Niger Delta oil spills: Dutch court orders Shell to pay damages
Reps probe Presidency over spending of N67bn reserves
Senate flays poor remediation efforts
UDEME AKPAN AND GEORGE ORJI WITH AGENCY REPORT Sunmonu
Vol. 3 N0. 547
FRONT PAGE COMMENT
he obvious miscarriage of justice perpetrated on Monday by a Federal High Court in Abuja, which sentenced a public ser-
n an unprecedented ruling, a Dutch court has held Royal Dutch Shell subsidiary in Nigeria, Shell Petroleum Development
Company Nigeria Limited, SPDC, responsible for oil spills in the Niger Delta. The firm is to pay damCONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>
Crisis brews over plans to scrap NPA
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Pension fraud: The N750,000 fine for stolen N32.8bn vant, John Yakubu Yusuf, to two years imprisonment with a fine option of N750,000, for conspiracy and stealing of N32.8 billion from police pen-
sion funds; a fine the convict happily paid on the spot and walked away a free man, will go down in history as one of the most ridiculous efforts of
the judiciary in stemming the tide of corruption in Nigeria. Yusuf, an Assistant Director with the Police Pension Board, CONTINUED ON PAGE 18>>
Convicted pension boss remanded in prison ...as EFCC files fresh charges
Groups demand sanctions for Justice Talba EMMANUEL ONANI, TORDUE SALEM AND OLUFEMI ADEOSUN
Federal High Court sitting in Abuja yesterday ordered the remand of the convicted Assistant Director, Police Pension Office, John Yakubu Yusufu, in prison custody. Justice Adamu Bello
gave the order following the re-arraignment of the convict by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on a fresh four-count charge. The charge bordered on the convict’s failure to disclose his assets in a company called SY-A Global Services Limited. Yusufu was on Monday convicted and sentenced CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>
Comment on Jesus: El-Rufai, a religious bigot, says CAN P.7 L-R: Former Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku; Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola; former Head of State, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari and Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi, during the Nigeria Bar Association’s two-day peace and security summit in Abuja, yesterday.
Marginalisation claims stalling board appointments –Jonathan National conference divides northern leaders
Victor Moses dedicates goals to son
Thursday, January 31, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
National conference divides northern leaders AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST,
JAMES ABRAHAM AND A ZA MSUE
orthern leaders were yesterday divided over Tuesday’s call for the convocation of a national conference by the southern leaders during their second General Assembly in Enugu. In a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting
attended by former VicePresident Alex Ekwueme; Ijaw National Leader, Chief Edwin Clark and retired Anglican Bishop of Akure Diocese, Bishop Emmanuel Bolanle Gbonigi, the group had called for a convocation of a national conference for the resolution of some of the problems threatening the country. Reacting to the resolution, the presidential candidate of the defunct National Republican Convention,
NRC, Alhaji Bashir Tofa, said: “National conference or whatever name it is called is long overdue.” He said the country would not move forward without the gathering of the various ethnic nationalities or the federating units to discuss the numerous problems threatening the country’s existence. “I have long canvassed for the convocation of a national conference and my decision in favour of
this conference is because it is becoming obvious that we have been living in pretence. We need such a conference to use the platform to tell ourselves the truth and at the end, see how we answer the Nigerian question. “We should stop this pretence of all is well when in actual fact, all is bad. So, as Nigerians, it is time to face the truth, summon the different segments in the society so that everyone
Embattled Yusufu being escorted out of the court premises yesterday.
Convicted pension boss remanded in prison CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
to a two-year prison term by Justice Abubakar Talba of an Abuja high court. The sentence was based on a guilty plea to a threecount charge of conspiracy and stealing of police pension funds to the tune of N32.8bn. The convict however walked away after paying the N750,000 fine option on the spot. He found himself back in the dock and pleaded “not guilty” to the fresh four-count charge prosecuting counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), applied to the court that he should be remanded in prison custody. He told the presiding judge that the anti-graft agency was prepared for trial with its list of two
witnesses attached to the four-count charge preferred against the convict. Jacobs said: “We are ready for trial; we have only two witnesses. We will also be asking your Lordship to make an order for the accused person to be remanded in prison custody.” Defence counsel, Mr. Theodore Maiyaki, who did not oppose the request, however, prayed the court to remand the accused in the custody of the EFCC. “We will be asking for the accused to be remanded in EFCC’s custody to enable us to come formally with an application for bail. “Before the trial date, I will want to plead for a very short adjournment
for us to come with an application for bail of the accused person,” Maiyaki added. In granting the second request, Justice Bello said: “I will give you a date for trial so that you can bring your motion for bail formally.” However, the judge did not grant the request to remand the convict in EFCC’s custody, saying: “This case will be adjourned till March 1, and pending that trial, the accused shall be remanded in prison custody.” The action of the EFCC to re-arraign Yusufu may not be unconnected with the public outcry criticism that greeted the Monday’s judgement, considered by many as “a slap on the wrist.”
The anti-graft agency explained that SY-A Global Services Limited is solely owned by the convict and members of his immediate family. It also claimed that Yusufu failed to declare his interest in N250m domiciled in a fixed deposit account with Zenith Bank and another N10m traced to First Bank of Nigeria Plc, all in the name of SY-A Global Services Limited. Also, the former assistant director was also accused of not declaring his interest in the N29m, which was fixed on his instruction by one Danjuma Mele in his company’s account with Diamond Bank. The offence is punishCONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>
would have the opportunity to speak out his mind on how the Nigerian nation should be structured and governed,” he said. Also, former governor of old Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, insisted that a national conference must hold despite the forces against it. Musa suggested that the conference should be convened before the 2015 general election to correct the challenges being faced by the country. The ex-governor, who is also Chairman, Conference of Nigeria Political Parties, CNPP, said government should provide funds for the exercise to take place without further delay. He said: “We suggested that four delegates in 774 local government areas, including other concerned groups; but for now SNC may not be feasible due to the negative state of Nigeria. “The national conference should hold and produce a new constitution, which will be subjected to referendum. National conference should be held in place of sovereign national conference. The conference should be held before the 2015 general elections to correct many abnormalities in the country. “I must say that if the national conference as we suggest cannot hold because of the opposition of those in power, then a sovereign national conference becomes inevitable in spite of the risks.” However, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai opposed the idea. He said: “The issue of national conference or sovereign national conference has no place in the constitution and, therefore, should be seen as one of those unconstitutional agitations by aggrieved parties.” According to the onetime adviser to ex-President Shehu Shagari, “SNC is undemocratic since under the democratic arrangement, the Nigerian people are represented by their elected representatives at various levels of governance.” He noted that with the National Assembly and state assemblies in existence and recognised by the constitution, the formation of SNC would only create problems for the system, stressing that it would usurp the responsibilities of elected rep-
resentatives. “My advice is that whoever is aggrieved or disagrees with the system as it is being practised has his representatives in the various arms of government to complain to and that is why these functionaries were elected in the first place, to represent people,” he said. Pioneer National Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and first civilian governor of Plateau State, Chief Solomon Lar, also disagreed with the southern leaders. Lar, who spoke in Jos yesterday, said those calling for a national conference do not mean well for the country. He said the National Assembly, being a representation of the different segments of the Nigerian society, is in a position to act on behalf of the people and nothing else. “In situations like this, what we should do is to allow the National Assembly and the government of the day elected by the people to take decisions on behalf of the people on the way forward,” the PDP chieftain said. Lar added that he was not surprised by the actions of those agitating for a national conference, saying: “When you look at this group, on one side are civil society elements that have teamed up with well known opposition party members who have lost elections.” He added: “When an election is over, we expect that they should support the government of the day and not to say that you want an illegal arrangement just to cause governability crisis for those who are in power. “The second group consists of those who have lost their electoral relevance. They have also aligned themselves with the opposition members and lending voices to critical issues such as this so as to launch themselves back into political reckoning.” Lar, who spoke through the Executive Secretary, Solomon Lar Foundation, Major Adeyi, said that instead of agitating for a national conference, “what they should do is to allow the National Assembly take decision on behalf of the people on how to move the country forward. Anything outside the constitution is illegitimate.”
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, January 31, 2013
RICE AND STEW TOO PLENTY!
Now, more Nigerians at risk of diabetes!
RICE: More Nigerians at risk of TYPE 2 diabetes as a result of eating it.
s food insecurity becomes widespread in the country, rice has become the main meal in most homes in Nigeria and this is becoming worrisome to experts who fear that more people could be at risk of type 2 diabetes. This is because a new research published recently in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) has shown that high consumption of white rice is associated with a significantly increased risk of the life-threatening condition. The study showed that people who ate rice more than once a day are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who ate it once or twice in a week. The research aimed at discovering if the link between eating white rice and developing diabetes was stronger among people in Asia, who tend to eat more white rice than Westerners. Results of the studies carried out in China and Japan revealed that those who ate most rice had 55% chances of
developing the disease than those who ate it the least. In the US and Australia, where consumption of rice turned out to be far lower, the difference was just 12%, while, the link was discovered to be stronger in women than men. Now, it is feared that the situation in Nigeria may not be too different from that of China and Japan as the country is said to be gradually joining nations with high rice consumption rate following widespread food insecurity in the country which has made it the nation’s most staple food. The condition, experts fear could even be worse as some Nigerians eat rice more than thrice a day unlike the Asians. A Nigerian Nutritionist/Dietician Mrs. Doris Anaemene however described Nigerians’ over-reliance on rice as unnecessary because the country is very rich with foods thus every home should be able to eat a balanced diet if well planned. She blamed mothers for the frightening trend. “Notwithstanding the food insecurity gradually staring the nation in her face, Nigerians can still eat balanced diets but mothers’ laziness at planning the meals of their
YOUR RIGHT TO KNOW
Fast food diet linked to asthma and eczema severity in kids
ating three or more weekly servings of fast food is linked to the severity of allergic asthma, eczema, and rhinitis among children in the developed world, indicates a large international study published online in the respiratory journal Thorax. The findings prompt the authors to suggest that a fast food diet may be contributing to the rise in these conditions, and if proved causal, could have huge implications for public health, given the popularity of these foodstuffs.
The authors base their findings on data from more than 319,000 13-14 year olds from 107 centres in 51 countries, and more than181,000 six to seven year olds from 64 centres in 31 countries. All the participants were involved in the Inter-
national Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC), which is a collaborative research project involving more than 100 countries and nearly two million children, making it the largest study of its kind. The teens and the children’s parents were formally quizzed on whether they had symptoms of asthma (wheeze); rhinoconjunctivitis (which produces a runny or blocked nose accompanied by itchy and watery eyes); and eczema; and their weekly diet.
families is worsening the poor dietary and feeding habits in the nation.” “Consumption of rice which is pure carbohydrate can make one add excess weight which could at the long run be disastrous to the body and health. For someone living with diabetes, he will find it difficult to control his blood sugar level,” she said. White rice is the dominant form of rice eaten in the world. Machines produce its polished look by hulling and milling, thus, leaving a grain that is predominantly starch. The starch, studies so far indicate, is responsible for the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes when consumed regularly. According to the researchers, the inherent starchy nature of white rice is as a result of its high glycemic index, which means the body rapidly converts the carbohydrates in rice into glucose. The glycemic index of white rice is about 64, on a 100-point scale. More data from the Harvard group indicated the sugary content of white rice when compared with orange juice and ice-cream to be higher as the latter has a glycemic index of 61, while orange juice rates a 50. Hence, the researchers explained in the study that the more white rice eaten, the higher the risk of Type 2 diabetes. The authors estimated that the diabetes risk of rice eaters rises by 11 percent with each increased daily serving of white rice. “That’s because eating rice is as close as you can come to eating a candy bar without the actual candy. It’s a starch that causes your blood sugar levels to spike with every bowl”, the researchers stated in the Harvard publication. Even nutritionists have agreed that people who eat foods with high glycemic indexes have increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, noting that white rice has fewer nutrients. To keep diabetes at bay and yet not live a boring dietary life style, they prescribe brown rice in place of the former on the grounds of it being healthier. Studies so far indicate brown rice has more fibre, magnesium and vitamins, and a lower glycemic index, than white rice. It has yet been discovered that people who eat brown rice are less likely to develop diabetes than those who eat white, but that’s only part of the picture. People who do not eat rice and few starches are even less likely to develop the condition. Worldwide, diabetes has been discovered to be one of the five major killers of humans at all age levels. Even four year old kids are today being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes requiring them to take two injections a day, and this, studies indicate are not unconnected with foods- like white rice, with high glycemic indexes.
Treating sleep-disordered breathing in pregnancy improves fetal health
new study suggests that treatment of mild sleep-disordered breathing with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy in pregnant women with preeclampsia improves fetal activity levels, a marker of fetal well-being. Results show that the average number of fetal movements increased from 319 during a night without CPAP treatment to 592 during the subse-
quent night with CPAP therapy. During the course of the night without CPAP treatment, the number of fetal movements decreased steadily by 7.4 movements per hour. In contrast, the number of fetal movements increased by 12.6 per hour during the night with CPAP therapy. “What would otherwise have been considered clinically unimportant or minor ‘snoring’
likely has major effects on the blood supply to the fetus, and that fetus in turn protects itself by reducing movements,” said Colin Sullivan, PhD, the study’s principal investigator. “This can be treated with readily available positive airway pressure therapy and suggests that measurement of fetal activity during a mother’s sleep may be an important and practical method of assessing fetal well-being.”
Thursday, January 31, 2013
L-R: Director-General, Securities and Exchange Commission, Ms. Arunma Oteh; Prof. Graham Penn of the University College, London and a Director with the commission, Ms. Mary Uduki, during a training on Securitisation, Mortgage-backed securities, Covered Bonds and Liquid PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA Facilities, in Abuja, yesterday.
L-R: Head, Department of Psychiatric, Lagos State Teaching Hospital, Dr. Abiodun Adewuya; Guest Lecturer, Prof. Jude Ohaeri and Medical Director, Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, Dr. Rahman Lawal, at the annual general meeting of the hospital in Lagos, yesterday.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Chairman, Transcorp Plc, Mr. Tony Elumelu (right) and Global Chief Executive Officer, General Electric, Mr. Jeff Immelt, at the signing of a Framework Agreement to expand Ughelli Power Plant in Lagos, yesterday.
L-R: Managing Director/ CEO. Bank of Industry, Ms. Evelyn Oputu; Executive Director, Business Development, Mr. Waheed Olagunju and African Development Bank Resident Representative, Dr. Ousmane Dore, during the signing of agreement to provide two sovereign-guaranteed multi-tranche lines of credit to support export oriented small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Abuja, yesterday.
Reps threatens to arrest Jega, Odimegwu SOLA ADEBAYO AND TORDUE SALEM
he House of Representatives may issue a warrant of arrest on the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, over his refusal to appear before its committee to explain an alleged misapplication of the Commission’s funds. The Auditor General of the Federation, AGF, had raised queries on the audited account of INEC before the House Committee on Public Accounts, PAC. The Chairman of the National Population Commission, NPC, Mr. Festus Odimegwu may also be issued with warrant of arrest by the lawmakers. The AGF queries were raised on the expenditures of INEC for the year 2003 to 2011, while that of NPC was from 2003 to 2009.
•As INEC may deregister ANPP The Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, Solomon Olamilekan Adeola is to issue the warrant on behalf of the committee today. Olamilekan, at a sitting of the committee yesterday, told members that the heads of INEC and NPC have spurned invitations extended to them five times and therefore sought the permission of his colleagues to issue warrants on the affected officials for their contempt. The committee in a voice vote granted him permission to do so. Condemning Jega and Odimegwu for refusing to turn up as invited, Olamilekan said that the committee will issue the warrants on the duo today and will compel the Inspector General of Police, IGP, to bring them before the committee next week. He said: “Anyone who
occupies public office must show due diligence and accountability and this the parliament will demand of them whether they like it or not. “When INEC looked for power to be on first line charge, it ran to parliament and its problem was solved, why is it now afraid of showing up to give account of what it has spent?” Meanwhile, INEC has written the leadership of the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, threatening to withdraw the registration certificate of the party. National Mirror learnt that INEC in a letter dated January 28, accused the party of altering its constitution in 2010 without notifying the electoral umpire. The commission said the action violated relevant sections of the 1999 Constitution and that the party stood the risk of being deregistered.
It was gathered that the letter, signed by INEC’s acting Secretary, Alhaji Mustapha Kuta, was addressed to the National Chairman of the party, Dr. Ogbonaya Onu. Reliable sources in INEC told National Mirror yesterday that the commission asked Onu to adduce reasons why the party should not be sanctioned for the action which violated Section 222b of the 1999 Constitution. The section provides that any political association or political party which alters its constitution must notify the INEC within 30 days after such alternation. Specifically, INEC asked to be persuaded on why the ANPP would continue to function as a political party after flouting relevant constitutional provision about its existence. The party’s spokesman, Mr. Emma Eneukwu, who was contacted on the phone last night pleaded for time to confer with Onu on the matter.
Commission to probe deaths of inmates in police custody OMEIZA AJAYI, ABUJA
he Police Service Commission, PSC, yesterday rolled out a formulated policy that will ensure that all deaths in police custody are thoroughly investigated and the report submitted to relevant authorities. The policy, which the commission said would end the culture of impunity and cover-ups, also mandates the police to probe deaths resulting from contacts with policemen, including fatal shootings by officers. In a statement in Abuja yesterday, the Commissioner in charge of Media and Publicity of the Commission Ms. Comfort Obi and another Commissioner, Dr. Otive Igbuzor, explained that a policy on domestic violence and gender has also been introduced for of-
ficers and men of the force. The Commission stated that the in-custody death policy would end the era of cover-ups when people die in police custody and in other extra-judicial killings without being investigated. It said though the tenure of its members end by April 2013, it has institutionalised procedures and processes to be followed in recruitment, promotion and discipline of police officers by the PSC. The commission also stated that three Commissioners of Police have been promoted to Assistant Inspectors-General of Police, while eight Deputy Commissioners of Police were promoted to the rank of Commissioners, including two in acting capacity. It added that 20 CSPs were elevated to ACPs, adding that promotion was no longer based on godfatherism or political patronage.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Convicted pension boss remanded in prison CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2
able under Section 27 (3) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment, etc.) Act CAP E1 2004. Attached to the charge sheet was a list of witnesses and exhibits, including statements of the accused person and proof of evidence to establish a prima facie case. Counts two and four of the fresh charge read: “That you, John Yakubu Yusufu, on or about February 14, 2012 at Abuja in the Abuja Judicial Division knowingly failed to make full disclosure of your assets and liability in the declaration of assets form filled by you, by not declaring your interest in the N250m you lodged in a fixed deposit account with the Zenith Bank in the name of SY-A Global Services Limited, a company in which you are the sole signatory to its account and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 27(3) of the Economic and Commission Crimes Commission (Establishment, etc.) Act CAP E1 2004. “That you, John Yakubu Yusufu, on or about
February 14, 2012 at Abuja in the Abuja Judicial Division knowingly failed to make full disclosure of your assets and liability in the declaration of assets form filled by you, by not declaring your interest in the sum of N29m, which was fixed on your instruction by one Danjuma Mele in his company account in the name of Jidag Technical Services Ltd with Diamond Bank and for your benefit and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 27 (3) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment, etc.) Act CAP E1 2004.” Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has urged the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Muhammed Adoke, to appeal Yusufu’s sentence A motion to appeal the judgement, which was adopted, was brought by the Minority Whip of the House, Hon. Samson Osagie (ACN-Edo). Osagie noted that the judgement could engender more corruption in the system if it went unchallenged. He said that a stricter
sentence ought to have been passed as a way of discouraging other thieving public officers from pilfering public funds. “If we are committed to checking corruption in our land, adequate punishment should be handed down to offenders,” he said. Hon. Emmanuel Jime (PDP- Benue) said that it was the responsibility of members of the House to sponsor bills to amend Acts rather than criticising court judgements. Hon. Jerry Manwe (PDP-Taraba) stressed that courts were in the
habit of promoting corrupt individuals by weak and ineffectual judgements. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila (ACN-Lagos), the Minority Leader, said that Justice Abubakar Talba had “abused his discretion” in passing the said judgement. Hon. Aliyu Madaki (PDP- Kano), however, stated that the judge depended on extant laws to deliver the judgement. “I know that some of our laws are loose, we need to change them,” he said. Also, former Vice-Pres-
ident Atiku Abubakar has called on the Federal Government and the National Assembly to make the anti-corruption law stiffer in dealing with white-collar criminals in the country. Reacting to the public outrage that greeted the two-year sentence passed on the pension crime convict, the former vice-president explained that the issue had brought to light the defects of the anti-corruption laws. Atiku said that “President Obasanjo submitted a stiffer draft law, which, however, was watered down by the then National
Assembly.” He said rather than trading blame, Nigerians should also look at the weaknesses in these laws and call for their urgent review. Atiku noted that the purpose of punishment “is deterrence and the ultimate desire to produce remorse in the hearts and minds of offenders. “This, however, could not be achieved when the punishment is made so light as to make criminality attractive.” The former Vice President regretted that a situCONTINUED ON PAGE 51>>
L-R: Head of Service, Alhaji Sali Bello; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim; Vice-President Namadi Sambo and President Goodluck Jonathan, during the Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja, yesterda PHOTO: STATE HOUSE
Oil spills: Dutch court orders Shell to pay damages CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
ages for its action. The district court that ruled yesterday in The Hague said SPDC, a wholly-owned subsidiary, must compensate one farmer for failing to properly contain an oil spill, but dismissed four other claims filed against the Dutch parent company holding it directly responsible for large spills that had destroyed farms and fishing areas. The ruling came as the company came under fire from the Senate Committee on Environment for failure to effectively clean up oil spill sites in the Niger Delta, the subject of the Dutch Court ruling. Four Nigerians and a campaign group, Friends of the Earth, had filed suits in 2008 in The Hague, where Shell has its global headquarters, seeking reparations for lost income from contaminated land and waterways in the Niger Delta region.
According to Reuters, the case was seen by environmental activists as a test for holding multinationals responsible for offences at foreign subsidiaries, and legal experts said other Nigerians affected by pollution might now be able to sue in the Netherlands. Reuters quoted the farmer who won compensation, 52-year-old father of 12, Mr. Friday Akpan, as stating that he was very happy with the judgement because it would allow him to repay his debts. He said: "I am not surprised at the decision because there was divine intervention in the court. The spill damaged 47 fish ponds, killed all the fish and rendered the ponds useless," he told Reuters in Port Harcourt. "Since then I have been living by God's grace and on the help of good Samaritans. I think this will be a lesson for Shell and they will know not to damage
people's livelihoods." However, SPDC Managing Director, Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu, said the company welcomed the court’s ruling that all spill cases were caused by criminal activity. In a statement by Shell yesterday, Sunmonu said: “Oil pollution is a problem in Nigeria, affecting the daily lives of people in the Niger Delta. However, the vast majority of oil pollution is caused by oil thieves and illegal refiners. “This causes major environmental and economic damage, and is the real tragedy of the Niger Delta. SPDC has made great efforts to raise awareness of the issue with the government of Nigeria, international bodies like the UN, the media and NGOs. We will continue to be at the forefront of discussions to find solutions. “For SPDC, no oil spill is acceptable and we are working hard to improve our per-
formance on operational spills. In the past years, we have seen a decline in operational spill volumes. These spills, however, were caused by sabotage and the court has, quite rightly, largely dismissed the claims.” SPDC spokesman, Mr. Tony Okonedo, said that the company was satisfied with the ruling of the court as it was not held responsible for the spills, which were caused by acts of sabotage. “The District Court of The Hague (The Netherlands) today (30th January) ruled that the four oil spills at Oruma, Goi and Ikot Ada Udo between 2004 and 2007, which have been the subject of a litigation, were caused by sabotage. “Furthermore, the court ruled that Royal Dutch Shell plc is not liable and dismissed all claims of Friends of the Earth.” He said it was only in the case of Ikot Ada Udo the court ruled that Shell could have prevented the sabo-
tage by plugging the well at an earlier stage. “In this particular case saboteurs opened the valve (above surface) with a wrench. In 2010, SPDC took the necessary measures to contain the well. This was also acknowledged by the court. For Ikot Ada Udo the proceedings will continue between SPDC and Mr. Akpan to establish damages, if any,” Okonedo added. He stressed that the Friends of the Earth argument that SPDC did not clean-up the spill sites properly was dismissed by the court. Legal experts believe that the ruling could make it possible for other Nigerians who say they also suffered losses due to Shell's activities to file lawsuits in the Netherlands. A professor of international law at Maastricht University, Menno Kamminga, in an interview with Reuters said: "The fact that a subsidiary has been
held responsible by a Dutch court is new and opens new avenues." He said the court did not just examine the role of the parent company, but also looked "at abuses committed by Shell Nigeria, where the link with the Netherlands is extremely limited. That's a real breakthrough.” Friends of the Earth spokesman, Geert Ritsema, however, said they would appeal against the acquittals "because there is still a lot of oil lying around. These sites need to be cleaned." Ritsema said hundreds of other Nigerians in the village of Ikot Ada Udo, where a farmer, Mr. Friday Akpan lives, can now take similar legal action. The court backed Shell's argument that the spills were caused by sabotage and not poor maintenance of its facilities as had been argued by the Nigerians. CONTINUED ON PAGE 51>>
Thursday, January 31, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Nigeria’s plurality, cause of insecurity, says CJN EMMANUEL ONANI ABUJA
Newly appointed members of the Federal Character Commission taking their oath of office before President Goodluck Jonathan, during the Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
Reps probe Presidency over spending of $67bn reserves TORDUE SALEM ABUJA
he House of Representatives yesterday set up a panel to investigate the alleged mismanagement of $45 billion in foreign reserves and $22 billion excess crude fund. Former Vice-President of the World Bank where the foreign reserves are kept, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili, had alleged that the Umar Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan regimes depleted the foreign reserves, accumulated by former President Olusegun Obasanjo administration. Before it adopted a motion sponsored by Hon. Umar Bature (PDP, Sokoto), the House mandated its Finance and Appropriations Committees to investigate the allegations. In his motion, Bature
said the House needed to dig into Ezekwesili’s allegations because of her World Bank experience and as Special Adviser to the President on Public Procurement as well as a two-time minister in the past. At a lecture she delivered at University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN, recently, Ezekwesili had alleged that the squandering of $45 billion in foreign reserves account and $22b in Excess Crude Account by the two regimes was “the most egregious” instance of Nigeria’s failure to make the right developmental choices. She noted that the country had enjoyed multiple oil booms, yet had failed to convert oil income to assets through training of human capital, development of other sectors or investment in foreign assets as other
resource-rich countries did with their oil income. Ezekwesili, a founding Director of Transparency International, said: “The present cycle of boom of the 2010s is, however, much more vexing than the other four that happened in the 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s. “This is because we are still caught up in it and it is more egregious than the other periods in revealing that we learned absolutely nothing from the previous massive failures.” The former Minister of Solid Minerals lamented the “squandering of the significant sum of $45 billion in foreign reserve account and another $22 billion in Excess Crude account being direct savings from increased earnings from oil that the Obasanjo administration handed over to the successor gov-
ernment in 2007. “Six years after the administration I served handed over such humongous national wealth to another one, most Nigerians, especially the poor, continue to suffer the effects of failing public health and education systems as well as decrepit infrastructure and battered institutions. “One cannot but ask what exactly does symbolise with this level of brazen misappropriation of public resources? Where did all that money go? Where is the accountability for the use of both these resources and the additional several hundred dollars realised from oil sale by the two administrations that have governed our nation in the last five years? How were these resources applied or more appropriately misapplied? Tragic choices.”
he Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Aloma Mukhtar, yesterday, identified “plurality of ethnic and religious groups” as the major cause of insecurity and restiveness in the country. Mukhtar spoke at a two-day Peace and Security Summit held at the International Conference, Abuja. The summit was organised by the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, to proffer enduring solutions to the lingering security challenges in the country. In her opening remarks as Chairman of the occasion, the CJN argued that Nigeria’s plural nature was at the centre of the current state of insecurity. As a way out, Mukhtar identified four key challenges that militate against peace in amalgamated societies such as Nigeria. She said: “Whether we agree with this opinion or not, the fact remains that the plurality of the Nigerian society forms a major part of the security challenges the country is currently facing. “Whilst every national conflict has its unique elements common to all, there are four key challenges to the building of sustainable peace and democracy in divided societies. Unless these four challenges are efficiently addressed, peace and democracy will be at best ephemeral.” One of the stumbling blocks to sustainable
peace, according to the CJN is that: “First, a way must be found to transform pervasive zero-sum, winner-takes-all mentality that is both the cause and the product of conflict. “In Nigeria, this factor has contributed in no small measure in fuelling the impending insecurity situation in the country. “The relationship and trust among key leaders that have been fractured by their conflict must be restored, so that there can be confidence that agreements will be honoured. “This is no easy task, but it is essential to the mutual confidence and predictability required for enduring democratic political discourse.” In the meantime, a former Director-General of the State Security Service, SSS, Chief A. K. Horsfall, has warned of dire consequences occasioned by the deadly activities of Boko Haram, unless something urgent was done by government to stem the potential threat. In a keynote address he delivered at the summit, Horsfall disclosed that Boko Haram had links with international terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda and Taliban. The former DG added that Boko Haram had its foundation in religion and ideology, even as he urged the federal government to conceptualise the sect “the local counterpart of Al Qaeda and Taliban”. He said: “The threat of Boko Haram is the main challenge of the internal terrorism that Nigeria faces at present.
Complaints of marginalisation stall federal agencies’ appointments –Jonathan ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA
resident Goodluck Jonathan yesterday said some appointments into federal agencies were pending because all the geo-political zones were complaining of marginalisation. Jonathan said he had already directed the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Anyim Pius Anyim, to do proper analysis before
such appointments were made. Swearing-in seven members of the Federal Character Commission, two permanent secretaries and a member of the Civil Service Commission at the State House, the President said he would ensure that two people from each of the geo-political zones weare appointed into federal agencies. He said: “We are in an era where every geo-political zone complains about
marginalisation. Initially, I thought that only some parts of the country are marginalised, but when I got here, all the geo-political zones complain that they are marginalised. “All the geo-political zones are complaining that they are not given appointments. “In fact, we have some pending appointments and because of that, I have told the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to do proper analysis
and probably to wait and accumulate the number, probably if we accumulate them up to 12, when we want to make the appointments, we will make sure that all the geo-political zones get two each. “In that case, your conscience will be clear. That is why some appointments are pending which I hope we will deal with this week. I think they are about 12 or so. We will make sure that all the geopolitical zones are accom-
modated.” Specifically, Jonathan told the members of the Federal Character Commission to relate with their colleagues, saying that one of the greatest problems in the service was that people usually fight over nothing. He told the members that since the Federal Character Commission was a very critical agency of government, they must establish cordial relationship among themselves.
The President added that they must see the country as one and treat everybody the same way. He said: “So, for those of you who are coming in, especially as members of the Federal Character Commission, we have to challenge you that since the commission is not just for passing files, you must comply with the law.” Jonathan also charged members of the Civil Service Commission to be fair to all Nigerians.
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Thursday, January 31, 2013
Gunmen abduct Lebanese, kill two police officers SOLA ADEBAYO WARRI
he security situation in Delta State further deteriorated yesterday as gunmen abducted a foreign national working with a construction firm in the state, Levant Construction Company Limited, Engineer Azar Sleiman. It was gathered that Sleiman was abducted moments after his two police orderlies were killed by the hoodlums in the bloody incident which occurred in Effurun, the headquarters of Uvwie Local Government Area of the state. Findings by National Mir-
ror showed that Sleiman, a Lebanese, was on his way to the site of the company located along Delta Steel Company, DSC, Owvian-Aladja Expressway, when he was ambushed along the notorious Uti Street in Effurun. It was gathered that the heavily armed men blocked the Sport Utility Vehicle, SUV, and a Toyota Hilux back-up car conveying Sleiman and his police escorts to the office amidst deafening gunshots which sent residents and passers-by scampering into safety. The policemen, who mustered futile resistance, were overpowered by the hoodlums. The security agents fell
in the hot exchange of gunfire with the hoodlums. The kidnappers thereafter disarmed the policemen before departing the scene with the Lebanese. Reliable police sources told National Mirror that the policemen, who writhed in pains while the operation lasted, were reportedly confirmed dead later in a medical centre in the area.
The whereabouts of the victim were yet to be ascertained by the security agents as at press time yesterday. It was also gathered that his abductors were yet to contact his employers to state the terms for his release from captivity. Fear gripped the workers of the company as the information about the fate of Sleiman filtered into the area
yesterday. The fate of the expatriate led to a security alert in Effurun and its neighbouring Warri. Soldiers took over the twin communities after Sleiman was whisked away to an unknown destination. The soldiers frisked vehicles and motorists plying major streets. The activities of the military personnel resulted in traffic gridlocks on
major roads in the areas as motorists experienced hectic time reaching their destinations. The Police Public Relation Officer, PPRO, Delta State Police Command, Mr. Famous Ajieh, confirmed the report in a telephone interview with our Correspondent. Ajieh, however, said the details of the incident were sketchy as at press time.
Comment on Jesus: El Rufai, a religious bigot –CAN
•Says his utterances capable of setting the country on fire OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA
he Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, yesterday responded to the former Federal Capital Territory Minister, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai’s allusion to Jesus Christ, describing the former minister as a religious bigot and a failed politician trying to whip up sentiments around religion for his own selfish ambition. The organisation also urged President Goodluck Jonathan to call the former FCT minister to order, stressing that his unbridled assault on the Christian faith was capable of setting the country ablaze. It will be recalled that El-Rufai, in trying to portray presidential spokesmen as people who would go at length to defend the actions and policies of the President, had in his tweet on January 18, said; “If Jesus criticises Jonathan’s government, Maku/Abati/Okupe will say that he slept with Mary Magdalene. In its first official reaction yesterday in Abuja, CAN described the statement by the erstwhile minister as reckless and a reflection of deep-seated moral bankruptcy. The CAN General-Secretary, Rev. Musa Asake, who spoke with journal-
ists on the alleged careless utterance, urged his religious leaders and political associates to advise him to be more sober and circumspect, “and put a padlock in his mouth before he lights the candle that sets our country on fire.” His words: “We must not allow him to turn Nigeria into a cauldron of fire by his reckless, bigoted and twisted commentaries about our Lord and our faith and we must view him for exactly what he is - a failed, desperate, hate-filled and drowning politician who is now stoking the embers of religious division in order to create a political base for himself amongst his people. Nigeria has no place for religious bigots who delight insulting the Christian faith.” Asake warned the former minister not to take the civility, maturity and dignified restraint of the Christian populace in the face of inflammatory and provocative statements as a licence to make unbridled assault on their faith.
L-R: Chairman, Nigerian Law Reform Commission, Justice Umaro Kalgo (rtd); Secretary, Mrs. Folake Ogunleye and Commissioner, Nigerian Law Reform Commission, Prof. Oserheinen Osumbor, during the roundtable meeting on the Bill for an Act to amend the Federal High Court Act Cap 134 LFN 2004 in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA
Crisis brews over plans to scrap NPA FRANCIS EZEM
crisis might be brewing in the nation’s port industry over moves by the Federal Government to further concession harbour and marine services, a development that would technically mean the scrapping of the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA. The Federal Government had, about eight years ago, ceded the control of the port terminals to private investors, under concession agreements that di-
vested the authority of its cargo handling operations, which were taken over by private concessionaires under controversial and questionable circumstances. Under the post-concession era, NPA renders core marine and harbour services like towage, berthing and un-berthing, pilotage, dredging and channel management, among others, which are also about being taken away from it. The Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, which also handled the earlier privatisation of port operations, had in a letter dated
January 18, 2013 addressed to the managing director of NPA, indicated moves by the government to privatise marine and harbour services, which are current core functions of NPA, claiming it is in tandem with best global practices. Meanwhile, the President of the NPA branch of the Senior Staff Association of Communications, Transport and Corporations, Mr. Jimoh Umar, who addressed the media on the current development, vowed that the workers would resist the moves vehemently.
According to him, the workers gave the government its support and cooperation during the privatisation of the port terminals even when over 8, 000 workers of the authority were sacked, some of whom are yet to be paid their full entitlements. “The port concession has worked and Nigeria’s seaports have over the years recorded a measure of efficiency arising from the successful completion of the programme. We supported it because we were convinced it will bring about efficient to the ports, to which many of us are witnesses today,” he said.
War in Mali: Immigration tightens security at borders OMEIZA AJAYI
mid growing concern about the negative impact the war in Mali could have on the sub-region, particularly Nigeria, the Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, has said that it has already taken proactive measures to forestall the influx of illegal migrants that might be displaced as a result of the war.
The service announced that it has deployed more men and material in borders considered as large and porous in some parts of the country. The NIS, which recalled the negative impact that the Libyan uprising had on some African countries including Nigeria, announced that it has deployed more personnel and logistics to guard the nation’s borders. Only on Tuesday, the Ni-
geria Police also announced that it has strengthened its border patrol in order to guard against the smuggling of arms into the country. Acting ComptrollerGeneral of the Service, Bala Rilwan Musa, stated this yesterday in Abuja at his maiden conference with zonal and command controllers of immigration service across the country. He, however, solicited the support of Nigerians in the
effort to curtail the wave of terror in the country, explaining that the service could not secure the nation alone. “We all know what is happening in Mali today and Nigeria, being the most vulnerable, people will focus on Nigeria, migrants will come into the country. Therefore we have to rise up and protect our borders. We have to take proactive measures to forestall the security challenges that will obviously face us.”
