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FG intervenes in oil majors, NUPENG face-off

FEC approves N2.2bn for new Presidential Banquet Hall

...gives Shell ultimatum to re-absorb sacked workers

SOLA ADEBAYO WARRI Alison-Madueke

Vol. 2 N0. 502

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he Federal Government has intervened in the faceoff between two oil firms,

Civil servants’ reduction:

Shell, Chevron and the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

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Jonathan

Thursday, November 29, 2012

N150 TOLA AKINMUTIMI, OBIORA IFOH, OLUFEMI ADEOSUN, A ZA MSUE AND PRISCILLA DENNIS

Sack Sanusi now, NLC,W TUC tell Jonathan He’s an idle, confused economist –Labour leaders PDP condemns CBN gov over comments

unions orkers under the aegis of the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, and the Trade Union Congress, TUC, have called for the immediate sack of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Governor, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, for calling for reduction in the civil service. NLC President, AbdulCONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>

INEC to issue 10-year permanent e-voter cards

Bomb scare in Ekiti Govt House P.9,13

Residents of Ilaje community in Ajah, Lagos, moving their belongings out of the area as crisis between the Ilaje and the Ajah deepens, yesterday. PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI

Jega

SARS attack: New terror group claims responsibility

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3 die, 12 houses razed in Lagos communal clash CAN’ll drag Boko Haram to ICC –Oritsejafor P.2,10 Rape: Court orders Army chief to produce colonel P.6

Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio (right), with the Prime Minister of Saint Kitts & Nevis, Mr. Denzil Douglas, during a courtesy visit to the governor in Uyo, yesterday.


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Thursday, November 29, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

3 die, 12 houses razed in Lagos communal clash FRANCIS SUBERU AND MURITALA AYINLA

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hree people were feared killed and 12 houses burnt yesterday in a communal clash between the Ilaje and the Ajah on Lagos Island. Hell was let loose as the

entire Ilaje Waterside area of Ajah was turned into a theatre of war. When our correspondent visited Ajah yesterday, hundreds of people were seen fleeing the community just as Ilaje Waterside and the California Village within the neighborhood had been totally deserted. Some youths who stayed

behind were openly brandishing dangerous weapons, including cutlasses, broken bottles and daggers. Investigations by our correspondents revealed that the major settlers in the area, the Ilaje, and the indigenes, the Ajah, had been living together peacefully until recently when they had disagreement over

toll collection at Ilaje motor park and boundary control. It was gathered that the Ilaje, being the main settlers in the area, wanted total control of the boundary and the collection of tolls from the motor park but the leadership of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, objected to it; saying being settlers

L-R: Members of the House of Representatives, Hon. Adeola Olamilekan; Hon. (Mrs.) Arinola Onabamiro; Hon. Babatunde Adejare; Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola and Hon. (Mrs.) Jumoke Okoya-Thomas, during a public hearing/interaction with the House Committee on Loans and Debt Management at the National Assembly, Abuja, on Tuesday.

Sack Sanusi now, NLC, TUC tell Jonathan CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

waheed Omar, in a statement in Abuja yesterday, said that Sanusi’s antiworkers pronouncements in recent times had given him away as a man unfit to occupy public position. He said: “It is obvious Sanusi was never qualified for the office of CBN governor in the first instance, and he must be asked to leave the office as he has shown more than enough incompetence and contempt for the Nigerian people.” Also, the President, Trade Union Congress, TUC, Peter Esele, called for the resignation of the CBN governor, saying he must be idle to come up with the argument that reducing the workforce in the civil service would help in cutting down on government expenses. Omar said: “We were not shocked hearing the CBN governor once again displaying his contempt for the working people in Nigeria with his recommendation that the Federal Government should sack 50 per cent of its workforce for the economy to be revived. “It has become obvious

that there are some individuals parading the corridors of power who are not qualified to be anywhere around organisations saddled with the responsibility of developing policies for national development. “Since assumption of office, all Sanusi’s major pronouncements have been either directly anti-people or ruinous to the Nigerian economy. “The burden of wealth creation in Nigeria, like any other country, has been on workers, while some politicians and economic parasites like Sanusi over consume what the workers sweat to create. “Workers are the key driving force of all economies and only a hollow economist like Sanusi will underplay this.” The NLC boss said that because Sanusi was a member of the privileged class who benefitted from the high level of filth pervading the country, he could not see that the twin issues draining the purse of government and limiting its ability to deliver the dividends of democracy are corruption and lack of good

governance. He said that until these problems were tackled head-on, if the whole of the workforce in the civil service were sacked, the Nigerian economy would still be in a comatose state. “Today, there are countless probe reports with names of those who swindled our country of several trillions of both naira and other foreign currencies still living in Nigeria, either walking freely around the corridors of power or directly holding public or political offices rather than being in jail. “We see in Sanusi an agent of death that must be defeated and crushed before he further destroys the Nigerian economy.” The statement reads in part: “While President Jonathan is promising to create more jobs, Sanusi is calling for mass sack of civil servants in a country with one of the highest number of unemployed, which has indeed led to gross deprivation and the current state of insecurity in Nigeria. “While we believe the Federal Government will ignore the ranting of this

hollow economist, Sanusi has never demonstrated patriotism in all his advice on economic and financial management in Nigeria. Esele said that contrary to the CBN governor’s postulation, 70 per cent of the recurrent expenditure he was referring to was being expended on politicians and their cronies at the corridor of power. He said that rather than dabbling into issues he had no competence, the CBN governor should be concerned about monetary policy. The TUC boss said that Sanusi did not have any moral right to meddle in the affairs of the civil service because as CBN governor, “he is accountable to no one,” stressing that “he appropriates and decides what use to put the money to, all by himself.” Describing him as the most loquacious CBN governor in the world, the TUC boss said that in other climes, apex bank governors were seen and not heard. He said: “He is idle. By his utterances, he is telling us he does not have the gut

in an area does not confer control of parks and toll collections. This angered the Ilaje who believed that the decision of the union was influenced by the Ajah people who allegedly had three of their indigenes as principal officers of the union. Trouble, however, started on Monday when some Ilaje youths allegedly attacked the Ajah people, injuring their monarch, Baale Ojupon Alani, and two other chiefs. A source told our correspondent that the Ilaje waterside people recruited mercenaries from their kit and kin in other riverine areas to prosecute the fight. Yesterday, in retaliation of what the Ilaje people did on Monday, Ajah youths descended on the Ilaje and burnt their houses. About 12 houses were burnt while three people were reportedly killed in the fracas. Confirming the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer, Lagos State Command, Ngozi Braide,

said the fight broke out early in the morning and that police officers were quickly deployed to the area to maintain the peace. Braide, however, said she could not confirm if anybody died in the incident, stressing that the area was now calm. The PPRO said: “The fight broke out early hours of today (Wednesday) and our men from Ajah division and surrounding divisions, including men of Rapid Respond Squad, RRS, were quickly deployed to the scene. “They were able to bring the situation under control and arrested two persons with two pump action machine guns.” She, however, added that the suspects had been transferred to the State Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS. But the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Lateef Ibirogba, could not confirm the communal clash even as he made efforts to call his counterpart in rural development.

to look at the crucial issues of monetary policy. “How do the civil servants account for high recurrent he is talking about? Seventy per cent of the recurrent he is talking about is expended on the political class, not on the civil servants. “The CBN governor is the most loquacious out of all the CBN governors around the world. A CBN governor is seen, not heard and when he talks at all, he talks on monetary policy of the country. “If the CBN has become too small for him, he should resign. “He is the only CBN governor in the country who rather than address strictly issues regarding monetary policy, he is busy attending retreats, workshops and doling out money. “He, who must come to equity, must come with a clean hand. Nobody in this country knows the expenditure of the CBN because the governor is lord unto himself. He is not accountable to anyone; he appropriates money and decides what to do with it.” Also, the Niger State

Head of Service, Alhaji Ahmed Matene, said Sanusi’s call would further create more social problems for the country. Matene told National Mirror in Minna that canvassing sacking of public workforce to engender sustainable development would not solve the present economic problems confronting the nation. He noted that presently, what the nation needed was a vibrant and productive public service for better service delivery in line with the civil service reforms, not downsizing. According to him, “As long as a civil servant works and justify his or her earnings and strengthen service delivery, he or she must be allowed to work so as not to create confusion or social problem for this country.” Matene also disagreed with Sanusi on the scrapping of local governments, saying they should be allowed to operate to ensure sustainable development at federal, state and grass roots levels. Former TUC Chairman in Kaduna State, Paul Jezhi

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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Thursday, November 29, 2012

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PhotoNews

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

L-R: Chief Executive, Bill Gates Foundation, Jeff Raikes; Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso and President, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, during the signing of an MOU with Kano State Government, recently. L-R: UNICEF Country Director in Nigeria, Mr. Ibrahim Fall; Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi and Lira Pieters, during a visit to the governor in Awka, yesterday.

L-R: Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Frank Mba; Executive Director, Cleen Foundation, Kemi Okenyodo and Programme Officer, Justice for All Programme, DFID, Mr. Emeka Ukabi, at a conference on police station visitors’ week in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

L-R: Member, Board of Trustees, Osigwe Anyiam Osigwe Foundadion, Hon. Simeon Ndunka; Director, Charles Anyiam-Osigwe; former President of Sri Lanka and the keynote speaker Chandrika Kumaratunga and Coordinator General of the foundation, Michael Anyiam-Osigwe, during the arrival of the Keynote speaker for the 13th session of the Anyiam-Osigwe Foundation, annual lecture series at Murtala Muhammed International Airport Ikeja, Lagos, yesterday.

National News

FEC approves N2.2bn for new Presidential Banquet Hall Okays N6.3b for national ID card project, N4.3bn for air-conditioned trains

ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA

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he Federal Executive Council, FEC, yesterday approved N2.2 billion for the construction of new 150-seater Presidential Banquet Hall in the State House. Briefing State House Correspondents after the weekly FEC meeting, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Minister, Senator Bala Muhammed, said the present Banquet Hall in the Presidential Villa was not in conformity with what was obtainable in other countries. He said: “We notice that it is inconvenient; it is not in tandem with what is outside the country. Even smaller countries have better Banquet Halls near the Presidential residence.” Muhammed disclosed that the 150-seater hall would be provided with walkways and other facilities like security, hall conveniences, technical room and press briefing room which would also allow for the recording and transmission

of Presidential broadcast. The minister disclosed that the contact was awarded to Julius Berger Plc, adding that the construction company was more familiar with the terrain in the Presidential Villa and for security reasons. Muhammed also disclosed that FEC approved N2.78 billion for the rehabilitation of selected roads in Garki and Wuse 1 Districts of Abuja. He said the execution of the project had become necessary in view of the fact that the affected roads had since exceeded their 15 years average designed lifespan. The minister added that the reconstruction work which had been scheduled in phases would include Herbert Macaulay Way, IBB Way, Olusegun Obasanjo Way, Sultan Abubakar Way, Michael Opara Way and Ladi Kwali Street. Muhammad said the project would be able to generate about 750 employment opportunities during execution, stressing that the FCT administration

had N400 million in its 2012 statutory budget to commence the project. Also yesterday, FEC approved N6.3 billion for the purchase and personalisation of 13 million smart cards for the National Identity Management Scheme. The Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, told State House Correspondents that the smart cards were highly secured chip cards with 18 security features that would not allow forging or illegal acquisition. Johnson said the cards would also contain both the national identity number and the biometric data of every Nigerian interested in enrolling in the scheme. She noted that the first batch of cards of 13 million approved by FEC would be imported, while the personalisation would be done locally. The minister explained that in 2013, the cards would be produced and personalised locally in furtherance of the local content and job creation agenda of her ministry and

President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. Also yesterday, the Council approved contract for the purchase of two sets of five car Diesel Multiple Units, DMUs, each with the capacity of 540 passengers and additional six 60-seater passenger coaches to be used for intra-city mass transit services worth N4.3 billion with a completion period of 13 months. The Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, said the Federal Government was committed to the resuscitation of the railway system. Umar also disclosed that the rehabilitation of the ongoing narrow gauge trace was in progress, adding that the Lagos – Kano, which is the western axis, would be open for use before Christmas. He said: “It is against this background that government decided to place the order for the purchase of the two sets of DMUs which is a train that has two locomotives and three coaches all linked together. They are fully air-condi-

tioned and are the same types with the ones you have in Europe, China, America and other parts of the world. They are going to be used on the existing narrow gauge track.” Umar disclosed that by next year when the eastern corridor from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri would be fully rehabilitated, there would be additional supply of these locomotives and coaches. The minister also disclosed that Council also approved contract for consultancy services for the resident supervision of the construction of inland river port at Jamata, Lokoja in Kogi State in favour of Messrs Hikimah Associates Limited for N121.1 million with a completion period of seven weeks. Umar also said that the FEC approved N189.7 million for the supply of radiation and explosive detection devices to be used by the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, with a completion period of four months. According to him, the radiation and explosive detection devices would

be used in timing the level of radiation of containers and other enclosed general goods as well as to monitor radioactive materials at the port. He said: “It would also enhance capability via safety surveillance level in our ports. This is statutorily provided for in International Maritime Organisation regulations and is in tandem with international best practices to avoid danger to all port users during radioactive source handling and reception.” Council also approved the contract for the rehabilitation of Umana Ndiagu - Agba - Ebenebe -Amansi Akwa Road with spur to Umumba Road Section II in Enugu State in favour of Messrs CGC Nigeria Limited for N10.37 billion with a completion period of 30 months. The Minister of State for Works, Bashir Yuguda, said FEC approved the rehabilitation of Ogrute Umuida - Apkpanya - Odoni Road in Enugu and Kogi states in favour of Messrs PW Nigeria Limited for N12.4 billion.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

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FG intervenes in oil majors, NUPENG face-off CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

NUPENG, over the sack of some workers. NUPENG had declared a strike action against the management of the Anglo-Dutch oil firm, Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, and Chevron Nigeria Limited, CNL for sacking union members in the employ of the oil firms. NUPENG alleged that SPDC sacked 1,500 workers, including the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee in the company, Mr. Kingsley Emomate, while CNL was accused of terminating the contract awarded to six contractors of the company and thereafter proceeded to employ their 2,000 workforce as casual workers. National Mirror learnt that the Minister for Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu, held a truce meeting with the

feuding parties of NUPENG and SPDC in Abuja on Tuesday. It was reliably gathered yesterday that Wogu directed the management of Shell to re-absorb the sacked workers, including Emomate, on or before December 4. National Mirror learnt that the representatives of SPDC at the meeting did not offer any commitment as they promised to brief the management about the outcome of the meeting. The oil firm’s representatives reportedly said that the management had the final word on the way forward on the matter. NUPENG’ s team to the forum was led by the Deputy National Chairman, Chief Eddy Ossai. Other members of the team, were the National Secretary, Mr. Isaac Aberare and the National Trea-

surer and Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, in Delta State, Mr. William Akporeha. It was also gathered that SPDC’s team was led by the company’s Director of Human Resources, Mr. Charles Gbandi. Gbandi was joined by the Manager HR in Shell, Mr. Stephen Ojei, and other top officials. But the meeting to resolve the impasse between NUPENG and CNL was ongoing in Abuja as at the time of filling this report yesterday. Findings showed that the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mr. Andy Yakubu, presided over the meeting. Ossai and Aberare represented NUPENG at the meeting, which was also attended by representatives of the National Pe-

troleum Investment and Management Services, NAPIMS. The identities of the CNL’s representatives at the meeting were not readily available to National Mirror as at the time of filling this report yesterday. It will be recalled that NUPENG, through its National President, Igwe Achese, had on Tuesday given a 48-hour ultimatum to the Federal Government to address the plight of oil workers sacked by SPDC and CNL or face a showdown. Specifically, Achese urged the government to intervene in the labour issues between SPDC and their sacked employees. He, however, warned that the strike action by the union, especially the picketing and stoppage of fuel supply by the Petroleum Tanker Drivers,

PTD, would be sustained until the fate of the sacked workers was decided in their favour. NUPENG Chairman in Warri Zone, Edmund Ofudje, confirmed the intervention of the Federal Government in a telephone interview with our correspondent yesterday. Ofudje said: “The Federal Government has intervened in the crisis between NUPENG and Shell as well as Chevron. “The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu, who met with the NUPENG and Shell’ s teams on Tuesday night in Abuja has resolved the matter. “The minister (Wogu) has directed the management of Shell to recall the sacked workers, including the chairman of our union in the company on or before Tuesday, December 4. “But the representatives of SPDC did not give any commitment at the meeting. They only promised to relay the outcome

of the meeting to their superiors in the management. “The Group Managing Director of NNPC is meeting with our representatives and those of Chevron over the issues involving the American oil firm as you are talking to me now in Abuja. “The representatives of NAPIMs are also at the meeting. We cannot talk about the resolution of the faceoff between NUPENG and Chevron until the Abuja meeting ends.” However, the strike action by NUPENG on the issues continued yesterday. Operations of the two oil conglomerates in the oil-rich Niger Delta remained at low ebb yesterday as members of NUPENG stuck to their guns to sustain the strike despite the intervention by the federal authority. Security was tight at the locations of oil firms as stern-looking security agents kept vigil in the areas, apparently to maintain peace and keep the oil workers at bay.

3 die, 12 houses razed in Lagos communal clash CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

L-R: Representative of the Minister of National Planning, Mr. Fidelis Ugbo; Director-General, Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research, Prof. Olufemi Taiwo; Representative of Director-General, Budget Office, Dr. Hassan Suleiman and representative of DirectorGeneral, Centre for Management Development, Dr. Chidi Iheama, at NISER’s first national policy dialogue in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

A source in the Ministry of Rural Development, who did not want his name mentioned, told National Mirror that the crisis was between cult members, who were students of higher institutions located in the two communities.

He said: “The clash was between Eye Confraternity and other cult members. It has nothing to do with the communities at all.” All efforts to speak with the Commissioner for Rural Development, Mr. Cornelius Ojelabi proved unsuccessful.

Sack Sanusi now, NLC, TUC tell Jonathan CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

Yaro, who called for the sacking of Sanusi, asked him to explain how many personal assistants currently on his pay roll with government’s funds. “The CBN governor is a confused economist. This is a man who abused former President Olusegun Obasanjo over the nation’s economy; Sanusi accused senators of being responsible for the same economic woes. Today, he is calling for massive sack of workers. But the problem is not workers, it is corruption among our leaders where Sanusi belong.

“Sanusi should be called to order. This country is facing high youth unemployment, now Sanusi is calling for workers’ sack. This is unfortunate.” A financial consultant, Dr. Boniface Chizea, noted that there was nothing so new in the apex bank governor’s suggestion that public recurrent expenditure should be cut down to make up for the huge shortfall in capital projects allocations in yearly budget. He explained that the thrust of the 2013 Appropriation Bill was already focused on that. However, he believed

that in the process of cutting costs, cautioned should be employed in the area of human capital since any downsizing of the public sector workforce could trigger a backlash of socio-economic crisis, particularly in an economy contending with high rate of unemployment.” Another financial expert, Dr. Joseph Nnanna, noted that the time to radically restructure the budgets to provide more funds for capital development was now. He said that doing otherwise would translate to postponing the doomsday

and undermining the potential of the economy for sustainable development. Nnanna, a former CBN Director, noted that what the apex bank’s governor suggested did not simply imply manpower reduction but a pointer to the fact that no economy could survive with the present structure of budgets and that there was need for government to rev up the current drive towards the diversification of the economy’s base by exploring yet-to-be-fullytapped revenues from the non-oil sector through taxation. Nnanna said: “I don’t be-

lieve the solution is downsizing government, sacking people. No, you don’t sack people when you have massive unemployment. “What government should do is to increase non-oil revenue and we have a lot of room to do that. “The Customs, the port authority, the Federal Inland Revenue Service, the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, Federal Roads Safety Commission and a host of others should turn in all their revenues to meet funding shortfall or deficit financing in yearly budgets.” Mr. Ladi Smith, a char-

tered accountant and tax expert, canvassed complete overhauling of the political structures at all levels of government to reduce personnel costs on political office holders and their coterie of aides. “I don’t completely agree that downsizing the workforce alone is the solution. What we have is that the cost of political structure we operate is very high and we have too many political aides and other appointees accounting for the larger chunk of personnel costs at all levels of government.” The Civil Liberties CONTINUED ON PAGE 10>>


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Thursday, November 29, 2012

NNPC targets $43.6bn in 2013 TORDUE SALEM, GEORGE OJI AND EMMANUEL ONANI

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roup Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr. Andrew Yakubu yesterday called for a bigger budget allocation for its operations to enable NNPC achieves the $43.6 billion revenue target for year 2013. Yakubu made the request

•Seeks more funding for operation

at the 2012/2013 budget Defence session by the House Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream) headed by Hon. Ajibola Muraina (PDP-Oyo). According to him, the revenue projection was based on $75 per barrel and 2.455 million barrels per day in 2013. He explained that the sum of $13.84 billion would be required for its operations

in 2013 in order to achieve the work plan on both existing and new oil exploration, adding that $13 billion would be required for the aeromagnetic survey that would jump-start new frontier exploration activities. On the 2012 budget performance, he disclosed that out of $12.7 billion appropriated for NNPC operations, the Federal Government released the sum of $10.4 bil-

lion while the corporation achieved $6.3 billion revenue as at September 2012. Yakubu added that the work plan of the corporation for exploration and production activities was based on concession granted under the joint ventures agreement, just as he assured on ongoing efforts toward exploring new basins’ frontiers apart from the Lake Chad exploration operations.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Rape case: Court orders Army chief to produce Colonel A ZA MSUE KADUNA

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Magistrate Court presided over by Justice Saadatu Sambo, in Barnawa, Kaduna State yesterday ordered the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt. Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, to produce one Lieutenant-Colonel Williams Nzidee, who is been accused of raping a 16-year-old girl. The chief magistrate said the decision was taken following initial summon letter sent to the accused person through the Commandant of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), where he was serving which was returned back to the court on grounds that the accused person has been transferred to a new formation in Benin. Lt.-Col. M. G. Hamma-

wa, on behalf of the NDA commandant had written a letter with number NDA/763/A acknowledging the receipt of the initial court summon which was returned to the court. According to the letter; “I am directed to inform you that the officer has been posted out of this institution and has since been released to report to his new formation in Benin. In view of the above, I am further directed to return the court summon for your further necessary action.” In her ruling, however, Chief Magistrate Sambo ordered that since the accused person is still serving in the Nigerian Army, the summon should be served on the Nigerian Army Headquarters to produce the accused person on or before the next adjourned date.

Bomb attacks: We can no longer fold our hands –Reps TORDUE SALEM ABUJA

Former Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar (fourth left); Niger State Governor, Alhaji Babangida Aliyu (3rd right); Acting Enugu State Governor; Mr. Sunday Onyebuchi (2nd right); National Chairman ALGON, Hon. Nwabueze Okafor and some Mayors from America while cutting the 13th anniversary birthday cake of ALGON at the Nike Lake Resort Hotel, Enugu, yesterday

NASS wants SURE-P committee scrapped GEORGE OJI AND EMMANUEL ONANI

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embers of the joint National Assembly Committee on Petroleum Downstream yesterday called for the scrapping of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P), stressing that the committee’s intervention programmes are duplication of the existing functions of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government. The lawmakers are of the opinion that it was either the government allows SURE-P committee to exist as an independent body that initiates and participates in projects implementation and ensure the completion of the projects or allow the ministries to continue to perform those functions as they have been doing. The lawmakers, who expressed this position yesterday during the budget defence of the SURE-P committee said from the briefs being executed by the

•It’s not for NASS to decide but FG – Kolade committee, even the government appear to be saying that it has lost confidence in the MDAs. But, Chairman of the SURE-P Committee, Chief Christopher Kolade, was quick to remind the lawmakers that the decision as to whether or not to scrap the committee lies with the Federal Government, which set it up in the first place and not the National Assembly. The SURE-P committee was set up by the Federal Government in February this year as an interventionist committee to utilise the proceeds realised from the partial fuel subsidy withdrawal from N65 to N97 per liter. Kolade disclosed that a total sum of N135 billion has as at the end of October this year been realised from the fuel subsidy. He said overall, his committee expects to realise N180 billion from the fuel subsidy this year. He said whatever that is saved from the withdrawal of subsidy is shared between the three tiers of government, noting that; “We

manage the funds that accrue to the Federal Government while the ones for the state and local governments are managed by them.” The chairman said the funds are usually utilised in line with what is budgeted

for the committee by the parliament. He added that funds are expended for maternal health programmes, construction of roads, bridges, rail ways, vocational trade, youth empowerment programmes etc.

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he House of Representatives yesterday lamented the heightening insecurity in the country in a motion that enjoyed overwhelming support. The sponsor of the motion, Abubakar Momoh (ACN-Edo) recalled that the Tuesday robbery in Auchi, Edo State which claimed the lives of three soldiers, some policemen and civilians was a sign that the country was in a vice grip

of insecurity. Hon. Raphael Igbokwe Nnanna (PDP-Imo) also recalled that the unfettered attack by gunmen on the headquarters of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Abuja, showed government needed to do more on securing the country. He recounted that the SARS invasion came less than 24 hours after a church at Command and Staff College, Jaji, Kaduna was bombed by gunmen. Seventeen people were reportedly killed and several others injured.

Subsidy payment on fuel down Ex-Finbank MD’s trial: Court turns down EFCC’s new witness by 49% –PPPRA F F GEORGE OJI AND EMMANUEL ONANI

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he Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) said yesterday that following the new reform policies it has put in place in the management of fuel importation, it has been able to draw down the amount spent on petroleum subsidy to N671.7 billion as at October this year. It said when compared to the figure of N1, 351,442,367,892 spent during the same period in 2011, the percentage savings it has achieved is 49 per cent. Executive Secretary of

the agency, Mr. Stanley Reginald, who disclosed this yesterday while defending the agency’s 2013 budget appropriation also explained that the agency was able to reduce the number of fuel importers from 128 to only 28 validated marketers. Reginald used the opportunity of his presentations to throw more light on the N5.7 billion budgeted for the salaries and wages of the 247 staff strength of the agency in the 2012 budget Appropriation Act. He said the amount, which also covers cost of National Health Insurance scheme (NHIS) for all the staff, insurance, pay as you go (PAYE) as well as VAT.

RANCIS

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AMOROTI

n Ikeja High Court yesterday stopped the bid by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to allow its new witness from testifying in the ongoing trial of the former Managing Director of Finbank Plc; Okey Nwosu and three others accused of N10.9 million theft. Justice Lateefat Okunnu, turned down the EFCC’s request to call to the witness box on the ground that his name was conspicuously omitted in the proof of

evidence served on the defence in the criminal matter. Others standing trial before the court are, Dayo Famoroti, Danjuma Ocholi and Agnes Ebubedike. At the resumed proceedings yesterday, EFCC lead counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), called Mr. Emmanuel Damudu, the commission’s investigative officer, to give his testimony. Jacobs told the court that Damudu was one of the EFCC officers who investigated the matter and he was being asked to mount the witness box to tender some documents.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Bank frauds loss hits N28.4bn –NDIC TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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he Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has put the total losses recorded in the nation’s banks at N28.40 billion with expected/contingent loss of about N4.071 billion in 2011 operational year. The frauds involved 2,352 reported cases. According to the Corporation’s Accounts and Annual Report for the year under review made public yesterday, this figure represents “an increase of 53.5 per cent in 2011 over the number of reported fraud cases of 1532 in 2010.” However, the report indicated that “though the amount of frauds and forgeries increased by 33.40 per cent from N21.29 billion in 2010 to N28.40 billion in 2011, the expected loss decreased by 65 per cent from N11.68 billion in 2010 to N4.07 billion in 2011.” The NDIC noted that the increase of 53.5 per cent in the number of attempted or successful fraud and forgeries cases as reported in 2011 over the preceding year was due to rising fraud cases through internet banking and suppression of customer deposits by bank officials.

Whereas the top 10 banks with the highest number of reported cases accounted for 87.1 per cent of the banking industry fraud cases in 2011 compared to 51.08 per cent in 2010, it was also reported that ATM frauds and fraudulent transfers/ withdrawals accounted for the largest number of perpetrations as was the case in the preceding year. The types and nature of the frauds and forgeries committed during the year under review revealed this.

According to the report, there were 738 ATM frauds; 331 fraudulent transfers/withdrawals of deposit; 280 cases of presentation of forged cheques; 240 cases of outright theft; 219 incidences of suppression of customer deposit; 123 cases of fraudulent conversion of cheques; 112 non-dispensing of money but registered by the electronic journal; and 108 cases of internet fraud. For instance, out of the 2,352 fraud cases reported during the year under re-

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bill for an Act to bring budgets of the Nigeria Export Import Bank (NEXIM) under the scrutiny of the National Assembly passed second reading yesterday in the House of Representatives. The billb sponsored by Hon. Jones Onyereri, is seeking to amend Section 8 of the NEXIM Bank Act 2004 to “require the bank to prepare and forward to the National Assembly annual reports of its operations and finances”. The bill also seeks to amend Section 16 of the Act to cause the appointment of a “Legal Practitioner as the Board

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he Senate yesterday directed the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to reinstate one Mr. Adamu Magaji, whose appointment was allegedly terminated on August 24, 2011. The Senate also directed that Magaji’s termination be nullified and his appointment be reinstated to his present level, since there is no concrete

Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega (right) and others, at a two-day INEC-Civil society dialogue on plan and progress towards the 2015 general elections held in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Bill seeking scrutiny of NEXIM Bank budget passes second reading TORDUE SALEM

view, 498 were attributed to staff/staff participation which showed an increase of 141 from 357 cases reported in 2010. Despite the increase, the losses resulting from activities of unscrupulous staff of banks declined by 62.3 per cent from N6.43 billion in 2010 to N2.42 billion in 2011. “The reduction was as a result of better and improved security and internal control measures put in place by the banks for transactions involving large sums of money.”

Senate directs NDLEA to reinstate sacked official

Secretary” and that the board secretary must have a minimum of 10 years experience at the bar. It also seeks to fix a four-year tenure for NEXIM Bank Board members. Speaking on the bill, Hon. Onyereri while said the proposed amendments to the Principal Act would simply compel NEXIM to follow the constitutional mandate that all agencies must present their budget before the parliament. Meanwhile, members of the House of Representatives yesterday flayed what they described the excessive spending on air travels by public office holders.

A motion by Hon. Eddie Ifeanyi Mbadiwe, entitled: “Need to Limit Spending by Public Servants on Overseas Airfares”, was stood down shortly after it was raised, but the House Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, ruled that the prayers of the motion should serve as warning to the affected public servants. The motion urged all government functionaries, apart from the President, Vice-President, President of the Senate and his Deputy, Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, governors and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, to limit their air travel to not more than business class tickets.”

evidence to warrant his termination. The lawmakers directed that NDLEA authorities be directed to pay Magaji all his entitlements to date. Magaji, a Superintendent of Narcotics (SN), had petitioned the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, alleging “wrongful termination of appointment and victimisation for failure to compromise official responsibility.” In the petition, Magaji said he obtained approval from his superiors and consequently carried out a raid operation as the Officer-In-Charge of “Strike Force” on the 24th August 2010 to Victoria Hospital and Maternity in Owerri and made the largest single arrest ever...by the Command Headquarters...” He claimed that two days after arresting Mr. Obi Okorie along with Jomi Ehinacho and Kingsley Okeke, with 30gms of cocaine, 30gms of heroin and 19gms of cannabis sativa (Indian hemp), the Assistant State Commander, Mr. Abdul Momodu, directed him to release the suspected drug barons, which he refused, leading to a query bordering on extortion, suspension and later termination.

Police begin 2012 Visitors’ Week on Dec 3 OMEIZA AJAYI ABUJA

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he Nigeria Police Force is set to begin the 2012 Police Station Visitors’ Week, which it described as a conscious effort towards improving service delivery. Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, told journalists yesterday in Abuja that police stations from 12 police commands across the country would, from December 3 to 9, join their counterparts in other parts of the world to receive visitors who are expected to assess the general operations of the stations. Mba said the visitors are residents of such areas who would ordinarily not have access to police

facilities to review its operations, adding that stations, which perform better, would be adequately rewarded while others would be made to scale up their performance. He said: “It is a conscious effort on our part to improve service delivery. Affirmative action will be taken to correct observed shortcomings. It is an opportunity for us to track and promote best practices as it will afford residents the opportunity to have their say in the running of the stations.” The programme is in collaboration with the Altus Global Alliance, the Cleen Foundation, Friedrich Ebert Foundation and Justice for All. The police said they had since 2006 participated in the programme, recalling that for four years

Abubakar

consistently, the Ilupeju Police Station of the Lagos Police Command has emerged tops in Africa by reason of its quality service. “Between 2006 and 2010, Ilupeju Police Station has consistently won the award for the best police station in Africa. We only lost that position to Ghana in 2011 and the Inspector General of Police (IGP) has directed all commissioners of police to ensure that we revert to that position.”


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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Ogun suspends 1,024 teachers with fake certificates

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bout 1,024 teachers in Ogun State found to have submitted forged certificates to gain employment and engaged in other irregularities have been suspended by the government. The affected teachers were among the 6, 531 of the 19, 154 earlier screened in an exercise conducted by a consultant which verified

their statement of results and attestation letters from over 50 higher institutions located across the country. A report submitted to the government by the CITC Consulting indicated that 475 teachers were suspended for possessing forged certificates and not having their attestation letters confirmed by the institutions from which they presented

them; 274 for not appearing for the screening; 236 for being outright unqualified, 12 for exceeding statutory length of service, 11 for age discrepancies while 14 others were discovered to have died. Two of the suspended teachers were considered to be impostors. Chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Chief Mu-

futau Ajibola, said the suspension takes immediate effect pending formal determination of their cases by the panel established in the Office of the Head of Service. The documents, he added, is being compiled for presentation to the police for possible criminal prosecution of those indicted in the exercise.

Ajibola described the exercise as thorough and restated the government’s commitment to flush out persons who according to him are “polluting a noble and respected profession”. The state Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mr Segun Odubela, had earlier said the exercise was “about quality assurance of our

Veteran actor, Akin Ogungbe, dies at 78

Lagos to sanction owners of water pipe in drainage channels

TERH AGBEDEH

MURITALA AYINLA

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he Lagos State Government yesterday threatened to sanction owners of water pipes that run through the drainage channels. Describing running of water pipes through drainage channels as illegal, the government said the practice would not only spread water borne diseases, but also pollute the water of the state water corporation. The Executive Secretary of the Lagos State Water Regulatory Commission, Mrs Tanwa Koya, who spoke during a stakeholders’ interactive and sensitisation forum held at the state secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, said the government would no longer tolerate laying of water pipe in the drainage channels. She said: “When water corporation or any service provider has spent huge amount of money to treat water and get rid of those bacteria and all the contaminants and ensure they get the pipe close to your house and for you to pass the water to your house and you pass it through gutter, you are doing two things you are taking bacteria into your own house and also allowing the possibility of the bacteria to get back to the water corporation tank and contaminate for other people. You are not only going to poison yourself, you are trying to poison the entire Lagos State. “We first educate them on the danger of what they are doing and if they continue, there must be sanction. “Do you realise that when your bore hole is next door to your neighbour septic tank, you are actually drinking faeces. All those are the issues and information that will go out to the public as we continue in our work.”

Amosun

Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloma Mukhtar (left) and son of the late Justice Kayode Eso, Olumide, during her visit to the Eso’s family in Ibadan, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

New terror group claims responsibility for attack on SARS OMEIZA AJAYI ABUJA

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new Islamist sect, Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis Sudan (JAMBS), which means Vanguard for the Protection of Muslims in Black Africa, has claimed responsibility for the Monday attack on the headquarters of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Abuja. The group said in an email signed by one Abu Usamatal Ansari, identified as Amir or leader of JAMBS, and sent to some media houses that it was mandated to free the oppressed. The statement reads in part: “Allah SWT has obligated us to help those that are oppressed, especially those oppressions taking place in the security cells, prisons and other detention centres, etc and has become part of the main functions and basics that form Jama’atu Ansasrul Muslimina fi Biladissudan.

