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Senate orders arrest of pension task force boss GEORGE OJI AND EMMANUEL ONANI

Maina

Vol. 2 N0. 512

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he Senate yesterday directed the Inspector General

of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, to arrest chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team and the acting Director of the Customs, Immigration and Prison Pension Of-

‘Ojukwu’s Will manipulated to edge out eldest son’

fice (CIPPO), Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina. Maina is to be arrested and brought to the Senate today at 11a.m. at the Senate hearing room 231, new

CD laments human rights abuses in South-East

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Okonjo: Police quiz relatives, palace staff

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Victim’s whereabouts still unknown –CP SOLA ADEBAYO WARRI

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and alace staff some relations of the Okonjos have been quizzed by the Delta State Police Command as the search for the whereabouts of Prof. Kamene Okonjo, mother of the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala continues. Also, the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, has deployed crack detectives to the state to assist in the search of Prof. Okonjo, who was abducted from her home in OgwashiUku, the headquarters of Aniocha Local Government Area of the state on Sunday. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>

Fayemi

Ekiti agency impounds lawmaker’s vehicle

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L-R: Retired Justice of the Supreme Court and Chairman of the occasion, Justice Adesola Oguntade; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Gbenga Ashiru; honouree, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN) and his wife, Adeola, during the presentation of the book, Legal Essays in Honour of Chief Bolaji Ayorinde in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI

Gunmen storm school, kill five female students

Ndume spoke with Boko Haram convict 73 times –SSS

EFCC nabs Gov Lamido’s son for money laundering

Johnson

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NCC, operators trade blame over mobile portability rollout P.4


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Thursday, December 13, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Gunmen storm school, kill five female students INUSA NDAHI AND EMMANUEL ONANI

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iolence continued unabated in Borno State yesterday as a gang of suspected Boko Haram members attacked the Government Girls Secondary School, Bama, killing five female students and injured three others. The incident happened on a day the Chief of Defence Staff and the Inspector General of Police visited the state, promising to run out the terrorists.

Also the State Security Service, SSS, yesterday, revealed that a serving senator, Ali Ndume, standing trial for alleged terrorism, spoke with a convicted member of the Boko Haram sect, Ali Konduga, 73 times within a month. The gunmen, according to an eyewitness and staff of the school, came on three motorcycles and an unmarked vehicle about 2:35a.m. Bama is 78 kilometres South-East of Maiduguri, the state capital. Another eye witness

and resident of Bama, Aisami Modu in a telephone interview with National Mirror said: “When the gunmen attacked the school about 2a.m., the security guard of the school alerted the soldiers and policemen at the military post at the Bridge. “On reaching the dormitory of the students, the gunmen fled through the perimeter fence and proceeded to a nearby village where an exchange of gunfire lasted for half an hour. “Unknown to the soldiers, the other gunmen

on motorcycles rode to the school dormitory and shot dead five students while three other girls sustained injuries in the attack.” Modu said after killing the girls, the gunmen fled towards Bama-Dikwa road on the same motorcycles they used in attacking the school and the nearby village, two kilometres away from the secondary school. The spokesman of the Borno State Police Command, Gideon Jibrin, confirmed the attacks, saying there were attacks at one of the secondary schools

L-R: President John Mahama of Ghana; Vice-President Namadi Sambo and President Goodluck Jonathan, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: STATE HOUSE

in Bama, where five students were feared killed. He said the gunmen initially attacked the school premises, before being repelled to a nearby village by soldiers and police about 3a.m. yesterday. He, however, said that no arrest has been made. Meanwhile, the Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, Admiral Ola Saad Ibrahim, and the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Mohammed Abubakar, yesterday promised that the Federal Government would deploy more troops to Borno State to check the activities of Boko Haram terrorists. They said during a visit to Governor Kashim Shettima that the troops would be complemented by more weapons to combat the terrorists. Abubakar said they were in the state to access the situation of things, while urging the governor not to be deterred by the current security challenges. He said: “We will bring in more men and machinery and we will ensure that Borno State is what it used to be, the most peaceful state in the North-East and the entire country.” In his own speech, Ibrahim called on Boko Haram

members to form a political party, if they felt so strongly about their opinion. He added that their crusade was 100 per cent sinful as far as both the Holy Qur’an and Hadith were concerned. Ibrahim said he would have to toe the line of his predecessor, who said if the terrorist group believed strongly in their opinion and want to force it on the people, they should go into politics and get the mandate to do it. Responding, Shettima said he was not in support of the withdrawal of the military Joint Task Force, JTF, from the state. He said: “I would never support the removal of JTF from Borno State, but will continue to do our best by encouraging our young men to do what is right. “As a responsive and responsible government, we are investing in what would put a stop to this madness – employment and education of our people.” The town of Maiduguri stood still during the visit as movement of vehicles and people was stopped along major routes. CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

Okonjo: Police quiz relatives, palace staff CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

The Commissioner of Police, Delta State Command, Mr. Ikechukwu Aduba, made this revelation in an interview with National Mirror. The police boss said: “Many members of staff of the palace and some relations of the family (Okonjo family) have been invited for questioning over the incident based on suspicion.” “We have interrogated many members of the staff and relations of the family because we are looking at the circumstances of the incident. For instance, the palace guards, who were supposed to be on duty when the kidnappers struck, were nowhere to be found. “These people have to tell us where they went to at that particular time. We are inviting more people, I can’t give the figure

and the identities of the people we have invited but nobody will be covered up. Although we have not been able to record any landmark breakthrough but we are on course.” The CP denied the arrest of two policemen in connection with the abduction saga, adding that the two policemen, who were attached to the palace, were merely subjected to “a departmental disciplinary measures to explain their location when the hoodlums invaded the palace. “We are not insinuating that the policemen were involved in the kidnapping of the professor but we interrogated them in line with our resolve not to leave any stone unturned. As I said before, for any successful kidnapping, there is an insider and that is why we are questioning everybody, in-

cluding our personnel and staff of the palace and relations of the victim.” “We don’t have any development but we are not going to rest on our oars until we succeed in this assignment. The IG has sent high powered detectives from the Force Headquarters in Abuja, to assist us. “They are with us as I speak with and we are mustering all human and material resources to succeed. We can only continue to appeal to members of the public to assist us with useful information to ensure early release of the old woman and apprehension of the criminals,” he added. Aduba said that the IGP team arrived Asaba, the state’s capital, yesterday. The commissioner, who refused to give the details about the number and identity of the leader of the team, said Abubakar

mandated the detectives to compliment the efforts of the command in the search for the octogenarian. National Mirror, however, learnt that the decision of the IG to dispatch the team may not be unconnected with the frustration associated with the failure of the command to make headway in the rescue of the 82-year old retired professor of Sociology and Anthropology of the University of Nigeria, Nzukka. The ex-university don was abducted from the palace of her husband, who is the paramount ruler of Ogwashi-Uku kingdom, Obi (Prof.) Chukwuka Okonjo. The CP, who confirmed that the police had not made any headway in the task of freeing the octogenarian unhurt, explained that the detectives would

be deployed in the nooks and crannies of the state, especially Ogwashi-Uku community. Aduba, who sounded frustrated by the lack of information to assist the police, said that “everything is based on suspicion; we have not been able to establish any concrete fact yet.” Top police officers held an emergency meeting in Asaba yesterday to review the security measures to free the octogenarian queen mother of Ogwashi-Uku community. National Mirror learnt that the meeting held at the police command’s headquarters, mapped out fresh strategies to achieve results. It was further gathered that Aduba and other top police officers from Abuja were in attendance. Meanwhile, the Tradi-

tional Council in OgwashiUku met yesterday over the abduction. Led by the Iyase of the town, Chief Collins Afuwa, the council met at the palace of the monarch. The closed-door meeting, which began about 11 a.m. had Mr. Onyema Okonjo, one of the children of the victim, in attendance. The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports that while the meeting was on, heavily armed Nigeria Customs Service officials and soldiers, who were drafted to the palace soon after the abduction of Mrs. Okonjo, were on guard around the premises. A source at the palace told NAN that yesterday’s meeting was the first by the palace chiefs after the incident, adding, however, that some of the chiefs had visited the palace, individCONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Thursday, December 13, 2012

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PhotoNews

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

L-R: An official of Rolls Royce at the company’s Industrial Power Plant Systems, Fort Dunlop Power Plant, UK, explaining the model of the Independent Power Plant being built for Anambra State; Governor Peter Obi; Commissioner for Public Utilities, Dr. Emeka Nwankwu; Dennis Dencan Okafor, in the UK, yesterday.

L-R: Mrs. Ugo Mkparu; Group Managing Director, First Monument Bank, Mr. Ladi Balogun; Managing Director\CEO.Bank of Industry, Ms Evelyn Oputu; Managing Director\CEO, The Filmhouse, Mr. Kene Mkparu and Executive Director, Bank of Industry, Mr. Waheed Olagunju, during the official commissioning of the Filmhouse Cinemas at The Leisure Mall, Adeniran Ogunsanya in Lagos, yesterday.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

L-R: Chairman/Managing Director, Mobil Oil Nig. Plc; Mr. Tunji Oyebanji; FRSC Corps Marshal, Mr. Osita Chidoka and Executive Director Operations, Henry Ikem-Obih, during the corps marshal’s safety sensitisation visit to Mobil in Lagos, yesterday.

L-R: Chief Executive Officer, MTN, Brett Goshen; General Manager, Customer Care, Fehinsola Mustapha; Human Resource Executive, Amina Oyagbola and Customer Relations Executive, Akin Braithwaite, during the launch of MTN Yello City Customer Experience Centre in Lagos, yesterday.

National News

NCC, operators trade blame on delay in mobile portability rollout MTN plans $1.3bn network upgrade

KUNLE A ZEEZ

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he Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and telecommunications’ operators in the country have started trading blames over who is responsible for the lingering delay in the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) service rollout earlier scheduled for this month. Already, the NCC had said that the MNP service has now been shifted to take off in the country in the first quarter of 2013, contrary to earlier plans to have it launched this year. The number portability service, which has been successfully implemented in most developed countries around the globe and recently in Ghana, is a scheme that allows phone users in Nigeria to move from one network to another without losing their numbers. The scheme, which is consumer-centric, provides opportunity for telecoms’

subscribers to alternate networks when they are no longer enjoying quality service from their current operators, or when not satisfied with the tariffs offered by any of the competing telecoms operators. Speaking at the Telecoms Executives and Regulator Forum 2012, organised by the Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCN) in Lagos yesterday, the Executive Vice-Chairman of the NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah, who regretted the inability of the scheme to commence this year, said it would now be implemented next year. A senior official of Airtel Nigeria, Mr. Sola Adeyemi, had earlier tackled the NCC for being responsible for the delay, saying NCC needed to fast-track the implementation of the MNP. “From the operators side, most MNP equipment have been procured, installed and testing is ongoing. What we need now is for the NCC to quicken its own activities to ensure that the service is launched on time

as Nigerians are waiting for the MNP scheme. “Having too much delay will send a wrong signal to the public. NCC should fast track measures to ensure that implementation deadlines and schedules are achieved on time,” he said. But the NCC pointed accusing fingers at the telecoms firms. According to Juwah, the operators had been responsible for Nigeria’s failure to implement the MNP this month as a result of the operators’ inability to upgrade their billing infrastructure to meet the required standard for the process. “The operators are not giving the number portability scheme the priority that it deserves and I can tell you that the operators have not upgraded their billing system,” he said. The NCC boss, however, promised to ensure that proper testing is carried out before rolling out the services to avoid unnecessary hitches when launched. “We are testing and we are going to test well before

rolling out the service. It is better we don’t do the MNP at all, than to do it and it becomes a catastrophe,” he added. Juwah said the regulator should be exonerated from any blame in the delay of the project. “The competition in the telecoms sector is unimaginable. It is important to get things done properly. Number Portability delay should not be attributed to the regulator. The operators are failing in one area or the other; they are slowing down the process. The major issue is that they are yet to upgrade their billing infrastructure to meet the process,” he added. Giving more insight into the MNP operations, one of the consultants to the project, Senior Manager, Managed Services, Interconnect Clearinghouse Nigeria Limited, Mr. Johnson Farotimi, said telecoms operators are upgrading their infrastructure and investing in new equipment. Meanwhile, MTN Nigeria, the country’s leading telecoms service provider,

has said it would invest $1.3bn in infrastructure upgrade and expansion by 2013. The new investment target was disclosed by the Chief Executive Officer of MTN Nigeria, Mr. Brett Goschen, while speaking at the commissioning of MTN Y’ello City at Victoria Island, in Lagos, yesterday. The Yellodrome, a structure that epitomises the MTN Y’ello City, has been built in order to give the operator’s customers ready access to a wide selection of MTN products and data/ ICT services in a conducive environment. Goschen said, aside the enormous investment that MTN was making with the roll out of several Yello City outlets such as this one, the company remained committed to improving its endto-end customer experience “from the way we communicate our products, to the actual customer experience in any of our 16 service centres and 102 connect stores nationwide, to our network quality.” “That is why we have

invested $1.3bn on the network in 2012 alone. This covers the extensive network optimization and swap out exercise, which we embarked on in June 2012 and which is now at an advanced stage. And by 2013, we hope to double the investment by putting in another $1.3bn for infrastructure expansion,” he said. Goschen said the aim of the project is to significantly enhance its current network capacity and provide much improved quality of service to its customers, as well as to make its base stations more environmentfriendly through installing hybrid alternative energy solutions. “Delivering on a major project such as this is not without its challenges, and I want to seize this opportunity to apologise for its impact at various times on the quality of service offered on our network. We are working very hard to complete the exercise so that we can offer our customers the quality that they richly deserve,” he said.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

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Senate orders arrest of pension task force boss CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

Senate building to face the probe committee members. The order of arrest followed the persistent failure of Maina to appear before the Senate Joint Committees on Establishment and Public Service, States and Local Governments to testify before the committee, probing the pension administration and management in the country.

Chairman of the committee, Senator Aloysius Etok, said yesterday during a public hearing at the National Assembly that the Senate President, David Mark, had signed the warrant for Maina’s arrest as provided for in Section 89 of the 1999 Constitution as amended. “We are going to execute the powers conferred on us by Section 89 of the 1999

Constitution as amended by issuing a warrant of arrest, which the Senate President has already signed. The warrant of arrest will be given to the Inspector General of Police to arrest and compel Maina to appear before the committee,” Etok said . Section 89(1) (c) (d) of the constitution states that: “For the purposes of any investigation under Sec-

A scene of an accident involving a bullion van which crashed in Abuja, yesterday.

tion 88 of this constitution and subject to the provisions thereof, the Senate or House of Representatives or a committee appointed in accordance with section 62 of this constitution shall have power to(c) summons any person in Nigeria to give evidence at any place or produce any document or other thing in his possession or under his control, and examine him

PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

Gunmen storm school, kill five female students CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

The visit affected commercial activities as no one was allowed to move along major routes leading from the airport to the town and all the expected routes the CDS and IGP passed while in the town. Military vehicles were parked to block roads leading to the nerve centre of the town, security formations and the Government House. When journalists asked why it had become a custom during such visits by high military hierarchy to close major roads and its attendant pains on the people of the town, the CDS said it was the personal opinion of those who asked. The CDS told newsmen in Damaturu that “it is self-evident that the war on terrorism is being won. “We have kept the insurgents on the run, we will keep pursuing them,” he said.

Ibrahim said the visit afforded the Defence Headquarters the opportunity to reassure the soldiers on crisis management “to see the challenges and provide support.” The CDS said the Federal Government was relating with the neighbouring countries, Cameroun, Chad and Niger Republic, to holistically fight terrorism. He said: “Nigeria is surrounded by these countries and it becomes necessary to relate for a joint fight against terrorism.” Ibrahim commended JTF for the exemplary professionalism and the sacrifices made to bring peace to the state. He said: “History will remember you for contributing to bring peace in the state and the people will appreciate your sacrifices.” In a related development, the State Security Service, SSS, yesterday, told a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja that a serving sena-

tor, Ali Ndume spoke with a convicted member of the Boko Haram sect, Ali Konduga, 73 times. The communication, according to the SSS witness, Aliyu Usman, occurred between October 3, 2011 and November 3, 2011. This revelation was made during the continuation of evidence by the prosecution witness, Usman, who is a forensic examiner attached to the Special Investigation Department of the SSS. According to Usman, the “exploitation” of Nokia E7 and Nokia 2700 mobile phone handsets belonging to Ndume and Konduga revealed that the first SMS was sent from Ndume’s phone to that of Konduga on October 3, 2011, adding that exploitation, assessment, documentation and reporting of findings were done according to standard specification. However, an attempt by

the prosecution to tender another set of evidence, contained in three different DVDs after the examination of the two phones, was opposed by defence counsel, Mr. Ricky Tarfa, SAN. Tarfa’s objection to the admissibility of the documents was predicated on the ground that, there was no evidence before the court that the items sought to be tendered were primary evidence. He argued that the DVDs were computer generated evidence, which required an accompanying statement to authenticate its veracity. But, prosecuting counsel, Thompson Olatigbe, maintained that the admissibility of the evidence was the responsibility of the court saying the DVDs were not computer generated. The trial judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawale, after listening to the arguments, reserved ruling till Friday December 14, 2012.

as a witness and require him to produce any document or other thing in his possession or under his control, subject to an just exceptions. (d) issue a warrant to compel the attendance of any person who, after having been summoned to attend, fails, refuses or neglects to do so and does not excuse such failure, refusal or neglect to the satisfaction of the House.” Etok said his committee had invited Maina to appear before it for a record period of five times but the pension task force team chairman failed to honour any of the invitation with flimsy excuses of not being disposed or having a conflicting engagements, noting that the committee was left with no other option but to resort to the arrest. The lawmaker explained that the probe committee gave Maina a very long rope following complaints by him that he was not given fair hearing by the committee before indicting him in the committee’s report submitted to the Senate last July. Etok said the probe committee would apply the same measure and ask the Inspector General of Police to compel all the people who were invited to appear before the committee but failed to do so to come. The probe committee had Tuesday given Maina the last opportunity to appear before it or risk being arrested. “We want to give Maina the last chance and this Committee, which

represents the Senate of the Federal Republic, is saying that whosoever is behind Maina’s arrogance should know that his time is up and the masses want him to account for his stewardship. “He should appear before this committee tomorrow at 11a.m. without fail. If he doesn’t come tomorrow, the committee will proceed to hold the public hearing and we will take presentations from Prison Service, Police and other agencies. We will get all the presentations and make up our case and tell the public what we have discovered in the course of our investigations,” Etok had said. Following the non-appearance of Maina, the probe committee for the second day running, adjourned sitting till today. The Senate probe committee had recommended in the 108-page report, which was adopted by the entire Senate, the immediate arrest and prosecution of Maina for fraud and outright stealing of pension funds. The report of the probe committee was submitted on June 19, debated and adopted the following day June 20. The upper legislative chamber also adopted the recommendation that the Pension Reform Task Team be immediately disbanded after describing it as being illegal. The Senate also adopted the recommendation that the team should refund the sum of N15b to the Federal Government, being surplus of the pension funds not paid to pensioners.

Okonjo: Police quiz relatives, palace staff CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

ually, after the kidnap. It was not possible to speak with Onyema Okonjo, the only member of the family who has been around since Monday, as he declined comments, saying “Sorry, I don’t want to talk.” A source, however, told NAN that the monarch was not around when the incident happened. “You know the king himself is not around, otherwise the chiefs would have been with him every day, consulting and having series of meeting. “In spite of that, they

still needed to meet over the matter and that is why they are meeting now but nobody will discuss the outcome of the meeting,” the source said. It was uncertain when the traditional ruler, who travelled on Saturday, would return as an earlier indication by his son, Onyema, that he might return on Monday, did not materialise. However, the palace neighbourhood and the entire Ogwashi-Uku community had remained calm since the incident, with no molestation of anyone by security agents.


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News

ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA

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he Federal Government yesterday earmarked N3 billion for the creation of jobs for women next year in conjunction with six ministries. The government signed an agreement with the six ministries to ensure the success of the initiative. The ministries are Agriculture, Communication Technology, Women Affairs, Works, Health and Water Resources to create jobs for women and girls. In the agreement signed at the meeting of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting yesterday,

Thursday, December 13, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

FG earmarks N3bn to create jobs for women •Aviation provides 60,000 jobs -Minister the Minister of Water Resources, Sarah Ochepe, is to provide 240 sanitation facilities across the country that would be managed by women and girls. Speaking on the initiative, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, commended President Goodluck Jonathan for ensuring that women were gainfully employed and benefited from the transformation agenda of his administration. The Minister of Women

Affairs, Hajia Zainab Maina, also said this was the first time women and children were centre of focus of any government in the country’s history. The President had in his budget presentation said five million women farmers would get mobile phones in 2013, to enable them access information on agro-inputs through an e-wallet scheme. Also yesterday, the Federal Government ratified agreement reached with the Swedish government to check the incidence of

double taxation affecting companies and citizens of both countries operating in both countries. The Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, while briefing State House Correspondents after the FEC meeting said the agreement would afford companies operating in the two countries to avoid double taxation. He noted that other countries such as Belgium, South Africa, Netherlands, United Kingdom and France had entered into similar agreements with

Sweden. This was corroborated by the Minister of State, Finance, Yerima Ngama, who said the agreement was signed by both countries in November 2004. Speaking on the aviation sector, Maku said more than 60,000 jobs were created in the sector in the last 12 months. Maku said in a powerpoint presentation by the Minister of Aviation, Mrs. Stella Oduah, FEC was shown the progress made in the reconstruction of local terminal of 11 airports across the country. The minister explained that the sector witnessed

significant improvement in the installation of highest safety standard equipment comparable to those available in developed countries. Maku also disclosed that because of the automation of the airports, there would be reduction in flight times from 2013. He said Oduah also proposed the expansion of six new international airports in 2013 while the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, would be turned to regional hub of aviation in West Africa.

Court vacates order freezing Capital Oil assets ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA

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Finance MInister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (left) and Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Oduah at the Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja, yesterday.

2012 budget: Reps knock Okonjo-Iweala, others over non-remittance TORDUE SALEM ABUJA

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he House of Representatives Committee on Finance yesterday rebuked the Finance Ministry, the Budget Office and the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation for alleged colluding with 60 revenuegenerating agencies to hide information on how much they realised this year and the percentage remitted to the Federation Account. Section 162(1) of the 1999 Constitution mandates all revenue-earning agencies of government to lodge varying percentages of the money they generate to the Federation Ac-

count. But the Chairman of the Finance Committee, Hon. Jibrin Abdulmumin (PDPKano), said the Accountant General of the Federation, Mr. Jonah Otunla, was yet to “provide information to the committee on actual receipts of oil and non-oil revenue from agencies for 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, two weeks after we (the committee) demanded for that information, and we are beginning to wonder why”. Abdulmumin said the committee was also yet to be given documents on the 2013 Revenue Framework from the Fiscal Responsibility Commission and the Ministry of Finance and the revenue projections for

2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. The chairman, who said that “we need these documents in advance, so that we will be able to study them before we take decision,” regretted that the Finance Ministry and allied agencies were frustrating the work of the committee. He disclosed that about “15 big revenue-generating agencies refused to appear before the committee”. Abdulmumin disagreed with Otunla, who insisted that staff of his office a few days earlier submitted documents on revenue-generating agencies to the secretariat of the committee. The Chairman also rebuffed repeated requests by the Director General of

Budget Office, Dr. Bright Okogwu, to make a presentation because, according to him, he did not submit requested documents to the committee. The delegation from the Fiscal Responsibility Commission did not also make a presentation at yesterday’s hearing. The “hearing proper,” according to the chairman, would begin today, where the Ministry of Finance, the FRC, the Accountant General and the 60 agencies are expected to appear. The committee began an investigation of these agencies last week. The probe is expected to end before the House adjourns for Christmas.

Federal High Court sitting in Abuja yesterday vacated its order freezing the assets of Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited over alleged debt of N48.014 billion owed Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON. The trial judge, Justice Abdul Kafarati, however, advised parties in the case to meet and resolve the matter amicably. Kafarati gave them January 15 as return date to report back to him on how far they had gone about the settlement. The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, had earlier listed Ifeanyi Uba and his company, Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited, among the 113 companies and 419 directors/shareholders as AMCON debtors. The commercial banks have been barred from granting further credit to the debtor companies and their directors until they repay their loans. AMCON had earlier approached the court through its counsel, Kemi Balogun, with a motion ex-parte seeking the freezing of all Capital Oil and Gas assets over alleged N48.014 billion debt. The court granted the order as prayed. Not satisfied, Capital Oil and Gas went back to court through its counsel, Wole Olanipekun (SAN) and R.A Lawal-Rabana (SAN), urging it to vacate the interim order, insisting that doing

so would be in the interest of the general public. The company contended that the seizure of its assets would bring hardship on the citizenry, noting that the partial forfeiture order had already resulted to artificial scarcity of petroleum products across the country. AMCON, however, opposed the application. Vacating the order, Kafarati said AMCON did not have to destroy or kill a going concern just because it was owing it. He upheld the argument of Olanipekun saying that the duty of AMCON was to make sure that debtors pay their debt and not to push them out of business. The judge also faulted the method adopted by AMCON in securing the ex-parte order freezing the accounts. Although the judge could not find any section of the AMCON Act he could rely on to vacate the order, he chose to rely on the inherent jurisdiction of the court and Section 6 (6) of the constitution. Kafarati said it was not in doubt that the company’s business was a going concern when the order was made. He also said that AMCON did not gain anything from the order. The judge noted that since AMCON could not dispose the properties while the case was in court, “it is prudent to allow the defendant continue to operate the business and organise how to repay the debt.”


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National News

Thursday, December 13, 2012

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‘171 lives, N2.3bn property lost to fire this year’ OMEIZA AJAYI ABUJA

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ontroller-General of the Federal Fire Service (FFS), Mr. Olusegun Okebiorun, has said that despite the challenge faced by the Service in the area of resources for operational purposes, it saved property worth over

N16.426 billion this year. Okebiorun, however, said that 12 lives were saved within the same period, but lamented that property worth N2.315 billion and 171 lives were lost. He said the fire service had launched and commenced implementation of the guidelines for the licensing of private fire

service and registration of safety consultants. According to him, “The establishment of private fire service will complement the government’s effort in preventing and managing fire disasters in the country. “The Federal Fire Service has opened a new unit called The Plan Re-

view and Approval Unit, sequel to Mr President’s approval to commence fire risk assessment/enforcement functions in all the Federal Government building related projects.” Okebiorun added that the Federal Fire Service had begun a partnership with a private firm that would employ robotic devices to en-

sure that the slightest trace of fire or smoke is detected and reported to the appropriate quarters. The Fire Service boss, who spoke at a public function in Abuja, urged Nigerians to prioritise safety of lives and property. While calling for an adequate funding of the fire service at all levels, Okebio-

run said the recent flooding and other natural disasters in some parts of the country had put a lot of strain on the Service, hence the need to increase its funding. He also sought the support of the media in ensuring adequate enlightenment of the public on measures to prevent fire disaster or to reduce its effect.

Reps shelve debate on N161bn subsidy request TORDUE SALEM ABUJA

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he House of Representatives yesterday shelved debate on a request by President Goodluck Jonathan for additional N161 billion for payment of fuel subsidy because of the absence of four committee chairmen key to the consideration of the president’s request. The chairmen are those of the House Committees on Appropriation, Hon. John Enoh; Finance, Hon. Abdulmumin Jubrin; Petroleum Upstream, Hon. Muraina Ajibola and Petroleum Downstream, Hon. D. Peterside. Before the botched session, House Leader, Hon. Mulikat Adeola-Akande moved for the second reading of the proposal. In her lead debate, the House Leader pleaded with her colleagues to support the approval, saying that the President acted in good faith by writing the National Assembly to request for the approval of more money to fund fuel subsidy payment.

She told the lawmakers that Christmas was approaching and that there was the need for the Federal Government to pay subsidy claims to oil marketers in order to make fuel available in all the filling stations across the country. But as the session progressed, the House Speaker, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, called on the four chairmen, but none of them was on their seat. The absence of the four chairmen, however, forced Tambuwal to shift the debate till today. Earlier, some of the lawmakers argued that there was need for the House to approve the President’s request, while a few others called for the need for House to question how the previous N880 billion was spent.

Akande

House of Representatives Speaker, Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal (left) and Chairman, Presidential Task Force on Power, Mr. Renald Dagogo-Jack during a visit to the Speaker in Abuja yesterday.

Mark threatens to veto Jonathan over Health Bill GEORGE OJI AND EMMANUEL ONANI ABUJA

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he Senate yesterday threatened that the National Assembly would override President Goodluck Jonathan if he fails to consent to the health bill, if passed. Speaking before the health bill was passed for third reading, Senate Presi-

Senators query SURE-P over South-East road contract variations GEORGE OJI AND EMMANUEL ONANI ABUJA

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embers of the Senate Committee on Public Accounts yesterday engaged Chairman of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), Dr. Christopher Kolade, in a long drawn argument over the 100 per cent upward review of the East-West Road contract. The senators described the contract variations as outrageous and indefensible. But Kolade, who could not convince the lawmak-

ers over the issue, said his committee inherited the variations from the Federal Government. Kolade’s explanation prompted the senators to ask the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and contractors handling the EastWest Road to appear before them to explain the variations in the contract sums totaling N107billion. This was as the Public Accounts Committee began public hearing on the intervention of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme(SUREP) on the various Federal Government projects. A member of the com-

mittee, Senator Abdulmuminu Hassan, told the SURE-P officials and the Director of Budget, Bright Okogwu, that the amount earmarked for the projects were unjustifiable. Chairman of the committee, Senator Ahmed Lawan, also queried the contract variations, wondering why the contract would be varied for over 100 per cent. He said: “We would like to know why the contract is reviewed by about 100 per cent after the contract was awarded. Did not the contractor do its work well before bidding for the job? This is difficult to understand.”

dent David Mark said the National Assembly would henceforth be committed to its earlier decision to veto the President if he fails to consent to any bill passed. He said: “As far as signing this bill is concerned, as far as we passed it, I think we took a decision here before and we are going to stick by that decision. That is a very well taken decision in the best interest of this country.” The health bill, which was sponsored by Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, was entitled: “A bill for an act to provide for a framework for the regulation, development and management of a national health system and

set standards for rendering health services in the federation and other matters connected therewith 2012.” While stressing the importance of the bill and seeking the cooperation of the senators in the speedy passage of the bill, Senator Mark observed that patients are presently not covered by any legal framework in the event of deaths or harm occasioned by the professional misconduct of medical practitioners. He said: “There is urgency and haste for us to have this bill passed because without passing this bill, what is more frightening is the issue of legal aspect. “If things go wrong, you

cannot sue because there is absolutely nothing protecting the patient from the professional, who is negligent in one form or the other. “But if you look at the statistics that has been provided by this bill, it is even more frightening.” Mark, who also commented on some of the frightening health statistics provided by Okowa to support the bill said: “We cannot be in charge of Africa with statistics like this and if the other countries get to know that this is the kind of statistics we have in our health sector, then the claim of being a giant will just amount to nothing at the end of the day.”

Nigerians in Diaspora can’t vote in 2015 –Senate

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hairman of the Senate Committee on Electoral Matters, Senator Andy Uba, yesterday ruled out the much agitated voting of Nigerians in Diaspora. He spoke at the opening of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) fourth quarter lecture with the theme: “Review of the Legal regime in election management in Nigeria”.

Uba said for now, Nigerians in Diaspora would not be accommodated in the voting in the 2015 general elections. According to him, the legal framework for Nigerians in Diaspora to vote in an election has not been worked out. He explained that this was because ``no accurate data of Nigerians living in any particular country can be obtained from any of

the Nigerian Embassies.” The committee chairman, however, said that this did not indicate that such voting would not be possible in the nearest future. Uba added that ahead of the 2015 general elections the national assembly would be willing to appropriate more funds for INEC, where and when necessary, for free and fair elections.


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South West

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Multiple accidents claim 17 lives in Ogun FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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o fewer than 17 persons died in separate auto accidents which occurred across the three major federal roads of Abeokuta-Ibadan; Abeokuta-Lagos as well as the LagosIbadan Expressway of Ogun State yesterday. In the accident that occurred at Itori in Ewekoro Local Government Area along the Abeokuta-Lagos Expressway, eight secondary schools students of Itori Comprehensive High School died when a granite laden truck with registration number LAGOS XZ 628 AKD, ran into them. The truck was said to have lost control, swerved off its route and rammed into the students who were going home after school hours. Eye witness account said that the students had left their school and were heading home in twos and threes as was customary of them when the truck crashed into them. The development was said to have provoked the anger of Itori residents, who trooped into the streets burning tyres and smashing over 50 vehicles in the aftermath of the crash. Reports said the anger of the residents stemmed from the lackadaisical attitude of

the Chairman of the local government, Dele Soluade and the security agencies that failed to evacuate the victims of the accident, who were submerged in the granite. However, an Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC), belonging to the Ogun State Police Command later arrived on the scene to restore order preparatory to the evacuation of the victims. The council chairman, who left the scene of the accident with a promise to hire a crane from LARFAGE WAPCO, to un-trap the victims returned empty-handed, triggering off the protest.

The Itori Unit Commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Fatai Bakare, who confirmed the accident, however, explained that five students died in the accident as against the eight claimed by eye witness account. Bakare said the corpse of the victims have been deposited at Ifo General Hospital. Meanwhile, the Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Muyiwa Adejobi, who confirmed the accident on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, said the state Commissioner of Police, Ikhemefuna Okoye, had gone for an on-the-spot as-

sessment of the accident that killed the students at Itori. The PPRO further explained that the accident at the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway was caused by a cement laden Dangote truck that fell and blocked the road after Ogere in Remo axis of the expressway. The third accident that happened along the Abeokuta-Ibadan way was, however, said to have involved a Mazda car with registration number LAGOS JP 602 AAA, which had a head on collision with a Toyota Camry car with registration number LAGOS LAY 984 AR, which claimed four lives.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Money laundering: Babalakin’s lawyer backs out from defence team K ENNY O DUNUK AN

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he rescheduled arraignment of the Chairman of Bi-Courtney Limited, Dr Olawale Babalakin, at an Ikeja high court yesterday took a new twist as the lead counsel to the accused; Chief Ebun Sofunde (SAN) withdrew from the matter. It will be recalled that after a failed attempt to arraign him last week, Dr Babalakin and four others, were rescheduled to be arraigned

L-R: Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, Head of Service, Prince Adesegun Ogunlewe and Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Oluranti Adebule, during a stakeholders’ meeting on Land Use Act (Title Documentation) Regulations in Lagos, yesterday.

by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over an alleged N4.7 billion money laundering charge. They were alleged to have connived with the convicted former governor of Delta State, James Ibori, who was alleged to have transferred various sums of money through a third party to some foreign accounts under the guise of purchasing a Challenger Jet Aircraft. But as the court commenced business yesterday, Chief Sofunde announced to the court that he would be withdrawing from the matter. “My Lord, I wish to formally withdraw from this suit owing to some personal reasons, I had already filed an application before the court to declare my withdrawal.” He also added that his decision to withdraw was contained in an application dated December 4, 2012, where he informed the court that his reason was personal. Sofunde, however, told the court that if his client wishes to challenge his withdrawal, he may decide to tell the court his actual reason for withdrawing from the matter.

Police assure of arresting abductors of Rotimi’s wife Uniformed officers must comply with laws –Fashola K EMI O LAITAN IBADAN

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he Oyo State Police Command yesterday assured the people of the state of getting the kidnappers of Titilola, wife of retired Brigadier-General Oluwole Rotimi, former military governor of the defunct Western State, who was abducted on Monday in Ibadan. The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Ayodele Lanade, who gave the assurance while speaking with journalists, said the command has embarked on what he described as “internal investigation” into the kidnapping. According to him, men of the state CID in Iyaganku, have embarked on surveillance of the nooks and crannies of the state to fish out the abductors.

Lanade, however, said the command is not aware that contact has been made by the abductors and that they were demanding N200million from the family. “What I can tell you is that the state police command is on top of the situation as investigations are ongoing, the issue of the kidnappers demanding N200 million from the family is not known to the command,”

he said. He added that the police command have beefed up security around the place the woman was kidnapped. It will be recalled that the kidnappers, in a green Nissan Primera car at about 6.30pm on Monday, in front of the gate to her company, AOK Logistics Limited, whisked away the wife of the retired military officer.