Oyo bans pasting of posters in Ibadan KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN
o sustain its urban and infrastructural renewal programme, Oyo State Government yesterday said it would no longer tolerate pasting of handbills and posters by religious bodies and other corporate institutions in the city of Ibadan. The Director-General of the state Signage and Advertisement Agency, Mr. Yinka Adepoju, who disclosed this while speaking with journalists in Ibadan, said the prohibition also included indiscriminate erection of billboards and signposts without approval by the government. Adepoju said the agency had concluded plans to
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Police firm up security in Osun over robbery attacks ADEOLU ADEYEMO OSOGBO
F Gov. Ajimobi
construct and erect in the local government areas of the state, Public Information Panels, PIPs, which would serve as Event Poster Panels while banners would be restricted in every nook and cranny of the state. He said: “Once this is done, it becomes unlawful for any person or organisation to violate the new order.
ollowing the sustained attacks on some new generation banks by armed robbers in Osun State, the state police command has placed its men on red alert. Yesterday morning, there was anxiety in the state because of the rumour that armed robbers had invaded the state from neighbouring states. This forced many banks to close their doors while those who operated temporarily firmed up security. Police vehicles were parked in different locations in Osogbo while combined regular and mobile
policemen manned strategic positions. Reacting to the development, the state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Folasade Odoro, said in a statement that the police were ready for the robbers rumoured to have invaded the state. In the statement entitled: “Osun State Police Command on Red Alert over Robbery Rumours,” Odoro said the command was on its toes and charged the people to go on with their normal businesses. The statement reads in part: “The state Police Command has placed men on red alert within the state following speculations that robbers invaded
L-R: Commander, Staff College, Jaji, Brigadier General Johnson Adesoji Oladehinde; Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola; Commander, Nigerian Army Engineering Regiment, Ede, Col. Gbenga Adeyemi and Special Adviser to the governor on Security Matters, Mr. Amos Adekunle, during the visit of members of Senior Course 35 to the governor in his office in Osogbo, yesterday.
NSCDC, oil thieves in shootout in Lagos FRANCIS SUBERU
ipeline vandals yesterday engaged men of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, in shootout at 7th Avenue, FESTAC Town, Lagos. The NSCDC recovered 286 50-litre Jerry cans already filled with Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, from the vandals. According to sources, the operatives had earlier mounted surveillance in the area following information from the residents who feared that the activities of the vandals could cause an explosion if allowed to con-
tinue. It was gathered that at about 1am yesterday, the operatives sighted the vandals as they were siphoning fuel from an already ruptured Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, pipeline. Sources noted that the NSCDC men, who had laid ambush for the armed oil thieves since 7pm the previous day, advanced towards them. It was learnt that immediately the vandals sighted the NSCDC men, they opened fire on them. The ensuing gun duel between the corps and the vandals lasted for over 30 minutes.
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A source at the command headquarters in Alausa told our correspondent that when the vandals, who were badly wounded during the exchange of fire, discovered that they had been overpowered, they abandoned their filled jerry cans and fled through different directions. Some of the residents said it was like a war situation, adding that most of them had to lie down in their houses to avoid being hit by stray bullets. The residents praised the efforts of the NSCDC officials for coming to their rescue before the die-hard vandals set the entire area on fire.
Addressing journalists at the Lagos Command headquarters of the NSCDC, the Commandant, Obafaiye Shem, said though his men could not arrest the vandals, their loots were recovered. Shem added that the suspects fled due to superior fire power of his officers. He said: “Following a tipoff, our men laid ambush for the vandals who have been vandalising pipeline at 7th Avenue, FESTAC. “We also blocked them at Ije-Ododo area. On sighting my men, they opened fire on them, but we overpowered them and forced them to abandon their looted fuel and fled.”
banks located at Ikirun and Inisha today 30th January 2013. “The police are using this medium to inform the general public to consider the attack as false and should be disregarded. “The state Police Command will continue to guarantee the security
of lives and property of the citizenry and enjoins members of the public to go about their normal duties without panic. “Residents and lawabiding citizens are encouraged to give prompt report of any suspicious character to the nearest police station.”
Polio immunisation: Lagos targets 4.3m children MURITALA AYINLA
etermined to maintain the polio-free status, Lagos State Government yesterday said it planned to immunise 4.3 million children in the next round of nationwide immunisation campaign against poliomyelitis. Briefing journalists on the readiness of the state to sustain its polio-free status through immunisation campaigns and programmes, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, said periodic immunisation of children remained the most cost-effective strategy in diseases prevention among children. Idris added that arrangement had been perfected to strengthen the immunisation outreach services especially in the “hard to reach” areas of the state. This, the commissioner said, would enable all the
children in every nook and cranny of the state to have equal opportunity to immunisation. He said: “The fourday campaign targeting 4,376,609 children less than 5 years of age would be implemented by 2,254 house-to-house teams, 1,682 transit and 778 fixed/transiently fixed post teams. “Children at homes, markets, churches and mosques, major car parks and social event venues would be specially targeted. “The house-to-house and transient components will administer only OPV to children aged 0-59 months, irrespective of their immunisation status.” Idris said the state would on Saturday join other states of the federation in implementing the National Immunisation Days, NIDs. He added that all the preimplementation activities had been carried out to ensure success of the exercise.
Fayose declares guber ambition, April 4 ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI
ormer Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose will on April 4 publicly declare his intention to contest the 2014 governorship poll on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. A statement by the Ayo Fayose Campaign Organisation, AFCO, in Ado-Ekiti yesterday said various committees had been inaugurated in preparation for the declaration by former governor. AFCO Director of Publicity and Research, Mr.
Idowu Adelusi, said in the statement that the committees were welfare, transport, food, publicity, general purpose, security, among others. According to the statement, while inaugurating the committees, the Chairman of the Declaration Committee, Mr. Owoseni Ajayi, said: “The coming of Fayose to the Ekiti Government House was at the instance of the generality of Ekiti people who had beckoned on him to return and continue the good works which were stopped abruptly in 2006.”
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Thursday, January 31, 2013
Leave Ikorodu Road for us, Lagos tells FERMA MURITALA AYINLA
•Warns Okada riders to stay off prohibited routes
agos State government yesterday asked the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, FERMA, to hands off Ikorodu Road in its planned rehabilitation of federal roads in the state. It urged FERMA to concentrate on other federal roads begging for attention across the state, saying any work carried out on the road will only amount to duplication of efforts. The state government also said that the planned
rehabilitation will amount to undue interference and a waste of resources, especially when most federal roads in the state are in deplorable condition. In a statement by the state Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, signed by the ministry’s head of information, Mr. Abiola Fagunwa, the state government specifically urged FERMA to concentrate its rehabilitation programmes on such roads as the LagosAbeokuta Expressway,
Lagos-Sagamu Expressway, Apapa-Osodi Expressway and a host of others, begging for serious attention. According to the statement, the state government applied for and had taken over the maintenance and rehabilitation of Ikorodu Road, not only to ensure its improvement but to also upgrade its facilities in the light of the realities of the policies that the state government had given priority attention. The statement further
noted that the inauguration of the BRT LITE scheme along the corridor from Mile 12 to Jibowu had seen the state government take on the responsibility of reconstruction and maintenance along the road. It listed such efforts to include the construction of dedicated BRT lanes from Jibowu to Mile 12, rehabilitation of both sides of the service lanes of the same road, and the gully grating and replacement of 89 manhole covers. These were un-
dertaken by LAMATA. The statement also referred to the various improvements on the quality of road such as the construction of pedestrian bridges across the road to ease pedestrian crossing and lane markings and bus shelters. Meanwhile, the state government yesterday warned commercial motorcyclists to stay off restricted routes in the state. Commissioner for Transportation, Comrade Kayode Opeifa, who gave the warning at the state sec-
Yewa, Awori monarchs back community sentencing
IGP reinstates 13 sacked police officers OJO OYEWAMIDE AKURE
raditional rulers in Yewa and Awori land of Ogun West senatorial district yesterday declared their support for the Ibikunle Amosun administration in the state towards ensuring that community sentencing is entrenched in the state judicial system. The monarchs said their support is against the backdrop of the fact that they see community sentencing as alternative to imprisonment. They said they would not hesitate to support the bill on community sentencing as alternative to imprisonment as soon as the state government perfects action on it. The royal fathers made their position known yesterday in Ilaro, the headquarters of Yewa South Local Government when a non-governmental organisation, the Justice Development and Peace Movement, JDPM, Abeokuta, visited the monarchs as part of its efforts at sensitising all the stakeholders on the bill. At the Ilaro visit, spokesperson for the JDPM, Yeye Ibiyemi Ajadi, said the movement was seeking the collaboration of the royal fathers in Yewaland to support the bill on community sentencing as alternative to imprisonment in view of their position in the society and commitment of the state government at involving the already identified Justices of Peace, JP, in the dispensation of justice in the state.
retariat, Alausa, lamented the flagrant disobedience of the law by motorcycle operators in spite of the law. He said in spite of the stakeholders’ engagements, public enlightenment and advocacy programmes by the government to educate motorcycle associations, some operators still ply prohibited routes. Opeifa added that it is highly important for motorcycle operators to obey the Road Traffic Law in order to further ensure the safety and security of the people in the state.
Children of the late sports journalist, Deacon Ayodele Ositelu (Arena), at the service of songs in Lagos, yesterday.
Our judicial system against anti-corruption, says NAOSS HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE
he National Association of Ondo State Students, NAOSS, yesterday condemned the nation’s judicial system, saying it is encouraging corruption in the country. NAOSS condemnation came on the heels of the sentence handed to the Director of the Police Pension Fund, John Yusuf, who was sentenced to two years imprisonment with an option
of fine of N750, 000 by an Abuja High Court. Speaking to journalists in Akure, the Ondo State capital yesterday, the National President of the association, Victor Oguntoyinbo, said the sentence handed to the Director of the Police Pension Fund, who was convicted for a N33billion fraud,“not only ridiculed our the judicial process, but the nation as a whole.” The students’ body pointed out that the same system
that sentenced somebody that stole N3 million to four years imprisonment also sentenced Yusuf to two years in jail after stealing N33 billion, “even with a ridiculous option of fine.” Oguntoyinbo, who said the election for the new executives of the students’ body will be coming up this Saturday, said the judicial system was working against the so-called anti-corruption crusade of the present administration.
The NAOSS President, however, said about 40, 000 students of the state’s origin are expected to participate in the election that would usher in a new set of executives. He urged all interested students of the state origin, who are interested in vying for one post or the other to obtain their forms from the state scholarship board. He said all necessary arrangements had been put in place to ensure that the election is hitch-free
Electronic pay office for Ekiti LG workers soon ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI
s part of efforts at blocking leakages and promoting efficiency in the administration of resources of local governments in Ekiti State, the state government has concluded arrangement for the establishment of a Central Pay Office. The Central Pay Office, which is billed to begin operation before the end of
March, will be responsible for the management of salaries of workers in the 16 local government areas in the state. The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, Mr. Ayodeji Ajayi, spoke in Ado Ekiti during an advocacy meeting with Caretaker Chairmen, Directors of Administration and Directors of Finance of the 16 councils on electronic pay-
ment for local government workers. Ajayi said some experts and computer analysts would be seconded from the local government system to strengthen the process and clear preliminary challenges that might confront the exercise. While lauding the facilities put in place by the state government for the proposed e-payment exercise, Ajayi sought the support of all stakeholders for the
exercise. State Accountant-General, Mr. Ayoola Owolabi, represented by the Deputy Accountant-General, Central Pay Office, Mr. Michael Afeniforo, said accountants and computer analysts would be seconded from the local governments because of their experience in the council system. Owolabi said officials at the Central Pay Office would be adequately trained for optimal results.
he Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, has ordered the reinstatement of the 13 police officers dismissed from service in Ondo State between 2009 and 2012, following the intervention of the National Assembly. The Police Service Commission, PSC, and an Akure High Court had earlier ordered the police authority to reinstate the sacked officers but the order was reportedly rebuffed, prompting them to send a petition to the Senate Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions Committee, chaired by Senator Ayo Akinyelure, who represents Ondo Central in the upper chamber of the National Assembly. The Senate waded into the matter and appealed to the inspector-general of police to unconditionally reinstate the affected officers. Expressing joy over the development, the officers appreciated the efforts of the senate, just as they thanked the inspector-general of police for considering them for reinstatement. State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Wale Ogodo, who confirmed the development, commended the police boss for the kind gesture bestowed on the affected officers. He, however, advised the officers to be of good behaviour and be good ambassadors of the state police command in their respective duty posts.
Thursday, January 31, 2013
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FG must probe products distribution –IPMAN CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI
he Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, has called on the Federal Government to check the deteriorating state of the country’s petroleum industry. The association said if stringent measures were not taken, the sector might face eminent collapse. The IPMAN Zonal Chairman, Chief Chukwudi Ezinwa, who said this at an executive meeting of the group in Owerri, the Imo State capital, urged the Federal Government to probe the high level of corruption in the distribution of petroleum products. Ezinwa said despite the difficulties faced by members of IPMAN in sourcing petroleum products from private depots, the Federal Government and petroleum sector regulators did not show concern to the plight of his mem-
bers. He said despite the various fees paid by IPMAN members, “we still procure petroleum products from private depots, instead of the Petroleum Products Marketing Company, PPMC, depots. “The closure of Enugu and Makurdi depots in the last nine years has
brought untold hardship to independent marketers sourcing products from the depots.” Ezinwa urged the Federal Government to tell Nigerians where it stocked the petroleum products meant for public consumption. According to him, the operators of the private
he Vice-Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Senator Margery Chuba-Okadigbo, has said that the next governor of Anambra State should come from Anambra North. The wife of the late Senate president, Chuba Okadigbo, said in a statement yesterday in Abuja that since the state was created in 1991 nobody from Anambra North had occupied the office of governor. She said the clamour for the governorship of Anambra State to shift to Anambra North Senatorial District was not intended to divide
the people of the state but to unite them as a group with a common destiny. The people of Anambra North, Okadigbo explained, were specifically calling for fairness and equity in the governance of Anambra State created in 1991. The lawmaker, representing Anambra North in the Senate, said she decided to make the case for Anambra North following an interview by former PresidentGeneral of Ohaneze Ndigbo and Chairman of Anambra Council of Elders, Dr. Dozie Ikedife, on who takes over from Governor Peter Obi in November. Okadigbo noted that Ikedife was quoted to have said that “Anambra North
has had a fair share of leadership” in the state. She said: “I need to stress that Anambra people are one and the same but the fact remains that since Anambra State was created in 1991, nobody from Anambra North has occupied the office of governor of the state. “The clamour for the governorship of Anambra State to shift to Anambra North Senatorial District is not intended to divide us as a people but to unite us as one people with a common destiny. “I have nothing but respect, love and admiration for Dr. Dozie Ikedife, Ikenga Nnewi, a successful medical practitioner and a politician of uncommon integrity.
Obi promises investors assistance, conducive environment CHARLES OKEKE AWKA
nambra State Governor, Peter Obi, yesterday appealed to investors to site their facilities in the state. Obi assured the prospective investors that they would have good returns on investment, adding that they would receive maximum support from his administration.
distribution of petroleum products. He said: “The leadership of IPMAN in the Eastern Zone will continue to speak out on the gross abuses in the petroleum industry and dares anyone who accuses IPMAN of corruption to investigate private depots’ operators.”
Anambra State Governor Peter Obi (2nd right) during the tour of industrial sites by some prospective investors, yesterday.
Anambra north must produce next governor –Okadigbo’s wife GEORGE OJI
depots sell far above the approved price, despite claims of subsidy payment to the importers. The chairman said the owners of private tank farms were bent on destroying the petroleum industry, adding that the Federal Government should probe the high level of corruption in the
Speaking in Onitsha when he took some international investors round the some industrial sites, the governor said he was personally involved in the site tours to demonstrate to investors that the state would be very glad to host them. Citing the example of some international organisations that have already sited their facilities and businesses in Anambra State, Obi said he was
ready to assist the investors on both key industrial issues and ways to boost businesses. He added that his commitment to industrialisation was born out of his conviction that any state desirous of making meaningful economic impact must move from consumption to production and deliberately support activities in expanding the manufacturing base of the state.
Stop harassing Imo govt, protesting youths warn EFCC CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI
ore than 500 youths from the 27 local government areas of Imo State yesterday marched through the streets of Owerri, protesting “inhuman treatments” melted against the state government by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. The protest, which started at Dan Anyiam Stadium about 10 am, brought commercial and social activities in the city to a temporarily halt. All the major roads in the city such as Wethedral Road, Bank Road and Port Harcourt Road were blocked, causing traffic jam which forced many people to trek long distances to their destinations. The youths told our correspondent that they were protesting what the distraction of government in power by EFCC’s constant invitation of government officials, which they claimed was the handiwork of some Imo State citizens. The protesters under aegis of Conference of Imo
Progressive Youths, CIPY, condemned the arrest of the state Accountant General and Commissioner for Finance, describing it as a distraction from the achievements of Governor Rochas Okorocha. They also condemned what they described as EFCC’s interference and arrest of some staff of Imo State House of Assembly without any reason. The protesters said the action of the anti-graft agency would no longer be tolerated. Bearing placards with inscriptions such as: “Owelle has redefined governance,” “Imo was raped 1999 -2011,” “Messiah has come,” and “EFCC stop insulting Imo people,” the demonstrators blocked roads in Owerri metropolis as they marched from the Government House to the Heroes Square. The state coordinator of the group, Mr. Kennedy Ibe, said the protest was to show Imo State residents that the youths were dismayed by the efforts of disgruntled elements to downplay the achievements of the governor since he assumed office.
Erosion: Jonathan threatens to sanction erring contractors ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA
resident Goodluck Jonathan yesterday warned contractors handing various erosion projects in the South East that government would not hesitate to terminate their contracts for any shoddy job. Briefing State House Correspondents at the end of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting yesterday, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati said that any contractor found culpable would also be prosecuted. According to him, the President was concerned about the devastating effect of erosion in the zone. Abati said that the President has set up a committee headed by the Director General of the Bureau of Public Procurement, BPP, Mr. Emeka Eze to visit ongoing erosion sites in region to ascertain the seriousness of the contractors. He said: “One other issue that came out of Council today was the concern expressed by Mr. President about erosion devastation in the South East. “The President has directed that the committee led by the Director General of Bureau of Public Procurement should proceed immediately to visit ongoing erosion sites in the south eastern part of the country with a view to ascertaining the seriousness of the contractors. “This team of experts from the various departments of government will assess the state of execution and completion of the various projects, look at ways of better management of the projects as well as advise government on the prioritisation of those projects. “One point that was made very clear by Mr President is that unserious contractors involved in any of these projects will have their projects terminated and may be prosecuted if they are found culpable.” Also speaking, Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga said that the country attracted a net flow of $8.9 billion in terms of investment last year which was considered the highest in Africa.
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Thursday, January 31, 2013
Confusion as Rivers withdraws from boundary delineation EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA
Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio (right) and Senator Florence Ita-Giwa at a public function in Abeokuta, recently.
Court jails two kidnappers 113 years •27-year-old varsity worker to die for murder
n Asaba High Court has delivered a landmark judgement as it sentenced two kidnappers, David Erutere and Sunday Omamuzo Ukailkwo, to a total of 113 years imprisonment with hard labour for the offences of kidnapping and armed robbery. The court sentenced the duo with hard labour, having found them guilty of the five-count charge comprising offences of kidnapping and conspiracy to commit a felony to wit, armed robbery contrary to section 6 (b) and punishable under section 1 (2) a of the robbery and fire arms (Special Provisions) Act Cap R II Volume 14 Laws of the Federation, 2004. Other offences include armed robbery and demanding property with threats. The prosecution had told
the court that David Erutere and Sunday Omamuzo, had conspired together to kidnap and rob Irikefe Edafe and Egwu Johnbull, of their valuables, including a Pathfinder Jeep, GSM phones, a laptop, wedding rings and cash at different dates in June, 2011 on Delta Palace Road, Warri and Ubiaruku, respectively and demanded for a ransom of N50 million from their families before they could be released. The court in its judgement sentenced the first accused person, David Erutere, age 31 and a native of Ekrakra village of Ethiope East Local Government of Delta State to 45 years in jail for conspiracy to commit armed robbery and armed robbery while they both got seven years imprisonment each for con-
spiracy to commit kidnapping, three years imprisonment each for demanding property with menace and another 10 years each for the offence of kidnapping. The second accused person, Sunday Omamuzo, who claimed to be a farmer and a native of Olomoro in Isoko South Local Government area of the state, was slammed with 25 years imprisonment for the same offence of armed robbery. Omamuzo was arrested by men of the state command of the State Security Service, SSS, when he fell into the trap set for him at the point of picking up the agreed ransom and he later took the security agents to the house of the second accused person, where he too was ar-
rested and later charged to court for prosecution. Meanwhile, another Delta State High Court sitting at Orerokpe, headquarters of Okpe Local Government has sentenced a 27-year-old university worker, one David Wonder Erhirhie, to death for committing murder. The court jailed Erhirhie having found him guilty of the murder of Princess Chinoso Ijezie, an admission seeker in 2009 at Abraka, an offence that is punishable under section 319 of the Criminal Code Law Cap C. 21 Laws of Delta State 2006. While delivering the judgement, the court said the prosecution was able to prove beyond all reasonable doubt, ingredients of the offence of murder and sentenced him in accordance with the law.
onfusion yesterday permeated the atmosphere in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, as the Rivers State government withdrew abruptly from the boundary delineation process with her neighbour, Bayelsa State. The Rivers State government accused Bayelsa State of inducing Kula community in Rivers State, to testify against it at the meeting that they were part of Bayelsa State. Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Tele Ikuru, spoke in Yenagoa at a joint boundary delineation meeting between Bayelsa State government
and the National Boundary Commission, NBC. Ikuru warned Kula of the consequences of selling their birthright and inheritance for a plate of porridge. The deputy-governor regretted that Bayelsa State government was allowed to continue to take full benefit of the revenue proceeds from the disputed oil well, while the NBC was in the middle of the delineation exercise, describing it as a blatant injustice. But, the DirectorGeneral of the NBC, Dr. Muhammad Ahmad, said technical reports from both states were acceptable, wondering why the Rivers State government should withdraw from the process.
DESOPADEC completes 790 projects, says Uduaghan
elta State Oil Producing Area Development Commission, DESOPADEC, has so far completed 790 peopleoriented projects since its inception. Announcing this at the Economic Dashboard meeting where activities of ministries and departments are scrutinised in Asaba yesterday, the state governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, outlined the projects completed to include school buildings, water schemes as well as hospitals and health centres. Uduaghan said DESOPADEC has no abandoned projects since it stopped the payment of mobilisation fees to contractors and commended the organisation for being focused. He, however, charged the
commission to create an ICT database and a monitoring unit that will serve as a selfassessment organ as it would scrutinise and monitor project execution at all times. “DESOPADEC is doing well even though there are shortfalls, because so far the commission has executed 790 projects to address the problems of oil producing areas,” he said. The governor also charged the commission to sponsor more scholarship programmes to promote competition, academic excellence and the human capital development programmes of the state government. He charged the commission to design a three-year funding plan so that in the long run, release of funds for the execution of projects would not be a problem.
Gunmen kidnap Bayelsa lawmaker’s mother 2015: I’ve all it takes, I’m more than qualified –Obi EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA
t least five gunmen yesterday kidnapped the mother of a member of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Mrs. Esther Akpe, at Ebedebiri, Sagbama Local Government Area of the state. The legislator and Majority Leader in the House, Peter Akpe, has been in a miserable mood since the abduction of his mother. The 59-year-old woman was abducted at her home at about 10.00 pm by the gunmen who invaded the
area with speed boats. It was learnt that the kidnappers zoomed off with their victim in a speed boat. This latest kidnapping saga was coming barely three days after the parents of Ogbia Local Government Council, Mr. and Mrs. Festus Ibegu, were abducted at Oloibiri, Ogbia Local Government of the state. They are yet to be released by the gunmen even as their whereabouts are still unknown. An eye witness told National Mirror that Mrs. Akpe was taking fresh air
outside her home when the gunmen struck. He continued: “The abductors were about five and were heavily armed. The old woman was sitting outside. She was about going into the house on hearing the sound of gunshots when they seized her and took her away into their speedboat and headed towards Bomadi in Delta State.” Contacted, son of the kidnapped woman and member of the state House of Assembly, Peter Akpe, confirmed the incident, but said no contact had been established with the abductors.
AMOUR UDEMUDE ASABA
s preparations towards the 2015 general elections gather momentum, former Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly and former acting governor of the state, Sam Obi, said he has all it takes and that he is more than qualified to govern the state. Obi, the General-Overseer, Oracle of God Church International, Asaba and a member representing Ika North East constituency in the state House of Assembly, who said this yesterday, said God who made him acting governor
without any campaign is also alive to make him the next governor come 2015. “When the righteous are on the throne the people rejoice,” he said According to him, “I am in the race because I have all it takes and am more qualified to govern Delta State. I am stirred in the spirit to transform the entire state with a view to meeting the yearnings of the people. “I have been in the house for several tenures and from nowhere, God made me speaker and acting governor and based on that I have the experience to govern the state. We shall develop the
state and the people, giving human face to the administration to give live to the down trodden. Those educated will be given opportunity to show case their talents and it will not be business as usual.” While pledging support for the three point agenda of Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, the former acting governor, who also commended Uduaghan for what he called giant strides, said in his administration, the aspect of spiritualism shall be injected, where people will have the fear of God at heart, adding that “We have a vision to make Delta State better than every other states in the country.”
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Hit-and-run lecturer kills student, two others OYEWALE ADEBAYO LOKOJA
he Kogi State Polytechnic community was yesterday thrown into mourning, when one of the lecturers knocked down a student in the campus and killed two other persons in the town while trying to escape from the scene of the accident. The lecturer, Mr. Kehinde Lawal, was said to be under the influence of alcohol and was driving dan-
gerously when the accident occurred. Eyewitness account told journalists yesterday that the lecturer, who was on high speed from the school compound, hit the victim, Miss Taiwo Edileola Omolola, an HND 1 Student of Business Administration, who was about to board a commercial motorcycle at the school gate of the institution. It was gathered that when the car hit the student, her clothes were said
Police uncover illegal cement factory, arrest three ] YEWALE IBRAHIM O LOKOJA
he Kogi State Police Command has uncovered illegal cement factory at Zango area of Ogaminana in Adavi Local Government Area of the state yesterday, where the product of Dangote Cement are being retagged. The factory, which was located at a new site was used to repackage already adulterated cement from Obajana cement factory and sold to unsuspecting members of the public. State Police Commissioner, Mr. Mohammed Musa Katsina, who led the operation of the discovery, told newsmen that the illegal factory was uncovered by his intelligence unit of
the ambush squad. The CP, who vowed to arrest every person or group connected with the illegal factory, stressed that preliminary investigations show that some Dangote staff are deeply involved He gave the names of those arrested as Kelechi Ogbonna, a truck driver with Julius Berger, Ifeanyi Paul, who claims to be resident of Ogaminana and one Amobi Momoh Jimoh He said some of the trucks in Dangote cement at Obajana, some 50km away from the area usually diverted their consignment to the factory in conjunction with some staff of Julius Berger Construction firm and repackage the product.
Gombe Assembly increases 2013 budget by N320m DANJUMA WILLIAMS GOMBE
he Gombe State House of Assembly has passed into law the 2013 state budget of N108 billion, reflecting an increase of N320 million over the initial proposal presented to it by Governor Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo. This followed the adoption of recommendations contained in the report of the House Committee on Appropriation on the floor of the House by its Chairman, Muhammad Dan’azumi Adamu. The chairman told the House that his committee sourced the amount in-
creased by jacking up the Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, by N20 million and adding N300 million to Value Added Tax, which he said has performed more than 100 percent in the 2012 fiscal year. He explained that 202.1 million out of the amount sourced is allocated to some ministries that are in need of more funds while the remaining N117.9 million is used to reduce the budget deficit to N4 billion. Adamu said N66, 124, 500, 000; representing 61per cent of the budget is for capital expenditure while recurrent expenditure is to gulp N44 billion, representing 39 per cent of the budget.
to have got stocked in the car’s rim as the lecturer failed to stop but was dragging the student along the main road for a while until she died and was later pulled out under the tyre. As if that was not enough, the lecturer, who teaches Statistics was said to have u-turned, facing Felele community, an outskirt of Lokoja, the state capital and knocked down two other people standing by the road side some metres from the school gate. Sources said that one
of them was said to have died instantly while the other was said to have given up the ghost later in the hospital. The serial hit-and-run lecturer was however arrested by the police and has been helping the police to unravel the death of the three victims. However, the state Police Public Relation Officer, PPRO, Ajayi Okansanmi, confirmed the story and said that the lecturer has already been arrested and in the custody of the command providing useful information.
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Kwara imposes 24-hour curfew on Offa/Erin Ile WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN
he Kwara State government yesterday imposed a 24hour curfew on Offa and Erin-Ile towns in Offa and Oyun Local Government Councils of the state. A terse statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Alhaji Isiaka Gold, said the order was “with immediate effect.” Gold said: “The curfew is to restore public order in both communities, following recent disturbances. All human and vehicular movement is hereby barred in Offa and Erin-Ile,” adding that; “In line with this order, the security agencies will deal decisively with anyone, found to be con-
travening the order.” The government also added that; “Furthermore, the state government will bring the full weight of the law to bear on anyone who disrupts public order or otherwise incites violence in any part of the state under any guise. “While assuring lawabiding citizens of its resolve to secure lives and property, the Kwara State government is determined to identify and prosecute those behind the recent crises in both communities.” There had been an agelong brawl between the two communities since the state was created decades go which National Mirror gathered had at a time got to the Supreme Court for adjudication.
L-R: Former Zamfara State Governors Sani Yerima and Aliyu Shinkafi and Minister of State for Works, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda, during a stakeholders’ meeting on the establishment of more development projects in Zamfara, in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
Ceasefire: Surrender your arms first, ex-DIG tells Boko Haram AUGUSTINE MADUWEST KANO
former Deputy Inspector-General of Police, DIG, Mr. Azubukor Udah, has advised the Federal Government to tell Boko Haram militants to surrender their arms before they can be trusted in the ceasefire announced by the sect last Monday. The former police boss, who was a member of the Federal Government’s Niger-Delta Disarmament Committee, said anything short of that should not be accepted by the au-
thorities as that was the process in the Niger-Delta amnesty case. He also suggested that the sect should follow this up with a formal letter seeking the Federal Government’s amnesty for its militants in addition to apologising to Nigerians in writing for the massacre of innocent citizens in the north. “This is not the first time we are hearing of ceasefire by the sect after which more deadly attacks were unleashed on the people. For us to be convinced of their sincerity in the recent statement, they must surrender their arms to
the Federal Government before any response should be made. “This was what happened in the Niger Delta situation of which I was a member of the disarmament team, they surrendered their arms and demanded for amnesty. So, that of Boko Haram cannot be a different case,” he stated. Meanwhile, some prominent northern leaders have expressed excitement over the decision by the leadership of Boko Haram to lay down their arms in order to pave way for dialogue with the Federal Government. A commander of the
sect, Sheikh Abu Mohammed Abdulaziz bn Idris, announced the ceasefire at a news conference with reporters on Monday in Maiduguri, saying the action was to allow for dialogue with government to ensure lasting peace in the country. Commenting on the development, three prominent northerners; Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, Alhaji Mamman Danmusa and Alhaji Lawal Kaita noted that the decision has provided hope for Nigerians, particularly the northern region that the conflict destabilising the region will soon abate.
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Kwara: Ahmed’s government of continuity
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I won’t be like Jonathan –Anyim
Why PDP can’t hold NEC now –Metuh ... denies rift with Jonathan, governors OBIORA IFOH ABUJA
he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that the National Executive Committee (NEC) will hold only after the crisis surrounding the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT)is sorted out and a new chairman elected.
The party also reiterated that there is no division in its leadership even as members of the National Working Committee (NWC) have stressed that they are solidly behind the National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur. In the same vein, the leadership of the party said it totally supports the
transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan, adding that it has no problem at all with PDP state governors contrary to speculations in the media. PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh in an interview with National Mirror on Wednesday made the clarification why the party has violated its constitu-
tion which clearly stated that the NEC must hold every quarter. The last NEC was held in July 2012. To the party’s spokesperson, who admitted the obvious violation of the constitution of the party, however maintained that the violation was understandably and for the interest of the party.
He could not say when the NEC would hold but insisted that until a new BoT chairman is elected, there can’t be any NEC. Similarly, in a statement yesterday Metuh said the party’s NWC is united under Tukur’s leadership and has been working in one accord to ensure good governance in the country. “There is no division in the leadership of our party. We are solidly behind our National Chairman, Bamanga Tukur and we are focused on ensuring good governance in the country. “Some people are not just happy that we are working together, so they come out with all sorts of speculations to see that they cause disaffection in our party but I want to assure that we will not be distracted in our focus to
ensure that we continue to deliver the dividends of democracy to our people,” Metuh said. He said the party leadership is working with President Jonathan to ensure the delivery of his transformation agenda which is aimed at ensuring rapid development in all sectors of the economy for the benefit of all. “The leadership of the party is solidly behind President Jonathan in his transformation agenda. We have one focus and that is to ensure massive development of the country in line with the manifesto of our party,” he said. He also debunked speculations that the NWC was at loggerheads with the PDP governors over certain issues, stressing that the party leadership is working in harmony with the governors and that there was no issue in contention between the two parties.
2015: Adedoja tasks PDP on party building TEMITOPE OGUNBANKE Benue State Governor, Dr. Gabriel Suswam (L) receiving Peace Award from former Head of State, Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar (R), founder of the Abdulsalami Abubakar Institute for Peace and Development, Minna, during the Institute’s recent maiden convocation ceremony at the Niger State College of Education.