“We are indeed thankful to Allah SWT to have granted us a perfect success as a result of the attack on SARS detention centre that took place yesterday (Monday) in Garki area II Abuja. “It is indeed with a tremendous effort and success to inform the general public that the attack has reached a 100 per cent success for all our 37 members including one woman (who was in detention for more than six months) were rescued and are presently with us without a single injury not to talk of recapture. “Also the other 286 suspects were also rescued and vanished making the total of 323 all together in a place which can accommodate less than 50 people. What a brutality by the Nigerian security. It is a real human right violation.” But the police faulted claims by the hitherto unknown Islamist sect that it carried out the attack on SARS headquarters. The police had earlier said that they re-arrested 25 out of 30 detainees that

fled the detention centre during the shootout. The Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, in a telephone interview last night described as baseless the claims by the sect. He said: “First, that facility cannot take up to 300. The claim is absolutely baseless. We still have people in the cell even as we talk now, so how and where did they get their figure? “Secondly, how did they take out over 300 suspects and ferried them out of town? Did they bring a bus, okada or a mini bus? It is all lies. “Thirdly, there was an exchange of gunfire. So, none of those people was caught in the crossfire? How did the over 300 escape into the rocky mountains there? If you know the place very well, it is not possible for such a large number to have been taken away especially for the fact that the facility is a small one. “Even vigilance groups would have attacked the

gunmen at that time of the night because you cannot move such a large number at that period. Their statement should be thrown into the trash can where it rightly belongs. Nigerians should not listen to them. If they really want us to take them serious, how come they are making this claim after 48 hours? The modus operandi of such groups worldwide is to claim responsibility a few hours after such attack.”

he veteran Yoruba actor, Akin Ogungbe, is dead. He was 78. Akin Ogungbe died yesterday morning in Abeokuta, Ogun State, where the pioneer thespian and active member of the early Yoruba travelling theatre groups in the country, lived. His son, Femi Ogungbe, who has followed in the footsteps of his father and is today a cameraman, broke the news to our correspondent. “Daddy is dead. He died this morning at home,” he said on telephone. Femi said burial arrangements would be announced by the family later. The senior Ogungbe was very active back in the days, acting and producing in all the forms of dramatic art. He was, for instance, on stage for over two decades from the 1940s to 1960s and on television in the 1970s and 1980s and an actor/producer in the glorious days of cinema. He also produced and acted in the Nigerian film industry otherwise known as Nollywood.

NDLEA seizes N2.6m hemp in Ondo HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE

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he Ondo State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) yesterday said it seized about 26 tonnes of hemp estimated at N2.6 million from traffickers this month. NDLEA Commander, Walter Nicholas, told journalists in Akure, the state capital, that the agency

had rehabilitated no fewer than 28 drug addicts. Nicholas said that the addicts included a 34-yearold medical doctor. He said the traffickers had devised many dubious means of concealing the drugs while on transit. The NDLEA boss said: “On Sunday and Monday this week, our men seized about eight tones of cannabis concealed in a truck loaded with granites inside a forest.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Octogenarian defiles 12-yearold girl in Ekiti

Bomb scare at Ekiti Govt House S’Court rules on Oni’s suit against Fayemi today

ABIODUN NEJO

ABIODUN NEJO

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ADO EKITI

n 85-year-old man, Pa Samuel Oladipupo, has been arrested by the police in Ekiti State for allegedly raping a 12-year-old girl in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital. Oladipupo was said to have lured the girl into his Barrack Road home in the Okesa area of the city on Sunday under the pretence of making her run errands for him. The man, who sources said had violated several minors in the area, was said to have forcibly had canal knowledge of the girl, a JSS I pupil. The victim told journalists at the State Police Command yesterday that she was coming from where she had gone to mend her school sandal when the man, who she had earlier helped on that day to buy a recharge card, called her and accused her of stealing his phone. She said: “When I told him I did not steal his phone, he then asked me to accompany him to his sitting room. When we got to there, we found the phone on the television and he tendered apology to me. “As I was about to go out, baba grabbed me and pushed me onto the couch and forcibly had sex with me. The loud noise I made attracted one woman, who came to rescue me and took me to my mother”. But the octogenarian suspect, who said he had no intention to commit the crime, blamed his action on the girl, who he said, lured him into the immoral act. The police spokesman, Mr. Victor Babayemi Olu, said the victim had been taken to the Ekiti State Teaching Hospital in AdoEkiti to ascertain whether she was raped or not.

ADO EKITI

here was panic yesterday at the Ekiti State Government House in Ado-Ekiti, following the arrest of a man suspected to be a suicide bomber. A government driver, who suspected the man on a motorbike at the entrance of the Government House, raised the alarm which sprang security operatives into action, culminating into his arrest. It was learnt that an item suspected to be explosive was recovered from the suspect, who had other weapons like charms, knives and other lethal tools on him.

Fear-stricken civil servants from the Government House and Governor’s Office gathered in their scores at the spot to discuss the incident after security operatives had whisked the suspect away. The police spokesman, Mr. Victor Babayemi Olu, said the suspect was in police custody for interrogation. The police spokesman, who said the suspect did not carry explosives as rumoured, said he was being held for behaviour suspected to be capable of causing a breach of public peace. He said: “Somebody was just trying to draw attention to himself. No bomb or explosive material was found on him. He only be-

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ice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Prof. Olusola Oyewole, yesterday tasked universities across the country to produce competent graduates for the labour market.

haved curiously and that caused the suspicion that made people to raise the alarm because he exhibited a conduct likely to cause the breach of public peace”. Meanwhile, tension rose yesterday across the state over today’s judgement by the Supreme Court in the appeal by former Governor Segun Oni in which he is challenging the nullification of his election and subsequent declaration of Governor Kayode Fayemi as the winner of the 2007 and 2009 elections. In the appeal, Oni is seeking the retrial of the case filed by Fayemi against his election, culminating in Oni’s ouster from office on October 15, 2010.

The former governor claimed that the suspended Appeal Court President, Justice Isa Ayo Salami, was not fit to head the Appeal Panel in Ilorin which nullified his election. This, he said, was because of alleged conviviality between the judge and some top members of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). Security operatives in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti state capital, told journalists yesterday that security had been beefed up in the state in view of the anxiety among politicians. The Appeal Court sitting in Ado-Ekiti had earlier nullified Oni’s appeal on ground that it lacked merit and that his request could not be granted.

L-R: Director Solicitor, Ministry of Justice, Mrs. Olusola Moore; Secretary, Nigeria Law Reform Commission, Mrs. Olufolake Oguneye and Chairman, Nigerian Law Reform Commission, Justice Umaru Kalgo, during the opening of national workshop on Unification and Reform of Criminal and Penal Codes Part 2 in Abuja, yesterday.

Ondo coastal communities protest neglect by oil firms HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE

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il producing communities in the coastal area of Ondo State have threatened to disrupt the activities of some multinational companies operating in the state over what they described as negligence.

The communities stated this in a letter of protest sent to the state government, saying they would embark on a demonstration to force the oil companies to bow to their demands. They described the attitude of the oil companies towards their plight as “lukewarm.” Specifically, the com-

Varsities asked to produce employable graduates FEMI OYEWESO

South West

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Prof. Oyewole spoke in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, while addressing student of the institution during the matriculation exercise for the 2012/2013 academic session. In a paper which he delivered at the matriculation programme, entitled: “Let us re-think”, the vice-

chancellor said emphasised that the future of Nigeria depends on the quality of education that she bequeath on her youths. He said: “The future of our country depends on our youths. The future of our country also depends on the quality of education that will give to our youths of today.”

munities accused Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited for not showing concern about their benefits in terms of compensation and other responsibilities since the company commenced operations. In another letter sent by the Committee of Coastal Oil Producing Communities on Deep Sea Operations in the state to the Managing Director of Esso Exploration Production Nigeria Limited, the Presidency and the Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), which was signed by its chairman, Erejuwa Adesina and secretary, Kayode Ojutiri, they alleged that

the company deliberately refused to perform its mandated responsibilities. The committee lamented that the oil company had exposed the host communities to a lot of unwarranted hardship caused by its operations in waterways. The committee said that several efforts made by the coastal people to invite the management of the company for a meeting were frustrated by the management. It said the proposed construction of new wells and development of Erha North Projects compromised the company’s social stand on its catchment area in Ondo State.

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Akala’s administration accused of financial recklessness KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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ormer Oyo State Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala was yesterday accused of financial recklessness. The state Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Zacheus Adelabu, spoke yesterday in Ibadan, the state capital, while addressing journalists on how the government shored up its revenue base. He said a major step taken by the administration of the incumbent Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, was to close the 168 bank accounts operated by Akala and consolidated them into a few, adding that the government saved about N7 billion from that single step. Adelabu said: “I met 168 accounts when we came on board and another 150 in ministries. Now, how can such accounts be well coordinated? We had to close those accounts leaving only one in each bank. We realised N7 billion from those accounts. It also closed several loopholes through which individuals and organisations may steal government money.” He rejected the advice by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Lamido, that government should sack 50 percent of its work force to be able to raise more money for capital projects, saying that the government has a social contract with the governed and is not primarily existing for profit purposes. Adelabu explained that the need to generate more revenue informed the state government’s decision to partner with the private sector as well as embark on other creative ways of shoring up the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) while also exploring the option of accessing bonds, among others.

Akala


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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Four killed, 31 Boko Haram members arrested CAN threatens to drag sect to ICC INUSA NDAHI AND CHARLES OKEKE

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hree suspected members of the dreaded Boko Haram sect were killed yesterday in a shootout with the Joint

Task Force in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital. A soldier also died in the shootout. The gun duel occurred at a stronghold of the sect in Bulabulin area of the city. Bulabulin has in the past witnessed many dead-

ly confrontations as sect members had thrown many improvised explosive devices at JTF patrol vehicles in the area. The movement of the heavy artillery, which include motorised machine guns, armoured personnel carriers by the JTF to the

area held up traffic for several minutes. Gunshots occured for more than 30 minutes as there were casualties on both sides. Many of the residents had to flee the battleground even as the streets were deserted.

L-R: Traditional ruler of Nnewi, Igwe Kenneth Orizu; Chief Judge of Anambra State, Justice Peter Umeadi and others in a group photograph with executive members of the NBA, Nnewi, during the opening of its 2012 Law Week in Nnewi, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Alvan Ikoku College students protest poor facilities Hold provost hostage

CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI

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tudents of Alvan Ikoku College of Education yesterday in Owerri, the Imo State capital, held the school’s Provost, Dr. B C Ijioma, hostage for several hours over what they called the management’s failure to provide electricity and water for them. The students, who protested against poor facilities, particularly lack of water and electricity, barricaded the entrance into

the college, making it difficult for human and vehicular movements in and out of the school. The protesting students, who called for the sack of the provost for alleged maladministration and insensitivity to their plight, prevented the provost from gaining entrance into the school. But a team of anti-riot police battled the protesters for several minutes before the provost could be allowed to enter the school. Having been dispersed by the police, the students

regrouped and effectively blocked the entrance to the provost’s office where she was held hostage for more than an hour in her car. The students, however, told National Mirror that they had been without electricity and water for the past two months, adding that the management had to force them to buy the Alvana sachet water produced by the school consultancy firm for their domestic chores, while those who could not afford it had to trek several kilometers to Shell Camp Police Barracks or to Federal Medical Centre (FMC) to

fetch water. The students also complained about the accommodation space which they said are being occupied by eight persons per room. They said: “The rooms are poorly ventilated. We can also not read in the night because of lack of electricity, yet we pay huge amount of money for these facilities.” When the provost, Dr. Ijioma, addressed the protesters after she was allowed to disembark from her car, she appealed for calm, saying the school’s management would do everything humanly possible to address their grievances.

Sack Sanusi now, NLC, TUC tell Jonathan CONTINUED FROM 5 Organisation, CLO, also described as insensitive the suggestion of Sanusi. Addressing a news conference in Lagos, Mr. Ehi Omokhuale, Lagos State Chairman of the CLO, described the call as “a backward statement” by a public office holder. The CLO chairman said that there was no sense in sacking 50 per cent of civil servants to join an already saturated labour market in Nigeria.

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has said that Sanusi has the option of sending his observations about the imperfection of the Nigerian constitution to the ongoing constitutional amendment committee rather engaging in generic entertainment for which it said it could not be associated with. PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, while reacting to the observations of the CBN governor, said that

the constitution had an inbuilt mechanism for amendment and that Nigerians, particularly public officials, should explore such avenues rather than castigating government policies for the sake of attracting cheap popularity. The National Publicity Secretary, Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, Rotimi Fashakin, said that in theory, local governments were meant to bring governance closest to the people, “but the re-

ality under the corruptive influence and contamination of PDP’s brand politics, local government administration has become nightmarish. He said: “The pervasive corruption in the local governments can indeed drive one to the extent of making the call for their scrapping. “The CBN governor may not be totally out of tune. What alternatives do we have in ensuring that local governments are more

The JTF spokesman, Lt. Col. Sagir Musa, confirmed the incident in a statement. Musa said based on information, a cordonand-search operation was conducted at Bulabulin Ganaram area of Maiduguri metropolis about 12:30pm yesterday. He said during the exchange of fire, a soldier was killed with another injured while an immigration official was still missing. The spokesman said three suspected Boko Haram members were shot dead in the confrontation while 31 members arrested. He said JTF recovered items such as an AK47 rifle, a G3 rifle and some quantities of assorted magazines and ammunition. Musa said the JTF had put in place machinery to find the missing official. Meanwhile, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) yesterday threatened to drag the Boko Haram Islamic sect to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in Hague for trying to exterminate Christians in the North. The threat to sue the sect was announced by the CAN President, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, during the opening ceremony of the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the association held in Awka, the Anambra State capital. CAN also called on the Federal Government to designate the radical Islamic sect a foreign terrorist group. Oritsejafor condemned the violent activities of the Boko Haram group, which he said were aimed at cleaning up Christianity in the North and Nigeria. He said: “The Federal Government should designate the Boko Haram sect a

performance-driven? “The services that the allocations from the federation account are meant to achieve for the people have remained unimplementable because of corruption. “If this recklessness continues unabated, the CBN governor’s call is spot on.” Chief Emma Eneukwu, the spokesperson of the All Nigeria People’s Party, ANPP, said that Sanusi was pretending not to

Oritsejafor

foreign terrorist group, and we at CAN are strongly considering pressing charges against the Boko Haram sect for crimes committed against Christians at the International Criminal Court (ICC)” CAN condemned the situation whereby some churches in the North could not get airtime on radio and television. The association, however, called on the governors of the 19 Northern states to come together and hold a meeting on how to restore peace to the region and protect people’s lives and property. Speaking at the ceremony, Anambra State Governor Peter Obi clarified his comments on those who own private jets. He denied that he asked those who own private jets should be probed. Obi said he only asked that private jet owners should be made to disclose their sources as a motivation to others. CAN Chairman in the South-East and Anglican Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Bishop Emmanuel Chukwuma, slammed those condemning the Pastor Oritsejafor for owing a private jet. Bishop Chukwuma wondered why owing jet by CAN President should be a subject of controversy, saying the needs it to facilitate his work.

know the problem of the country. He said that scrapping local government councils or reducing the number of National Assembly seats were diversionary. “The problem is squarely endemic corruption which government has not determined to fight. The revelations from different probe committees in the NASS are sufficient to buttress the fact that the problem of the country is corruption,” he said.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

South South

Thursday, November 29, 2012

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Oyerinde’s murder: Police begin prosecution of suspects today

Igbinedion seeks FG’s funding of private varsities

SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN

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Benin Chief Magistrate’s Court will today commence the trial of suspects alleged to be the brain behind the gruesome murder of the Principal Private Secretary to Edo State Governor, Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde. Information made available to National Mirror in Benin City yesterday indicated that the

trial of the suspects will expectedly set the stage for the formal response of the court and the police to the report of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), which exonerated renowned human rights activist and Executive Director of the Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), Rev. David Ugolor, in the murder of Comrade Oyerinde. The celebrated trial is expected to attract a

84 Bayelsa communities to benefit from EU project EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA

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he European Union (EU) yesterday said 84 communities in Bayelsa State would benefit from its Micro Pet Project (MPP9), which would be launched in nine states of the Niger Delta. The EU Ambassador to Nigeria, David Macrae, disclosed this in Yenagoa, when he visited Governor Seriake Dickson, he said the EU project was to bring development closer to the local communities. Macrae, who was accompanied by officials of the National Planning Commission (NPC) on the visit, said the MPP9 programme was intended to assist the communities in tackling their problems and promoting good governance. “In meeting the yearn-

ings and aspirations of the beneficiaries, the MPP9 programme assessed the needs of the affected communities and formulates policy based on its assessment.” The EU boss lauded efforts of the state government, especially the rehabilitation of the flood victims in the state as he assured that the Union would assist the state to ensure that the affected victims were properly rehabilitated. Earlier, Governor Seriake Dickson, said government was prepared to partner with the European Union to fast-track infrastructural development in the state. While bemoaning the plight of the flood victims, Governor Dickson solicited the assistance of the EU, especially in the rehabilitation of the flood victims.

cross-section of civil society groups, human rights activists, legal luminaries, other members of the public and journalists, who have been following the case. As the public anxiously awaits the case that will commence by 9.00am, many are wondering who those that will be formally arraigned would be of the two different sets of accused persons that have been paraded before now by the police and the State Security Service (SSS). It will be recalled that the DPP letter that exonerated Ugolor and another accused person, Wilfred Isherienrien, had further directed the police to take action on the SSS report,

which handed-over to the police a duplicate case file and six persons that were apprehended for the murder. Asked last week in an interview what has become of the fate of those the SSS report indicted, Mba said they were being prosecuted for the murder of Oyerinde. “The people that the SSS paraded and handed over to the police have been charged to court. The police have charged them to court in Benin City. “You cannot expect me to inform you here from Abuja when you are there in Benin. It was even reported in the media when they were taken to court,” Mba had concluded.

SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN

he Chancellor of Igbinedion University, Chief (Dr.) Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion, has carpeted the Federal Government for not considering private educational institutions worthy of its funds in order to enhance the falling quality of education in the country. Igbinedion spoke with journalists in Okada, Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State. The chancellor, who was in the campus to inspect preparations for the 10th convocation ceremony of the university, said he has never received a kobo from the Federal Government since he established the university. He said he has, however,

lived to see other key sectors being assisted by the Federal Government. He said he was ready to continue to ensure that the school maintains its leadership position as the foremost private university in the country as long as he was alive. His words: “I started this school from the scratch. But I have seen the Federal Government providing special funds for the aviation sector. “Recently, the government also gave the entertainment industry similar assistance. But it forgets that without schools like these and others to teach and mould the citizens, those that are working there would not be there. I have never received a kobo from the government since I established this school.”

Delta State Deputy Governor, Prof. Amos Utuama and Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps, Brig.-Gen. Nnamdi Okore-Affia, during the passing out ceremony of the 2012 Batch ‘C’ corps members at Issele-Uku, yesterday.

Confusing records stall Airhiavbere’s appeal Violence mars PDP LG aspirants’ screening SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN

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he Court of Appeal sitting in Benin City yesterday referred General Charles Airhiavbere (retired) back to the state Governorship Election Tribunal to reconcile his two different records of appeal. The referral followed arguments proffered by Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole’s counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN)’s counsel, Austin Alegeh (SAN) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) counsel, Mr. Robert Emukperho. Olanipekun had told the

court that there were two different appeals with the same appeal number. He further clarified that the appeal listed for hearing had number 320 whereas the copy he had with him, bore number 330 before emphasising that a single record of appeal cannot be used for the two different appeals. Olanipekun’s position received support from Alegeh, who concurred that it was better for the petitioner’s counsel to return to the tribunal to put his records in order. At that juncture, the Presiding Judge, Justice Helen Ogunwumiju, read out a letter said to have been written by the Secretary of the Edo State Governorship Election

Petition Tribunal, Mrs. Josephine Aliu, which stated that the petitioner while perfecting the conditions of his appeal had paid for two records of appeal even though he had requested for a single record of appeal. Chief Akpofure had then sought to change or jig the listed appeals’ numbers there and then, a move that was opposed by the respondents. In his response, Olanipekun criticised the appellant saying that he entered into a secret discussion with the secretary of the tribunal to compile one record of appeal for the two appeals without informing the three sets of respondents.

EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA

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here was tension yesterday in Yenagoa as supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were engaged in a violent clash that almost marred the screening exercise of the 97 chairmanship aspirants in the March 23, council poll in the state. Angry youths exchanged blows over arguments bothering on money and loyalty to political camps in the ruling party. The casualty rate of the clash was not ascertained as at press the time of filing this report.

But the timely deployment of three detachment of state security outfit code named ‘Operation Doo Akpor’ nipped the clash in the bud. After a temporary disruption owing to the clash, the screening continued. The exercise started at the party’s secretariat under the supervision of the National Deputy Treasurer and former member of the old Rivers State House of Assembly, Claudius Enegese. An eyewitness who pleaded anonymity claimed that the party supporters that were engaged in the clash were ex-militants from the Ekeremor Local Government Area,

who agitated over the issue of unpaid allowances owed to members of phase exmilitants by the amnesty office. Investigation by National Mirror revealed that 97 chairmanship aspirants had procured their form at the rate of N750, 000 each while 340 councillorship aspirants procured theirs at N300, 000 each. The state has 105 wards in the eight local government councils. It was gathered that chairmanship aspirants in Yenagoa and Ekeremor Local Government councils topped the list of aspirants with 18 and 16 candidates respectively.


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North

Thursday, November 29, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Police kill 70-year-old, two children in Nasarawa IGBAWASE UKUMBA AND JAMES ABRAHAM

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olicemen attached to the Uke Divisional Office of the Nasarawa State Police command yesterday in a predawn raid shot dead a Fulani herdsman and his two children at Nike town of Veti District in Karshi Development Area. The deceased, whose name was given as Shehu Ado and said to be over 70 years old woke up to his death at the hands of the police who stormed his settlement around 5.00am shooting him with two of his children, Pueri who is about 20 years and his elder brother, Rabo, who was 45. Narrating the incident to journalists yesterday, Head of the Fulani community in the area, Ardo Mohammadu Dahiru, said there was a lingering discontent between

Eggon local farmers and Fulani herdsmen, which prompted the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Uke to summon a joint meeting of both communities. It was gathered, however, that the deceased, who was accused of destroying farm produce belong to local farmers in the area, did not turn up for the meeting, which did not go well with the farmers, who are predominantly of Eggon tribe who threatened to exert retribution for their destroyed crops. The Secretary of Nasarawa State chapter of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Alhaji Mohammed Husseini, who corroborated the statement, added that five armed police officers were deployed around the Fulani settlement by their fellow kinsman whose name was given as Tanimu Namariya, now at large, in the

early hours of the morning where they stormed the deceased’s hut and shot him in the head. He said while the older of the two children was shot on the neck leading

to his death, his younger brother, Pueri, was shot in the stomach and later died on his way to the hospital. Confirming the incidence in Lafia, the state Police Public Relations Of-

ficer, Mr. Michael Ada, who said there was scanty information as at press time, however, said the command was aware that some police officers were deployed to invite the deceased to the

station for questioning but could not immediately comment on what ensued leading to the death of Shuhu Ado and his sons as investigation into the matter was still ongoing.

Tsav decries inadequate security in Nigeria

A health worker checking a patient at the Free High Blood Pressure Detection Exercise for Rural People at Maigamji village in Funtua Local Government Area of Katsina State on Tuesday. PHOTO: NAN

HENRY IYORKASE

PDP summons Nyako over anti-party activities

MAKURDI

F

ormer Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Abubakar Tsav, has decried the security situation in the country, saying there is no adequate security for the citizens. He flayed the activities of members of the Boko Haram group, who he said have been wrecking havoc in parts of the northern region, killing innocent souls as well as holding the nation to ransom. The former commissioner while speaking with National Mirror yesterday in Makurdi, the Benue State capital over the attack on the premises of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Abuja, said it was the most callous and disheartening thing to do by the group.

He said the glamour usually associated with security outfits and its personnel is no longer there and stressed that the invasion was successful because the seriousness attached to the job was no more there. Alhaji Tsav lamented that the beauty of making a career in the force was no longer there, alleging that almost the entire work force are self-seekers for personal aggrandizement rather than doing the job as it should be done like it was in the past. He said the attack was a big slap on the security apparatus of the nation, adding that for the terrorists to have penetrated the force headquarters, it means something was terribly wrong with the system and called for attitudinal change on the part of the officers and men.

OBIORA IFOH ABUJA

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he national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday summoned the Adamawa State Governor, Murtala Nyako, over what it described as antiparty activities of the governor, an action the leadership said was a violation of the party’s constitution. PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, in a chat with journalists after the meeting of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party, said the invitation to the governor became necessary as the party would not condone indiscipline and acts that were not in tandem with the constitution

of the party. It will be recalled that the national leadership of the party has been having a running battle with the Adamawa chapter of the party. The battle had led to the suspension of the NorthEast PDP National ViceChairman, Lawan Girigiri and the dissolution of the Mijinjiwa Kugama-led Adamawa State PDP executive. The PDP national leadership also had set up a caretaker committee for the Adamawa State PDP and replaced the suspended North-East national vicechairman. PDP had also asked the Adamawa PDP to suspend its planned local government congresses but the Adamawa PDP faction, sup-

ported by Governor Nyako, went ahead and conducted the congresses. The names of the candidates that emerged from the congresses were submitted to the state Independent National Electoral Commission for the local government election. The party also said such names submitted to SIEC should be harmonised with the list of another Adamawa PDP faction. However, this was not adhered to as the Nyako faction went ahead with the list submitted to SIEC to conduct the election last Saturday. On this, Metuh said, the PDP NWC reviewed the activities of the party in Adamawa State and decided to invite Governor Murtala

Host community rejects FUTMINNA VC

Turkey to invest $2m in Katsina

PRISCILLA DENNIS

JAMES DANJUMA

MINNA

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ouths numbering over 100 under the auspices of the ‘Concerned Citizens of Niger State’ stormed the Federal University of Technology; Minna yesterday and vowed to make the institution ungovernable for the new Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Musibau Akanji. The youths, in a peaceful protest yesterday at the permanent campus of the

university at Gidan Kwano, rejected the appointment of the Akanji as the sixth vice-chancellor of the institution and insisted that he should be dropped for their favoured candidate. The leader of the group, Danjuma Paiko, told journalists that the group had to embark on the peaceful protest since the governing council was not responsive to the demands of the host community, having been marginalised in the scheme of things in the university

over the years. He also faulted the decision of the governing council to appoint the new vice-chancellor, especially with a pending court case, adding that until their demands are met, there can be no peace in the institution. According to Paiko, “Our meek nature should not be taken for granted. We are peace loving people and have never interfered with the past selections of the vice-chancellors in this institution.

KATSINA

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he Republic of Turkey is to invest $2 million (over N300 million) in Katsina State in the area of good transportation, kaolin harnessing, cotton development and bottle recycling. A delegation of Turkish investors, who were in the state made this known when they paid a visit to Governor Ibrahim Shema, in his office.

The leader of the delegation, Mr. Sulayman Kartoglu, who expressed commitment to investing in the state’s economy, said such capital spending would help create jobs. Kartoglu said they would also want to expand their business scope to cover other areas of the economy as well as engage in all-theyear-round economic activities in the state. He assured that his country was ready to contribute in ways she can to the devel-

Nyako to appear before it tomorrow. He is to face the party on issues bordering on grave practices that are dangerous and foreign to the constitution of the party. “This is a party that is disciplined and this party is bigger than anybody and will outlast anybody. We are elected leaders but they are not bigger than the party.”

Nyako

opment of the state, especially in the area of investing in some specific sectors of the economy that would be mutually benefiting. In his remark, Governor Shema said government would give necessary support to actualise the Turkish investment in the state. He charged them to also select more areas of interest to invest in and that the state government would sit and hold talks with the investors to ensure successful completion of their mission.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

State of the nation address bill: Senate dares Jonathan

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Politics

2015: Zoning dominates Akwa Ibom guber race

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INEC to issue 10-year electronic voters’ cards OMEIZA AJAYI AND JOEL AJAYI

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hairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, yesterday disclosed that the commission would soon begin issuing permanent electronic voters’ card that would be valid for 10 years. The aim of the policy, according to him, was to eliminate electoral fraud and ensure a more credible process.

Jega spoke yesterday in Abuja at a parley with civil society groups aimed at assessing past collaborative efforts and evolving more strategic partnerships for future elections in the country. His words: “With the design of the card and specification, it will serve for an average of 10 years, as it could also be used for the 2019 elections. The cards will be an electronic card to be used for identification, authentication and for voting, also it will prevent multiple voting and

frauds. “There is a lot of work to be done, we have to procure card readers and we have started this, we have made budget for it and we are receiving support. “This budget year, we are buying 500 and under the 2013/14 budget we are buying the rest, so by 2015 there will be enough card readers to deploy to polling units to ensure 100 per cent authentication.” The INEC boss also stated that from the first quarter of next year, the commission will commence

the issuance of permanent voters’ cards even as the contract for the production of 40 million voters registered cards out of the 73.5 million registered had been awarded. “There are 73.5 million eligible voters but for the first phase we will print 40 million and another part of it for completion is in the budget for 2012. There is a continuing process of registration in which any person who is eligible as required by the law can go to an established office and be registered,” he

said. According to him, everything the commission has done since April 2011 was with an eye to further deepening and consolidating the gains made in 2011, and at the same time planning on how to mitigate the errors or challenges of the past. Also, Jega noted that the commission has not been successful in prosecuting those who committed sundry electoral offences in the 2011 general elections due to paucity of funds. According to him, the commission, since the elections apprehended about 870, 000 electoral offenders but lamented that only about 200, representing a

meagre 0.02 per cent have so far been successfully prosecuted. Jega further lamented that apart from not having the requisite manpower, the commission also does not have the funds to carry out effective prosecution. He explained that, the active participation of all stakeholders in the political process remains important issue. His words: “The collective commitment to improve upon the electoral processes has been yielding positive result as illustrated by the outcome of the series of elections that the commission has conducted since 2011 from Kogi to Ondo.”

Insecurity: Tukur’s statement, admission of PDP’s failure – ACN SINA FADARE

T L-R: Bauchi State governor, Isa Yuguda and U.S. Ambassador, Mr. Terance Mcculley, at the signing of an MoU between Bauchi State Government and USAID/Nigeria on Suwasa programme in Bauchi, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Govs not divided on constitution amendment – Amaechi KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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he Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has said that the forum never disagreed on the ongoing constitutional amendment, stating that the governors agreed on all the issues discussed on the amendment to the constitution. Amaechi said this yesterday in Ibadan while speaking with journalists during his visit to the family of the late Justice Kayode Eso and Governor Abiola Ajimobi. He said: “We never disagreed. We agreed on all the issues we discussed. We met in the morning by 10a.m. and closed by 3p.m.

If we had disagreed we could closed before 12p.m. and not the time we closed.” The governor disabused the minds of Nigerians of personal interests in their discussion, maintaining that their interests transcended local and primordial sentiments, pointing out that some of them would be finishing their tenure in 2015 and hence would cease to be governors. “So, if there has been anything personal, we will vacate the seat and such issues would no more avail us. These things we are doing, we are doing it for the benefit of the country. We will leave by 2015, so it can’t be to protect our personal interests. If that were so, we will be looking

at national because most of us are eyeing the national at the end of our tenure, instead, we are thinking of how to run a proper federalism. I don’t think the governors are doing what they are doing because they

want to protect their own interests. The governor, however, said the forum was concerned on the autonomy of local governments and the funding of the state legislatures.

he Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has said that the recent pronouncement by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Chairman, Bamanga Tukur, that the party should not be blamed for the insecurity in the country, is a clear admission of failure and incompetency on the part of the ruling party. ACN in a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said that it was obvious to Nigerians that PDP is not living up to expectation in terms of performance

Shaahu seeks death penalty for election riggers HENRY IYORKASE MAKURDI

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econd Republic minister, Chief Isaac Shaahu has advocated for death penalty for election riggers. Shaahu, who made the assertion in a chat with National Mirror yesterday in Gboko, Benue State, said for peace to reign in the country, election rigging must have to give away.

He frowned at the situation whereby election rigging is becoming a phenomenon and pointed out that it could only lead to anarchy, disaffection and retard development. The former minister maintained that development will continue to elude the nation if the desire is only to perpetuate evil by way of election manipulations. He insisted on death sen-

tence for anyone who rigs or sponsors election rigging, saying such will serve as a deterrent to others. He said: “For the sake of emphasis let me reiterate here that whoever abets election rigging, such acts is not only criminal but also worse than armed robbery because it is deals with the future of a race where someone is foisted against the will of the people.”

and security management of the country. His word: ‘What the PDP Chairman is saying, in essence, is that his party is no longer fit to rule and that Nigerians should look elsewhere if indeed they want a government that will ensure the security of their lives and property.” The party noted that it is inconceivable that a man of Tukur’s standing, experience in public life and international exposure will not know the powers and responsibility of a ruling party. Mohammed urged Nigerians to use every democratic means to get the PDP out of the system, noting that since the ruling party has been in power in the last 13 years, nothing tangible can be attributed to them in terms of giving succour to the common man. ‘’The insecurity that has now reached a level at which daring gunmen will attack the police and the military, the very institutions the country relies upon to ensure its internal and external security, is a reflection of the deep rot in other spheres of life in Nigeria,” ACN said.


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Politics

In 2010, when the two arms of the National Assembly passed the State of the Nation address bill, same was transmitted to President Goodluck Jonathan for his assent, but curiously he withheld his signature to the bill. GEORGE OJI writes on the essentials of the bill that has now been reintroduced to the parliament.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS BILL

Senate dares Jonathan IF THIS BILL IS PASSED AND THE PRESIDENT DOES NOT ASSENT TO IT, WE

WILL THEN HAVE THE

T

he state of the nation address, which is being virtually practiced by most of the advanced and emerging democracies of the world has its root from the United States of America. Indeed, the United States of America’s constitution in Article 11, section 3, provides that, “The President shall from time to time give to congress information of the State of the Union and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” All around the world, from South Africa to Mexico to Micronesia, Russia to Philippines and even Zimbabwe, these countries are using the opportunity of the state of the nation address to, “advance good governance and the well-being of their people.” Historically, the legendry late George Washington became the first American Presidents to deliver the State of the Union address. That very eventful incidence took place at the federal hall, New York. The address was before a joint session of the United States of America parliament, comprising the Senate and House of Representatives. As a result of the limitations of technological development then, it was not possible to transmit the address beyond the precincts of the congress hall. However, with the advent of the electronic media of radio and television, the state of the union address of the United States of America has since been transmitted beyond the congress. It has become an opportunity for the United States President to communicate with American people and the whole world at the same time. President Calvin Coolidge address in 1923 became the first to be broadcast on radio while that of Harry Truman in 1947 was the first to be broadcast on television. In Africa, a number of countries, including Ghana and Zimbabwe have already entrenched the state of the nation address in their constitution. In South Africa, President Nelson Mandela is reputed as the first president of that country to deliver the state of the nation address before the first democratically elected legislature on May 24, 1994. It was perhaps drawing from these novel examples that Senator Ike Ekweremadu first introduced the bill for an act to make provision for the state of the nation address by the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2004. However, as a result of the provisions of section 64 of the 1999 Constitution, which states that the Senate and the House of Representatives shall each stand dissolved at the expiration of a period of four years commencing from the first sitting of both houses, the bill could not outlive the 5th National Assembly.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

POWERS TO COMPEL AND VETO HIM

Jonathan

Ekweremadu

It was during the 6th National Assembly, precisely in 2010 that the bill was successfully passed by both chambers of the parliament and transmitted to President Goodluck Jonathan for his assent. But for some inexplicable reasons, the president withheld his assent to the bill, as a result, it did not survive the 6th National Assembly. Determined to make the bill a part of the nation’s laws, both arms of the National Assembly have reintroduced the bill this 7th National Assembly. Already, the House of Representatives has passed its own version of the bill and forwarded same to the Senate for concurrence. The bill, which passed second reading last week in the Senate, was described as the House bill. During debate on the bill, senators did not disguise their anger over the refusal of President Jonathan to assent to the bill even after both arms of the National Assembly had passed the bill. It took the intervention of the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided at the day’s plenary to calm the

angry senators. Ekweremadu who first introduced the original bill, explained that in 2007, he took pains to personally explain the imports of the bill to the late President Musa Yar’Adua. According to him, it did not take time for the late president to buy into the bill and looked forward to being the first President of Nigeria that would deliver the first state of the nation address. Unfortunately, Yar’Adua could not live long enough to accomplish that aspiration. Ekweremadu, who expressed surprise at the unwillingness of Jonathan to assent to the bill when it was passed by both arms of the National Assembly in 2010, however recalled that during the public hearing on the bill, representatives of the executive, particularly the Attorney General and Minister of Justice then raised the concern that the bill was not necessary given that sections 81 of the constitution already contained provisions that required the president to lay similar address before the National Assembly. Essentially, the State of the Nation Address Bill, seeks to compel each sitting president to, once every year, deliver an address before the joint sitting of the National Assembly. The address would appraise the administration’s performances on critical issues of the polity. Indeed, as the Senate leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba put it in his lead presentation, “What the state of the nation address bill seeks to do, therefore, is to recognise that as a convention; an annual presidential budget speech now exists; and to make that convention, an act of the National Assembly is required so that it becomes binding, mandatory and enforceable.” According to Ndoma-Egba, “The state of the nation address bill does not, therefore seek to foreclose presentation of the annual budget speech nor to duplicate that function.” On the contrary, the lawmaker explained that, “It seeks rather to enshrine a forum where the President, in company of the Vice President and the head of the judicial arm of government (the Chief Justice of the Federation) presents to a joint sitting of the National Assembly an address on the critical issues, comprehensively appraising and reflecting on government performance in the past year and setting goals and agenda for the ensuing year through broad ideas and specific details.” The Senate Leader further remarked that most of the advanced and a number of emerging democracies around the

world have entrenched this in their governance process even as a constitutional obligation. Senator Uche chukwumerije in his contribution explained that the passage of the law would give legal teeth to what has been the vagaries of discretion on the part of the nation’s rulers to address the country. He said a law like this will make it mandatory for the president to address on the state of affairs different from the usual budget speeches and independent day anniversary speeches. He said the speech must be such that it will capture all the thematic guidelines and contain two to three broad areas including the economy, social stability and the polity. The lawmaker suggested that it must be included in the provisions of the bill, the condition that during the speech presentation before the joint sitting of the National Assembly, the event must be telecast live in a number of media organisations that would be determined by the lawmakers. “We’ll have to decide the other medium of coverage besides the National Assembly, which should also take into consideration the physically challenged persons. There should in addition be sign interpreters for the deaf and dumb as the president is reading the address,” the lawmaker suggested. Deputy Senate Leader Abdul Ningi said the bill when passed into law will make it mandatory for a sitting president to come and openly address the people, on for instance, “why we should not have 24 hours power, why petroleum subsidy should be withdrawn, why insecurity has to be curbed at all costs etc.” According to Ningi, “When the president speaks on national issues, the people will be able to appreciate the problems of the country. It is always a moral booster. The people are always galvanised when they listen to their president speak to them. Usually, the people always look forward to such an event because the president will use the opportunity to talk to the people, address their worries and concerns and also give hope to the people for a better future.” Senator Eta Inang said the state of the nation address would be an opportunity for the president to present his mid-term report of his government, enlighten the people on a number of issues and thus help in dousing tension between the executive and the parliament. On his part, Senator Babajide Omoworare said the practice of state of the nation address will help to strengthen the nation’s democracy and separate it from autocracy. He said even though there are provisions in the constitution like sections 69, 81, 88 and 89, which asks the president to present to the National Assembly periodic address, none of the sections gives the National Assembly the power to compel the president on the issue. According to Omoworare, “If this bill is passed and the president does not assent to it, we will then have the powers to compel and veto him.”


