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FG’s fuel subsidy falls to N1.4bn per day UDEME AKPAN

Alison-Madueke

Vol. 4 3 N0. 772 657

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he Federal Government’s fuel subsidy for January 2014 has fallen from N1.6bn per day in December 2013 to N1.4bn per day this

month. This is based on the estimated daily consumption of 36 million litres of the product. CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

Police to deploy bomb detection devices in airports, seaports P.7

Abubakar

Thursday, January July 4, 2013 23, 2014

N150 N150

Senate in rowdy session over Rivers crisis Summons Inspector-General of Police

GEORGE OJI ABUJA

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he Senate yesterday summoned the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Muhammed Abubakar, to appear before it over the escalating crisis in Rivers State. The Senate was, however, thrown into a momentarily rowdy session following the tension generated by the debate on the crisis rocking state. Tempers flared during a debate on the motion brought by Senator Wilson Ake (APC-Rivers West) and 48 others on the recent shooting and disruption of a political rally in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital. The House of Representatives had on Tuesday gave President Goodluck Jonathan a two-week ultimatum

L-R: President Goodluck Jonathan; Chairman, Heirs Holdings, Mr. Tony Elumelu, and GMD/CEO, UBA Plc, Mr. Phillips Oduoza, at the World Economic Forum, in Davos, Switzerland, yesterday.

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PDP moves to pacify aggrieved governors

New chairman, Muazu, sets up reconciliation committee

Awujale wades into Amosun, Osoba feud

CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>

Funsho Williams:

P.2 P.7

Panic as suspected killer slumps in court P.8


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Thursday, January 23, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

PDP moves to pacify aggrieved governors OBIORA IFOH ABUJA

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ational Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Dr. Adamu Muazu, yesterday said the party will constitute a reconciliatory committee to win back the aggrieved members of the party that defected to opposition parties. The PDP governors that defected to the All Progressives Congress, APC, include Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Abdulfatai Ahmed (Kwara), Rabiu Kwakwanso (Kano), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa) and Rotimi Amaechi. These defected governors have been having running battles in their new party as the top members of APC in their respective states have kicked against moves by national leaders of the party to hand over structures of the party to them. The decision to reopen PDP doors to the decampees was made when a delegation of PDP leaders

from Jigawa State led by Governor Sule Lamido paid solidarity visit to the PDP chairman at the party’s national secretariat. Speaking after Lamido gave an insight into what led to the defection of the five governors and their supporters, Muazu promised to address the grievances of all aggrieved PDP members, including those that left the party in the heat of the crisis that led to the mass defection last year. “I will address it. Whatever injustice that was done to those offended I will address it. “I have seen the need for us to form a very high level committee for reconciliation”, he said. The PDP chairman mandated Lamido, who was one of the aggrieved G7 Governors, to go round to reassure them that whatever perceived injustice done to them will be adequately addressed. “I appeal to you to talk to them ahead of our visit, appeal to their sense of patriotism for Nigeria, appeal

to their sense of patriotism for PDP because PDP is Nigeria.” He said in every fam-

ily there is rancor once in a while and the only way to move forward is to accept peace.

The PDP chairman, however, noted that a lot of people that PDP made what they are today are ungrate-

ful to the party and the electorate that elected them. Earlier, Governor LamiCONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Pius Anyim (left) and Vice-President Namadi Sambo at the Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja yesterday.

Senate in rowdy session over Rivers crisis CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

to sack the IG and the Rivers State Police Commissioner, Mr. Joseph Mbu, over what the lawmakers called the alleged impunity of the police in handling the crisis and the apparent silence of the IG. Ake, in his motion, noted that the hostile approach deployed by the police in disrupting several rallies in parts of the state had enormous implications for the whole country. He said the obstruction of peaceful gathering by security agencies in Rivers State would create anxiety and lead to further loss of confidence in the security system. “Rivers State Police Command under its present leadership has witnessed too many attacks professionally unleashed on the ordinary citizens of Rivers,” he said. Senator James Manager (PDP-Delta) sought to stop the motion through a point of order, saying that the Senate president had directed the Senate Police Committee to conduct preliminary investigations on the matter.

According to him, it will be preemptive to debate on the issue as the committee is yet to report back to the Senate. Senator George Sekibo (PDP-Rivers), who supported Manager, said the debate be deferred to get proper briefing from the police committee and to determine whether organisers of the rallies had obtained police permit. He also argued that those mandated by the Senate to visit Senator Magnus Abe in a London hospital were yet to report back on their visit. Sekibo’s contribution was, however, disrupted when Senators Ahmed Lawan and Manager engaged each other in a hot exchange over some remarks made by Manager. Trouble began when Sekibo’s contributions to the motion was disrupted by Lawan’s (Yobe North) side comments, which apparently angered Manager, who shouted at him to “shut up, shut up now,”. A provoked Lawan immediately got off his seat and charged at Manger and demanded the

remark be withdrawn and an apology tendered to him. Manger then challenged Lawan to do his worst, and both men almost descended into fisticuffs. While the altercation was going on between Ahmed and Manager, some senators waded in, trying to settle the two. Senator Alkali Jajere (Yobe South), however left his seat and went straight to Manager, challenging him to a fight. More senators had to rush towards both men to avert what would have degenerated in a boxing match. While the rowdy session lasted, the Senate President, David Mark, sat quietly at his seat and observing the drama playing out. After about 25 minutes of the commotion, some senators were able to get Manager to go to Ahmed to apologise to him. Manager did not only apologise to Ahmed, he embraced him, which drew cheers from the other senators. The reconciliatory action of Manager brought sanity back to the floor of the Senate.

Mark, who was apparently impressed by the way the crisis was brought to a peaceful end, directed Ahmed and Manager to go to the Senate isle and embrace themselves again, an action that again, was greeted with additional cheers. “At this stage we would dialogue, dialogue, dialogue and then we want to fight; the paradox is inexplicable. “The contradiction is unacceptable, but I accept that tempers rose just now and I hope it doesn’t rise again from anybody,” Mark cautioned. The Senate President added that further debate on the motion be discontinued and consideration be given to the prayers contained therein. He cautioned all the parties to the crisis in Rivers to be cautious in the way they carried out their activities. “There is a need for all the agencies involved to consider and weigh their activities in Rivers, whether it is the Police, the Army or the politicians, government officials or civil society groups.

“Nobody has the exclusive preserve of violence. Any side can have it. The only reason I allowed this motion is because a distinguished senator is involved. “Our own life in the chambers here is not more precious than that of any other Nigerian in this country, but we are all disturbed about the situation in Rivers. “My suggestion on this matter now, so that we don’t have any tempers rising, is to go straight to the prayers and take the prayers that are important. “And at that point if for any reason we agree that we invite the IGP here then we will all have the opportunity to ask him all the clarifications we need,” he said. The lawmakers condemned the disruption and interruption of the peaceful rally and gathering of the Save Rivers Movement, SRM, by the men of the state police command, occasioned by the sporadic gun shootings and tear gas on January 13, at the Rivers State College of Arts and Science, Obio/ Akpo local government area

of the state. The resolution that the senate should immediately put in motion, the implementation of its earlier resolution calling on the redeployment of the Rivers State commissioner of police, Mr. Joseph Mbu without any further delay could not however sail through. This was in part because of Mark’s explanation that the said resolution had since been vacated by a court, which held that the senate lacked the powers to make such a resolution because the action was an operational action and an executive responsibility, hence the senate lacks the jurisdiction to legislate against it. The motion itself expectedly raised serious emotions and sentiments from lawmakers as the senators were divided along party lines in the consideration of the motion. In fact, almost all the 48 senators that co-sponsored the motion were either opposition senators or PDP senators who have already indicated their interest to defect to the opposition APC.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Thursday, January 23, 2014

PLATEAU STATE GOVERNMENT

congratulations mr. chairman!

Alhaji Adamu Muazu

Your emergence as the Chairman of our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at this critical time is a testimony of the leadership quality and commitment to the ideals of the party which you have stood for. We on the Plateau have the conviction that you will steer our great party on the part of reconciliation, discipline, growth, patriotism and development of Nigeria.

Congratulations Mr. Chairman! Jonah David Jang Governor

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Photo News

Thursday, January 23, 2014

L-R: Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade (rtd) and Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, National Mirror Newspapers, Mrs. Kafilat Ogbara, during a courtesy visit to the minister in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

L-R: Deputy Inspector-General Criminal Investigation Department, Mr. Peter Gana; DIG Administration, Mr. Suleiman Fakai and Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, during the decoration of senior officers in Abuja, yesterday.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

L-R: Minister of State for FCT, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide; Director-General, Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, Mr. Ayoade Samonda and Director, Operation Hydrology, Mr. Moses Beckly, during the team’s visit to the minister in Abuja, yesterday.

L-R: Chief Executive Officer, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Mr.Yinka Sanni; Chief Executive officer, Stanbic IBTC Holdings, Mrs. Sola David-Borha; Chief Executive Officer, Stanbic IBTC Stockbrokers Ltd, Mr. Dele Sotubo and Head, Research Stanbic IBTC, Mrs. Rele Adesina, at the pre-event press conference of the 2014 Standard Bank West Africa Investors Conference in Lagos, yesterday.

National News

Avoid unguarded utterances, IG charges new DIGs, AIGs OMEIZA AJAYI ABUJA

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he Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar yesterday decorated two newly-promoted Deputy Inspectors General of Police, (DIG) and three new Assistant Inspectors General, AIG, charging them to be cautious and conscious of their utterances and actions at all times. With the two new DIGs, the Police Management Team is now complete while the three new AIGs bring to 22 the number of AIGs in the Force. Some of the existing AIGs are: Dan Azumi J. Doma, Force Secretary, Solomon Arase, Director, Force Intelligence Bureau, Tambari Y. Mohammed, Zone 1 Kano; Mamman Ibrahim Tsafe, Zone 2, Lagos; Mohammed J. Abubakar, Zone 3, Yola; Saliu Argungu, Zone 5, Benin and Suleiman Abba, Zone 7, Abuja. Others are Christo-

pher Dega, Zone 8, Lokoja; Ballah Nasarawa, Zone 9, Umuahia; Sule Mamman, Zone 10, Sokoto; David Omojola, Zone 11, Osogbo; Mohammed J. Gana, Zone 12, Bauchi; Sabo Ringim Ibrahim; AIG Border Patrol; Mark Idakwo, AIG Maritime Police; Samuel I. Aguda, AIG Police Air Wing; Bala Hassan, Commandant Police Staff College, Jos; Adisa Baba Bolanta, Commandant, Police Academy, Kano. Both DIGs Zuokumor and Johnson were formerly in charge of Zone 4 Makurdi and Zone 6 Calabar respectively before their elevation. The three who are newly-promoted to the rank of Assistant Inspector-General of Police are three former Commissioners of Police, Fana Abdullahi Salisu who was formerly the Force’ Quarter Master General. Others are Musa Abdulsalam Daura from the Kano state command and Kakwe Christopher Kat-

so formerly in charge of Homicide Section at the Force CID, Abuja.

While reminding them of the critical role they have in the war against

terrorism and organized crime in the country, the IGP expressed the readi-

ness of the force to ensure the unity and safety of the nation.

Dangote blames low Africa investment inflows on negative perception

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resident and Chief Executive of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, yesterday blamed the low level of inflow of investment into the African continent on the negative perception of socio-political situation in African countries. Speaking during a live telecast of a business platform “Africa’s Next Billion” alongside other leaders including Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan and Ghana’s John Mahama, at the on-going World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Dangote stated that the wrong perception of the security and political situation in Africa had made investors especially from the West lost sight of the potential in the continent. According to him, the African countries have also done little or nothing

to remedy the situation. Explaining that the situation in Africa was not as bad as being painted, the business mogul said corporate investors don’t check what Africa is truly about, but base their judgement and perception

on what they read in the newspapers, which is not always positive. “For instance foreign investors wait for election to be concluded, after then, they try to check the stability of government of the day for at least two

years but then, it’s more difficult to take any decision because the tenure of the government is coming to end and by so doing, foreign investors are scared of incoming or incumbent and the cycle keeps going on.

Reps make law for prompt release of graduates certificates TORDUE SALEM ABUJA

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elief is underway for graduating students of Nigerian Universities as a law to mandate the National Universities Commission (NUC) to ensure the immediate issuance of certificates or results after completion of academic programmes in the tertiary institutions is underway in the House of Representatives. The House of Represen-

tatives yesterday passed for second reading a Bill for an Act which sought to amend the National Universities Commission (NUC) Act to make it mandatory for immediate issuance and release of certificates to graduating students in all tertiary institutions in Nigeria. Sponsor of the proposed legislation, Dr Eddy Mbadiwe (PDP-Imo) submitted that when passed into law the difficulty which graduating stu-

dents undergo before their results are issued to them years after leaving the institutions would be eliminated. Mbadiwe, who is the Deputy Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Public Safety and National Security, received the support of other members who contributed to the debate and the Bill was referred to the Committee on Education for further legislative action.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

News

Thursday, January 23, 2014

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FG’s fuel subsidy falls to N1.4bn per day CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

The current Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, statistics released yesterday showed that government’s subsidy, which stood at N46.63 per litre in December 2013 had fallen to N44.94 per litre this month. The latest template of the agency stated that the

landing cost, including cost and freight, traders margin, lightering expenses, NPA, financing, jetty depot thru’ put charge and storage which amounted to N128.14 in December had fallen to N126.45. The template stated that distribution margins, including retailers, transporters, dealers, bridging

fund, marine transport average and admin charge remained static at N15.49 as was the case last December. The PPPRA that puts exdepot price at N81.51 stated that these expenses increased the total cost of the product to N141.94 in January against N143.63 per litre In December 2013. This means that the

Federal Government fuel subsidy is N44.94 per litre because the price of the product remains pegged at N97 per litre. Investigations showed that the major and independent marketers had started preparing their fourth quarter subsidy claims for settlement. It was learnt that while

Doctors attending to a patient outside the Accident and Emergency unit of the National Orthopaedic Hospital Igbobi, at the beginning of the three-day warning strike embarked by health workers across the country, in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI

PDP moves to pacify aggrieved governors CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

do lampooned members of the PDP National Working Committee, NWC, for glossing over the problems that almost crippled the party when Bamanga Tukur was the national chairman which culminated in the defection of key members of the party. “National Working Committee was not up and doing and while they were watching people were being expelled, governors were leaving and you said ‘don’t worry’ but we are worried.” While narrating what led to the crisis, Lamido said some members of the party were “brutalised, insulted, traumatised and abandoned by the party”. Lamido, who reiterated that he will never leave PDP because he is conscious of what the party means to him, appealed to Muazu to reach out to the all those that left the party. While pledging his support for Muazu, the governor said he is at a loss

whether to congratulate him on his new appointment or commiserate with him because of the daunting challenges he inherited from his predecessor. Meanwhile, a Federal High Court in Abuja yesterday reserved ruling to January 29 in a suit filed by some National Assembly members seeking to stop the PDP and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, from declaring their seats vacant. Justice Ahmed Mohammed reserved ruling after hearing the submissions of the counsel representing all the parties in the case. He said that the reservation was necessitated because the originating summons, filed by the plaintiffs’ counsel was not ripe for hearing. Mohammed also said that he would only hear the preliminary objection of the first and second defendants’ counsel, subject to whether the said origi-

nating summons would be ripe for hearing by the adjourned date. “Preliminary objection is at all times tied to the originating summons and since the originating summons is not ripe, so also is the preliminary objection. “This court is unable to accede to the first and second defendants’ counsel’s submission for the hearing of his preliminary objection. “The court would, therefore, take the preliminary objection only when the originating summons is ripe for hearing,” he said. It would be recalled that some National Assembly members who defected to the opposition APC, had gone to court seeking an interlocutory injunction to stop the defendants from sacking them. Joined in the suit as defendants are the PDP National Chairman, Senate President, Speaker House of Representatives, the Peo-

ple’s Democratic Party and the Independent National Electoral Commission. The plaintiffs’ counsel, Mr Tahiru Adebayo, had in his originating summons, prayed the court to restraint the defendants from sacking the plaintiffs from the National Assembly over their defection to APC. However, Mr. Joe Gadzama, SAN, counsel to the first and second defendants, challenged the court’s jurisdiction in entertaining the matter by way of a preliminary objection. “The plaintiffs lack the requisite legal standing to institute the suit, which is wrongly commenced by way of an originating summons, instead of a writ of summons,” Gadzama argued. Justice Mohammed then adjourned the case to Jan. 29 and reserved the ruling till the adjourned date to enable the court hears the originating application before hearing the preliminary objection.

the major marketers, including Oando, Forte Oil, MRS, Mobil, Total and Conoil, were paid for the first, second and third quarters of 2013, others, including the independents, were not paid for the last quarter of 2013. The Executive Secretary of Major Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN, Mr. Timothy Olawore, who expressed appreciation to the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonji-Iweala, for the speedy payment said: “There is a great need for us to thank the Federal Government agencies, especially the Ministry of Finance that facilitated the payment. “We are hopeful that the fourth quarter subsidy will be paid as soon as operators submit their bills. This is important to enable marketers supply adequate fuel to the market.” Olawore said efforts should be made to settle outstanding debts owed to others, especially members of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, and the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association, DAPPMA.

The executive secretary, who lamented recent pipeline vandalism in different parts of the nation, including the System 2B pipeline at Akute- Itashi village, a suburb in Ogun State, said these constituted a serious threat to petroleum products supply in the nation. He, however, noted that the development would not culminate in shortage as stakeholders, including major and independent marketers have already devise adequate ways and means to sustain supplies in many parts of the country. Olawore, who confirmed the availability of fuel in Lagos and other parts of the nation said the situation can be sustained if the government would continue to pay marketers as when due. It was learnt that the government may not experience any difficulties in paying the marketers as provision for the settlement was made in the 2013 budget. The situation seemed to have improved greatly from the past when government was not able to settlement many bills of the marketers.

UN office bombing: FG begs to reopen case ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA

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he Federal Government yesterday requested a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to reopen its case in the trial of four suspected Boko Haram members being held over their alleged involvement in the 2011 bombing of the United Nations building in Abuja. The request is coming two months after the court ordered the Federal Government to close its case in the matter on account of lack of diligent prosecution. The Federal Government which had anticipated opposition from the defence on its request also filed another motion seeking to amend its charge in the matter. The prosecution is at liberty to amend its charge at any stage before judgment in the case. The government said it planned to amend the four-

count charge on which they are being tried. The four - Salisu Mohammed, Inusa Mukailu, Dan’azumi Haruna and Abdulsalami Adamu were arrested in Kano shortly after the bombing incident that occurred on August 20, 2011. They were later arraigned on a four-count charge bordering on terrorism. On November 22 last year, the trial judge, Justice Gladys Olotu closed the prosecution’s case on the ground that it failed to handle the case diligently. The judge, in a ruling, expressed dismay that the prosecution, who applied for and got the court’s permission for accelerated trial, was now reluctant to produce its witnesses months after its first witness testified. Justice Olotu ordered the defence to open its case, consequent upon which the defence filed an application for a no-case submission.


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National News

Thursday, January 23, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

sector local content law Oil spill: Ogoni people protest Power meant to avoid mistakes –Amadi unpaid N80.3bn compensation T •Picket First Bank A ctivities at the First Bank office in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, were disrupted yesterday as protesting members of Ogoni ethnic group picketed the bank. The over 1000 protesters picketed the bank to push for the payment of N80.3 billion to Ogoni community by Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, in connection with an oil spill. It will be recalled that a Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt had ordered SPDC to pay N80. 3 billion to Ogoni community as compensation for oil spill in the area. Chief Simeon Monok-

po, leader of the group, said in an interview that his group was at the bank before 6.00am to picket it and stop activities. Monokpo said: “Our protest is in respect of the judgement in our favour by the high court which ordered Shell to pay the community N80.3 billion and first bank was the company’s guarantor in the trial.” He said the money was expected to be deposited with the bank by SPDC while its appeal went on, but the appeal had since failed. Monokpo said: “So, we

are demanding that, being the guarantor to Shell, the bank should pay us the money. We are saying that First Bank should wire that money into the account of the community, represented by Mr. Henry Nwaosu. “The court order we got on Thursday directed First Bank to pay us the money forthwith.’’ Monokpo said that the picketing would not only continue, but would be extended to all the branches of First Bank in Rivers State if the money was not paid. “We shall extend this

demonstration (picketing) to all First Bank branches in the state if we are not paid; and the bank will not operate until the authorities obey the court order by paying us,’’ he said. The protesters deposited a white coffin bearing a live chick and a bottle of Fanta on top at the bank entrance, which signified burial, while the locked gates were sealed with fresh palm fronts. Monokpo said the community’s gods were angry with SPDC’s conducts in Ogoni land. The major spill took place 20 years ago in Ebubu village in Eleme Local Government Area.

he proposed power sector local content law is intended to avoid the mistakes made in the oil and gas sector which is still dominated by expatriates 50 years after. The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, expressed the view yesterday in a statement issued in Abuja by its Head of Media, Hajia Maryam Abubakar. The statement quoted the NERC Chairman, Dr Sam Amadi, as expressing the view during a presentation at a session in Chatham House, London, which was chaired by Peter Callaghan of Commonwealth Business Council. Amadi was quoted as saying: “We don’t want what happened in the oil and gas sector where after 50 years Nigeria is still importing technology. “We have come up with a local content regulation that provides a framework for every company to begin to localise both technology and services. “For example, a meter provider should, within the next five years, set up a factory in Nigeria.’’ He said that power supply would reach 7,000mw by the end of the year as increased capacities were expected from the National Independent Power Plants, NIPPs, coming on stream.

Amadi said generation benchmark was set at 20,000mw by 2017. He, however, noted that early passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, was critical to achieving set targets. “The PIB is critical to us because the constraint of the sector now is gas to power. And except you have a very intelligible, practical and commercial framework over gas in Nigeria you might not have sustainable solution to the crisis,” he said. “PIB is critical to move forward on gas to power, the law should be passed as soon as possible, “Although the debate over it is huge but we want the matter to be resolved in a way that makes gas to power commercially viable and bankable. “At the end of 2013 we had expected to hit 7,000mw and that would have been possible if there were enough gas to fire the plants and the NIPPs come on board. “By end of 2014 we will definitely cross 7,000mw because of the NIPPs. If you put all the capacity together you will get over 4,000, and the existing 4000mw. “The benchmark is that by 2017 we expect that Nigeria electricity market will have over 20,000mw trading then,” Amadi said.

FEC okays N28.11bn for FCT project L-R: Secretary, National Planning Commission, Mr. Ntufam Ugbo; Director, Finance and Accounts, Mrs. Tessy-Tybangs and Director-General, West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management, Prof. Akpan Ekpo, at the National Policy Dialogue on Monitoring and Evaluation of State Employment and Expenditure for Results Project in Abuja, yesterday.

Reps urge Jonathan’s intervention in clashes between herdsmen, farmers TORDUE SALEM ABUJA

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he House of Representatives yesterday condemned the incessant clashes between nomadic herdsmen and local farmers across the country, calling on President Goodluck Jonathan to convene a meeting of leaders from the nation’s ethnic groups on how to put an end to the problem. The House, which adopted a motion by Hon. Sunday Karimi, also urged govern-

ments at all levels to implement the findings of all reports of committee set up in the past to resolve the issue. The House noted with sadness, the continued attacks on communities across the country by herdsmen and the counter attacks that often result therefrom which have become almost a daily occurrence, pointing out that the attacks had assumed a dangerous trend as they become more rampant in the recent times without any sign of abating.

Karimi decried January 3, 2014 conflict in which he said the Emir of Jere in Kaduna State, Dr Usman Sa’had, who is the husband of Senator Nenadi Usman, almost lost his life and now lies critically ill in hospital after he was manhandled while trying to mediate between warring parties. The lawmaker also drew the attention of his colleagues to January 6, 2014 incident in which over 30 people were killed and many others injured in an attack in Riyom Local Govern-

ment Area of Plateau State allegedly by herdsmen. He added that on January 8, 2014, a similar crisis broke out in Yewa Local Government Area of Ogun State. According to him, many lives and property were lost in the January 8 violence. Karimi reminded the House that on January 13, 2014, herdsmen riding on about 100 horses raided the border towns and villages in Guma Local Government Area of Benue State and killed two soldiers and 18 farmers.

ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA

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he Federal Executive Council, FEC, yesterday approved the sum of N28.11 billion for the provision of engineering infrastructure in the new Wasa District of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT. The FEC meeting was presided over by VicePresident Namadi Sambo in the absence of President Goodluck Jonathan who is in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Summit. While speaking on the project at a press conference after the FEC meeting in Abuja, the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, said Wasa District was created to decon-

gest the FCT. Maku said the Federal Capital Territory Minister presented a memo to seek FEC’s approval for the award of contract for the provision of engineering infrastructure to Wasa Affordable Housing Site in order to spread development. The contract, which was awarded to Messrs Gilmor Engineering Company, would include site clearance, sewage, water supply, electrical supply and street lighting, among other services for the 267-hectare district. The project, upon completion, would generate employment for at least 30 professionals, 50 technicians and 100 unskilled labourers, the minister said.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

News

Thursday, January 23, 2014

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Health workers strike paralyses public hospitals KEMI OLAITAN AND MARCUS FATUNMOLE

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embers of the Joint Health Sector Union, JOHESU, and Assembly of All Healthcare Professionals, AHPN, yesterday fully complied with the directive of their leaders to suspend services in all public hospitals, beginning from

yesterday till tomorrow. The warning strike resulted in virtual absence of services in public hospitals in Abuja and Oyo State. When National Mirror visited the National Hospital, Abuja, patients were seen in groups and in depressing mood, exchanging words over the strike. One of the patients, Bimpe Olanrewaju, who

spoke with our reporter expressed shock about the action. “I brought my sick mother here, only to be told that health workers are on strike. About a month ago, the doctors were on strike. Is this is how we are going to run public health sector in this country,? she queried. The situation was also not different at the Federal Staff Hospital also

in Abuja, where a private security guard was said to have spent over half an hour pleading with an old patient who managed to come to the facility for treatment and could not be attended to as a result of the strike. Speaking with National Mirror, Public Relations Officer, PRO, National Hospital, Mr. Hastrupp, who admitted the action

Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola (left) with Lord Cameron of Darlington during the All Parliamentary Group on Agriculture and Food For Development and PCD, meeting in Westminster, London, yesterday.

Police to deploy explosive detection devices in airports, seaports FRACIS SUBERU

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he Commissioner of Police, AntiBomb Unit, Abdulmajid Ali, yesterday said the command has taken delivery of Explosive Detection Canine, EDC, to be deployed to all airports and seaports in the country. Ali told journalists yesterday in Lagos at a briefing on his activities in 2013 that about 20 sniffer dogs were also in the command to be deployed to airports across the country. He noted that the equip-

ment and dogs were parts of the command’s strategies to improve on its operations nationwide, particularly for the centenary celebration, where foreign dignitaries were expected. “Anytime from now, EDC will be deployed to all the airports, seaports and our strategic borders, because they increase security and enhance explosives detection capacity. “That apart, they have expertise in conducting large scale sweeps of facilities that are used in airports, seaports and land borders. To this end, security will be maximised

and consolidated in all these places. “We also want to assure members of the public that the Explosive Ordinance Disposal, EOD, Command is fully prepared in 2014 to tackle any Improvise Explosives Device, IED, or explosive anywhere in the country,” Ali said. The commissioner said in 2013, the command recovered demolished assorted description of IEDs, grenades, dynamites, detonators and rocket launchers in many parts of the country. Ali added that the com-

mand also dismantled a bomb manufacturing factory located in Tudun Salamnanu Fadama Mada area of Bauchi State on February 19, 2013. He said his officers and men were always proactive in securing many national and international events, including elections nationwide in collaboration with other security agencies. The commissioner added that 320 officers underwent Basic EOD Training, while 200 others were trained in diverse spheres of their operations both locally and abroad.

Arewa elders berated over threat to sue Ihejirika, others GEORGE OJI ABUJA

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enate Committee Chairman on Education, Uche Chukwumerije, yesterday berated northern elders over their threat to drag the immediate past Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-General Azubuike Ihejirika and six others to the International

Criminal Court, ICC, of Justice in The Hague. Some northern elders had, last week, threatened to sue the army chief and six others to the ICC over alleged cases of extra-judicial killings in Baga, Borno State last year. Briefing journalists yesterday at the National Assembly, Senator Chukwumerije described the

threat as capable of provoking national ill-will that could imperil the peace and tribal unity of the country. He said the approach of the group to such national problem is “selective, patently biased and apparently in search of preconceived culprits,” which he believes is “pointedly indifferent to the demands of national unity, and highly provoca-

tive to the sensibilities of all who desire the unity and stability of this federation.” The northern elders led by Prof. Ango Abdullahi, based their threat on the military offensive launched against Boko Haram insurgents in Baga in June last year, by the counter terrorism military task force in which several civilians lost their lives.

had negatively impacted services at the hospital, called for greater understanding between health professionals in the country and government. According to him, doctors were on ground to attend to in-patients and some out-patients at the hospital, including patients at Emergency Department at the facility. Demands of the health workers bother on alleged discrimination; failure to implement court judgement; creation of illegal offices, appointment of Surgeon-General for the nation; failure to effect members’ promotion by the Federal Government. In Oyo State, health care services in most hospitals in Ibadan and other towns were temporarily shut down. During visits to hospitals within the Ibadan metropolis yesterday, especially the University College Hospital, UCH, Ring Road and Yemetu State Hospitals, activities were grounded as health workers with the excep-

tion of medical doctors, shunned their duty posts. The health workers amongst whom are nurses, health extension workers, administrative officers and hospital orderlies are agitating on issues bordering on improvement in their welfare and have threatened to commence full blown strike if their demands are not met by government even after the current warning strike. The situation was the same at Community Health Centres at Iyana Offa, Egbeda and Fiditi. It was gathered that the health workers shunned their duty posts because of the strike. Medical doctors were, however, seen in all the hospitals visited, especially at the UCH and New Adeoyo State Hospital, Ring Road, carrying out skeletal services. All efforts aimed at getting leaders of the health workers to comments on the warning strike, however, proved abortive.

APC crisis: Monarch wades into Amosun, Osoba feud FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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he paramount ruler of Ijebu land, Oba Sikiru Adetona, yesterday held a closed-door meeting with Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, and his estranged political ally, Chief Olusegun Osoba, over the crisis rocking the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC. The meeting, which was held at the palace of the Awujale, was said to be part of efforts at dousing the tension already generated in the state’s chapter of the party as well as stem the tide of violence between the two political leaders in the state. National Mirror reliably gathered that the monarch convened the meeting with the principal aim of bringing the two politicians together in order to forestall further attacks and reunite the two actors in the best interest of the state. Oba Adetona, who is also the chairman of the state Council of Obas

summoned the meeting to bring together the erstwhile political allies, who have been at loggerheads over the control of the party’s machinery in the state. A palace source, who did not want his name in print, told National Mirror that the meeting which lasted for almost four hours had impressed it upon the feuding APC leaders to sheath their swords in order not to allow political opponents hijack the situation. The monarch was also said to have appealed to both Amosun and Osoba to call their supporters to order. The palace source, however, said that the meeting was deadlocked as the feuding parties vehemently held to their positions and refused to reach any compromise. It will be recalled that the disagreement between Governor Amosun’s camp and Osoba’s loyalists recently resulted in violence between their supporters in Abeokuta and Wasimi in Ewekoro Local Government Areas of the state.


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South-West

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Funsho Williams: Pandemonium as suspected killer slumps in court WALE IGBINTADE

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here was pandemonium yesterday at the Lagos High Court as one of the suspected killers of Mr. Funsho Williams, the 2003 Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governorship candidate in Lagos State slumped. The suspect, Musa Maina, who is the second defendant, slumped in the dock in the midst of arguments on whether or not the prosecution should be allowed to collect fresh blood samples from the defendants for forensic investigation. Maina, who is said to be asthmatic, has been in prison custody since 2006 and is standing trial along with five others, namely Bulama Kolo, David Cassidy, Tunani Sonani, Mustapha Kayode and Okponwasa Imariabie. The incident that occurred just 45 minutes after the suspects entered

the dock caught the trial judge, Justice Ebenezer Adebajo, lawyers and litigants by surprise. Although his co-defendants assisted by raising him up, the judge ordered that he should be allowed to sit down. As the trial proceeded, Maina slumped for the second time on his seat, which further created uneasiness in the court. Apparently worried by the situation, Justice Adebajo ordered his registrars and prison warders to call for an ambulance from the clinic. Maina, who was seen struggling with an inhaler, with tears and catarrh running down his eyes and nostrils, was supported by security operatives who made him lie down. The court’s proceeding was disrupted for over 10 minutes with lawyers and litigants running helterskelter to render assistance. Some asthmatic pa-

tients who were in court also offered their inhalers while others were fanning him to regain consciousness. At this point, Justice Adebajo rose and ordered that the defendant should be immediately taken to the clinic for medical attention. About 25 minutes after the incident, a nurse from the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, rushed into the court with an ambulance marked JJJ704AP where Maina’s blood pressure was taken. At the resumed hearing of the trial, state counsel, Elizabeth Alakija, reminded the court of the pending application. The state government had, in April, told the

court that the exhibits for forensic evidence collected from the defendants at the commencement of the case including Funsho Williams’ eyes had been damaged due to epileptic power supply. She drew the court’s attention to an application dated October 28, 2013, seeking an order of court to take blood samples from the defendants for the purpose of forensic examination. But the defence lawyer, Okezie Agbara, said the prosecution could not reopen investigation at this stage of the trial. He said: “Since the prosecution said the initial samples had been destroyed by lack of electricity, which samples will they match it with?”

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Alleged N500m fraud: Doyin Abiola’s absence stalls trial K AYODE KETEFE

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he scheduled arraignment of Dr. Doyin Abiola, the widow of widely acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, the late Chief Moshood Abiola, failed to hold yesterday before Justice Okon Abang of a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos because of her absence and two of the other three co-accused persons. Dr. Abiola and three other accused persons had been charged for fraud before the court as they were alleged to have misappropriated N500 million belonging to defunct Integrated Micro-Finance Bank. Others charged alongside Dr. Abiola include former Managing Director of the bank, Akinteye Ademola, and Jerry Orim-

ovuohoma. Orimovuohoma and Bello along with Abiola were directors of the bank between 2006 and 2008. Only one of the accused, Oladapo Bello, was present in court, making it necessary for the case to be adjourned. The prosecution, represented by Mr. David Kaswe, urged the judge to issue a warrant of arrest on the accused who refused to attend court for arraignment. The judge declined on the grounds that the accused persons had not been arraigned before and that he did not have the jurisdiction to order their arrest at the moment. Justice Abang, however, expressed displeasure over the failure by the police to arrest the accused persons and produce them in court.

‘Stop heating up nation’s polity’ KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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eaders of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and those of the All Progressives Congress, APC, have been warned to desist from heating the nation’s polity because of the inordinate ambitions of their members. Presidential candidate of the defunct National Action Council, NAC, Dr. Olapade Agoro, gave

the warning yesterday in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. While describing the crisis rocking the PDP and of recent APC as uncalled for, Agoro urged President Goodluck Jonathan to wake up to his responsibilities. He alleged the leaders of both parties were behaving irrationally as if the roof should fall, they would have an escape route.

Saturday’s sanitation compulsory –Lagos MURITALA AYINLA

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he Lagos State Government yesterday said it would not tolerate movement by residents during Saturday’s monthly sanitation. The exercise, which is the first in this year, will be observed between 7.00am and 10am on Saturday, January 25, 2014. The Commissioner for the Environment, Mr.

Tunji Bello, urged Lagos residents to troop out in large numbers to participate in the sanitation exercise with the cleaning of their homes. Bello noted that much waste had been generated in the last few days, particularly during the Christmas and New Year celebrations and as such, sanitation must be carried out in all parts of the state.

Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi (left) and former Head of Interim National Government, Chief Ernest Shonekan, at a function in Lagos, recently.