Oyinlola’s sack: Court to hear motion for stay, Feb 12 EMMANUEL ONANI ABUJA
ustice Abdu Kafarati of the Federal High Court, Abuja, has fixed February 12 to hear an application for stay of execution of the court’s judgement removing Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola from office as the National Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The adjournment followed the discovery by the court that two applications scheduled to be argued by respective counsels were not ripe for hearing. Both counsel to Oyinlola, Dr. Awa Kalu (SAN) and PDP, Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama (SAN) withdrew the earlier motions for stay of execution, dated 14
January. Though Kalu stressed the fact that “there was public interest angle” to the matter, the judge, however, insisted that the motion was not ripe for hearing. Consequently, he adjourned to February 12 to hear their separate motions for stay of execution. An order sacking
Oyinlola as national scribe of the PDP was made on January 11, consequent upon a suit instituted by Chief Adebayo Dayo and Alhaji Semiu Sodipo (plaintiffs). The plaintiffs had in an originating summons filed by their counsel, Dr. Amaechi Nwaiwu (SAN), sought an order nullify-
ing the South_West Zonal congress of the PDP that produced Oyinlola. They also prayed the court for an order removing the former governor of Osun State from the office of secretary of his party. All the reliefs sought, including conducting a fresh congress, were granted by Justice Kafarati.
head of the 2015 elections, former Minister for Sports and Special Duties, Prof. Taoheed Adedoja, has advised members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo State to strengthen the party by bringing all factions together. Addressing some PDP members who visited his Ibadan residence to prevail on him to contest the governorship election in 2015, Adedoja urged party members to build the PDP
Dep Gov admonishes women on performance
eputy Governor of Ekiti State, Mrs. Funmi Olayinka, has admonished Nigerian women to wake up to their responsibility as mothers to demand performance from political leaders. She spoke yesterday in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital when Ado Women paid
her a courtesy visit, she added that the onus lied on them to ensure that governance becomes a thing of integrity. Olayinka, who said the government of Dr. Kayode Fayemi in Ekiti remains a benchmark for responsible democratic government, urged the women-
folk to be supportive of people-oriented leadership such as in place in the “Land of Honour.” She explained that there was no crime in women pushing for greater quota in politics and governance provided they held positions in the overall interest of the elector-
ate, whose interest, democracy seeks to serve. Olayinka reminded her visitors to always pursue the sustenance of peace in Ekiti without which the present administration would not have been able to record the feat it recorded within its two years in office.
in the state before embarking on personal aspiration. He said: “We need to build the party first before embarking on personal ambition for any elective office. It is when we build that we become strong; when we are strong, we can stand, and when we stand, we can go into any contest. It would be unfair to our followers if what we discuss with them is about our ambition rather than the future stakes of members.” Adedoja also tasked the leaders to put party interest above personal interest. “Let us all make necessary personal sacrifices for the sake of our party and ultimately for our people. Let us put our party interest above our personal interests, even when our personal interests are quite legitimate. Let our task be the fixing of our future, and not the fixing of the blame of the past,” he said.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, believes that President Goodluck Jonathan is too humble with power, which many misconceive as weakness. But he said this is tactical. The former Senate President speaks on Nigeria’s Centenary celebration scheduled for 2014. AYODELE OJO reports. National interest above personal interest The time I was leaving the Senate I was getting to 42 and I didn’t think about what I would be tomorrow. I walked away. Why wouldn’t people also think that the country should be above them? I had become chairman of the National Assembly and I said I had no business there again and I walked away and I had no plan about what I was going to do except that my father was a farmer and I had a farmland. It is as simple and straight as that. We must join hands to promote the country above every selfish interest. Are we now going to say because the opposition will say they are suspecting they want to promote President Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election in 2015, we must not celebrate our nationhood? This is not the reality. Didn’t they contest election and somebody won? I think the duty is for us to elevate the corporate well-being of Nigeria because it is all our collective well-being over and above every narrow and parochial feeling. I don’t think about tomorrow God has so pampered me in my life that I don’t sleep and worry about tomorrow. I don’t think about tomorrow, because I think my tomorrow is secured in God’s hand and I sleep very well. I won’t be like Jonathan Let me again empahsise about this issue of perception. I have never seen a man humble with power as Jonathan. I wouldn’t be as humble as that with power; I can tell you that, and I was not. I have never seen anybody that is as tolerant with power as he is. I have never seen any leader in Nigeria, and I have been around, that has managed power the way Jonathan has and that is why everybody thinks we can rubbish him, that one, what can he do? He won’t do anything. We can step on him! We haven’t had it that way before. And I have told people, we have wonderful opportunity under Jonathan to deepen democracy because he will not interfere with anything, he will not interfere with what you are doing. He will not even challenge you. What you want to do, do! Those working with him, he doesn’t manipulate, he doesn’t control, just run your office. That is the basic principle that will advance our democracy. But we turn it otherwise to say it is weakness. We have to choose between the principles of democracy or a peculiar type of democracy that is peculiar to Nigeria. Taking Mr. President for granted We have measured civilian regimes and military regimes. How would Sani Abacha have done it? How would Murtala Mohammed have done it? How did Olusegun Obasanjo do it? But the truth is that the principle of democracy is universal. So you have to com-
Thursday, January 31, 2013
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I won’t be like Jonathan –Anyim
pare what he is doing with what should be or how the other people did it. Somebody told me that the kind of president Nigeria needs is the one with iron hand. When he comes you know he has come. We shouldn’t take it for granted because instead of maximising the opportunity of the kind of person Jonathan is we are abusing it. I won’t be as soft, as humble, as tolerant as he is in power. I will not be, I am saying so. You know I am saying the truth, if you step on me, I step on you! Let’s get it right this is the duty we have to perform together, the country should be above every personal interest. You mustn’t rule. People will come and tell me it is the turn of the South-East, it is the turn of this or that zone for presidency. Who zoned it to South-South now? Who zoned it to them? God! Who gave it to Jonathan? This is a man nobody ever gave any chance. Who didn’t even want. He wanted to remain in his small Bayelsa, they dragged him out overnight and you cannot see the hand of God in it? You think you can throw him away like that? It is not possible. It is because we do not believe in God that is why you cannot see God in anything. We should get it right. Involvement of states in centenary celebration The centenary celebration with the theme “One Nigeria: Great promise and mission to re-inspire the unity of Nigeria,” is being packaged to show case Nigeria to the whole world, depicting her past, present and future while highlighting the rich heritage in cultures, languages, ethnic diversity and yet, unity in diversity. One of the major arguments we had in the Senate was people from Kogi saying that Lokoja, the state capital, should host most of the activities. That is why we said that states can come up with their own programmes and align with us because the states may have their own projects that they want to sponsor and others we may want to raise funds from alternative sources. So, it is not exclusive. Participation of former Heads of State The programme we are doing is not
I WON’T BE AS SOFT, AS HUMBLE, AS TOLERANT AS HE IS IN
POWER. I WILL NOT BE,
I AM SAYING SO. YOU KNOW I AM SAYING THE TRUTH, IF YOU STEP ON ME, I STEP ON YOU! fragmented on the basis of parties or on the basis of regions. At any level which ever programme that concerns anybody we will reach the person. We are interviewing people on what they say about Nigeria. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari has been interviewed, Ibrahim Babangida has been interviewed. They are yet to get Obasanjo, they haven’t interviewed him. On the flag off day, Yakubu Gowon has a role to play, Abdulsalami Abubakar has a role to play, Obasanjo has a role to play. Centenary not political The centenary celebration has no party or political colouration. It is the celebration of the unity of Nigeria. If we do it party by party, we would not even take off because political interests is not what you just resolve overnight because in this part of the world politics is life. So, we don’t want to bring politics into this, we are talking about Nigeria. We will not because any party wants government, we should not celebrate our existence as a nation. If it is politics, that is the responsibility of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Nigerian electorate. It is different from what we are doing. The truth is that Nigeria is 100 under Jonathan. It is not Jonathan that put 2014 close to 2015. These issues will arise, but it is for you to put it right. The festivity is not about the government and its achievements; we are going to celebrate Nigeria in the next 20 months, not the administration or the government.
Why we must celebrate At our age and experience as a people, we know that there is no country like Nigeria….If we cannot celebrate Nigeria, then it means that we are not proud of Nigeria…. We must use the occasion of our centenary celebration to affirm to ourselves that Nigeria is not an accident. Indeed, in the words of Lord Lugard on the occasion of the amalgamation, ‘Nigeria is the product of a long and mature consideration.’ We must celebrate because our unity is the common symbol of our collective existence that has put the nation on the path of development and potential global ascendancy. We must celebrate because without Nigeria, we will not have the largest and most vibrant parliament in Africa, in tandem with other maturing political institutions with deep and rich traditions. We must celebrate because if not Nigeria, we would not be the largest black nation and the 7th most populous nation in the world. We must celebrate Nigeria because if we cannot underscore the essence and advantages of our unity, it means we plan to promote disintegration. Centenary projects The legacy projects include erection of a new City Gate in Abuja; Centenary City also in Abuja, which will attract investments totalling $15 billion from the private sector; generation of over 15,000 jobs; a unity square in every state capital and medical diagnostic centres in each of the six geopolitical zones of the country. Others are: ICT centres in all the universities that are yet to have one; a modern library in a university in each of the zones; Police crime laboratories, one in each of the zones; building and renovation of sports facilities in each of the federal universities as well as renovation, naming or renaming of colonial sites in the country. Also to be embarked on, are: renovation/ upgrade of the National War Museum in Umuahia, Colonial History museums in Lokoja and Aba, the National Museum inside the Old Residency in Calabar and establishment of a dialysis centre in each of the zones. The Centenary City to be built in Abuja, which would be replica of Dubai, Monaco, Shenzhen, Singapore and lately Songdo, will occupy a space of more than 1,000 hectares of virgin land along the Airport Road in Abuja, making it the second largest ‘private city’ development in history, after Songdo International Business District in South Korea. The land for the project would be acquired in accordance with the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Land Swap Agreement. Being a private sector driven project, government will not put any money into it. It is also not a concessioning arrangement since government will outsource the project to a company that has secured land allocation in accordance with FCT land swap programme. The proposed city was conceived to focus the attention of the investing world to Nigeria in a way that had never been done before. Cities like that had provided strongest social, political and economic tool for securing foreign investment, promoting positive international attention and indeed signalling a new national economic awakening.
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Thursday, January 31, 2013
Thursday, January 31, 2013
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Kwara: Ahmed’s government of continuity WOLE ADEDEJI reports that for almost two years in the saddle as governor of Kwara State, Abdulfatah Ahmed has kept faith with his ‘government of continuity.’
ome May 29, this year, the government of Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed would be two years in office and it is normal that an appraisal of its performance be carried out, more so that his administration has natural opposition on ground. Before the election, a number of issues cropped up among which was that the Kwara South Senatorial District should produce the next governor at the time which saw a larger number of aspirants come from that part of the state. Another opinion was that with the completion of the two term tenure of the immediate past governor, now a senator, Bukola Saraki, under who the incumbent governor served as commissioner for eight years, other interests should produce the next helmsman for different taste. All these however did not change what now looks like the work of fate, as a consensus was reached within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for other aspirants to step down for Ahmed to face the stiffest opposition in the candidacy of Bamidele Belgore (SAN) of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). The outcome of that titanic battle has become history and in a matter of weeks, the government of Ahmed will be two years in office. It is a government that has tagged itself “government of continuity” and the simple explanation for it is that having been a cabinet member in the regime that he succeeded and, having held key portfolios of the Finance and later Economic Planning ministries in that government, he definitely was part of the policies and programmes of the administration and which policies and programmes he must continue to allow for continuity. Besides, a number of key capital projects of the regime were ongoing and needed to be completed. After all, governance is about continuity as they say. But how has the administration fared in a little less than two years in office. The governor himself gave an answer in an interview recently when he said: “When we started in 2011, we promoted the concept of continuity of legacies. We looked at it from the angle that we have just come out of an administration that had driven governance under clearly spelt out policies. It would only make sense for people to begin to see benefits of some of the programmes that were carried on from last administration to this administration. We needed to ensure that there is benefit to the people in terms of completion of projects to fruition level. “Hence, the first thing we did was that we took on projects that were ongoing. We wanted to be sure that these legacies that were promoted in the last administration were taken to finishing levels. A typical one was the Aviation College. The structures had just been completed when we came in. We needed to ensure that every other area that was needed to make it functional was taken care of and we diligently pursued that by injecting money. I am happy to tell you that our students are already flying (flying aircraft on training). It is one of the very few aviation training institutions in Africa today. By God’s grace, we will soon be expanding to the level where we will begin to feel the economic impact directly in the state. “We also have the International Diagnostic Centre. We met it at the level when it was almost completed and we had to take it to the level where people will begin to benefit from it. I am happy to let you know that we have since completed that programme. “We have a thousand and one roads which we have commissioned. The Ahmadu Bello Way, Murtala Muhammed Way; we have other roads across the three senatorial districts, which were started by the previous administration but were completed by us. This is part of what we call ‘Shared Prosperity’. We have also impacted in the area of education. We’ve added a lot more classrooms, both at the basic levels and at the Senior Secondary School levels. We’ve since started the Ajase-Ipo International Voca-
WE PROMOTED THE CONCEPT OF CONTINUITY OF LEGACIES... WE NEEDED TO ENSURE THAT THERE IS BENEFIT TO THE PEOPLE IN TERMS OF COMPLETION OF PROJECTS TO FRUITION LEVEL tional Centre, which will be an international institution that will train our youths to be entrepreneurs and become not only employable, but also generate employment themselves. “These are all parts of what we are carrying out under ‘Shared Prosperity’ driven by continuity. Of course, you can see the CDC laying the pipe for water here. In addition, there are 14 water works currently being rehabilitated. We have sunk over 220 boreholes. We’ve made electricity available to over 179 communities. These are all benefits of ‘Shared Prosperity’; all driven under policies that are fit into the medium term sector strategy. We have spent over N2.7 billion on rural roads. Not up to 10 per cent of these roads are located in Ilorin metropolis. All these roads are located in the three senatorial districts, largely in the villages and other communities. “When we renovated schools, up to like 400 schools were renovated. They are scattered across the three senatorial districts. We are renovating five General Hospitals, only one is located in Ilorin. We have two in Kwara South and one in Kwara North. If you keep going, you will see that a lot more activities are spreading to other parts of the state. What they are seeing as concentration is completion of ongoing projects. We have not started anything new in Ilorin but we are seeing the projects we met to completion. It does not make sense that I abandon Ahmadu Bello Way and go and start another road somewhere. It doesn’t make sense that I abandon the Murtala Mohammed Way and start another road somewhere. Monies have been spent on those roads. Our people should enjoy the benefits of those roads when completed. That is why everything you see us doing in the metropolis today is largely completion. “Look at the water project, it is a continuation. We need to see it to completion. Whatever has been spent there will give us the desired level when we complete and people begin to benefit. That is the essence of continuity. Don’t forget that we have worked under a structured methodological designed Medium Team Sector Strategy (MTSS) framework which ensured that we are not only carrying work to completion but generating new projects driven by the same policy. If this policy is continued for three, four, five generations of governors, you will begin to see real development and growth in Kwara State and people will have hope and their hope will be anchored on the desire to see that government must be given time to complete ev-
erything it does because life itself is anchored on hope. When there is a will there is a way. And that is why we must get things to completion.” Echoing the voice of his principal, Muiden Akorede, Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Communications, said: “Lack of continuity is the bane of sustained development. Changes in government, especially when acrimonious, often results in truncated policies and abandoned projects, regardless of merit of such.” Akorede added that “in Kwara State, we have overcome that trend through ‘Shared Prosperity’, which is underpinned by legacy continuity. The philosophy behind the MTSS, which is the framework for budgeting and governance between 2011-2015, is a review and sealing up of programmes implemented by the previous administration in view of current realities as well as the introduction of new ones by the Ahmed administration, for political, economic and ideological reasons.” In the area of education, the Ahmed administration employs the policy of Every Child Counts (ECC) which ensures the sustenance of the child’s education and regular training and re-training of teachers, while monitoring of teachers to ensure standard through Quality Assurance Bureau (QAB) is diligently carried out. The Education Resource Centres (ERCs) are to be sited in all the senatorial districts. Government is said to focus more on youth empowerment and job creation through formalisation of skill acquisition centres and introduction of entrepreneurship education from secondary school levels. A N250 million micro-credit facility was made available to cooperative societies even as 250 tricycles were provided for disengaged motorcyclists. This is just as efforts are intensified on the Shonga Commercial Agriculture as well as implementing the Kwara Agricultural Modernisation Master Plan (KAMP) in partnership with the Cornell University of New York to create food surplus through agro-led economic growth. But a social critic and leader of Afonja Descendants Union, Comrade Ololade Kasum, however does not agree that there is a need for a government of continuity that was produced by former Governor Saraki. He is not comfortable that after eight years of Saraki, he will be boasting that he wants his legacy sustained and so, arrogate to himself the duty of installing a governor of his choice. The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) on its part also faulted the governor’s claims, particularly that on the Aviation College. The party’s chairman, Alhaji Suleiman Buhari, said: “The CPC cannot see any iota of social or economic sense in a college where a student is expected to pay a total of N10, 651, 725.00 in school fees for a 15 months flying course.” More strides are expected in the coming years though the feeling in some quarters is that by next year, politics would have commenced in readiness for 2015. Whatever the case, time will definitely tell whether the people of Kwara State benefited immensely from the Ahmed administration.
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Thursday, January 31, 2013
The growing culture of impunity EXISTENTIAL HUMANISM
NDUBUISI firstname.lastname@example.org (08023016709 SMS only)
igeria is increasingly being seen and projected as a lawless state. The impression is that you can commit any type of crime and nothing would happen to you. The law enforcement agencies are seen by the perpetrators of crimes as impotent; and the courts, where they are meant to be prosecuted, as prostrate. Thus anything can go and the system is helpless about it. It is for this and all such failures by the state that many see Nigeria either as a failed or failing state, depending on persuasion. Recently 40 corpses were found floating in a river that traverses Anambra and Enugu states. There is no clue to what happened up till now. It is over a week and there is no arrest made. Anambra governor, Peter Obi, has pledged N5 million for anyone with information on the development, but so far nobody has stepped forward with any. The latest is that autopsy would be carried out to ascertain the actual cause of this terrible incident. On the heel of this was the ambush on our soldiers going to Mali to partake
in the global effort to contain the Islamists rebelion in northern Mali. No arrest has been made. Then for the umpteenth time hoodlums attacked NNPC pipeline in Arepo, Ogun State last week. This came barely two weeks after the same vandals made a hit on the same facility. This illegal intrusion led to explosion and many were injured as a result. In the previous assault it was reported that two Indians and some Nigerians were arrested. It is to be recalled that this previous assault led to the death of about 30 people. It was at this same point that some NNPC engineers, who went on routine repairs on ruptured pipes, lost their lives late last year. A solution to this illegality is yet to be found. In the latest assault, two of the four suspected vandals apprehended were able to give some insight into the wicked destruction of this all important public property. They confessed that they had to do what they did at the order of their leader and that it was aimed at frustrating NNPC move to erect a surveillance structure in the area. Their thinking is that it will be bad business for them if NNPC succeeded in closing the creek and erecting a permanent surveillance machine to monitor movement within the vicinity of the pipelines environment. The enumerated incidents say a lot about Nigeria, her institutions and people. The NNPC is a big organization with enormous resources and trained
WE HAVE ALWAYS KNOWN THAT MOST CRIMES ARE SUCCESSFUL BECAUSE
OF THE CO-OPERATION AND ACTIVITIES OF INSIDERS manpower. It has the wherewithal to protect its properties all over the federation. But this it has failed to do for whatever reason. Pipeline vandalism has been with us for years and the nation has suffered economically as result. It is thus curious that NNPC is just thinking of a surveillance structure to checkmate these vandals. It is now clearer that there is a big organized criminal business going on there. One can imagine the involvement of foreigners in what used to be seen as local infraction of law and order by some hungry men! This demands that NNPC gear up its plan and upgrade whatever instruments it wants to apply in the surveillance. In the modern society, product electronic surveillance is used to upgrade the security. The body should work out both short and long term projects on how to apply modern in-
struments to protect its products and investments nationwide. It is expected that the Arepo will serve as a great lesson to the corporation. It is crude and unthinkable to rely entirely on human elements to achieve maximum result in this venture. We have always known that most crimes are successful because of the co-operation and activities of insiders. We have to note that as long as crimes are lucrative, people will continue to be involved. There is upsurge in crimes in Nigeria because it is not only lucrative, criminals hardly pay the price for their activities. The nation’s dysfunctional judiciary has emboldened them the more. Suspects are arrested, but before you could think of what becomes of them they are released either on bail or surreptitiously. The same set of people goes back to their pastime. Renowned American jurist, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., said that crime in the eye of a bad guy is the consequences that go with its commission. As long as the instruments for his arrest and punishment are weak, checking crimes become an uphill task. And so, appeals to these vandals’ consciences cannot stop them because crime is their most viable alternative. We need to get our acts right. Prof. Ndubuisi, an attorney at Law, is of the Dept. of Philosophy, UNILAG
Plea-bargaining and future of Nigeria “I hereby sentence the accused to a term of six months’ imprisonment and a fine of N500, 000 on each of the eight counts against him. The six months will run concurrently and the 67 days he had already spent in detention during the trial will be deducted.”
he above was how Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court, Abuja, pronounced judgment on the former Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Tafa Balogun. In the charge preferred against him in 2005 by the EFCC under the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, Balogun was said to have incorporated some companies to loot the police treasury through bribes and kickbacks on contracts. He was further alleged to have withdrawn billions of naira fraudulently from these accounts and transferred and fraudulently used same to buy shares, landed properties and foreign currencies. After some successful session of plea bargaining, the numerous counts of offences against him were collapsed into a ‘manageable’ eight counts; and despite the fact that a relatively sizeable number of his properties and assets were ordered seized, many commentators nonetheless believe that there was a disconnect between the severity of the offences and the penal consequences. They added that the judgment was nothing but a mere slap on the wrist. Other famous cases built on plea-bargaining procedure included those of Cecilia Ibru, former Governors Lucky Igbinedion and Diespreye Alamieyeseigha of Edo and Bayelsa states respectively. The case of Igbinedion specifically baf-
IN THE DEVELOPED COUNTRIES LIKE THE
STATES WHERE PLEA-BARGAINING STRATEGY IS ALSO USED, IT IS OFTEN
EMPLOYED TO AID JUSTICE RATHER THAN TO HINDER IT fled many observers. He was charged with stealing about N4.4 billion. But he plea-bargained his way out! In the ruling delivered by a Federal High Court in Enugu, Igbinedion was fined a paltry N3.5 million and ordered to forfeit only three landed properties to the Federal Government. He paid the fine and walked out a free man. Only last Monday, the debate on the appropriateness of the notion of plea-bargaining in our criminal justice system was revived. This was the fallout of the case of an Assistant Director with Police Pension Board, John Yakubu Yusuf, who was sentenced to two years imprisonment with an option of N750, 000 fine for the three-count charge of conspiracy and stealing of N32.8 billion from the pension funds. The presiding judge, Justice Mohammed Talba, also ruled that the convict must forfeit a total of 32 properties to the government. What then happened? Yusuf
paid the fine on the spot and breezed out of the courtroom in style as a free man! This judgment expectedly has continued to draw vitriolic reactions from numerous commentators since Monday. Now, what exactly is plea-bargaining? It is a kind of arrangement where the prosecution enters into some form of compromise agreement with the accused, enabling the latter to plead guilty to some lesser offences than those originally leveled against him. This is to enable the prosecution secure a faster conviction. Although now a popular feature in our criminal justice system, plea bargaining was never contained in black and white in any law in Nigeria (until recently when Lagos State introduced it in its Administration of Justice Law, 2008. A number of criticisms could be raised against our use of this concept. To start with, it could be said that it indirectly aids corruption by giving ‘soft landing’ to the accused persons, who would escape the full wrath of the law. Secondly, since plea bargaining is not procedurally regulated by the law, it may be claimed that the negotiation between the prosecution and the accused is subject to the whims and caprices of the latter. Thus a situation may arise where too lenient a negotiation may lead to the offences being outrageously watered down. Thirdly, it may encourage a situation where the accused may steal recklessly, hoping to part with a percentage of the stolen assets in the ensuing plea bargaining while keeping some to be enjoyed after serving a light sentence of imprisonment that may be imposed on him! On the other hand, plea bargaining
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seems to have some advantages, too! These include the much-touted expedient prosecution of the accused, which might otherwise take prolonged period. Secondly plea bargaining could lead to substantial recovery of the stolen asset as was the case in the Balogun and Ibru’s cases where assets worth hundreds of billions of naira were recovered. Lastly, plea bargaining tends to ensure certainty of punishment because whenever the accused pleads guilty conviction will naturally follow. In the developed countries like the United States where plea-bargaining strategy is also used, it is often employed to aid justice rather than to hinder it. Therefore, a law ought to be enacted by the federal and state legislatures to define the application and procedure for the doctrine of plea bargaining in Nigeria to make it an ally instead of an enemy of justice. Send your views by mail or sms to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mail@ nationalmirroronline.netmirrorlagos@ yahoo.com or 08164966858 (SMS only). The Editor reserves the right to edit and reject views or photographs. Pseudonyms may be used but must be clearly marked as such.
Thursday, January 31, 2013
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All the Facts, All the Sides A PUBLICATION OF GLOBAL MEDIA MIRROR LTD BARRISTER JIMOH IBRAHIM, OFR PUBLISHER
COORDINATOR, EDITORIAL BOARD
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR
ABUJA BUREAU CHIEF
KAYODE BALOGUN JNR
SM, STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT
Pension fraud: The N750,000 fine for stolen N32.8 billion CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
was standing trial with about five others for the mind boggling theft committed between January 2009 and June 2011. In making a mockery of the case, the trial judge, Justice Mohammed Talba, according to reports, said the convict “actually assisted the court by confessing to have taken N3 billion as his share from the stolen N32.8 billion”. The judge ruled that the convict must forfeit a total of 32 properties and the sum of N325 million. In Europe or America, the likes of Yusuf would have been sentenced to pretty long terms in prison to serve as deterrent. In Asia, such felons must have committed suicide even before being sentenced to death. It is on record that former governor of Delta State, Chief James Ibori, pleaded guilty of fraud and money laundering charges at a London court in February 2012. But Judge Anthony Pitts who handled the case, recognising the gravity of the offence, discountenanced Ibori’s self confession and sentenced him to 13 years in prison the following April. Before the London judgment, a Federal High Court in Asaba, the Delta State capital, presided over by Justice Marcel Awokulehin, had in 2009, discharged and acquitted Ibori of a 170- count charge of stealing and money laundering.
It is unacceptable that selfconfessed convicts in Nigeria are offered ludicrous options of fine with a pat on the back for crimes that should attract maximum punitive measures. How much do bank robbers steal that often earn them the harshest sentences in court when caught? We shudder at what fate holds in stock for the nation, its resources and suffering pensioners if heartless pension thieves can be treated with kid gloves. Nigeria has become a nation whose law enforcement institutions, the judiciary, and reformatory establishments retard or scuttle the cause of justice, instead of advancing same. Through dubious plea bargains, high profile crimes, especially public treasuring looting and outright frauds, including the recent subsidy scam, go unpunished. The judiciary in particular remains an accomplice in plots to sabotage attempts by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to bring some past governors, especially those who served between 1999 and 2007, accused of plundering the resources of their states, to book through the granting of perpetual injunctions against their prosecution. Trailing the police and the judiciary since 1999 are many unresolved high wire assassination cases, that of Chief Bola Ige, the nation’s one time
January 31, 2011 A winter storm hit North America for the second time in the same month, causing $1.8 billion in damages across the United States and Canada and killing 24 people. The storm brought cold air, heavy snowfall, blowing snow, and mixed precipitation on a path from New Mexico and northern Texas to New England and Eastern Canada. The Chicago area saw between one and two feet of snow and blizzard conditions.
GOVERNMENT CAN NO LONGER FEIGN IGNORANCE OF THE HIGH PREMIUM NATIONS THAT CRAVE SURVIVAL PLACE ON PUNISHMENT FOR CRIMES power minister, inclusive. Insurgents and militants are treated like kings and rewarded with mouth-watering contracts, instead of being punished. How else does the nation hope to contain high brow crimes and treasonable felonies if not through the firm application of the law and the right punishment for culprits? Why are foreign nations now more committed to punishing Nigerians who ruined Nigeria and Nigerians, than the Nigerian judiciary? Corruption is consuming the nation the more and retarding development in all sectors of the economy and facets of life. Nigeria is going and going. It may crumble one day because of self-inflicted fatalities. The Federal Government can no longer feign ignorance of the high premium nations that crave survival place on punishment for crimes. Except
ON THIS DAY
January 31, 2009 At least 113 people were killed and over 200 others injured in Kenya following an oil spillage ignition in Molo. The incident occurred when an oil spill from an overturned truck burst into flames as onlookers attempted to obtain remnants of the spilled fuel for personal use. Rescuers suggested the cause to be static electricity, an accidentallydiscarded cigarette, or an individual angered at a police blockade who sought vengeance.
the government wishes to hide under the rot as veil to cover up its own excesses and recklessness, something ought the done fast to redress the situation. The FG should positively redefine its inputs in the nation’s criminal justice institutions and processes; while the National Assembly should come up with the right laws to strengthen criminal justice delivery. If the fault is that of the judiciary, compromised and non-credible judges should be identified and flushed out. If it is that of the National Judicial Council (NJC), the laws establishing it should be radically reviewed to enable credible and eminent Nigerians from other professions, who understand and appreciate the level of the rot, to be part of the Council, and not just judges and lawyers some of whom benefit from the stinking system. If it is that of errant lawyers, they should be hounded out and severely punished, too. The FG should make hay while the sun shines. If the government fails to take steps to ensure that the country’s law enforcement agencies, the judiciary and reformatories are no more sellouts, the catastrophe that may follow will not spare anyone. And while the nation grieves, we implore the EFCC to file an appeal against the Justice Talba ruling.
January 31, 1953 A North Sea flood caused over 1,800 deaths in the Netherlands and over 300 in the United Kingdom. The 1953 North Sea flood was a major flood caused by a heavy storm, occurred on the night of Saturday January 31, 1953 and morning of February 1, 1953. The floods struck the Netherlands, Belgium, England and Scotland. The flood and waves overwhelmed sea defences and caused extensive flooding.
Thursday, January 31, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Education Today E Ex-TASUED students cry over non re release of certificates
BY 2015, THERE SHALL BE NO ALTERNATIVE TO
CBT AS ALL OUR CANDIDATES WOULD HAVE TO FACE IT
UTME candidates at a previous exam
UTME: Now, candidates have three options The Registrar, Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, was in Lagos last Saturday to brief the media on his team’s preparation ahead of the forthcoming Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME). MOJEED ALABI reports the details as provided by the exam body, including the three options of testing methods now open to candidates; release of results within 30 minutes after tests; security, among others
side minimal technical hiccups and little administrative lapses that have characterised the previous exams, many people would agree that the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), the body in charge
• Paper pencil-based • Computer-based • Dual-based
of the conduct of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) in the country, has improved considerably in the recent times. Since 2007, when Professor Dibu Ojerinde assumed office as the registrar of the board, the notoriety of the examination body for all forms of malpractice has drastically reduced. The improvement, according to Dibu, is the result of the new initiatives developed by the body to block loopholes through the use of technology. Unlike in the past, when candidates had to wait for about four months before their results were released, JAMB has made it possible for candidates to access their results within a week after exam. Ahead of this year’s exercise, the body has evolved three testing methods to offer candidates. These are the tra-
ditional paper pencil testing (PPT), the computer-based testing (CBT) and the dual-based testing (DBT). The CBT, which Ojerinde said would, by 2015 phase out the two other methods, is a paperless mode of examination that makes use of internet-enabled computer systems, where candidates can navigate through subjects and pages like the PPT.
DBT, he added, would only enable candidates to read their questions online while answers would be shaded on papered answer sheets. Explaining of the rationale behind the introduction CBT, the registrar said the ultimate goal of going paperless was for Nigeria to follow the global trend. This system, according to him, was not only less cumbersome; it is more secured, efficient and time-bound. “The CBT option is in preparation for the 2015 deadline when we target to stop the PPT mode. Technology is fast improving and Nigeria cannot be left behind. Most of the higher institutions in the country are already using the system to conduct their post-UTME exams and they access their results immediately. “We don’t want to rush to that stage and that is why we have made it optional for now. We created 150,000 slots for the system but till date, out of the 1,000,100 candidates that have registered so far, only 4,000 have opted for it. But we may have to impose it on some candidates if our centres for PPT are filled up,” Ojerinde explained. However, stakeholders, particularly the candidates and their parents, have expressed doubt over the 2015 deadline for the new method, considering the perennial problems of epileptic power supply, poor computer knowledge, among other likely human and technical problems. Chinedu Ebere is a 19-year-old applicant from Abia State, who said he could not consider the CBT mode because no one was able to describe to him how it would work. He said there ought to be adequate training of candidates, particularly those from the rural areas before the examination body could force the method on candidates. Another candidate, Mrs. Mojirade Ogunnaike observed that Nigerians’ computer knowledge was overrated, adding that JAMB would need to visit remote communities where students have no desks let alone computer systems. But, in his response, Ojerinde said Nigeria could not exist in a vacuum and so must prepare to meet the global growing demands for advancement in computer technology. He said as a stakeholder in CONTINUED ON PAGE 23
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Thursday, January 31, 2013
UI students shun hostels, relocate off campus TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE
• Hostels meant for only 30% of them –VC
ome students of the University of Ibadan (UI), who believe they could not cope with staying on campus without cooking, have started making alternative accommodation arrangement outside the campus. National Mirror’s investigations revealed that this situation has led to an increasing in demand for rented apartments around the university community and consequently caused many house owners in the area to jerk up their rents by about 100 per cent of the original rent. For instance, a room apartment at Agbowo, Ajibode, Barika, Orogun and Samanda areas that hitherto cost N30, 000 yearly now goes for N60, 000, while a room- mini flat apartment that was N75, 000 is now N150, 000. It would be recalled that the authorities of the 65-year-old university recently banned its students from cooking on campus because of the huge electricity bill being incurred by the institution, which officials traced to the electric cooking gadgets being used by the students and directed the students, as an alternative, to start patronizing cafeterias while restricting light cooking to kitchenettes provided at their halls of residence. Some of the students, who spoke on conditions of anonymity, however, told National Mirror that they considered living outside the campus cheaper since they would be able to cook and eat as their financial strength permits compared to the financial implication of staying on campus and eating at the cafeterias. They said, by introducing the new policy, the school management was not being fair to the majority of the students, who are from poor homes. According to one of them, this development is not to the best interest of majority of us, especially those of us, who come to school with food stuffs and
To my best
r. J.T Soyemi was a primary school teacher at St. Stephen’s School, OraIgbomina, then in the old Western Region before it was carved out as part of the old Oyo State, but now in Osun State. He taught in the school between 1950s and 1960s. He influenced so many individuals. One of his former students, who is now a Professor of Biology and a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Sola Adeyeye, credited the late teacher for his thoughtfulness, dedication to duty and mentoring skills. Adeyeye, who functions within the upper legislative chamber, among several other capacities as, Vice-Chairman, Senate Committee on Education, has the following words for his former teacher, who he regarded as his best teacher during his formative years: “Mr. Soyemi stood tall among several
Deserted Azikwe Hall on at Monday
THERE ARE STUDENTS WE CONSIDER IN OUR PRIORITY FOR ACCOMMODATION IN THE HOSTELS AND THEY INCLUDE THE NEW STUDENTS,
THOSE IN THE FINAL CLASS, THE PHYSICALLY
CHALLENGED, THE SPORTSMEN AND WOMEN, THE STUDENTS’ UNION OFFICERS AND FEW OTHERS
small pocket money in addition. Sincerely, it will be difficult for somebody like me to afford N450 meal per day at the cafeteria. Now, I have rented oneroom mini flat at Agbowo at the rate of N150, 000 per annum and I will still have to pay for electricity, refuse and security, to mention a few. “Yes, that is true to a large extent” said the institution’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Isaac Adewole, who re-iterated that the university could only provide accommodation for just about 30 per cent of its total students. “There are students we consider in our priority for accommodation in the
hostels and they include the new students, those in the final class, the physically challenged, the sportsmen and women, the students’ union officers and few others. So, if there are those, who may now be thinking of relocating outside the campus, they must be those squatting,” he emphasised. Speaking further, the VC said: “I went round with other management members, the cafeterias, as well as the various kitchenettes on Monday and where I was not satisfied with the facilities on ground and I have asked those in charge to ensure they meet the specified standard. We want our students to eat
Mr. J.T. Soyemi
grant him eternal rest and reward his good works with the best of rewards. He may no longer be alive but this should serve as a source of inspiration to teachers all over the world, that no matter how long, their good works would still be appreciated. Teachers are nation builders and I refer to them as unsung heroes. However, I advocate for their better treatment in terms of welfare packages and working conditions.
Former teacher, St. Stephen’s School, Ora-Igbomina, Osun State teachers, who inspired and moulded me. I must say that he was the most influential teacher in my life. He was a native of Ikire, now in Irewole Local Government Area of Osun State. He taught me between 1960 and 1961, and lived in my father’s house all though his teaching days. Mr. Soyemi differed from most teachers of that era in one respect. He was not quick with the whip. I hated being whipped by teachers. I particularly hated the teachers, who whipped me for singing badly. I did not create my voice and should not have been whipped if my voice went hoarse in the middle of a song. Mr. Soyemi also extracted a promise from me when I was in Primary V that I would earn a Ph.D. I kept that promise. I dedicated my doctoral dissertation at the University of Georgia, US, to him. Unfortunately, I lost con-
good foods not only at subsidized rate but also in hygienic environment. We meant well for the students. It is even ridiculous that many of them do not know what is obtainable in a cafeteria system. So, we don’t want them to cook again in their rooms. “That they were permitted in the past to cook on campus doesn’t mean it was a good practice. We cannot continue doing things in the same old ways. The kitchenettes are there for those who may want to do light cooking and all these are to the benefits of all.” Prof. Adewole, who restated that the ban on cooking on campus remained, said it was necessary for students to obey the rules and regulations of the school and that of any other constituted authorities. This is because, according to him, the character any student exhibits now is likely to be the one he or she will manifest in the public after graduation and that is why we will try our best to prepare our students to be good ambassadors of this university now and in future.
tact with him after he left Ora in 1961. I looked for him when I returned to Nigeria in 2002 but was told he died in the 1980s. I paid glowing tributes to him at the church service that marked my return to Nigeria. I pray that God will
If you can read this, then you have a reason to be grateful. Show your appreciation to your best or favourite teacher in this column. Send us a ‘Thank You’ note, including your full names, current status and the years you were taught by your teacher. You can also send us your current picture plus that of your teacher where possible. Write to the Editor, To My best Teacher Column, National Mirror, P.M.B. 10001, Marina Lagos or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Thursday, January 31, 2013
Ex-lawmaker seeks functional education as antidote to poverty ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI
Some of the affected graduates L-R: Olagoke Adetola, Jephtah Omavueya and Osifeko Mark
Ex-TASUED students beg over non release of certificates • UI is to blame-TASUED TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE
ine years after graduation, graduates of the Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED), Ijagun Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State are yet to receive their certificates. Disturbed by the development, some of the affected graduates, who graduated from the institution between 20042008 while it was still a college of education and affiliated to the University of Ibadan (UI) for its degree programme, have appealed to the state governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, to step in urgently and prevail on the institution to release the certificates. Numbering about 10, 000, some of the affected graduates held a meeting last Sunday in Lagos under the aegis of “Tai Solarin College of Education (UI affiliate) Ex- students Coalition (TESC)” to draw attention to their plight and called on well meaning members of the public to intervene. Speaking on behalf of the affected graduates, TESC’s convener and chairman, Mr. Francis Nwapa, said the situation had caused them untold hardship in the labour market and elsewhere that the certificates are required. He noted that both at individual and group levels, they had made series of efforts including writing an appeal letter to Governor Amosun to compel the leadership of the institution to release their certificates but all to no avail. A photocopy of Amosun’s letter, entitled: “Letter of appeal for urgent intervention in the issuance of our
certificates,” dated 3rd October, 2012 and signed by Nwapa and two others was made available to National Mirror. The letter reads in part: “The delay in issuance of our certificates has prevented our members from furthering their academic and other life ambitions. Members are also finding it extremely difficult to secure credible and long-term employment and those in the public service and private establishments who are due for promotion are either stagnated at a level or being threatened of job loss.” Nwapa further said: “We don’t understand why the institution has continued to deny us our certificates more so, when we have satisfied all the required conditions.” He explained that it was not only ridiculous for graduates of many years seeking employment or admission for higher education to be tendering statement of results instead of certificates when competing colleagues from other institutions, who even graduated in recent years, can tender theirs. “We are therefore appealing again to Governor Amosun being the proprietor of the institution to please intervene and get the institution to release our certificates so we can channel our energy, money and time to something else,” Francis pleaded.