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Thursday, November 29, 2012

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Politics

Thursday, November 29, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

2015: Zoning dominates Akwa Ibom guber race Ahead of the 2015 governorship election in Akwa Ibom State, one major issue that has dominated the political space is zoning, which has the potential to unsettle the state polity. INI-ABASI MBOHO, a public affairs analyst based in Uyo, writes on the contentious issue.

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he idea of zoning as a deliberate policy of a political party is predicated on the need for equitable representation and rotation of party and elective offices. An understanding of the concept is that after a leader has emerged, the stakeholders and the party would sit down in a round table to equitably distribute other political offices so that no group feels marginalised in the emerging set up. To this extent, one can say that zoning as a political concept has been in operation in Akwa Ibom State. However, in recent times, modern day political gladiators and revisionists have polluted the political space in Akwa Ibom State in the name of agitating for the socalled zoning and power shift. Spiced with threats and blackmail, we have heard from them how Akwa Ibom will cease to exist if power is not “shifted” or “zoned” to them. But we know that in a democracy, political power is not acquired through campaign of calumny, threat and blackmail rather, through negotiations, horse trading and compromises. Indeed, never in the history of any political struggle has power been handed out to any group on a platter of gold or by merely sitting back and shouting for zoning! For instance, a group which goes by the name: “Ibom Mandate Assembly” (probably an assemblage of political jobbers) which claims to be “at the vanguard of the advocacy for power shift otherwise known as zoning of the governorship stool to Akwa Ibom South (Eket) Senatorial District” in an open letter to President Goodluck Jonathan titled: “If PDP must win the 2015 general elections in Akwa Ibom State” published in a national daily of Wednesday, November 21, 2012 threatened that: “We are afraid that failure to enthrone the tripartite principle of equity, fairness and justice by implementing zoning in Akwa Ibom State will not only spark unprecedented protest votes against the PDP in the state, but may lead to total breakdown of brotherly relations among our people.” To reinforce their case the Ibom Mandate Assembly said: “Sadly, as the build up to the 2015 general elections gathers momentum, some hawks, sectional leaders and ethnic jingoists have commenced a swansong for the zoning policy of the PDP, insisting that, the rotation of power, which unarguably should shift to Eket Senatorial cannot hold,” they said. The Ibom Mandate Assembly went to a great length to distort facts and our recent history and seeking to foist its retrogressive position on the rest of the state as if they were all suffering from selective amnesia. Their reason for agitating for power shift is spurious and ranks among the least

Akpabio

THE DESIRE OF AKWA IBOM PEOPLE IS FOR A LEADER WHO HAS THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE STATE AS HIS TOP PRIORITY; A

LEADER WHO DOES NOT SEE HIMSELF AS REPRESENTING AN ETHNIC GROUP convincing. For calling on a democratically elected President to decree a governor into existence for them, or donate the Hilltop Mansion to them as a trophy (without democratic input of Akwa Ibom people), they have unwittingly alienated many people who would have sympathised with their cause. But what is the reality of zoning in Akwa Ibom State? The truth is that at no time since the creation of the state has the position of the governorship of the state been exclusively zoned to any senatorial district. The fact is that in 1991, under the National Republican Convention (NRC), Sir Sunday U. Akpan from Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District contested for the ticket of the party against the late Obong Akpan Isemin from Uyo Senatorial District. Obong Isemin won the primaries and went on to win the gubernatorial election. The party did not bar candidates from any zone. It is also on record that in 1999 several Akwa Ibom State citizens who felt they had what it took to lead the state vied for the position. They included Obong Victor Attah and the late Obong Etukudo Ekpro (Uyo senatorial district), Mr. Benjamin Okoko (Eket senatorial district), Chief Itak Bob Ekarika, Dr. David Ekanem (Ikot Ekpene senatorial district). Through the popular will of party members, Attah was handed the ticket of the party and he went on to win the election. For those who, out of political expedien-

Attah

Umana

cy slip into selective amnesia, as the Ibom Mandate Assembly, they may be reminded that even as an incumbent governor, Attah was fiercely challenged by Samuel Udonsak and Etim Okpoyo both from Eket senatorial district. Again Attah triumphed. But perhaps the most contentious of party primaries would be the battle for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ticket in 2006 when about 58 persons vied to fly the flag of the party. Among the aspirants were the immediate past deputy governor, Nsima Ekere, Larry Esin both from Eket senatorial district; Chief Godswill Akpabio, Chief Don Etiebet, Dr. Udoma Bob Ekarika, Dr. Ime Umanah from Ikot Ekpene senatorial district among others. In the hotly contested primaries, Akpabio emerged the winner. Even in 2011, it was another fiercely contested primary election for the PDP ticket as the party cleared Akpabio (Ikot Ekpene senatorial distric), Imo Udo (Uyo senatorial district) and Frank Okon (Eket senatorial district) to vie for the ticket of the party. What these facts show is that there has been no time that an aspirant from Eket senatorial district did not vie for the party ticket. The question that many people now ask is: if there has been a clear cut policy on zoning and power shift as present day advocates want us to believe, why at every point did the party clear all the aspirants from the three senatorial districts to contest? In all these instances, the Ibom Mandate Assembly never showed up and prevailed upon aspirants from Eket senatorial district to drop their ambitions, as it would have been unconstitutional to do so. But in a move which smacks of political mischief, they attempt to rewrite the political history of Akwa Ibom State through crude revisionism by insisting on the unconstitutional barring of qualified aspirants from senatorial districts other than their own from contesting the governorship in 2015. It is however reassuring that even from Eket senatorial district, a potential beneficiary of such obnoxious advocacy has risen very strongly to condemn such undemocratic agitation. According to Larry Esin, who had contested for the PDP ticket in 2006 and the governorship election in 2011, said: “The ongoing agitation for zon-

ing in Akwa Ibom State is baseless and not rooted on any empirical evidence. I am and remain of the firm opinion that zoning deprives a people of quality leadership and it retards sustainable economic development. Umana Okon Umana and all other sons and daughters of Akwa Ibom have the right to vie for the governorship in 2015. For I will not be an “Oron governorship” candidate for an Akwa Ibom son who seeks to serve all of Akwa Ibom should I decide to contest the governorship in 2015.” It is indeed contradictory that Ibom Mandate Assembly which claims Eket senatorial district “with 12 local government areas, the largest among the senatorial districts compared to Ikot Ekpene (10) and Uyo (9)” cannot use this numerical strength to their advantage but instead has resorted to seeking help from the President and “pleading and beseeching” him to unconstitutionally bar qualified Akwa Ibom people from senatorial districts other than Eket from contesting the state governorship election in 2015. They should be told that the President is a democrat and not a dictator to decree such. The ultimate objective of a political party is not just to present candidates for elections, but to present candidates with the best potential for winning an election. No responsible political party would play into the hands of an opposition party by presenting a candidate who cannot win an election, in the name of zoning. This is why it is important that a candidate must emerge from a democratically conducted primary and not a presidential fiat or decree as being demanded by Ibom Mandate Assembly. The desire of Akwa Ibom people is for a leader who has the development of the state as his top priority; a leader who does not see himself as representing an ethnic group nor come with an ethnic agenda to right perceived wrongs or “demarginalize” his zone; a leader who will see the whole state as his constituency in terms of development projects and appointments. Indeed, a leader who has the capacity to take the state to another level, and not a “zoned” leader. As stated above, the tradition in Akwa Ibom State has been the opening of the political space for the best man or woman to emerge.


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Thursday, November 29, 2012

17

Towards a people’s oriented constitution THE POLICE FORCE EXISTENTIAL HUMANISM

FRY

NDUBUISI fryndubuisi@nationalmirroronline.net (08023016709 SMS only)

T

he 1999 Constitution, which many Nigerians see as a military contraption, is now under scrutiny. After 13 years of usage, the popular imagination is that it has failed to meet the nation’s aspirations and expectations. This is the basis for the unceasing clamour for a review, so as to fashion a new document that will capture the spirit of a nation of our dream. To achieve this, most Nigerians have preferred a national conference where the different ethnic nationalities and interest groups would have freely expressed opinions on how to move the nation forward. However, the ruling political elite consider this unattractive. Both the National Assembly and the Presidency opted for a piecemeal reengineering of the constitution. To this end, several retreats have been conducted to focus on their preferred areas needing rework. The two chambers of the National Assembly held ‘conferences’ in their various constituencies to synthesise grass root opinions on this all important project. However, despite all these moves, many

O

n July 22, 2012 a 24-year old young lady, model and postgraduate student, arrived Lagos from Abuja upon special invitation from her ‘friends’, who were at the airport to receive her. But about 12 hours later, the lady, Cynthia Osukogu, had been violated and brutally murdered by her ‘facebook friends’ in a tragedy that shocked the nation. The affair has now turned sub judice as suspects of that heinous crime are already having their day in the court. However, the sad case of Cynthia, beyond its criminological dimension, offers a good example of how a modern beneficial device could be put to infernal use. The advent of the internet, as an integral part of the information and communication technology (ICT), signposts a significant milestone in the human journey to development. The ICT has made possible many wonders, which, not too long ago, had dwelt in the realm of science fiction and magic. As an example of modern ‘miracles’, individuals scattered in seven different continents of the world can now hold video conference and see themselves clearly as they converse audibly in real time on the screen. But it is trite that every good thing with potential beneficial effects is invariably a two-edged sword that lends itself to duplicity of application. In Nigeria, we have been able to reap the near infinite benefits of the ICT in all its ramifications, but we are failing when it comes to the matter of prudent usage of the phenomenon in a way that will insulate us from its negative influences. To start with, watching the live telecast of top grade football matches across

SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM THE EXCLUSIVE LEGISLATIVE LIST…

THE NATION IS TOO

BIG FOR A CENTRALLY COORDINATED AND CONTROLLED POLICING SYSTEM Nigerians are still cynical on the final outcome. The procedures involved in the amendment of a constitution are quite rigorous. It is doubtful if the current National Assembly can accomplish this task of constitution review before its life span. Many fear that this project that consumes immense resources and time may turn out to be efforts in vain. The 1999 constitution has immense anomalies. In many respect it is out of tune with modern reality, which is why there is friction and unceasing mayhem in all facets of our national life with the proving government ill equipped to deal with them. What purpose does the Land Use Act serve? That piece of legislation has not only dispossessed the poor and the downtrodden of their God given resources, it has transformed the governors into the new serfs of our time. The Act has achieved the opposite

of the ideal for which it was originally conceived. Time it is for it to be consigned to the dustbin of history. The same goes for Chapter Two of the Constitution, dubbed the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy. There is the need to have a second and meticulous look at this provision of the constitution and make it justiceable. It is imperative that at this stage of our development, the state should take responsibilities for the provision and protection of basic rights of human development. It is ironic that the government is quick to claim peoples’ resources without a corresponding readiness to provide the services that should go with this. The right to life and freedom of expression make meaning only to those that have what it takes to make these rights meaningful. Social security in area of health, shelter and unemployment perks, is crucial in the modern world with all its trappings and sophistication. It is a big scandal that the governments, most times, are quick to demolish what it deems illegal structures, but yet cannot provide succor to the less privileged. What about all encompassing security? Nigeria has never degenerated to this level, security wise. We had had cases of armed robberies, religious and sectarian violence, but never in the history of this nation have we witnessed the level of criminalities and pervasive insecurity occasioned by the threat to the state by a band of armed militants like we presently have. With its

sophistication and dare devil approach, it is obvious that the government at the centre is at a receiving end. This is why the state governments need to be given the impetus to pool their wisdom and resources together and collaborate with the federal government in ensuring the country is better secured. We need a state police force. The merits of having it outweigh its demerits. The police force should be removed from the exclusive legislative list. The fear of abuses is genuine, but it is not different from our other state institutions that are prone to such absurdity. The nation is too big for a centrally coordinated and controlled policing system. The centre is overburdened with powers and functions. It has more disproportionate share of the nation’s financial resources. This is partly the reason for the mad geopolitical struggle for control of the government at the centre. The political architecture of the country should be redesigned. A more rational and equitable revenue sharing formula is recommended with the states and local governments sufficiently financially empowered to take care of its responsibilities. Then there is the indigeneship issue. It behooves on the National Assembly to muster the political will to handle this very sensitive issue. Will our political leaders rise to the challenge? This exercise must not be in vain. Prof Ndubuisi, an attorney at Law, is of the Dept of Philosophy, UNILAG

Internet and the Nigerian youth the world may seem a blessing, if it is enjoyed as an occasional leisure. But when people compromise their priorities and devote themselves religiously to the craze of watching mere games for which other people are paid, then something is wrong. Many parents carry heavy blame in this respect by not regulating the exposure of their children to the adverse aspects of our modern hi-tech world. The craze of the Nigerian youth, and even a portion of the adult population, for the English Premier League and other leagues across the world, for instance, is a disturbing development. So is the inexorable addiction of our people to facebook, twitter, yahoo messengers and other social interaction mechanisms, including facility such as YouTube, on the internet. All these undoubtedly have obvious benefits, but addiction to them disproportionately claims gargantuan amount of time relative to their probable utilitarian value. Before the ICT revolutions, leisure time, especially by students, were devoted to reading literature of diverse kinds, including English classics like works of Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Geofrey Chaucer et al. Ironically, there are greater opportunities for extensive learning today than there ever had been, given the incredible amount of information on the internet, but alas, majority of users occupy themselves with vain and inconsequential engagements. The insidious fad of the premiership mania may appear an innocuous pastime; there is, however, no gainsaying the fact that time is a valuable resource that ought to be wisely invested. There is

THE ICT HAS MADE POSSIBLE MANY

WONDERS, WHICH,

NOT TOO LONG AGO,

KAYODE

KETEFE

HAD DWELT IN THE REALM OF SCIENCE FICTION AND MAGIC an average of 10 matches in the English Premier League every week; this is not to talk of the Spanish La Liga, the German’s Bundesliga, the Italian Serie A and the UEFA fixtures. All of these are beamed live on satellite televisions and watched en mass with monomaniac passion. One wonders why people are devoting a considerable amount of a scarce resource like time on leisurely engagements with no observable salutary impact on their lives. Apart from the direct issue of money paid to watch the matches, which ultimately go to the pockets of foreign clubs and the satellite televisions providers, the opportunity cost of the productive hours wasted constitutes another cause for concern. More bizarrely are stories of some young Nigerians who maimed or killed one another in scuffles engendered by bitter altercations flowing from idiotic arguments on questions such as, which is the greater clubs between Arsenal and Manchester United? Or whether or not Chelsea has better players than Barce-

kketefe@nationalmirroronline.net 08032147720 (SMS only)

lona FC, or who is a better tactical wizard among Alex Fergusson, Jose Mourinho, Arsene Wenger, and David Moyes? Imagine such inanities! If the audit of the amount of resources the nation is losing by these seemingly innocuous but costly pastimes is done, the costs are sure to be staggering. But that is not all. What about the internet-based 419 practices and pornographic websites, which the youth (and some adult too!) often frequent, and the violence-prone, debased films suffusing the internet? They collectively constitute evergreen lures to young and impressionable people. All these are moral toxic waste imported from abroad via the instrumentality of the ICT, which undermine the norms and values of our society. 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.


18

Editorial

Thursday, November 29, 2012

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

STEVE AYORINDE

„

MD/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

YELE AKINROLABU

„

ED OPERATIONS

SEYI FASUGBA

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DAILY EDITOR

BOLAJI TUNJI

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GBEMI OLUJOBI

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SATURDAY EDITOR

LANRE OYETADE

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GENERAL EDITOR

DOZIE OKEBALAMA

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COORDINATOR, EDITORIAL BOARD

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CONTROLLER, PRODUCTION

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KAYODE BALOGUN JNR

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SM, STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT

FRANK OBOH

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HEAD, GRAPHICS

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The N24 billion PHCN fraud

he Minister of State for Power, Hajia Zainab Ibrahim Kuchi, disclosed recently that a cartel in the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) supposedly deceived the Permanent Secretary in the ministry to raise a memo for the payment of N24 billion for power distribution equipment already available in the company’s store. The minister exposed the shock find during an official visit to PHCN’s facilities in the premises of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) in Ojo, Lagos State; where she and members of her entourage witnessed some of the power distribution equipment being loaded in trucks, ready to be carted away illegally and with false documents. Two trucks intercepted in the process had papers showing power equipment different from the ones listed on the documents authorizing the removal of the items. A startled Kuchi lamented that the same consignment was the one a N24 billion payment memo was raised by the Permanent Secretary recently. The minister, according to reports, remarked that frauds of that magnitude had, in no small measure, contributed to PHCN’s woeful failure to provide regular electricity supply to the nation. Earlier, the previous day, the minister and her team had been briefed on how a PHCN

inventory official was drugged, obviously by crooks that wanted to corner power equipment but failed to secure the cooperation of the affected staff. From the foregoing, it seems quite evident that a major problem with the power sector is not necessarily that of power generation, but heinous corrupt practices being perpetrated by an arm of the PHCN entrusted with the transmission and distribution of electricity. That is why we think the minister should make haste and fish out the dubious syndicate that allegedly conned the unnamed Permanent Secretary into approving as much as N24 billion for equipment already paid for and kept in the store, and hand them over to the relevant authorities for prosecution and punishment. Indeed, the President Goodluck Jonathan government should muster the political will, not only to unmask the thieving cabal in the PHCN and other public establishments, but to punish them according to the laws of the land without further delay. It is no longer news that such heartless networks and web of corrupt syndicates in government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) have ruined the nation and its resources for too long. But the PHCN seems a very special case. The situation appears so disappointing, shame-

IT IS ALSO PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE THAT WHAT THE MINISTER

WAS SCREAMING ABOUT,

(THE MONUMENTAL GRAFT IN THE PHCN)

HAS BEEN THE PASTIME FOR AGES less and hopeless, since it is not just about fooling a Permanent Secretary or drugging a store keeper. It is about the work of a cabal recruited, kitted and paid to render public service; but which like the proverbial dog, has unrepentantly resolved to be devouring the precious bone kept in its custody. The development has again highlighted the chronic rot in the PHCN, which might keep increasing in depth except the culprits are severely dealt with to deter others. It was in exactly the same manner that 25 container loads of power equipment imported for the National Independent Power Projects (NIPPs) were being carted away before they were intercepted some months ago. Not much has been heard so far about the purportedly recovered containers and the suspects who plotted the stealing. From all these discoveries

and revelations, it is so obvious that the PHCN and its officials are so heartless when it comes to stealing power equipment. They have sold their conscience to the devil and are incapable of tackling the nagging problem of abysmally poor electricity service delivery in the country. The lucrative, corrupt business of the cabal might also be helpful in explaining why PHCN staff and management, including Organised Labour, are vehemently opposed to the privatization of the rotten behemoth charged with providing electric power to Nigerians. Yet, the truth remains that notwithstanding the deafening level of corruption in the outfit, there is hardly any sign of remorse or change of heart by the PHCN, its officials and their so-called cabal. It is also public knowledge that what the minister was screaming about, (the monumental graft in the PHCN) has been the pastime for ages. That is partly why prepaid meters are unavailable and crazy estimated bills have become the rule rather than the exception. Let the Federal Government speed up the conclusion of the privatization of the PHCN to enable the nation enjoy regular, uninterrupted electricity supply to encourage both local and foreign investors to do business in the country; and to improve living standards.

ON THIS DAY November 29, 2007 A 7.4 magnitude earthquake occurred off the northern coast of Martinique, French Carribean Island, leading to widespread power outages. It was the largest earthquake in the region since a magnitude 6.9 earthquake which occurred near Antigua in 1974. The earthquake affected the Eastern Caribbean as far north as Puerto Rico and as far south as Trinidad. The earthquake was also felt strongly in Dominica, Guadeloupe, Monteserrat, Antigua, St Kitts and Nevis, Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, etc.

November 29, 1990 Gulf War: The United Nations Security Council passed two resolutions to restore international peace and security if Iraq did not withdraw its forces from Kuwait and free all foreign hostages by January 15, 1991. The Gulf War (August 2, 1990 – February 28, 1991), codenamed Operation Desert Storm, was a war waged by a UN-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq’s invasion and annexation of Kuwait.

November 29, 1963 United States’ President, Lyndon B. Johnson established the Warren Commission to investigate the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas. Although Lee Harvey Oswald was charged with the crime, he was shot and killed by Jack Ruby two days later, before a trial could take place. The FBI and the Warren Commission officially concluded that Oswald was the lone assassin.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

19

Education Today Government’s investment in education not enough –Atiku 22

IJEOMA EZEIKE ABUJA

C

reativity and Innovation have been described as veritable instruments to drive socio-economic development of any country. President Goodluck Jonathan gave this description at the recent 2012 edition of National Education Innovations Exhibition held in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, where universities and polytechnics participated. According to him, transformation of any society is a factor of the level of development of its education sector across levels. This position may have underscored the commitment of his administration in supporting educational and research institutions that will move the country forward. Giving the competitiveness of the global market, the president opined that, although government should be in a position to provide young generation with the opportunities and tools that would enhance their skills and competences in driving diverse sectors of the economy, the higher educational institutions should engage in innovative and creative works that would drive the economy. He, however, acknowledged the various challenges facing the sector which he said had affected the growth and sustainability of education in the country. But then, he said, the phenomenon could still be traceable to inadequate and poor research and innovation works from the tertiary educational institutions in the country. The president noted that the budgetary allocation to education has been on the increase in the last few years to move the sector to an appreciable height. According to him, the Federal Government allocated a total of N409 billion to education sector outside other budgets in 2012 alone and N428 billion for the next fiscal year. President, who was represented by the Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufa’I canvassed a situation whereby a system of creativity and innovations should be entrenched into the school system right from the elementary level if the country’s quest for a dynamic and economic–driven society would be achieved. “We must begin the process now. Innovative thinking is more of a product of culture that encourages a system that puts emphasis on ideas. That is why I am pleased that this exhibition is put together by the Federal Ministry of Education in conjunction with the ministries of Communication Technology, Health, Labour and Productivity; Science and Technology, Trade and Investment, as well as agencies. The Federal Government recognises that having qualitative

Jonathan to varsities: You are not innovative enough

Auchi Polytechnic’s stand during the exhibition. Inset: President Goodluck Jonathan

THE SUCCESS OF A COUNTRY IS CLOSELY TIED TO THE QUALITY OF EDUCATION,

CREATIVITY AND INNOVATIONS AT ITS DISPOSAL education and innovations in the country is depended largely on the collaboration with relevant stakeholders,” he said. The president stressed that collaborative activities among ministries, agencies with relevant stakeholders would provide opportunity for each of them to showcase what they have and how to be of assistance to one another. He called on ministries and agencies to always look at the areas they could engage themselves in collaborative activities that would be of public interest. “But we must not lose sight of the enormous challenges that are still facing our education sector. I must confess that the success of a country is closely tied to the quality of education, creativity and innovations at its disposal including those emanating from the ivory towers,” said the president.

“So we must take every step to ensure that outputs of our educational institutions, as well as innovations are exploited for the full benefit of the society. It is on this note that government agencies must continue to encourage the commercialisation of innovations from the individual to institutional levels. “The Ministry of Education should continue to create the necessary linkage with relevant stakeholders-public or private- on useful things that will lead to development. Considering our large population and market, mass innovations and research will not only help to grow our economy through job creation, it will also make us less dependent on imported equipment and materials. “My administration will therefore continue to encourage and support productive innovations that will enhance development. Now with the growing emphasis on technical and vocational education and training, I am confident to say that in due course, we would have a body of individuals with skills and competences in various fields to support innovators in the country,” the president explained. Corroborating the president, the Minister of Education, Prof. Rufa’I attributed the inability of higher institutions to commercialise their innovative

works on over dependence on the Federal Government. She said worthy innovations of some Nigerians scholars had lost their economic value just because they could not be put to proper and effective use. Prof Rufa’I, however, noted that government was working out modalities to select a number of institutions in the country for the purpose of showcasing their innovations to the public. According to her, there are pockets of innovations that were based on hardwork and sense of discovery of some members of staff and students in higher institution that could transform the country but they remain only in papers. The minister and other government official went round the various exhibitors’ stands to see their works, ranging from machinery and related equipment. Among participating institutions included University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), which exhibited some wood stoves, solar crop dryers and solar electricity, Kaduna Polytechnic showcased Mobile Orange Juicers, while Auchi Polytechnic, Edo State and Federal Government Girls’ College, Owerri, exhibited Artifacts and laboratory equipments and school time regulatory devices, respctively.


20

Education Today

Thursday, November 22, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Dangote, Ribadu, Otti pledge support for education MOJEED ALABI

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he President and Chief Executive Officer of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote; Chairman, Petroleum Revenue Task Force, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu and the Chief Executive Officer of Diamond Bank, Dr. Alex Otti have promised their unflinching support for educational development and quality research activities in the country. They made this commitment last weekend at the official inauguration of the multimillion Naira Laz Otti Memorial Library at Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State. The library was donated to the university by Dr. Alex Otti in memory of his late father, who he said died 18 years ago during his active service as a pastor of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. The event, chaired by Dangote, offered a rare opportunity for the stakeholders to appraise the collapsing education system in Nigeria and enjoin individual philanthropists, corporate organisations and international agencies to come to the aid of the nation’s academic institutions as the lasting solutions to her socioeconomic and political woes. Dangote, who took exception to the popular appellation of being the richest African, said he was usually embarrassed to be so referred to considering the raging poverty, hunger, diseases and corruption that are almost consuming the nation. Rather, he said he would prefer to be known as a giver and one who invests in the people’s future through commitment to education and by offering employment. The businessman, who decried the socio-economic and political crises facing the African

A

part from building the spirit of spirituality in the people, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye knows very well that a successful nation can only be built on the foundation of sound education. As a Mathematician himself, the former lecturer at the University of Lagos believes that the subject is a strong basis for meaningful researches that can enhance the economic recovery of the country. This, according to him, was the reason behind the launch of the first edition of Enoch Adeboye Mathematics Challenge for Senior Secondary Schools in

L-R: Wife of the donor, Mrs. Priscilia Otti; her husband and CEO, Diamond Bank, Dr. Alex Otti; Chairman, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote; former EFCC Chairman, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu and Vice-Chancellor, Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Prof. Kayode Makinde at the event.

continent, said only massive investments in quality education and impactful researches, could rescue the black race from the impending doom of violence and famine. While commending the donor for what he described as a rare gesture among Nigerians, Dangote condemned the attitude of Nigerians for not wanting to spend for the benefit of humanity. He said only investments in the training of minds and on the course of God could set man free from problems that wealth creates when not properly distributed. In his comments as the special guest of honour, Ribadu said Otti’s investment was not only rare but one that contradicts the current culture of accumulation of wealth and misplacement of priority. “At a time when people are offered gifts of airplanes you have decided to invest in the future of the current and incoming generations of students. This is a thing I am proud of and happy to be related with. I can tell

you that each moment a student enters this place to learn, your reward shall be in multiples. So I congratulate you for being one of the very few who can think along this line,” the retired Police boss said. Ribadu, who was once honoured with the university’s doctorate degree, said he was just coming from a public university and “the moment I entered here I wept for this country considering the sharp differences between what is obtainable here and the degeneracy that has taken over our public institutions.” The institution’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. James KayodeMakinde, while welcoming the guests described the gesture as a continuation of the donor’s father’s educational legacies. He described the late pastor as a humble nation builder, who he said did not allow his poor background to deter him from achieving his dreams. The VC said the university was prepared to champion the long awaited Africa’s rebirth

through inculcation of Godly teachings and quality education in the growing younger generations. He pledged on behalf of the university that the facility will be adequately put to use and shall be maintained to fulfill the dreams of the donor and the ivory tower. He also called for donations of other necessary items such as furniture, air conditioner, book shelves, among others. This request was instantly assented to, by the chairman of the occasion who promised to make them available in due course. The donor, who said he was overwhelmed by the large turnout of friends, family members, colleagues and well wishers, said he was celebrating his late father the way the man would have loved to be celebrated. He said his father sponsored himself to attend schools and was later recruited to teach at Seventh Day Adventist Schools where he made mark through his hard work, dedication and commitment to work.

“It was during his teaching career that he chose to serve the church and eight years after his training he was ordained as a pastor. Since then his history we have always heard from those who came across him had been that of discipline, commitment to duty and service to humanity. So contributing to the reform of education in his name could be one of the best things that would make him happy in the world where he is now because that is what he fought for till he died,” Otti said. The bank chief, who craved for the intervention of philanthropists in the current efforts to reform education in the country, added that the industrialists on their part should involve in curriculum design for schools to reflect the needs of the business world. The event attracted many students and members of the Library Society of Nigeria, traditional rulers and members of the university’s host community.

Adeboye boosts mathematics study with competition To mark the 60th anniversary of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), a Mathematics competition was recently organised for senior secondary schools in Lagos State, where Baptist Academy, Obanikoro, beat six others to emerge winner. MOJEED ALABI reports. commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the church. The competition, which was won by the Baptist Academy, Obanikoro, Lagos, featured both public and private schools, including Igbobi College, Yaba; Mende Senior Secondary School, Maryland; Army Cantonment Senior Secondary School, Ikeja; Christ the Redeemer’s

Secondary School, Maryland; Immaculate Heart Senior Comprehensive High School, Maryland and Community Senior Secondary School, Wasimi, Maryland. The coordinator of the project and Pastor of the Lagos Province V of RCCG, Gbola Sokoya, who declared the event opened, said the decision to take the

Wife of the Province V Pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Mrs. Tolu Sokoya, presenting gifts to the overall winner of the competition and students of the Baptist Academy, Obanikoro at the end of the exercise.

challenge to the secondary school level was to build a solid foundation of academic excellence among the younger generation. He said as a pastor, he believes there are chances for Nigeria to rise above

its present challenges but that has to be done through massive investment in education. Representing the Lagos State Ministry of Education, Mrs. Ibiyemi Jegede, who commended the ef-

fort, charged the students to make use of the opportunity to prove their worth and sharpen their paths to greatness. The winning school scored 15 out of the possible 35 points to beat the Baptist Academy, which scored 10 points. The team leaders of the two finalist schools, Okagwe Arinze and Odediran Ibukun of Baptist Academy and Army Cantonment Schools respectively were made to compete for the position of the best Mathematician. Arinze, whose dream is to become a medical doctor, eventually trounced his opponent. CONTINUED ON PAGE 23


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Learn Africa rewards top NECO candidates TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE

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he annual awards for students, teachers and schools at the senior secondary school level, instituted by Learn Africa Plc (formerly Longman Nigeria Plc), a foremost learning resource company, will take place on Tuesday, December 4, at the headquarters of the company in Ikeja, Lagos. The awards, tagged: “LearnAfrica: NECO Excellence Awards,” were instituted by the company under the auspices of Learn Africa Education Development Foundation, its corporate social responsibility arm, to underscore the importance of excellence in education in national development. It is also designed to encourage hard work, diligent scholarship, and healthy competition among students, teachers and schools. The recipients of the awards are candidates who distinguished themselves in the June/July 2012 NECO Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE). The first category of the awards, according to a statement by the company’s Head of Marketing/ Foundation Manager, Mr. Allwell Nwankwo, will go to the best three students at the national level, while the other category is for the best three students in each of the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. He said special recognition would be given to an outstanding teacher from each school that produced the first prize winners at both the state and national levels. The winning students include Anazor Sandra Obianuju, from Federal Government Girls’ College, Onitsha; Obasi Chizoba, from Stella Maris College, Abuja; Ahia Matins from Brilliant Child College, Lagos; Aina Feyisayo from Federal Government College, Ijanikin, Lagos, among others. While winners at the national level will go home with N100, 000 star prize, a laptop computer and a plaque; the second and third prize winner will receive N80, 000 and a plaque and N60, 000 and a plaque, respectively.

Education Today

Thursday, November 29, 2012

NYSC camp habitable –Lagos coordinator TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE

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agos State Coordinator of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Mrs. Adenike Adeyemi, on Tuesday in Lagos said the Iyana- Ipaja Orientation Camp of the organisation was moderately habitable for corps members. She said although, the facilities on ground at the camp, were overstretched due to huge number of corps members being posted to the state yearly, the camp was safe for people to

live. She noted that maintenance of the premises was regular. Mrs. Adeyemi stated this while speaking to newsmen shortly after a brief ceremony to wind up the three- week orientation course organised for the last batch of 2012 corps members posted to the state. She, however, debunked the claims by a national daily (not National Mirror) that the orientation camp was unfit for living, describing the report as baseless, calculated to tarnish the image of the leadership of the organisation.

However, a total of 3,394 corps members observed the closing ceremony and have consequently been posted to places where they will have their primary assignments for the rest of the one year compulsory exercise. Earlier, the governor of the state, Mr. Babatunde Raji in his message to the corps members urged them to put into use the various programmes they were exposed to in the last three weeks. “I am aware of the several entrepreneurship

skill acquisitions and motivational lectures you were exposed to during your induction exercise, they are not only to sensitise you but also to prepare you for post-service self-employment,” he said. He told them that the people of Lagos State were loving, peaceful and hospitable and therefore they should feel at home while they remain law abiding. The governor, represented by the Commissioner for Special Duties and Chairman, NYSC Governing Board, Dr. Wale Ahmed, also implored the employers of these young graduates to make good use of them, as well as taking good care of them.

NOUN matriculates monarch, 499 others MUJAHEED L AWAL

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arely 10 months after the Awujale of Ijebu-Ode and paramount ruler of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona matriculated as an undergraduate student of National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) at its Awa-Ijebu Study Centre in Ogun State, the traditional ruler of the community, Oba Amos Awobajo, last weekend joined other 499 newly admitted students at the centre for matriculation ceremony. The ceremony was held simultaneously with other 48 study centres of the university spread across the country for the commencement of the 2012/2013 academic session. The Limeri Awa, who was visibly happy taking matriculation oath, said he would study very hard now that he was an undergraduate, the opportunity he said he was denied in the late 1960s due to paucity of funds. It was gathered that the monarch facilitated the establishment of the centre in the community because of his love for education. Addressing the matriculating students, the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Vincent Tenebe urged them to be focused, diligent and determined, as well as to give their studies a deserved attention. He promised that the school would not also renege in giving them the best trainings in their various courses. He told them that the uni-

Limeri of Awa Ijebu, Oba Amos Awobajo (middle) with classmates during their matriculation ceremony at the National Open University of Nigeria, Awa- Ijebu Study Centre, Ogun State.

versity’s desire was to produce graduates that would make a positive change in the society. Tenebe, speaking through the university’s Director of Industrial Training and Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme, Prof. Afolabi Adebanjo, noted that almost all the programmes offer by the university were accredited by the National Universities Commission (NUC) and the university was aimed at increasing Nigerians access to university education. The VC, however, urged matriculating students not only to be computer literate, but to be versatile in the use of Information Communications Technology (ICT), stressing that a good knowledge of ICT would greatly enhance their studies throughout

their studentship in the university. According to him, NOUN’s mode of operations, including writing of examinations are electronic and pen-on-paper based and these have been what made the graduates of the school the preferred choice in international community than those from the conventional ssystem. However, matriculating with a traditional ruler became exciting to Oba

Awobajo classmates as they expressed their happiness at the development, saying they would learn from wealth of his experience and exposure. One of them, an experienced security officer in his 40s, Mr. Adedayo Paul, said the open and distant learning system provided by the university gave him the opportunity to gain admission into the school with his grade II certificate.

