectionately known as “Madiba,” at his home on Monday.

Russian religious sect faces cruelty charges Four members of a Muslim sect in the Russian region of Tatarstan have been charged with cruelty against children for allegedly keeping them underground. The sect’s elderly leader, Faizrakhman Sattarov, who had declared himself a Muslim prophet, was charged with the crime of “arbitrariness”. Police found 27 children and 38 adults living in catacomb-like cells, dug on eight levels under his home. No immediate reaction to the charges was reported. Some children had literally never seen the light of day, Russian media report. The sect was uncovered in a suburb of the city of Kazan during an investigation into recent attacks on Muslim clerics in Tatarstan, a mainly Muslim region on the River Volga.

Egyptian women mourning during the military funeral of 16 Egyptian soldiers who were killed on Sunday along the Sinai border with Israel. PHOTO: AP

after Israel warned the country several days earlier of an imminent attack. The attackers killed the soldiers as they were breaking their daily fast for the holy month of Ramadan fast with a sunset meal. Their attackers commandeered an armoured vehicle which they later used to storm across the border into Israel, where they were targeted by an Israeli airstrike. The intelligence chief that Morsi fired, Murad Muwafi, was quoted in Wednesday’s newspapers as saying his agency was aware of the Israeli warning but did not think that Muslims would attack Muslims while breaking their fast during Ramadan. Large swathes of northern Sinai have plunged into lawlessness following Mubarak’s ouster, with a massive flow of arms smuggled from Libya finding their way into the hands of disgruntled Bedouins. The lawlessness is coupled with the rise in the area of al-Qaida-inspired militant groups that are waging a campaign of violence against Egyptian security forces. They have also staged several crossborder attacks on Israel.

Swiss experts invited to conduct Arafat’s autopsy

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wiss experts have been invited to the West Bank to test Yasser Arafat’s remains for possible poisoning, the chief investigator looking into the 2004 death of the Palestinian leader said yesterday. The announcement followed weeks of zigzagging on the autopsy issue by officials in the Palestinian Authority, the self-rule government that Arafat established. Their conflicting positions and hesitation triggered speculation they were trying to quietly kill the investigation. Last month, Switzerland’s Institute of Radiation Physics said it had detected elevated levels of radioactive polonium-210 on stains on Arafat’s clothing, reviving longstanding rumors in the Arab world that the Palestinian leader was poisoned. However, the lab said the findings were inconclusive and that

only exhuming Arafat’s remains could bring possible clarity. Lab officials also said polonium decays quickly and that an autopsy would need to be done within a few months at most. They also said they needed a formal invitation to proceed with testing.

The Arab satellite TV station Al Jazeera first published the findings of the Swiss lab. The station had approached the lab on behalf of Arafat’s widow, Suha, who had demanded that her husband’s remains be examined and provided the lab with his clothing.

Late Palestinian President, Yasser Arafat

PHOTO: REUTERS

She also asked the French government in a lawsuit to investigate her husband’s death. No decision has been made on the suit. Arafat died in a French military hospital on Nov. 11, 2004, a month after falling ill at his headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah, where he spent the last three years of his life under Israeli siege. French doctors have said he died of a massive stroke and suffered from a blood condition known as disseminated intravascular coagulation. The records were inconclusive about what brought about the condition, which has numerous possible causes. The Palestinians, who from the start claimed Arafat was killed, launched an investigation that went nowhere and was dormant for years until last month’s developments.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Thursday, August 9, 2012

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Insight

Thursday, August 9, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Ondo Bitumen: The story of Nigeria’s Bitumen was first discovered in Nigeria in 1900 by some German scientists. But attempts to tap the resources since then have not yielded result. What are the challenges facing the bitumen project? Any hope that one day it will be tapped? OJO OYEWAMIDE provides an insight into efforts being made to exploit the enormous potentials of the rare mineral resources