K EMI OLAITAN

the national leadership of the party that has been concerned about the seeming irreconcilable differences among the chieftains of the party in the state, was based on the advice of the former governor of the state, Otunba Adebayo AlaoAkala. It was gathered that the national chairman of

MURITALA AYINLA

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agos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, yesterday tasked uniformed officers in the country on the need to comply with laws in order to overcome some of the challenges confronting Nigeria as a nation. Fashola, who charged law enforcement officers to uphold the sanctity of

their uniforms by demonstrating exemplary virtues, said there was need for uniformed officers, including those in the military, to respect the laws of the land. Speaking when he received the new Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Alex Badeh, at his official residence in Marina, the governor said the uniforms were apparatuses of the state, adding that those who wear

NWC set to wade into Oyo PDP crisis

IBADAN

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he crisis bedevilling the Oyo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), may soon come to an end as the national leadership of the party has decided to wade in. National Mirror learnt that the intervention of

the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, will be leading other members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party to Ibadan next week Tuesday to meet the warring factions. A letter from the National Secretary of the party, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, dated November 11, 2012 and ad-

dressed to Alao-Akala, said Alhaji Tukur will be leading other members of the National Working Committee (NWC) to Ibadan to resolve the crisis. The former governor of Osun State in the letter pleaded with AlaoAkala to convey the political development to other party leaders in the state.

them should submit and subject themselves to the law of the state. He acknowledged that some people impersonate military officers to carry out illegal activities in the country, he urged military authorities to work out ways of exposing these law breakers. He cautioned officers from flouting the law, saying if uniformed officers break the law, they are only giving civilians the licence to do same. Governor Fashola also stressed the need for the military to be innovative and creative, urging it to support democratic institutions in discharging their duties. Responding, Badeh commended the state government for the development it had brought to the state in the last few years, saying the state was better for it.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Delay of court cases harmful to legal profession –Oguntade KAYODE KETEFE

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retired justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Adesola Oguntade, yesterday challenged lawyers to curb the undue delay of cases, stressing that the trend is harmful to the interest of the legal profession. The octogenarian jurist also berated lawyers, who are fond of seeking incessant adjournment of cases, noting that such practice does not only constitute injustice to the aggrieved parties but also undermine the concept of administration of justice. Oguntade spoke during the launching of a book written in honour of a legal luminary, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN, which held in Lagos. The book, which contained 14 essays written by leading lights in the legal profession, was reviewed by Mr. Felix Nworka. Oguntade said: “I want to dwell on the issue of delay of cases in our court. This problem is getting worse and is destroying our profession. Let me cite an example. Some of the cases I called when I was the court Registrar were later disposed by me several decades later in 1982 after I had become a judge. “A time has come when we must take note of how we practiced our profession. We must show integrity in our conducts. The legal profession is a challenging one and it requires our commitment. “There are many lawyers who seek unnecessary adjournment of cases. But the more cases are delay the less the peoples’ confidence in the Judiciary. The income of lawyers would also be less. “When I was a judge in the Lagos State Judiciary, I never had cause to exchange banters with lawyers. I did not just grant adjournments without reasonable cause. I would tell lawyers who would want to seek undue adjournment; ‘call your case, let us continue, put your witness in the box’. That is how things should be. The judges should promptly dispose of cases before them. “We must have a new attitude to the practice of law. Lawyers should note that it is not every case that must go to court. Those of us who were trained in England were taught in those days that,

the first thing that you must do after being briefed by your client is to write a letter to the adversary to exploit amicable settlement. “That will save the time of your client. It is when you resolve a matter expeditiously for your client that you make money. It is not every time you got to court” Oguntade also berated the fledgling practice of some lawyers of “indirectly being impolite” to the Bench, stressing that whatever brings dishonor to the judges would also bring down the legal profession. The forum attracted lawyers, judges, magistrates, the Minister of Foreign affairs, Ambassador Dele Ashiru, as well as other stakeholders in the administration. The Publisher of National Mirror newspaper, Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim, was represented at the occasion by the Managing Director of the Global Media Mirror Ltd, Mr. Steve Ayorinde. Other dignitaries included representatives of the Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Funmilayo Atilade, Chief Niyi Akintola,SAN, Mr. Seyi Sowemimo SAN, Mr. Wale Akoni SAN, Mr. Chuka Agu SAN, Dr. Abiodun Layonu SAN, Mr. Kemi Pinheiro SAN, Mr. Yele Delano SAN and Mr. Norrison Quakers SAN and Mr. Tayo Oyetibo SAN.

ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

he Ekiti State Traffic Management Agency, EKSTMA, yesterday impounded a car belonging to a member of the state House of Assembly, Hon. Ayoka Fatumbi, for alleged traffic offences. The vehicle, loaded with baskets of tomatoes, takeaway packs and marker boards tied to the carrier, had the driver and an aide of the lawmaker as occupants when it was impounded. Pleas by the lawmaker to secure the release of her car fell on deaf ears as the EKSTMA General Manager, Mr. Charles Fasuba, insisted she must be sanctioned because her car was arrested for overloading and for using official num-

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N11.5bn fraud: Akala, two others have case to answer –Court KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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n Ibadan High Court presided over by Justice Akintunde Boade yesterday said former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala of Oyo State and two others have a case to answer in the N11.5 billion fraud suit instituted against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. The judge gave the verdict while ruling on the application by Akala, his former Commissioner for Local Government

and Chieftaincy Matters, Chief Hosea Agboola, and a businessman, Femi Babalola, seeking to quash the charges against them. The three men are facing an 11-count charge that includes conspiracy, illegal award of contracts, obtaining by false presence, acquiring property with money derived from illegal act, and concealing the ownership of such property. Their counsel, led by Prince Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), had filed a preliminary objection to the charge, asking the court to quash it as it did not

disclose any substantial evidence to warrant the accused standing full trial. The defence counsel had asked the trial judge to strike out or dismiss the charge, stating that it was sheer oppression and abuse of power to put anybody on trial on the offence that was not proved. But the prosecution, led by Mr. Godwin Oblah, told the court that the plethora of evidence adduced by the EFCC against the accused deserved an explanation, praying the court to discountenance the application seeking the

quashing of the charges. In his 40-minute ruling, Boade said the application to quash the charge was not meritorious and was therefore dismissed. Noting that the three men have some things to explain, he said: “I am of the strong view that the proof of evidence is established against the accused persons.” The judge said having taken the pleas of the accused in line with the provision of Section 167 of the Civil Procedure Law, they could not challenge the jurisdiction of the court.

Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi (left) and former South African President, Thambo Mbeki, after the presentations on “Curbing Conflicts in Africa: The Role of Local Actors,” at the 6th Summit of Africities in Dakar, Senegal, recently.

Ekiti agency impounds lawmaker’s vehicle for traffic offences

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South West

Thursday, December 13, 2012

ber plate of the Assembly. But Fatumbi said the Toyota Sienna, marked EKHA 03, belonged to the House of Assembly and was assigned to her by the authorities to convey some goods. She said: “The materials in the vehicle are for the empowerment programme in my constituency tomorrow. I don’t know we have to get permit at the agency before we can use the car to carry load since it has a carrier. I don’t know that a vehicle that has a carrier cannot be used to carry load in Ekiti State.” But Fasubaa told journalists that “the law is not only for the poor, but for both the poor and the rich. It is abysmal and insulting for a lawmaker that was a party to a law to be seen wantonly violating the same law she partook in its making.”

Many seek C of O through dubious means –Fashola MURITALA AYINLA

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overnor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State has said that high rate of forgery among applicants was responsible the delay in the issuance of certificate of occupancy, C of O. The governor, who vowed to scrutinise every application submitted for his ascent, said there was nothing wrong with the Land Use Act of 1978, except the faulty application of its tenets by those engaged in the business of land transactions. Speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting on Land Use Act Regulation 2012 held at the state secretariat, Fashola said the state would soon begin to issue electronic C of O to secure and add value to the land in the state.

Fashola

He said: “On a particular day when looking through all the applications, I saw nine different files with fake documents. One of them had bought the land according to his record presented as far back as 1978, just before the land Use Act. “But fortunately or unfortunately, he needed a tax clearance to process his document. On the tax clearance, his birthday, his age shows that he was 12 years old when he purchased the land. Clearly, the debt officer will not

process that document.” The governor added that in some instances, companies also engaged in fraudulent means of acquiring C of O by applying with backdated receipts and forged documents, even when it was obvious that the company was not in existence compared with the date shown in the documents. Fashola said he had in many instances ordered investigation of most companies and later found out that they were applying for C of O with false documents to create the impression that their transaction predated the Act of 1978. He said people blamed government officials of inefficiency and corruption, when they were obviously seeking right of ownership of the property through dubious means.


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South East

Thursday, December 13, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Alumni association donates books to Oko poly

APGA’ll participate in Ebonyi LG poll –Chairman

NWABUEZE OKONKWO

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hairman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Ebonyi State, Mr. Jerry Obasi, has said that the party would participate in the local government elections scheduled for 2013. Obasi spoke during a chat with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abakaliki yesterday. He said the party had started shopping for credible candidates to bear its flag in the poll. The chairman said the party’s chairmanship and counsellorship candidates would emerge through transparent primary elections. “APGA, as a party, is against imposition of candidates because it negates the principle of democracy; we will allow internal democracy to take its cause. ``Only the best candidates chosen by the members of the party will bear our flag in the election,’’ Obasi said. According to him, the country’s democracy needs credible elections to thrive. He noted that democratic governance would lose its meaning if the outcome of elections did not reflect the will of the majority of the electorate. The chairman said credible elections guaranteed stable democracy as they entrenched vibrant democratic culture. He said post-election crises arose when elections were not perceived to be free and fair by the electorate as well as the contestants in the elections. He said that APGA would collaborate with other stakeholders to ensure that credible, free and fair elections became the hallmark of the country’s democracy. ``We in APGA believe that a credible, free and fair election is needed to evolve a good democratic system. ``Any democracy that is not anchored on credible elections will produce dictatorship; and we must rise up against any form of dictatorship in Nigeria,’’ Obasi said. He said the current constitution amendment should make the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) truly independent.

ONITSHA

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L-R: Enugu State House of Assembly Speaker, Hon. Eugene Odo; his wife, Adaobi and Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Vita Abba, at the opening of Enugu State Culture and Tourism Fiesta in Enugu, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

‘Ojukwu’s Will manipulated to edge out eldest son’ CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI

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prominent Igbo leader, Chief Rommy Ezeonwuka, yesterday alleged that the Will of the late Ikemba Nnewi, Chief Dim Odimegwu Ojukwu, was manipulated to edge out the deceased’s eldest son, Sylvester. Chief Ezeonwuka, the proprietor of Rojenny Tourist and Games Village, said though the relationship between the late

Ikemba and Sylvester was not cordial, but “it is highest deceit for anyone to say that Ojukwu omitted the name of his first son in his Will. Ojukwu could never have done that.” He said: “The Will, as currently being paraded, was not written by Ojukwu, it was manipulated and it is not Ojukwu’s Will. Ojukwu could not have neglected Sylvester in the Will.” Although Ezeonwuka did not mention those he suspected to have manipu-

lated the Will, he appealed to well-meaning Nigerians, especially eminent Igbo personalities to endeavour to stop the internal squabble rocking the Ojukwu’s family. He warned sycophants instigating the quarrel to move away from the family and allow Sylvester and his younger brother, Emeka, to reconcile their differences, saying: “For the people to say that Sylvester is not the son of Ojukwu is ridiculous. Whoever says that is an

CD laments human rights abuses in South-East CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI

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s the world celebrate the 65th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights(UDHR), the SouthEast chapter of the Campaign for Democracy (CD) yesterday lamented the below average performance of the region in terms of human rights, economic growth, security and employment. The group decried the high level of human rights abuses in the country especially in the South East where people’s fundamental rights are violated through intimidation, extortion, arbitrary arrest, torture and detention with impunity. In a statement signed by Dede Uzor A. Uzor and Dr Jerry Chukwuokolo, Chair-

man and Secretary of CD South-East region respectively and made available to National Mirror, the group also described as alarming the high unemployment rate in the region, regretting that the ugly economic downturn recorded during the military era still exists today. The statement reads: “CD frowns at the economic downturn and close down of hundreds of factories and workplaces in the South-East as well as high rate of unemployment in the region, which is alarming. “The contributing factors to these economic down-turn stem from epileptic power supply, insecurity of investors and expatriates as well flooding. ``It had led to unprecedented security threat, which had resulted to new dimensions

of crime especially kidnapping and sales of new born babies.’’ The group also decried the alleged human rights violation against members of the public by law enforcement agents and government functionaries. Expressing concern over alleged indiscriminate dumping of people of Anambra State into detention by the State Security Service (SSS) officials, the group said: “Over 15 suspected kidnappers are languishing in the SSS detention cell without being charged to court. ``While over 40 are being detained in Special AntiRobbery Squad (SARS) in Anambra State. We were informed that the same number of people are languishing in Imo, Enugu, Abia and Ebonyi states.”

enemy of the Igbo people.” On Ojukwu Transport Corporation, Ezeonwuka, said: “Ojukwu has no controlling power to Will the transport corporation to anybody in the family except his own shares as the company belongs to his late father, Sir Louis Odiemegwu Ojukwu. “There are so many directors involved in the company and any business must have board decision.”

he United Statesbased alumni association of the Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra State, has donated books and other equipment worth over N5 million to the institution. Presenting the books to the principal officers of the institution, the president of the alumni association, Mr. Baron Lugard, said the gesture was to complement the efforts of the Rector, Prof. Godwin Onu, in transforming the polytechnic. According to Lugard, the alumni association was impressed by the transformation agenda of the institution’s management. Responding, Onu said he was humbled by the gesture and commended the association for the support. He said his vision was to transform the institution to a first class institution that would be reckoned with in the world, adding that with Memoranda of Understanding which the polytechnic signed recently with some foreign universities, the polytechnic was ready to be upgraded to university status.

Enugu plans to connect 472 communities to national grid

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he Enugu State Government says it will ensure that its 472 communities are connected to the national grid before the end of the current administration. The state’s Commissioner for Rural Development, Dr Eric Oluedo, announced the plan in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu yesterday. Oluedo said that 54 communities out of the 472 had yet been connected to the grid. According to him, the government has done the budgeting for the remaining 54 communities while the Rural Electrification Board will execute the projects. “The governor has approved 40 of the communities to be connected and the REB is in the field doing the job,’’ he said. The commissioner said

that Community Social Development Projects (CSDP) were targeted at micro-projects which were run by the communities. Oluedo said: “We organise the communities from CPMC - that is Community Project Management Committees and then deliver the money, monitor the use and ensure that the projects are delivered; so these ones are still ongoing; so 120 communities with 250 projects are ongoing. “The fire service which is still under me is undergoing transformation; the four engines that are grounded are now being refurbished.” He said the goal of the ministry was to ensure that the 2,854 projects which Governor Peter Obi promised would be realised before the expiration of his tenure.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

South South

Thursday, December 13, 2012

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1.89m barrels of oil spilled in Niger Delta in 20 years, says Group

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group, the United States Alumni Engagement Innovation Team, has said that 1.89 million barrels of oil was spilled in the Niger Delta between 1976 and 1996. The group, which is working on the use of a local plant to remediate oil spill, said the figure was part of the 2.4 million barrels spilled in the country during the period. The group also said that more than 4,835 reported incidents of oil spills occurred in the country during the period. The figures are contained in a communiqué issued in Port Harcourt on Wednesday after the team’s workshop. The communiqué, jointly signed by the group’s Chairperson, Prof. Stella Williams, and the Team Leader, Dr Morufat Balogun, was presented at a sensitisation workshop entitled “Kenaf clean up: Countering oil spills in the Niger Delta

with local plants.” It said the largest spill occurred was the Bonga spill, which spilled 40,000 barrels of crude in 923 square kilometres in the Atlantic Ocean in 2011. The communiqué says that Kenaf, a local plant, predominantly grown and called rama in the northern parts of the country, was a safe and environmental-friendly alternative to cleaning oil spills. According to the report, Kenaf is an environmentfriendly way of cleaning oil spills compared to oil-dispersants which can threaten marine and human lives because of their toxicity. The report called on the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) to adopt the plant as part of a sustainable community-integrated strategy for oil spill remediation. It encouraged a proactive engagement of oil companies in sponsoring

the adoption and utilisation of Kenaf in local entrepreneurship and farm activities beyond oil spill remediation. It also said the plant could be used to produce bricks, sound proofing systems, automotive components, green building

and thermal insulations. The communiqué called for the establishment of an oil spill response group that would partner the Kenaf Team at the community level and register the team into a limited liability company. It suggested that the

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the case involving the $15 million allegedly paid to the former Chairman of the commission, Malam Nuhu Ribadu, by Ibori. The government explained that the payment of pension and other benefits to an elected former governor and deputy in the state was within the ambits of an existing law in the state. It stated that the tenure of Ibori as governor of the state was not annulled by any court, adding that he was, therefore, entitled to benefits as provided by the law of the state. “The truth is that like every other elected governor who had served the state, Ibori was paid his pension entitlement and other ben-

efits alongside his deputy under existing law. The laws are: “The Delta State Governor and Deputy Governor Pension Rights and Other Benefits Law 2005 and the Delta State Governor and Deputy Governor Pension Rights and Other Benefits (Amendment) Law 2009. “As can be seen, there is no iota of illegality in the payments made to Ibori as it was made under approved budget and paid to the beneficiaries through their designated bank accounts in Nigeria after following due process. “This clarification is necessary so that the media do not input illegality or improper motive for an act done pursuant to a statute.

“It should also be noted that Ibori’s tenure as governor of Delta has not been annulled by any court of law and he is legitimately entitled to the pension and other benefits received under the law. “This statement is issued only to clarify the misrepresentation of facts by some sections of the media.”

Ibori

Why Akpabio wants Ibom Airport expanded –Commissioner TONY ANICHEBE UYO

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kwa Ibom State Commissioner for Special Duties, Mr. Austin Mbeh, has explained why Governor Godswill Akpabio planned to expand the Ibom International Airport despite the fact that it has the best facilities in the country. Mr. Mbeh said Governor Akpabio decided to expand the airport because he planned to make Akwa

Ibom a model state in the global map. The commissioner, whose ministry is supervising the expansion, told journalists in Uyo, the state capital, that there was no going back in the government’s effort to make the airport the best in the country. He said: “The governor has decided that additional taxiway should be provided to complement the main runway. “It is the belief and con-

the Land Use Act, saying that the existing laws could affect the use of Kenaf in cleaning oil spill in the country. It urged the government and the National Assembly to ensure strict implementation of the recommendations.

L-R: Member, Publish What you Pay Nigeria, Mr. Babatunde Adegbesa; National Coordinator, Ms. Faith Nwadishi and Zonal Coordinator, North Central, Mr. Muhammed Mustapha, at a press briefing on the implementation of Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative in Nigeria held in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

Pension paid to Ibori legitimate –Delta he Delta State Government says that pension and other benefits it pays to former Governor James Ibori are his statutory entitlements. This was contained in a statement issued yesterday in Asaba by the Commissioner for Information, Mr Chike Ogeah. The government said that the same entitlements also accrued to the former Deputy Governor, Chief Benjamin Elue. It stated that the clarification became necessary in view of an affidavit by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on the issue. The “additional affidavit”, according to the statement, is made by EFCC in

Kenaf Team be supported to do a pilot study of the project in the Niger Delta with support from NOSDRA and the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC). It called for the review of environment and public health laws as well as

cept of the governor that when the runway comes on stream, it would serve as a second runway in addition to the existing one. “Contracts had since been awarded to Gitto Construction Company and when you get to the airport, you will see that the contractors are progressing on the project.” “The reference to Akwa Ibom for good governance attests to the remarkable transformation of the state by the governor.

“He is somebody that sees into the future; he is a governor that stands out across the world. “You will recall that at the inception of this administration, Governor Akpabio promised to make the state a destination and we are witnessing a manifestation of the promise. “The governor has also conceptualised a situation where we would also have a VIP hanger facility as well as the extension of the existing apron at the airport.”

Group donates water project to school TONY ANICHEBE UYO

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s part of its effort to contribute to the development of Akwa Ibom State, a group, The Situation Room (TSR), has donated a mini-water scheme to the Community Comprehensive Secondary School in Uyo, the state capital. The water project, aimed at tackling the sanitary challenges of the school, was commissioned by the state Commissioner for Education, Mrs Eunice Thomas. Mrs Thomas, who was visibly elated by the gesture, said the action had brought life to the school. She said that since the government alone could not solve the challenges confronting the society, it was imperative for all to take a cue from TSR members and contribute to the development of the state. She reiterated her ministry’s resolve to implement the lofty education programme of Governor Godswill Akpabio-led administration. The commissioner, however, advised parents to embrace the free education policy of the state government.

Mrs Thomas, who decried the poor state of infrastructure before the advent of the current administration, said the plan to provide conducive learning environments and facilities to all public schools was on course. She promised to look into other basic needs affecting the Community Comprehensive Secondary School for prompt attention. TSR co-ordinator, Mr. Uno Uno, said: “To make an impact in Akwa ibom State, the plight of the school was brought to our attention by one of our members who saw the need to give back to the system that produced most of us. “We are tired of waiting for the government to do everything. So, we decided to take up one school at a time in Akwa Ibom State in our project called “Save Our Schools”. Uno said the group’s long term goal is to impact on at least one school in every local government in the state. This, according to him, would be achieved in partnership with the state government through the Ministry of Education and other members of the society.


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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Youths set Winners’ Chapel ablaze in Ilorin WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN

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Living Faith Church in Ilorin, Kwara State was torched yesterday by a group of youths. The arsonists allegedly looted the church before setting it ablaze. Also, the security man attached to the church was still missing at press time. The Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, however, called a press conference where it accused the immediate past Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Prof. Isha’q Oloyede. The Secretary of Kwara State CAN, Rev. Cornelius Fawenu, said Oloyede had, on three occasions, personally threatened the church

•Security guard missing leaders over the construction of the church building. He alleged that Oloyede challenged the church for using the land that he (the former VC) claimed belonged to the Muslim Students Society, MSS. However, speaking with our correspondent, Oloyede denied any involvement in the burning of the church. He said he was playing the role of a mediator in an alleged dispute between Christians and Muslims over the land on which the church was built. Oloyede said by his position as the national coordinator and secretary of

National Inter-Religious Committee, NIREC, he knew the implication of any lingering feud between the two faiths. However, contrary to claims, the Living Faith Church Provincial Pastor, Timothy Olaniyan, said Oloyede came to the branch pastor on December 3 to challenge the building under construction and ordered the construction work to stop because it belonged to the MSS. Olaniyan said because of the threats, the church had to seek the help of the Divisional Police Officer in Adewole Estate and the Ilorin Area Commander before service could be held

last Sunday. When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, DSP Olufemi Olabode, said he was away in Abuja on an official assignment and would only comment after he had been briefed. Meanwhile, in a statement, the state government directed the police to go after those behind the arsonists and bring them to book. The statement, signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Isiaka Gold, said “the Kwara State Government has called on parties to a disputed plot of land at Ilorin Airport Road, Ilorin not to take the law into their hands, but refer the issue to the courts of law for adjudication.

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Police warn troublemakers in Plateau, seek communities’ support JAMES ABRAHAM JOS

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olice yesterday warned troublemakers in Plateau State to stay away or be ready to face the full wrath of the law. The new state Police Commissioner, Mr. Christian Olakpe, who gave the warning while briefing journalists in Jos, also appealed to the communities and other stakeholders for support to enable his command tackle the security challenges facing the state. He said maintaining peace in the state was paramount and as such all

Tambuwal backs establishment of Northern Devt Bank TORDUE SALEM ABUJA

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Building of Winners’ Church burnt in Ilorin, yesterday. Inset: Signboard displaying the name of the church.

EFCC arrests Lamido’s son for money laundering AUGUSTINE MADU WEST KANO

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en of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday arrested the eldest son of Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State, Aminu, for money laundering. He was picked up at Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, MAKIA, Kano, while attempting to board an Egypt Air plane to Cairo about 12.30am. The governor’s son was said to have declared $10,000 at the counter to enable him embark on his trip but concealed some money. However, during a search, the EFCC officials discovered additional $40,000 concealed in his luggage. The false declaration necessitated his arrest for

further interrogation at the EFCC office in Kano. Aminu was reportedly flown to Abuja where arrangement would be made for his prosecution. The EFCC spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed the arrest in a telephone interview. He explained that the commission will charge the suspect to court immediately after the conclusion of investigation. Meanwhile, the Jigawa State seat of power was rattled when the news of Aminu’s arrest spread to the Government House, Dutse. The news was said to have shocked top government functionaries, friends and well-wishers of the governor as well as paralysed activities at the Government House and ministries

and departments for the day. The governor’s Director of Press, Umar Kyari, told our correspondent that the story was still being treated as rumour by the state government as details were sketchy. He said: “I see it, for now, as a rumour; we are busy with some of our schedules.”

Lamorde, EFCC Boss

hands must be on deck to achieve the aim. The commissioner, who condemned the action of some mischief-makers hiding under the ongoing workers’ strike to cause trouble, said all those involved in the destruction of property would be brought to book. Olakpe, who said the workers had the right to make demands, noted that such should be done within the confines of the law. He encouraged the lawabiding members of the public to go about their lawful duties without any fear as the police were ready to flush out all mischief-makers.

peaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, has thrown his weight behind the proposed establishment of a Northern Development Bank which seeks direct funding of critical projects in the North. Tambuwal gave his support for the initiative when he received a proposal for the Second Northern Economic Summit from the Chairman of the summit organisers, Prof. Jerry Gana, in his office. The Speaker said the move to establish the bank would bridge the gap in the funding structures in the region. He said: “Bailing any region out of its myriad of problems invariably means bailing the country out. States need an all-encompassing approach to tackle issues of development confronting them.” Tambuwal said “the

floods experienced this year” had served as a wakeup call to all those who took environmental issues with laxity. He said the House of Representatives, through its committees on Environment and Climate Change, had taken proactive measures to put in place policies that would mitigate effects of environmental hazards in the country. Earlier, Gana said the Mary-Elika Foundation had concluded arrangements to honour some state governments who put in efforts to preserve the environment and to take the less-privileged out of poverty. According to him, the European Development Bank and other development partners have been contacted on the need to assist in the establishment of the Northern Development Bank. The second session of the Northern Economic Summit is scheduled to take place in Kaduna next April.

Price hike: DPR plans clampdown on filling stations A ZA MSUE KADUNA

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he Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, yesterday said it would soon clamp down on filling stations selling petrol above approved price of N97 per litre. The Kaduna Zonal Controller of DPR, Alhaji Mustapha Falalu Jahun, gave

the warning in Kaduna. He said: “The department has been inundated with complaints from the general public on petroleum product marketers arbitrarily fixing fuel prize above the government approved price of N97 per litre. Such actions negate the stipulated regulations. DPR will not hesitate to sanction any outlet that indulges in

the act.” Jahun added that any retail outlet found guilty of over pricing of the product would be closed down for one month, while the headquarters of the DPR would report such outlet to the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, for further sanctions. The zonal DPR con-

troller spoke through his Controller of Operation in charge of Kano and Jigawa states, Alhaji Sayyadi Suleiman Abubakar. According to him, under-dispensing attracts one month closure of the erring retail outlet, while molestation of DPR personnel by any marketer attracts outright revocation of the marketer’s licence.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Unending foot-drag on Anambra LG poll

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he Rivers State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Aniedi Ikoiwak, has said that a five-party system would guarantee and strengthen the electoral process in Nigeria. Ikoiwak told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Port Harcourt that the nation’s electoral system needed to be sanitised. He said a five-party system was the best for the country to overcome electoral irregularities

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Politics

Katsina Govt vs Inuwa: The other side of litigation

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REC advocates five parties for Nigeria and shake off corruption among political parties. “We don’t want unserious political associations whose members stay at home with their wives to demand money from government. Many of them are registered to disappear during elections,” Ikoiwak said. According to him, a fiveparty structure will raise the standard of Nigeria’s

electoral process because all the parties will be serious in contest for power. While urging the country to strive towards better electoral process which could be attained through a five-party system or lesser, Ikoiwak explained that such system would usher in an unprecedented grassroots mobilisation and participation in the electoral

process with its attendant accountability. He emphasised the importance of grassroots inclusiveness in the nation’s electoral process, saying that it was the foundation of any viable democracy. He decried the misconduct of some political parties which nominated fraudulent candidates, adding that it would be elimi-

nated through the system, if adopted. Ikoiwak explained that some unserious party candidates had developed the habit of playing the role of ‘spoilers’ if they were not settled by serious opponents. The commissioner said that such misconduct was common under the current multi-party system. He, however, expressed optimism on the ability of the commission to flush out corrupt politicians if the right political party system was adopted.

According to him, it is the constitutional right of the commission to register and also de-register parties, drawing its powers from the Electoral Act. Ikoiwak said that political parties that could not satisfy the basics expected of them as provided in the act were the ones being deregistered. He advised any person or political party that felt aggrieved by the decision of INEC to go to court for redress, adding that the commission was always law-abiding.

Anenih not chairman of our Elders’ Forum – PDM AROWOSOLA TOSIN

T L-R: Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III; Sokoto State governor, Aliyu Wamakko and his deputy, Alhaji Mukhtar Shagari, after a special session of the Sokoto State House of Assembly on presentation of the 2013 Appropriation Bill in Sokoto yesterday.

Igbo leaders insist on true federalism FELIX NWANERI

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articipants at the recent end of the year colloquium organised by the Igbo Youth Movement (IYM) have called for the restructuring of the country along the lines of true federalism. The event held at the Nike Lake Resort Enugu, with the theme: “Nigeria: In search of true federalism,” saw notable Igbo leaders, including former presidentsgeneral of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr. Dozie Ikedife and Justice Eze Ozobu; former Military Administrator of Imo State, Admiral Ndubusi Kanu and Senator Uche Chukwumerije among others in attendance. Kanu, who was the Special Guest at the forum, insisted that only a national dialogue of ethnic nation-

alities and stakeholders to discuss Nigeria will save the country at the moment. He particularly called for the enthronement of true federalism, saying: “The only road to salvation is to enthrone true federalism, where the federating units will be semi-autonomous, in order to engender economic growth and stable polity.” Ikedife, who decried the country’s lopsided structure, averred that Nigeria won’t go far unless equity is enthroned and corruption, fought head on. Ozobu in his contribution said corruption as well as insecurity must be addressed frontally if the nation is to make progress. The guest speaker, Senator Chukwumerije, spoke on the possibility of a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction, made a good

case for the South-East to be given the opportunity to lead the country. Convener of the conference and IYM president, Evang. Elliot Uko in his submission, faulted what he described as the “piece meal” amendment of the nation’s constitution and demanded a fundamental

restructuring of the country into six regions. Prominent Igbo sons, including literary icon, Prof. Chinua Achebe; Chukwumerije, Kanu and late elder statesman, Dr Okechukwu Ikejiani were honoured for distinguishing themselves and making Ndigbo and Nigeria proud.

he Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM), believed to be promoting the 2015 presidential aspiration of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has debunked the report that its leadership had at the weekend meeting in Abuja, appointed Chief Tony Anenih as chairman of the its Elders’ Committee. The PDM, in a statement made available to National Mirror yesterday, and signed by Bode Ajewole and Godie Ikechi, Chairman and Secretary respectively of the protem executives, said the report was mischievous and malicious. The statement reads:

“The attention of the Protem executives and members of PDM National Steering Committee has been drawn to the mischievous write-up which referred to Chief Tony Anenih as having been appointed chairman of PDM Elders’ Committee. “We want to state categorically that at no time did the Protem National Executives nor the National Steering Committee sit to appoint Chief Anenih or anybody as the Chairman of Elders’ Committee of PDM.” It added that the report was not only mischievous but an imagination of the writer. Anenih had through his Personal Assistant, Peter Abulu, denied his chairmanship of the Elders’ Committee.

George bags award, seeks support for Jonathan OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU

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ormer Deputy National Chairman (South) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olabode George, yesterday called on Nigerians to support the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan as he aspires to take Nigeria to the next level. George made the call yesterday during his investiture at the Africa Leader-

ship award by the All Africa Students’ Union (AASU), held at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs in Victoria Island, Lagos. He said the president should be criticised with sincerity of purpose and not to bring him down. His words: “We can recommend to him because he is not perfect and neither are we. But we cannot assume the arrant posture of curative omniscience. We

cannot condemn with deliberate mischief and chest beating sense of infallibility.” He thanked the “young, vibrant executives of the AASU for their forthrightness and contemplative fortitude and implacable resolve to stand with the truth,” even as he berated former governor of Lagos State and national leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Bola Tinubu and the ACN for pressuris-

ing the AASU to withdraw the award which he said was not bought with money. The investiture, chaired by Senator Bode Olajumoke attracted Vice President Namadi Sambo, who was represented by Senator Iyiola Omisore and chieftains of the Lagos PDP. Presenting the award to George, AASU Vice president, Hamman Kumeji, said that the choice of George was not influenced by any monetary inducement.


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Thursday, December 13, 2012

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or the umpteenth time, the Anambra State governor, Mr. Peter Obi, has reiterated his administration’s readiness to conduct local government election in the state. Obi, who gave the assurance at the weekend while answering questions from journalists, however said the election, will hold as soon as all legal impediments are settled, though he appealed to parties still in courts to withdraw their cases. The inability of the Obi-led government to conduct council elections since it came on board in 2006 has persistently been criticised as the last democratically elected local governments’ officials in the state had their tenure terminated in May 2002, during the Chinwoke Mbadinuju-led administration. Since then, appointed officials have continued to hold sway. Dr. Chris Ngige (now senator), who succeeded Mbadinuju in 2003 and Obi (2006) failed to provide the platform for the people of the state to elect their leaders at the third tier of government. Ngige appointed transition committees after hoodlums’ unleashed mayhem that botched the council poll slated for December 2007. Obi followed suit and even made a detour from the November 6, 2011 date, he set last year, saying it was the function of the Anambra State Independent Electoral Commission (ANSIEC) to decide when the election would hold and not the state government. This, particularly pitched him with not only the opposition political parties in the state, but concerned stakeholders as well even drew the ire of members of his party, the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), who cashed on the feud between him and the party’s national chairman, Chief Victor Umeh, to insist that it is high time the council poll is conducted. Wife of the late National Leader of the party, Dim Chukwuemeka OdumegwuOjukwu, Bianca, who spoke at a recent stakeholders meeting, convened by the Vice chairman, Board of Trustees (BoT) of the party, Dr. Tim Menakaya in Enugu, also called on Obi to ensure that the council poll is conducted to empower party members at the grassroots. Umeh particularly noted that Obi’s inability to conduct the council poll was responsible for their disagreement. His words: “For nearly six years I kept saying that they should conduct the council poll so that our people can become chairmen and councillors. That is the way to build a party, but they refused to do that.” He added that the conduct of the council poll would have seen government become more effective and the state administration more robust and active. “Our real headache is that today we have sole administrators running the 21 councils in the state. I will continue to oppose these wrong actions, even if it would make them tag me incompetent,” he said. The power play that ensued over this, however, culminated in Umeh’s expulsion by a faction of the party said to be loyal to the governor. Besides the pressure from members of APGA, there have also been several court cases and petitions over the delayed council poll. The most recent is that by the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) in the state, which in a swift reaction to Obi’s promise

Obi

Umeh

Unending foot-drag on Anambra LG poll FELIX NWANERI writes on the fresh plan by the Anambra State government to conduct local government election in the state, which has raised hope of restoring democratic rule at the grassroots after a long wait.

accused his government of stifling democracy at the local government level. At a press briefing in Awka to mark the 64th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the state chairman of the CLO, Mr. Aloy Attah, described Obi’s government as a “first degree violator of the Section 7 of the 1999 Constitution.” He said: “The consequence of the absence of democratically elected government at the local councils is that political grooming is dead in the state while our youths in the past 12 years do not know that there is a political post known as councillorship anymore.” Earlier, the Movement for the Conduct of Local Government Elections, through its spokesman, Chief Olisaemeka Onyeka, said the non-conduct of the election since 2003, has led to high level of decay and underdevelopment in every sector of the state’s economy. He added that the trend has also denied several indigenes the opportunity of contributing to the advancement of their state. The chairman of the Nnewi branch of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Ogo Okeke, who shared similar view, argued that enthronement of democratic administration at the 21 councils in the state, apart from being in compliance with the constitution, will bring governance closer to the people, reduce unemployment and antisocial pressures in the state. “The election is sacrosanct and any act against it, is running against the nation’s statutes. It is not by the goodwill of any benevolent politician or godfather,” he said. The main opposition party in the state, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) through its chairman, Ken Emeakayi, also

described as breach of the law, the Obi-led government dilly-dally over the election. His words: “The non-conduct of the council poll by the Obi administration is illegal, unconstitutional, and criminal for a governor who prides himself as a democrat and believer in the rule of law. To refuse to conduct poll, he has made the third tier of government in Anambra moribund.” The Secretary General of the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP), Chief Willy Ezugwu, also told National Mirror that the conduct of the election is “a legal and constitutional right of the people and not a goodwill gesture from the governor.” Similar position was expressed by Senator Annie Okonkwo, who represented Anambra Central in the Sixth Senate. He argued that the absence of democratically elected executives to manage the affairs of the councils has stalled development at the grassroots. His words: “The consequences of this grave constitutional abnormality in

THE CONSEQUENCE OF THE ABSENCE OF DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED GOVERNMENT AT THE LOCAL COUNCILS IS THAT POLITICAL GROOMING IS DEAD IN THE STATE

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Anambra State are the unhealthy reign of political apathy and stunted democratic growth at the grassroots. For the people to drive the process, we must grant them full participation in governance through the local government. That is where our governor holds the key and we must collectively persuade him to unlock and open it. “I say persuade because our demand has outgrown the government’s excuses and the only restitution left is to conduct the council poll quickly. This is of utmost importance, as the 2014 governorship election draws near.” It is against this backdrop that both members of the ruling party and opposition in the state are in unison to lament what they termed, “adoption of varying tactics to avoid conducting the council election.” But the question is: was the delay a deliberate act and for what purpose? Those who believe that it was tactical, may not be far from the truth the state government equally made similar promise last May, when the Acting Chairman of ANSIEC, Sylvester Okonkwo, announced the commencement of processes for the exercise. The ANSIEC boss revealed then that the printing of sensitive and non-sensitive materials such as ballot papers and result sheets for the poll as well as voters’ registers for nine out of the 21 councils of the state have commenced. “We want to appeal to our people to remain calm because it is better to get the exercise right. Our assurance is that the process has commenced in earnest because we are being funded adequately by the state government,” he said then. The assurance was however without an election date or details of the timetable, and as result, the rekindled hope of the poll taking place was dashed. But despite the barrage of critisms against Obi’s government on the issue, an APGA chieftain in the state, Chief Jude Emecheta, believes that the governor should not be crucified over the delay. He rather blamed the setback on the suit instituted by the former chairman of ANSIEC, Prof. Titus Eze, against the state government. His words: “If people want the election to be conducted, they should advice the former ANSIEC chairman to withdraw the case. This government will not do anything that would be tagged illegal by any court.” Obi, in absolving himself said: “In 2009, six months to my re-election, we wanted to conduct the local government election, but some people took us to court. They said they were doing so because I wanted to consolidate, for me to win the second term. So, they went to court and we could not conduct the election. “After I won the election, the state electoral commission wanted to do it again, but they went to court again and claimed that the electoral register was faulty. I am committed to it but they are still in court. It really has nothing to do with me.” While the dust over the the long delay in holding the council poll is expected to be settled with the latest promise by the governor, the people of Anambra State cannot afford to wait any longer to enthrone democratically elected governments at the grassroots, as such will make positive impacts on the lives of a greater percentage of the population.


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Thursday, December 13, 2012

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

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Katsina Govt vs Inuwa: The other side of litigation JAMES DANJUMA writes on the legal tango between the Katsina State government and former Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mustapha Inuwa and the implication this might have on governance in the state.