Reacting, the institution’s Registrar, Mr. Femi Kayode, confirmed that many old graduates of the institution were yet to get their certificates. He however, blamed the development on the University of Ibadan (UI), which he said, should issue the certificates, adding that TASUED could only issue with statement of result. “But we, as an institution, have fulfilled our own part of the agreement concerning the affiliation of the degree programmes up till 2008 when the partnership lasted. “I can say categorically that
WE DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY THE INSTITUTION HAS CONTINUED TO DENY US OUR CERTIFICATES MORE
SO, WHEN WE HAVE SATISFIED ALL THE REQUIRED CONDITIONS
the delay in issuing the certificates is not from us. But we will table the matter again before the University of Ibadan,” the registrar told National Mirror. The new VC, Prof. Oluyemi Obilade, who is just two-month old in office, also promised to look into the matter when contacted by National Mirror. UI Public Relations Officer, Mr. Olatunji Oladejo, however, said the delay in the issuance of the certificates could not have been deliberate, adding that only the institution’s registrar could explain the university’s position. TASUED was originally a college of education before it was proclaimed a full-fledged university by the immediate past governor of the state, Otunba Gbenga Daniel in 2005 following an approval by the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC).
ormer House of Representatives member, Mr. Adewale Aribisala, has canvassed repositioning of the education sector in Ekiti State to serve as vehicle for industrial revolution and wealth creation as an antidote to the pervasive poverty in the state. He lamented that “even the educational achievements and prowess that Ekiti State was known for have dwindled in the last few years, adding that urgent steps would need to reverse the trend. Aribisala told journalists in Ado-Ekiti that execution of programmes, projects and policies targeted at creation of wealth should be the pre-occupation of any government and well-meaning individuals not only in Ekiti State but elsewhere in the countrty. The politician, who faulted “the so-called poverty alleviation programmes where stipends are given to the people,” which he described as a ruse, said only deliberate creation of wealth would transform the state and the people. He said he aided the process of wealth creation in the state as a federal lawmaker when he ensured that over N3 billion accrued to the state for the Millennium Development Goals, adding that wealth creation and industrialisation had no equal in impacting positively on any society. The former lawmaker also lamented that the state was still lagging behind in the area of entrepreneur development despite its abundant natural and human resources. He said it was wrong for the people to only boast of their educational prowess while lacking industrial base that could lead to economic growth and life abundance, saying steps must be taken to redress the poor economic position of the state. “Look at the abysmal performance of secondary school students from the state in the last WAEC and NECO examinations. Those who think it is only by cajoling teachers and subjecting them to sitting for a competence test have missed it. The teachers need adequate training and motivation to perform optimally, while the atmosphere for teaching and learning must be conducive,” Aribisala said. He said the negative impact of the elitist government being run by the present Action Congress of Nigeria government in the state which had distanced it from the realities on ground and the masses, was an added advantage for the PDP in the forthcoming governorship election.
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Nigeria increases collaboration with International Bureau of Education IJEOMA EZEIKE ABUJA
igeria has declared that it would increase its areas of collaboration with the International Bureau of Education in order to ensure national and regional development of the basic education sub-sector for the overall development of her people. Minister of State for Education, Mr. Nyesom Wike and leader of Ni-
geria’s delegation to the 62nd session of the Council of the International Bureau of Education (IBE), in Geneva, Switzerland last week declared that Federal Government would also make financial contributions to the bureau to ensure that the group achieves her objectives. The minister stated that Nigeria had implemented programmes aimed at developing relevant curricula in the basic education sub-sector
with the Nigerian Educational Research Development Council (NERDC) taking the driving seat. Wike noted that Nigeria dedicated her commitment to regional educational advancement by hosting the West African regional workshop on curriculum innovation and teacher capacity building. He said: “Nigeria appreciates the capacity building workshops and technical assistance programmes tailored to specific needs of member
states and the emphasis given to African countries, countries in transition and conflict-affected countries that are in need of this technical assistance. “Participants were to share experiences in curriculum innovation and teachers’ capacity building and examine challenges across countries in the region with a view to infusing innovative approaches to address inclusiveness and effective professional development
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of teachers. Although the workshop was open to all countries of the ECOWAS sub-region we had in participation, delegates from Ghana, Mali and Nigeria. The major outcome of the meeting was the affirmative statement with recommendations addressed to governments, policy makers, curriculum planners, curriculum developers, teachers, teacher trainers and other stakeholders in the West-African sub-region as well as UNESCO,” he explained. The minister noted that the Jonathan administration would continue to prioritise the funding of education, adding that the
development of qualified teaching personnel and necessary education facilities would continue to be pursued by the country. “Nigeria has over the years maintained a close collaboration with the IBE and we are committed to sustaining this relationship through active engagement of our focal agency for curriculumNERDC with the institute. the minister stated. In his remark, NERDC’s Executive Secretary, Prof. Godswill Obioma, noted that the nation’s basic education curriculum had been developed in line with international best practices.
Osun pays N340m WAEC fee ADEOLU ADEYEMO OSOGBO
sun State Government said it had paid a sum of N340 million as West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) fees for the 33,000 final year students in all the public secondary schools in the state. Addressing journalists after the state 66th Executive Council meeting, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Sunday Akere said the payment involved examination fees, registration for laboratories and other charges, adding that the fees were paid for all the students who had made it to SSS 3, without subjecting them to another qualifying examination, which used to be the practice. The commissioner also warned that no teacher should force under or oversized school uniform on students. He appealed to them to cooperate with the government to make success of the project, saying any teacher found given out uniform indiscriminately without considering the sizes would be punished for it. Akere further stated that the state government had also commenced restructuring of schools into elementary, middle and high schools, saying that the exercise involves moving pupils in primaries 1 to 4 from one school to another and movement of pupils in primary 5 and 6 to some middle schools. He noted that the executive council had reviewed the complaints from some
parents about the long distances of some of the new locations, saying that efforts are being made to ensure that the issue was addressed. After the payment of the exam fees, he added, the state government had received complaints from some parents of the exclusion of their wards from among the beneficiaries, saying that the Deputy Governor, Otunba Titilayo Laoye-Tomori, who also oversees the ministry of education, has been mandated to ensure a review of the payment to accommodate genuine complaints.
L-R: Nigeria’s Permanent Delegate to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Mrs. Mariam Katagum and the Minister of State for Education, Mr. Nyesom Wike during the opening ceremony of the 62nd session of the International Bureau of Education in Geneva, Switzerland, recently.
TRACE club to boost students’ safety awareness on highways –Commissioner TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE
gun State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mr. Segun Odubela has called on well meaning individuals, corporate organisations, non- Governmental organ-
isations and civil societies to support efforts of the state government at ensuring safety on roads and the efforts at providing qualitative education for the children. Odubela made this call in his address at the final stage of the second annual Traffic Compliance and Enforce-
ment Corps (TRACE) Club quiz competition among secondary school students in the state held at African Church Grammar School, Ita-Iyalode, Abeokuta, last week. Odubela said the competition was in line with the vision of the administration of Governor Ibikunle
L-R: Administrator, Grace Schools, Mrs. Tokunbo Edun; beneficiaries of scholarship awards, Olaoye Daniel; Kevin Ifeanyinchukwu; Oluwade Abimbola and Principal, Mr. Ronald Cilliers, at the presentation of annual indigent Students Scholarship Award in Lagos.
Amosun, which is determined to engage initiatives that will achieve a functional, qualitative, affordable and sustainable education system that will be the pride of all in the state. “Too many victims of accidents and road mishaps end up losing their lives, implying that woman becomes widow, men become widowers, children becomes orphan and ultimately society suffers. This among other underscores the basis, the very essence of this quiz competition among students at secondary school level in the state,” he said. While congratulating the children who had performed well in the quiz competition, Odubela said he was optimistic that a competitive spirit coupled with a healthy rivalry among students would bring out the best in them and made them better future leaders. He, however, commended the TRACE and other en-
forcement agencies in the state for their doggedness and determination to take traffic related issued to the schools. Earlier in his welcome address, the state TRACE Corps Commandant, Mr. Ayo Sangofadeji, said the ultimate goal of the competition was to encourage the entrenchment of a road traffic education into the educational curriculum of schools in Ogun State. According to him, TRACE has succeeded in starting the process of road safety knowledge improvement through competition among schools in the state. It is now our belief that this noble process will propel the pupils to seek more knowledge that would awaken their consciousness towards consideration for the sanctity of lives as they tend to safe their own lives. This is an attitudinal change direction towards a better driving culture.
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Thursday, January 31, 2013
Scrap schools without physical exercise space –Don
he Dean of the Faculty of Education, Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, Prof. Rafiu Okuneye, has called for the scrapping of schools without adequate land space for physical exercises. Okuneye, who made this call while presenting the university’s 50th inaugural lecture recently, described Physical Education as a crucial field of study that must be given prominence particularly at the basic schools because it teaches what correct economy of movement is. Speaking on the theme: Human Body, Human Wellness: The Perpetual Antidotes, the professor said an all-round education complete human development cannot be achieved without offering practical exercises of the body as part of the school curriculum. He described physical education as an educational process that uses physical activity as a means of acquiring skills, knowledge and attitudes that contribute to optimal development and wellbeing of man. Thus, he affirmed that the best avenues for its proper study are the basic schools where both mental and physical properties of children are formed. However, the don lamented that a look at some schools particularly in the
cities today, suggests that the pupils’ wellbeing is not being adequately considered while planning their structures. These new generation schools, which he described aptly as “mushroom schools” are those he said spring up haphazardly without adequate plans. “Yet, the most unfortunate thing is that these are the schools where children of the elite attend.” Okuneye decried the relegation of physical exercises to the background by school administrators and the disregard its teachers suffer adding that “never will any government be allowed to suspend the teaching of the subject or retrench its teachers. It would be recalled that in the past, some government administrations particularly in states like Osun had retrenched many teachers of this subject based on the ‘erroneous’ belief that it is not as relevant as sciences and arts. While clamouring for the subject to be offered adequate priority, Okuneye even boasted that experts in Physical and Health Education are more relevant than physicians or physiotherapists. Okuneye “My message in this inaugural lecture, which is based on accumulated ex- petual antidotes to the occurrence of perienced garnered from my research hypokinetic and chronic diseases lie in works, is that to a large extent, the per- our ability to avoid abuse of our body
and prioritise our wellness. And results of various studies have proved that hypokinetic or chronic diseases hardly thrive in individuals who habitually engage in exercises. “This is only a confirmation of the importance of physical exercise experts who deal with people of all ages and prevent them from being sick, whereas a physician or physiotherapist is visited most often when one is sick or injured,” the dean explained. As solutions, therefore, the don suggests that schools without adequate compounds to enable students engage in practical exercises such as running, weight lifting, indoor and outdoor games including soccer, should be phased out of school system. Similarly, Okuneye informed the audience of the efforts of the Association of Physical Education Experts to restore the subject’s old glories. These efforts, he said, include the suggestion to the external examination bodies such as the National Examination Council (NECO) and the West African Examination Council (WAEC), to make practical exercise compulsory aspects of their exams. This suggestion, he noted, is currently being implemented by NECO while WAEC is being awaited to key into it.
UTME: Now candidates have three options CONTINUED FROM PAGE 19
L-R: Acting Registrar Caleb University, Imota, Lagos; Mrs. Folake Okor, Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ayodeji Olukoju; Guest Lecturer and Accountant-General of the Federation; Mr. Jonah Otunla, and former Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Professor Olukunle Lawal, at the 3rd Foundation Day Lecture of Caleb University in Imotta, Lagos State, recently.
Lawmakers boost college with endowment fund TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE
wo serving senators from Lagos State- Oluremi Tinubu and Olugbenga Ashafa have endowed a sum of one million naira each in Michael Otedola College of Primary Education (MOCPED), Epe, Lagos. The money which is to be released yearly to the college by the lawmakers is meant to provide infrastructural facilities that can aid learning and teaching in the institution. The lawmakers announced the endownment fund while on a visit to the college to deliver a special intervention approval letter from the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) to the management of the institution recently. A total sum of N109 million was contained in the TETFund’s letter to build a school of Primary Education Studies for the college However, Ashafa, from Lagos East
Senatorial district, while announcing the fund on behalf of himself and colleague, explained that the gesture was to complement the state government’s efforts in uplifting the college. He said he was particularly impressed by the leadership style of the provost of the college, Prof Olu Akeusola and the level of development that has taken place in the last one and half years he assumed office. While he assured the institution of their continued support, he urged the leadership of the college to build on the current achievement without compromising standard in its services. Responding, Prof Akeusola, expressed his appreciation to TETFUND and the two senators for the gestures. He promised to make judicious disbursement of the respective funds when available. He added that the lawmakers’ gesture, which he said was commendable, was the demonstration of their love for quality education.
the education sector, particularly one, who he said, had been experiencing CBT since late 1970s, Nigerians must be prepared for the challenges ahead. “Therefore, by 2015, there shall be no alternative to CBT as all our candidates would have to face it. And I promise that latest by 30 minutes after the examinations, students would be sent their graphical representation of their scores before being sent the exact scores. They will receive it through their mobile phones. “We could have released the results immediately but there are two reasons why we won’t do that for now. We don’t want those, who perform badly to smash our screens when they see their results and we also want to compare the CBT results with that of DBT and PPT modes’,” the registrar explained. For candidates using the CBT method, they will have the grace of being assigned between 15 and 25 of April to write their exams at the 70 accredited venues nationwide, while candidates for the DBT and the PPT will write theirs on Saturday, April 27. These CBT centres, according to JAMB, include the University of Lagos, Chams Computer Centres in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt, and the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt. Others include the University of Ilorin, Kwara State; University of Agriculture, Markurdi, in Benue State, among others. “As regards power supply, all the accredited centres will be provided with UPS and standby generators as we won’t rely on PHCN to power our equipment,” he noted. Continuing, Prof. Dibu said: “The
board has had workshops on likely errors before, during or even after the exams and these are the kinds of issues we raised with adequate solutions provided. Some even expressed the fear that the questions may be hacked online but let me confirm to you that our CBT questions will only travel from our office in Abuja for seven minutes to all the 70 centres and they remain encrypted until the candidate opens his.” Another serious issue that is calling for consideration is that candidates opting for the CBT may choose to cram questions with the aim of helping their colleagues who would be taking the tests on other days. But JAMB boss said doing such would be practically impossible, adding that for every single question, there are 99,999 others of equal weight “and so the chance of repeating questions is very slim. “I must also add that unlike the Classical Test Theory system that was being used in China, USA and other places, JAMB is employing the new Item Response Theory and the 50 factorial system of generating questions, which make cheating extremely difficult. We have tested this more than four times with sets of students and it worked perfectly. We will still conduct more trials this February and with God by our side, we know we will get desired results,” said Ojerinde. Still on the exam, candidates were also advised to read the two recommended novels where 20 questions will be based in their Test of English Language papers. They are: “The successors by jerry Agada and The Potter’s wheel by Chukwuemeka Ike. “Reading these novels will help them in their preparation for the exam,” he concluded.
L ATEEFAH IBRAHIMANIMASHAUN
t the period when many of his colleagues are yearning for what the country can do for them, Mr. Raphael Ejime, a 22-year-old serving youth corps member in Lagos, is already impacting on the society. Ejime, who is teaching Civic education at Gbagada Girls’ Junior High School, Lagos, is among tens of thousands of youth corps members under Batch ‘B’ in the country. Last week, he demonstrated the love he has for quality education in his immediate community by donating some chairs, desks and notebooks worth thousands of naira to the school for the use of the students. Handing over the items to the school, Ejime, who is a graduate of Political Science from Madonna University, Okija, Anambra State, said, though, he was not financially buoyant, being a youth corps member receiving stipend as monthly allowance, he believes in sharing the little resources at his disposal with the less-privileged in the society.
agos Deputy Governor, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, has said the resuscitation of the uniformed clubs by the state government was to provide an all-rounded and holistic education to children in the state-owned primary and secondary schools. Stating this at the 3rd anniversary of the re-launch of the clubs recently, Orelope-Adefulire said government would need to help the school children to develop mentally, physically, emotionally and socially. The deputy governor said since the re-launch of the clubs, which comprises Boy’s Scout, Girl’s Guides, Red Cross, Brigades and Sherriff Guards, their activities had helped members in rediscovering and awakening their virtues such as
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A corps member with a difference “And that is why anywhere I am, I try as much as possible to impact lives. Doing so gives me joy. And now, I see what I have donated as a small seed that will help the students in their studies,” he said. Ejime, second born in the family of four, disclosed that the bulk of money he used to finance the project was from philanthropists, who shared in his vision. While he advised his colleagues and those that will come after them to always strive to impact any community they are posted, he noted that CDS as an aspect of NYSC scheme, has really improved his knowledge about the way of life of people at the grassroots. “Through CDS, the youth corps members are actively interacting with the people at the local level and from there, encouraging them to embark on self help projects instead of relying solely on government for the provision of such projects,” he further explained. Ejime, who disclosed that he would also be hoisting the Nigerian Flag in the school soon, with a view to promot-
Why Lagos resuscitates uniformed clubs in schools –Deputy Governor TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE
Thursday, January 31, 2013
discipline, obedience, honesty and leadership quality, among others . She added that through the clubs, the students were being equipped for challenges of the global society. While disclosing that the government set aside every Wednesday of the week for club members to hold their meetings after school’s hours, Orelope-Adefulire urged parents to encourage and motivate their wards to join the clubs and ensure they participate actively in their activities. Earlier, the Commissioner of Education, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye, said although, joining the clubs was voluntary, it was one of the co-curricular activities of her ministry, designed to instil in pupils self confidence, courage and other necessary life’s skills that would enable them stand up to challenges as they move up in life.
ing national identity and consciousness in the school community, said he was particularly impressed by the cooperation and supports he received so far from the host school and community. Speaking at the event, the Local Government Inspector of Gbagada Community, Mr. Olawoye Muftau, urged Ejime not to relent in impacting the society, saying the
reward would come one day., while he told the beneficiaries of Ejime’s gesture to make good use of the items. He added that, with the gesture, Ejime had done not only himself proud but also his parents, school and NYSC, advising other corps members to take a cue from him. On her part, the school’s principal, Mrs. Adenike Iweze enjoined
the government to empower NYSC community development service financially to enable corps members carry out many developmental projects during their service years. While expressing her appreciation to Ejime for donating the items, she said the country needed more corps members as Ejime. “I use this medium to appeal to NYSC Zonal Inspector and that
of the local government council to be posting committed and dedicated corps members to our school,” Iweze said. The principal, who said she was strongly against the call by some people in the country to scrap NYSC scheme, noted that the exercise was not and will never be a waste of money and time. She added that the scheme also helped the new graduates to prepare themselves for bigger tasks after the service year.
Ejime in NYSC uniform with some of the students and teachers of the school at the ceremony.
FCT Minister threatens to close down illegal schools OMEIZA AJAYI
ederal Capital Territory Minister, Bala Mohammed has vowed to shut private schools that fail to meet up with the minimum requirements for operations as spelt out by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) Education Board. This was even as he presented certificates of accreditation to 85 private schools in various parts of the federal capital territory. Among the schools, which received their certificates were Imam Malik Academy Gwagwalada; Asa’s Staff School, Bwari; Omosiogo Nursery and Primary School, Kwali; Olumawo College, Wuse; Satelite Nursery and Primary School, Karshi.
Presenting the certificates at a town hall meeting with proprietors of Abuja-based private schools, Mohammed announced that he had already directed the department of policy and implementation to intensify its accreditation processes so that more schools that meet up with the requirements could be accredited. The minister however, warned proprietors of illegal private schools to desist from operating as those caught would be sanctioned according to the law of the land. “So I therefore use this platform to send a strong warning to the proprietors of schools that were closed down but which are still operating illegally under different names and at different locations to stop forthwith or face stiff penalties because their action
is not only grossly irresponsible but criminal to say the least,” he said. Earlier, Secretary, FCT Education Secretary, Alhaji Kabir Usman said the secretariat was being confronted with the challenge of refusal of some schools to subject themselves to the process of accreditation. “This condition is due to the fact that some schools are yet to come to terms with the benefits of accreditation. May I then quickly remind proprietors of such schools that the purpose of accreditation is to confer legitimacy in their operations,” he added. The secretary disclosed that the secretariat would soon embark on another round of inspections and defaulting schools would be shut down and proprietors prosecuted. On his part, the Presi-
dent, National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), Dr. Bukola Dosunmu complained about the high levies being imposed on private school proprietors by the FCT administration. “Education is the most financially burdened sector of the economy and when effectively funded produces immediate visible, positive multiplier effect on the end consumers. i.e pupils which is why this scarce resources need to be preserved for this purpose and not on avoidable taxes, levies, dues. “This burden is pushed to parents and it ultimately reflect on the fees charged and this fees are now being taxed. Additional taxes will ultimately be transferred to parents already groaning under supposedly high fees,” he explained.
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with Mojeed Alabi
atriculations are significant developments in the life of students. Apart from marking their official admission into academic institutions, particularly universities or colleges, they also grant them the avenue to meet principal officers of the institutions and learn about other things they might not have been told during their orientation. However, many Nigerian students have less regard for this very important ceremony, and that disregard also played out on Tuesday at the Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, when students billed to take their admission oath walked to the venue carelessly while the official procession was already going on. In fact, some of the matriculating students dressed casually. This development irked the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Oladapo Obafunwa, who in his char-
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acteristic manner, openly tongue lashed the students and strongly warned them against recurrence of such attitude again. The VC, who in his speech disclosed that a total of 2,784 applicants were offered admission, said 2,008 were offered admission after careful scrutiny of their credentials. While the Faculties of Arts, Management Sciences, Social Sciences and Education admitted 381, 363, 62, and 409 students respectively, the Schools of Communication and Transport has 83 and 24 respectively. The Faculties of Law and Engineering also respectively got 24 and 88 newly admitted students. Speaking further, Obafunwa informed the students that the university had approved the payment of their fees in two installments saying they can now pay 70 per cent before registration and remit the remainder four weeks after. He also told the students
NOUN students condemn shoddy exam arrangement
tudents of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) have condemned in strong terms what they described as the institution’s administrative recklessness and shoddy ways of conducting their academic programmes and especially the ongoing examinations. The students, who are mostly workers, complained of arbitrary change of examination timetable, poor information dissemination and rowdy examination sessions. This development, they blamed on the poor management of the nation’s leading distance learning institution. On Tuesday, at the campus of the Centre for Management Development in Lagos where Law and Nursing students are currently writing their first semester examination candidates were seen rushing to the centre following a sudden change of schedule. “Our exam was initially slated for 11am but we were surprised to hear again that it had been brought forward to
Thursday, January 31, 2013
8am. Many of us doubted the report because it was not officially disseminated. However, we were surprised to get here and found out that the exam had started. “Could you believe that we don’t receive messages either through our phones or the electronic mail boxes, and most often the website does not open? We only rely on hearsay to get information about our programmes. Such is the situation in NOUN,” one of the students who pleaded anonymity explained. All efforts to reach the authority of the university for comment yielded no result as the telephone line of its public relations officer, Dr. Ronke Ogunmakin, was not available as at the time of filing this report.
VC, Prof. Tenebe
You must be disciplined, LASU VC tells new students that gaining admission is not enough an achievement but that convocation with good grades should be their ultimate goal. He thereby encouraged them to work
hard and secure a cumulative gradient point of 4.5 to qualify for the university’s scholarship. On the new development in the university, the VC
informed both the students and their parents of their numerous construction works going on in the institution and expressed the commitment of its propri-
etor, the Lagos State Government, to offer the best support to make it compete with the world leading universities in terms of learning and researches.
L-R: Alao Halimat; Mr. Mudasiru Eniafe; Madikaegbu S. Chukwuebuka; Ashien Victory; Nancy Egbiko and Daramola Oladimeji, students of Theatre Arts, Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo during their matriculation on Tuesday.
Germany to set up Mechatronics workshop in EKSU
s it happens in the developed world where companies and government agencies partner academic institutions to design curriculum and work towards nation
building, the Ekiti State University (EKSU), Ado Ekiti, is beginning to drive such initiative. According to the university, the German Government has shown interest to
build a Mechatronics workshop on the institution for the benefit of engineering students who would have the advantage of gaining deep insight into the arts mechanical practice such
Students of the National Open University of Nigeria, getting ready for their exam at the Centre for Management Development, Lagos, on Tuesday.
UNILAG admits 8,959 PG students KUNLE A ZEEZ
bout 8, 959 students have been offered admission to study various courses at post graduate level at the University of Lagos for the 2012/2013 academic session. Dean, School of Post Graduate Studies of the university, Prof Obinna Chukwu, disclosed this during an orientation programme organ-
ised for the newly –admitted post graduate students at the school auditorium on Tuesday. The dean said the Postgraduate school received 19, 519 applications from prospective students, of which 8, 959 were offered admissions as successful students after writing the entrance examination. He also disclosed that of the 8, 959, only 5094 students had successfully completed their registration.
“The successful students had been offered admission based on merits. We have a history of excellence and this is a principle we hold on to tenaciously. “On an annual basis, we have always recorded increase in the number of applications we receive both for undergraduate and post graduate studies, an indication that our university has become an institution of choice not only in Nigeria and beyond,” he said.
as the making of cars and other mechanical facilities. The Consul General of the Republic of Germany, Mr. Walter Von-den Diriesch disclosed this recently when he paid a courtesy visit to the institution’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Patrick Oladipo Aina. According to Diriesch, Germany has made its impact felt in the training of youths in the field of Auto Mechanics in some States in Nigeria and Osun in particular, “therefore, we are not new to the business and our experience so far has shown that we would be very keen to set up a workshop on this campus where anyone interested would be offered adequate training and exposure to foreign opportunities.” In his response, the VC, said he was of the belief that the initiative, apart from the practical knowledge it would bring to the campus, would also create linkages with and collaboration with universities and relevant colleges in Germany. He said t the visit of the Consul General came at a time when the university was being refocused to become a world class Institution. Aina then informed Diriesch that the university already had a Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies where students would be trained to be self-sustained in future.
hile not justifying the Egyptian Security Services non-challance and outright insensitivity….” Spell-check: nonchalance (and without hyphenation) “Monitors seek early deployment of polls materials to (in) Sokoto, C’ River” “These are the sorts of action (actions) as opposed to….” “…its location that makes it a melting point for the various ethnic nationalities that surround the city….” In this case: melting pot. “Many primary and secondary schools are not wired for basic electricity, talkless for (sic) ICT.” ‘Talk less for’ is primitive English! Solution: let alone ICT. “We urge you to continue to avail the nation your sterling contributions in the Defence Sector” Avail the nation of your sterling…. “NAFDAC: “How My Pikin tragedy occured” Spell-check: occurred Again: “Solutions for a cashlite Lagos” Let’s keep our word: solutions to… “The statement issued by Bello certainly helped to sooth frayed nerves.” The rains are here: soothe. “…the current political arrangement that concentrates undue and enormous economic and political powers at (on) the centre is….” “When early morning downpour wreaks havocs in Lagos” Havoc is non-count. “Euro giants lock horn at San Siro” In sporting arenas, giants lock horns (not horn). “Shots are not fired to (at) the
Thursday, January 31, 2013
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‘Talk less of’? No! Let alone… leg or other places that could disable the target.” “In Lagos, the police jumped off their vehicle and started firing life (live) bullets….” “SKorean (sic) pastor arrested over children’s deaths” World Watch: S/Korean pastor arrested for children’s death—not ‘deaths’! “Heroes welcome for Chipolopolo” Do you mean a hero’s welcome? “Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Omar Suleiman (another comma) in a warm handshake with the President….” Of what use is it to the reader whether the handshake is cold, hot or warm? Beyond the issue of temperature, it is meaningless telling the reader what he can decipher (the obvious handshake). A rewrite: “…Suleiman with the President and Chairman of Council of Nigerian Institute of Management at (sic) (during) a visit to NPA. “AIDS: 1.1m Nigerians in need of anti-retroviral” For their safety: anti-retroviral drugs “111 NURTW miscreants arrested in (on) Lagos Island” “Boko Haram: SSS draws up wanted leaders list” Truth in defence of freedom: leaders’ list Still on this widest-circulating newspaper in Nigeria: “Poll records low turn out” Next time: turnout “I learnt from him, (what is the function of this comma here?) how to control my breadth when I am playing the sax.” Entertain-
ment plus: breath “One of the unfortunate fallouts of the Amnesty Programme….” My comment: ‘fallout’ is uncountable. “…transforming a large number of former militants from armed banditry to productive livelihood.” There cannot be ‘banditry’ without the use of arms (violence)! Therefore, why ‘armed banditry’—and not just simply ‘banditry’, which is robbery with violence? “…the bombing that destroyed lives and property in Abuja during the country’s 50th independence anniversary.” In defence of grammar: One of these: life and property (which should apply here) or lives and properties, depending on context and usage competency. “…which as The Economist once pointed out can make loans with tenors of between 10 to 15 years.” Not my view: between 10 and 15 or from 10 to 15. “Police arrest reporter on trump up charges” Get it right: trumped-up charges “Anger of the matriachs” Spell-check: matriarchs “Jonathan condoles Dantata’s family….” The president condoled with Dantata’s family” “Congratulation to Alhaji Aliko Dangote, GCON, and the Dangote Group for (on/upon) today’s commissioning of the new….” “Army arrests soldier over (for) Kaduna bombing”
“Man, 59, charged over (with) alleged issuance of N134m dud ch eque” “…they advocate for government of nationalities or (a) government of people with similar ethnic or historical backgrounds.” Replace ‘for’ with ‘a’ in the interest of a cohesive polity. “Is it lawful to give riot victims mass burial without the permission of their living relatives? Would it have been their dead relatives? Balderdash! “Towing (Toeing) the path of research for national development” “Govt approves NIMASA’s representation at oil platforms” This way: representation on oil platforms. “His passion to see a just and egalitarian society is unparallel (unparalleled).” “Eagles begin acclimatization…train under (in) the sun” This is quite different from an expression like ‘there is nothing new under the sun’, which is correct. Similarly, we play football in—not under—the rain. “It is believed that close to one thousand of such prisoners are currently languishing in the various Nigerian congested prisons.” What is the function of ‘currently’ here? “Environmental health, panacea to reducing Lassa fever” My panacea for (not to) good English…. “SME’s owners converge at VConnect Business Forum on
Digital Marketing” Get it right: SME owners converge on…. As my kindergarten daughter, Chiamaka, would say, ‘again and again’: “Five suspects arrested over (for) Suleja bombing” We cannot be tired of correcting this stupid and careless mistake that keeps recurring! “Fix bad roads before wet season, LASG urged” Property & Environment: either dry or rainy season “This deficit (a comma) Okonjo-Iweala said (another comma) will (would) be financed through the traditional sources such as….” “His media allies have been parroting the same lies, hoping that by piping Sylva’s dictated (called) tune….” “Nor does that statement translate into an admission of involvement in the stoning of exGovernor Timipre Sylva at (on) a previous occasion….” For those who did not know, there was a slight altercation between President Goodluck Jonathan and former governor of Bayelsa State Timipre Sylva shortly before the recent governorship election in the state. Of course, some newspaper commentators feasted on the face-off, which necessitated Abati’s caustic reply. “Police beef-up security in Abuja” “The use of multimedia devices have (has) brought about improved service delivery in many companies.”
WASSCE, UTME candidates for free exam workshop MOJEED ALABI
rospective candidates of external examinations such as the West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) and the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) will this Saturday enjoy free training on how to pass examinations, particularly in subjects like English Language and Mathematics. The initiative, being packaged by Prudence Schools, Yaba, Lagos, in partnership with GT Empirical Consulting Limited, according to the organisers, is a product of intensive research on why the nation’s examination bodies have continued to record poor performance by their candidates. At a media briefing on Tuesday, Chairman of the school’s Board of Trustees, who
doubles as the Chairman of AG. Leventis Nigeria Plc, Chief Joseph Oke, disclosed that he decided to encourage the efforts to correct the impression that Nigeria’s education system is the problem. Oke said the nation’s education system was structured in a way that it compares favourably well with those of the western world, but that the major problem confronting it is the inability of teachers to deliver the education contents effectively. He also said the improved systems of conducting and marking the examinations such as the use of computers required adequate skills by candidates to enable the systems detect their shadings and writings as the case may be. “Examination begins with the state of minds taken into the halls. Composure is an essential ingredient and most times even
L-R: Director, GT Empircal Consultancy Limited, Mrs. Ola Toyo; and Chairman, Board of Trustees, Prudence School, Chief Joseph Oke, at the media briefing.
when a student knows the answer but he does not answer it correctly, he may have problem during markings. We don’t need to let all the tricks out of the bag for now, that should be the duty of the experts,” Oke stated. Similarly, the Director of GT Empirical Consulting Limited and retired Deputy Registrar of the University of Lagos (UNILAG),
Akoka, Mrs. Ola Toyo, said the workshop became important having noticed the fact that many foreign countries further subject Nigerians to English Language tests regardless of their qualifications before being offered employment. She said the situation was so because of the recurrent records of mass failure in external examinations.
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Babalola charges Oluyole Warriors, First Deepwater ahead of new season 29
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Minister leaves SA with promise
igeria’s Sports Minister, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, yesterday left South Africa, full of confidence that the Super Eagles will progress to the championship match of the ongoing 29th Africa Cup of Nations. Abdullahi insisted on staying on in the Rainbow Nation to see out the Eagles’ group phase campaign and only departed for Nigeria yesterday morning, after the 1980 and 1994 champions earned a quarter-final ticket in Rustenburg on Tuesday night. “I have to go back to Nigeria. I’m delighted we eventually made it to the quarter-finals and kudos to the players for a job well-done. I believe they will go all the way and I will be back to watch them play the final match on February 10,” the minister said. President Goodluck Jonathan has already promised the players and officials that he would be in South Africa to watch the tournament’s final match if the Super Eagles reach that stage. Nigeria take on tournament favourites, Cote d’Ivoire, at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg on Sunday in one of the quarterfinal matches.
NFF thanks Nigerians for support
P Addis Hintsa of Ethiopia holding off Victor Moses during the Africa Cup of Nations 2013 match between Ethiopia and Nigeria at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg, South Africa, on Tuesday.
Moses dedicates goals to son EVEREST ONYEWUCHI
Elephants will be tough to handle. But there is a possibility that Super Eagles will win on Sunday - Former Nigeria international, Etim Esin
I nearly collapsed on bench – Yobo agles’ captain, Joseph Yobo, has disclosed that he now feels what most Nigerian ball fans feel while watching the national team play, as he nearly collapsed while watching his teammates miss chance after chance in over 75 minutes before the first goal came in Tuesday’s group game decider against the Walya Antelopes of Ethiopia. “I now know what Nigerians go through and for 75 minutes it was like what have we done wrong again that the goals are not coming? We were playing very well, but the goals simply refused to come and it was not funny at all witnessing such a scene,” Yobo declared yesterday. The former Marseille of France and Everton of England strongman praised the character of the Eagles against Ethiopia and noted that it was the stuff that champions are made of. “Despite the fact that the goal refused to come, my mates kept attacking, until we finally scored. That is how true champions behave.” He called for more support from Nigerians for the team as they enter into the crucial knock-out stages of the competition, declaring that the caliber of players in the team have the capacity to not only win the trophy but remain relevant for a long time to come for the national team. “We have young, dynamic and dedicated players who are learning fast from those of us who are their seniors and they can go very far in the tournament here and in subsequent tourneys to come,” the Fernabahce of Turkey defence ace, added. Meanwhile, Eagles resumed training yesterday evening at the Olympia Park in Rustenburg.
uper Eagles’ two goals hero against Ethiopia, Victor Moses, has dedicated the goals to his three-monthold son, Brentley. Brentley was born by Moses’ girl friend during the countdown to the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa. On the eve of the tournament, the Chelsea winger had said that he wanted to score goals for the new boy, for being so long away from him and his
mother. And on Tuesday in Rustenburg, Moses finally got the goals he wanted for the baby boy and when he was asked about it, he threw a bewitching smile and said, “Of course, for Brentley.” Moses came into the AFCON 2013 tournament in South Africa thinking of the trophy, Brentley and the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award, according to the Media Officer of the Super Eagles, Ben Alaiya. But the Nigerian hero’s tournament started on a dull note for him until Tuesday’s
game. He missed the first game against Burkina Faso due to knocks received in training and returned against Zambia. “It will be terrific to be declared the MVP of the AFCON tourney. But I prefer the team to win games than for me to be MVP. If both come to pass then all good and well,” Moses said. Moses also said that he did not refuse to talk to the media at the end of Tuesday’s game against Walya Antelopes of Ethiopia, but was simply excited at scoring two goals in Africa’s show-piece tourney.
resident of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Alhaji Aminu Maigari, has expressed appreciation to the government and people of Nigeria for the tremendous support so far given to the Super Eagles at the 29th Africa Cup of Nations. “I want to say that progress to the quarter- finals has been made possible by the huge support we have received from the government and our people from everywhere, at home and in the Diaspora, people of different faith and background praying in one accord for the team’s success. “We owe it to the government and all these people to progress even further in the championship,” Maigari said. He applauded Victor Moses and his team mates for their commitment to the cause and enterprise. Chairman of the NFF Media and Publicity Committee, Chief Emeka Inyama, said that he sees the Super Eagles flying over the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire in Sunday’s mouth-watering quarter-final clash in Rustenburg.