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itumen is one of the solid minerals with which Nigeria is blessed. The country’s bitumen deposit isestimated at 42.74billion metric tonnes, making it the World’s largest after that of Canada. The solid mineral is said to have been about twice the existing oil reserves in the country. Discovered by German scientists in 1900, its deposit stretches over an expanse of land covering Ondo, Edo, Lagos and Ogun states. But the largest chunk of it is located at Agbabu in Ondo State. Bitumen is said to have about 44 byeproducts that are vital for industrial purpose. According to the Senator representing Ondo South Senatorial District, Hon. Boluwaji Kunlere, “the occurrence of bitumen deposit in Nigeria is twice the amount of the existing reserves of crude oil. When fully developed, the industry will no doubt meet local requirement for roads construction and also become a major foreign exchange earner for the country. The mining of minerals in Nigeria accounts for only 0.3 percent of its GDP due to the influence of its vast oil resources. “Economic returns from bitumen exploitation include capital gains and contributions to road maintenance. Today, Nigeria has spent colossal amount of money on importation of asphalt, a bitumen derivative. It’s a pity that we have gold and we keep searching for metal. I have written series of letters on this issue to the Minister of Petroleum and the Minister of State in the ministry. We will try our best to make sure that all the challenges facing the commencement of bitumen exploration in Nigeria are overcome’’, explained the lawmaker. Emphasising the importance of bitumen to national development, Engineer Adetunla Ayodeji, Welfare Director, Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE), Akure branch, said: “The use of bitumen cannot be over emphasised in the sense that it is used for so many things. You will discover that during the extraction, we extract so many things like petrol, diesels and even aviation fuel. Not only that, asphalt is also derived from bitumen for road construction. There is a certain proportion of bitumen that is mixed with stone dust and few other binding agents that bring about asphalt. So, the issue of bitumen is something that nobody can really put aside. It is a thing that really holds the nation as a whole.” he said There have been efforts by successive governments in Nigeria to tap the bitumen deposit since its discovery, but none has yielded fruits. Former Military President

The abandoned Bitumen Project Company in Ore, Ondo State.

Ibrahim Babangida was at Agbabu during his regime for an on-the-spot assessment, pledging that the bitumen would be exploited. Later, his regime set up the Bitumen Project Implementation Committee (BPIC) in 1989. The Agency was mandated to put in place the enabling structure for the full exploitation of bitumen resource in Nigeria. It was also empowered to allocate blocs to local and international firms that have the financial and technical capabilities to develop the blocs. After the Babangida regime, it was the Olusegun Obasanjo government that exhibited a level of commitment to the bitumen project. Within two years, BPIC prepared the groundwork for the commissioning of the bitumen project, leading to the licensing of companies and allocation of blocs. 32 companies bidded for blocs out of which NISSANDS (Nig) Ltd and BEECON (Nig) Ltd were picked. The two companies, in September 2002, won blocs 307B and 307C. The blocs, totalling 120 square kilometres of bitumen belt, cover Lagos, Ogun, Ondo and Edo State. However, against the projection of commencing full operations within six months, the two companies were not able to mobilize to site to commence operations two years after they were awarded blocs owing to lack of technical expertise and finance. Consequently, the licenses given to them were withdrawn in 2005, rendering all the efforts to make Nigeria a producer of bitumen products futile. Why has every effort to tap the bitumen deposit in the country met a brick wall? According to Olubunmi Obaromi, a Geologist with the Ondo State Ministry of Works, the cost of exploiting bitumen is high. Apart from that, he believes it is a project which has a long period of gestation. “Investors don’t seem to have interest because of the cost of exploitation. It is very high when compared to petroleum. So, no investor will dabble into it. Except the government comes out with a kind of subsidy, it will not attract investors. Another Geologist, Ibidapo Ojo, though agrees that the exploration of bitumen is

THE TWO COMPANIES WERE NOT ABLE TO MOBILISE TO SITE TO COMMENCE OPERATIONS TWO YEARS AFTER THEY WERE AWARDED BLOCS capital intensive, he, however, ascribes the problem to politics and too much attention being paid to petroleum. According to him, No leader wants to embark on any project that will not yield fruits during the life of his administration. The government must have left by the time the project comes to reality. I think that is the major problem.