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here are usually two sides to every issue, and the case between Katsina State government and former Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr. Mustapha Inuwa is no exception. On one side is the state government’s effort at seeking redress on issues raised in the case; on the other hand is the long and short term outcome such litigation could have, especially with regards to political permutations. Some weeks back, the state government, through the office of the Attorney-General of the state, filed a criminal suit against Inuwa at a Chief Magistrate Court, accusing him of defamation and injurious falsehood against the state. At a resumed hearing last week, the court, presided by Chief Magistrate Kabiru Shuaibu, while adjourning till January 21, 2013, however granted bail to the former SSG on the condition he provides two sureties in the sum of N100, 000 each. The court told him one of the sureties must be a traditional ruler, residing within the jurisdiction of the court, while the other must be a civil servant not below Grade Level 16. The court also took the pleading of the former SSG, who is a Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) chieftain, as he had earlier pleaded not guilty to the allegations levelled against him. When the charges were read to him, Inuwa responded by noting that the allegation was false, with the court having earlier overruled a preliminary objection filed by Chief Ernest Obunadike, the former SSG’s counsel, challenging its jurisdiction. As expected, the action of the state government in taking Inuwa to court elicited

criticisms from the CPC’s camp, particularly, the party’s faction not aligned with the state government in the last general elections. Some of them were said to have wondered why the state government resorted to litigation rather than just coming out and explaining to the public the true situation of what it was that Inuwa had alleged about the state administration. It would be recalled that Inuwa, in an interview with a foreign media, had alleged that the state had borrowed over $70 million for execution of some projects. But the state government had always insisted it never borrowed a dime, locally or internationally, for the execution of projects or implementation of other financial-related programmes. The CPC members, it was learnt, had alleged that the state government was trying to use the suit to frustrate another case that Inuwa had gone to court for, in which he prayed the court to compel the state government to release certain documents in line with the Freedom of Information Act. Reacting to this, a House of Representatives member, Ahmed B. Kaita, (Kaita/Ingawa/Kusada federal constituency), wondered why the state government would go ahead to seek a court injunction to prevent Inuwa from getting access to the documents he requested for. Kaita said the state government has been shouting about the “impeccable style of the regime,” yet their books of account are locked to the prying eyes of “irritants like Dr. Mustapha Inuwa.” He asked why would “somebody (state government) has to rush to a court seeking an injunction to prevent somebody from seeing his ‘good works’ in figures and facts? “This looks like, it feels like, it smells like it. It is corruption!” he added. On the other hand however, the litigation, instead of making Inuwa a villain, has somewhat worked at increasing his popularity instead. It is a known secret in the state that there is hardly any major political discourse, within and outside the media that

Shema

Inuwa

does not bring up his case with the state administration. Even the state-owned media often find it difficult not to air issues surrounding the case, albeit in a weathered form, with the situation unwittingly making his name popular in many households.

Stop playing politics with okada ban, ACN tells opponents

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he Lagos State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has advised all those that continue to play politics with the recent restriction of okada operators from some roads in Lagos to devise better ways of furthering their political interests than hanging on the okada tailboard for political gains. The party said such advice is necessary as some politicians and their cohorts have refused to see the futility of trying to cash on the intelligence of Lagosians by their continued fueling of bad blood against the state government over the okada ban. In a statement made available to National Mirror yesterday by the Lagos State Publicity Secretary of the ACN, Joe Igbokwe, the party said it was reacting to the recent protest against the restriction of okada organised by the some groups in Lagos. The party insists that the state government acted in the best interests of Lagosians in restricting okada operations from

the major and busy roads in Lagos while allowing their operations in some other inner roads in the state. Igbokwe said: “When we look into the fact that Lagos is about the 12th state in Nigeria to restrict okada operations, we are convinced of the political undertones of the recent protest against the okada restriction. One of the notable leaders of the protest who claims to be the National Secretary of a political party is a well known antagonist of Lagos who has been working in concert with desperate politicians in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against the interests of the present government in Lagos. It is convenient for him to now mutate to a civil society activist to mask his well known political interests, which now find expression in fueling the okada issue beyond proportion. “Right thinking Lagosians will like to know if Lagos is the first state to ban okada operations. If it is not, why are the same

people who promoted the bizarre poverty that brought about the okada boom still hanging on the tailboard of okada politics for selfish political interests? Why is it that PDP and its allies that introduced okada ban in Nigeria by totally banning okada in Abuja and has followed up with about 10 states, being the one that is fouling the airs in Lagos with the restriction of okada operations in some roads in Lagos? So, is Lagos a dumping ground for the banned okada in these PDP states and the federal capital? “Lagos ACN urges Lagosians to ignore these desperate politicians and their cohorts who masquerade as activists as they are playing a well known game otherwise why have they not protested okada ban in the many PDP states that took that action before Lagos did? We want Lagosians to face the big picture from this necessary ban and this obtains in the improved security of lives and properties.

The case has also made him gather much followership among youths and politicians alike, particularly within the CPC, as there is hardly anything the party does that he is not directly involved in. His followership and popularity were brought to bear when he was in court some days back for the resumed hearing of the case in question; after adjournment, Inuwa came out to meet several people, including politicians, chanting his name and assuring him of their support. The brash ones lifted him above their heads in solidarity and later followed him to his residence, all the while calling on him to contest the state’s the governorship election in 2015. Already, sources close to government and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are saying that Inuwa’s growing popularly is becoming a source of concern for some of them, as such could create problem for the PDP. The sources said with the local government elections set to hold anytime from now; several government and PDP members are worried that Inuwa’s popularity could work at getting more votes for the CPC. Such concerns, according to political observers, may not be unconnected with what transpired in the state in the build up to the 2011 general elections. It would be recalled that the CPC had fielded Senator Yakubu Lado Danmarke as its gubernatorial candidate, and the party had gone ahead to win all three senatorial seats as well as 12 of the 15 House of Representatives seats. The party’s unprecedented outing had shaken the ruling PDP, with some of its stakeholders having given up hope that they had lost the governorship and state House of Assembly seats to the CPC. But internal problems within the CPC and subsequent replacement by court order, of Lado with former House of Representatives’ Speaker, Aminu Bello Masari, helped changed the fortunes of the PDP. The ruling party went on to win the governorship election, as well as 30 of the 34 House of Assembly seats, but the political prowess of the CPC during the National Assembly elections is said to have never been lost on them. But other PDP members are playing down on Inuwa’s growing popularity, saying the ruling party remained a force to reckon with, in terms of winning elections. They said the faction problem within the CPC would not allow the opposition to go anywhere in the event of an election and that several of CPC members have moved to the PDP and were working for the interest of the PDP. They also called on Inuwa and other CPC members to join the PDP in delivering dividends of democracy to Katsina people. The twin cases between the state government and Inuwa would surely have political bearing on the fortunes of either of the litigators at the end of the day, but would the CPC return to winning ways in the days ahead or will the PDP still find a way round the CPC problem at the end of the day? Only time and the outcome of the cases would tell!


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Views

Thursday, December 13, 2012

17

The polity and morality of plea bargaining RATHER THAN BEING A VERITABLE

EXISTENTIAL HUMANISM

INSTRUMENT OF JUSTICE,

FRY

NDUBUISI

PLEA BARGAIN

fryndubuisi@nationalmirroronline.net (08023016709 SMS only)

COULD BECOME A

S

uddenly and so suddenly, plea bargaining sneaked into Nigeria’s criminal justice system; ever since then, it has been controversy galore. Many are not quite comfortable with the system. Recently two former Chief Justices of the Federation - Mohammed Uwais and Dahiru Musdapher - had cause to caution the Federal Government on its application, warning that it was harmful to the cause of justice. The warning came on the heel of moves by the EFCC to adopt it in the criminal trial of Mahmud Tukur, son of the National Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and three others, who were alleged to be involved in N1.9 billion fuel subsidy fraud . The eminent jurists made their views known at the annual Alternative Dispute Resolution Summit organised by Negotiation and Conflict Management Group (NCMG) and the National Judicial Institute (NJI) in Abuja. Musdapher, while noting that the concept had a dubious origin, maintained that Nigeria, presently mired in corruption, was not yet ripe for its use. He,

I

FACILITATOR OF CRIMINALITIES however, deposed that it was imperative to establish a legal framework that would be peculiar to our social norms, values and circumstances. Professor Cyprian Okonkwo (SAN), who agreed with the former CJN, argued that the system had no root in the nation’s legal system. Making his own contribution, Justice Mohammed Uwais reasoned that current emphasis should be on how to apply plea bargain in a manner that would not compromise fair administration of justice. Surprisingly, the EFCC chairman opined that there was nothing wrong or unconstitutional about plea bargaining, insisting that the Commission was supported, not only by Section 14(2) of the EFCC Act, but also by the Criminal Procedure Act and the Criminal Procedure code. According to him, the Commission had used it in the cases involving the Fed-

eral Government and Emmanuel Nwude, Chief DSP Alamieyeseigha, Tafa Balogun, Lucky Igbinedion and Cecilia Ibru. The debate is interesting and it should go on. We need it to distillate the utility value and evil of plea bargaining. There are genuine fears over its application. It may be misinterpreted as a loot sharing formula; it could also be seen as an impetus for criminals and potential criminals to continue in crimes knowing there is always a cheap escape route for them. And so rather than being a veritable instrument of justice, plea bargain could become a facilitator of criminalities. The obverse, however, is that plea bargaining could be used positively for proper administration of justice! This is reasoned within the context of the lacklustre performance of the judiciary in the seven years of prosecuting high profile corruption crimes in the country. What we have seen are either long adjournments or criminals getting immunity from trial through bought injunctions. Ask yourself: How many prominent Nigerians have been successfully tried and sentenced since the anti-corruption war took root? I think we need to streamline the plea bargain concept to get the best out of it. Nigeria needs all the money looted or a large chunk of it. The EFCC has in the last few months recovered billions of naira from oil subsidy scammers. If we had waited for real trial, the money might never have been recovered.

The Swiss government recently returned $700 million looted by General Sani Abacha family. I hasten to add that it is germane that this money be properly accounted for and deployed for social infrastructure provisioning. We have seen in this country a whole lot of people that have been accused of criminal looting of the treasury working the streets free. We should be more disturbed by a system that has made this possible. Immanuel Kant, a revered German philosopher and moralist, sees this development of letting criminals go free when there are existing laws to prosecute them as collective community guilt. There is merit in the criticism of plea bargaining, but more energy should be expended on working out the modality for its proper application here. The system has been successfully applied in the criminal justice system in the United States of America and the United Kingdom. The Indian brand became operational by its Criminal Law (amendment) Act of 2005. It is also applicable in Pakistan and France under guided principles. We should take a cue from all these countries and see how it could be applied in our system without doing damage to it. It is criminal to arraign hundreds of treasury looters for years without convictions. Professor Ndubuisi, an attorney at Law, is of the Dept of Philosophy, UNILAG

Confronting the kidnapping scourge

t will take a great sociologist to discriminate between numerous problems confronting Nigeria and identify the one most detrimental to her quest for progress. Hazarding a guess, I see these problems as corruption, insecurity, illiteracy, infrastructure deficit, criminality, religious bigotry, ethnicity, visionless leadership etc. Of course, it is trite saying all of these problems are inter-connected, but to isolate the single most debilitating factor responsible for the miserable condition of Nigeria would be a matter of academic conjecture, resolvable only within the same nebulous paradigm of hen-egg precedence paradox. Be that as it may, the shocking news of the kidnap of Professor (Mrs.) Kamene Okonjo, mother of the Finance Minister and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. (Mrs.) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has opened another depressing chapter in the annals of kidnapping and general insecurity in the land. Kidnapping for ransom, which began as a form of protest by militants in the Niger-Delta region against the callous environmental damage unleashed by oil exploration/exploitation on the region cum its infrastructure neglect by successive federal governments, has since blossomed into a criminal, big time multibillion naira business, nurtured with the same entrepreneurial passion as with a legitimate enterprise. Kidnapping is now essentially a commercial project for all comers who could lay hands on guns and are crazy enough to trade other people’s lives for filthy lucre. Every lazy bone now sees abduction as a shortcut to instant wealth; abduction has

become a magical money spinner for the ne’er do well. The menace has spread into virtually all parts of the country with varying degree of intensity as some areas are particularly reputed as hotspots. The nation has a long list of victims that is elongating by the day! Unfortunately the Nigerian security system, in all its ramifications, has more often than not, played the second best to the kidnappers. Goaded on by impunity, the kidnappers have been having a field day, ravaging the land with abandon, claiming victims among the lowly and the mighty, and picking up easy dough, almost for the asking. Numerous amounts of foreign direct investments have found their ways into alternative but more stable economies as a result of this scourge. This is not to talk of direct impact of decline in quality of life we now lead as a result of insecurity. Furthermore, many skilled and resourceful Nigerians in Diaspora, who can contribute to the nation’s growth, are afraid to come home. Nobody can deny we have a big problem here despite what anybody says to the contrary. What therefore, is to be done? A number of approaches may be offered as counter-measures to this malaise. The first one is “no payment method”. This is a strategy of cultivating the practice of calling the bluff of the marauders by refusing to oblige them with ransom payments. I am not oblivious of the practical difficulty of inculcating this mentality in Nigerians. A number of people would readily offer money to secure the freedom of their loved ones, but the paradox is that the more ran-

LET’S FACE IT,

KIDNAPPERS DON’T

DRINK BLOOD!

WHAT

THEY WANT IS MONEY

KAYODE

KETEFE

som is paid, the more kidnapping becomes prevalent. If this culture of “no payment” kketefe@nationalmirroronline.net 08032147720 (SMS only) is entrenched, at least commercial kidnapping would stop. cally. There are so many crimes that would Let’s face it, kidnappers don’t drink have been solved through simple activity of blood! What they want is money, and if it tracing the GSM calls or the internet-based is fairly certain that no ransom would be messages. The advantage of technological forthcoming, they would not find the crime approach is that it can even be employed as lucrative. Those who think this is not rea pre-emptive measure. alistic should ponder on situations where Then there is the legal approach. This is ransoms are collected and still the kidnapall about promulgating a law that imposes pers kill the victims. Could that be worse exceedingly severe punitive measures, than calling their bluff ? But this approach like very lengthy imprisonment terms or calls for highly efficient security system to even life imprisonment term for the ofcrush the kidnappers. fence of kidnapping. If such a law is made There is the technological approach. A and strictly enforced, it would constitute a number of crimes in developed countries check on the crime of human snatching. have been solved through deployment of Separating the three approaches is appropriate technology. For example, kidmerely theoretical. In practical terms, they napping for ransom invariably involves should be employed collectively. Nigeria making telephone calls, at least to inform must find a way to overcome this abducthe relatives of the victims of the incident tion-for-lucre menace if we are desirous of and to demand ransom. We know that making progress. whenever a call is made, the signal never goes to recipient directly but through a Send your views by mail or sms to central processing facility. Thus, the serPMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mail@ vice provider acts as the interface between nationalmirroronline.netmirrorlagos@ yahoo.com or 08164966858 (SMS the caller and receiver. Tracing such calls only). The Editor reserves the right to is very easy. edit and reject views or photographs. It never ceased to beat me why our secuPseudonyms may be used but must be rity agents often neglect, fail or prove inclearly marked as such. capable of employing technology forensi-


18

Editorial

Thursday, December 13, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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

T

STEVE AYORINDE

„

MD/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

YELE AKINROLABU

„

ED OPERATIONS

SEYI FASUGBA

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DAILY EDITOR

BOLAJI TUNJI

„

SUNDAY EDITOR

GBEMI OLUJOBI

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SATURDAY EDITOR

DOZIE OKEBALAMA

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COORDINATOR, EDITORIAL BOARD

ADESOYE ADEKOYA

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KAYODE BALOGUN JNR

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SM, STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT

FRANK OBOH

„

HEAD, GRAPHICS

CBN Governor on cost of government

he Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, stirred the hornets’ nest a couple of days back when he suggested the reduction of the nation’s workforce by 50 percent. Sanusi said a situation where the government spends over 70 percent of its annual budgets on recurrent expenditure at the expense of capital expenditure, mainly to service a few political office holders and public servants that account for about one million, out of the country’s over 165 million national population; was unsustainable. The kernel of the CBN helmsman’s argument was that the size of government should be cut substantially to free resources for social and economic development. Despite the undeniable fact and truth inherent in Sanusi’s blunt position, his remarks drew the flak of Organised Labour and other vested interests, including the National Assembly; while the President Goodluck Jonathanled Federal Government denied Sanusi. The FG said Sanusi did not speak on its behalf; and that it had no business with reducing the workforce. It is public knowledge; however, that not a few Nigerians, across ethnic and economic divides, have consistently lamented the outrageous cost of sustaining the nation’s public institutions and politicians at all levels of governance. The Presidency - with too many min-

isters, advisers, assistants and extra-ministerial agencies - that represents the highest office in the land, for instance, is viewed as extremely costly to maintain and, therefore, unsuitable for a developing country with a vast poverty-stricken populace. When added to the cost of servicing state and local governments, the picture on ground becomes that of a nation that lavishes all its resources on running the government, without any tangible social or capital infrastructure for the governed, especially power, roads, education and health, etc. facilities. Contrary to the rare boldness with which the FG dismissed Sanusi’s frank observations, we had thought the reason the government raised the Steve Oronsaye panel on trimming government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) was to streamline the MDAs, reduce the cost of government, enhance efficiency and check the rapacious levels of corruption and waste dogging the application of public funds. But try as the FG, state and local governments think they can; we do not see how, with their high degrees of profligacy, inefficient application of public funds, maladministration and sundry corrupt practices, they would improve on their woeful performances since 1999 in serving the people, if they fail to address the workforce albatross. Indeed, the country cannot sin-

IT IS CRUEL AND INSENSITIVE FOR THE

NIGERIAN

GOVERNMENT TO ABANDON THE DAUNTING PROBLEM OF JOB CREATION FOR THE PRIVATE SECTOR ALONE cerely justify the existence of its huge and money guzzling federal cabinet, 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, National and State Assemblies, and 774 Local Government Councils in terms of any known indices of development. Why then crucify Sanusi for stating the obvious, except for the sheer hypocrisy of the beneficiaries of the rot? We agree with critics who argue that the cost of governance can be reduced if the overhead component of the recurrent expenditure – frivolous car maintenance allowances, honoraria, travels and tours, which are avenues corrupt government officials steal from public funds – is drastically reduced, especially in line with the FG’s monetization policy. Also imperative is the need to plug reckless leakages in public finances, fraudulent fuel subsidy, pension fund frauds, so-

called security vote for the President and governors, dubious and inflated contracts, etc., inclusive. These, however, do not diminish the glaring fact that the cost of governance is the major locust ravaging the nation’s resources meant for the development of critical infrastructure and social services. It is, however, pathetic and quite distressing that the Sanusi option is coming at a time when the government is concentrating more on the welfare of its members; and is creating jobs more on the pages of newspapers, radio and television, than for those desperately in need of jobs. Herein are the ethical and moral setbacks in embracing Sanusi’s bitter pill as postulated. The CBN governor’s detractors also claimed that he inherited a workforce of 5, 022, which he allegedly increased to 6, 015 along ethnic considerations. While these reinforce the point of those against reducing the workforce, they do not help the hopeless case of the nation’s bloated costs of sustaining the political class and the bureaucracy. Sanusi is dead right. The bureaucracy should be restructured for efficiency and social relevance, while all tiers of government should raise job creation committees to tackle the problems of unemployment, poverty and destitution. It is cruel and insensitive for the Nigerian government to abandon the daunting problem of job creation for the private sector alone.

ON THIS DAY December 13, 2003 Operation Red Dawn: Former Iraqi President, Saddam Hussein, was captured near his home town of Tikrit. Operation Red Dawn was an American military operation conducted on 13 December 2003 in the town of ad-Dawr, Iraq, near Tikrit, that led to the capture of the Iraqi president. The operation was named after the 1984 film, ‘Red Dawn’. The mission was assigned to the 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 4th Infantry Division, commanded by Major. Gen Raymond Odierno.

December 13, 2000 Al Gore conceded the United States presidential election to George W. Bush. Albert Arnold “Al” Gore, Jr. (born March 31, 1948) served as the 45th Vice President of the US (1993–2001), under President Bill Clinton. He was the Democratic Party’s nominee for President and lost the 2000 US presidential election despitewinningthepopularvote.Goreiscurrentlyanauthorand environmental activist. He has founded a number of non-profit organizations, including the Alliance for Climate Protection.

December 13, 1960 While Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia visited Brazil, his Imperial Bodyguard seized the capital and proclaimed him deposed and his son, Crown Prince Asfa Wossen, Emperor. Haile Selassie I (July 23, 1892 – August 27, 1975), born Tafari Makonnen, was Ethiopia’s regent from 1916 to 1930 and Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974. He was the heir to a dynasty that traced its origins to the 13th century; and from there, by tradition back to King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

19

Education Today ‘Private varsities deserve subvention from governments’ 21

Unending controversies over study of History in schools There seems to be no end in sight over the controversies surrounding the current neglect that History suffers as a subject of study in Nigeria’s secondary schools. While stakeholders, including the nation’s former Ambassador to UNESCO, Prof. Michael Omolewa; Chairman, Governing Council, Ekiti State University, Prof. Akinjide Osuntokun, among others, argue that the subject be made compulsory in schools’ syllabus, others, like the Deputy Chairman, Senate Committee on Education, Prof. Sola Adeyeye, have argued otherwise. MOJEED ALABI writes:

Osuntokun

Omolewa Adeyeye

Onyekpe

I

n 2010, when the National Examination Council (NECO) recorded mass failure in its Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations, President Goodluck Jonathan blamed it on the 6-33-4 education policy introduced in 1989 by the then Prof. Babatunde Fafunwa-led Federal Ministry of Education. Aside that, the president was also reported to have condemned the introduction of Social Studies in replacement of History in the junior secondary schools as suggested by the National Curriculum Conference of 1969. Today, almost four decades after the commission’s suggestion, its echoes have continued to reverberate, as it is being linked with the neglect the study of History as a subject now suffers among secondary school students in the country. Many stakeholders in the nation’s educational sector have continued to blame the collapse in the sector, coupled with the waning moral values in the larger society, to the insignificant part allocated to History in the schools’ syllabus. To return the subject to what its pro-

ponents now refers to as its deserved place of priority in the nation’s school system, they have argued that history should be made compulsory for all secondary school students from Class IV to VI. This, they claim, will enable the country produce a new generation of leaders that would be inspired by the glories of the past and thereby reshape the nation’s battered image and place her on the path to greatness. According to a fellow of the Historical Society of the Nigeria and an Associate Professor at University of Lagos, Dr. Godwin Onyekpe, Nigeria’s rebirth relies on the country’s ability to look back into her history, review her mistakes and successes as the case may be. “The present is a product of the past. The past is the foundation of today, and today is the foundation of tomorrow. There is always that inter-organic connection between the past, present and the future. Historical knowledge helps to cast life on the problems of the society. But unfortunately, our history is being ignored. Children are now interested in

knowing the history of western world rather than their own history and that is the beginning of our problems as a nation,” Onyekpe noted. To make real her intention, the society has since forwarded a bill to the National Assembly seeking government’s endorsement to make the subject compulsory in schools. However, the Deputy Chairman of Senate Committee on Education, Prof. Sola Adeyeye, has vowed to kick against the proposal whenever it is opened for debate in the parliament. But Adeyeye’s position has continued to receive knocks from eminent scholars and personalities, who hold the view that a fellow scholar like the senator cannot justify the position considering the importance of History to a nation’s survival and her continued relevance among comity of nations. The former Nigerian Ambassador to Germany and current Chairman of Governing Council, Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, Prof. Akinjide Osuntokun, in his condemnation of Adeyeye’s position, told National Mirror that, as long as Ni-

geria’s History continues to be relegated to the background, the country has got no chance to be off the hook of her present predicaments. Osuntokun, a professor of History, said Adeyeye must be ignorant of the values of History when he said History was not more important than Chemistry or Physics or any other subject and thereby should still be made optional. He explained that either in Europe or America, students were made to pass through a course on the country’s history before they could graduate. In his own contribution, the former Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Prof. Michael Omolewa, listed some of the reasons for the country’s current neglect of the study of History in schools. “Many Nigerian leaders”, he pointed out, “have a bad history and therefore would not want the growing generation of younger ones to be familiar with such.” The envoy said the removal of History from Nigerian school curriculum was influenced by the colonial masters, who believe that as long as Nigerians continue to read about their histories, there could arouse a sense of emancipation or even revolution. He said though, Adeyeye was a longstanding friend whose view he usually respects and so he must have a logical reason to have held such view. He said it would be proper to let the senator know that superior logicality should be in the call for the subject’s compulsion in the secondary schools. Similarly, the Director, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Prof. Bola Akinterinwa, argued that a place of prime should be accorded core subjects like History, indigenous languages and French as a necessary step to offer students sound and comprehensive education. To bring back the subject to the schools Omolewa suggested that its syllabus should be adequately reviewed to make it more appealing and interactive to both students and teachers. He said the subject should reflect the common happenings within and outside the nation’s territorial ground and make it less cumbersome as it is presently viewed by many. The Principal, Kings College, Lagos, Otunba Oladele Olapeju, who also lamented the current poor attention the subject currently receives by school administrators, told National Mirror that since he took over as the school’s principal, he had brought in new History teachers and had given the subject a new lease of life in his school. Olapeju said the scientific study of History must be brought back into the curriculum to consider the foundations CONTINUED ON PAGE 22


20

Education Today

Thursday, December 13, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Educationists honour Obaji, Afe Babalola, others Last Wednesday, educationists, under the platform of History of Education Society of Nigeria (HOESON) assembled some notable Nigerians, including the former Minister of Education, Prof. Chinwe Obaji, the founder of Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti and honoured them with the Chief Afe Babalola association’s fellowship. The event, which was part of the society’s 9th Annual National Conference, appraised the involvement of private investors in the nation’s education sector. MOJEED ALABI reports:

A

fter about 25 years of service as a lecturer at Michael Okpara College of Agriculture, Umuagwo, Imo State, Mrs. Chinwe Obaji, was appointed the first Nigerian female Education Minister. Between June 2005 and April 2006 she was in the office, she dazed many doubting Thomases who felt such portfolios could only be handled by men by introducing many measures aimed at instilling discipline in the sector and guaranteeing access to sound and qualitative education. In his presentation as the Keynote Speaker at the event, Prof. Michael Omolewa, said as the nation’s former Ambassador to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural

The Association’s President, Prof. Alice Jekayinfa presenting the award plaque to Prof. Obaji at the event.

Organisation(UNESCO), who related closely with some ministers including Obaji, he could vouch for the former minister’s passion, commitment and dedication to work at all times. On their part, the organiser of the event said Obaji, as a minister, resuscitated the inspectorate division of the education ministry and started the onemeal-a-day project in some pilot primary schools across the country. The most famous policy of her admin-

istration, the association’s President, Prof. Alice Jekayinfa, said was the introduction of the Post University Matriculation Examination for the prospective undergraduates applying to universities; the step she said was aimed at bypassing the alleged inefficiency of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB). Also the association credited Obaji for the introduction of the child right education aimed at increasing children access to education. These achievements, among others,

qualified Obaji for the award. Other recipients of the honour were the legal luminary and former Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Chief Afe Babalola; the Pioneer Vice-Chancellor of the National Open University of Nigeria and now Secretary to the Kogi State Government, Prof. Olugbenro Jegede; the current Lagos State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Adekunle Ogunmola, and two others. While Afe Babalola was represented at the occasion by the former Vice-Chancellor of Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State, Prof. Adekunle Alalade, Ogunmola and others attended the award ceremony. Expressing her appreciation for the honour, Obaji assured of her commitment to efforts aimed at moving education sector forward. While expressing her disappointment over government’s inability to give education for all and schools inspection the deserved attention, Obaji called for urgent attention in these areas to curb the many problems facing the country. She, however, said she was happy that the post UTME was sustained. The conference, which held at Emmanuel Alayande College of Education, Oyo, in Oyo State, was themed; Privatisation and Development of Education in Nigeria. It appraised the involvement of private investors in the nation’s educational sector, and concluded that in most parts of the world, education is not solely handled by government. But even at that, the government, the conference stressed, would have to provide enabling environment and proper monitoring and guidance.

A dream fulfilled, say septuagenarian graduands

Some of the graduands at the ceremony with the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Education, Otunba Fatai Olukoga (2nd right).

MURITALA AYINLA

F

or Mr. Yekini Adeyemo, 73, and Mrs. Rachael Oyebola, 71, the age-long desire to read and write spurred them to summon courage to enroll in the adult literacy class, organised by a Non-Governmental Organisation- Laudable Supports Initiatives. The two septuagenarians stood out among other 98 adults, who recently graduated from the special literacy class in Lagos. They looked beyond the chal-

lenges associated with seeking knowledge and partook in the herculean task of looking for writing materials, especially pen, pencil and eraser to do their daily home work. Although, they would have wished that they got western education earlier than now, the fact remains that they had no opportunity of realising that wish when they were much younger. Speaking with National Mirror during their graduation ceremony held at the Nigerian Army Officers’ Mess, Sabo-Yaba, Lagos, elated Adeyemo said he was

never forced to enrol in the adult literacy class, but the passion for education made him to do so. “I had the dream to know how to read and write as far back as in the 1940s,” he said. “Though, it is better to learn earlier in one’s life time, today, I’m better off because I can read and write in simple grammar. My children and grand children earlier discouraged me from enrolling in the programme but, in the end, they succumbed to my desire.” The Oyo- born septuagenarian commended the Chief Executive Officer of Laudable Supports Ini-

tiatives, Mrs. Bolanle Dosunmu, for providing him the platform to learn at his age. “To teach an elderly person, who you cannot beat or coerce into doing something is not an easy task. I thank the proprietress of the centre, especially, for providing all the necessary materials that aided the free learning. We did not pay tuition fees, not even for the books and the pen,” he said gracefully. Mrs. Oyebola, who dropped out of school in 1958 was also excited to have had the grasp of the rudiment aspects of grammar now. According to her, despite the little education she had, she could not spell a word correctly until she enrolled in the adult literacy programme, adding that she could now read and write in Yoruba and English Language perfectly. “Prior to the enrolment, I didn’t know what a phrase, clause and sentence were, let alone paragraph. But today, I teach and help my grand children to write their homework from school. The literacy class has helped me to do a lot. I can send text messages on phone, write letters and do many other things,” she said. On the challenges faced in the course of learning, the 71-year-

old grandmother said: “I was not bothered about facing any challenge. I decided to learn and went for it. I also made up my mind to obey all the laws guiding the operation of the class and respect my teachers even if they were in the ages of my grandchildren.” The founder of the literacy class, Mrs. Dosunmu, said the aged graduands could not only read and write, but were also trained on vocational skills. She listed areas of vocational jobs they were trained on to include the production of, soaps, antiseptics, insecticide, pomade, jelly, perfumes and other consumable items like beads making and so on. She added that the overall objectives of the NGO were to build value-oriented and equitable society so as to promote peoples’ well- being and fundamental benefit of life. Dosumu, however, appealed to the well-meaning individuals in the state and the government to partner the organisation in empowering the women and the youths. In his address, the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Education, Otunba Fatai Olukoga, commended the founder for complementing the state government‘s effort at improving the literacy level in the state, assuring her of government’s support at all time.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Education Today

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Can you please tell us what makes Crawford University different from others? This is a university established by the Apostolic Faith. So, ours is not to impart academic knowledge on our students alone, we also train our students to fear the Lord. Once they fear the Lord, they will obey the law of the land, they will respect the opinions and dignity of other people, they will live peacefully with others, they will not be corrupt in their dealings and we will together have a better society. So, you can’t find our students involving in cultism or any criminal activity. We have no case of sexual harassment among our students and the lecturers; no examination malpractice because the students are being taught to be self confidence in their studies and other endeavours; we don’t experience interruption in our academic calendars as there is no basis for lecturers embarking on industrial actions or students rampaging. So, our students know that four years after admission, they will graduate. Our university is therefore producing set of future leaders that will transform the country to a better place for us to live. I must also say that we offer full scholarship to brilliants but indigent students to study their choice courses. What is your view on the adoption of the federal character and quota system in admitting students into the federal universities and the employment of graduates in the public service in the country? Personally, I don’t like the policies. It is inimical to excellence. When you celebrate mediocre over the competent people, when you assign duties to people just because they belong to a particular state or local government and not on competency and merit principle, what you are saying is that excellence does not count. That is why people are doing sordid jobs with relevant authorities looking elsewhere as if they are not aware of what is happening. The best qualified students should be admitted into both the public and the private schools and the best qualified employment seekers should also be employed and not the mediocre. This practice will be to the good of the institutions and the society at large. So, it is good to reorder our priority and create the system whereby the best qualified worker, for example, should be able to jump into the drivers’ seat and continue with the journey. Therefore if you are already identified the best person that is fitted into a particular job and because he or she is not from a particular geographical area of the country and you consider the less competent person for that job, it means you don’t mean well for the organizations and the country at large. So, I don’t see federal character and quota system as a good policy. People should be placed on a level- playing ground to compete for whatsoever positions. Another thing is that less emphasis should be placed on paper qualifications. Rather, competency should be the consideration for employment. What kind of advice would you give to graduates who are jobless several years after graduation? The era of graduates getting automatic employment and at a choice establishment is gone in this country. Even at that, it is particularly painful seeing the

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Private varsities deserve subvention from governments –VC, Crawford University Prof. Simeon Ayanlaja, Vice-Chancellor, Crawford University, Igbesa, Ogun State, is a renowned soil scientist. He is a former Provost of College of Agriculture, Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, and a member of International Soil Science Society and Soil Titillate Research Organisation, among others. In this interview with TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE, he speaks about the best training to give to the undergraduates and why the government should give financial support to private universities. Excerpts:

SOMEBODY WITH UNIVERSITY EDUCATION SHOULD BE ABLE TO BE CREATIVE AND WORK OUT SOMETHING LEGITIMATE TO LIVE AND SUSTAIN ON

Prof. Ayanlaja

able-bodied youths, especially graduates roaming the streets to look for the non-existing jobs many years after graduation. That is not a good story. Although, some find themselves in that condition because they refuse to face the reality of life. They may be selective of the kind of job to do. They may not want to start small but big. So, the in-thing now is about innovation and creativity. Somebody with university education should be able to be creative and work out something legitimate to live and sustain on. Young and energetic youths should not stay idle. I use to tell my workers and the students that they should not see challenges as something that will hinder them from carrying out their duties effectively. Challenges are part of life; it is those who can face it that will come out victorious. At times, there may be genuine reasons for failure, but what makes the difference is the ability to rise up and wedge through storm to achieve success. I made to understand that the great people ever produced were those with greatest challenges in life. So, failure is not acceptable in a system that is striving for excellence. I will therefore implore the unemployed graduates to think of something no matter how small to do on their own to fetch them income. Although, beginning may be rough, to be economically engaged will earn one dignity and respect in the society. That is why it is also necessary for schools to develop a well- packaged curriculum with which to train students on entrepreneurial skill. People should not be contented with excuses and failure. That your lecturers are being paid on the basis of the FG/ASUU Agreement

on salaries sounds strange, how do you intend to sustain this? The sustainability is based on the ability to manage the limited resources at our disposal. We will not give room for wastage and corruption. Once we are able to block all loopholes where money can be siphoned and ensure that I myself as a VC is upright, honest and prudent on my spending, we won’t have problem. So, with the little resources we have without getting a dime from the government, we use our resources judiciously and God has been helping us to pay our workers regularly and meeting with other commitments. We maintain our hostels, we have constant water and power supply and we are consistently improving on our infrastructural facilities, among others. Some people still believe that the quality of education receiving in the public universities is much better than that of the private’s in the country, what is your view on this? That cannot be a fair judgment. What are the criteria for such conclusion? Public universities experience incessant strikes. Lecturers down tool for three months or more, workers may not get their salaries for two or three months, the students are harassed by themselves and by their lecturers. Their hostels and lecture halls, most times, are overcrowded and so on. What kind of training such an environment will offer? All these vices are rare in the private universities. I will also say that lecturers in private universities are focused and committed for students to get best out of them. Students are comfortable in their hostels and lecture halls. There is no strike that will take them out of the class even for a day. We also parade qualified lecturers as public universities do and so on. How then will the public universities perform better than the private ones? That cannot be possible. But most students that enter private universities have cut off points that cannot secure them a place in the public universities, what do you have to say about this? The university admission in the country is controlled by the Joint Admission

and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and nobody enters into any university without passing through the organisation. Every year, general admission cut off points are fixed by the conference of vice-chancellors in conjunction with the exam body and other relevant stakeholders. A minimum academic and JAMB scores will be fixed at such meetings and this stands as admission requirements for that year. The meaning of this is that once a candidate gets to stipulated cut off mark, he or she is eligible for admission into any of the universities in the country. The rest is left with each university and that is where the issue of the post- UTME comes in. From there, each university can now fix a score for a particular course of study and this is usually guided by the number of candidates and the facilities on ground. But, abinitio, the minimum cut off point, usually between 180 and 200 marks out of 400 obtainable points would have been fixed. Even at that, there is not necessarily a perfect correlation between the JAMB score and the grade to obtain when graduating. Candidates with the highest scores in UTME and post-UTME may not necessary come out the best when graduating. Truly, some students prefer the public universities, particularly those owned by the Federal Government to private universities. This is mostly because they are cheaper and they can as well enjoy unnecessary freedom on campus. But that does not make the private universities inferior to public universities. Some organisations are even preferred graduates from the private universities. Though, the type of certificate in one’s possession is important, the ability to proof you merit the certificate and grade therein is also very important. One’s character is also important. So, it will be better to employ graduate with a second class lower and that has no tainted character than to employ a first class with questionable character. What are challenges facing the private university owners? The commonest challenge faced by every establishment including Crawford University, is that of inadequacy of funds. Secondly, I will also mention that the graduates we produce together with those from the state and federal universities are all meant to develop Nigerian economy. There is no demarcation as per the sectors or organisations, where graduates from either private or public universities can work. You go into the areas you can best utilise your potentials. That is why it will be necessary for the government to give subvention to private universities. Private universities are complementing the effort of government to provide education to the citizenry.


