Page 1

Reps to probe NCC frequency allocation scandal ONDO .


…to protect N4trn telecoms investment EXCLUSIVE


Vol. 2 N0. 472


he House of Representatives may soon probe the allegation and counter-allegation on frequency racketeering

rocking the leadership of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC. Sources told our CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

GUBER POLL October 20, 2012


INEC deploys 18 RECs for poll IGP orders restriction of movement


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Labour rejects sale of PHCN to Abdulsalami TOLA AKINMUTIMI AND UDEME AKPAN




Stakeholders call for probe


takeholders, includsociety civil ing yesterday groups, called for the probe of how Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Limited, owned by former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, emmerged as winner in the bid for the nation’s four distribution electricity companies. The firm was on Tuesday CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>

N42.1bn scam: SFU impounds Uba’s exotic cars P.7 Seven expatriates kidnapped in Bayelsa P.11

L-R: President Goodluck Jonathan, his mother, Mrs. Eunice Jonathan, son and wife of the Senate President, Mrs. Helen Mark, welcoming the First Lady, Dame Patience, to the Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday.


UNIPORT 4: Court remands 13 suspects in custody

P.2 P.4



Thursday, October 18, 2012

National Mirror

Jonathan’s wife arrives, denies undergoing cosmetic surgery OBIORA IFOH ABUJA


ollowing her controversial absence from the country for about two months, the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, returned to the country yesterday, denying speculations that she had undergone a cosmetic surgery. She also lambasted those she said had speculated her death on the grounds that some occupants of State House were destined not to leave the seat of power alive. Speaking in an interview at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, moments after arriving in a presidential jet, the President’s wife thanked God for bringing her back safely and expressed her commitment to the welfare of Nigerians. Jonathan’s plane arrived at the airport about 4p.m. Dame Jonathan was received by Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State; the wife of the Senate President, Mrs. Helen Mark; members of the National Assembly; wives of state governors, government officials and women groups. She said: “Thank God Almighty for bringing me back safely to Nigeria. Wherever there are good people there are also bad ones.

“There are a few Nigerians that are saying whatever they like, not what God planned because God has a plan for all of us. “And God has said it all that when two or three are gathered in His name He will be with them. And Nigerians gathered and prayed for me and God listened and heard their prayers. So, I thank God for that. “At the same time, I will use this opportunity to tell those few ones that are saying that anybody that goes to Villa or Aso Rock will die. “They mentioned Sani Abacha, they mentioned Stella Obasanjo, they mentioned Umaru Yar’Adua and other people. “But those people, why didn’t they mention those ones that went there with their families and succeeded and they still came out alive? “We should remember that Aso Rock is the seat of power and that is where God has ordained for our leaders to rule from and to rule us right. God is wonderful and his infinite mercy endures.” The First Lady also condemned the media which she noted had written negative stories about her. “At the same time, I read in the media where they said I was in the hospital. God Almighty knows I have

never been to that hospital, I don’t even know the hospital they mentioned. “I have to explain what God has done for me. I do not have any terminal illness. I did not go for cosmetic surgery or tommy tuck. “My husband loves me as I am and I am pleased with how God created me.” She, however, praised Nigerians who stood by her “during my trial time” particularly her husband, President Goodluck Jonathan, her children and staff. “God has given me a second chance to come and work with women of Nige-

ria, children and the less privileged. “I have come to save Nigeria, I have come to work with Nigerians, I am there for them. Once more I am pleased to be back. I love Nigerians they are my family,” she added. Since her sudden departure from Nigeria in August, the whereabouts of the First Lady has remained hidden. One clear thing was that she was in Germany. The purpose was unknown to the public. While the Presidency kept mum about her whereabouts, her aides only man-

declared the core investor and highest bidder for Eko Electricity Distribution Company Plc, Ikeja Electricity Distribution Plc, Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company Plc and Yola Electricity Distribution Company Plc. The first three are located in what can be described as the prime zones in the nation’s electricity corridor. The President-General of the Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies, SSAEAC, Mr. Bede Opara, doubted the transparency of the process. He said: “At first, the government disclosed that it was interested in selling 51 per cent, so that other Nigerians, including workers can also have stakes in the privatised companies. Now we are hearing that it is 60 per cent. “From all indications, it is like the government just assembled a team to share

our national assets to influential Nigerians. “We are not worried because the firms are being privatised. We are worried because Gen. Abubakar never had interest in the sector even as Head of State.” “Let the former Head of State show us one power station he constructed during his tenure. We challenged him to show us one station he built to show his interest in the power sector,” he said. Opara, whose group and others have the support of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, said that the sector might go the way of failed privatised firms, including Daily Times. He said the fate of the privatised power firms would not only affect workers in the sector but also Nigerians and foreign nationals who would be made to pay more for electricity. The Trade Union Congress, TUC, also doubted the transparency of the

heart patients in the country. Ebebie said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the airport where she joined other women to welcome the First Lady back from Germany. She recalled that the President’s wife sponsored her daughter to India for heart treatment in April and that with her return, there was hope for other Nigerians with heart problems. “I’m happy that our Mama is back. There is hope for the less-privileged, especially heart patients, now CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

L-R: Renowned writer, Elechi Amadi; Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Amaechi and Mrs. Koko Kalango of Rainbow Book Club, at the opening of the 5th Garden City Literary Festival in Port Harcourt, yesterday.

Labour rejects sale of PHCN to Abdulsalami CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

aged to say Mrs. Jonathan went for vacation. But sources said the First Lady went for medical treatment at a German hospital, Horst Schmidt Klinik. She reportedly suffered “food poisoning” alongside her medical doctor and had to be airlifted to Wiesbaden, Germany for treatment. Dame Patience was also said to have suffered ruptured appendicitis. A member of the Bayelsabased Warikiwe Women Group, Mrs. Peromobowei Ebebie, said in Abuja yesterday that the First Lady’s return had re-ignited hope for

process. TUC Head of Media and Publicity, Mr. Chris Onyeka, said the emergence of the company as the core investor for the firms showed that the process might not have been transparent and fair to all parties. He said: “The TUC is in support of privatisation because we hope that it would better management of national assets to benefit of the nation and its people. But the way it is being done now is not what we expected. “It is unfortunate for the firms to go to Abubakar because he is not known to be a businessman. He is more known as a soldier than an investor. This partly explains why some people wonder what actually motivated him to go into business.” Onyeka said TUC is ready to partner with some other stakeholders, especially the National Assembly to ensure the process is reviewed for Nigerians to

understand how the company managed to emerge as the core investor for the companies. Reacting to the choice of the firm, Executive Director of the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, Auwal Ibrahim, described the exercise as failing to meet the minimum standards of due process and transparency. He noted that in view of the magnitude of the taxpayers’ money that were committed to the distribution companies, the National Council on Privatisation, NCP, should have allowed a more participatory approach that would have enabled Nigerians to know who was acquiring what at how much. Ibrahim, an Associate Director of Transparency International, noted that the privatisation programme had so far allowed people who had access to public funds to borrow from such funds and buy what was being put up for sale.

Spokesman of the Ministry of Power, Mr. Greyne Anosike, said that there was no need for the grievance as the government had already accepted responsibility to pay them. “The Federal Government has an understanding with labour on these issues. It is a matter of time; these issues would be resolved because the government has reached irreversible point in the privatisation process,” he said. However, the Director, Deramo Energy, Mr. Ugo Okpara, believed in privatisation, stressing that privatisation was a good policy. He charged the new owners to adopt and implement global best policies and practices to operate them in order to provide improved and uninterruptable services to consumers. Okpara said government should ensure that the right environment was created for operators to carry out their business. The NCP that managed

the process, however, stated that “aggregate technical, commercial and collection loss reduction proposal” were used as bases for core investor selection. It maintained that 10 bidders were pencilled down for final ratification of the NCP’s approval. The government is expected to generate N197.25bn as proceeds from the sale of 60 per cent of the 10 distribution companies. Other firms namely, Aura Energy Ltd with 16.22 per cent got Jos Disco; Sahelian Power SPV Ltd with 21.21 per cent got Kano Disco; 4Power Consortium with 19.55 per cent got Port Harcourt Disco; Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Ltd with 18.58 per cent got Yola Disco; Interstate Electrics Ltd 21.62 per cent for Abuja Discos; and Vigeo Power Consortium with 21.78 per cent got Benin Disco. Others are Interstate Electrics that emerged the CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

National Mirror



Thursday, October 18, 2012

Good Health

Too much talk rots the brain!



on-stop blabbing or excessive talking does have its own risks after all. Scientists say an individual who talks without control could be doing a lot of harm to his brain and general well being. A study conducted by the National Center for Neurogenic Communication Disorders and Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, The University of Arizona (Tucson, USA) has revealed that excessive talkativeness could lead to dizziness, lightheadedness, loss of concentration, emotional instability, muscular tension, abnormal posture and other negative effects. According to the researchers, normal people, breathe twice as much air when they speak. That reduces their brain carbon dioxide (CO2) and oxygen (O2) stores which makes the body, in the process of long conversations, more prone to mental and general health problems. Even 10-20 minutes of continuous speaking, according to the researchers resets the breathing centre to lower arterial and brain CO2 levels promoting hyperventilation, tissue hypoxia and chronic diseases In the study entitled Influence of continuous speaking on ventilation, twenty healthy young men were studied during periods of quiet breathing and prolonged speaking using non-invasive methods to measure chest wall surface motions and expired gas composition. Results indicated that all subjects ventilated more during speaking than during quiet breathing, usually by augmenting both tidal volume and breathing frequency. Ventilation did not change across repeated speaking trials. Quiet breathing was altered from its usual behaviour following speaking, often for several minutes. Speaking-related increases in ventilation were found to be strongly correlated with lung volume expenditures per syllable. These findings, according to the researchers, have clinical implications for the respiratory care practitioner and the speech-language pathologist. It shows that excessive talkativeness

or talking too much produces devastating health effects and could promote any chronic disease: cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and many others, These, they conclude could be an addition to the negative effects of modern speaking skills which include mouth breathing (for inhalations) and thoracic breathing (using the upper chest). Both these factors further reduce oxygen delivery to body, cells. According to the experts excessive talking may not be a disorder in itself but rather a symptom which manifests as a result of other disorders present in the patient. There are two major categories of disorders which cause a symptom resulting in excessive talking. First are the disorders which force the brain to go into overdrive and cause excessive talking. Anxiety-related disorders are one type, encompassing diseases such as OCD and ADHD. In these cases, anxiety manifests itself in speaking. Asperger’s Syndrome is another disorder. Those with Asperger’s Syndrome often become absorbed in a subject and talk endlessly. Lastly, those with bipolar disorder may have periods of excessive talking. Attention seekers are another type of individuals with a disorder causing excessive speaking. One common disorder is Histrionic Personality Disorder. Another is Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Both disorders cause an urge for attention so great that the individual cannot resist excessive talking. In the study, the researchers measured changes in end-tidal or exhaled CO2 pressure (which is very close to arterial CO2 values). It was found that the initial endtidal CO2 dropped from 38 mm Hg to about 31 mm Hg (after 10 minutes of continuous speaking). According to the experts, Carbon dioxide regulates many processes in the human body, such as dilation of arteries and arterioles, release of O2 in capillaries (the Bohr effect), repair of alveoli in lungs, dilation of bronchi and bronchioles, sleep control, control of blood sugar, relaxation of mus-

Non-stopping blabbing dangerous to health






cle cells, weight monitoring, stability of the nerve cells, regulation of pulse, blood pressure maintenance and many other biochemical processes. Two effects directly influence the brain oxygen levels. First of all, CO2 is responsible for dilation of arteries and arterioles. Some medical articles claim that CO2 is the most potent known vasodilator. As a result, as it was proven by tens of medical

studies, lowered blood CO2 levels lead to spasm in blood vessels causing diminished blood supply to all vital organs, the brain included. Second, normal levels of CO2 in tissues is crucial for effective release of O2 in capillaries. It is called the Bohr effect or Bohr law. It states that reduced CO2 levels in tissues decrease oxygen release by red blood cells. Furthermore, CO2 is a powerful sedative and calmative agent of the nerve cells, while hypocapnia (CO2 deficiency) causes over-excited states of the nerve cells leading to “spontaneous and asynchronous firing of neurons”, as one neurological study revealed. Therefore, it is normal that long speeches, conversations and excessive talkativeness often lead to light-headedness, loss of concentration, emotional instability, cold feet and hands, muscular tension, abnormal posture and other negative effects due to low O2 and CO2 levels in the brain. Deliberate deep breathing or hyperventilation causes the same effects, the researchers concluded.


Good news: Migraines hurt your head, not your brain


igraines currently affect about 20 percent of the female population, and while these headaches are

common, there are many unanswered questions surrounding this complex disease. Previous studies have linked this disorder to an increased risk of stroke and structural brain lesions, but it has remained unclear whether migraines had other negative consequences such as dementia or cognitive decline. According to new research from Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), migraines are not associated with cognitive decline. This study is published online by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) on August 8, 2012. “Previous studies on migraines and

cognitive decline were small and unable to identify a link between the two. Our study was large enough to draw the conclusion that migraines, while painful, are not strongly linked to cognitive decline,” explained Pamela Rist ScD, a research fellow in the Division of Preventive Medicine at BWH, and lead author on this study. The research team analyzed data from the Women’s Health Study, a cohort of nearly 40,000 women, 45 years and older. In this study, researchers analyzed data from 6,349 women who provided information about migraine sta-

tus at baseline and then participated in cognitive testing during follow-up. Participants were classified into four groups: no history of migraine, migraine with aura (transient neurology symptoms mostly of the visual field), migraine without aura, and past history of migraine. Cognitive testing was carried out in two year intervals up to three times. “Compared with women with no history of migraine, those who experienced migraine with or without aura did not have significantly different rates of cognitive decline,” explained Rist. “This is an important finding

for both physicians and patients. Patients with migraine and their treating doctors should be reassured that migraine may not have long term consequences on cognitive function.” There is still a lot that is unknown about migraines. However this study offers promising evidence for patients and their treating physicians. More research needs to be done to understand the consequences of migraine on the brain and to establish strategies to influence the course of the disease in order to optimize treatment strategies. –Sciencedaily



Thursday, October 18, 2012

L-R: Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Covenant University, Prof. Charles Ogbulogo; Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Aize Obayan and Chancellor, Dr. David Oyedepo, during the 10th Founder’s Day Anniversary World Press Conference at the Leadership Development Centre in Ota, Ogun State, yesterday.

L-R: Director-General, National Pensions Commission, Mr. Muhammad Ahmad; Head, Compliance and Enforcement, Mr. Muhammed Umar; Head, Human Capital, Dr. Dan Ndackson and Head, Contribution and Remittance, Mr Tijjani Aliyu, at a workshop for newsmen in Abuja, yesterday.

National Mirror

Vice-Chancellor, Covenant University, Prof. Aize Obayan and Editor, National Mirror, Daily, Mr. Seyi Fasugba, during the presentation of Media Recognition Award to mark 10th anniversary of the institution at the Leadership Development Centre, Ota, Ogun State yesterday. PHOTOS: BAYOOR EWUOSO

L-R: Assistant Director, Central Bank of Nigeria, Adedeji Adesemoye; Group Chief Executive Officer, Computer Warehouse Group, Mr. Austin Okere and Chief Enterprise Solutions Officer, MTN Nigeria, Mr. Babatunde Osho, at the launch of MTN Xaars Microfinance Software Solutions in Lagos, yesterday.

National News

UNIPORT 4: Court remands 13 suspects VC calls for police post in Aluu



magistrates’ court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, yesterday remanded 13 people arrested for their alleged involvement in the gruesome killing of four students of the University of Port Harcourt, UNIPORT, on October 5. A five-count charge was proffered against them. The accused were driven to court in a tinted ‘Hummer’ bus with registration number FG 128 –F50 amid tight security. But the magistrate, Mr. Emmanuel Woke, said the court did not have jurisdiction to hear the case and, therefore, recommended that the case file be transferred to the office of the Department of Public Prosecution, DPP, for subsequent arraignment in a high court. He also advised the suspects that they could apply for bail at the high court. The case, which was

called at 10.42a.m., lasted for just 23 minutes. The charges against the accused were that they did “conspire amongst yourselves to commit felony to wit: murder and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 324 of the Criminal Code Cap 37 Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria 1999.” The suspects and others still at large were accused of killing Ugonna Obuzor, Toku Lloyd, Chiadika Biringa and Tekenah Elkanah by lynching and burning, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 319 of the Criminal Code Cap 37 volume III Laws of Rivers State of Nigeria 1999. Meanwhile, the UNIPORT Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Joseph Ajienka, has called for the establishment of a police post in Aluu community. Ajienka, who made this call yesterday at a press briefing, also noted that only justice could console the bereaved families.

He said: “Nothing but justice will satisfy the bereaved families and the general public that watched the gory lynching of the four young men on charges that were yet to be subjected to proper legal scrutiny. “In a society that is governed by the rule of law, it would be expected that all those directly and remotely connected with the heinous murder of the students will be speedily brought to book to serve as a deterrent to oth-

ers who may want to follow such unacceptable conduct.” Explaining the controversial sacking of the Acting Head of the Department of Philosophy, Dr. Andrew Efemini, for joining the students in their public demonstration to protest the gory incident, the vicechancellor said he did so because the lecturer’s actions would rob off on him as the appointing authority. He, however, explained that Efemini was not sacked

for participating in the protest by the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, but because as an academic he was in the midst of students, making inflammatory statements that could lead to another mob action. “Dr. Efemini, as acting HOD, he statutorily represents the VC in the department and outside the university and whatever he does in that position, I also bear vicarious responsibility as the appointing author-

ity. I appointed him, but I cannot bear responsibility for his actions anymore. “Inciting one violent mob action after another is an inexcusable celebration of criminality and an invitation to the furies of chaos and anarchy that cannot be tolerated by a responsible administration. “That was why I removed Dr. Andrew Efemini as acting head of the Department of Philosophy in line with the extant rules governing the terms of his appointment to that exalted position in the university,” Ajienka said.

I won’t hinder ICPC’s fight against graft –Jonathan ISE-OLUWA IGE ABUJA


resident Goodluck Jonathan yesterday promised to give the new Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission, ICPC, Mr. Okon Nta, a free hand to wage war on graft in the country. The President also said he would be disappointed if Nta failed Nigerians. Jonathan, who spoke while swearing in Nta and

five new permanent secretaries at the Presidential Villa, also stressed the need for all arms of government to partner in the fight against corrupt practices in the country. The new Permanent Secretaries are Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, Alhaji Sani Bala, Dr. James Obiegbu, Mr. Femi Jegede and Mr. John Gana. The President challenged the anti-corruption agencies in the country to devise means of checking outright stealing of public funds by unpatriotic citizens.

He said: “I know as somebody who read widely about animals that human beings are born greedy by nature. But we must stop people from stealing and taking what does not belong to them. “In any society that you allow people get loose, you see people do the wrong thing. So, we must stop people from doing the wrong thing. “I also use this opportunity to appeal to all Nigerians, for us to really confront corruption the way we want to, everybody must be involved.

“All arms of government, the judiciary, the parliament must be involved; all individuals and all corporate bodies including NGOs, civil societies, community-based organisations, and even faithbased organisations. “If people donate money to you and you are not too sure of the source of the money, please return it. “If we must fight corruption, all of us must frown at it. You don’t give a chieftaincy title to somebody you don’t know his source of income.”

National Mirror


Thursday, October 18, 2012


Reps to probe NCC frequency allocation scandal CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

correspondent yesterday that the House was fully aware of the development and “may soon begin an enquiry into the allegations of underhand dealings of frequency spectrum allocations which, based on what we have read, poses threats to national security.” The sources said the House had also realised the urgency to address the lingering crisis in order not to discourage foreign investors. “The issue here is that the NCC has been known to be one of the most transparent agencies of the Federal Government, which other telecoms regulatory agencies from other countries in Africa have come to understudy,” one of the sources said. The source added that with good regulatory environment, which NCC had been noted for since it was created, Nigeria had recorded huge success in telecoms and information technology growth. He said: “So, we would not, as people’s representatives, allow any interest whatsoever in the NCC leadership to undermine that unprecedented growth, which has positioned Nigeria as one of the fastest growing telecoms market. “I want to believe that the House committee overseeing the activities of the NCC would soon take

necessary action, though the commission had placed an advertorial to debunk the allegations, yet we know we must wade into the issue and I am sure the House will look into the matter.” The source added that the House would also get to the root of the matter to restore investors’ confidence in the nation’s telecoms sector and to protect existing Foreign Direct Investment Inflow which recently hit $25bn (about N4trn). National Mirror gathered that the NCC was accused of not following due process and existing competition guidelines in the allocation of the frequency band 450MHz and the 800MHz digital dividend band. In the case of the 450 MHz, said to be occupied by the police since 2009, the NCC was said to have sold the frequency band to a company called Open Skys Limited “without any competitive bid process as provided by the NCC Act 2003 nor consideration for national security.” It was also alleged that the 450 MHz frequency, valued at over $50m, was sold for less than $6m by the current NCC leadership on September 26, 2011. Following the allocation, the police surveillance system was said to have been left in dire straits as all the walkie-talkies recently acquired by the force had been rendered useless. The spectrum to which

Jonathan’s wife arrives, denies undergoing cosmetic surgery CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

that she is back.” A member of the Rivers Cultural Troupe, Mrs. Patience Tamuno, said that she had been in Abuja since Tuesday to welcome back the First Lady. “You can see from the mood of the people here that they are happy that she is back. Look at the tears of joy on the people’s faces; we are overwhelmed. We are more than happy. We will begin to feel her impact again in this country. There is hope for us again. “If she had been around during the recent flooding in some states, we would have felt her impact greatly,” Tamuno said. Wife of Kogi State Governor, Hajiya Halima Wada, said: “I am happy that she is

back and I am sure that her return will be the beginning of a good working relationship with the people of Kogi. The President of the Market Women Association, Abuja Chapter, Mrs. Felicia Sanni, told NAN that she was overwhelmed. “Amidst all these talks that she had passed away, you can see with your own eyes that she is hale and hearty and back on her feet. “We have come today to show our support and to tell her that we have missed her greatly and are behind her all the way,” Sanni said. Among those who were at the airport to welcome the First Lady were the ministers of environment, education, labour and petroleum and some ministers of state.

they are supposed to be connected has been “illegally hijacked by the NCC.” Sources also revealed that the 450MHZ frequency is valued at over $50m but was sold for less than $6m by the Dr. Eugene Juwahled NCC on September 26, 2011 to Open Skys. However, it was gathered that the immediate NCC Executive Vice-Chairman, Mr. Ernest Ndukwe, attempted a provisional reservation offer for the same spectrum to Open Skys on February 4, 2009, but the deal appeared to have elapsed due to nonpayment of stipulated fees within one month. It was also gathered that if the award of the 450MHZ spectrum was allowed to sail through, it would block the operations of the voice communication component

of the $470m national security network that had mounted cameras in Abuja and Lagos. Aside the disruption, sources said the nation was losing over N7bn as Open Skys paid $6m for a facility valued at $50m by experts in the industry. Experts had also contended that if government chose to retune the security system to another frequency, the additional loss to government could amount to between $45m and $200m for the equipment, and about $300m for the new spectrum, if 800MHZ was used. National Mirror learnt that the attraction to the 450Mhz spectrum ban was its wider cell reach or broad scope that allowed the police to carry out surveillance across the country without hitches.

Similarly, apart from the controversial 450Mhz spectrum, another spectrum slot allegedly sold under questionable circumstances was the 800MHz digital dividend band. It was gathered that 800MHz digital dividend band was another lucrative spectrum slot sold to Smile Communications Limited, also “with utter disregard for due process.” Meanwhile, the NCC in a statement issued on October 4, 2012 and signed by its Media and Public Relations, Mr. Reuben Muoka, said there was no frequency racketeering at NCC. According to the NCC, “The commission has been inundated by calls from concerned citizens over a story in one of the national dailies which alleged frequency racketeering,

with an insinuation that the management of the commission has sold a frequency slot belonging to the police to a private firm, Open Skys. “The story also insinuated that the current leadership of the commission has issued frequencies to Smile Communications without due process. “There is no truth in both allegations. “However, we wish, for the benefit of the Nigerian public and all the industry stakeholders as follows that the story in its entirety lacks basic understanding of frequency allocation and its processes involved, resulting in unsubstantiated information capable of misleading the public and industry stakeholders,”

L-R: Executive Director, Obafemi Awolowo Foundation, Dr. Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosumu; Prof. Ladipo Adamolekun; Prof. Akin Mabogunje; former Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku and legal luminary, Sir Olaniwun Ajayi, during the inaugural meeting of the Obafemi Awolowo Leadership Prize Selection Committee in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI

Labour rejects sale of PHCN to Abdulsalami CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2

preferred bidder with 20.83 per cent for Enugu Disco; Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Limited preferred bidder with 17.46 per cent for Ibadan Disco; Integrated Energy and Marketing Limited with 21.43 per cent for Eko Disco and Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Ltd with 22.51 per cent for Ikeja Disco. The bid for Kaduna Disco was not opened as none of the two bids received was technically qualified. The Chairman of the Technical Committee of the National Council on Privatization, NCP, Atedo Peterside, disclosed that the Council decided to use the ATC&C method for the selection of

core investors for distribution companies because ATC&C loss levels will provide Nigerian consumers and other stakeholders with specific parameters with which to measure the outcome of the power sector reform and privatisation. Integrated Energy, whose directors include Peter Odili, Dr. Haruna Usman Sanusi, Dr. Abass Mimiko, Ibrahim Aliyu, Mallam Ibrahim Aliyu, Senator Usman Albishir, Aminu Ibrahim, and Dr. Olusola Ayandele, was established in 2006 to provide distribution and marketing services in the power sector. Meanwhile, the stakeholders have called on the BPE and the NCP to ensure

that bidders who emerged winners in the power sector privatisation process are able to deliver electricity to Nigerians. The stakeholders, who did not want their names mention, said it was not enough to emerge a winner, adding that what was needed was consistent availability of power. One of the stakeholders said: “We are sure that any credible bidder will be pleased to present their plans on how they intend to achieve the promise they have made in their loss proposals. “This is very important; what Nigerians want is available power on a consistent basis, not unachievable plans designed only to win competitive bids that result

in no change. “It is also important that the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) discharges its statutory duties to ensure that the distribution companies are financeable and financially stable on a sustainable basis. “As was indicated by the Chairman of the NCP Technical Sub-committee, this is not the end of the process. It has been confirmed that there will be further checks as specified in section 121 of the RFP; ‘Commercial offers of a Bidder must be a feasible based on the Technical Proposal submitted.’ This must ensure that the bidders are being consistent and that they can deliver their proposals.”



Thursday, October 18, 2012

National Mirror

FEC abolishes promotion exams for civil servants ISE-OLUWA IGE


he Federal Executive Council (FEC) yesterday approved the cancellation of promotion examinations as basis for career progression for civil servants. Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, stated this after the Council’s meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan at the State House. Maku said the decision was sequel to a report sub-

mitted to the Council by the Federal Civil Service Commission. He said from 2013, career progression in the civil service would be based on performance measurement and the results of the work done as measured by the satisfaction of members of the public. The report, according to Maku, was the outcome of the annual conference of federal and state service commission held in June to discuss the development and public service.

The minister said: “One key issue that was reported today was that the Federal Civil Service Commission, in partnership with states Civil Service Commission, have formally adopted a proposal to use the performance contract system which has just been introduced by the Federal Government as the basis for career promotion in the civil service. “This, indeed, was reported to us and the commission is proposing that by 2013, five MDAs – namely Ministries of Educa-

tion, Agriculture, Health, Finance and Works will be adopted as pilot MDAs to introduce the new system of promotion based on performance measurement. “Previously, promotion in the civil service has always been through the regular civil service examinations that are written by civil servants. “In view of the new introduction of the performance contract systems which we have just introduced into all MDAs, the Federal Civil Service Commission is now

considering the possibility of using performance measure which is the essence of this contract system as a basis for promotion.’’ Maku said that the beauty of the new system was that the promotion of career officers would be based on the result of the work they do. “We think it is a step in the right direction and we want to see how the federal and state civil service commission will implement this. “In our opinion, it is a revolutionary step which

will change the way the public service will look at itself now and also it will improve standard, accountability, result delivery particularly in terms of service delivery,’’ he said. The minister said the Council also approved the introduction of modern emanagement system and automation of government offices to improve efficiency. He said from 2013, all MDAs would be networked to access and share relevant information.

Senate asks Jonathan to call his aides to order GEORGE OJI AND EMMANUEL ONANI ABUJA


enators yesterday flayed President Goodluck Jonathan’s aides over their alleged reckless utterances, calling on the President to caution them. Describing President Jonathan as “a man of peace, a democrat and a gentleman,” the senators urged him to protect his integrity from being dragged to the mud by his aides. They advised him to guard the cordial relationship between the executive and the legislature. The action of the Senate followed the recent utterances by the Information Minister, Mr. Labaran Maku, who was reported to have said that resolutions of the National Assembly were mere advisory and not binding on the execu-

tive and the statement credited to the Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Alhaji Ahmed Gulak, describing the lawmakers as bunch of illiterates. The senators, after a motion by the Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Abdul Ningi, entitled: “Inflammatory statements against the National Assembly by the ministers and aides of the President,” resolved to “urge the President to caution his ministers, special advisers and other aides against making inflammatory statements against the legislature to avoid straining the cordial relation between the legislature and the executive.” Senate President David Mark, in a brief comment before voting on the resolution, prevailed on the senators to refrain from asking the President to sack the affected aides.

‘Inflation rose to 11.3% in September’ TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA


he Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures inflation rose slightly to 11.3 per cent year-on-year in September, compared with the 11.7 per cent of the preceding month. However, on a monthly basis, the composite CPI was higher by 1.01 per cent when compared with the rate of August 2012. The official report released yesterday on the CPI by the National Bureau of Statistics attributed the relative moderation in the headline index on a year-on-year basis is largely attributable to the relative slower rise in the “Core” index as the

index increased to 13.1 percent year-on-year from 14.7 percent in August, while food index increased to 10.2 per cent from 9.9 per cent over the same period. According to the Bureau, the moderation in the Core index was partially as a result of base effects, as the sharp rise in the index exhibited in September 2011 implies that the relative rise in September 2012 may be muted, which was the case. A further decomposition of the CPI on urban and rural basis showed that the urban inflation rate was recorded at 14.2 percent yearon-year while the rural index indicated a 9.1 per cent year-on-year increase.

L-R: Minister of Justice, Mr. Bello Adoke; Minister of State for FCT, Ms Olajumoke Akinjide and the Niger Delta Development Minister, Elder Godsday Orubebe, during the meeting of the Federal Executive Council in Abuja, yesterday.

Reps declare excess crude account illegal • Promise to prune 2013 recurrent expenditure TORDUE SALEM ABUJA


he House of Representatives yesterday described the Excess Crude Account (ECA) as illegal. The account was created by the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. But the House, which has been on a war path with the Presidency since last week Tuesday when President Goodluck Jonathan presented the 2013 budget, dismissed the ECA as an illegal entity. The House also promised to prune the recurrent component of the 2013 budget and “raise reasonably” the capital estimate. The Chairman of the House Committee on Information and Public Affairs,

Hon. Zakari Mohammed, said Section 80 (1, 2, 3) is clear on the issue. Mohammed said: “It is a creation of the constitution that all revenues accruing to the Federal Government should go to the Consolidated Account. It is in the constitution, we are not making it up. “It will not be wrong to say that the essence of the Excess Crude Account is ‘let us share the money’ because the state and local governments that shared from the account have not been able to justify the usage of the money. “It is regrettable that for benchmarking, we are being blackmailed, if we talk about this we will still be blackmailed, but we have got to let Nigerians see the reasons why we are taking this action.

“We must all strive to strengthen our institutions because we cannot be here forever. Institutions must be empowered to function; it should not be about the person running the institution. “But because the money from the excess crude is kept in one account, where some interests are being made, maybe some people’s ego are being massaged from it or somebody somewhere is profiteering from that arrangement, they will not want it to die. “On our part, we remain focused and we will keep fighting it. I must add our colleagues are bringing in motions and bills to amend the constitution. We are going to seize the opportunity of the amendment of the constitution to take care of some of these grey areas.

“This is because we have sharing this money for about 13 years now, but what can we point at as achievement from the excess crude account. That is the issue and it is illegal because all monies supposed to go to the Consolidated Account”. Another area of possible clash with the executive, according to Mohammed, was the recurrent expenditure in the 2013 budget proposal, which is higher than the capital expenditure. He said the House is determined to adjust the capital expenditure upwardly for it to have meaningful impact on the lives of Nigerians. “We are looking at the recurrent expenditure being higher than the capital expenditure might not allow the budget to work well and that would be negating our focus as a country.

