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Reps divided over deployment of troops Legogie backs Oshiomhole for re-election P.13-16

Vol. 2 N0. 402

Oct 1 bombings:

P.5

Alison-Madueke

Thursday, July 12, 2012

N150

Witness implicates ex-gov Sylva, Boyloaf

Jonathan’s wife, 17 others appointed perm sec in Bayelsa

P.7

ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA

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star prosecution witness, Mr. Edmund Ebiware, standing trial along with three others for complicity in October 1, 2010 bombings in Abuja, yesterday said that the immediate past Governor of Bayelsa State, Mr. Timipre Sylva, had prior knowledge of the CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

Outgoing Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Dahiru Musdapher (left) and the new CJN, Justice Aloma Mukhtar, after her confirmation by the Senate in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

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Ogun may sue NYSC over posting of corpers to volatile states P.10

I’ll flush out corrupt judges, says Mukhtar ...as Senate confirms first female CJN

Plateau: Helen Mark urges Nigerians to embrace peace

P.6 P.55


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Photo News

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High Commissioner of Pakistan, Mr. Ali Sirohey (right) and Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi, during a visit to the governor on Tuesday.

Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu (left) and Head of African Programme, Chatham House, PHOTO: NAN Mr. Alex Vines, at the governor’s lecture session in London on Tuesday.

L-R: Senior Manager, SME Segment, MTN Nigeria, Mrs. Barbara Anozia; General Manager, Enterprise Marketing, Mr. Ladipo Nylander and Senior Manager, SME and Regional Accounts, Mrs. Omotayo Ojutalayo, during the launch of MTN Hynet in Abuja, yesterday.

L-R: Primary Care Business Unit Director, Pfizer, Nigeria and East Africa Region, Mr. Yinka Subair; Medical Director, Pfizer, Dr. Kodjo Soroh; Professor of Psychiatry, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Prof. Joseph Adeyemi and Mental Health Desk Officer, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr. Dolapo Fasawe, during the Pfizer/Lagos State Partner on Training to Improve Mental Diagnosis, in Lagos yesterday.

PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

National News

FG introduces new 65% levy on Wheat flour ….establishes Cassava Development Fund

TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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he Federal Government yesterday announced an additional 65 per cent levy on wheat flour imports and also established a Cassava Bread Development Fund. These and other fiscal measures unveiled by the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, are to ensure that the policy on cassava bread succeeds and impact positively on other links of the cassava value programme of the government. The additional levy will also be paid with the 35 per cent duty on the commodity in line with the approved 2012 budgetary provision, which becomes effective this month. Disclosing this at a parley with flour millers and master bakers in Abuja, Okonjo-Iweala also announced the slash of tariffs on cassava enhancing enzymes from 10 per cent to zero per cent effective

from Sunday, 15th July this year. While restating government’s commitment to ensure the success of the cassava flour bread agenda in view of its farreaching benefits to the economy, the minister said in order to strengthen the technological and manpower capacities for the development of the entire cassava value chain, a new Cassava Flour Development Fund will also be created immediately. According to her, the money to operate the Fund would be sourced from the newly imposed 65 per cent levy on wheat imports and would be managed at first instance by the Ministers of Finance, Agriculture, Trade and Investment and Science Technology and the Director General of the Budget Office. Okonjo Iweala explained further that substantial part of the Fund would be committed to training of the over 400,000 master bakers scattered across the coun-

try, encourage the decentralisation of the baking industry and also support them in understanding the operations of the new modular technologies that would be acquired to boost cassava flour processing as the implementation of the cassava bread is sustained. The minister said: “The wheat flour, which used to attract a duty rate of 35 per cent with no levy will, effective 1st of July and in order to encourage the substitution of cassava flour for wheat flour, attract not just the duty rate of 35 per cent, but also attract a 65 per

Okonjo-Iweala

cent levy and that has now kicked into effect. So, that is where we were. This is to encourage the flour milling industry to kick in and begin to aid the substitution of cassava flour for wheat flour. “But, in addition to that incentive to the cassava value chain and to the cassava processing industry, we want to announce a couple more additional incentives that will help the industry. The first is with regard to cassava enhancing enzymes, which the Minister of Agriculture just referred to. “At present, they attract a duty rate of 10 per cent. We will reduce

that to zero per cent effective from now. So, as from 15th July, we are reducing the duty on cassava enhancing enzymes from 10 per cent to zero per cent to encourage the bakers and the millers in the industry. “The second thing that we would do is that we are going to use part of the 65 per cent levy on wheat flour to create a Cassava Bread Development Fund and this Fund would be used to support the cassava value chain.” Earlier in his remarks, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, appealed to flour millers to guard against any act that would undermine the efforts of the government to use the cassava flour bread to transform the economy. The minister said that the success of the policy would not only save the country of up to N635bn yearly on wheat import cost, but also help in creating jobs and improving the well-being of Nigerian farmers amongst other benefits to the economy.

Group calls for Azazi’s probe over N921bn security vote ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA

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he Coalition of Civil Society for Transparency in Governance has for the probe of former National Security Adviser, NSA, General Andrew Owoeye Azazi over his alleged deployment of N921.91bn security vote in his care without improvement in the security situation of the country. Following growing concern over the spate of killings in the country, President Jonathan removed Azazi on the account that his strategy of fighting the insurgency was not yielding any fruit and that there was need for change. The National President of the group, Comrade Ibrahim Alih, said Azazi should be invited by the anti-graft agencies in the country to account for the huge money budgeted for security in the country with little or no result. He said that the antigraft agencies should demand from him how he deployed the heavy security votes without impact.


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Witness implicates ex-gov Sylva, Boyloaf CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

incident. He did not expatiate further. The witness, whose real name was not disclosed in court yesterday for security reasons but simply identified as Mr. “X”, testified for the State Security Service, SSS, which is prosecuting the accused persons in the matter. National Mirror recalls that many of the suspects were arrested after the blasts but only four suspects were charged to court with levying war against the state in order to intimidate President Goodluck Jonathan. The offence is contrary to and punishable under Section 37(1) of the Criminal Code, Cap 77 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 1990. Other accused persons are Charles Okah, Obi Nwabueze and Tiemkemfa Osuvwo. They were also accused of terrorism and conspiracy to commit treason, contrary to Section 40 (2) of the Criminal Code CAP 77, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990. Of the four, Osuvwo, had died in detention. Ebiware was specifically accused of withholding information on the planned attack by not using reasonable means to leak the information to the President and security agents to foil the planned attack. Although Okah and Nwabueze are still challenging the charge against them, Ebiware applied for separate trial, saying he wanted his case heard and determined. He was in the dock yesterday, face-to-face with the star prosecution witness in the case. Mr. “X”, who mounted the witness box to give evidence in the matter, told the Federal High Court in Abuja that he informed the exGovernor Sylva that Okah was planning to detonate bombs on October 1, 2010. The witness said other people he informed about the plan to detonate bombs during the Independence Day celebration were one of the former Niger Delta militants, Ebikabowei Victor Ben, a.k.a Boyloaf and Selekaye Victor Ben. Mr. “X” also confessed before the court that he and

one Emmanuel Harrison participated in the Warri town bombing of March 15, 2010. He said in his testimony: “I knew Edmund through Stanley Ogbakyri. I knew Okah, too, and we have each other’s phone numbers. And we do talk on phone. “I knew with the look of things, Okah wanted to cause more problems after amnesty programme because Okah felt the programme was no longer going the way it was originally designed to be. “As at September 2010, I knew that there would be a bomb blast in Abuja. I received a phone call from Emma Harrisson that Henry Okah will bomb Abuja on October 1, 2010. I called Edmund and told him what I heard. He did not say anything. “I reported what Harrison told me to Boyloaf and Victo Ben. I reported to Sylva as well as Zion Amanda who was then serving as the Secretary of Brass LGA. Amanda is very close to Sylva and I knew he was also going to tell Sylva, too,’’ Mr. “X” said. It will be recalled that both Henry and Charles Okah had denied any involvement in the bombing. Another witness, SSS Director of Operation, Mr. Mathew Seiyefa, also told the court that after Edmund was arrested and being interrogated, the SSS headquarters summoned him to confront the suspect. Before then, the suspect had told his interrogators that he duly informed him that there would be bomb blast in Abuja in October 1. Seifeya said the amnesty boss, Dr. (Mrs. ) Tinibei Koripamo-Adary, had earlier introduced Edmund to him as one of the former militants assisting them in the implementation of the programme However, when he confronted Edmund in their headquarters, he repeated his earlier statement that he had prior knowledge of the plan to detonate bomb in Abuja. Justice Gabriel Kolawole, however, adjourned till July 19 for the continuation of the trial. At the last adjourned date, the SSS had told the Abuja Federal High Court that Ebiware was involved in the planning and execu-

tion of the dastardly act. While being cross-examined by Ebiware’s lawyer, Goddy Uche, an Assistant Director of the SSS, Mr. Abdul Abubakar, said their investigation showed that the suspect was one of the greatest loyalists of the prime mastermind of the twin-bomb detonation, Okah. “Edmund was in constant communication with Okah in South Africa from planning up to the execution stage of the bomb explosions.

“Okah told him categorically that he would strike and cause mayhem in Nigeria because the amnesty programme was no longer being carried out as earlier planned,’’ Abubakar said. Justice Kolawole had on May 3 granted Edmund’s application for an independent trial after the suspect claimed that he had no relationship with the other suspects. The applicant said his trial with other accused would be a distraction for his defence because he had

no contact with them until their arrest. In his ruling, Justice Kolawole said: “This applicant has asked for a separate trial and in the absence of any valid opposition, the court shall have no option but to grant the application. “The accused has repeatedly held that he was wrongly charged with those accused to have orchestrated the Independence Day bombing in Abuja. “The law is trite, and therefore, the court is

obliged to grant the accused applicant’s prayer for a separate trial. The granting of the prayer would not in any way negate the charges brought against him. “This is the dynamics in law, all is to ensure justice for all. The new process will not also affect the evidence available to the prosecutor. “The name of the third accused person (Edmund Ebiware) is hereby severed from the list of those charged for the October 1, 2010 bombing in Abuja.”

L-R: Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar; Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega and National Commissioner, Mr. Ishmael Igbani, at the stakeholders meeting in Benin, Edo State, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

FG unbundles NNPC, ratifies draft PIB ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA

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he Federal Government has started reforms in the oil and gas sector with yesterday’s approval of the unbundling of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, by the Federal Executive Council, FEC. Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, announced this to State House correspondents after the FEC meeting at Aso Rock Villa. She also disclosed that the draft Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, had been ratified by the council and was ready for presentation to the National Assembly. The bill is an aggregate of over 16 laws that define the operations, governance structure and tax regimes in the oil and gas sector. It is also expected to enthrone a regime of transparency and accountability

in major areas, including crude oil production and lifting; allocation of oil blocks and concessions and oil revenue accruals and disbursements. Formally titled: “An Act to establish the legal and regulatory framework, institutions and regulatory authorities for the Nigerian petroleum industry, to establish guidelines for the operation of the upstream and downstream sectors, and for purposes connected with the same”, the PIB covers areas such as allocation and management of oil and gas leases and acreages and defines powers and terms of government participation in the sector. It also gives government powers to make and enforce regulations concerning the environment and pollution; issues affecting oil communities and promoting Nigerian content in the oil and gas sector. The move will be wel-

comed by International Oil Companies operating in Nigeria including Royal Dutch Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Agip and Total, who have called for clearer terms in the oil sector as a precondition for new investments. Nigeria has capacity for 2.6 million barrels per day with 28.2 billion barrels in reserves as well as total natural gas reserves standing at 165 trillion standard cubic feet (scf), including 75.4 trillion scf of non-associated gas. The minister said the passage would go a long way in making the nation’s petroleum industry the preferred destination of oil and gas investors. The highlights of the new draft bill include the unbundling of NNPC that will lead to establishment of vibrant successor companies, including entities that can compete with other international oil majors in the world. She said some of the com-

panies to be unbundled from NNPC are the National Oil Company, the National Gas Company and the National Asset Management Corporation now expected to be private sector driven. Alison-Madueke said that new agencies would emerge and would be reporting directly to the minister. They are: the National Frontiers Exploration Services, the Host Community Fund and the Regulatory Inspectorate for the Downstream. She added: “The new bill looks at new areas that are quite critical and first of all they are the inspectorate, the regulatory agencies for the oil and gas sector to ensure that they are independent and that they can actually do the regulation. “We also looked of course at the unbundling of the NNPC, which has been very critical, created out of the old NNPC, a National Oil Company which will CONTINUED ON PAGE 6>>


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I’ll flush out corrupt judges, says Mukhtar GEORGE OJI AND EMMANUEL ONANI

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he first female Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar, yesterday promised to flush out corrupt judges, admitting that the perception of Nigerians about the nation’s judiciary was negative. She was responding to a question on the state of the judiciary during her screening and confirmation as the new CJN by the Senate in Abuja. “As at now, it is very bad and I am saddened by it. I will try. I don’t want to sound like a broken record. I will try to ensure that the bad eggs that are there are

flushed out, cleansed by the National judicial Council, NJC, based on petitions. I will ensure that the perception will change,” the new CJN said. Mukhtar, who would be sworn in on Monday, succeeds Justice Dahiru Musdapher, who is billed to retire on Sunday when he would have clocked the mandatory retirement age of 70 years. In keeping with the tradition of the Senate, the screening of Mukhtar was carried out by the Committee of the whole and not by the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, which screens other judicial officers at committee level. At the Senate gallery to

show solidarity and observe the screening were members of the International Federation of Women Lawyers, FIDA. Also accompanying her to the Senate chambers were the justices of the Supreme Court led by the outgoing CJN, Musdapher. Led into the Senate chambers by the Presidential Adviser on National Assembly Affairs, Senator Joy Mordi, the new CJN’s responses to the questions posed by the senators were short, sharp and brief. On the allegation that judges are fond of granting bails to terror suspects, which do not help the fight against terrorism, Justice Mukhtar explained that the issue depended on the

available materials or evidence placed before the trial judges. She noted that if a trial judge found out that there was nothing to warrant the denial of bail to a person charged with terrorism, he or she would have no option but to avail the accused bail. The new CJN, however, assured that upon assumption of office, she would ensure that unnecessary granting of bail to accused terrorists would be limited. Also commenting on the suggestion for the establishment of special courts to handle cases of terrorism, the new CJN said her personal views did not align with such thoughts, instead that she would support a situation whereby special

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

FG unbundles NNPC, ratifies draft PIB CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5

be independent, it will be a registered company which will have shareholding and it will be ceded acreages and will take over current infrastructure in the oil and gas sector; refineries, depots and certain downstream entities as well as production sharing contracts. “We created an Asset Management Corporation as a holding company, which will operate an asset management company that will be a competitive private sector driven company, and it will hold what is today the joint company hydrocarbon assets of the nation. “We expect of course that as time goes on, that company will operate es-

sentially along the line of private sector to give the federation the right returns on investments in the hydrocarbon sector. “We looked at a couple of new agencies as well; the National Frontiers Exploration Services unit that will reside in the new Petroleum Policy Bureau which will be a technical arm of the minister’s secretariat.” Alison-Madueke however, explained that some existing parastatals in the ministry, including the Petroleum Training Institute and the Petroleum Trust Development Fund, the Petroleum Equalisation Fund and the National Content Development Management Board would continue to

exist until they were no longer necessary. She assured that the executive arm of government would continue to work with the National Assembly and other relevant stakeholders to ensure easy passage of the bill into law. Speaking earlier, the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, had said that a lot of consultations with stakeholders went into the draft bill. He added that it would promote rapid development make the oil sector competitive, accountable and transparent. The delay in the passage of the PIB, which has been in the works for almost six years has been blamed for the reluctance of the oil ma-

jors to invest in new exploration activity in the nation’s land, swamp and deepwater regions with most of the new investments in the Gulf of Guinea going to Angola, Equitorial Guinea and more recently to Ghana. The fact that other West African nations such as Liberia, Sierra Leone and Cameroon had discovered oil made the case for the PIB’s passage even more compelling. The latest draft is believed to contain more favourable terms concerning the percentage of royalty payment and other taxes to the government by the oil majors which had vehemently opposed the earlier versions that were stuck in the Sixth Senate.

judges would be designated to handle such cases. She explained that if special courts were set aside to handle terror cases and over time such cases thinned down, there would not be enough cases for such courts to handle and such infrastructure would have been wasted. Commenting on the issue of frivolous injunctions by judges, Mukhtar expressed concern that despite the number of workshops, trainings and seminars organised by the NJC, the problem still persisted. She, however, expressed optimism that the incidence would be reduced in the years ahead. On prison congestion and how she would address the problem, the new CJN said it was wrong to blame the problem on the courts and judiciary alone. The new CJN noted that the issue needed a coordinated approach from all stakeholders in the nation’s justice sector system to combat. Responding to the allegation of corruption in the judiciary and her targeted approach at combating the challenge, Mukhtar described the problem as endemic in all sectors of the country and not peculiar to the judiciary alone. She said her approach would be to lead by example and hoped others would follow. Also, Justice Mukhtar said she would encourage internal cleansing of the judiciary based on reported cases to the NJC. This was as she disclosed that she would also ensure that discipline was maintained. On the call for the increase in the number of the Senior Advocates of Nigeria, SAN, Mukhtar said she would favour gradual increase of the rank, noting that: “There has been improvement on this over the years.” She recalled that when the award started about 25 to 30 years ago, the number was very limited to a small size, but over the years the number had continued to increase. The new CJN also disagreed with those calling for the annual public declaration of assets by public officers and civil servants and the extension of the exercise

to private persons. She suggested the retention of the present situation as contained in the constitution, which limited the practice to public and civil servants and placed a four-year timeline on the exercise. Commenting on the demand for the increment of the number of Supreme Court Justices as a way of dispensing cases pending at the apex court more quickly, Mukhtar said she would not support such a proposition because all over the world, there is no country where the number of their Supreme Court justices exceeds 16, not even China with its huge population. At a press conference after the screening and confirmation hosted by Mordi and members of FIDA, the women said history was made yesterday in Nigeria following the confirmation of Mukhtar’s appointment by the Senate. Emordi said: “The appointment of Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar, a woman, to head one of the three arms of government in Nigeria for the first time in almost 100 years of the country’s existence and 52 years of Nigeria’s independence is a victory for Nigerian women. This is a great moment in history. “By this action, President Goodluck Jonathan has added a new dimension to his promise of gender inclusive government and promoting women. “He indeed uplifted the Nigerian woman to greater heights and left an indelible historic mark in the annals of this nation.” Mukhtar, 62, was born in 1944 and called to the English Bar in 1966 and Nigerian bar in June 1967. She served as the Presiding Justice of the Appeal Court for 12 years from 1993 to 2005 when she was elevated to the Supreme Court. From her first appointment as a pupil draftsman, office of the legal draftsman, Interim Common Service Agency in 1967, she became a Magistrate grade 1, North Eastern Government from 1969 to 1973 and later a Chief Registrar, Kano State Government Judiciary from 1973 to 1977. In 1977, she was made a judge of the Court of Kano from where she was later elevated as a Justice of the Appeal Court in 1987.


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Jonathan’s wife, 17 others appointed Perm Sec in Bayelsa

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irst Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan was yesterday appointed permanent secretary in the Bayelsa State civil service, thus becoming the first of such appointment in the nation’s history. Dame Jonathan was among 18 permanent secretaries, whose appointment was approved by Governor Seriake Dickson. Also appointed is Linnet Tebepah, wife of the current Chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Mr. Tarilah Tebepah. Others are J.E. Oye, Samson

Ayibeboa, Antonia Koroye, Ziwari Billie, Buruboyefa John, Dikuro Ayebameh, Serge Williams, Olu Kuruom, G.I. Izein, Philomena Alodie, Omietimi Kojo, Ese Izonebi, Ohougha Maythias, James Clinton, Moses Teibowei, A. Samanyi and Vivian Odiowei. The appointment was signed by the Head of Service, Gloria Izonfuo and announced on the state radio station, 91.7 Glory FM. The announcement stated that by the constitutional power conferred on the governor in

section 203 (2) (c) , Jonathan’s wife and seventeen others had been elevated to the position of Permanent Secretaries in the state civil service. Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Public Affairs, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, confirmed that the wife of the President was elevated to the position of a Permanent Secretary and that it was a routine action in the civil service. However, the appointment of the First Lady has already become subject for public discussions in government circles and

bars, even beyond Yenagoa. She obtained the National Certificate of Education, NCE, in Mathematics/ Biology in 1989 from the Rivers State College of Education and a Bachelor of Education in Biology and Psychology from the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Her working experience include teaching, banking, sports administration and the state civil-service before she became the wife of the President who was then the deputy governor of Bayelsa State. Patience Jonathan

NDLEA wastes N184.9m, says Senate committee GEORGE OJI AND EMMANUEL ONANI

T L-R: Vice President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Issa Aremu; Deputy President, Comrade Promise Adewusi and President, Comrade Abdulwaheed Omar, during the NLC National Women Conference in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Oritsejafor to US: Declare Boko Haram a terrorist group SAM OLUWALANA AND A ZA MSUE

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resident of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, has called on the United States Government to declare the Boko Haram sect a terrorist organisation. Oritsejafor said that the decision to blacklist three Boko Haram leaders as terrorists did not go far enough. He said the reluctance to brand Boko Haram terrorists had emboldened the group, which is estimated to have killed over 1,000 people since mid-2009 in attacks on Christians and public property. Oritsejafor said: “By refusing to designate Boko Haram as a terrorist organisation, the United States is sending a very

clear message, not just to the Federal Government of Nigeria, but to the world that the murder of innocent Christians and Muslims who reject Islamism (and I make a clear distinction here between Islam and Islamism) are acceptable losses. “It is hypocritical for the United States and the international community to say that they believe in freedom and equality when their actions do not support those who are being persecuted,” adding: “My people are dying every day.” But the United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Johnnie Carson, said that Boko Haram was not homogeneous and that members of the group had the goal of trying to “embarrass or discredit” the government.

He warned that designation of the Boko Haram as a foreign terrorist organisation would trigger a full US Government response against Boko Haram. Carson said the terrorist designation made sense for the three sect’s leaders - Abubakar Shekau, Abubakar Adam Kambar and Khalid al-Barnawi - due to their links to Al-Qaeda, but that it would be counter-productive to target the entire

Oritsejafor

movement. He said: “It will serve to enhance their status, probably give them greater international notoriety among radical Islamic groups, probably lead to more recruiting and probably more assistance.” He called, instead, for a “sophisticated and comprehensive” strategy of improving governance in Nigeria’s largely Muslim North and curtailing human rights abuses. Carson said: “Boko Haram thrives because of social and economic problems in the North that the government must find a way of addressing. “A coordinated government effort to provide responsible, accountable governance to all Nigerians, while creating opportunities for economic growth, will diminish the political space in which Boko Haram operates.”

he Senate Committee on Drugs, Narcotics, Financial Crimes and Anticorruption has accused the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA, of misapplying N184,923,121.97, realised from the sales and submission of recruitment forms by applicants. The committee Chairman, Senator Victor Lar, levelled the accusation at a one-day public hearing to ascertain the veracity or otherwise of the story that the newly-recruited personnel of NDLEA were allowed to bear arms without training. In the course of the interaction, NDLEA Chairman, Alhaji Ahmadu Giade, who made presentation on behalf of the anti-drug agency, told the committee that N184,923,121.97 was realised from sales and submission of recruitment forms by applicants. He told the committee that after engaging the services of a consultant, it was agreed that each of the applicants should pay N1,500 for submission of online application forms, from where the money was generated for “administrative charges”. Giade gave the breakdown of the money as follows: N24.5m for training by state Commands, N21.5m for recruitment committee, N1.3m for publicity, among others.

Responding, Lar said, “we have heard you and it is clear that the NDLEA misapplied the money that accrued from the recruitment exercise”. He queried a situation where the agency, despite the money it generated from the sales of forms, could still not carry out training of its personnel, leading to the unfortunate incident in Makurdi, where an NDLEA official was alleged to have shot and killed some persons. But Gide said the Makurdi incident “was a misinformation”, as the agency did not arm the operative that was said to have carried out the alleged act. He said that the newly-recruited operatives received a one-week induction after which they were sent to their states of origin where they underwent training for four weeks. The NDLEA chairman also pointed out that none of the operatives was allowed to handle firearms, in line with a circular dated August 5, 2011, where he warned that the new personnel should not be involved “in sensitive and critical assignment”. Also, Giade disclosed that the agency did not receive a dime in 2011 owing to lack of budgetary provisions; hence the personnel were not trained. He also disclosed that the agency has 5,275 personnel with 2,550 in the senior cadre while 2,725 are made up of the rank and file.


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Ogun may sue NYSC over posting of corpers to volatile states •Assembly tasks OGSIEC on fair LG polls FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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gun State House of Assembly yesterday ordered the state Attorney-General to urgently obtain a court order directing the National Youths Service Corps, NYSC, to repost indigenes of the state from the violence-prone states in the North. The Assembly demanded

that NYSC should urgently repost the affected youths participating in the scheme to more secure parts of the country, just as it advised the Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission, OGSIEC, to comply with the electoral law and guidelines in conducting the July 21 local government elections. The directive on the Attorney-General was sequel to a resolution passed by

the Assembly which sought the redeployment of the state indigenes. Some Batch ‘B’ 2012 corps members recently protested their posting to Borno, Bauchi, Gombe, Kano, Kaduna and Yobe states for their orientation course. Moving the motion for the redeployment of the affected corps members yesterday, the lawmaker rep-

resenting Odogbolu state constituency, Remmy Hassan, said the recent escalation of sectarian violence in some states of the North was frightening and called for worry. Hassan added that urgent steps must be taken to protect the lives of innocent citizens by stopping their deployment in such unsafe places. He said: ‘’The AttorneyGeneral must get an order of a court of competent ju-

risdiction within possible days compelling the NYSC authorities to redeploy Ogun State citizens posted to violence-prone states in the North to safer locations.” Supporting the motion, Hon. Job Akintan (Yewa North II) said the move was necessary to protect the lives of the state indigenes now at the orientation camps in those areas. In her own contribution, Hon. Adijat Adeleye Ol-

No adequate support from states –FRSC

ExxonMobil empowers youths against HIV/AIDS, malaria

ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

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tate governments across the country have not given adequate support in terms of vehicles and logistics to the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, to check the carnage on the roads. The FRSC Zone RS 8 Commander, Mr. Kehinde Adeleye, who made the disclosure, said while state governments spent a lot of money to assist the police and other law enforcement agents to procure vehicles and other logistics to fight crime, little or nothing was done to assist the commission to curb the carnage on the highways. Adeleye, an Assistant Corps Marshall, overseeing FRSC in Ekiti, Kogi and Kwara states, also said that accidents and casualty figures on the highways were on the increase, as he called on men and officers to do more to reduce the trend. The commander, who spoke in Ado Ekiti yesterday after addressing men and officers of the FRSC, Ekiti Command during an official visit to the area, said reports in the last three years from the police, hospitals and the commission indicated increase in accident and casualty figure. He called on all stakeholders to stop reckless driving on the roads saying, “we all have a stake to ensure safety on the roads”. Adeleye charged men of the Ekiti Command to be more dedicated to their duties, adding that the commission’s national headquarters was doing a lot to reposition the FRSC.

adapo (Ifo II) submitted that the incessant killings in the North, which had claimed lives of Senator Gyang Dantong as well as the Majority Leader of Plateau House of Assembly, Gyang Fulani, was “heartless, inhuman and uncivilised”. Other lawmakers who backed the motion include Layi Ojodu (Abeokuta North), Oludaisi Elemide (Odeda), Odofin Olusola Sonuga (Ikenne) and John Obafemi (Remo North).

SEKINAH L AWAL

O L-R: Secretary to Lagos State Government, Mrs. Idiat Adebule; Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mrs. Olusola Oworu; Governor Babatunde Fashola and his Deputy, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, during the Artisans/Tradesmen’s Day in Lagos, yesterday.

Akingbola had no hand in N2.5bn transfer deal –Witness FRANCIS FAMOROTI

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he Managing Director of Chart Well Securities Limited, Mr Olawale Adeosun yesterday told an Ikeja High Court that the former Managing Director of Intercontinental Bank Plc, Erastus Akingbola, did not instruct the firm to transfer N2.5bn into the account of Tropics Finance Limited. Testifying at the resumed hearing of the trial of Akingbola and the

Akingbola

General Manager of Tropics Finance Limited, Bayo Dada, the witness said the former had no prior knowledge of the transfer of N2.5bn into the account of Tropics Finance Limited.

Led in evidence by Akingbola’s counsel, Mr. Abubakar Shamshudeen, the witness narrated how he was contacted on phone in 2009 relating to the transactions. He said: “On February 26, 2009, I got a call from the Corporate Treasurer of Intercontinental Bank, Mrs. Toyin Oyelade, who requested for the assistance of my company in a N2.5bn transfer transaction. I confirmed our willingness to assist the bank based on my relationship

with her and the bank. “I issued two Skye Bank cheques totalling N2.5bn. The cheques were dated February 27, 2009 and they were collected by two staff of the bank’s Treasury Department. “The cheques were issued in favour of Tropics Finance Limited and immediately the funds were deposited in the account of the company, the bank transferred the same amount back to Chart Well’s Skye Bank account.”

Try Salami for perjury now, PDP tells AGF, NJC KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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he Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the South-West, yesterday called on the Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke, and the National Judicial Council, NJC, to begin the trial of the suspended President of the Court

of Appeal, PCA, Justice Isa Ayo Salami, for perjury. The party said “with what the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Dahiru Musdapher, said in the newspapers on Wednesday about the testimony he gave against Justice Salami at the NJC Probe Panel, the ball is now in the courts of the AGF and NJC for Justice Salami to be tried.” Musdapher said in a sto-

ry published in a national daily that his testimony before the NJC probe panel headed by Justice Umaru Abdullahi that former CJN, Justice Alloysius Katsina Alu, was the truth as he knew it. He said the truth was that Katsina-Alu never told Salami in his presence to give judgment in favour of any party in the Sokoto governorship election ap-

peal, as claimed on oath by Salami. In a statement issued by its Zonal Publicity Secretary, Hon. Kayode Babade, the PDP said, “now that the CJN, who is the major dramatis personae in the Salami saga has again informed the whole world that Justice Salami actually lied on oath, the AGF should initiate the process of his trial immediately”.

il producing giant, ExxonMobil, has been commended for sponsoring the Skillz Naija Project, a community initiative conceived to empower, educate and inspire youths through grassroots soccer. The project, an initiative of Youth Empowerment and Development Initiative, YEDI, an international Non-Governmental Organisation, NGO, focuses on creating awareness about HIV/AIDS and malaria among students and youths in the society. The programme was held in Iwaya community, Yaba, Lagos. Speaking at the event, the Director of the project, Mrs. Estelle Dogbe, said that ExxonMobil’s involvement in the programme, through the ExxonMobil Foundation, made it possible for the participants to benefit from it. Mrs. Dogbe explained that the Skillz Naija initiative, which kicked off in November last year, had trained youth leaders from various communities on issues bordering on HIV/ AIDS and malaria, after which they proceeded to public schools to teach students what they had learnt. She said: “What we do is that we train youth leaders aged 18 to 25 with a curriculum that we developed ourselves. Then we send them to public schools to train and teach students in schools across Lagos, based on what we have taught them. I can say that we have made giant strides in the project.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

South West

Thursday, July 12, 2012

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Stop your verbal attack on me, Ladoja tells Adesina KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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ormer Oyo State Governor and Accord Party (AP) leader, Senator Rasheed Ladoja, has asked the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) leader, Alhaji Lam Adesina, to stop his verbal attack on him. Ladoja was reacting to a radio interview granted by Adesina in which he criticised the administration of the Accord Party chieftain.

He asked Adesina to forget the pains of his 2003 reelection defeat he suffered in his hands, adding that the ACN chieftain had been economical with the truth In a statement issued yesterday in Ibadan by his Media Aide, Alhaji Lanre Latinwo, Ladoja said: “It is not in our character to join issues with anybody, but in order to put the record straight, we are saying that Alhaji Lam Adesina was being economical with the truth”

He linked Adesina’s “uncontrolled vituperations” to his inability to bring him into the fold of the ACN. The statement reads: “After all, Senator Ladoja did not move the merger talks with ACN, it was Adesina who initiated the move to bring his younger brother into the party. On several occasions, Alhaji Adesina, in company of Alhaji Fatai Ibikunle, called at Senator Ladoja’s home to discuss a possible alliance with Ladoja group be-

cause of the acceptability of Ladoja in Oyo State.” Ladoja dismissed the claim by Adesina that education was at its comatose during his tenure, saying that it is on record that his administration earned the second rating in 2004/2005 as UBE compliant. He added that after introducing 30 per class policy, leave bonuses of teachers were paid as at when due, while the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso,

was rated as the fourth best in Nigeria. The Accord Party leader berated Adesina for destroying education by allegedly pursuing what he called anti-progressive policy in abeyance with his professional calling as a teacher The statement reads: “When Ladoja came on board, he brought about 30 per class; pays leave bonuses as at when due, better the lots of teachers, cumulating to the 2004/2005

award as the second best UBE compliance state, and the recognition of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology as the fourth best university in Nigeria. “His (Adesina) education policy was at abeyance to his professional calling as a teacher. During his time, teachers leave bonuses were not paid, schools were closed regularly while pupils in classes numbered over 100 among other anomalies.

American university partners Ogun on agric development

How to tackle terrorism –Oyelese

FEMI OYEWESO

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KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

tice with mercy, you are inflicting great damage on the system which will soon destroy its whole fabric. “But I say, once again, ours is a listening government. If this is the consensus of the good people of Oyo State that anyone who has stolen government money; anyone who falsified age; anyone who falsified certificates; anyone who is a ghost worker, we should leave them in the system, so be it. We will respect the wishes of our people, but I must tell you, if we do this, this state will not move forward”.

ormer Minister of Power and Steel Elder Wole Oyelese has suggested that a state of emergency should be declared on the nation’s Immigration and Customs Services as part of the strategies to stop the Boko Haram Islamic sect insurgency. In a statement issued yesterday in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, Oyelese alleged that there are strange movements in the South-West, urging security agencies to wake up to the challenges. He said if this piece of advice was heeded, the country would keep the terrorists outside out and cut the line of their support and would prevent future attacks on innocent citizens. The former minister said: “The step, if taken, will, no doubt, make the country hit hard on the citizens of our northern neighbours and also engage in search and onslaught, but then, this is what emergencies are all about. There is no time for sentiment or a situation to play the big brother”.

rationalisation exercise carried out by the apex bank in 1996 and 1998 on the orders of the military government of General Sani Abacha, the then Head of State. The appellate court, presided over by Justice K. B. Akaahs, adjourned for judgment after counsel for the appellants, Mr. Fred Agbaje, and that of the respondent, Chief E.

A. Oshe (SAN), adopted their written addresses. In his submission, Agbaje argued that it was wrong for the lower court to go back to the issue of statute bar already decided by the Court of Appeal. He urged the court to nullify the rationalisation exercise and order the immediate re-instatement of his clients without loss of seniority or benefits.

ABEOKUTA

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he Ogun State Government has signed a bilateral agreement with California University, United States, as part of efforts to revolutionalise agriculture in the state. The agreement was also aimed at facilitating the preparation for a practical, realistic and sustainable road map for agricultural development. A three-man delegation from the university, led by Muyiwa Omololu, said that the university was weighing the option of setting up a Resource Center to take care of human resources on best management practice in order to create competition among farmers. The delegation, which had in the previous week, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the government, stated that the state has the potentials to feed West African countries if the abundant opportunities be maximized. Omololu, who revealed that though the team was on assessment tour to the state to appraise the challenges facing agricultural development, but met a lot of opportunities waiting to be tapped..

L-R: Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi; Managing Director, Africa and Middle East, AGCO Ltd, Mr. Nuradin Osman and Director, Strategic Development, Mr. Paul Austin, during a visit by the firm to the governor in Ado-Ekiti, on Tuesday.

Sacked 3000 workers: Ajimobi asks review panel to be diligent KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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overnor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State yesterday asked members of the panel set up to review the petitions by the 3000 workers sacked for alleged certificate forgery to ensure thoroughness in the discharge of their duties. He said the decision to implement the audit report set up by the immediate past administration of Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala was carried out to ensure that the state public service regains its

The governor said though he is desirous of effective and corrupt-free public service, once it is the general consensus of the people that those who had been found wanting of fraudulent practices should be brought back into the system, he would do that without much ado. He said: “We, as a government, will not on any occasion sack any innocent person. It is ungodly and indeed a sin against God and man. But if anyone defrauded the system, has stolen and falsified his credentials and you say we should temper jus-

Ex-CBN workers’ appeal suffer setback WALE IGBINTADE

T Amosun

reputation as one of the best in the country. Ajimobi said: “As we do not want any innocent man to be punished, all cases that come before you must be expeditiously reviewed in the interest of justice, fairness and posterity.” The governor, however, said that he would reabsorb the sacked workers if the people agreed that they should be re-engaged. Ajimobi spoke at the inauguration of a panel set up to review claims of wrongful termination of appointments by some of the affected individuals.

he appeal filed by former employees of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) against the apex bank has suffered a setback as the Lagos Division of Court of Appeal failed to deliver judgment on it.