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Education Today

Unending controversies over study of History in schools

CONTINUED FROM 19 of scientific inventions and innovations in order to be able to let students realise what informed their creations and what to do when similar situation arises in the country. But many states in the country are passionate in the re-introduction of the subject in the secondary schools. It is now a compulsory subject in Lagos secondary schools. Ekiti, Ogun, Oyo, Rivers, Cross River, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Imo and Akwa Ibom are are adopting a similar policy. Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos, for instance, said making History a compulsory subject was part of the government’s efforts in bringing back the educational glories in the state. Similarly, the fate of History formed one of the bases for the recent Education Summit recently held by the governors and education stakeholders in the south-south geopolitical zone. They vowed to reclaim the subject’s past glories by recruiting more teachers, stock schools with relevant materials and enhance the review of its curriculum to accommodate new happenings around the globe. The Ekiti Commissioner of Education, Science and Technology, Dr. Eniola Ajayi, on her part, told National Mirror that the subject would likely be made compulsory by next academic year. Above all, Dr. Onyekpe noted that his association had planned to start awarding prizes to the best History pupil in various geo-political zones. “We also plan to take the award to the university level. Aside the awards, we have gone ahead to set up regional historical societies that would promote local community history. Young ones need to know their histories and that of others so as to have complete knowledge of the society,” he hinted.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Amendment to TETFund Act stirs controversy among stakeholders IJEOMA EZIEKE

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he peaceful serene of Hearing Room 028 in the House of Representatives wing of the National Assembly recently was poised for the expected monumental clash royale between proponents of an amendment to the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) Act and those against the proposed amendments. The Bills in effect, among other things, sought to return TETFund to the ETF regime, which operated for over 17 years and brought to the fore the several flaws associated with that regime which the Prof Mahmood Yakubu-led Management, with strong support from the Legislative and Executive arms of Government corrected in the TETFund Act, which was passed into law in June 2011. The proposed amendments also sought to impose greater financial burden and exposure to the TETFund much worse than during the ETF regime. Naturally, this line of action was going to put proponents of the amendments on a collision course with critical stakeholders in the education sector, especially the various trade unions such as Academic staff Union of Universities (ASUU) (which considers the agency its baby following the agitation of the 1992 FG/ ASUU agreement ), National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), and Civil Society Organisations (NGOs). And for no other reason but for the fact that just as accolades were pouring in from international and local observers for the outstanding strides being achieved in the tertiary institutions by the management since the refocusing of its mandate following the 2011 amendment, an attempt is being made to draw back the hands of the clock as it were. So, the stage was set for an intellectual clash between both sides of the divide with civil society represented by the Coalition to Save Education In Nigeria, which had heavy weights such as Ezenwa Nwagwu, Lanre Arogundade, Mahmood Abdul, Chima Amadi, Prof. Emeka Ezeonu , Jaye Gaskia and many others. As soon as the opening formalities were done with by the Whip of the House who represented the Speaker and the Committee Chairperson, Hon Okoh, what was expected to be a fascinating session of ideological exchanges from both sides ended in a disappointing anti-climax! While the opponents of the fact-based proposed bills reeled out convincing and facts based reasons why the amendments must not be allowed to take place, not one single voice of support for the bill was canvassed by the proponents. From the Unions to the CSOs, the cacophony of opposition to the amendments were deafening such that a clearly frustrated Committee Chairperson had to call for a voice vote which got an overwhelming rejection from the energized audience. What may have led to the whippy withdrawal of the proponents of the amendments? A school of thought suggests that the superior intellectual firepower from the opponents of the amendments and massive mobilisation from same could have led to the annihilation of the other side. However, another more likely school of thought posits that the astounding achieve-

Mark

Yakubu

ments of TETFund may have unwittingly been responsible for this show of solidarity from stakeholders. A source in the Ministry of Education revealed that recently the ASUU broke with tradition and sent a very strong letter of endorsement for the reappointment of the Executive Secretary of TETFund to the Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’I. The President of the Coalition to Save Education in Nigeria, Ezenwa Nwagwu while speaking on behalf of the Coalition also threw their support behind ASUU’s proposition citing what he called “obvious signs of positive and incisive intervention beneficiaries.” Commensurately, more Funds are available for research, library development, academic staff training and development, publications of journals, book development, infrastructural development including rehabilitation and renovation, entrepreneurship development, etc in public tertiary institutions within the mandate of TETFUND. These institutions have indeed received much enhanced funds for designated projects and thus freed resources for the Government which can be diverted into other challenges within the educational sector. One of TETFUND’s cardinal ambitions for tertiary institutions in Nigeria is to see them adorned with beautiful architectural masterpieces as world class institutions are known for, this to a large extent has been achieved. A visit to Yaba College of Technology, Lagos (YABATECH), University of Ilorin, University of Port Harcourt, University of Benin, among others and many polytechnics and colleges of education nationwide will convince the skeptics. Improved facilities in tertiary institutions in Nigeria has indeed enhanced the carrying capacity of the beneficiaries, which amongst other things reduced the scramble for foreign exchange and resulting pressure on the naira, caused by the daily increasing number of Nigerian students (undergraduates and post graduates) who yearly apply for admission into tertiary institutions outside Nigeria. These classes of applicants and student pay several fees in foreign exchange including but not limited to; application fees, tuition and accommodation, maintenance expenditure which in real terms develop the receiving economies to the detriment of the Nigeria economy. Faculties of Education of the beneficiary Universities, Colleges of Education,

and Polytechnics now have enhanced resources including funds to attain the objectives of the educational policy of the government unlike the previous order. The report of the Presidential Committee on Needs Assessment of Universities in Nigeria has revealed the extreme decay (including infrastructure) in the Nigeria educational system and recommended that TETFund should focus more attention, energy, including its scares resources among the several competing identified ends to stem the decay. The government has further directed that similar need assessment be carried out for polytechnics and Colleges of Education in Nigeria. The Government in her wisdom appointed Prof Mahmood Yakubu to Chair the committee and he did deliver on the task. For some stakeholders, it is only natural that he be reappointed to oversee implementation of aspects of the report as TETFund may be required to undertake. Speaking recently at a stakeholders forum organised by the Independent Service Delivery Monitoring Group (ISDMG), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu disclosed that with innovations introduced in ETF/TETFund since 2007, and through close collaboration with the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) in the areas of tax drive, monitoring visits to Large Tax Offices (LTOs) and Integrated Tax Offices (ITOs), interactive forum and technical committee meetings between the senior staff of FIRS and TETFund, education tax collection has improved to unprecedented levels in the Fund’s history. He said between 1994 and 2007, the fund collected only N178bn, while between2008 – 2010, which is just only 3 years, the fund collected a huge sum of N284.9bnwhich, means that “61% of the total amount collected in Education Tax over the last17 years (1994-2010) was collected in the last three years (2008-2010)”. Yakubu noted also that as a result of improvement in collection of education taxes, the benefiting institutions have received more funds from 2008 than at any time in the Fund’s history. For instance, the allocation to Universities rose from N58.5 million in2007 to N119.0 million in 2008 and 2009, N303.0 million in 2010 and N395.0 million in 2011. However, will merit take precedence over politics and other primordial considerations in the appointment of the Executive Secretary position at the TETFund?


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Education Today

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Ekiti students shine at national mathematics contest

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ixty three secondary school students from Ekiti State, who performed excellently in the recent National Mathematical and Science Olympiad Competition in Abuja, were officially welcome back home by the state government. The students from both private and public schools got the awards in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology.

Welcoming them back to Ekiti State, the Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Dr. Eniola Ajayi said their impressive performance was an indication that the state government’s investment on education was yielding desirable results. She said by the achievement, they had done not only the state government, but also the people of the

state proud, adding that the government would not relent in the provision of qualitative education at all levels. The commissioner, represented by the Director of Evaluation & Standard in her ministry, Mr. Abiodun Jeje, stated that the current administration in the state had so far, among others, renovated 100 out of the 183 secondary schools in the first

phase of its Operation Renovate All Schools in Ekiti (ORASE), and also provided good furniture for both primary and secondary schools. She added that laptop computers had also been distributed to students and teachers from primary to secondary schools so as to enhance Information Communication Technology education in the state. She told them to recip-

rocate the gesture by striving more to uplift the sector to an enviable height. In his remarks, the Acting Director of National Mathematical Centre, Prof. Rapheal Folarin, stressed the importance of Mathematics to scientific and technological development, saying there was a great correlation between the level of development of a nation and the study of mathematics.

UI VC decries overseas treatment by Nigerians TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE

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ice-Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Oyo State, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has decried the exodus of Nigerians embarking on overseas treatment, calling for reversal of the trend. The VC, who called on government across levels to provide adequate fund to the health sector and make it viable, said this was necessary to discourage what he described as “medical tourism abroad by Nigerians.” Prof. Adewole stated this when a team from the Institute of Health Service Administrators of Nigeria recently paid him a courtesy call in his office. The aim of the visit, according to the team, was to intimate the university with the institute’s programmes on its forthcoming 26th National Conference and Annual General Meeting. The VC, in a statement made available to National Mirror, by the university’s spokesman, Mr. Olatunji Oladejo, said the country lost huge amount

of money to visiting countries whenever people go abroad for treatment. “But we have good brains in the country. What we lack are the equipment and good infrastructure in our health facilities. So, there is a need to address these issues,” he said. He advised members of the institute to take their job seriously, adding that the institute should not stop at diagnosis but should go ahead to proffer solutions and recommendations that would bring a positive change in the country’s health service delivery. The VC also appealed to the visitors to always adopt another method of resolving crises rather than embarking on industrial actions, saying hospital workers embarking on strike usually take huge toll on the lives of patients. The National President of the institute, Chief Jude Osunwa thanked the university’s management for the training and retraining of health workers, adding that University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, “is a role model in health delivery in the country.”

Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye presenting the outgoing Tutor General/Permanent Secretary of Education District 1, Agege Mrs. Mopelola Victoria Peregrino with her certificate of service.

Kids at Season Greetings Indomie Fan Club Christmas Party in Lagos, yesterday.

OAU employs 78 First Class students WALE FOLARIN OSOGBO

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eventy-eight First Class graduating students of the Obafemi

Awolowo University (OAU), Ile Ife, Osun State, have been offered automatic employment by the institution. The Chairman, Ceremonials Committee of the Uni-

Bayelsa may prune Niger Delta Varsity workforce EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA.

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here are strong indications that the Niger Delta University (NDU), may prune its workforce as Governor Seriake Dickson on Tuesday inaugurated an eightmember Governing Council of the university. The governor believed the university had employed more workers than it required thereby leading to increased wage bill.

Pioneer Vice Chancellor of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt and former Minister of Science and Technology, Prof. Turner Isoun is the new Chairman of the Council. Dickson informed that his vision would be to make the institution autonomous and self-sustenance noting that the university would be run professionally. “This is unsustainable for the government. This new Governing Council must look into this issue.

The university apart from being autonomous in finances and administration, should be able to sustain itself with little support from the government. That approach is to fund the institution from within and that to me is a more sustainable way to get the best for the university. “The University from a report you will soon read is in a situation where you have a lot of staff you don’t really need. Perhaps, the reason is that the university employs but it does not

pay. The university employs and the burden is passed on to the state. And that is not sustainable and it is not acceptable to me,” the governor said. He, therefore, insisted that the university must be prepared to do soul searching.” Look inwards, weed out the ones that are not needed. We will all look at a way of engaging people who are not needed there, there is a major reforms coming here the university would not be left out.”

versity, Prof. Samuel Aguda, who disclosed this in Ile- Ife while briefing journalists on the 39th convocation of the ivory tower, said the university has made it a point of duty to give its first class graduates automatic employment as a way of encouraging them. His words: “it is our belief in OAU that students who make First Class should be encouraged and before the Federal Government instructs that all First Class holders should be given automatic employment, OAU has made it a firm decision to give automatic employment to interested graduates in that category.” Aguda said a total number of 5,249 students of the university would graduate with first degree, out of which 78 bagged First

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College provosts laud Fashola on educational development MUHAJEED L AWAL

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rovosts of Colleges of Education under the aegis of the Committee of Provosts of Colleges of Education in Nigeria have commended the Lagos State governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) for investing massively in the education sector in the state. The committee also commended him for the release of N250 million for infrastructural development of Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED), Ijanikin, Lagos. This commendation was given during this year’s conference of the provosts at AOCOED held recently. It was 66th edition in the series. A statement by the committee and signed by its National Secretary, Prof. Olu Akeusola, the provost of Michael Otedola College of Primary Education, Epe, Lagos, the committee gave the commendation so as to spur the governor to do more not only for education but other sectors of the economy. “We will also call on other state governors to take a cue from governor Fashola towards transforming and developing the nation’s education sector,” the statement said.

Class; 1,161 with Second Class (upper division); 2,260 with Second Class (lower division); 877 with Third Class; 100 with Pass, and 773 with “unclassified” degree. According to him, 200 students would bag Post Graduate Diploma; 2,249 will graduate with Masters degree; 137 with Maters of Philosophy; 599 with Professional Masters and 178 with Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). The convocation programme, which commenced yesterday with award of Diplomas, will climax on Saturday, with the award of postgraduate degrees. A convocation lecture entitled; “Transforming Agriculture to Grow Nigerian Economy” will also be delivered by the Minister of Agriculture, Dr Ayodeji Adesina today.


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Education Today

Thursday, December 13, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Holy Child College, Lagos, ends session with funfair Students of Holy Child College, Obalende, Lagos, were, on Saturday, joined by their families and friends from other neighbouring schools to mark this year’s Funfair Day as part of activities to say goodbye to year 2012. The event, which attracted many eateries, banks, book sellers, entertainers, and other makers of school items and souvenirs, left deep impression in the minds of the pupils. MOJEED ALABI reports:

“A

ll work, and no play,’ they say; ‘makes Jack a dull boy.’ That exactly was the case last Saturday at the Holy Child College, Obalende, Lagos, when pupils, parents and staff were joined by their friends and colleagues from many places to celebrate the end of year 2012. The female boarding Catholic school, founded in 1945 by the Society of the Holy Child Jesus, as one of the very few secondary schools with sister schools abroad, is according to the management a quality-driven academic institution and as a result, engages the children in hard work allowing no time for frivolities. According to the school’s Administrator, Sister Ify Atuegbu, the workload for the students in the year has been very heavy and so the tradition is to get them refreshed ahead of the new year. In doing so, many stands were created for food items and varieties of drinks including ice creams.

And all forms of games and playing tools were available while a whole hall was dedicated to dancing as both gospel and secular musical tracks were played for their enjoyment. One of the pupils, who simply identified herself as Eunice, was captivated by the assembly of skeletons of various sizes in a room called ‘horror room’ but after some times she began to shiver at the sight of these items. According to the school’s Coordinator of Special Duties and Development, Mrs. Caroline Ogbaji, the idea behind the horror room is to teach the pupils about the essence of life and at the same time familiarize them with biology knowledge. Apart from all these, there were also exhibitions of goods and services by corporate organisations and individuals. The banks were on hand to introduce their various educational support packages to the pupils and their students while book sellers and makers of

The College Administrator, Sister Ify Atuegbu (middle) and the Coordinator of Special Duties and Development, Mrs. Caroline Ogbaji (extreme right), with the students during the fair.

Some of the items displayed at the event. At the background are some of the students having horse ride.

various forms of accessories also occupied separate sections displaying their items. The children in their hundreds then sauntered from one stand to the other while some

were busy catching fun with all the toys available. Speaking to National Mirror, the school’s Assistant Social Prefect, Idowu Josephine, said the invitation to other schools is

Lemo seeks tax holiday for private schools TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE

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eputy Governor in charge of Operations, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Tunde Lemo, has called on state and the Federal Governments to grant tax holiday to private educational institutions in the country in order to relieve them of financial burden. He made this call at Lead Forte Gate Schools, Ogudu, Lagos, during the school’s 10th anniversary and annual Christmas Carol Day celebrations held recently Lemo, who is the chairman of the school’s board of trustees, said the need for such special tax holiday was to enable private schools have enough money to develop their infrastructure, charge lesser school fees, provide scholarships for brilliant indigent pupils and meet other needs. While claiming that the private schools contribute enormously to

the education development of the country, Lemo said it would therefore be necessary for governments to create enabling environment that will make them strong in all ramifications. He, however, disclosed that Lead Forte Gate of schools, despite its various challenges, is still waxing stronger by the day, adding that the school would continue to provide

qualitative education that will make its products competing favourably with their peers around the world. A major highlight of the well-attended celebrations was the cutting of the anniversary cake and the inauguration of an endowment fund for the school. The school’s director of studies, Mrs. Yemisi Lemo, said the endowment fund was designed

to sponsor more deserving indigent students in the school, to reward the brilliant students and hardworking staff members, among other commitments. Two workers- Mrs. Oluwatoyin Ogundare and Ms. Hanna Ade on the occasion were given longservice merit awards for their contributions to the development of the group of schools.

Maritime Academy to reduce intakes MURITALA AYINLA

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ector of Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, Joshua Okpo, has disclosed that only about 2500 cadets will be invited for interview out of the 9000 cadets that wrote the entrance examination last Saturday. Speaking with journalists in Lagos, the rector said the reason for the reduction is as a result of inadequate facilities in the academy, adding that the available ones are being

over -stretched. He also said the International Maritime Organisation (lMO), and manufacturers of the new Simulators expected to be delivered to the academy have advised that each class be limited to a certain number of Cadets in line with International practice and standard. He said:”With more funding under the President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, more departments will be established next year in addition to construction of

more classrooms and hostels. Once this is done, the academy will admit more cadets.” Okpo admitted that the Nation’s premier maritime academy is pursuing IMO’s campaign for people to go to sea by building a career in the international sea trade. According to him, a training ship and improved modern facilities or equipment are keys to maritime training and education for Nigeria, Africa third largest supplier of seafarers.

to allow interaction with their mates and share experiences. “I am part of the organisers of this event and apart from the fun it offers us, it also grants us the opportunity to compare notes with our mates from other schools and exchange ideas. We have lots of packages such as tombola, soul games, choreography, disco, and several others,” Josephine said. One of the visitors from the Holy Child College’s sister school, St. Gregory, Lagos, Oranye Chike, he has always been looking up to such a day in the college because it offers him the opportunity to relate with his friends in the school and “have fun together.”

NGO mobilizes corporate organisations for literacy campaign MOJEED ALABI

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non-gover nmental organisation, African Youth Empowerment and Change Initiative (AYECI), has scheduled a novelty football competition among corporate organisations for this weekend as part of its efforts to step up the campaigns against illiteracy. The matches holding, scheduled to hold at the Campos mini stadium, Lagos Island, shall feature four corporate organisations including Team HP, Team Microsoft, HP Gold Partners 1 and HP Gold Partner 2. According to the organisation’s Executive Director, Ifeoma Adibe, the project, which is tagged; Play for Literacy Novelty Match, is sponsored by A & G Insurance and the National Youth Council of Nigeria, Lagos State branch. “This is our first sea-

son hosting the Play for Literacy Tourney and we are on track to not only accomplishing our fundraising goals, but continued excellence to delivering quality literacy services to communities,” said Adibe. The organisation revealed that the challenge of meeting the ‘Education for All by 2015’ objective of the Millenium Development Goals seems a tall order, and so leaving everything in the hands of government will make it unachievable. Adibe, therefore, noted that her group is prepared to work against all odds to achieve the target. She added that the project will also benefit a number of pro-literacy projects including Educate-a-Community project, an effort she said was designed to help communities across Nigeria to educate their non-literate population especially young people and women.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

with Mojeed Alabi

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he Federal Polytechnic, Offa, Kwara State, has been described as a veritable centre for technological innovations and scientific breakthroughs by the Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufai’. Rufai’, who made the commendation in Abuja recently during the recently concluded National Education Innovations Exhibition, said she was happy with the institution for the quality of products exhibited at its stand and implored its management to explore the possibility of commercializing these products for the benefit of

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

mojeedalabi2@yahoo.co.uk or mail@mirroronline.net

the national economy. The exhibition, put together by the Federal Ministry of Education in collaboration with sister ministries and held in Abuja was to help bring to public attention, innovations from Nigeria’s Educational Institutions and provide opportunity for the private sector to partner with the institutions for the purpose of commercializing the research products. The innovations and research products include sweet potato for bread and other confectioneries, password enabled security doors, automatic dustbins, microcontroller-based

You are innovative, Education Minister tells FEDPOFFA

Earlier, Head of the Department of Food Technology and leader of the polytechnic’s delegation to the exhibition, Mr. Gabriel Femi Ogundele, had taken Prof. Rufai’ and her entourage around the polytechnic’s stand and provided information on the items for the visitors. It will be recalled that the pioneering efforts of the polytechnic in sweet potato for bread and other confectioneries have received commendation from Head of Department, Food Technology Dept, Federal Polytechnic, Offa, Kwara State, Dr. Gabriel national and international Ogundele, explaining a point to the Minister of Education, Prof. Prof. Ruquyyatu Rufai at the polytechnic’s stand during the National Education Innovations Exhibition in Abuja, recently. organizations leading to home appliance control rene wall as a substitute for domestic heating, so- recognition of the polytechsystem, model house built for concrete block work, lar electric system, solar nic as a sweet potato utilizawith expanded polysty- animal waste to biogas cooker, among others. tion centre.

French Language Village counts achievements at 20

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ut of the six languages endorsed by the United Nations, only French and English are the officially adopted languages of documentation, thereby making its mastery a good prerequisite for anyone aspiring to hold key positions within the world body. Aside this, the importance of French Language within the international community has made it a bride of many nations of the world as it enhances rich interactions for mutually beneficial relationships. These among other reasons were why the Federal Government established in 1991 the inter-universities’ centre for French studies, which has since become what is

today known as Nigerian French Language Village. With the mandate to provide language immersion programmes, and other programmes as approved by the government, the centre, since 1992 when it took off, has offered greater opportunities to many Nigerians and non Nigerians particularly within the Anglophone Western African nations, to explore the rich French educational and cultural heritage. Today, after two successful decades of its establishment, the school has been lauded by eminent Nigerians and government functionaries for its contributions to Nigeria’s international explorations and achievements.

As part of the activities to mark the anniversary, a lecture, with the theme; Nigeria Economic and Diplomatic Evolution: The French Language Input, was organised recently where stakeholders in the education sector including the Education Minister, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufai’ discussed pertinent issues. The Minister, who was represented by the Administrator and Principal, Kings College, Lagos, Otunba Oladele Olapeju, emphasised the importance of French Language to national growth and development. She said the impacts of the school informed the decision of the Federal Government to make French Language a com-

L-R: Vice-Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Prof. Tale Omole; Senator, representing Ife/ Ijesa Senatorial District, Babajide Omoworare and US Consul General to Nigeria, Mr. Jeferry Hawkins recently when Omoworare and Hawkins visited the university.

pulsory subject for Nigerian students from Class IV to Junior Class III. The school’s Director, Prof. Samuel Olabanji, said the institution has served a good training ground for the French Language students in the country’s universities as it is mandatory for them to pass through the village during their years on their various campuses. Also, he told the gathering about the new memorandum of understanding between the school and the University of Lagos, Akoka and another French university, to offer degree courses in French Language, Literature, among others. Also, to make real the Federal Government’s policy of making the language compulsory in schools, Olabanji stated that the school now engages in training of adequate number of persons to be employed as teachers to be posted to schools nationwide. The Chairman of the Occasion and DirectorGeneral of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), the venue of the programme, Prof. Bola Akinterinwa, implored Nigerians to encourage their wards to pick interest in the language because of the opportunities he said it offers. He said, the French Village had collaborated with NIIA to achieve some of its goals as an international centre.

NANS gives Ajimobi 21 days to prosecute Tokyo over student’s death SIKIRU AKINOLA

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he leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students (Zone D), has given an ultimatum of 21 days to Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, to bring to justice those killed during a violent protest between the factional members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, Oyo State chapter, which included the former President of the Nigeria Medical Students’ Association, Bala Usman Shanono. Usman, was said to have died at Iwo Road, in Ibadan, during one of the many clashes between the followers of Alhaji Lateef Akinsola, popularly known as Tokyo and Alhaji Mukaila Lamidi, alias Auxilliary. “NANS demands that proper investigations into the immediate and remote causes of our colleague’s death be commenced and that the alleged culprits of Alhaji Lateef Akinsola and Alhaji Mukaila Lamidi, alias Auxilliary, who were earlier declared wanted for the crime, should be adequately prosecuted. We must say that we deeply regret government’s disposition towards this matter so far and therefore give the Oyo State Government 21 days ultimatum to arrest them for prosecution,” the NANS Zone D coordinator, Monsuru Adeyemo, declared.

The students, whose protest last week paralysed commercial activities and vehicular movements around the Agodi Government Secretariat, also demanded, among others, the restoration of the proscribed students unions of The Polytechnic, Ibadan and the Emmanuel Alayande College of Education (EACOED), Oyo. They also sought the intervention of the state government in the reinstatement of the former president of EACOED, Osanyintade Olalekan and other student leaders including Lawal Habeeb, Adedokun Sunday, Giwa Saheed and Agbajelola Michael who were said to have been unjustly suspended. The students of the Ibadan Polytechnic in a separate development have criticized the process being deployed by the institution to set up a caretaker committee to work towards the students’ union reinstatement, saying it is a fraud. One of the students who preferred anonymity said the formal procedure is to send a memo through the Dean of Students’ Affairs to the Deans of Faculties, down to the faculty officers and finally to the faculty presidents who in agreement with other executive committee members of the faculty will select the students that will represent each of the various faculties in the caretaker committee.


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“I

f the deduction of the proposed $1bn is for investment purpose….” Punching below the belt: an investment purpose or investment purposes. “Lagosians have a cause to celebrate as the state government opens a modern bridge in upscale Lagos Island.” Sights & Signs: on upscale Lagos Island. “Police is your friend, so extend the hand of fellowship to them (sic).” Either the policeman is your friend, so extend your hand of fellowship to him or the police are your friends, so extend the hand of fellowship to them. Even the police themselves are guilty of this juvenile grammatical solecism! “Peak reiterates commitment to sustain quality” Why not ‘Peak reiterates quality sustenance’? “Falcons failure puts Eguavoen under pressure” SPORT ON SATURDAY: Falcons’ failure. “On Arsenal website, the England youth international, who has accepted to play for the Super Eagles (another comma) was described as a powerful but technically-astute midfielder….” ‘But’ is a contrasting conjunction misapplied here. The right word should be ‘and’. “…keep resting in the bossom of the Lord.” Spell-check: bosom. “Most airports set-up for political motives—Experts” Perhaps, by year-end, we shall de-emphasize this continual abuse of phrasal verbs: set up. “The siege on The Nation” The siege to (not on). “Presidency: Obasanjo, not Jonathan after editors” A comma after ‘Jonathan’ shows mastery of the English language. “CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: String of loses haunt Eyimba” Three points: losses; Enyimba; and string of losses haunts (not haunt)! “One may say that in some countries people literarily (literally) fought for their independence.” “Trouble, however, started when security personnels at the stadium adopted the Boko Haram style.” ‘Personnel’ is non-count. “I was a witness to a very moving event recently at the Idimu Police Station at the outskirts of Lagos.” From A to Z: on the outskirts. “A strong grassroot force has to be in the drivers’ seat for the targeted poverty programme.” Richness of language: grassroots. “The poor has to see themselves properly involved in the programme.” How does it sound? Once more, the poor think more about money than the rich! “Government should take the bull by the horn and restructure PHCN.” No blackout: take the bull by the horns. “Nigeria needs a judiciary that would neither be intimidated or humiliated.” Neither…nor and either…or. No carelessness! “This is because the governor was not really in the good book of the electorate.” A fall foreseen: in the good/bad books of the electorate.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

On, never in, Lagos Island EITHER POMP AND CEREMONY OR POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE “Four varsities to re-open, ASUU insists on strike” Get it right: reopen (no hyphenation). “Hunger is threatening to crush majority of our citizens.” The shape of things to come: a/the (take note of the determiner) majority of our citizens. “…other inducements to get the electorates vote for them.” The electorate/ electors. Note, however, that some language activists unofficially insist that the word is correct! “The type of exotic jewelleries (jewellery) you can find at museum shop.” ‘Jewellery’ is uncountable. “…the president of the country can be harassed with a degree that bothers (borders) on flippancy….” “The noise have (has) been deafening about imposition of candidates.…” “Sometimes (Sometime) around (about) 9.35 a.m., a convoy of six cars comprising of….” Do away with the second ‘of ’ in the extract. “There were sporadic explosions while the cars were burning in Maiduguri apparently due to remnants of ammunitions.” ‘Ammunition’ does not take any inflexion. “Beyond the cloud, pomp and pageantry.…” Either pomp and ceremony or pomp and circumstance. “As the saying goes, money is the root of all evils.” From my file, the love of money (not money itself) is the root of all evils. “Also, at the onset (outset) of the computer revolution.…” “The naira permitted it’s (its) designers to inflict on it some tribal (ethnic) marks.” “They aroused his curiousity and we soon displayed all the denominations of the naira…” Spell-check: curiosity. “Beyond mere symbols of ethnic jingoism which may prove difficult for the ordinary man in the street to identify.” ‘The man in the street’ does not require any embellishment such as ’ordinary’ because the man is simply ordinary. “…eyes where poor man (a poor man) can own mansions in (on) Victoria Island.” “One is gratified by the rising attention on (to) consumerism in the organised private sector.” “In addition, there had been no report that he had gone to condole (condole with) the family of (the) late....” “…he may be able to warm (worm) himself in (to) the recognition and acceptance of the various nationalities and interest groups in Nigeria.” “The police officer noted that since armed bandits have (had) shifted their operation to the churches….” Whoever

wrote ‘armed bandits’ obviously does not understand the nature of banditry. There is no banditry without arms. Otherwise, it becomes another form of criminality, not banditry. “They demanded for money only after they had made sure that the victim would not survive the shooting” Delete ‘for’. “…Most victims of sexual exploitation were found to be young girls aged between 13 to 18 years. Between 13 and 18 or from 13 to 18. “…that effort at sensitizing Nigerians on (to) the essence of the Vision 20-2020 is well in an advanced stage.” What is the definition of the cliché ‘advanced stage’? Any form of public communication—gestural, written or verbal—that is subject to individualistic interpretations is not efficient and effective. “ACF urges Boko Haram to sheath swords” Truth is a burden: sheathe swords. “New car owners stranded over plate numbers” Aso Chronicle: number plates “New Year bomb victim dissatisfied over (with) treatment abroad.” “Muslims in all continents of the world would today celebrate Eid-ElKabir.” My comment: on all continents. “…at (in) the nick of time to provide him a white ram that was slaughtered as replacement (a replacement) of (for) his son, Ismael (Ismail/Ishmael).” “It is hoped that those engaging in acts inimical of (to) the nation’s corporate progress….” “We seize today’s occasion of….” For Americanism and all its informalities, this is acceptable. But, in formal (standard) British entry—which I strongly advocate—you take or use an occasion/ opportunity. ‘Seize’ has an inherent, elemental force (connotatively and denotatively), imperativeness of sociolinguistics, as Robert Obioha of Sun Editorial Board will insist, notwithstanding. “Entrepreneurs team-up (team up) with Rivers on investment” “...the intrigues has (have) just begun.” “Each passing day I pray that the lord will wipe my tears, heal the wound and the pains that your sudden departure have (has) left in my heart.” “I still thank God because I believe that you are resting peacefully in His bossom (bosom).” And this, by the way: in God’s bosom, peace is integral and guaranteed. My condolences, the avoidable slips notwithstanding. “We are however rest assured that you are been (being) taken care of and that one day, we will meet to part no more.” “…many Nigerians have expressed mixed reactions over (to) this development.” “The herbalist allegedly demanded for his wife’s eyeball….” Delete ‘for’ in pursuit of lexical excellence.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

“Odubote who is currently representing Epe Federal Constituency in the National Assembly….” Who can tell me what ‘currently’ is doing here “Nigerian women are not mediocre” Our women are not mediocrities or mediocrists. Put differently, Nigerian women are not mediocre people (adjectival parlance). “Nigeria’s First Lady and wife of the president Dame Patience….” Obviously, ‘Nigeria’s First Lady’ or ‘the president’s wife’ is enough—not both at the same time! (This observation was contributed by Lucky Ihanza) “Several (Many, preferably) innocent Nigerians have been killed by uniform (uniformed) men at checkpoints for failure to give bribe (bribes).” “He got the woman’s phone number and texted (text-messaged) her N500 phone (recharge) credit.” “…until such a time his adversary is able to proof (prove) to the court that he is not the rightful king.” “Police contributes (contribute) to sexual violence in Nigeria, says Olufemi” “I doff my hat for the resilience of those who staked their necks to confront the excesses of the military.” Dogma at the barricades: I doff/take off my hat to (not for) newspaper contributors, the occasional Freudian slips notwithstanding. “Others just ridiculed me outrightly.” A protester at the American embassy: Others just ridiculed me outright. “NCP raises alarm over alleged harrasments of market women” Across the nation: harassment. Also note that ‘harassment’ is uncountable, unlike ‘embarrassment’. “…but the incidence rather than subdue you, (sic) should instead spur you to greater hights (heights).” The human angle: incident (not incidence). ‘Instead’ has no function here. “Gather every members of your family.” Either every member of your family or all members…. My dear reader, please note that ‘banter’ is uncountable. “...the chilling story of Calabar’s rival gang members who not only slaughter themselves (one another) but.…” “Eagles confront Malawians under scorching sun” This way: in (not under) the scorching sun. ‘”In times past, the media might even have queried the double standards.” Professionalism: double standard. “We maintain that like every other institutions established by law....” Already addressed. “Customs intensify air border patrol” No news: Customs intensifies. “PHCN has (had) earlier indicated that progress made towards stabilizing power supply has been reversed.” “Abubakar who was on a one-day working visit to Kano to round up (off) his familiarization tour of police formations in the country.…” I can understand the mix-up because of IGP’s involvement!


Thursday, December 13, 2012

EKO 2012 did not produce new talent –Ogunade 30

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Sport

I don’t think we are under any pressure to defend our title in South Africa. We are focused – Zambia’s coach, Herve Renald

Keshi names Ogude among home-based call-ups EVEREST ONYEWUCHI

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Hisato Sato of J-League champions, Sanfrecce Hiroshima (right), leading his team mates in a Sumo style celebration after scoring a goal against Ulsan Hyundai of South Korea at the ongoing FIFA Club World Cup in Toyota, yesterday. Sanfreece won 3-2. PHOTO: FIFA/GETTY IMAGES

AFCON 2013: Home Eagles’ inactivity worries Keshi AFOLABI GAMBARI

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uper Eagles’ coach, Stephen Keshi, is not happy with the lull in the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) as he weighs options for his 23-man squad for the 29th Africa Cup of Nations finals scheduled for next month in South Africa. The NPL 2012-13 season is billed to begin on February 16, 2013, nearly one week after the AFCON finals on February 10. National Mirror learnt from a source close to Keshi in Lagos yesterday that the coach had felt unease at the development that stalled the take-off of the NPL season, fearing that it could cause some of the home-based Eagles to forfeit their places in his team. “It is needless to emphasise how much Keshi values the NPL players in the rebuilding process that he embarked on after he assumed the post in December last year,” the source said. “But I can tell you that he is deeply worried that all the players have not seen real action in the home league and are sort of rusty. Of course, you will agree that considering any of the home lads for the AFCON final list could prove counter-productive.” According to the source, however, Keshi is in a dilemma over the composition

of his team without the NPL players, prominent among whom are goalkeeper Chigozie Agbim, Godfrey Oboabona and Reuben Gabriel of Warri Wolves, Sunshine Stars and Kano Pillars respectively, especially as he cannot also bank on a wholly foreign-based assemblage of players that would be motivational and competition-ready. “He may be forced to take the inactive home lads to South Africa in the hope that they would do well at the Na-

tions Cup, which is a risky venture considering the players’ inexperience,” the source further said, hinting that although the predominantly NPL players will open Eagles’ AFCON camping on December 17, the team’s final list may be dominated by foreign-based players. Interestingly, the Eagles are favoured to win the Nations Cup trophy in the face of stiff opposition from Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Algeria, Morocco and defending champion, Zambia.

… February 16 date sacrosanct –NPL AFOLABI GAMBARI

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he Nigeria Premier League (NPL) yesterday said the February 16, 2013 date fixed for the take-off of the new season will not be altered. Stakeholders have expressed worries about the feasibility of the new date which an NPL Congress announced in Abuja on Tuesday, especially as issues that delayed the take-off, which include players’ salaries and referees’ indemnity and title right sponsorship, have yet to be resolved. But NPL Executive Secretary, Tunji Babalola, told National Mirror yesterday that the weeks before February would enable the lingering issues to be addressed,

although he gave no details. “We have lost so much time as you will discover that we are about the only league on the continent at the moment where there is no action,” Babalola said. “We will soon engage in a series of meeting to fine-tune strategies ahead of the new season and I am definite that we will come out stronger than ever,” he added. The NPL secretary, who declined comment on the removal of NPL chairman, Victor Rumson Baribote, by the congress appealed to stakeholders to support the league body in the task ahead. “There must be a joint resolve at this crucial juncture to move forward,” Babalola submitted.

uper Eagles’ coach, Stephen Keshi, yesterday called up holidaying Norway-based midfielder, Fegor Ogude, to join 23 other home-based players and resume camp on Sunday for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa. Keshi, who returned to Nigeria from the United States of America on Tuesday, also named the usual invitees like Chigozie Agbim, Daniel Akpeyi and new call up Femi Thomas of Enyimba, all goalkeepers among the other 23 players that will battle for AFCON 2013 shirts. Eagles Media Officer, Ben Alaiya, told National Mirror yesterday that the callups will report at the Bolton White Apartment, Zone 7, Abuja on Sunday, December 16, while training will effectively start on Monday, December 17. The list of foreign-based pros is expected to be unveiled in the week leading to Christmas, as the team is expected to travel by December 27 for the final phase of its camping in Faro, Portugal. Meanwhile, Keshi, has said that only players who are in form will make his team to the Nations Cup next January in South Africa. Keshi, who is perceived by many to have a selection problem, going by the plethora of options available to him, declared that there is no such problem as players will naturally cancel themselves out in the course of camping for the Nations Cup. “What we want to get is a good mix of players who can help us do well at the Nations Cup; we want to win and I know we can but like I always say names don’t count in football anymore. If you are good enough, come and prove it and you will be on the plane to the Nations Cup. Objectivity is the watchword for selection of players and I promise I will stick to it,” Keshi said. Home-based call-ups: Goalkeepers: Agbim Chigozie (Rangers FC), Akpeyi Daniel (Heartland FC), Femi Thomas (Enyimba) Defenders: Oboabona Godfrey (Sunshine Stars), Egwuekwe Azubuike (Warri Wolves), Zango Umar (Kano Pillars), Benjamin Francis (Heartland), Papa Idris (Kano Pillars), Kwambe Solomon ( Sunshine Stars), Kalu Orji (Heartland). Midfielders and strikers: Uzoenyi Ejike (Rangers), Mba Sunday (Rangers), Sunday Chinedu (Rangers), Henry Uche (Enyimba), Onduku Gomo (Sharks), Ubale Mannir (Kano Pillars), Reuben Gabriel (Kano Pillars), Asuquo Philip (Shooting Stars), Emeka Ezeh (Rangers), Pius Samson (Ranchers), Gambo Mohammed (Kano Pillars), Bunde Moses (Lobi Stars), Anthony Okputu (Lobi Stars). Foreign-based: Fegor Ogude (Valerenga FC)


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Thursday, December 13, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

‘Ogbonna free to leave Torino’

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orino President, Urbano Cairo, says he will not block Angelo Ogbonna from moving onto bigger things. The Nigerian-born Italy international is a top target for Manchester United and Manchester City. “He’s followed by many

teams, not only Italian, but foreign, very important clubs,” said Cairo said yesterday. “We will decide together with him, because the relationship with him is excellent, very close, almost family. “I myself personally will never clip his wings if there were any relevant offers for him.”