National Mirror

National News

Thursday, October 18, 2012


SFU impounds Capital Oil boss’ exotic cars SAM OLUWALANA, K AYODE KETEFE AND EMMANUEL ONANI,


here seems not to be any reprieve for the Managing Director of Capital Oil and Gas Industries as officers of the Special Fraud Unit, SFU, yesterday stormed his residence and impounded three exotic cars in its bid to defray his liabilities in the oil subsidy scam and indebtedness to others. National Mirror sighted three cars, a GMC Yukon, with a Lagos plate number and a Bentley with special inscription ’Jack Barclay’ as its registered number inside the Milverton Street premises of the anti-fraud unit. Another vehicle, a white Range Rover, with a Police Spy plate no FF4651 was also parked beside the vehicles, although its ownership could not be ascertained. A usually reliable source inside the SFU said the unit is moving to recover assets belonging to the oil magnate which can be used to offset his liabilities. “As you know, here we take advantage of all situations available to us. While we are investigating the man, we are also trying to see how we can lay our hands on some of his property which can be used to offset his indebtedness to various petitioners who have risen against

him,” the source said. The President and Chief Executive of Coscharis Motors, Cosmas Maduka, has alleged that Uba criminally diverted 130, 000 litres of petroleum products in collusion with the shippers of the consignment which he said belonged to his company. In a petition titled; “Criminal diversion of PMS imported into the country by Capital Oil and Gas Industries Limited,” Maduka averred that his company received a credit facility of $180 million from Access Bank in July 2011 and entered into an agreement with Capital Oil and Gas to provide logistics for the importation and sales of PMS. He also disclosed that Capital Oil delivered part of the consignments which were backed by 10 bills of lading. The oil marketer was said to have delivered six consignments but diverted four others totalling about 130, 000 metric tons. According to the petition, an outstanding of about N21 billion is against his company while the Managing Director of Capital Oil, Uba, has not been able to explain the whereabout of about 56, 568, 587 litres of PMS. The petition also stated that the products have been delivered and discharged into the accused company’s tank farm without the orig-

We’ll respond to Achebe later –Awolowo-Dosunmu YINKA ADEPARUSI


aughter of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Executive Director of the Obafemi Awolowo Foundation, Dr. Tokunbo AwolowoDosumu, yesterday said the family of the late politician is not in a hurry to react to criticism directed at the former Premier of the Western Region. She said this during the inaugural meeting of the Obafemi Awolowo Leadership Prize selection committee in Lagos. While speaking on the timing of the award and the recent publication by Prof. Chinua Achebe, of There was a country, in which the writer accused the late sage of masterminding a geno-

cide during the Biafra war in order to achieve his long term ambition of usurping the domination of Igbo in Nigeria, Dr. Awolowo said the comment will have no bearing on the award project, having been instituted long before the release of the book. “The award was already announced long before the publication, nominations had even closed by the time the publication came out, so the process has been on long before the publication or the controversy that trailed it; so it has nothing to do with the award. “There are more than enough comments being made already, when it is time we will make a well considered comment and if is necessary we will but right now, no,” she said.

inal bills of lading which it said is a serious criminal act capable of tarnishing the image of the country. “We implore you, to use your good offices to investigate this matter, sir. We also note that the delivery and discharge of the products without the original bills of lading is a serious criminal act capable of tarnishing the image of the country in the eyes of the international community” the petition read in part. A Lagos Magistrate Court, last week remanded Uba in the custody of the SFU till October 31, 2012 while a Lagos High Court has also refused his plea for bail earlier in the week. Meanwhile, a judge of

a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, Justice Okon Abang, yesterday fixed October 22, 2012 to deliver its ruling on the bail application brought by Uba and four others with a view to obtain a release from the custody of the SFU where they are currently being detained over alleged oil subsidy fraud. The court adjourned for ruling after hearing prolonged arguments between the suspects’ lawyers Mr. Joseph Nwobike and the prosecution’s lawyer, Mr. Godwn Obla, on the bail application brought by the suspects. The suspects had brought the bail application on ex parte on Monday,

but the judge had insisted that the prosecution should be put on notice to enable them come and argue the application on merit. It will be recalled that a Lagos Chief Magistrate, Martins Owumi, of a Tinubu Magistrate Court had last Thursday remanded Uba and seven others in the SFU custody till October 31, 2012. The magistrate’s order was sequel to the application made by the police for remand of all the eight persons in prison on the grounds that the police authorities reasonably suspected them to have committed the offences of economic sabotage

against Federal Republic of Nigeria. In another development, a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court yesterday granted bail to two suspected fuel subsidy fraudsters in the sum of N10 million each with two sureties in like sum. In admitting the suspects, Alhaji Saminu Rabiu and Jubrin Rowaye, to bail, trial judge, Justice Adebukola Banjoko, further held that both sureties, one of whom must be a director in the civil service, must show evidence of tax clearance for three years, details of which must be verified by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

L-R: National President, National Union of Textile, Garment and tailoring Workers’ of Nigeria (NUTGTWN), Comrade Oladele Hunsu; Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola and General-Secretary, NUTGTWN, Comrade Issa Aremu, during the 24th Annual National Education Conference of the union in Osun State, yesterday.

‘Blame poor 2012 budget performance on Okonjo-Iweala’ TORDUE SALEM ABUJA


he inter-agency rivalry over the 2012 budget may be far from over, as the Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) yesterday blamed the alleged poor performance of the 2012 budget on the ill-digested activities of Ministry of Finance. The House of Representatives recently had a faceoff with the Presidency over the budget. However, appearing before the House of Representatives’ Committee on Finance, FRC’s Commissioner, Policy and Standards, Dr. Sylvanus Mordi, said his commission has always been frustrated by the activities of the finance ministry. According to Mr. Mordi, his areas of frustrations included the sourcing of copies of the Appropriation Bill to delays from

the ministry in presenting quarterly reports. “Ministry of Finance doesn’t keep to time. Tell them to bring something in August, they do it in November. We have not seen the first, second and third quarterly reports on 2012,” disclosed Mordi, adding that; “without such report there is nothing to work with.” The FRC official told the lawmakers that his commission had written

several reminders to the Ministry of Finance to send the reports, but that they have consistently failed to respond. “I don’t know why,” he stressed. The commissioner also lamented that the Ministry of Finance rebuffed attempts to source copies of the 2012 Appropriation Act, and had to resort to photocopies from the National Assembly. He also blamed the

ministry for hoarding information on the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), an act he said violated the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007. The FRC official told the lawmakers how the budget of the agency had been systematically slashed from over N900 million in 2008 to N592 million for 2012, stressing; “It is like some people are unhappy with our existence.”

FCDA to demolish 37 more estates in Abuja NGOZI EMEDOLIBE


espite the controversies trailing the recent demolition of 500 housing units in Abuja, the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) has concluded plans to pull down more buildings located within at least 37 estates in the FCT. This was revealed yes-

terday by the Deputy Director, Development Control Unit, at the FCDA, Madaki Tayyab, during a radio interview he granted an Abuja-based station monitored in Lagos. According to the FCDA official, these estates are located mainly at the Lugbe area of Abuja. “We will soon begin to demolish 37 more estates because their construction also

contravenes the law. Before we go on to demolish, we usually notify the developers of their mistakes. “But some of them will not pay attention. We want to maintain the master plan of the city as articulated from the onset. All these developers have been severally warned about the laws controlling constructions, but they usually go on.”



Thursday, October 18, 2012

National Mirror

Osoba, Daniel diverted our N880m compensation –Monarch FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA


ollowing the public outcry against an Ogun monarch for allegedly diverting the compensation due to his community for personal use, the Oba of Ibeseland, Joel Bamgbose, yesterday accused two past administrations in the state of being guilty of the allegation directed at him.

The 95-year-old monarch, who has been on the throne for the past 54 years, specifically accused the administration of Aremo Segun Osoba and that of Otunba Gbenga Daniel of sitting on the sum of N880 million paid by the Dangote Cement factory as compensation for the community. Addressing journalists yesterday in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, Oba Bamgbose of the commu-

nity that hosts Dangote Cement factory in Yewa North Local Government Area denied misappropriating N49 billion as compensation for the acquisition of the community’s land. The monarch, who was represented by the Asiwaju of Ibeseland, Chief Hezy Idowu, said the community only received N1.2 million of the N880 million paid by the cement company as compensation to the admin-

istrations of former Governors Osoba and Daniel. The monarch said: “During the administration of former Governor Segun Osoba, the Dangote Group, in its bid to set up a cement factory at Ibese, paid a compensation of N230 million to the state, but not a dime of the amount was given to Ibese community by the government. “Then came the administration of former Governor

Gbenga Daniel. The government persuaded Dangote Group to pay further compensation if it really wanted to set up the cement factory, claiming that no trace of the initial N230 million compensation was found in the government’s treasury. “The company complied, paying a whopping sum which, we were made to understand, amounted to N650 million out of which only N1.2 million was given

to Ibese community”. Oba Bamgbose, however, described the allegation directed at him as part of the hidden agenda and orchestrated plans to tarnish his image and that of the traditional institution. He said the compensation was appropriated by the administrations of former Governors Osoba and Daniel, saying: “It was not paid to the Oba of Ibese or the Ibese community.

NGOs move to tackle hunger in Ekiti ABIODUN NEJO ADO-EKITI


L-R: Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka; Founder, Ekiti Development Foundation and wife of the state governor, Bisi, and Governor Kayode Fayemi during the inauguration of Ekiti Food Bank in Ado-Ekiti, yesterday.

21 years after, Ire burnt brick factory resurrects


fter 21 years of its dormancy, the Ire Burnt Brick Industry was finally resuscitated and opened for operations yesterday. Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi, who commissioned the industry, described the revival as “a promise kept”. The commissioning was the climax of several months of strategic planning, re-development, re-equipping of the moribund industry. Fayemi said the resuscitation of the brick factory and Odua Enterprise Centre (formerly Odu’a Textiles which was comatose for 23 years) was to expand the state’s resources, provide jobs, encourage new skills acquisition and ultimately enlarge the middle class in the state. The governor assured that the state would henceforth patronize the factory and use a certain percentage of red burnt bricks in its projects. It will be recalled that N400 equipment was bought for the revival of the factory a few weeks

ago. The factory was resuscitated through a partnership between the state government and Odua investment group. It is, however, expected to begin full operations before December 31. The entire Ire community was agog as representatives of various groups thronged the premises of the brick industry in dif-

ferent attire and praised Fayemi’s administration. Fayemi, who was accompanied by the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Dr Adewale Omirin; the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Ganiyu Owolabi, and other members of the state executive councils, later commissioned an Enterprise Development Centre at Ilupeju-Ekiti.

The governor also commissioned three rural electrification projects at Iyemero, Oke Ako and Ilemeso. The gesture, Fayemi said, was a fulfillment of his promise to connect all parts of the state to the national grid. Also commissioned was the new Ewu Bridge to replace the old one built in 1934.

Mark, Obasanjo, Atiku, others for Balogun’s 70th birthday KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN


enate President David Mark will, today, lead prominent Nigerians to Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, for the celebration of the 70th birthday of a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Osi Olubadan of Ibadanland, High Chief Lekan Balogun. The chairman of the planning committee of the celebration, Dr. Morounkola Thomas, who spoke to journalists in Ibadan on the three-day events that will be rounded-up on Saturday, said Mark would be the

Chairman at today’s event slated for Jogor Centre, Ibadan, while the former governor of old Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, will be the guest speaker. He said two books: To lead is to serve and The Portrait of an activist would be launched with the Jigawa State Governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido, as the chief launcher and Prof. Bayo Okunade of the Distance Learning Centre of the University of Ibadan as the books reviewer. Eminent Nigerians expected at the event include former President Olusegun Obasanjo; former Vice-

President Atiku Abubakar; former governors of Oyo State, Dr. Omololu Olunloyo, Senator Rasheed Ladoja and Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala. The incumbent Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi is the chief host. Thomas, however, said the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Samuel Odulana, is the royal father of the day. Other monarchs expected at the event are the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi; the Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Jimoh Oyewunmi Ajagungbade and the Olugbo of Ugbo, Oba Frederick Akinruntan.

wo non-governmental organisations, the Centre for Family and Reproductive Health Initiatives (CFRHI) and the Ekiti Development Foundation (EDF), have planned to tackle hunger in Ekiti State. The NGOs said the purpose of the Food Bank which they jointly established was to give a new lease of life to indigent families. They planned to assist widows, the elderly, orphans and vulnerable children. Under the programme, the categories of beneficiaries across the 16 council areas of the state will receive free quality food and nutritional support monthly. At the launch of the programme yesterday in Ado-Ekiti, over 100 families received raw food items at a presentation ceremony chaired by the state gover-

nor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi. EDF Founder, Mrs. Bisi Fayemi, said the programme would take care of vulnerable groups such as widows, orphans and children. Mrs. Fayemi praised the initiative of the CFRHI and expressed the willingness of her Foundation to continue to support such noble efforts. She said: “I commend this particular effort of the CFRHI because it would provide livelihood for the indigents in Ekiti State. I urged individuals and organisations to support CFRHI and EDF as they embark on this noble initiative.” Mrs. Fayemi said the Ekiti Food Bank Farm, which would provide gainful employment and skills to some target population, would be set up, adding that Ekiti Soup Kitchen would be designed to provide at least one meal per day for qualify individuals.

We ’ll lay our third varsity foundation in January –Oyedepo MOJEED ALABI


he Chancellor of Covenant University (CU), Ota, Ogun State and the Bishop of Living Faith Worldwide, Dr. David Oyedepo, has said that the foundation for the third of the planned seven universities of the church will be laid in January, next year. Bishop Oyedepo spoke yesterday during a media briefing to mark the 10th anniversary of Covenant University. He said his intervention in education sector was to prove that sanity could still return to the much troubled sector in the country. He said the plan to establish four universities in Nigeria and three oth-

ers to be spread in West, Central and East African nations was part of the church’s resolve to reclaim the lost glories in the continent. The cleric said the third ivory tower, which will be named Crown University, would be sited in Calabar, Cross Rivers State. The university will primarily focus on Maritime studies. Bishop Oyedepo blamed the rot in the nation’s education system on what he described as ill-advised decision of the government to take over schools from the missionaries. He said the foundation of education in the country cannot be discussed without the influence of the missionaries, who he said established the first school in Badagry in 1843.

National Mirror

South West

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Return now or face sanction, Ogun PDP warns ex-members FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA


he Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Ogun State yesterday threatened to sanction any of its aggrieved members who failed to reconcile with the party by tomorrow. The party also said that all factions and groupings within its fold had been outlawed, while all courts cases and injunctions earlier procured against it by aggrieved members no longer had the force of the law. The state PDP Chairman, Senator Dipo Odujinrin, made the declaration in Abeokuta, the state capital, while receiving the report of the Recon-

ciliation Committee set up by the party to bring back all its aggrieved members. Odujinrin, who said the 30-day period given by the PDP National Working Committee, NWC, from Abuja would lapse tomorrow, disclosed that the executive committee under him would inaugurate the state disciplinary committee on Wednesday next week and would not hesitate to sanction any erring member. The chairman disclosed that PDP had secured a stay of execution from the Court of Appeal in Lagos over the 35 court injunctions procured by the Bayo Dayo-led faction of the party. He said those who

failed to take advantage of the window period should not consider themselves as members of PDP. Submitting the report of the Reconciliation Committee which contained 15 recommendations, its chairperson, Mrs. Nike Oluwole, said her committee had finalised arrangement with former Governor Gbenga Daniel to return to the party. Oluwole said her committee met with Daniel in Ijebu-Igbo in the house of former Chief of Staff to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Dr. Gbolade Osinowo, where modalities for his return were sealed. She, however, warned that the PDP would only know permanent peace if it

strictly adhered to her committee’s recommendations. Some of the recommendations are that all court cases against the party should be withdrawn immediately and that party members should seek redress through the procedures laid down by the PDP constitution. The committee also recommended that all members of the Peoples Party of Nigeria, PPN, Labour Party, LP, and others eager to return to the party should be embraced in the spirit of genuine reconciliation and that no returnee should be penalised on account of the role he or she played in the heat of the crisis which engulfed the party.


1,000 Lagos pilgrims protest poor accommodation arrangement MURITALA AYINLA


cores of pilgrims from Lagos State performing this year’s Hajj in Saudi Arabia yesterday staged a peaceful protest over poor accommodation arrangement. Over 1,000 pilgrims, who arrived Al Musfalah Hotel, one of the two hotels secured for the Lagos pilgrims who arrived in Mecca from Medina about 2.40am yesterday, were left un-catered for. They were forced to sleep in the hotel lobby. Speaking with our correspondent yesterday, some of the pilgrims expressed displeasure over what they described as a sordid arrangement by the state government officials. They also flayed the

Commissioner for Home Affairs and Culture, Oyinlomo Danmole, and other government officials who, according to them, arrived Mecca on Monday but refused to come to their aid. One of the pilgrims claimed that he had been sleeping in the hotel lobby for two days. He alleged that the state government officials were giving some pilgrims undue favour over others by giving them accommodation. It took the intervention of the Chairman of the state Pilgrims’ Welfare Board, Abdulhakeem Abdullateef, to douse the tension, as he promised to address the situation. Lagos State, it would be recalled, successfully airlifted 3,855 pilgrims to the Holy Land for this year’s Hajj.

Agric promotion, antidote to hunger, poverty –Ajimobi


L-R: Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun; his Gombe State counterpart, Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo and President, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Mr Adedoyin Owolabi, at ICAN’s 42nd Annual Accountants’ Conference in Abuja, yesterday.

PHCN engineer electrocuted in Ekiti ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI


n engineer with the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN Mr. Samuel Job Isaac, was electrocuted yesterday on a pole carrying high-tension wires in AdoEkiti, the Ekiti State capital. The residents of Satellite Junction/NTA Road in the state capital trooped out to catch a glimpse of the body of the Electrical/ Electronic Engineering graduate, hanging on the pole at Satellite Junction in the area. He was said to be rectifying a fault on the 33kva high-tension wire which burnt him to death.

The charred remains of the engineer had been deposited at the morgue of the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti. The PHCN Public Relations Officer, Mr. Kayode Brown, said the victim was working on the feeder to detect some faults on the high-tension wires, which had caused power outage in the area. He said Isaac was employed about three years ago and had got cognate experience to handle sensitive electrical work. Brown said he suspected that the victim must have died of ‘back-feed’ on the high-tension, which he branded a very uncom-

mon phenomenon. The PHCN spokesman disclosed that a professional was always stationed in the control room when other professionals were deployed to work on high and low-tension electrical poles to prevent any back-feeding. He said: “We have to get to the root of this matter because cases of back-feeding are very rare while working on hightension and nobody uses generator that could warrant such situation, so we are at a loss about the cause of his death.” The Caretaker Committee Chairman of Ado Local Government, Mr. Sunday Ibitoye, who visited

the scene, expressed shock over the incident, which he described as pathetic. Ibitoye called on the PHCN management to unravel the cause of Isaac’s death.

yo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, has identified the promotion of agriculture through agricultural cooperatives as the only solution to hunger and poverty in the country. Speaking at the 2012 World Food Day celebration held at the Parliament Building, Secretariat, Ibadan, Ajimobi noted that hunger constituted the basic problem of sustenance of life as it was a reflection of people’s inaccessibility to the quality of food needed for healthy living. Speaking on the theme of this year’s celebration; “Agricultural cooperatives: Key to feeding the world,’’ the governor, who spoke through his deputy, Moses Alake Adeyemo, stressed the need to move agriculture from subsistence to commercial level through agricultural co-

operatives. According to him, agriculture offers all the opportunities to be self-employed, earn a living and improve the livelihood of individuals and chase away hunger. He said: “If we are determined to improve the economic situation, reduce unemployment, joblessness, crime and other societal menace especially among the youth, there is the need to first of all combat hunger with improved agricultural practices that will ensure food security.’’ In his welcome address, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development, Mr. Bimbo Kolade, said the government had removed all obstacles to credit facilities for farmers and intending farmers to ensure food security in the state.

Court remands man in prison for kidnap attempt WALE FOLARIN OSOGBO


n Osogbo Magistrate’s Court has remanded a 35-year-old man, Johnson Akinwale, in prison for allegedly attempting to kidnap a two-and-half-yearold girl, Okunade Jelilat. He was arraigned on a two-count charge of felony and kidnapping,

which he allegedly committed on October 11 at Sabo area of Osogbo with others now at large. According to the charge sheet, the suspect and others committed the offence about 4.20pm at 190, Sabo Road, Osogbo, which is contrary to and punishable under sections 516 and 509 of the Criminal Code Cap 34, Vol. 11, Laws of Osun State, 2003.

The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the two-count charge preferred against him. He agreed that the case be heard at the court. Akinwale’s application for bail presented by his counsel, Mr. Sunday Atofarati, was turned down by the presiding magistrate, Olusola Aluko, who directed the defence counsel to file a formal application for bail.


South East

Thursday, October 18, 2012

National Mirror

Medical doctor, others arrested for selling new born babies CHARLES OKEKE AWKA


ecurity operatives in Anambra State has arrested a medical doctor and his alleged accomplices, over their involvement in the illegal act of buying and selling new born babies. It was gathered that the Onitsha-based medical doctor and his allies were arrested few days ago by officers of the department of state Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Awka. It was also gathered that the doctor was arrested together with his wife and five other members of the syndicate, including a teacher in one of the primary schools in Umuoji, Idemili Local Government Area of the state after they have allegedly conspired and sold a new born baby boy belonging to a sales girl aged 20 years, for N600,000. National Mirror learnt that the doctor and his accomplices were accused

of housing prostitutes, impregnating them for the purpose of rearing babies for sale, organising maternity services for pregnant women and selling newly delivered babies without the approval of their mothers. It was also gathered that the doctor was also accused of running a maternity home at Amaorji village, where he also employed others who assisted him in running the illicit business. National Mirror source said the arrest was made possible following a written petition addressed to the Commissioner of Police in Anambra State by a lawyer, who has been acting for and on behalf of a named female victim of the doctor’s illegal acts. Shedding light on the case, the source said; “The victim, aged 20, a native of Ezza in Ebonyi State, was said to be resident at Nkpor-Uno in Idemili North Local government Area where she was a sales girl

at a chemist. The young girl, National Mirror learnt, got pregnant from a boy-friend who later absconded. She later intimated her boss of the development, who

offered to marry her and assist her in her condition. At a stage, she was taken to a hospital and maternity home located in Onitsha, where she was delivered of a baby boy without know-



he Campaign for Democracy (CD) in the South-East has urged Anambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi, to as a matter of urgency, ban commercial motorcycles’ operators popularly called ‘Okada’ in the state. In a statement issued yesterday in Onitsha, jointly signed by Dede Uzor A. Uzor and Dr. Jerry Chukwuokolo, chairman and secretary of the group in the zone respectively, the CD said the call had become imperative in

view of the incessant use of motorcycles to rob innocent citizens in the state, particularly in major markets within Onitsha and Awka metropolis and their environs. According to the statement, “Just recently, on Friday precisely, four dare-devil men armed with AK47 rifles, used motorcycles to rob Ogbaru main market near Okpoko Police Station successfully and killed three passers-by, which included a pregnant woman. “Also, on Monday, they struck again at Uzodinma Street, Fegge, Onitsha,

where they dispossessed recharged card dealers of huge sums of money. All these robbery attacks were carried out successfully because of the speed and flexibility with which they manoeuvred the roads, no matter how small as well as beating all traffic jams.” CD recalled with grief how Okada riders killed the former Officer in Charge of SARS at Onitsha, Mr. Emma Ochiobi, with sophisticated weapons, as well as the slain fuel station managers at Awka Road and another manager of AP fuel station, along Zik Avenue,

Fegge in Onitsha. The statement regretted that while other states in the South-East are recording low incidences of Okada robberies, Anambra is recording an increase in Okada robbery in the recent time. “In as much as we are commending Obi for utilising the state security vault judiciously by equipping and supporting the police, army and other security agencies, we demand that these efforts should not be rubbished by the continued operation of Okada robbers in the state.”

PDP chieftain urges Abia indigenes to support Gov Orji TEMITOPE OGUNBANKE


Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain in Abia State, Chief Onyekachi Onyekwere, has appealed to the people of Abia State to support the state governor, Dr. Theodore Orji and his administration in moving the state to greater heights in term of capital, human and infrastructural development. Speaking to National

Mirror, Onyekwere said that Governor Orji, in the last five years, has worked tirelessly in providing the dividends of democracy for all Abians in every nook and cranny of the state. He said giving him all the necessary support will make him to work harder to change the fortunes of the state positively in his remaining period in office. His words: “Governor Theodore Orji is doing very well in Abia State, so let Abians give him all the

man of the Anambra State Police Command, Ralph Uzoigwe, when asked to confirm the case, said he has not been briefed on the incident and was not in a position to confirm it.

L-R: Vice-Chancellor, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Prof. Boniface Egboka; Chairman, Senate Committee on Education, Senator Uche Chukwumerije; committee member, Senator Babayo Gamawa and Anambra State Commissioner for Education, Dr. Uju Okeke, during an oversight tour of the university by the committee in Awka, yesterday.

Ban Okada operators now, CD urges Anambra gov NWABUEZE OKONKWO

ing that plans had been perfected to sell the baby.” Meanwhile, the girl, whose baby was allegedly sold out, has insisted that her child be returned to her, even as the spokes-

support to make him finish the work he has started. “I know there is a lot of catch-up to do. He has demonstrated that he can catch-up, so let us give him all the necessary support in his remaining three years in office to transform the state. “The governor’s son, Chinedu is a vibrant young man and he is complementing his father. If you go to other states and see what the governor’s children are doing, people

won’t be talking about the man (Chinedu), who is adding value to his father leadership.”


FG trains head teachers on ICT administrative skills DENNIS AGBO ENUGU


he Federal Government has commenced a six-day capacity building training workshop for head teachers in Enugu State on Information Communication Technology (ICT) and administration. Coordinated by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) office in collaboration with the National Institute for Education Planning and Administration (NIPEA), the programme is to instill requisite skills for effective school management in head teachers of primary schools across the country. The workshop, conducted simultaneously across the three senatorial zones of Enugu State is aimed at exposing the head teachers to trendy technologies; especially in the area of Information Communication Technology (ICT) to enable them apply such skills in the administration of their schools for optimal efficiency. Explaining the essence of the workshop, state Coordinator of the National Institute for Education Planning and Administration,

Mrs. Chinyere Chukwu, said the workshop is aimed at instilling administrative skills in the head teachers which will help them in planning, coordinating, commanding, organising, controlling and making decisions in their various schools which will impact positively on the pupils. She further disclosed that; “Education is a veritable tool for social change, national integration and development which is primarily achieved through the quality of educational system put in place, particularly the primary sub-sector.” Chukwu charged the head teachers to continuously update themselves both in knowledge and pedagogy, adding that training and re-training is a sine-qua non for the improvement in the primary sub-sector since no system is static. She said about 36, 000 head teachers will benefit from the capacity building workshop across the country, maintaining that the head teachers will at the end of the workshop, acquire basic principles and techniques of administration and provide good leadership in schools.

National Mirror

South South

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Gunmen abduct seven expatriate oil workers in Bayelsa EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA


rmed men yesterday abducted seven expatriates working with Bourbon International Oil Limited, along Pennington rig, near Ezetu in Southern Ijaw Local Government

Area of Bayelsa State. The expatriates, six Russians and one Estonian, were aboard their vessel with eight other oil workers when the gunmen struck in the early hours of yesterday. The whereabouts of the expatriates were unknown at press time while

no group claimed responsibility for the action. Bourbon International Oil Limited is an oil servicing firm to Chevron Nigeria Limited, whose vessel registration number is Bourbon Liberty 249. Investigation by our correspondent showed that eight workers on

board the vessel had arrived the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, seaport at Onne, Rivers State. The spokesman of the Joint Military Task Force, JTF, Lt. Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, confirmed the abduction of the expatiates and said the vessel was sailing from Penning-

ton Offshore Terminal located 16 miles of Fishtown River. Nwachukwu disclosed that naval personnel and other military personnel along the Niger Delta had embarked on the search of the creeks to rescue the expatriates. He said: “I can confirm

to you that some unknown gunmen attacked a vessel and abducted seven persons made up of six Russians and one Estonian. We have deployed our naval elements to comb the area and track down the kidnappers. We have also alerted all operational bases.”

Halt Bakassi demarcation, PRONACO warns FG, Cameroun TEMITOPE O GUNBANKE

P Suspected killers of the four students of University of Port Harcourt during their arraignment in court, yesterday.

Flood: Jonathan’s kinsmen yet to be evacuated E MMA G BEMUDU YENAGOA


he people of President Goodluck Jonathan’s community, Otuoke, in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, displaced by the raging flood, are yet to be evacuated days after Governor Seriake Dickson issued the directive. Most of the buildings in Otuoke have been submerged by the flood thereby disrupting economic activities in the fast growing community.

Investigation yesterday showed that the people were still living inside their flooded homes, while others were relocating to safer areas not affected by the disaster. It was gathered that the site of the relief camp approved by the state government has not been provided with facilities, including relief items such as food stuffs and drugs for the internally displaced persons. President Jonathan’s palatial and heavily guarded home was

among the buildings submerged by the flood. An indigene of Otuoke, Inetimi Oru, told our correspondent that the people were yet to be relocated to a relief camp established by the government, as many of them were still residing in their houses. Oru described the situation as pathetic and appealed to the state government to immediately come to their aid. But reacting to the development, the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Daniel Iwor-

Yenagoa is a slum, says Dickson E MMA G BEMUDU YENAGOA


overnor Seriake Dickson has expressed worry that Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, is still a slum. He, however, said his administration was determined to develop the city from its current deplorable condition. Dickson bared his mind yesterday in Yenagoa while inaugurating a 16-man board of the state Capital City Development Authority, CCDA, headed by Mr. Charles Dorgu, former

executive secretary of the Federal Capital Development Authority, FCDA, Abuja. The governor asked the board to redesign critical infrastructure in Yenagoa, as well as flood management and its devastating effects on the state. Noting that the inauguration of the board was imperative, Dickson said the reality on the ground should not be treated with kid gloves, especially the devastating effects of the flood on the people of the state. He said: “Yenagoa

is a slum and we have a duty to take it out of its deplorable state. We were in a hurry to build and did not do any proper planning. A lot of tough decisions need to be taken. When you take decisions which are in the interest of the state, government will support you. “Government has a desire to build a wellplanned state capital with the establishment of the Ministry of Capital City Development. The board members should work with the commissioner for Capital City Develop-

iso-Markson, said the people of Otuoke had been told to relocate to a particular site, noting that many were still living in their homes to protect their property. Former Chairman, Otuoke Community Development Committee, Frank Odum, said no official directive had been received from the government for the people to relocate to any particular area for settlement. He, however, said the displaced people were relocating to safer areas in the community not affected by the flood. ment who has been delegated to coordinate its affairs.” Earlier, Dorgu expressed appreciation to the governor for giving them the opportunity to serve the state and promised that the task ahead would be discharged diligently.


ro-National Conference Organisation, PRONACO, yesterday called on the Mixed Commission of both Nigeria and Cameroun governments on Bakassi to stay action on the planned demarcation of the Bakassi Peninsula, scheduled to take place between October 19 and November 11. Asking the two governments to stop the planned demarcation, PRONACO disclosed that it was already collaborating with Project Nigeria - National Consensus Group of Eminent Political Leaders in the country to engage the displaced people of Bakassi and other concerned stakeholders on the best solution to the raging crisis over the Bakassi Peninsula. The organisation’s spokesman, Mr. Olawale Okunniyi, said in a statement that the PRONACO leadership had come under intense pressure to intervene in the heightening tension over the peninsula given the plight of the Bakassi indigenes after the Federal Government refused to apply for revision of the 2002 International Court of Justice, ICJ, ruling. Okunniyi also disclosed that given PRONACO’s relations with ethnic nationalities and indigenous groups, the last one week had been hectic for its leadership, who had received strong overtures, emissaries and delegations from Bakassi stakeholders and indigenes, including chiefs and leaders of the people, who all averred that they were not part of the 1961 pleb-

iscite which resolved to cede Bakassi to Cameroun. He said Project Nigeria had also re-affirmed the need for both Nigeria and Cameroun to immediately attend to the socio-economic, humanitarian and security needs of the displaced and homeless people of Bakassi. Okunniyi also disclosed that PRONACO’s secretariat was already talking with its allies in the Niger Delta region on how to halt the planned demarcation of Bakassi Peninsula. He said: “We have also received a report, which identified the urgent resettlement of most of the displaced people of the oil rich island as uppermost in the heart of some of the leaders of Bakassi. “So we find it disheartening that the Bakassi people are today rendered homeless given the Gestapo manner in which Cameroun gendarmes flushed them out of their natural habitat contrary to the Green Tree Agreement. “Given the violations of the rights of people of Bakassi contrary to the Green Tree Protocol, coupled with the initial abuse of their rights to self-determination, an international right recognised by the African Union, AU, and United Nations Charter for the rights of indigenous groups, it has become imperative for us to mobilise our best hands to engage our local affiliates as well as allies in all relevant special commissions of both the African Union and United Nations, UN, to support the displaced people of Bakassi in their quest for justice.”



Thursday, October 18, 2012

Explosion rocks Potiskum town INUSA NDAHI AND OWOLABI ADENUSI


bomb blast suspected to have been planted by a group of terrorists yesterday rocked Potiskum town in Yobe State, police authority in the state has confirmed. Potiskum, the second largest settlement in Yobe State, has suffered series of attacks and killings by suspected terrorists. A resident, who does not want his name mentioned, said the explosion, which was targeted at JTF troops occurred at about 6.00 am today. “There were sporadic gun shots by the troops thereafter,” he disclosed. National Mirror gathered that over a hundred passengers and motorists on night journey travelling through the area from the South-West and other parts of the country were stranded in the outskirts of the town. “Three luxury buses of

60 passengers each are now stranded at Fika. We’ve been here since 7.00 am,” a stranded passenger told National Mirror on phone. Yobe State Commissioner of Police, Patrick Egbuniwe, told journalists that security forces cordoned off the town “for safety of residents.” He, however said that there was no casualty recorded in the blast. “There was a bomb explosion this morning and the Joint Task Force has cordoned off the area for the safety of residents. “We don’t want people to walk or run into the explosion. Right now, there is a house-to-house search by JTF to fish out the perpetrators of the attack,” he stated. Potiskum has witnessed pockets of attacks by suspected terrorists. About 60 traders were shot dead at a cattle market in the town a couple of months ago. But, unconfirmed report had it that a policeman and a soldier attached to the JTF and three civilians were

killed in the blast and subsequent shootings. Our correspondent also gathered that the incident took place in Jigawa village (Ungwan Jaji) in Potiskum Local Government area of Yobe state when men of the JTF, acting on intelligence report, laid ambush in one of the hideouts of the sect members who were planning to attack the town early yesterday. But men of JTF in a press statement in Damaturu, did not include any casualty from either the side of the JTF, the terrorists or civilians, even as they explained that the JTF acted on information available to them and cordoned off a suspected terrorist hideout in Anguwan Jaji area of Potiskum town in Yobe State. The Press statement which was signed the JTF Spokesman, Leuitenant Eli Lazarus, further stressed that, in the process of searching the area, Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were thrown at their troops.

PDP sacks Adamawa exco, warns members on utterances OBIORA IFOH ABUJA


he battle between the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and the Governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako, worsened yesterday as the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party sacked the Adamawa State chapter of the party executive committee believed to be loyal to Nyako with immediate effect. Announcing the dissolution of the state executive shortly after the NWC meeting, the National Publicity of the party, Olisa Metuh, while briefing journalists said a caretaker committee has also been set up to manage

the affairs of the party in the state pending further directives. “On behalf of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of our great party, the National Working Committee hereby dissolves the Adamawa State Executive Committee of the PDP. “This is in exercise of Article 31, section 2 (e) and 29, 2 (b) of the 2012 amended constitution of our party and consequent upon repeated breaches of the constitution by the Adamawa State chapter, a committee has been set up in its place. “Article 31(2) (e) specifically empowers the NWC thus: where necessary, dissolve a State Executive Committee and appoint a caretaker committee to run the Party until another Executive Commit-

tee is elected, provided that the period from the dissolution to the election of the new Executive shall not to exceed 3 months. “The National Working Committee which took the decision today, October, 17, 2012 in a meeting which also reviewed other crucial party and national issues noted that the dissolved Adamawa executive committee had flagrantly disregarded and shown serial disobedience to the decisions of the NWC. “The dissolved executive was expressly advised by the National Working Committee (NWC) to halt further steps towards the conduct of local government elections as agreed at a meeting on October 9, 2012 between the NWC and the Adamawa State Working Committee.”

of the state government led by Secretary to the Government (SSG), Alhaji Isiaka Gold, paid a condolence visit to the emir. Speaking after inspecting the scene of the incident, Gold said government was deeply touched over the incident, and prayed God to forestall any future reoccurrence. The SSG was accompanied on the visits by the Com-

missioner for Local Government, Chieftaincy Affairs and Communities Development, Alhaji Issa Bawa; Special Adviser on Emergency and Relief Services, Alhaji Musa Abdullahi and that of Security, Alhaji Yinka Aluko, assured the emir of government assistance. Earlier, Alhaji Gambari thanked God that no life was lost in the incident and therefore thanked the state government for the sympathy visit.