Fayemi foot-dragging in prosecuting murder cases –Group ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

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group, the Omoluabi Empowerment, has accused Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi of foot-dragging on the prosecution of the suspected perpetrators of politically-motivated killings in the state. These included the killings of former World Bank consultant, Dr Ayodeji Daramola in 2006, Mr Tunde Omojola in 2005 and five students of College of Education, Ikere Ekiti, during a protest in 2005. The group said: “It is no

longer news that Governor Fayemi has been romancing former Governor Ayodele Fayose under whose administration the killings were perpetrated for his selfish political ambition. No wonder he could not swing into action and prosecute the alleged killers.” In a statement in Ado Ekiti by its National Coordinator, Mr. Olanrewaju Oretoluwa and Secretary, Mr. Gbenga Ogunmodede, the group threatened to protest the alleged delay in prosecuting the matters. But the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Olayinka Oyebode, said the

governor could not be accused of foot-dragging in the matter, saying: “There is rule of law and we have a competent judiciary in the state that will attend to the cases at the appropriate time”. Oyebode said: “We encourage the public to have absolute confidence in the judiciary. All these cases will be attended to at the appropriate time and those found guilty will be punished”. Although the group praised Fayemi’s giant strides in raising the bar of development in the state, it emphasised that the gov-

ernor must live up to his promises that he would not spare anybody, who had committed injustice against other fellow residents during his administration when sworn-in, urging him to bring this to reality. It said: “The people of Ekiti, both at home and in the diaspora are clamouring for the prosecution of these killers and nothing more”. Reminding Fayemi that he was a product of justice, having been made governor through a court verdict, the group said bringing the alleged perpetrators of the murders to justice would serve as deterrent to others.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

South-West

Thursday, January 23, 2014

9

our entitlements, NBA, PRAI blame extra-judicial Pay ex-aides tell Mimiko killings on weak justice system T A he Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, and a human rights group, Prisoners’ Rights Advocacy Initiative, PRAI, yesterday decried the spate of extra-judicial killings in the country. The two groups blamed the trend on the people’s loss of confidence in the country’s judicial system. They made their views known while reacting to the killing of two suspected armed robbers by some youths in Sabo, Yaba area of Lagos State. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the two unidentified persons were stoned to death for allegedly robbing

a resident of his cell phones on January18. The groups told NAN that ignorance and loss of confidence in the criminal justice system were responsible for the upsurge in jungle justice. Chairman of the NBA, Ikeja branch, Mr. Onyekachi Ubani, said no group or individual had the right to take the life of another person in a civilized society. Ubani said: “There is absolute loss of confidence in our criminal justice system which makes people to resort to self-help. “They no longer believe that those who are arrested for one crime or the other will eventually be

prosecuted successfully.” According to him, most times, the suspects are released at the level of the police, while some are freed due to lack of diligent prosecution. “So, people are seeing that these criminals keep coming back into the society and becoming more dangerous,” he added. The NBA chairman, however, said that jungle justice has grave implications and that those who partake in such dastardly acts should be appropriately punished. Ubani said: “The law provides that an accused is innocent until he is proven guilty by a court of

competent jurisdiction.” On his part, the Coordinator, PRAI, Mr. Ahmad Adetola-Kazeem, said some persons believe that they would not get justice from the system. Adetola-Kazeem said others act out of ignorance, because they did not know the implication of partaking in the lynching of suspects. He said: “If more people know that a person is innocent until proven guilty by a court, they will stop the mob culture. “They will even be able to understand the circumstances that could have led the person to commit the crime and perhaps offer him a second chance.”

OJO OYEWAMIDE AKURE

group of political officeholders who served in the first term of Dr. Olusegun Mimiko’s administration have appealed to the governor to approve the payment of their furniture and severance allowances. The group, who are former commissioners, Special Advisers, Special Assistants and Education Secretaries, among others, said they did not deserve the treatment given to them by Governor Mimiko since they served the state diligently between 2009 and 2011. They said some of their colleagues had been duly paid and wondered why their case should be different, calling all the people close to the governor to

prevail on him to pay the wages of those who served under him since all efforts to get his listening hear have failed. In a letter of appeal dated September 9, 2013 and addressed to the governor, the former aides appealed to him to passionately look into their case and use his good office to order the payment of their outstanding furniture and severance package. The letter was jointly signed by the former Commissioner for Transport, Otunba Omoniyi Omodara; former Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Akin Akingbesote; former Commissioner for Natural Resources, Solagbade Amodeni; former Special Adviser on Politics and Planning, Saka Lawal; Johnson Jimoh and Olakunle Oyegoke.

N963.7m fraud: EFCC claims marketer didn’t import fuel

T L-R: Permanent Secretary, Office of Drainage Services, Mr. Muyideen Akinsanya; Director of Drainage Construction and Dredging, Mr. Dayo Erinle and Lagos State Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello; during an inspection tour of ongoing drainage projects at Gbajumo area of Surulere, Lagos, yesterday.

FoI: SERAP drags Lagos to court over education votes

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human rights group, the SocioEconomic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has instituted a suit against the Lagos State government over ‘alleged failure’ to release information on its spending on education in the last five years. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the suit which was filed at the Federal High Court, Lagos, under the Freedom of Information, FoI Act, has yet to be assigned to a judge. A copy of the originating summons with suit number: FHC/L/ CS/57/2014, which was filed on January 16, was made available to NAN yesterday by SERAP’s Ex-

ecutive Director, Mr. Adetokunbo Mumuni. NAN also reports that state governor, Babatunde Fashola and the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye, are joined in the suit as first and second defendants respectively. The suit followed a request to Fashola seeking for information and documents on government’s spending on furniture and other facilities in public schools in the last five years. The schools included Ewutuntun Grammar School in Mafoluku area of Oshodi; Ikeja Grammar School; Iloro Grammar School in Agege and Fagba Junior Grammar School, Iju Road.

The suit was filed pursuant to Section 4 (a) of the FoI Act and signed by SERAP’s counsel, Ms Oyindamola Musa. SERAP is asking the court to compel the government to release information on spending of the World Bank loan of $90 million meant to improve education in the state’s 639 public secondary schools. The group also wants the government to release details of projects carried out to improve infrastructure and facilities in primary and secondary schools. It argued that it had the right to request for the information under Section 4 (a) of the FoI Act. SERAP said the disclosure of the information

requested would give the public a true picture of how much the government had spent to improve education and also promote transparency in governance.

he Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday, told an Ikeja High Court that an oil marketer, Rowaye Jubril, committed fraud by collecting N963.7 million subsidy for petroleum products he never imported. The EFCC, through one of its officers, Mr. Abdullahi Mohammed, made the allegation at the resumed trial of Jubril before Justice Lateefat Okunnu. The witness testified that Jubril collected the sum from the Federal Government as subsidy payment for petroleum product he never imported into the country.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Jubril is being prosecuted alongside his company, Brila Energy Limited over alleged fraud. Led in evidence by EFCC’s counsel, Mr. Seidu Atteh, Mohammed told the court that he was part of the special team that investigated the alleged fraud in the Petroleum Support Fund, PSF, scheme. The witness testified that the defendant obtained the said sum from the Federal Government under the pretext that he had imported the agreed 13, 500 metric tonnes of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, into Nigeria.

UI ASUU elects new officers, chairman retains position KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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he Chairman of the University of Ibadan chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Dr. Olusegun Ajiboye, was yesterday re-elected for a second term. Ajiboye, who was elected along with other new officers, was a distinct vocal voice during the FG/ASUU five-month

face-off over the nonimplementation of the 2009 agreement. He was re-elected for another two years at the biennial congress of the union held at the Lecture Hall of the Faculty of Arts of the premier university. Dr. Deji Omole emerged Secretary while Dr. Peter Olapegba, was elected Internal Auditor with Olisa Moujama emerging as the chapter’s Public

Relations Officer. Prof. M. G. Olujide was elected the new Vice-Chairman. Ibadan Zonal Coordinator of the union, Dr. Nasir Adesola, while performing the traditional introduction of the elected officers, admonished members to work with the new leadership with a view to actualising the goals of the union for education and their members.


10

South East

Police parade suspected killers, kidnappers

...Recover N1.3m Waste Board workers take to the street

CHRIS NJOKU, OWERRI

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mo State Police Command yesterday in Owerri, paraded three suspected killers of a former Ikeduru Local Government chairman, Mr. Brendan Ogunya. Also paraded were four suspects in the kidnap of two children and the murder of one Madukalu Okechukwu in Okponkume Ekwereazu in Ahiazu Mbaise and two suspects for kidnapping a 65 year old woman in Amangwu, Nkwerre Local Government area. Addressing newsmen in Owerri, the state police Commissioner, Mr. Muhammad Katsina, said that three suspects were involved in the assassination of Mr. Ogunya in Attah Ikeduru. According to him, the victim was shot in his house before his body was dumped in a bush beside

his residence in Ogada, Attah Ikeduru. The suspects are Ifeoma Okereke aged 50, Iheanyi Chukwu Okereke aged 47, aka won linus 50, a Mara Chi Nwachukwu 20. The police commissioner explained that the suspects, who murdered Madukalu, carried out the act when the victim was on a visit to the mother of his children, who eventually recognised one of the suspects. The suspects, Maduabuchi Chikodili 33, Jude Ihetunghe 29 and Maxwell Uche Odozor 28 disclosed when interviewed that they were paid N250, 000 to kidnap children, who were later rescued at Unuezeugwu in Ihitte Uboma Local Government Area. The command also arrested one Sylvia Kelechi for allegedly faking her own kidnap and collecting ransom from her family members. The Commissioner revealed a total of N1.3 million was found in her account after her arrest.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Women protest assassination of ex-council boss CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI

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ore than 500 women from Atta Ikeduru Local Government Area of Imo State yesterday protested the assassination of their son and former Local Government Chairman of the council area, Mr. Brendan Oguine. Unknown gunmen assassinated Oguine at the weekend in his Ogada residence at Atta community in Ikeduru council area. The women, who stormed the Government House Owerri as early as 9am, accused the police of

bias in their investigation as all those arrested in connection with the murder, according to the women, had been released in haste. In a statement addressed to the State Governor Rochas Okorocha, and signed by eight women leaders of the Atta Women Association, the women alleged that the former council chairman was brutally murdered because of some vital documents in his possession in connection with the Ezeship tussle between the families of Okereke and Ugwueto. The women who alleged lawlessness in the community, appealed to the State Governor to intervene in

the looming crisis as the people supporting Ugwueto family who they claimed are rightful heirs to the throne had been killed in mysterious circumstances. Tracing the history of the Ezeship stool, the women claimed that the family of Iwuala Ugwueto delegated the traditional stool to one Humphery Okereke in 1978 when there was none educated in the family to take the title. On the demise of Okereke, the Atta community returned the title to the real owners. “We decided to make one of Ugwueto’s sons, Samuel Iwuala, Ezeelect but Okereke family started making troubles

and he (Samuel) was killed in a mysterious circumstance few months to his coronation. “Atta people presented his brother Geo Anika Ugwueto to succeed him, everything preceding his coronation has been concluded waiting for staff of office from the State Government. “Again one of the elite sons of the community was brutally murdered by hired assassins who invaded his house on January 19 around 2 o’clock early morning demanding for some of the Ezeship documents because some of it was under his possession,” they stated.

Attorney-General advocates use of customary courts DENNIS AGBO ENUGU

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he Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Enugu State, Mr. Anthony Ani (SAN) has called on the public to patronize customary courts as a cheaper way of getting justice especially on matrimonial disputes and land matters in the villages. Speaking while declaring open a one-day media round table for journalists on the Customary Court System in Enugu State, organized by Women Information Network (WINET) in collaboration with Justice for All (J4A) Programme, Nigeria/DFID, in Enugu, Ani explained that unknown to many people including some lawyers, Customary Courts have unlimited jurisdiction on land matters in the communities. He said that the customary courts are so cheap and user friendly, adding that any complainant can approach the court without briefing a lawyer unlike in Magistrate Courts and

High Courts, make his or her case and get justice. He also noted that taking matters to Customary Courts would help decongest the court system as according to him, 50 percent of cases in High and Magistrate’s Courts can be handled in Customary Courts, adding that Customary Courts can also have jurisdiction over criminal matters but limited to stealing of farm produce only. The Attorney General however noted that the greatest challenge facing Customary courts in the state is that of man power training for the Customary Court judges, noting that the state government is collaborating with the Department for International Development (DFID), for training of judges. He said that the state government has made it a policy that one out of the threeman Customary Court judges must be a lawyer and the chairman, while the other two members could be people with sound knowledge of customs and tradition of the people.

L-R: First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan; wife of Abia State Governor, Mrs. Mercy Orji and wife of the first Military Head of State, Mrs. Victoria Aguiyi-Ironsi, during a solidarity visit by women leaders from Abia State to the Dame Jonathan in Abuja.

Health workers protest Surgeon- General’s appointment GODWIN ALIUNA EBONYI

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ealth workers in the federal teaching hospital Abakaliki, Ebonyi state yesterday condemn the appointment of Surgeon General by the Federal Government instead of complying with the demand of health workers in the country and declared three days warning strike. Addressing journalists shortly after giving an ultimatum for health workers to go home, the chairman Medical and Health workers union, Comrade Ikechukwu Nwafor said the government of President Goodluck Jonathan is sick and a failure if it fails to

promote the health sector. The chairman also condemn the inclusion of doctors into board members stressing that nurses and other health workers were denied of the chance just as he urged the minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu to stop politicizing the health sector and should ensure that the demand of the union is met with urgency. According to him “We are proceeding on strike today just for three days warning from Wednesday, Thursday and Friday respectively. He accused the minister of health for lop-siding health workers “Now in the board members, NMA

is fully represented but nurses were not. And if our case is discussed we are not there. Before now, the minister normally gives representative of trade union in the board members but this time around. Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu whom we know too well now appoints people that know nothing about the health sector. Why can’t he allow health workers to be represented? He asked. He stressed that the federal government must include health workers into board members and tasked President Jonathan to review the retirement age of health workers from 60 years to 65. “If those working in

universities can retire at 65 then it should as well be extended to health workers. The minister should stop deceiving us”. “Federal government must respond to the yearnings and demands of the health workers because they have suffered too much” he added. He added that “the office of the Surgeon General in whatever arrangement will mean an unnecessary duplication of offices and functions which are presently being articulated and undertaken by the office of the minister of health and minister of state for health with an array of Directors, Deputy Directors and Assistant Directors”.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

South-South

Thursday, January 23, 2014

11

2015: Those plotting to split Nigeria’ll fail –Clark OBIORA IFOH ABUJA

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lder statesman and former Minister of Information in the first republic, Chief Edwin Clark yesterday warned that those plotting to split the country will fail. He also warned those fighting President Goodluck Jonathan to desist as they are not fighting him, but God, who made it pos-

sible for him to become president. He insisted that the constitution permits the President to run twice, adding that as a lawyer who had practised for 50 years, he always laugh when educated people are saying Jonathan cannot run and that he has been sworn-in twice. Clark spoke when the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, chapter of the SouthSouth community leaders,

chiefs and elders honoured him as their grand patron. He said former President Olusegun Obasanjo imposed former President Umaru Yar’Adua on Nigeria. The Ijaw leader said since Obafemi Awolowo and Adekunle Ajasin died, the Yoruba have no leader, adding that Bola Ahmed Tinubu is only wasting his time moving about, calling himself the Yoruba leader,

as money cannot buy leadership. Explaining how President Jonathan emerged as vice-president under Yar’Adua, Clark said in 2004, the South-South make a declaration that after Obasanjo the next President should come from the South-South, a situation Obasanjo jettisoned. He said when the idea was sold to Jonathan that he should be vice-president;

his first reaction was that he will not take the position. Appreciating the FCT South-South leaders, Clark said; “Any person fighting Jonathan is fighting God. Whatever God said you will be; that is what you will be

Youth leader, others arraigned over extortion of President’s wife EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA

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L-R: Mr. George Tanmous; Delta State Commissioner for works, Hon. Funkekeme Solomon; Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan and Engr. Elias Elias, during the inspection of the Sapele-Abigborodo road project, yesterday.

APC wants detained Rivers LG chairmen released UDUAKABASI PATRICK PORT HARCOURT

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he Rivers State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has demanded for the release of two local government chairmen loyal to Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, who were allegedly detained for undisclosed offences. National Mirror, however, discovered that one of the council bosses was released by the police yesterday after spending over 24 hours in custody, even as the state PDP has commended youths form the home town of the state governor, who trooped out on Tuesday in a protest against Governor Amaechi. In a press statement issued and signed by the Media Aide to the party’s Chairman, Chief Eze Chukwuemeke Eze, APC said the council chairmen, who were from Khana Local Government Area,

Hon. Gregory Bariledum Nwidam and that of Gokana Local Government, Hon. Ledee Demua, have been arrested since January 20, 2014 after being invited for routine questioning by the police, following the violence that took place in Bori town last Sunday. The statement maintained that; “It was another evidence of the highhandedness being displayed by the state police command under the state commissioner of Police, Mr. Mbu Joseph Mbu, who is probably acting on the directives of his Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, partners in their desperation to plunge Rivers State into unprecedented crisis.” APC also said in the statement that the arrest and detention of Nwidam and Demua is without justification as they were held beyond the 24-hour contained in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, while attempts are being made to frame up the

council bosses for offences not committed. The party also condemned what it described as the use of hoodlums from neighboring states to disrupt the peace of Rivers State by misguided politicians and their police partners in the name of rallies on Tuesday, by a non- existing Ikwerre group. The party alleged that the rally by the so called Ikwerre group is a dress rehearsal for the declaration of a state of emergency in Rivers State by the Federal Government, which it said will never happen. Meanwhile, a social political group known as the Ijaw Justice Forum, IJF, has told President Goodluck Jonathan, also an Ijaw man, that his perceived fueling of the Rivers crisis was denting his character and the exemplary political achievements recorded over the years. This was contained in a press statement issued and signed by the Presi-

dent of the group, Mr. Tom Douglas, after a meeting in Yenagoa. The forum observed that the unfolding events in Rivers State are making the President unpopular across the country, stressing that if not checked; Jonathan will become more unmarketable in the bid for re-election. While emphasising that the foregoing was an indication that the President’s lackeys lack the capacity to galvanise support for project 2015, the forum urged the President not to succumb to the his plan “B” which is to focus on achieving a declaration of state of emergency in the state. It stated that the rating of Jonathan in the international community has dropped tremendously as a result of the Rivers State situation, insisting that allowing his associates to employ thuggery and militancy as a last resort would further bury his image.

and whoever want to remove him (Jonathan), God will fight him. “Under the grace of God, Jonathan became the acting President and later President. What is yours, nobody can take it from you.”

he Chairman and six executives of Bayelsa State chapter of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, NYCN, were yesterday arraigned in Kolo Divisional Magistrate’s Court, Yenagoa, over alleged extortion of N1.5 million from President Goodluck Jonathan’s wife, Patience. NYCN Chairman, Bright Igrubia, is a younger brother to a member of the state House of Assembly. The officials were arrested last week and detained for two days in police custody over the outcome of the rally. It was learnt that a top government functionary in the state prevailed on the NYCN officials to resign their positions or be prepared to face criminal charges in court.

The officials were accused by the state government of public disorder, extortion and attempt to undermine the present administration in the state. They were alleged to have clamoured for a Presidential Aide on Domestic Matters, Dr. Pamowei Dudafa, as the next governor of the state during a recent solidarity rally to Mrs. Jonathan’s home at Otuoke. But, the youth executives through their supporters denied the allegation and insisted that the said N1.5million was handed to the youths in appreciation for the solidarity visit to the wife of the President. They claimed the solidarity rally was conducted in company of members of the Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, Ogbia Brotherhood, Restoration Youth Network, REYNET, and the Otueke Youths Association.

PFN commends Jonathan for signing anti-gay law SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN

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he President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, Rev. Felix Omobude, yesterday commended President Goodluck Jonathan for signing the anti-gay bill into law. Omobude said that by this action, the President has displayed a rare courage and has been able to preserve the African culture, adding that the gay culture is alien to Nigeria. In a statement made available to journalists yesterday in Benin City, Rev. Omobude described the action of the President as historic, which came at a time when humanity, by the encroachment of strange values, is gravitating towards evil and godlessness. “The Nigerian people celebrate marriage between men and women.

How can they now be told otherwise? To canvass a marriage between two people of the same sex is strange to us. The National Assembly did what is right and the President has done very well by assenting to the bill. He would have upset the nation if he had done otherwise,” the PFN President said. Omobude, who appealed to Nigerians to stand firm on the provisions of the law, called on the international community to show a higher level of understanding for Nigeria’s rich cultural values. He said no other nation in the world, no matter how powerful, could make laws for Nigeria as a sovereign country. “Nigeria is a great nation in terms of human and material resources. Whatever setbacks we suffer now is only a passing phase,” the clergy concluded.


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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Kwara speaker, 19 others defect to APC •Saraki’s constituency member yet to decide WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN

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peaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Rasak Atunwa and nineteen others yesterday finally announced their defection from the Peoples Democratic (PDP) t0o the All Progressive Congress (APC) on the floor of the house. The event climaxed the much celebrated crisis in the national body of the PDP which made Senator Bukola Saraki, the

believed political leader in Kwara state to lead his followers out of the party. However yesterday, Hon. Fatai Salman representing Ilorin North Constituency; the traditional constituency area of Senator Saraki as at yesterday had not joined others to defect. The remaining three members that were made up of two members who were already in the APC from Offa local government and Hon. Iliasu Ibrahim who remained the only one in the PDP

from Moro local Government Area. In a specially prepared speech, Rt. Hon. Atunwa said “these are interesting times. The past few months have witnessed significant political machinations and maneuverings in Nigeria” He recalled that the 7th session of the state legislature started with 22 of them in PDP and the other two in the APC but lamented that fragmentations suffered by the PDP led to the factions as now documented in the public

records. He said he and the rest of the defectors into the APC belonged to a faction known as the new PDP which was the fallout of the August 30 walk out of the party’s convention at the Eagles Square in Abuja. He bemoaned what he called several undemocratic developments in the PDP leading to the crisis and blamed President Goodluck Jonathan as the leader of the party standing by and watching the party gone into an abyss.

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We did not ban sallah homage -Jang JAMES ABRAHAM JOS

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overnor Jonah Jang of Plateau state yesterday denied insinuations that his government has banned Muslims in the state from paying the traditional sallah homage to him as governor. The governor who was reacting to a media report calling on him to lift the ban he imposed on the Muslims from paying him Salah homage said at no time did he place such an order but on the contrary, his government has done more than any other government to draw Muslims in the state closer.

The governor’s reaction which was contained in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ayuba Pam reads in part: “As a government, our policy of all inclusiveness has been second to none in our political history. As a way of sustaining the fragile peace we inherited in 2007; and realizing the need to pursue peace, the Jang government in 2007 did not only initiate a policy of “sustainable peace” as the number one item on the 10 Point Agenda, but resuscitated the then moribund Inter-Religious Council in the state with the aim of boosting peace building process.

ALGON declares factional group illegal OBIORA IFOH ABUJA

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L-R: Kaduna State Deputy Governor, Mr. Nuhu Bajoga; Governor Mukhtar Yero and Head of Service, Mr. Akila Bungon, at the State Executive Council meeting in Kaduna, yesterday.

Police recover corpses from Fulani, farmers clash HENRY IYORKASE MAKURDI

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he Benue State Police Command has recovered two bodies of dead victims of the Adaka feud between suspected Fulani and Tiv farmers near Makurdi, which entered its third day yesterday. Speaking with National Mirror, the spokesman of the command, Daniel Ezeala, a deputy superintendent of Police, DSP, disclosed that the two unidentified bodies were picked up yesterday by men of the command

who were dispatched to restore normalcy in the crisis torn zone. The image maker said efforts are being intensified to get the perpetrators of the crisis to book adding that as soon as the suspects were arrested investigation will commence to ascertain the level of their complicity In a related development, the immediate past speaker of the state House of Assembly, representing Guma constituency, Hon. David Iorhemba said that the two primary schools in

his constituents have shut down since 2011 due to suspected Fulani herdsmen invasion of the area. The lawmaker while speaking with journalists yesterday in Makurdi on the spate of havoc unleashed on the natives lamented that for over four years, the schools have remain closed while overgrown weeds have taken over their premises. He asserted that the worst hit villages includes Yogbo, Tse Kereke, Udei and Yelwata amongst several others,

while the residents have relocated and suspected Fulani’s have taken over their farm lands grazing cows and destroying farm crops on the farms. He however noted that concerted efforts were made to no avail is as if there is a grand design to annihilate the Tiv people and this violence and killings has spread all over within the Minda axis and everyday people are being killed in droves in their fatherland yet nobody seem to be concerned over the plight of the affected victims.

he Leadership of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) has raised alarm over the move by some dissident elements to cause disaffection within its ranks. A statement issued yesterday by the Secretary General of ALGON, Alhaji Shitu Bamaiyi Yakmut, said the attention of the leadership has been drawn to an attempt to organized an illegal election by four states representatives of the 37 ALGON members states. “We wish to inform the general public about the activities of some dis-

gruntled elements misled by a disengaged staff of ALGON in the person of Chief Chikwe Udensi.The general public is hereby urged to disregard their activities and the purported kangaroo election said to have been held in Abuja today by 4 states representatives out of the 37 ALGON state,”he said. The statement said the leadership of ALGON was being mindful of the subsistence of the suites before the Federal High Court and the High Court of FCT where the former Trustees of ALGON are challenging their removal and where the former staff of ALGON Chief Chikwe Udensi is challenging the non-renewal of his tenure.

Ahmed appoints 13 new special advisers WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN

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he appointments of 13 Special Advisers were announced yesterday by the Governor of Kwara state, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed. A statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Isiaka Gold said the new appointments were to strengthen governance in the State. Gold while congratulating the new appointees,

reiterated commitment of State government to injecting capable hands into the process of governance. The list of the new Special Advisers include Alhaji Abdulkareem Ayinde for Local Governments, Alhaji Aliu Lade Mohammed; Special Duties, Mr. Samuel Bamisaiye; Forestry Services, Retired Police Commissioner Amosa Bello; Security services and Comrade Bisi Fakayode; Labour Related Matters.


Thursday, January 23, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

13

Politics

Emergency rule: Why elections must hold in N’East in 2015 Few weeks ago, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega said that elections in the three North-Eastern states of Yobe, Borno and Adamawa are not feasible due to the current security situation in those areas. OBIORA IFOH, OMEIZA AJAYI and UBONG UKPONG take a look at the possibility of having a credible election in the zone under an emergency rule.

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n his statement at a stakeholders’ forum on preparations and challenges ahead of the 2015 general elections, organised by the Senate Committee on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, the chairman, Attahiru Jega, said that elections held under the conditions of an emergency rule would not be free and fair, and so, the general elections would not hold in Yobe, Adamawa and Borno states unless the state of emergency declared by the Federal Government in the wake of the Boko Haram insurgency ends before the 2015 polls. “You can’t conduct elections under emergency rule, because emergency rule is generalised insecurity and if there’s insecurity, how can you conduct election? If you do election, the situation is that you can’t have free and fair election under emergency rule,” Jega said, adding that if INEC should go ahead with the elections, “you will be going through the rituals – either the elections will be disrupted or people will not come out to vote. Ideally, elections can’t hold under emergency rule.” But unknown to Prof. Jega, he has just relayed a sincere message which has gone virile with a lot of meanings being attached to it. To some people, it is unconstitutional, while to others, there could be some political underpinning to it. Though, INEC recently tried to make a face saving attempt to correct itself, but the damage had already being done. However, if what the new Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, said, that the military would end the Boko Haram insurgency in the North East before April was anything to go by, it is then good news ahead of the 2015 general elections. This means that INEC would have no excuses not to conduct a free and fair elections in that geo-political zone.

Is Jega playing a script? Prof. Jega was accused of playing a script written by his paymasters - the Presidency. Political pundits were quick to point out that since the three states belong to the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was obviously trying to disenfranchise the millions of voters in the area, who would have

Jonathan

Mark

YOU CAN’T CONDUCT ELECTIONS UNDER EMERGENCY RULE, BECAUSE EMERGENCY RULE IS GENERALISED

INSECURITY AND IF THERE’S INSECURITY, HOW CAN YOU CONDUCT ELECTION?

probably voted enmasse for the APC. The Yobe State government, through the Special Adviser on Press Affairs and Information to Governor Ibrahim Gaidam, Mallam Abdullahi Bego, immediately hit back at Jega over his views on election under emergency rule, saying the state of emergency in Yobe, Borno and Adamawa states, renewed for additional six months last November, is due to expire in April. It said: “By INEC’s own estimation, the 2015 general elections will hold in January-February 2015. That’s at

least eight months after the current state of emergency would have lapsed. Is the INEC Chairman therefore predicting that the emergency situation will extend indefinitely? “Second, the Federal Government has told Nigerians that the emergency rule was extended by six months to enable security agents on the ground finish the work of routing out Boko Haram insurgents. With a lot of caveats about the efficacy of the extension, the Yobe State government had called for massive deployment of advanced military and communications hardware to ensure the total and irreversible defeat of criminals and insurgents within the emergency rule time-frame. Is there thinking now that, two months into the extension, the entire effort will not be a success? Significantly, we are concerned about how widely held this pessimistic view is at the federal level. “Third, does the INEC Chairman not think that criminals and insurgents, who are bent on disrupting life as we know it, would entertain a feeling of triumphalism for all the despicable and barbarous acts they have been committing against innocent people and the Nigerian nation? “While the answers to these posers are obvious, the Yobe State government believes strongly that there is no reason not to conduct election in the state or in Adamawa and Borno states. The Yobe State government also believes that there is no reason why Boko Haram terrorCONTINUED ON PAGE 14


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Thursday, January 23, 2014

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Emergency rule: Why elections must INEC IS DETERMINED TO MAKE THE

2015 ELECTIONS AND, INDEED, THE GOVERNORSHIP AS WELL AS OTHER ELECTIONS TO BE CONDUCTED THIS YEAR SHOWPIECES OF NIGERIA’S

CONFORMITY WITH GLOBAL BEST STANDARDS

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13 Jega

ists would not be routed, their activities stopped and peace and stability restored within the remaining months of the current emergency rule.” However the situation in the North-East presents a worst case scenario where it is still very doubtful whether elections can and should be conducted. At least, this is the thinking of INEC, even as the governors of the affected states differ. INEC has said that it is not playing anyone’s script but that “common sense” should tell anyone that elections cannot be conducted in an atmosphere of insecurity. To the governors, the only reason that INEC has not been able to conduct any credible election is because it sabotages its own elections

INEC recants, says election still possible However, the commission has denied that it ever foreclosed the chances of conducting elections in the three states. Interestingly, the commission believes that it is only “commonsensical” that a state of emergency is not the best condition for the conduct of a free, fair and credible elections. As the commission has rightly noted, the election season should, ideally, be a political celebration of sorts; “a celebration of the Nigerian democracy in the manner that Americans describe their election season as ‘a celebration of American democracy’. But the reality we live with is a political environment unduly charged by the desperation of partisan gladiators.” Generally speaking, INEC believes that elections can be conducted anywhere in the country if the electorate are adequately educated on the need for credible and peaceful elections. Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Kayode Idowu has rightly observed that, for instance, rather than being potential tools for fomenting political vio-

lence and abuses of the electoral process by desperate partisans, “the electorate could stand up to demand compliance with civilised ethics of political participation from the partisans. Really, a dispassionate and informed citizenry could hold all role players, including the INEC to account on what is required to make the Nigerian electoral process more efficient and in conformity with global best practices.” Mr Idowu however clarified that elections are being planned for all the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital

Nyako

Territory, FCT, as INEC hopes the security challenges presently being experienced in some North-East states will be resolved. He said: “INEC Chairman, Professor Jega, did not foreclose elections in these states as was reported recently in the media. At the Senate forum where he spoke late in 2013, Professor Jega expressed the optimism as stated above; because it is common sense, anyway, that a state of emergency isn’t the best circumstance under which credible elections can be conducted.” According to him, while INEC is de-

termined to make the 2015 elections and, indeed, the governorship as well as other elections to be conducted this year showpieces of Nigeria’s conformity with global best standards, it however “needs the cooperation of every stakeholder, especially the political class, to make this aspiration a reality.”

How the military plans to end insurgency by April Last Thursday’s change of service chiefs and immediate appointment of new

Fight against terrorism in North lacks coordination –Ndume The Chairman Senate Committee on MDGs and senator representing Borno South in the National Assembly, Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume speaks to INUSA NDAHI on the Insecurity in the North. Excerpts: It was sad to hear the news of your experience during the cause of your trip to Gwozat recently, what actually happened? This gives me the opportunity to clarify issues with regard to the incident that happened. In fact, I received so many phone calls from friends and I also felt that there is a need to tell you so that you hear from me what actually happened. As usual, each time I come to town, I try to take my time to visit my constituency. And because of the incident that happened at Arbwoko in Gwoza East and the incident that happened

Ndume

in Ngoshe, I decided to pay visits to the areas. Condolence in some cases while in other cases sympathy visit. Therefore, as I arrived, I notify the Nigerian Army to give a detachment for security purpose and I equally notified the Police and they

gave a detachment for security purpose to move to those areas. Unfortunately at exactly 2:10pm, I was in Pulka waiting to go to Gwoza to deliver a letter to my Emir for his upgrade from second class to first class and we agreed that the other stakeholders in Gwoza would meet me in Pulka and then we move. On getting to Pulka, we decided to stop for a while but we changed our mind to move on. In Pulka, I heard explosions. Initially I thought it was Boko Haram that planted bombs on the road. In fact, myself and others in the car were saying it was Boko Haram because we suspected people that were waving at us by the roadside, we thought they were the ones that detonated the explosives. So, when we stopped and the situation calmed down and the Army that were escorting me came back, they informed us that it was the Air Force and that we need to get a cover and so we ran to the military base in Pulka. We were inside Pulka, the incident happened inside Pulka. When we went to CONTINUED ON PAGE 16


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Politics

Thursday, January 23, 2014

hold in N’East in 2015

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people with impunity. The Nigerian Air Force fighter jets are also on aerial patrol to support ground troops and this has further strengthened the stability of peace in the general areas. The military has also acquired drones to keep the insurgents at bay. Only last December, the Army Council approved the creation of a Special Operations Command, SOC, which had since taken off, with a mission to tackle terrorism and insurgency in the country especially the North-East. Presently, the immediate past Chief Of Army Staff, COAS, Lieutenant General Azubuike Ihejirika, said that the Army will infiltrate the entire North-East with unmanned aerial vehicles to take care of the Boko Haram, which one believes, was one of the strong steps that elevated the confidence of the CDS, Badeh that come April, Boko Haram would be history in Nigeria.

Is the crisis in North-East political?