National Mirror learnt that the appeal may be heard de-novo (afresh) following the nomination of Justice K. B Akaahs, who is the presiding justice to the Supreme Court Bench. There are indications that Justice Akaahs may have returned the file for a new panel to be consti-

tuted. The appellants (exCNB workers) are challenging the verdict of a Federal High Court delivered by Justice Rebecca Olomojobi, which held that their retrenchment was in order. Their appointment was terminated by the CBN as a result of the


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South East

Thursday, July 12, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Ebonyi NLC shuns intimidation, elects executives MADU EZENOHA ABAKALIKI

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he Ebonyi State chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, yesterday ignored court injunction and police intimidation to elect new members of the state executive. The police deployed hundreds of anti-riot policemen and Armoured Personnel Carriers, APC, to stop the election. They fired several gunshots into the air and several canisters of tear gas to disperse the workers. The NLC members, who assembled at the Catholic Pastoral Centre, Abakaliki,

venue of the exercise, defied the court injunction earlier obtained by the Special Assistant to Governor Martin Elechi on Labour Relations, Comrade John Nwokerekwu, and Mr. Godwin Okafor. But when the effect of the tear gas became unbearable, the workers were forced to relocate to the state Secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT, at Calabar Street, to declare the result and swear in the newly elected officers. The intervention of the Catholic Bishop of Abakaliki Diocese, Rt. Rev. Michael Okoro, through Rev. Fr.

Abraham Nwali, Judicial Vicar, failed to reconcile the workers and the police. When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, DSP Sylvester Igbo, told journalists that police were acting on a court order stopping the election. “There is a court order which was served to the police preventing NLC from conducting the election… Tear gas was used to disperse the workers, I’m not aware of gun shots,” he said. But the leader of the electoral team from the NLC headquarters, Comrade Marcus Omopale, who is

also the secretary-general of the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, described the action of police and government as “barbaric”. He said: “What we experienced today, we lack the right adjective to qualify it. But to say the least, it was barbaric. This is the highpoint of interference in the workers’ affairs. The state government clearly demonstrated bias and they wanted to ensure that the election was not conducted so that they can continue to oppress the workers of Ebonyi. “And to ensure that they continue to perpetrate jun-

gle justice and continue to oppress the workers, they decided to obtain a black market injunction in order to restrain us from conducting the election but we are encouraged by the commitment and the maturity demonstrated by the workers of this state.” Reacting to the development, the Commissioner for Information and State Orientation, Mr. Chike Onwe, denied government’s involvement or interest in the matter and said police were merely acting on a court order. But the newly elected Chairman, Comrade Joseph Nweke, expressed

displeasure over the police action. He said: “We were not violent. So, I wonder why the decision to use tear gas on the innocent workers of Ebonyi State, I’m not happy about it. However, in future elections they should not use force, there should be negotiation. You discuss with workers and then ask them your problem instead of using force.” Nweke, who was the state chairman of NUT, was declared winner of the NLC state chairmanship election, having polled 312 votes to defeat Comrade Ikechukwu Nwafor, who polled 239 votes.

Give Nigeria accurate census figure, Ohanaeze tells NPC chair NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA

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he Igbo social and cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has called on the National Population Commission, NPC, Chairman, Chief Festus Odumegwu, to conduct a free and fair census as soon as possible and release accurate figure to reflect the true population. The association said the call became imperative because what transpired in 2006 in the name of census was merely a charade and exercise in futility as it was marred by apathy and inaccuracy. Its Director of Publicity in Diaspora, Chief Sonny Louis Okafor, who made the call while commending President Goodluck Jonathan for appointing Odumegwu as the new NPC boss, said he was worried by the inaccurate population figure of Nigerians released after the last census.

He said: “Our son, Odumegwu, who has just been appointed the NPC chairman, should use his good offices to correct the anomaly because Igbo are noted for core achievements and good sense of integrity –hard work. “The Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Diaspora are hereby calling on our son, Chief Festus Odumegwu, the new NPC chairman, to give Nigeria a census of the nation’s population unlike what the past exercise portrayed. “We also back Mr. President’s though belated move to give a bite to the security operatives to curtail the menace of Boko Haram in the northern part of Nigeria and other security challenges facing the nation. “Furthermore, we want to advise opposition political parties to always have the interest of Nigeria behind all their criticisms and comments on national issues rather than playing to the gallery.”

L-R: Representative of the Director-General, Bureau for Public Procurement, Mr. Eze Obasi; Chairman of the occasion, Mr. Ikeazor Akaraiwe and Enugu State Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Mr. Kester Agbowo, during the BPP 2012 sensitisation programme for South-East stakeholders in Enugu, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Assembly screens five commissioner-nominees CHARLES OKEKE AWKA

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nambra State House of Assembly has begun the screening of five commissioner-nominees whose names were sent by Governor Peter Obi. The new nominees are Okoli Akilika, Ndubuisi Menakaya, Fidelis Okafor, Christopher Okigbo and

Group holds security, health seminar for indigenes GEORGE OPARA ABIA

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n the face of bloodletting in the country, a group of Anambra indigenes resident in Abia State, under the aegis of Ihiala Divisional Union, Umuahia Branch, has embarked on sensitisation of its members to security precautions. Delivering a lecture

at a security and health seminar organised by the group in Umuahia, former Special Adviser to former Governor Chinwoke Mbadinuju of Anambra State, Dr. Cyra Obi, said people must be conscious of the happenings in their environment. Condemning the attitude of some people to happenings in their vicinity, the security expert encour-

aged people to stop being unnecessarily afraid of volunteering useful information to security agencies about some suspicious persons in their area. He said: “The criminal in your locality that you are afraid to disclose information about probably because of family sentiments, will be the first to kill you when he meets you during operation.’’

Mrs. Benedict Okoye. The screening, which is a prelude for confirmation, began at the plenary of the House held on Tuesday when the Deputy Speaker, Prince Chukwudi Orizu, read out the names of the nominees from a letter sent to the House by the governor. The list was then referred to the Screening Committee, which is ex-

pected to submit its report at the next session of the House today. It is expected that the confirmation of the nominees will be a mere formality, just as the way the first 12 nominees, who have assumed duties, were confirmed without much stress. Again, the House had at the same Tuesday sitting unanimously adopted a motion sponsored by Mr.

Obi

Tony One Week Muonagor, Idemili North Constituency, condemning the brutal murder of innocent people in Plateau State by terrorists.

Anambra: Transport unions’ crisis deepens, despite IGP’s intervention NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA

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he crisis between the Association of Autobike Owners of Nigeria, AOWAN, and Keke NAPEP Owners and Operators Welfare Association of Anambra State (KNOOWAS), lingers despite the intervention of the Acting InspectorGeneral of Police, IGP, Mo-

hammed Abubakar. The two associations have been enmeshed in interunion crisis following an alleged move by AOWAN to force KNOOWAS to join it, an overture which the tricycle union rejected. Following this disagreement, both parties resorted to petition writing and threats, which later drew the attention of the IGP.

Abubakar invited the warring groups to Abuja but the crisis could not be resolved. Briefing journalists in Onitsha on the outcome of the meeting with police top hierarchy, the state Chairman of KNOOWAS, Mr. Donatus Ezeanuna, said although they did not meet directly with the IGP, his representatives could not achieve much.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Oshiomhole: Broom Revolution’s grand rally

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Politics

The ‘Heartbeat’ PDP can’t evade

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Jega admits circulation of fake voters’ cards COUNTDOWN TO

EDO GUBER POLL JULY 14, 2012

02 DAYS

VOTE

TO GO

SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN

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orty-eight hours to Saturday’s governorship election in Edo State, Prof. Attahiru Jega, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has admitted the existence of fake voters’ cards in the state. He said: “From what I’ve seen now, looking at these cards before me, I can confirm that they are fake. And I believe this is as a result of an abuse of privilege because we had made copies of the voters’ register available to all the parties. What these criminals have simply done is to clone from the voters’ register we made available to the public. But let me assure the public that the cards I’ve seen can not in any way be used at our polling units because our polling

• Orders removal of campaign billboards from schools • IGP promises total security officers have been trained to look out for the special PIN numbers and other security features in the valid voters’ register which will be used on the day of election.” Jega made the disclosure yesterday in Benin City, at a stakeholders’ meeting organised for governorship candidates by the commission. He, however, assured that he would conduct Saturday’s governorship election with customised ballot papers and result sheets to neutralise possible illegal movements of the materials from place to place. Jega, who expressed disappointment at the desperation of some of the candidates in the election, observed that the laminated cards tendered in evidence by the governorship candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, were a bold attempt to clone the original,

but noted that the forgers did not succeed in capturing the security features as well. Oshiomhole, who tendered the fake cards, had told the INEC boss that the cards were seized from

some agents of the opposition party who are now reportedly in police custody. Meanwhile, the Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Abubakar also yesterday, read the riot act to stakeholders

in the state, vowing to deal ruthlessly with anybody including men of the Nigeria Police Force, who attempt to manipulate the election. The IGP stated this yesterday in Benin City at a stakeholders’ forum with the leadership of political parties and their candi-

dates. Those that attended included those of the ACN, Governor Oshiomhole; Charles Airhiavbere of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Solomon Edebiri of the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP), Frank Ukonga of the Social Mega CONTINUED ON PAGE 16

L-R: Hon. Vincent Akhere, Mr. Ogbede Ihama, Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (rtd), PDP governorship candidate; Chief Tony Anenih, Dan Orbih and Matthew Urhoghide at the grand rally at Okada, the headquarters of Ovia North East LGA on Tuesday.

Ex-Dep Senate President backs Oshiomhole PDP: Opinion poll outcomes commendable

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former Deputy Senate President and pioneer member of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Albert Legogie has declared his support for the re-election of Comrade Oshiomhole as governor of Edo State. In a statement issued in Benin City, Legogie said Oshiomhole’s re-election has transcended the boundary of partisan politics because “Adams Oshiomhole through his performance in office as governor has acquitted himself creditably, and has therefore become the shinning jewel on the crown of the people of Edo State.” He said: “Comrade Oshiomhole has exhibited exemplary courage, uncommon spirit of selflessness,

prudence in the management of scarce resources and addictive commitment to the promotion of the welfare of the people of Edo State through his unprecented people-oriented development programmes.” Legogie said what the people of Edo State need today is to stand solidly by the Comrade Governor to further propel the wheels of development which he has set in motion, and not politics of divisiveness, bitterness and self aggrandizement which had been the bane of development of the state in the past. The senator urged people of the state not to be “deceived by the antics of self-serving political demagogues and locusts,” urging the people “to unite in one accord and vote massively for the Comrade

Governor come July 14 to enable him complete the transformation and modernization of the state and lift it to the next level to regain its pride of place as the nation’s centre of arts and culture, black civilization and the heartbeat of Nigeria.”

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he Edo State Chapter of the PDP said yesterday that it received with an open mind the outcomes of the two separate opinion polls so far conducted by some privately-run agencies on the Saturday governorship election in the state.

CAN warns against manipulation DENNIS AGBO ENUGU

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he South East Zone of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) yesterday warned against manipulation of the upcoming governorship election in Edo State, stressing the need for people’s votes to count. Chairman of CAN in the zone and Anglican Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Chuk-

wuma gave the warning while reading the communiqué of the organisation’s meeting held in Enugu to newsmen. Chukwuma urged the people of the state to ensure that peace reigned during the governorship election. He advised church leaders to desist from making offensive and unnecessary sermons and vowed that the association would sanitise its house.

The first was by FASTTRACK and the second was by RMS. In the first poll conducted by FASTTRACK which outcome was released on Monday and published in some national newspapers, the PDP candidate, Major General Charles Airhiavbere (retd) emerged the most preferred candidate for governor while the RMS, in its poll outcome released on Tuesday, gave victory to the ACN candidate, Governor Adams Oshiomhole. Director of Publicity of the PDP, Mr. Okharedia Ihimekpen commended both agencies for embarking on the enterprise even though the outcomes posted by them were significantly divergent. Ihimekpen said that “both agencies have demonstrated courage by stak-

ing their reputations on the altar of the Saturday governorship election and there is no doubt that the opinion poll outcomes would be subjected to veracity test by the Edo electorate in whose hands lie the fates of the governorship candidates.” He explained that it was for “this reason that the PDP has decided to be sharply focussed on its electioneering while brushing aside developments that could distract it from its set-goal which is achieving a resounding victory in Saturday’s governorship election.” He declared that “all indices on the ground in the 192 wards and 18 local government areas of the state suggest that the PDP is better positioned to demystify the incumbency factor, ‘shock’ the governor by showing him the way out of office.”


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Politics

Thursday, July 12, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Oshiomhole: Broom Revolution’s grand rally Governor Adams Oshiomhole was at home on Saturday July 7 when a grand rally for his re-election was held. To the speakers at the event, Oshiomhole’s second term ambition is a fait accompli. SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN reports.

COUNTDOWN TO

EDO GUBER POLL JULY 14, 2012

02 DAYS DA AYS AY YS

VOTE

TO GO

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ong before the historic grand rally of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) held for Comrade Adams Oshiomhole on Saturday, July 7 at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City, it was clear, as the leaders of the ACN alleged, that there was a grand conspiracy to rig this weekend’s governorship election in Edo State. The fear of rigging and manipulation of the election which accusing fingers of ACN leaders have been pointing especially to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) informed the storming of Benin City by a train of the party’s elected governors, national and state lawmakers and other national leaders. Leading the ACN team, which included the governors of Lagos, Ekiti, Osun and Ogun states, Babatunde Fashola, Kayode Fayemi, Rauf Aregbesola and Ibikunle Amosun respectively were: the former governor of Lagos State and National Leader of the ACN, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the National Chairman and former governor of Osun State, Chief Bisi Akande and former governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba. Others in the train include: Senator Chris Ngige, Senator Ehigie Uzamere and Senator Domingo Obende; former PDP chairman, Chief Audu Ogbeh, former President of the Nigeria Bar Association and ACN governorship candidate in Ondo State, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu; Chief Tom Ikimi as well as the Edo State chairman of the ACN, Thomas Okosun. Also in the team were federal lawmakers, Razaq Bello-Osagie, Samson Osagie, a former member of the House of Representatives, Dino Melaye from Kogi State, former presidential aide, Prof. Julius Ihinvbere as well as the ACN National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed. A former federal lawmaker, Patrick Obahiagbon, moderated the rally with his bombastic words and Latin terminologies. Different speakers at the rally highlighted and emphasised what the party members, supporters and voters must do on Saturday to ensure that the votes of ordinary citizens in Edo State count. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the ACN urged its members to come out en masse, accredit, vote, wait and observe the counting of votes as well as declaration of results, before following the results to the collation centres. Tinubu said: “Five years ago, we came here for Oshiomhole to appeal to you to vote for progress, to vote for peace and to vote for development. We made a promise to you that when you elect him, development will follow. Today, there’s no more flood; there’s no more sharing the money of the people of Edo. The money is work-

L-R: National Chairman of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Chief Bisi Akande; National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; Governors Amosun (Ogun); Fayemi (Ekiti); Oshiomhole (Edo); Fashola (Lagos) and Aragbesola (Osun), during the grand campaign rally of the ACN for Saturday’s gubernatorial election in Edo State, last Saturday.

ing for you. Now is the time to vote for the future of your children; to vote for the future of all of you.” He continued in Pidgin English: “I watched the debate for TV. I watch am. Somebody no get answer at all. He no even get answer correct for balance. He no fit answer the matter for hand; he de sleep for retirement. He said students of Edo land are criminals. Are you criminals? I want you to answer him with your votes. Go home; go to every door in your neighbourhood and make sure they vote for Oshiomhole. Go to market women, vulcanizers, Igbos, Yorubas; make sure they vote for Oshiomhole. Put your thumb in the middle of the space where you see the ACN logo.” Playing on the same fallout of the last governorship debate, Governor Fashola said, “You see, at the time elections come like this, all sorts of untested and unprepared people come to you with all sorts of promises. But what you have chosen with your hands, what you fought for four years ago, you have seen the results. This is the time for you to renew the social contract that is working for you. The PDP was here for 10 years! When they were here, I know how this football field was. We are now standing on the field that we built with our sweat, with taxes and with our governor. Fayemi compared the revolution in Edo to the French Revolution which historically occurred on the day of the election, July 14. His words: “The French Revolution was about justice, egalitarianism, equality, progress and democracy.” He added that since the PDP has nothing to show for being in power in about 13 years now everywhere, the revolution that is sweeping through Edo State should be reconfirmed on July 14. Aregbesola, who stirred the stadium with his fiery speech, challenged all eligible voters in the state to take their destiny in their hands on Saturday. He said: “I am here to tell you that what is best for Edo State is the continuation of the ACN government under the able leadership of Oshiomhole. I am already in tune that the people of Edo are Oshiomhole’s; that is the essence of this platform. Having said this and having listened to the speech-

THIS ELECTION IS THE FINAL OPPORTUNITY TO BURY THE GODFATHERS WHO UNDERDEVELOPED THE STATE.

THE

GODFATHERS ARE ANGRY THAT THEY CAN NO LONGER FEED FAT ON THE COMMONWEALTH OF THE PEOPLE es of people who have spoken before me, what is most important is the presence of our work on July 14. As you did five years ago, it is unmistakable that you will return Oshiomhole.” He however, warned: “But there is a conspiracy against his return. That conspiracy is already settled. You must use your power: the power of this intimidating presence to frustrate their conspiracy. On July 14, we must mobilise to all the polling units. After your votes, all those below the ages of 55: men and women below the ages of 55 must stand by the polling stations after the voting to ensure that your votes count. It does not end there. A detachment of some of you should move to the local government centres and ensure that you collect the results of the collation centres. Finally, all of us must be there in a larger number than this. If they announce any false results, heaven will fall. If they announce any name other than that of Adams Oshiomhole, heaven will fall.” Governor Amosun on his part urged the voters to use their power to vote ACN. Handing the party’s flag to Oshiomhole, signifying the readiness of the party and its supporters to re-elect him, Akande, said: “All you have to do is to go out there and show the people of Nigeria that you are for the ACN and that you are for Oshiomhole. I will come again after the election to thank

you for voting for your governor.” Responding, Oshiomhole, said that July 14 presents an opportunity for the people of Edo State to consign those who underdeveloped the state to the dustbin of history. His words: “This election is the final opportunity to bury the godfathers who underdeveloped the state. The godfathers are angry that they can no longer feed fat on the commonwealth of the people and they are now hungry. There is no nation in the world that has the resources it needs to meet all the needs of the people; but Nigeria has the resources to meet the basic needs of the people but does not have the resources to meet the greed of its godfathers. “When we came in over three and half years ago they told us Edo was not viable but today we have shown that with prudent management of resources, the government has impacted on the lives of the people. For the first time, Benin City wears a new look at night and for the first time water is flowing in Edo Central, today our public schools are far more beautiful than most private schools in Edo State. We have shown we can build roads, provide water, and build schools and hospitals.” Oshiomhole said that he sought a new mandate because the state is a work in progress, promising that he would restore completely, the lost glory of the state. Oshiomhole commended President Goodluck Jonathan for publicly denouncing rigging at the PDP grand rally the previous week as well as his adherence to the principle of one man, one vote and urged Edo people not to be intimidated by the presence of the 3,500 soldiers drafted to the state to maintain peace before, during and after the election, towards a free, fair, peaceful and credible election. Berating the Cross River State governor, Liyel Imoke for asking the people to vote the PDP so that Edo State would be in the league of PDP-controlled states, Oshiomhole said that Imoke has no moral right to canvass votes for the PDP considering how he worsened Nigeria’s electricity situation as Minister of Power, a position in which he allegedly ‘empowered himself ’ before getting a PDP soft-landing into power as state governor.


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Politics

Thursday, July 12, 2012

lthough Edo State may not be very rich in oil (Nigeria’s major income earner) like its sister states in the Niger Delta region, it is however the home and cradle of arts, culture, bronze casting as well as wood works. The arts of Benin Kingdom (the dominant tribe in the state) are global brand, while its artefacts are among the most exquisite and coveted in world’s history which represents the earliest civilisation among Africans. But neither the arts nor the artefacts would be the bone of contention this weekend as major political parties spoil for war in the governorship election in the state. Although scores will be taking part in the exercise, it has been described as a twoway contest between the incumbent, Comrade Adams Ashiomhole of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and Major Gen. Charles Airhiavbere (retd) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). While Oshiomhole is said to have performed creditably well within the three and half years he had been in power and deserves a return to the Osadebe Avenue Government House, the PDP which ruled the state for about 10 years before it was swept away by the ACN revolution, has never hidden its desire to stage a comeback due to what its leadership described as the strategic position Edo State, which prides itself as the Heartbeat of the Nation occupies in the party. It was this desire that prompted the PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, to declare during the inauguration of the Vice President Namadi Sambo-led National Campaign Committee for the election on June 12, that: “The history of our great party cannot be complete without Edo State. PDP and Edo State are intertwined, as very important founding fathers of the party are from the state. This relationship between the party and Edo State from its unique perspective has therefore positioned the state as a musthave PDP state.” Top among the party’s founding fathers from the state is the former Minister of Works, Chief Tony Anenih. Popularly referred to as “Mr. Fix It” in the political circle, Anenih, is also a former chairman of the PDP’s Board of Trustees (BoT). Others are former governor of the defunct Bendel State, Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia and the Esama of Benin, Chief Gabriel Igbinedion. There are also key members of the present administration such as Chief of Staff to President Goodluck Jonathan, Chief Mike Oghiadhome and the Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen. Tukur, who would be having his first baptism of fire as the party’s National Chairman with the election further said: “As you are aware, this is the first election to be conducted under my watch as the National Chairman of the PDP. I wish to reiterate my commitment and determination to ensure this election as a major victory for the party. I have been a winner in business, I have been a winner in politics and Insha Allah, we shall win the forthcoming elections in Edo State.” While the Vice President assured that his committee will deliver Edo State to the PDP because the South-South geo-political zone belongs to the party, he however ruled out success through the backdoor as the contest would be decided by the electorate. He was to reiterate the stand on June 16, at the flag off of the party’s campaign in Benin, the state capital, when he said: “This

The ‘Heartbeat’ PDP can’t evade FELIX NWANERI writes on the resolve of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to ensure that it wins this weekend’s governorship election in Edo State despite belief in some quarters that the incumbent, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole deserves a second term, given his giant strides. COUNTDOWN TO

EDO GUBER POLL JULY 14, 2012

02 DAYS DA AYS AY YS

VOTE

TO GO

President Jonathan presenting PDP’s flag to Airhiavbere, the party’s governorship candidate at the PDP’s grand campaign rally in Benin City, recently.

THE

PDP WOULD

WIN THE ELECTION AS LONG AS PARTY MEMBERS IN THE STATE MOBILISE AND VOTE FOR ITS

CANDIDATE... A VOTE

AIRHIAVBERE IS A VOTE FOR PEACE, TRANSFORMATION, EDUCATION, HEALTH

FOR

AND CHANGES election in Edo will also be free and fair; it will be in the message of one man, one vote. Do not allow yourself to do anything that will bring chaos.” Tukur, who also spoke at the event, said the party will bring back Edo State into the mainstream of South-South politics, which is already controlled by the PDP. This he noted justified why the party selected a capable hand in the person of Airhiavbere as its candidate, saying: “When you want to win a war, you go for a general.” Among party bigwigs who accompanied Sambo and Tukur to the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium to “market” Airhiavbere’s candidature to the people of Edo State were Governors Patrick Yakowa (Kaduna) and Liyel Imoke (Cross Rivers) as well as party leaders like Anenih, Ogbemudia, Igbinedion, former governors of Bayelsa

and Kaduna states, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha and Ahmed Makarfi among others. But despite the crowd of party faithful and supporters that thronged the 49,000 capacity stadium that fateful day, the PDP’s national leadership was quick to hold a second rally four days later (June 30), an event, members of the opposition described as a panic move to improve the popularity rating of Airhiavbere ahead of the poll. President Jonathan, who personally led party chieftains to address the second rally, assured residents of the state of a peaceful poll and called on PDP members to mobilise to ensure victory. The President also used the opportunity to thank the people of the state for voting for him during the 2011 presidential election, saying it was in the state he started his “one man, one vote” campaign. Before Jonathan’s visit, there had been apprehension among party leaders in the state over whether Airhiavbere really enjoys the President’s support. To a few pessimists, Oshiomhole’s backing of the President in the 2011 elections may have earned him support against the PDP’s candidate. And it was this that forced them to mount pressure on Jonathan to show physical presence in Benin to dispel the speculation that he was indeed supporting Oshiomhole and to assure the people that their votes will count. It was against this backdrop that the President noted that being the dominant party, the PDP would win the election as long as party members in the state mobilise and vote for its candidate. He also told the mammoth crowd that graced the grand

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finale rally that a vote for Airhiavbere is a vote for peace, transformation, education, health and changes, assuring the contestants of a level playing field. His words: “This time around, there will be no thuggery, it is going to be one man one vote. I came here to promise the people of Edo State that they should keep faith with that promise. “This morning before I came, I asked the Inspector-General of Police, ‘Are you ready for Edo State?’ He said yes. I asked the Chief of Defence Staff, ‘Are you ready for Edo State?’ He said yes. I guarantee 100 per cent security for your election and there will be no manipulation, election results will be entered at the various units and nobody will change figures. PDP is the dominant party. As long as you mobilise and vote PDP, we will win. I am sure that, come July 14, PDP will rule Edo.” Anenih, who spoke earlier, said Jonathan’s visit ended rumours that the President would not grace PDP’s campaign in the state. He also assured of the party’s preparedness for the election, saying: “We want to put in place a government that will be responsive to the yearnings of the people. Mr. President, your presence here has raised our hope. You have energised us. We need a free and fair election. We want to make sure that on election day, all the candidates will be given equal opportunity to vote and go home.” Those on the President’s entourage included Sambo, Tukur, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Chief Anyim Pius Anyim, Governors Imoke, Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta), Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa), and Idris Wada (Kogi). The visit was however not without issues as a drama ensued when Jonathan and his entourage paid a courtesy visit to the Benin monarch, Oba Erediauwa. Curiously, the Oba did not meet with other PDP chieftains but asked for a private meeting with Jonathan while the palace chiefs, led by the Iyase of Benin Kingdom, Chief Sam Igbe, publicly prayed for the president and his entourage. This was later to be interpreted by the ACN camp as a snub and was widely reported in the media. But clearing the air over the controversy, the revered monarch, through a statement signed by the Secretary to the Benin Traditional Council, Frank Irabor, said that he “managed to see the president despite the complicated situation on that day.” The statement read in part: “The palace would like to make it clear that the Omo N’Oba did not shun Mr. President and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members that came visiting with him. In fact, it is the respect and love the Omo N’Oba has for Mr. President, that made Omo N’Oba to still manage to see our president in a private chamber in the palace despite a complicated situation on that day. “The Omo N’Oba uses this medium to advice politicians to avoid violence in the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Edo State. Political office occupation should not be seen as a do-or-die. The Omo N’Oba prays God and the ancestors to remove death and violence from Edo State.” While the stage is set for the big showdown, the anxiety already in both camps cannot but justify the popular notion in political circle that the pleasure of governing must certainly be exquisite if judged from the vast numbers who are eager to be concerned with it.


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Politics

Thursday, July 12, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Reps in rowdy session over deployment of troops COUNTDOWN TO

EDO GUBER POLL JULY 14, 2012

02 DAYS

VOTE

TO GO

OMEIZA AJAYI

I

t was a rowdy session yesterday in the House of Representatives as members were fiercely divided as to whether to allow for debate, a motion border-

ing on President Goodluck Jonathan’s deployment of troops in Edo State ahead of Saturday’s governorship election in the state. Although, incumbent Governor Adams Oshiomole had in an earlier interview with National Mirror welcomed the deployment of soldiers in the state, a member of his party, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) from Ekiti State, Bimbo Daramola had yes-

terday drawn the attention of his colleagues to what he called the “illegality of Mr. President’s action.” Hardly had he finished raising the motion when Speaker Aminu Tambuwal decided to ask the House to decide on whether to deliberate on the issue or discard it. His question threw the session into a noisy round of support and disapproval of Daramola’s motion.

When the members eventually engaged in a voice vote, it was a split decision with most members of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) kicking against the motion which saw members of the opposition ACN and others rising in support. Despite the split vote, Tambuwal’s decision to align with those seeking to kill the motion would have effectively sealed further

legislative interference on the issue but for the timely intervention of the House’ Minority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila. Gbajabiamila had punctured the speaker’s ruling saying it was unconstitutional to have hastily ruled on such a matter and that since he has challenged the opinion of Tambuwal, there was need to put the matter to another vote. Gbajabiamila had relied on Order 11 Rule 77(1) of the Standing Order of the House to make his assertion. It states: “If the opinion of the Speaker, or in Committee of the Whole House the Chairman, as to the decision of a question is challenged, the Speaker or the Chairman shall direct that the lobbies be cleared and on such direction being given, the doors to the Chamber shall be locked and the decision shall be taken.” However, few minutes after ruling Gbajabiamila out and discarding the motion, the speaker drew the at-

tention of his colleagues to the fact that he erred in his “mental” interpretation of the said section and urged them to allow him reverse himself. Tambuwal also added that the House will take a decision today on whether to debate the legality of troops deployment in Edo State. “As a human being, in reading Order 11 Rule 77(1), I had mentally injected ‘in’ in the first line to read ‘If in the opinion of the Speaker’ rather than ‘If the opinion of the Speaker’. I apologise for that and I reverse my ruling. So, the ‘division’ will now be taken tomorrow. It will be the first thing that we will do tomorrow”, he said. Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 5, Hashimu Salihu Argungu had last week in Benin disclosed that the Military High Command has approved the deployment of 3, 500 soldiers in Edo along with 60 Hilux buses and some army patrol trucks.

PSC deploys 834 Election Observers Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State addressing voters at a rally of the Action Congress of Nigeria at Ososo, Akoko Edo Local Government Area on Tuesday.

Clark urges electorate to vote best candidate SOLA ADEBAYO WARRI

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hief Edwin Clark, an Ijaw leader, yesterday asked the people of Edo State to cast their votes freely for any of the gubernatorial candidates in the Saturday’s election. Clark, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) asked the electorate to vote for any of the governorship candidates, who could replicate the development strides of the former governor of the defunct Midwest and Bendel States, Chief Samuel Ogbemudia, in the next four years. A former Minister of Information, who was short of endorsing the incumbent governor and candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in the Saturday’s election, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole, said with the performance of Ogbemudia as governor of defunct Midwest State, “It was therefore difficult for anybody to defeat him at the poll during the gubernatorial election in 1983.

Let the people cast their votes according to their conscience having regards to the performance of the current governor or the promises of other candidates.” “I was shocked with dismay, when I visited Benin City after the eight years of (former) Governor Lucky Igbinedion’s rule, that all the development carried

out by Gen. S.O. Ogbemudia (rtd) has collapsed. I could not pass through the Mission Road, the Boundary Road, Forestry Road, Airport Road etc. These important roads have been washed away and cut into gully. “It is therefore the question of giving the Edo people the opportunity of choosing a candidate they

love to vote for, who will develop the state. They are humans, they see, nobody should therefore cajole or intimidate them into doing things they do not voluntarily want to. Let them exercise their franchise as dictated by their conscience. We should not underrate the Edo people that they do not know what is good for them.”

Jega admits circulation of fake voters’ cards CONTINUED FROM 13 Democratic Party (SMDP), Andrew Igwemoh of the Labour Party (LP) and Comrade Paul Orunmwensen of the National Conscience Party (NCP). Jega said the commission wanted to use Edo State as a test case in the conduct of a free and fair election in the country and warned that any form of violence and militancy on the day of the election would meet with the force of security agencies’ fury. Jega said: “The ballot papers are customised so you can’t move them from

one part of the state to another. We want to ensure that there is true accountability for unused ballot papers; result sheets are also customised. Oshiomhole, who presented a fake INEC Identification card and voters’ card purportedly being distributed by the leader of one of the political parties, urged the commission to watch out for such acts. On his own, the PDP candidate, Airhiavbere urged the commission to ensure that all billboards or posters were removed from any school and other public

places that would be used for polling unit while Edebiri of the ANPP urged security agents to ensure thugs do not snatch ballot boxes Edebiri alleged: “People have been imported and are being trained now to ensure that they disrupt the election.” But Jega assured: “We have urged our people to be very vigilante. The people who are coming to conduct the election are very credible people who were carefully selected. Nobody is expected to move money around on the day of election.”

OBIORA IFOH ABUJA

A

n independent election monitoring group in Nigeria, Project Swift Count (PSC) yesterday said it has deployed 834 election observers to Edo State for the Saturday governorship election in the state. Addressing newsmen on arrangements by the coalition of election monitors to cover the governorship election, the PSC First Co-chairman, Dafe Akpedeye (SAN) said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has already accredited all the 834 observers who will cover all the 18 local government areas in the state. He said: “While 800 of them will be deployed as stationary observers to pre-randomly selected polling units spread across the 18 local government areas of the state, the remaining 34 will rove. “Only last Saturday, the training of the observers was concluded in 29 centres spread across Edo State. The training was conducted in order to ensure that the governorship election is adequately

observed in line with the PSC’s mission to build the confidence of voters in the election and promote free, fair, peaceful, credible elections in Nigeria.” He explained that PSC began preparations to observe the governorship election in Edo State as far back as February when it observed the primary election of the PDP. Akpedeye commended INEC, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and the office of the Special Adviser to the President on Inter Party Affairs for the various sensitisation programmes they organised for the political parties and the people of Edo State. “PSC calls on the people of Edo State to come out en masse to exercise their civic responsibility by voting for their preferred governorship candidate on Saturday. An election characterised by low turnout may not produce the desired result hence it is important for all eligible voters to come out to vote.” PSC is a joint effort of these organisations: Justice, Development, Peace/ Caritas (JDPC); Nigerian Bar Association (NBA); and Transition Monitoring Group (TMG).


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Thursday, July 12, 2012

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Reinventing NYSC to meet new realities WE NEED TO BE CAREFUL WHEN

EXISTENTIAL HUMANISM

HANDLING THINGS THAT ARE NOT ONLY

FRY

SENSITIVE, BUT TOUCH

NDUBUISI fryndubuisi@nationalmirroronline.net (08023016709 SMS only)

I

t is no longer news that mass protests greeted 2012 Batch B NYSC orientation for fresh corps members. The source of the indignation was the posting of participating graduates, especially those from the South to the volatile states in the North. The affected candidates vowed not to have anything to do with the posting and they got the sympathies of their vocal parents, guidance, discerning Nigerians and even the press. Many notable organizations and political parties joined the calls for the management of NYSC to have a rethink on the issue. The Director General of NYSC, Brigadier General Nnamdi OKere-Affa, reacting to the deluge of protests and criticisms had initially insisted that nothing would stop him from posting graduates to the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, saying his action was backed by law. The nation was saved from a prolonged brouhaha by the

T

ON HUMAN LIVES intervention of the federal authorities. In the face of current realities, Plateau State should be in the list of blacklisted states where corps members should not be posted. That is what pragmatism demands. We need to be careful when handling things that are not only sensitive, but touch on human lives. In 2011 10 corpers died during the post presidential election protests. The FG then commiserated with the families of the victims and made some promises of assistance, which up till now are yet to be redeemed. Even if this had been done, I dare say that there is no amount of monetary compensation that can atone for the loss of loved ones. The current situation in Nigeria, especially in the North is very grave; it is akin to a war situation. You could now get bombed anywhere, - church, market place, the comfort of your room, your office or a relaxation spot. It is a bizarre situation that has defied solution. Thus when the NYSC DG made the promise of

‘adequate security for the corpers’ posted to the ‘war zones’, many knew it was a hollow promise. At inception, the NYSC scheme looked promising against the desire to patch up a fractious nation facing the challenges of rebirth after a 30 month civil war. Several years after, many are thinking that the scheme has lost its significance because the dream of a united Nigeria has not been fulfilled. There is therefore, a compelling need for the authorities to have a second look at its aims and objectives and source for fresh ways and means of promoting the great ideals that brought the organization into being in the first place. The time for a complete overhaul of NYSC is now. This is a project that has been on for 39 years. There is an urgent need for reinventing it in response to current socioeconomic and political needs of the country. It is important the age eligibility criterion for participating in the programme be reviewed. Since the cut off age is 30, it is also important that the starting age be placed at 24 years. At this starting age of 24, the corps members can think for themselves and be able to cope with the uncertainties and vagaries of the new environment they find themselves. Besides, prospective corps members could be given the opportunity to make a choice of about three zones they wish to serve while the final deci-

sion remains with NYSC management. In addition the NYSC, in conjunction with the states and Local government councils, should be thinking seriously about building structures where corpers will be quartered during the one year service. When they are quartered at a particular location it is easy to give them protection. It is a well known fact that accommodation remains a major challenge facing corpers in their areas of primary assignments. Besides it is obvious that corpers constitute the work force of most organizations, including states and local governments. A governor in one of the trouble spots in the North confessed that corps members that had served in the state constituted over 65 percent of the manpower required for its healthcare delivery system and education services at the grassroots level. This is the case with many other states and private organizations. And yet at the end of the service year these corpers are thrown out to the job market. This is wrong. The NYSC, in conjunction with relevant authorities, should come up with a policy of ensuring that beneficiaries of the scheme must retain certain percentage of such corpers posted to them at the end of each service year. This is an incentive for quality performance by corpers as well as a means of reducing the unemployment scourge in the country.