Fire guts Emir of Ilorin’s palace WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN


he main reception hall of the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu Gambari’s palace has been engulfed by fire. The incident occurred on Tuesday night at about 10.00 pm and was said to be caused by an electrical fault that destroyed valuable items said to worth millions of naira. Yesterday, a delegation

Lazarus said an exchange of fire between men of the JTF and the suspected terrorists followed, which led to the recovery of some arms and ammunition, pointing out that the search is still ongoing. Meanwhile, fight yesterday broke out between some suspected terrorists and security operatives in Mubi, the commercial nerve centre of Adamawa State leading to two bomb explosions in Kasuwan and Kuturu, the major markets in the town. Twenty people were said to be on danger list at Mubi General Hospital.

National Mirror

The incident happened barely two weeks after the massacred of over 40 students of three tertiary institutions located in the town, the perpetrators of which are yet to be brought to book. Although, preliminary police report revealed that the massacre was as a result of conflicts in the just concluded students’ union election at the Federal Polytechnic, Mubi. As at the time of filing this report yesterday, the death roll has not been ascertained, but the state po-

lice command confirmed the incident while eyewitnesses said there were sporadic shooting after the bomb explosion between the security operatives and the terrorists. When journalists visited the Police Headquarters in Yola, the officers were said to be having a meeting on the issue. Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Mohammed Ibrahim, declined comments on the death toll, saying journalists would need to exercise patience pending when a full report would be out.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

National Mirror


Mimiko, Ondo’s most corrupt gov – ICN

IGP orders restriction of movement



ONDO GUBER POLL October 20, 2012





he Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commision (INEC), Prof. At-



INEC deploys 18 RECs for poll – Jega • Says Saturday’s election will be a benchmark taihiru Jega has said this Saturday’s governorship election in Ondo State will be a benchmark for other elections in the country. The INEC boss said 18 Resident Electoral Commissioners from outside the South-West states will be drafted to the state and will be in charge of each of the local government areas

of Ondo State to serve as returning officers. Jega, who made this disclosure yesterday in Akure, the state capital, during a stakeholders’ meeting on the election, added that adequate measures have been put in place to ensure the success of the election. The INEC chairman informed that the meeting

became imperative to meet with all the stakeholders to ensure the peaceful conduct of the election, saying it is a normal tradition of the commission. He noted that the commission is moving towards conducting a credible election in the country to enthrone leaders through the will of the people in a free

and fair contest. He pointed out that the election in Edo State some months ago has been a yardstick in conducting a credible election, admitting that the commission encountered some challenges during the election which have been corrected. His words: “This election will be an improvement on the Edo election. Ondo election will be the best in the history of election in this country; we have put in place all necessary apparatus to ensure a free and fair election in this state.” Jega assured the contestant that a level playing ground will be provided without being partisan, saying, “we must show that

we can also get it right in Nigeria too.” He called on all the stakeholders and the people of the state to join hands with the commission by providing an enabling and peaceful atmosphere to get the best result from the election. He also appealed to the people to be patient at the poll, be well-behaved and vigilant, urging them to comply with the electoral rules while the restriction of movement should be strictly adhered to. The INEC boss also informed that members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) would be engaged during the election and warned the youth corps members not to compromise in carrying out their duties

Group wants FG to bar neighbouring governors OLUSEGUN KOIKI

L-R: Member, National Steering Committee of Project Swift Count, Reuben James; 1st Co-Chairman, Dafe Akpedeye and Member, Project Swift Count, Hajia Goroso Giwa, during a press conference on the forthcoming governorship election in Ondo State in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO ROTIMI OSASONA

Osun PDP, ACN bicker over Aregbesola’s role in Ondo OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU


he Ondo State governorship election coming up on Saturday has continued to generate controversy across the South-West geopolitical zone with the latest tango coming from the Osun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the state Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). Firing the first salvo was the state PDP which in a statement by its Director of Media and Strategy, Diran Odeyemi, cautioned the state governor, Rauf Aregbesola against championing what it called “operation capture Ondo State at all cost.”

The PDP accused Aregbesola of abandoning his duties and obligations to the people of Osun State at a time it said he “should be making up for the previous times wasted on 34 foreign trips in its 23 months of governance.” Odeyemi said that Aregbesola’s involvement in the Ondo adventure at the detriment of governance in the state has resulted to series of protests, as he no longer has time for the people of the state since the buck stops on his table, adding that this has been having negative effect on social and economic activities in the state. Odeyemi said: “Operation capture Ondo State at all cost has resulted in

the state being engrossed in series of protests and demonstrations by various segments, the latest of which was the violent demonstration by students of Ila Orangun College of Education less than a week after another peaceful demonstration staged by over 10,000 students in the governor’s office over non payment of bursary.” But reacting to the PDP accusation, the ACN, speaking through its Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy, Kunle Oyatomi, it is not bothered by the tantrums of the PDP, because everything it had said now and in the past are fabrications “intended only to smear the person and government of Areg-

besola.” He said: “What the PDP is not conscious of is that it is developing for itself notoriety for lying and trying to confuse issues. “If it takes Mr. President who is the leader of PDP and the Senate President, among other PDP leaders, sometime out to campaign for their candidate in Ondo, regardless of the massive flood across the country, it suggests to any reasonable person that there is an awful lot at stake in the Ondo election. If Aregbesola is campaigning for the ACN candidate in Ondo state, only stupid people don’t know why. That is the long and short of the meaning of PDP accusation against Ogbeni Aregbesola.”


Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Rights Monitoring Group (RMG) has called on the Federal Government to bar all neighbouring state governors from interfering in the Ondo election. The National Coordinator, RMG, Mr. Olufemi Aduwo stated this yesterday in Lagos. Aduwo recalled that during the just-concluded election in Edo State, none of the neighbouring states interfered in the pre-election and election processes and wondered why that of Ondo would be different from others. He warned all the neighbouring states’ governors to steer clear of the state in the interest of peace. He said: “Edo State is surrounded by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ruling states and none of the PDP governors interfered in what happened in Edo State. I am from Ondo

State and we don’t want to lose lives in the state because of the gubernatorial election.” He queried where the spokesman of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Alhaji Lai Mohammed got his figure that RMG was sending 1,500 observers to Ondo to monitor Saturday’s election. He insisted that no amount of blackmail would deter RMG from carrying out its civic duties and from standing for the truth and justice. According to him, RMG has observed elections within and outside Nigeria since 2008 and it would be unfair for Mohammed to make unsubstantiated comments about the monitoring group. Aduwo warned that Mohammed would be held responsible for any unpleasant event that will happen to RMG observers in the monitoring of the Ondo election and called for adequate security to be provided during and after the election.




ONDO GUBER POLL October 20, 2012





head of Saturday’s governorship election in Ondo State, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar has ordered the restriction of movement from 6p.m. today to 6a.m. tomorrow. Abubakar also said there will be more restrictions from tomorrow evening till 8pm the next day. “It is a strategy to curtail the influx and movement of undesirable and criminal elements in and out of the state before and during the election,” said Abubakar. Speaking at the stakeholders’ forum yesterday in Akure, the IGP disclosed the readiness of the men of the Nigerian Police and other security agencies to provide security and safety during the

Thursday, October 18, 2012

National Mirror

IGP orders restriction of movement voting exercise. He reiterated that movement will be restricted during the election while security operatives will be available on all routes leading to the state to restrict movement of people. He said: “Movement will be restricted from the hour of 6p.m. on Thursday to 5a.m. on Friday, while movement will also be restricted from 6p.m. on Friday to 8p.m. on Saturday.” Consequently, Abubakar urged travellers and citizens who intend to use roads in and out of the state to divert to alternative routes. While expressing his regrets over the inconveniences road users and the general public may suffer as a result of this restriction, the IGP appeals for the understanding and cooperation of the entire citizenry, as the restriction is essentially to ensure the effective security of citizens, election officials and materials. Abubakar informed that a number of police and military men have been deployed to the state all in preparation towards the election. He said the people of the state should not see the presence of the security agents as a way to

threaten or molest anybody but to ensure credible election. The IG informed that five units of mobile police will be deployed to each of the three senatorial districts in the state to combat any challenges that may arise during the election. He said three security officials which may include, Police, Immigration, Customs, Civil Defense will be stationed at each polling units while the State Security Service (SSS) will continue to do their normal underground work. The IGP assured that adequate security logistics and manpower have been strategically deployed to achieve a most conducive electioneering atmosphere. Abubakar added that policemen deployed for election duty have been properly trained, briefed and sensitised on their roles as stipulated in the Electoral Act. He said: “They are expected

to be professional, non-partisan, civil but firm in their approach and relation to the public; and to strictly observe Force Order 237 on the use of firearms to ensure that inalienable rights of the citizens are not trampled upon.” He said military men will be on standby for any eventuality, saying “we are ready and willing to see that this election is free, fair and peaceful.” The Police boss also informed that no fewer than 20 Armoured Personel Carriers (APCs) will be deployed to the state with the greater number of the APCs deployed to the riverine area of the state. He, however, said the use of security personnel will not be tolerated. “Go to the poll with no security official and without any money on you to induce voters and if you are arrested I am assuring you that you will be pros-

ecuted “The citizens of Ondo State are enjoined to come out en masse to exercise their civic rights, as the Police, assisted by other security agencies have mapped out plans to ensure that persons who are out to cast their votes, do so without fear of molestation from any quarter. They are advised to shun violence and all forms of thuggery,” Abubakar stated. He further advised parents to keep close watch on their children and wards in order to forestall the possibility of their being used by unscrupulous politicians for criminal purposes, stating that the full weight of the law will take its course on anyone apprehended. The IGP also enjoined residents of the state to remain vigilant and report all suspicious movements or dealings to appropriate Police authority.

Oke promises to revamp cocoa production HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE


he governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in this Saturday’s election in Ondo State, Chief Olusola Oke has said his government will explore the natural and agricultural endowments of the state for the uplift of the people. Oke who disclosed this in Idanre yesterday while addressing supporters and people of the town said if voted into office as the governor, new innovations will be introduced to aid cocoa production which used to be the mainstay of the regional economy before the discovery of oil. He noted that cocoa accounted for a large percentage of the nation’s economy, saying the good old days of cocoa would come back if the PDP government wins back the state. Oke said: “We know that majority of the people in this community and the outlying ones are cocoa farmers. A time was when cocoa was a money-spinner and everybody was looking at the cocoa farmer with envy. We were on the verge of bringing back the old glory when the last PDP administration was cut short. “I want to assure you that we are going to make cocoa lucrative again. We will support our farmers. We will introduce high-yield

varieties and we will encourage, with financial and inputs support, our youths to engage in the production. “We have said it several times that our state, with all our agricultural endowments, has no business being poor. We are going to use the agricultural sector not only to bring money into our pockets but to also solve other social problems like unemployment as industries will spring up and our youths will be profitably engaged.”

L-R: Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Attahiru Jega and Inspector General of Police (IGP), M. D. Abubakar at the governorship election 2012 stakeholders’ meeting in Akure, yesterday.

Fashola: ACN labels PDP leaders idle gossips FELIX NWANERI


he Lagos State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has described the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state as a bunch of frustrated gossips who that have woefully ran out of ideas on how to resuscitate their dead party. The party was reacting to what it called “the nonsensical statement” from the Lagos PDP, condemning Governor Babatunde Fashola for campaigning in Ondo State and allegedly funding the party’s candidate, Rotimi Akeredolu. In a statement signed by the party’s Publicity Secretary, Joe Ig-

bokwe, ACN said that apart from trading in gossips, the Lagos PDP is fast becoming a nuisance in the public domain in its belief that it can gain power through trading in lies. The party said: “In the first place, we deem it as flawed and nonsensical for what passes as a political party to trade in lies, fabrications and innuendos just because it feels that it must make noise to get the people’s confidence. For a party that should be pointing to its achievements at the federal level and the many states it controls for the past 13 years to now indulge in reckless and jejune fantasies and awkward and fancy lies to deceive a sophisticated people like Lagosians marks the dead end of a rogue party that

hungrily ogles for power without attendant responsibility. “We will not wander far to know where a party that celebrates treasury looting and public stealing gets its allegation that Governor Fashola directed the 57 LCDA chairmen to contribute N25 million and mobilise their staff to Ondo to support Akeredolu. We acknowledge that in frustration, Lagos PDP has turned its imagination into a huge industry where lies are concocted without shame. What remains of Lagos PDP is an idle clan of desperate no hopers who long for their day with the Lagos treasury, in tradition with the PDP as a party. “It should however worry us that an opposition party that should be advancing ideas and

contrary views to enrich governance has become a coven of idle clowns who indulge in the passion of celebrating their nuisance value since they have nothing to point for their prodigal years in the governance of Nigeria. “Lagos ACN is riled that Lagos PDP is criticising Fashola for attending ACN rally in Ondo yet were blind to the fact that President Goodluck Jonathan, assailed with overwhelming flooding that has rendered millions of Nigerians homeless, with huge security problems to deal with, still found time to indulge in an expensive revelry in Ondo last Saturday. The party therefore advised the Lagos PDP to get serious and stop thinking it will successfully distract the Fashola administration.

National Mirror

Thursday, October 18, 2012





ONDO GUBER POLL October 20, 2012



LP charges INEC on transparency


he Chairman of the Labour Party in the FCT, Mr. Adejobi Peter, has called on INEC to be transparent in the discharge of its functions as preparations for the Ondo State governorship election gather momentum. Peter made the call in Abuja on Wednesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). He told the INEC National Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, to transfer the INEC National Commissioner in Ondo State, Prof. Lai Olurode, “because of his partisanship.’’ “When a particular party is saying that it does not want a particular person to represent us, I believe INEC ought to have complied, at least for the sake of peace,” he said. He urged INEC to make the political environment neutral by bringing in a neutral person to supervise the election to ensure fairness and justice. Peter alleged that there were strategies which opposition parties in the state had adopted to discredit LP during the election. “The opposition are trying to use the party’s logos on T-shirts and caps on the day of election to look as if Labour Party is campaigning.” Peter also urged security agencies to keep the entry points into Ondo State secured, to prevent hoodlums from neighbouring states, causing chaos in the state.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

National Mirror

Mimiko, Ondo’s most corrupt gov – ICN he Independent Campaign Network (ICN) in Ondo State yesterday described Dr. Olusegun Mimiko as the most corrupt governor that has ever ruled the state. ICN, a group within the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), said Mimiko was not morally qualified to question the integrity of Rotimi Akeredolu, the ACN candidate in the October 20 governorship election. It will be recalled that Mimiko queried Akeredolu’s stewardship as the National President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) and a Commissioner for Justice in the state during the final round of the Ondo governorship election debates organised by the Nigerian Elections Debate Group (NEDG), accusing the foremost lawyer of corruption.

The Director of Communication and Strategy Bureau of ICN, Bosun Oladimeji, disclosed at a press conference in Akure that the group had a lot of classified documents on Mimiko before now, saying it felt the group should open up to expose the governor since he was the one that first threw darts at others. Justifying his claim of corruption against the Mimiko government, Oladimeji said all funds meant for the building of markets through the account of the Ministry of Physical and Urban Planning were spent by the Direct Labour Agency through viament from the office of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), describing it as illegal and a criminal offence as prescribed in the Nigeria’s constitution. Oladimeji said: “The Ogbese Regional Market was earmarked in the 2010 budget and the contract was awarded to the present

Akure South Local Government Caretaker Chairman, Jide Adejuyigbe, for a sum of N150 million. The site was cleared after compensation had been paid to the farm owners. Drawing and bill of quantity were made by the contractor. There is no tender; neither was there any approval for the market construction since 2010, while N150 million allocated for that project in the 2010 financial year is yet to be accounted for.” He said further that investigations by the group revealed that “the first neighbourhood market constructed by the Mimiko-led government was awarded by the Ministry of Physical and Urban Planning for N140 million. There is no plan and bill of quantity. Valuers give the actual cost for the building of the market at N80 million.” He revealed that the cost of Isinkan Market, which is sup-






posed to be in two phases, was N210 million but valued at N180 million, adding that it attracted a query from the Ministry of Physical and Urban Planning for no proper planning and deficiency in the construction but the agency rebuffed the query. NEPA Market, Oladimeji said, was awarded for N400 million but valued at N300 million by estate valuers. The market had no approved plan and bill of quantity. He also alleged that Odopetu, Okelisa and Isolo markets in Akure, built during the government of Olusegun Agagu between 2005 to 2009 were renovated by the Mimiko government at the cost of N100 million and that Ikare Market project was awarded for N320 million to the Direct Labour Agency but valued at N250 million. He said: “Ilula Recreation Park, Sijuade Zone, Akure was earmarked in 2010 budget and awarded for N80 million and latter increased to N90 million through variation. The project was valued at N45 million by the estate valuer. With the available data, the recreation centre did not have drawing details; no approved bill of quantity, yet the contractor still went ahead and constructed it.” Other projects mentioned by Oladimeji, said to have been characterized by fraud, were Akure International Auto Mart, development of roadside car parks along Oba-Adesida road Akure, urban development master plan for Akure and Ikare, rehabilitation of Oba-Adesida road, the Government House recreation centre, the roundabout development project and the Tomatoes Paste Factory at Arigidi-Akoko.

Again, ACN, Women Arise bicker over accreditation OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU


he crisis over accreditation of observers for Saturday’s governorship election in Ondo State between the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and Women Arise, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) has continued unabated. The bickering, which began on Monday over the de-accreditation of the Coalition of Democrats for Election Reforms (CODER) due to an alleged petition from the Labour Party (LP), continued yesterday after the exchange of brickbats between the ACN spokesman, Lai Mohammed and President of Women Arise, Joe Okei-Odumakin. The ACN yesterday, tasked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to urgently speak out over the registration of

what it called “glaringly-partisan groups” as observers in the election by its Election Monitoring and Observation Unit. In a statement issued in Abuja, Mohammed said failure of INEC to speak out on the contentious issue is an indication that it was not serious about organising a free, fair and credible governorship election in Ondo State. Mohammed argued that the general perception is that “at least two of the groups that have been accredited to monitor the election, Women Arise and Rights Monitoring Group (RMG), are partisan and should not have been accredited to observe the election.” Mohammed said: “Aduwo has yet to deny being a supporter of Mimiko, or that his group has been inexplicably issued with 1,500 tags instead of the 100 given to other groups, with the alleged

plan to give some of the tags to LP thugs on Saturday. The ACN berated Women Arise, describing it as not being “a respectable, neutral and allembracing group that it has made itself out to be. No self-respecting women’s group will denigrate women, whether or not they are in purdah or ‘’eleha’’ as the group said.” It said no group, which calls itself an ‘’independent organisation with a board made up of eminent Nigerians and thousands of members across the country will cast aspersion on the religion of many of its members. Or does Women Arise not represent the interest of Muslim women?” But in a swift reaction, the Women Arise has raised an alarm that Mohammed is planning to unleash terror and violence on its members during the poll in Ondo. Okei-Odumakin, who signed

the statement where the allegation was made, said: “Our highly informed source told us that thugs have been instructed to attack our members in different local governments in the state and advised that we should withdraw from the exercise. “We insist that would amount to succumbing to blackmail and intimidation by enemies of the open society. Though we do not underestimate the capacity for evil by the forces Lai Mohammed represents, we shall not bow to their threats as we believe in the supremacy of law and order. “We therefore call on all security agencies to be on the alert and do their job of securing of lives of law abiding citizens.” She said that Mohammed would be held responsible for anything that happens to any member of the Women Arise observer group.

National Mirror


Thursday, October 18, 2012


The allures and fears of state police THE SITUATION EXISTENTIAL HUMANISM


NDUBUISI (08023016709 SMS only)


he recent incidents at Mubi and Port-Harcourt, where students were brutally murdered in cold blood, have once more brought to the fore the question of efficiency of the security personnel, specifically the Nigeria Police Force. Doubts over this have renewed the debate of imperative of state police to complement the federal police force. The chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Rotimi Amaechi, has insisted there is no alternative to state police, if the precarious security situation in the country must be surmounted. His position is in sharp contrast with his counterparts from the North, who have reneged the support they once had for state police, saying Nigeria was not ripe for it. The Senate President, David Mark, is the newest convert to pro state police group. Contributing to the debate on the killing of Port-Harcourt 4 on the Senate floor, he made a case for state police and defended it on the grounds that the peculiarity of crimes in Nigeria demanded



NOT INDEED, LEAVES MUCH TO BE DESIRED that an institution like the state police was what was needed to combat them, adding that its merits outweigh its demerits. The truth is that until and unless the right thing is done on this matter Nigerian will continue to agitate for state police. The regular forum of state governors had earlier taken a joint decision on the need for state police. Shortly after that the Northern Nigeria Governors Forum backed out of the collective agreement. This is what has stalled further action on it. Views on it have polarized the nation, and even the Inspector General of Police has stridently opposed the demand for it. He maintained that the police system could meet the nation’s security needs, arguing that the major constraints are caused by paucity of funds. The nation needs to take a position now that the National Assembly is fine

turning the process of amending the 1999 Constitution. The section that deals with the issue of Nigeria Police Force must be exhaustively debated and if necessary a plebiscite conducted to determine Nigerians preference between a centralized or decentralized police force. The situation where a state governor is the chief security officer of his state only in words and not indeed, leaves much to be desired. Section 215 of the 1999 constitution, sub section (2) states inter alia that ‘’the Nigeria police command shall be under the command of the Inspector General of Police and any contingents of the Nigeria Police Force stationed in state shall, subject to the authority of the Inspector General of Police be under the command of the commissioner of that state”. Sub section 4 of the same section further diluted the power of the state governor over the commissioner of police in his state. While the section allows the governor of a state to give lawful directives to the commissioner of police in his state for the maintenance of law and order, it whittled it down with this caveat, ”provided that before caring out any such directions the commissioner of police may request that the matter be referred to the President or such Minister of the government of the federation as may be authorized in that behalf by the President for his directions”. This provision is absurd and does not accord with the urgency and nature of security matters in a country such as ours. What

it means is that a police commissioner in any state can vehemently say no to directives from his host governor. He has the backing of the constitution. Meanwhile, Nigerians continue to suffer and live under worsening security situation in the country. Armed robbers, kidnappers, assassins etc operate at will with no deterring superior force. In some areas, vigilance groups have tried to fill the lacuna. The Aluu, Port Harcourt incident shows the danger inherent in the use vigilance groups. These are untrained personnel, most times illiterates that have no knowledge of the laws of the land. The fears over state police are obviously misplaced. If it is allowed, policing will be very effective, especially at the grassroots level. This success there will subsequently positively affect the situation in the urban areas. It is not every state that can fund it, just as it is not every state that needs it. The leadership of every state understands its peculiar security challenges and thus knows how best to handle them. Any amendment to section 214 of the 1999 constitution must carry the caveat that state police is only for states that not only need it, but also the have capacity to fund it. Definitely, the nation’s police system in the present way it is constituted is too omnibus to be efficient. Prof. Ndubuisi, an attorney at Law, is of the Dept. of Philosophy, UNILAG

Okada destruction: A metaphor for official wastefulness

hy destroy what you cannot create? This was the question that popped into my mind the moment I read the news that Lagos State government, on October 9, 2012, destroyed 3000 motorcycles (okada) seized from their operators for violating provisions of the Road Traffic Law, 2012. As a lawyer trained in the tradition of common law, I believe that anybody that infringes the law must atone for it one way or the other. So my objection to this action on okada riders was not based on the punishment (let us forget for the moment that the infringed Road Traffic Law itself is very controversial), but on the choice of the punishment. You don’t choose to punish somebody by destroying your own economy! It appears the state government is confusing worthless items like weeds and hard drugs, which could be destroyed without economic consequences, with useful assets like motorcycles. Why destroy something that is in high demand, and which you still have to import? Are we producing motorcycles in Nigeria? As far as I know, we don’t even have the technology to mass produce motor cycles at competitive costs in Nigeria. All the motor cycles in use in the country were imported. But we have no scruples in destroying them simply because some local riders disobeyed the traffic laws. A white man will never behave this way. He would first subject the decision to cost-benefit analysis before taking the one with least social cost.

What makes the matter worse is that this is not even a one-off thing, but the beginning of a policy enthroned by the state’s new fiercely controversial Road Traffic Law. We read that the measure was informed by the need to send the signal to the recalcitrant road traffic violators that state government would not condone their lawlessness. Well, you can destroy motorcycles in a kind of cutting-the-face-to-spite-the-nose recklessness, but the need for motorcycle would not disappear; we would still need to import every one of those machines! Not even the putative promise by the chairman of the state Taskforce on Environmental and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit, Mr. Bayo Sulaiman, who supervised the crunching that the authorities would recycle the iron parts to salvage its scrap value would atone for this economic blunder. The ability to get things right springs from the capacity to put things in proper perspective. It appears the policy makers just looked at the cost of motorcycles alone without considering the economic spider web theory inherent in their destruction. I once read of a Japanese complaining that there were a lot of old unused cars abandoned to rot in Nigeria. He said in his own country such vehicles would be salvaged by being refurbished, re-engineered and re-issued as usable new cars. Yet, he comes from a country that produces cars the way we produce pure water! Look inside a typical Nigerian home




THINGS IN PROPER PERSPECTIVE and try to count objects that are of foreign provenance and you would be shocked that 90 per cent of all the objects are either completely or significantly sourced abroad. What does this imply for our economy? Each time there was a crisis and vehicles and other valuable imported goods were destroyed, the words of that Japanese would keep ringing in my ears. Every single imported needle that is destroyed before its utilitarian lifespan constitutes a drain on our national coffer. If Lagos State could destroy 3000 motorcycles in one fell swoop and it is just the beginning, what if the other 35 states adopt similar measures and the Federal Government too? What if all these authorities keep destroying imported products on accounts of violation of domestic law (s)? By the time the culture is entrenched, our balance of trade would be perpetually doomed and our already troubled economy would further nosedive. This, ironically, is in an era when the white and other developed peoples are ever searching for the alternatives to the raw materials they are im- 08032147720 (SMS only)

porting from us in order to improve their own economy. The kind of unwitting wastage of scarce resources is a sad reminder of criminal wastage that had rocked and still keeps rocking our oil and gas industry. It is in Nigeria that we keep flaring essential gas for decades without sparing a thought on this criminal economic vandalism; we keep shifting the date we would stop gas flaring; it is in Nigeria we produce 2.7 million of crude oil per day and we could not simply maintain four refineries to cater for local consumption. Very sad indeed! Is not possible to get a better use for these seized motorcycles that could be beneficial to the state government and the society? Send your views by mail or sms to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mail@ nationalmirroronline.netmirrorlagos@ or 08164966858 (SMS only). The Editor reserves the right to edit and reject views or photographs. Pseudonyms may be used but must be clearly marked as such.



Thursday, October 18, 2012

National Mirror






































Burgeoning Nigerian student population in Ghana


ecent discoveries of startling numbers of Nigerian students in Ghanaian higher institutions call for a deep look at the appalling state of tertiary education in the country. Reports point to figures ranging from 71,000 to 75, 000! One credited to the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, at a book presentation in Kaduna late last year indicated that there were about 71,000 Nigerian students in Ghana with an annual tuition payment profile of about $1 billion US dollars, for example. Chairman, Committee of ProChancellors of Nigerian Universities, Dr Wale Babalakin said of late that the number was 75,000. He said the students pay $15 million as tuition per annum. “That is about $1.1 billion or $1.2 billion annually and that is roughly about N180 billion. That is our contribution to Ghanaian education alone”, Babalakin stated; an expenditure he said was less than the Federal Government’s total budget for all Nigerian universities in 2011; and a tip of the iceberg compared to the number and cost of sponsoring Nigerian students in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and other European countries. Reports quoting 2010 records also said Nigeria’s contribution to UK’s education sector that year amounted to N246 billion; with the country still retaining about 17,585 Nigerian students in 2011.

Director, Federal Scholarship Board (FSB), Mrs. Hindatu Abdullahi, was likewise quoted as saying not too long ago that the FG spent more than N900 million to sponsor 150 students abroad in 2011. The government just announced fresh foreign scholarship awards to 101 outstanding new graduates up to doctorate level. Reports have also indicated that the average tuition fees (excluding other expenses) in some countries for undergraduate courses can be as high as $8,000 in United States; 19,000 pounds in UK; $4,000 in Singapore; $20,000 in Malta; $1,000 in Malaysia; and 6,000 euros in Ireland; among others, per annum. When compared with the N400.2 billion and N426.5 billion voted for Nigeria’s entire education sector in the 2012 and 2013 budgets, respectively, it becomes clearer the huge joke the nation’s investment in the education sector has been in recent times; and why it may take long to revive the sector. President Goodluck Jonathan, during his recent visit to the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), seemed to acquiesce with the situation. He had declared that on account of Nigeria’s huge population, the number of domestic universities and other tertiary institutions were grossly inadequate to meet the higher education needs of the country’s teeming youths in need of tertiary education. As the



UNIVERSITIES TO INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS CAPABLE OF ATTRACTING FOREIGN PATRONAGE country’s ‘Chief Policy Director’, it is implied that Jonathan not only sees the trend as complimentary, but that it enjoys his express approval. We think the president’s misleading position portends danger for the nation’s economy. Besides, it suggests the ignorance of the authorities about the rot in the Nigerian education system, and the urgent need to reverse the embarrassing development. The same Jonathan it was who recently said reports that “no Nigerian university is among the top tier providers of tertiary education in Africa, not to mention globally” was “not acceptable”. President Jonathan might be oblivious of the huge financial haemorrhage the country suffers by way of foreign tuition; as well as the possibility that, perhaps, more than any other consideration, Ghana counts on the patronage of the ‘large colony’

of Nigerians in its education system as a major life-line to its economy. It would have been tolerable if the requisite educational facilities needed for quality tertiary education are on ground at home, while trips abroad for studies are at individuals’ discretion. On the contrary, however, the reverse has been the case as very poor educational facilities constitute the main reason Nigerian students troop abroad for studies. Not surprisingly, too, only the rich (mainly the political and business elite) can afford the luxury of sending their children overseas to study. With their jumbo pay and unimaginably high allowances, politicians and other top government officials seem the worst culprits; and it appears they hardly regret the decay in the nation’s tertiary education infrastructure. Hence our consistent position that until the practice of allowing public functionaries to train their children in foreign tertiary institutions is banned, it might be extremely difficult for the government to pay adequate attention to the nation’s education sector. Indeed, nothing stops the FG from equipping and elevating Nigerian universities to international standards capable of attracting foreign patronage as was the case in the past. All that may be required is iron-cast determination on the part of the government.

ON THIS DAY October 18, 2007

October 18, 2003

Karachi bombings: A suicide attack on a motorcade carrying former Pakistani Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto killed 139 and wounded 450 people. Most of the dead were members of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). Bhutto herself was not injured. The bombing occurred two months before she was assassinated. Pakistanis had trooped out to the streets to welcome the return of Benazir Bhutto, after an eight-year selfimposed exile during which she lived in Dubai and London.

Bolivian President, Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, was forced to resign and leave Bolivia. Elected to a second term in 2002, he resigned and went into exile in the United States in October 2003 after violent protests related to the Bolivian gas conflict in which some 60 protesters, soldiers and policemen died. In March 2006, he resigned the leadership of the MNR. Bolivia has unsuccessfully been seeking his extradition from the US to stand trial for the events of 2003.

October 18, 1964 The 1964-1965 New York World Fair closed for its first season after a six-month run. The fair is best remembered as a showcase of mid-20th-century American culture and technology. The nascent Space Age, with its vista of promise, was well represented. More than 51 million people attended the fair, less than the hoped-for 70 million. The 1964/1965 New York World Fair was the third major world fair to be held in New York City.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

National Mirror


Education Today ‘Private schools in A Akwa Ibom are exam malpractice centres’ 23

Pupils, teachers groan as Plateau’s strike enters 5th month The strike that has paralysed academic activities in public primary schools in Plateau State for five months is yet to be resolved. The state government and the labour union have adopted uncompromising positions, prolonging industrial action that has continued to take huge toll on students, parents and the education sector, writes JAMES ABRAHAM.

Gov. Jang


his strike gets me confused any time I think about it’. ‘If it gets you confused, it makes me feel sick and tired. I don’t really know what to do because it does appear that some people don’t care what happens to the pupils. How I wish they realise the harm they are doing to their future and stop it for good.’’’ That was Gyang and his friend Dalyop wishing that Plateau State Government and labour union would resolve their differences relating to the implementation of N18,000 minimum wage, so that primary schools in the state, which have remained shut for the past five months, will reopen. Many residents woke up to the news of the teachers’ strike and those of the local government employees across the 17 council areas of the state on June 1st with dismay. They had wished that government and labour unions were able to avert the industrial action, having reached an understanding on the matter earlier. As it is, the strike has not only cast a bleak future on the pupils across the state, many also believe that its negative impact on the educational system will linger for some years to come. The journey to the ongoing strike started in October 2011, when local government workers demanded for a full implementation of the N18,000 minimum wage law for members. It was learnt that during the several weeks of deliberations that followed the demands, government expressed desire and willingness to pay the amount, but for its financial incapability to do so. Explaining government’s position on the issue, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Dr Paul Wai, said while the average monthly income of the 17 local governments from the federal allocation was about N1.9 billion, exclusive of VAT, the amount required for 100 per cent implementation of the National Minimum Wage in the local government was about N3.2 billion, and for this, the monthly income of local governments, which has about 45,000 workforce cannot accommodate the huge difference He stressed that based on that, the government engaged Labour in negotiation for both parties to agree to implement the N18, 000 minimum wage when there is an improvement in the local governments’ monthly income, but that the workers rejected this offer and insisted that since the local government funding had increased, there must be an upward review of their salaries. Several interventions thereafter by stakeholders, including the state House of Assembly, to resolve the issue have often ended in a deadlock, thus deepening the impact of the strike on parents, teachers and the pupils in the public schools, who are the major losers. Since the strike began, many of the students have taken

Empty classroom.

THE PARENTS ARE WITHDRAWING THEIR WARDS TO PRIVATE SCHOOLS WHICH ARE SPRINGING UP EVERYWHERE IN THE STATE ON DAILY BASIS to streets, hawking and doing all kinds of menial jobs as a way of averting social tension, vices and pains, which their idleness at home have continued to cause their parents and the society. Some of the children were also reported to have been involved in avoidable road and domestic accidents. Yet, others were said to have fallen prey to child traffickers and subsequently lured into prostitution, while there are those who just roam the street aimlessly. Favour Anyibo, who is a class three pupil of Government Primary School, Kabong, Jos, is not happy that the strike has continued without solution. According to her, since the strike started, she had been staying at home waiting for the school to reopen. ‘But some of my friends, whose parents could afford to send them to private schools, are now there to continue their studies. And since my parents cannot afford the huge fees there, I have no option than to stay at home. ’’Favour Anyibor’s situation may just reflect the state of most of the children in these public schools. Her teacher, Mr. Gomna Dalyop, who was sighted by this reporter within the school premises, confessed the strike had not only brought untold hardship to members of his family, but has equally caused enormous damage to the education sector in the state. “I don’t know the kind of magic the government is going to use to revive public primary schools again if the strike is eventually called off. Teachers are now moving out of the profession in droves out of frustration. The parents are also withdrawing their wards to private schools, which are springing up everywhere in the state on daily basis. I pity the pupils themselves because most of them have been

Deserted Government Primary School, Kabong, in Jos.

moving about aimlessly like sheep without a shepherd. The teachers themselves are not better off either. Initially, when the strike started, people used to lend us money, hoping that the strike will be called off anytime soon. Now, people no longer lend us money because we cannot repay. Even the little salaries we were receiving before have not been paid since the strike started. Some of my colleagues have died of frustration and those of us, who are still alive, are passing through hell as a result of the strike. Let the government do something fast before education is completely destroyed in the state’’. Corroborating Dalyop, another teacher, Mr. Dauda Danbaba of LEA Primary School, Gurum in Bassa Local government area told National Mirror that what the teachers and the students in his area have been passing through since the strike began could only be imagined than explained. He called on both government and labour union to end the strike without further delay. Mr. John Davou, a parent complained of how the strike was impacting negatively on his children before he withdrew them into private school. “Everyday, they play from morning till night. They are just eating and playing around without engaging in productive activities. They were supposed to be in primary three like their counterparts in private schools when the strike started. After waiting in vain for the strike to end, I had to take them to a private school where they are now continuing with their studies. But the government must know that more than half of the Nigerian parents cannot afford to send their wards to private schools. This is why government should not allow public schools to die.”