Shettima

ones could not be far from part of strategies to ensure absolute peace in the NorthEast. The new service chiefs have since assumed office with the problems of the North-East their primary agenda. The Boko Haram insurgency, which peaked after the post elections crisis in 2011, has witnessed several actions by the military, especially after the declaration of emergency rule by the Federal Government, which gave the military full powers to carry out operations in the general areas of Gombe, Adamawa and Borno states, which were affected by the emergency rule. The operations under the coordination of the Defence Headquarters, DHQ, saw the continuous pursuit, killing and the dislodging of insurgents from those areas, including destruction and taking over of their bases by troops. In August 2013, the new 7 Division of

Gaidam

THESE EFFORTS HAD SEEN THE RECENT SUCCESSFUL CONDUCT OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTION IN

GOMBE STATE WITHOUT ANY

FORM OF CRISIS OR ATTACKS AND POLITICAL COMMENTATORS BELIEVE IT WOULD BE REPLICATED EVEN IN A BETTER FORM IN the Nigerian Army which was created in the North-East, with headquarters in Maiduguri, heralded the taking over of general military operations in the area by the Army to ensure effectiveness in operations. Although there have been pockets of cases of attacks, the Army has done much to secure the general areas, which resi-

2015

dents there have continued to testify that peace was fast returning. The Army Headquarters severally, during the monthly briefing by its Directorate of Army Public Relations, DAPR, had said there were heavy presence of troops along major roads and built up areas to end the era of the insurgents molesting and killing

With many other undisclosable military strategies on ground in the North-East, it would be very possible for elections to hold there in 2015. These efforts had seen the recent successful conduct of local government election in Gombe State without any form of crisis or attacks and political commentators believe it would be replicated even in a better form in 2015. In a close examination of the problems in those areas, security and political analysts have concluded that the problems were more of political than security. For instance, the battle for supremacy and for the soul of Borno between the incumbent governor, Kashim Shetima and his predecessor, Senator Ali Modu Sherif, was undeniably what was heating up the political landscape of that zone. Sherif was said to have been banished from the state, on the premise that he was behind the crisis given his popularity and number of followers. The state government was said to be feeling threatened by Sherif ’s political capacity and attraction to Borno people. Only recently, Sherif was said to have returned and visited his home town in Sherif, passing through Gombe where he attracted a very large convoy. From his home town, he visited Maiduguri, where he reportedly broke down in tears when he CONTINUED ON PAGE 16

Borno will be bloody in 2015 unless Boko Haram is checked - Hon. Biye Hon. Peter Biye Gumta, a member representing Gwoza, Chibok and Damboa federal constituency in the lower chamber of the National Assembly shortly after suspected terrorist burnt down his Gwoza home tells INUSA NDAHI that he fears that 2015 will be bloody if nothing is urgently done. Excerpts: With all that is happenings in your constituency, would you say it is a lawless society? If I say it is a lawless society, it could be true or not true. You know it is something that is mixed. The story is mixed and you cannot say it is or it is not. You can think over and over again, but you cannot pick one solution to the problem in that area. Fairly, I can say that, Chibok Local Government is calm and quiet for now except for the surrounding villages where activities of insurgents are still going on but the main Chibok town is secured because the people have resolved to stand to the challenges. With 2015 getting closer, we want to believe that, you

still want to contest. How have you reach out to your people to warrant your re-election, considering the increase in insurgency in the area? I believe you will hear from me today and you will tell others. One, all of us that were elected whether as members of the House of Assembly, House of Representatives or Senate, with this current happening, we cannot boast of going to our people to say that with what we did today, they should elect us. For two good years now, I am in the office but I have never visited my constituency in Damboa, Chibok, Gwoza. I cannot go because this constituency on daily basis is under attack and today if you cannot CONTINUED ON PAGE 16

Biye


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Emergency rule and prospects for election in N’East in 2015 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15 emerged from the palace to see the mammoth crowd that were already waiting outside to greet him. It was reported that as he was moving on, the crowd was even getting larger and politically, analysts would conclude that the man is a threat to the ambitions of his opponents. The visits as viewed in a television documentary looked peaceful and the crowd and convoy very much larger than what were always seen around most states governors. Subsequently, it was reported that cars were burnt and people killed during his visit to Maiduguri, but Sherif ’s camp has commenced a television documentary to prove that those were cheap blackmail from the government. With all of these, analysts appear justified that the problems of North-East were more political and that attempts by INEC not to hold elections might even cause a bigger problem. Similarly, the Yobe State government in order to prove INEC wrong that the crisis in the zone was more political than fundamental, conducted the local government election despite the reported “warnings” by the com-

THOUGH, THERE ARE RECORDS OF POCKETS OF INSURGENCY IMPRINT IN THE STATES

OF THE NORTH-EAST... ATTEMPT MUST BE MADE TO DRAW A LINE BETWEEN POLITICALLY SPONSORED CRISIS AND A RELIGIOUS INDUCED ONE mission against its conduct. Former governor of the state and now a senator, Bukar Abba Ibrahim, accused the PDP of trying to influence INEC to abandon its responsibility to the electorate in the state, just like the Vice Chairman of

Fight against terrorism in North lacks coordination –Ndume CONTINUED FROM PAGE 14 the base there, the officer there tried to establish communication but it was not possible and for 15 minutes again the Air Force jet was patrolling that area. In fact, as far as I am concern, we are lucky, we are alive but I truly want to believe that it was an operational blunder. But even if it was operational problem, I think they did not handle it well, because you don’t just see a convoy on a federal highway and begin to throw bombs. With what happened, do feel you are a kind of target? No, actually no, I don’t think so. Well, you get scared sometimes, but I am a strong believer that nobody can kill me or take my life except God. My family was very devastated actually, some of my friends were also devastated when I told them, and they said, ‘you are very stubborn’. Well, I told them it was not stubbornness, but it is just an issue of faith. If it is not for even this bomb I would have or the convoy would have naturally been involved in an accident and I could die. What do you think is responsible for this operational blunder, which is becoming recurrent? I think, one, it is professionalism issue and secondly there is no proper coordination between the security forces; the Air Force, Nigerian Army, the Police, SSS and others. I think they are not well coordinated in this fight against terrorism, because I was thinking that, for example, there is supposed to be an

operational intelligence in Pulka itself. Immediately I came into Pulka, there should have been intelligence report that, the senator has arrived and it seemed they have just stopped over and are trying to go to Gwoza. And in fact, that piece of information would now be passed to the base there. I know the point of attack was at Kurnabasa, I don’t think anybody told them that there was a suspected convoy going around Bayan Dutse to Gwoza. And even if that was the case they should have told us as politicians because what is a senator if you don’t relate with your people? So, would I just because I want to stay alive abandon my people that are dying by the day? And I cannot go to even condole or sympathise with them? With what happened, would you say that most of the operations undertaken by the security operatives are full of blunders? I don’t want to start accusing the military but actually there are operational blunders. And at the same time again, there are very good officers that are doing excellently well in the operations. If I was flying that jet, I would not throw those bombs like that. I believe they have a way of explaining things, but common sense should be able to remind somebody that unless you see a target, it is wrong to throw such weapons like that. There is not supposed to be operational blanket until a target is a threat. And am I a target? That is the question now that, we are going to investigate. And if I am a target, am I a threat?

Sheriff

the Senate Committee on INEC, Senator Alkali Jajere, who hails from Yobe State also believes that Jega’s statement has no basis in law, advising him to go back and check the law books.

By-elections have held in Adamawa State successfully in the last two years. In fact, at the peak of the crisis in the PDP, the state governor, Murtala Nyako, who appeared to have lost the battle of controlling the ruling party had sponsored candidates from the KOWA party, but was roundly beaten by the PDP candidate, yet there was no breach of the peace in the state. In conclusion, though, there are records of pockets of insurgency imprint in the states of the North-East as well as in the North-Central states of Plateau and Benue, but attempt must be made to draw a line between politically sponsored crisis and a religious induced one. INEC must have in mind that the 2011 ugly incident where tens of National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, members were rounded up and slaughtered in Niger State. 2015 is by the corner and it should be sounded clearly that politicians must desist from overheating the system through their power craving tendencies or what a former President called ‘do or die’ politics. Politicians must play it safe this time, and in so doing, states infested with crisis can also exercise their franchise and other political responsibilities by electing their leaders.

Borno will be bloody in 2015 unless Boko Haram is checked –Hon. Biye CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15 go to your people; there is no message you sent that would reach them successfully. For example, I just bought materials for the electorate and they went and burnt it. Secondly, the constituency project cannot be carried out. There are about two or three projects that I got for my constituency: construction of three blocks of classroom, construction of a clinic at Atagara, construction of a clinic in Chibok, construction of a clinic in Damboa. The one in Gwoza, the insurgents asked them to bury the foundation the day they started work. Some materials were still laying there, so, there is no project that is going on politically in our area. The last time I bought grains of about 500 bags, one of the drivers that were carrying the grains to the people in Damboa is still with the insurgents as he was abducted on his way. Even the ones that were burnt in my house included 500 bags of grains, 300 pieces of water pumps, 300 sewing machines, 30,000 packet of chokes, 30,000 packet of exercise books, 30,000 packet of biro, 30,000 packet of pencil, sewing machines, pumping machines etc were all burnt to ashes. About N38 million naira worth of materials went with arson. The 2015 election is around the corner, how do you intend to reach out to your people? We are all praying, and by God’s grace from now to the middle of the year that something should be done for peace to return not only in my area but the whole of Borno State. However, if nothing is done to checkmate the insurgents before then, then politicking will not go successfully

in Borno State in general. If the military cannot wipe out these people between now and the middle of this year, Borno should forget about politicking in 2015. Could there be any link between politics and what is happening in your constituency, as many politicians are falling over themselves for your seat? Well, it could be politics or not politics. I know that the federal constituency, comprising the three local government councils, which I represent, does not belong to me alone. I was just elected by the people and if the people don’t want me again they can vote me out. Everybody has the right to contest so long the electorate want such to represent them. I came from Gwoza, there is Chibok and there is also Damboa; anyone can come from those areas including my local government because it is a constitutional right. But if it is political and their notion to use the insurgents to destroy somebody’s property, I think they are wrong, but that cannot shake me. Have you at any point in time raised the efficacy of the military operations in Borno State and particularly in your area on the floor of the House? You know, sometimes when we want to discuss issues of security, we do not do it on the floor of the House but in a closed door chamber. We do raise such issues and in fact, we do rob minds on issues generally about the military and its operation in this part of the country. Actually, the truth is, sometimes the military are not at fault, but the government, which is not giving them adequate funding.


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Thursday, January 23, 2014

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West’s furore over anti-gay law: A critique EXISTENTIAL HUMANISM

FRY

NDUBUISI Professor Ndubuisi is of the Dept of Philosophy, UNILAG fryndubuisi@nationalmirroronline.net (08023016709 SMS only)

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he passage of the anti-gay bill and President Goodluck Jonathan’s signing it into law on January 13 2013 has caused an international uproar. The West has taken exception to it and is planning sanctions against Nigeria. A statement by the public affairs section of the British High Commission in Abuja stated that the United Kingdom government was worried that further repressive action was still being taken against an already marginalized minority section of the Nigerian society. Ms Catherine Ashton, European Union’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy has equally expressed grave concern over the law, stating that the EU was opposed to discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation, adding that the body was firmly committed to fundamental human rights and rule of law in respect of those rights, which include freedom of association, conscience and speech and the equality of persons.

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t a particular social event I was privileged to attend recently, I overheard two rather intelligent persons embroiled in argumentation on an issue of national importance. I reproduced below their exchanges: Konsagno: Thank God, President Goodluck Jonathan has finally signed the anti-gay bill into law. At last, our country will be protected against bad foreign practices trying to make incursions into our territory. Ratisa: Hurray! Henceforth, people of different sexual orientations will now be clamped into jail; those who support them and agitate for their rights will also suffer similar fate. Is that what you are excited about? Don’t you think this amount to trampling on human rights of other people? Konsagno: What human rights? Don’t tell me you support immorality? Do you think it is appropriate for a man to be sleeping with a man and a woman with a woman? That is an abomination; it is alien to our culture! Ratisa: The problem with your position is that you have already assumed a number of things and jumped into conclusion on the basis of your assumptions. These people, I mean the Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgenders and Intersexes (LGBTI) are unanimous on one thing. They say they did not choose to be the way they are and that nature made them like that. Konsagno: I don’t agree with you! God will not create anybody in an immoral way. People would choose to practice

The USA government is towing the same line. However, at home the law enjoys tremendous support. The Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and some important opinion molders in the country have stoutly risen to the defence of Mr. President, applauding his courage to defend the culture and religious sensibilities of Nigerians and black Africans. The Special Assistant (Media and Public Affairs) to CAN President, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, Mr. Kenny Ashaka, for example, said in a statement that President Jonathan had done the right thing, and reminded the West that every country had its own cultural values to protect, adding that absolute freedom and unrestrained applications of human rights would be recipes for the destruction of the society. The debate and the reactions have been quite interesting. A robust debate culture is one of the dividends of an open society and the doctrine of rule of law. Same sex marriage has been a controversial issue in all the countries of the world, both developed and developing. The practice has immense moral, religious, cultural and medical implications. It is to be recalled that Russia not quite long ago criminalized the act to the consternation of the West. The Russian government insisted that it would strictly uphold the law even in the forth coming Olympic Game. The Ugandan parliament has passed a similar bill that is before the president for

THE ANTI-GAY LAW AS SIGNED BY PRESIDENT JONATHAN IS A SHOW OF IMMENSE COURAGE AND IT AIMS TO CURE CERTAIN MISCHIEF IN OUR MARITAL AND SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS assent. The president, however, has been hesitant in signing it into law. Various reasons have been canvassed for the call for restraint by those opposed to the anti-gay law. For example, it is reasoned that victims of same sex act are sick and thus require cure and rehabilitation, not stiff punishment such as life imprisonment. It is on record that many other African countries are opposed to gayism, lesbianism and all other forms of sexual perversion, and are in the process of criminalizing them. Recall that the Anglican Communion worldwide was almost torn apart by attempt by its United Kingdom chapter to ordain gay priests. We are in a changing world with all its sophistications. We are in a world where human rights are seen as sacrosanct. Nonetheless, there is need for caution so that we do not in the process destroy humanity and the entire family system. We have to follow science and modernism with a good doze of sanity. Man

is subject to multiple impulses and reflexes both positive and negative. It behooves on our sense of rationality to make our choices with great sense of responsibility. It is trite fact that the ambition of every man is happiness, not just pleasure. The latter is short lived and could lead to more pains. The society should thus not succumb to all man’s desires in the name of freedom and liberty. That is the basis of law: to control some of those impules that have the potential to destroy the society. It is a known fact that laws are great obstacles to man’s desires, but ultimately such are not only for his interest, but the interest of the entire society. In making laws, there are a lot of things that are put into consideration. This includes the health of the society and the cultural reality of the people. When these are not considered, obedience to laws becomes almost impossible. Same sex marriage is antithetical to African culture. It is a habit that a bulk of our youths is learning from the western world .The African nations cannot cope with all its consequences, including its health hazards, alcoholism and drugs addiction. Parents are troubled when their children are hooked to it. That is the wisdom in the intervention of the state to guide the youngsters on the consequences of this strange practice. The anti-gay law as signed by President Jonathan is a show of immense courage and it aims to cure certain mischief in our marital and social relationships. The western world must accommodate this intervention even if it goes contrary to their belief.

Dialectics on anti-gay law PEOPLE WOULD CHOOSE TO PRACTICE ABOMINABLE THINGS OUT OF THEIR OWN PERVERSION AND STILL HAVE EFFRONTERY TO BLAME GOD FOR IT

abominable things out of their own perversion and still have effrontery to blame God for it. Ratisa: But what evidence do you have that it is not the way they are made? You are just expressing personal opinion. Konsagno: You may call it personal opinion, but it is an opinion based on human experience. If you look at human anatomy, you would find that God designs a man for a woman and vice versa. Even in the animal kingdom, you would not find a male dog mating with a male dog. It is only among us, human beings you would find such sexual incongruities! Ratisa: It is not correct to say that homosexuality does not occur among animals. It is a well-documented scientific fact that at least 1500 animal species practice homosexuality! You can google that to dig up the information on the internet! Konsagno: Much of the information on the internet is put there by the Western powers to deceive us. This forms part of conspiracies to make all of us go gay!

Whatever may be the case, we should not allow bad practices to spread into our land. Ratisa: Thinking it can spread unless curtailed is an emanation from an unyielding mindset that these people deliberately decided to be like that. If you start to punish all babies born with dreadlock (Dada) and throw them into prison for instance, will it stop the birth of babies born with dreadlock? If you start to ostracize all the albinos born in the society, will that stop the birth of albino babies? Freakishness is part of nature. Konsagno: Those are different! Ratisa: You said so! Now let us get more factual. Let me ask you a question: who is a male and who is a female? Konsagno: Why? Don’t tell me you cannot distinguish a male from a female if you see one. Ratisa: Well, not always! Did you know that you cannot absolutely say a person is a male or female though physical appearance alone? This is determined in absolute sense through scientific tests. At times someone would have physical appearance of a particular gender, but inwardly he/she would belong to the other sex. Konsagno: Are you talking of the hermaphrodites, they are not…. Ratisa: No I am not talking of hermaphrodites. Did you know that gender tests are conducted these days by the organisers of the competitive sports to determine true gender of athletes? Even in female football, they do it to ascertain the true gender. So determining the gen-

CRITICAL STROKES

KAYODE

KETEFE

kketefe@nationalmirroronline.net 08032147720 (SMS only)

der goes beyond the physical assessment alone! Konsagno: How does that justify being gay? Ratisa: So if a person claims, I may have the appearance of a female but I am really a male inside me and my sexual preference is towards females. What rights have you and your government to throw the person into prison when you cannot even determine who is really is a male or female by merely looking at them, except through scientific testing. Konsagno: Government has the right to protect the society. See, no intellectual argument can persuade me, I want to follow the ways of God! Ratisa: But God is said to be fountain of fairness and justice. Konsagno: Na you sabi! Send your views by mail or sms to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mail@ nationalmirroronline.net mirrorlagos@ yahoo.com or 08164966858 (SMS only). The Editor reserves the right to edit and reject views or photographs. Pseudonyms may be used but must be clearly marked as such.


Editorial

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Thursday, January 23 2014

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ACTING HEAD, GRAPHICS

Nigeria’s disgusting capital expenditure profile

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he Minister of Finance and Coordinating minister for the economy, Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala, while outlining the 2014 Budget, did say: “Aggregate expenditure excluding SURE-P funds, is about N4.6 trillion Naira and the revenue is about N3.73 trillion. The Capital is about N1.1 trillion Naira and makes up about 27% of the budget. The balance, of course, is the recurrent. It is about 72% of the budget”. That the capital expenditure component of yearly budgets is of grave concern to the organised private sector and development experts is therefore not surprising. Director-General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr. Muda Yusuf, for example, stated recently that the low attention the Federal Government paid to capital expenditure side of the 2014 Appropriation Bill might worsen the prevailing challenge of low productivity in the economy. Yusuf observed that decreased funding for capital projects could hurt the economy as the challenge of infrastructure gap remained crucial to stimulating productivity in the real sector with the attendant negative implications for ongoing government’s efforts to create more jobs and alleviate poverty. “For an economy that is characterised by high infrastructure deficit, it is

worrisome that only 23.7 percent of the budget is earmarked for capital expenditure, while 76.3 percent is for recurrent expenditure. This implies that the challenge of infrastructure deficiency will linger for some time to come”, he said. Former Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, in an 11-page letter to President Goodluck Jonathan in 2011, remarkably warned of the dire consequences of government’s consistent failure to invest in the future of the country through robust infrastructural provision facilitated by encouraging capital expenditure commitment. Atiku had drawn the Presidency’s attention to the fact that at a time of unprecedented oil boom, Nigerians were presented with “a budget of consumption; a budget of debt accumulation to imperil the future; a budget that is rich in rhetoric and pedestrian initiatives but lacking in any bold step to lay the foundation for Nigeria’s next 50 years or even 20 years.” Like others before him, Atiku warned that any budget that centred on consumption without corresponding investments in critical infrastructure, would in turn lead to a very serious economic disaster. Surprisingly, the 2012 budget did not fare better. Of the N4.75 trillion budgeted for that year, recurrent expenditure snatched an awesome N2.8 trillion, with barely N1.3 trillion left for capital expen-

GREATER PREMIUM SHOULD BE PLACED ON CAPITAL EXPENDITURE IF, TRULY, THERE ARE

PLANS TO TRANSFORM THE COUNTRY FOR THE BETTER diture. A major reason for the low productivity being experienced in the Nigerian economy and the weak capacity of the private sector to create jobs is the poor state of infrastructure. Quite appreciable has been FG’s desperate efforts in forging publicprivate partnership to fill some of the nation’s infrastructure gaps. But we agree with the honest position that there is a limit to which the private sector can deliver on public infrastructure. It does not require rocket science to know that the preponderance of recurrent expenditure over capital vote has grave implications for the Nigerian economy. It was therefore understandable that when the National Assembly tinkered with the 2013 Budget proposal and upped it by about N63 billion from the original N4.924 trillion to N4.987 trillion, it was done to cater for some new capital projects. The N4.987 trillion

budget comprised of N2.38 trillion for recurrent (non-debt) expenditure, N1.717 trillion of which was the provision for personnel cost, while overhead cost was projected at N208.9. A paltry N1.62 trillion was the total vote for capital expenditure. It is curious that the FG is routinely setting spittle aside as vote for capital expenditure annually, on the one hand; and on the other, the same government is proposing a gargantuan Centenary Village in Abuja that will gulp N3.2 trillion to mark the country’s 100 years of nationhood. Meanwhile, most of the existing public estates, including FESTAC town and the old Federal Secretariat in Lagos, are currently rotting away due to gross neglect for years. The immediate past Minister of National Planning, Dr. Shamsuddeen Usman, stated recently at the launch of the 30-year National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan (NIIMP), that Nigeria would require over $2.9 trillion to bridge existing national infrastructure gap. But the government seems comfortable with spending too much on servicing the bureaucracy and political leadership in all three tiers of government. This is unacceptable! It has become imperative for the FG to rethink its recurrent spending. Greater premium should be placed on capital expenditure if, truly, there are plans to transform the country for the better.

ON THIS DAY January 23, 1963

January 23, 2002

The Guinea-Bissau War of Independence officially began when the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) guerrilla fighters attacked the Portuguese army stationed in Tite, one of four Sectors of the Quinara Region of Guinea-Bissau. Amílcar Cabral founded the party with his brother, Luís, in thenPortuguese Guinea in 1956, advocating the independence of Cape Verde and Portuguese Guinea from Portugal.

Reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped in Karachi, Pakistan and subsequently murdered . Daniel Jacob Pearl (October 10, 1963 – February 1, 2002) was an American journalist. He was kidnapped while working as the South Asia Bureau Chief of The Wall Street Journal, based in Mumbai, India. He had gone to Pakistan as part of an investigation into the alleged links between Richard Reid (the “shoe bomber”) and Al-Qaeda.

January 23, 2003 Final communication between Earth and ‘Pioneer 10’: Pioneer 10 is an American space probe, weighing 258 kilograms, that completed the first mission to the planet Jupiter. Thereafter, became the first spacecraft to achieve escape velocity from the Solar System. This space exploration project was conducted by the NASA Ames Research Center in California, United States. Radio communications was lost with Pioneer 10 on January 23, 2003.


Thursday, January 23, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Education Today

IN CONJUNCTION WITH

AFE BABALOLA UNIVERSITY, ADO-EKITI (ABUAD)

A prestigious university in Africa with a visionary founder and leader - Dr. Lalla Ben Barka, Assist. D.G UNESCO, Paris

TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE

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nterestingly, the Speaker of the Lagos House of Assembly, Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji witnessed it all. At the end of the election of officers to the Lagos State University (LASU) Students’ Union Government, Monday, he described the process as a welcome development. Other observers agreed with him. Undoubtedly, it was a free and fair election in which the students voted for their chosen candidates in a most peaceful atmosphere devoid of the bitterness, rancour, bloodletting, confrontations and rigging that often characterise most elections in the country. Many observers including Hon. Ikufori openly expressed wishes that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was duly represented to learn a lesson or two for the conduct of future elections at the country level. The students adopted the electronic voting for the exercise. The election, which commenced around 1.00pm and lasted four hours was held simultaneously at other three satellite campuses of the university at Epe, Ikeja and Surulere in addition to the main campus. All the centres were linked together with the central internet server from the main campus, with dedicated electoral officers monitoring the whole process. In all, a total of 1,546 students out of about 8,000 that qualified for the exercise were able to cast their votes within the stipulated time. Those who did not vote were either not in school due to one reason or the, or deliberately abstained. Each of the institution’s faculty or school as the case may be such as Law, Social Sciences, Arts, Management Sciences, Communication and Engineering was designated as a voting centre but students were allowed to cast their votes at any of the centres irrespective of course of study. A total of 80 computers were used for the exercise at the main campus, each of the satellite campuses used 20 computers each. And unlike the paper-ink conventional voting format, there was nothing like voter’s cards or papers for the election. The only thing that was required from the students was their school registration numbers. It was the number that the electoral officers in each of the voting centre used to verify the authenticity of their studentship via the internet. After this process which lasted within 30 seconds on the average, each of the voter was issued a code known as ‘Token’ and left alone to continue with the process by using any of the other computers designated for the purpose. The code served as password for voters to access the internet, which automatically displayed names and photographs of contestants against their respective posts. It was gathered that the e-voting system was designed by a final year student of the

LASU students show way to free, fair election ...elect union officers through e-voting

Electoral officers screening voters while candidates agents watch

I WILL SUGGEST THAT OTHER UNIVERSITIES SHOULD ALSO ADOPT THE SYSTEM AND IF POSSIBLE THE COUNTRY CAN EXPERIMENT WITH IT DURING THE

2015 GENERAL ELECTIONS

institution at the department of Computer Science as his final year project while the school’s Information and communication Technology department modified it. National Mirror monitored the election and observed that each voter was able to complete the entire voting process in turn within two minutes. Except for electricity problem which forced the organisers

to use generators to ensure steady supply of electricity to the computers, the exercise was hitch-free. At the Faculty of Law, one of the electoral officers there, Mr. Olalekan Emmanuel said everything went well at the centre. He said apart from the fact that the process was simple and fast, it also prevented double or multiple voting and the manipula-

PHOTO: TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE

tion of figures that oftentimes characterises the conventional voting system. According to him, student whose finger’s tip has been captured by the machine can only vote once as any attempt to repeat the exercise elsewhere will definitely fail. “And since students are aware of this,” he added, “they are cooperating.” National Mirror observed that candidates’ agents, representatives from the Office of the Dean of Students, as well as security officers were present at every voting centre. They all expressed satisfaction and confirmed that it was a hitch-free process. Mr. Sao Daniel from the DSA Office told CONTINUED ON PAGE 21


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Education Today

Thursday, January 23, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

FUTA reappoints DVC

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Graduand and prisoner, Kabiru Tuwanse (middle) flanked by the Deputy Controller in charge of Maximum Security Prison, Kirikiri, Lagos, Mr. Olumide Tunuoye (left) and Assistant Controller General of Nigerian Prison, Mr. Raymond Afujue at the event.

Why I went back to school, by prisoner who graduated from NOUN TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE

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abiru Tuwanse is very passionate about education. He believes that education is the surest way to acquire the right knowledge. He had already earned a Higher National Diploma before he was sentenced to a life jail term 11 years ago for committing murder. Two years ago at the Maximum Security Prison, Kirikiri, Lagos, where he is currently serving, he heard about the opportunity that prison inmates in the country who are academically qualified could study at the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN). At first he couldn’t understand what the opportunity exactly meant since prison inmates do not earn incomes until he approached a prison officer who explained the details to him. “That was how I indicated my interest and I got enrolled for a post graduate diploma programme of the institution,” he told National Mirror last weekend in Lagos during the university’s third convocation ceremony. Tuwanse was one of the 4, 308 students who graduated from the institution that day. He studied Human Resources Management and he was accompanied to the venue of the convocation at National Theatre Iganmu by some high profile officers of the prison service led by the Assistant Controller General of the organisation. Mr. Raymond Afujue. The Deputy Controller in charge of Kirikiri prison, Mr. Olumide Tinuoye was also in attendance. However, like every other qualified inmate who is interested in going to school, Tuwanse’s bill was taken up by the

Redeemed Christian Church of God under its corporate social responsibility programmes. He has two other inmates who supposed to graduate together but for their inability to meet up with the minimum academic requirement for the award of the university’s certificate. Looking remorseful, Tunwanse, a family man in his 50s expressed his gratitude to God for the new accomplishment, saying even though he does not know what fate has for him and his cherished certificate after now, he is still hopeful that he could be granted pardon if God spares his life. He said he believes in miracles and that now that he is a repented child of God, something good could still come his way. On how he was able to cope with his studies, he said since NOUN runs online programmes and that their course materials are well prepared by facilitators, he didn’t find it difficult to cope. “The course materials are simplified in such a manner that one can read and understand them with little or no supervision. My polytechnic background also helped me a

lot,” he said. At this point, the Director in charge of Prison Study Centres of the university, a retired Deputy Controller General of Nigerian Prison Service, Mr. Ladan Babakodong cuts in, saying inmates who are doing one course or the other in NOUN enjoy some privileges over others. According to him, studentinmates are privileged to read their books and go to library within the prison yards while their mates are doing labour work. “The belief is that education will help the prison service a lot in its efforts to rehabilitate the prisoners irrespective of their offence and terms of imprisonment,” he stressed. Noting that he has four study centres-Lagos, Enugu, Abuja and Port Harcourt- under his control at the moment, Babadong disclosed that over 2,000 inmates are qualified for university education across the country but could not go due to lack of funds. He said despite the fact that churches like the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Christ Embassy take up the

bill of student-inmates, NOUN also offers them 50 per cent discount on all courses. Reacting on the graduating prisoner, the Supervising Minister of Education, Mr. Nyesom Wike, who stood in for President Goodluck Jonathan at the occasion said Tuwanse’s case would be presented to Mr. President if he could be granted pardon. He said he was particularly impressed that a prisoner in spite of the harsh condition of prison yards in the country could think of going to school while still in prison. Speaking earlier on the rationale of establishing study centres in prison yards, the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof, Vincent Tenebe said it was to ensure that inmates who are qualified were not left out of the opportunity of accessing open and distance learning system of education. He disclosed that a centre had already been open for the Nigerian Police Force and members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), all without compromising standard.

FG to employ 1,000 teachers for unity schools -Wike

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he Federal Government is to employ 1,000 additional teachers for the Federal `unity’ colleges, the Supervising Minister of Education, Mr. Nyesom Wike, has said. Wike disclosed this on Monday at a meeting with principals of the Federal colleges in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory. He said the aim was

to address the deficit of teachers in the schools to improve learning and teaching. The minister, who also stated that government was making efforts to improve technical and vocational education, directed the principals of Federal Technical Colleges to submit lists of requirements in their schools. He said they should make their requests

in the area of physics, chemistry and biology laboratories as a first step in developing technical and vocational education. Wike said the essence of his meeting with the principals was to explore ways of improving quality of teaching and learning in their schools. He said there would be no technological and economic advancement without

technical and vocational education. “This is a serious drive to revive the sector,” he stressed. The minister later presented six technical colleges from the geo-political zones with some science equipment. The principals listed problems and needs of their various schools which the minister promised to address urgently.

he Senate of the Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA), has reappointed Prof. Emmanuel Fasakin, 57, as the Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of academic in the institution. His reappointment which is for a term of two years effective from December 23, 2013 has been confirmed on behalf of the university’s Council by the Acting Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Chief Joel Madaki. Fasakin, a professor of Fish Nutrition and Utilisation, is a specialist in Fish Nutrition, post-harvest technology, pond management and environmental and aquatic pollution. He assumed office with an impressive administrative credential garnered over the years in the service of the university. He was at a time Dean of Students Affairs, Acting Vice-Chancellor, Member of University Senate, Chairman and Member of several statutory and ad hoc committees of the university. Fasakin was trained at the University of Ibadan, the Federal University of Technology, Akure and University of Plymouth, England. In a letter conveying the reappointment, the Secretary to the Council of the university, Dr Modupe Ajayi said Prof. Fasakin’s reappointment was a result of his dedication to duty and sterling contribution to the development of the university and education in the country.

Fasakin

UNILAG Deputy Registrar bags award

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he Deputy Registrar in charge of Information at the University of Lagos, Akoka, Mr. Oluwatoyin Adebule will be conferred with a Distinguished Service Award by Prospect High School, Abanla Ibadan, Oyo State tomorrow. The award ceremony which is part of activities to mark the school’s golden jubilee will take place at the school premises. The National Executive Council of the school Old Students’ Association in a release said the award was in recognition of Adebule’s strong contribution to the development of the Lagos State branch of the alumni association, 1972 set and the school at large.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Amosun warns students against cultism

Education Today

Thursday, January 23, 2014

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Kolade blames Nigeria’s leadership problems on greed

TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE

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he Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun has warned undergraduates in the state to desist from criminal activities including cultism, saying engaging in any of the vices could truncate their ambitions. He gave the warning during the 8th matriculation ceremony of new students at the Institute of Technology, Itori in Ewekoro Local Government area of the state recently. Represented by the state Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mr. Segun Odubela, the governor assured management and students of the institute that the government would continue to give necessary support. He noted that while the state government would continue to provide a conducive environment for higher institutions in the state, the government would not hesitate to sanction any student found guilty of criminal activities including cultism. Earlier in his speech, the Rector of the institute, Mr. Funsho Olusanya assured the matriculating students that they would enjoy their studentship as the school would provide facilities to make the institute learning friendly.

PAU alumnus launches book Saturday

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n alumnus of the School of Media and Communication of the Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos, Mrs. Unyime-Ivy king will this Saturday present the West African edition of her novel-Burning Hurt- to the public. The presentation, which is part of activities to mark her 40th birthday festivities, will take place at the Hotel Belissimo, Chevron Roundabout, Lekki, Lagos. King, who is also the immediate past President of the last set of graduates of the Advanced Writing and Reporting Skill of PAU, is the Executive Director of Communications/CSR Protection Plus Services Limited. She said in a release that although Burning Hurt, which is first published in the UK by AuthorHouse, is a work of fiction based on a true story of how a young girl in troubled was able to overcome, it is meant for all classes of people. Former President of the Akwa Ibom State chapter of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Dr. Martin Akpan has been slated as reviewer of the book.

King

L-r, Vice- Chancellor, Caleb University, Imota, Lagos State, Prof. Ayodeji Olukoju; Guest lecturer, Dr. Christopher Kolade; Dean, College of Post Graduate Studies, Caleb University, Prof. Olukunle Iyanda; Ag. Registrar, Mrs. Folake Okor; Ag. Bursar, Mr. Adesina Abubakre; member of the university’s governing council, Mr. Godwin Jibodu and Dean, COPAS, Prof. S.O. Ajai at the event.

TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE

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ormer Nigeria’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and Chairman, Board of Trustees, Caleb University, Dr. Christopher Kolade has blamed the leadership problems confronting the country on greed by people in positions of responsibility in the society. He made the observation while delivering a lecture organised by the Leadership Academy of Caleb University, Imota, Lagos State last week. He spoke on “The management of leadership opportunity.”

According to him, leadership is not only about those at the corridors of political power but encompassing to include leaders in the families, schools as well as corporate organisations, among others. He said it was disheartening to see many so-called leaders nowadays exploring their positions for selfish gains rather than a common goal. Kolade, who is also the ProChancellor of the Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos, said a responsible leader born or developed must be people-oriented, disciplined, creative, intelligent, confident, courageous and a problems-solver. Pointing out that leadership

plays a key role in determining the quality and effectiveness of performance, he added that leaders should also be able to promote the emergence of younger people into leadership positions for sustainability. He however, bemoaned the manner by which some political officers who committed crimes in the country are being granted immunity by virtue of their offices, saying such practice is no longer a trend with the rest of the world. He said such practice encourages abuse of the authority and privileges of office and true accountability demanded of such officers and therefore should be condemned in its entirety.

Earlier in his opening remark, the institution’s ViceChancellor, Prof restated the university’s commitment to produce graduates that would be globally competitive. He said the Leadership Academy, which had been on in the university since 2011 was designed purposely to train students who would be able to take responsibilities in the society after graduation. He therefore urged participants to make good use of the lecture by striving to acquire necessary skills that would make them perform excellently at any leadership position they might find themselves now and in future.

LASU students show way to free, fair election CONTINUED FROM 19

National Mirror that the school was not really sure about the success of the exercise before the election. “But now the exercise has turned out to be very successful and everybody who witnessesed it can testify to this fact. And for me, I will suggest that other universities in the country should adopt the system and if possible the country can also experiment with it during the 2015 general elections,” he said. Adewale Taofik, an agent to Lawal Adedayo popularly known as Daddy Fish, who contested for the post of the President as well as Moses Ogunyemi, who stood in for Yusuff, who vied for the office of Welfare Director were both satisfied with the exercise. They said the system did not give room for malpractice. While Taofik is a 400 level

fishery student, Ogunyemi also in 400 level is studying Political Science and they were both happy that the system started during their set. The security officer at the centre, Mr. Bello Adeleke also confirmed that the students comported themselves in orderly manner throughout the exercise.

“So, I have no much work to do than to ensure that students are not jumping queue,” he stressed. A student, Yemi Disu, who is studying Public Administration equally, bore his mind shortly after she cast her vote, saying the evoting system was ideal to arrive at free and fair elections at every society. Interestingly, the election results

were out officially in less than 30 minutes after voting and Nurudeen Yusuf a 300-Level student of the Department of Islamic and Common Law was declared winner. With a total of 558 votes, he defeated other four contestants for the office. All the newly elected officers according to the school authority would be sworn-in soon.

Students waiting outside to cast their votes at the School of Public Administration


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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

OAU wins $8m World Bank grant DHIKRU AKINOLA

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Secretary to Lagos State Government, Dr. Oluranti Adebule (centre) and the state Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye(right) presenting the car key to the award recipient, Tolu-Alalade at the event.