WAEC Ambassador emerges

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2012 graduating student of Rochas Foundation College, Kano, Queen Daniel, has been nominated as the West African Examination Council’s (WAEC) Ambassador of the Year. She was nominated for the honour because of her

excellent performance in the council’s last May/June examination and for this development, she would be used in WAEC bill board adverts to be erected nationwide. Azezat Rabiu from the same school was the 2011 WAEC Ambassador, also because of her outstanding

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Why I write book on business solution –Author MUJAHEED L AWAL

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he author of the book: “Causes of business failure in Nigeria,” Mr. Festus Duru, has said he wrote the book as an entrepreneur to offer practicable solutions that can bail out Nigerian business people from many problems they face daily in their endeavours. He made the disclosure at the official launch of the book in Lagos, recently. ‘Causes of business failure in Nigeria’ is the product of my practical experience as an entrepreneur and the robust theoretical works I studied overtime,” he said. Duru explained that while some business initiatives became sustainable ventures, others could either not see the light of the day or die prematurely. He noted that this situation was the major reason to engage in critical thinking and studies of the business clouts in and outside Nigeria to write the book. The reviewer of the book, Prof. Godswill Nwankpa, on his part, said the book examined business processes, strengths, weaknesses and business opportunities analysis in Nigeria and beyond. He added that the book threw up to the reader not just the challenges and problems associated with doing business in Nigeria, or anywhere in the world, it also delineates the prospects and recipes for confronting them head-on.” Duru noted that the book outlined over 300 possible business ideas and how to power them into result-oriented action. The book launch, chaired by Mr. Nnabuike Edechime, a Lagos- based lawyer, was graced by Mrs. Sefinatu Mohammed, a public commentator and women’s rights activist and Chief Linus Obi Chiamuta, among other dignitaries.

performance in the council’s exams of that year. The Public Relations Officer of the college, Ms. Jubemi Omabuwa, in a statement, said the school was happy about the development and would continue to produce those who will become agents of change in the society.


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Education Today

Thursday, November 29, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Government’s investment in education not enough –Atiku TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE

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ounder, American university of Nigeria (AUN), Yola and former Vice-President, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, has expressed his disappointment over government’s inability to commit ad-

equate resources into the education sector. He said this development would continue to take a huge toll on the standard of education in the country and the production of adequate and competent manpower that could grow and develop the economy.

He stated this in a chat with journalists at the 7th Founder’s Day ceremony of AUN in Yola, Adamawa State, recently. Atiku, therefore, urged governments across levels not only to increase their investment in education, but also to give the sector a deserved attention.

According to him, no country can develop without its citizens having access to quality education. Atiku said his venturing into education by establishing schools from primary to the university level was to produce qualitative education patterns after the United States

model so as to make products of the schools compete favourably with their counterparts around the world. “And the university, within few years, is already producing graduates that are creating jobs for themselves and also employing others and that is why ours is a development

university,” he stressed. Atiku said the kind of education Africa needed at the moment is the one that would help grow the economy and reduce poverty, adding that the university system should be able to contribute significantly to such development.

Ekiti to introduce human capital development in school curriculum JOHNSON OKANLAWON

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kiti State Government has said that it would introduce human capital development into schools’ curriculum as part of efforts to build entrepreneurship skills in pupils so as to make them self-reliant and employers of labour after leaving school. Speaking at the Public Primary Schools’ Trade Fair in Ado Ekiti recently, the State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Funmi Olayinka reiterated the commitment of the Fayemi-led administration to reposition all public schools for all-round education that would develop their inherent skills alongside the education syllabus. Olayinka commended the organizers of the fair saying it would spur pupils in discovering their talents

as they grow in knowledge. In her remarks, the Chairperson of the State Universal Basic Education Board, Prof. Modupe Adelabu said the fair was a practical demonstration of the results of government’s investment in primary education in the state. In another development, the ongoing distribution of laptop computers to students in the state under the computer-per-student initiative of the state government has been described as a step aimed at enhancing students’ technological competence. The State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Dr Eniola Ajayi made this assertion in Ado- Ekiti at a forum tagged: “The future starts now” organised for students from public and private schools in the State. According to her, the

initiative would keep the students abreast of technological trend and help them compete favourably with their colleagues around the globe. She added that the importance of the initiative could not be overemphasised especially now that the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and the West African Examinations Council have announced their intention to go digital in conducting the 2013 and 2015 examinations, respectively. The commissioner expressed confidence that candidates from the state would perform excellently when e-examinations begin. While stating that the ministry would monitor the use of the computers in order to prevent their misuse, Ajayi warned that any student found misusing the device would be sanctioned.

L-R, Keynote Speaker and former Governor of Central Bank, Prof. Charles Soludo; Founder, American University of Nigeria (AUN), Yola and former Vice-President, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku; President, AUN, Dr. Margee Ensign at the 7th AUN’s Founder’s Day ceremony in Yola, Adamawa State, recently.

Katsina to re-introduce teachers’ colleges JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA

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atsina State House of Assembly is considering the possibility of re-introducing Teachers’ Colleges in the three senatorial zones as a way of improving teaching-learning process in the state. Already, the lawmakers have directed the commit-

Teachers tasked on declining education standard KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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midst growing concern over the decline of standard of education in the country, teachers have been blamed for not doing enough to do the job of impacting knowledge on the students. A school proprietor, Pastor Muyiwa Bamgbose, said this in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, at the 2012 send forth ceremony of the Educational Advancement Centre (EAC). He said teachers of today did not see teaching as their first profession, stating that they engaged in trading and other businesses at the expense of having time to teach the students put in their care. According to him, those with sound education in the country today will always be proud of being taught by teachers of old

who dedicated themselves to the teaching profession and put their best to produce students that were the best. He, however, said: “There is no doubt that a lot has been wrong with the education system in the country, but I believed that the present crop of teachers is not giving their best compared to the teachers of old. Those who are holding their own in the society today were taught by competent teachers, who sacrificed all to give their best. “It is thus important that we call on the teachers of today to give their best and save the country from further decline in the standard of education, indeed for us to get out of the abyss that our education has fallen, it must start from the teachers changing from the present attitude of theirs and regard teaching

as a noble profession that is important in the development of any nation. Bamgbose while noting the contributions of the Educational Advancement Centre towards training students in different programmes, said the students were made to pass through necessary rudiments that would make them trail blazers in the society. He maintained that the centre could only assure the graduating students of equipping them to face the world, stating, “We put quality in them to make them not only the best but also trail blazers wherever they found themselves.” One of the graduating students, Biliamin Babalola, who lauded the management and staff of the centre for the contributions towards their educational development, said the centre would continue to be part of the past, present

and future of their lives. He enjoined his colleagues and other students of the centre never to give up in the face of any challenges, insisting that each individual in the world must endeavour to make a difference in life as loosing today must be seen as a challenge for tomorrow.

tee on education to work out modalities and have discussions with stakeholders in the education sector on how the colleges could be re-introduced. The directive followed motion tabled before the House by Hon. Yusuf Shehu (CPC Daura) in which he emphasised importance of quality teaching in schools and the negative impact unqualified teachers were having on pupils and students. Shehu said absence of teachers’ colleges in the state had resulted in the recruitment of half-baked teachers in both primary and secondary schools across the state’s 34 council areas. He also said that the state was lacking adequate number of teachers for some important sci-

ence and non-science subjects due to closure of the teachers colleges. “Many of our students fail WAEC and NECO because of lack of qualified teachers to teach in our secondary schools. Teachers produced by teachers’ colleges are trained to teach but their absence has resulted to delivery of low quality education,” he said. Contributing on the motion, member representing Matazu Constituency, Hon Abdu Danshehu, said phasing out of teachers colleges had negatively affected teaching and learning in schools across the state. Danshehu, however, called on the state government to liaise with relevant stakeholders to see how the colleges could be eventually re-introduced.

Kaduna varsity assures JAMB of support ficials of the organisation vis- with the achievements TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE

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he Kaduna State University (KSU), Kaduna has assured the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) of its support in the muchcampaigned Computer Based Test, which is expected to kick-start by the exam body next year. The Vice- Chancellor of the university, Prof. Bamabas Qurix, gave the assurance when JAMB Registrar, Prof Dibu Ojerinde and some of-

ited him in Kaduna recently. While Ojerinde was described as a genius, especially considering the promptness in the release of results in the recent years, Prof. Qurix, in a statement by JAMB‘s spokesman, Mr. Timothy Oyedeji, said the university would make available, necessary items that would make the board’s centre at the university conducive for candidates. Earlier, Ojerinde, expressed his satisfaction

made so far by the university, saying going by the pace of development on ground, the target of the institution to become one of the top 10 universities in the country in the next five years, was achievable. In his own, the state’s Commissioner of Education, Mr. Mohammed Usman, who was represented at the forum by a Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Habila Kyong Dogo, noted that the state was on the part of e-compliance.


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Education Today

Thursday, November 29, 2012

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FG blacklists publishers over book distribution IJEOMA EZEIKE

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inister of State for Education, Mr. Nyesom Wike has said his job was on line having disappointed Nigerians on his promise that within a period of

six weeks, he would supply books to public primary and junior secondary schools through the Universal Basic Education project across the country. It would be recalled that the Federal Government signed a six-week contract with nine Nigerian pub-

No escape routes for indebted, violent students in Lagos –LASGEMS TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE

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he Lagos State Education Management System (LASGEMS), an online management tool housing database, biometric, bio data, academic and disciplinary records of pupils and students in public and private schools has been identified as a tool to track any violent student in Lagos schools. The consultant of LASGEMS, Mr. Yomi Erogbogbo disclosed this at a recent workshop organised for education policy makers in the state. He explained that if a child was expelled in a Lagos school, be it public or private, it would be difficult for that student to get admission in another Lagos school unless he got the approval from the ministry of education. He said this was because of the past records of such student that have been captured online. Erogbgbo also informed that the system would help private school owners track their pupils and students especially those that owe and want

to leave the school for another, since they would be registered and given the Lagos Identity Card. He added that: “With LASGEMS, no indebted student in any Lagos school that can leave that school for another without first settling his or her bill because all schools in the state are registered with the agency.” He further explained that the system could also be used as a tool for checking examination registration malpractice in the public schools. In her own, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mrs. Omolara Erogbogbo, said the system would help the state to know the exact number of pupils and students in the state-owned schools and that of the private and also know the students that pass through each schools in case the need arise in the future to know about a particular person. She said LASGEMS would help in placement, admissions, registration, transfer and promotions of pupils and that the system would help improve education in the state.

lishing companies on the 3rd of October to supply textbooks to primary and junior secondary schools across the country, but as at last Tuesday, the publishers were yet to fulfill their part of the deal. Wike in a meeting with the publishers on Tuesday in Abuja descended on them while accusing them of sabotaging the Federal Government’s effort in the basic education sector and therefore vowed that the companies must be sanctioned for not meeting up with the stipulated time they were all agreed to. The minister told the publishers that the Federal Government had by the development blacklisted them for not meeting up with the timeline and Nigerians would not suffer because of their inability to perform their duties.

He lamented that the publishers rather than supply the books to the teachers and students when the items were needed have chosen to deliver same when schools were on vacation thereby making mockery of government efforts. According to him, publishers have formed the habit of delivering books when the schools are not in session and it shows that you don’t have the capacity to deliver, the agreement was six weeks but now is more than seven weeks and we must apply the relevant laws against you. “I signed an agreement with Mr. President that by December, all projects will be completed and we are expecting Mr. President to inaugurate the book distribution on 30th of this

month, but seven weeks after, you are yet to deliver the textbooks,” he said. Wike, who said there were other competent Nigerians that could handle the job, noted that the publishers never told the ministry about any challenges they were encountering haven held five (5) meeting after signing the contract. Though the publishers pleaded for a grace period to enable them complete the project but the minister who decried the unpatriotic attitude of Nigerians towards government business vowed not to extend the timeline but assured them to expect the full force the law. According to him, “you don’t take government business seriously; your children are private schools while the children of the poor are in govern-

Ogun to employ PTA teachers MUHAJEED LAWAL

T A cross section of members of Committee of Provosts of Colleges of Education in Nigeria at their 66th conference held at Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Ijanikin, Lagos State.

Firm sets to train graduates abroad MOJEED ALABI

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new multinational business group, E4glanx group of companies, has revealed that arrangement has been completed to sponsor over 100 Nigerian graduates to the United Arab Emirate for employment training before they are offered employment upon completion of the training. The group’s solicitor, who stated this recently during an orientation seminar in Lagos, Mr.

Kingley Amah, said the trio of Okah Benedith, Oghnetega Obata and Adeoye John, who are fresh Nigerian graduates have been cleared to be part of the first batch. The company, which he said operates in a wide range of areas like security, healthcare, oil and gas, eatery, haulage and quarry plants among other interests, will employ a good number of graduates of different disciplines. The company’s interest in Nigeria, he disclosed was because of its huge potentials.

ment schools and to you they don’t deserve to study with books. We cannot afford to fail them because we have made a promise of providing them with these books.” The Managing Director of Macmillan publishers, Mr Adesanya Adelekun, who spoke on behalf of the publishers pleaded with the minister for a grace period, blaming the delay on activities at the Nigerian Ports. According to him, we should have contacted you when there was unusual delay because we thought by now, we would have finished the delivery, but the Nigeria customs are not helping matters. “We are pleading with you to give us a grace period, it is a serious challenge we are facing and we are seeking your support,” he pleaded.

Captain of the winning Assisi House, St. Francis Catholic Secondary School, Idimu, Lagos, Master Dominic Erhieyere (left) gets set to collect his trophy from a guest during the school’s inter-house sports competition, recently.

Adeboye boosts mathematics study with competition CONTINUED FROM 20 Arinze, while speaking with National Mirror said apart from the fact that the feat would further boost his morale to pursue his dream; the personality of the man who the programme is organised to honour will go a long way to help further encourage him and others. Apart from Mathemat-

ics, Arinze said his interests had always been in science related subjects and that his interest in them began to grow when the teachers handling those subjects were always inspirational in their teachings. Arinze, who was rewarded with a tablet computer system, promised on behalf of his school that the title would be defend-

ed and won at the next edition. Other participating schools went home with consolation prizes while the best four schools were rewarded with laptops and desktop computers. The trophies, according to the organizers, would be handed over to the best three participants on December 13 by Pastor Adeboye himself.

eachers employed by the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) to complement the services of the regular teachers in the Ogun State public service may be absolved into the services of the state government. The state Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mr. Segun Odubela made this known at a town hall meeting organised by the state government in conjunction with the state branch of PTA held at Adeola Odutola College, Ijebu – Ode. recently According to Odubela, the measure became necessary in order to fill existing vacancies in the teaching profession and to get teachers for the core subjects being taught in the public secondary schools. The commissioner, who bemoaned a situation whereby teachers posted to rural areas reject such posting, assured that the recently approved rural allowance for teachers in the state would be implemented in due course. Speaking on the voluntary levies some parents suggested to be made compulsory in schools, the commissioner said such fees would remain voluntary.


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Education Today

Thursday, November 29, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

MTN commended for interventions in education MOJEED ALABI

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overnor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State was, last Friday, full of praises for the communication firm, MTN, when he was handed the refurbished science laboratories in four senior secondary schools across the state. The project, which is part of the MTN Foundation’s Science and Technology Laboratory Project, is targeted at offering fresh hope for science students and teachers. To foster economic and social changes for the betterment of the people, Governor Fashola of said his administration had put in the front burner improvement in the teaching and learning in the state. Part of the steps being taken he said is the provision of basic and important facilities needed for effective teaching of sciences but that due to the long years of rot the system had suffered it would take partnership with individual philanthropists and corporate organisations to partner the state. This explained why the governor was full of praises for one of the country’s pioneer telecommunication companies- MTN, when it handed over to him the four successfully

completed refurbished science laboratories in four senior secondary schools across the state. Fashola, who was represented by the state’s Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye at the official commissioning ceremony held at Vetland Grammar School, Ifako, last Friday, noted that without investing massively in science and technology education, Nigeria’s growth shall remain stunted. The project, according to the Foundation’s Director, Mr. Denis Okoro, who represented the Chairman of the Foundation, Ambassador Hamzat Ahmadu, is part of the company’s drive to make teaching of science subjects to be more interactive in schools. If adequately put into use he said it would encourage dramatic advancements in the country’s efforts to resolve her socio-economic and political challenges. The four beneficiary schools in Lagos which represent the southwestern region are part of the 22 drawn from the nation’s six geopolitical zones. They are; Vetland Senior Grammar School, Agege; Oshodi Comprehensive Senior High School, Oshodi; Newland Senior Secondary School, Olodi Apapa and King Ado High School, Isale Eko, Lagos Island.

L-R: Olu of Agege, Oba Oyedeji Isiba; Director, MTN Foundation, Mr. Dennis Okoro; Commissioner for Education, Lagos State, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye; and Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation, Ms. Nonny Ugboma, at the inauguration of four of the 22 secondary school science laboratories rehabilitated and equipped by MTNF in Lagos.

Other benefiting schools will come from Edo, Abia, Katsina, Yobe and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. Apart from the facilities already installed, the foundation has pledged a commitment of providing one year supply of consumables including chem-

icals and reagents; training of science teachers and laboratory attendants and supply of a 5KVA generator for each of the beneficiary schools. Speaking on the criteria for selection, the Executive Secretary of the Foundation, Ms. Nonny Ugboma said when the

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kiti State Government has said it was poised to reposition all public schools towards giving total child education to the pupils and develop their skills alongside the education syllabus that cater for their cognitive, affective and psychomotor domain. The State’s Deputy Governor, Mrs. Funmi Olayinka, who expressed this at the opening of the first Public Primary Schools’ Trade Fair 2012 held at the SUBEB Ground, Ado-Ekiti, described the schools’ trade fair as unique and another record laying event in Ekiti, adding that it was common place to hear about trade fair across the globe, but none has yet been done after

this fashion: where school children exhibited their handiwork products. She re-echoed that one of the eight point agenda of the administration is Human Capital Development which the government would blend with the schools syllabus to build the pupils’ entrepreneurship skills and make them self-reliant and employers of labours after leaving school instead of seeking unavailable white collar jobs. While commending the ingenuity and resourcefulness of the planners of the programme and the efforts of participants, he called on planners of the fair and other stakeholders to look in every direction to harness knowledge, industry, experience and resourcefulness that would inject the right kind of spirit

tion process a total of 22 schools were able to meet the strict criteria we set for qualification,” Ugboma explained. Government has, therefore, warned the management of the beneficiary schools to protect the facilities and make good use of them.

Calm returns to UNIJOS after protest JAMES ABRAHAM JOS

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ormalcy has returned to the University of Jos, Plateau State after days of protest by the students of the institution.

It will be recalled that activities on the campus were paralysed throughout last week following students’ protest over hike in tuition fees by the institution’s management. When National Mirror visited the Bauchi Road

Ekiti promises total-child education MUJAHEED L AWAL

Foundation called for submission from the various education ministries across the federation in 2011, a total of 250 entries were received. “Subsequently, we carried out a nationwide inspection of 182 shortlisted. After a transparent and thorough selec-

for the attainment of our individual and corporate goals as a people. The Wife of the Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi who was represented by Dr. (Mrs.) Yemisi Afolabi commended the SUBEB, teachers and the pupils for the unique event and expressed her support for the Board at all time. In her address of welcome, the SUBEB Chairperson, Professor Modupe Adelabu thanked Gover-

nor Kayode Fayemi and his deputy, Mrs. Olayinka for their efforts at repositioning education in the state, adding that the schools’ trade fair is one of the practical results of the government’s investment in the primary education in the state. She urged teachers to compliment government’s efforts with diligence as they are very vital to the success of government’s investment in education.

Campus of the university on Tuesday, many offices were open while students were seen doing their registration. However, the Acting President of the Students Union Government (SUG) of the institution, Maya Nanlop, who spoke with National Mirror, expressed disappointment that the issue which led to the students’ protest had not been resolved. He said: ‘The school management increased our tuition fee to N27, 000 as against 12, 000 which we paid last session. The hostel fee was also increased from N4, 200 to N13,000, as well as other increments which when summed up amounted to N49,350 excluding acceptance and accommodation and we staged a protest to register our opposition to the action of the school authority’’

Nanlop said the initial plan which informed the students protests was to compel the school authority to slash down the amounts ‘but the protests have not changed anything as the school management has refused to reduce the tuition fees. Surprisingly, some students had gone ahead to pay the new fees despite efforts by the student’s body to negotiate a downward review of the hike. In fact, we discovered that more than half of the students’ population has paid the new fee’’. So because of this, the students’ union leader added ‘There is nothing we can do again. Moreover, the school management has justified the increase. What it means is that the new fee has come to stay,” she explained.

Police School, Akure raises funds for new mosque

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he Muslim community of Police Secondary School, Akure, Ondo State is set to hold its first ‘Wolimat Quran’ and fund raising, for the completion of an ultra-modern mosque within the school premises. According to a statement by the Public Relations Officer of the

Muslim community of the school, Mr. Kilani Muraina, the ceremony will hold on December 1, 2012, by 10:00am at the school compound. Dignitaries expected on the occasion include the Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Alhaji Ali Olanusi, the Inspector-General of Police, Alhaji Muhammed

Abubakar and the Secretary to Ekiti State Government, Alhaji Ganiyu Owolabi, who will be special guest of honour. Alhaji Abdulazeez Oluboyo will be Chairman of the occasion while Alhaja (Dr) Fausat Aragbaye and Alhaja Khadijat Lola Ibrahim will be chairpersons Meanwhile, new students

of the college have been advised to abide by the rules and regulations of the school. This was the goodwill message delivered by the Commandant of the school, Francis Bissong, a Chief Superintendent of Police, at the orientation exercise organised by the counseling department of the school for the new students.


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OLUWAFEMI OGUNJOBI AND SIKIRU AKINOLA OAU

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t was a memorable moment to savour when the gospel singer, Evangelist Bola Are stormed the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, recently to lead several other artistes for a night of praise and worship. The event was the 2012 edition of the Dominant Army Conference (DAC) of the Redeemed Christian Fellowship (RCF) which was tagged: Upon High Places. The Dominant Army Conference (DAC) is a yearly programme of the fellowship where members and non-members are offered spiritual food

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

for thought with men of God on stand to offer prayers and words of encouragement. The drama unit of the fellowship, otherwise known as Smiles Production, thrilled the audience to no end with their stage performances since the programme formally commenced on Wednesday November 14. Are, who thrilled the audience with her sonorous voice, sang many of her popular tracks with choruses of the students who never wanted her to end the performance. A Pastor of the Vine Branch Ministries, Reverend Sam Boye, conducted the deliverance session by preaching piety and tolerance. He was assisted by the immediate

Day OAU stood still for Bola Are as VC unveils location guide

The Vice-Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Prof. Tale Omole (middle) and staff of the university and NASRDA after erecting the location guide at the campus gate recently.

past President of the fellowship, Adedokun Zaccheaus, and Pastor (Mrs.) Obadje who handled the relationship talk. During the thanksgiving service, the Special Adviser to the General Overseer, Redeemed Christian Church of God,

Pastor E.A. Adeboye; Pastor J.F. Odesola advised the Christian folks not to join the commentators of happenings but to be among those who make things happen “because this is a vital tool to ride to high places.” Meanwhile, the uni-

CAANU donates to flood relief fund MOJEED ALABI

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he Conference of Alumni Associations of Nigerian Universities (CAANU), the body of various alumni associations of the 122 universities across the country, has announced a donation of N100,000 to the Presidential Committee on Flood Relief as part of its contribution to environmental growth and support for humanity. The association took this decision during its 4th quarterly conference for the year 2012, held recently at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, in Kaduna State. As part of the resolutions at the meeting, the association also called on the National Assembly to collate the views of Nigerians during the recent public hearing held on the ongoing review of the constitution and allow them to reflect in the

amendment. The conference, which was attended by representatives from about 20 universities across the federation, also set up a five-man committee to ensure the design of a website of the group to be sponsored by the University of Ilorin. The committee has the association’s second ViceChairman, Mr. Stephen Olawale Fasakin from

the University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Kwara State as Chairman while the association’s Assistant Secretary, Mrs. Ramatu Ahmed Liman from Niger State University, Keffi, as the committee’s secretary. Also, part of the resolutions of the conference included the decision to engage both the Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universi-

ties (AVCNU) and the Committee of Pro-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities on the need to partner with the various alumni associations in their universities as partners in progress to move the educational sector forward. It also prayed the National Assembly to initiate bills that will grant tax reliefs to donors in the educational sector.

L-R: Chairman, CAANU, Prof. Richard Ahonaruogbo; Members of the Alumni Association, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha and Dr. Ahmed Tijani Mora respectively at the opening session of the CAANU conference in Zaria recently.

Nigerian undergraduates’ arts exhibition holds today in Lagos MUJAHEED L AWAL

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he 10th edition of the annual Nigerian Undergraduates’ Exhibition of Arts (NUXART) is scheduled to formally commence today as part of the activities

marking the 18th National Sports Festival dubbed Eko 2012. The event, organised by a non-governmental organisation, Nigerian Arts Group, shall feature artworks from various tertiary institutions across the country.

According to the initiator of the project and Consultant to the National Gallery of Arts, Dr. Patrick Okpah, said immediately after the game the NUXART team is expected to embark on a study visit to the United Kingdom to expose participants to in-

ternational works of arts and their creators. He, therefore, welcomes every willing participants to bring forward their creative works and interact with the larger audience, the opportunity he said the sport festival is meant to provide.

versity’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. ‘Tale Omole, has unveiled a giant billboard that shows the map of the institution the location of all the buildings, routes, and all that make up the campus. Erected at the main entrance of the univer-

sity, the board stands tall and can be glimpsed by all passersby for their convenience. Omole commended the management and staff of university’s Advanced Space Technology Application under the supervision of the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), for donating the location guide. Presenting the location guide to the Vice-Chancellor, the National Coordinator of the research institution, Mr. Ezekiel Eguaroje, appreciated the university management for providing a very conducive working environment for his staff, stressing that the cordiality between OAU and his organisation would be further cemented.

Eduwatch gathers students, scholars together MOJEED ALABI

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n Abuja-based independent research organisation organisation, Eduwatch Consults and Research Centre, has held a three-day conference of scholars and academic practitioners to appraise the challenges facing the education and research activities in Nigeria. The event, which was graced by the representatives of the Special Adviser to the President on Ethics and Values, Mrs. Sarah Jubril and the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Prof, Isaac Adewole, drew participants from students of higher institutions within and outside Lagos State. In his welcome address, the group’s National Coordinator and Chief Executive Officer, Abayomi Ogunnowo said the motive behind the conference is to assemble leaders of thought and youths to interact and cross fertilize ideas on the ways to address the socio-economic problems facing Nigeria through investment in education. The conference, which

Ogunnowo said is the second in the series is themed; Engaging Africa’s Dynamism across Discplines. The broad theme he said would enable men and women of diverse interest to meet and discuss relevant issues. One of the discussants and retired Professor of Foreign Languages from Obafemi Awolowo University, IleIfe, Remi Sonaiya, whose paper was titled: Getting Africa on her Feet: Leaders, Citizens and Partners, considered the roles of each member of the society towards community growth and development. She enjoined students in particular to take up the responsibility of cleansing the system having been failed by the present crop of leaders. Short stage performances were presented by the students of the Dramatic Arts Department, Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED), Ijanikin, Lagos. The institution’s Dean of the School of Arts and Social Sciences, Dr. Femi Adedina also presented a paper he titled: Beyond the Continent: Africa’s Imaging and Imaginings in the Eyes of the World.


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Thursday, November 29, 2012

‘Obituary’ encompasses ‘announcement’

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HE NATION ON SUNDAY of November 25 goofed: “…her involvement with matured (mature) singles and why marriage is not the ultimate thing in life.” “We must put an end to such emblem of shame.” This way: such an emblem of shame. “Cleric blames parents over (for) crimes among youths” “Naira appreciates as foreign reserves drops to $30.86bn” Why not ‘drop’? “UNIPORT alumni commends Jonathan” The alumni association commends, but alumni commend. “Shell mobs oil spill in Niger Delta” Get it right: mops (up). “LASACO Assurance boss advocates for quality service delivery” Just delete ‘for’ and move on. “The problem of unemployment in Nigeria has reached dangerous dimensions” Again, yank off ‘the problem of ’ and begin the sentence from ‘Unemployment’, which is clinically, technically and holistically a social problem. “Aside from the presidential seat, 15 senatorial and 18 legislative seats, are for grabs during the general elections.” Cerebral Feature: up for grabs “But they say that what is good (sauce) for the goose is also good (sauce) for the gander.” “Post election violence” Voice of The Nation: Post-election violence “Cabinet shake up imminent in Delta” So soon after appointment: shake-up “PDP chieftain killed by suspected assasins” Now, a way of life here: assassins “…had threatened the supposedly hallowed arm of government to its foundation.” My telescope authoritatively tells me it is ‘foundations’. “House of Representatives Imo Caucus condoles our leader…” Not my legislation: condole with or simply console. Please note: obituary (not obituary announcement) as contained in most press advertisements. ‘Announcement’ is implied in ‘obituary’. “Poverty remains one of the most serious problems confronting the developing world, a world in which the poor is struggling to stay alive.” The poor are (not is) still struggling, more and more, to stay alive. “These kind of policy measures from an economic standpoint are pro-growth and pro-poor.” Options: this kind or these kinds. Or: this type/these types of policy measure/measures, depending on context. “Is there some barriers that may prevent you from developing a serious liaison with them? Is this carelessness or half-literacy? This way: Are there some barriers…. “Nigerians are by nature very compassionate, almost to a fault, their brothers’ keepers you may say.” Plurality notwithstanding, the stock idiom is ‘brother’s keeper.’

A TIME WAS WHEN ‘STADIUMS’, ‘FORUMS’, ‘INFRASTRUCTURES’, ETC. WERE WRONG. ALL THESE AND MANY MORE ARE ACCEPTABLE TODAY “We believe there is no discernible excuse for the shortage except bureaucratic bottleneck or non-challance.” Let us write well or not write at all, please: nonchalance. “…was guest at Vanguard Newspapers yesterday during which he rubbed minds with Vanguard editors.” Could that have been possible? The learned gentleman merely exchanged ideas/brainstormed with the editors. There was no physiological exercise, but a meeting of minds! “There cannot be a single solution to the plethora of problems confronting the refineries which often result to (in) fuel scarcity.” “There was a case of a couple that divorced on the ground (grounds) that….” “The husband got himself involved with a teenager and disvirgined (deflowered) her.” That is how lascivious men irresponsibly impregnate girls indiscriminately these days! “She shook her head, gasped for breathe and bit her lips as he starred forlornly at the air.” Verb: breathe; noun: breath. And this: you stare in (not at) the air. “…the incursion of the 419 kingpins into the area whose lifestyle, like that of the drug lords, was a superfluous display of pomp and pageantry.” Post correctly: pomp and ceremony (or circumstance). “For sometime now (some time) there has been a lot of….” “Properties and cash carted away worth millions of naira.” Except in special applications like science and mortgage, ‘property’ is uncountable. “The Beijing supporters advocate without restrain that women should be allowed....” Verb: restrain; noun: restraint. “Nigeria…to bath in the same pond, on the same spot, where four years ago, instead of limpid water, it scooped putrid grit.” Verb: bathe; noun: bath. “It was late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe who….” A rewrite: It was the late Nnamdi Azikiwe who…. “Second, because General Abacha was not forthcoming in his plan to handover power….” Phrasal verb: hand over (two words). “But the Awo legacy is not based on half-truths and double standards” The vindication of Bola Ige: double standard. “It has been postulated ever since Russia joined the bandwagon of free enterprise....” Standard expression: climb/ jump on or aboard the bandwagon. “The police appears unable to fish

them out because of the barrier of national boundaries” Tense security: The police appear unable.… “Harold Laswell and other theorists on power believe that a person may be said to have power to the extent to which he influenced the behaviours of others in accordance to his intention.” Fixed, morphological orderliness: in accordance with. “It was in the heydays of the Babangida administration.” ‘Heyday’ is uncountable. “And hidden in the quiet suburbs of Yaba is an agency which has laid a virtual siege on (to) the pages of the national press.” A reader’s feedback: “My dictionaries insist that both English phrases ‘raise an eyebrow’ and ‘raise one’s eyebrows’ are correct contrary to your assertion that the former is wrong. The latter which you insisted is the only correct option is just an alternative to the first. I read my dictionary well. Let us all be on the alert. He who can gives (sic) out should be able to take in. You do not need to be insulting on this basic correction. You are not texting to a student but to a teacher of the language. ‘He who sits in judgement over his compeers…..’ You have no right to mis-educate the public. I do not need to keep my advice to myself as you angrily opined because you refused to keep your knowledge to yourself. What are the idiomatic expressions you said I had never heard of ?” An anonymous reader sent the above unedited rejoinder via SMS to last week’s edition. His grouse: ‘raise one’s eyebrows’ and ‘raise an eyebrow’ (which I dismissed on precision grounds). Ordinarily, I ignore such faceless, timid and abrasive contributors, but the blissful ignorance in the treble SMS sent to me compelled me to respond to the delusive knowledge self-ascription. I have learnt over the decades that some readers take delight in criticising the critic (passion for easily detecting shadowy faults) and in the indecorous process stumble! As Abraham Lincoln noted, it is ‘better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt’! Let us all be open to novel concepts in linguistics, new vocabulary and modern English usage instead of combative stereotypes. A time was when ‘stadiums’, ‘forums’, ‘infrastructures’, etc. were wrong. All these and many more are acceptable today. Similarly, in the past, you could use ‘bend corner’, ‘extreme end’, ‘sum total’, ‘joined together’, etc. Ever-changing English language will not allow these types of warped collocations today. That a word or an expression is in an obsolete dictionary or other sterile and archival reference books does not confer currency and supra-ultimacy on it. Because of my curiosity and fastidious-

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

ness, I always detect errors in printed matters. Let me also point out that being an illinformed English language teacher in one backside school does not imbue the person with an unquestionable authority on issues of register, lexical dynamism and classical application of lexis and structure. For now, I insist that, the latest idiomatic entry on the subject of this feedback is ‘raise one’s eyebrows’. How do you ‘raise an eyebrow’? Are you going to use your finger to isolate a strand and lose the surprise element even if it were possible? Users of any language should be critical and thoughtful in the employment of words, phrases and other expressions. Slavish adherence to contradictory and outdated books reminds me of the heyday of Eze Goes to School. Even the Bible and Shakespearean books contain language indiscretions because the tool of communication is not static. Mounting on the judgmental turf as an ‘English teacher’ in an un-named school does not impress me in any way. As a sophomore in our country’s university of first choice, UNILAG, according to NUC 2011 Report, I regularly had scholastic debates and robust disagreements with first-class doctoral students and professorial aspirants in English language. Yet, I was unprecedentedly an academic junior to them! Even as a proofreader in the ‘old’ Daily Times in the early 80s shortly before my studentship of NIJ, NIPR, UNILAG, LASU and much later LBS, alumni mates of mine from DTN made an indelible statement on the use of language and its purity. The long history of this column is not a thing to be flaunted or bragged about like the empty-headed ‘English language teacher’ advertises! I have never claimed to be infallible or incorrigible in writing this self-assigned and not-for-profit column. This public platform is for the exchange of constructive ideas—it is not about knowledge supremacy or didactic haughtiness! According to J. E. Metcalfe, ‘poor English is with us everywhere, on radio and television, in newspapers and books, our speech and correspondence. Of course, we cannot all have the same magnificent command of our language as Shakespeare or Churchill, but we all need a thorough grounding in the basic elements of English’. The objective of this column is to identify, as much as possible, the errors committed by colleagues of mine and contributors in their formal (standard) use of the English language. I expect exchange of ideas on all aspects of the English language, including its literature. Let me emphasise here that I am not a grammar pedagogue. This concept has to do with professional/personal interest and this medium being a marketplace, constructive reactions or comments are welcome. I thank editors and other readers who regularly contribute dispassionately to this column through various electronic channels.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ogbonna on Red Devils’ radar

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

27

Sport

I look forward to a greater season next year. That’s the message I want to send to all my fans –South African athlete, Caster Semenya

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Eko 2012: LOC resolves food shortage at Village

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Victor Moses (right) outpacing a Liberian player during Super Eagles’ Nations Cup qualifier in Calabar on October 13.