Thursday, Th T hu urrrsd sday, January 31, 2013 sd
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Rodgers wants Gerrard’s Anfield stay
Uwazie makes Team Cup pledge YEMI OLUS
ne of Nigeria’s representatives at the Wheelchair Tennis World Team Cup holding in Antalya, Turkey from May 20 to 26, Jude Uwazie, has expressed confidence in his ability to steer Nigeria to glory at the event. Uwazie, alongside two-time Paralympian, Wasiu Yusuf, won the African qualifiers held earlier this month in Nairobi, Kenya, scaling over Mauritius, Ghana and Egypt enroute the inter-continental title. “We made the country proud in Kenya and we are confident of doing same in Turkey,” Uwazie told National Mirror yesterday. “We won all our matches during the qualifiers and performed even without proper preparation. “I think we will now need support from kind Nigerians as we would require intensive training to do well in Turkey.” Nigeria was Africa’s sole representative at the global event which took place in South Korea last year with a team that comprised Yusuf, Uwazie and Alex Adewale. South Africa will, however, feature in both the men and women’s team events in Antalya. The Nigerian women’s squad could not participate in the qualifiers as one the players, Foluke Shittu had hitches with her travelling documents. She was supposed to partner with Remi Fasanya in the women’s team event. Supported by the Cruyff Foundation, the BNP Paribas World Team Cup is the wheelchair tennis equivalent of the Davis Cup (men) and Fed Cup (women).
iverpool rpool Manager, BrenB dan admitn Rodgers, has ad dmitted that he cannot imagine im magine seeing inimitable imitable captain Steven S Gerrard leave eave Anfield. There have been talks on whether or not Gerrard Gerrarrd would gett an extension to his contract. act. “As yett I don’t believe e anything has been done,” Rodger said R yesterday. “Steven n and I have spoken spok ken a number of times mes and his focus is i on really helping the he group to go forward. forw ward. “There’s ’s no doubt that between be etween now and the end nd of this season the th he contract will be looked oked at. With each eac ch day that goes on you ou see the real importance imp portance he still has to of age, o the club. At 32 years y he still looks oks so fit, strong and you can see his influence fluence on the team. team m. When asked if the club b owners truly appreciated ed Gerrard’s worth, worth, Rodgers replied: “They from afar hey watch all the games g and I have e regular dialogue with them. I can only feedback back in terms of his h qualities both as a playerr and as a leader of o the club. “As a captain aptain he’s been phenomenal. It’s not like they hey don’t get to know know about it.”
Aguero enters Madrid’s radar
eal Madrid has commenced moves to bring Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero back to Spain two seasons after the Argentine left Atletico Madrid. Reports had claimed that the petit forward is unsettled at City and has personally pushed for a return to Spain at the end of this season. Meanwhile, Aguero’s camp has made contact with Madrid to alert the club on Aguero’s willingness to discuss terms about a move in the summer.
hinese top club Shangh Shanghai hai Shenhu Shenhua said it is Didier Drogba’s move to ready to challenge Did ier Drogba Galatasaray, claiming h he remains under contract with the club. Galatasaray announced d a deal on o Monday Drogba join up that would see the 34-year-old 34-year Drog with the T Turkish ith th ki h club l b iimmediately di t l after ft the African Nations Cup - currently ongoing in South Africa. But Shenhua issued a statement on their website yesterday, describing the club as “deeply shocked” by the announcement while insisting that Drogba remained under contract in China. “We understand that Drogba is eager to participate in the European Champions League,” the statement added. “Shanghai Shenhua Football Club and Drogba officially signed a formal contract for a period of two-and-a-half years on July 1, 2012. The club has acted in accordance with this contract, and has effectively fulfilled the responsibilities and obligations of the club. “We are prepared to collate all the evidence and information and submit it to FIFA in order to protect our interests.” Despite Shenhua’s protest, however, reports have persisted that Drogba’s move to China had not worked out, largely due to boardroom wrangling which prompting him to seek a return to Europe.
Robinho sings Balotelli tune
Glo Academy players and their coaches after the players’ graduation in Lagos last weekend
Shenhua protests Drogba’s switch
C Milan striker, Robinho, is confident that new-signing Mario Balotelli will prove to be a hit on his return to Italy. The Italy international underwent a medical in Milan yesterday before finalising his move back to Serie A after three headline-grabbing years at Manchester City. “Balotelli is a great player and will definitely help the squad. We are happy he has arrived and we are all going to welcome him,” Robinho said yesterday.
“There’s enthusiasm in the changing room and we’re getting better. There are still plenty of games to go and every three points will help us move up the table. “The beginning of the campaign wasn’t good, and once more the Italian league is proving to be difficult. “But at the moment we’re experiencing a good run of form in this crucial point of the season, and with 16 games to go anything is possible.”
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Thursday, January 31, 2013
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With SAYO OGUNDEJI
Obama hosts Miami Heat
Nigeria international and New Orleans Hornets’ Al-Farouq Aminu (R), driving past Paul Pierce of the Boston Celtics during their NBA game on January 16, 2013 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.
Babalola charges Oluyole Warriors, First Deepwater ahead of new season
hairman of the Oyo State Basketball Association, Babatunde Babalola, has urged the newly promoted Oluyole Warriors Club to work hard ahead of the 2012/ 2013 DStv Premier Basketball League season which is expected to dunk-off in February. In an interview with our correspondent in Lagos on Wednesday, the Oil and Gas mogul called on the Warriors to stay focused and work towards picking one of the four slots in the Atlantic conference for the final-8 playoffs. While promising the Ibadan-based side of maximum support from the association, Babalola urged the coaching crew to go for tested players with vast experience for the club to be a force to reckon within the Atlantic conference in particular and the league in general. The Chief Executive Officer of First Deepwater Discovery Limited, the parent club of reigning Nigeria Women league champion, First Deepwater Basketball Club, also charged the coaching crew of the three time champions led by Lateef Erinfolami to go all out for the women league title. According to Babalola, the Warriors have the potential to make their presence felt in the league in their debut season after missing out of the Nigeria top-flight league for fourteen years He said, “The Oluyole Warriors will be challenging for honours in the Premier Basketball league and it is our hope they make the state proud by not only posting impressive performances but to qualify for the
Final 8 tournament which comprises of the best teams within the two conferences. “First Deepwater has been a dominant force as far as women basketball is concerned in the country but the team must stay focused and be ready to dominate the women league once again, Babalola told our correspondent. “Picking a continental ticket will not only be good enough at the end of the season but the players and coaches doubling their efforts to ensure the club emerges champions which will no doubt prove their readiness to be one of the best female clubs in Africa. After Deepwater played host to the Africa Champions Cup for Women in 2011, the chairman stated that plans were ongoing for the club to host the final round of the continental competition later this year. “We are also looking at the possibility of hosting a befitting final round of the Africa Champions Cup for Women and we believe with the
support of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) and all stakeholders of the game, we can bring honours to Nigeria through the hosting and the performance of our teams. “Hosting the Africa championship will help to increase our team’s participation in the continent’s most prestigious women club competition as Deepwater will be exempted from playing the qualifiers which will indirectly give additional spot to two other Nigerian club-sides,” Babalola added. The soft-spoken businessman stated the association’s resolve to honour the players and officials of Oluyole Warriors and Deepwater if they are able to make it to the final-8 and win the women league for a record fourth time and a good showing at the Africa Champions Cup for Women respectively.
eBron James and his team-mates arrived at the White House looking dapper as they attended a ceremony to celebrate last year’s NBA Finals win. The Miami Heat became champions by beating Oklahoma City Thunder in the championship series, winning four to Thunder’s one. Crowd favourite James, who took the Most Valuable Player honours after the Finals, towered over Obama during the celebration ceremony. A few of the players, including James, had already met the President, having played a game of basketball with him on his 49th birthday in 2010. Obama, a fan of the Chicago Bulls, joked about the occasion, saying: ‘Now I’m not trying to take all the credit coach, but I think that it’s clear that going up against me prepared them to take on Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.
“It sharpened their skills. It gave them the competitive edge that they needed. And I think part of the reason they came back today is they want another shot at the old guy.” But Obama was more serious when offering his congratulations to the squad. “This team travelled a long road to get to where they are,’ he said, in reference to the fact that they reached the NBA Finals in 2011 but lost out to the Dallas Mavericks. “When you fall, the real test is whether you can ignore the naysayers, pick yourself up and comeback stronger,’ added the President. “And that’s true in basketball, but it’s also true in life.” He also praised team members for their commitment to fatherhood off the court and said that they were fantastic role models for young boys in America.
The Miami Heat team with President Obama during the reception.
2012/2013 Season: NBBF sticks to February date
ecretary-General of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), Francis Gbiri, has disclosed that the new season would begin as soon as stakeholders were satisfied with a new draft proposal for the league. Gbiri told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that there were possibilities the league would commence soon after the stakeholders might have endorsed some changes contained in the proposal. He said, “We had a board meeting recently and all we resolved were contained in the
draft proposal for the stakeholders to consider. “The stake holders include club owners, coaches and our major sponsors, Multichoice Nigeria and the Zenith International Bank. “They will look into the draft and outline their own contributions, then get back to us on areas that require amendments,’’ Gbiri said. According to him, the league has been facing challenges in the area of good officiating, but also added that the federation was planning on expanding the scope of the
competition to include more clubs as this can lead to increase in number of games. Meanwhile, Seun Akinwole, captain of Lagos Island Basketball Club and Akeem Akinsanya team captain of Chariots Basketball Club are of the opinion that the “league will be more attractive if more games were played”. The DSTV Basketball League and the Zenith Women basketball league ended in July 2012 with Royal Hoppers and First Deepwater emerging champions of men and women’s leagues respectively.
Thursday, January 31, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, January 31, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Business & Finance “It is better for Nigeria to prepare well for mobile number portability service before it is launched than for the country to roll out the service in a haste, which may turn out to be a tragedy.”
Our people don’t trust insurance. We’ve done a considerable amount of housekeeping to make sure the companies respect the rules
President, Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria, Mr. Lanre Ajayi
Inactive lines: Telcos lose N389bn potential revenues KUNLE A ZEEZ
he growing number of inactive telephone lines in Nigeria may have cost telecoms networks an estimated N450billion potential revenue loss, National Mirror can reveal. The figure, as gathered, represents the total estimated revenue losses recorded by the telecoms companies including the Global System for Mobile Communications operators, the Code Division Multiple Access operators and the fixed line networks in the country spanning January through November 2012. According to the latest industry statistics released by the Nigerian Communications Commission early this week, the number of connected but redundant or inactive telephone lines in the industry has grown significantly month-on-month in the first 11 months of 2012. According to the findings, in January 2012, the number of inactive telephone lines stood at 31.9 million. The number of redundant phone lines increased to 35.2 million in February; 35.8 million in March but slightly fell to 35 million in April. Also in May, the figure fell to 34.6 million inactive lines; while
in June and July, the figure surged to 33.7 million and 37 million respectively. The number of inactive lines further increased to 38 million in August and 35.2 million in September while in October and November, the figure moved up to 28.9 million and 40.4 million respectively. However, National Mirror gathered that these inactive lines constitute huge loss of potential revenue for the operators. The revenue loss is estimated based on the conservative esti-
mate, using the current industry Average Revenue Per User in Nigeria by the Business Monitor International Limited, a research and consulting firm. According to BMI, the current ARPU in Nigeria is estimated at estimated at N1,011. ARPU is the financial benchmark used globally by telecoms companies to measure the average monthly or yearly revenue generated from an average subscriber. As such, with an ARPU of N1, 011 and 31.9 million inactive
onsistency of policy, conservation and preservation of public utilities, have been outlined as factors through which Nigeria can achieve its stable power aspira-
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telephone lines recorded on the networks in January, 2012, operators made an estimated loss of about N32.2bn. In February, the revenue loss increased to N35.5bn and in March, it moved to N36.1bn. The monthly potential revenue loss further fell slightly to 35.3bn in April; N34.9bn in May; declined N34bn in June and in July, it jumped to N37.4bn. In August, the estimated losses increased to N38.4bn; N35.5bn in September; fell significantly to N28.9bn in October and in November, 2012, the estimated potential revenue loss was N40.8bn for the month, bringing the accumulated losses in potential revenue due to inactivity of telephone lines on their networks to N389bn.
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 (Mon-Fri) 08.45, 17.30 (Sat) 14.40, 17.30 (Sun) AbvBeni:08.00, 12.10 (Mon-Fri/ Sat)08.56, 12.10(Sun)
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) LagBenin: 07.45, 11.00, 15.30 (MonFri/Sat/Sun) 12.30 (Sun 15.30 (Sat) Ben-Lag: 09.15, 12.30, 17.00 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun) 17.00 (Sat)
L-R: Assistant Director (Coordinator Lagos Team), National Lottery Regulatory Commission, Mr. Obi Iregbu; Commercial Director, Promasidor Nigeria, Mr. Kachi Onubogu and Loya Milk Brand Ambassador, Don Jazzy, at the launch of the It’s What Inside That Matters promo in Lagos, yesterday.
Fashola canvasses protection of power infrastructure CHIDI UGWU
COMMISSIONER FOR INSURANCE, FOLA DANIEL
tion within the shortest possible time. Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola (SAN), who stated this Tuesday night in Abuja as a distinguished visitor of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), stressed the need for educating Nigerians on conservation and preservation of power utilities across the country. In a paper entitled: Our Utilities – A Value System of Con-
servation and Preservation,” Fashola, emphasised the need for a value system built on conserving and preserving our utilities saying they are key components of the wellbeing and sustainable future of the country’s national life. “I would like therefore, to suggest to the NERC that your work as regulators cannot be complete unless you adopt a strong and effective policy of educating Nigerians about how they must
FG, China collaborate on solid minerals
conserve and preserve our utilities. I dare say that the commission will be overlooking one of its major responsibilities if it does not help Nigerian develop a strong sense of ownership of public utilities especially power utilities” . He disclosed that in 2012, about N56 million worth of power cables from lighting were stolen in Lagos, adding that government spend a substantial amount of money each year to restore broken lights or stolen cables.
Increasing local contents in telecoms sector
Lagos-Abuja 7.30 8.30 7.45 8.45 09.30 10.30 10.30 11.30 12.30 13.30 14.30 15.30 16.30 17.30 Lagos-Kano 08.00 09.15 10.30 11.45 14.30 15.40 18.15 19.30 Los-Maid&Yola (Mon-Thur) 09.30 11.30 Fri- Sun 10.30 12.30 Kano-Lagos 07.30 08.45 14.00 15.15 17.30 18.45 Kano-Abj 10.45 11.30 Abj-Lagos 09.00 10.30 11.00 12.00 12.00 13.00
Ad creative without cross-cultural idea may not win Cannes Lions
Business & Finance
Thursday, January 31, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
FG, China collaborate on solid minerals CHIDI UGWU ABUJA
he Federal Government has inaugurated a ministerial committee for the implementation of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between it and China on mining operations. While inaugurating the committee, the minister of mines of Steel development, Arc. Muda Mohammed Sada said that the MoU was to fast tract the exploration and exploitation of the solid minerals resources in Nigeria for the mutual benefits of
the two countries. The MoU, according to a statement signed by the Deputy Director, Press, Mr. Marshal Gundu was signed between the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development and the People’s Republic of China’s Ministry of Land Resources when Sada visited China during an investment drive last year. Arc. Sada stated that China dominates the processing of minerals in the world and that Nigeria wants to tap from that experience in developing its minerals and metals sector, adding that the committee is to fa-
cilitate the realisation of that vision. In the statement, Gundu noted that the details of the bilateral cooperation are in the areas of exchange of information with regards to Geology; Mining and Mineral Processing; Policies; Institutional agreements; Regulatory Frameworks; Government programmes on the commercialisation, distribution and market potentials and commercialisation of technology; Technology transfer; Research and development cooperation and the establishment of databases; Developing cooperation
projects in the fields of geology, minerals exploration, metallurgy, mineral beneficiation and mineral economics. Other areas of the agreement include identification and development of joint projects in the following areas : Capacity building; Artisanal and Small Scale Mining and Safety; Airborne Geophysical Surveys; Mining Cadastre Systems; Mines Safety and Environment; Financing and Marketing. The Committee is chaired by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Linus Awute.
Other members of the committee are the Directors-General of the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency, the National Steel Raw Materials Exploration Agency, the Nigerian Mining Cadastre Office, Directors of Mines Inspectorate, Artisanal and Small Scale Mining, Metallurgical Inspectorate and Raw Materials Development and the ministry’s Legal Adviser. Sada urged the committee members to apply their wealth of experiences to facilitate the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding.
Incessant oil spills may raise cost of seafood-Fishermen MESHACK IDEHEN
L-R: Managing Director, MultiChoice Nigeria, Mr. John Ugbe; Managing Director, M-Net Africa, Mrs. Biola Alabi and Marketing Manager, Non Alcoholic Drinks, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr. Adodo Tokunbo, during the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards nominees’ announcement, in Lagos yesterday.
Airport certification: FAAN takes delivery of six fire tenders OLUSEGUN KOIKI
n a bid to ensure that at least, two of its 22 airports are certified by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) in this quarter, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), yesterday took delivery of six fire tenders that were sent to Kronenburg, Netherlands for refurbishment. With the additional six tenders, FAAN said it now has adequate fire tenders to certify Lagos and Abuja airports. The Director of Airport Operations, Capt Henry Omeogu, who conducted journalists round the fire tenders, said that with these tenders, the agency can adequately contain any fire incident at the airport. He, however, declined to talk on the cost implication of the refurbishment on the agency, but assured that the agency now has enough fire tenders to certify the two airports men-
tioned above. He said, “Fire tenders are very important at airports. If there are no fire tenders there will be no airport.” Omeogu added that the focus of the present Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah was to ensure that there are no unserviceable fire tenders at airports across the country, which he said necessitated the taking of the fire tenders to the manufacturer in Netherlands. He added that minister’s efforts have paid off with refurbishment of the six fire tenders, stressing that the agency under the present minister has shown prudence in spending. Omeogu also disclosed that it was part of the agreement for the manufacturer of the fire tenders to train FAAN fire men so as to further enhance their jobs. FAAN according to him presently about 96 engineers working in fire section of the
agency. The first group of FAAN fire personnel; he said will be in Netherlands for six months training after which another batch will leave for the same purpose. He revealed that the reason some airlines have not been flying to some of the airports in the country is because of the absence of fire tenders, but vowed that the present management in FAAN would addres such lapses soon. He insisted that FAAN now has the minimum requirements as stipulated by NCAA and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) for its airports, but that what the agency wants to do is to go beyond ICAO minimum. He called on state governments, oil companies to partner with FAAN by taking some of the fire tenders to the manufacturers, where they will be refurbished and fitted with modern equipment.
hairman of the Artisan Fishermen Association of Nigeria (ARFAN), Rev. Samuel Ayadi, said the incessant oil spills in the coastal parts of the country has affected fishing in the area, and that price of fish is expected to rise any moment from now. He said fishermen and seafood hunters operating along the Atlantic coastline in Nigerian and the Lake Chad Basin area are appealing to the Federal Government to intervene urgently before fish becomes inaccessible to the average Nigerian family. According to him, “Chief Culprit” Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited which is an affiliate of a United States of America oil firm, and ExxonMobil, had, in November and
December 2012 recorded several oil spills at their fields in Akwa Ibom state which has made life difficult for many. In a statement on Wednesday, Ayadi said more than 7,000 fishermen has already withdrew from the sea to pave way for the planned clean-up of the contaminated area. Speaking further, he explained that before the oil spill, a basin of crayfish sold for N8, 000, but the same basin now goes for between N12, 000 and N13,000, and that Bonga fish portion of between N20,000 and N30,000, now costs N50,000 per portion. “Even at the market, sometimes you cannot see enough to buy because of its scarcity and that is why most of the fishermen are now opting for frozen fish; and now the price of frozen fish is also increasing in this area.”
ATCON targets improved professionalism KUNLE A ZEEZ
o increase profesionalism and raise ethical standards among its member companies, the Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria said it has released the draft code of ethics designed to guide its members even as the association pushes for industry selfregulation. According to a statement from the Executive Secretary of ATCON, Mr. Jibola Olude, “The National Executive Council of your esteemed association has recognized the need for a voluntary industry self-regulatory process that shall guide the activities of its member companies in their dealings with customers and fellow memberorganisations”. He said in a circular sent to all member-companies, ATCON
has set out the draft codes of ethics and requested that members make their comments or input to enable the body conclude work on the document for official adoption. Meanwhile, a review of the documents shows that the current move by ATCON is to ensure that member companies conduct their businesses with a high degree of professionalism and in a fair and ethical manner; and protect consumers of telecommunications goods and services from quacks, by ensuring that member companies are bound by certain rules of professional and ethical conduct as specified in ATCON’S Code of Ethics; “It will also help us to ensure that all received complaints of unethical and unprofessional behaviours and practices by member companies are properly investigated and defaulting companies are appropriately sanctioned.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Business & Finance
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Osun generates 20,000 jobs as OYES cadets graduate MESHACK IDEHEN
he Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES), has passed out twenty thousand cadets after two years of service, with over 18,000 of them already employed; engaged in entrepreneurial ventures or about to proceed for further training locally and overseas. At an event in Ede, Osun state to mark the graduation of the cadets, various exhibition and training skills were displayed prompting stakeholders and participants that thronged the venue to express their appreciation about how successful the scheme has been. Speaking at the event, Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf
Aregbesola said the successful graduation of the cadets represented a culmination of the progressive effort and development policies that the state government has been implementing since inception about two years ago. The governor said when he assumed office that he realised one the greatest challenge the state was grappling with was unemployment, adding his government swung into action and in less than 100 days in office, established OYES and engaged 20,000 youths. Thanking God for the success of the programme, the governor disclosed that the World Bank has recommended the scheme for study and adoption by other states in the country, explaining
further that rather than being a white-collar or blue-collar job scheme, that OYES was uniquely designed to, take the youths off the streets; orientate them on public service and make them see the need to contribute to the development of their society. According to Aregbesola,the OYES scheme is a stop-gap scheme to train youths and imbue them with positive work orientation and ethics, such as self-sustenance, resourcefulness, character and competence, and to give them the self-confidence to forge ahead and overcome life’s numerous challenges after they must have spent two years and are disengaged. “OYES is not about youth employment alone.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
FAAN commences ‘secret aptitude tests’ for prospective employees OLUSEGUN KOIKI
ndication yesterday emerged that that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has commenced “secret aptitude tests” for potential employees in the agency, even as some of them have already resumed work in the parastsatal. A source close to the agency who does not want his name in print confided in National Mirror that most of the prospective employees were recommended to the agency from the government. According to the source, the aptitude test, which began last week, was still ongoing as at yesterday. The test is being
VistaJet acquires 86 Bombardier jets worth $7.8bn STANLEY IHEDIGBO
n order to expand its business operations in Nigeria and other countries, one of the world’s leading luxury private aviation company, VistaJet Holdings SA has announced acquisition of 86 bombardier global jets valued over $7.8bn. The new global aircraft ordered comprises of 25 Global 5000, 25 Global 6000 and 6 Global 8000 aircraft, with options for a further Global, 40 Global 6000 and 6 Global 8000 jets. Speaking with newsmen in Lagos, Yesterday, the Founder L-R: Vice President MoneyGram, Mr. Herve Chomel; Business Development MoneyGram Nigeria, Mrs. Kemi Okusanya; Regional Director, Maghreb & West Africa, Mr. Francois Peyret and Operations Manager, and Chairman of the firm, Mr. MoneyGram West Africa, Mr. Kunle Olamuyiwa, at the flag off of the MoneyGram “ share the passion and Thomas Flohr , said that the efwin big” activation in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: OLUFEMI AJASA fort is a continuation of the of the company ‘s strategic decision to fast-track the growth of
Number of practising estate surveyors in Nigeria hits 3012 DAYO AYEYEMI
he number of registered estate surveyors in Nigeria was further swollen yesterday by the induction of 124 persons to the fold of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, NIESV. The 124 persons were inducted by the Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria (ESVRBON) to practice the profession in Nigeria. With the addition of 124 persons, the number of registered estate surveyors and valuers in Nigeria is now 3012. Despite this rising in numbers of practising estate surveyors, Chairman of ESVRBON, Mr Ayodele Sangosanya, said it was still a far cry from adequacy
when compared to national population of over 160 million. Because of this shortfall in the their numbers compared to the nation’s population, he said the management of ESVRBON would continue to find ways and means of producing many more registered estate surveyors as quickly as possible without lowering the standards. He warned the inductees that the stamps, seals and certificates awarded them remained the properties of ESVRBON and it reserved the right to withdraw the items at any time, if abused. He urged them to guide the rules of the practice, warning that their violations would not be tolerated. He said, “Therefore, the ethics and ethos of the profession should be carefully guarded by
all and sundry.” He explained that integrity is the hallmark of success of every professional, urging the inductees to consciously protect this with the fear of God. He mentioned that the focus of the board was to substantially reduce the nefarious activities of quacks by registering many more qualified estate surveyors and valuers in the country. For this reason, Sangosanya hinted that the board has put in place requisite machinery in place, in collaboration with the relevant law enforcement agencies, to check the spread of pseudo practice and bring to book culprits found guilty of the offence. He added that the board has instituted actions in courts against quacks who would not heed its warning.
conducted in the Human Resources Department of FAAN very close to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). National Mirror further gathered that the latest recruitment would cut across all the departments in the agency, just as no fewer than 30 candidates have so far written the aptitude test, which our source described a “camouflage.” The source suspected that after those recommended to the agency might have been given employment letters and in order to think that the agency followed the due process, the management may place adverts in the media in the future calling for interested employees to apply for “none existing positions.”
the fleet, focusing on wide cabin, long-range aircraft to provide non-stop point to point global coverage. He explained that the new aircraft will directly services growth markets including Nigeria, Russia, China, the Middle East and rest of Africa, connecting them to the rest of the globe as well as serving the East and west coast United States for their intercontinental travel needs. Commenting of the trend of acquisition of private aircraft by Nigerians, Flohr, said that their full presence in the country is to discouraged private ownership of aircraft, as his company will provide a reliable, comfortable and unparalleled standards of quality, style and services.
SON plans National Accreditation Service
he Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) yesterday hinted of its plans to set up National Accreditation Service that would be responsible for accreditation of all testing facilities in Nigeria. Director General of SON, Mr. Joseph Odumodu who said this in Abuja during interaction with Journalists, also disclosed that the organisation would destroy substandard electrical cable worth N2 billion in the next two weeks. The DG said setting up of the body would help to enhance national quality service and further tackle the problem of importation of substandard products in the country.
He said, “We are currently promoting a new national quality policy, Nigeria does not have one, the policy is to help to put Nigeria on the same pedestal with the rest of the world``. The DG who lamented that some of the products manufactured in Nigeria could not access foreign markets because of lack of proper accreditation said ``every product that is tested and certify by the body would be accepted in any part of the world``.While explaining how far the agency had gone its bids to ensure the service come to fruition, he added ``the Minister of trade has approved the setting up of National accreditation service to take off in March.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Increasing local content in telecoms sector The low participation of indigenous companies in handling major contracts in the nation’s telecoms sector is currently worrying the industry regulator, which has insisted on the need for increased local contents for sustainable telecoms sector, KUNLE AZEEZ reports.
Contractors laying a fibre optic cable
ndustry stakeholders are in agreement with the fact that Nigerian telecoms industry has come a long way in the last decade and as such, allowing indigenous companies to have a space for active participation will help in creating jobs as well as curbing annual capital flight. According to available industry data, between 2011 and mid 2012, local and Foreign Direct Investment inflow into the nation’s telecoms industry has increased from $500, 000 to over $25 billion. However, some stakeholders had argued that while the investment into the sector had witnessed significant growth, a larger percentage of the money, which should have remained in Nigerian is being lost to capital flight, as most infrastructure contracts are awarded to foreign firms, which repatriate the money realised in executing the projects to their respective countries. The industry has witnessed incredible growth in the voice segment as the industry subscriber data grew tremendously from about 400, 000 subscribers in 2001 to over 110.3 million active subscribers in November 2012, making voice service near-ubiquitous sin the country. Though a lot effort is required in driving expansion of internet facilities to more Nigerians irrespective of their locations, about 45 million Nigerians are said to have access to the internet, according to data from the Ministry of Communication Technology. It is important to note that access to telecoms services are made possible by the various infrastructures investments being made by the operators where they award contracts to contractors to deploy appropriate facilities that can further extend telecoms services to more people in the country. Meanwhile, over the years, operators have had to depend heavily on major network vendors such as AlcatelLucent, Ericsson, Qualcoms, Cisco and so on, for the provision of the critical infrastructure from switches, routers, base station controllers to base transceivers stations which require state-of-the-art technologies. Making a wake-up call recently, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah, expressed dissatisfaction with what he described as the low participation of indigenous companies in directly handling major contracts and supplies of equipments for telecoms net-
IT IS CRUCIAL FOR LOCAL COMPANIES TO PLAY SIGNIFICANT ROLE IN THE PROVISION OF SERVICES AND SUPPLY OF MATERIALS TO TELECOMMUNICATIONS INDUSTRY IF WE MUST DEVELOP THE TELECOMS INDUSTRY IN
NIGERIA ON A SUSTAINABLE BASIS works in Nigeria. Advocating the need for indigenous companies to have significant role in the provision of services and supply of materials to the telecommunications industry, Juwah said active participation of local companies in direct contract delivery to telecoms players had become critical to developing the telecoms industry on a sustainable basis. While noting that though these aspect of infrastructure building are provided for the operators by vendors with both the technological capacity and the economies of scale to compete on a global basis, Juwah said as such, operators and any business for that matter will ordinarily choose vendors to provide them products and services on economic reasons and technical as well as operational capacity to deliver such products and services. The NCC boss, however, argued that some of the supply and services decisions in an industry such as the telecommunications industry in Nigeria must not only be fair but must be seen to be fair. According to him, a situation where an operator issues service contracts to a vendor and the vendor goes ahead to, in some cases, fully sub-contract the services to local companies for implementation raises some pertinent questions.
“Some reasons has been espoused for such practices though, chief amongst is the perceived organisational and coordination competence of the lead vendor as operators seek to reduce complexity introduced with managing multiple parties in project delivery. “It is, however, crucial for local companies to play significant role in the provision of services and supply of materials to telecommunications industry if we must develop the telecoms industry in Nigeria on a sustainable basis over the long term, and provide more employment opportunities for Nigerians,” he said. But speaking with national Mirror on the need for increased local content in the telecoms sector, a telecom engineer, Mr. Akin Akinbo, said before a holistic approach towards mainstreaming local content in Nigerian telecoms development can be fully achieved, some critical issues needed to be critically examined. These, according to him, include the need to ascertain areas in the provision of services to the telecoms industry where local companies have the required competence to compete in; whether there were local companies that have the required organisational and coordination competence required for some services in the telecoms industry; and whether or not there are local companies with the economic capacity to deliver on such projects. But the NCC boss has also highlighted that other issues that needed to be considered in driving local content in telecoms sector is whether the financial industry is fully supporting local companies with the economic means to provide contracted services; and whether local companies are consistently providing quality and timely services to agreed specifications each time and every time. But to the President, Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria, Mr. Lanre Ajayi, it was important also to find out if local companies were being unfairly excluded from participating in the delivery of services within their capacity to the telecoms industry; and to determine if a local content policy in the telecommunications industry is required and the form it should take. He said all these issues were germane in an attempt to find a solution that is appropriate for the industry with the overall objective of creating opportunities for local companies.
Thursday, January 31, 2013
FG, others back software sector with N2.5bn KUNLE A ZEEZ
he Federal Government is working with other partners in the economy to provide a venture capital fund of $15million (about N2.5bn) to spur the development of indigenous software sector in the country. Of the total fund expected to drive the initiative, the ministry has secured $3.5million (about N500m) seed capital sourced from the National Information technology development Fund. The joint initiative tagged, ‘Techlaunchpad’, is being run by the Ministry of Communication Technology in partnership with industry leaders such as ExxonMobil, Access Bank, Chevron, Total, Shell, Accenture and Digital Jewel and will provide the venture capital fund to accelerate the production of software solutions for the financial and oil & gas industries. The new programme is aimed at software developers, with the aim of growing and expanding
the Nigerian software industry. Successful applicants to the programme will be admitted to incubation centers for a six-month period where they will be trained by Chief Information Officers from the partner companies. They will also be given access to funding, development tools and workspace, business advisory services, as well as technology commercialization assistance to ease and accelerate their access to the market. Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, had also explained that the initiative is geared at developing the capacities of indigenous software developers in Nigeria. She said the initiative will enhance local content growth and deepen technology skills in the IT industry, stressing that the goal of the techlaunchpad initiative is to nurture and develop software entrepreneurs to build successful software companies that will support critical sectors of the Nigerian economy.
“The programme will provide mentorship and finance to incubate their ideas and will create 10 successful software businesses before the end of 2013 that will focus on providing industry solutions. This will increase to 30 successful software businesses by 2015 that will create solutions for other sectors of the Nigerian economy,” she said. The minister discoed that the ministry had also concluded the development of ICT incubation centres to facilitate software development in Nigeria. She said two centres will be up and running before end of January 2013 in Lagos and Cross River State, adding that the goal was for the incubation centres to create 25 successful ICT businesses by 2015. Johnson also stated that the ministry has signed a number of Memorandum of Understandings geared at facilitating an enabling environment to promote software development, job creation and capacity development.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tech Box Firm unveils digital print solutions in Nigeria KUNLE A ZEEZ
onica Minolta, Japanese leading digital print solutions company, has introduced its new range of products and applications into the Nigerian market. The new products were unveiled during an exhibition held by the company in Lagos recently with the theme: “Digital Printing: Possibilities & Profitability.” The two-day expo, organised in conjunction with Skysat Technologies Nigeria Limited, the authorised distributor for Konica Minolta in Nigeria and Ghana, served as a platform through which products and applications will be presented to the primary market. Speaking during a media briefing to kick off the exhibition, the Area Manager, Central Asia, Middle East & Africa for Konica Minolta, Mr. Mark Oldfield, said, the event was organised to showcase the versatile range of Konica Minolta printing brands. He said the brands range from small black and white printers for small offices, to the segment range products designed specifically for
banks, oil and gas companies and a host of others. “The Expo was tailored to address the printing challenges faced by printing professionals, financial institutions, insurance companies, churches, mosques, schools, government parastatals, IT personnel amongst others,” he said. Oldfield described the digital printing possibilities in Nigeria as endless. “Konica Minolta is here to stay. We have come to Nigeria because the digital way is the next big thing in this part of the world and Konica Minolta is proud to be a part of it. The relationship with Skysat Technologies will in no small way develop and boost the economy of Nigeria and for that we are most honoured to be a part of this ride,” he said. According to him, Konica Minolta products would save users up to 70 percent of printing expenses, quality print production, the highest colour accuracy and so much more. In the same vein, Chairman, Skysat Technologies Limited, Mr. Abdusattar, stressed that Konica Minolta has come with a promise to help boost the country’s economy.
iROKOtv launches mobile app on Nokia Lumia
L-R: Head, Engineering Services Limited; Mr. Charles Udoma; Group Chief Sales and Supply Chain Officer, Mr. Manokaran Muthuveerappen and Group Managing Director, Mrs. Florence Seriki, all of Omatek Ventures Plc, during a press conference in Lagos recently.
Outsourcing can cut operational cost by 60% - NITDA
s businesses look for ways of reducing their operational cost to boost their bottom-line, adoption of Business Process Outsourcing in their Information Technology infrastructure deployment has been advocated as one of the measures to achieve their costcutting target. The Director-General of the National Information Technology development Agency, Prof. Cleopas Angaye, who made this known recently, said the new strategy for driving business efficiency is to leverage Business process Outsourcing. He said that outsourcing assist in reducing operational cost by businesses with as much as 60 per cent, stressing that this has assisted in the maximisation of
profit, thereby accounting for its rapid embrace in developing countries.. According to him, businesses in the modern did not need to build and wholly own their IT infrastructures and other facilities including some personnel, saying that such approach may, in the long run not be efficient. He said: “We are all aware that outsourcing now plays strategic roles globally, especially with the quest to reduce cost and streamline services. Business process Outsourcing services are made possible with the dynamic advancement in Information technology and digitalisation of the global economy. “Outsourcing has become popular with the increasing need to outsource areas of organisation’s
activities to others who can do it at cheaper rates. It also improves the level of effectiveness in the core areas of specialisation, especially with the world that has now become a global village.” As such, Angaye pointed out that various countries that had developed their BPO were already reaping bountifully from it, noting that outsourcing services and business processes employ over 100,000 personnel with over $20 billion annual revenue in India. He said other outsourcing emerging markets include China, Bangladesh, Brazil, Singapore, among others, adding that Nigeria cannot afford to lag behind in BPO sector development because of the various advantages inherent in it.