Esperance set to unveil Izu IKENWA NNABUOGOR

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unisian giants, Esperance, have officially unveiled Nigerian striker, Azuka Izu, as he arrived the Tunisian capital, Tunis, yesterday to start a three-year contract, National Mirror can exclusively report. Izu was checked into a Tunis hotel on arrival as Esperance continue to make arrangements for his official apartment and other entitlements. Izu, who signed a pre-contract in September and continued to star for his club, Sunshine Stars, until the December transfer window opened upon which he penned a three-year contract, is expected to be unveiled this week and assigned a

Obafemi Martins

Top clubs eye Martins IKENWA NNABUOGOR

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ollowing his imperious displays in the Spanish championship, Obafemi Martins could be on his way out of Levante as clubs have begun to make enquiries about the services of the Super Eagles returnee. The former Inter Milan hit man has found his scoring touch again hitting the target regularly to haul himself back on the shop window. Reports from the local media in Spain indicate that Martins’s six goals in La Liga have not gone unnoticed by Europe’s elite clubs, and interested suitors could table a bid for him at the end of the season if he maintains his form. It is, however, not yet clear which clubs have shown interest in prizing away the former Rubin Kazan star away but expectations are high that he could be enriching his club

should he leave at the end of the season The 28-year-old ex FC Ebedei whizkid signed a two-year contract (with an additional year inserted in deal) with Levante in September, as he joined the Valencia based club from Rubin Kazan. Martins has a release clause of three million euros, which is far below his current market value. Should he leave Levante at the end of the 2012-13 season for that sum, the club will pocket one million euros while Martins and his agent will share equally the balance of two million euros. Martins rose from the dead again after his goals seemed to dry up and injury issues at Rubin Kazan, to hit the target on regular fashion for Levante. He replaced Ivorien striker Aruna Kone in the summer and his investment has proved a huge bargain for the Valenciabased side, who is occupying the fourth spot on the La Liga log.

jersey number. The former Sharks’ striker, who also played a few games for the home-based Super Eagles, turned down offers from Turkish clubs to sign for the Blood and Gold in an offer he said he was financially better than what the Turks were ready to put on table. Izu returns to North Africa after playing for Algerian and Libyan clubs. He was forced to cancel his contract at Libya’s Al-Ittihad following the political crisis that engulfed the North African country last year. The former Sunshine Stars’ styriker is expected to step into the shoes of former Esperance Nigerian captain, Michael Eneramo, who remains Esperance’s all-time best striker.

John Obi Mikel

SA 2013: Eagles am

Chelsea midfielder, John Obi M Keshi, to make history by winnin after he won it in 1994 as a play Would winning the Nations Cup also in South Africa next year make up for the disappointment of missing out of the last edition? Not really because we are talking about two different competitions and the World Cup is a far bigger event and the ultimate dream of any player. I was disappointed to miss the last World Cup in South Africa, but I also believe there are more World Cups for me to play. The 2013 Nations Cup is a different competition, and I hope to win my first winners’ medal with Nigeria there. What do the Super Eagles need to do to win a third Nations Cup? We need to prepare well, be focused and take all opponents very seriously. We also need to play as a team. If it is individual qualities, we have that in abundance and Coach Stephen Keshi has already won this tournament as a player, and I believe he can make history by winning it again as a coach.

Izu Azuka

You will play in the FIFA Club World Cup and the English Premier League season is in full swing; will you not be tired by the time you arrive for the competition? No, not at all. This won’t have

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How wa for the against staying several It wa I was n kept in So, it w comple honour therlan How Eagles Zambia Ethiopi They the fact for the fore ha them w I would of both opia as champi


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Eko 2012 fallout: Ekeji regrets Maiyegun goof

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irector General of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Dr. Patrick Ekeji, has expressed deep regret over the error of referring to ex-Olympian, Nojim Maiyegun, as ‘late’ during his remarks at the closing ceremony of the 18th National Sports Festival held in Lagos last Sunday. In a statement yesterday, Ekeji who conceptualised and initiated the trophies and prices in honour of their contributions to the development of sports in Nigeria, said the error was brought to his notice in a story in a national newspaper. He emphasised that he had very high regard for Mr. Maiyegun, who was the first Nigerian to win an Olympic medal and regretted the error of referring to him as late. Ekeji tendered his unreserved apology to Mr. Maiyegun’s family and the Nigerian sports community, saying that he will continue to accord the Olympian the respect he deserves as a truly great Nigerian.

‘Eviction fever’ grips Glo Boys AFOLABI GAMBARI

mong the favourites –Mikel

Mikel, is backing Nigeria’s coach, Stephen ng the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations as a coach yer. He spoke to FIFA.com

ative effect on me, but rather make me fit and dy for the Nations Cup.

ould you describe your ations Cup in Egypt in

was a wonderful experiAnd it was great to finish h a bronze medal there at st-ever Nations Cup comrough from U-20s to the team.

as it rejoining the team all-important qualifier t Liberia in October after g away from the side for l months? as good, but even when not part of the squad, I n touch with the team. was not like I was cut off etely because I’m always red to represent my fand. w would you rate the first round opponentsa, Burkina Faso and ia? y are all decent teams by t that they have qualified Nations Cup. We thereave to approach all of with all seriousness, but d still rate Zambia ahead h Burkina Faso and Ethis they are the defending ions.

Sport

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Who is the Nigerian player who has most impressed you this year and why? I don’t wish to single out just one player, we are all doing well at our different clubs, so I am not in position to pick just one player, we are all doing great. Who are your top favourites for the Nations Cup? Nigeria, of course! Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire will also be up there, but teams like Cape Verde and Zambia could pose major threats. If Cape Verde could stop Cameroun, they must have qualities to do so. They therefore need to be taken seriously. Have you discussed the Nations Cup with your Chelsea friends, Salomon Kalou and Didier Drogba? We haven’t talked about it yet. We would probably do so when the competition draws closer. On a final note, what do you expect at the Club World Cup in Japan with Chelsea? This is the first time we are playing in this competition, and I hope to win it with them and create more history here in Japan after we won the UEFA Champions League for the first time in May.

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s West Africa’s biggest soccer reality TV show, the Glo Soccer Academy, enters its first nomination week, many of the players are anxious of the outcome of the exercise which commences this weekend. The technical team of the academy led by ex-international, Victor Ikpeba, will this weekend nominate ten players preparatory to evicting five that will leave the camp at the first eviction exercise next week. A source close to the camp disclosed that competition at the academy has been very tough among the array of talented young players that made the list of 33. The competition in the camp is so keen that the coaches are facing difficulty in drawing up a list of players to be evicted. Thirty-three talented players have since been in the camp undergoing intensive training under the watchful eyes of top-rated ex-internationals from across West Africa trained by two UEFA licensed coaches from Manchester United football club, Andrew Smith and Adam Temple, as they jostle for the trip to Manchester United Soccer School and prizes such as N5m for the MVP, N1m for the remaining 15 boys, in addition to N750, 000 scholarship for all. A statement from Globacom yesterday advised television viewers across Nigeria, Ghana and Benin Republic to stay tuned on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Adenuga

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NSF fresh talent should target Rio 2016 –Chukwumerije Nigeria’s Olympic bronze medallist, Chika Chukwumerije, was among talent hunters at the last National Sports Festival in Lagos. He spoke to YEMI OLUS on his impressions. What’s your impression of the 18th National Sports Festival? I’m looking at the medal table 44 medals have been won and the interesting thing for me is that it has been spread across 14 states so first of all it means that the popularity and the practice of taekwondo in the country is on an impressive increase so I’m very happy with that. Traditionally we just had three or four of the big four winning everything and now we have fourteen so that’s an improvement. To the number of participants, I think it is higher than previous festivals. So far it has been really good and I’m happy with the overall organization and participation of different states. Just two states of the 37 are not here and that is an impressive number for taekwondo. Did you discover any outstanding athletes? I’ve been more involved in the organization so I haven’t really had the time to watch but I’ve caught one or two very interesting fights. There is a guy from Kano, Usman Suleiman who is already in the national team; I think he was one of the youngest in the last national team and he won bronze at the last All Africa Games and a gold medal during my tournament. He also picked gold. That is a definite talent for me. I saw a guy from Borno, Hussaini, who is 15 or so; he won a silver medal; loads of work to be done on him but a definite talent. I have seen three or four of such people. The main thing at the moment is that they need to be sent to experts who can take them to the next level so that two or three years from now when they get into the national team, Nigeria can have a lot more hope for international medals.

fortunately that was the only one I participated in because by the next one, they said I has featured in more than two international competitions so I wasn’t allowed to compete. Luckily for me, I met the guy who won the next edition at the end of the year during NUGA and made sure he knew that he only won because I wasn’t there but that’s by the way. It was fun because I was just 18 at the time and at that age you’re very nervous; you want to do well, you can’t really handle pressure so your support team matters. Do you wish you had take part in more editions? Not really: I’ve always had my sights on trying to win international medals so I needed to win the festival and NUGA games to get into the national team so that I could win at the All-Africa Games, go to the Olympics and the World Championships. I think our athletes should think about this always. The festival is important but as an athlete, your goal should be the Olympics and World Championships (for taekwondo). If that is your focus, you will perform better. Do you see the use of PSS at Eko 2012 as an improvement on the past festivals? This is the first time it is being used at the festival and my tournament was the first ever time they used the complete system. Most of the athletes have never used it so using it here increased their confidence so I think it’s a fantastic improvement.

What motivated you to be the games organiser? I guess I just like working hard. A couple of weeks ago, Jimi Okunowo, the Lagos State Taekwondo Association Chairman called me to ask if I could help out and run the electronic system and I said sure. When I came, I saw that these guys have gotten a fantastic venue; the federation was here and said they would provide everything we needed and I decided to take it a step further. I have organized an international tournament so I decided to put the hall in order so that the country could get the best. How was your experience at the NSF when you competed? I won the 2002 edition in Edo. Un-

Chika Chukwumerije


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Sport

Thursday, December 13, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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

DUNKING

With SAYO OGUNDEJI

Manassey laments Pillars’ poor show in Malabo

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ollowing his side’s poor outing at the just concluded African Club Champions Cup for Men in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, Kano Pillars’ guard, Achii Manassey, says his team gave their all at the tournament but was unable to make it out of the group he describs as tough. Pillars were drawn in Group B with the likes of Primeiro de Augusto of Angola, ASB Mazembe of Congo DR and Al Ahly of Egypt but only managed to win one game. The team however found its rhythm in the classification games as they defeated Mongomo of Equatorial Guinea 49 – 101 and Espoir of Rwanda 61 – 110 to finish in distant 9th position. But Manassey believes his team was hard done by the group, expressing hope that the team will do better come next tournament. He said, “Our performance at that tournament is obviously not encouraging going by our position but we gave our best and we are hoping that come next year, the team will build on this performance. “Everybody expected Pillars to have done better than that but we came up against some tough teams earlier in the group but we were able to put all that behind us as we won the last Basketball action involving Team Kaduna and Zamfara at the Mobolaji Johnson Sports Centre, Yaba during the just-concluded 18th National two games which is a good sign that we are still Sports Festival. one of the best teams on the continent.”

EKO 2012 did not produce new talent –Ogunade

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he 18th National Sports Festival has come and gone but the purpose of the competition, which focuses on discovering new talent was not achieved, according to the Chairman of Lagos State Basketball Association, Babs Ogunade. Team Rivers won the male basketball event while Lagos won in the other category, but Ogunade is far from impressed with the win at all cost attitude of the participating teams. According to Ogunade who is also a Technical Board Member of the Nigeria Basketball Federation, most of the teams featured athletes who have passed their prime, which to him will not benefit the country in the future. Ogunade who was obviously furious asked rhetorically, “Tell me how can a professional player with years of experience, who turns out for a particular state at the festival can be described as a new talent” He expressed sadness over this trend, describing it as worrisome which must be curbed if the country wants to compete with the best in the nearest future. He said, “The competition can be described as a success in terms of organisation and logistics but the main objective of this tournament which is talent discovery has not been achieved in any way. “The Lagos State Basketball Associa-

tion in conjunction with the NBBF has set a particular standard aimed at checking the trend of using ineligible players for this competition but it is unfortunate that most states were culpable in this regard. “We did all we could to reduce this abnormally and that was why states like Rivers, Ogun and Delta lost between four and seven players each prior to the commencement of the tournament but you still discover that most of the ones that participated have taken part in at least one or two festivals and this will not in any way help in the development of the game of basketball.” The host used Lagos City League to prepare its athletes for the competition and while the female team won the gold medal, the male team ended in the fourth position. Ogunade says lack of technical depth cost the male team the title but believes the state will perform better at the next tournament slated for Cross Rivers State in 2014. He also called on participating states and coaches to help the game by stamping their authorities against cheating, saying the state and the country will benefit largely at the end of the day. “Team Lagos in my opinion performed well in the basketball event and that is down to our good preparation

with the help of Lagos State League and we hope they will build on that performance in 2014. “Participating states and coaches have a role to play in helping NBBF and Nigeria develop the game by kicking out athletes who will add no value to the competition out completely so that we will be able to develop and nurture the genuine ones that will eventually bring honour top Nigerias. Manassey (in front) with team mates.

Superb Irving helps Cavaliers beat Lakers

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yrie Irving scored 28 points in his return after missing 11 games with a broken finger, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 100-94 win on Tuesday over Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers, who look nothing like a team projected to win an NBA title -- or anything else. “This is one of the most challenging stretches of my 17 years, and the most baffling, too,” a puzzled Bryant said after the Lakers lost for the eighth time in 11 games. “We have the talent and personnel to do it, but we’re not, and it’s baffling. It’s extremely frustrating. It doesn’t make any sense. We’re still finding ways to lose games.” Irving added 11 assists in 39 minutes as the Cavs, who came in with just four wins, ended a five-game losing streak. Bryant scored 42 points and Dwight Howard had 19 points and 20 rebounds, but it

wasn’t enough to stop the Lakers, who were still missing Pau Gasol (knee tendinitis) and Steve Nash (broken leg), from opening a fourgame trip with a loss. “We have to stop the bleeding -- somehow,” Howard said. “We can’t let this kill our spirits too much. This is tough on all of us right now.” Magic Johnson questioned new coach Mike D’Antoni’s system with the Lakers, saying “it doesn’t fit the talent the Lakers have.” The Lakers are 4-8 in 12 games since D’Antoni took over from the fired Mike Brown. “I’m not down on him yet as a coach,” Johnson said earlier in the day, although he criticized D’Antoni’s plan to make the Lakers into a running team. “You can’t run with these guys,” he said. “There’s one guy who can get up and down the court and that’s Kobe.”


Thursday, December 13, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

31

Business & Finance It is important for residents to ensure that their wastes are contained in nylons bags dumped in waste containers for easy evacuation by PSP operators. Spokesperson, Lagos Waste Management Authority, Folashade Kadiri

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

FG orders audit of utilisation of 13% derivation in extractive sector CHIDI UGWU ABUJA

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he Federal Government has ordered the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) to immediately carry out audit of the 13 per cent derivation revenue accruing from the extractive sector to all natural resource producing states in the country. The proposed step is expected to stem the abuses that have characterised the extractive industry’s operations and enhance the transparent and more judicious utilisation of the funds in the various states. Giving the hint yesterday at a press briefing organised by the NEITI Stakeholders Working Group (NSWG), a representative of the Civil Society Organisations, Faith Ossai Nwadishi, said the Federal Executive Council (FEC) recently gave approval for the planned audit slated to commence any time from next month. “This approval is for fiscal disbursement of statutory allocation to look at the extractive revenue, you know that the extractive revenue get into the 13 per cent derivation, what is happening with it, the Tertiary Education Fund, Ecological Fund, Central Bank Natural Resource

Fund, of 4 per cent that was given to NAC, “In addition, the exercise will consider what is happening with it, those are all that are coming from the extractive sector, These are part of the mandate of NEITI, to tell Nigerians what has been happening to that and it is going to be very interesting when these report comes out” she said. Nwadishi, who stated that contract for the audit has already been signed, also disclosed that the Solid Minerals

Audit Reports will be published before Friday this week while the Oil and Gas Report will be published before the end of December 2012. It would be recalled that over the past few months, there has been sustained agitation by oil communities to stop payments of the 13 per cent derivation fund into any state government’s account. For instance, leaders of communities in oil producing communities in six states of the country early this week wrote

WITH AGENCY REPORT

T

he naira appreciated 0.2 per cent as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), yesterday sold $180million. The naira which on Monday, Decem-

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to the Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) asking it to prevail on the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), for the implementation of their demand for direct payment of 13 per cent derivation revenue to their communities. The communities in their letter to RMAFC are also asking for the setting up of a derivation board whose members shall be recommended for appointment by the President on the advice oil and gas communities.

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

L-R: Secretary, Association of Accounting Technicians, Mrs. Ifeoma Emeghara; Vice President, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, Mr. Kabir Muhammed and President, Mr. Doyin Owolabi, during the Annual General Meeting of the association in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI

Naira gains 0.2% on weak dollar demand UDO ONYEKA

FLIGHT SCHEDULE

ber 10, weakened for a second day after the central bank sold the least dollars in a month at an auction and as oil-company sales were said to wane, moved up 157. 43 a dollar. The currency on Monday slid 0.3 percent to 157.45 a dollar as of 2:31 p.m. in Lagos, the commercial capital. The naira has advanced 3.1 percent this year, the second-best performer in Africa, according to

data compiled by Bloomberg. The Central Bank of Nigeria sells dollars to lenders at foreign currency auctions on Mondays and Wednesdays to help manage the exchange rate. The regulator sold $66million at its auction yesterday, the least since the November 12 sale. Oil companies, including the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation periodically sell dollars to

Turkish firm to invest $150m on industrial park

34

lenders to meet local spending needs and are the second-biggest source of foreign currency. “The naira is reverting to its recent equilibrium after the large foreign-exchange sales from the NNPC pushed the exchange rate lower in previous days,” Samir Gadio, an emerging-markets strategist at Standard Bank Group Ltd. in London, said in an e-mailed reply to questions. “The lower foreignexchange sales at the auction yesterday reflected the ample dollar supply in the market.”

Slow race to digital broadcasting

35

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

EXCHANGE RATES WAUA

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

Influx of smuggled liquor bothers distillers

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Business & Finance

Thursday, December 13 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

FG signs N162.9bn on Zungeru power plant contract CHIDI UGWU ABUJA

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ederal Government on Wednesday, signed N162.9 billion contract with a Chinese consortium, Sinohydro and China National Electric Engineering Corporation (CNEEC), for the building of 700 megawatts hydroelectric power plant in Zungeru, Niger State. Speaking at the occasion, the Minister of State for Power Mrs. Zainab Ibrahim Kuchi said the project which was approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) at its 44th meeting with a completion period of 48 months would boost the nation’s economy. “On the completion of the project, a total of 700mw of electricity would be added to the National Grid leading to an increase in the power delivery to small and medium scale industries and households, thereby enhancing sustainable power supply in the country” she stated. Apart from additional generation of power, the project according to the Minister would

generate over 1000 direct employment opportunities for both skilled and unskilled Nigerians. Kuchi urged the contractors to give effect to the full realization of the local content component of the contract to ensure that competent and experienced Nigerians benefit from the huge project. She said the funding arrangement was with the Exim Bank of China for which pays for 75 per cent of the project cost while counterpart funding balance of 25 per cent would come from the Federal government through the ministry of Power. The minister said the counterpart fund balance amount to the sum $309 million and mobilisation would be made as soon as possible to allow for prompt commencement of the project. According to her, the journey of the implementation of the Zungeru project started in 1982 with feasibility studies by CAST T Main International while the engineering design, preparation of tender documents, evaluation report, construction management and supervision of the project was

L-R: Managing Director, BIOFEM Group, Mr. Femi Soremekun; Managing Director, Merck Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Karim Bendhaou; Chairman, Dr. Frank Stragenberg-Haverkam and President, Cercle Diplomatique, Mr. Robert Blum, during the donation of 20 million dose of Cesol® [Praziquantel] tablets to the Federal Government by Merck Pharmaceuticals in Abuja, yesterday.

awarded to Hydroservice Engineering Ltd of Brazil and G.F Appio and Associates/ Water and Dam service Company in 1992. She further noted that due process was observed as the ministry applied and obtained from the Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP) in October 2012 due process certificate of no

objection for the award of the contract in favour of CNEEC/ Sinohydro Consortium. Kuchi was optimistic that upon completion the infrastructure would generate sufficient revenue for the repayment of the loan, adding the agreement was structured to ensure that the parties are to be jointly responsible for the full implemen-

tation of the project. In his brief remark, the Executive Vice President of Sinohydro, Mr. Du Nan assured that the companies would use the project to improve the relationship between Nigeria and China, adding that a lot of work would be done to ensure that the project is completed at the stipulated time frame.

Nigeria’s non-oil sector contributes Statistician-General tasks states on capacity building by creating and fully equipping development and ongoing imless than 10% to GDP T A Statistical Bureaus in the do- plementation of the National OLA

FRANCIS EZEM

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trong indications emerged that Nigeria’s economy might be heading for the rubbles if urgent measures were not taken, as its non-oil export sector contributes far less than 10 percent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The sector, which has been neglected completely by succeeding governments in the country accounted for over 93 percent of the nation’s GDP in 1960, when she attained political independence. Programme director of the Multimix Academy, a global trade, logistics and supply chain management, Dr. Obiora Madu, who spoke in an exclusive interview, raised fears that unless something drastic was done to change the status quo, the nation’s economy might face a major crisis in no distant time. Obiora, who spoke against the current trend in the global crude oil market with the attendant reduction in demand, warned that Nigeria’s continued over-dependence on crude oil export might spell doom. I think that less than 10 percent contribution to the GDP by the non-oil sector is too bad because earnings from this same sector in 1960 was in excess of 93 percent of the entire economy,

so if you look at that and look at where the economy is now, you will know that something has gone so wrong”, he noted. He also said that the situation is dicier when you consider that the United States of America, which is the largest consumer of Nigeria’s crude oil, has cut down on the quantity she purchases. “I can bet you that this is likely going to continue because people continue to talk about renewable energy here and there”, he observed further. He warned that if managers of the nation’s economy had not been thinking before now, this is the right time for them to begin to think of how to diversify the economy, adding that the next place is agriculture; that is nonoil export. Obiora, who doubles as the chief executive officer of the academy noted that apart from agriculture, there are many solid minerals that exit in the country but are yet to be discovered. Citing the example of the United Arab Emirates, he noted that just like Nigeria, the country has crude oil in commercial quantity but decided eight years ago to develop the biggest Free Trade Zone in the world because of the fear that oil might finish one day or there might be discoveries that would de-emphasise the use of oil energy, which is happening currently.

ABUJA

KINMUTIMI

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he Statistician General of the Federation, Dr. Yemi Kale, has restated the need for sub-national governments in the country to create necessary structures and manpower base for quality-driven, integrated National Statistical System as a strategic step towards evidenced-based policy and implementation for national development programmes. Kale, who gave the advice at a recent the consultative forum on national statistical development, said even when it had been observed that some states were taken steps towards enhancing the statistical system

mains, others are yet to embrace the need despite the potential benefits for the affected states and the country generally. While recalling some of the major initiatives being undertaking by the Federal Government through the National Planning Commission and the Bureau with the support of development partners like the World Bank and the UNDP to enhance the national statistical system, pointed out that the full benefits of the initiatives for the country might not be elusive if the entire system is not integrated for sustainable national development. Specifically, he listed the

Strategy for the Development of Statistics (NSDS), as a major step to improve the quality of statistical data production and usage and therefore advised the state governments to ensure adequate funding of their statistical agencies in order to fast-track the national statistical system’s integration process Kale said: “As we are all aware, after many years of neglect, Nigeria has embarked on a process leading to the return towards strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation and accordingly, the use of evidenced-based policy as a means of transforming the social and economic well being of our country.

Delta acquires 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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lthough, the Commercial Manager, East and West Africa regions for Delta Air Lines, Mr. Bobby Bryan last week refused to confirm Delta’s interest of 49 per cent acquisition in Virgin Atlantic Airways, but it can be confirmed that the airline has reached an agreement for a new joint venture with the British carrier. The agreement according to an online statement sent by Delta’s media consultant in Nigeria, Topcomm Communication,

will create an expanded transAtlantic network and enhance competition between the U.K. and North America, offering greater benefits for customers traveling on those routes. As part of this joint venture agreement, Delta will invest $360m in Virgin Atlantic, acquiring a 49 per cent stake currently held by Singapore Airlines while Virgin Group and Sir Richard Branson will retain the majority 51 per cent stake and Virgin Atlantic Airways will retain its brand and operating certificate. Highlights of the agreement include a fully integrated joint

venture that will operate on a “metal neutral” basis with both airlines sharing the costs and revenues from all joint venture flights and a combined transAtlantic network between the United Kingdom and North America with 31 peak-day round-trip flights. The statement stated that this will further enhance benefits for customers including cooperation on services between New York and London, with a total of nine daily round-trip flights from London-Heathrow to John F. Kennedy International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport.


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Turkish firm to invest $150m in industrial park OLUFEMI ADEOSUN

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Turkish firm, Zeberced Limited has said it had completed all preliminary work for the construction of $150million industrial park in Abuja. The flag off of the park, which is expected to occupy 250 hectare of land at Idu Industrial park, one of the suburbs of the Federal Capital Territory, is slated for February 2013. Speaking during a visit to the Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Investment, Dr. Samuel Ortom in Abuja, the Managing Director of the company, Mr. Adil Ayidin Kurt, said that the industrial park would provide employment opportunity for about 30,000 Nigerian youths.

Apart from local investors, Kurt said that his company had established contact with about 178 Turkey based companies who would invest in the industrial cluster. He said,” We have already finished the preliminary design; we are at the threshold of completing the feasibility study. The flagoff of the industrial park will take place in February, 2013. Our company has earmarked over $150million for the provision of infrastructure in the park.” Commenting on the significance of the park to Nigeria economy, he also added, “It is a big project that will change the vision of Nigeria. We are also planning to bring more investors. It will be a big sample project for Nigeria. They may have been some others but they are not working very well. Ours is a perfect example of

directly for foreign investors. “We are planning to bring all the investors from outside. They will make a co-operation between Nigerians. So this is what we are thinking for it to be successful. We know the potentials of Nigeria and Turkey. As you know, Turkey is the 16th biggest economy in the world now and it has comparative advantage in the areas Free Trade Zones and also Industrial Parks. So, we are trying to replicate the same model in Nigeria. That is why also, our government is supportive of the project .This is a project between Nigeria and Turkey. Responding, Ortom, expressed the commitment of the present administration not only in the area of trade promotion, but also in providing the enabling environment for foreign direct investment.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Vodacom unveils enterprise voice solution for businesses KUNLE A ZEEZ

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leading provider of panAfrican corporate total communication solutions and telecommunications in the country, Vodacom Business Nigeria, has unveiled its enterprise voice solution for Nigerian businesses. Tagged, ‘ SIP Trunking’, the service supports cost effective routing with high call quality as well as improved levels of service on local and international calls for enterprises in Nigeria. By providing direct connectivity between the customer’s PBX and the Telecom Service Provider’s switch, which runs via the Vodacom data network, the Solution enables customers to make outbound and receive inbound calls from anywhere across the globe using their existing PBX or IP PBX system.

Speaking on the solution, the Product Manager Vodacom Business Nigeria, Mr. Abu Etu, said Vodacom Enterprise Voice Solution aims to improve productivity, increase mobility and rampup response time for customers, partners and even employees. According to him, “This is especially true for businesses that receive large volumes of inbound calls or that run big customer service operations. With this solution, customers can initiate and receive over 30 concurrent calls and add new lines as the business grows. “Today, we have adapted the concept of SIP trunking in partnership with a licensed operator. This partnership enables us to provide direct connectivity to the operator’s switch which guarantees high voice quality. What’s more, by going this route service, availability will not be affected by any base station downtimes.”

NRC commissions machine for reprofiling trains’ wheels OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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L-R: King of Kano Market, Alhaji Nafiu Nuhu Indabo; Managing Director, Promasidor Nigeria Limited, Mr. Keith Richards and Emir of Kano, Dr. Ado Ibrahim Bayero, during the visit of senior management executives of Promasidor to the Emir in Kano on Tuesday.

Elumelu Foundation extends ‘Nigeria Fast Growth 50’ deadline

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he Tony Elumelu Foundation and AllWorld Network Incorporated have announced an extension of the application deadline for the Nigeria Fast Growth 50 Company Ranking (Nigeria50), till December 31. The ranking is a pioneering effort to showcase and rank the most innovative and dynamic fast-growth private companies in Nigeria. To date, over 100 Nigerian companies have started the submission process and 11 organisations have joined as nominating partners, including: Fate Foundation, The Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce, The Nigeria Employers Consultative Association, The Lagos Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Job-

berman, Leap Africa,the Lagos Business School, Enterprise Development Centre, United Bank for Africa Plc., the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Nigeria, and the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria. The Nigeria50 application process is open to private companies in Nigeria that have been able to grow revenues by 100 per cent or more in the past three years. To be eligible for the Nigeria50 ranking, prospective companies are expected to be be based in Nigeria and have a minimum three-year audited operating history with revenues/turnover of at least N80m/$500,000 as of 2011. The company must be an

independent, private, nonlisted, for-profit corporation, partnership or proprietorship. The company can be an independently incorporated subsidiary of a wider group, with a defined stand-alone business line but cannot be a non-profit, holding company, franchise, bank or utility Also the company must not be 51 per cent or more owned by a publicly traded company or from the public sector while smaller and younger companies can qualify as “Start-Ups to Watch” using the same application. Similar criteria were used to develop other AllWorld entrepreneurial databases, including the Arabia 500, which will host the AllWorld Summit in Dubai on 12 December.

he Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), yesterday commissioned a wheel lathe machine, which will make rolling stock and other metal equipment used in the corporation useful after reprofiling them. With this machine, era of stockpiling the corporation’s locomotive workshop or discarding metal equipment and wheels used for train operations is over. A statement signed by the spokesman for the corporation, Mr. Segun Esan and made available to journalists stated that wheel lathe machine was manufactured in Poland and it is presently installed in the corporation’s locomotive workshop in Lagos. Esan quoted Director

Mechanical/Electrical, Signals & Telecommunications of NRC, Engr. Fidet Okhiria Director Mechanical/Electrical, Signals & Telecommunications as saying that the machine would save the corporation lots of funds, which would have gone into procuring rolling stock wheels from abroad while operational fitness of the trains’ wheels would be enhanced. “As the corporation is set to introduce more passenger and freight rail services especially Lagos-Kano passenger train service and petroleum product trains, the wheel lathe machine would assist the Corporation in putting all the wheels on its rolling stock in good shape which will ultimately improve safety, carriage, and general mechanical performance of the rolling stock,” Okhiria said.

NIMASA arrests ship laden with suspected cooked AGO

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he Maritime Guard of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency has arrested a service cargo vessel, MV Arti laden with over 80,000 litres of suspected ‘cooked’ automotive gas oil. The said vessel was arrested at the Bakare Jetty, Kirikiri water front, Apapa while discharging her illicit cargo into trucks for onward distribution and sale. The Maritime Guard Command also arrested two crew members of the vessel who were supervising discharge

of the cargoes into trucks. Other crew members and operators of the receiving trucks had disappeared from the loading point on sighting officers of the Maritime Guard Command of the Agency. The vessel is now being detained at the NIMASA Resource Centre Jetty, Kirikiri, Apapa, and Lagos. The arrested vessel and crew members will be handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for further investigation and prosecution.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Info Tech

Thursday, December 13, 2012

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Slow race to digital broadcasting G

iven the significance of people’s fundamental human right of access to information, the over 44 million viewing homes in Nigeria are, by now, supposed to be fully aware of the global reality that in the next 30 months, their current analogue television sets would no longer be relevant unless they have undergone transition to digital platforms. Currently, most Nigerians in the urban areas, not to talk of those in the rural settings, do not realise this fact, even as the government itself continues to vacillate in taking required steps that will make the deadline for the switch-over to the transitions necessary. While many countries have been taking conscious measures towards fast-tracking compliance with the new digital order, Nigeria, unfortunately, has yet to release the white paper, which should provide the executive framework for the implementation of the digitalisation project. Awareness creation is also low while most broadcasting orgainsations have not complied with the minimum digital platform standards which should serve as the foundation for their seamless transition by January, 2015, though June 17, were agreed upon by ITU member countries in the agreement for the transition. By 2015, the International Telecommunications Union, the United Nation’s body responsible for global telecommunications regulation and standards, in line with international agreements which Nigeria is party to, will convert the entire broadcast network by switching the terrestrial platform from analogue to digital. Initially, Nigeria had set the ambitious 2012 date for its digital terrestrial television, DDT, switch-over, but this was not to be due to the country’s shoddy preparation, thereby necessitating the country now looking up to 2015 to transit to digital broadcasting, a date generally upon by all the countries around the world. Digital television is a new and more efficient way of receiving television signals which will change the way pictures are transmitted without changing the watch television is watched. Since the beginning of television, people have been watching what is known as analogue television, where the signals are broadcast using radio waves which are picked up by an aerial and sent down a wire to individual television set. With digital terrestrial television, experts have said that the same transmitter will send the signal to the same aerial, but in a digital format, using the set-top box, which a device that receives and decodes the digital signal into a video signal, allowing the picture to appear on television set. However, experts, who assessed of the country’s readiness for the switch-over target, during the Nigeria Digital Dialogue 2012, organised by Strategic Outcomes Limited, a consulting firm, in Lagos recently, have expressed different views on the ability of Nigeria to achieve the target. One of major concerns of stakeholders at the forum was that in spite of Nigeria’s plan to transit from analogue to digital broadcasting by 2015, the Federal Government has continued to delay the release of the white paper which will should provide a executive template for the implementation

Nigeria’s sluggish race towards 2015 deadline set for nations around the world to transit from analogue to digital broadcasting remains gloomy, due to a number of factors, writes KUNLE AZEEZ.

Digital broadcasting

of the digitalisation project. Hammering on this lacuna, a television engineer, Mr. Edward Amana, who has been involved in major technical projects in broadcasting sector in Nigeria and also in the digital broadcasting process, said it was a surprise that the government had not released a white paper for the transition. According to him, “As I speak with you, we have not seen the white paper that provide for us, the implementation framework for the digital transition and we think with this kind of forum and opinions expressed here, government would remember how important it is to have the white papers on time in order to ensure that the 2015 deadline is met.” Amana, who spoke on the technical requirements for the digital transition, said a policy-driven approach was needed by developing countries such as Nigeria for the switch-over, stressing that it was important for Nigeria to ensure it meets the 2015 deadline to avoid certain negative consequences. He said: “If by 2015, Nigeria decides to keep to its analogue system, there may be signal interference from other neighbouring that have switched over and if this happens, no regulator international or regional, will not listen to us and if on the basis of our decision not to switch, we interfere with others countries broadcasting space, we would be sanctioned. So, the best option is for us to switch over by 2015.” However, Amana, who apparently was not happy with the level of work done and poor level of awareness on the transition, urged government to fast-track necessary measures in driving the process, cheerlessly admitting that on the level of Nigeria’s preparedness on the digital broadcasting, “So far, not so good.” The Director General, National Broad-

THE FAILURE OF NIGERIA TO ACHIEVE THE 2015 DEADLINE FOR DIGITAL BROADCASTING WOULD NOT ONLY PREVENT FROM ENJOYING THE DIGITAL DIVIDEND BUT ALSO CREATE SPECTRUM CRUNCH FOR THE TELECOMS SECTOR casting Commission, Mr. Yomi Bolarinwa, also confirmed the delay in the release of the white paper, however, hoped that a group will soon be inaugurated by the government to drive the implementation process. Bolarinwa said the drive for digital broadcasting would ensure efficient use of available spectrum to drive convergences in technologies, enrich television contents. “The digital transition would also make it possible for Nigeria to enjoy what he called digital dividend, which is the spectrum that would be freed up after the transition and can be deployed for other purposes.” The transition will also require the use of set-up boxes to receive digital contents which Bolarinwa said the government is working on to manufacture locally. However, production of these boxes for over 44 million viewing homes is yet to take off as there is no template for it yet, creating an-

other factor that could make Nigeria’s 2015 transition a mirage. Also, part of the technical requirements for all broadcasting orgainsations for the digital transition is to provide their services riding on a new broadcasting standard known as Digital Video Broadcasting-Technical II (DVB-T2), which is an improved technology over the existing DVB-T1 mostly being used in Nigeria. The Chairman, Technical Module, DVB Project, Mr. Nick Wells, said DVB-T2 is the world’s most advanced system for digital terrestrial TV, pointing out that already, DVB-T2 has now been adopted by 56 countries currently implementing their digital transition project. According to Wells, the adoption of DVBT2 by very large markets such as India and Russia mean that DVB-T2 equipment will become very cheap for the benefit of all. “Those countries that have already moved from analogue TV to DVB-T now need to undertake a second digital switchover from DVB-T to DVB-T2. To choose DVB, and in particular DVB-T2, are wise and far-sighted decisions.” Though Bolarinwa claimed that Nigeria had taken decision to be DVB-T2-compliant since 2008, most broadcasting houses are yet to offer deploy the technology, which is also imperative for successful digital broadcasting. Meanwhile, the NBC boss has noted that spectrum is the basis of transmission or distribution of all mobile telephony, internet, broadcasting, satellite and mobile technologies. According to him, spectrum is ever more in demand as mobile broadband grows in particular the use of heavy data transmission applications such as video in developed markets. He said: “Spectrum freed from the transition from analogue broadcasting to digital broadcasting is regarded as digital dividend. This is a valuable bonus, but how it is used and administered must be carefully considered. This will not answer the problems of spectrum shortage going forward.” Therefore the failure of Nigeria to achieve the 2015 deadline for digital broadcasting would not only prevent Nigeria from enjoying the digital dividend but also create spectrum crunch for the telecoms sector, whose regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission, had been waiting for the digital dividend spectrum come 2015 for the deployment of Long Term Evolution broadband services. Another area that Nigeria is found wanting is to properly define the role of broadcasting signal distributors and content creators, an area where a popular movie producer, Mrs. Aamak Igwe discussed extensively at the forum. According to her, in digital transmission, broadcasting companies will only have the role of content providers while government through contracted parties will undertake the job to distribute the content, saying that the new deal requires new skills and new tricks in market segmentation and specialisation.