Olympics basketball qualification: Matters arising

his writer simply lost interest in Nigeria’s participation at the London Olympics, which is beginning later this month, the moment our male and female football teams lost out during the knock out stages. My bias for football event even does not rest just on the fact that soccer is the most popular sport in Nigeria, it is rather pragmatically based on the fact that it is the only event Nigeria has the brightest prospects of winning gold. History bears me out on this. In what other sport has Nigeria won gold at the Olympics apart from long jump? The answer is football – the gold having been famously won at the Atlanta’96 Olympics. From the 1952 games in Helsinki to the 2008 games in Beijing, Nigeria has won an aggregated number of two gold, nine silver and 12 bronze; the two gold coming from football and long jump. However, not even the long jump event, in which the hugely talented Chioma Ajunwa won the gold at the same Atlanata’96, could rival football. In parenthesis, the football event has since outstripped long jump when Nigeria proudly added another worthy silver medal to her football credentials at the Beijing 2008 Olympics. Even then, everybody knows that the achievement in the long jump in 1996 was just a product of individual commitment and ingenuity of Ajunwa rather than a reflection any authentic advancement of Nigeria in that sporting activity. On the contrary, if there is one event in which Nigeria has invested huge amount of resources, it is football. If there is one event in which the best

accomplished countries are afraid of Nigeria, it is football. Not even the almighty Brazil, the tactical Argentina, or enterprising Spain, could boast of beating Nigeria. Without prejudice to all other sports and due respects to all the patriotic Nigerian athletes taking part in them, there is no single sport out of all the 11 events Nigeria registered for the London Olympics that furnishes the kind of genuine expectation and confidence one can repose in football. Even in athletics that offer a ghost of a chance for gold, the Americans, the Jamaicans, Britons and Russians, among others, hold all the world records. Having said that, my waned interest in the Team Nigeria at this year Olympics was revived in the early hours of Monday when the Nigerian Basketball team, nicknamed D’ Tigers, surmounted staggering odds to pick the only remaining ticket to the Olympics after Russia and Lithuania had earlier picked the first two slots. The revival of the interest was not predicated on any expectation of gold from the D’ Tigers at the Olympics itself, but one is simply elated by the sheer patriotism, commitment and dedication of that team. The feat is exceedingly heartwarming, showing what the nation is capable of achieving in sports, if she puts her acts together. The performance of D’ Tigers is a tribute to Nigeria’s never-say-die spirit. Initially, only one team was to qualify from Africa in the FIBA Africa championship, which held in Madagascar

THE FEAT IS EXCEEDINGLY

HEARTWARMING, SHOWING WHAT THE

KAYODE

KETEFE

NATION IS CAPABLE OF ACHIEVING IN SPORTS, IF SHE PUTS HER ACTS TOGETHER between August 17–28, 2011. Alas, Nigeria came third as Tunisia picked the gold while the all-time giants, Angola, surprisingly settled for silver. But there were three additional spots to be filled to complete the 12-team format for the Olympics; and FIBA organised a competition among the best runners up and other top finishers across the entire globe in Caracas, Venezuela between July 2 and 8, 2012 to pick the best three out of the lot. D’Tigers rubbished the permutations of bookmakers by picking one of the three slots, beating top basketball nation like Greece in the process. In the very last game, they out dunked the ambitious Dominican Republic 88-73 points, in a nerve-wracking encounter; the perennial African champions, Angola, did not even qualify! With this uncommon success, Nigeria ranks among the top 12 basketball nations in the world! The elated D’Tigers coach, Ayo Bakare, was quoted by the media as saying:

kketefe@nationalmirroronline.net 08032147720 (SMS only)

“The country’s focus is on football. We came here with less than one per cent of the funds football would have got if they had the same opportunity. But in spite of that we accomplished our aims”. Anybody who watched the D’Tigers at the tournament would be impressed; their entertaining play as showcased in defensive solidity, offensive creativity, supple athleticism, vigour and enduring stamina, were a delight to behold and these endeared them to the local fans who rooted for them with passion despite the fact that their own team, Venezuela, never made it beyond the group stage. Perhaps our football teams would have made it to the games if they had exhibited the same Send your views by mail or sms to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mail@ nationalmirroronline.netmirrorlagos@ yahoo.com or 08164966858 (SMS only). The Editor reserves the right to edit and reject views or photographs. Pseudonyms may be used but must be clearly marked as such.


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Editorial

Thursday, July 12, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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

STEVE AYORINDE

MD/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

YELE AKINROLABU

ED OPERATIONS

SEYI FASUGBA

DAILY EDITOR

BOLAJI TUNJI

SUNDAY EDITOR

GBEMI OLUJOBI

SATURDAY EDITOR

LANRE OYETADE

GENERAL EDITOR

DOZIE OKEBALAMA

COORDINATOR, EDITORIAL BOARD

ADESOYE ADEKOYA

CONTROLLER, PRODUCTION

CALLISTUS OKE

EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR

ISE-OLUWA IGE

ABUJA BUREAU CHIEF

KAYODE BALOGUN JNR

SM, STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT

FRANK OBOH

HEAD, GRAPHICS

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FG’s proposed six new refineries

he recently reported Federal Government’s move to establish six new refineries for petroleum products is a welcome development, provided the government is determined to overcome the challenges on the way of the proposal and guarantee the projects’ eventual success. The $4.5 billion or N698 billion Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the construction of six modular refineries to be ready in 30 months was signed not long ago by the FG and a consortium of local and foreign investors. Previous efforts to establish new refineries had been stalled by the lack of legal and regulatory frameworks which made it impossible for refiners and financiers to go beyond the mere expression of their intentions to invest in the sector. The MoU appears a significant stride, having defined, to a certain degree, the time limit for the projects’ completion. Baring all odds, for instance, two of the refineries could be ready in 12 months to contribute 10 million litres of refined petroleum products. In all, the six refineries have the capacity to refine 180,000 barrels of crude per day or 30 million litres of refined petrol, diesel, kerosene, and Low Pour Fuel Oil per day; a feat that would significantly reduce the country’s dependence on the importation of refined petroleum products and curtail the massive theft of public

funds through a roguish oil subsidy management regime. The Vice President of Vulcan Petroleum Resources Limited, one of the investors, Jim Mansfield, stated during the MoU signing with the Trade and Investment Minister, Olusegun Aganga, in Abuja recently that it would take six months to construct each refinery in the United States, one month to test-run and dismantle the refinery for shipping, another one month for shipment to Nigeria and five months to reassemble the components in Nigeria to commence full production. Aganga said the trade ministry would collaborate with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to provide the requisite policy framework and technical support to fast-track the smooth take off of the projects. The NNPC, in addition, is coordinating the establishment of four other ‘Greenfield’ refineries: two in Lagos State, which accounts for 40 percent of national consumption of petroleum products, one in Bayelsa State, and one in Kogi State. Besides, the FG recently granted the Ogun State Government approval to establish six refineries; while the Lagos State Government also plans to establish its own. It may be hoped that when the proposed refineries come on stream, Nigerians would heave a sigh of relief, having been subjected to decades of exploitative

NIGERIANS WOULD HEAVE A SIGH OF

RELIEF, HAVING BEEN SUBJECTED TO DECADES OF EXPLOITATIVE AND DUBIOUS IMPORTATION OF REFINED PETROLEUM PRODUCTS and dubious importation of refined petroleum products. Indeed, recording such an achievement would mark the return to self-sufficiency in domestic refining as was experienced in the 1970s, before official neglect and a heartless fuel importation cartel crippled the nation’s refineries and the entire down-stream oil sector. The cumulative effect was the rot exposed by the House of Representatives in the past weeks, of dishonest and corrupt petroleum marketers in ungodly liaison with their counterparts in oil regulatory agencies to loot public treasury and deny legitimate consumers of petroleum products, for whom the subsidy was meant, the benefits of affordable fuel. We are not unmindful of the fact that the bureaucracy and oil cartel might want to frustrate the current move by the President Goodluck Jonathan administration to

end the embarrassing regime of refined fuel importation in a country that prides itself as the highest exporter of crude in Africa and the second largest oil exporter in the world; when other smaller oil countries are exporting surplus refined fuels. Consequently, the FG should guarantee/inspire investor security and confidence by ensuring that all necessary legal, business and regulatory frameworks and guidelines for the establishment of the new refineries are unambiguous; and the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) quickly passed to law. Likewise, the NNPC, which allegedly frustrated 18 private potential investors licensed to set up refineries about a decade ago, must not be allowed to sabotage the current proposal, for the oil monopoly appears deeply complicit in the odious mismanagement of the nation’s downstream oil sector these past years. For a hitch-free relationship, the new investors should also sign MoUs with their host communities. Without doubt, domestic refining would make fuel prices affordable and facilitate genuine deregulation in the downstream oil sector, create more jobs, save valuable foreign exchange and check fuel import frauds. Nonetheless, the existing four refineries should be properly maintained to boost self-sufficiency and export potentials as the new ones get underway.

ON THIS DAY July 12, 2007

July 12, 1975

July 12, 1961

United States Army Apache helicopters carried out airstrikes in Baghdad, Iraq; and footage from the cockpit was later leaked to the Internet. The July 12, 2007 Baghdad airstrikes were a series of air-to-ground attacks conducted by a team of two United States Army AH-64 Apache helicopters in Al-Amin al-Thaniyah, in the district of New Baghdad in Baghdad, during the Iraqi insurgency and US Military Occupation of Iraq which followed the Iraq War.

Sao Tome and Principe declared independence from Portugal. Officially the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe, the country is a Portuguese-speaking island nation in the Gulf of Guinea, off the western equatorial coast of Central Africa. It consists of two archipelagos around the two main islands: Sao Tome and Principe, located about 140 kilometres apart and about 250 and 225 kilometres, respectively, off the northwestern coast of Gabon.

The Pune floods due to failure of the Khadakwasla and Panshet dams occurred. Half of Pune was submerged, more than 100,000 families needed to be relocated and the death tally exceeded 2,000. Pune is the 8th largest metropolis in India, the 2nd largest in the state of Maharashtra after Mumbai, and the largest city in the Western Ghats. Once the centre of power of the Maratha Empire, it is situated 560 metres above sea level on the Deccan plateau at the confluence of the Mula and Mutha rivers.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

19

Education Today

Minister accuses school project officer of wasteful spending 22

Varsities flay suspension •NUC is biased – Lead City

•It is for quality assurance – NUC

TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE AND MOJEED ALABI

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he temporary suspension of the operational licences of seven private universities in the country by the National Universities Commission (NUC) has continued to generate controversy. The affected universities in their reactions could still not come to terms with the reasons for the action, while NUC has insisted that the step is in order. It will be recalled that the universities’ regulatory body recently temporarily withdrew the operational licences of Madonna University, Okija; Lead City University, Ibadan; Tansian University, Umunya; Caritas University, Amorji-Nike, Enugu; Joseph Ayo Babalola University, Ikeji-Arakeji, Osun State; Achievers University, Owo, Ondo State and Obong University, Obong Ntak, Akwa Ibom State. Some of the reasons highlighted by the NUC for include the failure of the affected universities to properly inaugurate their governing councils and their inability to appoint pro-chancellors; running of non accredited academic programmes and parttime studies; the overbearing posture and undue interference of their proprietors in their businesses. Others include poor learning environment and management of academic activities ,including examinations and records; delay in releasing results to students, as well as poor ICT facilities. NUC claimed that the allegations had, for a long time, become the source of running battles between it and the affected institutions without being addressed. For all these reasons, said the Executive Secretary of NUC, Prof. Julius Okojie, “Their operational licences would remain suspended until they resolve these shortcomings and ensure quality education which is the commission’s sole interest in the matter.” Okojie explained that the commission had been magnanimous enough by granting the institutions the concession that their old students currently studying approved courses would be allowed to complete their programmes, while those newly admitted will be redistributed to other universities by the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB). However, the affected universities, in their reactions, condemned in strong terms the NUC’s action, describing it as ill-conceived and unacceptable. Some of them accused the commission of bias in its decision. For instance, the Lead City University insisted that it did not commit any offence to justify the purported sanction. The institution’s Public Relations Officer, Dr. Ayobami Owolabi told National Mirror that “It was the Federal Executive

Achievers’ VC, Prof. Odebiyi

Carita’s VC, Prof Onukwube

NUC Executive Secretary, Prof. Okojie

JABU VC, Prof. Fajana

Lead City’s Pro-Chancellor, Prof.Owoeye

Tansian Founder, Prof. Akam

THE CASE BETWEEN NUC

LEAD CITY UNIVERSITY IS REALLY BEING TAKEN PERSONAL BY PROF. JULIUS OKOJIE BECAUSE THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME HE WOULD RAISE PETTY AND

ISSUES AGAINST US Council that granted us licence and it is not a provisional but a licence in the final category in 2005. So, the issue of provisional licence allegedly being renewed is not applicable to Lead City. “On the poor learning environment; anyone interested is welcome to our university to confirm the serenity and how academic-friendly our campus is. Talking about ICT, NUC is not also sincere because even in our toilets there is Internet connectivity. Speaking further, Dr. Owolabi said, “The case between NUC and Lead City University is really being taken personal by Prof. Julius Okojie because this is not the first time he would raise petty issues against us. In 2010 when he lied to the Minister of Education against us, a fact finding panel was set

up by the minister and was headed by a former OAU VC, which cleared us of all the allegations. The report of that committee is available for everyone. So, we really don’t understand the purported suspension of our licence which we still insist NUC is not capable of doing.” For Joseph Ayo Babalola University, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Sola Fajana said: “We have been informed of our offence and of all those listed, I can confirm to you that the only area NUC has a grouse with our university is on the part-time programmes we run. Even as at today (yesterday), efforts are in top gear to get the situation remedied and I am very sure that we will soon reach a logical conclusion.” Unlike Lead University and JABU, the Achievers’ University, Owo, could still not

understand the reasons for the suspension. The university’s spokesman, Mr. Sulaiman Olatunji, told National Mirror that the only comment he or any other person in the university could make on the matter for now is that the university is still addressing the issue. “For now, the management is already working towards resolving the whole matter as the Vice-Chancellor and Registrar are in Abuja to meet with appropriate authorities and your paper will be informed accordingly on the development,” he said. The authorities of Madonna University refused to comment on the issue. When National Mirror called the institution’s VC, Prof. Iwu Akubue, he declined comment and instead directed us to the spokesman, whose telephone line was unavailable.


20

Education Today

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Chemists pave ways to resolve food, environmental challenges

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

UI student to visit Google headquarters TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE

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A cross section of participants of the event.

Five years after the formation of Pan Africa Chemistry Network by the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK), Nigeria was, last week, formally inducted into the academic body with the motive of creating a selfsustaining science base in the country to improve research works and the implementation of their findings. MOJEED ALABI, who witnessed the donation of research facilities to two of the country’s universities, UNILAG and UI, reports the significance of the developments.

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he reality of the researchers’ projections that Nigeria may soon face serious environmental challenges of deterioration, energy loss, food shortage and water-related problems, among others, is already staring us in the face. Like the recent flooding in Russia, which claimed hundreds of lives, Nigerians are already witnessing their own sad moments from flooding, poverty and diseases. However, scientists believe that Nigeria, like many other African nations, considering the richness of her soil and the friendliness of her weather, does not deserve such ugly development even in the near future. And that informed the just concluded 3-day conference of the Pan Africa Chemistry Network held in Lagos. The conference, themed: ‘Health, Water and Waste Learning and Working Together,’ was facilitated by the Royal Society of Chemistry, Procter and Gamble Company in collaboration with the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) of the British High Commission and host of others. After three days of intensive academic exercise and cross fertilisation of ideas, the conference resolved to harmonise the research outputs of the academic institutions and industries to resolve these challenges. According to the Dean of the Faculty of Science of the University of Lagos and the country’s representative of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Prof. Oluwole Familoni, the problem with research in Nigeria is that there is no harmonisation of research efforts by researchers. “The academic institutions face one direction while the industries face another. And if we do not

THE PROBLEM WITH

RESEARCH IN NIGERIA IS THAT THERE IS NO HARMONISATION OF RESEARCH EFFORTS BY RESEARCHERS harmonise we will continue to lose out in our efforts to professionally confront the socio-economic challenges facing us. And that is what PACN has come to resolve.” Familoni, who disclosed that Nigeria was coming late to pick up the membership of the organisation, said the new development as revealed by the presentations of various scholars during the conference and the sponsorship it enjoyed from global partners, showed the new dawn for chemical researches in the country. “It is a pity that we are just coming in now after other countries like Ethiopia, Kenya, Ghana, and South Africa had been benefiting from the opportunities therein. And even at that, the P&G, courtesy PACN, has just donated new analytical centre of excellence hubs to be located in UNILAG here and another at the University of Ibadan. Also, three of our 17 PhD students, who presented their research works at the conference, have been offered internship in their facilities in Europe for mentorship. As from now our research works will be introduced to the global market through the United Nations and this will attract further attention to our plight globally,” Familoni said. One of the three PhD student beneficiaries, who is from UNILAG, Adetunde

Oluwatoyin’s presentation dwelt on using agricultural waste for remediating waste water to assist industries having problems in the course of remediating their water with the use of the simple technique to clean up the system. She said the opportunity will enable her consolidate on the project and focus more on others to present herself to the globe as a strong change agent. The facilities donated to the centres include an HP6890 GC-FID and spare supplies, which the beneficiaries said would help greatly in analyzing chemical components in the country. Speaking on the reasons behind the choice of the two universities, the Research and Development Vice President, Procter and Gamble, Dr. Helen Neville said; “We considered existing capabilities and where other institutions will have access to them. Another criterion is that we need to support these facilities with yearly trainings and since P&G is based in Ibadan, we can easily coordinate both from there.” The Head, Department of Chemistry, University of Ibadan, Prof. Ayodele Oderinde, described the gesture as a massive support to the Chemistry study in Nigeria, adding that the company wouldn’t have made a different choice since his department is the oldest in the country. With the new development, therefore, the Chemical stakeholders in Nigeria including the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Chemical Society of Nigeria, Institute of Chartered Chemists of Nigeria, the Nigeria Academy of Science and the universities have resolved to maximize the opportunities for the nation’s good.

300- level Computer Science student of the University of Ibadan, Oyo State, Abiodun Adepoju, has won for himself an all paid- expensive trip to Google headquarters in the United States. The young undergraduate won the trip being the Star Student Ambassador of the Google for the class of 2012 in Sub-Saharan Africa, which was announced at the recent Google Student Ambassador Summit in Nairobi, Kenya. Google supports research, technological innovation and capacity building at individual and institutional levels in a variety of programmes in the universities in Africa. Adepoju, however, was said to have distinguished himself, among others in leading the University of Ibadan to emerge among the top 100 in the 2011 global Google online marketing challenge; leading the digital mapping for his university and conducting mapping training for Ondo State, as well as introducing his university to the Google Apps Supporting programmes. While Adepoju will be in the US for four days starting from Saturday, July 29, he will have the opportunity to attend the North America Google Student Ambassador Summit where he will interact with students from that continent. He is also expected to be the guest of Geo Team, the body that is responsible for community mapping, while he would be a mentor for students back home and other African countries. Expressing his delight over the achievement and the honour Adepoju had done the university and the Computer Studies community in the country, the institution’s vice-chancellor, Prof Isaac Adewole described him as a rare gem.

Firm offers scholarship to 50 female students

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s part of its social responsibility activities, Always Sanitary Pad, in the stable of Procter & Gamble, has awarded 50 secondary school female students across the country with scholarship worth N5 million. The award presentation was held at Agidingbi Junior Secondary School in Lagos where a cheque of N100, 000 was handed over to each of the beneficiaries. With this, the company’s scholarship programme entered its 2nd edition. Speaking at the event, Associate Brand Manager (Always & Vicks), Mr. Olumide Aruleba, said the scholarship was to assist the female gender in realising their ambition of going to school.

Council holds valedictory ceremony for pupils

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ver 4,000 pupils in public primary schools in Ajeromi/Ifelodun Local Government area of Lagos will be hosted to a graduation ceremony scheduled for 25th of this month. The Executive Secretary of the Education Authority of the local government, Hon. Adewale Adeogun said the programme was to encourage street children to enroll in schools, adding that graduands who performed excellently in their terminal examination would be rewarded at the event.


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Education Today

Thursday, July 12, 2012

21

Graduand offered blank cheque as MUSON-MTNF holds convocation •It’s amazing - beneficiary The MUSON School of Music’s fees run into millions of naira, making enrollment difficult for willing applicants. However, for five years running, MTN has been the students’ sole sponsor, making them being dubbed MUSON-MTNF scholars. During the school’s 5th graduation ceremony last week, a philanthropist, Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi, impressed by the performance of one of the 30 graduates, offered to sponsor his foreign academic exploits. MOJEED ALABI reports.

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e could hardly believe his ears. In fact, he had to be tapped by a mate sitting next to him before he could understand the reality of the unfolding event. And reluctantly, the smallish Timothy Adeshina rose to the admiration of the teeming audience, which clapped ceaselessly not only for the beneficiary but also for the philanthropist who made the announcement. Rasheed Gbadamosi, the former Chairman of the Petroleum Product Pricing Regulatory Agency and pioneer Secretary of the Musical Society of Nigeria was captivated by the flawless manner with which Timothy handled the piano during the graduation concert performance a day earlier. Though, one of Gbadamosi’s children had attended the school, who he said heightened his regret for not taking music lessons serious while in grammar school, Timothy’s brilliant performance only further heightened the remorse. “Timothy’s performance perfectly rekindled my interest in good music accompanied by good instrument. Timothy handled the piano excellently well and I regretted not taking music lessons serious while in school. For that reason, Timothy Adeshina could now go to any part of the world for further music study and become a great music conductor in the world. My family will be responsible for the expenses,” Gbadamosi declared. In his reaction, the beneficiary said he was short of words and simply remarked;

“It is a shocking gesture. It is a journey from nowhere now leading to somewhere. But much more importantly I give glory to almighty God and MTN Foundation for offering me the scholarship to study here. Without that opportunity the latest offer wouldn’t have come my way.” The young man said his journey to the school was a divine success having competed for the enrollment scholarship against many talented applicants. “None of the 30 of us paid a penny for this two-year programme. In fact, we don’t even know what it amounts to; we only heard that it is in millions of naira. But after series of auditions, tests and examinations we emerged the fifth set of the school and since then, MTN Foundation has been responsible for our bills and even paid us monthly stipends of N14,500. And now a new offer has been added, you can see how lucky I am.” Timothy, who had earlier applied to the Ghanaian University of Education, Winneba, now hopes to apply to a Canadian university where he wishes to specialise in Piano. “After that, my Masters will be concentrated on composition.” Meanwhile, Timothy was not the only one who was full of smiles among his colleagues. The best graduating student, who went home with several awards, Olanrewaju Alaba, could not believe his stars when he had to return to the rostrum many times to receive awards for one category or the other. The percussion specialist won the MTN Foundation’s best student award, Princess Banke Ademola prize for percussion, Chief Mrs. Gbemi Rosiji’s award for outstanding participation in every area of the curriculum, Kitoyi Ibare-Akinsan’s award for trumpet, among others. Each had fantastic prizes attached including a digital electronic piano he received from the Foundation. “What I have received here is a world class training that is not available in any university in the country. The two-year Diploma compares with spending four years in a university for a degree and I can now move further to get my DMus, which is Doctor of Music, which is not available in Nigeria except in Europe or America because it is a performance programme. So, on behalf of my colleagues, we are grateful to MTN Foundation and the Musical Society of Nigeria for this rare privilege,” Alaba said. Speaking on the music society’s dreams and achievements, the school’s Director, Mrs. Edna Soyanwo, reiterated the com-

L-R: Chairman, MTN Foundation, Amb. Hamzat Ahmadu, MTNF Best Overall Student, Olanrewaju Alaba receiving his prize; Director, MUSON School of Music, Mrs. Edna Soyannwo and Director MTNF, Mrs. Aishatu Sadauki at the graduation of MUSON- MTNF Scholar recently.

mitment of both the management and staff of the institution to redefine music in Nigeria and export “real” African music abroad through exchange programmes, participation in international workshops and seminars and exposing students to various opportunities. She identified the support the school receives from individuals and corporate organisations including Nigeria Agip Oil Company, MTNF, Mobil Oil Producing Company, among others, which she said gave birth to the school and the popular MUSON centre, as some of the feats already recorded with a hope of doing better.

WELLSPRING UNIVERSITY BENIN CITY, NIGERIA

FG distributes textbooks in South-West IJEOMA EZEIKE ABUJA

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o provide equal access to education for every Nigerian child, the Federal Government has distributed over 2.3 million textbooks and over 67,000 instructional materials so far to primary and junior secondary schools in the South West geo-political zone. The delivery of the textbooks for the zone which comprises Ondo, Oyo, Lagos, Ekiti and Osun States, was made to Ondo State Government for onward distribution to other beneficiary states.

The Minister of State for Education, Mr. Nyesom Wike, who delivered the items in Akure, Ondo State was accompanied by the Executive Secretary of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Dr Ahmed Modibbo. He said government would not take it lightly with the chains of distribution if the books failed to get to those they are meant for, adding that this year alone, about 14 million copies of the primary education textbooks and about 5 million library resource materials had been procured for distribution nationwide.

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

The Chairman of the MTN Foundation, Ambassador Hamzat Ahmadu, in his goodwill message, tasked the students to do the nation proud while promising that the Foundation’s support for creativity will always take the front burner. “Since commencement of project in 2008, four sets have graduated and this is the fifth set. Indeed, three of first set of students, who graduated in July 2008 secured admission into the University of Dayton, Ohio, in USA. We hope today’s graduate and those coming behind them will also aspire to further improve on these achievements,” Ahmadu said.


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Education Today

Thursday, July 12, 2012

FG offers scholarship to winners of Cowbell Maths contest IJEOMA EZEIKE ABUJA

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he Federal Government has offered to sponsor the university education of the winners of this year’s edition of the Cowbell National Secondary School Mathematics Competition (NASSMAC) if they choose to study Mathematics to the post graduate level. The Acting DirectorGeneral of the National Mathematical Centre (NMC), Prof. Adewale Solarin, disclosed this in Abuja at the prize giving ceremony for winners of the competition recently. NASSMAC is organised yearly by the Promasidor Nigeria, maker of Cowbell Milk for secondary school students between ages 10 and 18 years in the country. At this year’s edition, a 15-year-old SSS 2 student of Iganmode Grammar School, Ota, Ogun State , Uwa Benjamin, came first with a total score of 96 per cent in the senior category while Master Akintokun Gboyega, a JSS 2 student of Ota Total Academy, also in Ota, Ogun State emerged the overall winner in the junior category. Both of them went home with a laptop, a gold trophy and N300, 000 cash each for their efforts

while their runners-up were rewarded. Prof. Solarin, who urged students to always go for the best, particularly in their studies, stressed that the attainment of Vision 20:2020 of the Federal Government depends largely on science education, training and development. He asked them to take advantage of the Mathematics competition and other competitions to prepare themselves for the future

challenges when they will become leaders. The NMC’s boss, however, lauded Promasidor Nigeria for organising the competition, saying it would greatly encourage students’ interest in the study of Mathematics and other science courses. Also speaking, the Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufa’I said the competition had become a veritable forum to identify gifted mathematics students to represent the

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he United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Terrance McCulley, has urged Nigerian undergraduates across tertiary institutions to be more dedicated to their studies and other pursuits so as to be able to fulfill their dreams and aspiration for life. He said any serious-

Minister accuses school project officer of wasteful spending IJEOMA EZEIKE ABUJA

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he Minister of State for Education Mr. Nyesom Wike scolded the management of Step B Education project for paying N800,000 per month for the training of 150 persons out of which 50 are teachers. Wike, who expressed dissatisfaction with the project office while on a working visit, said the optimum utilisation of training facilities at the centre is poor, considering the huge amount the office claimed to have expended on the eight weeks training programme. He wondered why they were not making adequate

use of the available facilities for the training while condemning some workers for dereliction of duties. The minister said it would be difficult for the country to move forward with the poor attitude demonstrated by the office. According to him, facilities in this office are wasting in spite of the support being rendered to it by the World Bank, adding that something should be done to change the workers’ orientation across board. According to him, it is unacceptable for workers to abandon their official duties to attend to personal issues.

Guinness workers donate textbooks to schools

M L-R: Special Adviser on Education to the Education Minister, Prof. Sagir Abbas; Overall winner, Cowbell National Secondary School Mathematics Competition (NASSMAC), senior category, Master Uwa Benjamin; Acting Director-General, National Mathematical Centre, Abuja, Prof. Adewale Solarin; winner of the junior category, Master Akintokun Gboyega and Managing Director, Promasidor Nigeria, Chief Keith Richards, at the prize giving ceremony in Abuja recently.

US envoy tasks Nigerian undergraduates TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE

country at International Mathematics competitions including the Olympiad. The minister was represented at the event by her Special Adviser on Education, Prof. Sagir Abbas. Earlier in his address, the Managing Director of Promasidor Nigeria, Chief Keith Richards, said the primary objective of NASSMAC was to arouse and re-awaken interest of students in Mathematics at the secondary school level because of the importance of the subject.

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minded undergraduate should be able to rise to challenges and overcome them on their paths to become relevant in the society now and in future. The ambassador stated this at the semi- final stage of this year’s edition of the Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) competition held in Lagos recently. Over 40 public and private universities and polytechnics in the

country participated in the competition with the winner to represent Nigeria later this year at the SIFE World Cup to be held in the US. While expressing delight over the various developmental projects each of the schools had carried out to impact on lives of people in their host communities in the last one year, McCulley urged them not only to be

L-R: Consular for Public Affairs, US Embassy in Nigeria, Mrs. Melissa Ford; US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Terrence McCulley and Country Director, SIFE Nigeria, Mrs. Adesuwa Ifedi, at the event. PHOTO: TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE

more creative and successdriven, but also to double up their efforts so as to surpass their current achievements. According to him, you are the future of Nigeria and you should be well -prepared for the leadership roles expected of you in future. “You are indeed great agents of change, so you must endeavour to keep up the good work,” he admonished them adding that, “The US Government will continue to support tasking and laudable projects such as yours which are designed to develop the youths.” Earlier, SIFE’s Country Director, Mrs. Adesuwa Ifedi, said the four schools University of Ibadan, Oyo State; Benue State University, Makurd; Federal University of Technology, Owerri and Bayero University, Kano, which had made it to the final round of the competition, would present to the audience multimedia summaries of their respective life-changing projects on the 24th of this month in Lagos.

embers of staff of Guinness Nigeria Plc have donated some text books to Western Boys High School and Notre Dame Group of Schools, both in Benin City, Edo State, and to Brilliant Academy and St John’s Secondary School in Mangoro area of Lagos. They donated the books under the aegis of Friends of the Community, a charity-driven initiative by the company with a view to enhancing the reading culture among the students and teachers of the schools. Disclosing this during a project tagged “Read for Life” recently, the company’s Corporate Relations Director, Mr. Sesan Sobowale said Guinness Nigeria was fond of en-

couraging youths in talent and skills development so as to become dependable leaders in future. Expressing appreciation, Mr. Precious Olumide, the Vice Principal in charge of Administration at St John’s Secondary School, Lagos, described the gesture as a thoughtful one, promising that the school would put the materials to good use. Meanwhile, Guinness Nigeria has also established a scholarship scheme for school leavers in its host communities of Lagos, Edo and Abia States to study engineering and technical courses. The scheme according to Sobowale is being implemented in collaboration with the Nigeria Society of Engineers.

...As school donates to charity home MOJEED ALABI

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tudents and members of staff of Wellspring College, Omole, Lagos, recently donated some household items such as foodstuff, toiletries, stationeries, among others to the Heart of Gold Children’s Hospice in Surulere, Lagos. The decision to take the students to the home of children with mental and physical disabilities was according to the school’s Principal, Mrs. Oluwayemisi Oloriade, aimed at revealing to the students the need to

maximize their potentials considering the fact that many of their mates are denied such. Oloriade, who lamented the discrimination faced by physically challenged children in the country and their limited chances of survival, urged government, corporate organisations, academic institutions and religious bodies to develop and promote policies, programmes and infrastructures that would enhance the abilities of the physically challenged children and cater for their needs.


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Education Today

Thursday, July 12, 2012

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Keshi, others advise students on excellence TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE

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uper Eagles’ Coach, Stephen Keshi, has advised secondary school students in the country to always strive for excellence in their studies and other endeavours. He said it was by so doing they could become successful and fulfilled, particularly in their chosen careers. Keshi gave the advice at a recent Tournament Ambassadors programme organised by the Guaranty Trust Bank plc for the secondary school students in Lagos State where he was a guest speaker. The programme was designed by the company as part of its social responsibilities to educate the students on the right path to follow to attain greatness on their

career paths. The ace footballer, who disclosed that he started his football career as a student at St Finbars College, Lagos, over 30 years ago, told the students that it was much better for them at their ages to know what they wanted to become in life and start working towards achieving it even while in school. “You cannot become an achiever in any profession on the basis of a mere wish. You need to be determined, focused, courageous, diligent, confident, as well as success-driven and these should start from now that you are young,” he counseled. “I knew I would become a footballer right from my early age back in school and I didn’t allow any obstacle to scuttle the dream and I thank God for everything today.”

Undergraduates sensitise secondary school students

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ndergraduates indigenes of Ikoya in Okitipupa Local council area of Ondo State have advised secondary school students in the community never to be distracted from their studies. The students under the aegis of International Union of Ukonyade Students (INUUS) also urged the secondary school children to embrace science education so as to become future scientists. Enlightening the students at a forum held at Ikoya Grammar school, Ikoya, Mr. Akinjopo Omotola, the president of the union told them to utilise the opportunity they have now as students to develop their skills and potentials so as to be able to achieve their desires for life. He equally advised them to shun exam malpractice and all forms of social vices but to embrace principle of integrity, excellence, honesty, as well as being law abiding in the course of their studies and other undertakings. Akinjopo, who is also a 600-level Medical student of the University of Benin, said people who indulged in cutting corners to make success usually have a bad end in life.

Speaking on the efforts of the union to enhance the lessons being organised for students of the community, INUUS’s Director of Learning Resources, Mr. Stephen Itiolu disclosed that the union had raised some money to pay the parttime teachers who would be taking the students after school hours pending when the higher institutions would go on holiday. “We want to ensure that you all come out of secondary schools with good results that can earn you admission to the universities just as you complete your secondary education,” he said. In his remark, the school principal, Mr. Akinbuluma, represented by his deputy, thanked the students’ body for the enlightenment forum, saying it would go a long way in equipping the students for the present and future challenges.

ADEMU IDAKWO LOKOJA

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he Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’I, has said the Federal Government was determined to make each of the nine newly established federal universities a world class standard. Speaking in Lokoja, Kogi State, during her visit to

Speaking in the same vein, the Deputy General Manager, GTB, Mr. Isa Omogu, told the students not to allow limitations to hinder them from achieving their set goals. “Everyone in life has one challenge or the other but what makes the difference between one person and another is the ability to rise and overcome challenges on the way to the top,” he said. “So, I will enjoin you all to see yourselves irrespective of your background beyond the present.” He also told them that they should not view success as material accumulation but encompassing, hinging on fulfillment. In her remark, the Permanent Secretary, Lagos Ministry of Education, Mrs. Omolara Erogbog-

bo, urged the students to take interest in sporting activities alongside their studies. “But you should not do one at the expense of the other as both will be useful to you especially in future,” she stressed. Erogbogbo lauded the Guaranty Trust Bank

for the initiative she described as ‘investment into the future’ and assured participants of the state’s government determination to continue to encourage sport development among students, especially at elementary and secondary school levels.

L-R: Deputy General Manager, Guaranty Trust Bank plc, Mr. Isa Omogu; Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Education, Mrs. Omolara Erogbogbo and guest speaker and Super Eagles’ Coach, Mr. Stephen Keshi, at the event..

Liberal education advocated for kids

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he brilliance performance of pupils of the Lead Forte Gate School, Ogudu GRA, Lagos, at a recent arts contest involving 132 primary schools

across the country has been attributed to the broad education system the pupils of the school are exposed to. This submission was made by the school’s supervisor, Mr. Joseph Nwatu-

ghara, at the school’s ‘Open House Day’ forum designed to expose pupils to professional and vocational education different from the routine classroom activities. Nwatughara harped on

A student at the school’s workshop.