I never thought reward could come so soon, says Lagos best teacher TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE

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riginally she did not plan to be a teacher. All in her mind was to become a professional in the medical related fields. And because of that, she went to the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) to study Biochemistry and graduated in 1999. After her graduation and the completion of the mandatory one year National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme, she secured a job with Neimeth International Pharmaceutical Plc as a Marketing Executive. Her major responsibility while there was to promote the new brands Combantrin Kids Club for the company and the assignment always took her to schools where she interacted freely with children on the importance of the product to them. She did this for only three years when she decided to go into teaching. “Something told me that I will be better off as a teacher apparently because I found myself in the midst of students almost every day,” Mrs. Wunmi ToluAlalade told National Mirror last week at the third Annual Education Merit Award ceremony organised by the Lagos State Ministry of Education at Alausa in Ikeja. And to make her employment and work easier as a teacher, she went to the University of Lagos in 2003 to study post graduate diploma in education. “It is important to acquire necessary skill that will make you fit in well in a particular field hence my reason for going for PGDE programme where I was taught basic teaching methodology,” she declared. But she could not get job with the ministry of education until 2009 when she was employed and posted to the Community Senior Secondary School, Surulere as a classroom teacher. She is still in the school. Four years down the line, Tolu-Alalade,

38, distinguished herself by becoming the best among her peers in the state-owned schools. And for the accomplishment, she was rewarded with a brand new Rio Kia car, which she was presented at the annual awards instituted by the state’s ministry of education. Apart from her counterpart at the primary school level, Mr. Johnson Alawiye from Our Lady of Fatima Primary School, Mushin, who also received the same car gift, every other award recipient for the year went home with household items. So, that came as a surprise to her such that tears of joy rolled down from her eyes as the car key was being handed over to her by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Oluranti Adebule. “That is why I am attributing the achievement unto God. He is the one who crowned my efforts and sought me out of the crowd. I thank the state ministry of education for providing the platform and also my husband and parents for supporting me when necessary,” she said, noting that she is always doing her best to ensure she makes positive impact wherever she finds herself. “I believe so much in hard work and dedication to duty because I know there is reward for that, but I never thought that the reward could come so soon like this,” she quipped. The teacher, who noted that the reward would only spur her to do more work promised to double her effort so as to be more impactful to her students and the society. Her husband, Dr. Tope Alalade, who is the Head of Physical and Rehabilitation centre, General Hospital, Lagos Island, and mum, Madam Helen Akintoloye, a 60year-old trader, as well as children were visibly happy about the achievement. While her husband said he always gives her necessary support and encouragement, the mother attributed the achievement to God. She noted that Tolu-Alalade’s father of

SOMETHING TOLD ME THAT I WILL BE BETTER OFF AS A TEACHER APPARENTLY BECAUSE I FOUND

MYSELF IN THE MIDST OF STUDENTS ALMOST EVERY DAY blessed memory worked very hard as a teacher with little to show for it till he died eight years ago. Earlier in her remark, the Secretary to the state government commended the efforts of the best teacher and other category winners, urging them not to relent on their oars. While promising that the state government would continue to reward exemplary workers as well as students to encourage healthy competition among them, Adebule pointed out that the state and the society at large would become beneficiaries of awards like this in the long run. Recalling that the results of students in the West African Examination Certificate (WAEC) some years back in the state were not encouraging, the secretary noted that there had been a tremendous improvement in the students’ performance in the exams in the recent years. She attributed part of the success to the teachers’ commitment to duties while encouraging them to double their efforts so as to achieve the 100 pass target in the exam. In her own contribution, the state Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye told all award recipients and counterparts without winning awards to always strive for excellence so as to jointly lift the sector to an enviable position.

n furtherance of its rating as the best university in Nigeria, the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, has won a World Bank grant to a tune of eight million dollar. A release by the Public Relations Officer of the university, Mr. Abiodun Olarewaju, stated that the grant, which lasted three years, was to establish the African Centre for Excellence with a specific focus on OAU Knowledge Park known as OAK-Park. An elated Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Bamitale Omole, whose administration has recorded several giant strides within two and a half years into his five-year tenure, affirmed that the OAK-Park would create a nationally recognised and internationally acknowledged model for the commercialisation of research and technology which would advance the growth of the nation’s industry. Enumerating the importance of the centre to the overall development of mankind, Prof. Omole noted that the centre would ensure the systematic incubation of research ideas and products from OAU and other partnering institutions in the West Africa sub-regions. The objective, Prof. Omole said, was to annex the creative and innovative energy of the teeming youths into entrepreneurial endeavour by using appropriate skill-enhancing training and mentoring. He added that the facility would also stimulate creativity and excellence in research and innovation, expand learning opportunities for the staffers and students of the university and partnering institutions. He explained that OAU was selected as one of the beneficiaries of the grant due to the quality of proposals sent to the global financial institution.

UK: Minister urges delay of free nursery scheme

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he expansion of free nursery places for disadvantaged twoyear-olds should be delayed until good quality provision can be guaranteed, a report says. The study for the Sutton Trust says England’s scheme could help narrow the achievement gap between rich and poor. But it says good quality childcare places are not yet available for the 92,000 toddlers already in free places. Children’s minister Liz Truss said 90% of places on the scheme were in good or outstanding settings. She said the government was taking steps to raise quality, such as working with Ofsted to improve and strengthen the inspection regime, reforming early year’s qualifications and introducing early years teachers.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Education Today

Thursday, January 23, 2014

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A potential information goldmine on students

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here is dearth of information on the academic life of students in Nigerian universities. There is incomplete information on the number of registered students or the number that meets the continuation requirement each year. The number on probation and the number of those recommended for withdrawal are often unknown outside the affected department, that is, if they were computed at all. There is no information on the incidence of examination malpractice or those indicted for these nefarious activities each semester. On the whole, there is a large number of people who profess to be students, live in the university environment, behave like students, but are in fact not students at all! The drought of relevant information and data on normal university life is possibly associated with a combination of two unrelated factors namely, the inefficiency of the university administration and a deliberate attempt to hide information that may present the university in a negative light. A third and potentially more important reason for the blackout on relevant information or data on students academic life is to create a vacuum within which corruption may be perpetuated with impunity. Displaying information on students’ academic life on the website could serve a number of

Education as I see it

by Tosanwumi Otokunefor

info@alphaedufoundation.org 08030904461 (email/SMS only)

THERE IS A LARGE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO PROFESS TO BE STUDENTS, LIVE IN THE UNIVERSITY ENVIRONMENT,

BEHAVE LIKE STUDENTS, BUT ARE IN FACT NOT STUDENTS AT ALL!

important functions. It will stimulate optimum academic performance from students for fear of negative public opinion. Many individuals who claim to be students are actually not students at all. Many who failed to secure admission through the unified tertiary matriculation examination or the ubiquitous pre-degree programmes simply hang around the university environment and pretend that they are students, collecting money from their parents for all the expenses related to the fictitious admission. They continue to write the UTME year in and year out hoping to finally secure admission to the university of their dream. Some have spent upwards of four years in this indeterminate state without result. A large number of such

“fake students” exist in virtually every university environment and are often responsible for some of the crimes attributed to the students of such universities, including prostitutions, rapes, armed robberies and some of the worst forms of cultism. A list of registered students in the public domain of the university website would allow vigilant parents and guardians to discover the deception and take appropriate remedial action. Some students who originally secured admission into one department or the other often drop out of school as a result of poor performance, rustication for examination malpractice and other misdemeanors including falsified entry requirements. They often fail to inform their parents

and guardians about these new developments and continue to demand and collect stipends as if they are still students. Most often these “fake students” live off campus often in very opulent conditions at the expense of their unwary parents and guardians, a situation that could have been avoided if the list of students rusticated for whatever reason is displayed in the university website. Another major problem confronting higher institutions in Nigeria is their inability to provide accurate statistics on their registered student populations and subsequently the revenues generated internally, notwithstanding the large number of administrative and supporting staff that are crawling all over the place. Visiting National Universities Commission (NUC) officials have often complained about discrepancies in the student enrollment figures and the value of internally generated revenues presented to them. Even within the administration, there are often squabbles as to how many students have actually paid fees as there are discrepancies in the records emanating from the various departments. The inability to provide information on the true value of revenue collected from the various NUC approved programmes and the revenue yielding programmes leave ample opportunities for misappropriation and/or out-

right embezzlement of public funds by corrupt officials. An important consequence of the inability of the universities to provide accurate data on their students’ population is the absence of a readily accessible and authentic list of graduating students. Many individuals who were never students or students who never graduated often obtain fraudulent success letters and NYSC call-upletters with the active cooperation of corrupt university officials, and thereafter unlawfully present themselves for National Service. The phenomenon of fake corps members cannot be tolerated in the twenty first century when breakthroughs in the ICT could allow NYSC official to obtain and crosscheck all records from the individual university’s website. The Nigerian university website could indeed prove to be a veritable source of information on all aspects of university life, including students. The NUC should therefore make it mandatory for universities to provide adequate data on the students’ academic life including registrations, academic probation, withdrawals, details of rusticated students, and ultimately an authentic list of graduating students on a yearly basis on their websites. This will allow the NUC to monitor the academic performance and progress of each university without necessarily undertaking the expensive physical trips which do not often yield the expected results.

EKSU recovers N91.5m from ex-VC, two others TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE

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he authorities of the Ekiti State University (EKSU), Ado-Ekiti has revealed that the withdrawal of its case against the former Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Dipo Kolawole, and two others over a case of misappropriation of the institution’s fund during his tenure was due to the refund of the sum of N91.5 million by the defendants. National Mirror gathered that the refund was a product of out-of-court settlement. According to the University’s Deputy Registrar (Information), Mr. Ajibade Olubunmi, the matter which involved a first generation bank, was not struck out of court by the presiding judge as earlier reported

by some media organisations. He noted that the university chose to settle out of court because its interest was to get a refund for the infrastructural development on the campus and not to further waste tax payers money to pursue cases in courts. The university commended the Governor Kayode Fayemi of the state and Visitor to the institution for his support during the over 30 months of investigation to recover the money and for his magnanimity in agreeing to the university’s appeal to discontinue the suit filed by the State Government against Prof. Kolawole and two others alleged to have been involved in the crime. Similarly, the university explained that it also recovered another N66 million earlier lost to the

defunct Societe Generale Bank, and pledged that it would make judicious use of the resources to support the vision of the governor to transform the univer-

sity to a world class ivory tower. “The university authorities feel compelled to make this clarification for the sake of the reading

public, the university community and especially our students that the suit was dismissed by the Magistrate Court as reported. Instead the university au-

thorities opted for out-of court settlement after the missing money had been fully recovered from the perpetrators,” the information department stated.

Students of the Saint Jude Secondary School during the launch of 10 additional MultiChoice Resource Centres in Bayelsa State, recently


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Thursday, January 23, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Bangladesh unrest disrupts varsity admissions

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rolonged political instability in Bangladesh in the run-up to and after disputed elections in early January has severely disrupted university admissions, with some institutions seeing multiple postponements of entrance examinations during the unrest. The admissions process for new undergraduates normally starts soon after the announcement of Higher Secondary Certificate examination results. Many university entrance tests are held in November and December, with classes starting in January. The school results were announced on 3 August 2013, but at least 14 public universities have not yet held admissions tests for new students. Bangladesh has some 34 public universities, enrolling almost 200,000 students. Many universities had scheduled tests but had to postpone them at the last moment due to volatile political conditions. University authorities fear students will not be able to complete courses on time if admissions tests are not held soon. Some universities already started term on 8 January. But students, who normally take the tests at several universities, are unsure where they will go. Since 25 November, the date the Bangladesh Election Commission announced the poll, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led 18-party opposition alliance has enforced road, rail and waterway blockades for six days a week. The election was held on 5 January, but the United Nations called for a fresh poll following widespread violence and disputed results. More than 150 people have been killed ahead of and in the aftermath of the poll, which swept the ruling Awami League back into power amid street protests, largescale arrests and deteriorating security. Although the opposition alliance postponed the blockade programme from last Monday, the country is expected to experience more violence over demands for a new election. Professor Shadat Ullah, vicechancellor of Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University in the capital Dhaka, told University World News that the institution had been unable to hold the admissions test out of consideration for the security of students. Culled: Universities World News

Students of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, watching football at the Awo Hall Common Room, recently.

PHOTO: DHIKRU AKINOLA

Strike: JAMB candidates now prefer UNILORIN over others KEMI BUSARI

400L, POL.SC., OAU

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ollowing the last industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) which lasted over five months, National Mirror can authoritatively report that prospective undergraduates in the country now prefer University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) to other public universities in the country. Investigations reveal that unlike others, UNILORIN has a

TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE

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he Kwara State Police Commissioner, Mr. Agboola Glover-Oshodi has assured workers and students of various academic institutions in the state of his command’s readiness to make their schools free of criminal activities including cultism. He gave the assurance during his familiarization tour to the Federal Polytechnic, Offa (FED-

stable academic calendar and this is encouraging many more students to apply for admission into the institution. According to information obtained from campuswaka.com, an online publication, statistics show that UNILORIN with over 51,030 applicants has the highest number of candidates for this year’s JAMB examination while it is followed by the University of Benin with about 42,252 applicants. Others have smaller numbers. For instance, according to the publication, the University Of

Nigeria Nsukka has 36,712; University Of Jos (31,810); Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka (31,411); Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria (29,956); University Of Lagos (27,133); Benue State University, Makurdi (26,267); Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-ife (25,540); Kogi State University, Anyigba (23,310) Others are the University of Calabar (18,294); University of Ibadan (18,711); Adekunle Ajasin University, AkungbaAkoko(11,009); University of Maiduguri (9,150); University of Abuja (8,388); Ladoke Akintola

University of Technology, Ogbomoso (7,957); Federal University Of Technology, Akure (7,895); Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti(4,292) and Lagos State University, Ojo (1,764). The low level of applicants for LASU and EKSU, according to investigations is attributed to the hike in their tuitions last year. The private university with the highest number of applicants is Covenant University, Ota with 2,142 while Babcock University, Ilisan-Remo with 1203 and Afe Babalola University (ABUAD) with 1,008 following behind.

Stay away from Kwara, Police warn cultists POFFA), recently. He said his command was ready to eradicate cultism and other criminal activities that are mostly common among students of tertiary institutions. The police chief, who was accompanied by some high ranking officers in the command in a release by the institution’s spokesman, Mr. Oluwole Alawode, expressed appreciation

to FEDPOFFA in particular for its strong support to the police division controlling Offa community. He said the support and cooperation was yielding result. While lauding the manner the polytechnic instilled discipline as part of training on its students, he urged the students on their part to excuse social vices for meaningful engagements that would help them achieve their

aspirations for life. In his welcome address, the polytechnic rector, Dr. Mufutau Olatinwo promised the visitors that the institution would sustain the existing cordial relationship with the police command. He noted that it was only in the atmosphere of peace that the students as well as the lecturers would be able to learn and teach.

IGP, Abubakar


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Bingham University inaugurates N221m students’ hostel

Campus News

Thursday, January 23, 2014

25

UI educates new students on gender equality

STORIES BY JAMES ABRAHAM JOS

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edical students of Bingham University, Karu now have a new hostel in Jos, the Plateau State capital where the institution’s teaching hospital is currently located. The ultra modern two-storey building with 120 bed spaces, offices and a library was built at the cost of N221 million. It was gathered that the project which is an investment by the employees of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) as a way of contributing to the success of the university in terms of good quality education was completed within one year. ECWA President and Visitor to the university, Dr. Jeremiah Gado while declaring open the building said the church would not rest until the institution becomes the best not only in the country but in the world at large. Also speaking, the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council, Prof. Dogara Je’adeyibe said in these age where availability of physical infrastructure facilities in public Universities were dysfunctional and inadequate, the inauguration of the complex could not be anything but heartwarming. He commended ECWA Executive Council and the management of the university for providing such facilities that would help to reduce the stress faced by students and staffers on campus. According to him, he is confident that the university has met one of the basic National Universities Commission (NUC) accreditation requirements. In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Samuel Leonard said the university would continue to improve on the development of the institution.

UNIJOS set for WARIMA conference

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uthorities of the University of Jos have said that plans were under way for the institution to host researchers from across the West Africa sub-region under the auspices of West African Research and Innovation Management Association(WARIMA) The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Hayward Babale Mafuai disclosed this while briefing journalists in Jos to announce the right granted to the university to host the 7th edition of the international conference which he said would hold between 2nd and 7th March,2014. WARRIMA which was established in November,2006 is a professional body of managers in the West African sub- region and is open to vice chancellors and their deputies, directors of research institutes, provosts, deans of faculties and colleges, senior academics , research administrators, policy makers in government and the nongovernmental organizations, as well as other categories of individuals who are desirous of acquiring skills in research management

Cross section of participants shortly after the lecture

HAMMED HAMZAT

300L, EDUCATIONAL MANAGEMENT, UI

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o fewer than 200 students participated from different faculties in the two day workshop organised by the University of Ibadan Gender Mainstreaming Office held on campus last week. The workshop with a theme: “Developing a gender sensitive place for learning and research on campus,” was designed to educate the new students on campus on the gender and sexual harassment policy of the university to make them conscious of their daily activities. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Isaac Adewole who was represented by the institution’s Dean of Students, Prof. Akinola Alada who in his goodwill message, urged the students to make good use of the university gender mainstreaming office for their benefits while their studentship lasted. He also told them that the Office of the Vice-Chancellor is open for genuine complaints related to gender issues in the uni-

versity. In her own remark, the Deputy-Vice Chancellor, Prof. Arinola Sanya stated that gender was about equal opportunity for all students irrespective of sex. She noted that only courageous women stands up in the country to take their rightful place in the society The Coordinator, Gender Mainstreaming Office, Dr. Stella Odebode advised all students to develop gender sensitive habits that involve mutual care and consideration for the progress of all the students in the university community. On their parts, Professor Janice Olawoye from the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, and Dr. Alero Akeredolu from the Faculty of Law spoke on the “Basic concepts in gender and the UI Sexual Harassment Policy. They both restated that gender equality was not only important but should also be encouraged for the development of the society. Also speaking, a senior lecturer at the Department of Linguistics, Dr. Demola Lewis

called for balance in participation and benefits for both male and female students according to their needs. He noted that the workshop would make UI a gender friendly campus. In her contribution, Dr. Chinyere Ukpokolo from the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology emphasised that sexual harassment threatens the education carreer of the victim and the wellbeing of members of the immediate community. She therefore urged students to report any case of sexual harassment between 24 and 72 hours to appropriate quarters, promising that such report would be treated with utmost confidentiality. Other principal officers that graced the occasion included the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Prof. Olawale Ogunkola and his Law counterpart, Prof. Oluyemisi Bamgbose; Grant Liaison Officer, Macarthur Foundation, Prof. R.A Oderinde; Deputy Registrar, Students, Dr. Stella Soola and the Coordinator, University of Ibadan Youth Friendly Centre, Mrs. Olukemi Akinyemi.

Covenant emerges 2013 best private varsity FRANKA OSAKWE

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regulatory body of universities in Nigeria-National Universities Commission (NUC)- as well their visitation to all private universities in the country. Similarly, the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Charles Ayo was also inducted an honorary member of the centre. In his remarks, he appreciated the centre for consid-

ovenant University, Ota, Ogun State has again clinched the meritorious Best Private University award in the country for 2013. The award was conferred on the institution last December by the Centre for Democratic Governance in Africa (CDGA). The Director-General of the centre, Dr. Dafe Akpocha commended the Chancellor of the university, Dr. David Oyedepo for the noble initiative of modeling Covenant University to the standard of world-class institutions. He noted that the university had gradually over the years become synonymous with the advancement of good governance in Africa. He explained that the university was selected after thorough consultations with the Oyedeppo

ering Covenant University worthy of the honour. He stated that the award was cherished and the university hopes to foster a relationship with the centre in a quest to drive good governance in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. He explained that the curriculum of the school as geared towards entrepreneurial studies to address the unemployment situation facing the nation, address

leadership challenges through the African Leadership Development Centre (ALDC), endowed by the Chancellor, Dr. David Oyedepo. In addition, he told the team from CDGA that Covenant University was on course to help stabilise the democratic tenets of Nigeria through the gradual introduction of e-democracy in the University’s host community, Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Council, with the hope that from there, it would flow through the state and up to the Federal structure. As part of the ceremony, Professor Ayo was presented a medal and membership certificate. The event had in attendance, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Aaron A.A. Atayero; the Registrar, Mr. Muyiwa Oludayo; Deans of Colleges, members of the press amongst others.


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Thursday, January 23, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Still on subject-verb disagreement…

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ELCOME to this edition: “…Nwaobasi said that (sic) President Goodluck Jonathan has (had) relieved Abdulkadir of his appointment with effect from (‘effective’ instead of ‘with effect from’) August 26, 2013.” “India (India’s or Indian) parliament passes flagship food-for-poor scheme” “The crisis of governance in Nigeria today is certainly rooted in the absence of a (an) honest, capable and efficient civil service.” “…allowing all manners (manner) of persons, qualified or not, into the service.” “…to restore efficiency in (to) all government offices.” “It is true that the amnesty proclamation and the post amnesty (post-amnesty) programme have….” “We’re 22. Jigawa State…working hard for a secured (secure) future.” “Their educational system is so receptive and idea-hungry that what their scientific discoveries dish out; (sic) their technological prowess almost effortlessly process (processes) to breathtaking perfections.” We continue with an elementary subjectverb inaccuracy: “Mirrorless (Mirror-less) cameras that manipulates (manipulate) shots and angles.” From a reader Mr. Nduka Uzuakpundu, a graduate of the old Daily Times: “There is nothing wrong with feminization of pronouns for countries (last week’s column). Ebere, it is right. You must accept it!” As a gender advocate, I insist on de-feminization of formal language.

In colloquial or folkloric circumstances, it may appeal to me. “As part of the deal (comma, please) she won a N1 million cash prize and contract with one of Nigeria’s leading modelling agency.” (Source: as above) In defence of freedom: agencies. “The masquerades behind fuel subsidy” A voice of your own: masqueraders wear masquerades. Got it? “Public university teachers on Sunday removed their robs….” Weekend: their robes. “With these interrupts and incessant closures….” Verb: interrupt; noun: interruption. “…including criminal activity (activities) such as internet fraud, arms and other trafficking and terrorist activity (activities).” “But he discovered this one day and beat me up. I cannot forget this (that) day.” Wrong: bossom; right: bosom.“HMD Nigeria berths with cost saving equipments” News you can trust: cost-saving equipment (non-count). “Alcoholic-induced road (vehicular/auto) crashes worry FRSC” Business Life: alcohol-induced “Officer’s daughter (daughter’s) kidnap: Army beef (beefs) up security in barracks” “Plateau expresses displeasure over (at/ with) comments at Arewa forum” “Naira falls to its weakest in 9-weeks” Market Report: 9 weeks “To me, the strike action is unnecessary….” It is becoming increasingly unnecessary to keep correcting this particular solecism almost every week: strike; indus-

ARREST’ TAKES ‘’FOR’—ALWAYS—NOT ‘OVER trial action; work stoppage; or service withdrawal, among other terms, depending on context …certainly not ‘strike action’. The ‘arrest’ fault continues: “Four officials arrested over Bauchi bank robbery” and “Police arrest four over Azare” When will this faux pas stop? ‘Arrest’ takes ‘’for’— always—not ‘over’! “Youths condemn Fashola over (for) deportation of Igbo” Still on the preceding medium: “By acquiescing to (in) the mercenary intervention by the Americans….” “A rewrite: As long as they are operating to the letter of the Companies and Allied Matters Act. There is also ‘the letter of the law’, in another related context. “Take your rights…or trade it” Get it right: rights/them or right/it. “…that for all the security agencies in the state have involved vigilante groups….” This way: vigilance groups. “Mutual Funds allow managers pool various sizes of investment (sic) together and invest them in various asset classes like….” In modern writing, ‘pool’ is independent. So: pool various sizes of investments and invest….. “Security: North must get its acts (act)

together” “And so we wait for it to run and redress the abuse of recklessness of yesteryears.” Fixed expression: yesteryear. “Just as the banning of books and newspapers give (gives) rise to an illicit trade in them….” “Perhaps it may interest you to note that the average take home (a hyphen) pay of a fresh university graduate a month, in any of the Federal ministry (ministries), was slightly above N18,000.” “...the PPMC had neglected the leakage for the past five years despite series (a series) of letters from the state’s LASEP alerting it on the inherent danger of the leakage.” One disaster too many: alerting it to (not on). “The Nigerian Prison Service has always run adult literacy classes that was (were) organized by the Welfare Department.” “…plans are afoot to foster (foist) the PDP on the nation again in the 2015 general elections, its present very low rating notwithstanding.” “It is the year when we, the people, will be opportuned.…” Morphological issues: ‘opportune’, which applies here, does not admit ‘d’ or simply, the people will have the opportunity! “Of course, it would be naïve to expect the politicians now benefitting from….” No distortion: benefiting. “There was hardly a tear-free eye, as muffled sobs and wails rented (rent) the midafternoon air….” “At last, artist body gets new exco” This way: artists’ body.

Ogun wins JABU quiz as student rewards with scholarship, others HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE.

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student of Iganmode Grammar School, Ota, Ogun state, Precious Opeyemi Afariogun last weekend emerged winner of the 2013 Annual Quiz competition organised by Joseph Ayo Babalola University (JABU), Ikeji-Arakeji, Osun State for the senior secondary school students across the country. Afariogun, 14, defeated 49 other contestants from 25 secondary schools to emerge winner of the competition. Agwamba Chibuke Maxwell from Strait Gate College, Ota and Alani Olarenwaju from Baptist Girls’ Academy, Obanikoro, Lagos emerged first and second runners-up respectively. They were tested on Mathematics, English language, sciences and current affairs at the two

days event. While Afariogun went home with a star prize of N200, 000 worth of books, a cash of N50, 000, a desktop computer and a four or five year scholarship in any course to be sponsored by the organizer, the first and second runners- up were presented with a desktop computer and different cash prizes and years of scholarship in their choice course in JABU. Interestingly, the winner and the second runner-up are both from public schools. In his welcome address, the Vice- Chancellor of JABU, Prof. Sola Fajana said the competition was designed to stimulate healthy contest among school children for future challenges. Describing education as one of the tool to human success, Fajana noted that children as the leaders of tomorrow should be the primary target of human capital forma-

tion in any society. He noted that investment in children today would definitely build a better educated, prosperous and peaceful citizenry tomorrow.

Afariogun with his gift items

He however, called on parents to always support their wards, noting that what the children are going to be in future is what the parents make out of them today. The VC appreciated the spon-

sors of the competition-Book Company and the West Africa Milk Company (WAMCO) Friesland Foods, for their generosity and support in making the event a reality.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

27

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Sport Nadal struggles past Dimitrov

For me, the EPL title has remained a six-team race. We will not remove our legs from the pedal –CHELSEA MANAGER, JOSE MOURINHO

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Uzoenyi

Uzoenyi eyes Europe again after CHAN …Mba scores at Bastia

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jike Uzoenyi has said that he hopes to move again to Europe after the ongoing African Nations Championship (CHAN) in South Africa, following his short-lived stint at French club, Rennes, last year. Uzoenyi was on a short six-month loan deal with Rennes, which was not extended after it ran out. “God knows why things went that way (with Rennes) but with the experience I got from the Rennes move, I am better now and I have learnt a lot,” said the Enugu Rangers left winger, who has attracted a lot of interests after he bagged two goals and two Man of the Match Awards at the CHAN so far. “I know better offers would come, but right now I am concentrating on helping my country win the Africa Nations Championship,” he told MTNFootball.com. He further revealed that the cold weather in France adversely affected him at Rennes. “I don’t like talking about my move to

Rennes, but sincerely, many things did not go well, the cold was unbearable for me because I had never seen that kind of cold in my life before,” he revealed. Meanwhile, Sunday Mba fired CA Bastia to victory over Niort to progress to the next round of the Coupe de France on Tuesday. Nigeria international Mba, who joined second division CA Bastia, scored the equaliser in the 89th minute to end the game 2-2, before they went on to win 5-4 via penalties. He also played one of the penalties and he scored. The former Enugu Rangers forward played his first full game on Tuesday since he joined the club this summer and coincidentally, his debut was against Niort on January 10 in the league when they lost 3-0 at home. CA Bastia next game is in the league against Istre on Friday at home. He has said his move to CA Bastia was to boost his chances of featuring for Nigeria at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Brazil W/Cup: Envoy pledges support for Eagles EVEREST ONYEWUCHI

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he newly appointed Nigeria Ambassador to Brazil, His Excellency Adamu Emozozo, has pledged that the Embassy of Nigeria in that country will give every needed diplomatic support to the Super Eagles to make a big impact at the 20th FIFA World Cup finals, taking place this summer. Emozozo, who has concurrent accreditation to Paraguay and Bolivia, replaces Ambassador Victor Okoedion, who was recently posted to another country. According to a statement sent to National Mirror by NFF spokesman, Ademola Olajire, speaking during a visit to NFF President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari, at the Glass House yesterday in Abuja, Emozozo declared that while the Embassy would facilitate several things in the diplomatic sector, it would not interfere with technical and

administrative issues that would be entirely left to the NFF. “I am coming into this position at a time that Brazil is staging several major events, including the FIFA World Cup this year and the Olympic Games in 2016. While carrying out the transformation agenda, we are also committed to seeing that our football continues to rise. “It is a great thing that our football teams have been going from one success to the other. Yourself, Alhaji Aminu Maigari, is one of the most prominent persons I will be working with, in the next few months. I believe our Super Eagles can perform well at the FIFA World Cup finals if we all work together.” Maigari congratulated the new Ambassador and promised that the NFF would work in tandem with the Embassy to make things much easier for the Super Eagles and the entire Nigeria delegation to the World Cup finals.


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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Dutch club snatches Ogbeche on loan

Pellegrini

Pellegrini pushes players hard

IKENWA NNABUOGOR

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C Cambuur of Holland has completed the signing of Bartholomew Ogbeche after both parties agreed terms on a shortterm contract which elapses at the end of this season. The 29-year-old has been training with the Leeuwarden side since last week. Ogbeche had been training with the Leeuwarden-based side for few days and after proving his mettle in a test game against the reserves of Go Ahead Eagles, where he struck five times, the management of the Dutch Eredivisie outfit decided to reward him with a contract. Cambuur is the eleventh club of Ogbeche following spells with PSG, Metz, Bastia, Al Jazira Abu Dhabi, Deportivo Alaves, Real Valladolid, Cadiz, AO Kavala, Middlesbrough and Xerez. He shot into reckoning at PSG as a teenager playing alongside former Super Eagles captain Austin Jay Jay Okocha before finishing his contract with loan spells at Metz and Bastia. The Nigeria international has been handed the number 18 shirt. Ogbeche showed some flashes of brilliance when former Eagles coach Adegboyega Onigbinde handed him his Eagles’ chance. However, the former PSG striker did not last long in the Eagles team but did well enough to end his Eagles spell with 11 caps in the bag.

Ogbeche

Seedorf gets Maradona’s ‘green light’

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rgenti rgentina t na legend, legen nd d Diego Diie ego Mar Maradona, rad don na yesteryeste ter day offered his best wishes to new AC Milan coach Clarence Seedorf. According to Maradona, Milan has made the best choice in the former Dutch international who also plied his trade in Milan for ten years before venturing to the Brazil’s top flight with Botafogo. “Diego is keen to offer his best wishes to Clarence for his adventure on the Milan bench and says he is sure that, despite having taken the team in a difficult situation, he will succeed with his professionalism and experience to bring positivity to the current Milan,” Maradona’s spokesman, Angelo Pisani, said.

Seedorf

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

anchester City Manager, Manuel Pellegrini, has challenged his players to set their sights on a quadruple after they swept into the League Cup final in emphatic fashion. Pellegrini’s side showed no mercy as two goals from Alvaro Negredo and a Sergio Aguero strike crushed West Ham 3-0 in the League Cup semi-final second leg at Upton Park on Tuesday. “I’m very proud of the team. We arrived in the final winning the five games with 19 goals scored, with just one goal conceded,” Pellegrini said. “Always a final at Wembley is a very important final and I’m very proud of the team that we are still in four competitions

Hazard enters PSG radar

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SG President, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, has expressed interest in signing Chelsea wing midfielder, Eden Hazard. Hazard insisted last week he was not interested in a return to France at PSG as he was happy in London with Chelsea. But reports yesterday indicated that Al-Khelaifi is not bothered by the Belgian’s comments. Hazard talked about “60 million” not being enough for Chelsea to sell but PSG won’t be put off and is willing to go to 80 million in the summer for the exciting player. Hazard


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sport

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Germany can win World Cup – Lothar Matthaus

Katsina Stadium gulps N3bn

As an energetic, physically imposing player with an unyielding will to win, Lothar Matthaus embodied what used to be known in football circles as typically ‘German virtues’. The most-capped Germany player, who was FIFA World Player of the Year award in 1991 and the only German to get the award to date, spoke to FIFA.com on his country’s chances at Brazil 2014 finals, among other issues

KATSINA

When you think of Brazil, what words spring to mind? Enjoying life, football, samba, Copacabana and food. As a nation, Brazilians exude a zest for life. I’ve been to Brazil a lot and not only for international games. I worked there for two and a half months in Curitiba and really warmed to the country. To what extent will Brazil 2014 be a special tournament? Of course we’re all hoping it’ll be something special because Brazilians love football. It’s like a religion for them. They’ll show great hospitality to visitors throughout the country. How do you view the performances of the German national team under Joachim Low during qualifying? On a scale of one to ten I’d give them ten, despite the 4-4 draw with Sweden. It was a terrific match and one we’re still talking about today. Still, Germany marched through the qualifiers and there’s great quality in the side. There were plenty of injuries but they were able to compensate for those. They’ve got a big, well-balanced squad which is why Germany are among the favourites to win. But Germany are outstanding going forward but have some weaknesses in defence… You can see that Germany aren’t the finished article yet. There tend to be more problems at the back than up front, but it’s not all about the goals conceded: defence starts in attack. A lot of the time the forwards don’t track back at crucial moments and because of that the defence can get into a bit of trouble. Does Germany still have the potential to win the World Cup? Absolutely. If not now then when? We’ve played well at tournaments in recent years and have reached the World Cup semi-finals twice, the European final once and the last four of the European championships once. The team has always gone close but the last step has always been missing. Those defeats at past tournaments could make the team stronger and more compact. How did it feel to lift the trophy in 1990? It was incredible. You’re a world champion for the rest of your life and you’re often reminded of it. You can win a lot of titles but the World Cup tops them all. Every footballer dreams of winning it and I was one of the few who lifted the trophy as captain. What memories do you have of that tournament in Italy? Back then I used to live in Italy, in fact my house was only 15 kilometres away from Germany’s

squad base. That made it a home World Cup for me, I really felt that. The five games in the San Siro were like five games in my front room, where I played for Inter Milan every week. Would you say it was the high point of your career? Yes. There were a lot of highlights in my career, but a World Cup beats the lot, especially as it took place in the country with the strongest league at the time. Diego Maradona played there, as did Careca, Ruud Gullit and Frank Rijkaard-so many world-class players. There were some great games too. And we didn’t just play against any old teams at the World Cup. We faced the Netherlands and in our opening fixture we played against Yugoslavia, who were dark horses for the title a n d only got

Brazil 2014: G Asamoah ambushes America

knocked out on penalties in the quarter-finals against Argentina. We played England in the last four and Argentina in the final. What does winning the World Cup mean for a country? I think the 1954 title was the most important one for Germany. The country was devastated after the Second World War and nobody believed in Germany anymore. Thanks to football, the people could celebrate being successful at something again. Do you think there are absolute favourites to lift the trophy this time? Yes, I believe Brazil and Germany are the two strongest teams, closely followed by Spain. At the 2013 Confederations Cup, Brazil showed they can handle the pressure of winning important games at home, while Germany have been consistent for several years now. Does the current Germany team have the necessary winning mentality too? That’s been my criticism of the team at recent tournaments. When it came to the crunch, I felt there was a lack of a winning mentality. Of course, everyone wants to win in their own way and everyone tries to do their best, but sometimes you maybe need to do a bit more than your best.

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JAMES DANJUMA

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bout N3.9 billion has been spent by the Katsina State Government in the construction of an Olympic-sized stadium in the state. Youths and Sports Commissioner, Aminu Safana, who stated this yesterday, said N2 billion was expended on the stadium’s main bowl and N1.95 billion on its outer area. Safana said the stadium, which has 45,000 sitting capacity, was started in 1989 but abandoned in 1992. “We plan to commission the complex either in March or April this year,” he said. According to the commissioner, a Memorandum of Understanding with a Vocars Junior Academy in Argentina has been signed with a view to setting up of a football academy in Katsina State. “We have paid over N15 million for the football academy franchise and that facility that will host the academy is at advanced stage of completion,” Safana submitted.

Ibrahim Shehu Shema

Golf: Mark, Jang harp on development JAMES ABRAHAM JOS

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Matthaus

hana midfielder, Kwadwo Asamoah, says he is eagerly anticipating Black Stars’ impending 2014 World Cup clash with the USA. The Black Stars were drawn alongside the US in Group G for this summer’s FIFA tournament in Brazil and 25-year old Juventus Asamoah can’t wait to do battle after getting the better of their opponents in both the 2006 and 2010 versions. “I didn’t even think about Germany and Portugal,” Asamoah said yesterday. “What came into my mind was: ‘These USA people again?

Asamoah

enate President, David Mark and Governor of Plateau State, Jonah Jang, have enjoined stakeholders to show more interest in golf in the country. The duo said at the close of Centenary of Rayfield Golf Club tagged “Centenary Peace Tournament” in Jos last weekend that the call became necessary in view of the high profile, fame and recognition that the sport has attracted in recent years. Senator Mark, who represented by the President, Nigeria Golf Federation, Dr. Peter Deshi, dismissed the notion that golf was meant only for the rich while calling on a joint effort to raise the sport. Over 40 professional golfers from across the country participated in the week long centenary which also saw a large turnout from amateur categories. The club, established in 1913, is believed to be the oldest not only in Nigeria, but in West Africa.


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Thursday, January 23, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Radwanska lights up semis

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here will be different names on both singles trophies this year after Victoria Azarenka lost to Agnieszka Radwanska in the quarter-finals yesterday. Azarenka had won the title for the previous two years and on both occasions had shared top billing with men’s champion Novak Djokovic, who was looking to claim a fourth straight crown. Djokovic’s hopes were ended on Tuesday when Stanislas Wawrinka turned the tables in five compelling sets, before Radwanska produced a tremendous display to defeat Azarenka 6-1 5-7 6-0 24 hours after. The Pole had lost their last seven matches and 12 straight sets against Azarenka dating back to a quarterfinal meeting here two years ago.