Coaches trade blames over Moses

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ngland coaches are trading blames over who takes responsibility for losing Victor Moses to Nigeria with England U-21 boss Stuart Pearce now to blame for the player’s choice. Former Crystal Palace owner Simon Jordan, who oversaw Moses’s development at Selhurst Park, has said the often taciturn Pearce should have done more to make the 21-year-old welcome during his time with his England side. And managers Neil Warnock and Roberto Martinez, who had Moses in their respective teams at Palace and Wigan, have also criticised the FA for not persuading the player to pick England. Jordan’s faith in Moses’s potential extended to the multimillionaire football chairman having a £50,000 bet with former Arsenal forward Paul Merson that Moses would win more England caps than Merson’s tally of 21 — although that wager has been voided by the Nigeria decision. The FA has strongly defended Pearce’s interactions with Moses, saying that a lot of effort was made to keep the player in

the national set-up. And they point to plenty of other young internationals opting for England when given a choice. Roy Hodgson’s assistant Gary Neville was asked about Moses snubbing England while he was

he Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the ongoing National Sport Festival in Lagos yesterday pledged adequate food supply for contingents at the various Games Villages. Secretary of the Catering and Feeding Sub-Committee of the LOC, Oluyomi Oluwasanmi, who was reacting to alleged food shortages at the Federal College of Education (Technical), Akoka, assured that the issue had been resolved. “The alleged shortage of food at the FCE Games Village as well as other locations, are due to the unexpected increase in the number of contingents at the Villages. “For instance the LOC made provision for the feeding of 300 athletes at the FCE, but the number has more than doubled due to the inclusion of Ogun and Abuja contingents at the village,” Oluwasanmi told NAN.

Contingents at the FCE had been feeding at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) Games Village, due to shortage of food at their hostels. “The increase at the FCE was due to the unexpected addition of about 400 athletes from Ogun and Abuja. The two contingents were not initially scheduled to stay at the FCE, but at the Yaba College of Technology,” Oluwasanmi added. The four caterers at the FCE village are: Mrs. Rita Moyo of Riyo Ventures Ltd., Mrs. Kehinde Majekodunmi, of Ketis Outlook Catering Services, Mrs. Abosede Bademosi of D.T.S. Catering Services and Mrs. Kikelomo Giwati of Kyke-Fem Catering Ventures. The LOC secretary said that two more caterers were being added to the four already at the FCE to ensure adequate provision of food for the excess number of contingents now at the village.

doing the Sky co-commentary of the Chelsea-Manchester City game last Sunday. Neville shifted the blame on to the system that allows England to develop youngsters through junior sides only to lose them at senior level.

Eaglets in Bamako to battle Mali EVEREST ONYEWUCHI WITH AGENCY REPORT

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igeria’s U-17 National Football Team, Golden Eaglets, flew out to Bamako yesterday ahead of this weekend’s decisive return leg African U-17 qualifier against Mali. The first leg qualifier played at the UJ Esuene Stadium, Calabar ended 2-0 in favour of the Nigerians. Eaglets had been training in Abuja for the past couple of days because Sunday’s match will be played on a synthetic pitch. “We are set for Bamako and by the special grace of God, we shall secure our qualification

to the African Championship,” Coach Manu Garba said yesterday. “Our preparations have been thorough and the players know what lies ahead of them and we are confident about our chances going for this match and we pray God crown all our efforts with resounding success.” The aggregate winner of this match will qualify for next year’s African Junior championship in Morocco. Meanwhile, the Governor of Cross River State, Liyel Imoke, has charged the Eaglets to go for an outright victory against Mali on Sunday to secure a ticket to the 2013 African U-17 Championship.

Governor Fashola

… No medals table yet

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ames Services, the section responsible for the appropriate compilation of medal results for the ongoing 18th National Sports Festival (NSF) has yet to begin its assignment. Journalists that thronged the office at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere yesterday, could not get the results of the previous day’s events because there was nobody or any equipment at the office.

With this development, Journalists are currently in the dark about the placement of the participating states on the medals table, as the 12-day sports fiesta enters its third day. An official of the Main Organising Committee (MOC) who spoke to NAN on condition of anonymity said the Games and Services personnel were still grappling with the nitty-gritty of the logistics at the festival.


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Sport

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Beckham targets ‘emotional final’

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os Angeles Galaxy winger, David Beckham, has declared this weekend’s MLS Cup final will be an emotional occasion for him. The English veteran, who will play his last match for the Galaxy in the 2012 decider against Houston Dynamo at The Home Depot Centre on Saturday, admits it will be sad ending to a successful six years in Los Angeles. “I always want to win any game, whether it’s a game with my kids in

the backyard or whether it’s MLS Cup final,” Beckham said yesterday. “I was actually quite emotional after the Western Conference semi final game in Seattle against the Sounders last week. It was the last game in a different stadium in my career here with the Galaxy. I have a feeling it’s going to be even more so next Saturday. “To be able to finish my career as a Galaxy player in my own stadium in a cup final is special enough. Hopefully, to win it would finish ev-

Ogbonna on Red Devils’ radar M

Alex Ferguson

his trail for some time, but the search has intensified recently with the Red Devils still unsure of what will happen with Rio Ferdinand in the long term. Ferdinand may move on in the summer when he’s due to be out of contract, and the six-footed Ogbonna is in the frame to be his successor, it said. But Torino has been reported to quote huge fees for Ogbonna and United wants to be sure about him before committing a large chunk of the club’s budget on him. Ogbonna, who was part of Italy’s squad for the Euro 2012 finals but did not get a game as the side got to the final before losing to Spain, is seen as a certain starter for the future and United could face strong competition for his signature, according various reports yesterday.

David Beckham

Blues make Gomez move

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eports yesterday claimed that Chelsea was considering a move for Bayern Munich striker Mario Gomez. The reports said the Germany international was high on the club’s wish-list and would be a great signing if a deal was agreed. Chelsea has become

Midfield concep transformed –Gi

Never one for stealing the show out on the field, midfield with the task of winning back possession and moving it team he features in. He spoke to FIFA.com on his life an How has it been for the Brazil team? It’s been difficult, of course. Not just for the players but for the coach who’s having to learn everything the hard way. I remember clearly what it was like when Dunga came in as Brazil coach. Even though he’d experienced everything and more as a player, the situation is still different. The current coach would not have as many players as Dunga did who are capable of taking on responsibility. That’s a big problem. What practical difference could bringing in more experienced players make? It’s important for the younger players, when the pressure’s really on, to be able to look around them and have someone to say “take it easy, it’ll be fine. This is what we’re going to do.” That’s important both for calming people down under pressure and keeping on top of things when all’s going well, so nobody switches off. Those are daily issues off the field too: you have to watch everyone’s back and remind people not to let their egos get in the way. That’s important both at club level and with a national squad.

Angelo Ogbonna

anchester United’s Manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, has listed Nigerian-born Italian defender, Angelo Ogbonna, as a long-tem replacement for ageing Rio Ferdinand, after sending scouts to see the centrehalf ’s last two Serie A games. Ogbonna has emerged as one of the best defenders in Italy after coming up the hard way with Serie A side Torino during the club’s time outside the top flight. United has been on

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increasingly concerned by the form of wayward striker Fernando Torres and has identified Gomez as the calibre of player that could provide the Blues with more attacking options. It is believed that Chelsea is willing to pay £40m to prise Gomez away from the Allianz Arena.

Mario Gomez

Did you have any players like that around to help you when you started up? Yes, without a doubt. I think the main one was Marco Antonio Boiadeiro, early on in my career, at America-MG. I learned so much from him. He always had a story to tell, or an anecdote that related to whatever we were going through. Later there was Tupazinho and Ricardo, a defender who’d played for Corinthians. For A Seleção, Cafu was undoubtedly a tremendous example for me. He helped me so much when I broke into the squad. Sometimes I didn’t even need to discuss things with him: just being nearby, listening to the stories he told, was a learning experience. Do you do something similar now at Gremio? I do and I enjoy doing it. I speak to the youngsters about things that come up in their lives or careers. But as each generation goes by, things

Mario Gomez

I’VE NEVER BEEN OVE AS I’M A VERY PATIE I’VE ALWAYS UNDERS THINGS TAKE change. Something I see often is how much of a hurry the lads are in to make it and, faced by the first setback, they lose their way. You need to have patience and persistence. Wouldn’t you say those qualities have both played major roles in your career? I’ve never been over-anxious, as I’m a very patient person. I’ve always understood that things take time. You want everything to happen quickly, and of course you have to really want that, but without letting yourself be blinded by it. I think something that set me apart was the fact I didn’t come all the way through the ranks of a club, like most players. I had to quit youth football at 16 so I could help out at home. I only got back into a club at 19 and, bit by bit, I tried to make the most of every opportunity

that ca

It seem a call f attack empha self, w is shie It’s chang Brazil TV pu “mode view, tack “mode people I recei doing which winni you lo how o stops midfie pact. I be mo


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

t has lberto Silva

der Gilberto Silva is much more concerned on quickly. No wonder he is pivotal for any nd the Brazilian game, among others

ER-ANXIOUS,

ENT PERSON.

STOOD THAT TIME

ame my way.

ms there’s now more of for midfielders who can k and defend, with less asis on players like yourwhose main responsibility elding the backline... true. That concept has ged, particularly here in l, where you always hear undits talking about the ern midfielder”. In their anyone who doesn’t atand score goals isn’t ern”. There are a lot of e who think like that too. ived a lot of criticism for the job I’ve always done, h is focusing mainly on ing back the ball. But, if ook closely, you’ll see just often a player like that the opposing attacking elder from having an imI think there did used to ore midfielders charged

Sport

Thursday, November 29, 2012

with doing the “dirty work”, carrying out defensive cover, but without harming the team’s attacking ability. Would you line up with an outand-out defensive midfielder if you are assembling a team? Of course it would vary depending on the situation, but in theory I’d set my team up with a player like that, who knew how to defend and could pass the ball. The thing is, players need to be taught that role from an early age and Brazilians aren’t always disciplined or obedient enough to do it. What is your verdict on the technical quality of the Brazilian league since you returned? Better than I expected. When I arrived I heard a lot spoken about how the standard of Brazilian football had dropped, but it’s not true. As long as people with international experience, such as Diego Forlan and Clarence Seedorf, keep arriving, that’s going to give the clubs here even more of a boost and encourage more top players to come to Brazil.

Asiagate: Zim players, coaches get reprieve AFOLABI GAMBARI

WITH AGENCY REPORT

T

he Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) announced yesterday that it has eased some of the harsh punishments handed out to players and officials over the Asiagate match fixing scandal that involved the national team between 2007 and 2010. Nearly 100 players and officials faced a premature end to their careers after ZIFA imposed bans of between six months and five years for their role in the match fixing scandal. But 66 of that number have now had their bans either wholly suspended or replaced with fines. Fifteen officials and players banned for life over their central role in the affair, including former ZIFA CEO Henrietta Rushwaya, former Zimbabwe coach Sunday Chidzambwe, former captain Method Mwanjali and senior sports editor of state-owned Herald, Robson Sharuko, however got no reprieve. Likewise, those banned for 10 years, among them former CAPS United coach, Taurai Mangwiro, Monomotapa officials Clayton Munemo and Bhekitemba Ndlovu and former Warriors striker Zenzo Moyo, were also left to serve their terms. Warriors’ players Lionel Mtizwa, Nyasha Mushekwi,

Johannes Ngodzo, Tafadzwa Rusike and Washington Arubi, who got bans ranging from one to three years will also have their punishment mitigated withy fines while former caretaker coach Joey Antipas and former manager Ernest Sibanda who both got five years have had their bans wholly lifted. But the bans imposed on another former Warriors coach Luke Masomere, former U-20 coach Methembe Ndlovu and former national team coach Norman Mapeza, ranging from six months to two years, were upheld by the ZIFA board.

Q

ueens College Yaba SS1 girl, Vida Somto Okpegbuo, has emerged champion in the recent Federal Government Schools Competition. The 14-year-old girl won two gold medals in the competition held in Calabar and created a Queens College record. Little Okpegbuo had in May claimed another gold medal in the South West Federal Government College competition staged in Akure, Ondo State. The precocious student, who had also in the past beaten adults in local Chess competition, represented Nigeria in African Regional championships pitching Federal Government Colleges in Ghana and Nigeria and returned home with a gold medal. Okpegbuo was billed to

Eko 2012: Delta Speaker boosts team AMOUR UDEMUDE ASABA

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peaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Mr. Victor Ochei, has donated N2m to Team Delta competing at the ongoing National Sports Festival in Lagos. Ochei, who made the donation to the team before the contingent departed Asaba for Lagos, said the gesture was aimed at ensuring that Delta State make appreciable impact at the festival. He, however, urged the contingent to compete fairly and remain focused on the agenda of being the first amongst equals. “Delta has been synonymous with excellence in sports and as such, you should show the stuff champions are made of by being good ambassadors of the state,” the speaker said. Chairman of the Delta State Sports Commission, Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick, who received the cheque on the team’s behalf, expressed gratitude to the speaker for what he called his laudable gesture, saying it would motivate the team to success. “We believe the people of the state trust in our ability to excel in Lagos and we will not disappoint,” Pinnick said.

V’ball: Plateau edges Ondo IKENWA NNABUOGOR

T Former Warriors’ captain Method Mwanjali got no mercy

Chess: College kid wins school’s prize IKENWA NNABUOGOR

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represent Nigeria at a Chevron-sponsored African Chess championship in Zambia late last year but failed to make the trip due to logistic problems. The Abia State-born student was billed to represent Lagos State in the National Sports Festival scheduled to begin today in Lagos but for was excused to write her exams at Queens College. The young girl, who wishes to take his game abroad to compete with the best hands in the world, told National Mirror that she aimed to be one of the best in the world. “I’m looking forward to competing at the world level some day and I am happy for my parents who have encouraged me,” she said. “I love chess so much and I started playing at the age of seven having inherited it from my dad,” she further said.

eam Plateau started the men’s Volleyball event on a bright note yesterday, beating Team Ondo 3-2 in the opening Group D game at the Teslim Balogun Stadium. Plateau set the stage leading their 2010 gold medalists by two sets to one, with the game almost heading to the wire before the Jos-based team upset the defending champions. Team Plateau player, Police officer Joshua Oladapo, told National Mirror that the win had boosted the winners’ morale. “It was a huge feeling for the team to begin the tournament brightly by beating the defending champions and it will only motivate us to go all the way,” Oladapo said. “Personally, it was great for me as I will be spurred to do more for my team. We are looking forward to our next game against Ogun tomorrow (today).” Meanwhile, Team Delta yesterday began its men’s soccer category campaign on a sound footing, demolishing Team Oyo 5-1 at the Onikan Stadium. The Delta side was in devastating form in the first game in Group D.

…Kaduna overruns Niger IKENWA NNABUOGOR

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eam Kaduna proved too good for the Niger State team in the female category of the volleyball event played yesterday morning at the Teslim Balogun Stadium where the Kaduna girls beat their opponents 3-1 to begin the Group D first game on a bright note. Kaduna led from start to finish in the exciting but tough encounter and led Niger 2-0 as the game hit home stretch. But the Niger girls, who trained together with their Kaduna counterparts at their Abuja training camp ahead of the festival, could only manage to win one set. Kaduna’s Josephine Auta was happy for the victory but admitted it wasn’t easy beating their neighbours.


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Thursday, November 29, 2012

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Business & Finance We must all join hands, both private and public sectors at the Federal, states and local levels to ensure that we support the development of SME in Nigeria. The Minister of State (FCT) Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide

Poor budget implementation, undoubtedly, has been a source of concern to both Federal Government management of NPA considering the vital role ports play as gateway for economic trade and commerce of the nation which makes it necessary that we perform optimally MANAGING DIRECTOR, THE NIGERIA PORTS AUTHORITY, MALLAM HABIB ABDULLAHI

FG to sanction DISCOs over over-billing of customers UDEME AKPAN

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he Federal Government has concluded plans to sanction Electricity Distribution Companies over continuous over billing of consumers in different parts of the nation. The sanction to be carried out through the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, (NERC) would include asking the 11 distribution companies to refund excess charges to consumers. The Chairman of NERC, Dr. Sam Amadi who disclosed the measure in an interview with National Mirror in Lagos yesterday said: “We have received a lot of complaints that consumers who do not have the new meters are being made to pay more than they should under MYTO 2. We are working to address the issue.” Amadi said would come after the ongoing efforts of the commission to inform, educate and build the capacities of personnel to bill electricity consumers without exploitation. He said: “At present, we are working to build the capacities

of personnel in the Electricity Distribution firms to bill their costumers properly under the MYTO 2. Once this is concluded we would start to sanction the firms.” The NERC chairman said at present many of them do not have the capacity to do so which explains why there is mass over billing in the nation. He said: “But once they know how to do the billing, we are sure there would be a gross reduction in

number and frequency of overbilling in the country.” The Chief Executive Officer of Eko Electricity Distribution Plc, Engr. Oladele Amoda said Eko Electricity Distribution Plc was about starting the training for its personnel in Lagos. He expressed optimism that the programme would equip personnel involved in computing consumers’ tariff to do their work more efficiently without exploiting consumers.

Already, many consumers, including small scale industries have closed shops as a result of high tariff that Electricity Distribution Companies charged in different parts of the nation. The industries stated in their petitions to the Nigeria Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, (NASME) that the high cost of the new Multi Year Tariff Order 11, introduced in June this year was counter -productive on their operations.

WITH AGENCY REPORT

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he naira strengthened the most in more than a week after Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Lamido Sanusi said the regulator won’t

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

Aero Contractors

L-R: Chevron Petroleum Geologist, Mr. Abdullateef Amodu; Chairman/MD, Mr. Andrew Fawthrope; Senator Gbenga Ashafa, and Director, Governmental Affairs, Chevron, Senator Gbenga Aluko, during one of the committee sessions at the National Assembly, Abuja, yesterday.

Naira strengthens as Sanusi pledges price stability UDO ONYEKA

FLIGHT SCHEDULE

abandon its mandate of price stability. The currency appreciated 0.4 percent to 157.45 a dollar. in Lagos, the commercial capital, reversing yesterday’s decline. The naira has appreciated 3 percent this year, the second-best performing currency according to Bloomberg in Africa. “The central bank is responsible for stability,” Sanusi said at a conference yesterday. “If we

abandon that function because we’re pursuing somebody else’s job, we will lose it.” The central bank boosted borrowing costs to bolster the naira and “anchor” price expectations, he said. The Monetary Policy Committee has left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record high 12 percent this year. Consumer prices rose 11.7 percent in October, staying above the central

NCAA agitates for increased security network at cargo areas of airports

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bank’s goal of less than 10 percent. “The central bank is pleased with the results of its tightening and with the real interest rates for investors,”Gregory Kronsten, head of economic research at FBN Capital Ltd. in London, wrote in an e-mailed note to clients yesterday. “The bank will meet again in January although we do not see easing until later in the year.”

Promoting 50% local content in ICT

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

EXCHANGE RATES WAUA

234.6271

USD

155.84

CHF

159.2642

SDR

235.0535

CFA

0.2924

GBP

244.1701

EURO

191.3715

OIL / GAS FUTURES ICE BRENT

$123.39

-0.78

NYMEX

$108.45

-0.11

OPEC BASKET

$122.86

+1.16

NATURAL GAS

$2.83

-0.03

Rising dreams of online commerce

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Business & Finance

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Oil workers to commence strike November 30 MESHACK IDEHEN

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he Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), said its proposed strike will go on as planned until the management of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) “does what is right”. Futhermore, NUPENG, which is insisting that the reinstatement of its members sacked by SPDC is a prerequisite for calling off the planned strike, said that the victimisation of its members by SPDC, and the severance of its officials without their entitlements and honour intact is a situation that the union can and will no longer tolerate. NUPENG President, Mr. Igwe Achese and General Secretary, Mr. Isaac Aberare, told National Mirror yesterday that union members affected by the sever-

ance should immediately be reinstated in the interest of industrial peace and harmony. In the same vein, the union leaders maintained that NUPENG will embark on a nationwide strike from November 30, if the Federal Government fails to investigate and bring to book the soldiers that brutalised and shot at oil workers that went to picket SPDC in the Niger Delta especially in Warri and Port Harcourt. Reiterating that the Federal Government knows what to do to stop the persistent fuel scarcity, Achese insisted that no oil cartel could survive in any economy without the direct involvement of the government. According to them, Nigerians should begin to brace themselves for scarcity of petroleum products and related issues that will begin to manifest from Friday this week as the union has finalised plans to take the bull

Report urges new development agenda for small-scale farming DAYO AYEYEMI

A

three-year study of the ways small-scale farmers operate in Africa, Asia and Latin America has prompted calls for a major rethink of development and business interventions. The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), Hivos project’s final report published yesterday showed how mainstream efforts to make markets work for poor farmers can fail to operate in tune with the ways such farmers themselves try to make their markets work. “Contrary to the prevailing narrative, and what NGOs, policymakers and donors expect, interventions that aim to upgrade small-scale farmers into highvalue, formal supply chains and modern markets tend to benefit only 2-10 per cent of farmers,” says principal researcher at IIED, Bill Vorley, who is also the co-author of the report. Vorley and his co-authors pointed out that most small-scale farmers combined farming with other activities and trade more in informal than formal markets and rarely through cooperatives or producer organisations that can take advantage of connections with modern markets. The report showed that rather than being a problem that needs to be fixed, informality could provide the space for small-scale farmers’ agency, to find and build flexibility and resilience in a globalising world. A central part of the study was managed by a network of

farmer leaders, business people, researchers and civil society that spanned Central America, the Andes, East Africa, India and Indonesia. It was led from Bolivia by the Mainumby Ñakurutú Research Centre. This learning network found that dynamic local, national and regional markets in developing nations give small-scale farmers options beyond those that highvalue and modern global supply chains offer. Factors that encourage this include more buyers in the countryside looking for supply, increased trade between developing nations and a growth in urban markets. At the same time, many smallscale farmers are modernising in their own ways. Rather than rejecting or fully joining modern, globalised markets they are combining aspects of them with informal structures, culture and traditions. The report draws attention to a key issue: the fact that fewer young people will want to farm tomorrow. Policies and development interventions to support small-scale farmers need to fit with this changing and complex reality to get the future right regarding not only agricultural production and consumption but also youth employment. Co-author, Ethel Del PozoVergnes, a senior researcher at IIED, says it would be better for governments, donors, development agencies and big business to work to understand and support the strategies small-scale farmers are already using, as the combine formal and informal ways to make markets work for them.

L-R: Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Stock Exchange, Mr. Oscar Onyema; Chief Executive Officer, Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc, Mrs. Sola David-Borha; Executive Director, Business Development, Mr. Haruna Jalo-Waziri and Chief Executive Officer, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Mr. Yinka Sanni, at the listing of bank in Lagos, recently.

by the horn. Achese said that the nation’s oil and gas sector will be shut down from Friday, and that no form of loading or unloading of products will take place in all the oil depots across the country

if the issues are not resolved before then. However, Spokesman for SPDC, Mr. Precious Okolobo, has refuted the allegations of the union, insisting that the company was only divesting

from some of its operations, and that SPDC will not be responsible for any action taken by the union regarding scarcity of petroleum products in the country.

Zenith Bank, MasterCard partner on payment solutions KUNLE A ZEEZ

Z

enith Bank Plc, Nigeria’s leading banking institution has entered into a strategic partnership with MasterCard Worldwide to introduce MasterCard Corporate Payment Solutions (CPS) to the Nigerian private and public sectors. This collaboration will see Zenith Bank offering MasterCard Corporate Payment Cards to the Nigerian commercial and government sectors to assist them in reducing the cost of cash within their organizations. The cards will also enable them to streamline their processes for authorising, monitoring and reconciling corporate expenditure more efficiently, with a particular focus on the management of travel expenses. Speaking on the collaboration, Country Manager, West Africa, MasterCard Worldwide,

Ms Omokehinde Ojomuyide, said MasterCard Corporate Payment Solutions include a comprehensive suite of innovative products developed after conducting extensive global research to understand the specific and evolving needs of the corporate sector. “We have seen a marked increase in demand for this particular type of payment solutions in Nigeria, as both private and public sectors seek more control and transparency over expenditure, and prepare to enforce corporate policies that address operational costs, and reduce the need for cash within businesses,” Ojomuyide said. According to MasterCard Worldwide research, travel expenses are ranked as one of the largest controllable expenses within any business. It is also estimated that more than 10 per cent of direct travel expenses go towards managing the administrative costs associated with

cash advances and expense report processing. “The deployment of corporate payment cards within an organization is not just a global best practice but rather an essential tool for the successful management of travel and entertainment expenses. Corporate cards assist in meeting the core strategic objectives for Nigerian company expense programmes”, she said. She listed the objectives of the objectives to include controlling costs through improved policy compliance and budget monitoring; increasing purchasing savings through improved supplier negotiations; increasing process savings through automated payment and reconciliation of travel expenses; and finally and most importantly, looking after the needs of Nigerian business travelers by reducing bureaucracy and improving duty of care.

Chevron denies sack of oil workers UDEME AKPAN

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hevron Nigeria Limited (CNL), operator of the NNPC/Chevron Joint Venture has not asked any of its labour contractors to sack workers. The General Manager, Policy Government and Public Affairs, Mr. Deji Haastrup said “this clarification has become necessary in view of reports suggesting that a number of workers have been sacked.” Haastrup explained that “six existing labour contracts

will be expiring on December 31, 2012 and new contracts will commence immediately after. The transition”, Haastrup stressed, “will not lead to redundancy.” He explained that the tender process has gone through all the appropriate phases and NAPIMS has approved and directed the award of contracts to the successful bidders, commencing on January 1, 2013. The CNL Director, Human Resources and Medical, Mrs. Ihuoma Onyearugha con-

firmed that, “all workers will have the opportunity to work for the new contract companies, unless they choose to retire with accrued benefits.” CNL is engaging with all stakeholders, including the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), NNPC and the Ministry of Labor to find a lasting solution to the on-going industrial action. CNL reiterates that the safety and security of its workforce and contractors alike, remain its highest priority.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Thursday, November 29, 2012

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NCAA agitates for increased security network at cargo areas of airports OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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he Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Dr. Harold Demuren, has said that efforts need to be stepped up to provide more security in cargo at various airports in the country. He, however, said the government is already giving the issue all the necessary attention it deserves to further boost safety within the airport environs. Speaking yesterday at the Air Cargo Security and Safety Breakfast meeting, Demuren, represented by the Director of Aero Medical, Dr. Theresa Bassey said that terrorists have started targeting cargo flights since security checks have been improved on

passenger flights. She said, ” Air Cargo has become one of the most vulnerable aspects of aviation as it provides fewer risks to terrorists who plant whatever they want causing them little or no harm.” “Aviation security has provided counter measures and has made it difficult for them to access passenger flights unlike the cargo flights that are being viewed as vulnerable.” Also, the President, Association of Foreign Airlines and Representatives in Nigeria (AFARN), Mr. Kingsley Nwokoma, decried inadequate security networks at the airports most especially the restricted areas. He explained that the present security personnel at the airports were inadequate to constantly

monitor restricted areas like the airsides, adding that most touts break walls to gain access to the airports. He urged government to increase security at the airports in order to safeguard goods and cargoes at the airports. Also, the President, Aviation Round Table (ART) in his paper called for more training for various security personnel at the airports in the area of air cargo. He equally called for access control requirements for personnel with access to air cargo facilities and aircraft, adding that various cargo screening technologies are now available to detect explosives, incendiary devices, and the presence of various chemical and biological agents and nuclear weapons in cargo.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

FG’s policy on globalisation bane of crippling unemployment, says NSE OLUFEMI ADEOSUN

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he Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), has taken a sweep at the Federal Government open door policy, stressing that the deliberate act, which is all in the name of global competitiveness, is behind the crippling unemployment in the country. NSE President, Engr Mustafa Shehu, who stated this yesterday in Abuja while briefing journalists on the forthcoming National Engineering Conference and Annual General Meeting, said that it was unfortunate that while some other countries are protecting their own, the Nigerian government is exposing its own professional to the vagaries of foreign competition. He said, “The problem of unemployment is as a result of lack of deliberate policy to

ensure that what a Nigerian can do is given to him. Every country has its own protection policy to ensure proper protect of its citizenry. If you leave your border so porous and allow everything to come in from other countries, then your own people will not be able to operate.” Shehu however explained that despite all the numerous challenges confronting engineering practice in the country, NSE would continue to canvass for the full implementation of the Nigerian Content Act. “The policy of NSE is to continuously advocate for the Nigerian content in every part of engineering endeavour. We need to ensure that whatever is due to any Nigerian professional is given to him. We have only Nigeria as a country”, he said.

Fidelity gives out cars, others to promo winners

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ustomers of Fidelity Bank Plc who emerged winners at the bank’s ongoing 25th anniversary promo tagged, Cars and Cash Savings Splash have commended the bank for fulfilling its promise.

L-R: Marketing Manager, Food Drinks, Cadbury Nigeria Plc, Mrs. Chioma Afe, winner of N100,000 cash prize, Mrs. Peace Onyekwe and Marketing Activation Manager, Mr. Chuka Eborah, at the presentation of cheque to winners of the ongoing Cadbury Yummy Life Promotion held at the Retail Market, Ogba, Lagos, yesterday.

FG may ban fish importation MESHACK IDEHEN

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ish and other sea based food may soon be banned by the Federal Government owing to the nation’s yearly loss of N97billion in foreign exchange to fish products importation. The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, gave the indication of the planned ban on foreign fish products importation on yesterday, explaining that Nigeria has capacity to be food sufficient in all areas of agriculture, including fish production. Adesina who spoke through the Minister of State for Agriculture, Alhaji Bukar Tijani, said further that the expected ban will be effected when the agricultural transformation agenda aimed at restoring the

glory of agriculture as leading sector of the economy comes into force. The agriculture and rural development minister explained that the new agenda of the Federal Government was set on increase the supply of raw materials for agro industries, creating employment, conserving foreign exchange through import substitution, encouraging local consumption and national food security. According to him, the Federal Government has approved the distribution of N17.6billion among flood devastated states in order to prevent the anticipated food crisis next year. He allayed people’s fear by assuring them that there would not be food crisis next year as another N9.7billion initiative for food production has been put in place. Also speaking in the same

vein, the President of the Fisheries Society of Nigeria (FISON), Dr. Abbas Abdullahi, said the Federal Government has done well by the new policy directive on aquaculture and agriculture. He noted with concern the drastic drop in fish production in the country due to mass importation and high level of piracy along the country’s territorial waters. He said although the Agricultural Transformation Agenda of the present administration is trying to adopt a new approach of aquaculture production to meet up with the required 1.2 billion fingerlings and establishment of fish farms in the 774 local government councils of the country, the issue of importation of fishery products is destroying the local economy in the immediate and long term.

The customers, who spoke during the presentation of the various gifts they won at the bank’s head office, also lauded the transparency of the promo. A visibly elated Mr Chukwunonso Vincent Ozor, who was present to receive his prize and four other star prize winners who emerged in the promo went home with a Hyundai Accent car each. Ozor said: “I want to use this opportunity to tell other customers of the bank that the promo is real. I believe that other bank customers would continue

to bank with Fidelity and those not doing so will join, because this is real. This is my fourth year of banking with Fidelity, their services are efficient.” On his part, the winner of N1 million, Mr. Nwanjoku Chima, who has a savings account with the Festac branch of the bank, said: “What I am seeing here today, I have never seen it before. This is real. I am very grateful to Fidelity Bank. I thank the bank because it kept to its words. I know many people out there don’t believe in such promo, but I advise that they give it a try. If they give it a try, they will know that it is real.” While two others won N500, 000 each, eight people won N250, 000 each and another set of 10 people went home with N100, 000 each.

L’Oreal fetes 4, 000 hair professionals ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI

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ark and Lovely beauty range from the stable of L’Oreal Central/West Africa has brought to an end the pan-Nigeria brand activation campaign aimed at deepening the brand equity and market share of dark and lovely antibreakage range products, which was launched some few weeks ago amongst Nigerian consumers. The Abuja/Middle Belt leg of the campaign came to an end at the Women Development Centre, Garki, Abuja this week as the brand hosted over four thousand hair professionals comprise hairdressers and barbers from Niger, Kaduna, Nasarawa and Abuja.

Dark and Lovely had earlier in the year stormed Lagos and Aba with similar campaign where it recorded same number of hair professionals in attendance. Dark and Lovely, the centenarian signature of the L’Oreal Group is dedicated to Afro beauty –‘SoftSheen Carson’, which was discovered from its institute that African hair is the most vulnerable of all and the most prone to breakage. Research has also shown that the natural surface of Afro hair bears the most numerous weak points because its cuticles do not perfectly overlap as a result of its twisted shapes hence, L’Oreal scientists have created the perfect solution to fight breakage for Afro hair.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Info Tech

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Promoting 50% local content in ICT I

n what appears like a new target for the Information and Communication Technology sector, stakeholders in Nigeria have called on the necessary government agencies, particularly the National Information Technology Development Agency, to begin a quest that will lead to the achievement of 50 per cent local content in the sector, saying this is the way to drive true empowerment in the sector. Nigeria has remained largely a consuming nation in virtually all sectors of its economy including the Information and Communication Technology industry. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, as at the first quarter 2012, the ICT sector contributed 5.83 per cent to Gross Domestic Product, making it the fourth highest contributor to GDP, was growing at just over 30 per cent making it the fastest growing sector in the Nigerian economy and employed over two million people. But the Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson at a forum held in Abuja pointed out that a closer look at the impressive figures from NBS paints a potentially worrisome picture. According to her, “While we do not have detailed empirical evidence and we are currently working on gathering and collating this, it is clear that domestic value addition or what is now called local content in the ICT industry in Nigeria is sub-optimal.” Expatiating further, the minister argued that encouraging and nurturing local ICT companies, especially those involved in the sub-sectors that are identified as having the greatest potential for growth; job creation and wealth creation such as software development, value added services in terms of training, transaction services; device assembly sales and distribution, is critically important for the development of a strong and globally competitive ICT industry. According industry analysts, virtually all components, ranging from software, hardware and even manpower used to perform some mission-critical tasks in the Nigeria’s ICT sector, are imported from foreign countries and apart from the negative impact of widening the level of unemployment in the country, this anti-economy scenario also results in capital flight for the country which runs into billions of naira annually. As such, the need to reverse this abnormality in the economy informed the decision of the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, to organise a forum recently. The forum tagged, “The e-Nigeria 2012 Conference”, had its theme as, “Local Content in ICT Development in Nigeria”. The objective of the conference, according to the Director General of NITDA, Prof. Cleopas Angaye, was to examine and proffer appropriate strategies that would enhance the Nigerian content in IT products and services; and develop requisite framework for empowering indigenous IT entrepreneurs in order to contribute to Nigeria’s GDP, among others. Various presentations at the forum, apart from the minister and NITDA DG, were made by key stakeholders such as the Senior Special Adviser to the Vice-President on Information and Communication Technology, Dr. Baba Jubril; Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mrs. Ibukun Odusote and former Vice-President, African Region, World Bank, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili. Joining these individuals in discussions at the forum were other stakeholders from the Nigeria Computer Society, the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria, the Association of Telecom Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) and the Information Technology Association of Nigeria (ITAN), among others. Following discussions at the event, participants noted that ICT sector is growing at an increasing rate, and it is the 4th largest contributor to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product; that the IT sector contributes about 18 per cent to the growth of the economy with an investment worth about $200million in 2003 and expected to increase to $25billion in 2013; and that there was a huge potential for ICT local content development towards its contribution to

Rising from a recent e-Nigeria forum organised by the National Information Technology Development Agency in Abuja, stakeholders have advocated various measures for achieving a 50 per cent local content development threshold in the nation’s Information and Communication Technology sector in the years ahead, reports KUNLE AZEEZ.