FG plans big for new nine varsities both the temporary and permanent sites of the Federal University, Lokoja, the minister commended the ViceChancellor of the institution, Prof. Abdulmumini Hassan Rafindadi for a job well done job so far. She said although she was pleased with structures

On their part, some of the students told National Mirror that they would have wanted the governments across tiers, corporate entities, as well as spirited individuals to provide for adequate sporting tools and conducive environment in their schools.

put in place so far in the university, academic activities would not commence until December when students’ hostels and library would have been ready for use. The minister used the occasion to pay a courtesy visit to the state governor,

Captain Idris Wada (rtd), appealing to him to help in relocating the worship centers and firms operating within the university community. She argued that their presence would constitute a security risk to the university.

the need to broaden the career prospect of children right from their formative stages and disclosed that pupils of the school voluntarily join various clubs that will assist them in their academic career path. Among these clubs, according to him, are Arts Club, Scout Brigade, Swimming Club, Dance Club, Home maker Club, Karate Club and Music Club. Speaking further, Nwatughara said the curriculum of the school was a combination of British, American and Nigerian curricula, which is biased in Montessori system. “Our curriculum is not only to expand our students’ career scope, but also to prepare them for leadership roles after they might have completed their education,” he said. On her part, Mrs. Adeoye, the head teacher, said Lead Forte Gate had always made it clear to its students that Medicine, Law, Engineering or Banking are not the only professions that can give fulfillment in life. “We do tell them that there also many other vocations like trading, fashion designing, catering, photography, carpentry, cosmetology and modeling, among other fields they can as well venture in and still be relevant in the society,” she added. For parents at the forum, they expressed their satisfaction about the Open House Day forum saying such would put the pupils of the school above their peers now and in future.


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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Heads to roll in unity schools over fraud IJEOMA EZEIKE ABUJA

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he Federal Government has vowed to fire any public officer indicted in Federal Unity Colleges over alleged misappropriation of funds and general mismanagement of the schools. The Minister of State for

Education, Mr. Nyesom Wike, gave this indication in Abuja on Tuesday, while receiving reports from various Needs Assessment Committees set up three weeks ago to review activities of the unity schools across the six geopolitical zones of the country. Wike frowned at the reports that some principals of the schools

misappropriated the resources allocated to the institutions for infrastructure development. While assuring members of the committees that the reports would not be dumped into the thrash can, he stressed that anybody indicted would not be spared. He said a committee would be set up immediately to harmonise

the reports for government to commence action. The reports indicated misapplication of funds, dilapidated infrastructures, and inadequate teachers as some of the factors responsible for decline in the quality of educational delivery in the colleges. Wike, who lamented the lack

of interest of the staff of the ministry, however, directed the Director of Basic Education Department and the Chairmen of the committees to submit the names of the directors and committee members who absented themselves from the assessment assignment for further action.

Group wants midwifery school in Nasarawa IGBAWASE UKUMBA LAFIA

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he Nasarawa State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists and Planned Parenthood (PP) Global have appealed to the Governor of Nasarawa State, Umaru Tanko AlMakura to consider urgently the establishment of a midwifery school in the State to mitigate the dearth of skilled health personnel in the rural areas. This was part of the resolutions taken at a one–day workshop on sexual reproductive health rights for Directors of News/Editors of Media Organizations in Nasarawa State, organized by PP Global and Nasarawa State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalist, (NUJ), recently held in Lafia, the state capital. A communiqué signed by Mohammed Ohitoto and Veronica Ogbole wants the state government to ensure it meets the WHO standard, by ensuring that Nasarawa State citizens access health establishment within a four kilometer radius. The workshop also drew the attention of media professional in the state to promote girl-child education, access of women to health facilities, educate society on the harmful traditional practices such as female genital mutilation, hawking and prostitution.

L-R: Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye; Deputy Governor, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire and the former Lagos Commissioner for Health, Dr. Leke Pitan, at the final of the Lagos Schools’ debate competition, recently.

Okojie decries employers’ emphasis on paper qualification ADEMU IDAKWO LOKOJA

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ver dependence on paper qualifications have been attributed to be the major problem encouraging examination malpractice in the country, Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission [NUC], Professor Julius Okojie, has disclosed. This is as state governments have been urged to re-introduce boarding system in all secondary schools across the country in order to encourage reading

Fee hike in UK drives students away

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re you looking for an affordable university somewhere different? There are plenty of English-friendly options in Europe to consider. Going to university is a pretty big step, but moving abroad for three years to do your degree is an even bigger one. To date it’s a choice that few UK students have made – 2009 figures from the OECD show just 22,000 opting to study in another country, a tiny proportion of the two million or so who stay at home. With the introduction of much higher tuition fees this autumn, however, this is already starting to change, and there are good reasons why studying in Europe may be well worth considering. If you want do your entire degree within the EU – which means most of Europe – you’ll

lose your entitlement to a student loan here. But you’ll find that all UK students are eligible for the same financial assistance as a home student from that country would receive. Many countries are considerably more generous to their undergraduates than we are: in Holland, for instance, you’ll pay just £1,500 a year for your course. In some countries, including Denmark and Sweden, tuition costs nothing at all. More recent figures on who’s moving abroad to study are hard to find, but a survey of 500 school leavers and undergraduates carried out in March by Prospects showed that a quarter were planning to study abroad, over 70% more were considering it, and only 4% completely ruled it out. Another indication that

among students instead of coming to schools from homes. Okojie made this known at the National launch of campaign for value re-orientation in education organised by the National Orientation Agency [NOA] in partnership with Exam Ethics Marshals International held in Lokoja, capital of Kogi state on Tuesday. The NUC boss, who was represented by Professor Nancy Agbe, a Senior Director in the commission noted that people now put money ahead of integrity in order to pass their exams at all more young people are thinking about upping sticks once they’ve got their A-level results is the increase in footfall at the Student World Fair. Its first event last year drew 950 prospective students. Its second, in March this year, saw 1,200 ticket-holders checking out the overseas universities that had come to show their wares. “British students are in demand,” says Student World Fair organiser Jemma Davies. “Their work ethos and standard of education is valued and admired.” Some of the university exhibitors offer free flights and accommodation to prospective students who want to visit before applying. It’s vital, says Davies, to choose your course first and then find an institution that offers excellent education in that discipline, rather than opting for a university with a party reputation.

cost, adding that, “this situation had clearly shown that most of our graduates cannot defend certificates as a first class holder of Bachelor Degree can no longer write a common memo due to the fact that most agencies and employers of labour are placing too much emphasis on

paper qualifications”. In his remark, NOA’s DirectorGeneral, Mr. Mike Omeri called on Nigerians to do the right things to transform the nation, adding that the present administration of President Goodluck Jonathan in transformation policy believes that education occupies the centre stage of development of any nation.

POEM

Freedom ablaze, by Emeka Ezeugo

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have seen freedom set ablaze in the streets of Tunis democracy lose her mind at Tahrir Square, Cairo and appreciate America’s heroes past for freedom, freedom to speak, worship, vote, live free and act. But what shall I make of freedom of speech strangled in the light of literacy in Nigeria?What shall I make of the cruelty, obscenity and obstinacy, blissful ignorance deployed by the agents of our nation’s plunderers?

consciousness, she runs to her kids hugging and kissing them. But sternly admonishes them to keep their mouth shut.‘Tell nobody’ she warns them, for the sake of our family’s reputation. Sadly she died from being pummeled constantly. She died before her kids could speak out She died because her kids thought “ It shall be well.” She died because she was waiting for god to rescue her.

Many are the choristers of tyranny singing praises and concealing with all the endless night that enveloped our homeland how contented they are ‘cos they’re sure of their next meal. Give me a hundred reasons why I should not compare Nigeria to a dysfunctional family. Where the man beats his wife black and blue day in, day out. And when the woman regains

Ezeugo is an ex-international footballer


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Thursday, July 12, 2012

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

BABCOCK set to host global media centre MOJEED ALABI

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abcock University (BU), Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State is set to host a global high-tech media centre to be established by Hope Channel International, the official television station of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. This was revealed recently when the officials of the station visited the ivory tower for inspection to ascertain its readiness

to accommodate the multimillion naira project. Speaking during the visit, the organisation’s Vice President, Finance, Elder Gideon Mutero said they were highly impressed with the facilities and “expansive resources already in place at the university” and pledged the commitment of the church to fast track the establishment of the centre having confirmed the institution’s capacity. He said the step is parts of the efforts of the religious body to integrate its West Central African division in

the global media circle for proper dissemination of information, media relation and adequate training of the students in the zone. In his response, the university’s President and Vice-Chancellor, Prof. James Makinde praised the foresight of the media organisation, noting that the institution does not just have the facilities ideal for such project but also has an “invaluable” need for it. “With over 350 media students, 24 churches and several ministerial students amongst others, Babcock

The President/Vice-Chancellor, Babcock University, Prof. James Makinde; Vice President, Finance, Hope Channel International, Elder Gideon Mutero and Communication Director, WestCentral Africa Division, Irineo Koch, watching a documentary in the VC’s office during the visit recently.

University has so many assets with which to run with the vision,” he said, adding that, “there is no vision given to us by God in this university that we won’t run with. In fact, we will rather fly with it.” Hope Channel, which commenced operation about a decade ago installed

Family donates Osuntokun’s works to EKSU

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he family of a renowned neurologist, Late Prof. Olukayode Osuntokun, has donated books and notes containing his complete academic works to the College of Medicine of Ekiti State University (EKSU), Ado-Ekiti. Speaking while making the donation, the widow of the late don, Prof. (Mrs.) Olaboopo Osuntokun said if her husband were to be alive, he would work towards making the College of Medicine the best in Nigeria because of his love for his people and the medical profession. She added that the decision was taken to encourage students and staff of the College to work hard.

Meanwhile, the family also announced an endowment of a prize in perpetuity for the best student in Basic Medical Sciences in the College in the name of late Prof. Osuntokun. The Pro-Chancellor of the University, Emeritus Prof. Akinjide Osuntokun, who is a younger brother to the late neurologist, also promised to make a substantial donation to the endowment. The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Oladipo Aina said the future generations would benefit from the immense knowledge of Osuntokun through his works donated to the institution, adding that the academician was a role model which

must be emulated by all. Aina described the short ceremony as a celebration of life of Osuntokun and, therefore, urged other philanthropists within and outside Ekiti State to donate generously to the development of the college. In his remarks, the Provost of the College, Prof. G. Esan said the complete works would serve as an inspiration to all and that the donation was an indication that the College of Medicine had started on a sound footing. “I think we have done well”, the provost stressed. Esan likened feelings of the college over the donation of Osuntokun’s

works to “somebody who had received Shakespeare’s manuscripts. At the occasion, the Chancellor, Dr. Bamidele Olumilua, Chief Dele Falegan, Prof Yinka Afolayan, all poured encomiums on late Osuntokun in their various comments and urged students of the college to utilize the books to brighten their future. Dignitaries at the occasion included the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Development, Prof (Mrs.) Yetunde Aderibigbe, the Registrar, Dr Omojola Awosusi, the Bursar, Mr. Amos Taiwo and the Chairman Committee of Deans, Prof Wale Adesina and a host of others.

its last media centre at the division’s level in South America a few weeks ago with about 350 staff. Gideon was accompanied on the visit by the Communication Director, West-Central Africa Division, Irineo Koch. Also present at the meeting were Chief of Staff, Pastor

(Dr) Israel Olaore; Dean of the School of Education and Humanities, Prof Sampson Nwaomah; Associate Vice President, Students’ Development, Pastor (Dr.) Joseph Olarenwaju; and Director, External and Community Affairs, Mr. Joshua Suleiman.

FUTMINNA rated high by NUC, appoints new registrar FAITH OLANIRAN FUTMINNA

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he authority of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger state, has commended its workers for their contributions towards what it termed smooth running of the university, which it said enabled the feat recorded during the institutional accreditation recently carried out by the National Universities Commission (NUC). According to the university’s immediate past Registrar, Mallam Muhammad Usman, the ivory tower was commended by the regulatory body and was thus rated A+ as one the two universities in the leading category. He said the university scored above 80 per cent in the accreditation exercise.

Usman made this disclosure when he was hosted to a valedictory party by the staff of the Registry Department as part of his send forth programme, where he admonished the workers to remain loyal to the system and avoid partisanship. This, he said, would help ensure harmony and assist the university to achieve more successes. Meanwhile, the university has announced the appointment of Mrs. Victoria Kolo as the new registrar. Kolo, who has since resumed into office, is the university’s immediate past Deputy Registrar (Establishment) and the institution’s fifth registrar. She is also the second woman to occupy the office since university’s establishment.

Television College spends N4m to upgrade facility MUSLIUDEEN ADEBAYO

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Students in the Department of Music, Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Ijanikin, Lagos, performing at the college’s convocation ceremony recently.

he Rector of the Nigerian Television Authority Television College (NTA TVC) Jos, Dr. Ayo Fasan, has disclosed that the institution recently expended a huge sum of N4 million to upgrade its facilities ahead of the preparation to meet up with the global mandate of switching from analogue to digital broadcasting. Fasan made this disclosure recently during the college’s fifth inaugural lecture, which was

titled; “Current Trends in Television Broadcast Engineering,” and delivered by the college’s Head of Television Engineering Department, Engr. Titus Mazhinyi. The rector, who was represented by the Head of Research and Planning, Halima Bewell, said the money was expended on the purchase of high definition digital cameras, lighting equipment, microphones and tripod stands. He assured of the institution’s commitment to complement government’s effort to lifting

Nigeria high in dishing out the best in terms of television broadcast, adding that broadcast industry in Nigeria had gone far in feeding the African region with upto-date quality information through digital process of the NTA as the largest television network in Africa. The guest lecturer in his lecture enumerated the advantages of digital transmission to include cost saving, consistent video quality and modulation channels through the use of less bandwidth among others.


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Are you lascivious? Quit Lagos! T

HISDAY of July 6 is the first medium to be penalised today: “...it is now criminal for any person to put a woman or girl in a family (sic) and abandon her.” Lecherous men in Lagos take note and quit the city if you are not ready for the family way or face litigation by the state. I received two meaningful calls and a mail with regard to a recent entry which declared that there was no such word as “invitee”. Both callers—one of them a purist, my master and egbon Mr. Bayo Oguntuase—insisted that the word existed. Another contributor, Dr. Joe Aguolu (joeaguolu@yahoo.com), said in his definitive mail (below) that the word is listed in an unnamed and undated dictionary and thesaurus. “I just read your column, where you said there was ‘no word known as invitees’. On the contrary, there is. A dictionary definition has ‘invitee’ as ‘a visitor to whom hospitality is extended.’ A thesaurus has ‘invitee’ as a synonym for guest.” Let me reiterate that the focus of this column is formal (modern) British Standard English usage—not traditional or regionalised English, which is usually dialectical with a doze of applicative circumscription. “Invitee” is a piece of Americanism that has invaded Nigeria

by way of language imperialism. Persistent abuse of a word or phrase does not confer acceptability or correctness on it. Sticklers must cleanse themselves of the juvenile indoctrination that everything in the dictionary is correct. This columnist, without being immodest, has developed the capacity and competency to justifiably question literary status quo and conventions. This columnist is not interested in colloquial and informal (non-standard) entries, which may exist in ‘Abrahamic’ (ancient) registers, dictionaries and thesauruses! Personally, language currency is the sustainable path to toe—not faddishness, lexical conservatism, conventional wisdom and normative reliance. I have dictionaries, thesauri, English language textbooks and other general interest books which contain grammatical and factual blunders! For me, these publications are guides which are not inviolable. Even the Bible, thesaurus and Shakespearean materials, as authoritative as they are, still contain lexical, structural and informational contradictions, if not fallacies. The edition of references is also critical because what is right today may be wrong tomorrow, depending on human strides, dynamism and universal language development. Our familiarization with dat-

ed words or expressions in vogue in our locales should not mislead us into believing that they are sacrosanct and immutable. I welcome more constructive reactions to this and other issues raised here. My position on “invitee” still stands. According to D. W. Williams, past experience (sic) should be a guide post, not a hitching post. Back to our usual business: “The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is currently in a dilemma over the inability of five of the eight banks that failed the stress test in the industry in 2009 to get....” (NIGERIAN Tribune, June 29) By every shred, “is” indicates currency. So, I do not understand this ubiquity in Nigerian newspapers: “is currently”. A rewrite: The CBN is in a dilemma…. “Exploitation of the underaged” (Nigerian Tribune, 1 May) Get it right: underage. “First Bank Nigeria PLC’s result for the period is an attestation of the trend” (Source: as above) Money: attestation to (not of) the trend. “…there is no doubt that she will be able to steer the ship of the

bank without any doubt, writes our reporter” (THISDAY SUNDAY BUSINESS PEOPLE, July 8) Why the overkill of ‘doubt’? “His Excellency...wishes to seize this opportunity….” Straight to the point: the governor uses or takes this opportunity. ‘Wishes’ and ‘seizes’ are pedestrian and obsolete in the circumstance. ‘Seize’ means, essentially, ‘to take by force’, et al (vide Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, 9tdition, and The New Lexicon Webster’s Dictionary of English Language 2010). American English accepts this. This could not have been the Executive Governor’s contemplation. “Let sleeping dog lie!” (Vanguard, April 29) Sweet and Sour: Let sleeping dogs lie. “More grease to your elbow.” (DAILY SUN, April 29) This way: More power (not grease) to your elbow. What future for the English language? “I believe that our politicians ought to have become more mature, and that the maturity would manifest in their conducts (conduct).” “My mission was to present a

“INVITEE” IS A PIECE OF

AMERICANISM THAT HAS INVADED NIGERIA BY WAY OF LANGUAGE IMPERIALISM

review of the book at the occasion.” (THE GUARDIAN, May 4) Return to the source: on the occasion. The next three blunders are from the Nigerian Tribune of May 4: “They are taken through a two-week orientation seminar on American culture and press at the onset (outset) of the fellowship programme in June.” “It is sad, very sad that the Nigerian police has never been known to use rubber bullets.” Checking the excesses of security operatives: Nigerian police have (not has). “The assistance of government is urgently needed in this matter as lack of co-operation by many residents is hampering the activities of vigilante (vigilance) bodies.” “Similarly, at the advent of any coup in Nigeria, we discover that power in all ramification (ramifications) is taken over by the military.” “An average number of the Southerners are readily willing even at short notice (a comma) to stab their own brother on (in) the back, if only to have a piece of the national cake.” “Furthermore, the South seem (seems) to have taken the north for granted for too long.” THE GUARDIAN of May 3 powered two mistakes: “We must entrench into (in) the statute books provisions for the recovery of stolen loot from outgoing governors, ministers and their proximate beneficiaries….” Is there any loot that is not stolen? Ask James Onanefe Ibori!

QUOTES •Students in Free Enterprise programme is a global network that is improving the quality of life of people around the world by teaching them the principles and values of free market economics and entrepreneurship•

•In Nigeria there is a strong desire to make fundamental changes in the way that education is provided and managed. But this is made difficult by top-heavy education structures, overlapping responsibilities and ineffective management systems• ESSPIN

Adesuwa Ifedi

•The problem with research in Nigeria is that there is no harmonisation of research efforts by researchers. The academic institutions face one direction while the industries face another• Prof. Oluwole Familoni, Dean, Faculty of Sciences, University of Lagos.

•There is an urgent need for more personnel who are scientifically qualified and trained in relevant advanced analytical techniques in universities across Africa• Manager of International Projects, Royal Society of Chemistry (UK), Dr Alejandra Palermo.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Nigeria, Surrey Chamber sign MoU

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Sport

I think the Surrey camping has improved my psychological readiness for the Olympics Games –Nigerian athlete, Blessing Okagbare

Aiyegbeni wears No.25 at Guangzhou IKENWA NNABUOGOR

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hinese Super League outfit, Guangzhou R & F, has officially announced the signing of Yakubu Aiyegbeni on a three -year deal at a press conference held yesterday morning, The former Blackburn Rovers’ hit man was presented to a number of journalists who graced the event to interview the ex-English Premier League top star. Aiyegbeni will make his debut on Sunday against the league champions in the Guangzhou derby. The 29-year-old centre-forward has been handed the No. 25 jersey, a number made popular in Nigeria by former Arsenal striker, Nwankwo Kanu. “I like the relatively large numbers, such as the No. 20 and 22, or the 24. However, in the R&F team, these numbers are not available, so I picked the number 25. Of course the number is not the most important, what is important is that I always believe in myself,” Aiyegbeni said.

The ex-Blackburn Rovers ace says he will adapt to the Chinese League, but refused to disclose the exact number of goals he would score at the end of the season. “I have been able to see the training of our coach, every coach has a different style of training. I feel pretty good. As for the number of goals I’d score, I have no specific target. “I heard that here there are more than 5,000 Nigerian citizens, but more importantly, for the time being my teammates, they are very nice to me,” he added. The Super Eagles player said he did not join Guangzhou R & F because of the economic terms of the contract, saying that he had studied the development plans of R&F, and decided it was the best move for him at this stage of his career. Aiyegbeni joins his compatriots – Peter Utaka at Dalian Aerbin, Akpo Sodje at Tianjin Teda and Gabriel Melkam at Qingdao Jonoon – in the fast growing Chinese Super League.

Inter set to unleash another Nigerian IKENWA NNABUOGOR

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nknown Nigerian youngster, Ibukun Ogunseye Roberto, looks set to feature for Inter Milan next season as he has been promoted to the main squad, National Mirror has learnt. The 17-year-old forward was born in Mantova and he was part of the Inter Milan training match on Monday as Coach Andrea Stramaccioni threw the teenager into the deep end. Stramaccioni was impressed with the youngster’s performance with the seniors and could be naming the starlet in the main squad this season.

Ibukun Ogunseye

Officials said if the player, who has Italian nationality, continues to impress, he could be considered for a permanent place in the main team alongside compatriot Joel Obi, who has returned to training after he was sidelined by injury. Ogunseye currently plays with Inter’s U-17 team known as the Allievi Nazionali, which is the third junior team that also plays in the Italy National U-17 League.

Yabuku Aiyegbeni (m) being unveiled by Guangzhou top officials yesterday, in China

I’ve not shut Mikel out –Keshi

EVEREST ONYEWUCHI

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uper Eagles’ coach, Stephen Keshi, yesterday reacted to the call by former national team skipper, Austin Okocha, that Chelsea star, Mikel Obi, should be recalled to the na-

Friendly: NFF talks with Guinea, Congo

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he Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) is in talks with Guinea, Sudan and DR Congo for a friendly game but the Eagles would be without foreign-based professionals due to a change in FIFA calendar. Super Eagles’ build-up for an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Liberia in September suffered a major setback after MTNFootball.com revealed that FIFA has moved the window for international friendlies from August15 September 16. This then means that the team would be composed with homebased professionals for any international warm-up game the Eagles will play next month prior to the trip to Monrovia on Septem-

PHOTO: Courtesy BBC

ber 8. NFF technical sub-committee chairman, Chris Green, told MTNFootball.com that talks had therefore been opened with Guinea, Sudan, Gabon and DR Congo for a possible friendly on August 15. “We have approached several countries including Guinea, DR Congo and Sudan for a possible friendly next month,” Green said. The Rivers State Football Association chairman, who accompanied Coach Stephen Keshi to South Africa for the AFCON draw last week, added, “Even though there would no longer be a FIFA free window next month, we want to ensure that the Eagles are fully prepared for the last hurdle to qualify for the Nations Cup.”

… Nsofor, Emenike, Obasi to get look-in

tional team, insisting that there was never a time the player was shut out. In a statement sent to National Mirror by the Media Officer of the Super Eagles, Ben Alaiya, the Big Boss said, “We may have played some games without Mikel but he has always been part of the team and I must tell Nigerians that I have been in touch with the player. “On the day of the Nations Cup draw in South Africa, myself and Mikel spoke for over 40 minutes on various aspects of football and I was impressed with his patriotism for Nigeria and the success of the national team. “We must be careful not to bring division and hero worship into the national team. Mikel has said again and again that he has no problems with the national team technical crew and I don’t have any problems with him either, so calling for his recall to the team is unnecessary, because he has always been a part of the

team.” Keshi warned that such calls would mean that the other European-based professionals who were not invited for the June games against Namibia, Malawi and Rwanda were not important in the national team, which he said is far from the truth. “We have a lot of players who were not part of the last games like Obafemi Martins, Obinna Nsofor, Ogbuke Obasi, Emmanuel Emenike and more. These players are as important and very good to our ambition of building a strong national team for Nigeria and I have been in touch with all of them, so we must avoid division in the national team and respect the decision of the coach,” he added. The Eagles’ supremo concluded by saying that no matter the amount of pressure, he would make it a point of duty to invite only the players needed for particular games and if Mikel was relevant he would surely be called up.


28

Sport

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Carroll gets Hammers’ look-in

I

ndication emerged yesterday that West Ham United is interested in signing Liverpool striker Andy Carroll on loan. Reds boss, Brendan Rodgers, earlier this week refused to rule out the possibility of Carroll leaving Anfield on a temporary deal, following speculation linking the big striker with a move to AC Milan. Rodgers insisted that he had yet to hear from the Italian club, but it is now understood that the Hammers have identified Carroll as a transfer target. Hammers’ boss, Sam Allardyce, is keen to bolster his squad ahead of the new Premier League season and could now be set to hold talks with the Reds about Carroll.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Gyan makes Ghana U-turn

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lack Stars striker, Asamoah Gyan, has reversed his retirement from international football and will play for Ghana again, six months after quitting the national team. The 26-year-old, who quit the Stars in February, will be available for the side when it takes on Malawi in its next game in September. The revelation is a major boost for the Black Stars with 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers and 2014 World Cup qualifiers as the key matches for the country in the coming months. Gyan took an “indefinite break” from the national team after getting a torrent of abuse from some fans but

has now decided to return to boost the side. The striker says he wants to help his country to “The decision to return was made with the incredible support of my family, friends and the football family of Ghana,” Gyan said, adding that he desired to help his country qualify for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and 2014 World Cup. ‘’I’m happy about the way the GFA handled the issue; they spoke to me and discussed my problems with my family,” he said. Ghana struggled to find a competent replacement for the in-form striker who is the country third all-time leading scorer after earning 59 caps.

Devils eye Radamel Falcao

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anchester United Manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, is chasing Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Fal-

cao. United intermediaries are confident Falcao can be signed from Atletico for less than what Borussia Dortmund want for striker Robert Lewandowski.

Reports said Ferguson regards Falcao as the best young centre-forward in the world and is even open to including Nani in the Red Devils’ offer for the Colombia international. Chelsea is also eyeing Falcao, though the Blues appear to be more focused on signing Porto ace Hulk.

Arsenal guns for Sneijder

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nter Milan midfielder, Wesley Sneijder, has emerged as a transfer target for Arsenal, with reports saying that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will move for the Dutch international once he sells fellow Dutch Robin van Persie. Sneijder, who came close to joining Manchester United last summer, still has hopes of moving to England. It’s suggested a bid of £20m from the Gunners will be enough for Inter to sell Sneijder, who is not seemingly in coach Andrea Stramaccioni’s system.

Luka Modric

Modric’s Spurs exit faces delay

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ottenham Hotspurs Manager, Andre Villas-Boas, has revealed that Luka Modric wants to leave the club and discussions are continuing with “various interested clubs”, but he will only be sold if the right offer comes in. Villas-Boas, who recently replaced Harry Redknapp as manager, says there is plenty of interest in Modric but he is such a key player that it would be hard to let him go. “I think Luka is a player of tremendous importance for this football club, and it has been like that since he joined the club,” Villas-Boas said yesterday. “The interest that we have from various different clubs shows the importance of the player and what he has done for Tottenham. “I think it is fair to say we respect Luka’s ambitions and his willingness to move on, and I

think Luka respects as well that he is an important player for the club who can help us move forward.” Modric has been a star performer for Spurs since making the move to White Hart Lane in 2008, but has again been linked with a move elsewhere this summer. Asked to confirm that it looked like Modric would be leaving, Villas-Boas added: “Not really. The willingness is there from the player but a player of this importance is not easy to part company with.” Meanwhile, Spurs goalkeeper, Brad Friedel, has insisted that the Croatia international’s exit would go hand-in-hand with chairman Daniel Levy bringing players to the club. “If someone like Luka Modric left the club, then they would have a ready-made replacement,” Freidel said.

Falcao


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sport

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Tit bits...

Kaka Tottenham Hotspurs has indicated interest in want-away Real Madrid midfielder Kaka. Kaka is desperate to quit Madrid this summer and favours a return to AC Milan. However, a move to London could be on as new Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas is a big fan of Kaka and it is believed that the Brazilian could be added to Real’s bid for Luka Modric.

Demspey

Gyan

Dempsey Fulham Manager, Martin Jol, wants to set up a swap deal for Liverpool striker Andy Carroll. Reports yesterday said Fulham is prepared to offer Clint Dempsey plus cash as part of any deal, while there is also interest from Italy. The Cottagers rate Dempsey at £10m and would be prepared to add an extra £6 million to land Carroll.

Maicon Chelsea has remained locked in talks for Inter Milan fullback Douglas Maicon. Maicon’s agent, Roberto Calenda, was in London last week for talks with Chelsea and terms are close to being struck. But Real Madrid is also interested in the Brazilian, even as Mediaset says Chelsea remains clear favourite for his signature.

Alonso

Redknapp cool on Russian job

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ormer Totenham Hotspurs manager, Harry Redknapp, says the Russian job would be a fantastic opportunity, but he has not heard anything at this stage. Redknapp has been named on a shortlist of 13 by the Russia Football Union (RFU) as the hunt for a successor to Dick Advocaat intensifies. Redknapp’s agent Phil Smith said yesterday that he would consider the role, although he has yet to speak to anyone at the RFU. Having parted company with Spurs earlier in the summer, Redknapp insisted he was looking to get back into work quickly and said he would suit any job. Redknapp was favourite to replace Capello as boss of England earlier this year but that job eventually went to Roy Hodgson instead. Coaches Rafa Benitez, Marcello Lippi and Marcelo Bielsa are also being considered by the RFU.

Real Madrid midfielder, Xabi Alonso, admits his focus is on winning the Champions League this new season. “After winning the Euro and La Liga, my objective for next year is to win the Champions League with Real Madrid,” Alonso said yesterday. “I cherished winning the league title with 100 points and defeating Barcelona at their stadium,” he added.

Totti AS Roma striker, Francesco Totti has warned that the club management must buy this summer. Totti believes it may be tough for his club to challenge for honours. “I’m more experienced than I was then Zeman was first here, but you can’t win games on your own,” he said. “The squad is quite good but we need important signings to reach the levels of Juventus, Milan and Inter.”

29

Our AFCON shock a blessing–Aboutrika

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eteran Egypt playmaker, Mohamed Aboutrika, has insisted that after missing out on three consecutive major tournaments, Egypt needs to use the recent CAF Africa Cup of Nations flop as an incentive to end a lengthy FIFA World Cup drought,. “Of course our Nations Cup defeat was a big loss, but we still have to take advantage of the ordeal and turn it into a blessing in the World Cup qualifiers,” the Al Ahly star told FIFA.com. “We have a good chance to qualify for the World Cup, we just need to exert lots of effort during the coming period,” he added. The positive attitude is perhaps not surprising given that the 33-year-old is known in Egypt as ‘The Saint’ for his mild temperament, but there is no way to downplay the shock of the Pharaohs defeat in the continental qualifiers by Central African Republic. The 4-3 aggregate loss means the seven-time African champions will miss out on the 2013 AFCON to go along with their disappointing 2012 campaign as well as the pain of missing out on the first African World Cup. The defeat has also heaped pressure on Egypt’s American coach Bob Bradley, who had been winning rave reviews since replacing the highly successful Hassan Shehata in November last year. Although some called for the coach to be sacked as Egypt desperately try to reach its first FIFA World Cup since 1990, Aboutrika rejects the idea and says patience is a must as the country continues to deal with the aftermath of an uprising and ongoing security concerns. “The political circumstances in Egypt definitely affected the national team’s displays. Bradley should be credited for the work he has done so far and for the

Aboutrika

fact that he did not abandon the team in such a difficult phase. He is working in exceptional circumstances, and I believe he should remain in charge of the national team,” the gifted player said. Aboutrika has also defied his own doubters with some high-quality displays of late that showed his touch of magic remains as powerful as it used to be. Recently he has scored a hat-trick for Al Ahly to lift them to the CAF Champions League group stage, produced a dazzling performance in Egypt’s 2-0 win over Mozambique and netted twice in their 3-2 win over Guinea. The fine run of form has prompted Egypt’s Olympic team coach Hany Ramzy to include Aboutrika in his squad for the London Games as one of the three over-age players along with club-mates Ahmed Fathi and Emad Meteb.

Golf: Uwadia, Pedro for British Juniors AFOLABI GAMBARI

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n its desire to develop and expose talents to the best golf facilities around the world, the Nigeria Golf Federation (NGF), in conjunction with CMCL Golf Tours Limited, has concluded plans to send the duo of Anita Uwadia and Tokunbo Pedro to United Kingdom for this year’s edition of Junior British Open. The youngsters qualified by their handicap after falling within the age category with 16-year-old Pedro playing

Olusola Adekanola

off handicap 2 and 14-year-old Uwadia playing off handicap 4. National Mirror learnt yesterday that both players, who were originally developed at Ikoyi Club 1938 Golf Junior Clinic, are currently at the Junior Players Academy in South Carolina, United States of America. Pedro and Uwadia also occupy the 4th and 12th positions respectively at the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour (HJGT) leaderboard. It was also learnt that the Ikoyi Golf Club will sponsor the kids’ training programme as well as kit them for the weeklong event. NGF’s member in charge of Youth Development, Emeh Ekong, is expected to arrive in Manchester venue of the tournament with the Nigerian duo on Friday for a three-day event scheduled for July 16 to 18 before participating at the British Open billed for 19 and 20. Meanwhile, President of the NGF, Hon. Sam Iredia, has said that Nigeria’s participation at the British open is a positive step towards launching the country at the 2016 Olympics.


Sport

30

15 TODAYS GO

Thursday, July 12, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Nigeria, Surrey Chamber sign MoU EVEREST ONYEWUCHI

N

JULY 27 - AUGUST 12, 2012

Mensah sceptical of boxing medals

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ormer Lagos State Boxing Chief Coach, Joe Mensah, says a lack of standard facilities and equipment may rob the country of medals at the London Olympic Games. Mensah told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that boxing as a sport does not have the right equipment to make boxers to excel at the Olympics. The coach, who was also part of the handlers of the boxing team at their Benin camp before the only three selected boxers travelled to Surrey, lamented the obsolete equipment and facilities in the Benin camp. “With what I saw in Etete, if nothing is done about the equipment and the facilities and the encouragement and the exposure; I am not sure we will come back with anything at the Olympic Games.’’ He also said the coaches should be given kudos for striving hard to train boxers and to produce champions without adequate equipment. “My experience in that camp is just based on what we have upstairs; materially we are not equipped, there are no sparring gloves, there are no head guards, there is nothing, what else, what are we talking on equipment now, zero,” Mensah said.

igeria’s Bank of Industry (BOI) and Surrey Chamber of Commerce UK have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on trade and investment opportunities in each other’s economy during the London Olympic Games. Some athletes of the Team Nigeria are already having their final preparations at a camp in Surrey ahead of the Games’ opening on July 27. Managing Director of the BOI, Ms. Evelyn Oputu, signed the agreement in London last week on behalf of Nigeria. Oputu said the Olympics would provide the ideal stage to showcase the best of Nigeria’s culture, sports and diverse investment opportunities. She said BOI would collaborate with the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) to boost the country’s exports and attract investment to Nigeria in line with President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation agenda. Speaking at the occasion, the Chief Executive of Surrey Chamber of Commerce, Ms. Louise Punter, said with 6,000

L-R Nigerian athletes, Obinna Metu, Vivian Chukwuemeka and Tobi Ogunmola, watching proceedings during the send-forth ceremony of Team Nigeria to London in Lagos, last week PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI

start-up businesses yearly, Surrey was one of the leading areas in the UK’s economy. “With 250 major companies, three universities and 6,000 business starts-ups every year based on up to date hi-techs and innovations, Surrey offers the best business opportunities and economic bounties for inves-

tors,” Punter said in a report by News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) . Under the agreement, both parties shall jointly promote various Nigerian cultural products in Guildford from July 15 to July 17. Also both parties shall jointly organise seminars on the specifics of doing business in Nigeria

Flag-bearing excites Sharapova

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ormer tennis world number one, Maria Sharapova, is excited about her selection to be Russia’s first female Olympic flag-bearer at the London Games. President of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC), Alexander Zhukov, told reporters on Tuesday following the ROC’s executive board meeting that “Sharapova will carry our flag.” “She was the most worthy

candidate among all our athletes. In June she claimed her fourth grand slam title (French Open).” The Florida-based Russian said on her official website (www.mariasharapova. com) when she first heard the news about her nomination last month, “I am so honoured, and especially excited as it will be my first Olympics in my career. “I have had to keep this hush-

Team USA: Women outnumber men

USA high jumper, Amy Acuff, will represent her country for the first time at an Olympics in London 2012 PHOTO: AFP

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hush for two weeks and keeping secrets is not my best quality!” Russia broke with tradition by naming Sharapova, who also won Wimbledon (2004), US Open (2006) and Australian Open (2008) titles, for the rare honour. Since the Russians first took part in the 1952 Summer Games in Helsinki as part of the Soviet Union, this great honour was traditionally given to famous male athletes such as Greco-Ro-

or the first time in history, the United States of America Olympic team will contain more women than men in its 530-strong team for London 2012. The squad, which will be bidding to at least match its second place finish at Beijing in 2008, consists of 269 female and 261 male competitors Team USA won 110 medals, including 36 gold, in Beijing, to finish second behind host, China and the country is expected to occupy one of the top two spots again at London 2012. Announcing the

squad, USOC chief executive, Scott Blackmun said, “They are our nation’s greatest athletes and embody what it means to be American. “I look forward to watching them compete and to representing our nation both on and off the field of play. “I’m also proud that for the first time in history, the US Olympic team features more women than men - a true testament to the impact of Title IX (a law passed in 1972 that requires gender equality in every federal-funded educational programme) which in its 40-year history has increased sport opportunities for millions of females across the United States.”

along the lines of training/information sessions on import/ export procedures, cultural and business practices. Also, exhibitions showcasing Nigerian products will feature commercial and cultural activities as well as opportunities for corporate matching/networking during the period.

man wrestler, Alexander Karelin, and swimmer Alexander Popov, who have won numerous Olympic titles. Twenty-five-year-old Sharapova will be making her Olympic debut in London after failing to qualify for the 2004 Games in Athens and missing the 2008 edition in Beijing with a shoulder injury.