Nadal struggles past Dimitrov

Radwanska

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Nadal

Federer rides ‘fighter’ Murray

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Federer

he fighting qualities of Andy Murray were not enough to prevent him bowing out against Roger Federer in yesterday’s quarter final. Murray is one of the few players to hold a winning record over the 17-time grand slam winner but he looked down and out as Federer powered through the first two sets. The British number one, though, hit back from match points down to take the encounter into a fourth set on Rod Laver Arena. Murray, 26, who underwent back surgery at the end of last year, could not perform a miraculous comeback, as Federer clinched a 6-3 6-4 6-7 (8-6) 6-3 victory. Federer had appeared to be on the

slide after a difficult 2013 season, with the Swiss dropping down the rankings and registering just one ATP Tour title. Federer broke the Murray serve in the fourth game of the first set and then again in the fifth game of the second, with Murray unable to find a reply. Meanwhile, a resurgent Roger Federer has reckoned that his ‘poker face’ played a key role in his four-set victory over Andy Murray yesterday. The 17-time Grand Slam champion weathered a spirited fightback from the Scot before winning 6-3 6-4 6-7 6-3 to set up a mouthwatering semi-final with great rival Rafa Nadal. “Andy played well and put the pressure on me so I’m happy to get the win,” Federer said.

orld number one, Rafael Nadal, yesterday defied a painful blister and the dogged challenge of Grigor Dimitrov to reach the semi-final. Nadal was troubled by the blister on the palm of his left hand, which he suffered in his win over Kei Nishikori, throughout the contest while Dimitrov kept the pressure on him throughout. The teak-tough Spaniard kept cool, though, to register a 3-6 7-6 (73) 7-6 (8-6) 6-2 victory. “I suffered a lot,” Nadal said. “The rest of the things are more or less fine but with the serve I sometimes feel the racquet go. “I have got to keep trying to improve the hand tomorrow (today), then after tomorrow be ready for a very, very tough match against Roger.” Dimitrov had got off to the ideal start as he broke the Nadal in the second game of the contest before going on to take the set. Both players registered breaks in the second set, with Nadal really coming into the contest and cheering the big points as the set progressed. Nadal held his nerve in the tiebreak, though, and it seemed as if he would ease through the gears as he broke the Bulgarian 22nd seed in the third. A second break in the eighth game sealed the win for Nadal, who will now face Roger Federer after he saw off Andy Murray.


Thursday, January 23, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Business & Finance The insurance companies listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange have some challenges in implementing the International Financial Reporting Standard and we have are working with Pension Commission to correct that.

Stanbic IBTC non-pension investment has hit N3trn and this serves as barometer to measure the volume of investment in Nigeria.

– Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Mr. Oscar Onyema

– CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, STANBIC IBTC, MR. YINKA SANNI

Development partners commit $300m to Nigeria’s SEEFOR project TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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he World Bank, other development partners and the European Union, EU, have provided the sum of $300m for the implementation of the State Employment and Expenditure for Results, SEEFOR, project in the country. The International Development Association, IDA, is providing the sum of $200 million while the EU is committing $100 million to the project. The SEEFOR, which has a five-year implementation timeline for its completion, was initiated by the World Bank about three years ago but effectively kicked off last July in four pilot states of Edo, Bayelsa, Rivers and Delta, was initiated to improve the living conditions of the Niger Delta area. The SEEFOR has three main components namely, youth employment and access to socioeconomic services; public financial management reforms and project coordination and implementation support at the federal and state levels. Speaking about the current state of the project’s implementation and its benefits to the economy at the National Policy

Dialogue on Monitoring and Evaluation, M&E, for the project yesterday in Abuja, the Secretary to the National Planning Commission, Mr. Ntufam Fidelis Ugbo, said the project was aimed at enhancing opportunities for employment, especially among the youths; and improving public financial management in SEEFOR beneficiary states. The theme of the dialogue

was “The imperative for an efficient monitoring and evaluation system for effective delivery of the SEEFOR project.” Ugbo, who said the forum was designed for commissioners and permanent secretaries who are responsible for the implementation of the project in the four states, Directors of Planning in relevant MDAs at the federal level and key policy makers, explained that the aim was to

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ome financial experts yesterday said that the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN’s increase in Cash Reserve Require-

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Arik Air Lag-Abj:07.15, 09.15, 10.20, 13.05, 15.20, 16.20, 16.50,18.45 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun). Abj-Lag: 07:15, 09.40, 10.20, 12.15, 15.15, 16.15, 17:10, (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun); 12.15, 15.15, 16.15 (Sun) Lag-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 (MonFri) 08.45, 17.30 (Sat) 14.40, 17.30 (Sun) Abv-Beni:08.00, 12.10 (MonFri/Sat)08.56, 12.10 (Sun) BeninAbj:09.55,13.30

Aero Contractors Lag-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) Lag-Benin: 07.45, 11.00, 15.30 (Mon-Fri/Sat/ Sun) 12.30 (Sun 15.30 (Sat) Ben-Lag: 09.15, 12.30, 17.00 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun) 17.00 (Sat) 14.00 (Sun)Lag-Owe: 7.45am, 2pm daily

Med-View Airline

L-R: Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria. Dr. Kingsley Muoghalu, Anambra State Governor Peter Obi; Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Managing Director/CEO, Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo and the Managing Director/CEO, Emzor Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Stella Okoli at the South East South South Professionals evening of reflections with the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and the Minister of Finance, in Lagos recently.

Financial experts express concern over CRR review UDO ONYEKA

explore various opportunities, strategies and options at improving the governance system and modalities for institutionalising the M&E as a vehicle for driving the objectives of the project. “The overall objective of the project is to ensure improvement in standard of living of citizens and also enhance financial management process in the Niger Delta region and by extension Nigeria.

FLIGHT SCHEDULE

ment, CRR on public sector deposits would affect the growth of the real sector and the capital market. The experts said the high CRR would lead to outflow of investment from the capital and may increase banks leading rates. Former President, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, CIBN and Chief Executive Officer of Maxifund Securities Limited, Mazi Okechukwu Unegbu, said that the policy would have

crowding out effect on the equities market and the productive sector. He said that the policy would slow down the risk appetite in the capital market in the interim. “What this means is until equilibrium was attained, investors would switch to other investment outlets with higher returns. The increase in CRR has confirmed the stance of the CBN to further tighten money supply ahead of 2015 elections to avoid circula-

‘Inclement environment reduces lifespan of Nigerian carriers’

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tion of “hot money. “The CRR as some experts have said was targeted as the remedial tool instead of interest rate hike due to expected leap in public sector expenditure preparatory to the general elections”, he said. The former Managing Director of Citizens International Bank however, said that the policy would stem deterioration of the naira exchange market and ensure price stability in the economy as the US winds down quantitative easing.

Lagos- Abuja (Mon-Fri): 07.00, 08.50, 12.00, 16.30. Abuja- Lagos (Mon-Fri): 09.00, 14.00, 15.00, 18.30. Lagos-Yola (Mon-Fri): 8.50am. Yola-Lagos (Mon-Fri): 13.00. Lagos- PHC (Mon-Fri): 17.00. PHC-Lagos: 19.00. AbujaYola: 11.00. Yola-Abuja: 13.00. Lagos-Abuja (Sat): 08.00, 08.50. Abuja-Lagos (Sat): 10.00, 15.00. Lagos-PHC (Sat): 17.00. PHC-Lagos (Sat): 19.00. Lagos-Yola (Sat): 08.50. Yola-Lagos (Sat): 13.00

Developing Nigeria as next outsourcing destination

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Growing allure of e-shopping 37


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Business & Finance

Thursday, January 23, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

‘Inclement environment reduces lifespan of local carriers’ OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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he uncomfortable working environment has been adduced the reasons why indigenous airlines in Nigeria don’t last long unlike some of their counterparts elsewhere. In a bid to ensure the carriers live their lifespan, the Federal Government has been advised to work towards the stability of naira, provide aviation fuel to operators at affordable price and improve on the security network in the country.

The Managing Director, MedView Airline, Alhaji Muneer Bankole stated this yesterday during an interview with our correspondent in his office in Lagos. According to Bankole, the fortune of naira has been dwindling in the past few years, a situation, which he said enormously affects the operators, who in most times do their transaction in dollars and other major foreign currencies. He explained further that 40 per cent of the earnings are spent on aviation fuel, but decried that despite their complaints over the years, the government has not

been able to improve the situation. He said, “Personally, I want to say it here that, we have no stable component for naira when compared to dollars and other major currencies of the world. In other countries that I know, the rate of exchange remains stable, contrary to what we have here. It’s a very sad situation, but unfortunately, we can’t complain. “Aviation fuel too is on the high side and it takes away 40 per cent of your total cost. We keep shouting and talking, but nobody is ready to listen to us, nobody has addressed the issue. This is a country blessed

with abundant resources. “Thirdly, the security of the environment does not help the business to grow. There are some places you can’t fly into in Nigeria today, which is not supposed to be so within the same country. This reduces our operational challenges. Aircraft will sit down on the ground rather than be in the air; they are meant to fly and not be on the ground.” On the infrastructure at the airports all over the country, Bankole insisted that these have improved over the years and lauded the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah for initiating the remodelling exercise, which he said had uplifted the Nigerian airport environment. He noted that the expansion of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos terminal has eliminated the bottlenecks hitherto experienced by air passengers, adding that as the gateway to any country, the

airport environments should be comfortable to users. When asked about the commencement of regional and international operations by Med-View, he said that the routes would commence very soon, maintaining that Accra, Ghana would be the first to come on stream while Jeddah and Dubai would follow in quick succession. On the planned acquisition of 30 aircraft for local operators by the Ministry of Aviation, he said that the operators were contacted by the government and hoped that it would be implemented soon. “I cannot speak for the ministry on this arrangement, but I can speak to you as an airline operator. I’m very much aware that there was a window by the government to assist the airlines in the area of leasing and that process is still on. I believe that the whole idea is to reduce cost and bring in the right equipment, newer aircraft and enhancement of safety issues.”

CBN, E-PPAN to train government executives in six states KUNLE A ZEEZ L-R: Executive Director, Lagos, Sterling Bank Plc, Puri Davendra; Business Development Associate, 234give Limited, Rita Igbhofose; CEO/MD, 234give Limited, Sola Fatoba and Executive Director, South, Sterling Bank, Mr. Lanre Adesanya, at the presentation of cheques to charities who benefited from the Sterling Bank’s Raise a child project, in Lagos...yesterday.

PFAs grappling with operational, management risk, says PenCom MESHACK IDEHEN

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he National Pension Commission, PenCom, has said some Pension Fund Administrators, PFAs, are facing operational and management risks associated with receipt of contributions without appropriate schedule. PenCom said also that litigations and non-funding of Retirement Savings Accounts, RSAs, by some employers in the country are some of the challenges the PFAs are grappling with, and that the report is based on the risk management reports submitted by the pension operators themselves. In its latest report made available to journalists on Wednesday, the commission, which however did not disclose the names of the affected operators, said those challenges will soon be surmounted. According to PenCom, the review of the risk management reports submitted by operators revealed noncompliance by some employers as one of the major challenge. The commission stated nonetheless that it has s also ad-

vised the concerned operators to strengthen their mitigating measures in order to avert the identified risk. This development comes in spite of the fact that Section 66 of the Pension Reform Act 2004 requires every Pension Fund Administrator to establish risk management committee, with the current situation indicating that the risk management committees of the affected PFAs have not been living up to their responsibilities. Section 66 of the Pension Reform Act 2004, requires every PFA

to establish the risk management committee for the purpose of determining the risk profile of the investment under its management with a view towards providing advice on the management of associated risks. Consequently, PenCom said all licensed pension fund operators are mandated to develop, implement and maintain a sound and prudent risk management framework that comprises policies, procedures, and processes, appropriate to the nature, scale and complexity of their operations.

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o drive awareness and knowledge of cashless economy policy in the country, the Electronic Payment Providers Association of Nigeria, E-PPAN, in partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria and the six states of the federation where the Cashless Nigeria policy is being implemented, is set to build capacity and transfer skills to local government area executives and desk officers. This would be made possible, as the stakeholders have concluded arrangement to organise a three-day programme with the theme: “Upscaling the Use of EPayment Channels in Local Government to Increase IGR And Enhance Citizen Service Delivery.” Manager, Media and Strategy Development, E-PPAN, Ms Ntia Sylvia, in a statement made available to National Mirror, said the programme was designed to

bring the benefits of electronic payments to local governments in the country in a one-day executive session with the management executives of local government. This would be supported a two-day intensive workshop session with desk officers in the finance/accounts departments of all the local government. According to her, the programme became necessary as observed by the association during its recent visit to the six states for the sensitisation of the grassroots on the new cash policy. “E-PPAN discovered that there is an urgent need for the local government to understand the benefits of electronic payments knowing that government agencies at all levels are heavily engaged in accepting payments – whether for recurring services such as public utilities and water, for occasionally issued permits, licenses, quarterly or annual tax payments and so o,” she said.

Fadama III empowers 12,042 farmers in Plateau –Coordinator

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adama III, a World Bankassisted programme, has empowered 12,042 crop, livestock and fish farmers in Plateau, state Project Coordinator, Mr. Gideon Dandam, said in Jos yesterday. Dandam told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, that the empowerment was routed through the Fadama User Groups, FUGs, in the state. He said that the beneficiaries comprised 6,323 men and 5,719

women. According to Dandam, crop and vegetables farmers whom the programme empowered had so far cultivated a total of 673 hectares. He explained that 774 maize farmers in 49 FUGs cultivated a total of 128 hectares, while 753 potato/maize inter-crops farmers in 47 FUGs cultivated 110 Hectares. According to him, 122 potato farmers in eight FUGs cultivated 16 hectares with the support of the project.

“We also have 612 yam farmers in 46 FUGs that cultivated 56 hectares of cassava, while 119 farmers in five FUGs cultivated the product on 44 hectares. “Also, 1,017 vegetable farmers in 107 FUGs cultivated 22 hectares, while farmers that cultivated rice and inter-cropped same with either pepper or maize, were 250 in 16 FUGs, cultivating 42 hectares.,’’ He further said that 212 farmers producing millet, beans, groundnuts and cotton, grouped

into 10 FUGs, cultivated a total of 36 hectares. On livestock production, Dandam said that 2,560 poultry farmers in 145 FUGs produced 93,830 birds, while 847 goat and sheep farmers in 49 FUGs had 665 goats/ sheep. He said that 4,310 farmers grouped into 241 FUGs, fattened 1,052 cattle with the assistance of the project, while 152 farmers, in eight FUGs, were empowered to acquire 353 work bulls.


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Business & Finance

Thursday, January 23, 2014

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Nigeria’s cement industry attracts $8bn new investments MESHACK IDEHEN

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igeria’s cement industry has attracted additional investment worth $8bn, driven largely by the implementation of the Federal Government’s Backward Integration Policy. The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, who disclosed this during a meeting with the Indian business community in Lagos, added that the Federal Government was targeting an increased production capacity in the sector, from about 28.5 million metric tonnes in last year to about 38 metric tonnes in 2014. Aganga, said, “We have had a major success in the cement sec-

tor. For the first time ever in the history of Nigeria, we exported cement in 2013. We had capacity of 28.5 million metric tonnes last year. Our current demand is between 18 to 20 million. However, this year, it should be about 39 million metric tonnes, and we should have one of the largest, if not the largest cement factory in the world in Nigeria. “The success recorded in the cement sector is what we want to replicate in other sectors under the National Industrial Revolution Plan. According to the latest information from cement manufacturers, total investment into the cement is between is between $7bn and $8bn and employs about 1.6million people. The impact of the success story in the cement

Power sector local content law to come into force in Q4 2014-Amadi CHIDI UGWU ABUJA

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he Chairman, Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, power sector local content regulation will become local content law in the first quarter of 2014. Dr. Amadi, who stated this while making a presentation at a session in Chatham House, London, recently, noted that noted that the law is intended to avoid the mistakes made in the oil and gas sector where it is still dominated by expatriates 50 years after. NERC’s Head, Media Maryam Yaya Abubakar , said in a statement that Amadi who was lead speaker at the event organised by Chatham House, UK, pointed out that the power sector local content law in this early stage of the

transition, is intended to avoid the mistakes made in the oil and gas sector where it is still dominated by expatriates 50 years after. According to the statement, the session was chaired by Peter Callaghan, Commonwealth Business Council, He said: “We have a local content regulation that by February should become law, we don’t want what happened in the oil and gas sector where after 50 years Nigeria is still importing technology. We have come up with a local content regulation that provides a framework for every company to begin to localise both technology, and services. “For example a meter provider should within the next five years set up a factory in Nigeria. This is to ensure that the spill off from electricity reform goes to enhance the economy of the nation.”

Sterling Bank, others support charity homes

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t was praises galore for Sterling Bank as representatives of various charities across the country who benefited from the Bank’s ‘Raise a Child’ initiative receive their cheques at the corporate head office of the bank in Lagos. Speaking at the presentation of the cheques to the homes, the Bank’s Executive Director, Mr. Lanre Adesanya explained that Sterling Bank came up with the initiative to put smiles on the faces of the Nigerian child and give him or her hope for a better tomorrow as a responsible corporate citizen. “Specifically, the project was designed to support the society, particularly the children; especially the less privileged children in the society in continuation of the Bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility philosophy. It is a fun-

draising drive structured in a way that the bank, the staff and members of the general public, who are passionate about supporting genuine charitable causes, are provided the necessary platform and channels to contribute with the sole objective of putting smiles on the faces of millions of children through different charities across Nigeria”, Adesanya said. He noted that the gesture from the bank is indicative of how much “Sterling Bank cares about the less-privileged children in the society. Responding on behalf of the benefiting charity homes, Mrs. Sola Fatola, the Chief Executive of 234 Give Limited commended Sterling Bank for coming-up with the initiative that will bring smiles on the faces of less privileged children in the society.

sector will be felt more with the inauguration of the new Mortgage Refinancing Institution that will support building and construction in housing. The housing sector has a lot of potential in terms of job creation.” The minister noted that, in line with the Federal Government’s Industrial Revolution Plan, a new policy that would revamp and fast-track the growth and development of the cotton, textile and garment sector would soon be unveiled. He said that the policy would address the multifaceted problems facing the sector, including access to long-term finance to help textile manufacturers increase their production capacity. Aganga said, “The new policy on Cotton, Textile and Garment should have been out last year but we have decided to do one more round of consultation this month. I hope that by February this year, the policy on Cotton, Textile and Garment will be out.

“Already, there are certain aspects of it that we have started implementing. For instance, in the area of finance, the Federal Government provided N100bn CTG Fund but there a case from the textile industries that they needed it at lower interest rate and for a longer term. President Goodluck Jonathan has graciously approved that the Bank of Industry implements this by converting the loans to equity. We have started implementing this already but we hope the new policy on CTG, which will be out soon, will address most of the challenges facing the sector.” In order to boost job creation, the minister added that the government would address the imbalance in the tariff structure between raw materials and finished goods as part of renewed efforts to encourage value addition through processing of local raw materials. He said, “We want to increase and improve the level and quality of trade between Nigeria and the

rest of the world. If you look at Africa today, it accounts for about three per cent of global trade because it operates at the bottom of the value chain, exporting most of its raw materials instead of finished goods. Our focus is to improve the quality and quantity of our trade as a country through value addition so that we can export more finished products, create jobs and earn more revenue for the government. “We now have a robust Common External Tariff that we all have agreed to. Nigeria played the leadership role in putting this in place. The new CET, which is expected to take effect in January 2015, will involve a re-classification in tariff structure of some raw materials and address the imbalance, which makes it easier and more profitable for people to import goods rather than process our abundant raw materials because the tariff on some raw materials are higher than that on imported finished goods.

L-R: Acting Managing Director, Wapic Insurance Plc, Mr. Ashish Desai; Director, National Insurance Commission, Alhaji Adamu Balanti; Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Fola Daniel; Chairman, Wapic Insurance Plc, Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, and Director, NAICOM, Mr. Barineka Thompson, during the courtesy call by Wapic directors to NAICOM’s office, Abuja, recently.

‘Agric Transformation Agenda revolutionary’ MESHAK IDEHEN

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he Group Managing Director Mainstreet Bank, Ms Faith Tuedor-Matthews, has described the Agricultural Transformation Agenda, ATA, of the Federal Government as a revolutionary initiative, which would help ensure the nation’s quest for food security. Speaking at the formal flag-off of the 2013/2014 Dry Season Farming Support Programme in Abuja, the bank boss acknowledged that the ATA initiative has further encouraged Nigerian banks to brace up to the challenge of lending to the agricultural sector. Highlighting the experience of the banking industry prior to the introduction of the initiative,

she noted that bank lending to the agricultural sector was below one per cent of total bank lending, however within two years this figure has grown to N368bn which is a growth position of 4.29 per cent. She further noted that the banking industry has set a target to grow lending in the Agricultural sector to seven per cent and subsequently to 10 per cent by 2017. Sharing her industry experience of Growth Enhancement Support Scheme, GESS, in the last two years, Tuedor-Matthews noted that total bank lending under the GESS has grown from N4 billion in 2012 to N20 billion in 2013. She pointed out that Mainstreet Bank lent N10 billion to 30 agro-dealers in 2013 under the GESS initiative and recorded zero default.

She maintained that whilst previously the bank would not deal with agro-dealers because they lacked the structure to qualify for borrowing but today the story has changed as all the loans to the dealers are performing whilst through the scheme, over one million farmers have been reached and this translates to more jobs as a result of the additional hands who have been employed through this initiative. She further maintained that following from the experience of Mainstreet Bank, many banks have now realised that lending to Agriculture is a viable business noting that there is great optimism that the target of N60 billion lending to the GES programme will be met and even surpassed.


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Business & Finance

Thursday, January 23, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

21st Century opens online Expert advises governments to mart to drive e-commerce involve professionals in water projects

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eneral Secretary, Nigeria Water and Sanitation Association, NIWAS, Mr. Oladimeji Amuse on Wednesday advised government at all levels to always engage professionals in handling water projects in the country. Amuse told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Lagos that with professionals, there would be adequate framework to sustain and protect water provision and usage. “In water quality and resource management, a holistic approach is crucial for a sustainable development. “There is also need to develop a national strategic economic framework to develop the water services industry in order to avoid pitfalls by non-professionals. “Real professionals should be given jobs for good capacity build-

KUNLE A ZEEZ

ing and to ensure less expenditure and develop the water industry,’’ the water expert said. The secretary commended the efforts of the state water corporation and advised them to improve on the infrastructure in conveying water to the end users. He said there was need for maintenance of pipes and other materials used in conveying water, saying that policies should be fully implemented for the benefit of Nigerians. Amuse said that challenges faced in carrying out water services included non-payment of water bills by consumers and the ever growing population. “People don’t understand that they have to pay for social amenities like water, light and others. “If government makes an investment and there are no re-

turns, there is a problem as to how to expand and keep the system going. “This is because water is a massive investment that must be kept going for the government to fulfil its obligations. There should be an attitudinal change to paying bills,’’ he said. NAN reports that NIWASA, an NGO, was established for the purpose of enlightenment and disseminating information on water supply and sanitation issues. The association is made up of people involved in water business and sanitation, such as engineers, geologists, borehole drillers, water pipe handlers and environmental experts. Part of their activities is having annual seminars, especially on March 22 to celebrate the World Water Day.

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igeria’s Information and Communication Technology hub, 21st Century Technologies has powered the creation of 21stCenturyMart, an online platform that provide ecommerce services to Nigerians. With a promise to satisfy Nigerians’ all electronics, home appliances and latest gadgets needs, 21stCenturyMart becomes latest addition, in the e-commerce space, as a one-stop-shop aggregates everything a Nigerian needs to make successful online transactions including ease, convenience and security. Speaking on the online initiative, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, 21st Century Technologies, Mr. Wale Ajisebutu, being Nigeria’s e-commerce

AFAN lauds FG over N14bn allocation to dry season farming

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CEO, Partnership Investment Plc, Mr. Victor Ogiemwonyi; Managing Director, Trainers J.Streicher Analytics LLC, - Advisory a leading designated market makers in the NYSE, Mr. Thomas Brown at the Market Making Training for market makers and other relevant capital market investors at The Stock Exchange Building in Lagos.

NDIC tasks Nigerians on financial education

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cting Controller of Nigeria Deposit Insurance, NDIC, Mr. Kollere Huseini in Kano Zone, yesterday said that many Nigerians lacked the requisite knowledge on financial and investment decisions. Huseini made the assertion in Katsina during the presentation

NDIC MD, Umar Ibrahim

of handbooks on “Basic Knowledge on Banking and Deposit Insurance’’ to secondary school students in the state. He said that the sophistication of financial markets and products made it imperative for Nigerians to acquire basic financial education. The controller said that those who lacked financial literacy were making avoidable financial losses by investing in institutions not licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, nor protected by the NDIC. “A good example of this is the so-called wonder banks which usually offer to pay high interest rates, but in the end, investors in such institutions loss both their capital and the attractive interests,’’ he said. Husseini said that acquisition of financial education would en-

able people to become aware of the various safety nets put in place by the financial industry regulator. The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports that the zonal controller presented 2,000 copies of the book to the state government for onward transfer to institutions of higher learning. Receiving the books, the state Commissioner for Education, Prof. Aminu Kado, commended NDIC for the gesture and assured it of judicious use of the books. Kado urged NDIC to embark on awareness campaigns on its activities in the local languages for the benefit of depositors through the print and the electronic media. He also urged other cooperate organisations to emulate NDIC by contributing to the development of education in the state and the country at large.

store for electronic products, 21stCenturyMart aims at providing a hassle free and enjoyable shopping experience to shoppers across the country with the widest range of brands and products on its portal. “At 21stCentury Mart, we promise only what we can deliver. This entire business is built on an unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction. We have taken online shopping to a new level. No long story, we deliver on our promises, we are engaging online shoppers with custom, in-the-moment experiences,” he said. He stated that brand was making a conscious effort to bring the power of electronic products and latest gadgets to shoppers with an array of the latest and trendiest products and brands available in the country.

hairman, All Farmers Association of Nigerian, AFAN, in Ogun State, Mr. Olusegun Dasaolu, the on Wednesday hailed the Federal Government for the N14 billion grant in support of dry season farming. Dasaolu told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Abeokuta that farmers in the state were happy to note that President Goodluck Jonathan had their interest at heart. He urged the concerned agencies to ensure judicious and early disbursement of the fund. “The early disbursement will help farmers to prepare their lands, pay for labour, buy seeds and fertiliser in preparation for

the season’s planting,” Dasaolu said. Mr Bayo Adewusi, a lecturer at the Department of Horticulture, Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta, described the gesture as a welcome development. “It is a thing of joy that our nation is going back and investing more in farming which is our first trade. “The N5 billion increments will go a long way in eradicating hunger and poverty in the country.’’ NAN recalled that the President had on Monday announced the N14 billion grant while launching the 2014 Dry Season Farming Support Programme.

President Jonathan, Obasanjo commission ethanol plant in Ogun State

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resident Goodluck Jonathan will Thursday next week commission a multibillion naira ultra modern ethanol manufacturing plant in Igbesa, Ogun State. The commissioning ceremony which will also have in attendance, past president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and the host governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun will also be witnessed by captains of industries and other eminent personalities in the country. The plant built by Allied Atlantic Distilleries Ltd, a subsidiary of the Lexcel Group is the first of its kind in Africa as it will produce ethanol, a major component in the production of spirit, using cassava. Dropping the hint in a statement, Production Manager of

AADL, Mr. Sowemimo Michael, said the establishment of the new plant by his group will herald a new dawn in the manufacturing of wine and spirit in the competitive Nigerian market. His words: “This is certainly the beginning of a new dawn in the wine and spirit industry in Nigeria, and we are setting the pace in line with our company’s objective to remain the numero uno (number one) in the nation’s distillery sector”. He added that the new plant has further reinforced the company’s objective to remain the market leader, not withstanding competition in the distillery sector as no other distilleries have distillation plants in Nigeria, not to talk of extracting ethanol from cassava.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Info Tech

Thursday, January 23, 2014

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Developing Nigeria as next outsourcing destination Studies have shown that Nigeria is the next major destination for Business Process Outsource, BPO, operators otherwise known as call centre business, but experts say without deliberate policy on the part of the government to promote the potential multibillion naira sector, the BPO growth in Nigeria will remain at snail pace. KUNLE AZEEZ reports.

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ou probably have tried to call a tollfree line provided by your telecoms service provider to lodge complaints or make other necessary enquiries on new services, tariff plans and even to seek resolution on network challenges you were passing through. But little did you know that the response to the call you made and the resolution you got were not provided directly by your service provider, but rather, by a third-party organisation working with your telecoms service provider to provide call centre services. In this case, the third-party organisation is technically known as Business Process Outsource, BPO, company, which is an Information Technology company that handles all querries emanating from customer enquiries and complaints of the telecoms service provider. When a telecoms consumer calls his or her mobile service provider to make a request or complaint, the call is routed to a BPO company, which has the technical and human capacity to attend to a customer without the customer knowing that he or she is being attended to by a third-party BPO company. Basically, BPO involves the contracting of the operations and responsibilities of specific business functions (or processes) to a third-party service provider. BPO is typically categorised into back office outsourcing, and front office outsourcing, which includes customer-related services such as contact centre services and its services are not exclusive to telecoms sector alone, but can also be provided for banking industry, oil and gas and other sectors of the economy where consumercenteredness has become an index for business growth. According to experts, the main advantage of BPO is the way in which it helps to increase a company’s flexibility. In early 2000s, BPO was said to be all about efficiency, which allowed a certain level of flexibility at the time. Business process outsourcing, thus, enhances the flexibility of an organisation in different ways. Most services provided by BPO vendors are offered on a fee-for-service basis and this help s company to become more flexible by transforming fixed into variable costs. A variable cost structure helps a company responding to changes in required capacity and does not require a company to invest in asserst6, thereby making the company more flexible.

Johnson

Uwaje

NIGERIA HAS YET TO TAKE THE BULL BY THE HORN TO DEVELOP HER

BPO

SECTOR IN SPITE OF AVALANCHE OF STUDIES INDICATING THAT THE COUNTRY IS THE NEXT MAJOR DESTINATION FOR

BPO AFTER INDIA AND PHILIPPINES Adebayo

Outsourcing, therefore, may provide a firm with increased flexibility in its resource management and may reduce response rimes to major environmental changes. Another way in which BPO contributes to a company’s flexibility is that a company is able to focus on its core competences, without being burdened by the demands of bureaucratic restraints. Key employees are released from performing non-core or administrate processes and can invest more time and energy in building the firm’s core businesses. A third way in which BPO increases organisational flexibility is by increasing the speed of business processes. BPO, therefore, allows firms to retain their entrepreneurial sped and agility, which they would otherwise sacrifice in order to become efficient as they expanded. However, while a number of countries have formulated deliberate policy to drive their BPO sector and are currently reaping appreciable revenues from in-country and offshore BPO businesses with attendant positive impact on their Gross Domestics Product, Nigeria continues to dilly-daily lag behind. According to the Chairman, CNSSL Contact Centre Limited, a leading indigenous BPO company in Nigeria, Mr. Gbenga

Adebayo, Nigeria has yet to take the bull by the horn to develop her BPO sector in spite of avalanche of studies indicating that the country is the next major destination for BPO after India and Philippines that currently have the highest number of Contact/call centre operators. Adebayo, who spoke recently during a media tour of an ultra-modern call centre built my his company at MayFair Gardens, Lekki, Lagos, said India has revenues of $10.9 billion from offshore BPO and over $30 billion from IT and total BPO. India, thus, has some 7 per cent share of the total BPO industry, but a commanding 63 per cent share of the offshore component. Other locations such as Philippines and South Africa have emerged to take a share of the market, as South Africa call centre industry is said to have grown and directly employs about 74,000 people, contributing over 0.92 per cent to South Africa’s GDP. However, while the BPO industry is expected to continue to grow in India, studies have also shown that its market share of the off-shore piece is expected to decline. The Philippines has overtaken India as the largest call centre industry in the world in 2010. In the same vein, Eastern Europe is also an emerging BPO destination as reports has it that in 2010, 33,000 jobs were moved to Eastern European countries. Meanwhile, one great benefit of BPO

sector is its ability to address unemployment issues in the country, especially in a country such as Nigeria, where unemployment rate is very high. Speaking on the role CNSSL Contact Centre Limited is playing in this area, Adebayo said: “Currently, we have six call centres in the country spread across Kaduna, Kano, Ilorin and Lagos. These call centres do about 60 million inbound/outbound calls per annum. At our new ultra-modern cal centre here in Lekki, we handle an average of 500,000 inbound calls but together in all our six centres, we do about two million inbound calls daily.” On how CNSSL is driving local contents through empowerment of the youths, who are working with CNSSL Contact centre Limited, Adebayo said, “Our orgainsations is one of the products of the good that telecoms has brought. We currently engage almost 6,000 Nigerians graduate in direct employment as high as the workforce of some state government or the Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, of the government.” Designed with all necessary equipment, safety and recreational facilities, the CNSSL new call centre currently serves MTN Nigeria but Adebayo says his company plans to work with players in other sectors. “At this centre, we handle BPO business for MTN alone. We are grateful to MTN Nigeria for the opportunity to support them and MTN, by this, is an example of company supporting local companies in the development of our national human capital among other things.” Adebayo called other big organisations; particularly those operating in Nigeria to emulate MTN by outsourcing their call centre operations to indigenous companies rather that giving such job to companies outside the shore of Nigeria, saying this is the only way Nigerian economy can develop faster. “We would want other orgainsations to emulate MTN in this regard in order to enable us take the full benefits accruable from BPO. Imagine if many young enterprises in Nigeria will engage the number we are talking about in BPO and how well it will solve our unemployment problems,” he said. The President, Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria, Dr. Chris Uwaje, noted that software component was also essential to developing a vibrant BPO business in Nigeria. The National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, has already started efforts towards evolving a BPO policy to drive the sector, Uwaje said such efforts should be sustained, saying BPO is a goldmine waiting to be tapped for economic development in Nigeria. In the same vein, Chief Executive Officer, Systemspecs, Mr. John Obaro, called on the government to come up with deliberate policy that will not only drive BPO business but also protect local companies playing in the BPO space in Nigeria. Meanwhile, Adebayo, who appears to be taking the lead in BPO business in Nigeria, has promise to deepen investments in the sector, saying his company would only take its investment to areas in the country where such investment is welcome, with safety of lives and property as key considerations.


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Info Tech

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Nigerian businesses tasked on e-commerce STORIES: KUNLE A ZEEZ

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uyam.com.ng, an electronic commerce platform, has said the pace of growth of e-commerce is still slow in Nigeria, urging Nigerian businesses to capitalise on the abundant opportunity provided by the Internet to run their business operations. Managing Director, Mopheus Limited, owners of Buyam.com. ng, Mr. Emeka Mordi, who made the call in Lagos, attributed the apparent reluctance of some businesses to embrace e-commerce to “concerns relating to the reliability and security of business transactions online.” Mordi, therefore, stated that it was in a bid to promote e-commerce that Buyam.com.ng, has created a niche for itself in e-commerce space through aggregating several merchants on its platform and make their services available

to the teeming Nigerian and other online shoppers. According to Mordi, with the current Internet penetration in Nigeria, approximately 30 per cent and a growing rate of 85 per cent per year, such presents an ample opportunity for economic development. Mordi maintained that the unveiling of Buyam.com.ng, an e-retailer, was born out of passion to take advantage of the potential in online retail business, where customers access goods and services directly from merchants on the platform at no additional costs. He said the platform currently has about 108 merchants with companies such as Park ‘n’ Shop; CFAO; BIC; OUCH; Kachifo; McGraw Hill; Cassavarepublic among others, already onboard. He explained that the modality of the firm’s operation was to display the products and services of the various merchants on the

platform and allow customers to make their choice from any of them and such products are delivered. While noting that Buyam.com. ng’s logistics is handled by DHL Express and supplemented by the company’s in-house logistics firm, Thanet Deliveries Limited, Mordi said, “Merchants are not allowed to handle delivery themselves as this a key point of failure in the service delivery of many of them.” Mordi noted that the growing middle class makes up more than 23 per cent of the population, presenting opportunities for entrants to create a safe and dynamic online retail service. He explained that the site is essentially a platform to achieve one of the core objectives of the company which is to create a web-based, global marketplace where a variety of products can be bought and sold.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Tech Box

Unitel, Ericsson demo Africa’s first LTE technology

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or the first time in Africa, Ericsson, together with Angola’s leading telecommunications provider Unitel, has successfully demonstrated Long-Term Evolusion Advanced, LTE-A, Carrier Aggregation technology. The demonstration was done on both 1800MHz and 900MHz spectrum bands on a commercial network, using a commercial terminal, and took place recently, when Unitel transferred data across its live network in Luanda, Angola, carrying commercial traffic. LTE Carrier Aggregation is the next step in the evolution of high-speed mobile broadband services, enabling operators to make the most of their existing spectrum assets by combining multiple spectrum bands to en-

able higher mobile broadband download speeds. Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Unitel, Mr. Amilcar Safeca, said, “Unitel is always innovating to enhance the customer experience. With the global leap toward higher data access speeds for sophisticated video and mobility services, we are enhancing our network to ensure we continually provide high-quality services to our high-demanding subscriber base. Vice President, Ericsson subSaharan Africa, Mr. Magnus Mchunguzi, also explained that using LTE-A technology, operators can increase their network capacity and enhance the mobile broadband user experience, enabling up to 1Gbps data rates in the future.