That is why no government is genuinely embarking on it’’. he said. ‘’Promises of the exploitation of the bitumen have been on since my university days. I have been hearing the promises more than 20 years ago and I have been in the service for more than ten years now. There is no determination on the part of

Bitumen deposit in Nigeria Former Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Agagu, a Geologist, spoke with HAKEEM GBADAMOSI on several efforts made so far to ensure the tapping of bitumen and why the project has stagnated through the years. Can you give us an insight into the quantum of bitumen deposit in Ondo State and coast line that stretch from Edo to Ogun States? A lot of work of surface works had been carried out on the bitumen belt situated in the stretches between Edo and Ogun State through Ondo State and based on what we can see on the surface plus information derivable from a few boreholes and wells sunk over the years, more than 100 years now, there is no doubt that a very large quantity of bitumen exists in that belt. However, as a geologist I will be quick to tell you that no specific reserve estimation studies had been conducted to the best of my knowledge, and what people have been quoting as the reserve figure are mere estimates. What we can see is mere surface of shallow wells, and I can tell you it is a fairly rich deposit - that is the sand there has a great quantity that has the deposit in them and the potential of commercially

exploiting the deposit is fairly high, every other thing being equal. So why has there been no major action on the part of federal government and the state on the project? There are a number of what we can call bottlenecks or stumbling blocks or conditions required before commercial activities could start. One of them is the issue of technology. The bitumen deposit square is similar to many oil and gas deposit because the bitumen itself is petroleum only it is thicker. It does flow, whereas when you dig a well, you dig to the sand stones as in the case of Niger Delta, if you come across oil bearing sands or reservoir, because it is light fluid, the pressure underground is enough to make the oil flow out and that is what we are producing on our platforms. In some cases you can use pumps or some chemical means to lighten the oil to make it flow better which we call secondary recovery.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Insight

Thursday, August 9, 2012

neglected wealth

A typical mud house in Agbabu town

the government. Also there is an alternative. In those days, when there was no petrol, we focused on agriculture. But when we discovered petrol, we abandoned it. I know that after exhausting the petroleum reserves, we will come back to bitumen. In other countries like Canada, their major source of income is bitumen since there is no alternative. They have to focus on what they have and they are making it. It is because we have petrol. It has really caused a lot of disasters in this country. Because it is cheaper to get crude oil exploited and get big money, we are not ready to tap other resources. That is the problem we are facing. Nobody talks about solid minerals any longer, nobody talks about agriculture.” The primary objective of investors is to make profits. In the event that investors want to invest in something and there is no

assistance from the Federal Government, there will be no interest. Every investor in the African context wants to embark on a project that will bring profits in six months and not ten years. Nobody wants to wait for another 10 or 15 years before getting the dividends of his returns. In other countries where bitumen is being tapped, there is cooperation between the governments and investors.” To Engineer Adetunla, the failure to tap into the exploration the bitumen might be a divine arrangement to keep the resource for the future generation of Nigerians. “This issue has been a lot of concern to most people, especially indigenes of Ondo State. For years now, governments have been coming, promising the extraction of the bitumen. Obasanjo came and promised. Up till now, nothing has been done about

is a potential goldmine –Agagu

What I am saying in essence is that the lighter the petroleum deposit, the easier it is to flow out. But because bitumen is very thick and for it to be self propelled toward production, the chances are always minimal, you need additional technology to make the bitumen flow out. What I mean is that the commercial viability of a project that is bitumen- based and with our kind of bitumen deposit here is likely to be more expenditure consuming and it will not be easily profitable as when you sink a well and oil start to come out. So the technology of commercially producing bitumen is relatively expensive in terms of cost of production. The process is more expensive and all these have militated against the commencement of commercial activities on the bitumen deposit, compared to what we have in oil and gas belts in Niger Delta region. In fact you can simply say that by the time the cost of price of oil is low, people would have no attraction to the production of bitumen because the cost of producing the bitumen would be higher than the amount of money for production and nobody produces for production sake. But because you want to make money, so at prices that are less than 40, 50 dollars per barrel, the likelihood that the bitumen deposit would be commercially viable is very remote, based on technology we have had over the years. So it is not simply a matter of neglect.