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Info Tech

Thursday, December 13, 2012

FG tasked on broadband stimulus fund KUNLE A ZEEZ

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he Federal Government has been urged to establish a special intervention fund to support orgainsations willing to participate in ensuring widespread deployment of broadband services across the country. Stakeholders in the nation’s Information and Communication Technology made the call in a communiqué issued at the end of the second biennial Africa Digital Forum & Awards , which held in Lagos recently. Key stakeholders at the forum included the former Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, and Chairman OpenMedia Group, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe; former Minister of Communications, Mr. Olawale Ige; President, Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria, Mr. Lanre Ajayi; Chief Executive Officer, Teledom Group, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem;

guest speaker and Chief Executive Officer, Computer Warehouse Group, Mr. Austin Okere, among others. In the communiqué signed by the Coordinator of the forum, Mr. Tayo Adewusi, the stakeholders drawn from the regulatory bodies and private sector of the ICT said to tackle “the challenges of broadband penetration in the country, there was need for regulatory intervention, through the establishment of ‘Broadband Intervention Fund.” They argue that the Broadband Intervention Fund will encourage more service providers into broadband delivery, thereby creating more infrastructures to increase access and more competition to decrease prices. At the forum, the stakeholders recognised ICT, which entails broadband services, has become crucial to individual and businesses lives, stressing that as the issue of broadband infrastructure is being deliberated on, the

industry must also focus on the creation of contents to be made use of with the broadband, pointing out that as contents were being created, demand should also be stimulated. According to the communiqué, “With the level of internet bandwidth at Nigeria’s shore, the consumption level is at six per cent, if demand is not increased, ICT companies providing broadband may go moribund. “There was the need for creation of awareness to the masses, especially the youth on the importance of broadband, as this will further enhance advocacy to the government.” The stakeholders identified broadband challenges such as interconnection issues, Right of Way and barriers to deployment, multiple and illegal taxation, multiple regulations, among others, which they said must be addressed if Nigeria seeks to attain the desired level of broadband penetration.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Tech Box Beta BBM 7 version:

Designed with Voice feature

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esearch In Motion on Tuesday launched BlackBerry Messenger version 7, a free update for the globally popular mobile social network. A key new feature of the update will allow customers to make free voice calls to their BBM contacts around the world over a Wi-Fi connection. The feature is a fast, convenient, and inexpensive way to stay connected with friends, family and colleagues. The Beta version of BBM 7 with the new BBM Voice feature was made available to the public through BlackBerry Beta Zone on November 14, 2012. Beta testers were excited and pleased with the update, generating comments such as: “The voice feature is easy to use and the audio quality is excellent.” When RIM surveyed customers who downloaded the Beta,

over 80 per cent of testers said that they were likely to recommend BBM version 7. In the same survey, 90 per cent of testers said that they would use BBM Voice while travelling to keep in touch. Nearly half of BBM customers have international contacts and can benefit from free Wi-Fi calls. According to the Vice President of BBM and Social Communities at RIM, T.A. McCann, “BBM began as a convenient and effective business messaging tool, and today it is an essential part of daily communications for customers around the world.Now, with BBM version 7, customers have a new option: they can text and talk with their BBM contacts near and far, for free.” He said with the integrated experience, RIM has extended the core features of reliable, real-time engagement to include voice calling and take BBM to the next level. The BBM 7 with BBM Voice offers multi-tasking with Splitscreen feature, as customers can do more while they talk, such as check other BBM text chats, check email, or navigate to other apps while engaged on a BBM Voice call, among others.

Etisalat appointed Apple reseller in Nigeria

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L-R: Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission, Dr, Eugene Juwah; President, Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria, Mr. Lanre Ajayi and Head, Licensing and Compliance, Airtel Nigeria, Mr. Shola Adeyemi at the Telecoms Executives and Regulator’s Forum 2012 organised by ATCON in Lagos yesterday.

Firm restates commitment to outsourcing business KUNLE A ZEEZ

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est Africa’s leading Systems Integration Company, Resourcery Plc., has restated its commitment to continue to support its outsourcing customers for continuous value addition to their business activities and the economy. The company stated this during an ‘Information Technology Support Customers’ Appreciation Event,” organised for its outsourcing customers in Lagos recently. The forum, which provided an opportunity for the organisation to thank them as well as listen to their present IT challenges, was organised to appreciate the outsourcing partners their business in the course of the year. Speaking at the event, the

Executive Director, People and Projects at Resourcery, Mr. Akanimo Ekong, who stressed the company’s commitment to development of the sub-sector, emphasised the growing awareness and importance of IT support to organisations no matter how big or small. “As the economy of the nation grows, so also the need for specialised information technology support services grows. As a leading ICT company in West Africa, we understand the local IT needs in our business environment and we strive to always take the IT burden off our customers’ shoulders so that they can concentrate on their core business,” he said. While expressing the company’s gratitude to organisations that chose Resourcery as their Information Technology Support (outsourcing) partner, Ekong said, “Meeting with our

customers outside the office environment provides an opportunity for us to reflect on our services and get direct feedback on how we can serve them even better in 2013. It’s also an avenue for us to share our dream for the coming year as it relates to the support of our customers’ I.T needs.” Delivering the company’s plan for 2013 on outsourcing, the Solutions Manager, Information Technology Outsourcing, Resourcery, Mr. Dayo Ige, highlighted the company’s path towards a more efficient outsourcing program for customers. He said this was necessary because outsourcing, in its early days, was seen to be an exclusive preserve of large companies, adding, however, that today, it is had become the normal way of doing business worldwide.

igeria’s fifth Global System for Mobile Communication-licensed operator, Etisalat Nigeria has entered into a deal with Core Group Africa, the Apple authorised distributor for Nigeria, to make Apple’s products readily available across the country. The deal makes Etisalat the first mobile network operator to become an authorised reseller of various Apple iPads and accessories in Nigeria. The new partnership with allow Etisalat to respond to the growing demand for Apple products in Nigeria, especially the iPad and iPhone range of smartphones. Speaking on the partnership, the Chief Commercial Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Wael Ammar, said that with the signing of the agreement between the two companies, Etisalat will be the first telecoms operator permitted to sell Apple’s iPad in selected retail outlets spread across the country, while offering a two-year warranty cover on all iPad devices sold. In addition, he announced, the company will also be offering customers who purchase the products at its Experience

Centres with an unbeatable 12-month free internet data access on its super fast easy blaze product. “As part of our promise to provide our customers with value added propositions, Etisalat as the first mobile network operator to be an official Reseller for Apple in Nigeria, will also be offering our customers 12 months free data on all iPads purchased at our Experience Centres and sales outlets, and the products come with a two-year warranty,” he said. He, however, pointed out that the two-year warranty will only apply once the subscriber registers the iPad purchased from Etisalat’s website.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Thursday, Decemeber 13, 2012

Brands & Marketing

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Influx of smuggled liquor bothers distillers As the nation’s porous borders continues to give leeway to importers to sneak unchecked brands and products into the market, the Distillers and Blenders Association, have raised the alarm on influx of illegal wines, spirits and other alcoholic beverages in the market, reports ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI.

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he nation’s alcoholic beverage market is under siege of smuggled products. But with about N700 million loss annually to influx of illegal wine, spirits and alcoholic beverages, distillers and blenders are afraid of another dangerous signal that saw textile industries income to Gross Domestic Product out of the nation’s trade balance sheet. At a joint press conference held recently at the National Headquarters of National Union of Food, Beverage and Tobacco Employees (NUFBTE), Lagos, representatives of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), Association of Food, Beverage And Tobacco Employers (AFBTE) and NUFBTE in a joint statement read by the Executive Secretary of Distillers and Blenders Association, Aare Fatai Odesile alerted that, “the illegal influx of alcoholic beverages, wines and spirits into the country is an ominous wind that would blow nobody any good at the end of the day.” Perturbed by the porous nature of the Nigeria borders, Odesile said, “Today, Nigeria market has become a dump yard for all manner of products regularly smuggled into the country. It is more alarming the rate at which some people in our society smuggled foreign wines and spirits into the market.” “Sadly enough, when these foreign wines, alcoholic beverages and spirits are smuggled into the market, they offer them at lower rates because they were illegally brought into the country through our porous borders without paying the normal excise duties and taxes.” He revealed that smuggling these spirits and alcoholic beverages into the country creates a challenging marketing environment for locally produced alcoholic beverages, wines and spirits brands. Comparatively, in the home countries of these smuggled spirits/alcoholic beverages, notably Asia, Southern African countries and Europe, these wines are said to sell at more than twice the prices in Nigeria, a situation stakeholders said if unchecked, might lead to the demise of industries in the country which has no doubt contributed significantly and immeasurably to the growth of the economy. “By lowering the prices of these products here, the smugglers and their local collaborators are creating an uneven playing field for locally produced wines and spirits. Not only are these products being dumped in Nigeria, they also go ahead to advertise these smuggled items that were never registered with relevant agencies of government, most likely because they are of suspect quality, thereby putting the lives and

Bottles of wine

health of our people at serious risk!. It is regrettable to note that this type of situation led to the collapse of hitherto promising industries in the past such as textiles, batteries and tyres,” the union warned. Meanwhile, the distillers union is set to engage the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control,(NAFDAC), to fight the influx. “We have decided to join hands with all relevant stakeholders in fighting this illegal act. In view of this, we have commenced negotiation and engagements with the relevant regulatory agencies of government mist especially NAFDAC, which has been very supportive of a safe and healthy Nigerian state,” said Odesile. “We are, therefore, using this medium to call the attention of our distinguished law makers to those loop-holes in the Nigerian constitution that allow or encourage smuggling or illegal importation. Though we are operating a global economy, the local industries must be protected. It is either we act now or never,” Besides these, it will be recalled that about N15million worth fake drinks were seized in October by NAFDAC during a raid of adulterated drinks market in Aba. The Zonal Head of the Aba Special Zone of the agency, Mr Festus Anumba,

NIGERIA’S WINE IMPORTS ARE INCREASING BY 16 PER CENT ANNUALLY. A NEW REPORT FROM RABOBANK SAYS NIGERIA HAS THE POTENTIAL TO BECOME A LUCRATIVE EXPORT MARKET FOR WINE, BUT SOME

NEW

ZEALAND WINEMAKERS ARE YET TO BE CONVINCED made the disclosure in an interview with the News agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Aba. He said that during the raid which the agency carried out with the police at Cemetery Market, Aba, five suspects, including a lady; were apprehended and two shops sealed. Anumba said that the agency carried out the raid, following complaints by Intercontinental Distillers Ltd. and Grand Oak Ltd., that most of their brand products had been adulterated. He said that the two companies disclosed that the adulterated drinks were being sold to unsuspecting consumers in Aba. The products, according to the zonal head include; Seaman’s Schnapps, Chel-

sea Dry Gins, Squadron Dark Rum, Bull Gin, Bull Dark, Lords Dry Gin, Calypso, Bacchus, Eagle Majesty Aromatic Schnapps and Dark Sailor. The others are Veleta Fruit Juice and Finlays Tonic Wine. Currently, Nigeria’s wine imports are increasing by 16 per cent annually. A new report from New Zealand’s Rabobank said Nigeria has the potential to become a lucrative export market for wine, but some New Zealand winemakers are yet to be convinced. The report, titled, “A new wine frontier”, said that while China and South Korea are probably the most attractive emerging wine markets, Mexico, Poland, Brazil and Nigeria are “hidden gems” that could offer rich rewards, over the medium to long-term, to ambitious exporters. Early exposure to these nascent markets would give firms hard-won experience and a head-start on their competition, said Rabobank food and agribusiness analyst Stephen Rannekleiv. Tim Lightbourne, co-founder of Auckland’s Invivo Wines, said the company which made this year’s Deloitte Fast 50 list of high-growth Kiwi firms – was already exporting its Sauvignon Blanc to Mexico, but Nigeria hadn’t made it on to the firm’s radar perhaps, reason for backdoor importation of these wines.


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Brands & Marketing

Thursday, Decemeber 13, 2012

Unilever unveils 2013 CSR roadmap, announces partnerships ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI

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fter presenting touching stories of beneficiaries via video doc, slides of the outgoing year’s Corporate Social Responsibility activities put together by Unilever Nigeria and partners, the maker of premium brands of Omo, Close Up, Lipton among others path launched a new corporate roadmap to sustainable growth tagged, Unilever Sustainable Living Plan (USLP), to lead the part for an impactful CSR in Nigeria. The USLP which articulates the UNILEVER’s vision to double its growth and at the same time reduce the environmental impact of its operations is said would be committed to helping Nigerians take action to improve their health and well being. Lunching the roadmap to mark the company’s CSR Day recently, the Managing Director of Unilever, Mr. Thabo Mabe said that the USLP is inspired by Unilever’s commitment to building sustainability into the way the company does its busi-

ness. “Through the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan we want to ensure that we decouple the growth of our business from the impact our activities have on environment. To achieve this, we will take responsibility not just for our manufacturing processes, but also for the entire lifecycle of our products –from the sources of our raw materials to where our products are consumed, and the disposal of our packaging”, he said. As it forged partnership with vocal organisations, Mabe noted that Unilever’s partnership with UNICEF and Save the Children is in line with one of the pillars of USLP which is to help people improve their health and well being. “Our partnership with Save the Children and UNICEF will help deliver transformational change that will impact many lives in Nigeria. Our partnership with Save the Children will help provide care and support for new mothers and babies in Nigeria. This intervention will help reduce the high rate of child mortality in Nigeria. By partnering UNICEF on its Community

Led Total Sanitation Programme, we are also tackling the menace of open defecation and by so doing, reducing the spread of diseases caused by open defecation”, he said. Also at the event were other Unilever CSR partners including NGOs as well as beneficiaries of various Unilever CSR interventions which include, Positive Action for Treatment Access (PATA), Wave Crest College of Hospitality, Diamond Lights, Olusosun Primary School, Ojota, Lagos appraised the impact of the Unilever support for their humanitarian projects. “The event was also a platform for Unilever and these key partners to review their progress and agree on ways to deliver even more impactful interventions in the coming year. To this end, through its Unilever Foundation, has forged a global partnership with UNICEF and Save the Children, and through these partnerships, the company is delivering various interventions to help tackle diseases and cut down infant mortality rates,” a statement from the company said.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

BrandPower awards ‘game-changers’

The management of Epic BrandPower Company Limited, Publishers of BrandPower Magazine, in fulfilling of its mission to make brands bigger, better and brighter for the benefit of consumers and owners, has award game-changers in marketing communication, whose performances, consumer’s brands, corporate quality were gauged and adjudged winners of BrandPower awards. The event which took place at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island Lagos recognised Omo, Indomie, Star, First Bank, Cowbel milk, Globacom, Maggi, Dangote Group and TomTom. Personalities that were given awards included Atunyota Alleluyah Akpobomorere, otherwise known as Ali Baba; Kenneth Nnebue, the man credited for being the brain behind the entertainment industry known as Nollywood; Biodun Shobanjo, the mercurial chairman of Troyka Holdings and the man widely known to have spearheaded the practice of modern advertising in Nigeria. Others were High Chief Dr. Raymond Dokpesi, the chairman of Daar Communications Plc., Governor Ibrahim Shema, the widely acclaimed hard-working governor of Katsina State and Senator David Mark, the Senate President. The purpose of this award, according to the publisher of BrandPower Magazine, Nnanke Harry Willie, was to encourage best practices and visionary leadership by public service icons and brand owners in order to make the consumers and citizens the kings and queens that they ought to be. “In fulfillment of the Brandpower mission to make brands bigger, better and brighter for the benefit of consumers and brand owners, the management of Epic Brandpower Company Limited, publishers of Brandpower magazine, instituted the Citizen and Consumer Impact Assessment Exercises. This is a platform to gauge the performance and quality of service of key public service icons, corporate institutions and consumer brands in Nigeria.”

Online retail store, Konga. com, earns shoppers’ trust L-R: Brand Manager, Dark Sailor Rum, Mr. Tope Adenle, Category Manager, Grand Oak Limited, Mr. Abiodun Ayodeji, Miss Tayo Wesley, a student of Osun State University and Regional Sales Manager, Grand Oak Limited, Mr. Femi Olayemi during the Dark and Daring Party organised by Grand Oak Limited at Osogbo recently.

KFC spices up cuisine with Zinger fish and shrimps ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI

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f there is anything KFC is proud of, it is its Original Recipe, Extra Crisp, Colonel’s Crispy Strips and Honey BBQ Wings, with home-style sides and freshly made chicken sandwiches. Wherever the restaurant step, the world’s most popular chicken restaurant chain spice up its cuisine with innovation and taste to stay ahead of competition. Displaying such value orientation last week, the quick food service widely known for its great chicken taste, in its continuous commitment to freshness and innovation has added two unique fish and shrimps based figer-licking products, Fish Zinger and Zinger Shrimps to its great taste of menu, commencing especially for its huge benefits to its numerous consumers in Lagos and Ibadan.

According to KFC, the Fish Zinger is a whole fish fillet breaded in zinger breeding sandwiched in a fresh sesame seed bun with iceberg lettuce and mayonnaise while Zinger Shrimps is a partially butter fried, tail on zinger breaded shrimps with a golden brown crunchy craving with tender meat inside, served with pepper mayonnaise. “Fish Zinger and Zinger Shrimps provide our dear consumers and prospects more options of spicy, appetising flavor. The KFC brand has continueously adhered to the culture of providing freshly made meals that meet international standards and quality”, said the Head of Marketing, Mr. Vikram Varma. The new ‘great news’ offering which has been generating quick and positive responses from the consumers and lovers of scrumptious meals from the KFC brand have expressed their excitements at the in-

troduction of fish and shrimps based meals to the KFC menu in response to consumers latent needs. One of the KFC’s consumers in Lagos, Mrs. Buraimoh Dupe, stated, “This is a plus to KFC for its fresh additions on one hand and for me to be able to afford and experience one of a kind spicy, crispy and scrumptious taste of seafood meals in a clean and inspiring KFC stores on the other” “We believe our growth lies in making our consumers in Nigeria happy and delivering on our promise of affrodable and professionally prepared meal options in line with our globally trusted and tested processes. So, the introduction of fish Zinger and Zinger Shrimps is towards the direction of wanting to satisfy our amazing consumers’ yearnings for choices’’, the Chief Operating Officer of KFC, Mr.Rahul Takalkar concluded.

KUNLE AZEEZ Less than 12 months after commencing operations in Nigeria, Konga.com, a leading online store, said it has transformed the online retail business in Nigeria and earned shoppers trust. The Chief Executive Officer of Konga.com, Mr Sim Shagaya, who disclosed this, said the response from Nigerians in less than a year has been impressive. According to him, Nigerians, who previously would be hesitant to buy anything online from a Nigerian website due to poor service delivery and financial insecurity, have now embraced Konga.coms’ secure shopping platform and stellar customer service. He said being the forerunner of online business in Nigeria, Konga.com has been able to build trust in Nigeriaas it has demonstrated credibility in quality of products and service delivery. “Konga.com offers a wide range of products such as baby products, beauty and personal care products, home appliances, electronics, games and consoles, books, mobile phones, watches, office and school items, household items and groceries,” he said. He said the company has a world-class customer service team that constantly ensures that the consumer is pleased from the point of order till delivery, saying this suggested that the response the company had gotten from Nigerians was indicative of a brighter future for online business in Nigeria.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Brands & Marketing

Thursday, Decemeber 13, 2012

TQC takes PR to new level with Qlichy.com marketing portal ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI

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s lull and economic crisis take toll on clients with attendant effects on businesses, the Nigeria’s first full service Public Relations Consultancy, The Quadrant Company, is set to lead another innovative products, Qlichy.com, a business portal to link people searching for up-todate information on businesses and organisations in Nigeria. The portal called Qlichy.com, seeks to expand opportunities for organisations, by maximising their digital presence while reaching consumers, stakeholders and other businesses in a unique and cost effective way. After five years of thorough research, the Managing Director of The Quadrant Company, Mr. Bolaji Okusaga said that TQC now

feels the need for the business portal is ripe for launching for information-seeking world. “Qlichy is a cross between a social network, a business directory and an E-commerce platform”, he said. Accordingly, the Qlichy business portal is the first in a line of business intelligence solutions that will change the face of business in Nigeria and afford anyone looking for current information on businesses to get what they need fast and easy besides providing a thought leadership platform through which brands and corporate bodies could talk about industry issues and ideas. Okusaga also noted that the changing dynamics of media in Nigeria is one of the factors that necessitated the development of the platform. “The world is going digital even though traditional media is still relevant at the mo-

ad VA NT AG E icon

ment, the future lies in the online media,” he affirmed adding that “About 10 years ago, the Television was the most consumed medium in the world but today, the internet has dethroned the Television in terms of media consumption. Today we have internet television on demand, youtube, internet radio, social networks and so much more.” During a media unveiling of the portal, which is currently in the beta testing phase and to be fully operational in 2013, TQC display the portal which also features a social forum, news and events segment and a platform for thought leadership. The business portal serves as a business intelligence solution which will revolutionise the Public Relations industry and take full advantage of the potential of the cyberspace in Nigeria.

L-R: Representative of Black Heritage Festival, Mr. Femi Segun; Mr. Uzoma Dozie, ED, Corporate Banking and Lagos/ West Businesses of Diamond Bank and Ms. Ayona Trimnell, Head of Corporate Communication, both ofthe bank, at a press conference on Lagos Black Festival vision of a Child 2013 Painting Competition in Lagos, recently.

Governor Fashola as an iconic brand

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made a presentation on personal branding to participants of the Empowerment Academy of my Church. Governor Babatunde Fashola was used as a case study and I requested the participants to describe the brand (i.e. Fashola) in their own words. It was a revealing session indeed as they responded with several appellations; a man with a vision, a performer, reformer, and a man determined to leave a legacy, the best governor Etc. The truth is that the governor like a brand has become an accepted part of people’s lives. A lot of attributes distinguish Governor Fashola as an iconic brand from the rest of the pack. Iconic brands inspire an enduring form of affection that any company would prefer for its brand. Iconic brands are also instantly recognizable as they have

become part of a popular culture. Such brands are easily identified anywhere and companies with such brands power usually have intrinsic advantage over others. Governor Fashola has also remained an iconic brand due to the dynamism and vibrancy that he has brought to bear on governance. This makes stand tall amongst political leaders in the country. He also attracts higher top of mind awareness due to his approach to provide visionary leadership and this makes his personality brand to resonate beyond the shores of Lagos. The slogan “Eko o ni baje o” adopted during his electioneering campaign exemplifies the values and character of his personality brand. Eko oni baje aptly describes the sustained efforts of the Fashola brand to make Lagos an enviable state. What makes

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nyi Odigbo is a visionary, who prefers to be called an integrator. His group holding company, Casers, offers complete advertising services through a number of strong, individual companies. However, he ensures that all strategic thinking works through Casers Group Integration at the heart of his operation. Odigbo won the DDB franchise in 2000, and in the last decade his group has expanded to include Capital Media- one of the region’s largest independent media buying companies, and Magenta—a digital company, and now a new partnership with Fin International, the financial branding consultancy. Without doubt, he has made a profound impact on Brand Communications in Nigeria, but is also working hard to change the perceptions of the country. Given his client base, which include Gillete and the MTN Group, he is certainly in the center of Nigeria’s advertising world. Always looking ahead, he said that as of today, he is most proud of winning the MTN— Mobile Telephone Networks South Africa pitch, because it demonstrates how an agency group that starts with integrated, strategic thinking can make a difference even if they are based in Lagos, Nigeria. “Innovation is any form of marked improvement on current thinking. At Casers, we don’t benchmark against others. We have to think about our

Brand X-Ray with Ayodeji Ayopo Tel: 08023448199 E-mail: mayomipo@yahoo.com the Fashola brand resonate more with the audience is the vigorous action he deploys to fulfill his brand promise. Iconic brands exude strong traits that are very impactful. They inspire trust and credibility. Such brands also resonate in very compelling and novel ways such as Fashola does. The comportment of the governor is one that also stands him out from his peers. I have observed that in creating a distinctive brand, Governor Fashola does not engage in foul communication to deliver his messages even against the opposition unlike other uncultured public officers. He creates good impression of his brand and through this, leaves indelible

memories in the minds of his audience. Through Fashola, Nigerians have come to know that siren blasting is not mandatory and should not be entrenched as part of governance. This is a very effective way to build a brand that will endear future generations to it. This is one way to generate positive perception amongst the audience and this approach has also been adopted by few others Iconic brands are embedded in our culture and consciousness and that is why for decades to come, Fashola will remain like an Ashoka tree on the nation’s political landscape. I remember how Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State eulogised him in a

Odigbo

WITHOUT DOUBT, HE HAS MADE A PROFOUND IMPACT ON BRAND COMMUNICATIONS IN NIGERIA, BUT IS ALSO WORKING HARD TO CHANGE THE PERCEPTIONS OF THE COUNTRY environment and be one step ahead. Innovation must be original, it cannot be copied”, he once said. Odigbo had a stint with Beecham Limited where he managed brands like Horlicks, Lucozade and Ribena. He was also with Nigerian Breweries and foremost advertising firm Insight Communications where he grew to be Account Director. He established Casers Ltd in 1987 which became affiliated to DDB Worldwide in 2000. lecture at Babcock University. In his presentation, Babangida admonished other governors to visit Lagos and learn from Fashola’s governance style. Despite their political differences, he was able to identify the distinctive features of the iconic Fashola brand. In his book, “How to become iconic”, Professor Douglas Holt proposes these three principles, iconic brands address acute contradiction in the society. By tapping into a collective desire or anxiety, iconic brands develop a status that transcends functional benefit. They challenge people either directly or subtly, to reconsider accepted thinking and behavior I strongly agree that Fashola has challenged the behavioral norms and lifestyle of Lagosians. Secondly, iconic brandsdevelop identity myths that address, these desires and anxiety.Enviromental upliftment and Oshodi axis today is an escape from the previous reality. Lastly, the brand comes to embody the myth.


40

Global Business

Thursday, December 13, 2012

RBA cuts rates to lowest in 53 years

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ustralia’s central bank will reduce its benchmark interest rate to the lowest in the body’s 53-year history, according to credit markets that more accurately picked Tuesday’s cut than economists. Traders are pricing in an 80 percent chance the overnight cash-rate target will be 2.75 percent or less by February 5, swaps data compiled by Bloomberg show. Governor Glenn Stevens and his board lowered the rate 0.25 percentage point to 3.25 percent yesterday, a decision predicted by nine of 28 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. Australia’s record-low benchmark was the 2.89 percent set in January 1960, RBA figures show. Stevens said Australia’s record mining boom will peak at a lower level than expected, as he joined peers from Europe to the U.S. seeking to boost growth. That marked a reversal from June, when he said “cheerleading” was needed to rebut pessimists. The nation’s benchmark yields are 2.93 percent, almost double the average for top-rated peers, and Australia’s dollar gained 7.3 percent over the past year even as prices plunged 39 percent for iron ore, the nation’s biggest export. “This was the first time the RBA has acknowledged the need to provide stim-

Gleenn

ulus as the mining investment boom begins to fade,” said Adam Donaldson, head of debt research in Sydney at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the nation’s largest lender. “We’ll end up seeing multiple rate cuts that may take the

benchmark to about 2.5 percent in the next year or so.” Stevens, in a June 8 speech titled “The Glass Half Full” expressed optimism about the nation’s economy and cautioned against monetary policy settings that could reignite asset bubbles. Responding to audience questions, Stevens said he felt the need to do some “cheerleading” for the economy in response to negative commentary on the nation’s prospects and weak consumer and business confidence. Since then tumbling commodity prices have spurred miners including BHP Billiton (BHP) Ltd., Xstrata Plc and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. to delay some of the projects in a resources development pipeline the Australian government estimated in June at A$500 billion ($511 billion). At the same time, companies from Bluescope Steel Ltd. to surfwear maker Billabong International Ltd. and the local unit of Ford Motor Co. have been struggling to cope with the local dollar’s strength. Stevens will probably cut interest rates again next month, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg after yesterday’s reduction, in what would be his seventh-straight move on the day of the Melbourne Cup, Australia’s richest horse race.

Global services weaken as Europe slides into recession

S

ervices industries from Asia to Europe cooled last month after the euro-area debt crisis pulled economies including Spain and Italy into recession and damped global growth prospects. The purchasing managers’ index fell to 53.7 in September from 56.3 in August, the National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing in Beijing said yesterday. That’s the lowest since at least March 2011. In the euro-area, a gauge slipped to 46.1 last month from 47.2 and a U.K. measure also fell. Readings below 50 indicate contraction. China’s weaker services number underscores a slowdown that spurred the Asian Development Bank to lower its 2012 regional growth estimate. As Europe’s economic slump deepens amid a fiscal squeeze and weakening confidence, the ADB said the threat of a “shock emanating from the unresolved euro-area sov-

In Britain, a services measure dropped more than economists forecast to 52.2 in September

ereign debt crisis” is among the biggest downside risks to Asia. “The global environment will remain challenging,” said Silvio Peruzzo, an economist at Nomura International Plc in London. “In the euro area, there’s a lack of demand because of austerity; some countries have suffered more than others. We expect the economy to shrink

again in the third quarter with a significant chance for another contraction in the fourth.” The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped 0.3 percent yesterday. In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell 0.1 percent yesterday in Frankfurt. The euro was little changed versus the dollar, trading at $1.2905.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Poland unexpectedly holds rates as expansion slows

Poland President, Bronisław Komorowski

P

oland’s central bank unexpectedly left borrowing costs unchanged, rejecting calls to undo the European Union’s only interest-rate increase this year even after the economy expanded at the slowest pace since 2009. The Narodowy Bank Polski kept the benchmark seven-day interest rate at 4.75 percent yesterday. Eight economists in a Bloomberg survey predicted no change, while 27 expected a 25 basis-point reduction. While central banks around the world have eased borrowing costs to avert a recession, Poland has kept rates at the highest since 2009 to tame inflation as the economy proved resistant to Europe’s debt crisis. Still, the expansion slowed in the second quarter to 2.4 percent from a year earlier, after growing 3.5 percent in the January-March period. “They decided to err on the conservative side,” Lars Christensen, a Copenhagen-based economist at Danske Bank A/S (DANSKE), said by phone yesterday. “The market was quite aggressively priced for cuts and now we have to see why they’re hanging back, but 12 months ahead, we’ll still have rates 75 to 100 basis points lower.” The zloty strengthened 0.6 percent after the decision, trading at 4.0894 per euro in Warsaw, compared with 4.1171 before the release. The five-year government bond yield jumped as much as 9 basis points after the decision and traded at 4.19 percent, up 4 basis points on the day, Tuesday’s in Warsaw. Consumer-price growth has exceeded the bank’s 2.5 percent goal since October 2010. While inflation slowed to 3.8 percent in August from 4 percent in July, the central bank forecasts it will remain above the target until early next year.

Employment rises on restaurants in U.S doing quick service

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Obama

achael Wright had culinary training, a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and a dream of putting her education to work. After a couple of years waiting tables and trying to launch her career, Wright finally went where the jobs are: quick-service food. In September, she started at Protein Bar, a Chicago-based eatery specialising in low-sugar, high-fiber menus. The company says it seeks to marry fresh ingredients with convenience: Food is served in easy-to-carry bowls so customers can nosh while they walk. After multiple interviews, Wright landed an assistant man-

ager job at the company’s new store in Washington. I was looking for something in product development,” said Wright, 26. “Even if that doesn’t happen, having this background in the healthful food industry should help me along the right path instead of going from restaurant to restaurant.” Restaurants and bars are heading toward their strongest year of job growth since 2004, according to the National Restaurant Association, a Washington-based trade group, led by a proliferation of fastfood and quick-service outlets. Food services accounted for nearly 30 percent of the

96,000 jobs created in August, which also marked 19 consecutive months of growth for the sector, according to the Labor Department. The industry this year expanded payrolls by 2.9 percent as of the end of August, more than double the 1.4 percent increase in total U.S. employment, according to Labor Department data. Fast-food chains including Wendy’s Co. (WEN), snack-and-beverage shops such as Starbucks Corp. (SBUX), and a newer crop of eateries like Protein Bar and Nando’s Peri-Peri, which offer made-to-order meals, are leading the growth.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Thursday, December 13, 2012

41


42

Capital Market

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Q1: FCMB forecasts 20% drop in profit JOHNSON OKANLAWON

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irst Monument Bank Plc has forecast a profit after tax of N23.3bn for the first quarter of 2013, a decline of 19.8 per cent when compared to N4.003bn recorded in the same period of 2012. The bank in a notice to investors yesterday said it expects gross earnings of N31.5bn, interest income of N23.3bn and net interest income of N11.7bn by next year first quarter. The bank also forecasts foreign exchange earnings of N1.09bn, risk assets fees of N1.79bn and profit before tax of

N4.29bn. Further analysis showed net operating income of N19.9bn for the quarter, while loan loss expenses/writebacks is expected at negative of N1.44bn. Shareholders of the bank had on Monday approved the delisting of the bank preparatory to the listing of FCMB Holdco on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. The shareholders agreed that all holders of ordinary shares of the bank as at the terminal date would exchange their shares in the bank for shares in the Holdco at the rate of one bank share for one Holdco. The Managing Direc-

tor, FCMB, Mr. Ladi Balogun, said the bank’s shareholding in permissible non-banking subsidiaries and investments would be transferred to the Holdco at the respective book values of the said subsidiaries and investments on the bank’s balance sheet as at December 31, 2011. According to him, the bank’s interest in permissible subsidiaries and investments will remain unchanged, and they shall continue to be direct subsidiaries of the bank. Also, part of the elements of the scheme of arrangement approved by the shareholders was the reorganisation of the

bank’s authorised share capital by reducing same by a total of N8bn. The Chairman, FCMB, Dr. Jonathan Long, said the board considered the terms of the scheme to be fair and reasonable, and in its opinion, the best and most efficient option, towards complying with Regulation 3. “The bank’s proposal, as contained in the compliance plan, was therefore to create a new non-operating holding company, FCMB Group Plc which will hold the shares in the commercial banking business as well as the current permissible non-banking subsidiaries and investments,” he added.

Source: NSE

NIBOR QUOTES 11 DECEMBER & 12 DECEMBER 2012 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

11-Dec-12

12-Dec-12

Source: FMDA

Market indicators All-Share Index 23,105.05 points

Index rises 1.7% on blue chips gain JOHNSON OKANLAWON

T

rading in equities continued on bullish note on the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, over gains recorded mostly by blue chip companies. The All Share Index gained 1.71 per cent to close at 27,514.18 points, compared to the increase of 0.8 per cent recorded the preceding day to close at 27,050.20 points. The index had Tuesday

crossed the 27,000 band, after six weeks of oscillating within the 26,00026,900 bands. Market capitalisation appreciated by N148.1bn to close at N8.79trn, higher than the increase of N72.9bn recorded the preceding day to close at N8.64trn. Financial sector led transaction volume with 302.45 million shares valued at N2.98bn in 3,346 deals as against 305.54 million shares valued at N1.93bn traded in 2,821

deals the preceding day. The volume recorded in the sector was driven by transaction in the shares of Zenith Bank Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, Access Bank Plc and United Bank Plc. Nestle Nigeria Plc led the gainers’ table with N34.94 to close at N710.00 per share, followed by NewGold with N9.00 to close at N2, 627.00 per share. Nigerian Breweries Plc rose by N5.06 to close at N153.06 per share, while

European shares keep rally alive, eyes on Fed

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uropean shares edged higher yesterday, extending a steep three-week rally as investors bet the Federal Reserve will unveil a new round of bond-buying to support the U.S. economy. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.1 per cent at 1,139.57 points, after hitting an 18-month high earlier in the session. However, the benchmark index - which has risen in 16 of the past 18 sessions - has gained seven per cent since mid-November, fuelling expectations of an imminent pull-back. “The market’s winning streak has been quite phenomenal, something we haven’t seen in many years. But volumes have been anaemic, and a low-volume

rally is always suspicious,” Talence Gestion fund manager Alexandre Le Drogoff said. “Indexes such as the Euro STOXX 50 and the CAC 40 have pierced above key resistance levels, but we need them to close the week above these levels to really confirm the buy signal, and we’re not there yet. We could quickly lose two per cent.” Volumes were very low on Wednesday for most European benchmark indexes. Around midday, the volume represented only between 22 and 30 per cent of the average daily volume for the past three months. Basic resources shares were among the biggest gainers, with Anglo American up 1.9 per cent after Barclays upgraded its rating on the stock to equal weight

from underweight. Troubled French car maker PSA Peugeot Citroen surged seven per cent, boosted by a report on La Tribune website saying the government of Algeria could buy a stake in the company. Traders also mention a recent move by UK hedge fund Marshall Wace to reduce its short selling position on Peugeot, which has been in the crosshairs of short sellers for months. Investors awaited the end of the Fed’s two-day policy meeting, with the central bank expected to replace its expiring Operation Twist programme of Treasuries purchases with a new bond buying plan which will further expand the central bank’s balance sheet. European shares have strongly rallied over the

UACN Plc increased by N1.98 to close at N43.99 per share. Guaranty Trust Bank Plc appreciated by 90 kobo to close at N21.50 per share. On the flip side, Cadbury Nigeria Plc lost 95 kobo to close at N28.50 per share, while GlaxoSmithKline Plc shed 51 kobo to close at N44.99 per share. Stanbic IBTC declined by 19 kobo to close at N10.81 per share, while Ashaka Cement Plc dropped by 15 kobo to close at N18.12 per share. Union Bank of Nigeria Plc dipped by 13 kobo to close at N7.35 per share.

past six months, with the Euro STOXX 50 surging nearly 30 per cent, propelled by significant measures unveiled by central banks to support growth and fight Europe’s debt crisis. “The market is getting overbought, which doesn’t happen very often. We’re ripe for at least a pause, and maybe a pull-back,” said Kepler Capital Markets trader Patrice Perois. “Volumes have been extremely low, which means that the rally remains fragile regardless of the news flow.” Around Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 index was up 0.2 per cent, Germany’s DAX index up 0.3 per cent, and France’s CAC 40 down 0.1 per cent. Spain’s IBEX and Italy’s FTSE MIB, far from being technically ‘overbought’ after a recent pull-back, were both up 0.3 per cent.