EU lauds Nigeria’s ID project KUNLE A ZEEZ

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development of any economy and the NIMC’s quest to create a paradigm shift from the Identity Card issuance to the National Identity Management System, NIMS, is a great potential for the country. “I see potentials for the NIMS project; the NIMC objectives and mandate, when fully implemented will boost the nation’s economy and help drive foreign investment,” he said. HE added that EU also has links with the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and other Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, and will together with the NIMC, create a database of all Nigerians who do business with members of the EU.

L-R: Head, Marketing, Seven-Up Bottling Company Plc., Mr. Norden Thurston; General Manager, Mass Market, Airtel Nigeria, Mr. Wale Abu; Marketing Manager (Nigeria), Pepsico International, Mr. Shakeel Ahmed-Akram and Head, Public Relations, Airtel Nigeria, Mr. Adefemi Adeniran at the launch of “Everybody is a Winner” promo by Pepsi and Airtel Nigeria in Lagos yesterday.

uropean Union has said the current project being implemented by the National Identity Management Commission, NIMC’s, in Nigeria will create a unified identification system in Nigeria will help bring real and recognisable benefits to Nigeria and other countries across the globe. The new Ambassador and Head, Delegation of European Union to Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, Amb. Michel Arrion, said this during a courtesy visit to the NIMC in Abuja. According to him, identity plays a key role in the growth and

Why we invested in Tier-3 data centre –CWG

TwinPine, MTN partner mobile ad portal

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igeria’s pan-African Information and Communication Technology conglomerate, Computer Warehouse Group Plc., has explained why it embarked on the building of an ultra-modern Tier-3 data-centre. According to the Group Chief Executive Officer, CWG Plc, Mr. Austin Okere, the data centre located at Lekki, had been built to provide a platform for CWG’s cloud computing business as well as offer excess capacity to enterprise, especially banks for use as a disaster recovery data centre on a co-location basis. The data centre is also expected to support budding online companies such as Jumia and Konga with immense technology requirements shall also avail themselves of the facility. The CWG’s data centre is

equipped with state of the art N+1 power and environmental management infrastructure, which provides a combined generating capacity of 0.7MVA. To ensure incoming mains power is conditioned and available at all times, there are redundant and Modular 250KVA Uninterruptible Power Supply systems. The UPS also functions as bull-mark against power surges and blowout. Okere said the commissioning of the data centre also sign-posted the future direction of the company tagged ‘CWG 2.0’ in line with its vision of improving Africa’s economy with ICT. He said: “Having mainly completed the pillars for our IT as a Service, IaaS, strategy, namely creating a platform for rapid panAfrican growth and repositioning

our service model to cater to the new cloud computing mind-set, we are on target to achieve our objective of being the leading IT utility enabler in Africa by launching three cloud services in Nigeria. “These cloud services include the MTN SaaS for microfinance banks, in conjunction with MTN Nigeria; the Diamond Yello Account bringing financial inclusion to the 55 million MTN mobile subscribers in partnership with MTN and the Diamond Bank, and the CWG Small and Medium Enterprises, SMERP. “It is a vertically-modular Enterprise Resource Planning application for Micro, Small and Medium scale enterprises, MSME,, which can be used on a subscription basis by hotels, hospitals, spare-parts dealers and so on,” he said.

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winPine Limited, operators of Africa’s first indigenous premium mobile advertising network and MTN Nigeria have partnered to provide advertisers the opportunity to serve their advertising content on MTN’s mobile portal ‘MTN Play’. The agreement, which is exclusive to TwinPine will take advantage of the tremendous traffic which ‘MTN Play’ currently controls to give advertisers and brand owners the opportunity to reach their target market via this unique platform. Speaking on the partnership, the Managing Director of TwinPine, Mr. Elo Umeh said, “We are pleased to be partnering with MTN on this innovative platform. Being an indigenous mobile advertising network, we have the advantage in that we understand

the local market and can better help brands reach their target audiences. We also have the technological capacity to meet the needs of advertisers however large.” According to Umeh, the agreement not only covers mobile advertising, but also extends to mobile content purchased on the ‘MTN Play’ platform via the Mobile Advertising Service. With this deal, Twinpine enables mobile content providers’ bill MTN users for digital content driven by mobile advertising via SMS channels. Speaking on behalf of MTN, the Chief Enterprise Solutions Officer, Babatunde Osho expressed delight at the partnership and highlighted the opportunities that abound on the MTN platform for advertisers and brand owners.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Brands & Marketing

Thursday, January 23, 2014

37

Growing allure of e-shopping The shortcomings notwithstanding, the battle to lure and retain customers in Nigeria’s growing online retail space rages on as statistics show that the trend would continue unhindered in 2014. ADEJUWON OSUNNUYI reports.

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nline shopping has continued to gain unprecedented boom in the country, as consumers are conveniently moving away from the traditional markets and shopping malls to a new way of purchasing goods and services just by sitting in front of a PC or even more likely, via tablet or smart phone. There has indeed been a strong positive sentiment towards online shopping in the country, at least amongst Nigeria’s over 45 million internet population, many of who live in the urban centres. Online sales grew 25 per cent in 2011 to N62.4 bn, up an additional N12.5 bn from N49.9 bn in 2010. While total investment in the sector is presently estimated at about N200 bn with huge potential for growth, this figure is expected to double by 2014 as Nigerian consumers shop more online. The trend is said to be fuelled by deepening internet penetration and an uptick in purchases made with mobile phones. E-shopping offers a level playing ground for large businesses, as well as small and medium-scale enterprises, SMEs, to operate in the global marketplace and for regional businesses and communities to participate in social, economic and cultural networks seamlessly across international boundaries. It equally fosters direct access to distant markets and promotes globalisation of commercial activities and blurs many of the current distinctions between domestic and foreign companies to an extent that it becomes practically impossible to determine the origin of products. Hitherto, multinationals that operated in a number of countries had to adjust their products and services to accommodate the diverse operating environments at a relatively high cost, which the virtual marketplace has reduced. With the paradigm shift in their mode of operation occasioned by the advent of the Internet, global corporations now operate with much consistency and at reduced cost of transactions as if the entire world were a single entity. The Internet has changed the face of businesses and it is providing consumers with the ability to bank, invest, purchase, distribute, communicate, explore, and research from virtually anywhere, anytime there is Internet access. The growing list of shopping websites in Nigeria has been growing rapidly on daily basis. They include Jumia, Konga, Kaymu, Taafoo, Sunglasses, DealDey, Kara, Mystore among others.

e-shopping

Jumia Nigeria practically seems to be the industry leader when it comes to online shopping websites in Nigeria. It have a website located at jumia.com.ng and an office at Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria. Jumia has got a great platform that allows users to register for free, order for items they want and even pay on delivery. Jumia seems to have the highest number of listed products for sale. It sells a lot of products which include fashion, mobile phones, computers, electronics, home accessories, books, movies, tickets and wines. Jumia Nigeria has about 293,000 pages of content indexed by Google presently. For Konga, another leading online shopping site, it has a website located at Konga. com and no office address listed but has three pick up addresses available in Surulere, Ikeja and Victoria Island. Konga is another great shopping website that has a great delivery service that covers most Nigerian cities. Konga is a general shopping website that lists items relating to computers, electronics, clothing, home accessories, books, movies, mobile recharge, food and drinks. Konga has about 280,000 pages of content indexed by Google as at this time. Located at kaymu.com.ng and with an office address at Lekki Lagos Nigeria, Kaymu sells general items such as mobile phones, computers, home accessories, electronics, jewelry, health and beauty products. Kaymu has over 24,000 pages of content indexed by Google as at this time. With an office address is located at Oregun Lagos and a website at Taafoo.com, Taafoo is into selling items relating to fashion and gadgets. Taafoo has over 280,000 pages of content indexed by Google as at this time.

E- SHOPPING

Analysts are optimistic that the upward growth trajectory in online sales will not recede. This is based on evidence which confirms that online retailers are increasingly channelling their energies and resources towards providing locally-relevant solutions to Nigerian customers. The MasterCard Worldwide Online Shopping Survey, released earlier, which corroborated this, reveals that 92 per cent of Nigerians surveyed had shopped online three months before the survey was conducted. Fifty-seven percent of them, according to the survey, indicate that they will continue to make purchases online over the next six months. The survey, which measures consumers’ propensity to shop online, reveals that 59 percent of Nigerian Internet users shop on international websites. Adeola Kudoro, a PR practitioner, is one of the shoppers who have successfully been lured by online retailers away from brickand-mortar stores due to its perceived convenience. “I have continued to fall in love with the e-transaction since the first time I used it to purchase my son’s football jersey,” says Kudoro, who adds that she shops online once or twice a month while spending an average of N16,000.” For most Nigerian online shoppers, in the face of cyber crime and trust, one area where most Nigerians seem to find more attractive is the aspect of being able to pay cash on delivery. Most Nigerian online shoppers prefer to pay cash on delivery, although electronic payments are growing. To show Nigerians’ enthusiasm towards online shopping, last month, Konga. com’s website crashed for an hour, as de-

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mand for its Black Friday sale went through the roof. By the end of the day, however, Konga, a major player in Nigeria’s e-Commerce industry, had broken its largest single-day sales record. “We had more sales on our website last Friday than in all of December last year,” a source within Konga.Com, recalled. Dr. Victor Alaofin, Chief Executive Officer, Ryte Internet Technologies Limited, the company behind Rytedeals.com believes that online shopping is here to stay especially bearing in mind that it aids convenience which most people crave for. “I think one key thing that is driving this is that every human being wants convenience. Nobody wants to go through stress if there is obviously a less stressful alternative available. For a long time, we have all tolerated the Lagos traffic because we did not have an alternative. But as alternatives pop up, there is initial question of trust. But once people test and see that it works, they would prefer to call or go online and have their order delivered at their home instead of spending hours driving to a mall.” According to him, convenience has been one key thing that has been driving the eshopping in the country. “If you look at the average man, we are probably busier today than we were 20 or 10 years ago. Then many people could afford to leave their offices for three hours during lunch to go buy something or do something. But today, the way the jobs are structured, you cannot even stand up, you don’t have breathing time. As lifestyles become more hectic, people tend to actively seek convenient means of doing things.” Accordingly, many are of the view that there are many things that can be done without disturbing their daily schedule which has been the reason the timing has been very appropriate for online business. In looking at the online space in Nigeria vis-a-vis regular shops, it has been undergoing a massive change, especially in cities like Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt. Considering Nigerians taste for shopping, Looking at the future of e-shopping, Alaofin believes that all things being equal, it stands at growing at 25 per cent. “The average I would gladly put it is 25 per cent at the pace it is growing. What that means is that wherever we are today, in five years time e-commerce will grow at least three times, if the growth is sustained over that period. If we are doing 25 per cent, it means approximately every three and a half or four years, it will double. According to Alaofin, “We have seen estimates that put expected volume done by e-commerce in Nigeria as at 2013 at about N85 billion and if that is correct, what we are saying is that another four or five years we will be looking at N150 billion and that is over $1 billion. That would be very significant. I don’t think any business that is very serious can do any complete marketing plan today and totally ignore the online part of it and believe that he has done a good job. The online has come to stay and it can only get better.”


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Brands & Marketing

Thursday, January 23, 2014

2015 elections: Litmus test for advertising agencies DAVID ADAMSON

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resident of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN), Mrs. Bunmi Oke has said 2014 and 2015 would test the sophistication of digital and brand building campaign capabilities of Nigeria’s advertising agencies. Speaking in Lagos recently, Oke, who is the Chief Operating Officer of 141 Worldwide noted that Nigeria has digitally savvy and enlightened youth population who can digest good and professional campaign messages, stressing that the onus is on agencies to use the political campaign opportunities to demonstrate their expertise. She said: “Political campaign development requires a different strategy and approach from product or service companies, and as such we will be dealing with a group of people or individuals who want to create perceptions based on their party or individual

manifestoes. She however predicted a rosy future for advertising agencies in Nigeria, saying that any agency which put its acts together will tap into the windfall expected from the pre-election year and the huge budget politicians would earmark for campaign “In my candid opinion, the true role of marketing communication agencies is just starting with political campaigns in preparation for 2015, and that means 2014 will see an increase in business for our members if our politicians continue to patronize professionals in 2014”. On the way forward and agencies performances so far, she said there is no one easy track to follow, “but for any agency to remain in business, it must have to provide services that are relevant to clients.” “Our clients would always seek great creative ideas and strategic plans that keep their consumers interested in purchasing and repurchasing their products and services. Hence ad agencies must

be competitive, deliver services on time and to the brief. They should also be aware of new trends and consumer insights from research data and consumer engagement activities”, she said. Oke also advised that as a result of new channels of communication open to consumers daily, a fall out of the digital age, flexibility, speed, efficiency, creativity, good planning and strategic skills will always be guidelines for clients’ selection and retention of agencies. “The ‘right price’ is also determined by how much a client is willing to pay for these services, and the more efficient an agency is, the more clients are willing to pay a commensurate price for high level of professionalism”. On agencies willing to operate on the global arena, she said that will be based on the professional expertise of the individual agency, adding that there are some businesses that are selected on global alignments and in Nigeria clients still do align processes and business in line with global trends.

L-R: Managing Director, Nutricima Ltd, Mr. Suneel Vasudevan; Chairman, Scientific Committee, Nutrition Society of Nigeria (NSN), Dr. B.I.C Brai; Marketing Director, Nutricima, Mr. Kalyan Bandyopadyay; Head of Marketing, Mrs. Wande Oluwasegunfunmi and Category Marketing Manager (Standard Milk), Mr. Raphael Agbaje, at the launch the consumer reward initiative promo in Lagos, yesterday.

Consumers give verdict on Hollandia Yoghurt Refresh ‘n’ Win promo DAVID ADAMSON

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ne important factor in products public acceptance is the opinion of consumers of such product. Often, such endorsements come out of experience with the product in terms of quality, benefit, and manufactures’ integrity in keeping to promises consistently. This seems to be the case in the ongoing Hollandia Yoghurt Refresh ‘n’ Win Promotion by Chi Limited, for keeping to its promise of rewarding consumers who participate in the promo with various prizes worth millions in Naira.

The promo, which started in December 2013 and expected to end on 28 February 2014, is aimed at promoting and deepening the market penetration of Hollandia Yoghurt across the country while also creating awareness for the brand’s value propositions. According to the Managing Director, Chi Limited, Mr. Deepanjan Roy, “Hollandia Yoghurt Refresh n Win promo was conceived to reward consumers across Nigeria that has made the product their number one drink’’. He noted that consumers of Hollandia Yoghurt have started winning instant airtime recharge from major telecommunications service providers and prizes such

iPads, iPhones, and smart phones in the weekly e-draws. A cross section of consumers who expressed their views on the promo said the gifts are bonus on the tasty nourishment that they get from Hollandia Yoghurt. One of the lucky winners of an ipad, Pius Joy from Enugu, shares the story of how she won: ‘I have always loved the unique taste of Hollandia Yoghurt. When I saw the ad of the promo on TV, I said maybe this is my time. So I started scratching and texting. When I was invited for the draws, I didn’t believe that I will win. So, when I was announced as one of the winners of an ipads, I was really shocked”.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Promo: Airtel, Pepsi offer free N350m airtime KUNLE AZEEZ

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wo of Nigeria’s companies, Pepsi and telecommunications operator, Airtel Nigeria, have collaborated to run a consumer promotion to reward customers with N350 mn worth of free airtime for their loyalty. The two organisations yesterday said the partnership will see Nigerian consumers winning airtime for every glass bottle of Pepsi, Mirinda, 7Up, Teem and Mountain Dew purchased in the next 70 days. Speaking at a press launch to announce the promo tagged “Everybody Is A Winner’, Head, Marketing, Seven-Up Bottling Company Plc., makers of Pepsi and other carbonated soft drinks, Mr. Norden Thurston, said the partnership with Airtel is aimed at giving the Nigerian consumer the best of two worlds: drinking refreshing Pepsi, talking with exciting Airtel. Thurston said Pepsi is consumer-centric and ever evolving ways

to delight its consumers. “The Nigerian consumer is becoming more discerning and is beginning to get wary of elements of luck associated with lotteries and raffle draws hence we are giving him instant win and multiple entries to enjoy on-net Airtel calls,” he said. According to him, Pepsi is happy to align with Airtel, which has the same consumer focused philosophy for this win-win promotion. In his comments, General Manager, Value-Added Services, Airtel Nigeria, Mr. Victor Bannerman-Chedid, said that “the partnership between Pepsi and Airtel, two of Nigeria’s leading companies is one of the most exciting things to happen to the Nigerian consumer in recent time. We are happy to begin the New Yearon a very promising and positive note for the good of the Nigerian consumer. We recognize their importance and the immense roles they play in the success or our businesses.”

Noah’s Ark appoints Adebola Associate Creative Director

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oah’s Ark Communications Limited, has appointed Babatunde Adebola Associate Creative Director. He recently graduated from Miami Ad School, Hamburg, Germany after two-year training. Speaking on the development, Managing Director and Executive Creative Director of the company, Mr. Lanre Adisa, said the addition of Adebola would further strengthen the creative depth for which the agency was known for in the last five years of its existence. Adebola started his advertising career as a creative intern

at LTC/JWT before joining Bate Cosse as a Creative Executive where he worked on leading brands such as Virgin Nigeria and UBA. He was later joined DDB Lagos where he worked as part of the MTN Team. At DDB, he won the Young Lions Film contest in Nigeria where he represented Nigeria at the Cannes Festival of Creativity in 2009. Adebola created a cheeky direct marketing campaign whereby Adolf Hitler gave him a recommendation letter to the Miami Ad School for a scholarship.

X3M Ideas backs campaign against gender violence

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3M Ideas has unveiled a pro-bono campaign in support of Project Alert, a Non-Governmental Organisation’s (NGO) outcry against brutality against women. The campaign, running under the theme “Speak up, end abuse”, is conceived and executed by X3M Ideas with photography input by Camara Studios. Speaking on the campaign, which is developed for print and online platforms for a start, the Chief Creativity Officer/CEO of X3M, Steve Babaeko, said the campaign is the company’s way of supporting a laudable project facilitated by Project Alert. According to Babaeko, brutal-

ity against women is a societal ill which is claiming the lives of many a woman in the society. “We saw value for the society in what Project Alert was doing and we decided to support them by creating this campaign as our own contribution to the good works.” X3M Ideas used comedians and other popular stars in different fields as models to tell the Project Alert story. Julius Agwu, Seyi Law, TEE A, Sound Sultan, Tunde Ajayi and Emma Collins, among others, were able to eulogise the woman, extol her special contributions to the human race and how she should be treated with dignity and respect.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Brands & Marketing

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Creativity’ll define agency’s relevance in future –Adisa DAVID ADAMSON

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he impact and relevance of advertising agency in the future would be defined by the level of creativity agency brings on clients’ brief, according to Lanre Adisa, Managing Director, Noah’s Ark, a new generation advertising agency based in Lagos. “One should expect some more competitiveness especially between the old and new generation agencies as played out during the last LAIF awards. This will be in the best interest of the industry”, he said. He stressed that staying relevant will depend on how well individual agencies are willing to learn and unlearn. ‘‘Clients will be looking for bolder new platforms that can help them engage the consumers and make a difference”. He believe that what will fur-

ther drive the creative link and act as “the agenda for higher creativity is the coming together late last year of the creative directors under the umbrella of the Creative Directors Circle (CDC)”. The initiative he said would have a positive impact on the industry in the years to come. On the agenda for ads industry for the year, Adisa whose agency nearly swept all the creative awards in LAIF last year, said “it is difficult to canvass an agenda for the industry. However it is safe to assume that the key players will be looking for how to raise their game. It will all be down to staying relevant. The dynamics of the past may not suffice going forward. Only those who are willing to reinvent themselves will lead the pack”. He explained that the strategies and alignment expected from agencies are the fact that they cannot run away from the fallout of global realities.

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Thiry succeeds Richards as Promasidor boss

According to him, “The Publicis/Omnicom merger is surely going to bring some realignment in our industry as regards agencies and accounts. With the recent classification of Nigeria as being one of the emerging markets to watch, one should expect even more interest from foreign players. “In view of the new APCON reforms and some of the developments we experienced in 2013, we will have to fashion out a way to participate. This also implies that Nigerian agencies will have to sit up and be ready for strong competition which foreign agencies participation may bring along.” On what market fundamentals agencies expect to be at play in shaping marketing strategy for this year, and in the future, Adisa believes traditional advertising will still hold sway, but noted that its dominance will be seriously challenged by non-conventional and digital platforms.

L-R: General Manager, Value Added Services Airtel Nigeria, Mr.Victor Bannerman-Chedid; Head of Marketing, SevenUp Bottling Company Plc, Mr. Norden Thurston, and General Manager, Mass Market, Airtel Nigeria, Mr. Wale Abu,. at the launch of “Every body is a Winner” promo by Pepsi and Airtel Nigeria in Lagos on Tuesday.

ADEJUWON OSUNNUYI

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succession process that will culminate in Chief Keith Richards becoming a non- executive Chairman of Promasidor Nigeria Limited and Mr. Olivier Thiry becoming the Managing Director has begun. It would be recalled that Richards a few months ago clocked 60 years. In a statement by the company, the current Chairman, Mr. Mark Rose said, “Keith Richards has done an outstanding job as managing director since he started in November 2007. His tenure will be recognised, not just for our results but also for the development of our brand portfolio and our organization. Under his leadership PNG has become respected throughout Nigeria for our brands, our people, our innovative spirit and our corporate responsibility. “Keith had always signalled he would like to move on once he turned 60 but I am delighted that he has agreed to stay on as Chairman. In this part-time role we will be able to take advantage of his understanding of the Nigerian regulatory, social and political environment. He will be remaining in Nigeria and available to advise and support the board as well as be a mentor to the incoming managing director. The incoming MD, Olivier began his career with the Promasidor group in 2002 in Algeria. Originally head of the sup-

ply chain function, he assumed the office of Deputy Managing director in 2004, and became the substantive Managing Director in 2005. Under his leadership, Promasidor became the market leader in the powdered dairy and beverage industries in Algeria. He left Algeria in 2009 and assumed the position of Managing Director for Ghana in January 2010 where he has been hugely successful for four years. Prior to the Promasidor group, Olivier worked for Belgolaise Bank (Fortis Group) in Belgium in a number of roles. In 1999, he joined the company “Delta Informatique “leader’s in banking information. He began as head of projects and became responsible for the branch based in Ivory Coast in charge of West Africa. He worked here for two years prior to joining Promasidor Algeria In 2002. Olivier graduated in 1995 with distinct Honours from the University of Brussels. His wife, Deborah and two sons will be joining him in Nigeria. Olivier, Rose further stated will be joining Keith in Nigeria in the next few weeks for a substantial familiarisation and will begin to take operational responsibility during the second quarter with a formal handover in May 2014. “The board is delighted with the prospect of having two seasoned and experienced operators working together and for us to have a strong and welldeveloped succession plan,” he added.

SEF: Building an enduring educational brand

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have observed with enthusiasm the laudable platforms that Nigerian schools are building solid brand images. It is a good development that our schools are now poised to create lasting competitive advantage. Not a few educational institutions have tapped into strategic avenues to provide long lasting competitive advantage. They have built their brands on a solid corporate culture to remain visible. Supreme Educational Foundation (SEF) is one of the very few that has strong focus on building a strong brand. It has underscored its commitment to building positive experiences both for parents and students. This has been a significant edge it leverages above others in the educational sector. SEF is utilizing its brand name as a strategic asset to remain a preferred institution of

choice. The SEF brand has indeed evoked positive associations and enduring affinity with its target audience. SEF has a strong and tested ability to deliver added value to its students and improve their capabilities. The institution has not only raised the pedestal of education beyond learning but also in moral aptitude of the students. The quality of its Alumni attests to the laudable contribution of the school in raising leaders in their own rights. The SEF brand has raised ambassadors for its educational services through the quality of its service and the success of its students. The strength of a brand is tested with its name. Supreme Education Foundation is the only academic foundation students can obtain. Supreme is the highest height for educational attain-

Brand X-Ray with Ayodeji Ayopo Tel: 08023448199 E-mail: mayomipo@yahoo.com ment. The brand name typifies a strong appeal that resonates beyond the ordinary. This is in tandem with the school anthem which echoes the Supreme name as one that towers above every other name in the educational sector. The emotive value the SEF brand gives is one that it is not only an institution of learning but also an exclusive platform to raise future giants. This is vividly encapsulated in the vision of the

school to attain the highest standards of excellence in academics and total development of its students.SEF has the goal to present a caring atmosphere where honesty, tolerance and good manners are valued. The ethoses of the school are based on mutual respect and consideration for others. Supreme Educational Foundation blends modern day teaching methodology with qualitative touch to impact the lives of the students. It is one brand name with

strong influence to mould and shape both academic and attitudinal disposition of the students. SEF expects a high standard of social behavior form the students which also create a distinct image for the school.A brand should be a name that influences the consumers and this aptly captures the whole essence of the SEF brand. The name creates a positive impression for the institution and it spontaneously evokes desirable associations. The differentiation in the Supreme Education Foundation brand is tangible benefits of developing well rounded scholars. Since brands are expected to convey measure of trust, the SEF brand has been trusted as dependable by parents. Within its territory in the educational sector, SEF has sustained a premium level of quality.


40

Global Business

Thursday, January 23, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Euro zone debt level drops for first time in six years E uro zone government debt fell for the first time in nearly six years in the third quarter of 2013, adding to

signs the bloc is emerging from its crisis even if the debt level remains well above the EU’s limit. Sovereign debt fell as a pro-

German Chancellor, Anjela Merkel

UK public sector borrowing falls to £12.1bn in December

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nited Kingdom government borrowing fell in December to £12.1bn, down £2.1bn from a year earlier, according to official figures. The estimated figure excludes the effect of bank bailouts, the Office for National Statistics, ONS, said. Public borrowing for the 2013-14 financial year to date fell to £96.1bn in December £4.8bn lower than the same period a year ago. Public sector net debt fell from 76.6 per cent to 75.7 percent of gross domestic product. The figures are initial estimates from the ONS and subject to later revision. The ONS also reported that the unemployment rate had fallen to 7.1 per cent in December, its lowest level since 2009. Increased economic activity and lower unemployment have helped reduce government borrowing and increased the money flowing into the Treasury’s coffers.

portion of national output in all three of the euro zone’s biggest economies, Germany, France and Italy, as well as in Portugal, one of the five countries that needed a bailout to help its government or its banks through the crisis years. But debt rose relative to gross domestic product, GDP, in Greece, where the debt crisis began, and Spain, which took a bailout for its banks. Debt in the 17 countries that shared the euro in 2013 stood at 8.842 trillion euros, $12 trillion, in the three months to September, statistics agency Eurostat said on Wednesday, slightly down from 8.875 trillion euros in the second quarter. As a proportion of gross domestic product, it slipped to 92.7 percent, from 93.4 percent in the April-June period, still well above the 60 percent limit stipulated in

EU rules. It was the first decline in absolute terms since the fourth quarter of 2007, Eurostat said, after more than four years of crisis. The Commission expects overall euro zone debt to peak this year at 95.9 percent, up from 95.5 percent in 2013. Latvia joined the euro zone from January 1 this year, boosting the currency bloc’s membership to 18 countries, but its debt levels were not included in the calculations. The European Commission said the figures were in line with their expectations, although the debt was higher when compared with the same period of 2012 when it stood at 90.0 percent. “This stabilization is the result of the fiscal consolidation efforts undertaken in the past two years, the pace of which has now slowed substantially, as well as the im-

India central bank moves towards monetary policy overhaul

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he Reserve Bank of India should make managing inflation its main policy objective and set monetary policy by committee, a central bank panel has recommended, a shift that would bring its practices in line with many other central banks. The recommendations are widely expected to be accepted. They were issued late on Tuesday by the panel set up by RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, which also recommended using consumer prices as the primary measure of price changes and setting an eventual inflation target of 4 percent. The reforms are aimed at making policy setting more effective and transparent in a country that has long struggled with high inflation. Given the current high level of consumer price inflation at close to 10 percent, the change could mean interest rates stay higher for longer. “We believe the immediate implication for monetary policy could be a front-loaded 25 bps hike in the repo rate at the January policy meeting given that current headline inflation is significantly above the explicit 12-month target,” Goldman Sachs economists wrote. If adopted,

the new approach would aim to reduce consumer inflation to 8 percent in the next year. The central bank had been widely expected to keep its policy repo rate unchanged at 7.75 percent at its next policy review on January 28, following a decline in wholesale price inflation. The reforms would mark the most dramatic change implemented by the 50-year-old Rajan, a high-profile former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, who took office on September 4 with an ambitious agenda and amid high expectations. “This is one of the most important steps taken by RBI in at least the last 15 years, when we moved away from money supply targeting to repo, reverse repo,” said Samiran Chakraborty, head of research at Standard Chartered Bank in India, referring to the current policy rates. “Since then, there has been no proper revamp in the monetary policy framework, while the economy has moved into a different inflation, growth trajectory,” he said. “The world has become more integrated.” In its 130-page report, the panel recommends that managing infla-

Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh

tion take precedence over the central bank’s two other current main objectives of economic growth and financial stability. If adopted, the RBI would use consumer price index inflation, which now stands at 9.87 percent, as the benchmark for targeting inflation. It would aim to pare CPI inflation to 8 percent over the next 12 months and 6 percent in

China eases rules on banks’ bad-loan write-downs

C China President Xi Jinping

provement in economic conditions,” European Commission spokesman Simon O’Connor said. A senior European Commission official stressed that debt issuance was usually weakest in the third quarter of a year and that should be factored in when looking at the overall picture. More than 85 percent of overall debt comes from securities other than shares, such as bonds and treasury bills, followed by loans, currency and deposits as well as intergovernmental lending related to the financial crisis. Germany’s debt, the biggest in value at 2.12 trillion euros ($2.9 trillion), fell to 78.4 percent of its GDP and France’s to 92.7 percent. Italy’s debt dropped to 132.9 percent Of GDP, but in Greece, where the crisis began, the debt level rose to 171.8 percent of GDP after two bailouts to avert bankruptcy.

hina has issued revised rules to make it easier for banks to write off small loans, in the latest effort to help lenders deal with an expected rise in bad loans as the economy slows. The rules, issued by the Ministry of Finance and published on the website of the Jiangsu provincial finance bureau on Tuesday, say the aim is to “strengthen financial enterprises’ risk prevention and control ability.”

Bankers and analysts have warned that non-performing loans in China’s banking system are likely to rise this year as a slowing economy, rising interest rates and policymakers’ focus on reducing new credit growth is likely to pressure weaker borrowers. The revised rules grant financial institutions freedom to write off loans to a borrower of up to 10 million yuan ($1.65 million)

without permission from the regulator, if the loans are to a smalland medium-sized enterprise or related to agriculture, and if the lender has tried for at least one year to recover the funds. Previously, the upper limit for such write-downs was 5 million yuan. The revisions also allow financial institutions to write off personal business loans to a single borrower of up to 5 million yuan

the next 24 months. Its eventual target level would be 4 percent, plus or minus 2 percent. Historically, Indian policymakers have relied on the wholesale price index, which eased to a five-month low of 6.16 percent in December, and have not set a specific target. Rather, the RBI was perceived to have a comfort zone of WPI inflation of around 5 percent. if the institution has sought repayment for at least one year. The finance ministry also said that if a borrower has entered bankruptcy, financial institutions can write off loans after two years, if they have not received repayment. The previous limit was three years. Policymakers want to encourage banks to be pro-active in writing down non-performing loans as a means to clean up their balance sheets and improve the accuracy of their financial statements.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Thursday, January 23, 2014

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42

Capital Market

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Thursday, January 23, 2014

CRR: Index slides 1.1% on banking stocks JOHNSON OKANLAWON

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he Equities market yesterday witnessed investors’ reaction to increased Cash Reserve Ratio on public deposit as announced by the Moneytary Policy Commiitte on Tuesday. The All Share Index closed south shedding, 1.10 per cent to close at 41,469.94 points, while market capitalisation lost N148bn to close at N13.288trn, erasing the gain recorded the preceding day. Stock analysts at Meristem Securities Limited attributed the decline to selloffs mostly recorded in the banking stocks. According to the firm, five banks ranked among the top 10 losers in an obvi-

ous initial market reaction to CRR news, as Skye Bank Plc, Diamond Bank Plc and Union Bank of Nigeria Plc among others shed weights. The firm said, “Whilst the overall market mood remains calm at the moment, we reason that investors will stay cautious on banking stocks until the full impact of increased CRR is ascertained on the banks’ fundamental performance.” The Central Bank of Nigeria on Tuesday rose from its first MPC meeting this year to further raise banks’ CRR on public sector deposits from 50 per cent to 75 per cent. It, however, left the CRR on private deposits unchanged at 12 per cent. The CRR is a monetary

policy tool used to set the minimum deposits commercial banks must hold as reserves rather than lend out. It is usually applied to influence borrowing and interest rates by changing the amount of money in banks’ disposal to create loans. Other key policy rates, however, were kept unchanged, with the MPR, the benchmark for interest rates, maintained at 12 per cent, while the liquidity ratio was held at 30 per cent. However, IHS Plc led the gainers’ table with 33 kobo or 10 per cent to close at N3.63 per share, followed by Costain Plc with 12 kobo or 9.52 per cent to close at N1.38 per share. Transnational Express Plc gained 14 kobo or 9.52 per cent to close at N1.61 per

share, while Forte Oil Plc added N7.81 or 9.47 per cent to close at N90.24 per share. Courtvile Plc was up six kobo or eight per cent to close at 81 kobo per share. On the flip side, Skye Bank Plc lost 40 kobo or 9.09 per cent to close at N4.00 per share, while African Prudence Insurance Plc shed 22 kobo or 7.03 per cent to close at N2.91 per share. FBN Holdings Plc dropped N1.00 or 6.21 per cent to close at N15.10 per share, while Union Bank Plc dipped 51 kobo or 4.95 per cent to close at N9.79 per share. University Press Limited fell 22 kobo or 4.88 per cent to close at N4.29 per share. A total of 327.3 million shares valued at N3.37bn were traded in 5,904 deals.

Source: NSE

Source: FMDA

Market indicators All-Share Index 41,469.94 points Market capitalisation 13.30 trillion

FG to sell stake in Abuja Commodity Exchange JOHNSON OKANLAWON WITH AGENCY REPORT

T

he Federal Government plans to sell its ownership of the Abuja Securities and Commodities Exchange by the middle of the year after missing an initial deadline in a plan to revive trading, Bloomberg reported yeaterday. The Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Ms Arunma Oteh said the government wants to privatise the only commodity exchange and it had committed to doing it by the end of last year, but it didn’t meet

that deadline. According to her, the government is planning to do something by the middle of 2014. Companies including Heirs Holdings Limited, an investor with interests across Africa in banking, energy, real estate and agriculture, plans to acquire or set up a commodities exchange in the country. The country had thirdbiggest cocoa harvest last year and produces crops such as cotton and sugar. The Abuja bourse was converted from a stock exchange to a commodities market in 2001, according to its website, which last

posted a news story in November 2010 and has information on crops traded dated January 2008. Heirs Holdings Chairman, Mr. Tony Elumelu wants to acquire the exchange when it is sold, he said in an interview last month. “If it’s unable to buy the exchange, Heirs Holdings will apply to the SEC to set one up,” he said. The company, through its African Exchange Holdings Limited, has stakes in Kigali, Rwanda-based and the National Association of Securities Dealers trading platform. In collaboration with the

Nigerian Grain Reserve Agency and the Agriculture Ministry, Heirs Holdings in November established an electronic warehousing system linking farmers and traders as part of the groundwork to set up a commodities exchange. Oteh said, “We have a number of both domestic players and international players who are very interested. They’d rather acquire the privatized exchange, so they’re trying to see how far the government is going with this initiative and if not they’re prepared to seek a registration for a new commodity exchange.”

European shares drop on mixed corporate update

E

uropean shares pulled back from near five and half year highs yesterday, giving up early gains as mixed earnings reports kept the market from pushing through recent resistance. Dutch technology firm ASML was the standout individual mover, surging 6.9 per cent to be the FTSEurofirst’s top riser after it beat forecasts for its fourthquarter results and reiterated its upbeat outlook for first-half sales. Swiss engineer ABB fell 3.8 per cent to the bottom of the index after it flagged that its power division

would miss profit targets after $260m in charges due to project delays and restructuring costs. While 68 per cent of companies that have reported so far have beaten or met forecasts for annual earnings, expectations for reports later on in the season are falling as companies such as ABB and Shell have issued profit warnings. “Earnings have been a bit of a mixed bag. Eearning per share growth predictions are coming down ... and there’s an element of companies managing expectations taking place as well,” Henk Potts, strategist at Barclays, said.