It is something that has technological and economic constraints. But in the last 10-15years or thereabout, the price of oil has been consistently going up, higher that $50 per barrel. With such prices, there would be more attraction to people who want to invest in bitumen. The first thing we can say as a matter of fact is that government on its own does not have the business acumen to embark on the project on its own profitably, all government can do is to support investigation and bring more and more facts about the richness of the deposit and use it as an attraction for private investors that can raise the money with the technology and install proper efficiency to produce the bitumen commercially. Bearing in mind that mineral exploration is on the exclusive list of federal government, at this stage, who should ginger the government at the centre to take action on this project? It is the responsibility of all, starting from the individual level, all the way to federal government. The citizens of Ondo State especially inhabitants of that area should be in the forefront of promoting bitumen exploration and production activities in the area. They should sensitize all leaders of the community, they should go around in marketing the deposits, in newspapers and the entire media to government. When I was a University teacher in 1984, there used to be

it. But from my own point of view maybe it is a divine arrangement from God. Most of the natural resources are not renewable. So, probably when they are finished where they are getting them, it will be the turn of Ondo State. May be it is a divine arrangement from God that it is being kept at Agbabu there. When the time comes, I know it will be tapped for the benefit of the people around the area, the state and Nigeria as a whole. The cost of road construction would have been reduced in the country if we had been extracting the bitumen. When the resources are close to us, the expenses might be reduced. Definitely, it will generate a lot of employment for the people. We bring bitumen from far places to construct roads in the state. If the bitumen is extracted here, the cost of haulages will be reduced and that of so many things attached to it,” Adetunla said. Given the seeming disinterest of investors in the bitumen project and the lack of commitment on the part of the government, many, especially people from the areas where the resource is located, have lost hope of the project becoming a reality. However Ibidapo expressed optimism that the bitumen will be tapped one day. According to him, “there is hope that it will be tapped. There is development every day. Technology is advancing, and there is diversification of everything. Probably in the future, there will be technology that will reduce the cost of exploitation of bitumen.” Obaromi shared the same opinion, saying. “It will be extracted when oil dries. Oil will not last forever. There is hope also, given the level of technological advancement.

a meeting of what we called Ikale Central Organisation, ICO, comprising those in Irele, Okitipupa local government and part of Odigbo local government areas. The ICO was formed by the Ikales who were there to promote the welfare of Ikale people and one of the things we discussed at the meetings was how to get the bitumen exploitation and production to commence. Canada is said to have a large deposit of bitumen. Are there certain things Nigerian can gain from interacting with the country? Yes, There are so many things to gain because the Alberta State land area which contains the bitumen in Canada are found out to be the same with the tar sand in Ondo and Ogun States, with stones that have bitumen embedded in them because of that similarity, we can copy a lot from Canada and fortunately the Canadiaan are more proactive and have done a lot in terms of understanding the nature of Alberta sand; in terms of developing technology and in term of actual commercial activities. Fifteen years ago, there was not much in terms of commercial activities. It was all exploration but now based on their research, bitumen is produced in Canada in commercial quantity from that sand now. So that is an area where we could learn and if we learn properly and we are serious about developing our own, we do not have to reinvent the wheel, we can ride on their back.