Market capitalisation 7,354 trillion

Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

CHANGE

% CHANGE

DNMEYER

1.16

1.27

0.11

9.48

FIDSON

1.06

1.13

0.07

6.60

REDSTAREX

3.02

3.18

0.16

5.30

NEIMETH

1.20

1.26

0.06

5.00

TRANSCORP

1.20

1.26

0.06

5.00

NASCON

5.80

6.09

0.29

5.00

NESTLE

573.00

601.65

28.65

5.00

GUINNESS

264.00

277.20

13.20

5.00

VITAFOAM

3.21

3.37

0.16

4.98

CONOIL

19.70

20.68

0.98

4.97

CHANGE

% CHANGE

LOSERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

GUARANTY

20.98

20.11

0.87

-4.15

RTBRISCOE

1.77

1.70

0.07

-3.95

CCNN

4.90

4.75

0.15

-3.06

ETERNA

2.30

2.23

0.07

-3.04

ACCESS

8.95

8.70

0.25

-2.79

NAHCO

5.99

5.84

0.15

-2.50

ETI

11.20

11.02

0.18

-1.61

RTBRISCOE

1.82

1.73

0.09

-4.95

UBN

8.74

8.31

0.43

-4.92

MANSARD

2.06

1.96

0.10

-4.85

Primary Market Auction TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

70-Day

40,014.15

14.09

13-Dec-12

72-Day

37,557.00

15.05

13-Dec-12

76 -Day

56,823.61

14.00

13-Dec-12

Open Market Operations TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

237 Days

30,000.00

14.34

20-Dec-12

79-Days

42,326.60

14.05

20-Dec-12

Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED

MARKET DEMAND

AMOUNT SOLD

DATE

$180m

N/A

$177m

20-Dec-12

$180m

N/A

$200m

20-Dec-12


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Capital Market

Thursday, December 13, 2012

43

Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at December 12, 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)


44

Thursday, December 13, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

I have made positive impact through blogging –SheiFunmi SheiFunmi is a Nigerian- American gossip blogger and owner of gossip blog www.sheifunmi.net. He is also an entertainment journalist and a freelance On-Air/Social Media guru. The 20-year- old Media and Communications undergraduate at the University of Greenwich, is a Presenter for MTV UK, BBC UK, Channel 4, etc. He is the founder of “Get Naked” Campaign, a HIV/ AIDS photo campaign and awareness in Nigeria and the UK, and also a member of the Creative Team of the company Innovation Factory.In this interview with LEONARD OKACHIE, he explains why he embarked on the campaign, his blog and sundry issues.Excerpts... Why “Get Naked” campaign? HIV/AIDS is an epidemic the world dreads so much. But as enlightened as many claim to be, ignorance still abound. I’ve seen firsthand the stigma…the psychological, physical and social segregation/trauma some of my friends diagnosed deal with on daily basis, even in the so called western world. That became a cause for me to champion when I realised the sort of trauma I personally went through just to get tested. When the test came back negative, you can imagine my relief. For someone like me who had put himself in so many compromising positions, it was one of the best moments of my life. So the theme ‘Get Naked’ came about when I was thinking of a catchy tagline to use for my campaign. In essence, the tagline is sort of a tongue-in-cheek way of saying “Get Naked if you must, but BE PROTECTED at all times”. Indulge your carnal whims if you must, but have the common sense to use protection. What impact has the programme made on Nigerian youths so far? Well, I cannot say in exact figures how much of an impact the campaign has had on Nigerian youths since this was the inaugural campaign. But what I can assert is that the reaction I got from doing it was beyond overwhelming. Majority of the celebrities who came to support the project are, in fact, mostly youths, so most young adults who were present, heard, watched or read about it could somehow identify with them. And since then, I’ve been bombarded with plethora of positive comments, opinions, suggestions and notes of appreciations from both young and old. When and how did you conceive the idea of sheifumni.net? If I’m right, this should be the millionth time I’m answering this question. And I mean that literally. Well I started sheifunmi as a way to kill boredom and pass time. At that point, I was in the United States. I would read gossip blogs, especially Perez Hilton. I sent him myriads of emails asking for a place as an intern. After endless requests he invited me over. I learnt then and started blogging on my own. How have you used your blog to impact on Nigerians, especially the youths? Majority of my followers and readers are youths, so it makes sense to

say they like what I do. Many send me emails stating how I inspire them to start their own blogs or commend mend my unforgiving reportage. I’m an entertainment blogger and you need ed not be a rocket scientist to figure how ow much Nigerian youths love their [entertainntertainment] gossip. I guess that could ould pass for an impact. What do you think of blogging in n Nigeria? I think its emerging, which hich is a good place to be. It goes without hout saying the number of talented bloggers we have in Nigeria. As it is, the he world is constantly expanding and blogging is fast taking the place of traditional aditional print, so we bloggers have to constantly be on our toes and bring ing fresh ideas to the table. Through blogging, several causes and issues that at otherwise would not have seen the e light of day have been consciously addressed. ddressed. That’s quite a feat compared d to twothree years ago. The only bone ne I have to pick with some Nigerian bloggers oggers is their reportage or prose. First, st, if you must blog, be learned enough to have a good command of English. Nigerians aren’t daft, they are amazing ng speakers, readers and writers. What does it take to be a presenter nter for MTV UK, BBC UK, Channel 4, and nd others? Wow, creativity, diversity, the fact that you always have to carry ry people along, make them more interested nterested in you or what you are doing, g, setting the bar high by not being predictable, edictable, overtime your present is a new approach and has it's dynamics. You were the official live feed blogger logger for MTV Music Awards 2010, HippHop World Awards 2010/2012 etc. How was the experience? It was amazing, a little bit nerve racking because I was starting to settle into the world of African media, but it was overwhelming. At the beginning, I was all shaky and d nervous, but finding out that I was actually recognised made it easier er for me to interact, do my job and at the he end of the day, deliver my best.

As a reporter, you have conducted many celebrity interviews with Hollywood and UK acts such as Kelly Rowland, Rihanna, Trey Songz, Lauryn Hill, Ester Dean, Erykah Badu, Common, 50 Cent, etc. How did you achieve this? These things are quite easy contrary to what you may think. All it usually takes is a call or email to an agent or a manager. However, sometimes egos have to be seriously managed for one to be granted audience, which is understandable. Plus, one has to have a certain reputation. You can’t be a bad writer or blogger and expect to nail Riri after a call. Nah! This isn’t Narnia, but also being a Presenter or TV Personality for these networks get you access to the celebs, most I’ve interviewed are for MTV V and BBC and the C likes, others for blogs I ghost write for and publications I contribute to… a n d I’m a

SheiFunmi

stalker sometimes. What other projects are you envisaging? I have tons of stuffs cooking right now, but how do I surprise you if I let the cat out just now.? You would have to wait to find that out. But trust me, you’d be as much as surprised as impressed. What is your inspiration and advice to Nigerian youth? The need to succeed and excel at everything I do. That’s what drives me. My advice to any youth is: do what makes you happy, let nobody box you in. Ever!


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Young & Next Generation

Thursday, December 13, 2012

45

TFA 2012 takes national tour outside Lagos STORIES: LEONARD OKACHIE

T Participants at the seminar.

CEPI celebrates International Volunteer Day

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n commemoration of 2012 International Volunteer day, Community Empowerment for Peace and Health Initiative (CEPI) held a volunteer seminar for the students of Education District 3 of Lagos state recently. The seminar, tagged, “Volunteerism: The Job before Jobs for Nigerian Youths” was held at the Lagos State Model College, Badore-Ajah. It was aimed at exposing the students to the importance of volunteerism in our present generation. The speakers for the day, included Mrs. Kunbi Wuraola, the Executive Director of Junior Achievement Nigeria; Mr. Oyebisi Oluseyi, a United Nations consultant and Executive Directorof Nigerian Network of NGO, ably represented by Mr. Kunle Idowu and Miss Abimbola Junaid, a United Kingdom Parliamentary Ambassador. They all reiterated the fact that government cannot solve all our

problems, but if we all volunteer our energy, time and other resources for community service in our little corner, our country will be better for all. Also noted is that, in a highly competitive country like ours, where close to 71% of youth are unemployed and experience is required to get the limited available jobs, volunteerism is the only platform to get the required professional experience. The convener of the seminar and Executive Director of CEPI, Bunmi Tejumola (Mrs.) informed the students that the joy and the self-worth derived from the act of voluntary help and other benefits such as skill development, socialisation and fun cannot be compared to any material and monetary gain. Some of the students present said that the programme was eye opening and that they would be volunteering for community service each time the opportunity presents itself.

Youths caution FG against state police

On the Boko Haram crisis in the North, Isma’il pointed out that they are killing innocent citizens because they are being cheated. “The government is not 100 per cent free because it has failed the citizens in some way, but killing one another is not the way to confront the government,” he added. Isma’il, who explained that the aim of the association is to encourage youths in their talents, self realisation and orientate them on the need to live peacefully, stressed that Nigeria is a peaceful country, but what is happening today is dangerous to allow only the government to proffer solutions to the crisis. “If really you want to fight for your right, don’t fight your fellow youths. We should note that empowerment cannot be taken by violence. We want one Nigeria. If we cannot nip in the bud the problem we are having now, I don’t know where we are going to find ourselves in the next three years. “The crisis is getting out of hand. It is the political and religious leaders that are misusing the youth and they are not using their children,” he said.

JOHNSON OKANLAWON

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non governmental organisation, Champion Youths Development Association of Nigeria (CHYDAN) has cautioned the Federal Government against creating a state Police. The President of the association, Alhaji Umar Isma’il, in an interview with National Mirror noted that the creation of state police will increase the tempo of violence in the country. According to him, 70 per cent of crisis in the North are caused by the youths who are being used by the politicians because they are yet to discover the power in them. He said, “The Federal Government should not make a mistake of creating state police because the leaders will use them more to perpetuate violence, which may lead to the break of the country.”

he Central Working Committee for The Future Awards has announced that its annual post-awards school seminars, which have held for three years now, will again move outside of Lagos. “The Future Awards is a national campaign focused on leadership and enterprise, and the awards are only the cherry on top," said Chude Jideonwo, who is the executive director. "As always, we are excited to go around the country and have our winners hold life-changing interactive and practical sessions with younger people. We want to build, and we are happy to lead the change." Post-event seminars will always be known for its outstanding achievements in the city of Lagos and we are proud of the results made so far in Lagos. As a result of this, we decided to storm other states with more life changing seminars,” said Chude Jideonwo, the Executive Director of The Future Project. Mayflower School, Ikenne, Ogun Denrele Edun addressing the students of state was the first school to be visited on Mayflower. Wednesday, November 28, 2012. The Future Awards winners such as Kemi Lala, been described by the World Bank as “The Denrele Edun and Otto Orondaam were Nobel Prize for Young Africans” and in six present at the school and they had interac- years, has produced 126 winners and over 1,000 nominees. Our mission at The Futive sessions with the students. Students and facilitators exchanged ture Awards is to inspire leadership and ideas and experiences on pursuing your build enterprise. With its umbrella, The passion and dreams, conflict on career Future Project, it has been in the forefront interest, project funding and many more. of inspiring a new generation of leaders/ A mini dance competition was also con- leadership and entrepreneurs for Nigeducted by Denrele Edun for the students. ria, working with the Africa Union, the As an avenue for mentoring, contacts was US Government, the British Council, the exchanged amongst the students and fa- Ministry of Youth Development, the Nigerian Presidency, amongst other organs. cilitators. The seminars are hosted by The Future Other schools to be visited outside Lagos are Abeokuta Grammar School in Project, a social enterprise set up based Abeokuta, Access High School amongst on a strong, practical commitment to huothers in Ogun state, schools in Abuja, man and capital development, especially in Nigeria. It is also committed to finding Minna, Port Harcourt and others. With outreaches to Ghana, Ethiopia, effective and innovative ways of addressand South Africa, The Future Awards has ing social issues.

SCIENCE FOR KIDS

Why are girls emotional?

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oth males and females wonder sometimes why girls get so emotional, but it usually isn’t just one thing that causes this to happen. Depending on the girl in question’s age, there are quite a few factors in determining what exactly causes the emotions to come up in the first place. Girls are complex creatures that take a lot of patience to understand. Sometimes, they can’t even understand themselves why they become so emotional. It really is a matter of breaking down the big issues and then getting to the smaller ones to figure out the answer. Relationships do seem to affect girls emotionally a bit more than they do guys, but this is mostly because girls show their emotions more often than males. It may seem sometimes that the littlest thing makes a girl blow up in your face, but 99% of the time, there is something else that was really upsetting her before the little

thing happened. Talking about it and finding out what that big thing was can help you to understand what the underlying issues are. One thing that has been proven to be true over time is that girls worry more than guys do from a very young age and that continues on into adulthood. They worry about family issues, relationships, their jobs, their futures, and many other things. These worries alone can make a girl get emotional and what makes this worse for some people is that they just can’t help, but worry all of the time. Girls get emotional for a lot more reasons than these, but the fact remains that everyone gets emotional for a variety of reasons; not just girls. It’s just something that we all have to deal with and find a way to accept. Of course, some emotional issues that girls have are correctable and that takes a lot of caring and patience. Knowswhy.com


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Media

Thursday, December 13, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Glitz and glamour of 2012 media awards STORIES: LEONARD OKACHIE

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n a season of industry awards for media excellence, National Mirror newspapers has been enjoying unprecedented achievement, as it won in the Nigeria Media Merit Award (NMMA), Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting (WSAIR), and Celebrity Media Awards(CMA). Last Saturday at the Eko Hotel &Suites, the newspaper bagged three awards in the NMMA, 2012, before a mammoth crowd of industry captains, media personalities and other prominent Nigerians, who had gathered to be part of this momentous occasion. Now in its 22nd edition, the NMMA, which is reputed as leading media excellence scheme and Nigeria’s most powerful platform for annual re-union of journalists and the veterans, had 54 awards given, including three to eminent Nigerians for their outstanding contributions to the society. On Sunday, Abeokuta, Ogun State was set agog, with the hosting of another prominent media celebration, Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting (WSAIR).The event which held at Hubert Ogunde Hall of the Cultural Centre, recognised six winning works, six runners-up and four commendations. Organised by the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ), the WSAIR was first held in October, 2005 to encourage the development of an investigative tradition in the Nigerian media through rigorous scrutiny of human rights violations, regulatory failures and corruption in the public and corporate sectors of the nation’s life. These awards were coming one week after the Celebrity Media Awards (CMA), which held at the Lagos Country Club, Ikeja, on December 2. The last but not the least of the prominent annual media awards, is the Diamond Award for Media Excellence (DAME).This holds tomorrow, December 14, at the Lagos Sheraton. However, it was a moment of glory and honour for some media houses both in the print and electronic at this year’s NMMA. Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the NMMA, Mr. Vincent Maduka, remarked that the award had 54 categories (including three honorary awards), from 3,000 entries. He noted that 163 were shortlisted and each scored 70 per cent and above, even as he disclosed that the subsequent edition may be broken into two with electronic going separate. Again, National Mirror added more laurels at the ceremony. Three of its editorial staff, Sina Fadare, Tunbosun Ogundare and Mojeed Alabi excelled at different categories. Fadare, a senior correspondent won the Bukola Saraki Prize for Agriculture Reporter of the Year, beating John Adeloye of Punch newspaper and Stella Sawyerr of Broad Street Journal (an arm of Tell Magazine), to the prize. Ogundare, a senior correspondent, bagged the Bank PHB Prize for Corporate Social Responsibility Reporter (CSR) Reporter of the Year. He beat Goddie Ofose of Daily Independent and Moses Kadris of Ni-

Guests watch as Kenny St. Best perform at the NMMA 2012.

gerian Compass to win the category. He won the same category two years ago and Features Writer of the Year the same year His winning entry as published in March 22, 2011 edition of National Mirror is entitled: “Crusading to restore lost virtues of the abandoned & mentally handicapped.” Alabi’s story on “OAU: Major headaches awaiting the new VC” as published on May 26, 2011 in National Mirror, won Ibrahim Shekrarau Prize for Education Reporter of the Year. He beat Anthony Akaeze of Newswatch magazine and David Maduabuchi of Daily Independent. On the whole, National Mirror had 16 nominations, the highest of the night. Newswatch, a sister publication to National Mirror, excelled in four categories, Environmental Reporter of the Year (Christopher Ojaero/Anthony Akaeze), Defence Reporter of the Year(Maureen Chigbo), Aviation Industry Reporter of the Year(Emmanuel Uffot), and Oil &Gas Reporter of the Year (Maureen Chigbo). Having dominated in the last edition of NMMA, Tell, a weekly news magazine, again proved its dominance with the highest awards (13 categories).It was therefore awarded the News Magazine of the Year, beating Newswatch and The News to it. BUSINESSDAY won the First Bank Prize for Business Publication of the Year. Other nominees in the category were Business Eye and Business World. The Nation won in four competitive categories namely: Industry Reporter of the Year (Olatunji Olalade Lateef), Cartoonist of the Year (Muyiwa Adetula), Newspaper Reporter of the Year (Olatunji Olalade Lateef) and Columnist of the Year (Sam Omatseye). National Mirror won in three competitive categories. The Punch won in three competitive categories: Telecommuncations Reporter of the Year (Oketola Adedayo), Editorial Writing of the Year, and News Photographer of the Year (Olugbon Adedoyin Saheed) . However, the Punch editor, Joseph Adeyeye, was adjudged the Best Editor of the Year, beating Steve Nwosu of The Sun and Debo Adesina of The Guardian.It also went home with the Best Newspaper of the Year award. The Guardian won in two categories: Sports Reporter (Okusan Olalekan) and Tourism Reporter of the Year (Olawunmi Ojo).

Vanguard won the Investigative Reporter (Kemi Ishola Balogun) while the Culture & Tradition Reporter went to Sulaimon Olanrewaju of the Nigerian Tribune. Segun Edwards of Nigerian Compass emerged the Capital Market Reporter of the Year while Goodie Ofose of Daily Independent is the Brand and Marketing Reporter of the Year. However, like the previous editions, the criteria for picking nominees and winners at NMMA is still lazy, leaving analysts to question the rationale of some of the awards. For example, in choosing the Newspaper of the Year, industry watchers noted that neither National Mirror nor The Nation which had 16 and nine nominations respectively was nominated as Newspaper of the Year, or have their editors nominated for producing either the highest number of nominees or the highest number of winners in competitive categories. In the electronic media category, Channels Television won the NBC Prize for Television Station of the Year, while Classic FM bagged the Radio Station of the Year. Yvonne Henry Bassey, whose programme “Thru the eyes of an African” is aired on DStv/Africa Magic, got both the TV Programme Presenter of the Year and TV Production of the Year awards. Other winners included: : Adenubi Adetola of Nigerian News Direct (Maritime Reporter of the Year), Eucharia Nnorom of News Star (Banking & Finance Reporter of the Year),Akinloye Apollos of National Standard (Political Reporter of the Year), Cordelia Okpei of FRCN Network (Radio Presenter of the

Newspapers National Mirror Nation Punch

No. of Nominations 16 9 6

Year), Adetayo Solomon ( Radio Reporter of the Year), Anthonia Mbanefo of Radio Nigeria (Radio Production of the Year), Helen Ezebue of Voice of Nigeria (Radio Programme of the Year), Seun Olagunju of NTA (Television Newscaster of the Year), Deji Bademosi of Channels TV (Television Reporter of the Year) among others. The board of the NMMA also honoured three prominent Nigerians, Chief Ajibola Ogunshola, Mr. Sam AmukaPemu and Alhaji Maitama Sule for “their distinctive role and contributions to the media industry and Nigeria as a whole.” Similarly, National Mirror shone like a million stars last Sunday at the WSAIR, as its two staffers, Tobore Ovuorie and Yinka Adeparusi won prizes. Ovuorie emerged as the overall winner in the health category while Adeparusi emerged as a runner-up in the photo journalism category, where he won in 2011. The pannel of judges said Ovuorie won the award on health category because of her reports entitled “Travellers shun vacination as touts take over”, while Adeparusi won the award because of his story titled “Ojora House arrest”. After bagging the Best Designed Newspaper /Magazine of the Year as well as Best Editor of the Year (by the Magaing Director/ Editor-in-Chief, Mr. Steve Ayorinde), National Mirror expecting more honours. With five nominations at the DAME, the paper hopes to win more by tomorrow. Interestingly, this season has been the moment of glamour and glory for some media outfits, even others who have not done very well are perfecting strategies for subsequent awards.

Competitive Awards won 3 4 3 (outside of Editor and Newspaper of the Year)

The Guardian Vanguard Sun

3 4 -

2 1 -


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Media

Thursday, December 13, 2012

47

Media Abroad

Financial Times folds after 12 yrs of losses

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Momoh

Osoba

DAME honours Osoba, Momoh with Lifetime Awards

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hief Segun Osoba and Prince Tony Momoh are to receive this year’s Lifetime Achievement awards at the 21st DAME, billed for Friday, December 14 at the Lagos Sheraton. According to the organisers of the DAME 2012, the two retired Times men distinguished themselves as news hunters and media managers. Whilst Osoba started as a reporter, rising to become editor of the Lagos Weekend and the Daily Times, general manager, Herald Newspaper, and managing director, Sketch Publishing Company and managing director of the Daily Times of Nige-

ria, Momoh started out on the sub desk, was training manager, editor of Daily Times and later the nation’s Information Minister. Osoba later became a twotime elected governor of Ogun State, whilst Momoh is the current president of the Congress for Political Change. DAME, which prides itself as Africa’s most consistent media award, bestows the lifetime award as the highest professional recognition on carefullyselected deserving professionals who have enriched media practice or scholarship. That elite club includes seven living legends: Mr. Sam AmukaPemu, publisher of Vanguard;

Lawmaker charges journalists on FOI law

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he House of Representatives Committee on Information has urged the media to boost Nigeria’s anticorruption campaign through effective use of the Freedom of Information Act (FOI). The committee's Chairman, Alhaji Buba Jibril, made the call at a workshop on the FOI Act organised in Abuja by the Federal Ministry of Information. The workshop was organised in collaboration with the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ). According to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Jubril said that the act was sufficiently enhanced to make government officials at all levels accountable to Nigerians. The lawmaker said that the content of the Act primarily emphasised transparency and openness in governance and

stressed the need for custodians of public information to cooperate to ensure the successful implementation of the Act. Jibril, however, warned against abuse of the Act, noting that the law must not be used as a weapon of vendetta by journalists or stakeholders in the system. “I believe this Act is one singular act that can be used by stakeholders in fighting corruption in Nigeria.The Freedom of Information Act must be embraced by all stakeholders, especially government officials for it to serve the purpose for which it was enacted,'' he said. Earlier, the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, stressed the need for journalists and other stakeholders to make good use of the provisions of the Act. He said that the Act was enacted to enable govern-

Hadj. Alade Odunewu, veteran columnist; Dr. Christopher Kolade, former director general of Radio Nigeria; Mr. Ted Mukoro, veteran broadcaster and advertising creative consultant; Alhaji Lateef Jakande, veteran leader writer and media administrator; Prince Henry Odukomaiya, foremost media manager and Mallam Mohammed Ibrahim, retired director general of both the FRCN and Nigeria Television Authority. It also has six deceased Nigerians: Dr. Babatunde Jose, Chief Anthony Enahoro, Mallam Turi Muhammadu, Chief Segun Olusola, Mr. Alex Ibru and Professor Alfred Opubor. ment achieve important programmes, and restated government's commitment to democracy and good governance. Maku said that the media must also be ready to carry out a self appraisal to ensure that the privileges that came with the Act were not abused by practitioners. He said, “Today, therefore, the responsibility of implementing this law squarely rests on media practitioners. The purpose of this workshop, therefore, is to prepare our minds and discuss some of the challenges that this law has presented to us and we also need proper understanding of this law.’’ He said that the full implementation of relevant sections of the law might take time because of the previous orientation of most public institutions and their officials. The minister was, however, optimistic that with more awareness campaign on the Act, public institutions and officials would be encouraged to embrace it.

oss-making daily Financial Times Deutschland, launched 12 years ago as the Germanlanguage sister of the Financial Times, blacked out its front page on Friday (7 December) to mark its last day of publication. "Black at last," said the 'in mourning'-coloured front page in an ironic allusion to the profits the daily -printed on the same salmon-pink paper as the iconic British newspaper -- never managed to make in the 12 years of its existence. The header was also changed, dropping letters from the word "financial" so that the newspaper's title read as Final Times Deutschland. And the black humour continued through to the back page, too, where all of the newspaper's staff were pictured bowing their heads in mock hara-kiri style penitence. In the ironic caption below, the newspaper's bosses "apologised" to FTD's shareholders "for burning so many of your millions"; to its advertising customers for "being so critical in our reporting about your companies"; to company spokesmen "for not following your suggestions about the wording of our articles"; and to politicians "for not believing you enough". But the FTD's publishers insisted: "If we had to start all over again, we'd do exactly the same again." The German publicly owned

Youth Journalism International hosts contest

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outh Journalism International hosts a contest recognizing exceptional journalism done by students worldwide. Student reporters, cartoonists and photographers from age 19 and under can enter a contest. The top five honours include Journalist of the Year, Educator of the Year, the Courage in Journalism Award, the Jacinta Maria Bunnell Award for Commentary and the Frank Keegan "Take No Prisoners" Award for News. Other categories include news, enterprise, profile, features, editorial, column writing, first-person essay, cartoons, reviews, sports and photography. Entries must have been published between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012 in online or print publications. School publications, underground papers, blogs, online papers and other venues for journalism are all acceptable. The entry fee is US$15 for the top honors, US$8 for team entries and US$5 for individuals. The deadline is February 8. ijnet

regional bank, Helaba, bought an entire page to say that "from tomorrow, the economy will unfortunately be a little less colourful." The Financial Times Deutschland was launched in 2000 by a joint venture between German publisher Gruner+Jahr, a subsidiary of media giant Bertelsmann, and British newspaper group Pearson, which owns the FT.

Photography contest opens worldwide

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heckMySnaps is accepting entries for its photography competition, "The Elements

2013." Professional and amateur photographers worldwide can participate in this contest. The elements - fire, earth, sky and water - have formed the core of human philosophy for thousands of years. Civilizations have grown with them depending on each of these elements for their survival. Even today, we have grave environmental concerns with each of them. This contest invites participants to submit photographic interpretations of these elements. The top three winners will receive Amazon gift cards for US$1,000, US$500 and US$250, respectively. The top five popular entries by public votes will each receive US$50 worth of Amazon gift cards. The submission deadline is January 16.

Fellowship at Harvard opens

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he Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government is accepting applications for the Joan Shorenstein Centre Fellowship. Journalists from around the world who are interested in sharing, expanding and researching public policy and political affairs can apply for this fellowship. Applicants must be journalists, scholars or policymakers active in the field of press, politics and public policy. English fluency is required. Fellows are required to live in residence for one semester, and will receive a US$30,000 stipend disbursed in four instalments over the semester. Travel and living expenses are not covered by the centre. Office space, computer, printer and telephone are provided. To apply, send a cover letter, a completed application form, a research project proposal, a curriculum vitae/ resume and recommendations. The deadline is February 1.


Cocktail

48

x

Thursday, December 13, 2012

FOR YOUR SUCCESS

WITH DR. DEJI FOLUTILE

Today's Tonic (62)

“Good people strengthen themselves ceaselessly.” –Confucius *** Learners Are Wise I read somewhere that the biggest room in the world is the room of self improvement. There is no end to growth. The thing to do is to daily focus on learning. The more we learn, and practice what we learnt, the more we receive strength to conquer our daily challenges. TEL 08104942999 E-MAIL deji.folutile@gmail.com Follow me @TwitterOWOTIDE

M b Man back k in i jail j il ffor d driving ii too nfast to his wedding Indiana man Grand Cherokee.

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just released from jail was sent back after being pulled over for speeding to his own nuptials, reports the Northwest Indiana Times. Timothy N. Thompson, 23, was sent to the Porter County jail, from where he said he had been released earlier the same day. In addition to speeding at an estimated 100 mph, Thompson was cited for resisting law enforcement, criminal recklessness and reckless driving in his Jeep

But Thompson, who did not make the ceremony, did manage to evade police long enough to pull into the church parking lot where his wedding was about to take place. Three of Thompson’s relatives began “flailing their arms and yelling at him,” to which Thompson responded by accelerating, doing a “doughnut” and “creating a thick blanket of tire smoke,” according to the police report obtained by the Times.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Oddities

Woman allegedly demands $300,000 to pull over

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olice in North Carolina said a woman who refused to pull over for police called 911 to say she would stop her vehicle for $300,000. Brunswick County sheriff ’s deputies said they attempted to pull over a vehicle driven by Jennifer Herring, 37, around 11:30 p.m. Monday, but the driver refused to stop, The Sun News, Myrtle Beach, S.C., reported Tuesday. Deputies said Herring called 911 during the chase and told a dispatcher there was no emergency and she would not stop unless police promised her $300,000. The sheriff ’s office said Herring was arrested when she pulled into a private driveway. The arrest report said Herring had been driving about 70 mph in a 45 mph speed zone. Herring was charged with driving while

impaired, felony fleeing to elude arrest, driving while license revoked, careless and reckless

A funny sketch.

driving and driving left of center, the newspaper reported. She was also charged in an unrelated

case on a charge of failing to appear in court for a driving while impaired charge.

PHOTO: CREATIVENERDS.CO.UK


Thursday, December 13, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

49

World News

UN condemns North Korea’s rocket launch

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“US now formally recognises Syria’s main opposition coalition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people.” – United States President, Barack Obama

Ghanaian police raid opposition’s office PAUL ARHEWE

WITH AGENCY REPORTS

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olice and soldiers have raided an office where the opposition party is re-tabulating votes in their preparation to contest the results of last week’s presidential poll, which handed a slim victory to the incumbent. African statesmen have urged opposition leader Nana AkufoAddo to concede defeat to President John Dramani Mahama in order to preserve Ghana’s reputation for peace following the Dec. 7 poll. Ghana, a nation of 25 million on Africa’s western seaboard, remains one of the few established and stable democracies in the region. Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, the New Patriotic Party chairman, said at least 16 men armed with M-16s and AK-47s raided an office Tuesday night where a vote recount was underway, and took laptops and documentation. “They brushed aside the security people who were assembled there, charged in on our workers, forced everybody who was there to lie flat on the floor face down, put their mobile phones away from them. And then they started to ransack the offices,” Lamptey said. Ghana police spokesman Arthur Cephas said the police were acting on a tip that the party was stashing guns in the office and did

not take anything from the site. “The police had a hint that some 20 macho men were stashing guns at the place. We needed to take action,” Cephas said. “It turned out there weren’t any arms.” “It’s regrettable that we’re beginning to see the emergence of police methods for dealing with political disputes,” said AkufoAddo. “That’s taking us back to bad old days of our history and I don’t believe there is any support in Ghana for these kinds of actions,” he told The Associated Press at his home late Tuesday night.

John Dramani Mahama won last week’s election with 50.7 percent of the vote, according to the country’s electoral body. He was catapulted into office in July after the unexpected death of former President John Atta Mills. Opposition leader Akufo-Addo came in second with 47.7 percent of the vote. He lost the 2008 presidential election by less than 1 percent, making his loss in this month’s election ever more painful. Analysts say that this was the last chance for the 68-year-old career politician, the son of a former president of Ghana. But

the opposition says it will use the paper trail to prove in court there was fraud. “We will not taking to the streets. We will go and pursue the matter in the Supreme Court,” Lamptey said. Still, thousands of protesters gathered at a roundabout in Accra on Tuesday. “We were able to calm them down...and let them know they should support the leadership in its quest to find a peaceful resolution through the court,” Lamptey said. But he said hardline supporters are ready to cause mayhem.

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South Africa’s first black President Nelson Mandela, who is being treated for a lung infection, has made progress in the past 24 hours, officials say. Mandela, 94, was rushed to a military hospital in the capital, Pretoria, on Saturday. Doctors attending to him were “satisfied with the way he is responding to treatment”, a statement from the President Jacob Zuma’s office said. News of the hospital stay has prompted much concern in South Africa. Lung infections can be caused by bacteria and viruses. They can be spread by coughs and sneezes and contact with infected surfaces like taps and door handles.

Mali’s president names new Prime Minister

Nana Akufo-Addo, centre, presidential candidate of the opposition NPP, addressing supporters during a rally protesting the results of last Friday’s presidential election, in Accra, Ghana, on Tuesday. PHOTO: AP

Egyptian army abruptly postpones unity talks fforts to resolve Egypt’s rapidly worsening political crisis suffered a blow yesterday when the army abruptly postponed “unity” talks that the opposition had minutes earlier said they would attend. Confirmation that the secu-

WORLD BULLETIN ‘Mandela making progress in hospital’

lar, liberal opposition coalition would join the meeting after boycotting reconciliation talks hosted last week by Islamist President Mohamed Morsi had raised hopes of an end to street protests and deadly violence. The latest convulsion in

People clashing with anti-Morsi protesters, after the protesters blocked the gate of a government building near Tahrir Square in Cairo, on Tuesday. PHOTO: REUTERS

Egypt’s transition to democracy was brought on by a decree last month from Morsi in which he awarded himself sweeping powers to ram through a new constitution. The constitution, to be voted on in a national referendum, is a necessary prelude to parliamentary elections due early next year. Morsi’s move caused huge controversy, dividing the Arab world’s most populous state and bringing thousands of pro- and anti-government protesters onto the streets in the worst upheaval since the fall of Hosni Mubarak almost two years ago. The unrest has so far claimed seven lives in clashes between the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood and the opposition. But the army has yet to use force to keep protesters away from the presi-

dential palace, now ringed with tanks, barbed wire and concrete barricades. The postponement of the talks came as Egyptians abroad began voting at embassies in the referendum on the new constitution that Morsi fast-tracked through an Islamist-dominated drafting assembly. The start of the voting process was a setback for the opposition, which had hoped to delay the plebiscite. The main opposition coalition will push for a “no” vote in the referendum rather than boycotting it. “We will vote ‘no’,” opposition politician and former Arab League chief Amr Moussa told Reuters. Another senior opposition figure also announced that the group would push for a “no” vote.

Mali’s interim president, Dioncounda Traore, has named a new prime minister to replace Cheick Modibo Diarra, who quit under pressure from former coup leaders. Diango Sissoko, a long time civil servant, was appointed on Tuesday, less than 24 hours after Diarra announced his resignation on state television after being arrested as he tried to leave the country for France. The former coup leaders are opposed to foreign military intervention to drive out Islamists occupying the northern half of the country while Diarra has called for UN backing of such a move. Bakary Mariko, a spokesperson for the group of soldiers who seized power in a March 21 coup, told France 24 television that Diarra’s resignation was “not a new coup d’etat”.

100 countries back new Syrian coalition More than 100 countries on Wednesday recognized a new Syrian opposition coalition, opening the way for greater humanitarian assistance to the forces battling Bashar Assad and possibly even military aid. The opposition has been under intense international pressure to create a more organized and representative body to channel any aid extended by foreign countries and so it formed the Syrian National Coalition in Doha, Qatar, in November that was widely applauded at a conference in Morocco. The world’s recognition of the Libyan opposition gave it a huge boost in the battle against Muammar Gaddafi last year.


50

World News

WORLD BULLETIN Iran indicts 18 American officials Iran’s deputy judiciary chief says the Islamic Republic has issued indictments against 18 unnamed current and former American officials on charges of involvement in “crimes against Iran.” His remarks did not indicate that any of the men were present in Iran. Ebrahim Raisi is quoted by the semi-official Fars news agency Wednesday as saying that charges against the Americans include involvement in terrorist attacks. Raisi didn’t provide any further details, but Iran has said it plans to complain to the United Nations about alleged U.S. “terror” operations including assassinations of its nuclear scientists. The Iranian media has hinted that those charged include several American neoconservatives. Tehran last year asked Interpol to help seek the arrest of two former U.S. officials it accuses of supporting assassinations of Iranian officials.

Indian sitar maestro dies, aged 92 Indian sitar maestro Ravi Shankar has died in a hospital in the US, aged 92. His family said he had been admitted to the Scripps Memorial Hospital in San Diego last week, but had failed to recover fully from surgery. Shankar gained widespread international recognition through his association with The Beatles. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh described him as a “national treasure and global ambassador of India’s cultural heritage”. In a statement quoted by Reuters, Shankar’s wife Sukanya and daughter Anoushka said he had recently undergone surgery which would have “potentially given him a new lease of life”. “Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of the surgeons and doctors taking care of him, his body was not able to withstand the strain of the surgery,” they said.

UN court convicts Bosnian Serb of genocide A U.N. war crimes court convicted a former senior Bosnian Serb army commander yesterday of genocide for playing a key role in Europe’s worst massacre since World War II and sentenced him to life imprisonment, delivering another measure of justice to survivors still hunting for the remains of their husbands and sons. In a majority ruling, a threejudge panel at the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal said Gen. Zdravko Tolimir was the “right hand” of Bosnian Serb military chief Gen. Ratko Mladic, who is considered the chief architect of the murder of some 8,000 Muslim men and boys at the Srebrenica enclave in eastern Bosnia in July 1995. “The accused not only had knowledge of genocidal intent of others but also possessed it himself,” Presiding Judge Christoph Fluegge said. “He is therefore responsible for the crime of genocide.”