Education Today

Thursday, October 18, 2012

National Mirror

UI students celebrate a living legend KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN


he Association of Teachers’ Education Students (ATES), University of Ibadan, recently honoured Prof. Caroline Okedara, a retired foremost professor, teacher and mother in the university’s department of teacher education (language unit). Although, many of the current crops of undergraduates, who organised the award lecture in her honour were too young to spell their names when Prof. Okedara was holding sway in the academic world, records and archives told them all they needed to know to honour the retired university don and former head of department. Delivering the award lecture on the topic, “Language education and readers response theory: Implication for transformation”, the guest speaker, Dr. Bolapade Ige, the Dean, School of Languages, Federal College of Education, Abeokuta, Ogun State, defined language as a cognitive ability to make use of a set of complex symbols to communicate, noting that the use of language is deeply structured in human interactional and relational settings. She said language education was a field of study that focuses on the role of language in education, while readers’ response deals with the reader’s ability to find meaning in a text. She explained that several studies and critics seem to agree that the interpretation of text vary from people to people or text to text, but it is believed that reading is a collective enterprise. She, however, maintained that, education was a powerful tool, for national development, and the readers’ response theory holds the key to helping readers develop the ability to think independently, as it is capable of promoting intellectual harmony and reduce youth restiveness. The guest lecturer, who had also benefitted from Prof. Okedara’s milk of human kindness used the opportunity of the occasion, to show her appreciation to her while encomiums poured in from many quarters on the retired professor, especially some of her past students, who also benefited from her motherly love during her lecturing years. Prof. Olusegun Kolawole, Dean, Faculty of Education was full of praises for the retired professor whom he fondly called ‘Mama’. He described her as a mentor and mother par excellence, noting that he was her student during her under and post graduate studies days in the university. “At those periods, she was always there for us, advising us, monitoring our progress,” he recalled appreciatively.

To my best


rs. Christiana Agbedejobi was one of your students at MarkJob Grammar School, Abeokuta, Ogun State, between 1968 and 1972. She was then known as Sola Onafeso and she had a smallish stature. She was academically brilliant and was always involved actively in school’s interhouse sport competition. She was very good in track events, especially relay. She is now an educationist and currently the Principal of Oke-Afa Junior College, Ejigbo, Lagos. She has this to say about your person when she was your student. My best teacher was Mrs. Sosan, my English Language teacher at MarkJob Grammar School, Abeokuta, Ogun State. It was not that other teachers were not good but honestly Mrs. Sosan distinguished herself from the rest. She guided us jealously not

Prof. Okedara, with her potrait at the event.




IT WAS BECAUSE THEY WERE LARGELY TRAINED ABROAD Prof. Kolawole was elated that the current generation of undergraduate students of the faculty went into the archives, read about the woman and decided to dedicate a lecture in her honour, the more reason he offered them the needed support to make the event a success. He traced his evolution on the academic world to the kindness and concern of Prof. Okedara, by providing him with “a platform to develop and progress in my academics after she discovered potentials in me. She picked me up from the wilderness and today I am who I am.” The dean enjoined both the students and lecturers present to learn and emulate the virtues of humility, kindness and doing good while alive, saying their good works will speak for them while they are alive and while they are no more. He said, “The quality of students and that of teachers we had those days was much higher than what we have today. Those days, the lecturers were very compassionate, understanding and cooperative, and I think, it was because they were largely trained abroad. Some of those values like good lecturer and student relationship were practically in operations. They were accommodating and accessible. You could

enter their offices anytime; you can stop them at the corridor and chat with them. But the situation is different today.” He attributed the development to the prevalent tension in the society which has found its way into the school environment. “Many things are responsible. Maybe because of inbreed and maybe because so many of us that we are there now are bred here in the country. Unfortunately the kind of tension prevalent in the society has now found its way into the school environment too, the human touch, and feeling between the students and the lecturers are no longer there. Some of those human touches that we enjoyed in those days could no longer be transferred to the current generation.” However, he maintained that; “the few of us, who were there then and mindful of history, are today trying to bring some of those things back into the system. So we challenge and encourage our students on this even as we equally make ourselves available and talk to our colleagues so that the tradition will not die.” To Prof. Francis Adesoji, current Head, Teachers Education Department, UI, Prof. Okedara is not only a mentor, mother and teacher, she is a professor or professors, saying, “Despite her age, she is still prolific. You can imagine the number of people she would have taught. Her products are all over the places. She taught, many professors. The real legacy ‘mama’ left is the discipline of purpose. Mama is a very discipline and purposeful person. She is a very realistic person. She never calls white what it is not. Above all, mama is always ready to assist anytime any day. Anytime you call on her for any assistance within her powers, she will always be willing to do it. She is really wonderful and can sacrifice anything to make her students successful.” On his part, Dr. David Fakeye, also of the department of Teachers Education, who was also a former student of Prof Okedara in her teaching days at the department, noted that Prof. Okedara was in her days, a real mother whom everybody runs to anytime the heat of academics came on the students. He described her as a problem solver, who even help students when other lecturers are victimising them. He recounted a situation in which ‘mama’ was readily on hand to help him in his post graduate days in the department. He said, “She really touched so many lives. She is a mother, which is what accounts for people calling her ‘Iya Ewe’ (mother of kids). She is a free person, who has never been annoyed for one minute. If mama shouts on you now, the next minute she will hug you again and tell you that, this is what I am telling you. She is a wonderful woman and we missed her a lot in the department”.

Mrs. Sosan

mine and I went there to honour her. I was very happy to see her and likewise, she was happy to see me. It has been a very long time that we saw last. I told her publicly at the programme that she made me who I am today. Her spirit was highly lifted by that remark. Through every life you touched and are still touching, thanks very much my dear teacher. I can face the world today because you’ve taught me well.

Former English Language Teacher, MarkJob Grammar School, Abeokuta, Ogun State only as a teacher but also as a mentor and like a caring mother. She was patient and understanding. She taught very well and she had a great ability to carry students along in class with creative ideas. She had a listening ear and a great source of encouragement to all. I loved her and also admired her comportment in and outside the school. She took her job very seriously and the way she dressed, walked and comported herself would make you love her. She was a good role model and I thank God I am not only like her but I have gotten to the peak of my profession. She was a strict and disciplinarian teacher. She neither tolerated laziness nor cheating in examinations. She used to counsel us to be serious, with our studies. You cannot as her student played a prank on her because she was very intelligent.

Mrs. Agbedejobi

She celebrated her 80th birthday anniversary about two (now three) weeks ago here in Lagos. I leant of the programme through a long time friend of

If you can read this, then you have a reason to be grateful. Show your appreciation to your best or favourite teacher in this column. Send us a ‘Thank You’ note, including your full names, current status and the years you were taught by your teacher. You can also send us your current picture plus that of your teacher where possible. Write to the Editor, To My best Teacher Column, National Mirror, P.M.B. 10001, Marina Lagos or e-mail:

National Mirror

Education Today

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Reps move to extend secondary school education TORDUE SALEM ABUJA


ills to prolong the duration for secondary school education and factor in the Almajiri await final reading in the House of Representatives. The Bills, which would be read for the third time on the resumption of the National Assembly before they are passed into law, were thoroughly debated at a public hearing last week. The Acting Chairman of the House Committee on Education, Hon. Rose Okoh, said the two bills, which are undergoing amendment, seek to extend basic education to include the last three years of senior secondary school and to include Almajiri and other forms of education in the basic education programmes. The Chief Whip of the House, Hon. Ishaku Bawa, who represented the Speaker, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal at the hearing, stated that the crux of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) Act 2004, which came into force in 1999 was to ensure uninterrupted access to a nine- year formal education by providing a free and compulsory basic education for every child of school age in the country. According to him, the Federal Government was determined to assist state and local governments, but that could only be realised if the new Almajiri schools were part of the plan. But the Secretary General of the Ni-

gerian Union of Teachers (NUT), Mr. Obong Obong, accused the FG of insincerity in the implementation of free and compulsory education for Nigerian child for a minimum period of nine years in line with the UBEC Act 2004. Mr. Obong made the accusation while making his presentation before the committee on education, during the public hearing on the Amendment of the Act. He cited the Federal Government’s silence over the decision of some state governments to return public schools to missionaries as an example of its unseriousness in the implementation of free education for Nigerian child between primary one and junior secondary school three. Obong further observed that the action of state governments that handed over schools to missionaries could amount to an infringement of the rights of the affected children and their parents to freedom of religion, adding that the exercise was unjustifiable considering the fact that these missions were compensated when their schools were taken over by past military regimes in the 1970s. He further proposed that a clause should be introduced in the proposed amendment bill to prevent states from undermining the implementation of the nation’s free education programme, adding that the new law should also provide punishment for parents, who prevent their children from going to school. Obong also advocated that the Federal

Government should ensure that only professional teachers are recruited in all public schools across the country, that there should be a clause to ensure that employers of quack teachers should be punished, and that additional incentives should be provided for the purpose of attracting qualified personnel to the profession. The NUT scribe further requested that the retirement age of teachers should be raised to 65 years, adding that entry qualification into the teaching profession should be raised too. In his own submission at the occasion Nyesom Wike, the Minister of State for Education stated that the new Act seeks to increase the financial allocation from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the federation to the UBEC from two percent to five percent in order to enable the commission cope with its envisaged increased responsibilities after the bill becomes a law. Throwing more light on the composition of the UBEC Fund, Wike explained that whereas half of the present fund comes from the Federal Government, the other half comes from the 36 state governments. However, he expressed regret that some state Governments across the country have not contributed their own portion of the fund- which ought to enable them collect the Federal Government’s contribution- since 1999. In his own contribution at the public


hearing, Prof Gidado Tahir, a former Executive Secretary of UBEC opposed the suggestion that the law which created the Secondary School Education Commission should be adopted adding that it had been rejected by three past federal administrations. Speaking on the occasion, an educational consultant, Mr. Sylvester Onoja backed the idea of retaining the law which established the Secondary school commission adding that the nation needs to have accredited secondary schools which could present candidates for the West African Schools Certificate Examination and other public examinations in the country.

Why indigenous languages should be encouraged at homes –Proprietress Last Saturday, the management of Carol School, Ikeja, hosted parents of its over 300 student population to a party where issues of child monitoring, career choice and the importance of mother tongues to child development were discussed. MOJEED ALABI reports:


he importance of home to child learning and development cannot obviously be underestimated. As children’s first point of call and where they are expected to spend more hours per day, experts suggest children must be given higher consideration whenever parents’plan their activities. However, due largely to the economic needs in various homes, schools are taking over the responsibilities of parents as children now spend more hours with teachers and their mates; the situation that has been observed to be taking its toll on the children. This is one of the reasons the management of Carol School last Saturday hosted parents to a sumptuous party where salient issues were discussed amidst pomp and pageantry. According to the proprietress of the 27-year-old nursery and primary school, Mrs. Caroline Akintunji, the event, apart from providing the opportunity to celebrate the parents for their

investments in children, it also served the purpose of engaging both parties on issues that border on the development of the pupils. “For instance, we have come to realise the fact that virtually all homes nowadays don’t encourage the use of mother tongues at home again and this does not help these children in schools. So many reasons have been discovered; one is the fact that it does not allow the children to relate whatever they are taught in school to the local environment and does not encourage better appreciation. “Most times too, housekeepers and even some parents speak bad English to these children and they find it difficult to tell the difference between the correct and wrong language. For proper learning and maximum, understanding to take place research has shown that adequate understanding of languages of immediate environment helps a lot,” Akintunji stated.

L-R: Headmistress, Carol School, Ikeja, Lagos, Mrs. Bola Adeaga; Head of Academics, Mrs. Kemi Adebisi; Proprietress, Mrs. Caroline Akintunji; Chairman, Parent/Teacher Association, Dr. Tenny Egwuatu, and the school’s Head of Administration, Mr. Kunle Akinyode, at the school’s get-together party with parents recently.

The proprietor also emphasised the need for pupils to pass through the six years of primary education not only to ensure the completion of the curriculum but to also allow the pupils to mature enough before being admitted to secondary schools. She criticized schools where pupils are drawn from class IV or V to write entrance examinations to secondary schools and blamed government too for what she called loss of sense of

responsibility. “Some schools even boast of not running class VI when the universal basic education law state that six years must be spent in primary schools. We must understand that the societal crisis Nigeria suffers from, are consequences of these basic issues that we neglect. These are things we cannot do outside the shore of the country and that is why our education system continues to suffer setback,” she stated.

The Chairman of the school’s Parent/Teacher Association, Dr. Tenny Egwuatu, who spoke on behalf of the parents enjoined all to create time for their wards and encouraged close monitoring of the students’ school works. The event, which is the first since the school was established, was described by many of the parents as a good platform to close the gap between them and the school.


Education Today

Thursday, October 18, 2012

National Mirror

FG to sanction erring unity schools’ principals IJEOMA EZEIKE ABUJA


eads of unity colleges have provoked the Federal Government to probe further into the activities of principals in the 104 schools over reorganization exercise which sparked off petitions and rejection of promotions. Minister of State for Education, Mr. Nyesom Wike, who invited all the unity college principals to a meeting in Abuja recently expressed his displeasure over some principals being transferred, but rather than resume in their new

schools, they stormed the Ministry of Education with petitions and even resorted to blackmailing directors of the ministry for their transfer. The Federal Government, a month ago, carried out re-organisation exercise in unity schools that led to transfer for which some of the teachers refused to leave their former schools for the new ones. Investigations revealed that some schools have better facilities than the others. Those with better facilities have a yearly budget of between N180 miillion and N270 million, out of which many of them could

only access between 50 and 70 per cent of the amount each year but without much to show for the huge investment on them. “Most of you begin to involve people that introduce all kinds of sentiment. But what sentiment when we are talking about quality of education? Most of you believe that your are born to die in a particular school because of what you benefit from that school. Then what happens to all those posted to the rural areas? Are they also born to die there because they do not have people to fight their cause?” He cited, “People from River state wrote petition

and l said as far as l am concerned the petition does not make sense to me. It means if they were in my position, they will break the rules to help their own people”. He expressed, “I am not happy with most of you who are principals, because of what is going on in the schools. As administrators and managers of schools, we should show good examples, not knowing that at this level we are, we are introducing ethnicity and religion, yet you are supposed to be managers of schools. Wike exasperated, “I prefer not to be a Minister

FCMB boosts charity home school

“I see no reason why as principal you will be transferred to other schools and you begin to do as if there is something more to your being transferred. Some of you think you have a right to a particular school, hence you cannot be moved from that school”. He stated, “I did not know that there is so much benefit that if you are not sent to a particular school, heavens will fall. If you have conscience you want this country to grow and desire to improve the quality of education in this country, l don’t think you would be doing all that.”

King’s College will always go for excellence –Principal


irst City Monument Bank Plc (FCMB) made a cash donation for the infrastructural development of St. Louise Special School, IkotEkpene, Akwa Ibom State. St. Louise Special School is being run as a charity home for the less privileged, especially children with auditory and speech problems by the Daughters of Charity Congregation of the Roman Catholic Mission, Ikot Ekpene Diocese. The school currently has a population of 260 pupils. The Regional Director South-South/South-East of FCMB, Mr. Oliver Opara, who made the donation on behalf of the bank, said the action was in appreciation of the recent award of Officer of the Order of the Niger, OON, by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan on one of its valued customers, Mr. Samuel Inyang, who is also one of the major patrons of the charity home. Opara said: FCMB is particularly impressed with your immense contributions towards the development of St. Louise’s Special School, Ikot Ekpene and your love and care for the children in the home, whom you have always held close to your heart. We are particularly pleased to find this opportunity of supporting the school, as a way of demonstrating the immense gratitude we feel towards the support which you have provided our staff and business.”

than to see these kinds of things happening in my tenure. I can’t stand it. What you are sent to do in the school posted to is for you to contribute to the development of that school and let it be on record that you impacted positively in your time as principal”. “I didn’t know that there are so much attached to the office of principals. I didn’t know the position of principal is lucrative” He said, “I thought we were all suffering as civil servants, but it has now dawned on me that the way you jostle for the position of principal, that there is so much to it”.


T L-R: Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State; Sir Joseph Emabino and Mrs. Betty Ehimen, headmistress, Asoro Primary School during the governor’s unscheduled visit to schools to check the punctuality and attendance of teachers in the state.

Edo sets to enforce UBE programmes BIYI ADEGOROYE


he Edo State Government is set to strictly enforce the compulsory Universal Basic Education (UBE) and has warned that parents and guardians who fail to send their children and wards to school would be prosecuted. Speaking during his onthe-spot assessment of teachers’ attendance and punctuality in schools in Edo North, the state Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, said primary and junior secondary education was compulsory under UBE and parents who fail to take advantage of this free education will face the wrath of the law. He, however, frowned at the negligence of some teachers to their duties, saying the government is ready to wield the big stick by dismissing indolent teachers and hire those ready to work. According to a statement by the Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Peter Okhiria, Oshiom-

hole said: “You are supposed as a matter of character and conviction to come to school on time and ensure you do you work as demanded. But if you are not yet in school by 8.00a.m, how would you monitor your students? We expect you to take the children as yours. One of you told me you took your children to school. You want someone else to teach them. That is good. If you don’t teach the ones under you, why people should teach your own?” he queried. The Governor advised “all of us must recognise

that the future of Edo State is in your hands and that is why we are doing everything possible to rebuild schools and to restore integrity to public schools and I am happy with the response we are getting that people are withdrawing their children from private schools to public schools”. The governor visited such schools as Iyeke Girls Grammar School, Otaru Grammar School and Ekhe Primary School, all in Auchi, Etsako West Local Government area of the state.

he Principal, King’s College, Lagos, Otunba Dele Olapeju, has reassured the Federal Government and the public that the college would continue to give all round- education to its students and make them compete favourably with their peers around the world. The principal gave the assurance while delivering his address at this year’s World Teachers’ Day celebration held in the school recently to commemorate the annual event. He said the daunting challenges before the teachers could not hinder them from achieving their set goals and objectives. According to him, teachers in King’s College are in for excellence and are daily prepared themselves for the challenge of the 21st Century classroom. “That is why the school has chosen ‘retooling for excellence’ as a sub theme of this year’s World Teachers’ Day,” he emphasised.

AOCOED partners two US varsities


he Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED), Otto/Ijanikin, Lagos, has signed a Memoranda of Understanding with universities of Georgia, Athens, and Madison, Wisconsin, both in the United States of America. The agreement is for AOCOED to establish a distant learning degree

programmes affiliated to both universities. The college’s Provost, Mr. Wasiu Bashorun signed the agreement on behalf of the institution when he, alongside the Registrar, Mr. Bola Disu, undertook a practical working visit to the two universities in USA to seal both agreements, which had been pending since four years ago.

A statement made available to National Mirror by the college’s spokesman, Mr. Odunayo Adebowale, said the college was ready to commence the programme so as to give more qualified Nigerians access to university education, especially in the areas of science, vocational and technical studies. Another area, the AO-

Olapeju, who said teachers’ capacity development was critical to the transformational plan of the college, urged the Federal Government not to renege in its drive to improve teachers’ welfare, as well as to make the school more learning and teaching friendly. “We also want the Federal Teaching Service Commission on their part, to always prepare for succession to retired teachers by making the recruitment of qualified teachers into the federal unity colleges an annual affair, because to do otherwise will create a vacuum that will affect the education sector negatively,” he argued. Nevertheless, some old teachers of the school, who have taught for 20 years and above and those who distinguished themselves on the job were given various gift items ranging from Plasma TV sets, refrigerators, to cash. The gifts, said the principal, was in appreciation of their contributions to the school and education at large and as a motivation to others. COED’s leadership explored during the visit, according to Adebowale, is that students of AOCOED International School (AIS) would now have the opportunity of gaining admission into the University of Georgia as undergraduates if interested and qualified. The representatives of the three institutions would meet periodically to review the extent of the implementation of the agreement.

National Mirror

Work for collective interest, Katsina COEASU told JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA


atsina State chapter of the Academic Staff Union of the Federal College of Education, FCE has elected its new leaders with a call on them to work for collective interest of the union, institution and students alike. Speaking at the swearingin event, Provost of the institution, Prof Audu Wasugu, called on them to embrace solution-based unionism where management and union dialogue on issues to provide answers to problems facing the union and institution. Wasugu urged them not to dip their hands into monies belonging to the union, but reminded them that their portfolios may not always be rosy as challenges were bound to come sooner or later. He also called on them to ensure they did not exceed stipulated tenure, as well as to do what was necessary to be above board in their undertakings. In his remark, the National chairman of the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU), Comrade Abba Ibrahim, represented by Mustapha Samaila, commended the union for conducting a free and fair election. Ibrahim, who called on the new officers to justify the confidence reposed in them, however, urged the school’s management to expect constructive criticisms from them that would lead to a better teaching-learning process in the institution. On his part, the new chairman of the union, Zakari Musa, assured that they would do what was possible to promote peace, progress and development of the institution. The school’s lawyer, Mr. Augustine Odoemina, who swore the new executive members, tasked them on being sincere, honest and diligent in the discharge of their duties. Also sworn-in were Abubakar Ibrahim, Vice chairman; Friday Omale, Secretary General; Nasiru Moh’d, Assistant Secretary General and Cordelia Njoku as treasurer. Others include Sani Abdulaziz, Financial Secretary; Aliyu Kofan Sauri, Internal Auditor; Abigail Adetola, Director of Social; and Mansir Usman, who is the union’s public relations officer.

Education Today

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Private schools in Akwa Ibom are exam malpractice centres –Commissioner TONY ANICHEBE UYO


he Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Eunice Thomas, has described as alarming the number of private schools which use their WAEC and NECO centers for large scale examination malpractice. The Commissioner, who was addressing private school owners at the 2012 National Association of Private Schools’ day celebration in Uyo, said govern-

ment would shut down any private school found indulging in such vice henceforth. Mrs. Thomas explained that the decision became necessary following reports that a large number of students who failed WAEC now troop to private schools’ magic centres to rewrite the examination. Explaining that there have been fraudulent practices in registration of WAEC in the state because the names of some candidates who registered in a particular year and

failed, reappeared the following year. Mrs. Thomas maintained that government would implement the new policy in which no candidate who failed the examination will be allowed to register the following year. While encouraging all operators of private schools in the state to ensure that they are registered with appropriate bodies, she maintained that only registered private schools would henceforth benefit from the state

government’s distribution of education materials. In his speech, Mr. Uwem Ekanem, the State President of the National Association of Private Schools (NAPS), said private schools in the state remained committed to transparency in the education sector despite the challenges facing them. He noted that the schools have been engaged in training and retraining of its workforce with the latest technologies in the education sector.

Senator seeks legislation to revamp education sector GEORGE OJI ABUJA


he senator representing Kano Central, Basheer Mohammed, has raised the alarm that unless drastic measures were taken fast to rescue the nation’s education system, the sector may be heading for a total collapse. The lawmaker has proposed a new bill that will discourage public officials from sending their children and wards to schools abroad except for specialisation at post graduate levels or for courses not offered in the country. The bill had come up recently before the Senate and passed second reading. In his lead presentation of the bill, Mohammed put up a spirited defence to justify its final promulgation into law, arguing that when public officers send their children abroad for studies, such officers are sending a signal that something is wrong about the education system at home apart from the huge capital flight that will also involve. Giving some statistics, the lawmaker said the number of Nigerians in UK tertiary institutions alone was over 22,000 with annual expenditure of about N328 billion as at January 2010, the amount he said was well over 60 per cent of the 2012 federal budget allocation to education. The lawmaker stated that if the trend was not checked, the number of Nigerian students in the United Kingdom is ex-

pected to rise to 30,000 by 2015, as well as their remittances. He said at the moment, the number of Nigerian students in the Malaysian public and private institutions was over 5,000, even as the number is also rising in China, Singapore, India and other parts of the world. What was more disturbing, according to the lawmaker, was that a preliminary investigations

showed that in many instances after graduation, children of these public officials rarely return to the country less to talk of contributing own quota to improve the country. Apparently conscious of the opposition, the bill will likely face, particularly as an infringement on the public officials’ fundamental human rights, the lawmaker said it was without prejudice to such rights.

Mohammed described the bill as a patriotic call for sacrifice to restore the confidence to the country’s education sector, while disclosing that such countries as UK and Brazil had adopted similar measures in addressing their peculiar problems in education. He, however, called on his colleagues to support the bill and pass it into law in the interest of the public.

L-R: Ogun State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mr. Segun Odubela handing over keys of the new buses to the Acting Vice Chancellor, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Prof. Saburi Adesanya while the Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Dr. Tunji Abimbola (middle) and others look on.


AUN to join academic integrity group


he American University of Nigeria, Yola, Anambra State, is set to join the International Center for Academic Integrity (ICAI), an organisation created to combat cheating, plagiarism, and academic dishonesty in higher education in the world. The group with dozens of members from 17 countries around the world is known, among others, for its cultivation of cultures of integrity in academic communities worldwide. A statement by AUN’s spokesman, Dr. Abubakar Tahir, said the university’s Associate Vice President, Institutional Planning, Assessment and Research, Ms. Gina Cinali, would officially announced the school membership at November ICAI’s annual conference holding at Princeton University, where she will present a paper on plagiarism in democratic societies. According to him, ICAI provides resources for faculty, students, and administrators at universities, high schools, and all institutions of learning that care about honesty, integrity, trust, respect, and responsibility, as well as information on what academic dishonesty is and how faculty and students can adhere to honest practices. “Academic integrity breach is rampant around the world and it is not that people are bad, they only need to be educated on what constitutes good academic practices,” Cinali stressed.

Ogun donates buses to OOU students


he Ogun State Government has donated two brand new luxury buses to the students of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, to ease their transportation challenges to and from the campus. The State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mr. Segun Odubela,, who announced the donation and handed the keys over to beneficiaries on behalf of the state government

at the university convocation ceremony recently, said the gesture was a demonstration of Amosun’s-led administration’s commitment to help the students and reposition the educational sector in the state. Odubela implored the students to reciprocate government’s gesture by being alive to their responsibilities, rededicate themselves to the primary objectives of acquiring university education

and be peaceful whenever they are agitating for the provision of welfare packages. He reiterated that the state government remained committed to providing affordable and qualitative education from primary to tertiary levels to the people of the state. Expressing appreciation to the government on behalf of the entire students of the university, the Students’ Union

president, Mr. Omojola Ayokunle, described the gesture as a great relief, assuring the government of making good use of the vehicles. Earlier in his remarks, the Acting Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Saburi Adesanya, thanked the government for the donation, and promised that the students would reciprocate the gesture by improving on their studies and being peaceful at all times.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

National Mirror


UK, ‘safest place’ to study-Research


tudents around the world perceive the United Kingdom as the safest place to study, an international survey has found – and Israel is seen as the least safe destination country. The multicultural nature of British society was the main reason cited for its ‘safe’ reputation. Students from over 80 countries responded to a survey conducted by the British Council, published in a just-released Student Insight report, The Rise in Global Student Safety Concerns. Additional material was provided from a poll of some 845 students by the online student forum, The Student Room, and it found that Britain, Canada, Germany and New Zealand were perceived as safe. But there is considerable ambivalence about the United States, which was seen as both one of the safest and one of the least safe destinations. Almost 40% of those who considered Britain the safest place to study cited the country’s “very multicultural society” as by far the most significant reason for their opinion. Strict gun ownership laws, good medical care, and a relatively low crime rate also contributed to the UK’s highly safe status. Elizabeth Shephard, research director for the British Council’s Education Intelligence team, said that while the UK had not been immune to threats against students, “its reputation as a safe study destination has not been tarnished, thanks to immediate and sensitive handling of any incidents. “It is seen as a country where high priority is given to protecting personal safety.” Over a quarter of respondents placed Britain top in the safety ratings, with Canada (15%) second, followed by the United States, Germany and New Zealand. NonUK students ranked Singapore and Germany in fourth and fifth place respectively.

Uganda: Recruit more, teachers’ demand of govt


he teachers, through their umbrella Uganda National Teachers Union, are demanding that government allocates 20 per cent of the national budget to education sector if quality public education is to be achieved. They also want more 20, 000 teachers recruited to reduce on the high teacherpupil ration which goes up to 200 in some districts. Ms Margaret Rwabushaija, UNATU chairperson yesterday said while the government

has achieved on access through the universal education programmes at both primary and secondary levels, a lot is still needed to improve the welfare of a teacher as a centre of quality education. There are many gaps. We need more teachers and it’s only the teachers’ section where the government can’t find money to increase their salary. We have a gap and if not filled we will have a generation gap where we will improvise teachers without

skills,” Ms Rwabushaija said yesterday as they marked World Teachers day. Adding: “The government should stop cutting on the budget because they will put permanent scars that will not go away.” Busoga Region head teachers Association chairman, Mr Charles Kaziba said unless teachers get together to fight for common problems and share development issues, they will continue to cry and be disregarded. “Teachers have kept

schools running despite unpaid salaries, and frustrations and should be recognized with gazetting of this day as a Public Holiday,” Mr Kaziba advocated. Through the Citizens’ Action for quality public education forum, Rev Fr Silvester Arinaitwe, executive secretary said that it is disheartening that besides access, there is little to celebrate about children’s future given the poor completion rate and poor quality for the few who make it through the

primary cycle. “Despite the enormous resources injected in education and the numerous education policy reforms, our children are in school but they are not learning. There are many people graduating without the and skills for today’s job market. We want government to allocate a minimum of 20 per cent of national budget to education,” said Fr Arinaitwe in Kampala. Daily Monitor

Parents, not schools boost exam success, study suggests


upportive parents do more than good schools to boost children’s exam results, a study suggests. Parents who help with homework and attend school events can outweigh the effect of weak schools, according to researchers in America. The team analysed data on more than 10,000 teenagers across the US. Co-author, Dr. Toby Parcel, of North Carolina State University, said: “Our study shows that parents need to be aware of how important they are.” Dr. Parcel, a professor of sociology, said parents

“should invest time in their children, checking homework, attending school events and letting kids know school is important. That’s where the payoff is.” The researchers found that pupils whose families were supportive of their education and involved in school life but attended weaker schools performed better academically than students who attended effective schools but whose families were disengaged. “In other words, while both school and family involvement are important, the role of family involve-

ment is stronger when it comes to academic success,” explained Dr Parcel. The researchers say children gain benefits social capital - from both school and their family relationships. They set out to define which was more important in boosting children’s exam results, analysing data on 10,585 teenagers from 1,000 randomly selected secondary schools collated by the US National Longitudinal Educational Study. The data includes information on schools’

achievement scores, parents’ involvement in homework and school events and students’ exam results. The researchers defined the most important factors in the relationship between parents and children as trust, good communication and active engagement in a child’s academic life. They also defined effective schools as those with the ability to serve as a positive environment for learning, involving students in extra-curricular activities, strong teacher morale and

the ability of teachers to address the needs of individual students. The researchers say their findings suggest that government social policy should focus on improving parenting skills rather than focusing solely on “fixing schools”. “Although investment in school social capital may be beneficial, our results suggest that investment in family social capital would reap greater returns.” BBC

Costa Rica: Thousand students protest law review


housands of students participated in a march in San José, Costa Rica, last week, protesting for their right to photocopy textbooks for educational purposes. The unrest was caused by President Chinchilla vetoing Bill 17342 (known as the ‘Photocopying Law’) which seeks to amend Law No 8039 on Procedures for Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights, on the grounds that it removes protection of the work and intellectual property

in the artistic, literary and technological areas. Supporters of the march and the Photocopying Law point out that her decision was influenced by pressure from publishers whose business is selling highly priced books. This is why the supporters consider it necessary to ensure the democratisation of education and knowledge through the legalisation of the use of photocopies for educational purposes.

Students protesting the veto of Photocopying Law. Photo by Diego Molina Moreira.

Supportive parents are key to good exam results, says a new study.

UAE establishes specialised Islamic varsity


he United Arab Emirates has granted the land for and offered to bear all expenses related to the construction of the Islamic Virtual University, which aims to expand education and research cooperation in the Islamic world, produce and disseminate teaching knowledge, and promote higher education quality, internet access and e-infrastructure. Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Su-

preme Council member and ruler of Sharjah, has offered a 1,000-square-metre plot in Sharjah’s University City to the Islamic Virtual University, which will be built at his expense. Gulf News reported that this was announced by Mohammad Esmail Mohammad, deputy director of finance and administration at the University of Sharjah, during a meeting of technical experts at the International Islamic

Charity Organisation headquarters in Kuwait. Proposed by the Iranbased Azad Islamic University and supervised by the Federation of the Universities of the Islamic World (FUIW), the Islamic Virtual University will offer degrees in science and technology through partnerships between federation members and other leading universities. World University News

National Mirror


Thursday, October 18, 2012

LASU students appreciate Fashola, VC with Mojeed Alabi or



he pioneer students of the School of Transport of the Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, on Tuesday showered praises on the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola and the institution’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Oladapo Obafunwa in appreciation of their sponsored trip to the United States of America on excursion. The 21 students of the five-year-old transport school were in the US to attend the 2012 edition of the annual conference of the

American Public Transportation Association, held between Sunday, September 30 and Wednesday, October 3. The students, who were inspired by their brief experience in the US, thanked the governor for offering them the opportunity and the VC, for his trust and belief in them. According to the leader of the team, Aniebwe Edwin, who on behalf of his colleagues presented a gift of card to the VC, said the brief training and practical experience they gained while in the US would help them in their aspiration to reform transportation

President, Lagos State University Transport Students’ Association, Aniebwe Edwin presenting gift to the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Oladapo Obafunwa, during the reception.

business in Nigeria. “We have gone and we are back but I can tell you that we were the only set of students offered such op-

EKSU crisis: Students must pay damages, varsity insists MOJEED ALABI


he Management of Ekiti State University, (EKSU), Ado-Ekiti, has insisted that all students of the university must pay the sum of N10,500 each as damages following the violent protest in the institution when several

properties were vandalized. In its response to the threats by some students that the fee is exploitative, and that no students would be allowed to make such payment, the university authority has directed that the money must be paid on or before Friday, October 19. The reparation fee is

one of the conditions the students must meet as a result of the crisis. A statement from the university explained that its Senate would later decide on the resumption date while urging students to shun any information or rumours being circulated in the social media to the contrary.