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There will be a time that the tar we get from petroleum will not be enough for road construction.” Of course, hope might be on the way. Findings by National Mirror revealed that some investors, especially oil companies, have been showing interest in the Bitumen project. It was gathered that before the end of this year, bid documents from companies will be opened and blocs allocated. The new development, it was learnt, is as a result of the good performance of the bitumen products in the world market. Meanwhile, the people of Agbabu in Odigbo Local Government of Ondo State are not happy. The story of the town is that of neglect despite its richness in mineral resources. Inside its bowels is the largest chunk of bitumen deposits in Nigeria. The only road that leads to the sleepy community is crying for repairs. Said to have been constructed in 1989, the 10-kilometer road is in a deplorable condition and it is riddled with pot holes and craters which are enough to discourage visitors and investors alike. Owing to the bad state of the road, a trip to Agbabu from Ore-Okitipupa road junction lasts about 50 minutes. Ordinarily, it ought to be a 10 -minute trip. The condition in which the people live is pitiable, as there are no indices of development. There is neither electricity nor drinkable water. The bitumen which is supposed to be a blessing, seems to have become a curse to them. The mineral has rendered their land infertile, reducing the output of farmers. Despite that, extracting the bitumen has not commenced, there is a lot of pollution in their water. Fishes and other water creatures are not safe, especially when temperature increases and bitumen comes out. The people of the community doesn’t hide their anger and feeling of hopelessness. Speaking with National Mirror, Alagbabu of Agbabu, Oba Patrick Ebunade Akinmulero, decried the neglect his community is suffering in spite of the enormous benefits that can accrue from bitumen to the country. The monarch thinks successive governments in the country had been coming to Agbabu to deceive them. “They have been coming here to look at the bitumen. Babangida was here. Obasanjo came. Agagu was also here when he was a minister. Recently, Mimiko brought some white men to the site to come and have a look. Up till now, nothing has been done. As the traditional leader of a community blessed with mineral resoures, I don’t have a bicycle or motorcycle let alone a car. We are suffering here,” Oba Akinmulero said. Hinging the hope of his people on divine intervention, the monarch said: “One day, I know God will intervene and we will be out of this situation. But my fear is that the experience in the Niger-Delta areas may repeat itself here. I pray it is not.” Keko Folorunso, a teacher and youth leader, believes the Federal Government is not sincere about exploiting the bitumen deposit. According to him, the petroleum in the Niger-Delta has completely taken away the attention of the government from developing other resources in the country. By now, he said, the country ought to have been enjoying the benefit of the bitumen. He is of the view that if the mineral is explored, it would bring a lot of development to the community, urging the Federal Government to do something about it.


WORLD RECORD

Rarest reptile

Vol. 02 No. 422

Continued from last week

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Our descent into savagery

as the control of Jos North Local Government Area worth the lives of innocent Muslims and Christians that have been killed? Is the ambition of any politician worth the blood of these innocent people? The Hausa/Fulani and Berom leaders are all to blame. These crises have direct relationship with bad leadership. If the insistence of Governor Jonah Jang to make a Christian the chairman of Jos North LGA was wrong, the decision of the Hausa/Fulani leaders to order their youths into street protests was not defensible either. Mob action cannot be a better alternative to existing legal avenues for seeking redress. Since the eruption of crisis after the Jos North local government election, Plateau State has not witnessed peace. Whenever peace treaties were signed, fresh violence broke out even before the ink dried up. The Hausa/Fulani, the Beroms and other “indigenous” groups have been up in arms

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

t was a black night once again for Nigeria yesterday as women’s 400m hurdler, Ajoke Odumosu, finished eighth in the final of her event with a dismal 55.31. Russia’s Natalya Antyukh won the race with a

The Abingdon Island giant tortoise Geochelone elephantopus abingdoni is represented by a single living specimen, an aged male called `Lonesome George’, making it the world’s rarest reptile.

Guest Columnist

Na-Allah Mohammed

Zagga

since then and the fragility of peace has made the situation ever hopeless. The inability of the leaders on both sides of the divide to control their followers is the saddest aspect of the situation. The North of today is no longer the North of Ahmadu Bello’s dream. He made the late Professor Ishaya Audu, a so-called Christian minority, the first indigenous Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria to succeed his British predecessor, Dr. Norman S. Alexander. Such capacity to do justice and treat all northerners fairly was the only secret of late Sardauna’s success at building a formidably united North. Sadly, the region is today a fissiparous political entity. When injustice, selfishness, greed and intolerance rule the minds of leaders, they inevitably lay the seeds for future conflicts, thereby destroying the efforts of Sardauna at building unity. In 2009, A.B.U was shrouded in a needless controversy over who became VC of the university. Although Professor Andrew Nok, a Christian from Southern Kaduna, scored 89 points during the selection process, some forces opposed his emergence. Alhaji Adamu Ciroma, who was then the chairman of the university’s Governing Council, was caught between blackmail and doing the right thing. Rather than confirm Professor Nok, he chose to throw in the towel. A.B.U. is a federal university where no group should consider the leadership of the institution its exclusive right. If the emergence of Professor Ango Abdullahi as Vice Chancellor didn’t cause any crisis, why should the appointment of Prof. Nok do so? It is unfortunate that late President Umaru Yar’adua administration didn’t