Sharapova


Thursday, July 12, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

31

Business & Finance We should try as a country to live within our means. We need to work very hard because the budget that we have is such that the current expenditure is almost 74 per cent of the budget, therefore, there is not much left for capital expenditure.

I can fish out subsidy ‘thieves’ in one week FORMER CHAIRMAN OF THE ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIMES COMMISSION (EFCC), NUHU RIBADU,

MINISTER OF FINANCE, NGOZI OKONJO-IWEALA

Naira may regain strength on foreign direct inflow –Report

LOCAL FLIGHT SCHEDULE Air Nigeria Los-Abj: 06:05 (Mon-Fri) 07:45 (Sat) 07:00 (Sun) 08:15 (Mon-Sun) 10;30 (Sun) 13:30 (Fri/Sat) 14:35 (Mon-Tue) 16:30 (Mon-Sun) 15:45 (Fri-Sun) 15:30 (Sat) 18:00 (MonSun) 19:15 (Fri) Abj-Los: 08:00 (Mon-Sat) 09:00 (Sun) 09:40 (Sat) 10:05 (Mon-Sat) 15:05 (Mon-Wed) 15:15 (Thu) 15:25 (Fri) 16:00 (Mon-Fri) 17:40 (Fri) 18:25 (Sat)13:50 (MonSun) 16:30 (Mon-Thur) 19:55 (Mon-Sat) Abj-Kano: 1825 (Mon-Sun) Abj-Sok: 1010 (Mon-Sun) Sok-Abj: 12:00 (Mon-Sun) Los-Owr: 08:40 (Mon-Fri) Los-Owr: 11:35 (Sat/Sun) Owr-Los: 10:30 (Mon-Fri) 13:25 (Sat/Sun)

JOHNSON OKANLAWON

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he naira may likely regain its strength against the dollar owing to increased foreign direct inflow, and rejuvenated investment interests by foreign investors into the fixed income markets occasioned by increase yield, Financial Dealers Market Association has said. The association in an economic outlook for July, noted that the declining oil prices which might affect the foreign reserves remain the biggest threat in the short and medium term. According to the report, the behavioural pattern of domestic interest rates in the coming months is expected to mirror June’s high regime as a result of the expectation of similar injection pattern. The report said, “Inflation outlook will still remain challenging for the economy and monetary authorities especially. “However, the Central Bank of Nigeria will likely result to increased use of Open Market Operation as against upward review of Monetary Policy Rate, as it has proven a lot effective without causing sudden policy disruptions.”

Arik Air

L-R: Chairman, APCON, Alhaji Garba Kankarofi; Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Ogun State, Otunba Abimbola Ashiru; Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United States of America, Prof. Adebowale Adefuye; Group President, Central Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, P&G, Mr. Laurent Philippe; Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga and Managing Director, P&G Nigeria, Mr. Manoj Kumar, at the company’s new plant ground breaking ceremony in Agbara, Ogun State, on Tuesday.

The report showed that foreign exchange reserves position remained robust averaging $37bn in early June but dropped to $36.72bn in the last week of the month under review to reverse the earlier gains. “This figure is higher than the $31.89bn it recorded in the same period of 2011 and 0.97 per cent lower than the $37.69bn it closed May,” the report said. It explained that the declining oil prices pose a high concern to the accretion of the external reserve coupled with dwindling dollar inflows from autonomous

sources. The report said that the interbank naira market in June was characterised by liquidity squeeze, even after the release of the FAAC funds. It stressed that the month recorded the lowest inflows so far since the beginning of the year as market players accessed the CBN standing lending facility window more in the month occasioned by depressed liquidity in thesystem. “Consequently, the month of June recorded the second highest rates after February. Available data showed that the June recorded only

one OMO auction the first day to mop up increased disbursements that ended the month of May. Market opened the month with rates on the back of low system liquidity balance as a result OMO funding of N47.89bn. Rates tilted northwards the first week of the month, due to outflows from the system via Foreign exchange debits of N133.7bn and OMO auction worth N14.11bn despite matured bills put at N29.5bn to close the week at 14.9 per cent, 5.25 per cent and 15.7 per cent for call, 7 days and 30 days respectively.

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

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

EXCHANGE RATES WAUA

World Bank Board to approve $200m for water projects TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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he Board of the World Bank is expected to approve another tranche of $200m

ADVERT HOTLINES: For advert bookings and information, please contact the following:

LAGOS: 01-8446073, 08094331171, 08023133084, 08034019884 ABUJA: 08033020395, 08036321014

for implementation of its 2nd Urban Water Projects in the country. The amount would be committed to ongoing projects in Cross River and Lagos States. If the pending request secures the nod of the Board as projected, it would raise the Bank’s investments on the Urban Wa-

ter projects for both the 1st and 2nd phases to about $397m, thus making it the largest partner in urban water development schemes in the country. Giving the hint of the proposed additional funding of the water programmes in the country during a chat with National Mirror, World Bank

Dana crash: Engineer insists engine failure caused by external factors

32

Water Specialist in Nigeria, Engineer Hassan Kida, said the additional funds will be coming even as development partners in the water sector were working to streamline their various projects for maximum impact across the country. Kida, who expressed satisfaction with the level of progress made so far on

the Bank’s water projects, identified the absence of a reliable database on level of access to potable water supply and other critical water planning and management information amongst the major problems militating against effective implementation of water programmes in the country.

USD

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OIL / GAS FUTURES ICE BRENT

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Telecoms: Report forecasts declines in revenues

35

233.765

Articulating a pitch-winning brand strategy

37


32

Business & Finance

Thursday, July 12, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Dana crash: Engineer insists engine failure caused by external factors

L-R: Head, Legal and Public Relations, Promasidor Nigeria Limited, Mr. Andrew Enahoro; Miss Omole Ayobami Omobonike, (third place overall winner, junior category) and Business Development Manager, Mr. Olusegun Koleoso, at the 2012 Cowbell NASSMAC prize giving ceremony in Abuja recently.

OLUSEGUN KOIKI

A

n aircraft engineer, Mr. Edet Akpan has said that last month’s plane crash involving Dana Air at the Iju-Ishaga area of Lagos may have been caused by external factors, which may include contaminated fuel, heavy rain-bearing clouds at low altitudes and massive bird strikes. Speaking with National Mirror

in Lagos, Akpan said that if the statement of the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah on the Dana Air flight 9J-992 was to be taken seriously; then, it might have been caused by any of the external factors mentioned above. It will be recalled that immediately the accident occurred, Oduah told journalists in Lagos that the two engines of the MD 83-5N-RAM failed simultaneously before the captain contacted Air

Agric Ministry to extend subsidy for fisheries development MESHACK IDEHEN

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he Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said it will soon commence the provision of subsidies to operators in the fisheries sub-sector as being done crop farmers. The ministry further said the intervention which is targeted at small-scale fisheries and aquaculture operators will be in the provision of basic inputs and will be subsidised under the current Growth Enhancement Support Scheme (GESS) of the ministry. Disclosing this during the roll out of the GESS in Lagos on Wednesday, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, said the ministry will extend GESS to fisheries because the sector has not been supported much in the past. The minister promised to commence the implementation of the support scheme without delay, adding further that the move is within the budget for the year, and that it would also expand the value chain of food production.” Adesina acknowledged the importance of brood stock as fundamental basis for fish production, adding also that like fertiliser

is to someone growing rice and maize, brood stock is to someone growing fish.. He noted that part of the support will include the provision of fishing nets alongside other inputs, stressing that, the operators could use their cooperatives, within the artisanal fisheries to access support. The agric minister also promised to provide service for mechanisation, adding that the ministry will also look into how it can structure affordable financing mechanism, specifically for that, including outboard engines provision for fishermen. Speaking further, the minister lamented what he said is the lack of planning and adequate statistics in order to properly access and support the farmers. “We don’t know the farmers, who they are, where they are and their challenges.. You can’t do anything unless you know your customers. In the GESS, we are doing it because we have registered the farmers.” the minister said. He stressed the need for data capturing of all the fish farmers, arguing that biometric information of the fishermen and women will benefit in no small measure when the data is captured.

Traffic Controllers and declared May Day! He explained that there had been some notable aviation emergencies and disasters attributed to the rare, but obviously possible scenario of multiple engine failure in the globe, but insisted that it was too early to speculate on the exact cause of the Dana plane crash. Akpan emphasised that other areas of speculation such as in-

adequate maintenance or human error may not necessarily be the primary cause of the crash and opined that relevant authorities should also review other factors that may had also contributed to the overall number of fatalities including flight path, airport location and emergency services response speed. He said, “It’s important to note that it is exceptionally rare for multiple engines to fail mid-flight. Even if this rarity does occur, all pilots are trained to restart, relight in aviation parlance, a plane’s engines mid-flight. Even if a relight is unsuccessful, airplanes do not just drop out of the sky. “Much like gliders, which operate without engines, all airplanes are capable of gliding for considerable distances, depending on multiple factors including altitude and speed, thereby allowing the pilot to perform a relative safe landing. In this kind of situation it is perfectly normal for a pilot to request to land on the longest available runway. “If the plane is unable to glide to the safety of an airport runway, pilots are able to land on major highways, grassy planes or even water with few or no fatalities. The men and women who pilot commercial aircraft receive rigorous training on all possible emergency

scenarios and as such are able to deal with most anticipated emergency scenarios. “Moreover, empirical evidence also suggests that when multiple engine failure does occur it is usually as a result of external factors including, but not necessarily limited to volcanic ash, ice or water ingestion, heavy rain-bearing clouds at low altitudes, massive bird strikes, fuel exhaustion or contaminated fuel.” He urged the Accident Investigation Bureau to be open to the possibility of non-mechanical related caused of engine failure in the cause of carrying out their investigation in the crashed plane. “One can only hope that investigations are swift and that the final report goes towards ensuring that we never experience another deeply saddening and troubling incident like this,” he said. National Mirror had exclusively reported last month that the crash may have been caused by contaminated aviation fuel otherwise known as Jet A1 in the tanks of the MD 83 aircraft. Sources close to the airline had confided in our correspondent that the airline purchased the aviation fuel from one of the oil marketers in the industry, but could not state categorically if the fuel was contaminated or not.

SMEs stakeholders call for review of policy

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ome stakeholders have called for the review of the policy on the operation of Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria. Executive Secretary of Nigeria Association of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (NASME), Mr. Eke Ubiji, said that the existing policy was no longer relevant to the development of SMEs He made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Wednesday. “The current policy has been in existence since 2007. It has ceased to serve the purpose for which it was formulated. “Section five sub-section three

of the current SME policy makes provision for its review after three or five years. “This is the reason why we have been clamouring for the review of the policy,” he said. Ubiji said that the existing policy had led to ineffective funding of SMEs recently, stressing that “there has been lack of commitment from all tiers of government”. “The local governments, in particular, have done little or nothing towards the growth of SMEs. “A review of the policy will get the local government involved in the funding of our enterprises,” Ubiji said. Mr Leke Babalola, Zonal Co-

ordinator of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), in Lagos, also called for a review of the policy. Babalola said that this would enable SMEDAN to face the current challenges facing SMEs in Nigeria. “Business trends are changing all over the world. There is need to review the current SMEs policy to align with the international best practices,” he said. Babalola said that the Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, had set up a technical investigation committee to get public input into the redrafting of the policy.

NUFBTE issues ultimatum to Promasidor MESHACK IDEHEN

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eaders of the National Union of Food, Beverages and Tobacco Employees (NUFBTE), said they have issued a one-week ultimatum to the management of Promasidor Nigeria Limited to pay workers’ salaries and allowances for the month of June or risk an industrial action that can hurt the company. The union leaders and workers which just returned to work after the management of the com-

pany had shut down operations for three weeks following a strike threat by the union said it is also kicking against the termination of the appointment of 796 contract staff, who are also members of the in-house union. This latest development is in spite of efforts by the Ministry of Labour and the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) to resolve the issue, with the management of the company insisting that it would not pay workers for the period of shutdown. The union, in a letter and ad-

dressed to the Managing Director of Promasidor,said it was irrational for management to decide not to pay workers their full salaries, while asserting that management and not the workers should be held responsible for shutting down the company’s operations. Speaking with National Mirror, the General Secretary of the workers union at Promasidor, Mr. Aliyu. Danjuma said that management must pay the full salary to workers on or before Thursday July 12, 2012; failing which the union will not hesitate to shut down the company.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Thursday, July 12, 2012

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Business & Finance

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Piracy war: FG begins regulation of oil firms’ private security FRANCIS EZEM

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he Federal Government has commenced the regulation of private security operatives engaged on board patrol and other boats by oil companies operating in Nigeria. This is sequel to the constitution of a 13-man Inter-Agency Maritime Operations Coordination Committee headed by the Nigerian Navy, inaugurated penultimate week by Vice President Aminu Sambo as part of measures to combat increasing cases of maritime piracy and sea robbery on Nigeria’s waters. Following the growing insecurity in the oil-rich Niger Delta region and the attendant hostage taking mainly of foreign workers, most of the multinational oil companies had employed the services of armed private security operatives on board

their boats and other platforms. Senior Special Assistant to the president on maritime services, Mr. Leke Oyewole, who is also a member of the committee, while speaking in a telephone interview, disclosed that part of the terms of reference of the committee includes the regulation of security apparatus employed by these oil firms. According to him, the decision of the government to commence the regulation of these private security operatives was informed by the current security situation in the country and the country and the need to know who is doing what. “Government wants to know who these oil companies are engaging on board their boats and platforms as security operatives because it would be dangerous for the government at this time to keep quite over who is deployed as a security operative on the nation’s wa-

ters, knowing fully well that most of these firms are foreign”, he noted. Such mistakes may have been made in the past but government cannot afford to keep quite over such issues now given the security challenges now and so the committee has commenced effective regulation of their operations”, Oyewole asserted. It was gathered that under the new dispensation, government will commence effective monitoring of all the outfits with a view to knowing their modus operandi and also know the track records of the individuals employed by the outfits. The presidential aide also noted that henceforth, the committee will insist that officers and men of the Nigerian Navy and those of other government security will be attached to the boats and platforms of these oil companies.

L-R: Director, Youth Empowerment and Development Initiative, Estelle Dogbe; Mr. Patrick Utomi of Public and Government Affairs, Exxon Mobil and Executive Director, Women’s Right and Health Project, Mrs. Bose Iro-Nsi, at the Skillz Naija Football Tournament sponsored by ExxonMobil in Lagos recently.

ALSCON workers express apprehension over verdict on plant ownership

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he labour unions in Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON) on Wednesday expressed apprehension on the implications of the Supreme Court verdict on the privatisation of the plant. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the apex court on Friday ruled that the BFI Group, a Nigerian-American consortium, which was the preferred bidder of ALSCON in 2004, was the valid winner of the bid. The company was earlier disqualified in alleged controversial circumstances by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE). United Company RUSAL, a Russian company, took over the plant in 2006 with a bid of 250 million dollars. The Chairman of Joint Labour

Movement in ALSCON, Mr Kelechi Otu, told NAN on telephone that the unions were concerned about the workers’ job security. About 470 Nigerians and 50 expatriates are working in the company. Otu said that the labour movement was awaiting details of the judgment and would push for the protection of workers in case of transfer of ownership of the plant. “My concern as a labour leader is the fate of workers; we are neither celebrating the judgment nor are we happy with the state of the plant, which is operating at about 10 per cent of installed capacity. “At any rate, we are aware that the Russians are not making profit because the plant is in dare need of modernisation to bring it back

to full capacity; that is our hope. “Workers are comfortable with any arrangement that will not involve disengagement, we are objective and want the plant to become fully operational,’’ he said. ALSCON was built in 1992 by a German firm, Messrs Ferrostaal AG for the Federal Government and later privatised by the BPE under the privatisation programme. The management of UC RUSAL has, however, said that the Supreme Court’s judgment on the sale of the plant in Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom, would not affect its ownership of the plant. The company explained in an e-mail statement sent to NAN in Eket that it still retained its equity shares in the plant.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Euromoney votes GTBank best bank in Nigeria JOHNSON OKANLAWON

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uaranty Trust Bank Plc has been recognised as the 2012 best bank in the country by Euromoney Magazine for the fourth consecutive year. The award which was presented during the 2012 Euromoney Awards for Excellence Dinner, in London last weekend recognises financial institutions worldwide that have recorded significant feats within their operating environments and continuously display innovation and record excellent financial performance year on year. A statement from the bank yesterday quoted the magazine’ editor, Mr. Clive Horwood, as say-

ing that for the bank receiving the award for the fourth time is an unprecedented feat which pays testimony to its position as a first class, profitable and focused institution. Speaking at the event, the bank’s Group Managing Director, Mr. Segun Agbaje, ascribed the award to the bank’s well defined operating strategy, the passion and commitment of its employees and adherence to values that include hard work, discipline, a passion for excellence and a service focused culture. He said that the bank would continue to seek innovative ways of offering its stakeholders exceptional service and thanked the bank’s customers for their continuous patronage and tremendous support over the years.

STI extends branch network OMOBOLA TOLU-KUSIMO

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n a bid to further penetrate the insurance market and extend its services to other areas of the country, Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc has opened two more branches for operations in Ilorin, the capital of Kwara State and Osogbo Osun State. In a statement made available to journalist recently, Managing Director of the company, Mr. Wale Onaolapo said that the Management bears in mind the constant optimisation of the operations and profitability of the underwriting firm by ensuring that very competitive insurance products and services are made available to every Nigerian in different locations across the country. He stated that the gospel of insurance is a continuous project that must be preached till every Nigerian will voluntarily walk in to pick up an insurance cover of any sort from time to time. “At STI, we believe this will come to pass in not-too-far a fu-

ture which explains why we will continue to increase our branch network. The decision to extend our services to the new locations was borne out of the company’s objective to continue to exploit the underdeveloped areas of the market by developing and creating innovative financial and insurance services to meet customer needs at all levels. The move, according to him is expected to take the product offerings and services of the organisation closer and accessible to the insuring public in these climes of the country. He noted that the company is poised to provide continuous qualitative service delivery for its customers adding that it will also continue to take pioneering initiatives that are geared at enhancing the growth of the insurance industry in the country. Onaolapo added that the insurance company will not relent on its oars but soar to greater heights to become one of the major players in the industry.

Sanura unveils Brunofischer in Nigeria ELLA OLAMIJU

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nvestment and health products company, Sanura Ventures has launched a new category of its healthy lifestyle brand , the Bruno fischer organic range of products made in Germany. Opening the market with the tomato puree and mayonnaise range of products, the naturally processed Bruno Fischer products are poised to motivate healthy food product choices in the Nigerian marketplace. Speaking at the unveiling ceremony in Lagos, the Chief Executive Officer, Sanura International, Mr. Steve Agwudagwu revealed that since health prac-

titioners have opined that the human system has no means of eliminating foreign elements as artificial colours, hardeners, flavours and preservatives, the choice of organic food products as BronoFischer is a timely intervention. He said “ The uniqueness of Brunofischer Salad Mayonnaise and Tomato puree lies in the fact that being organic, their raw materials were produced naturally without chemicals, synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, antibiotics and biotechnology, the mayonnaise is low fat, gluten, yeast, milk amd milk sugars free to avoid allergic reactions and the tomato puree is cultivated from sun-ripened tomatoes.”


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

InfoTech

Thursday, July 12, 2012

35

Telecoms: Report forecasts declines in revenues Though Nigeria’s telecommunications sector has continued to grow in leaps and bounds for over a decade, a latest report by the Business Monitor International, BMI, aptly highlights key trends and forecasts for the sector in the area of mobile and fixed line subscriptions, internet usage and continuous decline in the Average Revenue Per User, occasioned by growing competition among telecoms players. KUNLE AZEEZ reports.

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ollowing the liberalisation of the nation’s telecommunications sector by the Federal Government in 2001, the country has recorded significant growth especially in the area of mobile subscriptions. However, while there is gradual growth in internet usage but a remarkable decline in fixedline and Code Division Multiple Access segments. A recent report by Business Monitor International Limited, BMI, on industry forecast scenario entitled: Nigeria Telecommunications Report Q2 2012 thus providing lucid status report about the state of the country’s telecoms sector while making forecast on the growth potential for the industry in the next five years. On mobile subscriptions, Nigeria’s mobile market, according to the report, grew by 9 per cent in 2011 to 95.167 million. This was considerably slower than growth rate of 19.4 per cent recorded in 2010. The surprise decline in the second quarter of 2011 was said to be partly responsible for the slowdown in overall growth in 2011. Based on data from the Nigerian Communications Commission, BMI noted that mobile penetration in Nigeria stood at 58.6 per cent at the end of 2011, up from 55.1 per cent a year earlier. As in previous two years, the Global System for Mobile Communications segment was the main growth driver of mobile subscriptions as the country’s four CDMA operators continue to record subscriber net losses. Meanwhile, with a mobile penetration still less than 60 per cent and a considerable proportion of the population not covered by mobile networks in Nigeria, the report said future subscriber growth will be driven by concerted efforts by operators to extend services to underserved areas. Also, the cost of network expansion and the prospects of low usage among rural dwellers are adjudged to have been major disincentives to rural expansion. However, with fewer subscriber growth opportunities in urban areas and new cost-effective solutions and services such as network infrastructure sharing, it is expected that increased rural coverage in Nigeria over forecast period. “One downside risk to this view is the possibility of operators switching to higher value services such as mobile data for wealthier urban consumers As opposed to extending low value voice and SMS services to rural dwellers” the report noted. Another key highlight of the BMI study concerns trends in Average Revenue Per User. Examined as a market average, the mobile ARPU rate for Nigeria, according to the report, fell by 21.2 per cent in 2011 to reach N1, 011. This was considerably more than a 4.3 per cent in 2012 to reach N1, 283. The study forecast that Nigeria’s blended mobile ARPU will decline by 6.9 per cent in 2012 to N949, stating that over the longer term, it is expected that several factors would influence the development of Nigeria’s mobile ARPU rates. The report explained: “One is the extent to which the operators continue to improve their subscriber mix and increase the contract customers on their networks relative to prepaid users. Another factor shaping mobile ARPU levels over the next five years will be the success with which the operators encourage their mobile customers to use higher value data services.” Thus, the report said in the next five years, it is expected that Nigeria’s average blended ARPU falling by an average of 7.9 per cent to reach N769 while in the latter part of the forecast, it is expected that the rate of blended ARPU decline will decline. “To some extent, this trend will largely reflect the improved subscriber mix on the networks of all opera-

Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson

NCC, EVC, Dr. Eugene Juwah

tors. However, the main factors influencing the slowdown in the rate of ARPU decline will be the emergence of stronger growth for Nigeria’s economy, a development that will translate into higher customer spending, and a steady increase in the use of mobile data and internet services,” the report maintained. The proliferation of such services is expected to help the operators establish more stable sources of income. Regulatory data for Nigeria’s fixed-line sector relating to the end of December, 2011 showed that the number of active fixed-line connections fell faster than previously envisaged. According to the NCC, there were 719,000 fixed-line connections in the country at the end of 2011, equivalent to a penetration rate of 0.4 per cent. In recent quarters, the rate of fixed-line sector decline in Nigeria has accelerated. For instance, after declining by 26 per cent in 2010 the year 2011 figures show the number of fixed-lines fell by 34.34 per cent in 2011 even as BMI report predict continuous decline of the fixed line sector. “In view of the notable decline in the number of fixed wireless customers in 2011, and in light of the continuing delays that continue to face the privatisation of the National Telecommunications Limited, we believe that Nigeria’s fixed-line sector will continue to shrink throughout 2012 and the remainder of our forecast period, albeit at a slower rate.”

The fourth area addressed by the BMI report centres on Internet usage and penetration where it was stated that there are no significant changes to BMI’s growth forecast for Nigeria’s internet and broadband markets. Similarly, the latest figures from the International Telecommunications Union have suggested that Nigeria had 43.89 million internet users at the end of 2009, equivalent to a penetration rate of 28.5 per cent but BMI estimates that the country’s internet user base grew to 48.4 million at the end of the 2011, to bring internet penetration rate to 29.8 per cent. According to BMI, the steady and impressive growth in the number of Nigerian internet users reflect a growing awareness of Information and Communication Technology services in the country. This is also believed to have been partly fuelled by the exponential growth of mobile services over the past decade. The report also suggested that the recent growth in internet usage also reflects the presence of an increasing number of Internet Service Providers, internet café and an expansion in the availability of internet coverage. “By the end of 2016, we expect internet user penetration to rise to more than 38 per cent,” the report added. Available statistics has also shown that there would be explosion of internet/data traffic in the next few years and this is expected to be driven principally by increased use of data-enabled smartphones. Already, Ericsson in a study entitled: Traffic and Market Report: On the Pulse of the Networked Society estimates that globally, the total subscriptions of data-heavy devices will grow from around 850 million by the end of 2011 to around 3.8 billion in 2017. This includes smartphones, mobile PCs and tablets with cellular connectivity. Ericsson’s Manager on Government and Industry Relations, Hub Central and West for Regional sub -Sahara Africa, Mr. Olaseni Ashiru, said, “If Nigeria is to prepare for this explosion in data traffic being driven by increase usage of smartphone for accessing the internet and downloading applications, it is basically going to focus more on ICT policies harmonisation to drive broadband.”

WITH A MOBILE PENETRATION STILL LESS THAN 60 PER CENT AND A CONSIDERABLE PROPORTION OF THE POPULATION NOT COVERED BY MOBILE NETWORKS IN

NIGERIA,

THE REPORT SAID FUTURE SUBSCRIBER GROWTH WILL BE DRIVEN BY CONCERTED EFFORTS BY OPERATORS TO EXTEND SERVICES TO UNDERSERVED AREAS


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InfoTech

Thursday, July 12, 2012

NIGCOMSAT, iDirect in broadband access partnership STORIES: KUNLE AZEEZ

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he Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited has deployed iDirect universal satellite hub evolution platform in a strategic partnership aimed at boosting the growing broadband market needs in Africa. The development followed the successful launch of Replacement Nigeria Communications Satellite, NigComSat 1R, in December 2011 and in- orbit delivery on March 19, 2012. A joint statement by the companies said the iDirect was to deploy an evolution-based service to boost the growing broadband market in Nigeria and the West African subregion. “The iDirect Evolution platform will enhance NIGCOMSAT’s existing Very Small Aperture Terminal, VSAT, solutions for military and government customers, while enabling the company to pursue new opportunities in the enterprise and

education markets,” the statement said. iDirect a United States-based company, is a global leader in satellite-based Internet Protocol communication technology company. It is a subsidiary of VT Systems of the United States. According to the Chief Executive Officer, NIGCOMSAT, Mr. Timasaniyu Ahmed-Rufai, the deployment of the iDirect universal satellite hub will enable NIGCOMSAT, Africa’s Premier Satellite Operator, to offer affordable internet services to the military, government, education, enterprise markets among others. “We believe that high-speed internet has the potential to transform the Nigerian economy, hence, our partnership with iDirect to deploy a satellite network that affordably supports increasing broadband penetration in the region”. He added that, “iDirect’s solutions enable us to offer a broadband service that meets the diverse requirement of multiple end users, and can grow to meet further connectivity

challenges,” he said. Regional Vice President for iDirect in Europe, Mr. Majdi Atout, on his part said there was tremendous potential for growth in Africa, but stated that much of the potential hinged on developing an infrastructure that can support highspeed data sharing and broadband internet access. He said, “The iDirect platform offers NIGCOMSAT a high-performing and flexible solution that supports the company’s goal of building a more open and connected Africa.” The flexibility of the iDirect Evolution platform enables NIGCOMSAT to deliver affordable and easily deployable internet service across Nigeria and West African sub-region for a range of applications and end users. Additionally, iDirect’s seamless integration with fiber networks allows NIGCOMSAT to deliver broadband connectivity to remote communities, ensuring that rural users gain the economic and social benefits of broadband access.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Tech Box BLACKBERRY CURVE 9320 AND CURVE 9220

Designed for socially-connected customers

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esearch-in-Motion, manufacturers of the popular Blackberry phones, has introduces two stylish new smartphones, the BlackBerry® Curve™ 9320 and BlackBerry® Curve™ 9220, for socially-connected customers in Nigeria. Designed to be easy to use and easy to own, the new Curve models offer customers an outstanding combination of features and apps to help them stay connected to the people and information that matter most to them. The new Curve smartphones offer the best keyboards in their class for quick and easy typing, and they even feature a new dedicated BBM key to bring the power of RIM’s popular mobile social network up in an instant. They also offer the longest lasting battery life yet in a BlackBerry Curve smartphone, allowing users to make the most of their day. The key features include preloaded apps for Facebook and Twitter, allowing customers to easily interact with their friends and other contacts in real time; the new Social Feeds 2.0 app, allowing customers to post updates to multiple social networks simultaneously and capture updates from news

sources (RSS), social apps and instant messaging apps all in one consolidated view Other features include a builtin FM radio that does not use data services, allowing customers to tune into their favorite local stations; an integrated camera which supports video recording. Pictures taken with the BlackBerry Curve 9320 can also be tagged with their location thanks to the smartphone’s built-in Geographic Position System; The features also include long battery life with up to seven hours of talk time or up to 28 hours of FM radio listening or music playback with headphones (music playback is rated at up to 30 hours on the BlackBerry Curve 9320) and built-in Wi-Fi connectivity. Regional Director for East, West and Central Africa at Research In Motion, Mr. Waldi Wepener, said the BlackBerry Curve smartphones have been extremely popular in Nigeria, offering affordable access to BBM and other popular social networks.

PANASONIC LUMIX DMC-3D1

Compact design with high resolution L-R: Acting Head, Marketing, Globacom, Mr. Niyi Olukoya; Assistant Director, National Lottery Regulatory Commission, Mr. Obi Iregbu and Director, Retail Sales, Globacom, Mr. Mike Sidwell at the launch of Season 3 of the Glo text4millions promo in Lagos recently.

Cashless: G-Data to tackle IT security risks for Nigerian businesses

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s discussions on how best Nigeria can secure its infrastructural and device platforms in the new cashless economy initiative intensify, an Information Technology security firm, G-Data, has entered Nigeria with a portfolio of security solutions to address security challenges in the market. G- Data, a Germany’s leading antivirus specialist recently launched its first partner event in Nigeria, in cooperation with Viatrade Switzerland and Westcomdist to educate system vendors and resellers about its broad security product range. Running from July 3 through July 5, 2012 when it oraganised

various programmes for stakeholders in the nation’s economy, G-Data brought its hole security product portfolio, including the brand new 2013 retail line of products, G-Data MobileSecurity 2 for Android, BankGuard, which protects all online banking transactions. It also introduced into the Nigerian market its Businessto-Business flagship product EndpointProtection, a network solution that allows businesses to reliably protect their IT infrastructure from online threats while at the same time ensuring adherence to the corporate IT policy. Speaking, Country Manager

Austria and Switzerland for GData, Mr. Matthias Malcher, said, “Entering the market in Nigeria is another important step in our international expansion program. During this partner event we will also celebrate our official market introduction.” Malcher, who also arranged the cooperation with Markus Henning from Viatrade Switzerland and its distribution partner, Westcomdist, said the coming into Nigeria of G-Data provided opportunity to introduce G-Data innovative product portfolio tagged, Made in Germany, and to acquire new distribution partners to strengthen our market position in Nigeria.

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espite the big push on 3D in the home and at the flicks, there are still relatively few devices with which user can create his or her true stereoscopic imagery with high resolution. At Panasonic, ‘true’ is defined as being cameras which deploy two lenses and two corresponding sensors with which to capture 3D shots and video, as opposed to single lens and sensor single snappers, such as Sony Cyber-shot and Olympus digital compact cameras, which alternatively generate a 3D effect via in-camera software trickery. Offering a small form factor with a depth of 24.1mm, and in that respect more portable than the brick-like Fujifilm Real 3D W3 and the W1 cameras of the past three years, is the Panasonic DMC-3D1. While the electronics giant has previously offered a screwon stereoscopic optic for its single sensor Lumix G system cameras, this is Panasonic’s

first go at a standalone 3D pocket model. Like the competing Fujis, the 3D1 creates MPO file format 3D shots that, in the case of the Panasonic, can only be viewed on a suitably 3D enabled TV. There’s the further option to shoot standard 2D JPEGs if you’re envisaging a use for a shot other than reviewing it on the telly. This flat-fronted camera with internally stacked lenses is powered up simply by sliding down the lens cover and revealing said dual optics. As the 3D1 is, to all intents and purposes, a snapshot model Panasonic has tried hard to provide a straightforward and non brain-befuddling means of creating stereoscopic shots. So, while the top of the 3D1 resembles your average unthreatening £200 Lumix snapper, the backplate features an obviously marked switch for flicking back and forth between 3D MPO file generating mode and regular 2D JPEG shooting mode.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Brands & Marketing

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Articulating a pitch-winning brand strategy Advertising agencies have often nursed their wounds after losing out in keenly contested account pitches. Such losses have, on several occasions, negatively affected the fortunes and job security of the creative team irrespective of Herculean effort and money that goes into brands strategy crafting. ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI looks into how brand strategy can be translated to creative messaging.