Abia community donates land to NOUN TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE


he Ekeoba kingdom in Umuahia, Abia State, has donated some acres of land to the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) to build its permanent study centre in the state. The traditional ruler of the community, Eze Iheanyi Nwokenna, presented the large expanse of land on behalf of the community to the leadership of the university, including the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ado Tenebe and his deputy in charge of academics, Prof. Mba Okoronkwo, who visited the site, recently. While handing over all the documents in relations to the land including ‘C of O’ to the university, the monarch said the donation was part of the community’s contributions to NOUN and the education development in the state and the country at large. Expressing appreciation on behalf of the university, Tenebe said the gesture was a demonstra-

tion of the community’s love for education and the economic development. A statement by the university’s spokesperson, Dr. Ronke Ogunmakin, said the university would

commence the building project on the site as soon as resources are available, noting that the temporary and current study centre of the university in the state is in Umudike.

portunity at the conference. We saw how the American society manages their public transport system right from the time we touched

down at the Atlanta Airport. We could tell you that we saw orderliness and proper public transport management system. It is

possible here too and we promise we will be part of that change,” Edwin said. The VC, who was delighted at the development, congratulated them for being part of the future plan of the Lagos State Government to reform public transportation in the city. “The future of good transportation system in Nigeria is in Lagos State and the drivers of that future are these students who we are currently investing on,” Obafunwa said. He enjoined them to make good use of their exposure in their practical activities in the field and tasked them to begin to think of the unique ways they can help to ease traffic logjam in Lagos.



tudents of the Federal University of Technology (FUTMINNA), Niger State, have added their voice to the importance of Information Communication Technology (ICT) to the nation’s socio-economic development. This was made known recently when the university’s chapter of the Nigeria Universities Engineering Students’ Association (NUESA), deployed the use of ICT to the conduct of the election of the association’s leadership for the 2012/2013 academic

session. The students numbering over 1,000 were able to exercise their voting right within a short period of time; the achievement they credited to the use of computers. One of the observers who prefers anonymity, said unlike in the past, when students would have to stay at the polling station for longer time for accreditation and voting, “this year’s election was not only peaceful but also very fast and devoid of manipulation.” At the end of the exercise, a 300 level student of the Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Kadiri

Berki was elected as president while a 200 level Ihejirika Vivian became the vice-president. Other elected officials include Ibrahim Isiaka (General Secretary); Ogunnubi Femi (Financial Secretary); Olaitan Taiwo (Treasurer); Olanipekun Adeola (Assistant Secretary); Mustapha Sherif (Director of Projects); Nwodoh Emeka (Director of Socials), among others. The president-elect, who thanked everyone for taking part in the electoral processes promised transparency and accountability in all the association’s activities during his tenure.

Decade after: UNN set to run normal academic calendar CAROLINE CHUKWUKA

A Director of Study Centre, National Open University of Nigeria, Umudike, Abia State, Mrs. Christiana Iwu, explaining a point to the institution’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ado Tenebe (middle) and others at the site of the parcel of land donated to the university.

Fashola to chair public lecture today


overnor Babatunde Fashola is billed to chair the 2012 edition of annual public lecture of the City Club, Lagos, which holds today in Surulere. The guest lecturer, Prof. Adele Jinadu, is a renowned scholar and former lecturer at the Department of Political Science, University of Lagos, Akoka. He will speak on

the theme: Governance and development: Whither Nigeria? The club’s annual public lecture is organised as part of its corporate social responsibility aimed at sensitising members of the public on national topical issues. Dignitaries from public and private sectors including captains of industries are expected to attend the lecture.

fter 10 years of disrupted academic calendar system at the nation’s pioneer fullfledged university- University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, the institution’s authority is happy that students are returning to school to begin the 2012/2013 academic session at the stipulated time. Fresh and existing students of the university resumed on Thursday, September 27, and Thursday, October 4 respectively marking a return to normal school calendar. The university, which clocked 52 years on October 7, had experienced periods

of truncated academic calendars caused by a number of environmental factors including strikes by academic and non-academic staff, as well as the occasional student disturbances.

However, the ivory tower’s Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Bartho Okolo, has expressed his joy at the new feat achieved, saying; “We have worked hard to get to this point.”


Thursday, October 18, 2012


HE NATION ON SUNDAY Front Page Banner and inside pages of October 14 failed copiously to defend our lexical freedom: “Confusion at Northern leaders (leaders’) summit over secession call” “Governor Okorocha at the occasion restated his vow to put Imo in the map of the fastest developing states by executing only people-oriented programmes.” My comment: on the occasion. “A university certificate given by all universities are (is) for two reasons: academic performance and character, but how many universities in Nigeria can talk about character?’ “Fashion faux paus” Nation sport style: faux pas “With 17 editions on the tow (toe), he speaks with….” Lastly from THE NATION ON SUNDAY: “Oyin Adenuga’s past time” Glamour: pastime. There is no such concoction as ‘past time’! “UN report accuses Gbagbo of enlisting Islamists fighters” (DAILY SUN, October 10) Voice of The Nation: Islamist fighters Nigerian TRIBUNE of 2 August circulated four major blunders: “President Jonathan had always seized (taken) every opportuned (opportune) moment….” “…had while being screened by the Senate as a ministerial nominee passed a vote of no confidence on (in) the nation’s two major anticorruption agencies….” Lastly from Oke-Ado, Ibadan: “It is such a wonderful innovation that it is surprising that it never occured to anybody until

National Mirror

‘Past time’ indicates illiteracy

now.” Spell-check: occurred. “TASUED alumni tasks Amosun on cult group” (DAILY INDEPENDENT Headline, August 1) Is it that most journalists do not read these days that juvenile errors keep recurring? Alumni association tasks, but alumni (plural) task. “New SANs to be sworn-in (sworn in) September 19” (Nigerian Compass Headline, August 1) “Independence of the press: From whom and for what?” (THE PUNCH, July 31) Get it right: From whom and what for (not ‘for what?’) “If you are one, who ordinarily shy (shies) away from challenges, then don’t bother meeting her.” (Source: as above) The subject-predicate dislocation here is preposterous. “Many women ruin their homes by keeping tabs on their hubby” Emotional plurality: hubbies. “This, I believe, has been and should be the burning issues (sic) in the state.” (Nigerian Compass, July 30) “Bank asks court to windup oil firm” (Source: as above) Right: wind up. “Curbing the increasing menace of destitutes on the streets” Simply the destitute (not destitutes). “NCC arrests 13 in Benue over piracy” (National Mirror Headline, July 30) I will arrest my Marina colleagues shortly for lexical insensitivity. “Workers resume strike again”



KEEP RECURRING? Let us jettison ‘again’ from that headline to foreclose any industrial action. ‘Resumption’ cannot co-function with ‘again’. “Islamic banking will breakup Nigeria” (DAILY CHAMPION Back Page Headline, July 29) Yet on this vexatious matter: phrasal verbs abhor hyphenation! So, break up the phrase. “The 2012 World Investment Report has indicated that Nigeria is presently enjoying FDI inflow….” (Nigerian Tribune Business, July 29) I do not understand this obsession with the inclusion of ‘currently’ and ‘presently’ in sentences that have structural currency encapsulated in ‘is’— and ‘enjoying’—in this instance. Therefore, Nigeria is enjoying…. “The deployment of soldiers to serve in the Joint Task Force constituted to restore order in the beleaguered state….” The JTF and Boko Haram: restore order to (not in). “Why we deploy soldiers to Port Harcourt—Amaechi” The governor deploys soldiers in (not to) Port Harcourt. Still on National Mirror: “… gathered to pay their last respect (respects) to legal icon….”

“The three gentlemen were obviously having a great time walking almost hand in hand, trading banters over the unfolding drama among humans back on earth.” ‘Banter’ is uncountable. “It looks like the IMF is demanding for conditions likely to slow down the pace and the exercise.” Yank off ‘for’. When used as a verb, ‘demand’ does not take ‘for’, except in the noun form. “Lagos commissioners sworn-in (sworn in)” “Every decision of government is subjected to the magnifying lenses of interest groups that invariably include ethnic and geopolitical gladiators and champions of all manners (manner) of group interests.” “The efforts of the police command in identifying the dangerous areas and in alerting the residents is (are) acknowledged.” “The damages and loss of lives to NATO and Yugoslavia were unnecessary.” ‘Damage’ in this context is uncountable. “An agenda similar to that of Murtala/Obasanjo regime was hurriedly packaged to cleanse the civil service in order to enhance performance and inculcate discipline into (in) our national life.” “Nigeria and the international community has (have) just celebrated this year’s World Literacy Day.” “Secondly, it’s (its) legal duty to advise on the....” “They have not yet established the full processes of their interaction in the chamber too, and the

formality of procedures are now still (is still) being developed.” “The German African Project which was conceived as a cultural milieu between the two countries….” A review: between the countries, preferably. “I wish the politicians, especially the elected ones, should feel the pause (pulse) of the people….” “Part of this quality sense concerns the debate on how best to eat a dish, with cutleries or with the ten fingers.” Would it have been nine fingers? ‘Cutlery’ is uncountable. “There has (have) been electoral programmes before, so what is different with this one.” “David Mark yesterday in Abuja assured that the constitution would be ready for promulgation next week.” Who did he assure? “I am a product of a system which allowed a poor farmercum-fisherman’s son to go through the very best schools…..” ‘Best’ has reached the end-point of intensification and cannot be inflected (by adding ‘very’). It is an absolutely superlative word. “During the heydays of Christian missionary activity in the southern parts of Nigeria, communities were actively involved in building schools.” Thoughts on education: ‘heyday’ is uncountable. Please, note that the bracketed words in this column are the correct forms of expression. Other things in parenthesis, too, are either explanations or attributions.

Man bags six years imprisonment for duping prospective undergraduates IJEOMA EZEIKE ABUJA


n Upper Area Court in Keffi, Nasarawa State, has sentenced

a man, John Francis to five and half years’ imprisonment for impersonation, forgery and cheating. The judge, Ali Changbo, sentenced Francis to

L-R: Mrs. Justina Adomokhai, Mrs. Angela Akhimien, Mrs. Cecillia Abu, all of Unilever Supply Chain, Oregun, Lagos, teaching students of St Agnes Primary School, Yaba, Lagos, hand washing techniques during the Lifebuoy Schools’ Engagement Initiative in Lagos.

three years for forgery, two years for impersonation and six months for cheating. Changbo, who ordered that the prison terms took effect from February 23, 2012 also ordered him to pay compensation to each of the victims as contained in the charges against him. The Prosecutor, Philemon Yusuf, said the convict had presented himself as a staff of the Nasarawa State University, Keffi and sold fake admission forms and issued admission letters to unsuspecting prospective students. He added that the offence was contrary to Sections 179, 364 and 324 of

the Penal Code. The counsel to the National Universities’ Commission, Mr. Aaron Zamani, told the court that the convict also claimed

to be a Director of Research in the NUC and operated an illegal institution called, Middle Belt University in Otupko. He added that the con-

vict had also jumped bail in previous cases at the Chief Magistrate’s Court, Otukpo and Gudu High Court in Abuja for similar offences.

ABU donates to Kogi flood victims ADEMU IDAKWO LOKOJA


he Ahmadu Bello University Foundation, Zaria, has joined the league of donors as it presented 480 mattresses, 800 wrappers for men and women, 400 cartons of noodles, among other items, to the flood victims in Kogi State. The leader of the delegation and chairman

Advisory Council of the foundation, Justice Mamman Nasir, said they were in the state to show love to the people of kogi State over the devastating flood. He said, “Judging from the level of destructions that they have seen, the people of Kogi certainly need the assistance and goodwill of fellow Nigerians to overcome the challenge”. Justice Nasir noted

that the foundation was formed primarily to foster unity in the north and the entire country He, however, called on other northern governors to emulate Kogi State Government by honouring their pledges to the foundation to enable it carry out its assignments effectively, noting that the problem in Kogi State should concern the entire northern states for solution.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Deepwater fears no foes –Erinfolami

National Mirror



The last few months without football have shown me that it is time to stop. At 36, I think I’m done - Germany midfielder, Michael Ballack


CCL: Sunshine Stars still hopeful –Ahly’s manager EVEREST ONYEWUCHI


he manager of Al Ahly Football Club, Houssam El Badry, has admitted that Sunshine Stars still have hope of qualifying for the final of this year’s CAF Champions League when the two teams clash on Sunday in the second leg semi-final match. The Akure-based Nigerian representatives flopped at home a fortnight ago and forced the visiting Egypt six-time champions to a 3-3 draw at the Ijebu Ode Stadium. So the aggregate winner in Sunday’s cracker that will be played behind closed doors at the newly opened June 30 Stadium in Cairo’s suburb, will go through to the final, to face either Esperance of Tunisia or TP Mazembe of the DR Congo. Speaking with CAFOnline. com yesterday, El Badry also admitted that the encounter would be difficult for both teams. “It’s a crucial game because the aggregate winner marches into the final, so with so much at stake, it is not going to be easy for both teams but one thing guaranteed is that it will be a battle. The game is going to be a tough one, and we’ll do our best to win,” he said. Although he bemoaned the injury copped by three of his first team players, the Ahly boss, however explained that he has replacements to prosecute the tie. “Our first choice left back Sayed Moawad is injured and unavailable. Also Waleed Suleiman and Ousso Konan are doubtful for the match. Wael Gomaa picked up an injury during a friendly but fortunately he will not be sidelined. “We have replacements like Ahmed Shedid who can cover for Moawad on the left side .We also have Emad Meataeb and Sherif Abdel Fadeel fit again which is good news for the team,” he said. Asked what challenges he expects from the Nigerians in this cracker, El Badry said, “Sunshine Stars are a tough team and they are not an easy team to play against. They haven’t lost

NFF awaits 3 Supersand Eagles


nly three of the invited 18 players are yet to report to the Supersand Eagles’ training camp in Badagry, Lagos, for the Eight-Nation Samsung Beach Soccer International Cup tournament in Dubai later this month. The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) disclosed this yesterday in a statement in which it confirmed Nigeria’s participation in the competition holding from October 30 – November 3 in the UAE. NFF spokesman, Ademola Olajire, said in the statement that Abdul Haruna who recently lost his father in-law, Bartholomew Ibenegbu down with typhoid fever and Ogbonnaya Okemiri who was excused to attend a screening exercise with Akwa United were the trio yet to hit camp. The participating teams expected to arrive in Dubai on

Sunday, October 28 have been drawn into two groups of four teams each, with UAE, Russia, Tahiti and USA in Group A and Nigeria, Brazil, Japan and Switzerland in Group B. The Supersand Eagles under the watchful eyes of Coach Adamu Audu Ejo, now trains twice a day after maintaining once-a-day training for the past few days. Nigeria reached the quarter-finals at last year’s FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Ravenna, Italy and won the Four-Nation Invitational Tournament held in Lagos, styled COPA Lagos, in December 2011, mauling four-time world champions Brazil, England and South Africa on their way to glory. The tournament in Dubai is expected to put the Nigeria team in great shape for the defence of their title at this year’s COPA Lagos, set for December 14 - 16.

Rufai discharged, takes rest IKENWA NNABUOGOR

F Sunshine Stars’ captain, Godfrey Oboabona, in his own world

hope yet and they will fight to the end. I expect them to attack from the start as draw is not in their favour, so we’ll keep an eye on our defence while we try to score early and put the game beyond them.”

Sunshine will have the services of their captain and Super Eagles defender, Godfrey Oboabona, who did not play the first leg, having been suspended by CAF for mandatory two yellow card bookings.

ormer Super Eagles’ goalkeeper, Peter Rufai, has been discharged from hospital and is now taking a rest at his Surulere, Lagos residence. Rufai was discharged late Tuesday night after he was treated for stress. He was rushed to the hospital after slumping at his office on Monday night. His younger brother, Bruce, who has been on his bed side since he was admitted at the Toki Hospital, Surulere, told National Mirror

Eagles resume camp Nov. 4


ome-based Super Eagles are expected to resume training camp in Abuja on November 4, officials have disclosed. The camp is preparatory to the senior national team’s friendly match against Venezuela in Miami, Florida, United States of America fixed for November 14. Officials also informed that the Eagles call-ups from abroad will join up directly with the rest of the squad in Miami. This will be one of several warm-up matches planned for the Eagles ahead

of next year’s Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa. In the meantime, the country’s team to the African Women’s Championship (AWC) in Equatorial Guinea will leave for a training camp in Ghana today. Super Falcons are the defending champions. They are drawn in Group B along with Cameroun, Ethiopia and Cote d’Ivoire. The AWC kicks off on October 28 with the Falcons beginning their title defence the following day against the Lionesses of Cameroun.

Stephen Keshi

that the former Spain-based goalkeeper had been in stable condition. “He’s been advised by the doctors to remain indoors and observe a house rest for as long as possible,” he continued. “As I speak to you now, he’s responding well and in good condition. His blood pressure was high when he was rushed to the hospital, but it has now come down to the barest minimal. “He’s better now and very soon, he will be in perfect condition to carry out his daily activities. I’m happy for his quick recovery.”



Thursday, October 18, 2012

National Mirror

Low stunned, del Bosque blames injuries


ermany Coach, Joachim Low, yesterday revealed the team’s dressing room was stunned to silence by Sweden’s recovery to snatch a 4-4 draw despite trailing 4-0 in the 2014 World Cup qualifying match at Berlin’s Olympiastadion on Tuesday. Miroslav Klose moved closer to becoming Germany’s all-time top goalscorer with a double early on before Per Mertesacker added a third for the hosts before half time. Once Mesut Ozil made it 4-0 early in the second half, Germany’s 14th consecutive win in qualifying competitions seemed to be in the bank. However, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Mikael Lustig got the comeback under way in the 62nd and 64th minutes before Johan Elmander brought them back to within a goal with 14 minutes left to play. The stage was then set for Rasmus Elm to grab an equaliser in the third minute of stoppage time to earn Sweden a precious draw to leave Low and his team lost for words. “It is hard to explain how we could throw away such an advantage. To throw away a 4-0 lead is normally impossible. I am shocked. I have never experienced anything like it. Everybody in the dressing room was stunned to silence and we were speechless,” a bemused Low said. Meanwhile, Spain Coach Vicente del Bosque believes that injuries early in


Joachim Low

each half to David Silva and Alvaro Arbeloa proved crucial as the World and European champion conceded in stoppage time to drop two points at home to France in their 2014 World Cup qualifier on Tuesday in Madrid. “The injuries were an immediate misfortune because it prevented us from managing the changes,” Del Bosque said yesterday. The result put both sides tied at the top of Group I with seven points from three games, but Del Bosque refuted the suggestion that the group will be decided when the two meet again in Paris in March.


Mario Balotelli


anchester City striker, Mario Balotelli, admits he’s upset with comments from Football Director, Brian Marwood. Last week, Marwood said Balotelli “does not set a good example.” “I don’t want to talk about this and I don’t give a damn what he said,” Balotelli said yesterday. “Do I earn too much to come to Milan? I don’t know. Right now I am at Manchester, even if certain people for some rea-

son like to say things to the papers and not to my face. I am happy in Manchester and get on well with my teammates. “Everyone tries to put some sort of problem between us, but I get along very well with Roberto Mancini. He cares for me and I care for him. “I feel very important for this Nazionale, but we all do. If we want to do well in the World Cup then we have to feel like a team. Am I happy with my life? Very happy.”


Barcelona m fielder, Alex Son has admitted th former France, Real Madrid an Chelsea star Cl his role model. “Makelele pla and was one of said yesterday. “I got to chat gave me some pleased me. It w ence to get to m have tried to ap Cameroon inter

Madrid targets Hernandez

Balotelli upbraids City chief

Tit Bits

Johan Djourou

eal Madrid is eyeing Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez, according to reports. Real President, Florentino Perez, is a big fan of Chicharito and was frustrated when United beat the club to his signature while he was coming through at Chivas. Perez knows signing a Mexican star would be a huge money spinner for Real and has been encouraged by the player’s battle for regular first team action at United this season. Madrid sources say should Real make a serious move for Chicharito, United boss Sir Alex Ferguson could demand Sergio Ramos in part exchange.

Djourou to quit Emirates


he agent of Arsenal defender, Johan Djourou, Flavio Ferraria, has admitted that the player may seek a loan departure in January. The Switzerland international has struggled for first team action this season. “Djourou is a professional, at Arsenal he’s playing a little but hopes to play more,” Ferraria said yesterday. “In January we will learn if the Gunners want to keep him or loan him. My client has played two matches in the League Cup, but I have understood it was a technical choice. “He is happy, maybe in a week he will play as a starter for Arsenal.”


Arsenal Manager, Arsene Wenger, has call on AC Milan to stick with coach Massimiliano Alle “The fact that t going well is ther see,” Wenger sa “When top pla Silva and Zlatan it is normal for th cess to take time added.


Inter Milan striker, Antonio Cassano, has revealed Juven tus had three chances to sig career. Cassano say with his move controversially August. “I have rejec three times. Th soldiers who s straight and I a often goes off sano said yest


Nani nears Milan switch


atest reports have suggested that AC Milan has opened talks with the management team of Manchester United winger Nani. According to the reports, Milan has made contact with Nani’s agent Jorge Mendes with a view to making an offer in the summer. The Portugal international is at odds with Red Devils’ manager Sir Alex Ferguson over new contract talks and also clashed with young teammate Davide Petrucci at the club’s Carrington base last week.

Real Madrid midfielder, Mesu Ozil, is taken aback by the aggression of th Spanish media, some of the crit “too personal”. “In Spain, the insults and I do have to step into people,” the Ge tional said. “But I do not fected by what i problem with jo

Javier Hernandez

Turkish side Fenerbahce is keen to lure unsettled Andr Santos back from Arsenal. The Brazilian to make an im arrival in Lond be open to a re bul. “I’d like to st love Istanbul a of respect for F Santos Tweete dicating his rea talks with his fo

National Mirror


Thursday, October 18, 2012

NPL: Kwara hires more coaches


idng, hat


he board of Kwara United Football Club has appointed coaches to work with the newly unveiled Technical Adviser, Samson Unuanel, for the upcoming new season. In a statement on Monday, the Kwara United’s management said that Aliyu Zubair would be the Chief Coach of the side for the upcoming 2012/2013 NPL season. Zubair will be assisted by Jimoh Balogun, while Badmus Rasheed and Abdulkadir Shuaib become physical trainer and goalkeeper trainer respectively. An official of the llorin-based side, Olayioye Ajide, said the coaches were appointed based on their individual wealth of experience on the job and that the appointments took effect from Monday. “The coaches were considered in respect of their experience and qualifications as well as their close knowledge of the club. It’s on record that Coach Aliyu Zubair served as chief coach in the last league season, Coach Badmus Rasheed handled Kwara United some seasons ago, Shuaib was goalkeeper trainer in the gone season and Balogun was a coach at Kwara Football Academy,” Ajide explained.

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with him and he advice which was a great experimeet him and I pply his advice,” the rnational added.


he saying he finds icism against him

ere’s sometimes not like this. You o the shoes of ermany interna-

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egri. things are not re for everyone to aid yesterday. ayers like Thiago Ibrahimovic leave, he re-building proe,” the Frenchman



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tate clearly I and have a lot Fenerbahce,” ed yesterday, inadiness to enter ormer club.


Nominee, Ike Uche

Sports Awards: 2012 nominees emerge AFOLABI GAMBARI


ominees have emerged for the maiden edition of the Nigerian Sports Award organised by Unmissable Incentive Limited in partnership with Mastersports International. The list of the nominees was released by Unmissable Incentives at a Press briefing held on Tuesday, at the Protea Hotel, Maryland, Lagos. According to the General Manager, Unmissable Incentive, Mr. Kayode Idowu, 15 categories of the award have been approved by the panel for the event after the nomination process which held between July 19 and September 28. “The categories include Team of the Year Award, Footballer of the Year Award (Male), Footballer of the Year Award (Female), Ball sports Person of the Year Award, Special Sports Person of the Year Award, Sport Man of the year Award, Sport Woman of the Year Award, Administrator of the Year Award, Lifetime Achievement in Sports Award, Sports Journalist of the Year Award (Print), Sports Journalist of the Year Award (Electronics),” Idowu said. “The Falconets, D’ Tigers and Heartland FC are the teams nominated for the Team of the Year Award while Chief Coach of Falconets, Okon Edwin, Power Lifting Head Coach, Feyisetan Are, and Head Coach of the D’Tigers, Ayodele Bakare, are in contention for the Coach of the Year Award,” the general manager said. John Mikel Obi, Osaze Odemwingie and Ikechukwu Uche will battle for the Best Footballer of the Year Award (male” while Francisca Ordega, Perpetual Nwokwocha and Desire Oparanozie will compete in the female category. Obi will, however, battle Osaze Odemwingie and paralympic hero Yakubu Adesokan for Sportsman of the Year Award. Meanwhile, Chairman of the award panel, Mr. Ikeddy Isiguzo, has explained that the public would be allowed to vote in the team of the year, sports man of the year and sports woman of the

year categories while other categories would be decided by the panel. “The public vote will only account for 60 per cent of the judging criteria while 40 per cent mark would be decided by the panel,” Isiguzo said.

Uwua joins Tornadoes


odwin Koko Uwua has been named Technical Adviser of Nigeria National League (NNL) side, Niger Tornadoes. Uwua, a former Flying Eagles coach who bagged a two-year contract and a strict mandate to return the side to the Premier League and upon return win a continental ticket, was ratified on Tuesday by the Abdullahi Abdul-Paiko led management board alongside assistant coach, Abimbola Samuel and goalkeeper trainer, Atuga Mohammed. The Minna-based side lost their elite league status at the end of 2011/2012 season.

Mangut eyes coaching career IKENWA NNABUOGOR


ormer Sharks and Heartland midfielder, Mbwas Mangut, who retired from active playing career recently, is currently pursuing a coaching badge at the National Institute for Sports, Lagos. National Mirror learnt that the Jos-born striker is studying for a short course after which he will be awarded with a coaching certificate. Mangut remains the one and only Nigerian to play in Colombia before a recurring knee injury terminated his glittering career and had featured in the lucrative Saudi Arabian league, making a brief mark in the I-League in India as well. Nicknamed ‘English player’ by fans, Mangut insisted that he had a fulfilling career before opting for coaching.

Mbwas Mangut (l) with a team mate in the I-League

“It’s sad that injury never allowed me to get to the height I wanted to but I’m still involved in the game,” Mangut told National Mirror. “I believe it’s now time to fish out young talents and groom them to prominence and that’s why I came to the NIS. This is just the beginning of my journey into coaching,” he added, stressing, “Talents abound everywhere in Nigeria and I want to prove something with my knowledge of the game.” The vastly experienced player, who said he garnered useful tips in Colombia and Saudi Arabia, submitted: “I feel better equipped now than ever.” Mbwas became a hot property in the local scene with breathtaking displays for Sharks in the mid90s before his search for greener pasture took him to Colombia.



Thursday, October 18, 2012

National Mirror

SLAMMING AND E-mail: Phone: 08027536696



Deepwater fears no foes –Erinfolami


our team emerged top at the Zone 3 Qualifier in Liberia to pick one of the tickets for the championship. What was the experience like? Well, being the Nigerian champions, we knew we needed to prove to everybody both here in Nigeria and on the continent at large that we are here for serious business and thank God the players also rose up to the challenge despite going down in our first game. We have learnt a lot from that qualifier and that has also made us stronger as a team and playing some of the teams that participated at the tourney has given us the idea of what we are going to come up against at the tournament proper which obviously is usually tougher than the qualifier. What should we expect from your team as you engage in African challenge soon? We have been working hard to ensure we perform better than our last outing which is obviously a sign of an improving team and going by the enthusiasm shown by the players, we stand a chance of reaching the final this time around. We have been in camp for weeks trying to perfect our strategies and making sure we correct some lapses discovered during the qualifier so as to be better and more formidable when the real tournament kicks off. Though Deepwater crashed out of the semi final in the last edition, what efforts have you made in ensuring you move a step further? As I said earlier, the players are more determined not only to make themselves proud but the club and the country that we are representing and going by our level of preparation and the level of support being given by the management, the morale is quite high in camp at the moment. Our last outing in the competition was not a bad one if you consider the fact that the team came into existence a couple of years back but we have learnt our lessons and hope we are fortunate with the pairing. Do you think your team can contend with the likes of Angola’s Interclube and Primeiro de Agosto, Sporting Club Sfax of Tunisia and Club Sportif of Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire who are tough customers on the continent? For an aspiring team like ours,

Coach of Lagos-based First Deepwater Basketball Club, Lateef Erinfolami, speaks on the club’s current form and its chances at the FIBA Africa Championship for women scheduled for Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire this weekend

First Deepwater guard, Atosu Upe (r), challenging for the ball during the last Zone 3 qualifier in Liberia. Below: Coach Lateef Erinfolami

we are not afraid of any of these teams, though we have to respect them for what they have achieved over the years but have to play some of the best teams on the continent if we are to emerge champions. Besides, we have played most of the teams almost every year since our involvement in the tournament and all we have to do is to study their games and capitalise on their weak points. They are also aware of the threats posed by our side and I am also sure they will be worried by our performance of recent and we just want to go there and have a beautiful tournament. Any injury worries for your team ahead of this tournament? At the moment all our players are injury-free; which is a good omen as far as the tournament is concerned and are raring to go. The management has been very supportive of the team in terms of welfare and motivation and all we are focused on at the moment is to go out there and prove to the entire continent that we are here

to stay. How would you rate the chances of First Bank who will also be at the tournament having got a wild card despite their poor performance at the qualifier? With due respect, First Bank are a very good and experienced side as far as this tournament is concerned and one must not judge them by their performance in Liberia. They got to the final of the last edition which we hosted here in Lagos and that tells you about their potential and what they can bring to the game. And with their inclusion in the tournament, I believe the country stands a better chance of winning the trophy and I hope we both go as far as possible. City League fixtures 18-10-2012 4pm Union Bank vs Flame 6pm Chariots vs NAF 19-10-2012 4pm Warriors Academy vs Police 6pm Team Lagos vs Islanders

FIBA Africa teams - The Sporting Club Sfax of Tunisia (wild card) - Abidjan Basketball Club of Cote d’Ivoire - Club Sportif of Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire - First Bank of Nigeria (wild card) - First Deepwater of Nigeria - Arc-en-ciel D.R. Congo - RADI of D.R. Congo - N’DELLA of Gabon (wild card) - Eagles Wings of Kenya - Liga Muçulmana of Mozambique - Interclube of Angola - Primeiro de Agosto of Angola

Nestle set to open court


fficial sponsors of the yearly Milo Secondary Schools Basketball competition, Nestle Nigeria Plc, will officially open the Ilupeju Baskeball Court tomorrow as part of its corporate social responsibility. According to the Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Manager, Dr. Samuel Adenekan, the firm has con-

structed the court to enable the up and coming talents in the area the opportunity to practice and learn their trade. “The court is one of the community development projects to be delivered by the Nestle,” Adenekan, who pledged the organisation’s continuous support for Nigeria’s sports development, said.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

National Mirror


Business & Finance The huge budget deficits financed mainly by borrowings from the banking system has continued to negatively impact on cost of funds in the economy

Before now, we had recorded about 40,000 .ng domain names but we have also discovered that active ones among them are about 35, 000 due to the fact that some domain registrants have now done their annual renewal

President, Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria, Doyin Owolabi


LCCI scores Nigeria economy low in Q3, identifies challenges STALNEY IHEDIGBO


he Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has scored the performance of Nigeria economy low in Q3 of 2012, identifying credit squeeze and tight liquidity in the financial system among challenges inhibiting the growth and business condition of the economy. The identified challenges include problem of fund, lack of access to credit, high interest rate and general weak consumer demand. Speaking at a press conference to review the general business conditions, credit and liquidity crisis, 2013 budget and the implication for the economy, real sector issues, infrastructure conditions, maritime sector development, Lagos International Trade Fair in the third quarter of the year, President of the group, Mr. Goodie Ibru, said these were some of the major issues that demand particular mention in the period under review. He maintained that business condition in the third quarter was very challenging as credit squeeze and tight liquidity in the financial system made access to credit difficult and put

pressure on interest rate. He noted that the economy is still characterised by general weak consumer demand affecting virtually all sectors. According to him, funding remains a major problem for many investors in the period under review, saying the cost of fund in the economy is high while access to credit appears to be a more serious problem. He said, “The tight monetary policy of the CBN and the harsh economic conditions which have affected the quality

of loans are major factors in this regard. Let me stress that this economy cannot create the needed jobs if small businesses have no access to credit.” Ibru pointed out that the global recovery is still hanging on a balance with the sustained weakness of the advanced economies. The spillover effects of the global financial crisis, he said were fast spreading to other regions especially the emerging markets, while the US economy slowed further by 1.3 per cent


in the third quarter from 1.5 per cent in the second quarter of the year. “We are worried about these developments because of the implications for crude oil demand and subsequent impact on prices and the revenue base of government,” the LCCI boss stated, adding that, “For an economy that is so heavily dependent on crude oil revenue, developments in the global economy are crucial to economic stability and sustainability”.

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: Director, Regulatory and Government Affairs, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Ibrahim Dikko; Minister for Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson and Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission , Dr. Eugene Juwah, during the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) 2012 Conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, recently.

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)

Nigeria to sell N111bn in treasury bills on Oct. 25 UDO ONYEKA


he Central Bank of Nigeria said yesterday it will auction N111.26 billion ($706.41 million) of treasury bills with maturities ranging from

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3-months to 1-year at its regular bi-monthly debt auction on October 25. The CBN said it will issue 34.88 billion in 91-day paper, 45 billion in 182-day bills and N31.38 billion naira in the 364-day paper. FG issues treasury bills regularly to reduce money supply, curb inflation and help lenders manage their liquidity and this go a long way to stabilise financial system and the economy at large.

Meanwhile the naira yesterday at interbank trading was pressured by strong dollar demands. The naira weakened slightly on the official foreign exchange window on Wednesday as strong dollar demand kept pressure on the local currency, traders said. The naira closed at 157.60 to the dollar at the interbank market, the same as the previous day. It hit a three week low of 157.55 on Monday.

NNPC intensifies search for missing personnel



On the bi-weekly forex auction, the central bank sold all the $150 million it offered at 155.76 to the dollar, compared with $162.2 million sold at 155.65 to the dollar on Monday. According to traders “The naira should trade within the present band because of a bit of dollar liquidity in the market, which should keep the market in check for the rest of the week and we also see more inflows from some offshore investors in bonds.”



























Leadership crisis in Budget: ICT NIMN worries experts seek duty waiver marketing academics, practitioners




Business & Finance

Thursday, October 18, 2012

National Mirror

PenCom assets hit N2.9 trillion



he National Pension Commission (PENCOM) has said over N2.94 trillion have been accumulated as assets since the commission began operations of the contributory pension scheme in 2004. PenCom further said the commission has collaborated with the Debt Management Office (DMO) to ensure that State Government that are desirous of obtaining Bonds must key into the Scheme in their respective states.