WHILE WE DO NOT HAVE DETAILED EMPIRICAL

EVIDENCE, AND WE ARE CURRENTLY WORKING ON GATHERING AND COLLATING THIS, IT IS CLEAR THAT

DOMESTIC VALUE ADDITION OR WHAT IS NOW CALLED

ICT INDUSTRY IN NIGERIA IS SUBLOCAL CONTENT IN THE OPTIMAL

Johnson

Angaye

the growth of the Nigerian economy. It was also observed in the course of examining the local content level in the nation’s ICT landscaped that the development of a sound IT sector can assist in achieving the Federal Government’s Transformation Agenda and engender development in the rural areas; that IT has the potential to create jobs for our youths, boost food security and create export opportunities for the country amongst others; that national security can be enhanced through the promotion of ICT local content in Nigeria; It was also argued that there were various unnoticed ICT innovative programmes currently on-going amongst the youths in Nigeria; and that despite the many challenges, Nigeria can still leapfrog and contribute to the global digital economy. However, participants pointed out that, “Nigerians are yet to leverage on our existing ICT infrastructure to bring about the desired transformation; and there is still a wide gap between monitoring and evaluation of ICT projects on value added on investments; and indeed Nigeria has not done so much on the protection of intellectual property, which is necessary to promote innovation.” Consequently, in a five-page communiqué, issued after

the forum, a number of recommendations were put forward which are expected to be considered as foundation on which a robust policy thrust to develop local content in ICT sector should be built. In the communiqué, NITDA was urged to focus on intense research towards achieving the vision of local content, sustain the theme of this year’s e-Nigeria in subsequent editions with a call for Key Performance Indicators to be set and constantly evaluated until 50 per cent local content is achieved in the sector. “There is a need for government to include local IT manufacturers in its international trade missions, in order to expose our local manufacturers and stakeholders to the best practices in the areas of service, software, knowledge, and innovation. Government shall encourage local ICT companies to compete internationally through various measures including reduction of software and hardware importation into the country,” says the communiqué. Meanwhile, some stakeholders have said there was also a need for the government to upgrade NITDA to a National Information Technology Development Commission (NITDC) to ensure adequate regulation of the IT sector, while also urging NITDA to collaborate with the law makers to fast-track appropriate legal framework for smooth integration of IT in all sectors. NITDA was also tasked to commence the development of a concise ICT local content policy in collaboration with stakeholders, while also strengthening partnership with other relevant stakeholders such as Ministries of Education, Finance, Agriculture, Health, Trade and Investment for effective ICT development in achieving their mandates. Meanwhile, the minister has also clarified that pursuing a local content agenda was not the same as a protectionist agenda. According to her, there are many global ICT firms in Nigeria that are employing Nigerians, developing Nigerians and adding significant value to the industry. “In fact, given the present low levels of Nigerian company participation, it is these companies that are primarily driving this impressive growth that we are witnessing today.” Describing Nigeria’s ICT sector as “a big domestic market with tremendous potential,” Johnson emphasised the need for the participation of existing and new international ICT companies as partners, investors and competitors. By adopting this approach, she said, they “will bring their formidable research and innovation capabilities to bear in the domestic market, invest in key areas of the industry, partner with local firms to build capacity and competence and provide the competitive environment to ensure that the country develop an industry that may have local antecedents but is also world class and globally competitive.”


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Info Tech

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Tech Box

Computer Village relocation on course – Commissioner KUNLE A ZEEZ

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he Lagos State Commissioner for Science and Technology, Mr. Adebiyi Madabeje, has said the state’s plan to relocate the biggest Information Technology cluster to a befitting commercial area has not been jettisoned, saying the plan was still on course. Madabeje restated government’s commitment to the planned relocation of the IT market dubbed ‘Computer Village’ during an interactive session with the media at the state e-learning Centre in Lagos recently. The commissioner, who gave accounts of activities of the ministry directed at empowering people with IT, and deploying innovative ICT solutions to drive government activities in a more efficient way in the state, said relocation of Com-

puter Village was part of the state’s transformation into a mega city. He said: “We understand the importance of Computer Village as the largest Information Technology hubs in the whole of West Africa and you will recall that it was a market that emerged rather spontaneously following the liberalisation of telecoms sector by the government. “By virtue of its emergence, the market has yet to wear the kind of organised look we expect compared to what is obtained in other parts of the world where there are well-organised and conductive environment for such an IT cluster. “So, our plan is to reorganise the market by relocating it to a better environment somewhere around Abule Egba area of the state. But currently, there are some interests slowing down the planned relocation by the government, especially with

regards to the portion of land where the new Computer Village will be built.” He noted that the present location in Ikeja was not originally designed as a commercial but rather a residential centre. He, however, noted that through the efforts of other ministries, the state government has been able to bring some level of sanity into the IT market. “I am aware that the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning, have been able to flush a large number of miscreants out of the market. By now, when you get to that market, you can observe significant level of sanity as vehicles and customers to the market can now move freely without hassles. “But ultimately, our plan to transform Computer Village into a world-class ICT hub in the sub-Saharan Africa and I can assure you that we are working on it,” he said.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Nokia Asha 205 and Nokia 206:

Designed with Nokia’s exclusive ‘Slam’ feature

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lobal mobile devices manufacturer, Nokia has unveiled two new devices in its mobile phones portfolio, designed for offering consumers great Internet experiences at affordable price points. The Nokia Asha 205 and Nokia 206 are both available in single SIM or dual SIM versions and give people innovative ways to access social features and share their favorite content. Both devices reflect Nokia’s heritage by combining worldclass design and long-lasting battery life.

Uniquely, the two mobile devices are the first mobile phone devices to include Nokia’s exclusive Slam feature. Slam allows consumers to share multimedia content like photos, music and videos with nearby friends almost instantly. Slam works with most Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones without the need to pair devices, and without the recipient needing to also have Slam. In just a few clicks, people can ‘Slam’ their content to another device faster than with Bluetooth alone and without consuming Internet data. The expressive Nokia Asha 205 has a pleasingly tactile QWERTY keyboard. It also introduces a new, dedicated Facebook button, making it the perfect device for social people who want the fastest access to their Facebook profile. Combined with eBuddy Chat, Twitter and support for popular email accounts such as Gmail, the Nokia Asha 205 is designed to allow that people are never more than a few clicks awayfrom their social networks.

LG’s mosquito repellant AC

Latest AC technology in Nigeria L-R: Chairman, Publicity and Events Committee, Nigerian Computer Society, Mr. Jide Awe; President, Sir Demola Aladekomo and, First Vice President, Mr. Sam Juwe, during a press conference on the Society’s forthcoming National Information Technology Merit Award in Lagos on Monday.

Glo offers bonus on Bolt Internet modem KUNLE A ZEEZ

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lobacom Nigeria said its new Glo Bolt internet modem has been loaded with spectacular free benefits including a free Glo SIM card, 500 MB of data once the SIM is registered and activated and free monthly data for six months for new and existing data subscribers on the Glo network. In addition, the telecoms company said new and existing subscribers who subscribe to any of the pocket friendly plans such as Always Macro, Always Min, Always Max, the Silver, Gold or Platinum plans will get a 30 per cent instant bonus and 200 MB free data every month for six months. Globacom’s GM, Marketing, Ashutosh Tiwary, said that Glo Bolt thrives on “speed and performance and, with the service, the subscriber is always a winner because we recognize that

speed is a driver of value,” adding that the free data will be automatically given to the subscriber as soon as he/she activates a plan of N1, 000 and above each month. Tiwary said that Glo Bolt offers unparalleled value since the cost of the modem has been significantly reduced and bundled with a free SIM and 500 MB free data on activation. “Our innovative plan sharing and plan gifting capability will also make Glo Bolt the internet service of choice in the market”, Tiwary added. On the gifting feature, Tiwary said a Glo customer can now buy an internet subscription and send it to friends, family members and loved ones as ‘gifts’. This feature is especially useful when the person buying the gift does not want to share his subscription with the intended recipient. The gift recipient will be notified of the gift via customised SMS from

the sender. The sharing feature allows up to 5 Glo customers to share one data plan. Also speaking on the subscription plans, Tiwary explained that the Sharing feature offers the subscriber convenience and affordability by enabling him to share his internet subscription with his friends, family and loved ones instead of buying multiple subscriptions for each and every one of them. “For instance, a customer with a wife and two kids can buy only one subscription plan and share with his three loved ones instead of buying four subscription plans. The beneficiaries will receive an SMS notifying them of the shared plan and how they can share the plan. The customer just needs to visit Glo website from his Glo line to access the new world-class self care portal through which the customers can use all the new functionalities. Only Glo offers a Self Care Portal for its Data & BlackBerry customers,” he explained.

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G Electronics, a global leader in Heating, Ventilation and Air conditioning, launched its latest residential air conditioner (RAC), the Anti-Mosquito, into the Nigerian market as part of its move to improve customers’ wellbeing through innovative technology. Built to provide maximum comfort and reliable operation, the new model, which was unveiled in Lagos over the weekend, features mosquito-repelling ultrasonic wave technology. Completely harmless to humans, the repellant technology inside the Anti-Mosquito air conditioner deters 64 percent of the female Anopheles mosquitoes within 24 hours and 82 percent overall according to Peety Grady Chamber tests. (Females of the genus Anopheles are malaria transmitters.). Aside from offering greater peace of mind, LG’s Anti-Mos-

quito AC also comes with all the advantages of LG’s advanced air conditioning technologies; it delivers powerful cooling and is remarkably reliable even in extreme temperatures. Designed specifically for areas with unreliable power supplies, the technology in the Super Automatic Voltage Switcher (Super AVS) is another example of a tailored solution for the West African market. Power blackouts and surges play havoc with electronic devices; the Super AVS guards against this havoc and protects the compressor from being damaged by fluctuations in the electric current. In addition, LG’s Tropical Compressor is designed to operate in hotter climates. Finally, LG’s unique Plasmaster air filtering technology has also been included to remove harmful substances and bacteria from the air.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Brands & Marketing

Rising dreams of online commerce As the burden of traffic congestions, high cost of transportation and confusing range of displayed products take toll on shoppers, internet, mobile phone penetration and the cashless system by the Central Bank of Nigeria may have given online shopping a place in the marketing of goods and services, writes ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI.

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nline shopping is gaining acceptance among Nigerian consumers. With growth of mobile, internet and social media penetration, innovative retailers are beginning to explore the advantage of this trend to offer pleasant shopping experience to shoppers against the present habit where buyers still have to braze the odds of hectic traffic, busy schedule and increasing family demands before they could shop. But with the presence of e-stores such as Wakanow.com which makes flight booking easy for travelers online, DealDey, Vcheckin, Jumia, tafoo.com, sunglasses.com, among others, informed shoppers have gone with the global wind especially as cashless and e-payment system introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria have made transaction more easier and traceable in any case of fraud. E-commerce was first introduced in 1979 by Michael Aldrich who invented the first online shopping and Thomas Holidays who started the United Kingdom first Business to Business (B2B) online shopping later in 1981, but the growth of Nigeria’s technological base has open the nation’s market to home-grown online retail market. Hence, with its population of about 160million people, Nigeria has recorded an estimated 25percent growth in online shopping in 2011 valued at N62.4billion, which is an increase growth of additional N12.5billion to the N49.9billion recorded in 2010, a report by Euromonitor International, a global market research organisation, revealed. This was also backed by a research conducted by Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group, (CIBSG) into cross-channel

shopping demands which current trends in consumer’s adoption of online shopping through new technology solutions in developing countries. As a growing market, the changing shopping habit of Nigerians has drawn attention from global media. The Wall Streets Journal reported recently that “millions of Nigerians in the Lagos megacity are prospering and many are shopping online for the first time.” “But in a country that has become synonymous with online fraud, they would sooner hand money to a courier than enter their credit-card numbers on a website. So online shopping site DealDey. com employs of fleet of motorcyclists to dart through gridlocked streets to meet online shoppers waiting to pay for their purchases with cash,” the newspaper reported. A newspaper business editor who purchased a Blackberry Torch 3 via Jumia online shop told National Mirror that online shopping is a great experience.“I just search through their web and clicked on the one I like. Somebody later called me and delivered it to me in the office at no extra cost. It is a growing trend which save shoppers from the burden of going through Lagos traffic,” he said. He said further that if the online shops could prove trustworthy, who has the time to spend hours in traffic, go through product selection and negotiation problem before striking a deal? “But withcash on delivery, it is good”, he said. While most Nigerians are still afraid of internet scam which has remained a major albatross to growth of the online shopping, most web-stores adopt a pay-

I JUST SEARCH THROUGH THEIR WEB AND CLICKED ON THE ONE

I LIKE. SOMEBODY

LATER CALLED ME AND DELIVERED IT TO ME IN THE OFFICE AT NO EXTRA COST ment and delivery system that put their minds at rest. “That’s how Sim Shagaya, founder and chief executive of DealDey, which means “there’s a deal” in Lagos parlance, brought online shopping to fraud-sensitive Nigeria. She explained that Internet ubiquity, personal technology adoption and e-commerce growth have produced a new consumer behaviour that is today referred to as ‘crosschannel shopping,” reported Wall Street. In a statement, Glamour.com, an online retail shop that deals in luxury and lifestyle perfume brands and cosmetics, stated that “Glamour is Nigeria’s biggest online retailer for international and our goal is to delight you every time you shop with Glamour. Our cutting-edge product range combined with our excellent customer service and easy payment options will ensure just that! With widest range of 100 per cent authentic designer brands, we have easy payment with our cash on delivery service! No worry, no hassle, no fuss. Pay for your order in cash when it is delivered to your door. Forget about being stuck in traffic,

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looking for parking, and standing in queues.” Also, Jumia stated that, “We are online for 24/7 access from your home or office and have secure payment using EFT, credit card or cash on delivery (in select urban areas). Fast and free delivery between 8am and 5pm, Monday to Friday, plus return options.” The Nigerian online web come with different product offering ranging from home appliances, furniture’s, cars, beauty products as well as service products such as make-up and with quality products sourced directly from manufactures. Sunglasses.com, a Nigerian online shopping store that offers original brand of sunglasses said, “All of our products are supplied by authorised manufacturers and are 100percent original, authentic brand names.” Besides offering value for money, most of them offer free shipping to shopper’s doors or offices at no additional cost. “In this environment, consumers hop from one channel to another throughout the shopping journey looking for the best deal. For retailers, cross-channel shopping demands a new approach to win customers and capture wallet share. Today, we will learn more about the “Catch ‘Em and Keep ‘Em” concept and get insights into how retailers can revitalise their stores in this new crosschannel world,” said the Director, Retail/Consumer Packaged Goods Practice, CIBSG, Ms Lisa Fretwell. She said the retail industry exemplified the maxim, ‘change is constant’, adding that with the advent of the Internet, retailers today enjoy new sales opportunities outside the four walls through the creation of an online store, which is a virtual extension of the storefront where customers can shop round the clock.


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Brands & Marketing

Thursday, November 29, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

‘MediaReach adapts media planning and buying to reflect trends’ There are issues raised about setting up ABC in Nigeria to help have a valid media audience measurement and value for Ad spend in Nigeria, as the President of MIPAN, how do you think this will benefit advertisers and the media? Metrics are the currency of advertising media; it is the only way to quantify the value we (agencies and media owners) deliver to clients. Therefore, the more we can measure media audiences and deliverables, the easier it is for us to provide impactful media planning services to clients. ABC will help us in that regard with newspaper circulation measurements. Right now, we all depend on unverified circulation measures from newspaper owners. So the foray of ABC, an objective circulation auditor, into the market will be a significant improvement over the status quo. It is clear that mediaReach OMD places importance on research which reflects its approach to media planning and buying, but it is disheartening that the industry is yet to have a wholly marketing and media planning research organisation like the global Nelsen that could pass reliability test. What are the challenges being faced? We do have a reliable media data & systems company called Marketing Planning Services (MPS) in the market. MPS has provided reliable media diaries and AMPS (All Media and Products Survey) for the past 12 years. The data/research from MPS has transformed our practice from reliance on guestimates to a true research-based, data-driven media planning and buying practice. MPS would obviously gain some benefits from a partnership with a global media survey provider but we are quite pleased with their current offerings. Nigeria relies on market research report conducted by foreign researchers like Nelsen to make decision. But one wonders if these report actually reflect the true picture of the country’s trend? The global business environment is increasingly more symbiotic. Like I mentioned earlier, local research agencies like MPS will gain additional clout and competencies from a partnership with a global research provider, while global research agencies seeking an inroad into a complex market like Nigeria will gain significantly from the market knowledge and regional expertise of the local service providers. A good example is the recent merger between TNS and RMS to form TNS/RMS Nigeria. Other foreign research organizations like Nielsen will have to consider aligning themselves with a local provider to maximize the opportunities in this market. Media independent agency subsector of the advertising industry is still young in Nigeria and we have few ones, how has the various economic crises affected the

The Managing Director of MediaReach OMD and President of Media Independent Practitioners Council of Nigeria (MIPAN), Mr. Tolu Ogunkoya explains why media data is crucial to media planning, the growing penetration of online and social media in this interview with ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI.

Ogunkoya

THE RECENT ECONOMIC MELTDOWN HAS PROFOUNDLY AFFECTED PROFITABILITY AND CONSEQUENTLY, THE MARKETING BUDGETS OF OUR

CLIENTS. IN ADDITION, THE IN THE

BOKO HARAM THREAT

NORTH HAS HAD NEGATIVE EFFECTS ON

THEIR DISTRIBUTION NETWORKS AND SALES IN THAT REGION subsector’s business? The recent economic meltdown has profoundly affected profitability and consequently the marketing budgets of our clients. In addition, the Boko Haram threat in the North has had negative effects on their distribution networks and sales in that region. Therefore, media agencies have had to do more with fewer resources. The past few years have been challenging for our industry, but we have adapted and are helping our clients get additional value for their media spends. We hope things would stabilise within the coming year.

There is growing change in the target audience convergence from traditional media to online and social media, do you think this trend is already influencing media planning in Nigeria? Digital/online media is no longer a novelty in our region. Online penetration rate is close to 40percent and mobile phone penetration is even higher. The primary internet access point is via cell phones so the growth potential is enormous. At MediaReach OMD, we have adapted our media planning and buying to reflect this trend. We have recruited a dedicated team of digital media

planners and buyers, and have established relationships with a host of local and international digital content owners to provide online advertising for our clients. Our industry is taking the online platform seriously and we are investing in the process of developing a compelling digital advertising offer for discerning clients. A recent Nielsen report affirmed that in the first half of 2012, internet ad spend growth recorded gain of 7 per cent above TV and other media especially in Europe while TV remains high in Africa and middle East. Do you see internet ad spend increasing in Nigeria considering that mobile phone penetration is higher that TV and other media? We have seen double digit growth in online expenditure across Africa for the past five years. We expect the growth rate to stay high because advertising follows the audience, and the audience is going online. Most advertisers still allocate only 5 – 10percent of their media budgets to online advertising. But we expect this to increase significantly as we see more growth in internet usage and penetration. MediaReach OMD is the leading media agency in Nigeria, how has your affiliation with OMD defined your business practice? The primary gain from our international affiliation has been the opportunity to garner best practices from other markets. We participate in OMD Exchange (an international training module for all OMD offices) and OMD House (an online directory of global case studies), and also have access to OMD tools for media planning (e.g. OMD checkmate, OMD curve and other proprietary tools). These tools, knowledge and networking opportunities have improved our planning and buying competencies. What is your agency’s total billing and what is the current position of the agency in media buying in Nigeria? What is the current total ad spending in Nigeria? The total 2011 annual media spend in Nigeria was about N102billion. You can find more details about media spend in Nigeria in our annual publication, “The West and Central Africa Mediafacts Book.” We manage more than 10percent of the total media spend, and the no. 1 media agency by volume in Nigeria and the West & Central Africa region. By 2013, APCON is bringing a new code to strengthen the industry; in what way will this affect agencies? MIPAN is working with APCON and other sectoral bodies to ensure the success of this new initiative.

La Casera company bags ISO 22000: 2005 certification ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI

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ne of the leading players in the Carbonated Soft Drink sector of the Nigerian market, The LaCasera® Company Plc has bagged the NIS ISO 22000:2005 certification in Food Safety Management System by the Stan-

dards Organisation of Nigeria. According to a letter signed by the head of Systems Certification Unit, Standard Organisation of Nigeria, Engineer N.A Olujie, the company was awarded the certification after the verification exercise carried out by the regulatory agency. Olujie wrote, “following the verification exercise carried out on the assess-

ment of your quality management system, I am directed to inform you that your Food Safety Management System has been recommended for certification to NIS ISO 22000:2005 standard”. The Chief Operating Officer of the company, Mr. Prahlad Gangadharan who spoke at the company’s quarterly reward and recognition award ceremony held at the company’s factory,

described the ISO certification as an honour well deserved and another remarkable milestone in the annals of the company. “I am indeed very delighted and proud to receive the Food Safety Management System Certification NIS ISO 22000:2005 standard for the La Casera Company Plc from the Standard Orgaanisation of Nigeria”, he said.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Brands & Marketing

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Guinness launches Fly with the Eagles campaign to support Super Eagles at AFCON 2013 ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI

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s the Super Eagles of Nigeria get set to compete at the 2013 African Cup of Nations tournament in South Africa, Guinness has unveiled series of exciting consumer-led activities to rally the support of millions of Nigerians for the team as it seeks to emerge victorious at the tournament which begins January 19 next year. The campaign “Fly with the Eagles” identifies with the intense love and passion millions of Nigerians share for football and the team’s aspiration to make Nigerian’s proud at the 2013 AFCON outing. At the reveal of the campaign held at the Eko Hotel & Suites, the Managing Director Guinness Nigeria Plc, Mr. Seni Adetu said he was proud of Guinness’ association with the Super Eagles over the years and excited that Guin-

ness is at the centre of galvanising support from millions of Nigerian fans. “Guinness Nigeria is keeping faith with the Super Eagles as we have always done because we believe the team is not just made up of the eleven players on the pitch but also includes the 170 million people cheering their team on. As a company and a football-loving brand, we are convinced that we have what it takes to succeed at this year’s outing.” Before unveiling the logo for the campaign, the Marketing and Innovation Director for Guinness Nigeria Plc, Mr. Austin Ufomba, reeled out a series of activation handles that make up the entire ‘Fly with the Eagles’ campaign – including a National Consumer Promotion, the campaign theme song, Guinness Fan Parks and an exciting engagement platform that will enhance deeper participation of fans and consumers alike. He said: “We believe strongly

in the Super Eagles and in the passion of the Nigerian supporter. As such, Guinness Foreign Extra Stout will once again demonstrate its belief in the Super Eagles by providing innovative ways for millions of fans in Nigerian to show their undying support for the Super Eagles as they compete at the Nations Cup in South Africa in 2013”. The Secretary General of the Nigerian Football Federation, Alhaji Aminu Maigari represented by Mike Umeh applauded Guinness’ efforts in supporting the national team. “The Super Eagles have become a symbol of national pride and anyone that supports the team supports the success of the nation as a whole. We are very happy that Guinness is embarking on this journey with us and indeed they must be applauded for the continuing support and encouragement they have provided for the sport as a whole and especially football.”

L-R: Sales Director, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Udo Anya; Commercial Director, Lisa Nichols, Managing Director/Chief Executive, Seni Adetu; First Vice President, Nigeria Football Federation, Mike Umeh and Marketing Director, Austin Ufomba at the launch of Guinness “Fly with the Eagles” Campaign at Eko Hotel, Lagos, recently.

The p

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he impact of the social media cannot be underestimated. The social media platform has been one veritable platform to dissect issues ranging from socioeconomic, political religious and others. The social media brings to fore the intellectual and analytical minds of Nigerians on some issues of national importance. The last Presidential media chat was one that generated several responses on topical issues the President responded to. Several political, economical and social issues were discussed and the audience responses were spontaneous. I did not listen to the Presidential media chat but the social media platform – facebook provided me updates. One thing I find surprising is the approach of our leaders in communicating their vision and perspective on issues. I have observed over the years that our leaders lack

requisite skills to communicate effectively. It is pathetic that they do not seem to appreciate the potent power of communication. It seems they fail to realize how they can positively influence Nigerians through their communication skills. In order to have clear direction, I want to focus mainly on the health issue of Mrs. Patience Jonathan. It was an online whistle blower that blew the lid off the information guarded by Aso Rock information managers. It is bemoaning that the Presidency could descend to the abyss after the late Yaradua’s experience. Nigerians responded to the information they received from the grapevine and reacted in same manner due to the improper information management by the government. The issue of the president‘s wife health was one that generated huge interest on the social media platform. I find it very dis-

ad VA NT AG E icon

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e describes himself as a creativity junkie who loves pitches and the high adrenalin that goes with. Alwthough he is an ardent promoter of good music, his area of expertise is copywriting. Steve Babaeko is the Creative Director of global advertising and marketing communications firm, 141 Worldwide, where he has driven the creative process remarkably for over five years now. Prior to his engagement with 141worldwide, Babaeko had spent five years each at foremost advertising agencies MC & A Saatchi & Saatchi, and Prima Garnet Ogilvy between 1995-2000 and 20002005 respectively. With the goal to change the landscape of marketing communications in Nigeria, a feat which he has lived up to significantly, Babaeko, a 1994 Drama graduate of Ahmadu Bello Univeristy, Zaria, recently created a distinct buzz in the ad and marketing communicatins world with telecoms company Etisalat’s advertising campaign in Nigeria. On where he draws such creative inspiration from, he said “Creativity is divine so my inspiration comes from that realm, plus, I think, my environment and people I meet. I call myself a student of humanity thus, I love to study people, their actions

Brand X-Ray with Ayodeji Ayopo Tel: 08023448199 E-mail: mayomipo@yahoo.com turbing as a professional the way the President addressed the issue. The news from Aso Rock was that the woman went on vacation from her tight schedule. When she arrived, she poured invectives on Nigerians for speculating her death. She stated emphatically that she was never hospitalized. It is however shocking when the President during the media chat stated contrary that she took ill and had to seek medical attention overseas. This is one costly error that the President and handlers did not realize. It may not be surprising however because there is no strategic plan of communication by the government. This has been revealed severally through the unprofessional way

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public communication is handled by the government’s town criers. My friend and professional colleague, Lara Owoeye-Wise of AIT critiqued the President’s response on her wall “Mr President, with respect to your office, you goofed when you said “she took ill” and went abroad for treatment. But press releases that emanated from your office stated that she was on vacation”. Her posting generated over 70 comments as people lamented the inconsistent communication pattern. Mr President should know that audience interest factor plays a very critical role in the communication process. The president need to know that communica-

Babaeko

and inactions, hopes, fears, and aspirations. All these are for me a big well of inspiration.” Babaeko has developed advertising Campaigns for brands like Fanta, DSTV, Virgin Atlantic, Etisalat, Pfizer and many other multinational companies, and has won several advertising awards and pitches in the process. He is well travelled and a strong cheerleader of the youth. He gives lectures on creativity and advertising in his spare moments.

tion as a transaction focuses on the people who are communicating and the changes that take place as they communicate. The self-concept theory of how one thinks and feels about oneself in the process of communicating is also essential to become proficient. One’s self concept is based on the value one exhibits and it defines individual beliefs and attitude. If the president has taken a proper appraisal of his personality, he would have done well in communicating his minds to Nigerians. It is also important to emphasize that communication by the President and other top government functionaries should be ethical. It is devoid of lies and deception. It definitely eliminates negative perception by the audience such as in the case of the President’s wife. This rule also applies to key important public issues as Nigerians have had enough of inconsistency on the part of government information machinery.


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Global Business

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Poland holds rate at three-year high as growth slows

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oland’s central bank kept borrowing costs unchanged for a fourth month at the highest level since 2009 even after the economy expanded at the weakest pace in almost three years. The Narodowy Bank Polski left the benchmark seven-day interest rate at 4.75 percent, the highest since January 2009, in line with the expectations of 27 of 28 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. One economist predicted a rate cut to 4.5 percent. The bank will comment on the decision at a news conference at 4 p.m. in Warsaw. The zloty pared its decline against the euro after the announcement while bonds were steady. The central bank, the only one in the European Union to raise borrowing costs this year, increased the benchmark in May after keeping it unchanged for almost a year. While policy makers said Poland’s expansion in the face of Europe’s debt crisis allowed them to focus on inflation, growth slowed more than economists forecast in the second quarter, bolstering the case for monetary easing. “The recent data should be sufficient to lead to a gradual softening of the MPC’s tone,” Piotr Kalisz, chief economist at the Polish unit of Citigroup Inc.,

President Bronislaw Komorowski

said before the decision. “The economicgrowth slowdown increases the chance of a rate cut in November, and in the next 12 months rates will fall by around 1 percentage point.” The zloty traded 0.3 percent weaker on the day to 4.2057 per euro yesterday. in Warsaw, after touching a six-week low

of 4.2176 earlier in the day. Two-year government bond yields increased one basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 4.01 percent, according to generic data compiled by Bloomberg. Gross Domestic Product rose 2.4 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, the slowest pace since the third quarter of 2009 and down from 3.5 percent in the January-March period as companies and consumers scaled back spending amid the debt crisis. Poland sells more than half its exports to the 17- nation euro region, where the debt crisis is crimping demand. The government, which has kept its target for 2.5 percent growth this year, yesterday lowered its prediction for 2013. GDP will rise 2.2 percent instead of a previously estimated 2.9 percent, according to a new 2013 draft budget. While central banks across the world are undertaking the broadest cut in borrowing costs since 2009 to avert a global slump, the Narodowy Bank Polski has kept rates at their highest since 2009 for a second year. Still, the bank has now changed its “policy bias” and prospects for cutting rates have increased, Governor Marek Belka told Radio PiN in an interview on August 28.

Bank lending stress holds at 14-month low in Euro money markets

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uropean banks’ reluctance to lend to one another held near the lowest in more than 14 months, according to a money market indicator. The difference between the euro interbank offered rate and overnight indexed swaps, known as the Euribor-OIS spread, was 20 basis points, or 0.2 percentage point in London, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The gap is the smallest since June 20, 2011. Three-month Euribor, the rate banks say they charge each other for loans, was set at a 0.269 percent, a record 48 basis points below the European Central Bank’s refinancing rate. Euribor, derived from a daily survey of lenders for the European Banking Federation, has fallen for 23 days to the lowest ever. One-week Euribor was set at a recordlow 0.089 percent from 0.090 percent yesterday. The London interbank offered rate, or Libor, for three-month dollar loans fell to 0.410 percent, the lowest

since October. 18, 2011, from 0.412 percent yesterday. Libor is published by the British Bankers’ Association. The cost for European banks to borrow in dollars held at the lowest since July 22, 2011. The three-month cross-currency basis swap, the rate banks pay to convert euro interest payments into dollars, was unchanged at 27 basis points below Euribor. The one-year basis swap was little changed at minus 34. The European Banking Federation’s euro overnight index average, or Eonia, of unsecured lending deals was set at 0.102 percent yesterday from 0.108 percent the day before. The Eonia swap, an estimate of average overnight borrowing costs over the next three months, was at seven basis points from 7.2 yesterday. Lenders increased overnight deposits at the European Central Bank yesterday, placing 342 billion euros ($429 billion) with the Frankfurt-based central bank from 341 billion euros the day before.

Mario Draghi

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sales of new U.S. homes fell 0.3% in October

Obama

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urchases of new U.S. homes unexpectedly declined in October, showing limited progress in the housing market recovery. Sales dropped 0.3 percent to a 368,000 annual pace following a revised 369,000 rate in September that was weaker than initially reported, figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington. The median estimate of 74 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 390,000 sales pace. Purchases in the last six months have climbed 2.8 percent, showing limited job growth and access to credit are still restraining the residential real estate market. The figures help explain why Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke has singled out housing as one of the industries to nurture in order to spur the economic recovery. “Better job growth is the key factor,” said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James & Associates Inc. in St. Petersburg, Florida, who projected a 365,000 rate of sales. “We really have a lot of ground to make up from the recession.” Stocks fell after the figures, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index dropping 0.2 percent to 1,395.97 at 10:46 a.m. in New York. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note decreased to 1.62 percent from 1.64 percent late yesterday. Estimates in the Bloomberg survey ranged from sales rates of 365,000 to 418,000. The September reading was previously reported as a 389,000 annual pace. The median price for a new house climbed 5.7 percent in October from the same month last year to $237,700.

Thailand holds policy rate as Prasarn resists calls to ease

T

Shinawatra

hailand’s central bank kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged for a fifth straight meeting after the economy rebounded, resisting calls from Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s government for lower borrowing costs. The Bank of Thailand held its oneday bond repurchase rate at 3 percent, it said in Bangkok Tuesday. The decision was predicted by 18 of 21 economists in a Bloomberg News survey, while three expected a quarter-point cut. Only five members of

the seven-person policy committee attended yesterday’s meeting, with three voting to hold rates and two preferring a cut. The central bank has refrained from adding to its November and January rate reductions as the country recovered from its worst floods in almost seven decades. Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong has urged lower borrowing costs and a weaker currency, putting Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul in the same position as counterparts from the euro re-

gion to Japan and the U.S. in facing pressure from politicians to shore up growth. “Thailand did benefit from reconstruction” after the floods, said Frances Cheung, a strategist at Credit Agricole CIB in Hong Kong, who predicts the policy rate will be kept stable until the end of the year. “But if the external environment continues to weaken, then some stimulus would be needed.” The Thai baht fell 0.3 percent to 31.29 per dollar yesterday in Bangkok.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Thursday, November 29, 2012

41


42

Capital Market

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Thursday, November 29, 2012

US exports to Africa hit N1.5trn in 2011 JOHNSON OKANLAWON

T

he United States exports to African countries under African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) agreement reached N1.49trn or $95bn in 2011, an increase of 16 per cent from 2010. Also, the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Terrence McCulley, will lead a Nigerian business delegation to a number of US cities to see some of the country’s trade shows next week. Acting United State Secretary of Comerce, Dr. Rebecca Blank said this yesterday at a conference call during the launch of “Doing Business in Africa” campaign in South Africa and monitored in Lagos.

She said that the US trades with sub-Saharan Africa accounts for only 2.6 per cent of US total trade with the world. “So, we are still far from reaching the full potential of US-African trade as well as investment. We can and must do more,” she said. According to her, as Africa’s wealth increases, so does its demand for improved transportation, telecommunications, housing, energy, consumer goods, financial services, health care and more. Blank pointed out that in the past four years, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation has committed more than $2bn in financing, insurance, private equity and other support to Sub-saharan Africa.

She said that the country’s Export Import Bank has supported $1.4bn in authorised transactions with Sub-Saharan Africa and the United States Trade and Development Agency has conducted studies workshops and reverse trade missions, while also supporting over $1bn in US exports in partnership with African project sponsors. Blank stressed that more than ever before, American business and consumers are buying African products such as flowers, fruits, nuts, cocoa, footwear and wine. She said, “Importantly, nonpetroleum exports under AGOA have tripled to nearly $5bn. Compared to a decade ago, more than twice the number of eligible countries are shipping non-commodity

Bulls regain vigour as ASI gains 0.4%

T

rading in equities closed on bulish note on the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, as some investors took position on stocks. The All-Share Index rose by 0.44 per cent to close at 26,342.25 points, as against the decline of 0.53 per cent recorded the preceding day to close at 26,226.25 points. Market capitalisation appreciated by N37.3bn to close at N8.41trn, in contrast to the decline of N13.9bn recorded the preceding day to close at N8.37trn. Three out of the five sectoral indices closed nega-

tive, as the NSE 30-Index gained 0.59 per cent to close at 1,250.90 points, while the Oil and Gas Index rose by1.75 per cent to close at 154.86 points. The Consumer Goods Index increased by1.10 per cent to close at 780.27 points, while the Insurance Index fell by 1.39 per cent to close at 112.46 points. The Banking Index added 0.05 per cent to close at 302.89 points, while the Lotus Islamic Index appreciated by 0.98 per cent to close at 1,662.70 points. Red Star Express Plc led the gainers’ table with

16 kobo or 5.71 per cent to close at N2.96 per share, followed by Total Nigeria Plc with N5.93 or 4.99 per cent to close at N124.68 per share. GlaxosmithKline Plc gained N2.06 or 4.98 per cent to close at N43.40 per share, while Conoil increased by 84 kobo or 4.95 per cent to close at N17.80 per share. Nestle Nigeria Plc appreciated by N15.00 or 2.40 per cent to close at N640.00 per share. On the flip side, Portland Paints Plc dropped by 20 kobo or five per cent to close at N3.80 per share, while Custodian Insurance Plc

Chams’ turnover rises 36% in 2011 JOHNSON OKANLAWON

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harms Plc has recorded a turnover of N1.78bn for the financial year ended December 31, 2011, an increase of 35.8 per cent when compared to N1.31bn recorded in the same period of 2010. The company’s gross profit rose by 30.8 per cent to N686.8bn in the review period, from N525bn recorded in 2010. Addressing shareholders at the company Annual General Meeting in Abuja, the chairman, Prof. Adebayo Akinde, stated tha a new intensive five-year strategic business plan aimed at strengthening the core

competitive advantages of the company are being implemented. According to him, the plan will enhance its ability to operate profitability within the changing macroeconomic dynamics. He said, “The five-year business plan, which included a two-year corporate plan that allows the company to intermittently observe its corporate progress, was sequel to extensive internal and external business reviews and was a major kernel of efforts by the board and management to put the company on the path of stable profitability.” Akinde explained that the board engaged repu-

table consultants with expertise and vast experience in business turnaround to help it in the reinvention and repositioning of the company for excellent performance in addition to internal business review and restructuring by the management of the company. He noted that the performance of the company had been impacted negatively by unstable government policies and challenges in the macro economy, which vitiated its roll-out and project timelines and frustrated corporate expectations of returns. The company’s boss said that the new strategic business plan has the buy-in of

goods under AGOA. We are building on this by connecting even more Africa business to global markets and supply chains.” “President Barrak Obama signed into law the renewal of the thirdcountry fabric provision to ensure that we can continue to support apparel manufacturing in lessdeveloped Sub-Saharan countries. This is especially helpful to women, who hold about 90 per cent of these jobs.” The Secretary said that President Obama has set goal of doubling US exports from 2009 to 2014, adding that the consumer class in Africa and throughout the world is growing and the demand for made-in-America products has ever been greater. dipped by six kobo or 4.92 per cent to close at N1.16 per share. Eterna Oil Plc declined by six kobo or 4.35 per cent to close at N1.32 per share, while Continental Insurance Plc depreciated by three kobo or 4.11 per cent to close at 70 kobo per share. Honeywell Flour Mills Plc fell by eight kobo or 3.90 per cent to close at N1.97 per share. Transaction volume in equities dropped by 13.1 per cent, as a total of 168.46 million shares valued at N1.27bn were exchanged in 3,857 deals, compared to 256.13 million shares worth N2.07bn traded in 4,437 deals the preceding day.

all the directors and management and would open up new opportunities in the private sector, which would mitigate the company’s dependence on unstable public sector’s projects. The Managing Director of the company, Sir Demola Aladekomo, said the company was poised to leverage on its cutting-edge and innovative technologies to take full advantage of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s cashless policy. He pointed out that Chams has already started rolling out its mobile payment solution with remarkable success while it has secured further milestones as a major stakeholder in the electronic and transactional payment industry.