Thursday, December 13, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

UN condemns North Korea’s rocket launch

U

N Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon yesterday deplored the rocket launch announced by North Korea, calling it a clear violation of the Security Council’s demand that Pyongyang not conduct any launch using ballistic missile technology. The long-range Unha-3 rocket was reportedly launched from a site on DPRK’s west coast just before 10:00 a.m. local time. According to media reports, it soared over Okinawa, Japan, dropping debris into the sea off the Korean Peninsula, the East China Sea and waters near the Philippines. The United States condemned the launch as “provocative” and a breach of U.N. rules, while Japan’s U.N. envoy called for a Security Council meeting. However, diplomats say further tough sanctions are unlikely from the Security Council as China, the North’s only major ally, will oppose them. “The international community must work in a concerted fashion to send North Korea a clear message that its violations of United Nations Security Council resolutions have consequences,” the White House said in a statement. North Korea successfully launched a rocket yesterday, boosting the credentials of its new leader and stepping up the threat the isolated and impoverished state poses to opponents. The rocket, which North Korea says put a weather satellite into

orbit, has been labelled by the United States, South Korea and Japan as a test of technology that could one day deliver a nuclear warhead capable of hitting targets as far away as the continental United States. “The satellite has entered the planned orbit,” a North Korean television news reader clad in traditional Korean garb announced, after which the station played patriotic songs with the lyrics “Chosun (Korea) does what it says”. The rocket was launched just before 10 a.m. (0100 GMT), according to defence officials in South Korea and Japan, and was more

successful than a rocket launched in April that flew for less than two minutes. The North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) said that it “deployed an object that appeared to achieve orbit”, the first time an independent body has verified North Korean claims. North Korea followed what it said was a similar successful launch in 2009 with a nuclear test that prompted the U.N. Security Council to stiffen sanctions that it originally imposed in 2006 after the North’s first nuclear test. North Korea is banned from

World would sacrifice Israel – Minister

I A soldier standing guard in front of a rocket sitting on a launch pad at the West Sea Satellite Launch Site, in Pyongyang. PHOTO: REUTERS

‘Chavez cancer surgery in Cuba successful’

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enezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s fourth round of cancer surgery was complicated, but successful and the leader was recovering in his Cuban hospital room, the country’s vice president says. “We want to thank all the love, the pure love ... for this operation ended correctly and successfully,” Nicolas Maduro, who was recently designated by Chavez as his successor in case he becomes incapacitated, said in an address to the nation on Tuesday. Maduro said the surgery had

Chavez

developing nuclear and missilerelated technology under U.N. resolutions, although Kim Jongun, the youthful head of state who took power a year ago, is believed to have continued the state’s “military first” programs put in place by his late father, Kim Jong-Il. North Korea hailed the launch as celebrating the prowess of all three members of the Kim family to rule since it was founded in 1948. “At a time when great yearnings and reverence for Kim Jong-il pervade the whole country, its scientists and technicians brilliantly carried out his behests to launch a scientific and technological satellite in 2012, the year marking the 100th birth anniversary of President Kim Il Sung,” its KCNA news agency said.

lasted more than six hours, adding that “Commander Chavez was back in his room” and would shortly begin a “post-operative phase” that would last several days. Al Jazeera’s reporter in the capital, Caracas, said that after addressing the nation Maduro attended a mass held for Chavez in the city. “We saw thousands of people praying for the president,” she said. “We saw people crying, we saw people carrying crosses and pictures of him and chanting, ‘Long live Chavez.’”

“There is a vigil ongoing in one of Caracas’s main squares. People say they are going to stay there until they hear further news about the president’s health.” Chavez announced on Saturday that he needed to undergo a fourth cancer-related surgery after tests showed that “some malignant cells” had reappeared in the same area in his pelvic region where tumours were previously removed. Neither the Venezuelan leader nor his Cuban doctors have ever disclosed what kind of cancer he has. Chavez, 58, acknowledged that his Cuban medical team had conveyed to him a sense of urgency about the operation, which he said was now “absolutely necessary.” Chavez also said that in the event that “something happens” to him, Maduro would step in and assume control of the government for the rest of the 2013-2019 term, as required by the constitution. The president also indicated he would like Maduro to take over the reins of power in a postChavez period, urging Venezuelans to vote for him in the next presidential elections.

srael’s hawkish foreign minister lashed out at the international community yesterday, criticizing its policies toward the Palestinians and charging that many world leaders would readily sacrifice Israel to radical Islam just as Europe appeased the Nazis before World War II. Avigdor Lieberman hit back at European foreign ministers for condemning Israel’s plans to build settler housing in an especially sensitive area of the West Bank. He also accused the international community of ignoring threats to Israel, including weapons smuggling by Palestinian militants and calls for Israel’s destruction from Palestinian Hamas militants and Iran. On Tuesday night, Lieberman said some of his European counterparts “regard Israel’s destruction as a given.” On Wednesday, he accused Europeans of being prepared to abandon Israel as they gave up Czechoslovakia to the Nazis on the eve of World War II. “Expressions and promises of commitment to Israel’s security from all around the world reminds me of similar commitments made to Czechoslovakia in ‘38,” Lieberman told a diplomatic conference, invoking an analogy he has used before. “My sense is that all the promises and commitments to Israel’s security are mere words,” he said, speaking English. “When push comes to shove, many key leaders would be willing to sacrifice Israel without batting an eyelid, in order to appease the radical Islamist militants and ensure quiet for themselves,” he said.


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Community Mirror Organisation decries insecurity in Nigeria

“We are doing our best as a house to address the issue of corruption.” SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, HON. AMINU TAMBUWAL

52 TORDUE SALEM ABUJA

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olo Sport Modeling Agency (PSMA,) a non-governmental organisation, is seeking the assistance of the Senate President, David Mark, former President, Ibrahim Babangida and other prominent Nigerians to end prostitution in the country. Managing Partner and Public Relations Officer of PSMA, Mr. Odafe Atogun, said the agency would target for attention, polo clubs across the country. Mr. Atogun, who briefed jour-

Group seeks to end prostitution

nalists on the goal of the agency with the slogan: “Every Girl Can Rise above Poverty with Dignity”, said they would start a push against the social malaise from Port Harcourt, Rivers State on January 18, 2013”. According to Mr. Atogun, “the PSMA aims to make the Miss Polo Pageant a regular part of the tournaments.” He reiterated that “The Miss Polo Pageant is expected to lever-

age on the glamour and power associated with the game to champion the cause of the Nigerian girl through sport modeling”. According to him, “PSMA officials expect the pageant to end the ugly trend of prostitution, insisting that our girls and

women must be able to leverage on the glamour and power associated with the game of polo to draw attention of the powers that be to empower the Nigerian girl and curb the ugly trend of prostitution”. He said, “Young girls and

women are drifting away from all that is right, towards an allconsuming abyss. In that abyss, where only prostitution thrives, they lose everything: their vision, their self-respect, their morals and, ultimately, their future”.

Security expert warns on more kidnappings BIYI ADEGOROYE

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resident of Association of Industrial Security and Safety Operators of Nigeria (AISSON), Dr. Ona Ekhomu has warned that more high profile kidnappings may be recorded this Christmas season, even as he noted that the nefarious act is now preferred by criminal syndicates as low risk, high profit venture. Ekhomu said that kidnappers prefer to engage in the trade, as it did not carry the high risk common with bank robbery, home invasion and car-jacking, etc. Reacting to the kidnapping of Professor (Mrs) kemena Okonjo, mother of Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the security expert said that several vulnerabilities were exploited by the gang in the abduction saga, as he said that the absence of capable security guards was unfortunate. He also said that the house occupants did not display security awareness, as they did not observe the attackers who were said to have been lurking around the palace. He said, “This dreadful criminal act was foreseeable and preventable”. He said that prominent Nigerians should conduct kidnap risk assessment for their relations in their villages to avoid victimization. He said that if the probability of victimization was high, then one must act to strengthen the target against attack. The target-hardening

measures include hiring security personnel to provide access control, installation of security technology, including CCTV surveillance systems and intruder alarm systems, installation of vehicle tracking, personal tracking equipment and risk avoidance by temporarily relocating from the village. Dr. Ekhomu also called for greater vigilance by parents in major urban centres such as Lagos, Ibadan, Benin City, Port Harcourt, even as he said that children of wealthy Nigerians on holidays, could also be targeted by kidnappers to make quick and easy money. He called on guardians to be cautious and security conscious this season to avoid falling victims to kidnappers.

An Okada rider breaking the new Lagos traffic law on pot-hole-riddled Iyana Ipaja flyover bridge. PHOTO: ADEMOLA AKINLABI

House calls for construction of road in LGs Foundation to honour Agagu, Osoba JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA

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he Katsina State House of Assembly has passed a resolution calling on the government to tar the major road linking three local government areas to improve its accessibility. The road which links Batsari, Safana and Danmusa council areas is a major route through which motorists and farmers move their produce to the market, even as the road had become impassable and source of concern for commuters. Moving the motion in the House, Hon Garba Salmanu Yantumaki, said there was need to re-construct the road in the three council areas in order to serve the interest of the people.

According to him, “Based on the need of my constituency, I find it necessary to present this motion, which I hope the House would unanimously support.” Yantumaki, said farmers constitute majority of the population living in the three council areas, and tarring the road would assist them in transporting their produce to local markets. After the motion, Speaker of the House, Hon. Ya’u Umar GwajoGwajo directed Clerk of the House to same to the state government. Gwajo-Gwajo, noted that the road project would solidly link many communities and improve economic activities of people living in the three local government areas, even as he commended House members for supporting the motion.

FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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wo former governors; Aremo Olusegun Ososba of Ogun and Dr. Olusegun Agagu of Ondo states respectively, would be inducted as Ambassadors of Mercy for the year 2012, by the Board of Trustees of Feed The Elderly Foundation. They are to be honoured for the social welfare schemes introduced during their administrations in to cater for the aged and widows. “Feed The Elderly Foundation”, a non- governmental organization, being promoted by a hotelier, Segun Oyebolu, will also be enrolling 256 aged and elderly people as beneficiaries for the

monthly Cash-for-Food Support Scheme during the induction ceremony. The foundation, which has been providing monthly food and drug assistance to elderly and widows since 2007, played a major role in the welfare of these people in the past five years. The Foundation would also be launching a special biometric enabled Automated Teller Machine (ATM) card tagged “Kaadi Aanu”, that will allow beneficiaries to consistently receive monthly support and access funds through any bank. The 256 beneficiaries are drawn from all the local government of Ogun State, which was said to represents less than 5% of those that actually applied for the scheme.


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Thursday, December 13, 2012

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Organisation decries insecurity in Nigeria FRANCIS SUBERU

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he Society of Security Practitioners of Nigeria (SSPN) has blamed the Federal Government for the country’s porous security system, saying insecurity is a direct result of failure to partner with credible private security practitioners in the country. Speaking at the annual end of the year dinner organised at the Lagos Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja,President of the body, Davidson Akhimien, noted that the country’s poor security system has paved the way for the wave of terrorism in the past two years. He said: “Terrorism is thriving because the Federal Government has not given a

thought to partnering with private security practitioners to tackle the Boko Haram menace, which has inflicted tension, fear and monumental deaths on the country.” The SSPN leader insisted that it is a globally accepted fact, that no government can tackle insecurity alone without the supports and cooperation of citizens. According to Davidson; “It is the citizens that are knowledgeable in intelligence gathering at the local, state and federal levels. Therefore, with the partnership between the government agencies and private security companies, insecurity in Nigeria can be reduced to the barest minimum, if not completely eradicated”. Speaking, the Execu-

tive Secretary of Lagos State Security Trust Fund, Mr. Fola Arthur Worrey, said the Federal Government is not sincere in tackling insecurity in the country. Speaking on public, private partnership with security industry, Worrey wondered why the government cannot empower the police to sufficiently execute the community policing project, which will incorporate private security practitioners, guards, community associations, vigilante groups and community based non-governmental organisations. Fola, said private security practitioners are best placed to develop effective intelligence gathering methods, since they are closer to the people.

Government to provide rural electricity in Benue HENRY IYORKASE MAKURDI

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he Benue State Commissioner for Urban and Rural Development, Dr. Jacob Omenka has asserted that electrification programme of the administration would have a multiplier effect, as people are now enjoying experiencing increased economic activities like their urban counterparts. Speaking in Makurdi, the commissioner observed

that before now, there were only few local government headquarters that boast of electricity but with the present administration, they have been able to execute projects spanning more than 40 communities. Though no amount was disclosed as cost of the projects, he said the funds expended run into millions of naira, even as the key projects are expected to be completed before the end of the administration in 2015. He further stressed that

no government could boast of infrastructural development, especially for rural areas as the present administration, and urged critics to be constructive. “For the sake of clarity, since inception of this administration in 2007, there has been monumental development in rehabilitation of township roads and semi urban towns, as well as renovations of schools and provision of electricity to the three senatorial districts of the state”

LG boss charged for breach of trust

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n Abuja Area Court sitting in Lugbe will on Dec. 17 deliver a ruling in a the case brought by Mohammed Kolo, against Alhassan Mohammed, the Karu Local Government Chairman. The Judge, Haruna Masanawa, fixed the date after hearing both parties in the suit. Mohammed was

dragged to court by, Kolo, a school principal in Niger State for breach of trust. In the lawsuit filed by the plaintiff, the chairman was alleged to have collected N1m to help the plaintiff get two tickets for the 2012 pilgrimage to Mecca. The chairman failed to fulfill the promise and never refunded the

money, which he directed should be transferred to him, through his younger brother’s account. Kolo, alleged that after several efforts to recover the money, he sued the chairman for breach of trust. According to him, on receiving the courts summons, the defendant refunded N900, 000.


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Thursday, December 13, 2012

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136 arrested in Bauchi police raids EZEKIEL TITUS BAUCHI

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o fewer than 136 people were arrested by the Bauchi State Police Command from October till date in raids carried out throughout the state, while firearms of various types and ammunition as well as 11 cars were also recovered within the period. State Police Commissioner, Mohammed Ladan, who made the disclosure at the command headquarters while briefing journalists said the measure was to ensure public safety in and around the state. He said some of the offences committed by the people include criminal conspiracy, vandalisation of NITEL cables, armed robbery, unlawful possessions of fire arms and theft. He added that the command is determined to ensure a crime-free society. He said the bold step taken by the command was part of the command’s intelligence security strate-

gies to flush out hoodlums, miscreants and the dreaded Sara-Suka across the state from their hideouts and black spots, promising to continue the exercise. Ladan, who was furious about the alarming rate of crime in the state promised to continue to mobilise all police divisions in the state not to relent in their efforts at arresting the wave of crime in the state. He said the state is no longer an environment that is free for armed robbers to operate, warning them to desist or relocate from the state as the command is ready to resist them at all times. The police boss also warned people against the possession of firearms of any type, vowing to clamp down on people whose houses were discovered as manufacturing firearms. He expressed dismay over the incessant cases of car snatching in the state and commended the courage of his men who foiled an attempt to snatch a car along the Bauchi-Jos Road

Commandant, Nigerian Army Peace-Keeping Centre, Maj.-Gen. Samuel Zaruwa (left), decorating Sgt. Abdul Umar, the best student, with the Chief of Army Staff Medal, at the graduation ceremony of Warrant Officers’ Course at Jaji, Kaduna, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

immediately after an attack in Azare. The police commissioner appealed to the general public to always cooperate with the police by giving vital information for proactive measures so as to reduce the security challenges in the state.

Task force destroys N1bn fake drugs in Kano

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he Joint Task Force on Counterfeit and Fake Drugs in Kano State has confiscated and destroyed fake drugs worth about N1 billion this year. A member of the task force, Mr. Ahmad Gana, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kano on Tuesday. “We seized N700 million worth of expired drugs in just two warehouses recently and there are a number of such warehouses in the state,” he said. Gana, who is also the Chairman of the state branch of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN),

said most of the destroyed drugs had not only expired but had also been banned by the producers. He said ‘azthromycin,’ one of the expired drugs that were destroyed, found its way to Sabon Gari Market from Niger Republic. “The drug was donated to Niger Republic by the United States to treat an eye ailment called ‘Tracoma.’ However, the drug had expired long before it came to Kano,” he added. Gana said that the quit notice given to drug dealers at Sabon Gari Market was aimed at sanitising the drug distribution processes and checking the abuse of prohib-

ited drugs by youths. “The Nigerian law prohibits selling of drugs in the market because it promotes drug abuse. “Drugs are not items of commodity; so, they are not supposed to be sold in an open market or at a designated place,” he said. Gana noted that most of the drug dealers in the market were operating illegally, adding that they were not registered by the state government or any regulatory body. He, however, commended the state government for its efforts to regulate the activities of drug dealers in the state and ensure sanity in the business.

Military takes over distribution of relief materials

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he military has taken over the distribution of relief materials donated by the Federal Government to flood victims in Lamurde Local Government area of Adamawa, due to security challenges. The Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Walia Hamma, disclosed this yesterday in Yola, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

He said that government took the decision following Monday’s attack on security men protecting the store where relief materials were kept in Lamurde. “Security men guarding relief consignments stored in Lamurde for distribution to victims of the recent flood and communal clashes were attacked during the night by hoodlums who carted away some materials. “Fortunately, the authority of the local government

alerted the military for support who responded immediately. “As a result of this, the military has now taken over the distribution; they are now in charge of security management to ensure peaceful distribution of the materials in Lamurde,” Hamma said. The director added that some of the hoodlums had been arrested and that the stolen relief materials had been retrieved.

NEMA organises workshop on disaster mitigation OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU

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etermined to forestall future occurrence of the recent flood disaster that engulfed nine local government areas of Kogi State and parts of the country, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), yesterday organised a workshop on how to mitigate such in the future. The workshop was also to prepare the people to reduce the impact of any such disaster whenever it occurred in the state. Speaking at the workshop, held in Lokoja, the Coordinator of NEMA, Abuja Operation Office, Ishaya Isah Chonoko, said disaster mitigation is a measure taken to reduce disaster impacts, stressing that mitigation could be structural, which includes the construction of proj-

ects to reduce economic and social impacts on the people. He said non-structural mitigation includes policies and practices that raise awareness of the hazards or those that encourage developments to reduce the impact of disasters. His words: “In the management of disasters in Nigeria, the three tiers of government are involved. The local government under its Local Emergency Management Committee (LEMC) is to coordinate disaster at the local level. “When disasters overwhelm the council areas, they call on the state for support, the state government under its SEMA, coordinates disasters in a state, including the local governments and seeks the help of the national body should a disaster situation overwhelms them.” The coordinator said

the aim of the workshop is to strengthen the level of disaster preparedness and mitigation at the state level such that the participating organisations would be able to conduct and facilitate the process for the development of appropriate systems, procedures, expertise and resources for effective mitigation and efficient response to disaster. In her remark, the Executive Secretary of Kogi State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Mrs. Alice Ogedegbe, commended the organisation for rendering assistance to the state during and after the recent flood disaster in the state. The facilitator of the workshop, Mr. Olubankole Omokive, said the essence of the workshop is to assist the state to set up a joint action plan committee to reduce the impact of any disaster whenever it occurred in the state.

Al-Makura presents N107.9bn 2013 budget IGBAWASE UKUMBA LAFIA

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asarawa State Governor, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, yesterday presented a N107.9 billion appropriation bill for the 2013 fiscal year to the state House of Assembly. Tagged ‘Budget of Redemption II,’ Al-Makura told the lawmakers that the budget is a logical succession to the 2012 budget in keeping with the commitment of his adminis-

tration to fulfill its covenant with the good people of the state. His words: “In so doing, we will sustain our determination to salvage our people from the stranglehold of want, deprivation, squalor, disease and avoidable hopelessness.” The sum of N65.2 billion, representing 60 per cent of the budget is earmarked as capital expenditure while the recurrent expenditure is N42.6 billion, representing 40 percent of the budget, for the

2013fiscal year. Provisions for the sectors in the 2013 appropriation shows the Works and Transport sector with the highest allocation of N15 billion followed by education with N4.2 billion. Al-Makura, however, lamented the unimpressive outing of the 2012 budget, which, according to him, “was due largely to unprecedented drop in federal allocations to the state, despite positive outlook in the internally generated revenue profile.”


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Insight

aby Eunice Agunbiade (not real name) had a very short life span (eight months and 10 days) but following her health travail, hardly could anyone rival her in agony for survival. According to her medical record, the first-born and product of a low incomeearning parents was six months old when she was diagnosed of life threatening medical conditions. Eunice had complex congenital heart disease described by doctors as subpulmonary ventricular septal defect (VSD), double outlet ventricle defect (and) no pulmonary stenosis (no PS) with severe pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). These, according to the doctors are responsible for her feeding and breathing difficulty, loss of weight and delayed developmental milestones, among several other problems. At first, like most Nigerians in recent times, the Agunbiades moved from one private hospital to the other when they observed their child’s discomfort with breathing, eating and even sleeping. And as usual, most of the hospitals embarked on palliative treatments which offered no respite or gave the slightest clue to the cause of the baby’s ill health. “Since then, we kept moving from one private hospital to the other without any clue until we got to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) in Ikeja, where a consultant paediatrician, Dr. Animasahun, found out through an echo cardiographic test that my baby was suffering from chronic cardiac problem. “She said her case could not be resolved in Nigeria and according to her, India seemed the cheapest destination to receive the needed life-saving surgery,” a sobbig Mrs. Kehinde Agunbiade (not real name) told National Mirror. Baby Eunice thus joined thousands of Nigerians now trooping to India for medical treatments. Going to India was no child’s play for her. To raise the required N3.2m was almost a tall order. The family ran from pillar to post without success until a church decided to come to their rescue. The mother and her ailing baby arrived Max Super Specialty Hospital, Saket, New 30 Delhi, India in September 2011 and deposited $10,000 as part-payment. After a new set of tests, the Indian hospital found out that the baby’s case had been allowed to degenerate beyond management making her chance of surviving the needed Sennings procedure very slim. The hospital felt the baby’s condition should have been detected after good diagnoses earlier. “It ought to have been detected and treated at birth and not after,” Mrs. Agunbiade quoted one of the Indian doctors as saying. “I was properly tutored with a video show of my baby’s condition and the defects. At last I was told the percentage of survival was between 15 and 25. They asked whether or not they should continue treatment, but because I believed and was more relieved with the available facilities and the doctors’ meticulous nature, I gave the consent, committing myself to a 50-50 chance game. But it was tortuous,” she recalled. Though the surgery went well, while the baby was convalescing in the

Thursday, December 13, 2012

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STATE OF NIGERIA’S

Counting costs of medical In what could be total loss of confidence in the nation’s healthcare delivery system, Nigerians both rich and poor now opt for medical treatments abroad. MOJEED ALABI writes that while Nigeria loses up to N16bn annually to India alone, the country seems not ready to halt the huge capital flight.

ABUJA NATIONAL HOSPITAL: Still indadequate to meet Nigerians’ health needs.

DURING THE PERIOD WE WERE IN FORTIS HOSPITAL IN DELHI, THERE WAS NO MORNING WE DID NOT SEE NEW

ARRIVALS FROM NIGERIA hospital’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU), exactly on October 23, complications set in and little Eunice passed on. “I’m sure if we had given birth to the baby in such a hospital, she might have survived, so I don’t blame India for her death but Nigeria where the healthcare system has so much degenerated. I got the necessary papers and buried my daughter in India where I may no longer have access to her tomb.” Similarly, between November 4, 2010 and January 21, 2011, the Opara family was at Fortis Hospital, New Delhi, India, for renal transplantation for their young boy, David. According to the father, he was able to raise about $36, 300 (N5.5 million) needed for the surgery through the help of friends and philanthropists after the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, failed to give the needed care during their long stay at the facility from 2007 to 2010. The referral letter to the Indian hospital signed by the Consultant Paediatrician in LUTH stated that the only hope for David was a kidney transplant which is unavailable in Nigeria, hence, the Indian option. Fortunately for David, the transplant went well and the family has since returned to Nigeria. His inquisitive father, like Eunice’s mother walked round New Delhi and found out how several Nigerians troop to the Asian coutry in search of treatments for one ailment or the other. “During the period we were in Fortis Hospital in Delhi, there was no morning

ABANDONED: Patients wait outside LASUTH wards during the doctors’ strike.

we did not see new arrivals from Nigeria. How did we know? When you see a black person, obviously the skin colour would attract you. Then we would draw near, greet and ask, ‘are you from Nigeria?’ If the person is a Nigerian he would answer in English while others particularly those from Congo respond in French. “Nigerians come mostly from Abuja, Lagos, Delta, Rivers, Anambra, Enugu and Benue States. I was told at the Nigerian High Commission that as it is at Fortis Hospital, so it is in all five-star hospitals scattered in India. The traffic of Nigerians suffering majorly renal, urology (prostate cancer), heart diseases, diabetes, uterine fibroid, orthopedics, thoracic ailments and others who come for preventive check-ups in India, is an embarrassment,” Opara said. National Mirror found out that the craze for medical treatments abroad is however not limited to critical cases alone. For instance, in 1999, chairman of the board of management of a private hospital in Olodi, Apapa, Lagos, had

whitlow, a pus-filled infection on his right thumb. Rather than surrendering his ailing finger to his medical employees for simple incision, the chief travelled to England for a surgical operation. Experts say that this medical tourism is boosting other countries’ economies and contributing hugely to capital flight in Nigeria, especially causing the depreciation of the local currency, naira, which faces pressure from the leading foreign currencies converted to embark on the trips. According to Nigeria’s former Minister of Health, now United Nations Fund for Population Agency (UNFPA) Executive Director, Prof. Babatunde Oshotimehin, as a result of this outbound medical tourism, Nigeria’s annual cash loss to India alone sums up to N16 billion while the number of job losses is yet to be determined. The Minister Counsellor at the Nigerian High Commission in India, Cliff Moneke, told David’s father, Mr. Opara, during their medical sojourn


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Insight

Thursday, December 13, 2012

HEALTHCARE:

trips to India, other places FOR REFERRING A PATIENT, A NIGERIAN DOCTOR COULD EARN AS

MUCH AS 20 PER CENT OF HIS PATIENT’S BILL

EMPTY: A LASUTH ward during the doctors’ strike.

Prof. Chukwu

in the country that in 2009 alone, the Indian High Commission in Nigeria issued 4,000 medical visas to Nigerians seeking treatments in Indian hospitals. Moneke believed that the number would have increased in 2011 and 2012 going by the number of Nigerian visitors he personally saw in Delhi. Also, a Senior Lecturer and Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon at the Lagos State University College of Medicine (LASUCOM) and LASUTH, Ikeja, Dr. Bode Falase, said, “It is surprising that Nigerians take common cold and catarrh overseas for treatment. In 2010 alone, in Appolo Hospital, India, 29, 000 Nigerians had cardiac surgeries while in Madras Medical Mission, Madras, and Rubby Hall Clinic, both in India, 9, 000 and 4,000 Nigerians were respectively recorded to have had cardiac surgeries there. So, when you add all these together, you see that about 40,000 Nigerians go to India for surgeries every year.” According to the Chief Executive Officer of Ruby Hall Clinic, India, Dr.

Purvez Grant, the major medical cases that take Nigerians to India include spine and neurosurgery, cardio surgery and cardiac medical conditions, orthopaedics and joint replacements, general and endoscopic surgery, cancer management and oncosurgery, obesity and weight loss surgery, urosurgery and prostate related conditions. Others are gynaecology and female specific conditions, health check-ups and diagnostics, infertility management and artificial reproduction techniques, ophthalmology and eye related conditions, cosmetic and plastic surgery, paediatric and general surgery, paediatric cardiac surgery, paediatric orthopeadic surgery, aesthetic dentistry and dental surgery, minimal access surgery, organ transplants, leukemia and blood cancer management, laser surgery, among others. Early this year, at a workshop organised by Ibijola Medical Centre and Consultancy Services, which was aimed at cementing partnership between the Lagos State Government and Ruby Hall Clinic, Grant told the audience that an average of 4,000 to 5,000 Nigerians are admitted in his clinic yearly just for cardiac cases alone. “Our hospitals are usually filled up almost by 85 per cent while 50 per cent of the patients now come from overseas especially countries like Nigeria, Iraq, Iran, Middle East and Far East. We also get a lot of patients from England who mostly come for plastic surgery. But I tell you, Nigerian patients are the best to deal with and that informed our desire to partner Nigerian government to bring these services to their doorstep,” Grant said. Because India has tasted the sweet fruits of Nigerian patients, various Indian hospitals and laboratories have continued to spring up in Nigeria leaving alternatives for Nigerians. Within the LASUTH is located the Bola Tinubu (BT) Health and Diagnostic Centre which is

run by Indians as a private business. The term of the contract may not be clear but what is evident is that the centre was opened in 2009 by Governor Babatunde Fashola and named after his predecessor to provide Lagosians with access to diagnostic pathology and imaging technology. Apart from BT, Me Cure Healthcare Limited (MHL) is another Indianowned diagnostic and healthcare centre that has gained successful inroad into Nigeria’s market. Presently, the facility which started with a diagnostic centre along the Apapa, Oshodi Road, Oshodi, in May 2009, has now expanded to other cities like Kano, Ondo, Umuahia and Aba. In fact, the company has also established a pharmaceutical company in Lagos. Also in April this year, residents of Abuja with various ailments began to throng the newly opened Nigeria’s branch of the New Delhi-based Primus International Super Specialist Hospital, in Karu, Abuja for medical care. Recently, the Provost of LASUCOM, Prof. Olumuyiwa Odusanya, while delivering the university’s 48th Inaugural Lecture on the theme ‘Health in the Interest of the Public’ said the poor state of health facilities in Nigeria was a pointer to the fact that there is not likely to be an end in sight for the frequent medical trips abroad. National Mirror’s investigations revealed that in 2006, with a total number of 39, 210 medical doctors in Nigeria only 30 doctors were available for average of 100, 000 patients. Similarly, out of the available 124, 629 nurses in the country, an average of 100, 000 Nigerians were attended to by 100 nurses and in the case of midwives, they were 68 to 100, 000 patients. The case of the dentists was worse as only two of them were available for a huge figure of 100, 000, and so on. The situation has worsened in 2012 as many doctors have left the country in search of greener pastures and better working conditions. In Lagos State for instance, following the recent face-off between doctors in the service of the state government and the authority which rendered public hospitals useless for almost six months, many doctors have since willingly disengaged their services from the state. National Mirror found out that 26 hospitals in the state now suffer from shortage of doctors, leaving behind backlog of works for very few hands available. According to our findings, LASUTH has only four neurosurgeons with only one theatre. Patients in need of a surgeon now have to wait for as

55

long as five months to be booked for appointment. Rather than employing more staff, it is revealed that the state government resolved to engage new employees on temporary basis without job security. Indeed, this sorry state has become the trend in many private hospitals around the country. For instance, most private hospitals in Nigeria train their “nurses” who are mostly secondary school drop outs, and call them “auxiliary nurses.” They wear uniforms similar to those of the qualified staff nurses. It was also found out that doctors have turned referrals of patients, especially to India, into a lucrative business. For referring a patient, a Nigerian doctor could earn as much as 20 per cent of his patient’s bill. Not only that some of these doctors use the opportunity to travel abroad in the guise of accompanying the patients to the referred hospital. A woman who pleaded anonymity narrated how a young doctor in a paediatric ward of a teaching hospital in Lagos accompanied her sick baby to India only to abandon them on arrival. “We took care of all his expenses, including hotel accommodation. We were made to believe that he needed to travel with my daughter to take care of emergencies while in transit and also liaise with the Indian doctors and provide them with necessary information about my daughter’s condition and treatment while in Nigeria. “Three days after we arrived, before any serious treatment could be administered on my daughter, the young man vanished and I never saw him again throughout my three-month stay in India. He was not around even when my daughter, his patient, eventually died,” the woman lamented. Aside the shortage of personnel and unprofessional conduct of available health workers, inadequate basic, but vital amenities necessary for hospitals to function such as water and electricity still remain scarce commodities in most Nigerian hospitals. “I want to believe we were once at par with India but because they faced their problems and kept working to conquer them, things are working in India. Now we no longer transfer patients to our colonialists in England, rather it is now India,” Board Chairman, Lagos State Health Facilities Monitoring and Accreditation Agency (HEFAMAA), Dr. Bambo Oyekan said. To stem this ugly medical tourism that is draining Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings, a Consultant Paediatrician at LASUTH, Dr. Animashaun, who spent more than a year at the Indian Narayana Hrudayalaya Institute of Medical Sciences, the biggest paediatric cardiac centre in the country, said a publicprivate partnership in health investment as it is done in India, can remedy the terrible situation. The expert, who lamented the situation whereby some Nigerian doctors advise their Nigerian patients to opt for Indian hospitals apparently for the rebate they are entitled to for making the referals, said until individuals also adequately invest in health, Nigeria will continue to lag behind.


WORLD RECORD

First prison sentence for file sharing Vol. 02 No. 512

I

N150

Thursday, December 13, 2012

In November 2005, Chan Nai-Ming (China) was jailed for three months for uploading Hollywood movies, using BitTorrent technology on to the Internet.

Garland, gangrene for Nollywood @ 20

t is not a national celebration as such. But the motion picture industry is determined not to end the year without making a big deal out of the purported birthday of the new Nigerian cinema, otherwise known as Nollywood. Contemporary reasoning, in a section of the movie industry, finds it convenient to credit 1992 with the birth of the new industry that has now stamped Nigeria’s authority in video film-making to Living in Bondage, directed by Chris Obi Rapu, who used a pseudonym - IK Mordi - on the film to conceal his identity as a staffer of the Nigerian Television Authority then. The fascination with Living in Bondage in Nigeria’s home-video treatise is intriguing. It was the first home video produced in Igbo; it was a huge commercial success and it was the needed impetus for others, especially from the South-East and South-South geo-political zones of the country, to join the train that had already been set in mo-

M

anchester United Manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, admits defender Nemanja Vidic’s timely return from injury is a big bonus for the club. The commanding centrehalf has been sidelined since September 19 after being forced to

SOMETHING BEFORE THE WEEKEND

Steve Ayorinde

sayorinde@nationalmirroronline.net (08054500808 sms only)

tion by their Yoruba colleagues as far as the burgeoning home-video sector was concerned. It calls for some sort of celebration, nonetheless, considering that in the last 20 years, feature films that are shot on video and sold on either video-tapes or digital video appear more popular than any other art forms. The series of workshops, seminars and the recent book launch by Charles Novia, a film director and music promoter, that have held in Lagos in recent weeks, have all paid homage to the contributions of artistes and technicians that have ranked the new Nigerian cinema with the new hip music industry as a twin culturecontent providers that have reinvented themselves for good. The celebration of this industry will yet take a Presidential step next Friday, December 20 with a banquet at the Presidential villa in Abuja. I, too, salute Nollywood. With more than a thousand films produced every year, almost at par with India’s Bollywood in terms of quantity, video films have established themselves as Nigeria’s most dominant form of popular culture in recent years. For me, writing about this phenomenon that arose during the downturn of the late 1980s, when most Nigerian filmmakers could no longer afford to shoot on celluloid; commenting on the autonomy of its entrepreneurial offerings or the sheer number of its output or even the popularity of its leading actors the world over, is a testimony to the can-do, enterprising

NOLLYWOOD STILL LAGS BEHIND ITS

MUSIC AND

LITERATURE

COUSINS IN CRITICAL APPRAISAL AND GLOBAL LAURELS spirit of an average Nigerian. The celebration that is taking place, therefore, should be the recognition of an industry which is a good example of a sector that is succeeding at reinventing itself, with reliance on modern tools of digital technology for production and distribution. The story of Nollywood is not in the so-called rebirth of 20 years ago; nor in the rechristening that took place almost 10 years later with an article in the New York Times that derisively attributed its ingenuity to its emulation of the Hollywood and Bollywood film industries that operate on large outputs, independent finance structure and glamour. Indeed, Nollywood ought to be appreciated more as a product of a renaissance than circumstance. But that story started a few years earlier than 1992. As a young reporter covering the arts at The Guardian in the early 1990s, there was no significant transition from the 1980s to the 1990s as regards the production of film, let alone a defining

transformation that made 1992 more special than the previous couple of years as the popular, but inchoate argument has carried on. The renaissance that defines Nollywood started essentially with the trio of the late Yemi Meshioye, Sunday Ossai and Matthew Simpa whose MESH Films produced Jagunlabi in the late 1980s on what was then known as ‘reversal film’- a cheaper form of celluloid. The cost-cutting formula was what eventually led to a far cheaper alternative, championed by the late Muyideen Aromire, who churned out series of video dramas that eventually got Kenneth Nnebue’s NEK Video Links to engage in selling video films, in funding late Isola Ogunsola’s Aje ni iya mi in 1991 and later bank-rolling the production of Living in Bondage. Aside faulty documentation of its own history, Nollywood would also need to heal itself of the gangrene of self adulation – celebrating quantity over quality and purporting to speak with one voice when evidence of fragmentation, if not gaping cracks abounds. While it has provided affordable entertainment to Nigeria and the rest of Africa, it still lags behind its Music and Literature cousins in critical appraisal and global laurels, which only can attest to its mastery of the art of filmmaking. The OSCARS have eluded it; and its accomplishments at film festivals across the world have barely risen beyond the level of appreciation for creating a cheaper alternative to the standard model known to the world. Till date, Nollywood is yet to produce its own Fela Anikulapo-Kuti or Wole Soyinka and Chinua Achebe as Music and Literature have done with resounding global acclaim. But then, as a partaker of that momentous period for film in the early 1990s; as a stakeholder and more importantly, as one who reckons that appreciation of cinematic art is in his DNA, I join in the celebration of this growing industry, with the fervent hope that its next 20 years will produce more of quality than quantity ... with a rich history that is not tainted.

Sport Extra

Vidic’s return excites Fergie undergo another knee operation. Vidic is, however, hoping to put an injury-ravaged period of his Old Trafford career firmly behind him and rejoin United’s quest to wrestle the Premier League crown back

from arch-rivals Manchester City. “It would have been crazy to play him against City but against Sunderland, definitely,” Ferguson said yesterday. “It’s a big bonus to have him back.

He is a real competitor with that uncompromising way of his. He likes defending and that’s what it is. With United having looked uncharacteristically fragile at the back this season, keeping just four clean sheets in 24 fixtures, Ferguson is looking for Vidic to help plug the leaks.

Nemanja Vidic

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Thursday, December 13, 2012  

*Okonjo: Police quizrelatives, palace staff -Victim’s whereabouts still unknown –CP *Gunmen storm school,kill fi ve female students...