ROKOtv, the world’s largest online distributor of Nigerian movies, has launched a brand new mobile app for the platform, in an exclusive partnership with global phone manufacturer, Nokia. The app has been designed to give Nollywood fans and iROKOtv subscribers access to Nollywood movies on the go, and will be accessible on the Nokia Lumia Windows Phone 8. The iROKOtv mobile app is designed to give Nokia customers, Nollywood fans and iROKOtv subscribers access to their favourite movies and will be available for free on the Nokia Windows Phone 8 devices for the first three months, when users sign-up. The mobile app is available to Nokia customers who already have a subscription on iROKOtv PLUS. According to iROKO Partners, the app is built with the same functionality as www.irokotv.com, allowing users to have total control over their viewing experience and the ability to search the catalogue of thousands of movies by genre and actor, as well as select movies to ‘watch later’. In addition to the menu on the app, the Nokia Lumia Windows Phone 8 provides customers with a number of additional features to give them a host of
extras that include behind-thescenes films from movie sets, interviews with Nollywood stars and additional news and gossip from the world of entertainment. Head of Business Development for iROKO Partners, Africa, Ms Adibeli Nduka-Agwu, said: “The iROKOtv app is a fantastic addition to the ‘Nokia collections within the Widows phone store’. Content is king, access is key and this app encapsulates this perfectly; awesome content, available on-demand, accessible on a mobile phone. Nollywood is at your fingertips, wherever you are. “The partnership with Nokia is an exciting development for us. They are global leaders in the tech and mobile device sectors for emerging markets, with a dominant presence in Nigeria and West Africa. This combined with their considerable expertise and enthusiasm in promoting African content, is why we are delighted with this collaboration,” she added. Speaking on the development, Head, Ecosystem Developer Experience (EDX), Nokia West Africa, Mr. Teemu Kiijärvi, said the iROKOtv app is one of the more interesting additions to the Nokia Lumia device, which lovers of Nollywood will very much appreciate.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Brands & Marketing
Ad creatives without cross-cultural ideas may not win Cannes Lions –Ndu The official representative of Lion Cannes Festival in Nigeria, Mr. Nnamdi Ndu, speaks on the upcoming Lions Cannes Festival programmes and why the country’s ad agencies have not been winning the world’s most coveted advertising award in this interview with ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI. How long have you been representing Cannes Lion? In the industry, I guess I have been in the industry for close to 15 years, worked for some advertising agencies and now Nigeria representative for Cannes Lions Festival. I have been representing Cannes for five years in Nigeria. How would you describe the level of creativity in the Nigeria communication industry? I will say the creativity in the industry is growing, though we haven’t come to the point that we will be proud of. But a few people in the industry are making effort to develop and that is the sign that I see and that is very comforting. So far, what has been the level of participation in the best global award for ad creative? Initially, a few people were curious to know what Cannes was all about. But after finding out what the festival was all about, they were know using it as a training programme. That is basically where we are now. They are about using Cannes from being a training programme to beginning to enter creative works for the competition. It’s been a gradual movement from even understanding it. Before we started promoting the festival, people didn’t really know much about Cannes Lions. So, we had to create awareness so that they would know that the industry does not end around the borders of Nigeria that you need to get international acclaim awards for what you do to be respected by major clients. South Africa, Egypt and Zimbabwe have won Cannes Lions but Nigerian agencies have not gotten any nomination, does that says that Nigeria ad agencies lack creative spark to win? Well, lack of creativity is a big word. If you say the materials that have been presented have not been judged as being creative enough to win, yes, that will be right. But don’t forget that you are benchmarking with the best of the best ad works around the world. What do you think are the problems preventing Nigerian ad agencies from winning considering the galaxy of creative stars in the industry?
Yes, Nigeria does deserve to win. Nigeria is a big country in every way. The country has all talents you need to succeed in any area of human endeavour. But our popu-
lation and number of agencies have not translated to that same number in terms of entries. So, if you have a country of 160 million people sending in three entries in a year, it does not represent their status and size as a nation. As a Cannes Lion rep in Nigeria, you should know what it takes for an agency to win awards in Cannes, how have you educated the agencies to address those critical areas? I guess the agencies themselves are beginning to understand what it takes to win such global award. You need to have an idea that cut across. Your idea needs to be understood across various cultures. If you have an idea that only people within your own culture can understand, obviously, that is not going to appeal to a multi-cultural jury. So, you apart from that, your idea must be simple enough, creative enough and you need to have the ideas in large enough quantity to be able to make an impact in a festival like Cannes where you have entries coming in their tens of thousands. So, If you have entries for films alone and they are going to review over 5000 materials, what makes you think that your idea that people will watch for 30 seconds and they will not remember the next minute would win. Your ideas need to be very strong and you have more chances if you have more materials. You once said that the fear of losing money spent on number of entries to be submitted makes ad agencies runaway from Cannes? Well at the end of the day, it is the fear of losing money because if you don’t think that you can put your money behind your idea you definitely won’t. You need to be confident first of all because you need to put your money behind you idea. But if you
IF YOU THINK OR JUDGE ON YOUR OWN THAT YOUR IDEA IS NOT STRONG ENOUGH, YOU WON’T PUT YOUR MONEY BEHIND think or judge on your own that your idea is not strong enough, you won’t put your money behind. Not that they cannot afford it but there is no amount too small for anyone to want to lose. Nigerian agencies do complain that clients in this clime do not give them enough space to perfect their work, could that be the reason they can’t breakthrough at Cannes? I think it’s a worldwide thing. There is no country in this world where creative agencies will beat their chests and say they are happy with what the clients say about their work. Clients are clients. Clients are actually the ones putting the money behind the ideas. And these ideas sometimes amount to tens of millions of dollars. So, no client will wants to stake so much on what they are not sure of. Client usually like to play along the conform zone. Unfortunately, the comfort zone is not always what wins you awards and it’s not what really takes you out of the clutter. But that is where most clients love to play in. However, agencies all over the world have succeeded in working with their clients to achieve result that will still be considered as creative and will still win awards. Today, that is no longer an excuse because some agencies have shown
that even when you are serious about winning an award and your client are so difficult, what happen to self promotion? Why not create an ad, be the one to approve the material, air the material and send for selfpromotion category of Cannes. So, lets see what you can do even for yourself. The next Cannes Festival holds in June and this year is the Cannes Lions 60th anniversary, what are you planning to ensure Nigeria makes impressive outing? We have a whole lot planned. We have our local event which will culminate with what we call 60th anniversary dinner. This year is Cannes Lion 60th anniversary and looking at the calendar of the all the various countries worldwide, ours is the one that is coming first. It’s like we are kicking off the celebration for the 60th anniversary first and we are doing it on the 3rd of March. And towards that, we are planning for the Young Lions competition in various categories, we are planning Roger Hatchuel Academy, we are also involving different sector of the industry, agency associations, APCON, media agency and other stakeholders too to have a robust outing. You decided to bring Miami Advertising School to Nigeria, what inspired your decision? Actually, we offer 360 degrees support services for creative professionals especially in the marketing communications industry and because that is our focus, we know that we need to train people, when we have trained them, we need to equip them. That is why we are also associated with the Luzers Archive publication worldwide so that we can equip them; give the resources they need to build up on the training we have given them via the Miami Ad School. That is why when you train people they are bound to excel and we celebrate them at Young Lion. What is the impact of Miami Ad School in Nigeria? Great. The first time a Nigerian appear on Lurzer’s Archive was when one Adebola Babatunde who was one of our Young Lions at a time, went abroad to study at Miami Ad School and entered for the student competition in the Archive and his material was judged as one of the best. Since then, we have seen the exploit of Noah’s Ark. We have had several materials appeared in the Archive. We have a guy, Bolaji Alausa, one of our best students in the first class of Miami Ad School training, who came up with the visual of an idea that has won Epical award. That is Nigeria’s first international award. They are in Slovenia receiving the award now. This is our second year in Nigeria. Do awards translate to sales increase? Yes, it does. Since Cannes Lion created Creative Effectiveness category, its shows that it does. You don’t just enter the award, you are invited. For you to be invited, you must have won Lion’s Gold. You will establish that your creative impact on sales and it will be backed up with fact.
Brands & Marketing
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Carat MP dismisses MTN billboard media buying scam rumour ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI
he Managing Director of Carat Media Perspective, a leading media buying and planning agency, Mr. Emeka Okeke, has described as cheap, a rumour making the round that the agency short-changed its biggest client, MTN, in a billboard campaign payment. It had been rumoured that the agency forwarded media compliance to MTN which claimed that the agency has flown an MTN campaign for one year as against six months which the client found out later. But Emeke while responding to National Mirror said, “It is therefore cheap to conclude that
a year’s invoice could have been sent to a client when the agency has only worked for this client for only 8 months! “I ordinarily will not respond to this sort of unfounded and baseless claims and insinuations and at the same time, will not discuss relationship with any of my clients on the pages of the newspaper,” he told National Mirror. The agency won the most coveted account last year February in what seemed like an age-long pitch after losing its biggest client, Nigerian Breweries. The MTN account formerly resided with Capital Media, the DDB media planning and buying off shoot, but was thrown into pitch where Carat Media Perspective emerged winner
against Starcom Media, Main Sail (formerly Initiative Lagos), Mediacom and Universal McCann which participated in the pitch process which analyst said was a watershed for Capital Media as the MTN business was the agency’s cash cow. Carat-Media Perspective is a media strategy, planning and buying agency, which became affiliated to Carat, an independent communications specialist and market leader in digital media solutions and have access to Carat’s wide network covering 70 countries. The company is a member of Biodun Shobanjo’s led Troyka Holdings, one of Africa’s largest marketing communications conglomerates.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
LASAA partners Capital Media to rebrand Obalende bus terminus ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI
he Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA), has concluded plans with Capital Media Limited for the regeneration of the Obalende Bus Terminus as part of the infrastructure renewal agenda of the State Government. Speaking on the new initiative, the Managing Director of LASAA, Mr. George Noah, noted that the project which is a public private partnership initiative will see the Bus terminus improved with the complement of various branding opportunities. Noah stated that, “the project offers key advertising benefits for advertisers who will be willing to connect their brand to the new infrastructures”. He explained further that “the project will provide a parade of various outdoor advertising platforms which offers a total new experience for advertisers and commuters.
He stressed further that, “the most striking of the project is the iconic billboard structure which combines both ultra wave and LED technology. The iconic structure stands at a dimension of 12metres in height and 9metres width. The structures will overlook third mainland bridges as well as major parts of the Lagos Island, he stated. On his own part, the Managing Director of Capital Media, Mr Tony Udensi expressed joy on the commencement of the project. He noted that innovation and teamwork are the key success factors for Capital media. He added that “after the under bridge tunnel by Muson Center, this project will mark another turning point for outdoor advertising business in Nigeria.” Only recently, LASAA engaged in the redesign of Apapa Oshodi Express for advertising purposes in line with its outdoor advertising masterplan.
Don Simon fruit juice back in Nigeria ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI
Representative of Lagos State Government and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Sports, Youth and Social Development, Dr. Abiola Awonuga; Head Marketing Committee, Nigerian Football Federation, Mr. Deji Tinubu and Marketing and Innovations Director, Guinness Nigeria Plc., Mr. Austin Ufomba, signing the’World Largest Jersey’ after the unveiling by Guinness Nigeria in Lagos, recently.
DHL strengthens brand in W/Africa, appoints two Nigerians ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI
s part of efforts to strengthen its brand in Sub-Saharan Africa, DHL Express, has appointed two Nigerians to head its operations and customer Service process to increase its market share in the region. The global courier giants appointed Mr. Femi Olaiya as Head, Customer Service Process and Performance Excellence while Mr. Morgan Uloko as Head of Operations for the
regional market. Prior to this, Olaiya, an experienced service desk and customer service expert certified by the Helpdesk Institute of London served as Head of Customer Service for Anglophone Africa and was responsible to design, develop and execute customer service initiatives and strategies that will ensure service excellence and best-in-class service is delivered to DHL customers in the Anglophone Africa Cluster. But in his new role, the holder of advanced diploma in En-
gineering, BSc in Mathematic and MBA in Marketing from Ladoke Akintola University is responsible to implement Customer Service Excellence through process adherence and improvements in over 51 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Uloko who also joined DHL International Nigeria Limited 20 years ago, serving in various capacities amongst is expected to cover service development and improvement in 15 West African countries within SubSaharan Africa
kulo International Limited in conjunction with J. Garcia Carrion S.A of Spain has announced the comeback of once the favorite choice of Nigerians, Don Simon fruit juice. The juice which used to dominate the Nigerian market before a ban was imposed on importation of fruit Juices, in the year 2002, according to Ekulo and the Spanish brand owners, is now being produced in Nigeria with NAFDAC registered and brand promise to become an integral part of country’s daily nutrition requirements. During the product launch at Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Ikeja on Tuesday, both companies in a release said, “the merit to revive Don Simon Fruit juice goes to Ekulo International limited who, in conjunction with brand owners, J. Garcia Carrion S.A of Spain
has clutched the challenge to establish the brand at par with its global image. Don Simon fruit juice is recognized world over, in more than 155 countries.” “Ekulo International Limited is a part and parcel of Nigeria and has been committed to provide quality consumer products at very affordable prices for over three decades. On the other hand, J. Garcia Carrion S.A is the Spanish giant who has been in existence since 1890.” The new Don Simon is currently available in one liter brick pack with three variants- Multifruta, Orange, and Pineapple. The Apple variant is said would soon join the portfolio.The raw material used to produce the juice in Nigeria is sourced from its own incomparable plant in Spain. Therefore, juice is sculptured with carefully nurtured and selected natural fruits.
Indomie wins Nigeria Consumer Award
ndomie instant Noodles, a premium brand from the stables of DUFIL Prima Foods Plc has once again added another feather to its crown by clinching the Product Excellence Award category in the maiden edition of the Nigeria Consumer Award (NiCA) organized by the Consumers Protection Council. Indomie Instant Noodles was bestowed with the Award at a ceremony held at the Ladi Kwali Hall, Sheraton Hotels and Towers, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja having emerged winner among other notable brands shortlisted for the category. Indomie emerged winner
through votes by consumers which was verified and authenticated by an award verification panel made up of members drawn from; the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), the Media, Organized Private Sector (OPS), the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS). According to the Director General of the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) Mrs. Ify Umenyi, “the Nigeria Consumer Award (NiCA) is an initiative instituted by the Agency to bestow honour and recognition on corporate bodies
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Brands & Marketing
Thursday, January 31, 2013
StarTimes named the ‘best pay digital TV channel provider’ ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI
he fastest growing pay TV in Nigeria, StarTimes has been adjudged as the best pay digital channel provider in Nigeria for the year 2012. This award was given by the Nigeria Broadcaster Merit Award (NBMA), for the company’s quest in ensuring that every home in Nigeria has access to digital television. The award which was subject to public view and response through on-line voting and resourceful research/survey from reputable agencies was won by StarTimes amongst other competitors on the same digital platform. According to NBMA, the
award nomination was made by Nigerians through on-line voting and StarTimes has transparently emerged as the best public choice in digital service. “Nigerians are now testifying to the tremendous service of this brand; it is so good to know that StarTimes within the short period of its entry into the Nigerian Market has changed the Nigerian attitude towards pay TV”, NBMA said. Responding, the Marketing Director, StarTimes, Mr. Eric Liu disclosed that StarTimes as a brand is in Nigeria to bring real entertainment to every home, “Our vision is to revolutionise the digital broadcasting industry and provide service that is afford-
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able and available to all Nigerias, and we will continue to do so”, he said. Eric said that since the inception and operation of StarTimes in 2010, every Nigerian family has been able to access quality digital entertainment affordably. He added that with this, StarTimes has proved its excellence and originality in the pay TV industry in Nigeria. StarTimes, a liscensed Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) operator has really revolutionalised the service of digital pay TV in Nigeria through its accessible business model, ensuring every Nigerian family affords its product to enjoy digital entertainment.
L-R: Head, Customer Relations, Sony, Ugoh Anyanwu; Director, Sales (Middle East), and Africa, Mukaida Shinya and Vice President Services (Middle East and Africa), Redington Sethu Raman at the opening of new Sony Service Centre in Lagos on Tuesday.
ayode Oluwasona is a thoroughbred adman and a walking Encyclopedia of advertising. The managing director of one of the first generation ad agencies, Rosabel Leo Burnett, is one of the few admen with both client and agency experience. Until his appointment as Rosabel MD, he was an executive director in charge of business development at Insight Communications, Nigeria’s biggest ad agency. Oluwasona began his career in marketing as a Trainee Manager in Leventis Motors from 1992 to 1993. He was at different times a Management Trainee at Lever Brothers Nig Plc (now Unilever Nigeria) from 1993 to 1995, Brand Manager at Lever Brothers Nig. Plc from 1995 to 1997 and Senior Brand Manager, SmithKline Bee-
Sterling Bank: Building a socially relevant brand
rands need to remain socially responsible and connected to their environment in terms of upliftment. Brands should be built for social good and this should evolve from a corporate social plan. The benefit of the brand should translate to value not only for the consumers but also the society at large. The brand building process is beyond delivering the brand promise and meeting customer’s expectation. Definitely, delivering the brand promise is key but that should not be the end of everything. The truth is that today’s consumers are getting sophisticated and they measure brands in line with their goodwill in the society. Consumers do not only base their perception on the benefits of the brand but they also scrutinise the value of the brands based on their relevance to societal development. It is imperative for a brand
to be socially relevant and it is not just an activity but a concrete way to achieve relevance with the external stakeholders. Brands need to add value by addressing social issues which bring them in direct interface with the generality of the populace. This is because the people expect companies to play active role in societal causes. The pertinent questions brand owners and custodians should ask is: “How do we build our brand for societal good”? The answer to the question should evolve out of a cohesive corporate strategy that is translated to the brand strategy plan. This is because it is myopic to build brands only for business growth. The corporate vision of the organisation should support a strong correlation between the relevance of societal good and business performance. A brand that seeks to uplift the society increases its rating positively in the eyes of the pub-
Brand X-Ray with Ayodeji Ayopo Tel: 08023448199 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org lic. It is important for a brand to build a strong corporate responsibility platform to develop society. This in a way makes the brand relevant to the people. Such brands also leave indelible mark on the minds of consumers because of their relevance and shared values to all the key stakeholders. The recent sealing of partnership agreement with Lagos and Oyo State government on environmental sanitation by Sterling Bank is one corporate social responsibility initiative that is laudable. The essence of the initiative is to promote cleanliness
in the society and also encourage people to focus on cleanliness. The bank engages other organisation like the Lagos State Waste management Authority to achieve its vision. Through its support for environmental sanitation the bank is setting an agenda for the entire society to make cleanliness a part of their lifestyle. A major highlight of the initiative is that Sterling Bank staff engaged in the activity themselves. it is a good platform to project positive image for the brand. Sterling Bank embarked on a rigorous clean-up of Obalende
cham Nig. Plc from 1997 to 2001. He crossed over to advertising when he joined Insight Communications as Senior Account Director in 2001. At Insight, he served severally as Group Account Director, New Business Development Director and Executive Director, New Business Development Given the task to revive the agency whose fortune has been on the downward trend in the past couple of years following the exit of its part-owner/managing director, Tunde Adelaja at the time economic crunch was taking toll on Nigerian ad agencies, Oluwasona has made Rosabel Leo Burnett remained a strong ad agency that is respected for its creative output and skilled personnel, just as clients have continued to call the agency for competitive pitch. and its environs. The bank has equally inaugurated the “operation clean the environment” at iwo road in Ibadan, Oyo State. With its largest focus on the customer, this initiative from Sterling bank further underscores its commitment to the general well being of the society. The sterling brand is one that treats the customers as unique individuals. It is expected of brands to create sustainable platforms to build their brands through social efforts. Social initiatives can express a brand identity and strengthen a brands’ competitive position in the market place. Brands should also influence lives and engender behavioral change which ultimately translates to societal growth. There is every need to back up commitment with concrete social pillars to gain leverage on the minds of the people. Every brand must strive to remain a socially relevant and active brand as this creates not only a visible image but also a strong voice.
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Euro zone factory slump deepens, Asia perks up
uro zone factories sank deeper into recession in December as new orders tumbled, business surveys showed on Wednesday, a sharp contrast to continuing signs of revival in China. United States manufacturing reports, to be released later in the day, are expected to show activity in the world’s largest economy to have expanded modestly. Purchasing managers’ surveys in the 17-nation euro zone showed economic decline spread further into the core members, suggesting the overall economy may have slipped deeper into recession at the end of 2012. Markit’s Euro zone Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) edged down to 46.1 in December from November’s 46.2, below a flash reading of 46.3. It has been below the 50 mark that Draghi divides growth from contraction since a faster pace, while French data showed August 2011. “It’s pretty grim really,” said Jona- a decline in all but one of the past 17 than Loynes at Capital Economics. months. The slump in Spain deepened, “These surveys are pointing to a pretty while Italy’s index, although improved, deep recession. If the German indus- remained below 50 for the 17th month. Ireland was the only member of the trial sector is contracting quite sharply it is pretty hard to see where growth currency union to show manufacturing across the euro zone as a whole is going growth in December. Separate data on Wednesday showed to come from.” Germany, Europe’s largest economy, French car sales dropped 15 percent saw its crucial manufacturing sector in December, the worst annual perforshrink for the 10th straight month and at mance in 15 years, while Spanish new
car registrations were down 23 percent. But British factory activity jumped unexpectedly to grow at its fastest pace since September 2011, raising the chance that its economy eked out some growth at the end of 2012. “The sector seems to be showing some signs of improvement - probably as the euro zone (debt) crisis is easing a little bit and Chinese growth is bottoming out,” said Rob Wood at Berenberg Bank. In Asia as a whole manufacturing activity expanded, driven by revival in China’s economy, but export demand was uneven, pointing to further sluggish growth for the region. Factory activity in India expanded at its strongest pace in six months in December, boosted by output and a spike in new orders and similar reports showed an increase in South Korea and Taiwan for the first time since May. For Asia, much hinges on the pace and quality of the recovery in China as a new generation of leaders prepares to take charge. The official China manufacturing PMI on Tuesday held steady in December at 50.6, matching November’s sevenmonth high. A similar survey by HSBC released a day earlier, which focuses more on smaller and mid-sized firms, suggested activity was at its strongest since May 2011.
FTSE 100 hits 6,000 after U.S. strikes fiscal deal
he FTSE 100 smashed through the 6,000 barrier on Wednesday as investors celebrated a U.S. budget deal averting tax hikes and spending cuts that risked pushing the world’s largest economy into recession. By yesterday, London’s blue chip index rose 127.32 points, or 2.1 percent to 6,025.13, breaking above the 6,000 level for the first time FTSE 100 hits 6,000 after U.S. strikes fiscal dealsince July 2011, driven by big gains in miners and banks. TThe gains echoed the New Year’s Eve rally on Wall St, which was the biggest final-day gain in the S&P 500 since 1974. The catalyst for Wednesday’s rise was the approval by the U.S. House of Representatives of a bill raising taxes on top U.S. earners, fulfilling President Barack Obama’s re-election promise and avoiding, at least in the short-term, the $600 billion “fiscal cliff ”. “It is good to start the new year off with a bang but there is still a lot of stuff
to digest ... It will be interesting to see if these gains can be sustained,” Gerry Celaya, chief strategist at Red Tower Research, said. Miners were the main outperformers on Wednesday. The sector was a major laggard in 2012, ending the year flat compared with a 5.8 percent rise for the wider FTSE 100. Mining stocks were helped by positive PMI data out of China, the world’s largest consumer of raw materials, which allayed fears of a slowdown in demand, while the UK manufacturing PMI also showed an unexpected rebound in factory activity. Anglo American, which lost more than 20 percent in 2012, was one of the top early gainers, up 5 percent as some analysts tipped the firm for a turnaround in fortunes this year. Wednesday’s rally meant the FTSE 100 is up nearly 15 percent since June 2012 lows. Investors have been imbued with
confidence as central banks across the globe have taken action to support the financial system and attempt to boost growth.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
German inflation unexpectedly accelerated in December
erman inflation unexpectedly accelerated in December as food and travel costs surged. The inflation rate in Europe’s largest economy, calculated using a harmonized European Union method, rose to 2.1 percent from 1.9 percent in November, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said today. Economists had predicted inflation to remain unchanged, according to the median of 11 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey. In 2012, inflation averaged 2.1 percent. Inflation in Germany breached the European Central Bank’s 2 percent limit for a second year even as the debt crisis curbed spending and investment in the 17-nation currency bloc, the country’s largest export market. The euro area entered its second recession in four years in the third quarter and the German economy may have contracted markedly in the final three months of the year, the Bundesbank said on December 17. “We’ve seen massive increases in food prices in December which are interrupting the gradual decline of inflation rates,”said Thomas Kramer, an economist at NordLB in Hanover. “I wouldn’t exaggerate this development. Inflation should continue to moderate if energyprice driven costs ease further.” Oil prices fell more than 7 percent last year as the cooling economy curbed demand. The ECB last month lowered its economic forecasts and President Mario Draghi said he expects euro-area inflation to fall below 2 percent this year. The rate fell to 2.2 percent in November and economists predict it dropped to 2.1 percent last month. The European Union’s statistics office in Luxembourg will publish that report on January 4.
RBC takes top spot for stock sales from Toronto-Dominion
oyal Bank of Canada took the top spot for arranging stock sales in Canada last year, displacing Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) in the slowest year for equity financings since 2008. Royal Bank’s RBC Capital Markets unit arranged $5.63 billion in 68 equity financings, including Hudson’s Bay Co.’s (HBC) initial public offering, according to data
compiled by Bloomberg. Bank of Montreal (BMO)’s BMO Capital Markets unit rose to second, with 46 sales that raised $4.87 billion, while Toronto-Dominion’s TD Securities unit slipped to third. A Royal Bank of Canada sign is displayed in the financial district of Toronto, Ontario. “Last year -- excluding 2008 -- was one of the weakest we’ve seen over the last seven years,” Peter Miller, head of equity capital markets in Canada for BMO Capital Markets, said in an interview in Toronto. “All the uncertainty that’s aroundEurope and then China last year, with the commodity
prices, have challenged the market.” Canadian equity financings this year will be fueled by investor appetite for dividend-paying stocks and high-yield real estate investment trusts as low interest rates drive demand for higher returns, according to investment bankers. “The same themes that played out last year are probably going to continue in 2013, with the demand coming from both retail investors and institutions,” Sante Corona, head ofequity capital markets at TD Securities, said in an interview from Toronto. “That manifests itself in demand for dividend-paying common shares, REITs, pre-
ferred shares and convertible debentures. I don’t think that’s going to change.” The Standard & Poor’s/TSX Composite Index, Canada’s benchmark stock gauge, rose 4 percent last year, trailing every developed stock market except Portugal and Spain. The Canadian economy will slow to a 1.8 percent rate of growth in 2013, from 2 percent last year and 2.6 percent in 2011, according to the median estimate of 29 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. That would be the slowest annual pace since the recession of 2009 and below economists’ estimates for 2 percent growth in the U.S. in 2013.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, January 31, 2013
SEC moves to boost infrastructure nancing TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA
he Securities and Exchange Commission, has unveiled plans to leverage the depth of the capitalisation and available funds for medium to long term financing of key sectors of the economy with the proposed securitisation product intended to be introduced in the bourse soon. Securitisation is the financial practice of pooling various types of contractual debt such as mortgages, commercial mortgages, auto loans or credit card debt obligations and selling the consolidated debt as bonds, pass-through securities, or collaterised mortgage obligations, to various investors. The principal and inter-
est on the debt, underlying the securities, is paid back to the various investors regularly. Securities backed by mortgage receivables are called mortgaged backed securities, while those backed by other types of receivables are asset-backed securities Already, the Commission is training the manpower to drive the innovative financing option even as discussions have been opened with some fiscal and monetary authorities with a view to developing appropriate operational frameworks, if necessary, to guide the implementation of the planned securitisation agenda in the bourse. Giving the hint at a postworkshop briefing of the media on the planned financial product in Abuja yesterday, the Director Gen-
eral of the SEC, Ms. Arunma Oteh, said the move was part of the current reform initiatives embarked upon two years ago to deepen the market’s capitalisation, enhance its competitiveness and restore investor confidence in it. Oteh, who specifically listed housing, agriculture and infrastructure as the primary targets of the securitisation product, said providing medium term to long term financing support for these critical sectors had become imperative in view of their important roles to the nation’s economic transformation drive, particularly in providing affordable housing and ensuring food security and job creation in the country. She said, “This is a programme that is primarily focused at us getting
ourselves ready for this particular new product for the country. We have staff across the Commission, we have lawyers, we have accountants, we have finance people we have economists. Let me give a bit of context to why we decided that this would be a programme that we will focus on for ourselves. “First, we are very delighted that there is a great recognition in our country about the importance of the capital market, particularly in providing medium to long term financing. Second, you will note that over the last two years when we started, the reform agenda in January 2010, we indicated that there were a number of things that are critical to transforming our capital market.”
PZ revenue’s drops 4% in Q2 as equities rises 0.8% JOHNSON OKANLAWON
Z Cussons Plc has declared a revenue of N31bn for the half year ended November 30, 2012, a decline of four per cent when compared to N32.3bn recorded in the same period in 2011. The company’s cost of sales slid 12.2 per cent in the second quarter of 2012 to N23.3bn, from N23.3bn recorded in the corresponding period of 2011. According to the company’s result presented to the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, distribution/ administrative and other
expenses, dipped by 15.4 per cent to N2.26bn in second quarter of 2012, from N1.96bn recorded in the same period of 2011. The company’s profit after tax however stood at N1.52bn in the review period, from N786m recorded in the same period of 2011. Analysis of the company’s balance sheet showed that inventories depreciated by 5.7 per cent to N21.1bn, from N22.4bn recorded in the corresponding period of 2011. The company’s net assets stood at N46.9bn in 2012 half year, from N47.3bn in the same period of 2011, while total current liabilities stood
at N16.7bn, from N17.1bn in 2011 half year. Meanwhile, trading in equities continued on bullish note on the Exchange, as more investors took position on stocks. The All-Share Index gained by 0.77 per cent to close at 31,815.45 points, compared to the increase of 0.31 per cent recorded the preceding day to close at 31,571.46 points. Market capitalisation appreciated by N78.1bn to close at N10.2trn, higher than the rise of N30.9bn recorded the preceding day to close at N10.1trn. Julius Berger Plc led the 40 stocks that appreciated in
their values by N6.00 or 9.92 per cent to close at N66.50 per share, followed by Nestle Nigeria Plc with N1.90 or 5.92 per cent to close at N49.85 per share. International Breweries Plc led the losers’ table with N2.80 or 10 per cent to close at N25.20 per share, followed by Prestige Insurance Plc with six kobo or 9.09 per cent to close at 60 kobo per share. Transaction volume in equities dropped by 16.1 per cent, as a total of 424.62 million shares worth N3.84bn were exchanged in 6,504 deals, compared to 506.29 million shares worth N3.17bn traded in 6,659 deals the preceding day.
Transcorp, GE sign agreement on power, infrastructure UDEME AKPAN
ransnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc, Transcorp and General Electric, have signed a framework agreement to collaborate in meeting the infrastructural needs of Nigeria, with emphasis on the power and transportation sectors. GE, a global leader in the design, manufacture, supply, installation and maintenance of technology and services for the power
sector, confirmed its commitment to facilitate the generation of 10,000MW of additional power in Nigeria over the next decade in line with its existing agreement with the Federal Government signed in March 2012. Transcorp Ughelli Power Plc is a subsidiary of Transcorp, a publicly quoted and diversified conglomerate with strategic investments in the hospitality, agribusiness and energy sectors. TUP won the privatization bid for 100per cent acquisition of the Ughelli power plant.
The framework agreement, which was signed following a closed door meeting with GE’s global chairman, Jeffrey Immelt, and Transcorp Chairman, Tony O. Elumelu, will enable GE and Transcorp to explore a partnership for the refurbishment and expansion of the Ughelli power plant in Delta State. Transcorp Director of Human Resources, Mr. Dupe Kupoluyi Olusola who confirmed the development in a statement stated that: “The wide ranging agreement allows for the provision of
technical support and equity investment in the power plant. Other areas of collaboration include projects in the transport sector, specifically in the area of rail. He quoted Elumelu as stating that heirs Holdings recently hosted the USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah in Lagos to discuss how the US government can partner with the Nigerian private sector to boost power generation in Nigeria. The agreement we have just signed with GE is a positive step toward the realization of this goal.
Source: NSE NIBOR QUOTES 29 JANUARY 2013 & 30 JANUARY 2013 20.00 19.00 18.00 17.00 16.00 15.00 14.00 13.00 12.00 11.00 10.00 9.00 8.00 7.00 6.00 5.00
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Market indicators All-Share Index 10,179,242,282 points Market capitalisation 31,815.45 trillion
Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY
% CHANGE 9.92
Primary Market Auction TENOR
Open Market Operations TENOR
Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED
Thursday, January 31, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at January 30, 2012 1st Tier Securities Sector
1st Tier Securities No Of Deals
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No Of Deals
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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
FOR YOUR SUCCESS
WITH DR. DEJI FOLUTILE
Today's Tonic (88) This, too, shall pass. –William Shakespeare * * * MY NOTE: One of the profound lessons that I have learnt in life is that as some set of people are leaving crises, some set of people are entering crises. This lesson has taught me to be an “encourager” of people at all times. We all need to send encouraging messages into the world here and there - we never know the ones that will need it! TEL 08104942999 E-MAIL email@example.com Follow me @TwitterOWOTIDE
Church turns to effigy to scare vultures
he vultures were circling a North Carolina church -- literally -- prompting members to commission a vulture effigy to scare the real birds away. The strange tactic worked and the birds, which had been destroying the Bethlehem Baptist Church roof, now roost and eat elsewhere, The Daily News of Jacksonville, N.C. said Satur-
Thursday, January 31, 2013
day. “They were actually breaking pieces off the roof and eating it,” church secretary Susie McBarn said. “That couldn’t have been good for them.” The effigy, prepared by a taxidermist and installed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, hangs upside down from the church’s steeple.
Wayward dolphin dies in polluted canal
wayward dolphin that swam into a polluted canal on Friday died before high tide, marine experts said. The deep-freeze weather hadn’t seemed to faze the dolphin as it splashed around in the Gowanus Canal, which runs 1.5 miles through a narrow industrial zone near some of Brooklyn’s wealthiest neighbourhoods. Marine experts had hoped high tide, beginning around 7:10 p.m., would help the dolphin leave the canal safely. But the dolphin was confirmed dead shortly before then, said the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation, which didn’t know how it died. Earlier, with the dolphin splashing around in the filthy water, bundled-up onlookers took cellphone photos, and a news helicopter hovered overhead. The dolphin, which appeared to be about 7 feet long, surfaced periodically and shook black gunk from its snout in the polluted water.
The New York Police Department had said marine experts with the Riverhead Foundation had planned to help the dolphin on Saturday morning if it didn’t get out of the canal during high tide. The foundation, based in Riverhead, on eastern Long Island, specializes in cases involving whales, dolphins, seals and sea turtles. The filthy canal was named a Superfund site in 2010, meaning the govern-
ment can force polluters to pay for its restoration. For more than a century before, coal yards, chemical factories and fuel refineries on the canal’s banks discharged everything from tar to purple ink into the water, earning it the local nickname The Lavender Lake for its unnatural hue. The dolphin likely entered the canal from the Atlantic Ocean through the Lower and Upper New York Bays and into the
Gowanus Bay, which leads to the canal. It’s about 20 miles from the canal to open ocean. It may seem strange, but it’s not uncommon for sea creatures to stray into city waters — though they don’t often swim away alive. A dolphin was found dead last August near Long Island, south of the canal. Another washed up in June in the Hudson River near Manhattan’s Chelsea Piers sports complex.
A dolphin surfacing in the Gowanus Canal in the Brooklyn borough of New York, recently.
Thursday, January 31, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Dumahel to host Nickelodeon’s annual Kids’ Choice Awards
ids’ Choice Awards’ slime recipient, “Arm Fart Hall of Fame” champ and movie actor Josh Duhamel (Transformers: Dark of the Moon, New Year’s Eve and the upcoming Safe Haven) will take the reins for the first time as host of Nickelodeon’s 26th Annual Kids’ Choice Awards (KCAs), taking place on March 23, 2013 at the Galen Center in California, USA. Celebrated as the ultimate kids’ experience, where Hollywood and slime collide, kids rule and honour their favourites from the worlds of film, music, sports and television, the starpacked telecast of the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards will premiere across Africa on Nickelodeon (DStv Channel 305) on 27 March 2013 at 17:45 CAT (repeats: 29 March: 20:15 CAT; 31 March: 12:05 CAT). "Josh has come out to play before for Kids’ Choice and as a previous "Best Arm Fart" winner we know he'll do what it takes to be a great host," said Marjorie Cohn, President, Content Development for Nickelodeon and Executive Producer of the Kids' Choice Awards. "We promise that this year will deliver the special, one-of-a-kind, surprise-filled slimefest for which our annual telecast is famous.” "Nickelodeon's Kids' Choice Awards is a great event that honours kids by honouring their opinions and taps into the kid in all of us," said Duhamel. "I have a lot of secret plans for when I host the awards, but I can tell you I'm excited to lead millions of kids into total crazy fun, chaos...and, of course: endless slime!" One of Hollywood’s leading male actors, Duhamel recently began production on the drama You’re Not You, alongside Hilary Swank and Emmy Rossum. This month, Duhamel will be seen in the star-studded ensemble comedy Movie 43 alongside Emma Stone, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Kate Winslet and Richard Gere, among others. In February, Duhamel will star opposite Julianne Hough in Lasse Hallstrom’s Safe Haven, and the thriller Scenic Route. Additional film credits include the romantic comedy Life as We Know It, Ramona and Beezus, When in Rome and The Romantics. On television, Duhamel is best known for his role as Danny McCoy on the NBC crime drama Las Vegas. Additionally, he lent his voice to Nickelodeon’s Emmy Award-winning animated series Fanboy & Chum Chum and starred in several seasons of the long-running ABC soap opera All My Children, in which he received three consecutive Daytime Emmy nominations. Nickelodeon’s 26thAnnual Kids’ Choice Awards is being produced by Nickelodeon Productions in association with Bob Bain Productions. Bob Bain, Marjorie Cohn and Paula Kaplan are Executive Producers.