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any marketing experts have often wondered why some creative messages do not deliver return on investment to firms in dire need of branding. Apparently, several agencies have counted their losses after failing to connect client’s marketing goals to a creative message that will not only delight their clients but also attract interest, stimulate desire and prompt buyers into action. The case is even more pathetic when the agencies called to pitch for account has expended lots of money, spent time on endless brainstorming, packaging the creative presentation and end up not being paid a pitch fee. Last year was a defining period for many marketing communications agencies. From media, advertising, Out-OfHome (outdoor), experiential to public relations agencies, the demand from clients was challenging. But those who presented a well articulated brands strategy were able to win juicy accounts. Some seating on billion naira accounts were traumatised when their accounts moved to other agencies that were able to convince clients with a well translated brief. But the wise ones among the losers were able to retrace their creative strategy to regain more than they lost. For Carat Media Perspective, it is a case of win some, lose some. Towards the end of 2011, the agency lost its prized Nigerian Breweries Plc account but was able to muster a technical partnership with Carat, a leading global media agency and proceeded with a well translated strategy to win the multi billionaire MTN account as well as Procter & Gamble account. Others like Starcomms Media, Universal Mccann also won great accounts through well articulated strategy that delivered on their laps billions of naira worth of billings. But it was a bad time for Capital Media which lost its MTN account. But not all agencies were fortunate. The incidence of dwindling numbers of thriving advertising agencies and brands communication firms in Nigeria have been attributed to lack of intersection between brand strategy and creative messaging, an area many marketing communications practitioners still struggle to overcome. According to Thomson Dawson, Managing Partner, PULL Brand Innovation, in an essay titled Translating Brand Strategy to Creative Messaging, developing a brand strategy is a top-down introspective pro-

Director Customer Care, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Plato Syrimis; Deputy Director, Network Operation, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Abdul Adegbuyi; a Customer, Ms. Daisy Onuoha; Director Network Engineering, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr.Temi Ogunbambi and Chief Commercial Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Wael Ammar at the customer forum organised by Etisalat in Calabar at the Metropolitan Hotel recently

cess driven by a business strategy, while creative expression is a downstream activity centred in marketing communications. In many organisations, these two disciplines occupy different levels on the value chain. For professionals who erroneously think brand strategy is marketing, Dawson explained that brand strategy can’t be created from the outside in. “Brand strategy is not a decorative or promotional process either. All leading brands represent a single, compelling unifying principle that drives business performance from the inside out. Brand strategy illuminates the brand’s behaviour in every internal action taken by stakeholders, and in all mental and physical interactions customer/consumer’s experience. It has always been explained severally that strategy and messaging are two sides of a coin.” However, translating brand strategy into creative messaging is a complex process. To be effective, the process requires more than a thoughtful “hands-off ” between left-brainers and right brainers. It’s too messy with lots of moving parts. When markets change in six-month increments, something more transcendent is required to close the gap. Brand communication specialists as a matter of fact explained that “Creative briefs insure creative block. The default tool for aligning strategic imperatives to a creative messaging platform is the Creative Brief. We’ve all written them, read them and ignored them. No doubt, the creative brief is a useful tool if your plan is to simply provide the descriptive criteria for directing ‘creatives’ to make marketing stuff and deliver it through channels and touch points.” The creative, often described as the “receivers” have different motivations and definitions of successful outcomes such

as winning awards, peer acceptance, career advancement. As a generalisation, creative people get the rap of being more into doing stuff that’s cool first and foremost. By nature, creative people are style, technique and craft driven. They need guidance. For many, data is dry and not very interesting. There’s a built in bias to discount left-brain imperatives. And heaven forbid you place boundaries and restrictions on their creativity by adherence to a long, highly detailed creative brief. As a result, it is often advised professionally that there is need for “a more perfect union,” because there has been an apparent natural separation between the thinking styles of data people and creative people. Within any organisation, there are three “thinking” archetypes that must work together in harmony if your translation from brand strategy to brand messaging will ring true and clear for all concerned. They are the engineer, the economist and the artist. Likewise, it is also suggested that “people within the diverse functional disciplines of product development, manufacturing, finance, marketing, sales and HR need to come together in a more perfect union of artist, economist and engineer thinking. These thinking archetypes form the quintessential three legs of the stool that comprise the fullest expression of the brand aligned to it’s unifying strategic principle. However, to design the stool, requires yet another thinking style that embodies the value of the other three.” According to a Nigerian brand expert, Tomi Ogunlesi, a professional member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (UK) and senior strategic planner in the Strategy and Business Development unit at Bates Cosse, Lagos, “as brand managers and custodians, the implication is that we need to let go of the fallacy that the brands

BRAND STRATEGY ILLUMINATES THE BRAND’S BEHAVIOUR IN EVERY INTERNAL ACTION TAKEN BY STAKEHOLDERS, AND IN ALL MENTAL AND PHYSICAL INTERACTIONS

in our care belong to us - A brand belongs to the market, of which the consumer is a key determinant. It must be stressed that Co-creation is very key…Such successful co-creative initiatives that have gone on to strengthen brand equity abound world over. Consumer-generated media is no passing fad. Many of the world’s most successful brands are progressing beyond the centuries-old model of driving awareness through mass-marketing, choosing instead to engage consumers.” He said further that in a co-creative process, many people come together, interacting with one another, sharing ideas and experiences, and affecting the growth and insight and ideas of everybody else in the group. Co-creativity involves listening, dialogue, mutual respect and careful linkage with the ideas and intentions of other people in the venture. In line with this, brand owners and stakeholders are often tutored to become “brand architects”– integrating their diverse organizational disciplines to harness their collective power to better manage materials, data, money and creativity when at the crossroads of strategic and creative decision-making. “In effect, thinking like architects will enable your team to design an enduring structure to bridge brand strategy and brand messaging in ways that don’t look, feel, sound or smell like marketing. Through the archetype of the “architect”, the translation of brand strategy into compelling brand messaging becomes a more inclusive, elegant, transparent and designed process. Like any good architect designing a grand cathedral, concern for the integrity of brand materials (engineer), the rigor of brand metrics (economist), and the beauty of the brand stories (artist) are all necessary elements of a far greater whole,” said Ogunlesi. For an advertising agency, media independent among other firms in the field of brand activation and building, there is need to look inward by giving clients a strategy aligns marketing goals, brand strategy and creative messaging.


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Brands & Marketing

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Ad industry must position for emerging opportunities The Chief Operating Officer of a leading creative advertising agency, 141 Worldwide, Mrs. Bunmi Oke, is the new President of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria. Elected unopposed at the recent Congress of the association, she is seen by advertising stakeholders a goal-getter who will help drive the 0repositioning programmes of the AAAN. She spoke with ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI. Excerpt: Congratulations on your election. Looking at where AAAN is coming from what are your plans for revitalizing the association membership decline? If you look at my manifesto letter, I did write the fact that we will be consolidating on a lots of programme that is existing. We are going to continue. There is a lot of project going at the secretariat. Like revitalising and increasing membership, addressing topical issues such as the Advertising Academy, we also have issues of bringing new talents into the industry to ensure we sustained standards and even evolve into greater consulting for our clients among others. And don’t forget the fact that we are going to mark the 40th anniversary of AAAN this year. So, it’s a milestone. We need to step up a lot of drive in AAAN. I think my coming at this point is to continue with the programme and add impetus and drive. But one thing is clear, as a lady, I also want to look at how we can empower a lot of women in the industry to take their rightful role because the industry is populated by men. Of course, it is not about gender because if it is that I won’t be here today. How are you preparing to fasttrack the implementation of so many programmes that have been dragging on for so long like the Advertising Academy? I have one advantage that and that is I have been as an executive in the previous administration. I was the vice president. Maybe it is the way we have been communicating the establishment of the Advertising Academy that is not very clear.

I THINK MY COMING AT THIS POINT IS TO CONTINUE WITH THE PROGRAMME AND ADD IMPETUS AND DRIVE.

BUT ONE THING IS CLEAR, AS A LADY, I

ALSO WANT TO LOOK AT HOW WE CAN EMPOWER A LOT OF WOMEN IN THE INDUSTRY TO TAKE THEIR RIGHTFUL ROLE

Oke

When you want to do any project, there are short term and long-term goals and each administration has a phase they are addressing. The previous administration has addressed one or two phases. The first phase was the establishment of the need to have an Advertising Academy, to help make sure we develop our creative talents and skills further and maintain fora where those who are experienced would also give back to the society. I will say one the things the immedi-

Hypo leverages on Child Health Week ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI

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YPO Super Bleach, Nigeria’s first sachet brand of bleach, a brand of MultiPro Enterprises Limited, has partnered the Lagos State Ministry of Health on the first round of the 2012 Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Week. At a recent grand finale held at the multi-purpose hall of the Secretariat Central Mosque, Alausa, Ikeja, the activities kicked off with the state Health Ministry administering Pentavalent vaccine, a new type of immunisation vaccine that can help protect against the five preventable childhood diseases including Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, limulus Influenza and Hepatitis B. This exercise was only one item in a broad range of

services made (largely) freely available to mothers and young children in the state. Attended by the deputy Governor of Lagos, Chief Mrs. Adejoke Orelope- Adefulure, the 2012 Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) program is collaboration between the Federal Government and the States’ Ministries of Health to accelerate the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 and it is a week-long programme held twice a year. Speaking at the grand finale, the Senior Sales Manager, MultiPro Enterprises Limited, makers of Hypo Super Bleach, Mr. Jude Nzeata, said partnering the Lagos Health Ministry was another step in the fulfilment of Hypo’s continued desire to contribute to the realisation of a clean and healthy nation which started with the introduction of affordable bleach for all.

ate past administration did is getting the academy registered at the CAC because we are a legal entity and we must follow due process. I think the phase I am going into, is to get you to know what I know. Education has many facets. This is year 2012 going to 2013; the establishment of an Academy doesn’t have to be physical structure. We are in a digital age. We need to look at the different models of establishing programmes. Globally, we have two phases. We have a lot of online correspondence courses. We may start with that and on the other hand we may start a foundation laying process. But I will start with a digital phase. It is said the large chunk ad spend only circulates within the big agencies which is said to be unhealthy growth. What are you doing to restructure the trend and encourage smaller ones?

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The way agencies are structure will determine their growth. You can’t compare an agency structure with along global standard with a one man structure. It is how you position your agency. How do you intend to foster the planned merger between AAAN and Media Independent agencies, MIPAN? Don’t forget that MIPAN came out of AAAN agencies. So, the issues for me is to understand is that if we are having merger talk doesn’t mean we were to going to merge. It is a good thing to do. But we should allow to those that are meeting to come back and give us their submissions. But one thing that is clear is that it is good to have collaboration. We all want reform. That is one of my plans to collaborate because there are more things to gain. But how we want to collaborate either through MoU or other means I don’t know. But is in our own collective interest. But I learnt MIPAN is reluctant? I am not aware of any reluctance from MIPAN. But what I am aware is prudence. It’s like somebody comes to somebody for marriage. You have to study the person before marriage so that it will be a winwin situation for everybody, maybe we may even extend the collaboration. How has the industry responded to globalisation? One thing that is clear is that our population of about 160 million that is attracting foreign direct investment. Some of the global investors are looking into Nigeria. They can’t ignore us and there are a lot of commercial opportunities. The government has thrown the investment window open and so many global agencies want to come into Nigeria. We have an open door for foreign direct investment. Despite the global recession too many agencies want to come into Nigeria. The point is that we Nigerians should position ourselves so that all the growth will not end up depleting the local talents and resources. We must position ourselves and that is what APCON is doing now to regulate the industry because in other countries you are allowed to operate freely but there are conditions. We should just beg government to reposition ourselves. They should not just come and reap without adding value to the society.

MTN appoints Funso Aina as PR Manager

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igeria’s leading telecommunications company, MTN has announced the appointment of Mr. Funso Aina as its Public Relations and Protocol Manager. Funso who holds Bachelor of Arts degree in History with a Masters degree in International Relations, has over a total 16 years work experience in Journalism, Cultural diplomacy and telecommunications industry. He joined MTN Nigeria in January 2009 as External Communications Officer where he assisted in managing public perception through media relations, stakeholder management, content development as well as channel-specific information dissemination. In January 2012, following a depart-

Funso

mental restructuring, Funso became Corporate Communications Officer where he had responsibility solely for strategic development of external content. Prior to joining MTN, he was the Communications Manager of British Council, UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Brands & Marketing

Thursday, July 12, 2012

39

ad VA NT AG E icon

M L-R: Representative of the Speaker of House of Representatives, Hon. Sekonte Davies; Chairman Advertising Practitioners’ Council of Nigeria (APCON) Mr. Lolu Akinwunmi, Chairman of Senate Committee on Information and Chairman of the Forum, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, and Senator Ayogu Eze at the Advertising Practitioners’ Council of Nigeria (APCON), Advertising Forum in Lagos held recently.

LAASA shuns outdoor forum as stakeholders back LGs ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI

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he high cost of taxes and placing an ad on billboards may soon be a thing of the past if the pledges made by members of the National Assembly present at this years’ advertising stakeholders’ forum can be relied upon. This year’s forum, which addressed issues of over regulation of outdoor advertising was held amidst a stormy session and anger directed against the Lagos State Advertisement and Signage (LAASA), Kano states Advertisement and Signage Agency (KAASA) among others that are believed to have created a hostile regulation environment leading to an estimated 45,000 job loss and serious revenue decline in the industry. According the chairman of Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria, Mr. Lolu Akinwunmi, “The forum was organised to ad-

dress the problem facing the outdoor business as a result of regulation. As result of the increasing demands for tax and levies from state agencies, the Federal Ministry of Works, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria and local governments, a key discussant at the forum, Chief Anthony Idigbe (SAN) affirmed that local government is vested with the right to collect tax on outdoor billboards. He said further that where states and federals have to intervene it is only on regulation and beautification as being practiced in the US and not to generate revenue. At the event where LAASA and other states agencies were conspicuously absent except the Oyo State agency, OYSAA, Akinwunmi urged the National Assembly members to help the industry stop the various state regulators from bleeding the industry to death. Idigbe also decried a situation where state regulators were also competing with outdoor agencies.

When brand meets the aspiration of consumers

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he pay TV industry in Nigeria has been one with different strokes. Daarsat came on board but it could not muscle any impact before it fizzled out. Hitv is one vibrant and dynamic brand but it could not sustain its strategic vision. The entrance of Star Times was greeted with applause and its presence reverberated across the entire landscape. It was portrayed as the long awaited Messiah for the lower segment of pay TV consumers but GOtv has changed the equation. The massive presence of the GOtv brand is manifested in the totality of its offerings to the target consumers. It is a case of a promise being translated into reality.. I was surprised weeks back when a pay TV distributor told competitors to brace up for stiff competition at the Lagos launch of GOtv. The man, a Nigerian sales manager

based in Uganda hit the nail on the head when he stated that others should introduce aggressive marketing and superb content development like GOtv. The truth however is that when one looks at the offerings of pay Television service providers, GOtv stands out as the only pay Television service that provides a broad range of content cutting across news, current affairs, entertainment etc. It is also imperative to state that the entrance of GOtv into the Nigerian market was both strategic and timely. GOtv has active presence in Uganda, Gambia, Kenya and other African countries. One would not be wrong to state that GOtv actually allowed the noise to dwindle before saturating the market with its unique offerings. The compelling position of the brand made it hold its first launch in Ibadan where it

“The involvement of a regulator in service provision is very concerning. You can’t be a regulator and at the same time a service provider. They can never be independent because it will lead to favouritism”. Chairman, Senate Committee on Information, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe however promised that the National Assembly would act fast on recommendation made by APCON and industry stakeholders at the outcome of the forum. “Anytime APCON brings an amendment bill to the National Assembly, we promise an accelerated passage. The amendment will pass through three stages. At the three,” Abaribe said. The Chairman, Senate Committee on Inter-Parliamentary Affairs, Senator Ayogu Eze also said that “what is happening in Lagos is a challenge to Section 14(2b) of the constitution. The quest to generate revenue should not undermine job creation. The local government has the right to the sites not states.

rs Funke Nwankwo is the Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of Quest Publicis Advertising, one of the front-line advertising agencies in Nigeria. She is one of the few women blazing the trail in the industry with exceptional skill . A graduate of Psychology from the University of Ibadan, Nwanwko started her advertising career at Insight Communications in 1995 as an Account Planning Executive. Her experience at Nwankwo the leading agency, which has produced many great adverER SUCCESS AT tising icons like Uffot Udeme, NSIGHT CLINCHED Chief Executive Officer of SO & U among others, gave HER PLUM JOB AT her the needed pedestal to ATCHI rise to the top in the industry. AND ATCHI AS While she was handling AN SSOCIATE both account executive and client service jobs effectively, IRECTOR LIENT she was quickly moved to the ERVICE HILE client service department AT THE AGENCY where she successfully manWANKWO aged some key brands in key sectors of the economy. As MANAGED THE a result, she rose to the poBIGGEST TELECOM sition of Account Director BRAND at Insight Communications within eight years. Her suc- advertising icons in Nigeria. She quit SO&U in 2007 and cess at Insight clinched her plum job at SO&U-Satchi and joined Quest Publicis AdverSatchi as an Associate Direc- tising as the Chief Operating tor, Client Service. While at Officer. After a year, she was the agency, Nwankwo man- promoted as the Executive aged the biggest telecom Director. Nwankwo has a Masters brand as well as some other accounts in oil and gas sector, degree in Psychology but she food and several others. To- majored in Industrial and Orday, she is one of the female ganisational Psychology.

I

SO&U-S S A D ,C S .W N

Brand X-Ray with Ayodeji Ayopo Tel: 08023448199 E-mail: mayomipo@yahoo.com gained several subscribers. This is a total departure from the usual roll-out plan that focuses on Lagos as the only viable market. Without doubt, GOtv brand is resting squarely on shoulders of it parent brand -Dstv brand. The pedigree of Dstv brand makes it convenient for GOtv to consolidate on its success as DStv caters for the top notch segment. GOtv is clearly positioned to harness the mass market Though GOtv through its General Manager, Mayo Okunola has stated the sense of patriotism to redefine the pay Television landscape informed its unique offering, it is very important for the

H

brand to sustain its brand promise most especially as it appeals to the lower segment of the population. The brand massage of GOtv is clear and unambiguous “to make available and affordable digital Television service for all”. With this new and innovative service, GOtv should endeavour to touch base with the consumers. It should start generating insight that can make the mass market audience own the brand. The implication of this is that the perception of consumers should drive contents development and offerings of the GOtv brand. The GOtv brand must further resonate authenticity its claim of

,

utilising equipment and system which are more advanced than what other pay TV operators deploy in the country. The learning here is that GOtv should sustain this technological advancement and translate it to specific terms – excellent picture quality, innovative service delivery and unique contents development. These I want to believe are all encapsulated in the benefits of the GOtv brand. GOtv should also harness the collaborative potential of brands co-creation with the subscribers. This goes a long way to entrench the brand values and promote the benefits to already established loyal subscribers. It is important for brands to make consumers catalyse the transformation of the brand to my brand. This is a way of reinforcing the emotional attachment to the brand. This I think informed the approach of GOtv to align with the aspiration of the average Nigerian to own pay.


40

Global Business

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Wen says investment now key to stabilising China growth

Jiabao

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remier Wen Jiabao said promoting investment growth is the key to stabilising China’s economic expansion, signaling officials may boost spending to counter a slowdown that probably extended into a sixth quarter. Stabilising economic growth is not only a pressing priority for China now, it is also a long-term “arduous” task, Wen said in a statement posted on a government website

yesterday. “Growth-stabilising policies include boosting consumption and diversifying exports, but currently, what is important is to promote a reasonable growth in investment,” Wen said. China’s expansion is cooling as Europe’s debt turmoil reduces exports and Wen’s prolonged crackdown on property speculation restrains domestic demand. Growth may have slid to 7.7 percent in the

second quarter, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey, the least in three years. “Public investment will likely go up in coming months,” said Zhang Zhiwei, Hong Kong-based chief China economist at Nomura Holdings Inc., who previously worked for the International Monetary Fund. “It is the most effective way and likely the only effective way to push up growth in the short term.” Interest rate cuts help yet take time to filter through the economy, he said. The statement builds on remarks reported by the official Xinhua News Agency two days earlier, where Wen said during an inspection tour in the eastern province of Jiangsu that “stabilizing investment currently plays a key role in expanding domestic demand and maintaining growth.” The government will intensify fine-tuning of policies, Wen said after the second interest-rate cut in a month. The Shanghai Composite Index fell for a third day and was down 0.2 percent yesterday The MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined 0.2 percent, the fifth straight drop. China needs to keep a certain level of

Spain announces 65bn euros of cuts to fight crisis

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panish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced tax increases and spending cuts totaling 65 billion euros ($80 billion), risking a deepening recession to keep the euro financial crisis at bay. This ourth austerity package in seven months will raise the sales levy to 21 percent from 18 percent; scrap a tax rebate for home buyers; scale back unemployment benefits and study pension cuts; consolidate local governments and eliminate the year-end bonus for public workers. The budget measures, covering the next two-and-a-half years, are about double those previously announced. The prime minister addressed Parliament in Madrid yesterday as European officials put the finishing touches to a 100 billion- euro bailout for Spain’s banks. The amendments to the budget come less than two weeks after it went into effect and a day after the European Union loos-

Rajoy

ened Spain’s deficit targets. “I know that the measures I’ve announced aren’t agreeable,” Rajoy said in his 70-minute speech to lawmakers. “They aren’t agreeable but they are es-

sential. We are in an extraordinarily serious situation.” Demands by bond markets and European creditors that Rajoy put Spanish finances in order drove him further from campaign promises that helped him win the biggest majority since 1982. Rajoy, in power since December, opposed raising value-added tax when the previous government increased the rate. He denied in a debate he planned to cut unemployment benefits, which amount to about 30 billion euros a year. His public support has fallen since his victory on November 20, and thousands of miners and their supporters set off fireworks and waved banners in Madrid today after marching to the capital from northern Spain. “I said I would cut taxes and I’m raising them,” Rajoy said. “But the circumstances have changed and I have to adapt to them.”

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Portugal lurches into austerity trap with creditors

Coelho

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ortugal’s international creditors may soon have to ease terms of the country’s bailout to prevent the plan from derailing as the government faces setbacks in attaining its deficit goals. Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho’s struggle to meet deficit pledges were further hampered last week when about 2 billion euros ($2.5 billion) of planned cuts to pensions and civil servants’ holiday pay were ruled unconstitutional. With Portugal’s 10-year bond yield above 10 percent, returning to the markets next year may be untenable, requiring more international aid despite the premier’s insistence he won’t seek concessions. “Lisbon’s strategy is to continue to be the good student among bailed-out countries until it becomes clear that Brussels and Berlin must ease the rules of the game for it to succeed,” said Antonio Barroso, a London-based analyst at Eurasia group. Portugal completed the fourth review of its 78 billion-euro bailout plan on June 4 and progress helped bring down the benchmark yield from a euro-era record of 18.3 percent on January 31. Now a deepening recession and the court ruling are putting pressure on government finances, and raising doubts about the chances of the nation reducing its deficit to within the European Union’s limit of 3 percent of gross domestic product next

Australia consumer confidence rises to 5-month high on rate cuts

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ustralian consumer confidence rose to a five-month high as households responded to the central bank’s 1.25 percentage points of interest-rate cuts since November, a private survey showed. The sentiment index for July advanced 3.7 percent to 99.1, the highest level since February, a Westpac Banking Corporation and Melbourne Institute survey taken July 2-8 of 1,200 consumers showed yesterday in Sydney. “Finally we have some evidence that the Reserve Bank’s policy of cutting the official cash rate by 125 basis points between November last year and June

this year is starting to gain more positive traction with households,” Bill Evans, Westpac’s chief economist, said in a statement. “However, this result is far from convincing and should not be interpreted that we can expect confidence to steadily return to more normal levels over the months ahead.” The survey responses, last week’s greater-than-expected increase in retail sales and a record month of building approvals add to the case for Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens to extend a rate pause at next month’s meeting. The RBA cut the benchmark by 50 basis points late last year and a total

of 75 basis points in May and June as weakness in Europe and China threaten the global outlook.Policy makers left borrowing costs unchanged at 3.5 percent this month. “While the Reserve Bank did not cut interest rates further, there was a strong 5.5 percent jump in the confidence of those respondents who hold a mortgage,” Evans said. Traders are pricing in a 74 percent chance the central bank will lower borrowing costs by a quarter-percentage point to 3.25 percent at its meeting next month, swaps data compiled by Bloomberg show. Stevens


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Thursday, July 12, 2012

41


42

Capital Market

Equities return green on blue chips’ gains JOHNSON OKANLAWON

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ey indicies rose on the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, ongains recorded mostly in the banking sector. The banking sector rally halted Tuesday’s bearish trend, as discerning investors took advantage of the relatively low prices of stocks. The All-Share Index appreciated by 0.60 per cent to close at 22,253.71 points, as against the decline by 0.32 per cent recorded the preceding day to close at 22,120.47 points. Market capitalisation increased by N42.5bn to close at N7.10trn, in

contrast to the dip by N22.6bn recorded the preceding day to close at N7.06trn. The banking index rose by 1.76 per cent to close at 342.36 points, followed by the NSE-30 index with 0.74 per cent to close at 1,037.41 points. The consumer goods index added 0.22 per cent to close at 1,848.94 points. The insurance dropped by 0.11 per cent to close at 125.81 points, while the oil and gas index fell by 0.06 per cent to close at 175.10 points. The financial services sector led equities transaction volume with 304.13 million shares valued at N1.67bn traded in 2,139 deals, compared to 196.97 million

shares worth N1.12bn exchanged in 2,232 deals the preceding day. The volume recorded in the sector was driven by transaction in the shares of Diamond Bank Plc, AIICO Insurance Plc, Access Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and First Bank Plc. Zenith Bank Plc led the gainers’ table with 70 kobo or five per cent to close at N14.71 per share, followed by United Bank for Africa Plc with 20 kobo or 4.89 per cent to close at N4.29 per share. Union Bank of Nigeria Plc appreciated by 20 kobo or 4.89 per cent to close at N4.29 per share, while PZ Cussons Plc gained N1.21 or 4.81 per

cent to close at N26.39 per share. Daimond Bank Plc added 11 kobo or 4.78 per cent to close at N2.41 per share. On the flip side, Forte Oil Plc dropped 57 kobo or five per cent to close at N10.84 per share, while ARBICO Plc dipped by N1.11 or 4.98 per cent to close at N21.19 per share. Dangote Flour Plc lost 33 kobo or 4.93 per cent to close at N6.37 per share while Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc shed 28 kobo or 4.91 per cent to close at N5.42 per share. BAGCO Plc depreciated by 10 kobo or 4.81 per cent to close at N1.98 per share. Transaction volume in equities increased by 69 per cent, as a total of 392.80 million shares worth N3.04bn were exchanged in 3,906 deals, compared to 232.40 million shares worth N1.83bn traded in 3,794 deals the preceding day.

Diamond Bank posts N9.9bn profit in half year JOHNSON OKANLAWON

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iamond Bank Plc has declared a profit after tax of N9.99bn for the half year ended June 30, 2012, an increase by 408 per cent when compared to N1.97bn recorded in the same period of 2011. The bank’s gross earings rose by 48.5 per cent, from N43.6bn in the half year of 2011 to N64.8bn in 2012, while taxation stood at N5.38bn in the review period from N1.06bn in

2011 half year. According to the bank’s result presented to the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, cash balance with the Central Bank of Nigeria stood at N70.1bn in the review period, from N55.8bn in 2011 half year. Further analysis of the bank’s result showed net assets of N88.1bn in the 2012 half year, from N92.3bn in the same period of 2011, a decline by 4.6 per cent. Customers deposits increased by 10.4 per cent in 2012 half year to N688.7bn, from N624bn

in 2011 half year. The bank posted a profit after tax of N5.09bn for the first quarter ended March 31, 2012, an increase by 1127 per cent when compared with N415.4m recorded in the same period of 2010. The Group Managing Director of the bank, Dr. Alex Otti, said that the consistent improvement in profit after tax growth indicates that the bank is on track towards delivering significant returns on investment in 2012. “These figures are con-

sistent with the results prepared based on Nigerian General Accepted Accounting Practice. Our customer base is growing with recurring monthly fee income improving, and our growing retail liabilities have continued to sustain our low cost of funds. “We have shown that we have a leading position in net interest margin which is sustainable. In addition, our operating efficiency is robust and yielding strong operating performance,” Otti said.

US stocks fluctuate as investors await Fed minutes

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nited States stocks fluctuated yesterday, after a fourday loss for the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index, amid concern over earnings and as investors awaited minutes of last month’s Federal Reserve meeting for signs of further stimulus measures. DuPont Company and Google Incorporation fell more than 1.7 per cent after analysts said the companies may miss estimates. Best Buy Company sank seven per cent after electronics retailer Hhgregg Incoporation cut its forecasts, while Chevron Corporation and Exxon

Mobil Corporation rose more than 1.2 per cent as oil rebounded from the lowest close in more than a week. JPMorgan Chase and Company and Bank of America Corporation added at least 1.2 per cent as financial companies advanced. The S&P 500 fell less than 0.1 per cent to 1,341.12 points. The benchmark gauge retreated 2.4 per cent over the past four days amid concern about corporate profits, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 46.89 points, or 0.4 per cent, to 12,606.23 points yesterday, as trading in S&P 500 companies

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Thursday, July 12, 2012

was down 12 per cent from the 30-day average. “The Fed minutes are the most significant event,” Stephen Wood, the New York-based chief market strategist for North America for Russell Investments, said in a phone interview. “The minutes are probably going to show a significant soft patch in the economy and likely communicate that the Fed is ready, willing and able to provide further accommodation should the data warrant it.”The Fed is scheduled to release the minutes of its June meeting in Washington. The Federal Open Market Committee said

on June 20 it will expand its operation twist programmme to extend the maturities of assets on its balance sheet, and it stands ready to take further action as needed. The central bank also repeated that economic conditions will probably warrant keeping its benchmark interest rate near zero until at least late 2014. Profits for S&P 500 companies fell 1.8 per cent in the second quarter, according to analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. That would be the first decline since 2009, even as revenue is forecast to rise 2.5 per cent.

Source: NSE NIBOR QUOTES 10 JULY & 11 JULY 2012 25.00 24.00 23.00 22.00 21.00 20.00 19.00 18.00 17.00 16.00 15.00 14.00 13.00 12.00 11.00 10.00 9.00 8.00 7.00 6.00 5.00

10-Jul-12

11-Jul-12

Source: Afrinvest

Market indicators All-Share Index 22,253.71 points Market capitalisation 7,104 trillion

Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

CHANGE

% CHANGE

ZENITHBANK

14.01

14.71

0.70

5.00

UBA

4.09

4.29

0.20

4.89

UBN

4.09

4.29

0.20

4.89

PZ

25.18

26.39

1.21

4.81

DIAMONDBNK

2.30

2.41

0.11

4.78

PAINTCOM

2.30

2.41

0.11

4.78

EVANSMED

0.86

0.90

0.04

4.65

LIVESTOCK

1.35

1.41

0.06

4.44

MAYBAKER

1.82

1.90

0.08

4.40

UNILEVER

31.00

32.00

1.00

3.23

LOSERS COMPANY

OPENING

CHANGE

% CHANGE

FO

11.41

CLOSING 10.84

0.57

-5.00

ARBICO

22.30

21.19

1.11

-4.98

DANGFLOUR

6.70

6.37

0.33

-4.93

CCNN

5.70

5.42

0.28

-4.91

BAGCO

2.08

1.98

0.10

-4.81

TRIPPLEG

2.53

2.41

0.12

-4.74

LONGMAN

2.41

2.30

0.11

-4.56

ROADS

7.85

7.50

0.35

-4.46

JAPAULOIL

0.68

0.65

0.03

-4.41

CONTINSURE

0.71

0.68

0.03

-4.23

Primary Market Auction TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

91-Day

30,159.21

14-00

12-Jul-12

182-Day

14,412.00

16.99

12-Jul-12

364 -Day

Nil

Nil

12-Jul-12

Open Market Operations TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

42- Days

1,831.55

13.25

2-Jul-12

41-Day

14.29

13.24

2-Jul-12

Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED

MARKET DEMAND

AMOUNT SOLD

DATE

$250m

N/A

$163m

11-Jul-12

$350m

N/A

$251m

9-Jul-12


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Capital Market

Thursday, July 12, 2012

43

Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at July 11, 2012 1st Tier Securities Sector

Company name

1st Tier Securities No Of Deals

Quotation(N)

Quantity Traded

Value of Shares(N)

Sector

Company name

No Of Deals

Quotation(N)

Quantity Traded

Value of Shares(N)


44

Thursday, July 12, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

In 2010, Chidi and Chima Nwaogu, young and dynamic twins, studying at the University of Lagos (Unilag) decided to go into an experiment, to create a social networking site. They created Ladies and Gentlemen’s Book, LAGbook for short, originally meant to be enjoyed by Unilag students. Today, with over 120, 000 members, LAGbook is fast becoming number one made in Nigeria social network. In this interview with ONUKWUBE OFOELUE, Chidi Nwaogu speaks on their contracts with communications giants, Research in Motion, Etisalat and how they hope to move the site worth over N10 million forward: Excerpts: We gathered that LAGbook recently signed a contract with Blackberry… Yes, Ladies And Gentlemen book popularly known as LAGbook recently signed an eight weeks sponsorship deal with Research in Motion (Blackberry) Nigeria worth N1.2million on June 18, 2012. The deal was initiated by the Carriers Marketing Manager of Research in Motion Nigeria, Tunji Akumyuli and handled by Blackberry's Ad agency in Nigeria, Yellow Brick Road Ltd. Within the eight weeks, Blackberry takes over the backdrop of LAGbook's Sign Up/Login Page and horizontal web banners at the top right corner of every page on LAGbook. Blackberry also takes over the cover photo of LAGbook's fanpage and backdrop of LAGbook's Twitter handle. RIM Nigeria also gets promoted to members of LAGbook via periodic subscribed messages to all members of LAGbook about Blackberry and its importance. The sponsorship is expected to end on August 11, 2012, if there is no roll on. With recent campaigns, the growth rate of LAGbook has increased as the social network claims over 3,000 new members every day. How much is involved in the deal? The deal is worth N1.2miliion. What about your deal with Etisalat? We did go into partnership with Etisalat, but it wasn’t monetary. It was a sponsorship on airtime; they provided airtime for our users. Etisalat's deal lasted from August 2011 - March 2012. Why did it end? We weren’t satisfied with the airtime deal, we wanted more and so went for Blackberry who were willingly to pay for the publicity. What is the rate of membership and growth, at the beginning compared to now? The rate of growth when we started off with Unilag students was 50 new signups per day. When we expanded to the Nigerian population, it rose to 100 per day. Then we took off to the 21 African English speaking countries including Nigeria, which took the figure to 200/day. In August, 2011, when we partnered with Etisalat, it rose

Chidi and Chima

We sold our laptops to build LAGbook –Twins to 400 per day. Recently, with our partnership and funding from Blackberry, it has peaked to a little over 3,000 per day! We're now over 120,000 members and current statistics shows that we will hit the 500,000 members mark by year end. LAGbook is now popular in India, Malaysia, Philippines, Canada, Turkey, the United States and most especially in Nigeria in the city of Yaba, Lagos, where the social network was pioneered and currently ranks #3 in popularity right after Facebook (#1) and Google (#2). What has been your greatest challenge in the establishing and running of LAGbook? How are you dealing with traffic for instance? At first, running LAGbook, was so challenging. We had to combine school and being entrepreneur. It was difficult. Finally we decided to pay more attention to LAGbook as the growth took off. Then we ran into a ditch. We needed more bandwidth and storage as the site raked in more members by the minute. We sold our laptops and went broke to keep up with the traffic. Those were our dark moments. We gained momentum when we landed a web development deal with an Executive at MTN Nigeria We got new laptops and started with a greater energy. People took interest. Friends, colleagues wanted to be part of it. We weighed them all and picked a few. We gave them shares from the company which depended on how much work they do. At the moment, we have 22 LAGbook personnel, though, we did downsize a few months ago when the team was getting too big with so many incompetent people.

How are you dealing with bandwidth, space and such issues as slow loading and other technical challenges? Yes, we recently got a message from our host that we are getting to our bandwidth limit. Lately, we reached an average 140,000 unique visitors from around the world. Our host is Dynadot.com. We once used Mydomain.com, but switched to Dynadot.com for cost management. We pay roughly an additional cost of $1,200 per year for bandwidth and we are grateful for the new Blackberry deal, we hope to get more bandwidth and run the social network more smoothly.

We've invested $15,400 US in LAGbook since April 2010, and have raked in, in $21,411.00 in revenue. That means, we've a little over $6,000.00 in profit. That's about a million naira.

What is the cost difference? We pay about 80 per cent now of the fee we paid at Mydomain. Dynadot has helped us save a lot.

What do you think all your energy, frustrations, successes and dreams for LAGbook is worth? We cannot sell LAGbook for even N10million if offered. We can’t imagine selling off after two years. That's ridiculous. We hope to run for thereabout seven years before handing to someone who could pour more energy into it. By then, LAGbook will be going for hundreds of millions.

How are you handling the issue of slow loading, and do you consider working with whoever hosted Facebook, which is very fast in loading? We are about to purchase more bandwidth for LAGbook, so we could give our users the best of social networking experience. How do you make your profit? We can’t deny the fact that we cannot compete with Facebook's bandwidth size, they've got a lot of funding and recently via the IPO. We're getting there and some day, we will have more than enough fund to get over one terbyte of bandwidth. We're glad to say that LAGbook finally reached profitability after just two years of operation. In the past, we raked in revenue through advertising for member's websites, contents, profiles and so on.

So, what is Lagbook worth today? If you have to sell it, how much are we looking at? According to Yandalo.com, LAGbook is worth $53,753.61USD That is about N9 million. But we are not planning on selling anytime soon. But, if we ever do, it will be for a real amount that will make us all retire at an early age with smiles on our faces.

How did you strike the deal with Blackberry? It was really crazy. My phone rang and guess who's ringing, Tunji, the Career Marketing Manager at Research in Motion (Blackberry) Nigeria. We talked for hours and from day to day after LAGbook's partnership with RIM. Finally, we met with Ayisola, a member of staff at RIM's Ad agency, Yellow Brick Road Ltd, Lagos. Did you not go for it? No, they came for us. We didn’t go for them. It was like a miracle, something awesome and unexpected.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Young & Next Generation

Thursday, July 12, 2012

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Oyo holds maiden job and entrepreneurship fair MUSLIUDEN ADEBAYO IBADAN

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housands of youths participated at the just concluded maiden edition of Oyo State Job and Entrepreneurship Youth Fair 2012, aimed at reducing unemployment, discovery of potentials and an avenue for job seekers . The three-day event, which held between July 4 and July 6 at Lekan Are Hall, Kakanfo Inn in Ibadan, had over 3,000 graduates who have completed their national youth service and are searching for jobs, was coordinated by the state Ministry of Youth and Sports in collaboration with a consulting firm, EZ37. The event, which was declared open by Governor Abiola Ajimobi was graced by his wife, Mrs. Florence Ajimobi, wife of the deputy governor, Mrs. Janet Alake Adeyemo; Chief of Staff, Dr. Adeolu Akande, commissioners for Health, Dr. Muyiwa Gbadegesin; Justice and Attorney General, Adebayo Ojo, special assistants, among others. Ajimobi, who saluted the commissioner’s initiative, said the programme was organised to find solutions to unemployment problem in the state since the youth empowerment programme, code named (YES-O) by his administration and other government agencies, alone cannot provide the needed jobs for the teeming youths. While calling on the youths to remain focused, exploring and industrious, the governor noted that his administration holds youths in the state in high esteem.

The Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Hon. Adedapo LamAdesina, in his remarks, said the state has, once again, set the standard by being the first to organise such programme. He said there are arrays of benefits such as entrepreneurship exposure, techniques on how to face interview panels, how to arrange curriculum vitae and, above all, job opportunities. He maintained that the companies will employ the qualified candidates, but priority will be given to Oyo State indigenes. Part of the first day programme is the short-listing of candidates through screenings and interviews where the managing director of the consulting firm, EZ37, Mrs. Adora Ayoade explained that those who could not make it should try some other times. She noted that out of the over 3500 candidates, about 2500 were qualified for the interview and further screenings. Adesina explained that over 50 companies signified interest, but they only allowed those who have at least five vacancies in their companies. He said these companies would soon call the applicants for further interviews for placement since they have submitted their curriculum vitae on the second day. MTN Nigeria, Globacom, Guaranty Trust Bank, First Bank, DHL, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Odua Investment Company, Ibadan International School, The Vale College, Lead City University, HBN publisher, EVANS Publishers, SUMAL Foods, among others.

RISE engages Ekiti students

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tudents of Ekiti State University (EKSU) are to participate in series of lectures, symposia, essay writings and internship under the National Youth Forum Network being anchored by Toyosi Akerele founder of the RISE Youth Forum Network. Toyosi disclosed this during a courtesy visit to the Ekiti State University Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Oladipo Aina. The RISE Network founder said that a one-year programme covering all universities in Nigeria was to reform and educate students as well as to discourage cultism in Nigerian higher institutions. She stressed that such programme would enhance the leadership traits in the youths in order to build them for future challenges.

Toyosi, who said her organisation has spread to 23 states in Nigeria, pointed out that the programme was necessary to discover the potentials of students in EKSU and give them positive orientation that would make them good leaders. She commended the reformation being carried out by the administration of Prof. Aina. Toyosi declared: “This university is blessed to have a leader in person of Professor Patrick Aina”. Professor Aina commended the RISE network founder and pledged total support to the reformation of Nigerian youths to become leaders of tomorrow. He pledged the readiness of the EKSU students to participate in programmes that are in line with the vision of his administration.

Prudence on her sick bed

Prudence (r) with her triplet sisters at two

Bedridden for 11 years, no respite yet for Prudence IJEOMA EZEIKE ABUJA

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his year marks the 12th year Nigeria transited from military to civilian rule; it was a year ordinary Nigerians would love to remember. It was also the year, Mr. and Mrs. Kendrick Unaidet had a set of triplets at the University Teaching Hospital (UCH) Ibadan. The birth brought so much joy to the family. Well-wishers tagged the lovely girls, Democracy Children, saying their coming heralded the nation into the much awaited democracy. Little did they know that their joy would be short-lived. Two years after, in 2001; Prudence, the first girl, got ill and was admitted at the University College Teaching Hospital (UCTH), Ibadan and that sickness marked the end of joy and happiness in her home. At two, she was struck with a strange disease, initially diagnosed as Viral Encephalitis, which has kept her bedridden for 11 years, gradually emaciating and dying. Her case seemed hopeless. Although there have been several publications on the health of this child in different newspapers and magazines for government’s intervention on the child’s case, there seems to be no help. The father, Mr. Kendrick Unaidet who wrote a letter to the Minister of Health on the child’s issue since last year November, has not received any response so far. The letters he wrote to the Office of the First Lady and to the Government of Akwa Ibom State where he came from, also has been treated with negligence. The hospital administration started managing her case from 2001 when she was admitted up till 2006 when they gave the parents an estimate for surgical operation. The payment was made, unfortunately, the hospital did not commence the operation and when the parents asked to know the reason, there was no response from the hospital management. The embittered father said, “There was a great mismanagement on display. My child, while on the hospital bed, was having convulsion, sustaining bruises. We were not happy with that development, and we wrote to the management on the case and the response we got was that the child no longer required the treatment, when we asked them the reason, they claimed that the child does not have a brain. “I can’t bring myself to believe that my own daughter is suffering from spinal meningitis, viral encephalitis, a brain malfunction and finally brain disappearance”. The hospital management, after all the delays, finally told the parents to seek medical treatment abroad as, according to them, the case requires specialisation. Narrating his ordeal to our reporter in Abuja, Mr. Unaidet said he has, since 2006, been looking for the money so that he could commence the eval-

uation of the case. He narrated, “We have been in the problem since 2001, and it has been very expensive. The first time she was admitted, we spent all that we had to save her life and stabilise her health, and thereafter the expenses had continued. She has been on drugs, under hospital care, she was discharged last year January, 2011 from UCTH and that was very expensive. We spent more than N700,000 on that one alone. “After the first diagnosis, the result showed spinal meningitis; thereafter viral encephalitis and the hospital management said they were going to do a surgery to correct the error. Later, they told us that the child had a brain malfunction, but the last one they told us is something that is not believable, because it is not possible to find a healthy child and the brain disappeared. This is as a result of the mismanagement and carelessness of the hospital personnel. Continuing, he said, “We went to the hospital to help us improve on our child’s health condition, but the problem has been compounded. In treating this child, we have observed a lot of mismanagement by the hospital and they have allowed the case to get too long without taking a proactive step in treating the child, and that has caused us a lot of pains, distress, depression, financial embarrassment. “I am an electrician; I do electrical installations and work with a private firm. Sometime ago, I had an employment with one firm, but because of this child’s sickness, I was not able to continue in the employment because they were tired of giving me leave of work. At a point when the condition became worse in 2010, I had to resign from my work to enable me take her back to the hospital. “I have made several efforts to see the Minister of Health and other well meaning Nigerians on the issue, but all my efforts are yet to yield much result. I have been following the letter I wrote to the minister for the past seven months, but they have been moving it from one department to another. “I can’t count the number of times I have been to that ministry to follow up the letter, it has been moving back and forth from the Office of the Permanent Secretary to the Office of the Director Hospital Services. I don’t think my letter has reached the minister’s desk. “I want the minister to intervene because we are surprised that the various medical examinations carried out on my triplets after birth did not show any trace of my daughter’s present medical problem” “I wouldn’t want to watch my daughter die after all that she has gone through and it would be unfair and cruel if this innocent girl would be left to bear the brunt of this calculated gross professional misconduct without succour and justice.”


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Media

Thursday, July 12, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Kola Animasaun’s day of honour LEONARD OKACHIE

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henever Chief Olusegun Osoba (former Governor of Ogun State and former Managing Director, Daily Times), Mr. Sam AmukaPemu (Chairman, Vanguard Media), Alhaji Alade Odunewu (Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Nigerian Merit Media Awards), Pini Jason, Chief Kola Animasaun (former Chairman, Editorial Board, Vanguard Newspapers) gather, journalism is usually celebrated. Why? These are men of erudition and perhaps, the bridge between the older and younger generation of journalists in Nigeria today. Interestingly, these people and other journalism icons came together last Thursday, to honour one of their own, Chief Kola Animasaun, on the launching and public presentation of his two books: Voice of Reason 2 and One Thousand Nine Hundred & Thirty Nine. Incidentally, the event, which held at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Victoria Island, Lagos also marked the 73rd birthday of Animasaun. Expectedly, it drew such dignitaries that include Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi; the Sultan of Sokoto, represented by the Chairman of MTN Foundation, Amb. Hamza Ahmadu Abdullahi; Senator Ganiyu Olarenwaju Solomon(GOS); Chairman of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and former Governor of Osun State, Chief Bisi Akande; former vice presidential candidate of ACN, Chief Fola Adeola; Uthokopo Na Eze Achalla, Igwe Alex Nwokedi; former Minister of Communications, Maj. Gen. Tajudeen Olanrewaju (retd). Also present were former judge of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague, Prince Bola Ajibola; Chief Publicity Secretary ACN, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; The Agura of Gbangura, Oba Adedayo Olaloko Shobekun II; Engr. Abiodun Adenekan; Chief Ayo Adebanjo; Sen Remi Tinubu represented by Mrs Yetunde Arobieke; Prof Oladapo Afolabi; Managing Director of THISDAY, Mr. Eniola Bello, former Manging Director of Concord Newspapers, Mr. Ayo Babatope and many others. Suprisingly, some of those faces were also seen exactly 13 years ago when Animasaun marked his 60th birthday, as well as launched Volume One of his Voice of Reason. For instance, the event, which took place on July 5, 1999 at the Lagos Airport Hotel Ikeja, had in attendance: Chief Olusegun Osoba(who was then Governor of Ogun State); Mr. Sam Amuka-Pemu, Senator Abiola Ajimobi among others. However, the last Thursday event was another opportunity for friends and associates of Chief Animasuan to pay tributes to a great chronicler of Nigerian polity and a man who has influenced the society positively through his writings, especially his Sunday Vanguard column, Voice of Reason. Delivering his keynote address, Chief Osoba, who thrilled the guests with his sense of humour said: “I am here to testify to the character of a man we are celebrating today, a man of honour, a journalist of repute, a man whom you can

Representative of chairman of the ceremony, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Sir Pius Akinyelure unveiling the books.

Pioneer, Managing Director, Guarranty Trust Bank, Mr. Fola Adeola; celebrant, Alh. Kola Animashaun and wife, Modupe. PHOTOS: FEMI AJASA

always rely on, a man you can always trust. We were two in my family; me and my brother Biodun. And my brother Biodun was more rascally than I am,( but he is dead now), but I couldn’t handle him. I want to thank Kola Animasaun today. He was one man who was able to handle my late brother, Biodun for me. Thank you very much, Alhaji Animasaun.” Chief Osoba further attested to Animasaun’s impeccable quality when he recalled how he, as Governor of Ogun State then, appointed Animasaun as caretaker committee chairman of Abeokuta North Local Government Area. He noted that Animasaun performed so well, but could not withstand the intrigues of politics and so, sent in his resignation letter which was rejected afterwards. “That was how I aborted the resignation of Animasaun, to show that we are celebrating a man today who is honourable, a patriotic Nigerian and a man of honour married to a beautiful girl (Dupe Animasaun).” Like Osoba, Gen. Olanrewaju paid glowing tributes, describing him as a public defender. “I don’t miss his writings on Sunday, so also that of Dele Sobowale. So, my first read on Sunday is what brother Kola has got for us because I always believe he has a very good sense of conviction. And if people, particularly

the government read his Voice of Reason, I think it will be good for the society. Again Gen. Olanrewaju remarked: “He has been very good to his in-laws, which is why the Executive Governor of Oyo State, Senator Is’haq Abiola Ajimobi is here today to do him honour. And the very wish I can do for him is that, as he is 73 today, may we have the fullest cause again to gather this way in celebration of his life at 80.” It was, indeed, an exciting and honourable moment, when the Chairman of Vanguard Mr. Sam Amuka, showered praises on Chief Animasaun. “This, for me, is a personal occasion to thank my friend, Kola. In all the years we worked together, we had been friends and everything said about him is true. He is a man of integrity, honour and never shakes whenever he had an opinion on an issue, but maintains his stance. He is an honourable man with nine lives. It is because of KoIa and other columnists like Pini Jason, Dele Sobowale, Isiaka, Ochereome Nnana, Donu Kogbare, that we had survived and thrived in Vanguard and still thriving today. Kola Animasaun is a man you can vouch for and I am glad to be here. We have a policy in Vanguard, which gives columnists the freedom to write anything short of libel and these columnists have indeed done well.” Governor Ajimobi said he is an epit-

ome of journalism who has affected his overall disposition of life. “Alhaji Animasaun had affected me intellectually, culturally, religiously and many of us will continue to celebrate him in many years to come and what he represents which is truth, godliness and uprightness.” Senator Ganiyu Solomon called Chief Animasaun an uncle and a mentor, whose column he read unfailingly every Sunday. He encouraged other columnists to put their papers together just like Chief Animasaun has done. “He is widely read. His audience is fantastic given the feedback you see on his pages. You better keep tab, of him because the moment he decides to take you on, the whole world will read about you and you are doomed.” More importantly, the books were reviewed by two reputable journalists: the Chairman of the Editorial Board of The Nation, Mr Sam Omatseye and the Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of National Mirror, Mr. Steve Ayorinde. The duo, in their respective reviews, did a critique with the precision of a book reviewer. Mr. Ayorinde reviewed the book, 1939: An autobiography –Kola Muslim Animasaun. In his review entitled “From 1939 to the vanguard of modern journalism: the story of a Musulumi” Ayorinde stated: Whether it is called 1939 or aesthetically referred to as 1 thousand 9 hundred and thirty 9, the title of Alhaji Animasaun’s book is very functional in using the date of his birth as the pathway into a telling testimony of a life worth recollecting. And there is no pun intended in his choice of word as the book’s functionality is not limited to the aesthetic lustre of its title or in the silhouetted, artistic impression of the author on the cover of the book alone. The form and content of the 205-page book attest to the author’s firm control of the art of storytelling; lucid, even-paced and witty, all signposting an abundant capacity for effective narration. Divided into nine broad chapters, with additional shorter writings from previous articles penned under different pseudonyms, in the annexes, 1939 appeals to a reader that is interested in the Kola Animasaun persona – as a journalist and writer of note; as a contented family man unabashedly devoted to Almighty Allah and as a man whose ideological convictions might be modest, but are, nevertheless, duly advertised as a Progressive.” Voice of Reason 2 as reviewed by Mr. Omatseye is a collection of works as a columnist in Vanguard Newspaper. Mr. Omatseye congratulated the author on the 303 page-book, saying, “The book is a meditation on a country whose crisis has gone like a deadly cancer - everyday is a lament and the joy comes rarely in the morning. The author therefore, deserves praise for his admitting to sometimes moderate his sense of approval of this turbulent country. “Voice of Reason 2 is a good title, but it reminds one so much of another collection by Chief Obafemi Awolowo, although this is saved by the inclusion of Obasanjo years. Nothing to worry about. Animasaun has collected a treasure which we should keep close to the chest. It holds the secret truth of a country in spite of her compulsive madness as a people. It gives us pleasure while we read it.”


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Media

Thursday, July 12, 2012

47

Abia chapel sues council chairman over imposition GEORGE OPARA ABIA

M Governor Saidu Dakingari (left) of Kebbi, receiving the Manager Operations, the People’s Daily Newspaper, Alhaji Ali Mohammed, in Birnin Kebbi, on Tuesday. PHOTO: NAN

Media NGOs submit memo to National Assembly LEONARD OKACHIE

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network of media non-governmental organisations (NGOs) has submitted a Memorandum to the National Assembly seeking constitutional provisions to guarantee media freedom and independence, the right of access to information and the independence of media regulatory bodies. Jointly submitted by the International Press Centre (IPC), the Institute for Media and Society (IMS) and Media Rights Agenda (MRA) on the platform of the Media Network on the Review of the 1999 Constitution, copies of the 50-page Memorandum were delivered separately by representatives of the three organisations to the relevant committees in the two chambers of the National Assembly - the Senate and the House of Representatives. The organisations, however, said the proposals contained in the Memorandum were developed in collaboration with the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON), the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), and the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ). They said other critical stakeholders and interest groups were also consulted, including through the convening of a consultative meeting held in Ibadan, Oyo State, on June 14

and 15, 2012. The organisations argued in the Memorandum that although the issues of media freedom and independence, freedom of expression and right to information were not specifically listed among the items in the “Call for Memoranda” issued by the Senate, as issues upon which memoranda were requested from the public, “we believe that these are nonetheless critical matters that will promote good governance and improve the Nigerian State if adequate provisions are made for them in the proposed new Constitution.” The Memorandum recommends that a constitutional backing for the right of access to information should be included in the proposed new Constitution as a sub-section of the current Section 39, adding that this new section should be a comprehensive section, containing guarantees for a range of free expression, media freedom and access to information rights. Specifically, it proposes that Section 39 of the 1999 Constitution should be amended to have new sub-sections that provide for the following, among others: Express guarantee of right to press/media freedom, media independence and right of access to information, definition or categorisation of state (called government) media, as one established to provide information gathering and dissemination services in the public interest and decriminalization of libel and non-censorship of the media.

ajority members of the Correspondents Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Abia State council, have dragged the state chairman of the council, Comrade Hyacinth Okoli to Umuahia High Court for allegedly imposing Emmanuel Ugwu on the state correspondents chapel as chairman without the due process of election. The aggrieved members led by Anayo Okoli of Vanguard Newspapers with other stakeholders and concerned members of the chapel are challenging the alleged brazen imposition of Emmanuel Ugwu of ThisDay Newspaper. Joined in the suit are Emmanuel Ugwu, Emeka Okafor of Compass Newspapers as Secretary, Henrietta Ashikodi of Imo Statesman Newspapers as Treasurer, Generus Ezeru, a freelancer with New Nigeria as Assistant Secretary and Steve Oko of Champion Newspapers as Financial Secretary. Okoli, council chairman arrogating to himself the status of a political godfather was said to have unilaterally selected and inaugurated the said unelected persons as executive members of the chapel. The chapel had slated May 2 for its election in the Umuahia office of the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN. And an electoral committee headed by Ben Duru of Daily Independent was constituted and formally inaugurated to conduct the election. Accordingly, Emmanuel Ugwu and Emmanuel Acha were screened and cleared for the position of chairman as Emeka Okafor and Alozie Ogbonna of Daily Trust Newspapers were cleared to run for the post of secretary but Ogbonna was controversially disqualified. Trouble began when on the day of the election, the council chair-

man who came to supervise the election and about the commencement of elections, brazenly announced Acha's disqualification contrary to his clearance by the electoral committee. Okoli alleged that Acha was not qualified because he did not spend about five years of professional practice as journalist as the constitution stipulated. But the ground upon which Acha was purportedly disqualified was found to be untrue as he has practised for a period of five years and paid professional fees of five years as constitutionally required. Again, when the electoral committee cleared Acha for the election and gave three days within which to receive any objections, the opportunity elapsed without any objections. Amidst protests and condemnation from members, Okoli brazenly ignored the electoral committee and inaugurated Ugwu and Okafor as chairman and secretary respectively without election. The situation did not augur well with the majority members of the chapel especially as Acha is the man of the people and more popular than Ugwu. In suit number: HU/97/2012 dated June 21, 2012, filed in an Umuahia High Court, the claimants are praying the court to hold that the chapel had not held any election into the chapel exco. They also averred that the imposition of the mentioned officers was unlawful and contrary to the NUJ Constitution and thus unconstitutional. The claimants sought for the leave of the court to mandate the Screening Committee of the chapel to conduct an election into the chapel exco based on the candidates already cleared for the botched election and an order of perpetual injunction restraining defendants from acting as or holding themselves out as members of the executive committee of the chapel.

Okada ban hampers newspaper circulation in Enugu DENNIS AGBO ENUGU

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ewspaper sales representatives in Enugu State are now going through difficult times circulating newspapers in the state following the total ban on commercial motorcycles, popularly known as Okada. So many newspapers could not be circulated on time, as the motorcycles that previously distributed the papers to vendors at different locations were off roads since after the announcement of the ban by Governor Sullivan Chime last week. Different sales representatives at the Edinburgh area of Ogui new layout, where media houses are concentrated besieged their correspondents, asking them

to help talk to the state government to understand their plight and see if some of motorcycles could be allowed to distribute the newspapers within Enugu metropolis. Mr. Longinus, a popular newspaper salesman at Edinburgh told National Mirror that reporters’ efforts will amount to nullity if the newspapers are not circulated in to the government house. Chidi Mgbachi of National Mirror also lamented on tough times he passed through to distribute the paper. Efforts made to get the Enugu State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Chuks Ugwoke, to react to the development proved abortive as he failed to pick calls to his mobile phone. Governor Sullivan Chime had on Tuesday last week enacted the law effectively

banning the operations of Okada within the Enugu metropolis, noting that the law aims to checkmate the activities of men of the underworld and ultimately protect lives and property of the people. The law prescribes one year imprisonment without any option of fine for violators. The Governor said: “As a Government, we made efforts to streamline the operations of the genuine operators but these efforts, unfortunately, had not been fruitful because crime rate rose and most of the crimes were facilitated by the use of motorcycles by other evil-minded persons. “It got so bad that the law enforcement agents officially requested the ban of motorcycles because of the menace of the men of the underworld who have been using them to perpetrate their crimes.

Chime


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Thursday, July 12, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Community Mirror “President Jonathan will order whatever action he deems necessary to ensure the full recovery of all fuel subsidy funds that may have been illegally paid..” SPECIAL ADVISER TO THE PRESIDENT ON MEDIA, DR. REUBEN ABATI

Land agent loses N.55m to robbery gang NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA

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unmen suspected to be armed robbers on Tuesday trailed a land agent who had just made a cash withdrawal of N550,000 from a bank along Owerri Road, Onitsha, Anambra State and snatched the money from him. The incident, according to a

source, occurred when the sixman robbery gang who operated on two motorcycles, shot sporadically as soon as they noticed their victim come out of the bank and hired a commercial motorcyclist to drop him at Obosi town, an outskirt of Onitsha. The source stated that as soon as their victim climbed onto the commercial motorcy-

Ekiti land tussle suit adjourned for out of court settlement ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

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n Ado Ekiti High Court yesterday adjourned hearing in a land dispute involving the Edemo Family of Ado Ekiti and the monarch of the ancient city, the Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adeyemo Adejugbe till October 15 to pave way for out of court mediation. The Edemo Family had dragged the monarch and the Baisanya Family to court over a large expanse of land located along Ado-Ijan Ekiti Road and the deposition of the Edemo of Ado Ekiti and head of the Edemo Family, Chief Adelowo Aduloju, by the monarch. At yesterday’s sitting, Justice Emmanuel Adesodun adjourned the matter until the report of the mediation panel to be set up by the state governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, would have been ready for its subsequent adoption by court. Counsel to Edemo, Mr Rotimi

Adabenbe, had earlier reminded the court that Governor Fayemi had begun a process of mediation in the matter. Adabenbe, who expressed optimism that the mediation being brokered by the governor would yield positive results, prayed the court to allow parties to the case to exploit out of court settlement option; which counsel to the 1st defendant (Ewi of Ado Ekiti), Chief Afolabi Fasaanu (SAN), did not object. Shortly before Edemo’s lawyer mentioned Fayemi’s involvement in the matter, Justice Adesodun had ruled favourably to applications for change of counsels filed by 1st and 2nd defendants (Ewi and Baisanya respectively). In respect of this, Chief Afolabi Fasanu (SAN) and Co, had taken over the case from Chief Bisi Egbeyemi and Co who hitherto represented the 1st respondent, while Mr Obafemi Adewale and Co had taken over from Albert Akanle (SAN) and Ochai and Co for the 2nd respondent.

Katsina gets seven buses for commercial transport JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA

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he Katsina State Transport Authority (KSTA) says it has procured seven additional buses to the several ones recently bought for conveying passengers on short and long distance journeys to and from the state. Speaking to newsmen at the weekend, the authority’s General Manager, Gambo Abdulkadir Rimi said the

buses were purchased by KSTA in seven months as one bus is bought on monthly basis. Rimi said the policy of buying one bus per month would be sustained and that the authority plans to buy a total of 12 buses in 2012. He explained that “the buses are being purchased from the little monthly revenue generation and we will maintain the tempo until we get the required vehicles.”

cle and zoomed off, the robbers who were three in each of their two motorcycles gave him a hot chase until they double-crossed him somewhere near Obosi junction, along Owerri Road and allegedly opened fire on him. It was further gathered that the victim, who attempted fleeing with bullet wounds was chased into the crowd, even as the robbers shot sporadically into the air to scare the crowd away. They eventually snatched

the money from him and escaped at once, leaving him in his pool of blood. The victim was later rushed to a nearby hospital where he is currently recuperating, even as he was said to have cried all through the night on his hospital bed for losing the money and at the same time getting severely injured with bullet wounds. Commenting on the incident, the Ogirishi Igbo and Deputy Igbo Leader, Chief Rommy Ezeo-

nwuka, said he has directed Igbo youths to hunt for the robbers for possible arrest and recovery of the victim’s money. He, warned criminals to depart from Igboland or be prepared to face the consequences arising from their criminalities, now that the present Igbo leadership, under Chief Ralph Uwazuruike has vowed not to tolerate any act of criminality in any part of South-East geopolitical zone.

Scene of an accident on Eko Bridge in Lagos recently. PHOTO: OLUFEMI AJASA

83-year-old pensioner laments seizure of pension FRANCIS SUBERU

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espite intermittent verification exercise for pensioners in Nigeria, both the federal and state governments have continued to inflict pains and hardship on many of the aged who served their fatherland so dearly during their active days by denying them their entitlements as at when due. A case in hand is that of 83-year-old pensioner, Pa Christopher Adewusi Adeniji-Fashola who retired from Nigeria Railway Service in 1976 after serving the nation for 28 years. He had been placed on pension since, but when the Federal Government ordered for a new verification exercise in June 2010, his pension was stopped. Since then he has been living from hand to

mouth. Lamenting his predicament, the neglected and obviously sad pensioner, wondered why he had to suffer so much after serving his fatherland for long. Pa Christopher said: “I served in the railway service for 28 years. I retired on abolition of office on February 12, 1976. I have been on pension for 34 years until it was stopped for no just cause in 2010. The Federal Government informed us in 2010 that we should go for verification exercise as a result of which our pensions were stopped. “Since then, I have not got a penny despite that I went for the verification exercise and was cleared. You will notice that I cannot walk without being aided; it was during the last verification exercise on November 2, 2011 at the Civil Service Club, Onikan

Lagos that I was pushed down and got injured. “Even the one month pension that they normally pay after the verification exercise has not been paid. So I don’t know what to do. I am suffering. Why do I have to suffer so much? I have been to pension service severally, but nothing has come out of it. I have even written to the permanent secretary of pension, but nothing still. “The government should please pay us our pension. My brother is here, my sister is here none of us is being paid and we have to eat. Why are we neglected after serving the government for so long? I live more or less on charity. Sometime in the night, I can’t sleep. I will just lie there gazing at the ceiling. Why do I have to suffer so much after serving this country?”


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North

Thursday, July 12, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Bauchi dismisses attack on NYSC orientation camp T he Bauchi State Government yesterday denied rumours that the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) orientation camp in Wailo was bombed by terrorists. There was panic across the country as information filtered in that over 50 corps members had been killed in a bomb blast at the orientation camp.

Parents and guardians, whose children are currently in camp for this year’s Batch B youth service, made frantic calls to the authorities to ascertain the authenticity of the report. The rumour also filtered in through such social network sites as Facebook and Twitter. But the Bauchi State Government, in a state-

ment signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Ishola Michael Adeyemi, described the rumour as “baseless, unfounded and an information that cannot be substantiated by the mongers who are bent on disrupting the peaceful atmosphere in the state.” The statement reads: “The rumour is the handiwork of a few people who

are enemies of peace and who want to cause unnecessary panic among the people, particularly the corps members who are visitors to the state, the rumour is a mere figment of the imagination of the mongers. “As a government we are committed to the protection of lives and properties of every law abiding citizen of the

Niger leads in MDGs projects implementation –DG PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA

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he Niger State Director General of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Mr. Joshua Nuhu Bawa, has said that the state scored 77 per cent in the implementation of the MDGs projects among the 36 states for 2011. Bawa, who stated this

in Minna, the state capital, said that in the next two months, the state would complete projects meant for 2012. He said: “Niger State scored 77 per cent, while the next that follows it, scored less than 40 per cent in peer review report of 2011.” “For the 2011 projects implementation, some states are just issuing let-

ters of award of contract; 60 per cent of the states are yet to mobilise while only 22 per cent of them have mobilised contractors for execution of projects.” The DG attributed the achievement of the state in the MDGs projects to the doggedness of the government to meet the global standards, noting that 75 solar powered boreholes

were sunk of which 60 had been put to use by the benefiting communities According to him, 13 primary healthcare centres were constructed across the state to meet the healthcare needs of the people. Bawa added that due to the achievement, the state is now qualified to apply for 2012 MDGs project fund.

L-R: Emir of Hadejia, Alhaji Adamu Maje; Jigawa State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Ahmed Mahmoud and Emir of Kazaure, Alhaji Najib Adamu, at the inauguration of Gada-Dande Road in Kazaure Local Government Area of Jigawa State on Tuesday. PHOTO: NAN

Group flays NSA over claim on Boko Haram leaders’ contact A ZA MSUE KADUNA

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group called Southern Kaduna Indigenes Progressive Forum (SKIPF) has flayed the National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), over his recent claim of having Boko Haram leaders’ contacts for dialogue to end insurgency in the North. Dasuki had said in Jos, Plateau State capital, during a stakeholders’ peace meeting that he had contacts of key Boko Haram

leaders for fresh peace talks. A statement signed by the group president, Major George Nchok Asake (rtd), stated that the choice of Dasuki as the new security adviser was done in error. Asake said: “I personally see the new NSA as a wrong choice and he should explain to a dumbfounded nation why he claimed that he has established contact with the Boko Haram leadership which has come out to dismiss this claim. By this claim, has

he not unwittingly contributed to the killings taking place in Plateau State?” The group said President Goodluck Jonathan has no political clout to fish out perpetrators of unrest in the North, stressing that he abandoned residents of Plateau and Kaduna states in their difficult moment. It said: “When Boko Haram attacked Kano, the President flew to Kano the following day, looking more mournful than the Kanawas, but

whenever it happens in Plateau or Kaduna or anywhere it affects Christians, he jets out of the country or mandates Reuben Abati to make a scanty press release of so- called sympathy/condolence. Does it take the killing of the people of a whole local government area before a President pays a condolence visit?” The group, however, called on security personnel to double their efforts in protecting lives and property, claiming that the conventional internal security tactics had failed.

state, adequate security measures have been put in place and we are working hands in hands with all security agencies in the state and the efforts is paying as Bauchi State has remained peaceful in spite of the security challenges the country is facing. “We are, therefore, assuring all those who have children at the Wailo

NYSC orientation camp that the situation is calm as the corps members were seen going about their normal activities without any hindrances. “We also want to assure them that their children are safe in Bauchi as adequate security measures have been provided at the camp. They should, therefore, disregard the rumour.”

I won’t seek loan for projects’ execution –Kwankwaso AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST KANO

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ano State Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso has said that his administration would not obtain loan for execution of projects. Kwankwaso spoke yesterday during an interactive forum with journalists at the Government House in Kano. He said that efforts had been made by the state to improve its Internal Revenue Generation (IRG) to meet “reasonable part of the government’s financial requirements.” The governor said: “The government is working towards the payment of civil servants monthly salary from the IGR. “The IGR has increased from between N500m and N600m generated monthly by the previous administration to the current N1.6bn.” Kwankwaso expressed hope that the IGR would continue to improve, following the positive response of the business community in Kano in promptly paying their taxes and other levies. He said: “If the trend continues as planned, the state government will soon commence the payment of monthly emolument of workers from IGR. The state government is also exploring other sources of revenue generation.” Commenting on the new Bandirawo city, which is the third created city in the state, the governor explained that 2,370 plots will be carved out from the city located at Tunfafi in Dawakin Tofa Local Government Area, about 17 kilometres from the city center. The new city, he said, would consist of hospitals, schools, banks, road network, electricity, drainages

and water supply. It is estimated to cost N2.9bn. According to him, N657m had been released to the contractor handling the project as mobilisation fee, adding that the total area of land for the project is 160 hectares. Kwankwaso said the government embarked on the project to decongest Kano city. He said that to accelerate the execution of the project, the government promptly paid due compensation of over N282m to the land owners, who are predominantly farmers. The governor said hat in the 160 hectares of land, the first phase will comprise 2,370 plots while 1,378 plots are for low density, 745 plots are for medium density, as 192 plots are for low density. Kwankwaso, however, warned beneficiaries against the sale of the plots, pointing out that anyone found indulging in such act would have his plot of land confiscated. Earlier, the state Commissioner for Land and Physical Planning, Mr Muhammad Nadu Yahaya, said the city is one of the first initiatives of Kwankwaso’s transformation agenda to decongest Kano city. The Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, who was represented by Madakin Kano, Alhaji Yusuf Lahani, lauded the effort of the governor to rebuild Kano and promised the Emirate’s continued support for the project.

Kwankwaso


50

North

Thursday, July 12, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Bauchi dismisses attack on NYSC orientation camp T he Bauchi State Government yesterday denied rumours that the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) orientation camp in Wailo was bombed by terrorists. There was panic across the country as information filtered in that over 50 corps members had been killed in a bomb blast at the orientation camp.

Parents and guardians, whose children are currently in camp for this year’s Batch B youth service, made frantic calls to the authorities to ascertain the authenticity of the report. The rumour also filtered in through such social network sites as Facebook and Twitter. But the Bauchi State Government, in a state-

ment signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Ishola Michael Adeyemi, described the rumour as “baseless, unfounded and an information that cannot be substantiated by the mongers who are bent on disrupting the peaceful atmosphere in the state.” The statement reads: “The rumour is the handiwork of a few people who

are enemies of peace and who want to cause unnecessary panic among the people, particularly the corps members who are visitors to the state, the rumour is a mere figment of the imagination of the mongers. “As a government we are committed to the protection of lives and properties of every law abiding citizen of the

Niger leads in MDGs projects implementation –DG PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA

T

he Niger State Director General of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Mr. Joshua Nuhu Bawa, has said that the state scored 77 per cent in the implementation of the MDGs projects among the 36 states for 2011. Bawa, who stated this

in Minna, the state capital, said that in the next two months, the state would complete projects meant for 2012. He said: “Niger State scored 77 per cent, while the next that follows it, scored less than 40 per cent in peer review report of 2011.” “For the 2011 projects implementation, some states are just issuing let-

ters of award of contract; 60 per cent of the states are yet to mobilise while only 22 per cent of them have mobilised contractors for execution of projects.” The DG attributed the achievement of the state in the MDGs projects to the doggedness of the government to meet the global standards, noting that 75 solar powered boreholes

were sunk of which 60 had been put to use by the benefiting communities According to him, 13 primary healthcare centres were constructed across the state to meet the healthcare needs of the people. Bawa added that due to the achievement, the state is now qualified to apply for 2012 MDGs project fund.

L-R: Emir of Hadejia, Alhaji Adamu Maje; Jigawa State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Ahmed Mahmoud and Emir of Kazaure, Alhaji Najib Adamu, at the inauguration of Gada-Dande Road in Kazaure Local Government Area of Jigawa State on Tuesday. PHOTO: NAN

Group flays NSA over claim on Boko Haram leaders’ contact A ZA MSUE KADUNA

A

group called Southern Kaduna Indigenes Progressive Forum (SKIPF) has flayed the National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), over his recent claim of having Boko Haram leaders’ contacts for dialogue to end insurgency in the North. Dasuki had said in Jos, Plateau State capital, during a stakeholders’ peace meeting that he had contacts of key Boko Haram

leaders for fresh peace talks. A statement signed by the group president, Major George Nchok Asake (rtd), stated that the choice of Dasuki as the new security adviser was done in error. Asake said: “I personally see the new NSA as a wrong choice and he should explain to a dumbfounded nation why he claimed that he has established contact with the Boko Haram leadership which has come out to dismiss this claim. By this claim, has

he not unwittingly contributed to the killings taking place in Plateau State?” The group said President Goodluck Jonathan has no political clout to fish out perpetrators of unrest in the North, stressing that he abandoned residents of Plateau and Kaduna states in their difficult moment. It said: “When Boko Haram attacked Kano, the President flew to Kano the following day, looking more mournful than the Kanawas, but

whenever it happens in Plateau or Kaduna or anywhere it affects Christians, he jets out of the country or mandates Reuben Abati to make a scanty press release of so- called sympathy/condolence. Does it take the killing of the people of a whole local government area before a President pays a condolence visit?” The group, however, called on security personnel to double their efforts in protecting lives and property, claiming that the conventional internal security tactics had failed.

state, adequate security measures have been put in place and we are working hands in hands with all security agencies in the state and the efforts is paying as Bauchi State has remained peaceful in spite of the security challenges the country is facing. “We are, therefore, assuring all those who have children at the Wailo

NYSC orientation camp that the situation is calm as the corps members were seen going about their normal activities without any hindrances. “We also want to assure them that their children are safe in Bauchi as adequate security measures have been provided at the camp. They should, therefore, disregard the rumour.”

I won’t seek loan for projects’ execution –Kwankwaso AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST KANO

K

ano State Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso has said that his administration would not obtain loan for execution of projects. Kwankwaso spoke yesterday during an interactive forum with journalists at the Government House in Kano. He said that efforts had been made by the state to improve its Internal Revenue Generation (IRG) to meet “reasonable part of the government’s financial requirements.” The governor said: “The government is working towards the payment of civil servants monthly salary from the IGR. “The IGR has increased from between N500m and N600m generated monthly by the previous administration to the current N1.6bn.” Kwankwaso expressed hope that the IGR would continue to improve, following the positive response of the business community in Kano in promptly paying their taxes and other levies. He said: “If the trend continues as planned, the state government will soon commence the payment of monthly emolument of workers from IGR. The state government is also exploring other sources of revenue generation.” Commenting on the new Bandirawo city, which is the third created city in the state, the governor explained that 2,370 plots will be carved out from the city located at Tunfafi in Dawakin Tofa Local Government Area, about 17 kilometres from the city center. The new city, he said, would consist of hospitals, schools, banks, road network, electricity, drainages

and water supply. It is estimated to cost N2.9bn. According to him, N657m had been released to the contractor handling the project as mobilisation fee, adding that the total area of land for the project is 160 hectares. Kwankwaso said the government embarked on the project to decongest Kano city. He said that to accelerate the execution of the project, the government promptly paid due compensation of over N282m to the land owners, who are predominantly farmers. The governor said hat in the 160 hectares of land, the first phase will comprise 2,370 plots while 1,378 plots are for low density, 745 plots are for medium density, as 192 plots are for low density. Kwankwaso, however, warned beneficiaries against the sale of the plots, pointing out that anyone found indulging in such act would have his plot of land confiscated. Earlier, the state Commissioner for Land and Physical Planning, Mr Muhammad Nadu Yahaya, said the city is one of the first initiatives of Kwankwaso’s transformation agenda to decongest Kano city. The Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, who was represented by Madakin Kano, Alhaji Yusuf Lahani, lauded the effort of the governor to rebuild Kano and promised the Emirate’s continued support for the project.