“In the short term, there is some pressure filtering through. But, saying that, if you look at 2014 earnings forecasts for Europe, they still remain pretty strong. Even if we see a pullback in the short term, in the longer term the fundamentals remain supportive.” The pan-European FTSEurofirst was down 0.1 per cent at 1,344.34 points. It gave away good early gains for a second session in a row, and remained just shy of a fresh multi-year high touched during Tuesday’s trade at 1,353.47 points. The index is up around two per cent this year, having gained 16.1 per cent

in 2013, and broke out of a tight 10-point range a week ago. The euro zone EuroSTOXX 50 also gave up a strong start to trade down 0.3 per cent at 3,145.47 points, with technical analysts saying the index was due a pullback. “The EuroSTOXX 50 has already broken above the key 3,050 area, which was previously resistance. There’s now a bullish channel, which we’re near the top of, so it’s natural that we consolidate here. But the bullish trend is still ultimately in place,” said Fawad Razaqzada, technical analyst at Gain Capital.

Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

CHANGE

IHS

3.30

3.63

0.33

% CHANGE 10.00

COSTAIN

1.26

1.38

0.12

9.52

TRANSEXPR

1.47

1.61

0.14

9.52

FO

82.43

90.24

7.81

9.47

COURTVILLE

0.75

0.81

0.06

8.00

JBERGER

65.10

70.00

4.90

7.53

REDSTAREX

4.65

5.00

0.35

7.53

CILEASING

0.55

0.59

0.04

7.27

PRESCO

41.06

43.11

2.05

4.99

BETAGLAS

16.83

17.67

0.84

4.99

CHANGE

% CHANGE -9.09

LOSERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

SKYEBANK

4.40

4.00

-0.40

AFRIPRUD

3.13

2.91

-0.22

-7.03

FBNH

16.10

15.10

-1.00

-6.21

UBN

10.30

9.79

-0.51

-4.95

UPL

4.51

4.29

-0.22

-4.88

DIAMONDBNK

7.79

7.41

-0.38

-4.88

JAPAULOIL

0.62

0.59

-0.03

-4.84

THOMASWY

0.87

0.83

-0.04

-4.60

WEMABANK

1.15

1.10

-0.05

-4.35

CONTINSURE

1.18

1.13

-0.05

-4.24

Primary Market Auction TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

91-Day

22,057.31

11.50

07-Nov-13

182-Day

30,000.00

11.59

07-Nov-13

182-Day

47,786.39

13.05

07-Nov-13

Open Market Operations TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

178-Day

86,709.13

12.35

07-Nov-13

175-Day

95,368.69

12.35

07-Nov-13

-

-

-

-

Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED

MARKET DEMAND

AMOUNT SOLD

DATE

$350m

N/A

$343m

04-Nov-13

$400m

N/A

$399m

30-Oct-13


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Capital Market

Thursday, January 23, 2014

43

Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at January 22, 2014 1st Tier Securities

1st Tier Securities Sector

Company name

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, January 23, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

SCIENCE FOR KIDS

Why does mosquito bites itch?

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irst of all, only female mosquitoes bite. Furthermore, when a female mosquito bites you, she is actually not biting you at all. What happens is this: Her large needle-like mouth part, called a proboscis, probes your skin when she lands on you looking for a blood vessel. When she finds one, she sucks out some blood, leaving behind a little of her saliva, which acts as an anticoagulant as she is sucking up your blood and allows her to feast more efficiently. Our body has a natural immune response to the foreign mosquito saliva and creates histamines, thereby causing the skin around the bite to itch. A mosquito bite doesn’t always itch right away. Sometimes it can take a couple of hours to notice you’ve been bitten. Interestingly, some people have been bitten so much that they have developed an immunity to the bug bites — meaning they have no reaction at all. Mosquito bites that itch, though annoying, are actually a good thing, because without them, we may not even know that we’ve been bitten. Why do we need to know that we’ve been bitten, you may ask? Because mosquitoes can carry malaria, encephalitis and West Nile virus. Only the itch might tip us off to a potential cause should we come down with one of those conditions. Occasionally, mosquito bites can do more than just cause us to itch. I have a friend whose son was bitten on his palm and it swelled up so badly that his fingers started to turn blue from lack of oxygen. She had to take him to the emergency room to get the swelling to go down. My own son had a mosquito bite that blew up so big, it look like he had a cyst growing out of his forearm. My pediatrician told me to give him Benadryl and to watch for worsening. Luckily, within 24 hours, it started to get better. (That was the night I found out that Benadryl, which usually brings on sleepiness, can have quite the opposite effect on some kids, judging by his 11 p.m. bouncies the night of the incident). So now that you know why, what can you do to help ease the itchiness (besides scratching, which will only make it worse, and can make the bite more susceptible to infection)? As my pediatrician suggested, you can take an antihistamine like Benadryl. You can also try some Calamine lotion. If you want to go the more natural route, you can try putting an ice pack on the bite, which will numb your nerves so that you don’t feel the itch. You can also try aloe, which is often recommended for sunburn relief but can relieve itchiness too. –Mother Nature Network

Mosquito

NGT 2 contestant, John Bethel with Kate Henshaw's portrait

Contestant woos Kate Henshaw at NGT

STORIES: LEONARD OKACHIE

N

igeria’s Got Talent judge and Nollywood actress, Kate Henshaw may have found herself in a wooing game when she appeared to have caught the eyes of one of the semi-finalists in the on-going season two of the Nigeria’s Got Talent sponsored by leading telecoms operator, Airtel Nigeria. The charming celebrity judge seemed to be heading for a conflict of interest at the weekend when Enugu-born singer, John Bethel opened his performance on the night by rehearsing on music with a sketched portrait of the actress before unveiling a smiling image of the actress. This, however, turned sour for the young man whose performance was summarily dismissed by judge Yibo Koko who chided him for failing to work at meeting expectations and seeking to

exploit an emotional angle. “Of all that have performed here, you are the least on this show,” spouted a visibly angry Yibo. Despite openingly admitting her love for the portrait and requesting to have it for keeps, Kate Henshaw was quick to put aside sentiments as she ripped into the youthful act with some damning notes bothering on the performance. Dan Foster, the third judge on the show must have proved somewhat a comfort for the singer as he rather chose to toe the line of correction and admonition, having pointed out the misses in the performances. Other contestants vying for a place in the

finals include The Elevators, Imeh Peace, Oasis, ESN, John (8 Strings) Azuka, Showboy Efe and Precious Play. From these,the act with the highest number of votes will be joined on the finals train by the act with at least 2/3 majority votes of the judges. The season two of the Bharti Airtelsponsored ‘’Got Talent’’ reality TV show commenced on October 9 with nation-wide auditions in select cities including Abuja, Port- Harcourt, Asaba, Calabar, Enugu, Benin, Ibadan and Lagos .The semi-finals opened on December 29 with the finals expected to hold on February 8, 2014. It is the only talent competition show that is open to any age and any talent, with auditions taking the show to numerous cities in search of a one-of-akind gifted or skilled individual. Nigeria’s Got Talent is sponsored by Airtel and is ably supported by Malta Guinness, Tetrazzinni, Soul Mate Hair Products and Nig.info among other partners.

Youths back electronic voting in 2015 JOEL AJAYI ABUJA

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eaders of Niger Delta Youth in collaboration with Arewa Youth Vanguard, the O’Odua Youth Forum and the Ohanaeze Progress Youth have thrown their weight behind the campaign by the country's electoral body to ensure that 2015 elec-

tion is conducted via electronic voting system, adding that it would ensure transparency. Speaking on behalf of the group in a press conference in Abuja, the National Convener, Com. Solomon Adodo, used the medium to call on all politicians irrespective of party affiliation or political leaning to shun all factors that might destroy the country’s democracy.

He said:"We assure INEC of our utmost support towards using electronic voting in 2015. We also appeal to all political parties, civil society organizations and indeed all Nigerians to join us in pushing for a system that will get rid of thugs, loss of lives, election malpractices and all sorts of malpractices during 2015 general elections.This if done, will also make our elec-

tions free, fair and credible." “Electronic voting is the surest way for Nigeria to join the league of countries that have washed out electoral fraud, which is the worst form of corruption. It is also the best way to hand over Nigeria’s elections back to Nigerians, instead of having the judiciary determine who wins what contest.”


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Young & Next Generation

Thursday, January 23, 2014

45

Families who serve dinner at table have slimmer children –Study

C

hildren who are served dinner at the dining table are less likely to be overweight, according to new research. Experts said children who serve themselves also eat less than those who are given pre-plated food. Children learn to recognise when they are full quicker when sitting around a table and serving themselves than if given a plateful of food in front of the television. According to a report by Mail Online, the results emerged from a study of children aged between two and five in more than 100 child care centres in the U.S. Lead author Dr Brent McBride, director of the child development laboratory at the University of Illinois, said: ‘Family-style meals give kids a chance to learn about things like portion size and food preferences. ‘When foods are pre-plated, children never develop the ability to read their body's hunger cues. They don't learn to say, okay, this is an appropriate portion size for me.’ The researchers added that children should not be pressurised into finishing a serving as this can encourage them to eat more than they need Dipti Dev, a graduate student in nutritional sciences at the University of Illinois, said: ‘Instead of asking “are you done?” [parents] should ask children, “are you full?”. Or they should say, “if you're hungry, you can have some more”. ‘Asking the right questions can help

Generational Voices' team

children listen to their hunger and satiety signals.’ She added: ‘If a child doesn't eat at one meal, he'll compensate for it over a 24-hour period. ‘Making kids eat when they're not hungry is probably the worst thing you can do. It teaches them not to pay atten-

tion to their body's signals.’ The research was published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The findings support recent research by Dr Brian Wansink, of Cornell University in the U.S., and Dr Ellen van Kleef, of Wageningen University in the Netherlands.

They found that people who eat as a family around a table, instead of in front of the TV, are less likely to be overweight. They discovered that higher BMIs are associated with more meals in front of the television. The researchers also found that eating at a table is associated with lower BMIs for both parents and children.

Youths in agriculture contributed N6.41trn to economy in 2012 –NBS

T Mr. Clown entertaining children at the 10th anniversary celebration of Kingsland Schools, Ikorodu, Lagos, recently. PHOTO: LEONARD OKACHIE

200 youngsters trained on peace, conflict resolution in Kaduna

A

Non-Governmental Organisation, Strategic Empowerment and Mediation Agency (SEMA), has trained 200 youths on peace and conflict resolution in Kaduna State. The Executive Director of the Agency, Mr Samie Ihejirika said the organisation selected youth leaders from Kaduna North, Kaduna South, Chukun and Zongon Kataf Local Government Areas for the training. According to him, the aim is to encourage the people to be part of peace processes in their communities, even as he stressed that it would

ensure that contending issues were addressed locally before degenerating into conflict. The executive director added that the agency was also interested in gender issues "because in our society, women are being neglected. “There is a theory that says, if women are not involved in issue of development, progress is usually slow, but where women have opportunities, development is usually accelerated. “This means that women are important to the process of peace and development; of course women play significant role in building peace."

he National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has said youths operating agricultural firms and businesses contributed N6.41 trillion to nation’s economy in 2012. This is contained in the ``2012 National Baseline Youth Survey Report’’ issued in Abuja by the NBS in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Youths Development. The report said: “Youth agricultural firms/business contributed a total of N6.41 trillion in the year under study. Out of this, crop farming activity contributed the sum of N4 trillion, livestock weighed in N2 trillion while poultry contributed N20 billion.” The report also indicated that fishing contributed N20 billion while forestry contributed N1 billion into the nation’s economy. It said out of the 12.6 million youths representing 60 per cent involved in agriculture reportedly have access to market while 500,000 of them, representing 58.5 per cent had no access to market. The report said: ``In Nigeria, more

than 37 per cent of youths were engaged in agriculture. Disaggregated by sex, 48.4 per cent were males while 51.6 per cent were females. “At the state level, the number of male youth employers in agriculture is generally higher than females. “Similarly, the analysis of youths employed in agriculture reveals more males than females although female employees outnumber males in almost half of the states in the country.’’ It said that the most active youth group in crop production and animal husbandry was males aged 15-19 representing 64.4 per cent. The report also revealed that the most active youth group in aquatic farming sub-sector was males aged 30-35. It said among females, those aged between 20 and 24 were the most active, adding that they were involved in aquatic farming. It said the survey covered five sub-sectors of agriculture, including crop, livestock, poultry, fishery and forestry.


46

Media

Thursday, January 23, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

NUJ decries endless iniquiry into members' killing ... holds security workshop with police STORIES: LEONARD OKACHIE

F

ollowing recent shooting of a photo journalist, Callistus Ewelike of the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja by unknown persons, the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), has called on the police and other security agencies to conclude investigations into the killing of journalists in the country over the years. This is even as the Correspondents Chapel of the union in Ebonyi State has concluded plans with the Police Command to organise sensitisation workshop on security. The National Secretary of the union, Mr. Shuaibu Leman in a statement lamented that the security personnel, especially the police, were yet to conclude any of the pending cases of killings of journalists across the country. While noting that Ewelike was still receiving treatment, NUJ stated that there had been many pending cases since the killing of Dele Giwa on Oct. 19, 1986. The union said that it is highly agitated by the yet to be resolved killing of journalists across the country and the continued targeting of journalists for whatever reasons. It, therefore, called on the Federal Government to take adequate measures for effective protection of journalists across the country, adding that the media, as the conscience of the nation, cannot be neglected. Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Po-

NUJ National President, Malam Mohammed Garba lanked by other NUJ officals at a press briefing.

lice in Ebonyi State, Mr. Maigari Dikko, said the workshop would be planned to create the desired awareness to awaken the spirit of security consciousness in the people. Making the disclosure in Abakiliki, the Ebonyi State capital, when the members of the chapel paid him a courtesy call recently, Dikko said: “I would meet with my management to discuss on the modalities of the workshop before we liaise with you to ensure a successful organisation. “The workshop is of paramount importance to the police as it seeks the cooperation of the people to surmount the dire security challenges confronting the country.”

He said the police would synergise with other security agencies to check incidences of crime in the state adding, “The task of securing the lives and properties of individuals does not lie with the police alone.It needs the cooperation of others such as the Army, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, among others. ``We also promote the concept of community policing that would involve the active participation of individuals to bring crime rate in the society to a manageable level.” The commissioner said that due to its numerous advantages, the command emphasises proactive policing. The Command’s Public Relations Offi-

cer, ASP Chris Anyanwu, in his remark, said the attention of the command had been drawn to false bomb alarms masterminded by some `mischievous’ elements in the state. He said: “The miscreants fabricate and conceal some funny electronic gadgets that blink light intermittently, as if it were an Improvised Electronic Device (IED). “Such fake gadgets are wired to tree shrubs and placed at adjoining farm routes, on tarred roads or other strategic locations, with the impression that a bomb is planted therein.’’ Anyanwu warned that any person or group of persons caught or linked to this `inglorious’ design would be dealt with.

Remembering Komlar Dumor, one T

Dumor

he media industry, Africa and the world at large have been thrown into mourning following last Saturday’s death of Ghanaian-born BBC broadcaster, Komla Afeke Dumor. It is often said, “Good men must die, but death cannot kill their names.” The ace broadcaster was found dead in his London house, on January 18, 2014, following what was reported to be a cardiac arrest. Born in Accra, Ghana on October 3, 1972, Dumor was well-known to audiences across the world and Africa as presenter of the BBC's flagship show, Focus on Africa, and the BBC World News; prior to that he rose through the ranks of his profession in his native Ghana, starting out on one of Ghana's largest private radio stations, Joy FM, before joining the

BBC as a radio presenter in 2007. Between 2009 and 2012, Dumor was the anchor of the ground-breaking Africa Business Report on BBC World News. His programme was a daring foray for the BBC, and took him to close to 20 African countries covering hundreds of thousands of miles interviewing the continents top entrepreneurs, politicians and policy makers. He initially did his pre-clinical medicine at the University of Jos, Nigeria but left for his home country where he graduated from the University of Ghana with a BSc. in Sociology and Psychology and from Harvard University with an MA in Public Administration. Dumor was widely celebrated as one of the faces and voices of a newly rising Africa, a phenomenon

he covered widely, reporting and presenting on the challenges, opportunities and possibilities of the continent. In a list published in New African magazine (December 2013) he was named as one of the 100 most influential Africans of the year 2013, in a list published in New African magazine in December 2013. The citation read: "It has been a coming of age for Kumla Dumor this year. The presenter of Focus on Africa, the BBC’s flagship and first-ever dedicated daily TV news programme in English for African audiences, broadcast on BBC World News, has established himself as one of the emerging African faces of global broadcasting. As a lead presenter for BBC World, Dumor has considerable influence on how


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Media

Thursday, January 23, 2014

GOtv takes promo winners on shopping spree LEONARD OKACHIE

G

Otv Nigeria has made good on its promise, rewarding 64 families across the country with the GOshopper Experience as part of its GOCarry Am promo which commenced on December 1, 2013. The winners who were randomly selected via an electronic draw had two minutes each to shop for free at the SPAR in Lekki, Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and other popular supermarkets across the country. Four thousand (4,000) other lucky subscribers were rewarded with food baskets containing spaghetti, noodles, and vegetable oil as consolation prizes. To qualify for the promo, existing subscribers are to pay one month subscription on any of the GOtv bouquets which are

GOtv (N1, 000) or GOtv Plus (N1, 500) using the GOtv recharge cards. New subscribers can also qualify by purchasing and activating a new GOtv decoder and they stand better chances of winning when they purchase and activate more than one GOtv recharge card on their decoder. Among the winners who had the GOshopper Experience in SPAR, Lagos were – Ogunyemi Oluwasegun, Agunbiade Saidi, Pastor Odejobi, Udoka Nwakanze, Charles Azouwnu, Tijani Quadiri, Garuba Julius Olalekan and Ausi Stephen Adesina. Also, two journalists: Toby Emmanuel of SportsDay and Lawson Ovih of BusinessWorld newspaper were among the lucky winners who had the shopping experience at the SPAR. Expressing his appreciation for the gesture, Pastor Odejobi said,

“I didn’t believe it was true when I received the call that I had been selected as one of the winners of the GOtv promo. I have shopped and confirmed that the promo is real. It was even more exciting because we were given a limited time – just two minutes, to grab as many items as we could. I appreciate GOtv and to those who don’t have a GOtv, go and buy one, you too could be a winner.” “Everyone is a winner in the GOCarry Am promo” says, Marketing Manager GOtv, Mr. Dare Kafar. This is the first batch of winners, another draw will be held to select the final winners of the GOshopper experience as well as recipients of the consolation prizes”, he concluded. The final draw is scheduled to hold at the end of January. The promo runs till January 31, 2014.

L-R: PR Manager, GOtv , Miss Efe Obiomah, presenting a gift voucher to Mr. Oluwatobi Emmanuel of SportsDay to pay for his food items and Marketing Executive, GOtv, Mr. Tosan Edema, during the prize presentation to the winners of GOtv GO Carry Am promo held at SPAR Mall, Lekki.

of Africa’s finest presenters the continent is covered." Over the course of his career he interviewed many of the leading figures in Africa and internationally, and was one of the many journalists to cover the funeral of former South African president, Nelson Mandela, last month. His work won him many plaudits and awards; in 2003 he was named journalist of the year by the Ghana Journalist Association. In 2013, he was invited to speak at TEDx Euston, an event challenging conventional wisdom on Africa. His talk, introduced and delivered with characteristic charm and humour, Dumor stressed the imperative he felt to 'tell the African story with balance and integrity, and for Africans to own their own narrative. "He had a deep baritone voice and Komla seems to have inherited not just the voice but even his grandfather's body physique," says cousin Dzifa Bampoh. The BBC's global news director, Peter Horrocks described him as "a leading light of Afri-

can journalism - committed to telling the story of Africa as it really is." The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, who received the sad news with shock and disbelief said: "Komla was evidently one of Africa's finest broadcast journalists, who rose from being a legendary radio broadcaster in Ghana to world class. He criss-crossed the continent connecting and bringing the world to "Focus on Africa", as is entitled one of the programmes he brilliantly and eloquently anchored. “Whether with "Focus on Africa, or "Africa Business Report", he treated burning continental issues with a light-hearted flair, and yet a critical approach that incarnated a true spirit of PanAfricanism and African Renaissance. Komla is truly one of Africa's brightest stars that just got extinguished. He will greatly be missed." He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Kwansema Dumor, his three children, and his father Prof. Ernest Dumor.

47

Media Abroad

ANHRI condemns abduction of journalists in Libya

T

he Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), has denounced the continuation of the dangerous environment in which journalists and media professionals work in Libya, along with the state's continuing inability to hold the perpetrators of crimes against journalists and media professionals accountable, or even to provide necessary protection for them while they are doing their profession. Noteworthy, Libya has recently witnessed a new episode of series of ongoing attacks by unidentified bodies against media professionals; following the kidnap of three of "Fezzan" TV Channel crew. Adel Al-Sharif, Abdullah Buazbh and Zidane Mahdi were kidnapped while they were covering the fight that "Tmanhunt" Air Base-near the city of Sabha- witnessed last Saturday. Up till now, the fate of kidnapped journalists remains unknown; and the body committed such heinous crime against the journalists has not been identified yet. "Those who works in the field of media and journalism are subjected to numerous attacks by armed militias and unknown bodies carrying weapons in the streets of

Libya. Such bodies have appeared in Libya after the overthrow of dictator Muammar Gaddafi, as the new state of Libya could not so far restore weapons used by the rebels, who were facing Gaddafi's armed militias. This resulted in increasing bodies that are capable of using violence, and making Libyan citizens, opinion makers, journalists and media professionals pay the price, against the backdrop of expressing their views in a peaceful way", ANHRI said. ANHRI added, "Violations and physical attacks committed by unidentified gunmen against journalists, media professionals and opinion makers in Libya, have varied between assassinations, beatings, raiding the headquarters of media institutions and others. No one, however, has been held accountable or brought to trial for such crimes. Additionally, the identity of perpetrators has not been disclosed yet". ANHRI bears Libyan authorities the responsibility of ensuring journalists' safety; demanding them to exert their effort in order to release journalists and to identify the abductors, as well as bringing them to trial, as the continuation of impunity policy will lead to more violations and violence in the Libyan street.

Guardian Media Group to sell 50.1% stake

G

uardian Media Group is selling its 50.1 percent stake in Auto Trader owner Trader Media Group to private equity firm Apax Partners in a deal thought to be worth £600m to £700m to the Guardian publisher. The sale to Apax, which bought 49.9 percent of Trader Media Group in 2007 and has been GMG's joint venture partner in the business since then, is thought to give TMG an enterprise value of about £1.8bn. The exact financial details of the deal were not revealed. GMG's sale of the TMG stake is subject to regulatory approval and final completion. The chief executive of GMG, Andrew Miller, said: "This proposed transaction makes strategic sense as we focus GMG's activities on awardwinning digital and print journalism. On completion, the

sale proceeds will strengthen our balance sheet and position us for further investment and growth in our core business." The chair of the GMG board, Neil Berkett, said: "Once completed, this deal will make GMG a very well-capitalised media organisation with the financial flexibility to navigate the rapidly-changing media environment, where our flagship titles are proven pioneers of digital and print innovation." The Scott Trust, sole shareholder in GMG, has given its approval for the proposed sale and authorised the company board to reinvest the proceeds to enable it to continue to safeguard the Guardian's editorial and financial independence. Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer advised GMG on the deal.


48

Cocktail

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Men watch 87 straight hours of TV for Guinness World Record

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uinness World Records confirmed three men at a Las Vegas electronics show broke a world record by watching television for 87 consecutive hours. The record-keeping group said Dan Jordan, Spencer Larson and Chris Laughlin sat down in front of a set at the TiVo booth of the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas earlier this month and reached the recordbreaking goal in five days. The men were allowed 5-minute breaks each hour in accordance with Guinness rules and they were allowed to save the breaks to add up to more time. However, the men

said the longest any of them slept at any one time during the attempt was 80 minutes. Guinness said the men were given regular medical checkups during their attempt and were allowed to eat and drink in front of the TV, but they were not allowed to read or talk on the phone unless they were on a break. The men split a $5,000 prize at the end of their TV marathon, and they each received a prize package including a television, a TiVo Roamio with product lifetime service, an iPad, a Sonos system, a gamer chair and a year’s subscription to Netflix. “It’s been a long week, but it’s been fun,” Jordan said.

Bookmaker suspends betting on Queen Elizabeth’s abdication

A

British bookmaker says a large bet placed by someone in Windsor that Queen Elizabeth will abdicate this year was a “red flag.” Coral suspended betting on the abdication, the Independent reported. Someone wagered 200 pounds ($330).

“We rarely see betting over 20 pounds, so the 200-pound gamble was a red flag for us,” a Coral spokeswoman said. “Bets about the royal family placed in the Windsor area [area] usually spot on, which suggests this could be a case of insider information.”

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Oddities

Nearly $10,000 worth of Viagra stolen from British military I tems stolen from British military reserves since 2007 include TVs, karaoke equipment and nearly $10,000 worth of Viagra pills, government figures revealed. The Ministry of Defence figures, released in response to a request from Conservative member of Parliament Nick de Bois, revealed items stolen from military reserves at various facilities around Britain since 2007 included nearly $10,000 worth of the antiimpotence drug Viagra, which officials said is used by the military to treat low blood pressure and altitude sickness, Sky News reported Tuesday. The stolen items also included televisions, a karaoke rig, an industrial washing machine, $11,500 worth of silver cutlery, a $41,000 statue, 100 bayonets, thousands

of rounds of ammunition and equipment from nuclear submarines. The total value of the stolen items was estimated at about $11.5 million. “The Ministry of Defence takes detecting and deterring fraud and theft seriously and set up a new counter fraud and

loss department last year to improve the way fraud and theft is managed across defence,” Defence Minister Andrew Murrison told the Times of London. “The focus of this new department’s work is to secure reduced losses caused by fraud, theft and loss, increased recovery

through civil and internal procedures and the improved protection of assets through increased target hardening.” Sgt. Maj. Steven Barratt was sentenced to 20 months in jail last week for attempting to sell an Army night vision kit worth $190,000 on eBay.

President Barack Obama waving to UK’s Prime Minister David Cameron as his car departs the North Portico of the White House, during his last visit to Washington.


Thursday, January 23, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Community Mirror We will not wring our hands in apathy and bemoan the lethargic implementation of budget amid infrastructural decay and economic dysfunction.

Beninoise, five others held for robbery, gun running

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SENATE PRESIDENT, DAVID MARK

Youths protest over murder of landlord FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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ension has now enveloped three communities of Onihale, Ilepa and Aiyede in Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun State as rampaging youths sacked residents of the area. The youths who are alleged to be from the communities, were said to be protesting the death of a landlord allegedly killed by night guards while pursuing armed robbers at the early hour of Wednesday. Community Mirror gathered that a gang of armed robbers had invaded the Aiyede/Bosun community in Ifo in the early hours of Tuesday but were repelled by guards on patrol. In an attempt to pursue the robbers, the guards were said to have mobilised landlords and other

residents in the area. One of the landlords, identified as 26 year old Ahmed Folorunsho, was allegedly shot by one of the guards after the robbers had fled. It was further gathered that Folorunsho’s death sparked violent reaction from his kinsmen and youths of Onihale community who then attacked the residents and landlords in Ayede/Bosun, Ilepa and Onihale. The development also forced residents of the affected communities to desert their homes for fear of reprisals. When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Muyiwa Adejobi confirmed the incident, stressing that normalcy has been restored in the area. Adejobi further explained that the Ifo Divisional Police Officer, DPO, Isaac Obawusi led a

Residents flee town over arrest by police HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE

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esidents of Agbota community in Oda Area of Akure South Local Government of Ondo State have raised alarm at the arrest of landlords by police over the death of a farmer in the area, even as they urged the governor to intervene immediately. The people claimed the police from Oda Division and state Investigation Bureau, SIB, have continued to harass the residents. According to the people, more 30 people have been arrested over the incident and later released on bail after paying N10, 000 each. It was gathered that many of the residents no longer sleep in their houses out of fear of arrest,thereby turning the

community into a ghost town. According to a member of Agbota community, Akinfolabi David, the people have called on the government to intervene and restore normalcy in the area. David said, “We are imploring the state governor to urgently intervene because the police have continued to arrest our people indiscriminately. They have continued to extort money for an offence they did not commit “We are not saying the police should not investigate the matter but we are tired at the manner they are arresting people and asking for bribes”. When contacted, police spokesperson, Wole Ogodo said he is yet to be briefed and promised to investigate the matter.

team of police personnel to the area where the guard allegedly fired the shot that killed Folorunsho.

The police spokesperson who emphasised that the incident was a murder case however, stressed

that the Commissioner of Police, Ikemefuna Okoye has ordered a thorough investigation into the

Fish sellers patiently waiting for consignments at Toyin, Ishaga, Lagos, yesterday.

matter,even as the case has been transferred to the homicide section at Eleweran.

PHOTO:ADEMOLA AKINLABI

180,000 patients receive free health care in Kogi WALE IBRAHIM LOKOJA

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total of 180,000 people have so far benefited from free medical services in Kogi State. The Special adviser to the governor on free medical care, Captain Yakubu Okatahi (rtd) who disclosed this in Lokoja, said the programme has yielded positive results in the

rural areas. He said the performance of the programme initiated by the government in 2012 cannot be over emphasised. He said CEDIO Outreach; a nongovernmental organisation handling free medical service in the western and central senatorial districts has treated 30,000 patients, while the other two groups in charge of the eastern sen-

atorial district also treated 150,000 patients. He added that Governor Wada Idris has done much in the area of healthcare, saying the patients were treated free of charge. Okatahi said “In his 2011 campaign, Captain Idris Wada, promised to make health care a central point of his administration. He had fulfilled the promise by extending medical care to those who

cannot afford it”. He appealed to the people to support the administration to enable them enjoy the desired dividend of democracy He lauded the governor for his effort at restoring peace in the state, even as he said the elimination of violence in politics and empowerment of youth and women has brought peace to the state.

Oshiomhole decries dumping of wastes in drains SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN

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overnor Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole of Edo State has said that mobile courts on environmental offences will be deployed for the prosecution of offenders. Giving the indication during inspection of government projects, he said it is sad to see residents dumping wastes into drains. According to him, “It

is wrong seeing people turning the drainage to septic tank where human excreta are deposited and it is government’s investment that is being destroyed. “The mobile court will persecute all those involved and anyone found guilty will be jailed,” he said. On the extent of the work done at the Upper Lawani road, Oshiomhole said “I am sure the residents will like what is going on and never forget the particular intervention.

“In the past, people have deserted their homes. With the drainage on both sides of the road and the extent of work done, I want to assure residents that the road, when completed, will be with street lights,” he said. Oshiomhole commended the contractor for a job well done and enjoined the residents to avoid dumping refuse in drainages. . Briefing the Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, Hon Uyi Igbe,

Oshiomhole said, “You can see that the 2013 budget was used for projects with direct impact on the lives of the people. “The drainage project you are seeing is 15.5 metres deep and you can see that it is a solid work.” The Speaker expressed satisfaction with the job, saying “What we have come to do is part of our oversight function, to see how money approved in the 2013 budget was expended”.


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Community Mirror

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Beninoise, five others held for robbery, gun running FRANCIS SUBERU

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Beninoise, Abbey Edward has been arrested by the Lagos State Police Command for allegedly importing locally made pistols into Nigeria and selling same to armed robbers. He was arrested alongside other five suspects including; Adewale Osoja, Bala Yahaya, Hasan Ado, Ahmed Boladale and Abiodun Olarewaju. The suspects admitted to invading a church, ‘Christ Authority and Power Evangelical Ministry,’ CAPEM, at Vespa, Ijanikin, LagosBadagry Expressway

on New Year eve, where they carted away church offering of N47, 000 and other valuables. While parading the suspects, the Police Public Relations Officer,PPRO, for Lagos State Command, DSP Ngozi Braide, said the robbers invaded the church when members of the congregation were exchanging pleasantries on New Year eve. Braide said that the suspects carried out their operation as the church was rounding up the service, stressing that Ipads, Ipods, phones, jewelleries, and church offering of N47, 000 were stolen. “The same gang robbed on Morontola

Street, Vespa, Ijanikin on January 1st, where the occupants exhibited bravery and engaged them. As a result, one of their operational weapons fell on the ground and they escaped abandoning it. “However, on January 2, one of the suspects went to the street to inquire if anyone saw a gun. The residents were immediately alerted and he was arrested. “The suspect was later transferred to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad Officer in Charge, SP Abba Kyari, who led his team to arrest five others, including the ring leader, who had just come back from prison.

“A Beniniose, who supplied the double barrel locally made pistols, was also arrested. He sold each gun for N7,000 to the ring leader, who in turn sold same to his members for N20,000 each. “In addition to their admission of various robbery operations in Lagos, they also confessed to being members of Eiye confraternity. We are on the trail of those at large,” Braide said. In an interview with Community Mirror, Abbey, said he was not aware the gang was using the guns for robbery, saying he had been contacted by one of them whom he knew to be a vigilante in the area.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Market leader to empower women with loans HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE

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he National Traders and Market Leaders Council of Nigeria,NTMLC, has embarked on empowerment programme for their members in the rural areas of the country. This was disclosed by president of the council, Chief Mrs Ruth Olowookere at a meeting with the market men and women in Akure, Ondo State capital. Olowookere, who said the empowerment programme is being done in collaboration with international financial institutions that are ready to invest in the Nigerian economy, noted that it was designed to empower the traders in the rural areas. Olowookere, who is also ‘Iyaloja General of Nigeria’, said she went into talks with some international institutions to help finance the project immediately she was installed as president of the council. According to her, the empowerment would be in the form of soft loans to women, adding that the facility would be arranged based on individual capacity and said the programme will commence in the 18 local government areas of the state before being extended to other areas in the country. She explained that the loans will be segmented in three categories with the first two to benefit im-

mediately, while the third will also benefit after the assessment of the repayment rate. The president said that beneficiaries will be selected according to their trades and capacity to pay back the loans, saying that the available facilities range between N200, 000 to N1 million. Olowookere said, “The essence of our gathering is for women empowerment which I have promised when I became the national president, we have spoken to some people outside the country on how they can help us and they have sent representatives so that money will be sent to us. “We have complained that we do not have adequate working capital and we also told them to lend at a rate that would not adversely affect our trades. We want interest rates spread over 20 to 30 years. We will also be going to Anambra State to enlighten the women on the soft loan. “We have 18 local government areas in the state and we have leaders to liaise with, those leaders will also meet with each in the market. We will select those to benefit and after repayment the next group will follow”. She however expressed appreciation to the state government for its assistance to the women, noting that the programme is aimed at complementing its efforts.

Ejigbo council to grade 70 roads

The suspects being paraded with guns, phones and ammunitions, yesterday.

PHOTO: FRANCIS SUBERU

Protesters storm court over land dispute CHARLES OKEKE AWKA

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he premises of Chief Magistrate Court, Awka,was yesterday stormed by youths, protestesting the arraignment of their four colleagues over alleged offences arising from land dispute. The four, Anayo Chinwuba, Daniel Udeke, Ifeme Keluo and Arinze

Udekwe were arraigned at the Chief Magistrate Court, Awka presided over by Mrs L. Okoye on an eight count charge,relating to offenses ranging from conspiracy, stealing, malicious damage to property, unlawful assault, wilful destruction of property, unlawful destruction of buildings and unlawful demand of fees. The protest, began in the morning, when

hundreds of youths from Ezinano communities led by Comrade Obi Ochije, stormed the court premises and displaying placards with various inscriptions, some of which denigrated the integrity of indigenes of Awka, who were accused of involvement in unlawful land dealings. As the charges were read to the defendants, all of who pleaded not guilty and were subsequently

granted bail by the court, the youths were busy displaying their placards, even as they condemned the manner some people were profiteering with selling of community lands. Addressing journalists on why they took their protest to the court premises, Comrade Ochije, said it was due to the fact that the youths were arrested and arraigned on flimsy reasons.

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he Ejigbo Local Council Development Area, Lagos, has embarked on the grading of 70 roads in the council as well as construction of earth drains. The council Engineer,Sunday Olaniyan who disclosed this in his office,said the local government has decided to take advantage of the dry season to grade as many roads out of the 400 in the council area. Speaking further on the project, Olaniyan said the grading and construction of earth drains began last week,even as the works department, has rehabilitated roads in three of the six wards of the council,

including Fadu, Ifoshi and Aigbaka. He added that with the pace of work, the residents can rest assured that all 70 roads will be completed by the end of February. He also said that the council has made adequate provisions in this year budget, for the rehabilitation and construction of other roads, as well as construction of 30 culverts, across the council’s six wards,even as he commended the council Chairman, Kehinde Bamigbetan for re-affirming his commitment to ensuring that the lives of the residents improve, by completing all on-going projects as provided in the budget.