MOD on parade
MOD celebrates Founder’s Day in style STORIES: LEONARD OKACHIE
embers of the Lagos State Command of Man of Order and Discipline (MOD), exhibited youthful vigour as they defied last Sunday’s heavy downpour to celebrate the Founder’s Day in style. The paramilitary youth group, comprising boys and girls engaged in all kinds of acrobatic displays typical of the armed forces, at the expansive ground of Regina Mundi Catholic Church, Mushin, Lagos. Their wonderful displays attracted the admiration of the audience who kept cheering them in the rain. MOD is an optionally lay apostolate group in the Catholic Church which is open to boys and girls that are 12 years old and above. It tends to supplement the efforts made to give children and students a religious training and upbringing. The organisation was founded in 1984 by Very Rev. Msgr. Patrick Achebe of the Onitsha Archdiocese and was registered with the Ministry of Information, Youths, Sports and Culture in 1985. Achebe died on January 25, 1995 in a car accident while on MOD assignment. Since then, the group has been holding the celebration in his memory nationwide. Speaking with National Mirror, the General Commanding Officer of Lagos State Command of MOD, Mr. Anthony Okoye, commended the youth for their skilful display, even as he added that MOD is Catholic security, but also work with the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He said: “We are youth and we registered under the youth council and whatever the youth are doing, MOD is the head. In the next few months, we should be having youth week, where we are involved in every kind of sport and activity that can bring youth together. We are very serious in whatever youth are doing in conjunction with the Youth Council of Nigeria. We try as much as possible to be empowered. Many of our boys have joined the Army, Navy, Police etc. through this association. We grow with faith in Christ, so whatever the Church is doing, we are following it up. The Chief Patron, Division 018 Ije-
Members celebrating on the occasion
sha, Sir Lawrence Akwuobi described the rain as a blessing while lauding the group for their brilliant perfomance. “We give them physical and moral values.We give them the values of the church . I am encouraging other boys and girls to join because it is very interesting,” he added. “The State Commandant and Chairman of Planning Committee, Mr. Chinedu Oguegbe, who was highly commended for his wonderful performance, noted that the group was trained in a military way. "I thank God that the programme has surpassed my expectation. It has surpassed the way we were celebratring it in the past.MOD is what they say: “Train up a child in the way that he or she will go so that when he grows he will not depart from it.” It has brought the young ones closer to God. So, the youth are trying very well to see that they are disciplined, which will in turn help in the development of the nation,”Oguegbe stated. Chairman of the occasion and Assistant Chief Patron of the Lagos Command of MOD, Patron Chike Okonkwo encouraged other boys and girls to join the group. He pointed that the programme is a wonderful one, saying, “The boys we have here are trained and they have
shown that they are trained. They have exhibited so many artistic ways to show that they really received the training, more especially the commandant. It is not rain, but showers of blessing from God. We thank God for today because it is very good to remember a founder wherever he is. “We have started planning the way to make them acquire skills that will help them in every of their endeavour. This is also a way to make the youth busy because when they are busy, you won’t find them to be terrorists and all these militants.” Newly appointed Secretary to the National Patron Council, Mr. Paul Mary Abah said the national body is working toward moving the group to a higher level, stressing: "Judging from their level we are now some us are not really educated as such. "We want to train them intelligently so that they know what intelligence is all about, not just wearing uniform, because it goes beyond that. From this year, there will be stages of training for various categories of people so that we can meet up the challenges of security in the country. And if the Federal Government should recognise MOD by this, definitely we will arrive at the level they want us to be. “I want even the younger ones to join because they say “Catch them young.” If they catch them young and you train them and tell them what security is all about, I am sure by tomorrow the country will be a better place to belong to.”
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Young & Next Generation
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Group seeks to safeguard youth’s future A BIODUN N EJO ADO EKITI
non-governmental organisation, Youth Saving Lifestyle Creation Initiative, has advocated an all-embracing conscious approach to safeguard the future of youth for the attainment of a development-oriented tomorrow for the country. Ekiti State coordinator of the group, Mr. Iwalola Aguda, who expressed worries over the increasing cases of drug abuse in the country, said all hands must be on deck to redirect the interest of youths to productive ventures. Aguda, who spoke recently during the flag-off of sensitisation programme against the scourge at Ode High School, Ode Ekiti said: “If we fail to safeguard their future, then we are preparing ground for anarchy. This must not be a one sided approach, the traditional ruler, the government, the parents, the teachers and government must be involved in the campaign”. At the progamme, organised in conjunction with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), the NGO leader said it was high time government adopted a holistic approach
to issue of drug abuse by focusing on the vulnerable groups in the society. Lectures were presented at the occasion on the negative implication of drug abuse, its treatment and legal implication of drug abuse and drug cultivation at the campaign which, he said, had received the blessings of the major stakeholders in the education sector. According to him, All Nigerian Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS), Ekiti Development Fund and other state governments have given commitment towards supporting the programme. He said the ongoing campaign would cover no fewer than 32 secondary schools in Ekiti State, while efforts were being made by State Universal Primary Education Board to extend it to all primary schools in Ekiti. NDLEA Commandant in Ekiti State, Mr. Bamidele Akingbade said the agency was shifting attention from putting drug offenders behind the bars to engaging them in meaningful activities aimed at swaying them from the bad habit. Akingbade, who said it was worrisome that drug business was striving in the state, called on parents to watch their wards.
Akindolie launches book on child sexual abuse
2000 inspired at The Future Awards conference
t was a gathering of knowledge, ideas and impact last Saturday at the Main Auditorium of the University of Lagos, as the Central Working Committee of the prestigious Future Awards held the National Enterprise Conference (NEC) and launched the TFESS website. Speakers at the event were; Kola Oyeneyin of Venia Hub, Otto Orondaam of SLUM2School Project, Stephanie Linus, Rita Domnic, Kunle Afolayan, Ugochukwu Nwosu of Microsoft, Idris Akinbanjo of Premium Times, Ola Orekunrin of Flying Doctors, Jason
Njoku of Iroko TV, Bayo Omoboriowo, Idiare Itimomo, Adaure Achumba, Toni Kan,Steve Babaeko, Chibuike Aguene,Bridget Awosika. The event also featured seasoned veterans and mentors including: Chief Executive of Inspire Africa, Mo Abudu and Executive Director with Nestlé Iquo Ukoh. They both shared their life experiences and left the guests with some very fundamental nuggets of life: “Each time someone says No to you, someone else is about to say YES”- Mo Abudu, “It is only in the dictionary that success comes before work”- Iquo Ukoh.
SCIENCE FOR KIDS
Why are bananas good?
n a quest to educate parents about the social canker destroying the lives of children silently in our society, the Founder/ Executive Director of Christianah Fate Foundation, Mrs. Christianah Akindolie has written a book entitled - CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE, A SILENT EPIDEMIC. The book, which comes in twelve chapters with true life introductory stories in each chapter, was published in the United States of America to ensure the right quality is delivered to readers. The book, according the author, went through two thorough content evaluation procedures (required by law) and has been certified for publishing and online sale. Mrs. Akindolie in statement said: “Trust me, anyone that picks up this book will never remain the same again. It exposes a lot of issues on child sexual abuse which many parents do not know. I have particularly
Cross section of participants at The Future Award conference
used real life stories to bring to bare the realities of sexual abuse. “Many parents are living in the world of denial. I have come across parents who never thought it could happen in their homes, but it did. Why wait for it to happen, when prevention is better than cure. “It will take a while to get the Nigerian version available, but I am working towards it. Technology has made it quite easy to get a copy.”
e may consider the banana as a very versatile fruit. Not only does it taste the ‘just right, sweetness you will surely love, it is also rich in vitamins and minerals which most of us aren’t aware of. If you ask me why bananas are good for you and me, well I have a long list of reasons to give you. For banana lovers out there, surely you can attest to the truth that eating one piece of banana is more than enough to fill your tummy. Now, let me tell you why I can vouch for the goodness of bananas: 1. The good thing about eating a banana is that it is abundant in manganese, potassium, vitamin C and B6, so you know you are eating the right fruit. 2. It is a fibrous fruit which is excellent for any dietary regimen. It also stimulates the digestive system and is one of the best ways to prevent constipation. 3. Banana is known to be an excellent energy giving food which is why many athletes make sure to eat bananas to sustain their energy and to boost their strength, too. 4. According to studies, eating at least two ripe bananas a day can help moderate blood pressure, thus lowering the risk of high blood pressures
that may lead to strokes. 5. The potassium content are excellent for pregnant women as it helps ease pregnancy fatigue and bananas are gentle on the stomach so it’s a good food supplement if you suffer from nausea. I am sure that there are plenty more other benefits from eating bananas and if I enumerate all of them, the list will go on and on. But for me honestly, nothing beats the pleasure of indulging myself with a mouth-watering scoop of ice cream with slices of sweet bananas on the side. See, it is not just good for you, it is also the best dessert for me. Source: knowshy.com
Thursday, January 31, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
National Mirror has fully stabilised –Jimoh Ibrahim National Mirror newspapers marked two years of its re-launch in December 2012. Billionaire businessman and publisher of the newspapers, Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim, spoke with YEMI ADEBOWALE, about the challenges and progress made so far in the last two years. The re-packaged National Mirror was two years old last December. How interesting and how challenging has the journey been for you and the team? We started as a weekly in December 2010 and went full blast as a daily on January 17, 2011. It has been an interesting turn-around which we have all enjoyed. When we bought the old Mirror, we realized that we can’t be running it the way it was being managed. After about six months, we shut it down and re-opened it after about a year. We followed the case of the New York as a case study and deployed our corporate surgeons for the turnaround of the paper. We have since been doing very well in the last two years. When you say that you have been doing well in the last two years, does it mean that the newspaper is now financially stable? Have you started making good money from advertising and circulation? Getting revenue from advertisement takes time otherwise, everybody will be going into newspaper publishing. Advertisers want continuity before putting their products in the paper. However, we have been greatly surprised by the level of advertising patronage we have been enjoying. There is hardly any big national or multinational company that has not advertised in the Mirror in the last two years. If you have been following us, you will see adverts from big firms like Chevron, Glo, Etisalat, Airtel and First Bank. State and federal governments also patronize us with adverts. I still saw Gombe State Government advert yesterday. We get adverts from virtually all the sectors of the economy. This is because of our beautiful and very professional coverage of news. Over time, more companies will start giving us adverts. Our performance in this regard has been wonderful. It is an indication of our acceptance by Nigerians. In terms of financial stability, I don’t know what you mean. To what extent has Mirror been selfsustaining? Money is the blood of any corporation and Mirror has not indicated any distress. We are doing multiple printing. We are now installing our fourth press in Owerri. We have six machines on ground. So, in two years, we are already printing from three locations. We will soon install others, most likely in Sokoto, Maiduguri and Kano. We won’t stop there. By our third year, we will bring in more machines. The more we install, the less the problem of circulation. What has Mirror’s circulation and cov-
erage been like? What we have been doing is what I call pilot projecting. We can’t cover the whole of Nigeria in one day. So, we looked at where we want to be in six months, then one and then two years. We should be able to cover the whole of Nigeria in five years. Right now, we are in 26 states which I think is too high. But if the management wants it that way, then, it is okay. The focus now is to invest more in distribution, so that the paper can get to readers on time. What is your print run now? It has been very high. The percentage of sold copies is much higher than unsold copies. That is an indication of our acceptance and readership. We do about 25,000 daily. We now do between 30,000 and 40,000 copies at weekends. One of our early win strategies is clean quality newspaper. The print is unequal in the industry. The group has been giving Mirror maximum support so that it can continue to excel. Does the Group support Mirror with cash gift for daily operations apart from Newsprint? We don’t give Mirror cash again. Mirror is self-sustaining. They pay their salaries and meet other financial needs. They don’t give us money and we don’t give them money. However, I am not expecting money from a company that is just two years old. It is like asking a two-year old to be feeding his father. That will be tough. Our investment is for ten years before we start looking for profit. The story has been good so far. From our corporate theatre, we have not seen anything in Mirror that will warrant a surgery or treatment. The paper is one of the companies in our group classified as Grade A. In this group, we run 16 companies and Mirror is in the A category because it does not give us any problem. One big issue in the industry has been that of commission for advertisement. What is your take on this? It is a good idea but don’t forget that some newspapers are new and won’t be able to comply. Some papers come out for a whole week without a single advertisement. If they eventually get a single advertisement, they won’t be able to insist on 15 percent commission. You have just introduced another national newspaper from the same publisher into the same market. This is unique in Nigeria and some critics say it is suicidal. What’s your take on this? The two papers have separate budgets. They are not the same. They are focusing
on different markets. It is the first time this will happen in Nigeria, but not the first time in the world. In England, The Sun and News of The World are from the same stable. They are also tabloids. But here, Mirror is for the mass market while Newswatch newspaper is for the elite market. There is no distraction anywhere. I think the main point critics are making is that you should focus on stabilizing the Mirror instead of digressing. Are the critics the owners of the two businesses? How can they be talking like that? The good thing is that I don’t deal with critics because they are not usually in the corporate theatre when I carry out surgeries. I don’t think I need these outside opinions. It is also laughable. How can people who can’t run ordinary barbing saloons be analyzing my business strategies and trying to teach a man who is running 16 companies how to do the job. Nigeria aside, we run regulated businesses in Dubai, United Kingdom, Sao Tome, Ghana. We are doing very well in these places. In the next five years, we would have more staff abroad than Nigeria. So, is it this small newspaper business that will give us problems? You see, we have a strategic plan for newspapers in our group. We intend to give this sector 25 percent of the asset in our group balance sheet every year. I don’t think we have even given three percent. So, what are we talking about? We took that decision about four years ago. Why the decision to invest so much on your media arm? Is it because you foresee huge profit coming in the future? It is not about profit but because of our desire to contribute to the development of the nation, using the media. We want to help the society. Apart from creating jobs, they also give voice to the voiceless. If you say that I should not establish more newspapers, is it only THISDAY, Punch and Guardian that will employ all the jobless journalists in Nigeria? Don’t you want other journalists to have jobs? Mirror has started winning media awards all over the place. It is already a success. I don’t need any profit from my newspapers. The mon-
ey I need to take care of myself is small. When I make profit, I re-invest. What do you want me to be doing with my profit? To just go about eating the money alone or just buying things I don’t need? Why should I go about just eating my profit alone when I can use it to set up new companies and create jobs for jobless Nigerians. I am appreciated abroad and I don’t know what the problem is with some Nigerians. The London School of Economics recently wrote a letter to me about sending two of their post-graduate students to come and study my business model. So, how can somebody say that Mirror has not stabilized? We are almost everywhere across the country. We have three printing machines installed. There are three others idle. When installed, we will create more jobs for Nigerians. Don’t you want me to create jobs for more Nigerians? I give respect to critics. Let them continue to criticize while I make more profit and create more jobs. I have no regret with Mirror. I have no regret with Newswatch newspapers. Where would you want to see Mirror in the next three years? To be in every neighborhood and every community in Nigeria very early in the morning. By that time, we would have finished installing all our six machines and would launched our campaign for massive distribution of the paper across the nation. By then, we would be implementing our strategy of ward by ward distribution. For example, in Ondo State, we have 203 wards. Mirror must get to all the wards every morning. But so far so good. The Mirror is now widely accepted in Nigeria, reporting all the sides and all the facts. We hardly get litigation here. Our workers have free hands to publish. Readers are happy with the quality of printing and stories. Workers are happy that they get their salaries on time. However, shareholders are not okay yet because they are yet to start getting dividends from Mirror. This takes time and the shareholders understand that. Culled from ThisDay, The Saturday Newspaper.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Edo set to revamp Observer, others —SSG
Remi Oyo charges media on national security LEONARD OKACHIE
he Managing Director of News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mrs. Oluremi Oyo has charged media managers not to allow breaking news to break up the country, adding that there is need for absolute caution while reporting or commenting on ultra-sensitive issues. She emphasised that the media, as the primary platform of mass communication in free and democratic societies, ought to be an important partner in efforts to enhance national security. Mrs. Oyo said this as a guest lecturer at the 14th edition of Pastor S. A Odunaiya Annual Memorial Lecture which held at the Church Auditorium, Christ Apostolic Church, Ebute Metta, Lagos, recently. Speaking on the topic: “The Media, the Church and National Security: Any Synergy?”, Mrs. Oyo noted that the media and the Church remain the potent tools for the people’s transformation for the people’s transformation in the Federal Government’s Transformation Agenda. The former president of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) therefore, urged the Federal Government to develop a comprehensive “National Security Strategy” that would incorporate designed inputs of the media, the Church and other religious bodies in the overall efforts to ensure the country’s safety and wellbeing. The NAN boss stated thus:
For necessary synergy, there should be constant exchange of information between the State, the Church and the Media, particularly on issues relating to national security and nation building as a whole. Efforts should be made to engender the active participation of the citizens in plans to enhance national security through public relations channels offered by the Church and the media.” However, she warned that efforts of the media and the Church in mobilising the citizenry to tackle existing and emerging security challenges should be carried out in such a way that it would not inadvertently heighten the level of fear in the society, “as this could be counterproductive to the work of security agencies.”
SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN
DAAR Communications to commence service in Katsina JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA
eginning from February 10, 2013, DAAR Communications is to commence broadcast of television and radio programmes from its Katsina State station. Chairman of the company, Chief Raymond Dokpesi who stated this on Tuesday, also said the company would soon begin educational programmes across the country. Dokpesi said, "25 television channels would be dedicated to educational programmes for primary one to six pupils" while "three other channels would be committed to the education of the Almajiri child". He maintained that the company had begun "discussion with the Federal Ministry of Education on effective use of satellite technology to improve quality of education in the country". Dokpesi, who lamented "falling standard of education" in the country, especially among WAEC and NECO examination students, said something ought be done to reverse the downward trend. He, however, called for "collaboration with the state's committee on education to help uplift standard of education" in the state. The state's Deputy Governor, Abdullahi Faskari, told DAAR Communication's boss that the state would "provide necessary assistance to ensure successful commencement" of the broadcast service. He said the state had always prioritised development of the education sector, adding, "any institution that assists in raising standard of education in the state is a welcome development".
do State government is set to turn around the state government- owned Observer newspaper for better performance, according to the Secretary to the State Government, Professor Julius Ihonvbere. Ihonvbere spoke to National Mirror in Benin City recently after an impromptu inspection of the Bendel Newspapers Company Limited and other state government-owned media organisations such as: Edo Broadcasting Service (EBS), Edo State Archive, Edo State Health Management Board Laundries and Ethiope Publishing Corporation. The SSG said that though Governor Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole could not address the problems bedevilling the near moribund companies in his first term, he was now set, however, to give the companies a new lease of life in his second term. At the state laundry on Sapele Road and Ethiope Publishing Corporation, Ihonvbere lamented the level of dilapidation of the facilities, which, he said, was due to neglect from past governments. “What I saw here is really depressing. People sold government properties to themselves; nothing is working, everything is dead here. It is sad, it is very sad. Dry cleaning business is a money spinner. I wonder how facilities like these that can provide services to the Central Hospital and the generality of the people could be abandoned. I will see what we can do. If we need to privatise it, because these are some of the things that unsettle the Comrade Governor, we will look into that.” After looking at Ethiope Publishing Company, Ihonvbere lamented, "I know the value and place of publishing to societal growth. When I was a lecturer at the University of Ife, I sent some books here for publishing. Due to my concern for the parastatals, I have discussed with the Comrade Governor on the need for optimum utilization of capacities and why we must ensure that there is no duplication of efforts or duties.”
Murdoch apologises for Netanyahu cartoon
Ragdoll to end BBC Worldwide joint venture he holding company for Teletubbies and In the Night Garden producer, Ragdoll, has reported a significant increase in losses to almost £4million in its latest financial results and has put its sales joint venture with BBC Worldwide up for sale. Ragdoll Ltd, which owns independent producer, Ragdoll, was severely affected by a major slump in the performance of its joint venture with BBC Worldwide, Ragdoll Worldwide, which sells and licences its children's programmes outside the UK. Ragdoll Worldwide is now up for sale, according to documents filed at Companies House earlier this month. Ragdoll Ltd, which owns a 50% stake in Ragdoll Worldwide, reported a pre-tax loss of £3.7million
in the year to the 12 months to the end of March 2012. This is up from a £492,823 loss posted the previous year. Turnover dropped by 27% year on year from £8.1million to £5.9million. Ragdoll Worldwide reported a pre-tax loss of almost £3.5million in the year to the end of March 2012 – a slump of almost £8m from the profit level it achieved the year before. In 2011, the joint venture paid out an interim dividend of £3m to its owners on the way to making a healthy pre-tax profit of £4.4million. Turnover at the joint venture plunged 43% year on year from £11.8million to £6.66million last year.
upert Murdoch has apologised for a Sunday Times cartoon depicting the Israeli leader Binyamin Netanyahu building a wall using blood-red mortar, an image Jewish leaders said was reminiscent of antisemitic propaganda. The cartoon, published on Holocaust Memorial Day, shows Netanyahu wielding a long, sharp trowel and depicts agonised Palestinians bricked into the wall's structure. It was meant as a comment on recent elections in which Netanyahu's party narrowly won the most seats in the Israeli parliamentary elections. "Will cementing the peace continue?" the caption read, a reference both to the stalled peace process and Israel's
separation barrier, a complex of fences and concrete walls, which Israel portrays as a defence against suicide bombers but which Palestinians say is a land grab under the guise of security. Murdoch wrote on Twitter that the cartoonist, Gerald Scarfe – a veteran who frequently depicts blood in his work – did not reflect the paper's editorial line. "Nevertheless, we owe major apology for grotesque, offensive cartoon," Murdoch tweeted. Jewish community leaders were particularly disturbed by parallels they saw between the red-tinged drawing and historical antisemitic propaganda – in particular the theme of "blood libel", the twisted but persistent myth that Jews secretly use
human blood in their religious rituals. Their anger was heightened by the fact that the cartoon was published on a day meant to commemorate the communities destroyed by the Nazis and their allies in the mid-20th century. theguardian.co.uk The Board of Deputies of British Jews, which represents the country's roughly 265,000-strong Jewish community, said it had lodged a complaint with the Press Complaints Commission.
Thursday, January 31, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
“I reflected on this (elections) over the summer and I thought it’s not right for Australians to be forced into a guessing game, and it’s not right for Australians not to face this year with certainty and stability” –AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER, JULIA GILLARD
French troops leave Mali soon
PAUL ARHEWE, WITH AGENCY REPORTS
...Take control of airport in Kidal
rance’s Foreign Minister said Wednesday that French forces would depart Mali “quickly” following their success in taking control of the airport in Kidal, a key position in the last remaining urban stronghold of Islamist extremists in northern Mali. Forces said to have taken control of the town’s airport, after driving out al-Qaeda-linked fighters from Gao and Timbuktu. French troops have taken control of the airport in the northern Malian town of Kidal, the last rebel stronghold in the north, according to the French army and a local official. Thierry Burkhard, the French armed forces spokesman, confirmed yesterday that French troops were in Kidal and had taken control of the airport. “The operation is ongoing,” he said, declining to give further details. Separately, Haminy Belco Maiga, president of the regional assembly of Kidal, speaking to Reuters news agency, said: “They arrived late last night and they deployed in four planes and some helicopters.” He said there were no immediate reports of resistance. Kidal would be the last of northern Mali’s major towns to be retaken by French forces after they reached Gao and Timbuktu earlier this week in a campaign to drive al-Qaeda-linked fighters from Mali’s north.
South African billionaire to give away half his wealth
A South African billionaire says his family will give away half of its money to charity. The South African Press Association reported that Patrice Motsepe said at a press conference yesterday that it is important for the successful to help the less fortunate. Forbes Magazine says Motsepe is the fourth-richest man in South Africa and the eighth richest on the continent. Forbes says Motsepe has a net worth of $2.65 billion, wealth made in the mining sector. Motsepe said his family decided to join the Giving Pledge, which was initiated by Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates. The pledge encourages wealthy families across the world to give at least half of their money to charity.
Kenyan govt warns international media Angry crowd shouting at four suspected Islamist extremists in the back of an army truck in Gao, northern Mali, on Tuesday. PHOTO: AP
France said the area had become a safe haven for fighters. Kidal is the capital of a desert region with the same name that the fighters are believed to have retreated to during nearly three weeks of French air attacks and an advance by hundreds of ground troops. “Now it’s up to African countries to take over,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told Le Parisien newspaper. “We decided to put the means — in men and supplies — to make the mission succeed and hit hard. But the French aspect was never expected to be maintained. We will leave quickly.” Haminy Maiga, the interim
president of the Kidal regional assembly, said French forces met no resistance when they arrived late Tuesday. “The French arrived at 9:30 p.m. aboard four planes, which landed one after another. Afterwards they took the airport and then entered the town, and there was no combat,” said Maiga, who had been in touch with people in the town by satellite phone as all the normal phone networks were down. “The French are patrolling the town and two helicopters are patrolling overhead,” he added. In Paris, French army Col. Thierry Burkhard confirmed that
the airport was taken overnight and described the operation in Kidal itself as “ongoing.” On Tuesday, a secular Tuareg rebel group had asserted that they were in control of Kidal and other small towns in northern Mali. Maiga said those fighters had left Kidal and were at the entry posts on the roads from Gao and Tessalit. France, the former colonial ruler, began sending in troops, helicopters and warplanes on Jan. 11 to turn the tide after the armed Islamists began encroaching on the south, toward the capital. French and Malian troops seized Gao during the weekend and took Timbuktu on Monday.
‘Zimbabwe had only $217 in its public account’
imbabwe’s Finance Minister, Tendai Biti, has said that the country only had $217 (£138) left in its public account last week after paying civil
servants. However, he said that the following day, some $30 million of revenue had been paid in. Mr Biti told the BBC he made the revelation in order to emphasise that the government was unable to finance elections, not that it was insolvent. Polls are due this year, with President Robert Mugabe’s ZanuPF fighting Mr Biti’s Movement for Democratic Change. Mr Biti has previously complained that diamond mining companies have not been paying revenues to the government. The power-sharing government, set up in 2009, ended years of hyperinflation by using the
US dollar, but the economy remains fragile. Mr Biti told the BBC’s Focus on Africa radio programme that his statement had been deliberately taken out of context. “You journalists are mischievous and malicious - the point I was making was that the Zimbabwean government doesn’t have the funds to finance the election, to finance the referendum,” he said. “To dramatise the point, I simply made a passing reference metaphorically that when we paid civil servants last week on Thursday we were left with $217... but even the following day we had $30 million in our account.” Zimbabwe needs nearly $200 million (£127m) to pay for a refer-
endum on a new constitution, as well as the election. The government-run Herald newspaper says Mr Biti and Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa have been given the task of sourcing this money from donors. Analysts say the power-sharing government has achieved some economic stability. However, high levels of unemployment mean the country’s tax and revenue base remains extremely low. “We’re in a challenging position, we’re a small economy and we’ve got huge things to be done but… the minister for finance of Greece has an even worse story,” Mr Biti told the BBC.
Kenya’s government spokesman appeared to make a veiled threat Wednesday against international journalists while announcing a tough stance on information deemed divisive surrounding nationwide elections March 4. Government spokesman Muthui Kariuki told a gathering of international reporters that the government will summon journalists who publish stories that have a polarizing effect. He did not say what action would then be taken. Kariuki told the journalists: “We will set you on fire before you set us on fire.” He said the media and pollsters were the catalysts of violence that rocked Kenya following a disputed presidential vote five years ago. “We believe to a greater extend that 2007-08 (violence) was as a result of a lot of information that journalists wrote and passed on to our people,” he said.
Niger agrees to US drones on its territory Niger has given permission for US surveillance drones to be stationed on its territory to improve intelligence on al Qaeda-linked fighters in northern Mali and the wider Sahara, according to a senior government source. Bisa Williams, US ambassador to Niger, made the request at a meeting on Monday with Mahamadou Issoufou, Niger president, who immediately accepted it, the source said yesterday. “Niger has given the green light to accepting [US] surveillance drones on its soil to improve the collection of intelligence on Islamist movements,” the source, who asked not to be identified, said. The drones could be stationed in Niger’s northern desert region of Agadez, which borders Mali, Algeria and Libya, the source said. Niger will be the sixth African nation to have a US drone base.
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We’re asking that, in 2009, when President Obama did visit Ghana, he said that what Africa needed was strong institutions, not strongmen, something that you’ve also echoed as well. Can you uphold any models in Africa where you can say that they’re making progress in building strong institutions? SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes, and in fact, both politically and economically, I see progress happening in Africa. I don’t want to overstate it because some places are more stable, but let me give you just an example or two. When the President of Malawi recently died, the Vice President – now President Banda – was in line to become President. But there was an immediate reaction by some in the government and some in society who said, we can’t have a woman president, or we don’t agree with her politics. But thankfully, the people of Malawi said, no, we have a constitution, we want the rule of law, we want Joyce Banda to be the President since she is in line to be President. That was a big move, and it was very important, and we obviously supported it. When you look at the reelection of President Sirleaf in Liberia – tough job, post-conflict society, but peaceful transition despite a hard-fought election. The recent election in Ghana, another example where President Atta had passed away, his Vice President came into office, but he still had to go through an election. So when you look through the countries in Afri-
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Clinton’s townterview focuses on Nigeria, Africa
On Tuesday, January 29th, United States Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton held a Global Townterview at the Newseum in Washington, DC. This was Secretary Clinton’s 59th own hall and an opportunity to engage with young people around the world in advance of her last day as Secretary of State on Friday, February 1st. Networks that participated via satellite included the BBC in London, United Kingdom; Channels TV in Lagos, Nigeria; MBC in Beirut, Lebanon; NDTV in New Delhi, India; NHK in Tokyo, Japan; and NTN24 in Bogota, Colombia. Excerpts:
ca, you can see democratic institutions getting stronger and you can see economies getting stronger. Now, you are sitting in one of the most important countries in Africa – I would say in the world. It really matters how well the next election in Nigeria goes, whether it’s free and fair and transparent. It really matters whether the endemic corruption is finally pursued so that everybody in
Nigeria feels that they’re not going to be left out. So I think there is work being done and challenges ahead, but I see positive steps that I want to recognize. When you look at the things that have happened in some the crises in Mali or South Sudan or Benghazi, Libya, some people have said that the U.S. has led from behind mostly, and per-
Russia withdraws from anti-crime deal with US
ussia pulled out of an anti-crime accord with the United States yesterday, the latest sign of rising tensions between Moscow and Washington. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has signed an order to scrap the 10-year-old agreement “because it was no longer relevant,” his office said. The agreement covered fighting terrorism, corruption and cross-border crimes such as drug smuggling and human trafficking. Alexei Pushkov, head of Russia’s parliamentary foreign af-
fairs committee, told the Interfax news agency that the decision reflected Russia’s ability to manage its internal affairs without outside help. A U.S. embassy spokesman was not immediately available for comment. The agreement is just one of several bilateral cooperation deals that Moscow has decided to abandon. Last year, Russia expelled the U.S. International Development Agency and also warned it wouldn’t extend the Nunn-Lugar program helping it dismantle nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons stockpiles.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, visiting an exhibition of rescue equipment in Krasnogorsk, outside Moscow, yesterday. PHOTO: AP
On Friday, the U.S. withdrew from a joint civil society working group. President Barack Obama’s efforts to “reset” relations with Russia has met a markedly colder wind from the Kremlin since Vladimir Putin returned to the presidency in May. Faced with unprecedented street protests against his 12-year rule, Putin accused the U.S. State Department of staging the protests in order to weaken Russia. After Putin’s inauguration, the Kremlin-controlled parliament then quickly rubberstamped a series of laws imposing new restrictions on civil society in an apparent bid to curb American influence in Russia. Non-governmental organizations funded from abroad were required to register as “foreign agents,” a term intended to ruin their credibility among Russians for whom the term sounds synonymous to spies. The Russian definition of treason was also expanded to include potentially any contact with a foreign organization.
haps that’s a mistake in some of these cases. What would you say is the biggest mistake that has happened over the past few years, and how will the incoming Secretary of State be able to work on those issues moving forward after you’re gone? SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, let me clarify that I think what President Obama and I have tried to do is to build international coalitions to address serious crises. We believe that, of course, the United States remains the paramount military and economic power in the world, but the future we want to see are more nations taking responsibility and playing a role. And I think that is visionary leadership. I think it is looking over the horizon and recognizing that in Africa, for example, what we hope to see are key countries, anchor countries like Nigeria, dealing with your own internal challenges, but also playing a role externally in order to help keep and create peace. We just had a quite successful outcome in Somalia. Still a
long way to go for Somalia, but thanks to African troops – from Uganda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya – trained and funded by the United States along with others, they were able to push alShabaab, an al-Qaida affiliate, out of key cities and territory in Somalia, and then we were able to have an election. So we now have an elected government for the first time in many decades, and we want to support that. Because one thing that President Obama and I believe is that ultimately what happens inside a country is up to the people of that country; they are the ones who have to stand up against oppression, corruption, the kind of poor governance that holds countries back. The United States wants to be your partner. We want to help you economically and in other ways. But we want to create the conditions where more countries can achieve the kind of outcomes that will benefit them. So it’s a different model than what we had in the prior Administration to the Obama Administration. But we believe strongly in supporting reform in Burma, for example, where I was privileged to go to make a statement and then accompany President Obama back there, to helping Mali fend off these extremists who are trying to disrupt and destabilize the country. But we want other people to step up and learn more about what they are capable of doing themselves.
Israeli airstrike hits truck convoy in Syria
srael conducted an airstrike inside Syria overnight near the border with Lebanon, hitting a convoy of trucks, U.S. and regional officials said yesterday. The regional officials said Israel had been planning in the days leading up to the airstrike to hit a shipment of weapons bound for the Islamist militant group Hezbollah in Lebanon. They said the shipment included sophisticated, Russian-made SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles, which would be strategically “game-changing” in the hands of Hezbollah. Hezbollah has committed to Israel’s destruction and has gone to war against the Jewish state in the past. A U.S. official said the strike hit a convoy of trucks. All the officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the strike. The Israeli military declined to comment, and Syrian officials and state media were silent on the issue. Top Israeli officials have recently expressed worries
that if desperate, the regime of President Bashar Assad could pass chemical weapons to Hezbollah or other militant groups. U.S. officials say they are tracking Syria’s chemical weapons and that they still appear to be solidly under regime control. Among Israeli security officials’ chief fears is that Hezbollah could get its hands on Syrian chemical arms and SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles. If that were to happen, it would change the balance of power in the region and greatly hinder Israel’s ability to conduct air sorties in Lebanon. Israel suspects that Damascus obtained a battery of SA17s from Russia after an alleged Israeli airstrike in 2007 that destroyed an unfinished Syrian nuclear reactor. Earlier this week, Israel moved a battery of its new “Iron Dome” rocket defense system to the northern city of Haifa, which was battered by Hezbollah rocket fire in the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war. The Israeli army called that move “routine.”
Thursday, January 31, 2013
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Borno embarks on biometric data capturing in 27 LGs INUSA NDAHI
L-R: President, Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. Okey Wali and Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloma Mukhtar, at the two-day Peace Security Summit in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA
FG has abandoned JTF’s funding –Kwankwaso AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST KANO
ano State Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso has bemoaned failure of the Federal Government to take over the funding of the state military Joint Task Force, JTF, fighting terrorism in the state. The state government has been solely responsible for the welfare of JTF since it was constituted following the January 20, 2012 multiple bomb explosions carried out by terrorists suspected to be members of Boko Haram. Kwankwaso said the Ration Cash Allowance, RCA, supposed to be remitted to the state by the Federal Government to carter for the operations of the JTF, was abandoned for the state
government. The governor, who spoke at Kan Government House while receiving the newly posted Assistant Inspector General of Police, AIG, David Omojola, said unlike other states where the Federal Government released the RCA as at when due, Kano had been starved of the security fund. He said: “For two years running, now my government foots the bills for JTF and other security operations in the state, the federal authorities have never given us even a kobo, though they are giving to other states affected by the same crisis.” Kwankwaso also decried the fewer number of policemen in Kano State. He said it was improper to have below 9,000 policemen in Kano State adjudged to be the
most populated state in the country, while Lagos State had over 30,000 policemen. The governor said if the police could recruit, his administration would be ready to facilitate their training. He, however, said that since most policemen were sceptical of serving in Kano State, it would be better to recruit indigenes who could serve in the state, in view of the security situation in the state. To improve the security situation in the North, Kwankwaso urged the Federal Government to support security agencies with modern equipment such as scanning machines and close circuit cameras to enable them work effectively. He, however, promised to give all necessary support to ensure that the new AIG of Zone 1, which is head-
quartered in Kano, succeeds in his duty. Speaking with journalists in his office after visiting the governor, Omojola said already, about 700 policemen were deployed to boost operations in Kano State, adding that his zone was committed to securing people’s lives and property. Omojola said his mission to Zone 1 was to ensure peace and order in all the states under him, just as he urged all stakeholders, including politicians, religious leaders, community and traditional rulers, to cooperate with the police and other security agencies to maintain peace and stability in the zone. The AIG also said police were making progress in the investigation on the attack on the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero.