Kwankwaso


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

North

Thursday, July 12, 2012

NPC will reinvent census process before 2015 - Commissioner

Yuguda votes N3.9bn for direct labour projects EZEKIEL TITUS, BAUCHI

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overnor Isa Yugua of Bauchi State has approved N3.9bn for the execution of some projects in the state through direct labour. The Commissioner for Special Duties, Alhaji Bappa Azare, who disclosed this yesterday, said the move was to save the state from the flagrant abuse of contract agreements by contractors and to end the trend of abandoned projects in the state. The money, the commissioner said, would be spent on urban electrification, construction of roundabouts, monuments, urban roads, urban drainages, street naming, urban market buildings and streetlights, among others. Azare said that the decision to embark on direct labour by the Yuguda administration had saved for the state over N2bn.

Wada sends commissionernominees’ list to Assembly ADEMU IDAKWO LOKOJA

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overnor Idris Wada of Kogi State yesterday sent a list of 18 commissioner-nominees to the state House of Assembly for screening and confirmation . The list was sent to the lawmakers through a letter addressed to the Speaker, Hon. Abdullahi Bello. It reads in part: “In our desire to build an enduring democracy and transform our dear state, I hereby forward the following names as my nominees for the post of commissioners for screening and confirmation.” Reading the letter on the floor of the House, Bello said there was need to screen the nominees immediately. He, therefore, announced that the screening would commence today. The Speaker also directed each of the nominees to submit 35 copies of his or her Curriculum Vitae (CV) to the House.

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IGBAWASE UKUMBA LAFIA

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Newly appointed Adamawa State Head of Service, Mr. Musa Kaibo (right) taking oath of office before Governor Murtala Nyako in Yola, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Court dismisses forgery allegation against Suswam HENRY IYORKASE, MAKURDI

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Federal High Court sitting in Makurdi yesterday settled the legal tussle between Mr. Terver Kakih and Governor Gabriel Suswam over who was the authentic standard bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in last year’s governorship election in Benue State. Kakih, the plaintiff, had shortly after the PDP special delegate conference in January 2011 where Suswam was declared the party’s flag bearer for the governorship poll, approached the court challenging, among other things, the validity of the said congress. He also alleged that Suswam was not qualified to contest the election on the grounds that he presented a false General Certificate of Education, GCE, O’ Level to the Independent National Electoral Com-

mission, INEC. Kakih, who contested against Suswam in the January 2011 primaries of the PDP, joined the party, INEC, the West African Examination Council, WAEC, and Suswam as the first, second, third and fourth defendants. The plaintiff had told the court, while making his case, that the ward congresses of the party were not held as purported by the PDP and that the list of delegates for the special delegate confewrence was doctored by Suswam’s loyalists in contravention of the Electoral Act and the party’s guidelines for elections. He called 10 witnesses to make his case. Kakih also told the court that Suswam presented a forged certificate to INEC and attempted to tender as exhibits two copies of GCE O’ Level certificates allegedly belonging to Suswam but were rejected for not meeting the criteria for admission of evidence.

The first defendant, PDP, called only one witness who told the court that although he was aware of the complaints by the plaintiff, he described same as unfounded allegations. He further told the court under cross examination that it was not mandatory for Suswam to present his certificate to INEC contrary to Kakih’s claims. Suswam did not call any witness but relied on the case of the first defendant. Both WAEC and INEC did not call any witness in the matter. Delivering judgment, the presiding judge, Justice Marcel Awokulehim, said the issue of nomination of candidates and the provision of a level playing field for contestants was a party affair and had long been settled by the Supreme Court. The judge, therefore, declined jurisdiction to determine same. On the issue of presentation of a forged certifi-

cate to INEC, Awokulehim held that the plaintiff failed to adduce substantive evidence to establish the case of forgery against Suswam beyond any reasonable doubt. Quoting from the Evidence Act, Awokulehim said, “the onus of prove of a criminal allegation rests with he who asserts,” and therefore described the plaintiff ’s allegations as unmeritorious, malicious, vogue and vexatious and dismissed the case as a consequence. Jubrin Okutepa (SAN) who led a team of lawyers for the first and fourth defendants applauded the judgment, saying that it had put an end to speculations on the issue of certificate forgery by Suswam. Reacting to the judgment, Special Adviser to the governor on Media and Public Affairs, Dr. Cletus Akwaya, said once again, the court had put to an end the legal tussle against Suswam.

he National Population Commission, NPC, said it would reinvent the census process to ensure fairness to all nationalities in the 2015 headcount. The Federal Commissioner representing Nasarawa State in the commission, Zakari Umaru-Kigbu, disclosed this while speaking with journalists at a reception held in his honour at Gudi town, Akwanga West Local Council Development Area by the people of Nasarawa. Previous administrations in Nasarawa State had challenged the 1.8 million population figure of the state by the 2006 census, making it to occupy the 35th position out of 36 states. The government had said it was not a true reflection of the actual figure of the population of Nasarawa State. Umaru-Kigbu said: “Census issue is political and a lot of communities will never agree with the figure even though it is genuine. I am just coming on board and I want to believe that we will improve in the process as President Goodluck Jonathan mandated us. “We are going to reinvent the whole process; review the whole process by using all the modern technologies to ensure that the next census is successful.” He added that the commission would ensure that every indigene was counted while all the demographic indices would be put in place for effective data to be collected.

Again, gunmen kill mother, three children in Bauchi EZEKIEL TITUS, BAUCHI

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here was pandemonium yesterday at Yong village in Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area of Bauchi State when gunmen killed a nursing mother and her three children. One person, who survived the attack, sustained

injury. The killing may not be unconnected with the recurrent attacks on the Sayawa ethnic group in the area. It was learnt that the gunmen, suspected to be Fulani, attacked the victims in their farm. The development caused panic among the residents, who now fear venturing out of their homes for fear of at-

tack, even with the presence of armed security personnel posted to the community to curtail act of lawlessness. Yesterday’s attack was the third within a week in the area. The people blamed government and security agents for not being able to arrest the incessant killings of innocent citizens. Speaking on the incident, the father of the victims, Mr.

Luke Jumtuk, said the three were killed, while working on the farm land. He appealed to the Federal Government to intervene as the situation was fast getting out of hand. Jumtuk attributed the killing to tribalism, poverty and lack of religious tolerant. The state Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO,

could not be reached to confirm the story as calls made to his phone were not answered.

Yuguda


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National News

Fear grips Onitsha traders over likely attack NWABUEZE OKONKWO ONITSHA

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ear of reprisal attack has gripped traders in Onitsha, Anambra State, aftermath of last Tuesday’s clash between members of the state task force on market decongestion and the Movement for Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB). The clash left many people injured and cars burnt. But yesterday, the traders locked their shops for fear of likely reprisal attacks by members of the taskforce, who were allegedly injured by the MASSOB during the clash. When National Mirror visited the Sokoto Road section of the Onitsha Main Market, the scene of the early morning clash, the shops were under lock and key as some traders were seen in groups discussing the incident. A source, who did not want his name mentioned, said that it took the courage of the MASSOB members to confront the taskforce operatives who he accused of harassing, intimidating and extorting the traders. The source said that before the clash, the traders were forced to pay illegal levies, which attracted severe beatings each time any trader failed to pay up as demanded. He said: “We engaged the MASSOB members when it became obvious that the police could not do anything to stop the illegality. Some of us have been severely beaten up and maimed by these men who often boast that no one can stop them in the state”. But Chairman of the task force, Mr. Onuorah Ikonso, dismissed the rumour of the planned attack, saying: “We are government officials and law-abiding. We cannot take laws into our hands, no matter the level of provocation. “The state government will take appropriate measures against the hoodlums that attacked our men who were on their legitimate duty”.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Dana crash: NNPC pays tributes to Ajuonuma, others JOHN UWE ABUJA

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t was a rain of tributes and commendations yesterday for the late Dr. Levi Ajounuma and three other staff of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, who died in the Dana plane crash in Lagos in June.

The late Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of NNPC, Ajounuma, was described as a man full of life and strength. Others who died in the crash were Assistant Director, Anthony Nwaokeagbara; Abuja Zonal Controller, Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, Kayode Okikiolu;

Manager, Pipelines and Depot Projects, ETD NNPC, Inusa Ahmed Abba and his son, Faysal; and Deputy Manager, Brass LNG, Ibrahim Nagidi. There were also tributes to the wife and two children of Lanre Fatokun of NNPC Transformation Office, Anjola Fatokun, Olaoluwa (son) and Ibukun (daughter).

The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Andrew Yakubu, who spoke at a commendation ceremony for the late personnel of the corporation in Abuja, said their deaths had been a harrowing experience for the corporation and its staff. He assured the victims’ families that NNPC would always be by their said,

L-R: Children of late Dr. Levi Ajuonuma, Obinaso, Rebecca and Emmy, during the commendation ceremony for NNPC and DPR staff who lost their lives in Dana plane crash, in Abuja yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA

Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mr. Andrew Yakubu (left) and his deputies, at the commendation ceremony yesterday.

PHOTO: NAN

stressing that the victims died in the course of their normal duties. Yakubu urged the family members to take heart, while praying God to give them the fortitude to bear the loss. The former GMD of the corporation, Funsho Kupolokun, described the late Ajounuma as a colourful man who would give his all, once he was convinced of a cause. Kupolokun said the gentlemen were caught down in their prime in the course of doing their job and earning their living. He said: “I do know one and I know him very well. I met him first in the course of appropriate pricing in 2001. I went round television houses and I met Levi. He did not believe in what I said but he had to allow me say what I wanted to say.” The former GMD said that after the programme, he had to explain everything to Ajounuma and “once he bought into it, he worked hard for the cause which is typical of him and why we brought him into the NNPC. “For all of us that worked with him we all know that this is a man that loves his job. He dresses very well, always ebullient and happy. He was a great guy and hard worker.” Also speaking, Chioma Njoku of the DPR described Nwaokeagbara death as sad. “He was a wonderful boss and colleague who was repository of knowledge about the industry. Most of the policies on environment were drawn by him,” she added.

Obasanjo canvasses robust ties between Africa, China

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robust China-Africa relationship will serve as a basis for global peace, security and stability, former President Olusegun Obasanjo said yesterday in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, China. “If China-Africa relation, friendship and cooperation are built on solid rock with mutual interest, respect, understanding and appreciation, we will serve as a basis for peace, security and stability in the world,” he told the 2nd China-Africa Peoples’ Forum. He told the forum attended by many African leaders

and their Chinese counterparts that world peace and security was the responsibility of mankind. The former President noted that without peace and security, economic activities would be impaired and prosperity would be unattainable. Obasanjo also called for increased involvement of China in Africa’s infrastructural development and greater Chinese investment in Africa. He said that China and Africa’s economies would be greatly interwoven and mutual interests enhanced

if there was greater Chinese investment in productive ventures in Africa. This, he said, could be done either solely by Chinese enterprises and entrepreneurs and Chinese national or provincial governments or in partnership with African investors and entrepreneurs. “Why can’t we trade in Yuan between China and Africa,?” Obasanjo asked. He noted also that over the last 15 years, with the quickening of rate of economic development in China, its relation and cooperation with Africa increased,

particularly in the area of building, construction and commodities. Twenty years ago, trade between China and Africa was less than $10bn, but in 2011, it was more than $166bn. Obasanjo particularly called for increased collaboration in the areas of education, health and culture. He said: “African students have enjoyed scholarships from China to study in Chinese institutions; we need more of it and we need the provision of more Chinese teachers to teach Chinese language in African educational institutions.

“This need is not a oneway affair. Chinese students can study in African universities. “Such exchanges are secure investments to enhance and stabilise our relationship in future. It is also good for people-to-people friendship, cooperation and for building long-lasting relations.” Turning to his African counterparts, Obasanjo said one lesson that Africa must learn from China was that economic development could not go at a high rate without basic infrastructure.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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World News

Branson to take his children during space trip

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“No-one has cared to establish how we are doing as a family. It is quite clear we do not matter at all. We onlyy do when we have to be used for some agenda”” – South African legendary’s ex-wife, Winnie Madikizelaa-

Jibril leads in Libya’s poll, Islamists say not beaten PAUL ARHEWE

WITH AGENCY REPORTS

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ibya’s wartime Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril extended his lead in landmark elections, vote tallies showed yesterday, but Islamist rivals predicted their score would be boosted by allied independent candidates. Jibril’s National Forces Alliance headed for a landslide win in the eastern district covering the towns of Tobruk and Derna, seen as a hardline Islamist stronghold, suggesting his support was broader than urban areas such as the capital Tripoli. However Western-educated Jibril’s gains do not automatically translate into dominance of the 200-seat national assembly which is set to choose a prime minister and cabinet before setting the stage for full parliamentary elections in 2013. Candidates on party lists have only been allotted 80 seats, meaning they will be outnumbered by independent candidates whose allegiances are hard to pin down. “With our own numbers we are almost certain that we have the majority in the independent

seats,” said Mohammed Sawan, the head of the Justice and Construction Party, the political wing of Libya’s Muslim Brotherhood. “Maybe the final result will show that Justice and Construction is the leading party,” he told Reuters.

Libya’s first free national vote in six decades has been hailed as a success by observers despite election-day violence that claimed at least two lives. Analysts say Jibril has benefited from his prominence as one of the main figures of last year’s up-

Mahmoud Jibril, head of the National Forces Alliance

PHOTO: REUTERS

rising to end 42 years of dictatorship under Muammar Gaddafi, and is perceived by many Libyans as a safe pair of hands for rebuilding the economy. He was also leading in Sabha, the main town of the south. Justice and Construction led in the central town of Shati - one of the few areas where Jibril’s alliance did not stand. Many of the candidates of Justice and Construction were either less well known or were hamstrung by local perceptions that their party has ties with Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, clashing with a strong local sense of national sovereignty. The Libyan Muslim Brotherhood has always denied formal links with its Egyptian counterpart, but has not been able to shake off a local belief that the two have close affiliations. Jibril, widely perceived as a moderate, rejects the labels of liberal and secular in a religiously conservative country where Islamic values are integral to the political debate. Independent candidate Abu Bakr Abdel-Gader told Reuters he had been approached by Justice and Construction and offered a position in the party - an offer he turned down.

Egyptian president will obey court’s ruling on parliament

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gypt’s President Mohamed Morsi will respect a court ruling overturning his decree for the dissolved Islamist-dominated parliament to convene, his office said yesterday amid a power struggle with the military. The statement appears aimed at mollifying an infuriated judiciary, which has been placed at the forefront of the complex struggle between powerful generals adjusting to their new Islamist president. “If yesterday’s constitutional court ruling prevents parliament from fulfilling its responsibilities, we will respect that because we are a state of the law,” the statement said, a day after the court froze Morsi’s decree. “There will be consultations with (political) forces and institutions and the supreme coun-

cil for legal authorities to pave a suitable way out of this,” the statement added. Last week, Morsi ordered parliament to convene in defiance of a military decision to disband the house in line with a court ruling last month, before the generals handed power to the president. Morsi’s decree was applauded by supporters who believed the court’s decision to disband parliament was political, but it set off a fire storm of criticism from opponents who accused him of overstepping his authority. According to the country’s interim constitution, drafted by the military generals who took charge after president Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow early last year, the military assumed the dissolved parliament’s powers. Morsi’s decision was seen as an opening shot in a power

struggle between Egypt’s first civilian leader and the Mubarakappointed generals who wanted to retain broad powers even after they transferred control on

June 30. “The battle for power centred on the judiciary,” read the headline of independent daily AlWatan on Wednesday.

Supporters holding posters of President Mohamed Mursi at Tahrir square in Cairo on Tuesday. PHOTO: REUTERS

Mandelaa

WORLD BULLETIN Bin Laden’s cook returns to Sudan from Guantanamo Osama bin Laden’s former cook and driver Ibrahim al-Qosi returned to his native Sudan yesterday after more than a decade of imprisonment at the US detention centre in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. “He is a free man,” Sudanese foreign ministry spokesman Al-Obeid Meruh told AFP shortly after Qosi, 50, touched down in Khartoum early in the morning on a US military aircraft. Qosi was the first Guantanamo detainee to be tried by military tribunal under revised rules introduced by the administration of President Barack Obama. The United States confirmed the transfer in a statement Wednesday.

‘South Africa suspends ambassador linked to MTN case’ South Africa’s foreign ministry has suspended a former ambassador to Tehran after allegations he took a $200,000 bribe to help MTN Group win a mobile licence in Iran, a spokesman said in a radio interview yesterday. Clayson Monyela told Talk Radio 702 that Yusuf Saloojee, currently ambassador to Oman, had been suspended until investigations into his links to the MTN deal are concluded. South Africa’s Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said this week in a response to written parliamentary questions that her department had started an investigation into the allegations against Saloojee. Johannesburg-based MTN is being sued by Turkish rival Turkcell for $4.2 billion.

DR Congo’s rebels threaten key city Mutineer soldiers in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo have threatened to march on the key city of Goma if attacks against civilians in the city do not stop. One of their leaders said the civilians were being targeted for their alleged allegiance to neighbouring Rwanda. He denied allegations made by the UN and DR Congo’s government that the ethnic Tutsi rebel group was backed by Rwanda. Kigali also rejects the claim. Earlier, the UN said peacekeepers were being redeployed to Goma. The UN’s special representative to DR Congo, Roger Meece, said he was determined that the 19,000-strong UN peace force would protect population centres from advancing mutineers.


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World News

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ritish tycoon Richard Branson said yesterday his children would join him on the first of his Virgin Galactic space flights, as he unveiled a new satellite launching service. Outlining his plans at the Farnborough Air Show in southwest England, the billionaire entrepreneur said he and his adult son Sam and daughter Holly hoped to make the journey on the SpaceShipTwo, or SS2, aircraft by the end of 2013. The WhiteKnightTwo aircraft that will help launch SS2 into space will also be used for a new launch vehicle, LauncherOne, which will take small satellites into space for around one tenth of the present cost, Branson said. “Obviously this is the most exciting adventure I have ever undertaken,” the Virgin Galactic founder told AFP. “It’s both an entrepreneurial and personal adventure in being able to build a spaceship and ask my children to come along who can also enjoy it. It’s every boy’s dream.” Branson unveiled a full size replica of SS2 at the show.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Branson to take his children during space trip

Sir Richard Branson in the window of a replica of the Virgin Galactic at the Farnborough International Airshow in Farnborough, England yesterday. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

In all, 529 people have put down a deposit to clinch a space on the 60-mile, two-hour ride into space, at a cost of £128,000 ($200,000, 162,000 euros) each. Around 120 of them were at the

Killer of UK teenager jailed for life

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woman with a history of mental health problems who stabbed a teenager to death in South Yorkshire has been jailed for life. Hannah Bonser, 26, randomly attacked Casey Kearney, 13, as she walked through Elmfield Park in Doncaster on Valentine’s Day. Bonser, of Cusworth House, Doncaster, was convicted of murder at a trial at Sheffield Crown Court. A judge said she would serve a minimum of 22 years. The defence had urged the jury to find her guilty of manslaughter due to diminished responsibility. The jury announced its verdict after less than three hours of deliberations. Speaking outside the court, Casey’s father Anthony Kearney said: “There was never a doubt in our minds this was a calculated and deliberate act and therefore deserves the maximum sentence our judicial system allows. “However, no sentence will bring Casey back to us and the severity of Bonser’s actions mean we will never have the privilege of her in our lives again.” Det Supt Terry Mann, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “This is a sad case. “It’s a terrible, unprovoked and random attack on an innocent young girl, robbing her and her loving family of many future years.” The trial heard Bonser stabbed Casey once in the stomach as the

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

teenager headed for a sleepover at a friend’s home. Bonser’s legal team claimed she had paranoid schizophrenia which contributed to her diminished responsibility at the time of the stabbing. The prosecution said Bonser was suffering from a personality disorder which did not “substantially impair” her ability to understand what she was doing.

Branson event in Farnborough. Actor Ashton Kutcher and scientist Stephen Hawking are among the aspiring astronauts who have signed up to join the programme when it gets under way in late 2013 to early 2014, according to Branson. Irish businessman and author Bill Cullen, 70, was the first to sign up for a trip, in 2004. “I wanted to be the first Irishman in space and I’m really looking forward to it, he said. “I’ve been interested in space ever since I followed comic hero Dan Dare when I was a kid.” The flights are expected to start from Spaceport America in New Mexico with plans afoot to build a second spaceport in Abu

Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. “Virgin Galactic’s goal is to revolutionise the way we get to space,” Branson said. “I’m immensely proud of what we have already achieved as we draw near to regular suborbital flights on SpaceShipTwo.” The WhiteKnightTwo, a large twin-fuselage aircraft joined by a central wing, will launch the SS2 craft -- which carries two pilots and six passengers -- at approximately 50,000 feet (15,240 metres). Once separated from the mothership, the vehicle will ignite its hybrid rocket and fly to the edge of space before gliding back to perform a conventional runway landing.

10 Yemeni police cadets killed in suicide attack

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suspected al-Qaida suicide bomber detonated his explosives among a crowd of Yemeni police cadets as they were leaving their academy yesterday, killing at least 10 of them, according to security officials. The Interior Ministry said al-Qaida was behind the bombing, which struck in the capital

Sanaa. Security officials said 20 cadets were wounded, including three critically. They were leaving the Police Academy for a weekend with families when the bomber hit at the facility’s southern gate. The Interior Ministry identified the attacker as Mohamed Nasher al-Uthy from the province of Amran, about 70 kilome-

Forensic policemen collecting evidence at the site of a suicide bomb attack at a police academy in Sanaa, Yemen, yesterday. PHOTO: AP

tres (45 miles) northwest of Sanaa. It said he lost the lower part of his body in the blast and died of his wounds minutes later. No other details were provided. Twelve suspects were arrested in connection with the bombing, according to security officials. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but al-Qaida’s branch in the impoverished nation on the southern tip of the Arabian peninsula frequently targets security forces. The capital was on high alert after the attack, with security forces setting up checkpoints around the city and searching cars. Security was also beefed up around embassies. The attack came after the army last month recaptured several militant-held towns in the country’s south, following a months-long campaign to retake territory the militants seized during last year’s political turmoil that swept the country in the wake of an Arab Spring uprising.

WORLD BULLETIN

Iran much stronger today despite sanctions – Khamenei

Iran is “100 times stronger” today than 30 years ago despite the multitude of Western sanctions imposed since the 1979 Islamic revolution, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said yesterday. “Westerners are making much hype about sanctions against Iran but they don’t understand that they have vaccinated the Iranian people themselves by imposing sanctions over the past 30 years,” Khamenei said, quoted by state television. Iran “has resisted all sanctions and is now 100 times stronger than 30 years ago,” he said in a speech to a women’s international conference on “Islamic awakening” in Tehran. The United States and European Union have implemented an oil embargo against Iran, leading to a substantial decline in exports of crude from which the Islamic republic draws two-thirds of its foreign exchange earnings.

Christians evacuated from besieged Syrian city A group of Christians trapped in the besieged, bombed-out Syrian city of Homs has been evacuated after a deal between the army and rebels, a priest involved in the evacuation efforts said yesterday. Maximos al-Jamal, a Greek Orthodox priest who has been following the plight of Syrian Christians in Homs, said 63 people were taken out to safety over the past 24 hours. Christians, who make up about 10 percent of Syria’s population, say they are particularly vulnerable to the violence sweeping the country of 22 million people. They are fearful that Syria will become another Iraq, with Christians caught in the crossfire between rival Muslim groups. Homs, Syria’s third largest city, has a substantial Christian population and has been one of the hardest-hit regions since the uprising against President Bashar Assad’s regime began in March 2011.

Oxford University gets $116 million donation Oxford University says a Silicon Valley venture capitalist has donated 75 million pounds ($116 million) to help poor students attend the prestigious institution. The money is a gift from Sequoia Capital president Michael Moritz and his wife, novelist Harriet Heyman. Oxford said yesterday the donation will form part of a fund to subsidize fees and living costs for students with family incomes below 16,000 pounds. About 100 students will get the award in the first year. Wales-born Moritz, who studied history at Oxford, says the goal is to ensure that money is not a barrier to an Oxford education. The number of students applying to British universities has fallen since the government tripled university fees to 9,000 pounds starting this fall. Students on the scholarship will pay just 3,500 pounds.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

JOS

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ational Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, yesterday decried the activities of terrorist groups within the last two weeks in Barkin Ladi and Riyom Local Government, describing recent killings as nothing but a systematic implementation of a well designed strategy by enemies of the state to retard its progress and development. NANS, in a statement issued in Jos and signed by its General Secretary, Comrade Garos Patience Dalyop condemned the killing of Senator Gyang Dantong and the Majority Leader of the State House of Assembly, Gyang Fulani and several others at the mass burial rites by gunmen. NANS regretted that the genocide was carried out on the people of the two local governments without provocation, adding that the attack is the work of mischief makers and religious bigot. The student body said that the state of emergency imposed on the four council areas that are having security challenges in the state has failed. It called on the Federal

Government to put necessary machinery in place to arrest and bring the perpetrators of the killings to justice. The statement also appealed to members of the Special Task Force STF on Jos crisis to display professionalism in the discharge of their duties. NANS further called for a thorough investigation to be carried out on the attacks on innocent people, even as it called on federal, state and local governments not to compromise on the fight against terrorism and their sponsors, no matter how highly placed in the society. Meanwhile, the member representing Kantana constituency in the state Assembly, Hon. Sadat Garga has accused the STF of doing nothing to arrest the massive killings going on in the state. Garga regretted that each time there was an attack; the STF always say that it was not able to make any arrest because it occurred during the night. According to him, now that the STF can locate the direction from where the gunshots are coming, they should be able to move in and apprehend the perpetrators with a view to bringing them to justice.

Massacre, crime against humanity –JNI A ZA MSUE KADUNA

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he Jama’atu Nasril Islam, JNI, has described the recent killings in Plateau State as heinous crime against humanity and called on the Federal Government to fish out the perpetrators. In a statement signed by its Secretary General, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu in Kaduna yesterday, JNI condemned the massacre of innocent people in Barkin Ladi local government.

“The JNI call on Plateau State government to rise up to this latest challenges and leave no stone unturned by fishing out the perpetrators of these dastardly and heinous crimes against humanity and bring them to justice. JNI extends its heartfelt condolences to the families of those victims of this mayhem,” the statement said. JNI however called on Muslims to fervently pray to Allah for peace in Plateau and Nigeria in general.

Okotie condemns attacks

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he Chairman of Fresh Democratic Party, Rev Chris Okotie has condemned the weekend attack in Jos. “This brazen assault is unacceptable and we can no longer tolerate it,” he said.

Okotie sent his condolences to the bereaved and warned that the Federal Government must do something urgent about the incessant attacks on innocent citizens in the north before it gets out of hand.

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PLATEAU UNDER SIEGE

NANS decries killings, wants action on perpetrators JAMES ABRAHAM

News

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Wife of the Senate President, Mrs. Helen Mark (right), condoling with late Sen. Gyang Dantong’s wife, Hannatu and her son, Dang, during a condolence visit to the family in Jos, yesterday.

Helen Mark urges Nigerians to embrace peace JAMES ABRAHAM JOS

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ife of the Senate President, Mrs. Helen Mark has called on those responsible for the series of killings on the Plateau and other parts of the country to desist from such acts and embrace peace. Mrs. Mark, who made the appeal when she led wives of some senators on a visit to Mrs. Hannatu Dantong, widow of late Sen. Gyang Dantong, in Jos, said God did not make a mistake in creating Nigeria as one country. “I urge all Nigerians to live in peace. We have lived in peace over the years and I don’t think God has made a mistake by bringing us

together as one people. “I don’t know why we are departing from that. We must continue to pray for this country for us to remain a united Nigeria,” she said. Mark, who is the Chairperson of Senators’ Wives Association, was short of words and intermittently wiped her wet eyes while consoling the late Dantong’s widow. She urged her and the family to be strong in the Lord as He knew all that happened and prayed for the fortitude for them to bear the loss. Mrs. Mark said that the entire member of the association was grieved as a loss to one of them was shared by all members. Responding, Mrs. Dantong regretted that her col-

Plateau denies fresh attacks on villagers

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lateau State government yesterday refuted reports of fresh attacks by gunmen on residents of Riyom Local Government area of the state on Tuesday. The state Commissioner for Information, Pastor Yiljap Abraham, in a statement to National Mirror in Jos said no such attack took place. He said: ‘The incident referred to was an action by the terrorists, who after displacing the villagers, through previous fatal attacks, again returned to burn their houses.” He said the security

agencies took prompt action by repelling the attackers, adding that nobody died as a result of the attack. The statement further appealed to the citizens not to engage in sending misleading text messages and rumour about the crisis in the state, while also appealing to the media to verify their reports before going to press. “Government therefore appeals to citizens to be extra-vigilant, share correct information with security agencies, and remain law abiding,” Abraham said.

leagues were visiting her for the second time, not for celebration, but for commiseration. “The first was in 2009 when I lost my son. You all rallied around me and I remembered that day vividly, little did I know that another episode will take place. I wish it were a different thing “I give God the glory, God has silently been speaking to me and I told Him that if this is the one big sacrifice that will

bring peace to Beromland, Plateau State and Nigeria, I return all the glory back to Him. “If my husband has become the sacrificial lamb, with his dear friend, Gyang Fulani, we glorify God for it,” she said. Mrs. Mark had earlier visited the widow of late Gyang Fulani and wife of Plateau Governor, Ngo Talatu Jang to commiserate with them over the loss of the two prominent citizens.

...Callous, barbaric –Fayemi ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

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kiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi has condemned last weekend’s killing of innocent citizens in Plateau State, describing it as “wicked, callous ungodly, barbaric, unacceptable, and highly reprehensible.” Fayemi, who said the massacre of persons at a funeral service was “the highest height of bestiality and inhumanity,” charged relevant security agencies to ensure that the perpetrators of the mass slaughter were arrested and brought to justice.” The governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Olayinka Oyebode, expressed sadness over the humanitarian crisis triggered by the latest bloodbath, which has seen many people move to states considered to be safer. Fayemi lamented the non-implementation of

reports of the Prince Bola Ajibola-led Commission of Inquiry and the retired Major-General Emmanuel Abisoye led Panel of Inquiry on the incessant ethnoreligious violence in the state. “The implementation of the reports would have assisted in nipping the mindless killings in the NorthCentral state in the bud”, he said, even as he called for the investigation of an alleged complicity of security officials in the killings that took place in some villages in Barkin Ladi and Riyom Local Government areas. Fayemi advised security agencies to re-adjust their strategies to tackle the sophistication of the masterminds of the violence in Plateau and other parts of the north. He expressed dismay with the impunity, with which the perpetrators of the violence carry out their nefarious and dastardly acts.


WORLD RECORD

Winter Paralympics, Ice sledge hockey, most wins Vol. 02 No. 402

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

The United States became the first country ever to win 2 gold medals in the Winter Paralympics, Ice Sledge Hockey competition by defeating Japan 2-0 at the 2010 Paralympics in Vancouver.

Reflecting on the new scramble for Africa

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he scramble for Africa” is identified with the 19th century’s partition of Africa among the great European powers then. That partitioning of the continent, supervised by colonialist Britain and Germany at the Berlin Conference of 1885, was the culmination of their undisguised competition for the continent’s human and natural resources for the advancement of European economies. Even in the post independence era, we saw the United States and the then Soviet Union leading distinct ideological blocs, continuing the economic domination of the African continent. The post cold war era has engendered a new race for Africa that is hot and significantly different from the old race. Global awareness of this new race was stepped up by the publication in 2011 of Pádraig Carmody’s book, The New Scramble for Africa. Carmody’s 256-page treatise traced the foundation of this new scramble for the resources of Africa to World Bank and IMF’s inspired SAP, which essentially required African

Guest Columnist

Bukar Usman

countries to privatize public enterprises and withdraw subsidies before they could attract foreign loans and favourable trading conditions with the West. Many African countries fell into the trap. They devalued their currencies, supposedly to stimulate exports, but ended up being poorer than they were before SAP. It is instructive to note that during the SAP-regime era, the US as the capitalist world’s superpower, had become interested in Africa mainly because of its rich mineral resources, especially crude oil. The interest was also partly for ideological reasons. So, a joint US-Europe coalition, incorporating new powers like Japan, and operating under different protocols and conventions, such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD etc, superintended the devastation of African economies thereby making them even more vulnerable to external control and domination. As Western countries were celebrating the collapse of the Soviet bloc and spinning the new ICT-driven ideology of “globalisation”, emerging economic powers such as China, India and Brazil identified SAPundermined Africa as an area of strategic interest and swooped on it. Before the West realised it, these countries had become formidable trading partners in many African countries. They also succeeded in cornering the plum contracts, thus playing leading roles in the exploitation of valuable mineral resources in the continent. The case of South Africa illustrates the trend in many African countries. According to the UK’s Guardian newspaper, “nearly a

THE POST COLD WAR ERA HAS ENGENDERED A NEW RACE FOR

AFRICA THAT IS HOT AND SIGNIFICANTLY DIFFERENT FROM THE OLD RACE fifth (17.2%) of goods imported by South Africa came from China, Germany second with 11.2% and the US in third position with 7.4% … China heads the lists of South Africa’s exports destination (10.3%), Britain fifth (5.5%), behind the US (9.2%), Japan (7.6%) and Germany on 7%.” These new non-western economic powers are now believed to be Africa’s biggest trading partners. This new scramble is already engendering conflicts across Africa. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, where copper and diamonds have inspired wars and mayhem, there is currently intense competition and militia rivalries over the mining and sale of coltan, a critical raw material used in mobile phones and electronic devices. The battle over uranium continues to be at the root of conflicts in Niger. The connection between conflict and foreign exploitation of mineral resources can be drawn with respect to other countries, including Nigeria, the Sudan, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia etc. Recent pronouncements by world leaders

leave no one in doubt that Africa is greedily eyed as the land of opportunities. It is being extolled as a place where the greatest economic return on investment is made. Some fear that with the recent successive discoveries of substantial reserves of oil in Ghana, Uganda, Niger, Zambia, Chad and Equatorial Guinea, Africa might experience new round of conflicts. Most of these conflicts are provoked by the environmentally unfriendly exploitation of the oil resources by international oil companies (IOCs), which are strongly supported by the big economic powers of the world. The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and other multilateral institutions like the WTO and even OPEC, facilitate access to these resources through rules and regulations formulated to favour the global economic and political powers. They invented and floated the concept of “globalisation” to mask the exploitative and unbalanced nature of the current world economic order. African leaders should be reminded of the disastrous effects of the old scramble for its resources in order to avoid the negative consequences of the current scramble. They must ensure that these new “partners” coming to “promote trade in Africa” do not play one African country against another or one section against the other. During the “Partition of Africa”, communities and tribes were split across imposed artificial borders, thus sowing the seeds of the festering wars that have proved costly to the continent. The current conflicts in Congo DR, Rwanda and Burundi as well as the Sudan and Uganda, easily come to mind. Conflicts over resource control across Africa is a major issue African leaders must proactively tackle before the new resource contenders promote conflicts to aid their unhindered exploitation of such resources. The new scramble for Africa’s natural resources, investment and contract opportunities, which has been heightened by the prevailing depressed global economy, might be reminiscent of the old scramble but it does offer Africa a choice it didn’t have in the 19th century. Dr. Usman is former Permanent Secretary in the Presidency, Abuja

Sport Extra

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ormer FIFA president, Joao Havelange, was paid huge sums in bribes by collapsed marketing company, ISL, court documents have revealed. Havelange was FIFA president for 24 years before being succeeded by Blatter in

‘Havelange, ex-FIFA boss, Teixeira took bribes’ 1998. The 96-year-old Brazilian, who remains FIFA’s honorary president, has been treated extensively in a Rio de Janeiro hospital this year for septic arthritis. Havelange received at

least 1.5m Swiss francs (£986,000) and executive committee member, Ricardo Teixeira, at least 12.74m SFr (£8.4m). The Swiss prosecutor’s report, published by FIFA,

reveals the pair may have received up to 21.9m SFr (£14.4m). They are the only two FIFA officials named in the report. Switzerland’s supreme court ordered the

release of the documents identifying which senior officials took millions of dollars in payments from ISL, FIFA’s marketing partner until it collapsed into bankruptcy. The papers were released to five media organisations, one of which is the BBC.

Havelange

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Thursday, July 12, 2012