WHEN INJUSTICE, SELFISHNESS, GREED AND INTOLERANCE RULE THE MINDS

OF LEADERS, THEY INEVITABLY LAY THE SEEDS FOR FUTURE CONFLICTS courageously tackle this challenge. The military are more courageous in tackling this kind of issues than civilians. Professor Umaru Shehu and Adamu Baike became VCs in southern universities because the military would not have tolerated the issue of ethnic, regional or religious factors to determine the qualification of anyone to become a VC. It was for this reason the appointments of Professor Daniel Saror and Professor Akingkube as VC of A.B.U. didn’t generate controversy as Prof. Nok’s did. If Professor Nok had become the VC of A.B.U, in what way could it have harmed the interest of the Hausa/ Fulani? Yet reactionary forces, led by Dr. Kabiru Tsafe, fiercely blocked his appointment for purely petty reasons. When former President Olusegun Obasanjo appointed his service chiefs in May 1999, shortly after his inauguration, the late Alhaji Wada Nas condemned the “marginalization” of northerners in the key military appointments. And sadly, gull-

ible northerners sympathized with him. But they forgot that among the military chiefs appointed were Admiral Ibrahim Ogohi (Kogi State) and General Victor Malu (Benue State). Were these senior officers no longer northerners because they were from the minority North? The Christians minorities of the North are no less guilty of this dangerous politics. Brigadier-General Mohammed Maina was hounded out of his job as GOC of the 3rd Armoured Division, Jos because of the Christian hostility to him and his alleged sympathy to Muslims in the ethnic/religious strife that engulfed the state. Has his removal significantly changed the picture of security situation in Plateau State? Even IGP Mohammed Abubakar, didn’t escape Christian prejudice while he was serving as Plateau’s police commissioner. He too was redeployed. He was even indicted by a committee of inquiry established by Governor Jang. The irony of it was that a partisan Jang administration was questioning his credibility. Governor Jang and others opposed Abubakar’s appointment as acting Inspector General of Police because of prejudice, fed by ignorance. Can the North move forward and achieve enduring peace when we hate one another and work to bring down one another? At the risk of being called names, we northerners should not hesitate to tell ourselves the home truth, even if heavens might fall. Northerners must stop pretending and confront the reality of how selfishness and bigotry are holding back the region’s progress, peace, development and prosperity. With the complications added to the northern crises of violence, disruption of economic and social life by Boko Haram, do the northerners expect outsiders to help them overcome this pathetic situation? One is reminded of the words of Abba Eban, the late Israeli diplomat and former foreign minister who said, “Nations are capable of acting rationally after they have exhausted all other alternatives.” Surely, violence would never be the alternative to peace. Concluded Zagga, muhazagga@yahoo.com, is an Abuja-based journalist and public affairs analyst

Sport Extra

London 2012: Odumosu, Nurudeen crash out personal best of 52.70 seconds. Odumosu, who is the reigning African champion, had raised hopes for a medal after running a national record of 54.40 sec-

onds during the semis on Tuesday to win her heat. Nigeria’s Selim Nurudeen had earlier in the day also crashed out of the men’s 110m hurdles, coming fifth (13.55) in the first

heat of the semis won by Aries Merritt of the United States with an impressive 12.94 seconds. Nigerians will however hope for a better performance from Tosin Oke

who will compete in the final of the men’s triple jump today while high jumper Doreen Amata will compete in the qualifying rounds in the women’s event as the women’s 4x100 relay team competes in the heats later in the day.

Odumosu

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Thursday, August 9, 2012  

*Dana crash: DNA results out, 132 bodies for collection *Police arrest three suspects over Kogi church attack *FG unfolds framework for 20...

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