Yuguda orders recruitment of 3,000 teachers EZEKIEL TITUS BAUCHI
overnor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State has ordered the immediate recruitment of over 3,000 qualified teachers. The governor also called on all stakeholders to ensure quality education in the state. The Chairman of the state Teaching Service Commission, TSC, Mr. Yahaya Baba, while briefing journalists on the readiness of government to embark on the recruitment exercise. Baba added that the Yu-
guda administration had placed priority on the provision of quality education because of the decay in the sector. He disclosed that hundreds of schools had been renovated while new ones were constructed. The TSC chairman explained that government also put in place standard laboratories in all the schools across the state as a demonstration of its commitment to facilitating learning, especially in core subjects. He also disclosed that the government had reviewed upward students’
daily feeding allowance. Baba said the recruitment exercise was not directly connected to the recent industrial action by primary school teachers who had intended to boycott verification exercise, but to ensure competent hands were recruited for quality education. The chairman decried the nonchalant attitude of the teachers who failed to meet government demands in putting in their best in the classroom. The commission, according to him, will not relent in its responsibilities to ensure competent hands
are recruited to justify Yuguda’s financial commitment to education development. He urged the teachers to sit up as government would not hesitate to disengage those found wanting. Meanwhile, the American Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Terrence McCulley, has described Bauchi State as the potential food basket of the North, considering the vast and arable land that God endowed the state with. McCulley also commended the commitment of the Yuguda administration to revamp agriculture.
orno State Government has commenced biometric data capturing across the 27 local government areas of the state. The government also called on all the council secretaries, education secretaries, head of departments and other officials in the 27 local government areas to ensure the success of exercise. The Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Alhaji Baba Kaka Bashir Garbai, made the call yesterday while addressing council caretaker chairmen and officials at the Forshams Conference Hall. Garbai said the success of the exercise would give government broad view of the number of staff on the payroll of all the councils and also assist the government in its developmental projects and the implementation of the N18,000 minimum wage to local government employees, as promised by Governor Kashim Shettima. The commissioner ex-
plained that in its effort to check youth unemployment, the government established six irrigation schemes in parts of the state and also cultivated 35 hectares of land for irrigation at Alau and 60 hectares of land at Konduga which could cater for over 800 families, offer job opportunities to youths and reduce rural to urban migration. Also in his address, the Commissioner for State Universal Basic Education, SUBEB, Prof. Tijjani Abba Ali, said the government was committed to improving primary education. Ali, however, said without proper data of staff serving in the board, there would be no meaningful development in the sector. The commissioner therefore called on the education secretaries to ensure the success of the exercise. In his contribution, the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Kaka Shehu Lawan, cited a section of the law which deals with crimes like falsification of government document, fraud, giving false information and related crimes.
Kogi inaugurates essential drugs committee OYEWALE IBRAHIM LOKOJA
etermined to make basic drugs available for quality medical service delivery, Kogi State Government has inaugurated the State Essential Drugs Monitoring Committee. The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Omede Idris, disclosed this while speaking at the inauguration of the five-man committee at the state Ministry of Health in Lokoja. Idris said the committee had become more imperative now than ever before for the accountability and sustainability of essential drugs revolving scheme. The commissioner explained that the concept of essential drugs scheme was to make basic drugs available throughout the year in an accessible, affordable and potent form to the patients, stressing that the essential medicines list had been reviewed five times since 2010. He said: “The maximum cooperation of the manage-
ment of the various health facilities in this assignment is extremely desirable as committee is to augment and supplement one of the primary responsibilities of the management of health facilities.” The five-man committee is drawn from staff of departments of pharmaceutical services, nursing, and accounts/audits of the Hospital Management Board and Central Medical Services of the Ministry of Health. The committee is expected to ensure checks and balances and remittance to the designated financial institutions, funds generated from drugs sales, general services and stationary supply. Members of the committee include Mr. Joseph N. Achem as the chairman, Dr. Wada A. S. Omale, Mr. Onoko Sunday, and Mr. Mathew Alhassan I. Yakubu as the secretary. Speaking on behalf of other members, Achem commended the government and the Ministry of Health for giving them the opportunity to serve the state.
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Thursday, January 31, 2013
Oil spills: Dutch court orders Shell to pay damages CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5
Ritsema said it was also a new development that an oil company was being held responsible for failing to prevent sabotage. There were 198 oil spills at Shell facilities in the Niger Delta last year, releasing around 26,000 barrels of oil, according to data from the company. The firm says 161 of these spills were caused by sabotage or theft, while 37 incidents were caused by operational failure. Local communities say Shell under-reports the amount of barrels spilled. The Senate has also insisted that Shell has failed to clean up oil spill sites in the Niger Delta, contrary to claims of having done so. Members of the Senate Environment Committee, which undertook an on-thespot visit of some spill sites last September, said they were surprised at what they met on the ground. At an interactive session with the management of Shell yesterday at the National Assembly, Chairman of the committee, Senator Bukola Saraki, said the areas visited where Shell claimed to have carried out remediation, did not show signs of remediation. “The method of remediation is of concern to us. We saw a contractor just exporting the contaminated soil and import fresh soil to fill the area. That is not the way it should be done,” Saraki said. Also, the Vice-Chairman of the committee, Senator Benedict Ayade, said Shell must evolve the best practice in remediating the spill sites, saying that it was not enough to use methods that were obsolete and no longer effective in curing soil that had been damaged by oil spills. The lawmakers said the practice of awarding remediation contractors to local contractors with little or no professional competence was compounding the problem and not solving it. But Sunmonu, while reacting to the issues raised by the committee, explained that serious challenges, ranging from illicit practices, security and lawlessness, had impeded the company’s efforts towards cleaning up the spill sites. He noted that between 2006 and 2012, about 1,500
sites had been remediated and they represented only those areas where Shell officials had access. Sunmonu disclosed that there was an average of 200 spills annually due to the activities of criminals. He noted that those sites within Shell’s right of way were immediately attended to, but sites that were off the right of way usually were not accessible due to community problems and insecurity. Sunmonu however assured that this year, the company would provide the conditions for the proper remediation in the sites accessible to it. “I am not denying the fact that some sites have not been properly done; there are some contractors who will not do good jobs; there are contractors who will cover up and run away, especially the sites that are isolated,” Sunmonu said. Meanwhile, Shell is also facing ongoing legal action brought in a British court on behalf of 11,000 members of the Niger Delta Bodo community, who say the company is responsible for spilling 500,000 barrels in 2008. Shell has admitted liability for two spills in the Bodo region but estimates the amount spilled is far lower. Bodo's case could be heard in the High Court in London next year. A United Nations report in 2011 on the Ogoniland region in the Niger Delta criticised Shell and other multinationals, and the Federal Government for 50 years of oil pollution. It said Ogoniland, where Shell no longer operates, needed the biggest-ever oil clean-up, which would take 25 years and cost an initial $1bn. A decade of militancy by armed groups in the Niger Delta, which had its origin in local anger over oil pollution, shut down nearly half of Nigeria's oil output until an amnesty in 2009. The Niger Delta is home to about 31 million people. "We will pay compensation. We didn't lose the case. It was not operational failure. The leak was the consequence of sabotage," Royal Dutch Shell's VicePresident for Environment, Allard Castelein, said in comments after the verdict was read. "Shell Nigeria should and could have prevented
this sabotage in an easy way," the court ruling said. "This is why the district court has sentenced Shell Nigeria to pay damages to the Nigerian plaintiff." Castelein said Shell would negotiate the amount of damages with the farmer, but that an appeal could postpone the outcome of
those talks. The affected farmers and fishermen had said they could no longer feed their families because the region had been polluted by oil from Shell's pipelines and production facilities. The pollution is a result of oil spills in 2004, 2005 and 2007, they said.
It is the first time a Dutch-registered company has been sued in a domestic court for offences alleged to have been carried out by a foreign subsidiary. The suit targeted Shell's parent company in the Netherlands and its Nigerian subsidiary, which operates a joint venture between
the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Shell, Total E&P Nigeria Limited and Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited. Shell Nigeria is the largest oil and gas company in Nigeria, with an output of more than one million barrels of oil or equivalent per day.
Members of Anti Corruption Network protesting against the judgement of Justice Abubakar Talba over Police Pension Fund at the National Assembly gate in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA
Convicted pension boss remanded in prison CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5
ation where the majority believes the law was designed against the poor or petty offenders was not too good for the credibility of the anti-corruption war. He warned that the recent outrage over the light punishment meted out to a pension thief could send the wrong signals to the international community about the seriousness or sincerity of Nigeria in fighting corruption. The ex-vice president insisted that the existing penal provisions of the anti-corruption laws made it impossible to impose punishments that fit the gravity of the offences committed by white-collar criminals. Atiku, who played an active role in the formulation of the anti-corruption laws and creation of the EFCC, said that a decade afterwards, it was high time the provisions of the law were reviewed to strengthen the commission and the anti-graft war. Meanwhile, an activist group, Anti-Corruption Network, ACN, yesterday led two other groups, the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS,
and the Association of Unemployed Youths of Nigeria, AUYN, in a protest, demanding the sanctioning of Justice Talba. The group also called for the re-trial of the Yusufu case to ensure justice for the pensioners whose monies had been embezzled and to assuage the feelings of Nigerians. Executive Secretary and former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Dino Melaye, led the ACN protest while NANS’ was led by its Senate President, Kolade Olaolu and Damesi Momoh held forte for the AUYN. Clad in black T-shirts and carrying placards and banners with various inscriptions, the protesters in their hundreds marched on the Ministry of Justice, the Supreme Court and the National Assembly, describing the judgement as a rape of justice. Some of the inscriptions read: “Judiciary is the hope of the highest bidders,” “Egunje spoils judges,” “Same Justice Talba did Kenny Martins fine,” “The blood of dead pensioners will haunt commercial judges” and “Talbanism: N32bn =N750, 000!!! Bad Maths.”
Addressing the protesters at the Ministry of Justice, Melaye said President Goodluck Jonathan, the leadership and members of the National Assembly and other wellmeaning Nigerians should realise that corruption had eaten deep into the fabric of the country’s national life. He said that they must do something urgent to reverse the looming consequences. “We are collaborating now with the Nigerian students and other groups that are interested in fighting corruption and part of our strategy is to ensure that we shout ‘barawo’ in the North; ‘ole’ in the South-West and ‘onyeoshi’ in the East of this country among others on corrupt people,” Melaye said. The petition, submitted to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloma Mukhtar, and copied the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, reads in part: “Nigerians are not so forgetful to recall that this same Justice Abubakar Talba presided over the Kenny Martins police equipment case until the case was dead and buried. He is also currently be-
ing tipped to become the Chief Judge of Adamawa State. “How else can we describe a situation where Mr. John Yusufu, a man involved in over N32.8bn pension scam was let off the hook with paltry N750, 000 only as fine option of two years jail term? “We recall that a magistrate’s court recently sentenced a man to two years jail term without option of fine for stealing a goat worth N5,000. You will also agree with us that China is the largest economy today, yet it punishes cases of corruption to serve as deterrent with capital punishment (death). “We call for a thorough investigation of Justice Talba and others like him so that appropriate punishments can be served on them. “We once again call for eradication of plea bargain. It is evil, nonsensical, archaic and detrimental to our avowed fight against corruption. “We advocate the China option of capital punishment for corruption, in which the family of the convicted and executed persons pay the bill for execution.”
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
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Community Mirror “We are a bit excited about the ceasefire declared by Boko Haram but we are taking everything with a lot of caution.” CHIEF OF DEFENCE STAFF, ADMIRAL OLA IBRAHIM
NAHCO staff arraigned for stealing K AYODE KETEFE
wo employees of Nigeria Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO), Prince Arinze Ibe, and Smart Igbinovia, have been arraigned before a Federal High Court in Lagos, for alleged stealing of contraband. The accused are standing trial on a two-count charge
comprising alleged offences of conspiracy and stealing of the said illegal goods. According to the prosecution, represented by Mr. Julius Ajakaiye, both accused, who reside at No. 40 Oluwalogbon St. Okota,Lagos were arrested by Customs officials on November 9, 2012, at the International wing of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, after they made a
false declaration of the content of a consignment in their custody. The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge. Ajakaiye, further told the presiding judge, Justice Okechukwu Okeke, that the accused had allegedly removed a consignment from NAHCO shed of the airport, with way bill number 23533624326. The prosecutor added that
the consignment contained ladies’ shoes and sandals, which is under the Customs and Excise Management Act. According to him, the accused had allegedly concealed contents of the consignment and had made a false declaration that it belonged to them. Ajakaiye said, after perusal of the way bill, it was discovered that the accused were not
owners of the goods, but had dubiously moved the cargo from the NAHCO shed, adding that the alleged offences contravened sections 41 (1) (a) and 16 (1) (b) of the Customs and Excise Management Act, Cap C45 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. Justice Okechukwu Okeke ordered the accused to be remanded and adjourned the case to February 11, 2013.
Court orders company directors to settle rift DENNIS AGBO ENUGU
Gully erosion on Oki Orogbangba-Amero Road in Egbeda Local Government Area of Oyo State.
Immigration officers brutalise petty trader GEORGE OPARA ABIA
here was mayhem in Umuahia, the Abia State capital as some heavily armed immigration officers brutalised a petty trader, Mrs. Grace Okorie, 42 inside her shop near the Golden Guinea Brewery. The petty trader who was inflicted with severe body injuries, said her offence was that she pleaded with one Mr.U.O Onuoha, an immigration officer, to stop blocking prospective customers from viewing her wares with his car. “I was displaying banana, pawpaw, pineapples, oranges, apple and soft drinks when some Immigration officers who came to drink palm wine parked their Mercedes Benz car in the front of
my fruits stand. I pleaded they make space for prospective customers to see the wares, but one of them said they will leave in few minutes. Later, one of the officers appeared and threatened to manhandle me if I request they repark the car,even as Mr. Onuoha telephoned other immigration officers who arrived the scene and started beating me”, she said. Mrs. Okorie said she will go to hospital for proper medical treatment, noting that she had severe body pains. She has appealed to relevant bodies to help her seek justice, as her husband, being a poor civil servant lacks the connection and wherewithal. The petty trader and mother of three, was in blood soaked
bandages when our reporter called on her. An eye witness, Chief Benjamin Asiegbu, said he pleaded with the immigration officers to stop beating the woman, but regretted that the plea was ignored. “I pleaded with the immigration officers to leave the woman and her brother, but they threatened to beat me if I intervened”, , he said. In his reaction, the Abia State Chairman of Civil Liberty Organisation (CLO), Comrade Ifeanyi Onwuneme, condemned the actions of the immigration officers, as he called for thorough investigations and prosecution of those involved. “For paramilitary officers to be found in a beer drinking joint at office hours is a serious misconduct, which the authorities
he Federal High Court in Enugu has given the directors of Rockonoh Property Company Limited, leave to settle the rift between chairman of the board, Mr. GB Onoh and his brother, Dr. Josef Onoh who also is a director of the company founded by their father and former governor of old Anambra State, late Chief C.C. Onoh. Presiding over the suit brought before the court by Josef Onoh, asking the company be wound up under the provisions of Company and Allied Matters Act,CAMA, and for a provisional liquidator to be appointed, Justice A. Shuibu, granted plea made by the company’s counsel, Mr. Peter Eze and asked that the two go home and reconcile their differences.
must not sweep under the carpet. “I was dumb founded at the cruelty visited on a hapless petty trader by immigration officers and it is a wake-up call on government because allowing uniformed personnel to brutalise civilians is a threat to democracy’’, he said. Onwuneme, called on President Goodluck Jonathan, Abia State Government, House of Assembly and other relevant human right groups to intervene in the interest of justice. A lawyer, John Ndukuba condemned the incident as deplorable. “The attack on a defenceless woman is not the first, we have had several such cases and time has come for the authorities to call these badly behaved uniformed personnel to order.
After listening to arguments from both counsel to the applicant and respondent on plea seeking for leave to place advertisements in the media for the winding up of the company, Justice Shuibu asked both parties to try amicable out of court settlement and return back on February 28, to confirm resolution. Part of Josef Onoh’s reason for winding up the company, was that it owed the Federal Inland Revenue (FIRS) the sum of N80 million with threats to take the directors to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). In his suit, Dr. Onoh, alleged that his since his sibling took over as Chairman and Managing Director of the company in 1994, the board has never been convened and no dividends were declared to board members where he holds 25 percent shares.
Gunmen kill 65-year-old man OJO OYEWAMIDE AKURE
65-year-old man, Omotayo Akinkubi, has been reportedly murdered by unknown gunmen in his house at No 8, Lola Street, Ondo. The deceased was found in a pool of blood at the time homicide detectives from the Ondo Area Police Command visited scene. Community Mirror gathered that remains of the deceased have been deposited at the General Hospital Mortuary in Ondo for autopsy. The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Wole Ogodo, an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), confirmed the incident, saying the police are working to unravel cause of the death.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, January 31, 2013
FINAL GROUP STANDINGS
QUARTER FINAL PAIRINGS Team
Traore blow for Stallions
urkina Faso striker, Alain Traore, has been ruled out of the Africa Cup of Nations after suffering a thigh in Tuesday’s 0-0 draw with Zambia. The tournament’s top scorer was stretchered off after only 12 minutes and will miss his side’s quarter-final on Sunday. “For me, the Nations Cup is finished. The injury has destroyed my enjoyment of moving on in the race,” Traore said yesterday. Meanwhile, the Stallions’ Team Doctor, Romaric Toe, has confirmed Traore’s fears but expressed disappointment at seeing the 23-year-old star take early bow. “Alain will undergo examinations but his competition, I would say, is over,” Toe said. The Burkina are aiming to reach the semi-finals of the competition for only the second time in their history-and losing threegoal hero Traore is a huge blow.
Eagles will trample Elephants–Amadu JOEL AJAYI ABUJA
eneral Secretary of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Barrister Musa Amadu, has expressed confidence in the ability of the Super Eagles to overrun Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire when both sides clash in the AFCON 2013 quarter finals on Sunday. Musa, who spoke with National Mirror in Abuja yesterday, said the Nigerians had improved with every game played so far in the tournament. “Many have written the Eagles off but I think it’s a wrong notion as anything can happen in football,” the NFF chief said. “I believe strongly that this game will be a different one and I think the Eagles are motivated to excel. “Of course, it is going to be a very tough game, but I think Cote d’Ivoire are just like any other team in the competition,” he concluded while urging Nigerians to support the national team to victory.
The Ivorians (in orange shirts) cancelled a two-goal lead to end Group D campaign on seven points yesterday.
CIV holds Algeria, Togo edges Tunisia
roup D winners Cote d’Ivoire yesterday rescued a draw against Algeria to maintain their unbeaten record in the Nations Cup. Algeria, eliminated before the match, missed a first-half penalty through Ryad Boudebouz but Sofiane Feghouli scored from a second spot-kick. Substitute Feghouli
then crossed for Hilal Soudani to power home a header to make it 2-0 before Didier Drogba nodded in superbly to reduce the deficit before a deflected Wilfried Bony shot completed the Ivoriens’ comeback. Meanwhile, Togo held on against Tunisia till the final whistle as the West Africans edged hard-fighting
Tunisia to the quarterfinals. In a tensed match where the Tunisians leveled scores at 1-1 and lost a penalty to increase the tally, players from both sides called the referee’s composure to question. But in the end, it was the Emmanuel A d e b ayo r - i n s p i r e d Togo side that sang the victory song.
Kanoute harps on victory-for-peace
he Africa Cup of Nations has so far seen a rejuvenated Mali impress during the group phase, edging out Niger 1-0 in the opener and drawing with Congo DR 1-1 to set up a mouth-watering quarter-final showdown with South Africa on Saturday. Captained by former Barcelona star Seydou Keita and featuring a host of talented youngsters, the Eagles remain on target to surpass their last-four finish in the 2004 edition. Their amazing run in the continental campaign nine years ago, of course, was largely attributed to striking
ace Frederic Kanoute. The French-born forward was on target four times, including opening the scoring in the 2-1 quarter-final defeat of Guinea as his side stormed into the semi-finals. Although a four-goal tally saw him finish tournament joint top-scorer alongside the likes of Patrick Mboma and Jay-Jay Okocha, their 4-0 semi-final loss to Morocco and failure to take the continental crown still cuts deep. “Our failure to win the African title and to qualify for a World Cup is the biggest disappointments of my career,” the 35-year-old marksman told FIFA. com yesterday.
“But I hope this young generation can achieve these goals.” “Our country is going through a difficult period and there are of course some urgent problems to tackle. But a great performance in the Cup of Nations will give a sense of hope for our brothers and sisters in Mali.” The continental final competition, according to Kanoute, provides the Malians with a chance to not only inspire the people through their performances, but also to prepare for the forthcoming second qualifying round for the 2014 FIFA World Cup where they will open against Rwanda on March 22.
Igesund unfolds Mali plot
afana Bafana Coach, Gordon Igesund, has welcomed the challenge of facing Mali in the quarterfinals of the Africa Cup of Nations. The Malian Eagles, who drew their final pool match against Democratic Republic of Congo 1-1 at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Monday to ensure their progress as Group B runners-up behind Ghana, will now face the hosts at the same venue on Saturday night. “It’s obviously going to be tough at this stage of the competition, no matter who you’re playing,” Igesund said yesterday. “Mali are a very talented team, with very good players and they play a little bit differently from most of the teams we’ve played so
Bafana coach, Igesund
far, they like to slow things down and knock the ball around and they are very comfortable on the ball. “The important thing is we’re there now and are working on progressing from here.” The West Africans have a rich pedigree in the continental showpiece, reaching the semifinals on five of the seven times they have reached the finals, including a third-place finish at the last competitions in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. “They’re all big boys, I looked at them against Congo DR and all 11 players are tall players,” the coach said. “When we have the ball we’ll have to use it well. We’ll have to keep it on the ground, get behind them and put pressure on their defence.”
visitor to Ojota on Ikorodu Road, Lagos cannot stop getting amused by what looks like a scene in Nollywood movie. Whether the person is standing on the pedestrian bridge, sitting in a moving vehicle or standing by either side of the road, he watches clearly the actors as they entertain their audience in what has become a regular feature in this popular part of the metropolis. But for those who are familiar with the terrain, there is little or nothing to be amused at, because such has become a stock in trade of men of the Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) Brigade: to arrest, detain and even extort money from pedestrians who dash across the expressway, rather than using the pedestrian bridge at the place. They pretend to arraign them at the court for the environmental offence. KAI Brigade which is the Law Enforcement Unit of the Lagos State Ministry of the Environment, was established on November 3, 2003 by the then Governor of the State Asiwaju Bola Hameed Tinubu. It was established to enforce the Environmental Sanitation Law of Lagos State with a vision to keep Lagos Environment Clean, by eliminating indiscriminate dumping of refuse in unauthorised places, all forms of street trading and hawking, vegetal nuisance and overgrown weeds around premises, as well as kicking against open defecation and urination in public places, kicking against illegal building or structures on drainage ways, road setbacks and verges. Its mission statement is “To effect a change of attitude and promote clean and hygienic culture among the people of Lagos State.” However, a lot of criticisms have trailed the activities of these uniform men at Ojota unit in recent time following the shady practices which they are alleged to be engaged in. The critics wonder why these law enforcement officers are active at the Ojota unit whereas their presence is almost nonexistent at other places in Lagos where there are such pedestrian bridges. While the issue of discrimination in getting the people to comply with this environmental law is being debated, the indiscriminate arrests and dehumanisation of pedestrians at Ojota, without signposts warning them against crossing the expressway, is alarming, as the KAI agents act as lords unto themselves. Several warnings by the KAI Marshal, General Danjuma Meigeri (retd) seem to have fallen on deaf ears as some notorious Brigade officials have continued to engage in illegal practices. Investigation by National Mirror revealed that pedestrians cross the expressway freely at Oshodi ignoring the pedestrian bridges, even when KAI office is located there. At other bus stops where there are pedestrian bridges in the state, people cross the expressways freely. But at Ojota, like a predator, these KAI officials position themselves at strategic places, waiting to pounce on their unsuspecting preys. In the past, metallic structure was installed at the median to bar pedestrians from crossing the road. But the iron protector has been removed and the KAI men now allegedly use the spot for their brisk business, by collecting bribes from pedestrians who commit traffic offences. They move to and from the tarmac looking for unsuspecting victims. When caught, the victims are told to pay some amount of money ranging from N500 to N5, 000 to escape being detained and charged to the sanitation courts. At this point the victims are taken to a secret place to bargain and negotiate for their freedom. Those who are
Thursday, January 31, 2013
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Lagos: How KAI officials Ojota Garage is the first bus stop for a visitor to Lagos State. The place is always overflowing with commuters and pedestrians crossing the Ikorodu Expressway, leading to confusion which LEONARD OKACHIE writes, provides the Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) officials avenue to abuse their duties.
An offender being punished by KAI officials.
AT OJOTA, LIKE A PREDATOR, THESE KAI OFFICIALS POSITION THEMSELVES AT STRATEGIC PLACES,
WAITING TO POUNCE
ON THEIR UNSUSPECTING PREYS able to meet up with the demands are released immediately. It was further revealed that those who understand the KAI officers’ trick don’t pay as much. They ‘plead guilty’ and give them as little as N100 or N200 depending on the officer involved. Afterwards, the victims are either assisted to cross the remaining part of the road by flagging down vehicles or are asked to go back and use the pedestrian bridge. But those who refuse to comply with their demands or are unable to pay, are dragged to their office located at MKO Abiola Garden in Ojota, where they face the wrath of the law or are herded into the waiting KAI Vans (Black Maria) and conveyed to Alausa. Our correspondent observed in his undercover reporting at Ojota recently that a girl of about 19 years old crossed the expressway and in a twinkling of an eye, a KAI official swooped on her. She was, however, released about 30 minutes later after ‘cooperating’ by paying some amount as fine. The girl, who introduced herself as Chinyere, narrated her ordeal thus: “I was coming from the East to visit my uncle and our bus stopped at Ojota. So, I decided to cross the expressway. As I crossed, I noticed that somebody was following me closely. He told
A victim being arrested
me he is a KAI official and that I have violated the law for not using the pedestrian bridge. “I told him that I was not aware of such law because this is just my second visit to Lagos. He then asked me to pay a fine of N5, 000. While I was pleading with him that I don’t have such money on me, he asked me to follow him to another end so as to move away from the camera (CCTV). As we were going, I pleaded with him that I am a student in one of the schools in the East and that the only money I had was my transport fare to Lagos. “He then said he would take me to their office where I would be asked to pay a fine of N50, 000 since I didn’t want to pay N5,000. While we were still dragging it, he put his phone on his ear and told me he was calling his office, but I was not sure he was actually calling the office. At that point, I became afraid because I didn’t know what would happen if I followed him to his office.
“I had only N700 left on me. I begged him to take N500 so that I can use the remaining N200 for my transport to the place I was going, but he refused. He insisted that he was only trying to help me, threatening that I would see hell by the time I got to their office. Eventually, he collected the N500 after much delay and warned me not to cross the expressway next time. With heavy pain in my heart I told him that God is watching us and I left him.” While Chinyere was afraid and calm, another victim who simply said his name was James was on the opposite. He was very aggressive and almost had a scuffle with three KAI officials who confronted him for crossing the expressway. It took the intervention of a young man who is a trader at the area, to settle the matter. James was still fuming when National Mirror approached him and he fumed: “Don’t mind these thieves in uniform. I know their
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Thursday, January 31, 2013
run extortion ring at Ojota
Pedestrians crossing the expressway.
WE DID NOT MAKE THIS LAW, WE ARE ONLY EXECUTING IT. COULD YOU BELIEVE THAT I WAS SLAPPED ONE DAY BY AN OFFENDER?
Another pedestrian caught for crossing the expressway.
tricks. Ask anybody at this Ojota and they will tell you that these people are simply rogues. How can you come and hold me by the trousers that I crossed the expressway?” A technician at Ojota, Mr. Mike Peters, bemoaned the activities of KAI officials, saying: “Governor Fashola should regulate the excesses of this so-called KAI officials. Most of them are Area Boys in uniform. It is appalling the manner with which they handle the so-called offenders. I have watched the way they operate at this Ojota severally and I have discovered that they are simply extorting people. At times they fight with the offenders. I think the government should look into this seriously.” A teacher, Mrs. Janet Iyasele, who plies the road regularly, stressed, “I think what they do is to enrich themselves, by harassing, assaulting and collecting money from people illegally. They even go as far as inflicting injuries on people who dare to fight them. These people in uniform are crude. Majority of them are not educated and so they behave in an uncivilised manner. I suggest that they be taken back to classroom and be taught how to behave to hu-
PHOTOS: FEMI AJASA
man beings.” An engineer, Kingston Akpan, decried the incident and urged the government to address the issue urgently. “It is the height of injustice for anybody to be asked to pay fine for crossing the expressway, when infrastructural facilities are not adequate in this part of the globe. If the Lagos State Government is really serious about discouraging pedestrians from crossing the road it should construct a permanent metallic median along these roads. If that is done, then the services of these KAI men will not be needed. I believe the government is also encouraging this extortion. “The world has advanced and there are advanced ways of doing all these. As I said the government is only encouraging these corrupt KAI officials to keep enriching themselves at the expense of hapless Lagosians.” A commercial bus driver, Ezekiel Mobolaji, who plies Oshodi-Ikorodu route said some pedestrians are stubborn and are always bent on breaking the law. “Some of these pedestrians are something else. They often prove stubborn to those KAI people whenever they are caught for crossing the expressway. Why should they
cross the road when the pedestrian bridge is there? Many lives have been lost at this Ojota as people got knocked down while trying to cross. What always baffles me is the care-free manner with which some of them cross the road and unfortunately some drivers who are always on speed don’t have such patience. So, eventually, they hit them. “I’m not trying to defend KAI because I am aware that the corrupt ones among them forcefully collect money from the offenders. Several times I have even seen where those KAI boys dragged the offenders to their office in a rough manner. I think the government should fish out those bad eggs among them and deal with them accordingly instead condemning the brigade entirely.” A student of one of the tertiary institutions in Lagos, Kemi Balogun, disclosed that she was a victim last October. She said that she was in a hurry to attend a lecture that morning, “so I decided to beg them with N200 after they asked me to pay N2,000 fine. Initially, they refused, saying the amount was too small. Two of them started dragging me to their office near the flyover at Ojota. They said I would pay much more than the amount I was giving them by the time I got to their office. But because I didn’t want to miss my lecture, I added N100 and I begged that I am a student and that I was late for my lecture. They collected the money and asked me to go.” When National Mirror visited the Ojota KAI office for comment, an official who said that he was their spokesman, but declined to give out his name, attended to our correspondent. The official debunked the claims by the pedestrians and regretted that some people
failed to acknowledge the job the brigade was doing but chose to tarnish its image. He brought out several pictures, including the ones taken with mobile phone, of pedestrians supposedly killed by vehicles while crossing the expressway. In the pictures were also offenders who were given different kinds of punishment ranging from frog jump to sweeping road. He said: “Our men suffer a lot here just to save life, unfortunately people don’t recognise that. It is a pity that it is the same offender who is left off the hook after pleading that will go back and say we did this or that to him or her. Several times, offenders have fought our men just because they were asked to obey the law. “Mind you, what we do is not an illegal work; the Lagos State Government made it an offence for anybody to cross the expressway when there is pedestrian bridge. The government’s intention is to save lives of the citizenry. But the problem is that some people feel they are above the law and so would violate it. Our major headache is even the so-called learned ones. They always claim to be right and continue to question our authority in stopping them from crossing the expressway. “We did not make this law, we are only executing it. Could you believe that I was slapped one day by an offender? I was moved to this unit about six months ago and I have seen more than 10 deaths-people knocked down by vehicles while they were trying to cross the expressway. Some drivers are reckless and that is why we keep discouraging people from crossing the road, but they won’t heed to our advice. Most times we send pedestrians back and ask them to use the foot bridge the moment we notice that they are trying to cross the road.” On allegation of extortions, the source did not deny the fact that some officials collect bribes, but quickly noted that there is no profession without its own bad eggs. He, however, said that disciplinary actions are taken against any erring official. “The problem is that when some of the pedestrians are caught they quickly begin to tempt our men with money. And you should understand that there is no profession that does not have its bad eggs. Normally, disciplinary actions are taken against those officials. “We are discretional. At times we ask offenders to do frog jump; at times it is community service where they are asked to sweep the road etc. We release them after they have shown sign of remorse. But if any offender proves stubborn, we call the attention of the Police Station at Ogudu or Task Office at Alausa, Ikeja. Efforts made to speak with the Commissioners in-charge of Information and Environment, Aderemi Ibirogba and Tunji Bello, were rebuffed apparently because of the recent order by Governor Babatunde Fashola barring state officials from speaking to the press without clearance from his office. But the state government had last year called on the general public to cooperate with the law enforcement officers who were on the field after their two-week training. Special Assistant to the Governor on KAI, Mr. Dapo Bode-Thomas, had reportedly said that the team at Ojota had been employing different means of engaging the public on the need to maintain order. “You can see what those at Ojota are doing; they are using fliers and banners to enlighten the people on the need not to cross the road but to make use of the pedestrian bridge provided for them. The people are now complying by using the pedestrian bridge,” Bode-Thomas had said.
Most prolific mother ever Vol. 03 No. 547
Thursday, January 31, 2013
A flock without shepherd
rom a promising beginning at independence in 1960 to a false start to democracy, punctuated by political unrest that culminated in the 30-month civil war and the military interregnum, Nigeria’s fortunes have suffered reverses that could only be blamed on bad leadership. This is one point in which there’s a national consensus. We used to be envied by less endowed nations because of our huge deposits of natural resources and potentials in human capital. Not anymore. Despite being a leading exporter of petroleum products, our beloved country is now in the bottom league of the human development index. Close to 53 years after independence, we have not been able to translate our potentials into productive reality. So, potentials remain potential to the shame of our nation. To paraphrase Shakespeare, “Some people are born great, some acquire greatness, while some have greatness
The greatest officially recorded number of children born to one mother is 69, to the wife of Feodor Vassilyev (b. 1707–c.1782), a peasant from Shuya, Russia. In 27 confinements she gave birth to 16 pairs of twins, seven sets of triplets and four sets of quadruplets.
etired Australian star, Shane Warne, has called for sweeping changes at the top of the country’s cricket, saying the policy of rotating players is holding back the national team. The famous leg-spinner, who bared his mind yesterday, described the past year as
GUEST COLUMNIST thrust upon them”. It is so with leadership. Some are born leaders, that is, they have the innate ability to lead. Some learn leadership skills by training. That’s part of what good education gives to you. Corporate organisations, for instance, groom managers to take up executive responsibilities. Gradually, over time on the job, these managers become successful corporate leaders. Some turn out to be boardroom lions. Then, some people by Providence suddenly find themselves in positions of leadership. These categories of leaders are often ill-prepared for the herculean task of leadership, except in rare cases when they become successful by sheer force of circumstances. Unfortunately, Nigeria has been governed mostly by the last category of leaders described above - leaders who suddenly found themselves at the helms largely due to Providence. It is also the reason why quality leadership has eluded this nation for so long. A great nation can only realise its full potentials if governed by great leaders. Nigeria remains a Lilliputian among nations because it has been ruled by little men, ‘reluctant leaders’ or men who woke up one day to find themselves in positions of authority. An unprepared leader, who came to power by luck, cannot expect to lead with vision and purpose. Anyone who desires to shoulder the huge responsibility of leadership must be prepared for it. To lead Nigeria, a nation of 167 million people, you’d need buoyancy of vision, dynamism, courage and profound understanding of the complex problems facing our nation,
EVERY NATION DEFINES ITS OWN
VISION, VALUE SYSTEM AND FRAME OF
YET TO DO THAT especially in a century when internet has turned the world into a global village. The absence of a national father-figure to give the needed inspiration and define our character as a nation is responsible for our predicament. That, in no way, belittles the great and valued contributions of our patriarchs, namely, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, who fought for our independence, but due to no fault of theirs, never succeeded in breaking out of their ethnic cocoons to lead a united country.Their quest for political control of the nation, when the colonial rulers departed, degenerated into bitter party rivalries that fragmented the polity along ethnic lines, and eventual collapse of the First Republic. When the military intervened to try restoring order, the young, middleranking officers, who displaced the feuding politicians, tied their loyalties to the ethnic chieftains who were murdered in the spate of coups and counter-coups that ensued. The nation was pushed to the precipice by a divided military that
lacked a strong central command; hence the civil war, whose aftermath caused distrust in the polity and raised questions of nationhood that are yet to be resolved to this day. Therefore, the subsisting national question is a direct response to the nagging absence of quality leadership at the centre. We’ve never had a national leader in the mould of Mao Zedong of China, Peter the Great of pre-Bolshevik Russia, Pandit Nehru of India, George Washington of America and Emperor Meiji of Japan, whose visionary leadership transformed the Asian country into the first industrialized nation in the Far East. Each of these leaders gave character and a sense of purpose to their respective nations. Strong leadership is necessary, especially at the formative stage of a nation. To a large extent, it helps shape the character of a nation, together with its intrinsic values and cultures. Ultimately, every nation defines its own vision, value system and frame of reference. We are yet to do that. Our nation has no discernible mission to which every citizen is committed. In the absence of this, our youths are being choked by alien cultures with the underlining decadence and immorality. We are like a flock without shepherd. To compound our problems we do not have strong institutions. That is why there’s no continuity in government, every new regime tends to discredit the key polices of the preceding administration. And so, policy inconsistencies have become a permanent feature of our governments. The obvious image of instability that we project to the world discourages foreign investors from committing themselves to long-term projects in Nigeria. Unless all stakeholders in the Nigerian Project face up squarely to this age-long malady, and structure our electoral system in a way that produces quality leadership at every turn, I am afraid, our country may remain like a flock without a shepherd Rev. Okotie, okotie@revchrisokotie. com., a pastor-politician, wrote from Lagos
Cricket: Warne seeks game revolution downcasting for Australia. “The next 12 months is the biggest 12 months of cricket for the Australian cricket team in a long, long time,” Warne said. “If we do nothing now, we will be where we were 30 years ago.
There should be urgent action and a new strategy put in place. “The current set up is not working, as the results have shown as well as our position in the world ranking.” Cricket Australia’s policy of resting players to avoid injury and
fatigue has drawn widespread criticism from former players, despite being commonplace in other national set-ups. Warne also called for CA to choose the same 11 players across Tests, one-day internationals and Twenty20 international cricket.
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Published on Jan 31, 2013
Published on Jan 31, 2013
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