Thursday, January 23, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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World News

Violence across Syria as peace summit commences

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I love Bill Clinton. Maybe not his politics, but I love Bill Clinton. –FORMER US FIRST LADY, BARBARA BUSH

47 African leaders to attend US summit PAUL ARHEWE,

WITH AGENCY REPORTS

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resident Barack Obama will invite 47 leaders to a landmark US-Africa summit in August, seeking to widen US trade, development and security ties with an increasingly dynamic continent to which he traces part of his ancestry. Obama will send out invites to all African nations that are currently in good standing with the United States or are not suspended from the African Union -meaning there will be no place for states like Egypt or Zimbabwe. Obama will hold the talks on August 5 and 6, seeking to cement progress from his trip to Africa last year. A White House statement said the trip would “advance the administration’s focus on trade and investment in Africa, and highlight America’s commitment to Africa’s security, its democratic development, and its people.” The idea for the summit, which takes place with Washington increasingly aware of China’s attempt to enhance its own diplomatic profile in Africa, was first announced by Obama in a speech in Cape Town in June. Egypt, which has caused the Obama administration to thread a foreign policy needle with an erstwhile ally after a military

Obama

takeover, is not eligible to attend as it is currently suspended from the African Union. The United States maintains sanctions against the Zimbabwean government of Robert Mugabe and key officials over suppression of democracy and what Washington sees as politically motivated violence. Other notable absentees on the invite list include Sudan and Madagascar. Also not on a list distributed by the White House were GuineaBissau and Madagascar. Washing-

ton has concerns over the subversion of democracy in both nations. There will also be no invitation for Sudan, whose president, Omar al-Bashir, has been indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC). One notable inclusion is Kenya, where President Uhuru Kenyatta is currently awaiting a delayed trial at the ICC on charges related to violence after an election in 2007 that left 1,000 people dead. The indictment has been one of the reasons why Obama is yet to visit the homeland of his late

father as president. But Obama has spoken to Kenyatta on the telephone, and the Kenyan leader has enjoyed more interaction with the outside world since a massacre at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi in September claimed by Somalia’s Al-Qaedalinked Shebaab insurgents. The summit, together with Obama’s trip to Africa last year, and a promised future visit before he leaves office, might go some way to assuaging disappointment that he did not pay the continent more attention in his first term.

Rabbit in Mandela’s statue ear causes stir in S’Africa

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new, 9-meter (29.5-foot) sculpture of Nelson Mandela is billed as the biggest statue of the South African leader.

A new, 9-meter (29.5-foot) sculpture of Nelson Mandela, with a barely visible sculpted rabbit tucked inside PHOTO: AP one of the bronze ears.

It also has a tiny, barely visible quirk: a sculpted rabbit tucked inside one of the bronze ears. South African officials want the miniature bunny removed from the statue, which was unveiled outside the government complex in Pretoria, the capital, on December 16, a day after Mandela’s funeral. The department of arts and culture said it didn’t know the two sculptors, Andre Prinsloo and Ruhan Janse van Vuuren, had added a rabbit, said to be a discreet signature on their work. The bronze rabbit, sitting on its haunches with one floppy ear, is about half the height of the ear canal. “It doesn’t belong there,” said Mogomotsi Mogodiri, a department spokesman. “The statue represents what everyone in

South Africa is proud of.” His department said in a statement that there are discussions on “how best to retain the integrity of the sculpture without causing any damage or disfigurement.” Translation: pull the rabbit out of the ear without botching the statue. The giant work stands with arms outstretched, symbolizing Mandela’s devotion to inclusiveness, outside the Union Buildings, where the body of the prisoner who opposed white rule and became South Africa’s first black president lay in state after his Dec. 5 death at the age of 95. Telephone calls and emails sent by The Associated Press to the artists were not immediately returned. Earlier this week, South Africa’s Beeld newspaper quoted the

artists as saying they added the rabbit as a “trademark” after officials would not allow them to engrave their signatures on the statue’s trousers. They also said the rabbit represented the pressure of finishing the sculpture on time because “haas” — the word for rabbit in the Dutch-based Afrikaans language — also means “haste.” Paul Mashatile, arts and culture minister, said the sculptors have apologized for any offense to those who felt the rabbit was disrespectful toward the legacy of Mandela. The government had appointed Koketso Growth, a heritage development company, to manage the statue project. CEO Dali Tambo, son of anti-apartheid figure Oliver Tambo, said he was furious when he heard about the rabbit, and said it must go.

WORLD BULLETIN West Africa, EU to resume EPA negotiations in Dakar West Africa and the European Union will resume their suspended Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations for the creation of a free trade area with a four-day senior officials’ meeting in Dakar, Senegal beginning 20th January 2014. The negotiations were suspended in 2012 following divergences mainly over market access offer and the EPA Development Programme (EPADP), a dedicated funding programme to enable West Africa cope with the cost of adjustment to the impending trade regime. Initially, West Africa had offered to open 60 per cent of its market over 25 years. It later revised this position to 70 per cent over the same period citing the protection of the region’s fragile industrial base from cheaper goods from the EU. On the other hand, the EU has maintained its original position of an 80 per cent market opening over 15 years.

Outgoing Madagascar’s president may vie for PM job Outgoing president and former coup leader Andry Rajoelina said yesterday his coalition won Madagascar’s parliamentary election and he raised the possibility of becoming prime minister, which could fan tensions anew with his arch-rival. Rajoelina was barred from running in the 2013 presidential election under a deal brokered by regional African states meant to end Madagascar’s political turmoil after his 2009 coup. But that only fuelled speculation he would seek to retain power as prime minister of the large, nickel-producing island state.

Regional nations back troops for UN force in South Sudan

Regional nations back the sending of troops as part of a 5,500-strong increase in the UN peacekeeping force in South Sudan to end conflict in the young nation, Kenya’s foreign minister said yesterday. Thousands have been killed and half a million civilians forced to flee the fighting between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and rebels allied to his sacked deputy Riek Machar. “Some countries have already agreed to provide troops while others are considering the provision of troops,” Amina Mohamed told reporters. “We (Kenya) have also been approached to provide troops, so have many other countries both in Africa and outside Africa.”


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WORLD BULLETIN

Snowden seeks extra Russian protection after U.S. threats U.S. secrets leaker Edward Snowden will ask Moscow for extra protection after a report U.S. civilian and military spies want him dead, his Russian lawyer said. Two officials -- one from the Pentagon and the other a National Security Agency analyst -- were quoted by BuzzFeed as saying they wanted to kill Snowden personally. “We are concerned with the situation around Edward. We see statements made by some U.S. officials containing potential and implicit threats to his life,” Anatoly Kucherena told reporters in Moscow. The Pentagon official, who was previously a U.S. Army Special Forces officer, was quoted in the BuzzFeed article Thursday as saying, “I would love to put a bullet in his head.” “I do not take pleasure in taking another human being’s life, having to do it in uniform, but he is singlehandedly the greatest traitor in American history,” the official was quoted as saying. The article, titled “America’s Spies Want Edward Snowden Dead,” said U.S. intelligence operators bristle at the thought of Snowden. “In a world where I would not be restricted from killing an American, I personally would go and kill him myself,” an NSA analyst told the website. “A lot of people share this sentiment,” the analyst said. “Most everyone I talk to says he needs to be tried and hung -- forget the trial and just hang him,” a U.S. defence contractor said. An Army intelligence officer was quoted by BuzzFeed as describing how Snowden could be killed swiftly yet subtly. CHANGE OF NAME

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OKOH:Formerly known and addressed as Miss Peggy Kemeleuwa Okoh, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Margaret Chioma Mbanefo. All former documents remain valid. NYSC and general public take note.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

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yrian forces and opposition fighters clashed yesterday in different parts of Syria as a peace conference to end its nearly three-year conflict began in Switzerland, activists and state media said. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon opened the peace conference yesterday in the Swiss city of Montreux, saying challenges ahead are “formidable.” Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said in a speech at the opening session of the conference that “Syria will do all it can to defend itself by all means available.” In an apparent sign that government forces are gaining ground in Syria’s former commercial capital, the first civilian flight into the northern city of Aleppo in more than a year brought in a group of journalists, state TV said. The international airport had been closed since December 2012 due to fighting and repeated attacks by rebels. Government troops have been on the offensive for days near the Aleppo International Airport and a nearby military air base. The airport’s director Bassem Mansour said it was opened after “sacrifices by the Syrian Arab army”

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Space For Sale

OKOROAFOR: Formerly known and addressed as Okoroafor Favour Ihochukwu, now wish to be known and addressed as Favour Ihochukwu Ebuka Omeni. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

CHANGE OF NAME

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NWOSU: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Obianuju Gelsey Nwosu, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Obianuju Gelsey Okonkwo. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

CHANGE OF NAME

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CHANGE OF NAME t EKE: Formerly known and addressed as Miss Eke Ijeoma Ruth, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Oha Ijeoma Ruth. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

CHANGE OF NAME

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NWAIWU:Formerly known and addressed as Nwaiwu Goodluck Uchechi, now wish to be known and addressed as Omenaih Goodluck Uchechi. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

AYOZIEUWA:Formerly known and addressed Miss Ayozieuwa Modesta Chinagorom, now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Ibeawuchi Modesta Chinagorom. All former documents remain valid. General public take note.

Violence across Syria as peace summit commences

Lebanese civilian defence members inspecting the damages at the site of a bomb blast in the Haret Hreik area at southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, on Tuesday. PHOTO: EPA

who secured an area of 5 kilometres (3 miles) around the facility. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has a network of activists around Syria, confirmed that a civilian plane had landed. Also yesterday, the Syrian Justice Ministry dismissed a report alleging Syrian authorities tortured prisoners as “politicized and lacking objectiveness and professionalism.” The ministry’s state-

ment came after three prominent international war-crimes experts said they had received a huge cache of photographs documenting the killing of some 11,000 detainees by Syrian authorities. David Crane, one of the three experts, told The Associated Press that the cache provides strong evidence for charging President Bashar Assad and others for crimes against humanity. “But what happens next will be a political

Thai pro-government leader shot as emergency rule begins leading pro-government activist was shot and wounded yesterday in Thailand’s northeast, a stronghold of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra,

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I, Obike Bassey Ikechukwu, wish to inform the public of my missing credentials: Degree certificate (B. Eng Civil Engineering, FUTO), WAEC certificate, NYSC discharge certificate, membership certificate (American Society Of Civer Engrs). Pls if found call: 07062493476, 08105535343.

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as a state of emergency began in the capital where protesters are trying to force her from power. The morning after the government issued the 60-day emergency decree, an unidentified gunman opened fire with an AK47 assault rifle on Kwanchai Praipana, a leader of Thailand’s pro-government “red shirt” movement and a popular radio DJ, as he sat outside his home reading a newspaper. The attack in Udon Thani, about 450 km (280 miles) northeast of Bangkok, is the most significant violence outside the Thai capital in nearly three months of anti-government protests and illustrates the risk that the turbulence plaguing Bangkok could spread to other areas of Thailand. Several governments have warned their nationals to avoid protest areas in Bangkok, among the

world’s most visited cities. China called on Thailand to “restore stability and order as soon as possible” through talks. Police said they believed the shooting in Udon Thani was politically motivated. Kwanchai leads thousands of red-shirted supporters in Udon Thani, a province of about 1.6 million people in the heart of the country’s mostly poor “Isaan” region, a rugged north-eastern plateau that is home to a third of the country’s population and has staunchly backed Yingluck. Just days earlier, he had warned of a nationwide “fight” if the military launched a coup. “From the way the assailants fired, they obviously didn’t want him to live,” his wife, Arporn Sarakham, told Reuters. Police said they had found 39 bullet cases at the house. The gunman and a driver fled in a pickup truck.

and diplomatic decision,” he added. In the 55,000 digital images, smuggled out by an alleged defector from Syria’s military police, the victims’

bodies showed signs of torture, including ligature marks around the neck and marks of beatings, while others show extreme emaciation suggestive of starvation. The report — which was commissioned by the Qatar government, one of the countries that are deeply involved in the Syrian conflict and a major backer of the opposition — could not be independently confirmed. The Justice Ministry called the report a “gathering of images of unidentified people, some of whom have turned out to be foreigners of different nationalities who were killed while attacking military checkpoints and civilian establishments.”

Storm buries US Northeast; 16 inches of snow in New Jersey

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swirling storm clobbered parts of the mid-Atlantic and the urban Northeast on Tuesday, dumping nearly a foot and a half of snow, grounding thousands of flights, closing government offices in the nation’s capital and making a mess of the evening commute. The storm stretched 1,000 miles between Kentucky and Massachusetts but hit especially hard along the heavily populated Interstate 95 corridor between Philadelphia and Boston, creating perilous rides home for millions of motorists. The National Weather Service said Manalapan, N.J., got 16 inches of snow and Philadelphia’s airport saw 13.5. It said parts of New York City had 11 inches. The snow came down harder and faster than many people expected. A blizzard warning was posted for parts of Massachu-

setts, including Cape Cod. Highways in the New York City metropolitan area were jammed, and blowing snow tripled or even quadrupled drive times. “I just want to get to the Bronx,” motorist Peter Neuwens lamented. “It’s a big place. Why can’t I get there?” In Jersey City, N.J., Stanley Gaines, wearing just a thin jacket and huddling beneath an overhang as snow stung his face, said he had been stuck for more than an hour waiting for a ride home from his appointment at a Veterans Affairs clinic. “I’m waiting on anything I can get: a taxi, a shuttle, a bus,” Gaines said, squinting to read the destination on an approaching bus in near white-out conditions. “I didn’t really pay attention to the weather this morning because there was no snow on the ground, and now — this!”

A man riding a bike in the snow storm through Times Square in Manhattan in New York, on Tuesday. PHOTO: REUTERS


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North

Thursday, January 23, 2014

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Boko Haram hunts for teachers, kills one, injures other

•Terrorists kill three in Borno village INUSA NDAHI MAIDUGURI

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eachers have become the targets of Boko Haram terrorists in Borno State. In their hunting of teachers, the Boko Haram terrorists have Mallam Lawan Manya and injured Mallam Akura Walbintu. The victims are teachers at the Government Girls Secondary School (GGSS) at Wulgo in Gamboru Ngala Local Government Area of the state. The incidents occurred

barely a day after the new Chief of Defense Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, promised Nigerians that the military under his leadership would end Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East before April. The attack, which occurred on Monday at about 10.30 pm, forced the authorities to close the school indefinitely. Other members of the staff of the school have, however, gone into hiding to avoid being attacked by the assailants. Wulgo is a boarder com-

• Vigilance group arrests six suspects

munity with Cameroon Republic and about 200 kilometres North from Maiduguri, the Borno State. The state had witnessed series of bomb blasts and killings masterminded by terrorists in recent times. Sources told our correspondent on phone that the three terrorists, armed with Ak47 rifles, first invaded the community in the evening before they went to the residence of Lawan Manya and shot him dead. One of the sources, who did not want his name mentioned, said that af-

ter the terrorists killed Manya at about 10:45pm, they went to the house of Akura Walbintu and shot him at his buttocks and arm before they fled. A security source also confirmed the incident in a telephone call. The security source, who claimed that he was not authorised to comment on the incident, said: “It is true that some gunmen suspected to be terrorists invaded Wulgo town on Monday at about 10.30pm and attacked some members of staff of the Government Girls Sec-

L-R: Acting Provost, College of Agriculture, Garkawa, Dr. Madang Dasbat; Plateau State Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Steven Barko and Project Coordinator, Fadama III, Mr. Gideon Dandam, at the inauguration of the Board of College of Agriculture in Jos, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Group rejects ministerial nominee list OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA

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group, the AntiCorruption Network, yesterday picked holes in the fresh ministerial nominee list submitted to the Senate for confirmation by President Goodluck Jonathan. The group claimed that it was morally flawed to nominate persons who had either been indicted for corruption or facing charges by anti-graft agencies for consideration as ministers. In a statement in Abuja,

•Threatens protest the group’s Executive Secretary, Otunba Dino Melaye, threatened that the group would “march on the Senate and embark on aggressive protest to bring sanity into the Nigerian system” The former House of Representatives member also berated the President for appointing the former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, as Chairman of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, barely two

days after he was sacked as the party chairman. It will be recalled that a former National Security Adviser, Lt-Gen Aliyu Gusau; former Governor of Adamawa State, Boni Haruna and Ambassador Aminu Wali from Kano State, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro were on the list of 11 ministerial nominees sent by the President to the Senate for confirmation. In the statement, Melaye said: “The nomination by the President Goodluck

Jonathan to the Senate of people averagely between the ages of 60 and 80 clearly shows that Mr. President is buttressing generational apathy. What hope for Nigerian youths and my own generation? Wali and Gusau can give birth to Jonathan. “Also, the appointment of Bamanga Tukur as Chairman of the Nigerian Railway Corporation when his eldest son is approaching 50 years, is to say the least, laughable. I ask again, what hope for young people in this country?

Nasarawa extends free education to non-indigenes IGBAWASE UKUMBA LAFIA

T

he Nasarawa State Government yesterday said that children of non-indigenes resident in the state had been considered to be part

of the beneficiaries of the free education programme recently introduced by Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura. The Commissioner for Education, Sani Yakubu Hauwa, dropped the hint while interacting with

journalists in his office in Lafia, the state capital. Hauwa said that the governor decided to extend the gesture to the children of non-indigenes as part of the strategies to ease the burden of their parents. The commissioner

said: “The governor’s magnanimity is to ease the plight of the less privileged members of the society. They are residents of Nasarawa State, hence we felt there is the need to provide free education for their children too.

ondary School.” He said shortly after the attack, a team of policemen was drafted to the scene where some exhibits were recovered. The source, however, said that the body of the deceased was taken to the mortuary, while the injured was rushed to hospital for treatment. An email message sent to the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Lawal Tanko, to confirm the incident was not replied as at the time of filing this report. Meanwhile, a youth vigilance group yesterday apprehended six suspected terrorists in Maiduguri. The youth group arrested three of the suspects at a filling station as the insurgents were buying fuel preparatory for their operations in Sambisa Forest. The other three suspects were arrested on the Maiduguri-Biu Road while attempting to sneak into Maiduguri metropolis to buy food items and fuel. A member of vigilance group, Yakubu Isa, said the suspects came in two pickup vehicles with empty drums to buy fuel at one of the petrol station on Bama Road. Isa said on inquiring, one of the suspects

claimed that the fuel was meant for their generating sets. He said when their explanations were not convincing, he mobilised his colleagues and arrested them before handing them over to soldiers. On how three other suspects were arrested, Isa said: “They sneaked into Maiduguri last night to replenish their food items and fuel at a shop on Damboa road. They used two vehicles before we intercepted and arrested them on this road. We handed them to soldiers for further investigation.” Prior to the arrests, some suspected Boko Haram insurgents attacked the border village of Wala in Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno State on Monday night and killed three residents, as well as injured four others. Confirming the incident yesterday, the former Gwoza Local Government Chairman, Dr Ibrahim Bulama, said the insurgents came on two motorcycles from the Sambisa Forest and attacked the village in the early hours of Monday. He said other property destroyed in attack included five houses and three shops.

Rats harbour over 60 deadly diseases –Zoologist

R

ats are natural reservoirs for more than 60 deadly parasitic and viral diseases harmful to man, Prof. Uade Ugbomoiko, a zoologist with the University of Ilorin, said yesterday. Ugbomoiko made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital. He said that studies carried out in some rural communities in Edo StatE identified eight species of parasites from different species of rats. Ugbomoiko said that the occurrence of parasites and their hosts were influenced by seasonal rainfall. According to him, global warming could increase

the potential of some of the parasites to change their hosts. Ugbomoiko said that a parasite called “Mastdomys natalensis” is the reservoir host of Lassa fever, a disease which he recalled, recently claimed several lives in Ekpoma town and its environs in Edo State. He urged Nigerians to always sanitise their houses and surroundings against rats, adding that the rodents were more prevalent in human habitation during the dry season. Rats, he observed, invaded houses in search of food because of bush burning and returned to the bush during the rainy season.


54

Insight

Thursday, January 23, 2014

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Intimidation: Lagos drivers lose Why would a military or police man board a privately-owned commercial vehicle and refuse to pay the fare, claiming that because he is in uniform it is his privilege? OKAY OSUJI writes that in Lagos especially, these security personnel, against their code of conduct, run roughshod on hapless bus drivers.

I

t is common to see at Lagos motor parks and on the roads commercial vehicle drivers making efforts to have on board their vehicles military and police personnel, who they even prefer to have in the front seats with them. This category of passengers is exempted from paying the transport fares, not by choice though, because over the years, the drivers have become helpless as these soldiers and police men and women have always refused to pay the fares. Since the military and police personnel will not pay their fares, the commercial vehicle drivers now use them willy-nilly to circumvent traffic laws and increase their fares arbitrarily to the chagrin of the other passengers. National Mirror investigations have revealed that personnel of other para-military agencies and other bodies whose staff wear uniforms like the Civil Defence, Immigration, Customs and Prisons and even Fire Service and Man O War brigades have joined in the intimidation of the drivers to avoid paying transport fares. Out of the 36 states in Nigeria, It is only in Lagos that police and military personnel and these uniformed men refuse to pay fares anytime they board privately owned commercial vehicle. In other places they pay the stipulated fares like every other commuter. It was discovered that there is an erroneously held impression that security personnel in Lagos State are officially exempted from paying transport fares while travelling in privately owned commercial vehicles. Due to this, most commercial vehicle drivers out of fear of molestation and even arrest, shy from demanding for fares from these set of citizens whenever they board their vehicles. It was further discovered that drivers who ask for transport fares from these security personnel are sometimes threatened and publicly beaten by security personnel. But reverse is the case in other states where it has been revealed that police and military people pay fares like any other passenger. Reacting to the criticism that police personnel in Lagos State rarely pay fares when they enter public buses, the Police Public Relations Officer for the command, Ngozi Braide, said police officers are not exempted from paying fares, arguing that often, those who engage in such acts are not police officers. “If I get into a public bus, I pay my fares. I have never seen where a genuine police officer refuses to pay his fare. Policemen are not exempted from paying fares except in a situation whereby the driver deliberately foregoes the fare. If you have such matter, you can report such police officer to my office,” Braide said emphatically. In Bayelsa State, our correspondent discovered that what Braide said happens in the state as police officers and men and women of other security agencies pay transport fares when boarding commer-

Typical Lagos commercial transport buses

PHOTO; ADEMOLA AKINLABI

PERSONNEL OF OTHER PARA-MILITARY AGENCIES AND OTHER BODIES WHOSE STAFF WEAR UNIFORMS LIKE THE

CIVIL

DEFENCE, IMMIGRATION, CUSTOMS AND PRISONS AND EVEN FIRE SERVICE AND MAN O WAR BRIGADES HAVE JOINED IN THE INTIMIDATION OF THE DRIVERS TO AVOID PAYING TRANSPORT FARES cial vehicles. However, there are occasions when some will plead with bus drivers to convey them to their destination free, especially if on official duty. In all, they adhere to payment of transport fares in the state. A taxi driver in Yenagoa, Terry Oghene, said that police personnel and other security personnel boarding his vehicle pay transport fares. According to him, paying of transport fares makes the military and police responsible citizens. He said, “I spend N10, 000 everyday for purchase of petrol for my vehicle. I also pay bribes to the police and Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) at several check points, especially when I am arrested for traffic offence.” In the same vein, a transporter, Sunny Iworima, said the police and military personnel boarding his taxi pay transport fares, adding that they are not forced to pay, as this is very encouraging. Also speaking, a police staff sergeant, Jeremiah, told our correspondent that he always pays transport fares, especially

since his redeployment to the state. “I don’t like embarrassment from transporters, so I try to pay transport fare,” Jeremiah said. A police corporal, Juliet, said she pays fares to avoid insults from transporters. In Ogun State, investigation revealed that security personnel pay transport fares while boarding commercial vehicles. This is because the authorities are opposed to nonpayment of fares by military and paramilitary personnel. The state secretary of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, (RTEAN), Ezekiel Bamisaye Fadipe, said that most of the security personnel are very responsible while on transit. “They wear their uniforms and pay their fares. But there some that will not want to pay. At times, they are not in uniform, yet they claim to be officers. We often experience this on inter-state routes, and whenever a driver reports such, we intervene.” On measures put in place to sanction any security personnel trying to travel

without paying appropriate fare, the Army Public Relations Officer (APRO) at Alamala Artillery Brigade Command, Captain Adamu Ngulde, said such has never occurred among army personnel because of existing arrangement to monitor their conduct in the state. Captain Ngulde disclosed that the “Op Checkmates” of the Nigerian Army monitor and arrest those indulging in misconduct. “In Abeokuta and entire Ogun State, we do not do that. Again, here we have what we call “Op Check Mates” that checks the conduct of soldiers. “Any soldier found doing so is dealt with; we are totally against that and our personnel do not do that”. Reacting on the issue, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Muyiwa Adejobi, said such thing does happen in Ogun State because the police authority is not in support. “Anyone or driver experiencing such should report to the command headquarters or the office of the PPRO.” Our correspondent in Katsina reports that security personnel in the state pay transport fares. “For me, I can count the number of times a police officer refused to pay or asked for reduction of transport fare,” one commercial driver said. “I sometimes convey policemen on my way to Katsina from neighbouring states, but since I do not want trouble I don’t ask them for money,” said another driver. Another transporter said when policemen default on payment of fares they often say something like, “We are serving


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Insight

Thursday, January 23, 2014

55

fares to military, police personnel

CAS General Minimah

you by ensuring security of your life and property, so it is not a big deal when you convey us for free.” In Minna our correspondent reports that police personnel and other security operatives in Niger State pay transport fares when boarding private and public commercial vehicles. Olawale, a 54-year-old taxi driver, said he had been plying various roads in Minna,

for more than 20 years, and no security personnel had boarded his car without paying the usual fare. According to Adamu, a bus driver, “That kind of thing is not happening in this state and I believe it will never happen. In all my years as a taxi driver, no security man has ever boarded my car without paying the normal fare.” Corroborating the drivers, an executive of the Minna Taxi Drivers Union, Mr.. Emmanuel Onifade, said the union had never recorded incidences of security personnel refusing to pay fares to their destinations. “We only hear that in places such as Lagos; the nonpayment of transport fares by police personnel and other security operatives is the norm. In Niger State, we do not experience such. Security agents pay fares and in a situation where some do not have, they usually plead with the drivers for consideration.” In Benue, the police authorities have reiterated that their personnel are not exempted from paying fares whenever they board commercial vehicles. The command’s Public Relations Officer, Mr. Daniel Ezeala, said the insinuation that officers and men of the police are in the habit of not paying transport fares is not true, even as he called on the public to report anyone who refuses to do so to the police authorities. Similarly, a commercial bus driver who

THERE IS AN ERRONEOUSLY HELD IMPRESSION THAT SECURITY PERSONNEL IN

LAGOS STATE ARE

OFFICIALLY EXEMPTED FROM PAYING TRANSPORT FARES WHILE TRAVELLING IN PRIVATELY OWNED COMMERCIAL VEHICLES craved anonymity said the practice is alien to the state since security operatives, especially the police pay transport fares like any other person. Also in Imo State, the Police Public Relations Officer, Joy Elemoko, has said the police must pay transport fares as they are not exempted whenever they board public transport. She said as a police officer she always

pays transport fares. “Why should I not pay when I am not owner of the vehicle? Except the driver wants to offer hand of assistance, if not why should any police personnel refuse to pay fares?” According to her since there is no law that the police should not pay transport fares while boarding commercial vehicles, it is therefore not ideal for them to refuse payment when demanded. The situation in Anambra State is no different from what obtains in other states, with exception of Lagos, as investigations show that security personnel in cities of Awka, Onitsha, Nnewi and Ekwulobia pay transport fares . However, that commercial vehicle drivers collect transport fares from police officers who board their vehicles does not vitiate the fact that there are occasions when drivers offer free ride to this group of citizens in expectation of favour or even reward for past ones. Officers of the Road Transport Workers Union (RTWU) who spoke on the issue, said there is no policy that exempts the police or other security agencies from payment of fares. • *Reports by Francis Suberu, Priscillia Dennis, James Danjuma, Henry Iyorkase, Chris Njoku, Emma Gbemudu, Femi Oyeweso and Charles Okeke

Nigeria Police Code Of Conduct Extract The code will be regarded as an accountability code that will apply to all officers (irrespective of rank) and will reflect International conventions for Law Enforcement Agents, the provisions of sections 353- 368 of Part XV of the Police Act (cap 359) and other relevant Force Orders as well as Public Service The code will encompass the following: Primary Responsibilities of a Police Officer – A police officer acts as an official representative of government who is required and trusted to work within the law. The officer’s powers and dutiesare conferred by statute. The fundamental duties of a police officer include serving the community, safeguarding lives and property, protecting the innocent, keeping the peace and ensuring the rights of all to liberty, equality and justice;Performance of duties as a police officer – a police officer shall perform all duties impartially, without favour of affection or ill will and without regard to status, sex, race, religion, political belief oraspiration. All citizens will be treated equally with courtesy, consideration and dignity. Officers will never allow personal feelings, animosities or friendships to influence official conduct. Laws will be enforced appropriately and courteously and in carrying out their responsibilities, officers will strive to obtain maximum cooperation from the public. They will conduct themselves both in appearance and composure, in such a manner as to inspire confidence and respect for the position of public trust

IGP Abubakar

they hold. Use of Force – a police officer will never employ unnecessary force or violence and will use only such force in discharge of duty, as is reasonable in all circumstances. The use of force should be used only after discussion, negotiation and persuasion have been found to be inappropriate or ineffective. While the use of force is occasionally unavoidable, every police officer will refrain from unnecessary infliction of pain or suffering and will never engage in cruel, degrading or inhuman treatment of any person. Confidentiality – Whatever a police officer sees, hears or learns which is of a confidential nature, will be kept secret

unless the performance of duty or legal provision requires otherwise. Members of the public have a right to security and privacy, and information obtained about them must not be improperly divulged Integrity – a police officer will not engage in acts of corruption or bribery, nor will an officer condone such acts by other police officers. The public demands that the integrity of police officers be above reproach. Police officers must therefore, avoid any conduct that might compromise integrity and that undercut the confidence reposed by the public, in the Police. Officers will refuse to accept any gifts, presents, subscriptions, favours, gratuities or promises that could be interpreted as seeking to cause the officer to refrain from performing official responsibilities honestly and within the law. Police officers must not receive private or special advantage from their official status. Respect from the public cannot be bought; it can only be earned and cultivated. Private Life – Police officers will behave in a manner that does not bring discredit to the Force or themselves. A police officer’s character and conduct while off duty must always be exemplary, thus maintaining a position of respect in the community in which he or she lives and serves. The officer’s personal behavior must be beyond reproach. Principle Four - Police officers shall not, whether on or off duty, exhibit any conduct

which discredits themselves or the Force or otherwise impairs their ability or that of other officers or the Force to provide law enforcement services to the community. Rules Police officers shall not consume alcoholic beverages or chemical substances, while on duty, except as permitted in the performance of official duties, and under no circumstances while in uniform, except as otherwise exclusively permitted by an enabling authority; Police officers shall not consume alcoholic beverages to the extent the officer would be rendered unfit for the officer’s next scheduled shift. A police officer shall not report for work with the odour of an alcoholic beverage on the officer’s breath. Police officers shall not commit any acts which constitute sexual assault or indecent exposure. Sexual assault does not include a frisk or other search done in accordance with proper police procedures. Police officers shall avoid regular personal associations with persons who are known to engage in criminal activity where such associations will undermine the public trust and confidence in the officer or the Force. This rule does not prohibit those associations that are necessary to the performance of official duties, or where such associations are unavoidable because of the officer’s personal or family relationships. Principle Five - Police officers shall treat all members of the public courteously and with respect.


WORLD RECORD

Most prolific party games series The most prolific party videogame series is Mario Party (Nintendo, 1998), which has seen 11 entries across six formats as of May 2007.

N150

Vol. 04 No. 772 Thursday, January 23, 2014

Rage over Villaleaks and other matters

“M

ay God save me from my friends, my enemies I can take care of” - Allah Dey. The late journalism icon, Alade Odunewu (a.k.a. Alllah Dey), is best remembered for that famous quote from one of his humorous columns in the sadly defunct, Daily Times, a newspaper that could rightly be called the chronicle of Nigerian history. When that paper died, a part of this nation died, and with it, went the best tradition of our journalism. Nobody needs Allah Dey’s whimsical prayer more than our embattled President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. Deceived by enemies posing as friends and ditched by friends he now regards as enemies, the President needs divine direction to know who is fooling whom among his circle of advisers. Under the present highly charged atmosphere in the mysterious Aso Rock fortress, it is difficult for Mr. President to distinguish

THE PRINCE OF NIGERIA PARADIGM Chris

Okotie

Okotie@revchrisokotie.com; twitter@revchrisokotie, 08078421451 (sms only)

between the wolves in sheep’s clothing and the disparate group of courtiers. From his Ijaw clans men, PDP power brokers, a coterie of Presidential aides to the oil cabal and technocrats who jostle for his attention every minute, President Jonathan will need a sixth sense to manage the pack, and know which counsel to follow. That has become more crucial now that PDP hawks have forced Bamanga Tukur to resign from his chairmanship position following the politician’s protracted quarrel with key figures in the party. The perennial internal disagreements within the government’s inner caucus, have led to leakages of sensitive information to the press, which clearly indicates that all is not well with Team Jonathan. We recall that the President complained that ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo deliberately “leaked” his famous letter bomb to the press. OBJ justified his action on grounds that previous letters to Jonathan were not even acknowledged, let alone replied. The governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has come under fire, after he wrote a letter to the President in which he reported non-remittance of $49.8 billion oil revenue by NNPC to the Federation Account. The contents of this letter somehow got into the media. For this reason, the President reportedly asked Sanusi to resign, but the gutsy Prince rejected the directive, insisting he must serve out his term. Why is the President angrier with the expose than the alleged crime? Since Jonathan cannot dismiss the CBN Governor’s poser over the ‘missing’ $49.8 bil-

LEAKAGES OF GOVERNMENT’S COUNTER-INSURGENCY PLANS TO THE

ISLAMISTS HAVE CONTINUED, MAKING THEM SO DIFFICULT TO DEFEAT.

lion, he lacks the moral authority to fire his Chief Exchequer. He just has to endure the fiery civil servant till June 2014, when his term expires. The late President Umaru Musa Yar’ Adua, who appointed the petulant Kano Prince must have wondered whether this gesture was not misplaced, because at Sanusi’s Senate confirmation hearing, he openly criticized Yar’Adua’s 7-point Agenda, insisting that it was unwieldy, and suggested that a one or two-point agenda focusing on more auspicious projects would have made more sense. The late President must have been aghast, and wondered what manner of man is Sanusi. Sanusi’s display at his maiden public appearance gave a hint of the kind of civil servant he’d turn out to be: bold, independent and stubborn. Although, he went on to initiate far-reaching reforms that rescued the banking system from collapse, after it was mismanaged by our celebrated, award-winning, delinquent bankers, he may exit next June, leaving this vital sector still far from

settled, because the ‘bridge banks’ he created - Enterprise Bank, Mainstreet Bank and Keystone Bank - are still hanging in the balance. So much for Sanusi! We’d miss him when he finally departs. One thing that won’t depart from this government is the spate of leakages of vital information, which is one way the Snowdens and Assanges of President Jonathan administration fight corruption, since the Boss is reluctant to do battle with Nigeria’s No.1 enemy. The BMW car scandal was reportedly leaked to the press by some distraught chaps in the Ministry of Aviation. The angst of the President is directed more at the leakage than the very act of car purchase itself, which is shocking. He seems to be more concerned with the damage the scandal has done to his associates involved than the more important smear of corruption that blights his administration. Fifth columnists abound in all governments, including Jonathan’s. He has acknowledged the presence of Boko-Haram sympathizers in the strategic arms of his administration. But the snag is that he has not been able to deal with them. Leakages of government’s counterinsurgency plans to the Islamists have continued, making them so difficult to defeat. President Jonathan needs men with the expertise of former President Ibrahim Babangida in his intelligence team; men who have the uncanny ability to burst coups, even at the planning stage. It is important to understand that a new security roadmap is needed to win this terror war. Beyond the latest change in service chiefs, government must find a way to stop the insurgents in their tracks, by pre-emptive actions that could leak plans of the enemy to our military. If Boko Haram has double agents in our government, why can’t we have such in their group? After all, deception is an art of war. Double agents from government Intelligence units could infiltrate the terror group and become sources of strategic information for our military in this campaign. Like Bob Marley sang, “Only your friend knows your secret; only he could reveal it”. Rev. Okotie, a former presidential candidate, wrote from Lagos

Sport Extra

W

orld number three, Henrik Stenson, yesterday said he could soon be challenging Tiger Woods for the number one spot if he can maintain the form that earned him $20m in prize money last year. The 37-year-old Swede became the first player to top the rankings

Golf: Woods gets Swede’s threat over top spot on either side of the Atlantic in the 2013 season. In September he clinched the Fed-Ex Cup title after winning the Tour Championship, while two months later he finished first in the Race to Dubai standings

thanks to his triumph at the DP World Championship. He also finished second to Phil Mickelson in The Open Championship at Muirfield and now has Aussie Adam Scott and Woods ahead of him.

CHAN QUARTER FINALISTS

Mali v Zimbabwe Nigeria v Morocco Ghana v DR Congo Gabon v Libya

Tiger

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Thursday, january 23, 2014  

*** Senate in rowdy session over Rivers crisis --- Summons Inspector-General of Police *** PDP moves to pacify aggrieved governors --- New...