PenCom Director-General, Mr. Mohammad Ahmad revealed this yesterday at the workshop organised for Business Editors and Finance, Insurance, Labour Correspondent in Abuja. Ahmad also said the commission has paid over N151.52 billion as lump sum and about N1.77 billion as monthly pension to about 54, 558 retirees from the public and private sectors under the Contributory Pension Scheme as at September 2012 According to him, PenCom has continued to advance in its modest achievements as 5.28 million Nigerians had regis-

tered on the Scheme as at September this year while assets worth N2.94 trillion have been accumulated. He further disclosed that transfer window of Retirement Savings Account (RSA) is estimated for opening by December this year. “Currently, the RSA Transfer Clearing System application which will be used to coordinate all the processes relating to the transfer of RSAs is being developed and tested to ensure that it meets the capacity and robustness required. “As part of the implementation of opening the transfer window, the Pension Fund Ad-

ministrators and Pension Fund Custodian who are key stakeholders in the industry will participate in various workshops geared towards ensuring their full understanding and participation in the transfer process, before the window opens.” Ahmad added that the commission has continued to collaborate and engage State Governments in the implementation of the contributory pension scheme. Also, he said, the recapitalization exercise which required PFAs to raise their shareholders fund from N150 million to N1 billion has been successfully completed and the commission

has intensified compliance efforts by pursuing legal action against defaulting employers. “Compliance by the informal sector also received a major boost during the year with the appointment of 173 recovery agents”. He explained further that more than 15,000 companies are on the list of the commission for defaulting in its obligations to both the commission and employees. While urging PFAs to step up their services in order to enhance the functionability of the scheme, Ahmad said, employers can be reported to the commission for failure to contribute, assuring that PenCom will ensure that such employers are made to face the law.

Group tasks govts on women farmers’ access to funds, service, JOEL AJAYI ABUJA


L-R: Head, Business Advisory Unit, Human Capital Management and Development, FirstBank of Nigeria Plc, Mrs. Kofoworola Adebayo (left), Head, FirstAcademy, Mr. Oshiomha Irumhekha, Head, Human Capital Management and Development, FirstBank, Mrs. Ayodele Jaiyesimi and Head, HR Support Unit, FirstBank, Ms. Babara Harper showcasing the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria’s awards for Overall Best Winner for Best HR Practice 2012 and Winner HR Best Practice for Banking and Insurance Sector won by FirstBank …recently

Aircraft duties waiver: AON awaits confirmation letter from FG OLUSEGUN KOIKI


he umbrella body of indigenous airline operators in the country, Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) yesterday said that it is still awaiting a letter from the Ministry of Aviation for effective implementation of the proposed zero tariff regime for acquired aircraft and spare parts for the airlines as announced by President Goodluck Jonathan. Speaking exclusively to National Mirror yesterday in Lagos, the Secretary General of AON, Capt. Mohammed Joji said that the letter to that effect was necessary in order for airline operators to present to the Nigeria Customs Services (NCS) whenever they acquired an airplane or import spare parts into the country. He however, explained that

AON during the week had been to the ministry of aviation requesting for the letter to the airlines, stressing that the ministry of finance was still being expected to write Customs and copied the ministry, which would be forwarded to the airlines. He said, “What we are waiting for as an airline operator is the letter to that effect from the ministry to the airlines, which should be forwarded to the customs as a proof whenever you are bringing in an aircraft for operations. We are keenly waiting for the letter from the ministry and once we receive that, we will let the whole world know. “Ironically, people are already congratulating us, but again, we ask ‘where is the letter?’ it is a proposal from the Federal Government to the National Assembly. What if the national assembly says no?

“I was in the aviation ministry during the week and we discussed about it. It is the duty of the ministry of finance to write the ministry of aviation, copy customs and secretary general of the federation while aviation ministry will now write us formally on it.” On the proposed removal of tariff from imported aircraft and spare parts, Joji said this would greatly enhance safety in the sector as airline operators would be able to acquire newer aircraft for their operations. “It will enhance safety because if you remember somebody is paying over N170bn for acquisition of an aircraft and the person still coming here to pay for customs duties. Safety will be greatly improved in the aviation industry and they will be able to purchase newer aircraft.”

ctionaid Nigeria, a Civil Society Organization, has called on individuals, corporate bodies and government at all levels to invest in agro businesses as a preventive measure of curbing food scarcity in Nigeria. The group made the call at the ongoing National 4th National Agricultural Show in Nasarawa state as part of its activities commemorating the World Food Day. Country Director of Actionaid Nigeria, Dr. Abdu Hussaini, represented by Mr. Tunde Aremu, noted that the expenditure framework presented by the National Assembly showed that over 80 per cent of Nigerians are involved in agriculture; thereby making the sector to remain the

biggest contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product. Hussaini, who stated that of the operators in the sector who are fully involved in food production, 90 per cent of them are peasant women farmers, pointed out that “the predominant actors in Nigerian agriculture are women; they constitute 80 per cent of the agriculture labour force, yet the women access to service is much lower than men’s pointed out that women are landless, voiceless especially in policy formation processes”. He further said that “we are deeply concerned that majority of Nigerians involved in agriculture-small scale women farmers, acknowledge that Nigeria has huge potential in achieving a poverty free country if its agricultural potentials are adequately harnessed.”

GT Bank’s online channels receive international certification UDO ONYEKA


uaranty Trust Bank’s has said that its alternative banking channels received a boost recently with the Bank’s receipt of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard certification (PCIDSS). PCIDSS certification is a worldwide security standard maintained by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCISSC) to detail acceptable technical and operational requirements, which help organizations that process card payments prevent credit card fraud, hacking and various other security vulnerabilities and threats. A certifi-

cate of compliance has since been issued to the Bank validating its compliance as a level 1 Acquirer and Issuer under the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, version 2.0. Commenting on the development, Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, Mr. Segun Agbaje, assured customers that the Bank’s card products, internet banking platform and other alternative channels are safe and reliable. According to Mr. Agbaje, ‘we will continue to ensure that our channels are safe and reliable. This has influenced the various new service offerings we have pioneered recently and the security upgrades our internet banking platform has undergone.

National Mirror

Thursday, October 18, 2012



Business & Finance

Thursday, October 18, 2012

NNPC intensifies search for missing personnel UDEME AKPAN


he Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has intensified efforts in search for its missing personnel who got lost while commuting from Lagos to Abuja. The Management of the Corporation affirmed that the search for the personnel, Mr. Sylvester Emefiele, an Electrical and Electronics Technologist who is a staff of the NNPC Transformation Office under the Corporate Planning and Strategy Division of the Corporation is ongoing. He was last seen after boarding an Abuja bound Abanje Transport Company vehicle from Ikorodu in Lagos on September, 23. 2012. Acting Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Mr. Fidel Pepple explained in a

statement that the Corporation is working assiduously with detectives from the State Security Service and the Nigeria Police to locate his whereabouts as soon as possible. He said: “Our target is not only to locate and rescue Mr. Emefiele but also to ensure as much as possible that he is unhurt. Thus immediately the matter came to the notice of Management the GMD promptly instructed that steps be taken not only to ensure his safety but also to protect his immediate family from anything untoward.” The NNPC spokesman explained that in line with the Corporation’s standard security procedure, the Security Department quickly informed the leadership of the Nigeria Police and the State Security Service at the FCT Abuja level but later escalated the matter to the national

level when clues emerged that the crime could have gone beyond the boundaries of the FCT. Pepple said: “Though I may not be able to give you a blow by blow account of what we have done as a Corporation since 23rd September, 2012, due to the obvious implication for the investigation, I can confirm that the SSS has since assigned an Assistant Director to take full charge of the case. At our own level we have a regular Management review session under the direct supervision of the Group Executive Director in charge of Cooperate Services.” On the concerns reportedly raised by the Emefiele family over the handling of the case by the Corporation, Fidel explained that the Corporation has done much and still doing everything within its powers to rescue the missing staff and ensure the safety and comfort of his family.

National Mirror

Fidelity Bank commences saving promo JOHNSON OKANLAWON


idelity Bank Plc has commenced a series of activities to mark her 25th Anniversary which will hold early next year. First on the list is a gift splash to reward members of the public who open savings accounts with them within the period or add money to their existing accounts with the bank. Among the items to be won are a total of 25 Hyundai Accent cars, N25m cash, 250 generator sets, 250 Blackberry smart phones and other instant prizes for people who open accounts or top up their existing accounts, which include DSTV driftas, genesis cinema tickets, notebooks and biro pens.

NBC employs 30 graduates after management trainee programme


L-R: Human Resources Director, Nigerian Bottling Company, Mrs. Grace Omo-Lamai, Trainee Manager; Mr Hobson Eseoghene, Managing Director, NBC Mr. Segun Ogunsanya, and Trainee Manager, Ms. Omaye Okoedion, at a reception for members of the 2012 Management Trainee programme of NBC. The event took place at the offices of NBC in Lagos on Tuesday

LBS forum to address entrepreneurs’ funding KUNLE A ZEEZ


n inaugural forum of “An Evening with the President” of the School of Media and Communications (SMCAA), Lagos Business School, Alumni Association is set to address strategies to accessing grants for entrepreneurs in the country. The informal networking event for students and alumni of the School of Media and Communications of the Pan African University is scheduled to hold this Friday in Lagos. The overall objective of the programme, according to a statement from the organisers, was to facilitate and strengthen the existing bond between young upwardly mobile alumni and seasoned professionals with high quality

general management experience in the Nigerian business environment that are also alumni of the school. Special guest speakers at the event are the Group Chief Executive Officer, Chams Plc, Mr. Demola Aladekomo, who is also the President of the Lagos Business School Alumni Association, and Mr. Peter Bamkole, Director, Enterprise Development Center, Pan-African University. According to the statement, Aladekomo will speak to students and alumnus of the School of Media and Communication on alumni experience and supporting your alma mater while Bamkole is expected to address s how entrepreneurs can access grants to optimise business growth. “The SMCAA recognises the crucial role of networking and mentoring to professional career

advancement, as well as entrepreneurial success, hence its commitment to the creation of an enabling platform through which members can have inhibited access to insights from C-Level Executives from corporate Nigeria without expending much of their scarce resources,” the statement said. Speaking in the statement, President, School of Media and Communication Alumni Association, Mr. Bayero Agabi, said that the semi-formal event will provide members of the alumni with a platform to network and also learn from the repository of knowledge of Aladekomo and Bankole, in the areas of entrepreneur and benefits accruable from active membership of a virile alumni association, using the Lagos Business School Alumni Association as a case study.

A statement from the bank yesterday quoted the General Manager, Lagos, Mr. Obioha Obiagwu, as saying that cars and cash savings splash is one of the bank’s ways of appreciating her numerous customers who have remained faithful and loyal to the bank. He pointed out that the savings campaign was also to encourage savings culture amongst Nigerians of all age brackets. According to him, in an environment like Nigeria where access to funds is minimal, individuals must cultivate the habit putting something aside for the future, stressing that somebody who has already saved something stands a better opportunity to borrow from a bank or other sources than one who does not have savings at all.

hirty young Nigerians have been given the opportunity of pursuing their dream career with Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) Limited. The 30 who are part of the company’s 2012 Management Trainee programme officially resumed at the company on Monday October 8, 2012. In a statement signed by the Head Public Affairs and Communications (PAC), Mrs. Adeyanju Olomola, she explained that the Management Trainee programme is a major part of NBC’s commitment to the economic and social development of the communities it operates in adding that given the population of young people in Nigeria which is estimated at over 70%, NBC considers it strategic to commit to programmes that will invest in the development

of this population for the benefit of the country in the not too distant future. The Management Trainee programme which was initiated in 2001 is designed to provide an avenue through which exceptionally talented young graduates can receive first-hand, the skills, knowledge and tools necessary to build world-class careers. Besides the management trainee programme, the company operates other youth employment development programmes such as: Technical Training Centre for young secondary school leavers who want to pursue a career in the beverage bottling industry; OND Recruitment programme for National Diploma holders who want to gain practical industry experience while furthering their education.

Samsung to build second engineering academy in Nigeria KUNLE A ZEEZ


igeria’s effort to develop technical capacity has received a boost the market leader and award-winning innovator in consumer electronics, Samsung Electronics West Africa commenced the construction of its second Engineering Academy in the country. The company said the new academy currently being built in AdoEkiti, Ekiti State, in line with its commitment to the development of Nigeria’s information technology sector. Launched in South Africa in March 2011, the initiative premiered in Nigeria with the opening of the first Samsung Electronics

Engineering Academy at Government Technical College, Ikeja in Lagos State. The capacity-building programme is an integral part of Samsung’s vision to fast-track the entry of African youths into the electronics job market, with a view to developing 10,000 electronics engineers across the continent by 2015. Speaking at the academy’s ground-breaking ceremony in Ado-Ekiti yesterday, the Managing Director, Samsung Electronics West Africa, Mr. Bravo Kim, said the company was committed to facilitating a better future for Nigeria by training a skilled workforce of technicians who will become service experts empowered to create wealth.

National Mirror

Info Tech

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Budget: ICT experts seek duty waiver Following the recent presentation of the proposed 2013 budget to the lawmakers by President Goodluck Jonathan, stakeholders in the nation’s Information and Communications sector have condemned the lack of duty waiver provision for IT equipment importation, reports KUNLE AZEEZ.


takeholders in the local Information Technology sector, especially those in the computer manufacturing sub-sector, have been jolted by the nonreadiness of the Federal Government to introduce duty waiver on importation of Information Technology components by computer manufacturers in the country. The new development, which seem to have left the indigenous original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) such as Zinox, Omatek, Briam , Beta and Veda Computers despondent, came as duty waiver introduced by the Federal Government in the recently presented proposed 2013 budget was not extended to the computer manufacturing sect of the nation’s Information and Communication technology industry. According to the highlights of the proposed N4.8trn budget for next year, the government would introduce zero per cent duty on machinery and spare parts imported for local sugar manufacturing industries and five-year tax holiday for investors in sugar industry. It was also leant that there will also be zero per cent duty and zero per cent Value Added Tax on aircraft parts as well as zero percent duty on Completely Knocked Down for mass transit buses, the government has not deemed fit to introduced similar duty waiver for struggling indigenous computer manufacturers in the proposed budget. However, in the proposed 2013, a duty waiver, which was extended to some sectors to drive their growth, was not extended to the importation of CKD IT components used by local OEMs to build their various computer brands. The development, as gathered, was also in contrary to the promise by the assurance by the Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, that the government would resuscitate the duty waiver framework for indigenous computer firms. Johnson, had during a recent visit to the Ikeja Computer Village, expressed regret that most IT traders in the market still stock foreign computer brands, stressing that government was already working to revive duty waiver for local OEMs, standardise their production and engender their patronage and competitiveness.. “My biggest disappointment is that there were no enough Nigerian brands in most of the offices and shops I visited at Computer Village. I think we need to get Nigerian devices into the hands of Nigerians and that is what I really want to work on with necessary stakeholders to achieve. “However, we are doing something called IT Devices Assembly Status, which if you can prove to us that you assemble IT devices here in Nigeria, you get zero per cent duty on the importation of such products. “That arrangement is already there, it is just case of resuscitating it to allow bonafide assemblers of IT devices in this country to get that waiver. And of course, if this arrangement has been passive before now, we are working on resuscitating it in order to better grow the industry faster,” the minister had said. However, non-extension of the duty waiver to IT sector in the budget has continued to be trailed with skepticism as to the ingenuity of the Federal Government to bolster the competitive of the local IT companies. According to the Secretary General, Computer and Allied Product Dealers Association of Nigeria, Mr. John Oboro, who decried the lack of any duty consideration for local OEMs, the absence of conscious atten-

Omobola Johnson

IN THE PROPOSED 2013, A DUTY WAIVER, WHICH WAS EXTENDED TO SOME SECTORS TO DRIVE THEIR GROWTH, WAS NOT EXTENDED TO THE IMPORTATION OF CKD IT COMPONENTS USED BY LOCAL OEMS TO BUILD THEIR VARIOUS COMPUTER BRANDS tion to promote local computer manufacturers in the industry was unacceptable. According to Oboro, over the years, the lack of duty waiver on imported CKD ICT products by indigenous computer firms, in a challenging operating environment such as Nigeria, has been major threat hindering them from competing favourably with international brands of computers such as HP, Dell, Acer and a host of others in the country. He said: “I think by now, Nigerian government should have realised the critical role ICT is playing as an enabler of economic growth and development,, and as such, one would expect it to introduce duty waiver or reduced duty on CKD imported by computer firms such as Omatek, Zinox, Brian, Beta and Veda, which are indigenous computer manufacturers. “What this means is that while our indigenous computer firms keep going down, not expanding to create value in terms of more job creation for the teeming population, foreign brand will be making wave, selling their products in Nigeria and repatriating the profits back to their country.” While attributing the slow growth of indigenous computer brands to government insensitivity in introducing favourable policies to engender the growth of the OEMs, Oboro argued that in other countries, such as the United States, in spite of their development, zero duty regime structure is place as measures to sustain the growth of indigenous IT firms in the countries. In his reaction, The Managing Director of Balog Technologies, makers of Brain Computer brands, Mr. Tunji Balogun, also called on the National Assembly to address the issue of duty waiver for local IT compa-

Leo Stan Ekeh

nies before passing the proposed budget into law. “It is surprising that the proposed 2013 budget did not make any statement to suggest that it is looking at developing indigenous computer manufacturers. Even in developed countries such as the United States, there is duty waiver for indigenous IT firms so as to strengthen them since they know the strategic position IT now occupies in their economic development,” Balogun added. An IT consumer, Mr. Adebiyi Daniel, believes that one of the reasons why computer brands in Nigeria were recording poor patronage and, by extension, slow growth, was as result of inadequate support from the to truly assist the local IT firms. “They still pay import duties, even on CKD, whereas in other countries such as the US and others, IT importation by local firms is duty-free,” he said, adding that the negative implication of not introducing the duty waiver before now is that it has not allowed the industry to grow. “So, unless government realises the need to fully support the private sector individuals who are stakeholders in the IT sector, the sector in will continue to grow and recording capital flight to foreign brands as it is the case currently,” he said. In the same vein, the Chairman of Zinox Group, Mr. Leo Stan Ekeh, had recently said that apart from introducing zero duty regime for the local OEMs, there was also the need for the government to create digital activities. “We are not saying government should bail out. We don’t need a bail-out. Rather, what we need is favourable policies and for government to create digital activities that will speed up computer acquisition and usage in the country with adequate patronage of indigenous computer brands by the government. Government must support what we do to grow transform Nigeria into a digital economy,” he said. In her comments, President, Information Technology Association of Nigeria and Chief Executive Officer of Omateck Ventures Plc., Mrs. Florence Seriki, also identified the need for policies that create favourable operating environment for the players in the local manufacturing of computers. “The duty waiver is long overdue and I think government will do well by ensuring that this is put in place for us to be able to expand our business and create more employment for the teaming unemployed Nigerians,” she said.


Info Tech

Thursday, October 18, 2012

NCC to clamp down on illegal vehicle-tracking firms STORIES: KUNLE A ZEEZ


ollowing the 14 days ultimatum given to illegal operators of vehicle tracking business in Nigeria to get registered with the Nigerian Communications Commission which expires tomorrow, the Commission may have resolved to go after unyielding operators soon. The Commission had on October 5, through a public notice on its website, persons running vehicle tracking business in Nigeria without requests permits from the NCC to do so within 14 days. However, with the ultimatum expiring tomorrow, sources within NCC told National Mirror that the responses

from the operators , which were yet to obtain licence from the NCC is “not encouraging, given the large number of them we learnt are in the circulation.” National Mirror, had exclusively reported on 12 October 2012 that about N78m is being lost to the activities of vehicle tracking firms doing business in Nigeria without licences from the NCC. They have been running away from paying N500, 000 to obtain operating licences from the NCC renewable over a fiveyear period. While over 175 companies were said to be operating in vehicle tracking space in Nigeria, leveraging satellite network for their activities, the Commission had said only 17

companies have been duly licensed by it in line with the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003. The 17 licensed operators include X Net Security Technologies Limited, Midmane Investment Limited, Datatrak Nigeria Limited, GPSTECH Solutions (West Africa) Limited and Ameritech Global Concept Limited. Others are Cotek Integrated Technologies Limited, Cellstop Trackers Limited, Traktag Limited, Upland Consulting Nig Limited and Adata C ¬ Track Limited, Catrac Limited, Matrixvtrack Nig Limited, Tycil Telecom Limited, Trackers Security Systems Limited, Proserv Nig Limited, Cartrack Nigeria Limited and Rheydolence Limited.

National Mirror

Oracle brings OpenWorld forum to Nigeria


or the second year Oracle, will bring the most important announcements from Oracle OpenWorld to Nigeria, a statement from the company said yesterday. Tagged, “Your Vision, Engineered”, the day will bring a selection of announcements and interactive education sessions from Oracle Openworld, the most important technology event on the Oracle calendar. At the event holding in Lagos tomorrow, the company said it would announce the latest product and service offerings from Oracle. The service offerings, according to the statement include Customer Experience; An expanded Oracle Cloud services portfolio, Oracle Exadata X3 and a range of application software products including new mobile applications. “Customer Experience helps to harness the power of the social network as well as internal resources to maximise customer retention, improve operational efficiency

and accelerate new customer acquisition. “Adoption Oracle Cloud services portfolio continues to grow aggressively with more than 10,000 customers and more than 25 million users worldwide already relying on the services each day and we introducing and expanded version.” According to the Vice President Oracle Turkey, Central Asia and Africa, Gurhan Kalelioglu, “Cloud, mobile, social and big data are changing the way business is done. The objective of Oracle Days is to give C-level decision-makers the information and insight to help them embrace these technologies.” Kalelioglu added that the technologies discussed at Oracle Days will demonstrate that Oracle takes a fundamentally different approach to delivering technology engineered to work together. “Oracle Day will include customer testimonials and expert sessions, and live demos of new products,” he added.

Accenture becomes Swedish Police strategic IT partner L-R: Geomarketing Manager, MTN Nigeria, Ms Rositta Olumide-Osoba; one of the lucky winners of MTN’s all-expenses paid trip to Hajj Pilgrimage 2012, Alhaji Muhammed Ramon; Special Mass Market, MTN, Mr. Aminu Sanni, and another winner, Mr. Tijani Adejare Saliu, at a send-off organised for the pilgrims before their departure in Lagos on Monday.

Minister, 25 experts for ISPON’s software confab


he Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson and over 25 experts have been confirmed to attend this year’s edition of the software developers’ competition and conference by the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria. According to ISPON, the experts drawn from United States, Europe, Ghana and Nigeria are billed to deliver papers and presentations at the conference holding at Tinapa Resort, Akwa Ibom, later in October. Announcing the 2012 edition with the theme ‘‘The Cloud and the Future of Software Nigeria”, the President of ISPON, Dr. Chris Uwaje said a Professor at UCLA, Prof. Bill Megalos, will lead the pack. He said the director of the award-winning documentary; “An Inconvenient Truth”, Mr. Daniel Molina will also grace the event. Top Nigerian executives, who have confirmed participation

and sponsorship of the event, according to Uwaje, include the Managing Director of MainOne Cable Company, Ms. Funke Opeke and Chief Executive Officer of 21st Century Technologies Limited, Mr. Wale Ajisebutu. He disclosed that the Governor of Cross River State, Sen. Liyel Imoke would be on hand to host the minister, the Director Generakl, National Information Technology development Agency, Prof. Cleopas Angaye; the Distinguished Knowledge Ambassador for the conference, Mr. Ernest Ndukwe and other special guests. Speaking further, Uwaje said Opeke, at the conference, would deliver a paper on “Broadband Infrastructure: Imperatives for Cloud Computing” while Ajisebutu would be speak on “Information Technology Park: Imperatives for Building Software Engineering”. He said the Institute has started accreditations for tertiary in-

stitutions, about 30 of them with over 1500 participants across the country. Last year’s competition was won by Abia State Polytechnic. Uwaje said the 2012 event promises to be exceptional in all respects. According to him, Cross River State Government, the main host and partner, has committed to raising the bar for quality of the conference and ensure a memorable, beneficial and sustainable experience. According to him, one of the key factors behind last year’s success was the quality and range of individuals and organisations spread across Africa, Asia and the Americas. He said: “The central challenge for 2012 is how to improve on the milestone and success of last year’s conference and competition. This is why we have completely re-strategized and revamped the entire branding, speaker, panel of judges’ faculties.


he Swedish National Police Board has selected Accenture as its strategic information technology (IT) partner in a threeyear framework agreement to deliver IT development and maintenance services to enhance police operations and investigations. Accenture will provide information technology services, including IT development technology and maintenance services, to support the Swedish National Police Board in increasing operational efficiencies and delivering greater information sharing across the force. The partnership will enable Swedish Police better management of, and access to, critical police investigative and operational information. The three-year contract includes a possible extension to a maximum of another three years (six years in total). Accenture secured the contract after a competitive tendering process. Head of IT-operations, development and maintenance at the Swedish National Police Board, Christian Stuart, said, “Having Accenture as our strategic IT partner means we

will have access to the skills and expertise necessary to meet our future IT delivery requirements to support overall policing activities in Sweden.” According to Stuart, “Accenture’s broad experience across policing and public safety, coupled with its strong IT development and delivery capabilities, will support the development of an enhanced and better-integrated policing system in Sweden, capable of meeting and anticipating future policing demands.” In his remarks, Leader, Accenture’s Health & Public Service Business in Sweden, Mr. Anders Jönebratt, said: “We are very happy to have been selected as the strategic partner to the Swedish Police and look forward to supporting the development of the organization’s information technology and IT delivery capability over the coming years.” According to him, “Across the world, Accenture is working with police forces and public safety agencies to support their IT transformation while reducing costs and enabling them to fight crime and manage investigations using the most innovative and efficient technologies available.”

National Mirror

Brands & Marketing

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Leadership crisis in NIMN worries marketing practitioners T

he lingering crisis between the leadership of the splinter marketing professional institute, National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria, (NIMN) has generated reactions from both academics and marketing experts. With much awaited court ruling, industry observers have expressed concern over the wrong impression the fisticuffs would rob on the industry reputation. The institute was originally granted power through Act No. 25 of 2003 which was promulgated into law on 25 July 2003 by former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. Accordingly, two professional bodies, the Nigerian Marketing Association (NIMARK) and the Chartered Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (CIMN) had existed as separate professional bodies competing for membership and authority to regulate the practice of marketing profession in Nigeria. But the NIMN Act effectively merged the two erstwhile independent bodies and conferred chartered status on the new professional body to regulate and control the practice of the marketing profession. But the NIMN got itself enmeshed in crisis on August 2010 when a group led by a senior member of the institute, Mr. Femi Odufowokan said Lugard Aimiuwu’s Council had been dissolved and that a new nine-member Council headed by Odufowokan had been constituted. But two years down the line, dragging the case at the court, stakeholders wants the leaders to reach truce for the interest of building a reputable institute that would build marketing practice and industry the way Chartered Institute of Marketing of London, ICAN, APCON have done. According to a senior marketing lecturer at the Faculty of Business Administration, University of Lagos, Dr. Kunle Ladipo, having two factions fighting over control of NIMN using the same name, logo and others could not be detached from monetary issue, control of resources. These, he said, could mar the image of the profession. “There is only one institute of marketing in the UK. But in a situation like ours where you have factions, there is a questions mark. If we look at the issue, it is unconnected with money. This will make it difficult for people to have disrespect for the profession as a result of having an unsettled institute battling at the court. Till the court makes a final judgment, there is nothing anyone can say except that this will bring disrespect to the profession. It is high time we come together and resolve whatever difference existing in the interest of the industry,” said Ladipo. Another senior marketing lecturer, Dr. Abigail Ogwezzy, at the Mass Communication department, University

As the marketing practice in Nigeria continues to grow in leaps and bounds, stakeholders measure the effect of having a factional institute of marketing on marketing practice in Nigeria, writes ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI.








Council members of the National Institute of Marketing, Nigeria (NIMN), Registrar, Mr. Ayo Adeyemi; Immediate Past President, Chief Femi Odufowokan, New Installed President, Mr. Adeyeye Rotimi; 1st Vice President, Mr. Aderinto Rilwan; 2nd Vice President, Mr. Michael Onuoha and Mr. R. A Abdulai, at the Institute’s 2012 Annual General Meeting and Lecture held at NECA House, Ikeja, Lagos, recently.

of Lagos looks at the credibility issue on certificates issued to members who needs job that requires professional certificates as added advantage. “There is going to be a question of credibility. Though the outcome of the court judgment will put an end to this but how do you want the job market to view the professional certificates issued? There is a question of credibility. I don’t want to preempt court judgment. But the cri-

sis will not stop people from practicing marketing in Nigeria.” The publisher of marketing edge, Mr. John Ajayi believes marketing practice would continue to earn respect irrespective of the crisis rocking the institute. He said the only recognized NIMN body is the Lugard group. Meanwhile, the Marking Director of Nestle Nigeria, Mr. Iqoh Ukoh said she does not believe having member-

ship certificates of NIMN gives anyone professional an edge in getting a job except sometimes later it might be used. As a member of Chartered Institute of Marketing of UK, CIM, she said she had at no point at Nestle used such as a yardstick to get anyone employed. Ukoh said at Nestle harp on basic requirement such as degrees and prospective employees performance at job interviews that determines employment though professional certification could be used at some points where necessary. She said, “I don’t want to be involved the crisis. I am a Fellow of the main group. One doesn’t need the certificates issued by these bodies to get a job. What we look at is what comes out of you when interviewed as well as your basic qualification. Though at some points it might be used.” Ukoh, however, believes that crisis would definitely be resolved. Penultimate week, the Chief Femi Odufowokan-led NIMN concluded its AGM and elected a new President/Chairman of Governing Council, Mr. Rotimi Adeyeye, within the space of two years of pulling out of Lugard Aimiuwu led-institute. The new president of Odufowokan group said, “I want to salute the courage of the immediate past President and all his Council Members for the show of commitment and resolute fight for the soul of our National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria in the last two years. Indeed it is no mean fit to have contended with all forces of nepotism, tyranny, corruption and site-tight leadership tussle of the last two years and still remain standing. I am not in any way surprise that the battle for NIMN of our dream is being won each passing day.” Also, the immediate past acting president, Mr Rilwan Aderinto, said “We have been able to begin the crafting of a new image for our noble Institute by readdressing the quality of our certification process, incorporating the values and virtues that we had ever been known for by the labour market.” But as crisis rages on, both group had continued to organise training, seminars, conferring and inducting and upgrading members to various membership status such as Associate, Full and Fellow. But Aimiuwu told National Mirror that Odufowokan-led group has been described illegal by the court saying the only authentic institute is the one he presides over.


Brands & Marketing

Thursday, October 18, 2012

PR practitioners warn against fire-brigade approach to crisis management ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI


xperts have urged Nigerian organisations and institutions to prepare for crises and their management before they happen by formulating Crisis Management plans and manuals. Noting that crises are becoming an increasing part of organisational management, the experts at a Public Relations Masterclass on Crisis Communication and Management organised by PRCAN said, “it is now imperative for organisations to prepare adequately to

avoid long term damage to their reputations from such crises if not well managed.” Experts and participants at the PRCAN Masterclass workshop reviewed the management of some crises in Nigeria, citing cases of Indomie Noodles, water and gas resurgence at the Total Exploration and Production Nigeria facilities at Obite, Rivers State, commercial airliner crashes involving Dana Air as well as the defunct ADC Airlines, and legal and boardroom disputes at Vmobile labour disturbances at Airtel Nige-

ria. They also examined management of a potential community relations crisis arising from the closure of a Unilever facility in South East Nigeria after 50 years following a business case. Experts at the workshop include Mr. Emeka Oparah, Director of Corporate Communication and CSR at Airtel Nigeria; Mr. Adedayo Ojo, CEO at Caritas Communications and former spokesperson of Transcorp Nigeria and Mobil, as well as Mr. Ehi Brimah, CEO of Neo Media and Marketing among others.

National Mirror

Steve Evans to chair 2012 LAIF awards The Executive Board of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria (AAAN) has concluded plans to hold the 2012 edition of LAIF Awards tagged, ‘The best of LAIF’. Mr. Steve Evans, the multiple awards winning and respected CEO of Etisalat Nigeria is expected to chair the grand finale and Award Dinner scheduled to hold on November 3, 2012 at the prestigious Federal Palace Hotel Victoria Island, Lagos. The LAIF Awards was instituted in year 2006 by the AAAN with the aim of recognizing, rewarding and fostering creative excellence in all areas of marketing communications. An international status award, LAIF Awards has continuously promoted Nigeria’s creative potentials in the international circle as well as recognized outstanding creativity and created an avenue for the celebration of world class ideas. The President of the Association and the outgoing Chairman of LAIF Management Board, Mrs. Bunmi Oke, noted that the LAIF Awards is the most credible creative rating in the Nigerian creative industry.

Shoprite to open new outlet in Ilorin

L-R: Brand Manager Calypso, Mr. Aro Olalekan; Category Manager, Great Brand, Grand Oak Ltd, Mr. Charles Nnochiri, and Head Client Service, 141 Worldwide, Cyril Nwaoha, at the Media Launch of 50ml Unifill Calypso Coconut Liqueur, recently.

Enyi Odigbo wears ‘Marketing Edge’ 2011 Brand Personality crown


s part of Marketing Edge’s mission of promoting the brand idea, plans have been concluded to confer the Chairman of Casers Group, Mr. Enyi Odigbo with the award of Brand Personality of the Year 2011. According to the Publisher and Chief Executive Officer, Marketing Edge Publications, Mr. John Ajayi, the doggedness, incomparable and admirable entrepreneurial spirit demonstrated by Odigbo in championing the cause of advertising and marketing practice over the years which is second to none earns him the award. Ajayi said, “Odigbo’s recent nomination as one of the world’s top agency innovators and breakthrough thinkers at the 2011 Global Innovators Summit in New

York clearly places him in the elite group of advertising agency executives and marketing leaders worldwide.” The Group won the award based on its unique business model which Omnicom Worldwide considers as the best in the Omnicom group. He said the choice of Odigbo as the 2011 Brand Personality of the Year is very significant in view of the fact that is the second time in the magazine’s eight-year history that a practitioner would be so nominated for honour and recognition. The Casers Group, which consists of DDB Lagos, Capital Media, BBDO and Superbrands Nigeria. Magenta Consulting, another member of the Casers Group, is a joint venture with Fin International, a specialist financial services brand develop-

ment, PR and Communications Company with offices in London and Lagos. The group which boasts unsurpassed brand equity height in the business of brand management and the management of brand business is known for market leadership of its subsidiaries in the sectors where they operate. Billed to hold end of October at the Banquet Hall of the Lagos Sheraton Hotel & Towers, over 300 top corporate leaders in the Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) sector and the clients’ side are expected at the event while the Managing Director of Samsung Nigeria, Mr. Enang Idonrenyen is expected to deliver a dinner talk on contemporary marketing issues.