Source: NSE NIBOR QUOTES 27 NOVEMBER & 28 NOVEMBER 2012 20.00 19.00 18.00 17.00 16.00 15.00 14.00 13.00 12.00 11.00 10.00 9.00 8.00 7.00 6.00 5.00

27-Nov-12

28-Nov-12

Market indicators All-Share Index 23,105.05 points Market capitalisation 7,354 trillion

Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

CHANGE

NAHCO

5.60

5.88

0.28

% CHANGE 5.00

UBN

5.61

5.89

0.28

4.99

DANGSUGAR

4.41

4.63

0.22

4.99

WAPCO

44.11

46.31

2.20

4.99

FLOURMILL

57.77

60.65

2.88

4.99

CADBURY

19.67

20.65

0.98

4.98

INTBREW

9.24

9.70

0.46

4.98

ASHAKACEM

10.20

10.70

0.50

4.90

CCNN

4.12

4.32

0.20

4.85

MAYBAKER

1.45

1.52

0.07

4.83

CHANGE

% CHANGE

LOSERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

ARBICO

11.50

10.93

0.57

-4.96

LONGMAN

2.03

1.93

0.10

-4.93

DNMEYER

0.85

0.81

0.04

-4.71

ETERNA

2.41

2.30

0.11

-4.56

UTC

0.69

0.66

0.03

-4.35

IPWA

0.73

0.70

0.03

-4.11

LIVESTOCK

1.38

1.33

0.05

-3.62

REDSTAREX

2.67

2.58

0.09

-3.37

IKEJAHOTEL

1.15

1.12

0.03

-2.61

FCMB

3.05

3.01

0.04

-1.31

Primary Market Auction TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

91-Day

32,970.71

14.10

21-Nov-12

182-Day

50,000.00

15.49

21-Nov-12

364 -Day

60,000.00

9.05

21-Nov-12

Open Market Operations TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

48 Days

7,302.20

14.39

21-Nov-12

118-Day

50,282.86

14.08

21-Nov-12

Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED

MARKET DEMAND

AMOUNT SOLD

DATE

$200m

N/A

$200m

29-Nov-12

$200m

N/A

$200m

29-Nov-12


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Capital Market

Thursday, November 29, 2012

43

Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at November 28, 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, November 29, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

FG tasks Youth Council, others on empowerment TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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orried by the challenges facing the teeming youths in the country, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Youth Development, Alhaji Baba Umar Faruk, has charged delegates at the 52nd National Council on Youth Development Meeting in Abuja to come up with recommendations that can help government in tackling youth unemployment and other social problems. Faruk, who spoke during the Technical Session of the just ended meeting, said since the youths are the future leaders, issues that concern their socio-economic well-being must be prioritised by the Council in its programmes and projects at all levels of governance as a desirable option of empowering them for national development. He explained: “As policy initiators and decision makers saddled with the responsibility of overseeing this all important sector, it is necessary for us to meet regularly and together find common ways to tackle the challenges inherent in this sector. “The transformation of the lives and well being of the youths no doubt is not the sole duty of any particular level of government, the legislature, the civil society-based organisations and even the private sector collaborates and form the needed synergy to address the challenges in this sector. The roadmap we seek for the transformation of this sector can only be developed when we share knowledge and experiences which though are peculiar but at the same time are similar. “To achieve the complete development of the Nigerian youth in terms of giving them quality education, good health care social security, their participation must be guaranteed. In this regard, the National Youth Policy has been designed to actualise these critical needs”, Faruk added. In his remarks at the sidelines of the Meeting, Director of Youth Development, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Dr. Godfrey Ogu, called for institutionalization of all the country youth programmes channelled towards youth empowerment even as he stressed the need for their proper implementation. He also condemned the use of youths as ad-hoc or casual workers, insisting that if ‘YouWin’ and SURE-P programmes amongst others are properly implemented, they will serve as lasting solution to the menace of youth unemployment in the country. According to him, apart from empowerment programmes, youth education and reorientation are also important in the collective drive aimed at ensure productive engagement of youths and reduction of crime and other social vices amongst the youths. While calling on Civil Society Organizations, corporate bodies and well meaning individual to do more on youth education, Ogu urged governments at all levels to ensure that youths get functional education that will make them excel in their academic and career endeavours.

Items donated by the senator.

A senator's boost to youth empowerment in Osun In line with the administration of Governor Rauf Aregbesola to engage the youth through various empowerment schemes, Senator Babajide Omoworare, representing Osun East Senatorial District, has donated items worth N45 million in support of the programme. MOJEED ALABI writes.

I

t is the belief that if the unemployment rate continues to soar, as it presently does in Nigeria, the chance of the country surviving the impending doom of mass revolution would be very slim. The realisation of this sacrosanct truth informed the decision of Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State to absorb of 20,000 youths within the first 100 days of his administration. While acknowledging the fact that the step is a short term palliative measure, the governor enjoined other public office holders within the state to replicate such in their various constituencies. It was in line with their vow to support the governor that Senator Babajide Omoware, representing Ife/Ijesa Federal Constituency in the upper chamber of the National Assembly, has rolled out programmes that take into recognition the fact that leaving able bodied young men and women unemployed is like sitting on a keg of gun powder. Omoworare, who noted that the lasting solution to poverty and unemployment crises in Nigeria is provision of sound and quality education, said individuals, corporate organisations and government must create palliative measures to douse the

Senator Omoworare addressing youths

growing tension. “It is part of our efforts to create this palliative measures that we have decided to distribute these items to our young men and women so that they can be busy, pending the time the bigger opportunities will evolve,” Omorare said. The senator said this at Ijebu-Jesa in Oriade Local Government Area of the state while presenting the items which included 11 buses, 48 motorcycles, 200 power generating sets, 200 fans, and 48 grinding machines to various beneficiaries. The event, which was witnessed

by the Action Congress of Nigeria bigwigs and representatives of 10 local government areas and Modakeke Area Council within the senatorial district, was applauded by all in attendance. The Acting Chairman of the party in the state, Elder Adebiyi Adelowo, commended the donor for his efforts to reduce poverty among the people of the state and enjoined the beneficiaries to make good use of the items and always think of how to emulate their benefactor. Adelowo said if they are dedicated to whatever they choose as their career, they should be sure of rewards from God. Omoworare appealed to the youth to convert their spare time and youthful strength to optimum use, by being creative and not depending on government and the political class to break even. He went further to tell them that, if the nation is failing them, they must not fail themselves. He appealed to those who may be exempted from benefiting now to exercise patience. One of the youths, who is a barber, Isreal Adanla, thanked the senator for the gesture and appealed to other public office holders to emulate him.


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Young & Next Generation

Thursday, November 29, 2012

45

8-yr old Amarachi, DJ Nath for Nigeria Got Talent finals LEONARD OKACHIE

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hen celebrity judges Dan Foster, Kate Henshaw-Nuttal and Yibo Koko shortlisted 8-years-old Amarachi Uyanne alongside 49 other contestants for the semi-finals of the on-going Nigeria’s Got Talent show sponsored by Airtel Nigeria, not a few followers of the show applauded that decision. Today, she is in the finals of the talent, and will be contesting against nine others for the N10 million naira top prize. Amarachi’s qualification did not come as a surprise to any who had seen her on stage during the fourth episode of the NGT semi-finals. Indeed, she gave further proof that her performance in the auditions was no fluke as she took control of the stage in such a graceful manner. Dancing to a mix tune of hip-hop and contemporary African flavours, Amarachi, a primary five pupil of South Point Royal School, Benin City looked every inch unstoppable to the delight of the judges and the audience, both of whom were overwhelmed by her mastery of the art, confidence, passion and stage charisma. Judge Yibo was so thrilled by her performance that he owned up to jealous impulses for her father while both Dan Foster and Kate Henshaw-Nuttal could not help giving her a deserving standing ovation. “I like to dance because I enjoy it, and it makes me feel happy,” says Amarachi who nurses the dream of being a medical doctor. Amarachi is not the only top performer that has secured a place in the finals. DJ Nathaniel expectedly was the judges’ preferred choice, ahead of 30 years old singer, Ekeng Bassey after his breathtaking performance that saw him combine singing with production of a variety of musical notes, using parts of his body. Benin-based Jude James had been expected to progress beyond the semis following his showing on the night that took up the stakes for other contestants as he sang ‘African Queen’ originally done by Tuface Idibia. Despite missing out on the finals, Jude, who enjoyed a robust support since the auditions in Benin City when he sang Micheal Jackson’s ‘Heal the World’, could not hide his feelings afterwards. “The NGT is the best thing around. It gives you the opportunity to do whatever you can.

You are not limited to a particular kind of performance. This is the unique thing I like about it,” he enthused. Olu Akanmu, Chief Marketing Officer, Airtel Nigeria, also added: “As we have seen, courtesy of the NGT show, our youth are very talented; they have delivered great music, great acting and have achieved a whole lot in other endeavours including sports and even in the academic. With NGT, Airtel is offering the biggest platform to local talents to live their dreams.” In the meantime, kid singer, Toke and the Expendables, have qualified for the finals, bringing to eight the total number of acts in the finals. The semi-final phase of the talent show continues with another set of ten acts up for eviction through a public voting process. The best two from this stage will qualify for the finals; the act with the highest polls automatically qualifies for the final stage, while the second will be decided by the judges between the acts with the second and third highest votes. The Season One of the Bharti Airtel- sponsored ‘’Got Talent’’ reality TV show commenced on 16 September, with nationwide auditions in selected cities which included Abuja, Port- Harcourt, Warri, Calabar, Enugu, Benin, Ibadan and Lagos. The semi-finals would end in December 1 with the final and grand finale holding on December 2 and 9 respectively.

Amarachi dancing

L-R, Mr. Femi Falana, Prof. Pat Utomi and founder, SWWF, Ebele Nwuzor at the inuaguration.

Foundation against prostitution, trafficking inaugurated LEONARD OKACHIE

P

rostitution, human trafficking and sex slavery, especially among girls in Nigeria have assumed a disturbing dimension. And against the background of rehabilitating these prostitutes, a non-governmental, not-for-profit organisation known as Sympathy Worldwide Foundation (SWWF), was formally inaugurated recently. Some eminent Nigerians including Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), Prof. Pat Utomi, Prof. Duro Oni, among others, defied the heavy morning downpour, to grace the inauguration and launching ceremony held at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos. A coalition of NGOs under the umbrella of Child Protection Network (CPN) was also present to show solidarity. Chairman of the occasion, Prof. Oni told the guests that there are few occasions as daunting as “The launch of an organisation like Sympathy Worldwide Foundations (SWWF) that is fighting against trafficking in human person and sex slavery”. He explained that slave trade has been abolished globally, but slave trade is still going on till today in form of “Traf-

ficking”. Prof. Oni, who is also one of the patrons, further said: “I have been a friend and partner of this organisation since 2008 and I’m very convinced that as hardworking as they are, they have just a few resources to struggle with in this fight. The most unprotected circle of Africa society are women and children, and it is this group demographically that this organisation seems to work for. So, today, we are not just inaugurating and launching the organization, but it’s also a form of take-off action for a sort of outstanding on—going fund raising CAMPAIGN, in which many donors, organizations, people will be involved in from today.” Father of the day, Mr. Femi Falana, pledged his support for the foundation, even as he charged it to be very attentive to news and events so that it will be armed with facts and information to work with always. Similarly, Prof Utomi, a patron to the organisation, urged it not to relent on its good work, assuring that he would always support it. Founder and Executive Director of SWWF, Ebelechukwu Nwuzor, in her inaugural speech, disclosed that the organisation was founded in 2000 and was registered with Corporate Affairs Commission in 2003.

Monarch lauds NYSC acquisition initiatives MURITALA AYINLA

T

he Elemure of Emure Ekiti, Oba Emmanuel Adebowale Adebayo has lauded the skills acquisition initiative of the National Youth Service Corps, saying it is the best way to tackle rising unemployment among the youths. The royal father who also commended the NYSC Director General, Brig. Gen. Okore-Affia for continuous provision of logistics to improve the skills acquisition initiative, urged the corps members to take the programme seriously, describing it as one sure way of preparing them for future challenges. Speaking at the skills exhibition and graduation ceremony for the 1705 corps members held at the NYSC Permanent Orientation Camp, Ise/Emure Ekiti , the monarch charged the corps members who participated in the in-camp training during the 2012 Batch ‘C’ Orientation Course to be committed to the vocations of their choice.

Meanwhile, the corps members proudly displayed and explained the production process of the products exhibited ranging from Allumanco and sliding windows, to electrical installations, paint, concrete blocks, foods and beverages, beads, bridal accessories, interior and exterior decoration materials, beehive, fingerlings for fish production, tie and dye, cosmetics, disinfectants, inverters and repaired generator, sandals, shoes and belts among others. A serving corps member, Magagi Bolaji Jimoh, who took to carpentry and furniture making, is currently handling the roofing and all carpentry works on the two buildings newly constructed by NYSC State Co-ordinator, BabaAhmed, N .T. at the Orientation Camp. Another ex-corps member, Idris Wasiu Folaranmi is handling the painting of the buildings. Folami and Jimoh had taught a group of corps members paint production and house painting, as well as carpentry during the orientation camp. The Skill Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development programme was established by the NYSC on March

Oba Adebayo with the corps members.

29, 2012 with the mandate of building capacity of young graduates, as well as providing the enabling conditions for them to cope with the challenges of self employment and wealth creation.


46

Media

Thursday, November 29, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Print media’ll never die, it’s a way of life – Ken Ikpe Managing Director and Chief Executive of MediaCom Nigeria, Dr. Ken Onyeali Ikpe turns 50 on December 5. For this foremost intellectual and marketing communication expert, whose company is one of the organisations under the reputable Troyka Group, maintaining high standard is key. He explains why to Arts Editor, ADENRELE NIYI and Media Correspondent, LEONARD OKACHIE in this stimulating interview. Excerpts: will never die –it is a way of life. There are people who will read digital and still want to see the physical aspect on print. What I think is happening and is going to happen more is that the budget for advertising in print media may reduce in contrast with digital media. So, the onus is not on me, the advertiser, because the entire budget still remains with me. I am only deciding where to put it and where not to put it and in what proportion. The man who is affected is the owner of the platform –the newspaper owner. It is left for him to develop digital platforms so that if he loses on print, he can gain it there.

If you look back, what will be the most memorable landmark in your professional life? The way I am wired is such that everyday is almost the same, I am wired to change. I suffer because I don’t lower the standard. When you talk about landmarks, I could say when you do big businesses that give you a lot of satisfaction; when you hire a team and see people grow, that gives a lot of satisfaction. The primary task of a CEO is to deliver profit to shareholders on regular basis, which we have managed to do in my 12 years as CEO of MediaCom. For me, what I remember are those times that I regret more than the things I have achieved. I have experienced disappointments because I have seen good staff leave for reasons that are not only flimsy, but short-sighted on the part of my former staff. If you told me you were leaving because you wanted to do something bigger than what you were doing, I can understand. But when it is a thing that cannot be quantified, then I feel bad. I have experienced enough to see very many of them either come back or never come back because I keep track of my people. How did your own boss feel when you were leaving your former company for MediaCom? MediaCom is one of the 10 companies in Troyka Group and I have been in Troyka Group for 18 years. We are the biggest marketing communication group in West Africa, responsible for over 38 per cent of general advertising billing in Nigeria. I think I have the privilege of working in that group and I could realise my potential. So, I don’t understand why I should leave the first rate agency to join the third rated agency. If it is standard you want, you need an organisation that has fibre and capacity to give you a platform to live your career dream. What is next challenge for you, having been CEO of MediaCom for 12 years? I am a very strong apostle of Troyka Group. I came to Troyka with powerful credentials which could have given me opportunity in any sector I wanted to represent. So, if I chose to remain in Troyka, it means I could grow not only horizontally but vertically. There are 10 companies in Troika Group. So, if I manage MediaCom excellently well, I can take those skills to another group. I could take my skills and experience to any of these companies if I want. That is one option. The second option is that I could say, “I have reached the height of managerial level, so what can I do for myself ?” But I am not an entrepreneur. I am not too sure I see myself setting up an advertising company or setting up a business. I am a trained manager. I want to

Dr. Ikpe

believe that I am one of the best managers, meaning that I can take those skills anywhere or I can take it to leadership in political life.

THERE ARE PEOPLE

Some multinationals are beginning to develop their own media in-house. How does that compete with what you do and what kind of result do you think they are getting? It is mediocrity they will get. We are never afraid of that because we have seen it all over and over again. A brewery is coupled and put together to produce beer and that is their core competence. A telecommunication company is put together to produce telecommunication - ability for you to talk. The moment you lose focus of that and you now want to do marketing or media, you have lost focus of your core competence. You will not deploy your best resources to do it and that automatically affects the result you get even though you wanted to save money. It doesn’t make sense at all and it is only in Nigeria you see such things. That is not what you are meant to do. So why are you doing it?

WANT TO SEE THE

But the contemporary advertising language using more of the creative arts and musicians... (Cuts in). No, that is not is advertising. You have to be very clear what advertising or sponsorship is; they are different terms. If you do endorsement, it grows your affinity, it doesn’t create markets. So, if you want to grow affinity; you

WHO WILL READ DIGITAL AND STILL PHYSICAL ASPECT ON PRINT want people to get close to your brand and get sentimentally attached to it. But if you want brand equity, endorsement cannot deliver and there is the bad side of endorsement. What if something goes wrong with that property you are embracing? The DNA of the brand is affected and personality as well is hit and you start all over again. It will cost 10 times to get back to where you were in the first place. Endorsement is the last step in integrated marketing because your brand should first of all be successful before it is endorsed. So how can you begin to endorse something that is not successful yet? You need to first create a brand, build a brand and put a personality there, then communicate it over a period of time. What does the transitioning from print to digital media entail in marketing communication? It has its own consequences. The consequences are that some people could argue that it will kill the print media. But I refuse to accept because print media

Can identifying the niche market also help the print media? In all businesses, you have to first of all identify market, because you cannot be generic. You cannot be everything to everybody. If you are going to be print house then decide: “do I want to talk to a man or a woman? If it is woman, what age category, what demographics, what lifestyles?’. It is answers to these questions that will determine the personality of your newspaper so that there will be automatic marriage. People tend to buy what best reflects their personality. So you have to first of all define target market and then build personality of your product on it. But if you do it the other way round, that is when advertising becomes expensive because it will cost you money and time to convince people. But if you get it right, you don’t need to spend too much on advertising. What is the next frontier in your career development, could it be politics? Yes, it is politics and it has to be executive office. I have made my consultations and I have gotten a lot of people’s nods. I am exploring the executive platform, not legislative. I would rather be a local government chairman than a senator because that is where I can affect lives better. But politics is believed to be a dirty game in Nigeria, why do you want to go into it? That is what people say to scare good people away. It is not true, it is a campaign. They keep saying it so that good people will stay away and they perpetrate. There are people in it now who are more decent than I am. Are you saying Governor Babatunde Fashola is a ragamuffin? In 1999, it would have been dangerous for people like me to come into politics. Now, we have gone through 2003 and going to 2015. Do you still want me to feel the same? Things are changing, but they don’t want us to see it. The truth is that life for me is not the number of breaths you take, but the number of moments that take your breaths away.


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Media

Thursday, November 29, 2012

47

Facebook, Nokia partner on faster internet connection KUNLE AZEEZ

F

Dangote

Elumelu

Forbes' Africa Person of the Year holds today in Lagos LEONARD OKACHIE

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ollowing the success of last year, ABN Productions, the eventing arm of CNBC Africa and Forbes Africa, will be hosting the Forbes Africa Person of the Year 2012 in Nigeria today for the second consecutive year. The event, which celebrates the most influential person of the year on the African continent and highlights the person's immense involvement and contribution to society, will hold at the Porsche Centre in Lagos. Head of ABN Productions, Zubaidah Haniff says: “We are proud to be hosting the Forbes Africa Person of the Year Awards for the second consecutive year in Nigeria. Last year, we were honoured to have the CBN Governor Sanusi with us and he walked away with the coveted award.

“ABN Productions is the exclusive event host for CNBC Africa and Forbes Africa, as well as the prestigious 'All Africa Business Leaders Awards' (AABLA) and we look forward to hosting even more events of this stature in Nigeria in 2013, including AABLA - West Africa.” The nominees are last year’s runner-up and founder/president of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote; CEO and managing director of Kenya’s Equity Bank Limited, Dr. James Mwangi; President of Malawi, Joyce Banda; and founder and chairman of Heirs Holdings, Tony Elumelu. Managing editor of Forbes Africa, Chris Bishop, notes: "This award acknowledges those hard working business people across Africa who help carry the continent forward. We at Forbes Africa salute them.” The winner will be unveiled today at an event which promises to be memorable.

acebook, the largest social networking platform, and Nokia, a global mobile devices manufacturer, have introduced a built-in Facebook button available on the new Nokia Asha 205. The Nokia Asha 205 is the first Nokia phone that includes a dedicated Facebook button, designed for people who want the fastest, one-click access to popular Facebook features. Speaking on the innovative collaboration, Mobile Growth Manager, Africa for Facebook, Nicola D’Elia said people around the world use Facebook Mobile to connect and share with their friends, adding that the new innovation provides an opportunity for Facebook users to launch faster directly from their Nokia device. “We are focused on delivering the best Facebook experience to as many people as possible and our partnership with Nokia perfectly complements our strategy of giving people around the world a rich Facebook experience for keeping in touch with their friends,” D’Elia said. In the same vein, Head of Mobile Phones, Nokia India Middle East & Africa, Calin Turcanu, said globally, young consumers have increasingly started using Facebook for socialising, keeping in touch and striking new friendships. “The launch of the Nokia Asha 205 responds to this growing demand and gives them a unique option for accessing Facebook while on-the-go. “We have seen that many people who use Nokia Asha devices are hyper-social

and we are proud to partner with Facebook to improve the user experienceof those consumers further with the introduction of the Facebook button,” Turcanu, added. The new Nokia Asha 205 enables people to easily access the Facebook for Every Phone app and use messaging, one of its most popular features. According Turcanu, People using the messaging features in Facebook for Every Phone can now see which of their friends are online to start chatting with them right away; start messages and group chats fast and reach more of the people they know, wherever they are, no matter what device they are using. “People using the Nokia Asha 205 can also easily access other Facebook features, such as sharing photos and status updates with their friends, so they can stay close to the people around them with the touch of a button,” he said.

D'Elia

Media Abroad

BBC journalist held without charge in Somali

Assange expresses surprise over EU WikiLeaks' decision

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ikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, has expressed surprise after the European commission said a block on processing donations for his organisation by credit card companies was unlikely to have violated EU anti-trust rules. The Australian, speaking from Ecuador's embassy in central London, where he has been staying since June to avoid extradition to Sweden to face sexual assault allegations, said the blockade had wiped out 95% of WikiLeaks' revenues. He claimed that documents released by the commission showed that far-right politicians in the US were behind the blockade. He said it was a surprise that the commission was not opening a formal investigation, but pledged that WikiLeaks would continue to fight the blockade. DataCell, a company that collected donations for WikiLeaks, complained to the commission about Visa Europe, MasterCard Europe and American Express after they stopped processing donations for WikiLeaks in December 2010. Their decisions followed criticism by the US of WikiLeaks' release of thousands of sensitive US diplomatic cables.

Assange

Assange, at his first press briefing inside the embassy, said: "It is concerning that hard-right elements in the United States have been able to pressure Visa and Mastercard into introducing a blockade that the US treasury has rightly rejected." The commission's preliminary decision is expected to be followed by a final decision in the next few weeks. Assange said the blockade had cost WikiLeaks $50million (£31million). He criticised rightwing US politicians for applying an "economic death sentence". He said he was grateful to the Ecuadorean embassy for "protecting" him and over the granting of political asylum. "My stay here in the Ecuador embassy, while difficult in many ways, at least I am able to continue my work to some degree." Source: The Guardian, UK

omali authorities must immediately release Ibrahim Mohamed Adan, a correspondent for the Somali service of the BBC, who has been held for nearly a week in Mogadishu without charge, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has said. Security forces arrested Ibrahim on November 21 and accused him of falsely reporting that a Somali military court had ordered a soldier's execution, local journalists told CPJ. In his Somalilanguage report, which aired earlier in November, Ibrahim had interviewed a Somali who claimed his cousin, a soldier, had been executed. Liban Ali Yarrow, chairman of the military court, ordered Ibrahim's arrest, saying the journalist was unable to verify the report, local journalists said. The military court summoned Ibrahim on November 17 and demanded that he either present evidence verifying his article or be imprisoned, the journalists said. Ibrahim was summoned on November 21 and subsequently arrested, news reports said. Authorities transferred Ibrahim's case to a civilian court today, local journalists

told CPJ. He is being held in the central prison in Mogadishu, the journalists said. No court date has been set nor any charges placed against him, local journalists said. Andres Ilves, head of the BBC Somali service, told CPJ that his organization would be investigating the case. "Authorities are free to deny the allegations in the report but they should not be imprisoning a journalist because they dispute his account," CPJ East Africa Consultant Tom Rhodes said. "Ibrahim Mohamed Adan should be released without delay." While 2012 has been the deadliest year recorded by CPJ for journalist murders in Somalia, there have been far fewer cases of arbitrary journalist detentions or imprisonments than in previous years, according to CPJ research. CPJ documented only three cases of journalist arrests in Somalia in 2012, whereas CPJ research shows there were at least 10 cases in 2011 and 11 cases in 2010.

Ibrahim Adan


Cocktail

48

Thursday, November 29, 2012

FOR YOUR SUCCESS

WITH DR. DEJI FOLUTILE

Today's Tonic (53)

“It Is never too late to be who you might have been.” –George Eliot *** Never Too Late! The beauty of life is this: we can start all over again. We can reinvent ourselves. We can think new thoughts. We can take new steps. We can dream new dreams. I, personally had the opportunity at one time to begin again. I had some longing to do certain things I am passionate about which I couldn’t find a way to do for more than 40 years of my life. But then one day, it became a reality! Any dream can become a reality if we hold the believe that it is never too late to step forward in realising it. I read that Grandma Moses began painting in her eighties and went on to do more than 1500 paintings before she was 100 years old! Step forward today and pick up that dream. You Will Succeed! TEL 08104942999 E-MAIL deji.folutile@gmail.com Follow me @TwitterOWOTIDE

Bl d d Blood dripping i i ffrom SUV leads to poaching arrests

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lood dripping from the back of an SUV led to the arrest of two Sacramento men accused of illegally shooting a deer, then stabbing it to death in their vehicle when it suddenly came to and began to struggle. The Tahoe Daily Tribune reports 46-year-old Scott Lee and 32-year-old Nai Saechao were arrested November 18 on poaching, animal cruelty and other charges.

The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office says the California Highway Patrol received multiple calls from people reporting blood seeping out of a Toyota SUV near Shingle Springs, a small community in the Sierra foothills 40 miles east of Sacramento. When authorities pulled over the vehicle, they found the deer carcass in the back. Officers say both men and the interior of the SUV were smeared with blood.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Oddities

Putin injured spine in judo bout –Belarus president

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ussian President Vladimir Putin’s back troubles stem from a recent bout of judo, according to the leader of the neighbouring state of Belarus. “I know he has this problem. He loves judo. He lifted a guy, threw him, and twisted his spine,” Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko told Reuters in an interview. Lukashenko had been hoping to play ice hockey with Putin but the Kremlin leader postponed the match, he said. “He tells me: ‘We are not prepared yet to take on your team.’ He has damaged his spine somewhere. In a judo match. He was on the mat and hurt his spine,” Lukashenko said. Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to comment. The former Soviet republic of Belarus has close but sometimes rocky relations with its former colonial master. Putin, a judo black belt who began a six-year presidential term in May and turned 60 in October,

was seen limping at an Asia-Pacific summit in the Russian port of Vladivostok in early September. A former KGB officer who enjoys vast authority at the head of Russia’s so-called ‘vertical’ power structure, Putin has long cultivated a tough-guy image that wouldn’t sit well

with prolonged illness. Three government sources told Reuters in late October that Putin was suffering from back trouble. Several foreign trips which had been expected around that time but were never officially announced by the Kremlin have not taken place, including a trip to India.

Putin throwing down an opponent during judo fight.

The Kremlin dismissed talk that Putin had a serious back problem and that he might require surgery. Putin has held regular meetings with officials but has not travelled throughout November. The Kremlin acknowledged that he had suffered a sports-related injury but gave no details.

PHOTO: FREEREPUBLIC.COM


Thursday, November 29, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

49

World News

Twin car bombs kill 34 in Syria

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PAUL ARHEWE

WITH AGENCY REPORTS

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ebels in eastern DR Congo say they have started withdrawing from territory they have captured from government troops, days after a pullout deal was reached in neighbouring Uganda. Amani Kabashi, deputy spokesman for the M23 group, told Al Jazeera that rebels were starting to withdraw from the town of Mushake, 50km south of the provincial capital, Goma, yesterday. Diplomatic efforts to end violence in eastern Congo have been ongoing since the M23 group captured Goma in fighting with Congolese troops and advanced across the east of the country last week. Tens of thousands of people have been displaced by fighting between government troops and the rebels. Colonel Vianney Kazarama, the M23 military spokesman, later said rebels were to withdraw from the city of Sake on Thursday and Goma on Friday. Herve Ladsous, the UN peacekeeping chief, told reporters on Tuesday night that rebels’ advances had stopped. Al Jazeera’s reporter in Goma said there were no indications of a withdrawal from the city yesterday. “The big question everyone is asking here is what happens next, if M23 withdraws,” she

“They (Palestinians) can get pieces of paper from the U.N., but they are not going to move peace forward, they are not going to make a Palestinian statehood more real” – Israeli Government Spokesman, Mark Regev

M23 rebels begin withdrawal from eastern DR Congo

The M23 group began their rebellion in April.

said. “M23 themselves are saying they want a demilitarised zone around Goma. They’re very concerned that people who’ve been working with them in the city will be targeted once they leave, if the Congolese army comes in.” M23 military leader Sultani Makenga said on Tuesday his men would leave Goma “in three days at the latest” and pull back

20km under a deal struck in Uganda the previous day with an east African regional group. Makenga said the rebels had begun transferring arms, provisions and medical supplies from Goma to the Rutshuru territory north of the city, an area along the Ugandan and Rwandan borders. Rutshuru has been the rebels main stronghold since they

PHOTO: REUTERS

launched their uprising in April. Reports from residents and the UN peacekeeping mission appeared to confirm the announcement that the rebels were transporting weaponry out of Goma. Meanwhile, the M23’s political leader, Jean Marie Runiga, said the group was not against withdrawing from Goma, but would only do so if certain conditions were met.

Egyptian courts embark on industrial action to protest Morsi move

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gypt’s two highest appeals courts suspended their work Wednesday to protest presidential decrees that gave the country’s Islamist leader Mohammed Morsi nearly absolute powers, state television reported. Judges of the Cassation Court decided in an emergency meeting

that they will not return to work until Morsi rescinds his decrees, according to state TV. The country’s lower appeals court also decided Wednesday to stop work nationwide. The move followed a defiant statement by the Supreme Constitutional Court that rejected charg-

Egyptian protesters clashing with security forces near Tahrir square, in Cairo, yesterday. PHOTO: AP

es made by Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood that it is working to bring down his government. The developments are likely to stoke the political turmoil triggered by Morsi when he issued a constitutional declaration on Thursday that placed him above oversight of any kind, including by the courts, and extended similar protection to parliament’s lower chamber and a 100-member panel drafting a new constitution. The constitutional court, which was not included in the suspension, is due to rule Sunday on the legality of the two bodies, which are dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists. A ruling, regardless of which way it goes, would constitute a direct challenge to Morsi, who took office in June as Egypt’s first freely elected president but has enraged pro-democracy activists who claim he is acting too

much like the authoritarian leader he replaced. The court ruled in June to dissolve parliament’s lower chamber, also dominated by Islamists, a decision that Morsi and his Islamist allies described as part of a “conspiracy” to bring down the regime. A strike by the appeals courts and the rare criticism of the president contained in the Supreme Constitutional Court’s statement come a day after at least 200,000 people gathered at Cairo’s Tahrir square to protest Morsi’s decrees, which also gave him unlimited powers to “protect” the nation. The size of the protest was reminiscent of some of the larger rallies held in the square during the 18-day uprising that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak’s authoritarian regime nearly two years ago. Clashes between some protesters and police continued

WORLD BULLETIN Egypt sentences eight to death for prophet film An Egyptian court has convicted in absentia seven Egyptian Coptic Christians and a Floridabased American pastor and sentenced them to death on charges linked to an anti-Islam film that had sparked riots in parts of the Muslim world. Egypt’s official news agency said the court found the defendants guilty Wednesday of harming national unity, insulting and publicly attacking Islam, and spreading false information. The charges carry the death sentence in Egypt. The case was largely symbolic since the seven men and one woman are outside of Egypt and unlikely to travel to the country to face the charges. The trial was seen as an attempt to absorb public anger over the film, which portrays the Prophet Muhammad as a fraud, womanizer and buffoon.

Gerwel, friend, aide to Mandela, dies Jakes Gerwel, who advocated for the end of apartheid in South Africa and became a longtime friend and trusted aide to former President Nelson Mandela, died Wednesday. He was 66. Gerwel, an academic who found himself at the forefront of the nation’s politics following Mandela’s electoral win in 1994, had been in critical condition since undergoing heart surgery earlier this week at a hospital in Cape Town, said Sello Hatang, a spokesman for the Nelson Mandela Foundation. Gerwel died while still in the hospital’s care, Hatang said. Condolences came in from around South Africa for Gerwel, known to many as “prof” from his time teaching Afrikaans literature to university students.

UN honours Tutu for contribution to human rights Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and activist Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu will be honoured for his contribution to building a universal culture of human rights around the world, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) announced yesterday. Tutu was selected to receive this year’s UNESCO/Bilbao Prize, for “the outstanding role he played in building the new democratic, non-racial South Africa and his invaluable contribution as Chairperson of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, to national reconstruction which became a model for other post-conflict societies,” the agency said in a news release.