New ad campaign for President Brut debuts


n a bid to reposition President Brut, a premium Italian sparkling white wine from the stable of Brain Munro in the Nigerian market, a new advertising campaign dubbed ‘Only One President” has been unveiled to admiration of consumers and non-consumers. According to the brand promoters of the campaign theme, which is “Only One President” expresses the brand’s top ‘Presidential’ positioning in the sparkling wine category. The Managing Director of Brian Munro Limited, Mr. Paul Wilson, said, this campaign is set to promote President Brut as a premium Italian Spar-

kling Wine of distinction, which pops and is good for every occasion. President Brut is made from a selection of the finest grapes and has a rich and well-balanced taste being a less expensive alternative to champagne. The managing director further revealed that the campaign is based on the brand’s excellent taste and its outstanding value for money. President Brut comes in a 75cl bottle, each boxed in an elegant individual gift pack, with six in a carton. The new ad campaign according to Wilson will take a 360 degree format of electronics, outdoor, print and activation.

Lifebuoy fetes 5yr old children to deepen market penetration (brief pg 38) This year marks the fifth birthday of Global Handwashing Day (GHD), a day co-founded by Unilever’s health soap brand Lifebuoy to raise awareness of handwashing with soap as a simple but lifesaving habit. To commemorate five years of GHD, Lifebuoy, a Unilever brand, has announced the start of a new initiative to defeat diarrhoea in Nigeria. The Brand Building Director, Unilever Nigeria Plc., Mr. David Okeme, said with little over three years to go until the deadline for the Millennium Devel-

Shoprite has concluded plans to unveil a new outlet in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital to take the numbers of its operational outlets to six in the country. The new Shoprite outlet would be commissioned later this month and the store is located within the newly built Kwara Mall, which is a joint venture between Kwara State Government and Persianas Group, owners of the Palms Shopping Mall in Victoria Island, Lagos as well as Polo Parks, Enugu. The store which boasts of 3,700metres square shopping space when commissioned, according the Human Resources Manager, Adeola Kagho, will create sustainable employment opportunities in the state. Housing international brands such KFC and Max Clothing neighbours, Kagho estimated that the new outlet would create approximately 200 direct jobs and over 1000 indirect employment for the people of Ilorin and environs.

opment Goals (MDGs) including MDG 4 - to reduce the mortality of children under five by two-thirds - Lifebuoy and its partners are calling on governments, schools and communities in Nigeria to focus on handwashing with soap as an intervention that can help save millions more lives. “Over the past two years, Lifebuoy has successfully changed the handwashing behaviour of 48 million people – edging towards its goal to reach one billion people by 2015. But Lifebuoy cannot do this alone. With the support of Unilever, Lifebuoy aims to bring Global Handwashing Day to a wider audience and influence government policy, to make hygiene behaviour change education part of every school curricula.”

National Mirror

Brands & Marketing

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Indomie rewards three heroes to commemorate Independence Day ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI


hree outstanding Nigerian children have been recognized and rewarded at the fifth edition of the Indomie Independence Day Award for Heroes of Nigeria which is the Corporate Social Responsibility initiative of Dufil Prima Foods Plc makers of Indomie Instant Noodles. The three heroic kids were rewarded in an elaborate ceremony held at the Marquee of the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos on Saturday October 13, 2012 and was witnessed by crème de la crème of the society including First Lady of Lagos, Dame Emmanuella Abimbola Fashola, Senators, top Government functionaries, Captain of Industries and members of the diplomatic corps. The Awardees are Miss Olufunmilayo Bello (First Prize Winner,), Mr. George Sadoh (Second Prize Winner) both of whom are 15 years old and 10 years old Miss Princess Esan (Third Prize Winner) received a distinctive Crys-

tal Plaque and cash prize of N1m, N750, 000.00 and N500, 000.00 respectively for their bravery and acts of heroism. Olufunmilayo, an orphan who lives in an orphanage in Benin was adjudged first by the Panel of Judges for her selfless act of heroism for picking up and saving the life of a deformed abandoned baby whom she named Zacheaus despite all discouragement. She later prevailed on the Proprietor of her orphanage to take in the poor boy for proper care. George Sadoh from Warri, Delta State came second for his brave and courageous act of saving a man who was being robbed by scaring away his attackers with ‘knockouts’ and later taking the victim to the hospital while Princess Esan was awarded third position for saving the life of her brother first when fire gutted their home at great risk to herself. The Managing Director, Dufil Prima Foods Plc, Mr. Deepak Singhal noted that the Indomie Independence Day Award for Heroes of Nigeria is a reflection of the

importance and belief of the company in the extraordinary qualities of the Nigerian child which must never be ignored but must be celebrated. Also, Senator Olorunibe Mamora, former Speaker of Lagos Assembly, decried the present situation of the Nigerian child saying stakeholders including the family, the school, the religious organizations and the government have failed to give the deserved attention to their well-being and grooming for the future. “We cannot continue to do the same thing the same way and expect a different result. Therefore, it is high time we realized that the task of ensuring better future of the Nigerian child is a collective responsibility and we must play our individual role either as a parent, school, religious body and the government,” he said. The First Lady of Lagos State, Dame Emmanuella Abimbola Fashola lauded the Dufil Prima Foods Plc for inspiring the spirit of heroism and patriotism among children.

L-R: Head, Education and Training, Mrs. Titilola Igri-Offor; member, Marketing team, Stephanie Obi and Apkoru Veronica, all of L’Oreal Nigeria, at the launch of Dark and Lovely anti-breakage hair relaxer range in Aba, Abia State recently.

Innovative strategy is key to brand survival


n my days as Manager, Strategy and Account planning with Centre Spread FCB Advertising, I did extensive research and conducted in-depth insights on the noodles industry. The present Honeywell noodle was the brand I worked on right from level zero and it open my eyes to the noodle industry which then had Indomie as the dominant brand. The kernel of my story today is that innovation is key to retain a sound pedigree in the market place. Indomie noodle stand tall today because of its several innovative strategies that go beyond mere advertising. Indomie utilized the innovative platform to have a remarkable impact as a brand that appeal to every household. My research findings and insight generation then revealed that Indomie was restricted to

children alone. Most parent interviewed said the influence of the brand on the children was enormous that they had to become consumers too. Through innovation, the brand was positioned as a strong unifying brand for the family. This was reflected in several communication platforms for the brand. Innovation strategies create powerful advantage with huge brand presence in the market place. When a brand is innovative, it redefined the competitive landscape for others. I believe this is the case with Indomie as it has retained a leadership position through its adept strategies always create a niche for the brand in the marketplace. Innovative strategies enable a brand to break away from the clutter of bandwagon effect and maintain a differentiating edge

ad VA NT AG E icon



ranklin Ozekhome is a strategic planner, trendspotter, and student of culture and brands. A leading authority and keynote speaker on brand marketing, future trends, and Nigerian Marketnomics, the head of marketing at Insight Communications, was recently nominated by The Future Awards as “2010 Business Professional of the Year.” Ozekhome previously held senior roles at InsightGrey and McCann Erickson, and has spent over a decade advising leading companies and brands like British Airways, Samsung, Total Oil, PepsiCo, MTN, GSK, Audi and British American Tobacco. He is the Founder and Chief Story Telling Officer of Identiture, a New York based, strategic planning consultancy, helping brands like Good Burger, CraVe

Brand X-Ray with Ayodeji Ayopo Tel: 08023448199 E-mail: amongst competing brands. It is also pertinent to note that exerting great influence makes the brand have high level awareness and significant acceptance degree from the consumers. I believe Indomie latched on this to remain a dynamic and highly innovative brand. The Mummy’s kitchen which was introduced to teach mothers how to make Indomie noodle is a great feat. The mobile kitchen was also designed to dish out Indomie noodle during events and I once experienced this. A key innovation that Indomie noodles introduced was the branding of schools’ signboards in its colors. This clearly paved way for the brand with school


children. I was also pleasantly surprised that Indomie has a school co-coordinator within its organization who attends to the needs of schools. The truth is that a brand that does not have an innovative edge becomes irrelevant by the day. Consumers have preference for brands that focus on creating distinct value. This reminds one of the Indomie Box noodle which caters for busy executives in the office. This is the height of innovation as the brand has moved beyond targeting children. This explains why the brand now appeals to all and sundry. This is one way to align with the ever changing needs of the

Sandwiches and SignaPay embrace Sensory Branding and Future DeSign ideas. The talented creative adman wrote his first complete novel Life Of A Teenager [unpublished] at age 17. He edited and published Graffitti magazine, the first national, campus journal at aged 23. Mentored, trained and taught students in marketing and advertising, the business planner on new business have won awards for TV, press and outdoor work. With over a decade work experience on brands from across a wide spectrum of sectors, he said he “loves redefining the role of ‘strategy’ in planning, and constantly expanding my ideas-generation sphere, rather than been limited to the use of proprietary tools and models, which are not as evolving as the consumer is in the digital world.” consumers. The brand also developed the chicken pepper soup which is a unique way to extend the brand and promote acceptability amongst the adult consumers. Indomie has also ventured into several activities to retain a vibrant brand image. The Hero award is a new and upcoming one that seeks to inspire the younger generation to embrace sound doctrines and embrace good ideals in the society. The activities of an innovative brand mould the perception of consumers. Such perceptions formed by the consumers are always positive which increases the brand rating in their eyes. Building a strong brand is not enough mastering the dynamics of the market and aligning with consumer needs is important. A brand that is innovative always evolve products that stand the test of time. Brands need to break from the core traditional channels to remain vibrant and active in the marketplace.


Global Business

Thursday, October 18, 2012

IMF sees European banks facing $4.5 trillion sell-off


he International Monetary Fund said European banks may need to sell as much as $4.5 trillion in assets through 2013 if policy makers fall short of pledges to stem the fiscal crisis, up 18 percent from its April estimate. Failure to implement fiscal tightening or set up a single supervisory system in the timing agreed could force 58 European Union banks from UniCredit SpA to Deutsche Bank AG to shrink assets, the IMF wrote in its Global Financial Stability Report released yesterday. That would hurt credit and crimp growth by 4 percentage points next year in Greece, Cyprus, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain, Europe’s periphery. “There is definitely a need for deleveraging in Europe,” said Michael Seufert, an analyst at Norddeutsche Landesbank in Hanover, Germany, with a “negative” rating on the European banking sector. “The danger is that this produced a downward spiral as the regulation gets stricter and stricter and the global economy cools, potentially meaning more writedowns for banks. States in the periphery are hit hardest.” The IMF doesn’t need to lend money


to Spain to help the country tackle its fiscal crisis, Managing Director Christine Lagarde indicated yesterday. The Washington-based fund earlier this week cut its global growth forecasts and warned of even slower expansion if European officials don’t address threats to their economies.

Asian stocks fell for a third day today on global growth concerns, with the MSCI Asia Pacific Index down 0.9 percent. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index declined 0.2 percent at 2:14 p.m. in Frankfurt and the euro was little changed, trading at $1.2893. While the European Central Bank’s plan to purchase bonds of debt-burdened countries has pushed down bond yields, officials are waiting for a bailout request from Spain before putting the programm into action. The European rescue mechanism and the ECB bond programm “must be regarded by markets as real, not ‘virtual’ and should be coupled with credible conditionality,” Jose Vinals, the director of the IMF’s monetary and capital markets department, said in prepared remarks for a press conference in Tokyo. ECB President Mario Draghi pledged to do “whatever it takes” to preserve the monetary union, which has been battered by a three-year debt crisis triggered by Greece’s hidden budget shortfall. He said in September that the Frankfurt-based bank may buy the bonds of nations that submit to the conditions of a rescue loan to lower yields.

Singapore may ease currency gain as growth slows


he Monetary Authority of Singapore will probably slow the pace of appreciation in the local dollar as moderating price pressures provide scope for measures to support economic growth, according to a survey of analysts. Officials will curb gains in Singapore’s currency when they meet Oct. 16 by decreasing the slope of its trading band, according to 17 of 23 financial companies surveyed by Bloomberg News. Two said there’s a chance the MAS will widen the band in addition to reducing its slope. Five predict no change, while one projected a shift to a zero slope, the poll showed. Recent data have shown bigger-thanforecast declines in manufacturing and exports, leading economists and investors to flag the risk of a technical recession. Singapore cut its 2012 growth forecast in August, and a report last month

indicated the slowest pace of inflation in almost two years. That means the MAS has room to spur the economy by stemming gains in the exchange rate, its main policy tool, according to analysts. “The Singaporean economy has largely underperformed the MAS’s expectations,” Frances Cheung, a Hong-Kong based strategist at Credit Agricole CIB, wrote in an e-mail October. 3. “The balance of risk has clearly shifted from inflation to growth.” Cheung predicted the MAS will announce a reduction to the Singapore dollar’s trading band slope. Singapore’s central bank uses the exchange rate rather than borrowing costs to conduct monetary policy, adjusting the pace of appreciation or depreciation against an undisclosed trade- weighted band of currencies by changing the slope, width and center of the band. A flatter slope allows slower appreciation or depreciation over time.

President Nathan

National Mirror

Vodafone may avoid $2bn India tax after report

Andy Halford


odafone Group Plc may win a reprieve in a $2.2 billion Indian tax case after a panel opposed a retroactive clause in the nation’s laws that drove away foreign investors and pushed the rupee to a record low. Retrospective tax demands should only be made in “rarest of rare cases” and changes made to the way capital gains on cross-border deals are taxed should only apply to future transactions, the committee said in a draft report yesterday. Should the government accept the advice, Vodafone won’t be liable for its 2007 purchase of Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. (13)’s Indian assets, Ernst & Young LLP and KPMG said. The recommendations were posted on the finance ministry’s website less than a month after Vodafone expressed willingness to settle the case provided it could just pay the original tax claim and not the penalty and interest. Chief Financial Officer Andy Halford said in a September. 14 interview that he may make a provision to cover legal risks after former finance minister Pranab Mukherjee amended the tax law in March. India’s Supreme Court had ruled in January that the operator isn’t liable and dismissed the government’s case. “If the report is fully implemented, then Vodafone will be exonerated entirely,” said Mumbai-based Dinesh Kanabar, chairman of taxes at KPMG’s local unit. “The retrospective amendment, if deemed to be a valid law, would allow the government to proceed against Hutch, not Vodafone. Whether they want to do that is a separate issue.” The panel, set up by Mukherjee’s successor Palaniappan Chidambaram, seeks to undo some of the amendments to “better reflect principles of equity and probity” in commonly recognised tax laws.

Noda says Japan prepared to act on Yen as strength hurts



apanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said his government will act against any disorderly gains for the yen, and urged policy makers around the world to follow through on pledges to rebalance global demand. “We have to observe the market closely to see whether there are excessive or disorderly moves” in the currency market, Noda, 55, said in an interview yesterday at his office in Tokyo. The yen’s strength is a “serious problem,” is out of step with Japan’s economic performance and “when necessary, we will take decisive action,” he said. Noda spoke on the eve of a gathering

of the Group of Seven in Tokyo, where finance chiefs will assess the recovery from the 2009 global recession. The prime minister said, “we have seen a certain amount of progress, but we must remain on our guard.” Japan will continue to contribute to market stability as the world’s largest creditor nation, he said. The prime minister also urged the Bank of Japan to take “decisive” action at the right time to end deflation that’s eroded wages and growth. The world’s third-largest economy will shrink in the last two quarters of the year, according to forecasts from Morgan Stanley and BNP Paribas in Tokyo,

hampered by weakening export demand in China and Europe and strength in the yen that has contributed to record losses in Japan’s electronics industry. The yen is about 4 percent from a postwar high against the dollar, at 78.31 yesterday. in Tokyo. The gathering of G-7 finance ministers and central bank governors follows efforts by Europe to address its debt crisis with the establishment of the 500-billion euro ($648 billion) European Stability Mechanism. Japan has supported Europe through the purchase of rescue-fund bonds and increased contributions to the International Monetary Fund.

National Mirror

Thursday, October 18, 2012



Capital Market

National Mirror

Thursday, October 18, 2012

UBA, Ecobank, Skye join market maker’s basket JOHNSON OKANLAWON


he Nigerian Stock Exchange has said that stocks of United Bank for Africa Plc, Ecobank Transnational Plc and Skye Bank Plc have been included in the market maker’s basket. The three stocks are from the banking subsector of the bourse and the introduction is in line with the phased introduction of additional stocks to the list of stocks in the baskets of market makers. According to a state-

ment from the Exchange yesterday, the inclusion is in tandem with the promise that all the stocks quoted on the Exchange that are trading above par value will be added to the market making programme over a period of six months. Meanwhile, the nation’s stock market has been reacting positively since the commencement of market making on the bourse. For instance, the market capitalisation and All-Shares Index that stood at N8.103trn and

25,456.01 points on September 18 when the maket making activities started on the Exchange and closed yesterday at N8.66trn and 27,194.13 points respectivey. The initiative commenced with 16 stocks had nine other stocks added two weeks back. The additional three stocks now bring the number of stocks in the market makers’ basket to 28. The stocks covered by the initiative now are PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc, Nigerian Bag Manufacturing Company Plc, Presco

Plc, International Breweries, Lafarge Wapco, Fidson Healthcare Plc, Redstar Express Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, Sterling Bank Plc, D.N.Meyer, Diamond Bank, FCMB, Fidelity Bank Plc, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and UAC Nigeria Plc. Others are Access Bank Plc, Academy Press Plc, Custodian and Allied Insurance Plc, First Bank Plc, Dangote Sugar Plc, Union Bank Plc, NASCON Plc, Nestle Nigeria Plc and AIICO Insurance Plc.

Source: NSE NIBOR QUOTES 16 OCTOBER & 17 OCTOBER 2012 20.00 19.00 18.00 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

Investors gain N27bn in bullish trading JOHNSON OKANLAWON


rading in equities continued on bullish note on the Nigerian Stock Exchange yesterday, as investors’ appetite on stocks rose further. The All-Share Index increased by 0.31 per cent to close at 27,194.13 points, compared to the rise of 0.12 per cent recorded the preceding day to close at 27,077.66 points. Market capitalisation appreciated by N26.9bn to close at N8.66trn,

higher than the increase of N10.2bn recorded the preceding day to close at N8.63trn. Financial sector performance led equities transaction volume with 358.52 million shares valued at N2.69bn exchanged in 3,800 deals, as against 355.59 million shares worth N2.58bn traded in 4,086 deals the preceding day. The volume recorded in the sector was driven by transaction in the shares of Unity Bank Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc, First Bank Plc and Guaranty Trust Bank

Plc. Dangote Sugar Plc led the gainers’ table with 51 kobo or 10 per cent to close at N5.61 per share, followed with DN Meyer Plc with 24 kobo or 9.88 per cent to close at N2.67 per share. AIICO Insurance Plc rose by six kobo or 9.23 per cent to close at 71 kobo per share, while Nestle Nigeria Plc appreciated by N55.00 or 8.80 per cent to close at N680.00 per share. FCMB Plc gained 24 kobo or 7.36 per cent to close at N3.50 per share. On the flip side, Sterling Bank Plc dropped 19


Source: FMDA

kobo or 9.60 per cent to close at N1.79 per share, while International Breweries Plc dipped by N1.27 or 9.07 per cent to close at N12.73 per share. Cement Company of Northern Nigeria Plc shed 32 kobo or 4.95 per cent to close at N6.14 per share, while Guinnes Nigeria Plc lost N13.67 or 4.88 per cent to close at N266.33 per share. Mansard Plc declined by nine kobo or 4.86 per cent to close at N1.76 per share. A total of 457.64 million shares worth N4.92bn were exchanged in 5,767 deal

US stocks rise as housing overshadow Intel, IBM


ulteGroup Incorporation and D.R. Horton Incorporation jumped more than 5.1 per cent as homebuilders rallied. Dean Foods Company soared 13 per cent after its WhiteWave Foods Company filed to go public. Intel fell 3.1 per cent after forecasting a fourthquarter gross margin that missed estimates, while IBM slid 5.3 per cent after reporting third-quarter revenue that trailed analysts’ projections. The Standard and Poor 500 rose 0.4 per cent to 1,460.99 points. The benchmark index for American equities has gained 2.3 per cent this week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 12.81 points, or 0.1 percent, to 13,538.97 points, dragged

down by IBM and Intel as trading in S&P 500 companies was 12 per cent above the 30-day average. “The housing number was amazing,” Randall Warren, who oversees $75m as chief investment officer of Warren Financial Service in Exton, Pennsylvania, said. “Corporate earnings have been strong in a slow growth environment, so if housing can help improve the economy then we could see a move up in stocks.” US equities rose as Commerce Department figures showed new-house construction jumped 15 per cent to an 872,000 annual rate last month, the most since July 2008 and exceeding all forecasts in a Bloomberg survey of economists. The median estimate of 81 economists surveyed by Bloomberg

called for 770,000. An S&P gauge of 11 homebuilder stocks rose 4.3 per cent. PulteGroup, the largest US homebuilder by revenue, jumped 6.4 per cent to $17.62. D.R. Horton gained 5.1 per cent to $21.73, while Lennar Corporation climbed 3.1 per cent to $38.47. The S&P 500 has rallied 16 per cent this year and is about seven per cent below its all-time high of 1,565.15 reached in October 2007. More than 80 companies in the S&P 500 release results this week, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Of the 70 companies in the equity benchmark that have reported since October 9, 53 have posted earnings that exceeded analyst estimates, data compiled by Bloomberg showed.


Moody’s Investors Service maintained its investment-grade credit rating on Spain late Tuesday. The company cited a reduced risk of losing market access because of the European Central Bank’s willingness to buy the nation’s debt. Spain avoided joining Cyprus, Portugal, Ireland and Greece which are all rated below investment grade. Intel, the world’s largest semiconductor maker, dropped 3.1 percent to $21.65. Profit is being crimped by expenses to slow factory output and combat rising inventories. Corporate customers are showing caution in placing orders and consumers in developed markets are curtailing PC purchases, Chief Financial Officer Stacy Smith said in a statement.

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















































































































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National Mirror

Capital Market

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at October 17, 2012 1st Tier Securities Sector

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

National Mirror

Sodipe, Lagos PPRO, Ezuronye, others bag Young Achievers' Awards LEONARD OKACHIE


igerian Youngest PhD holder, Opemipo Sodipe; Lagos State Police Spokesperson, Ngozi Conchita Braide; Nollywood actor, Mike Ezuronye; star actress, Lizzy Anjorin and many others have bagged the 2012 Young Achievers Nigeria Awards. The award which is a celebration of young Nigerians, who have distinguished themselves in their various endeavours both at home and in the Diaspora, was held last Sunday at the Balmoral Hall, Oregun, Lagos. Organised by Young Achievers Nigeria Magazine, the third season of the award tagged:“The celebration & honouring of young barrier breakers” had 25 -year old Sodipe of Babcock University, IlishanRemo, Ogun State, honoured as the Role Model of the Year, for recently setting a new academic record by emerging the youngest doctorate degree holder. In a well attended event, Braide, was equally honoured as Police Spokesperson of the Year. She is the first female PPRO in Lagos State and the 16th person to hold such office. Ezuronye was named the Actor of the Year (English) while Lizzy Anjorin bagged the Actress of the Year (Yoruba) for their remarkable contributions in the movie industry. For the second consecutive time, Hon. Adijatu Adeleye- Oladapo was recognised as the Performing Lawmaker of the Year (State Assembly). She is the House Committee Chairman on House Services and Vice Chairman, Public Account and Anti Corruption in Ogun State. The business circle was not left out as Tunde Ojo, a well trained and qualified architect, was named the CEO of the Year. Other nominees in the category were Ms Ijeoma Aso, Clem Oladele, Olayiwola Akeem Abimbola and Ezekiel Adamu. Other recipients included: Sola Adewunmi ( Oustsanding Female Entrepreneur of the Year), Seyi Oyinlola (Oustanding Male Entrepreneur of the Year), Hon. Inuwa Garba (Outstanding Speaker of the

Year) Hon. Abiodun Akinlade (Constitent Lawmaker of the Year), Technocrime ( Dynamic Security Company of the Year), Sola Fajobi (Creative Entertainment Personality of the Year), Taiwo Shittu (Young Manager/Director of the Year) among others. Speaking after receiving the award, Braide, who assumed office as Lagos PPRO about five months ago, said the award was a surprise to her adding: “I feel honoured and very humbled and I think this was achieved with the help of the print and the electronic media because they have been very supportive. The award will encourage me to do more and to know that I have a heavy task ahead.” Also, Hon. Adeleye-Oladapo, who was recently given an award of the Best Media Friendly Lawmaker by Media Nite Awards remarked thus: “I feel glad as expected. To me, it is a challenge. It means that there are some people out there that are looking at what you are doing. So, there is a need for you to be up and doing.” Earlier in his keynote address, the Chairman/CEO of AEG Consultants and Atlantic Overseas Company, Mr. Adrian Gbinigie, asked the government to engage the youths in agricultural development in addressing unemployment in the country. Speaking on the topic: “Taking your destiny in your own hand”, Gbinigie stated that the country is practically wasting her best quality of youths in employment market, urging the graduate youths to form a co-operative and start a small scale enterprise, rather than searching for white collar jobs. Coordinator of the award, Adeduntan Ibrahim, expressed happiness for the success of the programme and stated that it is an award that honours resilient young people who, despite the odds, strived to achieve greatness in their endeavours.

L-R: Sola Adewunmi, Segun Banjo and Actress Mercy Aigbe

Hon. Adijat Adeleye-Oladapo

Ngozi Braide

Lizzy Anjorin (2nd left) recieving the award.


NYSC labour leaders assure of scheme’s success TOLA A KINMUTIMI ABUJA


he organised labour under the aegis of the NYSC Joint Labour Negotiating Council (JNLC) have re-affirmed their commitment to support the Brigadier General Okorie-Afia-led management’s ongoing reforms of the NYSC scheme in order to enable it fulfil its purpose as a tool for national unity and sustainable development. The workers’ assurance was contained in a statement jointly signed

by leaders of the three labour unions umbrella body -the NYSC Joint Negotiating Council, namely Comrade Chairman of the Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) Aloysius Idoga, Chairman of the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTR), Comrade Izah Kingsley; and his Nigerian Union of Civil Service Secretarial and Stenographic Workers (NUCSSAW) counterpart, Comrade Bunmi Afolayan and made available to the media. According to the labour leaders,

contrary to reports in some newspapers that the workers were ready to down tools over welfare-related matters, the employees are not, in any way, thinking along that line, adding that if there is any reason to demand for improved welfare, they will explore the channel of dialogue with the management rather than exploring other avenues that may undermine their collective efforts to reposition the scheme for greater roles in national development drives. They claimed that those behind the alleged threat had no mandate to speak

on behalf of the workers on industrial relation matters since they do not have any bargaining power or symbolise the voice of the legally recognised labour unions in the NYSC. Specifically, they described the sponsored publication in one or two dailies as empty threats by a few individuals who were out to serve their selfish interests after having failed to arm-twist the management into recognising their illegal National Coordinating Committee, whose interest and purpose are just aimed at feathering their nests at the expense of the workers.

National Mirror

Young & Next Generation

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Giving a generation reason to dream TERH AGBEDEH


ric Obuh, better known today as Vocal Slender, was before now unknown to the Nigerian music loving public. Until his meeting with fate when his talent was discovered through a news report by a foreign media on scavenging, he used to pick up recyclables from the streets of Lagos and its refuse dumps. Today, Vocal Slender has an album, has performed in London and in 2010, he collected the Zeal to Succeed Award by the Union of All Afro-Caribbean Universities in the UK. He is currently living a Cinderella dream-come-true life. All over Nigeria, so many youths live unfulfilled dreams, they get frustrated and some engage in crime as a means to let off steam and forget their troubles. Vocal Slenders abound in every nook and cranny of Nigeria, as they walk the streets hawking goods, making ends meet as bus conductors, staying “alive” but not “living” their dreams they end up not living an enriched life. In countries like the United States of America, talented people constitute a considerable population of the rich class, with people like 50 Cents and DMX coming from poor backgrounds which they love to refer to as the “Street” to make entertainment one of America’s great exports to the world. In Nigeria, talented people far outnumber opportunities, which is why MTN Nigeria came up with Project Fame; this talent hunt project makes the dreams of teaming youths who have no backing other than their God given talent to come true by churning out extremely talented young Nigerians and West Africans. Normally, these talented youths would either find it very difficult to get a record deal in a country where talent is as abundant as the air we breathe. Or they would have succumbed to pressure and quit due to the bumpy road of becoming an icon and that would have been the end of the road for a potential star.

Project Fame, which is an MTN solely sponsored annual musical reality TV show, provides a platform for talented Nigerians to unleash the potential they have within, that fire that burns inside waiting to explode. The talent show offers a rewarding way of youth expression rather than engaging in violence. The first winner of the competition Inyanya has a promotional single that has become a chartbuster on TV and radio; he is currently rated as one of the top eight Nigerian artistes, as he continues to make waves in the clubs and the music industry with the track ‘Kukere’, which is an Afro-Hip hop song, a mixture of African cultural flavour and western style of music. Chidinma has a single called ‘Kedike’ that is making waves on both TV and radio stations and Monica’s single, ‘Below’ has started gaining popularity, while Mike has gone to the studio to cook up some beats. All these rising stars are products of the MTN Pulse sponsored Project Fame. Nigeria became the 104th country to air the programme “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” on October 8, 2004 with the highest top prize of N10 million in the country. The show itself ranks among the most-watched in Nigeria with a viewership base of close to 50 million. Osazuwa Osahon Daniels a 30-year-old single graduate of the University of Benin (UNIBEN) and native of Edo State, who played on June 19, 2009, became the first to win a huge sum of five million naira? Nicholas Atewe, also a native of Edo State, then a member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) set-up a business while serving his country. On September 28, 2008, while a 26-year-old he won N250, 000 on the show. The lives of these winners and many others who have benefited from this life-changing activities that have made people who were poor to be rich and those who were unknown to be superstars will never be the same as they live their new dreams.

The renovated building. Inset: Ugwuanyi

Corps member renovates govt building DENNIS AGBO ENUGU


rincess Edit Ngozi Ugwuanyi is one of the 2011/2012 batch C Corps members that would be passing out today in Enugu State from the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, after one year service to motherland, Nigeria. She is happy, fulfilled and has obviously had meritorious service, but more importantly would be leaving the area of her primary assignment better than she met it. Coming from the background of overseas school training where she studied Nursing at first degree in Texas Women’s University and an MBA postgraduate degree from the University of Phoenix, Arizona all in USA, she returned to Nigeria and was posted for her service year at the office of the Economic Adviser to the Enugu State Governor. Princess was, however, not happy with the environment and physical structure of the office as she met it and so decided to change the environment as much as she could afford. The building, situated along Nza Street, Independence Layout, Enugu beside the government house, is one of the old buildings that houses government offices. The aesthetics of the building was not attractive as the paintings have faded away; the front office rug carpet that runs up staircase inside the building was equally too old

and needed to be changed. What Princess did was to repaint the entire building both inside and outside including the boys’ quarters to enhance the beauty of the place she came to work. She said she enjoyed her interaction with the folks she met in the office and in her service year. “My impact was the renovation of the entire building of that office. When I got there, I didn’t like the place because of how it looks and I decided to do my own part by contributing. So I painted the whole place both inside and outside and the boys’ quarters. Then I changed all the rug carpets inside the office, the whole way including the staircase and some tiles at the entry of the building,” she said. Princess said it did not matter if the building belonged to government that can afford to renovate the building, but she did it as part of her contribution to nation building. “I also wish that individuals could make similar contributions to the government. That’s my own contribution and as somebody who lived in America for over 27 years, that is how I can tell my country and the state that I am part of them,” Princess stated. The workers she met at the office said kind words about her, adding that they would miss her, her magnanimity, her carriage and good relationship with the people she met within the one year she served in the office.

Vodacom empowers youths with IT skill KUNLE A ZEEZ

A Chidinma Performing

s part of its commitment to youth empowerment and development through Information and Communication Technology, Vodacom Business Nigeria, has exposed more youths from secondary schools to IT skill. To achieve this, the company recently hosted the ICT Club student members of Grace High School on a one-day ICT tour at its Lagos office, where it introduced them to new technologies, thereby boosting their ICT know-how. The tour, which included a visit to the com-

pany’s data centre, was aimed at giving these tech-savvy students exposure to the technology behind the gadgets and applications they use on a daily basis. Speaking during on students’ visit to the company, Executive Head, Network Operations Vodacom Business Nigeria, Vernon Van Rooyen, said, for youngsters, devices such as the iPad, smartphones and video games were fast becoming a way of life among the youths. “Children are fascinated by pressing buttons and making things work. By taking them behind the scenes we’re giving them a better understanding of the industry, how it works and showing them where they can one day make a difference,” he said.



Thursday, October 18, 2012


he role of the media in society building cannot be underestimated. Similarly, politics, as the soul of nation building cannot exist independently of the press. Therefore, the relationship between the duo determines how far a nation can go in terms of development. This was the platform upon which the 47th inaugural lecture of the Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, which held recently, stood. Delivered by a renowned scholar, who is generally acknowledged as one of the most widely published communication researchers in Nigeria – Lai Oso, audience at the event were taken through the historical perspectives of the media industry in Nigeria, and the relationship of the press with both the government and the people. To Oso, a former Deputy Rector of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, in Ogun State and now Dean, School of Communication, Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, the Press, as it functions in Nigeria, cannot be the fourth estate of the realm. According to Oso, whose theme of discourse was: “Press and Politics in Nigeria: On whose side?”, the Press in Nigeria is an extension of the ruling class; the status he said it attains by the virtue of its ownership, funding and control. The Press (newspapers, televisions and radios) according to the lecturer are meant to serve as the link between the people and the government; the tribune upon which the people can stand and express their true feelings about, and expectations from government. However, Oso sees the Nigerian press, especially those operating within the country between the time of the advent of the new democratic system and now, as not truly representing the interest of the country but that of those who patronise them in terms of advert placements, sponsorships and other forms of support. “Without doubt, a major shift has occurred in the structure of media ownership. This has been accompanied by a change in philosophy and goals. Time was when the main goals were politi-

Oso speaking with journalists at the event.

Community-based media will represent masses’ interest –Don It was the 47th inaugural lecture of the Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, where a Professor of Mass Communication, Lai Oso, critiqued journalism practice in Nigeria. The lecture, attended by scholars and journalists, lampooned the current structure of the nation’s press and its relationship with politicians. MOJEED ALABI reports:

cal and social prestige; economic and profit making goals were secondary. The philosophy underpinning media ownerships and operation, particularly broadcasting, was more of public service than profit making. But times have changed. Journalism is now driven by the market,” Oso revealed. Illustrating the power of market on the press, Oso cited the example of the sponsored advertorial by a group, Neigbour-2-Neighbour, canvassing support for the removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government as against

the activities of the protesters that dominated the period. Meanwhile, the lecturer identified the fact that there cannot be an objective press anywhere in the world saying the foundation of journalism does not recognise objectivity. He, however, suggested a community- based media as the only alternative for the poor masses to get their voices heard, and called on the media regulatory bodyBroadcasting Organisation of Nigeria, to open its door wide to accommodate such form of media to represent the

National Mirror

oppressed. “I am not talking about campus radio as community based radio, rather I am talking about radio stations or newspapers owned and managed by members of the grassroots who can control their contents and reach their audience in the manner they want,” he suggested. When asked about the challenge of funding, the professor said the kind of the platforms should not be those that will compete with the elitist types but those built with modest incomes and that use minimal tools. “In fact, in such media, workers would work on volunteer basis and everyone would see it as its business.” He also applauded the use of the new media as alternative to the existing press and enjoined its good use to ensure participatory democracy. He further advised journalists to doubt all information they are handed to afford them the opportunity to carry out more investigation and research into the authenticity and genuineness of the material offered them. “It appears that many journalists are ready to accept any information from sources without bothering about the credibility and veracity of such information. In this age of packaged politics and politicians, spin doctoring, news management, branding and promotion of pseudo-events, every strategy is employed to create a close assimilation between journalists and their sources. To reduce the sources of these strategies on the news making process, journalists must maintain a high level of social distance from sources. Else, they become more ventriloquists or conveyor-belts for the views and interests of such sources,” he submitted. The inaugural lecture, which was the second to be delivered in the university by the School of Communication, had in attendance the presenter of the first lecture and a pillar of Mass Communication study in Nigeria, Prof. Idowu Sobowale. The Lagos State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba, who is one of the lecturer’s many former students, and many of his friends, colleagues, family members also attended the event.