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World News

Thursday, November 29, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Twin car bombs kill 34 in Syria

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win suicide car bombs ripped through a Damascus suburb minutes apart on Wednesday, killing at least 34 people, state media said, and rebels claimed they shot down a Syrian air force fighter jet. The state news agency, SANA, said suicide bombers detonated two cars packed with explosives early in the morning in the eastern suburb of Jaramana, a Christian and Druse area known as mostly loyal to President Bashar Assad. Suicide bombings have struck regime targets in Damascus and elsewhere since last December. Such attacks are a trademark

of radical Muslim groups fighting alongside other rebels units, raising concerns of growing influence of Islamic extremists among the forces seeking to topple the regime. Yesterday’s bombs were detonated in a parking lot near a cluster of commercial buildings as groups of labourers and employees were arriving for work, killing 34 and injuring 83 people, SANA said. The blasts shattered windows, littering the street with glass and debris. Human remains were scattered on the pavement in pools of blood. Six commercial buildings were damaged in the

attacks, and dozens of cars were destroyed, SANA said. After the first explosion, people rushed to help the injured, and then the second bomb went off, said Ismail Zlaiaa, 54, who lives in the neighbourhood. “It is an area packed with rush-hour passengers,” he said. “God will not forgive the criminal perpetrators.” Ibtissam Nseir, a 45-year-old teacher, said the bombs exploded minutes before she set off for work. She said there were no troops around the district and wondered why the attackers would target it. Nseir blamed rebels.

Syrian citizens stand near a burning truck that was destroyed by two cars bombs, at Jaramana neighbourhood, in PHOTO: AP the suburb of Damascus, yesterday.

All on board Comoros plane survive crash

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wenty-nine people have survived after the plane they were travelling in crashed into the Indian Ocean, minutes after it took off from the Comoros, a chain of islands off the south-east coast of Africa. The Embraer jet suffered mechanical problems about 200m away from Moroni airport from where it chartered, officials said. Abu Mohamed Ali, director general of Civil Aviation for the Comoros Islands, said all 29 people on board - 25 passengers and four crew - were safe. The pilot suffered head injuries while the rest were unhurt. The plane, belonging to

Inter-Iles, had been bound for the neighbouring island of Anjouan. A senior military official who gave his name only as Zarouk and was on board the plane, said the aircraft fuel was leaking “like an open tap” upon take-off. He alerted the pilot who decided to return to the airport, but was unable to land in time, instead plunging into the sea. Fishermen appeared to have led the search-andrescue operation. In June 2009, a Yemeni Airbus 310-300 plunged into the Indian Ocean in bad weather off the Comoros archipelago, killing 152 people who were on board.

“Is this the freedom which they want? Syria is a secure country and it will remain so,” she said. There were conflicting reports about the death toll. Two hospital officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to reporters, said at least 30 bodies were brought to two hospitals. The Britain-based Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on reports from the ground, said 29 people were killed. The different tolls could not immediately be reconciled. The regime restricts independent media coverage. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Wednesday’s bombings. Opposition fighters are predominantly members of the Sunni Muslim majority. In their push to take Damascus, they have frequently targeted state institutions and troops. They have also often hit districts around the capital with the country’s minority communities, perceived to be allied with Assad’s Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam. Downtown Damascus — the seat of Assad’s power — has been the scene of scores of car bombs and mortar attacks targeting state security institutions and troops, areas with homes of wealthy Syrians, army officers,

security officials and other members of the regime. In May, two suicide car bombers blew themselves up outside a military intelligence building in Damascus, killing at least 55 people. In July, a bomb hit a building in which Cabinet ministers and senior security officials were meeting, killing the defence minister and his deputy, who was Assad’s brother-in-law. A former defence minister also died in the attack. Fighting between rebels and government troops raged on in several parts of the country on Wednesday. Regime warplanes struck rebel-held areas in the northern Idlib province and Damascus suburbs. In northern Syria, a rebel group claimed it brought down a Syrian MiG-23 fighter plane near the rebel-held town of Daret Azzeh, according to a report by Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency. The report quoted unnamed rebels in the area and said the jet was shot down Wednesday, most likely by a missile. There was no immediate independent confirmation. Opposition fighters claim they have shot down helicopters and warplanes in the past, although the rebels repeatedly complain their arsenal is no match for the regime’s fighter jets and attack helicopters. In recent weeks rebels have captured several air bases with anti-aircraft weapons, but it is not known if they have the ability to operate them.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

North

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Poverty, cause of insecurity in the north –PDP chieftain EZEKIEL TITUS BAUCHI

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he People’s Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday attributed the insecurity ravaging the northern part of the country to the poverty bedevilling the region, saying the party is now ready to tackle the challenges to ensure rapid economic development. PDP Chairman in the

North-East, Mohammed Wakil, made the statement while briefing journalists in Bauchi. He said one bold step to be taken to end the killings and the damage to property in the region is to strengthen the party ahead of the 2015 elections. Wakil said already, there are plans to involve the six governors in the zone and other stakeholders with a view to eradicating poverty

and enthrone peace and unity among all people regardless of their differences. He expressed worry about the consequences of the security challenges being experienced in the region which he said is affecting the socio-economic and political development of the region. According to the chairman, the party has put in place a formidable political

structures to wrestle power from the ruling party in Yobe and Borno State that are controlled by the ANPP, which he described as visionless. He promised to use his office to ensure a levelplaying ground to carry everybody along regardless of their political differences and in line with the reconciliatory move initiated by the national chairman of the party.

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Violence mars PDP LG congress in Kogi ADEMU IDAKWO LOKOJA

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iolence and crisis yesterday marred the local government congress of the ruling People Democratic Party (PDP) in Kogi State. The congress which was to be held in the 21 local government council areas in the state to elect party executives was disrupted by thugs allegedly from another faction opposed to the congress. In the Central Senatorial District comprising Okene, Adavi, Ogori-mangogo, Ajaokuta, and Okehi Local Government Areas, it was alleged that their

materials were snatched away by a liaison officer from the area to an unknown destination. The protesters were said to have besieged the state secretariat of the party in Lokoja to register their displeasure over the disappearance of election materials in some local government areas in the state. The protest which initially started in a peaceful manner eventually turned into a fracas as stones and pebbles were freely used against each other at the party secretariat. It took the intervention of the law enforcement agents to bring the situation under control.

Borno votes N330m for WAEC/NECO fees INUSA NDAHI MAIDUGURI

D L-R: Bauchi State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Sagir Saleh (left) and his Jigawa State counterpart, Alhaji Ahmed Mamud, during Bauchi-Jigawa inter-state boundary meeting in Bauchi , yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Community endorses Yakowa for 2015 guber election A ZA MSUE KADUNA

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esidents of Gonigola, a suburb of Kaduna metropolis yesterday endorsed Kaduna State Governor, Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, for the 2015 governorship election. The residents in their thousands made their stand known during Governor Yakowa’s launch of one of his N28 billion road projects sited in the community. They described the gesture as overwhelming, saying they will continue

to leave in peace with one another for more socio-economic development. Some of the placards they were carrying had different inscriptions like; “Yakowa 2015 no shaking;” “2015 we stand by you; “We support you;” “Women love Yakowa;” “You must run for 2015,” among others. The residents also called for police formation to secure the area. The settlement had in the past been alleged to have killed non-Christian travellers during sectarian crises, but the

Yakowa

residents have since denied the claim, saying they rather help people in distress. Earlier, Governor Yakowa urged the residents to embrace the govern-

ment’s development agenda, stressing that violence would only scare investors away from the state. “I call on you all to live in peace with one another irrespective of religion or tribe affiliation for us to transform Kaduna State. My administration will develop the state because I am governor of all.” At Dogon Dawa, Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of the state where a 35-kilometre road construction work was flagged off, the village Chief, Yerima Adamu, de-

I’m committed to polio eradication –Dangote

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he President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has promised to partner government at all levels to stem the scourge poliomyelitis. Dangote made the pledge while speaking against the background of collaboration of his charity organisation, the Dangote Foundation

with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to tackle the menace. He expressed worry at the disgraceful image of Nigeria in the comity of nations on account of the rising cases of polio, especially with Kano State as the epicentre of the world fastest growing outbreak of the disease. The World Health Or-

ganisation, WHO, had branded Nigeria as the largest contributor of global polio burden and the only country in the world to have all three types of polio virus — Type 1, Type 3, and circulating vaccine-derived Type 2 viruses. WHO also explained that the transmission of the disease in Nigeria

posed a real threat to the global polio eradication effort. Dangote, who is from Kano State, said: “Myself and Bill Gates met in New York and agreed to partner and intervene in polio eradication. There is no reason for any one of us not to assist in keeping our people healthy.”

etermined to address the massive failure of candidates in the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and the National Examination Council (NECO)regional and national examinations in Borno State, the state government has earmarked N330 million to the education sector in the state this year. Examination fees of about N230 million took the lion share of the vote, a development parents and guardians in the state had lauded the government gesture, describing it as a big relief. The remaining N100 million was to be used to supplement the feeding of students in government-owned boarding schools.

Speaking yesterday at the ministerial press briefing at the Musa Usman Secretariat Complex, Maiduguri, the Commissioner of Education, Alhaji Inuwa Musa Kubo, said effective teaching and learning in schools cannot take place on empty stomachs, saying that usually distracts students’ attention to learn. He said prior to the approved release of N100 million by Governor Kashim Shettima for the monthly feeding of students in boarding schools, the monthly feeding money for students were pegged at a monthly paltry sum of N20 million for two decades. The 400 per cent increase in students feeding, he added, will also improve the teaching and learning capacities of both teachers and their students.

Lawmaker raises alarm over erosion in Ankpa ADEMU IDAKWO LOKOJA

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member representing Ankpa 1 Constituency in the Kogi State House of Assembly, Hon. Habibat Mohammed Deen, has called on the state government to take urgent step in checking the erosion menace threatening the area. The lawmaker, who moved the motion on the floor of the house on Tuesday in Lokoja, said the erosion is capable of causing further havoc if not attended to early

enough. She said the erosion has brought down some shops as well as destroyed many valuable property and goods worth several millions of naira in the Ankpa Central Market. Deen added that most traders that were affected by the situation are already thrown out of business without any hope or other means of livelihood. “My honourable colleagues, the petty traders that got their capitals from co-operative societies and micro-finance banks are already bankrupt,” she lamented.


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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Community Mirror “What is the essence of the local government councils? they should be scrapped to reduce recurrent expenditure and leave more money for capital projects and development efforts.” GOVERNOR, CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA, MALLAM LAMIDO SANUSI

Murdered girl’s corpse found in deep freezer ADEMU IDAKWO LOKOJA

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esidents of Isanlu in Yagba local Government of Kogi State, have been thrown into confusion following the gruesome murder of a 13 year old girl whose remains

were found inside a freezer. The girl, identified as Yetunde Rachael Samuel, a JSS 2 student of Oluyori Comprehensive College, was murdered on October 5th while the corpse was deposited inside a freezer to create the impression that she froze herself to death, even as she was hur-

riedly buried without the family reporting the matter to the police. But the state Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Mohammed Musa Katsina, has arrested the girl’s parents while ordering for exhumation of the corpse for autopsy. The girl’s guardian, Mrs.

Deborah Motunrayo Jaiyeoba, claimed she left the girl in the house while attending a marriage ceremony. According to her, on getting back home, and did not see Yetunde, she she opened the deep freezer to get some water, only to discover the body, and she raised alarm.

Mrs jaiyeoba, a sanitary inspector at the local government claimed Yetunde wanted to clean the deep freezer when she fell into it and froze to death Curiously,the deceased’s father has remained indifferent over the death of her daughter as he reportedly agreed to the immediate burial of her corpse. However, autopsy revealed that the girl was murdered. Preliminary doctor’s report confirmed the girl died as result of neorogenic shock, secondary to multiple skeletal injuries most likely sustained by a blunt force trauma. The doctor’s report said two of the girl’s teeth were removed with some vital parts,

while the entire head region was battered with blunt instrument. Speaking, the Commissioner of Police, Muhammed Katsina, said the whole episode was a case of culpable homicide. He said the girl was brutally murdered, even as he expressed shock that the father did not show concern and rather brought a letter to his office along with somebody who claimed to be a judicial officer for the case to be withdrawn Musa Katsina called on the public to be more vigilant on their children,as he vowed to pursue the case to a logical conclusion and those found guilty would be made to face wrath of the law.

Illegal oil tankers impounded in Cross River O K AY O SUJI

T A policeman removing handcuff from a commercial bus driver who stripped in bid to escape arrest at Idi-Iroko, Ikorodu, Lagos. PHOTO:OLUFEMI AJASA

Onokpite: Family demands arrest, prosecution of suspects FRANCIS SUBERU

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ne year after the gruesome murder of Chairman of Urhobo New Face Youth Association, Ogbe Onokpite, the family has petitioned the presidency and Inspector General of Police, IGP, to immediately arrest and prosecute all suspects involved in the killing. Ogbe who was the Citizens Peoples Party (CPP) governorship candidate for 2007 and 2011 in Delta State, died of gunshot wounds on November 26, 2011. at a press briefing by Onokpite’s lawyer, Eriata Odiana, the family called on the IGP and the panel looking into the extra-judicial killing, to arrest all the police officers involved, to prevent them from further interfer-

ing in the investigative process. The family noted that there had been deliberate efforts by the Delta State Government and some highly placed police officers to scuttle the investigations; even as they claimed that the recent assassination of two suspects was an attempt to break the chain of investigations. According to the lawyer, some of the suspects include: AIG Mammar Tsafe, who was the Delta State Commissioner of Police at the time of Ogbe’s murder and ACP Abutu Yaro, who was Area Commander of Warri Area Command. Others are: Cpl Onye Kelechi; Cpl Benjamin Joel,; Cpl Ahansko Micheal, PC Bateren Akpojero, British Egene; Orlando Owodo; ASP Umara T. Ibrahim; Malik Okporo-

koro; Cpl Victor James, Inspector Mendugu Osuji and DCP Galadanchi Dasuki. The family said it believed the assassination of the two suspects, British and Orlando, was a deliberate plan to break the chain of investigations, in order to frustrate the unmasking of all those who gave the order to kill Ogbe Onokpite. It would be recalled that British and Orlando were assassinated in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State on July 16, 2012 by yet to be identified gunmen. Investigations revealed that prior to their assassination, police had wanted to arrest them in Warri, Delta State, but they later fled to Yenagoa, and as they were assassinated less than 24 hours before the police personnel arrived in Bayelsa State. Eriata also explained that the two AK47 rifles, purport-

edly found on Ogbe at the time of his arrest, were insured in 2007 by the Police Central Armament Registry in Lagos to MPF 31 and to the Delta State Police Command. He added that one of the rifles was allocated to ASP Umara’s aide and the second was snatched from a slain police officer on Warri Airport Road. It would be recalled that a police report on the killing of Ogbe Onokpite, claimed he was arrested and later shot in a hotel where he was negotiating the purchase of firearms. The then Delta State Commissioner of Police, Mammar Tsafe, had claimed that Chief Ogbe and his purported accomplices, were ambushed by police detectives deployed to the hotel from the Warri Area Command of the Police Force.

he Cross River State Government has reaffirmed its determination to eliminate oil bunkering and other related economic crimes, even as it continues to monitor all the identified flash points, in and around Calabar South, Bakassi, Akpabuyo, Calabar Municipality and Odukpani Local Government Areas. Addressing newsmen in Calabar, the Commissioner for Information Chief Akin Rickett, said a monitoring team of security agencies had intercepted five tankers, with product, suspected to be diesel, as investigations revealed that each was loaded with 33,000 litres of the illegal petroleum products. He said, the impounded tankers are currently in military custody, even as he lauded the collaboration between the agencies, coming only weeks after six tankers, with illegal petroleum products were intercepted

by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corp (NSCDC). Chief Ricketts said the government deplored the actions of some military personnel that led to the release without official clearance of some of the tankers, as this is capable of encouraging the culprits to continue in their illegal bunkering operations. According to him, the action, pre-supposes that the security personnel, in whose custody the intercepted trucks were, must ensure they give full account with the illegal diesel products, even as he appealed to security personnel, to resist any pressure from the sponsors of these criminals, else their neutrality would be compromised. In a similar vein, the government has directed that all those impersonating tax revenue agents to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) desist forthwith, even as it solicited the co-operation of security agents, in the fight against economic crimes.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sport

Thursday, November 29, 2012

53

T/Tennis: Team Lagos sounds opposition warning YEMI OLUS

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he Lagos State table tennis team has declared its readiness to upstage opponents as the team events served off yesterday at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Lagos. Team captain, Ayo Omotara, told National Mirror that the team which had trained in China ahead the festival was ready to make Lagos State proud. “Hosting the games serves as adequate motivation for us and we are determined on our part to do well to justify the government’s investment in us,” he said.

“Besides, our feats at the recent Asoju Oba Cup would serve as tonic to excel further,” he added. Team Lagos is seeded No.1 along Edo, Ogun, Rivers, Ondo, Cross River and Oyo and did not partake in the first round of the men’s team event. Ekiti defeated Abia 3-0, Katsina beat Kogi 3-0, Adamawa lost 3-0 to Delta, Taraba defeated Benue 3-0 victory while Anambra also dominated Zamfara 3-0 as the match between Sokoto and Bauchi was undecided at press time. The men’s team comprises 25 states while the women’s team has 13 states competing for honours.

B’ball: Rivers, Kwara, FCT win SAYO OGUNDEJI

T

Ogun State hockey team celebrating their win over Gombe

Anambra targets 30 gold medals IFEANYI EDUZOR

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nambra State Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Dr. Edozie Aroh, says the state will win at least 30 gold medals as well as be among the three top states in the overall table. “It is true that Anambra State has not performed well at previous competitions but this time we are determined to break that jinx and take our rightful position among the elites in the country,” said. He noted that the monetary incentives promised

the athletes will motivate them to excel at the festival. Meanwhile, cricketers have condemned the pitch at the University of Lagos where the event is taking place. Some of the athletes wondered why efforts were not made by the Local Organizing Committee of the festival to have matches played at the cricket oval at Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos. “The bad pitch has not allowed us to exhibit our talents,” one of the players lamented, adding, “As things stand, the best team might not win the championship.”

Sokoto is here to learn – Oriala IFEANYI EDUZOR

S

okoto State Athletics Coach, Chinedu Oriala, has said that the team is focusing only on acquiring the experience that will enable them to win laurels in future competitions. The former national athlete said the state was interested in enabling a situation that make it a force in Nigeria’s athletics. “Winning medals is not our ultimate ambition but if we win, it will be worth celebrating,” Oriala said.

“I want to replicate the feat I achieved with Rivers State last year to Sokoto State and I’m happy that my athletes are learning fast,” he added. Meanwhile, the boxing event scheduled to commence yesterday was rescheduled for today. Chairman/Technical Director of the event, Adam Tee Jay, said that the boxers’ inability to conclude their registration necessitated the shift. “We are optimistic that all these processes will be concluded today (yesterday),” he assured.

Imo State female volleyball team celebrating a point over Anambra yesterday

eam Rivers became the first basketball side to record victory when it defeated Team Bayelsa in the male basketball event yesterday. Rivers proved its supremacy over Bayelsa to win 71-63 points. Elsewehere, Kwara defeated Imo by 65-50 while Enugu lost to Plateau 4934. Kadda Stars’ coach, Sani Ahmed, led Kaduna to 64-44 victory over Zamfara. Ahmed said his wealth of professional experience would be brought to bear on the young players to go far in the tournament. “I believe we will get better as the events go on,” Ahmed said, adding, “All we can do is to hope for the best as we target the gold medal.” In the women’s category, Team FCT got its campaign underway with a 43-34 victory over Team Ondo.

Ogun boxer eyes gold IKENWA NNABUOGOR

S Imo State (in white) and Anambra State female volleyballers in action

Table tennis action at the ongoing sports festival in Lagos, yesterday PHOTOS: ADEMOLA AKINLABI

uper Heavyweight champion representing Team Ogun, Yusuf Isaac, says he’s eyeing gold medal in his category which gets underway today at the NIS Boxing Arena. Isaac, who is yet to know his opponents, is confident he will make up for his non-inclusion to the London Olympics and Mozambique AllAfrican Games teams, by claiming the gold medal. Yusuf, who returned to boxing early this year after coming back from injuries sustained from a power bit accident, says he is determined to win the ultimate prize. “This is my first major event and I’m confident I will excel,” he said.


54

Insight

Thursday, November 29, 2012

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Coroner Law: The controversy and •Why Lagos Muslims are kicking against autopsy

Coroner law is part of the statutes employed in the administration of criminal justice to inquire into suspicious and tragic deaths in the society. FRANCIS FAMOROTI reports that the law suffers from ineffective enforcement in Lagos State while it is almost moribund in other parts of Nigeria.

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couple of months ago, Bayo said to be in his forties died mysteriously in Abeokuta, Ogun State. He worked and lived alone in Abeokuta while his wife and children resided in Lagos. This day, his neighbours noticed that the ever-lively guy did not come out of his apartment. Curiously someone moved closer to the apartment, which was securely locked. After knocking several times without any response, the door was forced opened and Bayo was found hanged in his bedroom. Certainly, nobody could explain the cause and circumstances that led to his death except the fact that he left behind a suicide note. Similarly, last March, controversy trailed the news of the death of an Egba High Chief and promoter of the Abeokuta Golf Resort, Apagun Oluwole Olumide. The Apagun Pote of Egbaland and an associate of former Governor of Ogun State, Gbenga Daniel, was found dead in an artificial lake located at the golf course on March 9, 2012. After the incident, there were claims and counter-claims as to whether the late chief plunged into the lake to end his life. Another incident that occurred in Abeokuta, Ogun State some years ago was the mystery surrounding the murder of a boy with hunch-back whose decomposing body was found on the roof top of the building of an herbalist. The police were said to have discovered the body following a tip-off. Was the deceased a ritual victim? The case of one Wole Ilori, a graduate of the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University, killed in brutal cold blood with his head chopped off on the Ibadan-Lagos Expressway around Otedola Estate, Lagos is still fresh in the memory of Lagosians. About two months ago, the members of staff of a firm, Chinese Group of Companies, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos, were reportedly thrown into confusion on September 9, 2012 after the corpses of two of their colleagues, Odion Imhonbhio and Richard Dada, were found at the bottom of the swimming pool in the premises. It was reported that Odion and Dada had gone to swim the previous night around 9pm and were not seen till the following morning. Their corpses were recovered and sent to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) for autopsy. Although the autopsy stated that the young men died of asphyxia and drowning, their families cast doubt on the reported causes of death. According to Odion’s brother, Matthew, the corpse of the 21-year-old man was found inside the swimming pool, with blood coming out of his ears, nostrils and mouth. Matthew was quoted saying: “My

brother’s corpse didn’t look like that of a drowned person. Something just looks suspicious because how can two full grown men just drown at the same time in a pool that is not deep?” All these unfortunate incidents indeed call for inquiries into the causes and circumstances of the deaths within the jurisdiction of the coroner. In legal parlance, the Coroner is defined in Law as any person empowered to hold an inquest. The coroner’s law is aimed at inquiring into the causes and circumstances of sudden unnatural death. Sudden and unnatural death, refer to any death which occurs other than by natural causes. It covers even suicide in which case, the coroner should find whether or not the deceased intended to take own life. The coroner law is therefore an investigation, an inquiry to determine certain facts about the identity of the deceased and the events leading to death. In a paper titled “The Role of the Coroner in the Administration of Justice: A Coroner’s Perspective”, delivered at a conference, a Chief Magistrate. Mrs. O.I. Adelaja observes that “the coroner law is a part of the law employed in the administration of justice, it is however about the only one which stands alone, it is not employed in trial strictly so-called.” The Coroner System Law 2007 is the operative law in Lagos State and it is essentially an enquiry, fact-finding procedure in which the rules of evidence do not strictly apply. Thus, the coroner is defined in the law as any person empowered to hold an inquest and its states that “every magistrate may hold inquest under the law.” In effect, any magistrate may be a coroner and any other person empowered under the law to do so. Coroner law is also available in the statutes of other states in the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, but the experts are unanimous that the enforcement mechanism of the law is weak in Lagos and almost non-existent in other parts of the country. Basically, the functions of a coroner includes to determine the medical cause of death, to allay rumours or suspicion, draw attention to the existence of circumstances which if not remedied might lead to further deaths, enable the society to be conscious of preventable deaths and to preserve the legal interest of the deceased’s person’s family, heirs and of other interested parties. But if the controversies that arose from the divergent medical opinions expressed by renowned pathologists at a coroner’s court that inquired into the circumstances that led to the September 2005 death of the former director of a Lagos-based telecommunications company, Mobitel, Mr. Charles Alaba Joseph, are anything to go

High Court building

IN LEGAL PARLANCE, THE CORONER IS DEFINED IN LAW AS ANY PERSON EMPOWERED TO HOLD

AN INQUEST. THE LAW IS AIMED AT INQUIRING INTO THE CAUSES AND CIRCUMSTANCES OF SUDDEN UNNATURAL DEATH Prof. Obafunwa

by, the essence of the inquiry might have been defeated. Upon police request, Prof John Obafunwa, the then Chief Pathologist of LASUTH Ikeja, conducted the first autopsy on Joseph’s corpse. On September 23, 2005, the then Inspector-General of Police disclosed the outcome of the report of the autopsy and linked the cause of the deceased’s death to gunshot injury, “Cranial cerebral injuries”. Surprisingly however, some other interested parties, insisted that a second autopsy be conducted. The second autopsy was headed by Prof W.O. Odesanmi, with Prof Olusegun Ojo of the same university (OAU) representing the bank, Dr G.I. Ayuba (Mobitel), Dr. Wilson Akihwu (Police). The team conducted the autopsy in Obafunwa’s absence and in its report said that the deceased was not shot and that there was no missile tract. Their conclusion therefore was that Joseph must have died as a reason of a fall. Obafunwa in an interview with the National Mirror said the report of the independent pathologists that were later invited into the country and the findings by the coroner, Mrs. Ayo Odugbesan, who conducted the inquest into the matter, had vindicated his report in Joseph’s case. He said regrettably, the Police never did

anything again in probing the death of the deceased further. Notwithstanding, Obafunwa who is also the Vice-Chancellor, Lagos State University (LASU), however said the coroner law “is more than desirable in Nigeria.” He justified the need for the coroner system law in the country and pointed out that hospital authorities would not have been able to handle the Dana Air crash case if the law was not in existence in the country. His words: “Where death is sudden and unexpected you want to ask questions; for example, did the death result from child abuse, medical mishap, poisoning. These are some examples that will warrant questions being asked. Why did the person die? Was it a case of negligence? Death occurring with 24 hours of admission, you want to ask why? So it is a case of auditing the system once there is a case of sudden and unnatural death.” Obafunwa said the conduct of coroner’s inquest requiring autopsies would enable the epidemiological unit of the hospitals and the relevant government agencies to have reliable data of reported deaths and enable them to plan easily on how to prevent some sudden and unnatural deaths in the society. “In terms of diseases management, I can say that our post-graduate school in the College of Medicine, LASU, is well ahead,” he added.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Insight

Thursday, November 29, 2012

55

need to unravel mysterious deaths

Ikeja High Court complex.

ABDUL-RAHEEM WHO IS ALSO A LECTURER AT

YABATECH’S CENTRE FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT (CED) SAID EMPHATICALLY THAT

MUSLIMS WERE OPPOSED

TO THE ENFORCEMENT OF THE CORONER LAW

Department of Pathology and Forensic Medicine, LASUTH.

The forensic pathologist however disclosed that the law was not being effectively enforced in the country due to the lack of co-operation of the bereaved families and relations of the dead and loopholes in the enforcement machinery. According to him, “In Lagos when we do an average of 2,000 autopsies in a year whereas we should be talking of about 5,000 autopsies yearly. In some states, the figure is as low as 200 autopsies in a year.” He declined based on confidentiality, to disclose specific instances of sudden and unnatural deaths where coroner inquests were not held, but admitted that the holding of inquests might have far- reaching results for the society, saying that the outcome of autopsies on bodies of persons who died in swimming pools or hotels might reveal the causes of the deaths as severe hypertension, muscle spasm and so on. The forensic pathologist however said unfortunately, a number of cases never proceeded to inquests and “it is not uncommon to find a doctor to write a death certificate out of ignorance.” On the purported objection of the Islamic adherents to the conduct of autopsies on their deceased, he said the question of religious sentiment should not arise, saying, “I am yet to see a particular religion that says you cannot do an autopsy

on dead bodies.” A lawyer and Executive Director, Access to Justice (AJ), Mr. Joseph Otteh, also corroborated Obafunwa’s position, stating that not all Muslims make the kind of objection they have been stereotyped with. The AJ director said, “Post mortems or procedures which resemble inquiries are undertaken in Muslim countries too. It is used in Malaysia and in Pakistan and I think a few other countries as well.” Otteh, a lawyer and expert on Coroner Law practice however regretted that the law is not being effectively enforced in the country. “It’s literarily a dead letter law in many states. Lagos State is a relatively good exception,” he said. According to him, municipal, regional and international instruments insist that a state is under obligation to investigate every allegation of extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary killings. He however advised that the postmortems should be carried out much faster, therefore, government should enhance the capacity of the medical examiner’s unit to ensure that they can deliver autopsies efficiently, without delays. Citing instances of sudden and unnatural deaths where coroner inquests were not held, Otteh pointed out that there were too many cases of investigable deaths

which nobody questioned. For example, he said the Maiduguri killings in October in which Joint Task Force (JTF) soldiers on the trail of Boko Haram terrorists, were alleged to have gone on rampage, shooting indiscriminately at unarmed civilians and allegedly killing scores of people in reprisal for the killing of one of their commanders, call for inquest. On the issue of conflict of forensic evidence, Otteh said such occurrence does not diminish the relevance of the coronial system. “As a matter of fact, it reinforces the argument for it. Medical opinions are only a part of the information available to a Coroner. Information from other sources are vital and can help as well. A trained coroner should be able to construct a fairly reliable theory of how a death occurred from all the information available as it happened in the Joseph Alaba’s case.” But despite the views expressed by Obafunwa and Otteh on the disposition of Muslims to the law, Deputy Chief Imam, Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH), Alhaji Luqman AbdurRaheem, maintained that the law was clearly against Islamic principles. He supported the objection of Muslims with a letter dated August 13, 2008 purportedly addressed to Governor Babatunde Fashola shortly after the law came into force. The letter reads in part: “The aspect that

Joseph Otteh

is of concern to us is the provision that all dead bodies must go through autopsy. This is clearly un-Islamic going by provisions of Qur’an and Hadith (Islamic laws), and even in Europe and America people are not forced to do autopsy for dead persons especially if their creed abhors it. It is only enforced when the death is shrouded in mystery and there are legal issues to be cleared. “To the Muslims, autopsy represents the most dehumanising way of treating the dead, because Muslim corpses are held sacrosanct and must not be delayed. There are provisions in Islamic jurisprudence which clearly and unequivocally abhors delay in burial rites. Delay in according the dead its right is a sin. “Swift burial is an age long directive of Allah and emphasised by His prophet (SAW).” Abdul-raheem who is also a lecturer at YABATECH’s Centre for Entrepreneurship Development (CED) said emphatically that Muslims were opposed to the enforcement of the coroner law. He said the way forward was for the state government to amend the law to reflect the interests of various segments of the society on the contentious matter.. Notwithstanding this position, experts on coroner law system were unanimous in saying that the proper use of the procedure could help resolve cases of suspicious deaths and extra-judicial killings in the country.


WORLD RECORD

First timekeeping device Vol. 02 No. 502

N150

Thursday, November 29, 2012

First used in Mesopotamia in c. 3500 BC, the time stick – a primitive form of sundial – was the first “clock” ever developed by Man. Consisting simply of a long stick planted in the earth, it told the time by casting a shadow on the ground that changed length and position as the Sun “moved” overhead.

Debating Sanusi’s panacea for huge governance cost

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lthough it is still generating wide reactions, the most important reaction that is needed on the views of the Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, beyond the hysteria from organised labour, is that of the Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. Sanusi had, on Tuesday, drew the ire of workers by arguing that for Nigeria to get some respite from the biting cash crunch, the Federal Government must embark on some cost saving measures; namely to radically downsize the federal and state civil service, as well as the National Assembly. For the Local Governments, 774 of which exist, if we discountenance the 37 additional council areas in Lagos, it is outright scrapping the CBN governor recommended. With these measures, creation of new states is impossible in Sanusi’s envisioned new Nigeria, because they will invariably lead to increase in recurrent expenditure. The thrust of his radical interven-

SOMETHING BEFORE THE WEEKEND

Steve Ayorinde

sayorinde@nationalmirroronline.net (08054500808 sms only)

tion is fiscal prudence in the public sector – with emphasis on the need to discontinue with the profligate and unsustainable trend in which the federal and state governments commit 70 per cent of their income to the payment of workers’ wages and allowances. I should say that I do not always agree with the views of this lanky Prince who appears given to being loquacious. His arguments on the introduction of N5,000 notes was a clear example of a policy not well thought out, considering the passion with which he had few months earlier promoted the cashless policy that ought to have nullified any need for currency re-print in any denomination. You cannot be encouraging the economy to migrate to credit and debit cards, cheques and money transfers and suddenly make a detour to commit N40bn to the printing of new notes. His views on the contentious removal of oil subsidy are also below satisfactory in my opinion. Granted that one may not doubt the interest of a CBN governor in how a small band of oil importers could be responsible for the bulk of the bad loans that eventually got a number of our banks into trouble in 2009, Sanusi’s hasty conclusion that for the economy to survive, the subsidy on oil has to be fully removed, leaves important aspects of the argument unaddressed. My position is that such argument overlooks the fact that we have not always paid N1.3trn on subsidy per year and that the shenanigans that caused

THE POINT OF HIS SUBMISSION IS THAT THE COST OF GOVERNANCE IS TOO HIGH AND UNSUSTAINABLE this astronomical cost during President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration ought to be addressed. Also, the agitation for subsidy removal tends to ignore the fact that even at their worst period, the four local refineries at least contribute a certain percentage of the fuel that is consumed locally. Will that also be subjected to ‘appropriate pricing’ if there is total deregulation? In any case, a situation where the CBN governor himself and neither the Petroleum Minister nor her Finance counterpart have no reliable information on the exact amount of litres of petrol that is imported or consumed, and how much precisely is expended on it, cannot be relied upon for solution. However, Sanusi’s treatise on the cost of governance cannot be treated like that of oil subsidy. It may not be totally new, but it is probably his most impactful till date. What is at stake, from his analysis at the Capital Market Committee retreat of the Securities and Exchange Commission, which held in Warri on Tuesday, is

even more than the figure that the Federal Government is desperate to save from fuel subsidy when you remove the waste and corruption that got subsidy provision to frog-jump from N400bn in 2007 to almost N2trn this year. The 2012 budget that is still struggling for full implementation and the 2013 budget forecast lend credence to Sanusi’s position. No society spends 70 per cent on civil servants that are less than five per cent of the population, leaving just 30 percent for capital projects and expects rapid development. It is already certain that Nigeria will borrow to finance the 2013 budget. Development will be slow. And it is worse that corruption is still rampant in the public sector in addition to a harsh, almost toxic environment for the private sector. I admit that many of Sanusi’s recommendations will require constitutional amendments, but why not if there will be immediate and long-term gains? The point of his submission is that the cost of governance is too high and unsustainable. The suggestions, thankfully, serve as a reminder to the Jonathan administration on a similar recommendation made last year by the TY Danjuma-led committee that made a strong case for the pruning down of government functionaries. Sanusi should not stop at making his position a food for thought for only the SEC and the media. He should make it a case of Urgent National Importance as the custodian of the nation’s banking operations. It may be necessary if he articulates his position as a letter to Mr. President, for which the reaction of the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and the President’s Special Adviser on the Economy would be needed. If the Jonathan administration will oppose this view from the CBN governor, then it would need to make its assessment of it public. But to ignore it will amount to playing politics with the financial stability of the country.

Sport Extra

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he Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) will hold fund-raising dinners to support Super Eagles’ campaign in the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa in January. Executive Committee of the NFF took the decision at their meeting

AFCON: NFF holds fund-raising dinners held in Abuja, yesterday. In a communiqué sent to National Mirror, Chief Emeka Inyama said the NFF set up an ad-hoc committee headed by Chief Mike Umeh to organise the fund-raising dinners

and that money raised at the events will complement the Federal Government’s funding for the championship. Also, the Executive Committee approved that the 2012 Annual Gen-

eral Assembly of Nigerian football will hold in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on December 13. Meanwhile, the Executive Committee will hold a meeting with Board Members of the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) today at the Glass House.

Aminu Maigari

Printed and Published by Global Media Mirror Ltd: Head Office: Mirror House, 155/161 Broad Street, Lagos Tel: 07027107407, Abuja Office: NICON Insurance House, Second Floor, Central Business District Area, Abuja Tel: 08070428249, Advert hotline: 01-8446073, Email: mail@nationalmirroronline.net. Editor: SEYI FASUGBA. All correspondence to PMB 10001, Marina, Lagos.

Thursday, November 29, 2012.pdf  

*Civil servants’ reduction: Sack Sanusi now, NLC, TUC tell Jonathan --He’s an idle, confused economist –Labour leaders --PDP condemns CBN g...

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