31 local, foreign companies for broadcasters’ conference –NBC CHIDI UGWU ABUJA


igerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has said that about 31 companies have confirmed participation in this year’s biennial conference of Africa broadcasters otherwise known as Africast 2012. NBC said that Africast is a platform of networking for providers, distributors, marketers of broadcast content and equipment, broadcasters, policy makers, advisers, administrators and end users. The Director General of NBC Engr. Yomi Bolarinwa who was speaking at a press briefing in Abuja reiterated the commission’s readiness to switch over from analogue to digital broadcast transmission come June 17 next year. He said the theme of this year’s edition is “Attaining Millennium De-

velopment Goals through Broadcast Content” noting that 15 out of the 31 companies are coming from outside Nigeria. According to the NBC boss, 16 papers focusing on content will be delivered at the 3- day event by highly qualified professionals across the globe, including British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)’s Solomon Mugera, Nigeria’s astute broadcaster, Tonnie Iredia, among others. Bolarinwa said the 9th edition which comes up between October 23 to October 2012 at the Abuja Sheraton Hotel, will provide an atmosphere of deep intellectual discourse, analysis as well as reflections on broadcast issues. “Africast 2012 will also provide an atmosphere of deep intellectual discourse, analysis as well as reflections on broadcast issues by high profile key speakers with real expertise and expe-

rience in the area of broadcast infrastructure and broadcast content in the digital environment” he said. He said the programme will feature Master Classes which was introduced in 2010 designed to smoothen Africa’s transition from analogue to digital terrestrial broadcasting. Other highlights of the event is a completion, which the NBC boss said will provide opportunity for Africa’s crop of producers to showcase their talents, adding that prices will be awarded for outstanding productions in television and radio drama, documentary, discussion, variety, light entertainment programmes among others. The Information Minister Mr. Labaran Maku is the Chief Host while the Speaker of the House Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal will be the Guest of Honour at the occasion.


National Mirror


Thursday, October 18, 2012

NUJ president wants Triumph re-opened

NTA/Startimes hits Enugu with lowest tariff DENNIS AGBO ENUGU


he Nigerian Television Authority-STAR TV Network has rolled out in Enugu State, introducing lowest tariff in the industry. Performing the official lunch in Enugu, the Zonal Director of NTA Enugu Zonal Center, Dame Nneonyeodiri Ukoha said that the NTA-Star Network was a strategic partnership between the Nigerian Television Authority and the Startimes Beijing Group. He described Startimes as one of the most influential radio and television networks in China, adding that the partnership commenced in 2010 but matured in July 2012. According to him, at inception, the partnership was envisaged to bridge the digital broadcasting, in line with the directive by National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) for broadcasting organisations to transmit from analogue to digital broadcasting by July of 2013. The Enugu NTA boss further disclosed that it was in an effort to kick-start the transition that the NTA quickly moved into this partnership, thereby becoming the first television station in Nigeria to embrace the digital technology. He explained that since the commencement of this partnership, the NTA-Startimes initiative has progressed quite rapidly, spreading to about 13 states of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory. Ukoha stated that the official lunch of the project in Enugu was another landmark achievement by the NTA and its partners and was calculated to give the residents of Enugu and its environs access to excellent programming content on the Startimes platform. He explained that when the project started two years ago, there was only one bouquet on the Startimes network housing about 24 channels.






he national president of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Comrade Mohammed Garba has appealed to the Kano State Government to rescind its decision and re-open the State owned 32year old Triumph Publishing Company. Comrade Garba, who made the appeal, while delivering a welcome address at the maiden Annual Lecture/Role Model Award, organised by the Kano Chapter of the Correspondents Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists in Kano recently, pleaded that Triumph, which is the only surviving government newspaper should not be allowed to die overnight. According to him, Triumph, which has produced top outstanding journalists across the country, like Halilu Dantiye, who is the incumbent Director of Press to Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, former NUJ national president, Sani Zoro, himself, Mohammed Garba, as well as Garba Shehu, spokesman of former President Atiku Abubakar should be bailed out

for posterity. Despite the odds, Garba, urged Governor Kwankwaso to not only re-finance but re-open the publishing firm, which he noted gainfully employed thousands of Kano indigenes and non-indigenous community. Besides, he acknowledged that Governor Kwankwaso has transformed Kano into a mega city and will go down into the history books as the first governor of the state, who created three new cities, far flung from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. He noted that Governor Kwankwaso deserves the award bestowed on him by the State Correspondents Chapel of the NUJ state council. Responding, the Deputy Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje, who represented Governor Kwankwaso on the occasion, pledged that the State Government would re-invigorate the Triumph Publishing. According to him, troubled Triumph has for a pretty long time been standing on one leg, pointing out that Kwankwaso is uncomfortable with the situation, hence its sudden closure. “Triumph would be re-invigorated, it’s just a matter of time, the Governor is not comfortable with Triumph standing on one foot.” However, he thanked the Correspondents chapel for bestowing two awards on the governor, which he noted would spur him to work a lot more to transform Kano to a mega city of his dream, pointing out that any first time visitor to Kano at night would accept that it is a mega city, as all nooks and crannies of the city is illuminated. The guest Speaker, Dr .Kabir Kabo Usman, who is the Director General, Centre for Management Development (CMD), during his lecture, entitled: “Leveraging on Technology and Social Media for Competitive Positioning” chronicled the advancement in Information Technology across the globe, acknowledging that that Facebook alone has hit over 500 million users, including Yahoo, Google among others.

Media Abroad

Media industry legend, Ted Turner, honoured


egendary media visionary, Ted Turner was honoured Tuesday by the Digital Place-based Advertising Association (DPAA) at its 5th annual Digital Media Summit at the New York Hilton. Turner was honoured for his pioneering role in helping to launch the digital place-based media industry. Under his aegis, Turner Private Networks in the early 1990's was at the forefront of the launch of eight digital place-based networks: Checkout Channel, CNN Airport Network, CNN Accent Health, CNN College Television Network (now MTVU),

Cafe USA, McDTV (with McDonald's), Turner In-Flight and AutoZone Sports Network. Turner and other industry luminaries appeared via video following an on-stage introduction by Mike DiFranza, DPAA chairman and president/ founder, Captivate Network. In accepting the honour, Turner said, "When I got into the industry decades ago, I knew I was taking a risk and certainly I didn't know I'd achieve the success we did let alone be known as a visionary.I can't believe how far the industry has come since those early days but I'm proud to have been

a part of its beginning. CNN Airport Network, Checkout Channel, and so many others under the Turner Private Network brand are some of my proudest professional accomplishments, because I saw a need that wasn't being met. Today, the world's moving at an even quicker pace and digital-place based media is following suit. Just like the early days of cable, you're on the cusp of something big so keep working to build this industry and take full advantage of the opportunities it has to offer.The folks who saw the value in cable early became the industry stars; here's your chance to do the same."

Fellowship for ethics leadership in media opens


he Center for International Media Ethics (CIME) is seeking media professionals who are eager to deepen their knowledge about media ethics. Applicants should have a minimum three years of professional experience related to journalism/media, a strong interest in media ethics and a proven track record of commitment to ethical is-

sues in journalism. Fellows will conduct indepth research activities about media ethics in their chosen region (preferably in their country of residence) coordinated by a mentor from CIME. They will also participate in J-Ethinomics online media ethics training and represent CIME at events, workshops, conferences. The fellowship lasts one

year, starting January 2013. It is flexible, part-time and is a home-based position. The fellowship does not include financial benefits or support from CIME and does not require any fees from participants of the program. Applicants can be based anywhere in the world, but must have a good command of English. The application deadline is October 28.

Turner (L) receiving the award

Nieman fellowships at Harvard


he Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard will host up to 12 fellows for a year of research and scholarship.International journalists can apply. Fellows will participate in Harvard courses, weekly seminars and writing and multimedia workshops. The international fellowships programme is for citizens of nations other than the United

States, including non-U.S. citizens working at media organizations in the United States. English fluency is required. Applicants must submit a personal statement, study proposal, work samples, recommendation letters and a letter of support from a current employer. The deadline to apply is December 1. Source: ijnet



Thursday, October 18, 2012



Today's Tonic (25)

Studies have shown that those who are spending their days sitting, lying down and not moving have more weak and brittle bones. But if one exercises, like he simple brisk walking, can actually help in strengthening the quality of the bones. Any physical activity that allows you to carry your body is a good way to prevent yourself from osteoporosis. – * * * Use Or Lose! The paradox of life is that we tend to lose what we don’t use. When we don’t develop our ability to give, we negatively hinder our ability to receive. There are so many things we have in us that are being threatened into oblivion just because we are not using them to bless humanity. You are a bundle of gifts from God. There is so much treasure in you that can transform the lives of people around you - if put to use. Most of the time, procrastination is our number one enemy in using our gifts to bless humanity. Arise, and you will shine! TEL 08104942999 E-MAIL Follow me @TwitterOWOTIDE

National Mirror


Diamond planet bigger than Earth discovered


rbiting a star that is visible to the naked eye, astronomers have discovered a planet twice the size of Earth made largely out of diamond. The rocky planet, called ‘55 Cancri e’, orbits a sunlike star in the constellation of Cancer and is moving so fast that a year there lasts a mere 18 hours. Discovered by a U.S.Franco research team, its radius is twice that of Earth’s with a mass eight times greater. That would give it the same density as Earth, although previously observed diamond planets

are reckoned to be a lot more dense. It is also incredibly hot, with temperatures on its surface reaching 3,900 degrees Fahrenheit (1,648 Celsius). “The surface of this planet is likely covered in graphite and diamond rather than water and granite,” said Nikku Madhusudhan, the Yale researcher whose findings are due to be published in the journal Astrophysical Journal Letters. The study with

Olivier Mousis at the Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planetologie in Toulouse, France - estimates that at least a third of the planet’s mass, the equivalent of about three Earth masses, could be diamond. Diamond planets have been spotted before but this is the first time one has been seen orbiting a sun-like star and studied in such detail. “This is our first glimpse of a rocky world with a

fundamentally different chemistry from Earth,” Madhusudhan said, adding that the discovery of the carbon-rich planet meant distant rocky planets could no longer be assumed to have chemical constituents, interiors, atmospheres, or biologies similar to Earth. David Spergel, an astronomer at Princeton University, said it was relatively simple to work out the basic structure and history of a star once you know its mass and age.

Pandas were eaten by prehistoric Chinese --Scientist


as the adorable giant panda once a staple of the Chinese diet? (ABC News)Recently discovered fossil records suggest that ancient humans living in China may have regularly eaten giant pandas as part of their diet. The Institute of Three

Gorges Paleoanthropology lead scientist Wei Guangbiao says the fossils, discovered in the modern-day city of Chongqing, contain tool markings. “We have studied many samples of panda fossils excavated in Chongqing from the sites where humans once

lived,” Wei told the Associated Press. A large number of them showed that pandas were slashed to death by man.” However, prehistoric giant pandas were both smaller and much more abundant than their endangered, modern-day counterparts.

The interior of the planet 55 Cancri e - an extremely hot planet with a surface of mostly graphite surrounding a thick layer of diamond. Photo: Reuters

Thursday, October 18, 2012

National Mirror


Community Mirror “Those who say Nigeria is not ripe for state police are not sincere..” OSUN STATE GOVERNOR, RAUF AREGBESOLA



23-year-old suspected drug dealer identified as Martins Mathias Okon, has been arrested by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA in Akwa Ibom State. Four others Sunday Augustine Ibanga, 44 Okokon Udoh Ekong 33, Daniel Okon Ekpong 43 and Emem Okon Ekong 39 were also arrested by the agency for allegedly peddling illegal drugs in the state. Briefing newsmen, the state commander of the NDLEA, Mrs. Ruth Obi, said Okon has been on their watch list for some time

NDLEA nabs suspected drug baron now, after the officers had made several pre-purchases of illegal drugs that confirmed he was the one selling the illicit drugs at his residence on No. 115 Nwaniba Road, Uyo. “When we raided his residence, he jumped through the window with two briefcases. Of course, we suspect the briefcases could be exhibits, if not he will not be running. And his room was the only one in the house without a burglar proof, which meant, he was always in readiness to escape.

The officers discovered paraphernalia of used drugs as well as empty bullet shells. Later, he came to explain the three bullet cases were among those used in the assassination of his father. He thought he would clear himself without realizing we earlier made several pre-purchases from him and his brother various occasions. And the quantity we bought was much, which also confirmed he was the one selling them, “she stressed. The NDLEA boss explained

that Okon along other suspects would be charged to court for prosecution. However, Okon denied engaging in illegal drugs, saying he came to the agency to recover the bullet shells removed from his room while he was away from the house and was arrested. He claimed he was not the one who sold the pre-purchased drugs to the agency, adding that he is engaged in lawful business for livelihood. His words, “They showed me

some wraps of hard drugs they bought earlier from me and I said, I was not the one who sold them. That is not what I do. The only thing they took from my house was the bullet shells that I recovered from the spot my dad was assassinated. In my statement, I accepted they are mine because they were kept as a reminder. I work with a construction company as clerk and also run a software program at APTECH computers. So I am not into dealing drugs.”

Borno to employ youths for roads construction INUSA NDAHI MAIDUGURI


total of 200 youths are to be employed by the Borno State Government for interlocking project of city roads in Maiduguri. This was disclosed by the Commissioner for Works and Transport, Ibrahim Mohammed Bukar, during the visit of Governor Kashim Shettima to the Marini Asphalt plant procured for the production of interlocking blocks. The equipment includes 12 trucks, rollers, water tanker and pay loader, even as the commissioner also requested the governor to approve the Ramat Square as production centre for the inter locks and safe keeping. Responding after the visit, Ibrahim Mohammed Bukar said, production of the interlocks in Maiduguri will soon take off. The Governor Shettima satisfaction at the equipment, saying the government wanted to embark on massive production of interlocks for construction of major roads and streets in Maiduguri, as he directed the commissioner to liaise with chairman of Maiduguri Metropolis and others to recruit youths for the project. Governor Kashim also inspected the proposed site for the tippers garage on Bama Road and directed the place to be cleared for construction of toilet, mosque and borehole, even as he also inspected shopping malls under construction at the 303 Housing Estate and expressed satisfaction at the level of work done.

Some flood-displaced victims returning to their houses at Wurukum in Makurdi, Benue State.


NULGE, MOAN sue groups for illegal levies T he National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) and the Mobile Advert Agency of Nigeria (MOAN) have jointly dragged the Mobile Advert Emblem Hackney g Permit Producers Association of Nigeria, the Motor Vehicle Advert Association and Mobile Advertisers Association of Nigeria, as well as their promoters, to a Federal High Court, sitting in Lagos. Aside the three associations, other defendants in the suit are: Chief Gabriel Ojoba, Suleman Nageem, Chief Bukola Oguntola, Prince Adeyemo Olumuyiwa, Mr. Tajudeen Olaoye and others. In the suit, number FHC/L/

CS/1221/12, filed on behalf of NULGE and MOAN by the chambers of M.O. Megele and Associates, the two groups are asking the court to stop the three associations and their promoters “from imposition and collection of unauthorised local government levies/taxes from motorists and other road users, as well as distribution and sales of illegal certificate such as Vehicle Incorporated Clearance, in the name of Mobile Advert Hackney Permit Producers Association of Nigeria or any other revenue association”. The plaintiffs are also asking for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants , either by themselves, their agents,

servants or privies from further engaging in the printing of motor vehicle certificate and an order of perpetual injunction, restraining the defendants from engaging in multiple taxation and collection of taxes purportedly for local councils, which are not listed by the Joint Tax Board (JTB) among the taxes/levies collectible by the councils, and unwarranted imposition of double taxation on road users, as well as collection of taxes/levies purportedly for the councils. The plaintiffs supported their claims with various letters and memos from the Presidency through the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Allocation Com-

mission (RMFAC), and the National Planning Commission (NPC), directing the Inspector General of Police and President of NULGE, to take concrete measures towards the eradication of multiple taxes in the country. No date has been fixed for the hearing of the matter. Meanwhile, NULGE said it had taken measures to tackle multiple taxes and ensure uniformity in the collection of approved council taxes by introducing a biometric data-based clearance that will capture all relevant information of registered vehicles, adding that only its Pin Code would guarantee free movement of vehicles in all the councils across the country.



Thursday, October 18, 2012

National Mirror

NGO wants Northern Christian Minority Commission created A ZA MSUE KADUNA


Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Humanity Knights Network (HKN), yesterday called on the Federal Government to create the Northern Christian Minority Commission. In a communiqué signed by the NKN National Coordinator, Mr. Benjamin Utim, after a stakeholders’ summit held in Kaduna, the NGO said the call became pertinent in view of the frequent violence being inflicted on Christians in the North. The communiqué said the commission should be empowered to implement policies fashion out to protect the interest of Christians in the North. The communiqué reads: “Participants at the stakeholders’ summit call for the Federal Government’s creation of a National Commission for the Management of Christian Religious Minority Issues in Northern Nigeria because of the incessant religious crisis afflicting hardship and countless persecution on Christian families in Northern Nigeria. “This commission is expected to serve on the same footing like the Nomadic Education Commission.” The communiqué, however, demanded

Christians’ rights to housing and compensation after violence. “Avail Christian refugees and displaced persons the rights to housing and property, as well as provide alternative relocation to other refugees in places where it is factually impossible to restore them with compensation in line with Article 2.1 of the United Nations International Law Principle on Housing and Property Restitution for Refugees and Displaced Persons,” the communiqué added.

Plateau House of Assembly Speaker Hon. John Clark (left), administering the oath of allegiance on the new member from BarkinLadi constituency, Mrs. Kaneng Fulani, in Jos, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Police kill two suspected robbers in Katsina JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA


he Katsina State Police Command has killed two of the suspected killers of one Mr. Okeh Ogiego, a building materials dealer. Ogiego, 49, was shot dead recently by the suspected armed robbers in the state capital. The robbers had trailed the late business man on a motorcycle from his shop at the popular Sabon Layi Street, where many Igbos sell their wares. It was learnt that the late Ogiego was earlier that day paid a huge amount of money by one of his customers. He was said to have put the money at the back of his pick-up van and covered same with loads of

firewood. The robbers caught up with him and demanded the money, but he told them it was at the back of his car. Thinking he was trying to deceive them, the robbers began to argue with him and shot him on the hand. They also shot him several times on the chest and head. He was rushed to the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital in Zaria, where he later died. Ogiego, who hailed from Anambra State, is survived by a wife and seven children. But the state Commissioner of Police, Abdullahi Magaji, said the police engaged the suspected robbers in gun battle and killed one of them on the spot. Magaji said the second

Why I wanted my slain son buried in Kano –Victim’s father AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST KANO


he father of a terror victim has explained why he wanted the body of his slain son buried in Kano Mr. A. Adeila, the father of 32-year-old Bananas, told National Mirror yesterday in Kano that he resisted suggestions by members of his family that Bananas’ body should be transported to his Edo State home for burial. Bananas was shot dead on Sunday in Kano by some suspected terror-

ists. Adeila said he decided that the body of his son should be buried in Kano, where he was killed, in order to avoid the unpleasant reaction that might greet the arrival of the corpse back home. Family members at the funeral service said a likely violent reaction was feared, hence the decision of the old man have the body buried in Kano. The body of Bananas was buried at the Hammaddiya cemetery in Kano. Bananas was killed

less than a month to his wedding scheduled for November. He was shot dead by the terrorists in his Shagari quarters residence in Kano. Sources said at the time he was attacked, he was in company of his fiancée, who was also injured by the terrorists. The deceased was shot in the head while his fiancée was hit in the chest, but survived. Bananas’ body was laid to rest after a burial service at the Living Faith Church, Sabon Gari, Kano.

person died in a hospital while receiving treatment. He added that one of them was arrested by the police, but their gang lead-

er, one Uche, escaped. Magaji said: “The police recovered some weapons at the scene of the gun battle. We are on the trail

of the gang’s leader.” He said two suspects are in police custody and that they are aiding investigation.

Reps set to probe Kogi Speaker’s removal •Assembly sealed off A I DEMU DAKWO AND



he House of Representatives has constituted a committee of seven members to investigate the removal of the Kogi State House of Assembly Speaker and other principal officers. The committee is led by the House Deputy Whip, Hon. Ahmed Mukhtar. Members are Hons Ibrahim Tukur El-Sudi, Ali Ahmad, Nkem Abonta, Pally Iriase, Jagaba Adams Jagaba and Sekonte Davies. The committee was mandated by the House to submit its report on the matter “as soon as possible”. Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha, who presided

over yesterday’s session, ruled against a debate on the matter until investigation by the panel is concluded. The House took the decision following a motion by a member, Hon. Ossai Ossai, who said that the removal of the Kogi Speaker was similar to incidents in Ogun and Oyo states in which minority lawmakers removed their principal officers in clear breach of Section 92(2) of the 1999 Constitution. Meanwhile, the Kogi State Police Command has sealed off the state House of Assembly to prevent a likely breakdown of law and order. The police took the decision following the leader-

ship tussle that erupted in the Assembly on Tuesday which culminated in the removal of the Speaker and other principal officers. Already, a faction of 12 members claimed to have removed the Speaker and other principal officers were to resume sitting yesterday before the police sealed off the Assembly. The State Commissioner of Police, Muhammed Katsina, who confirmed the development, said the decision became necessary in view of the rising tension in the House of Assembly. He, however, said the police had been put on alert to prevent violence, warning that the command would not hesitate to clamp down on any trouble maker.

Kano electricity company yet to get second quarter allocation AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST KANO


he management of Kano Electricity Distribution Company has said it is yet to receive the second quarter allocation of the 2012 budget from the Federal Ministry of Finance. The Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of the company, Alhaji Mohammed Tunde Balogun, told a team of House Committee on Power yesterday

in Kano that the management only received allocation for first and third quarter, while that of the second quarter was still hanging. According to the CEO, who was represented by the Assistant General Manager in charge of Technical Services, Mr. Sadiq Ibrahim, out of the N886, 022, 331 allocated to Kano Electricity Distribution Company in the 2012 budget, only 38 per cent of the total sum had been received from the Federal Ministry of Finance.

He, however, revealed that despite all challenges, the Kano zone had been able to shore up its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) from N400 million to about N1.02 billion. Balogun said: “When this present management assumed duty some three years back, the monthly revenue base was a paltry N400 million. But today, we are celebrating our latest unprecedented achievement of a landmark N1.02 billion recorded in September.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

National Mirror


World News

“To bridge the gap between the promise of Africa and the reality on the ground, I believe the United Nations must continue to give priority to the continent’s singular needs”

Obama hits back in fiery second debate with Romney


– UN General Assembly President, Vuk Jeremic

Somalia appoints new Prime Minister PAUL ARHEWE



embers of Somalia’s parliament have approved the appointment of Abdi Farah Shirdon as the new prime minister. The MPs unanimously backed the ex-businessman, nominated by newly elected President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. Before the vote Mr Shirdon said he would form “an effective government to deal with current situation”. Somalia has suffered more than 20 years of war and the election of Mr Mohamud last month was considered the first fair poll in Mogadishu for 42 years. Addressing MPs, President Mohamud said he was confident the new prime minister would do something about the “country’s difficult situation”. The biggest challenge facing Somalia’s new UN-backed lead-

ers is the al-Qaeda-aligned Islamist group, al-Shabaab. Despite losing key towns over the last few months, the militants still control large areas of

rural southern and central Somalia. Al-Shabaab supporters have carried out a number of suicide attacks in the capital, Mogadi-

Somali new prime minister, Shirdon


shu, since the group was driven out of the city by African Union and pro-government forces last year - including several since Mr Mohamud’s election. Mr Shirdon took the oath of office shortly after the vote and his next task is to form a cabinet. An economics graduate, Mr Shirdon has been based in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, since the civil war in Somalia began in 1991. In April, he co-founded the Rajo Council, or Hope Council, in Nairobi, which he said aimed to bring Somalis together to reclaim the country. He is married to Aisha Hagi Elmi, a prominent Somali MP and outspoken voice on women’s issues. Since the overthrow of President Siad Barre in 1991, Somalia has seen clan-based warlords, Islamist militants and its neighbours all battling for control of the country.

Angola launches $5bn sovereign wealth fund


ngola yesterday launched a $5 billion sovereign wealth fund to invest in domestic and overseas assets by funnelling its vast oil wealth into infrastructure, hotels and other high-growth projects. Africa’s second-largest crude oil producer is looking to diversify its oil-dependent economy by developing infrastructure outside the energy industry. The country was devastated by a 27-year civil war that ended a decade ago. Nigeria, the continent’s top oil producer, has already set up a similar $1 billion fund, although its progress has been hampered by political wrangling. “The Nigerian fund is mainly for liquid, low-yield assets, while the Angolan fund’s mandate is broader, with investment in the real economy domestically,” said Richard Segal, head of emerging markets strategy at Jefferies in London. The Angolan Sovereign Fund (FSA), which will also invest in financial securities, will be headed by President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos’ economic affairs secretary, the fund’s board said in a statement. Jose Filomeno dos Santos, one of the president’s sons, will also

sit on the three-person board, an appointment likely to raise further questions about government transparency. President Dos Santos has led the country for 33 years and was sworn in for a new five-year term last month. The fund said its first investments will be in projects to develop agriculture, water, power generation and transport, with an early focus on the hotel industry in sub-Saharan Africa. Until now the southwest African country was one of the few OPEC member states without a sovereign wealth fund.

Oil revenues represent over 95 percent of Angola’s export income and around 45 percent of gross domestic product. After years of double-digit growth, Angola’s economy suffered a rapid slow down after oil prices tumbled in 2008. GDP, which the World Bank estimated at $101 billion last year, is set to grow between 8 and 10 percent this year thanks to higher oil prices and output. Filomeno dos Santos told Reuters in a telephone interview the fund was not a stabilisation tool in the event of an oil price

Angola’s President Jose Eduardo dos Santos


shock, but was aimed at diversifying the economy and creating wealth. It will grow from further oil revenues transferred by the government and from returns on its investment projects, he added, although he declined to estimate the fund’s growth. “There may be a lot of good intentions, but in a country where there is no transparency, corruption is high and key places go those close to the leader, we see little chance of this plan working to help Angolans,” Alcides Sakala, spokesman for main opposition party UNITA told Reuters. The FSA board said it will be assisted by a council composed of senior ministers and the central bank governor, and will publish accounts annually and have them audited by an international audit firm. “The transparency of the fund will be guaranteed by our strict reporting and auditing rules and an investment policy to be announced soon,” Filomeno dos Santos said. It was not immediately clear when the investment policy would be announced, or if it would be enough to assuage concerns about governance.


UN accuses Rwanda of leading DR Congo rebels Rwanda’s defence minister is commanding a rebellion in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo that is being armed by Rwanda and Uganda, both of which sent troops to aid the insurgency in a deadly attack on UN peacekeepers, according to a UN report. The UN Security Council’s Group of Experts said in a confidential report that Rwanda and Uganda - despite their strong denials - continued to support M23 rebels in their six-month fight against Congolese government troops in North Kivu province. “Both Rwanda and Uganda have been supporting M23,” said the 44-page report, which was seen by the Reuters news agency.

Tunisian journalists on strike over Islamist control Tunisian journalists went on strike yesterday, piling pressure on the Islamist government they accuse of restricting freedom of speech after a revolt toppled the country’s autocratic leader last year. Tunisia’s once-staid media has enjoyed a new lease of life since the removal of Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, but activists say the government, led by the moderate Islamist Ennahda party, is now seeking to impose new controls. The strike, which also involved staff at state-run televisions and news agency TAP, was called by the 1,200-member journalists’ union and is the first ever staged in Tunisia. “The first general strike (by Tunisian media) aims to defend press freedom after we have exhausted the channels of dialogue with the government,” the union said in a statement.

Egyptian girl punished for not veiling A teacher in southern Egypt punished two 12-year-old schoolgirls for not wearing the Muslim headscarf by cutting their hair, the father of one girl said Wednesday, in an incident that stokes concerns over personal rights following the rise of Islamist political movements. The governor of Luxor province where the incident occurred called the teacher’s actions “shameful” and said she had been transferred to another school. But rights groups say that some Islamic conservatives have been emboldened by the success of groups like Muslim Brotherhood and the ultraconservative Salafi trend in parliamentary and presidential elections and have been increasingly brazen about forcing their standards on other Egyptians.



Cuba’s amends migration policy

The Cuban government announced its decision to forgo the required travel permit as well as the letter of invitation for travellers to this Latin American country. The new policy takes effect from January 14th, 2013. It will only be necessary to submit the ordinary passport, duly updated, and the visa issued by the country of destination, in those cases when it is required. The ordinary passport will be issued to the Cuban citizens who meet the requirements of the Migration Law, as modified in compliance with these provisions. Such Law will come into effect ninety days after its publication in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Cuba. Those already in possession of an ordinary passport, issued before this decision is valid, should request from the corresponding authorities of the Ministry of the Interior its updating absolutely free of charge. Likewise, those with a valid travel permit will be able to depart without any additional procedure. It has also been decided that Cuban residents travelling overseas on private affairs will be permitted to remain there for a period of twenty-four months, counting from the date of departure. For a longer stay, they will be required to obtain the corresponding evidence of extension of stay from a Cuban consulate. The updating of the migration policy takes into account the right of the revolutionary state to defend itself from the aggressive and subversive plans of the US government and its allies.

Russia opens probe against opposition leader In a new sign of a widening Kremlin crackdown on the opposition, investigators yesterday opened a criminal probe against leftist leader Sergei Udaltsov and several other activists for allegedly planning mass riots. Russia’s top investigative agency said it also will investigate claims made in a recent documentary aired by a Kremlinfriendly TV channel that opposition leaders worked with Georgian officials to prepare terrorist attacks across Russia. Udaltsov, 35, a leather-clad, shaven-headed leader of the Left Front opposition movement, has denied the charges stemming from the documentary, which he said was a sham. The agency did not say whether Udaltsov and others had actually carried out any of their alleged plans. The criminal case comes as the opposition is bracing up for an online election of its coordination council this weekend, in which Udaltsov is running. Udaltsov, who wore a Stalin T-shirt for his wedding, has led anti-Putin protests for several years, focusing on unsanctioned marches and rallies. A great-grandson of a Bolshevik revolutionary, he has been arrested more than 100 times during his political career and spent months in prison. He has launched many hunger strikes while in custody.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

National Mirror

Obama hits back in fiery second debate with Romney


more aggressive Barack Obama buried the memory of a poor first showing as he and Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney clashed in the second presidential debate in New York. Mr Obama, perceived to have lost their first encounter, came out swinging on the economy, tax and foreign policy. Snap polls after the debate suggested Mr Obama “won” the contest, although by a narrower margin than his opponent was perceived to have won the first. A CBS poll of undecided voters who watched the debate gave it to Mr Obama, 37% to 30% with 33% calling the debate a tie. Meanwhile, a CNN poll of registered voters who watched - not just undecideds - gave the debate to Mr Obama 46-39. The morning after the debate, the candidates were back on the campaign trail, targeting their messages at voters in swing states. Mr Romney was scheduled to spend the day in the state of Virginia and Mr Obama in Iowa, while their running mates - Congressman Paul Ryan and VicePresident Joe Biden - were bound for Ohio and Colorado respectively. In the town hall-style forum at Hofstra University on Long Is-

President Obama and Republican presidential candidate, Romney, shaking hands at the end of the second presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., yesterday. PHOTO: AP

land, the candidates roamed the stage, circling, interrupting and at times heckling one another as they took questions from an audience of 80 undecided voters. The moderator, CNN’s Candy Crowley, often had to intervene to keep order. The 11 questions from the voters present ranged from gun control to Libya to immigration, but the main focus was on the economy. The most dramatic clash came

over foreign policy, and the attack last month on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which left the US ambassador and three other Americans dead. Mr Romney sought to portray the attack as evidence of the Obama administration’s failing foreign policy and he suggested Mr Obama had dithered over admitting a terrorist attack had occurred. Mr Obama shot back that he had said so the day after the at-

tack, in an appearance at the White House. The Republican challenged this, saying: “It took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror.” When Ms Crowley confirmed that Mr Obama had indeed called the attack an “act of terror” the day after the attack, the president told the moderator: “Say that a little louder, Candy.” The president also accused Mr Romney of using the Libyan events for political purposes. “While we were still dealing with our diplomats being threatened, Governor Romney put out a press release, trying to make political points, and that’s not how a commander-in-chief operates,” he said. Mr Obama accused Mr Romney of inconsistency, and contrasted his own bailout of the US car industry with the Republican’s position that car-makers should have been allowed to go bankrupt. In turn, Mr Romney blamed the president for unemployment of 20 million and bloated federal deficits. America, he insisted, could not afford another four years with Mr Obama at the helm, warning that Mr Obama’s policies would ultimately prove as disastrous as the euro debt crisis.

UN’s envoy to Syria urges government to begin truce


he international envoy to the Syrian conflict yesterday called on President Bashar Assad’s regime to take the lead in implementing a ceasefire during a major Muslim holiday later this month. Lakhdar Brahimi said rebel representatives have assured him they will also observe the truce if the government takes the first step. “The Syrian people are burying hundreds of people each day, so if they bury fewer people

during the days of the holiday, this could be the start of Syria’s return from the dangerous situation that it ... is continuing to slip toward,” he told reporters in Beirut. Brahimi’s push to get Assad and rebels seeking to topple him to stop fighting for the four-day Eid al-Adha feast set to begin Oct. 26 reflects how little progress international diplomacy has made in stopping 19 months of deadly violence in Syria. Unlike his predecessor as joint

U.N.-Arab League envoy, Kofi Annan, Brahimi has said he has no grand plan to end Syria’s civil war. Instead, he presented the truce as a “microscopic” step that would alleviate Syrian sorrow temporarily and provide the basis for a longer truce. Even a short-term cease-fire faced hurdles. Both sides in the past have verbally signed on to cease-fires only to then blatantly disregard them. And before Brahimi spoke, Syria’s government dismissed the plan, saying the

Saving the lives of women and children CONTINUED FROM BACK PAGE

regional and global activities and associated costs. Recognizing that many commodity-related obstacles are linked to financial barriers and rooted in broader health system challenges – such as poor governance, inadequate human resources, ineffective local supply chains and insufficient information systems – the Commission calls for further links between the identified solutions and priority actions and other global and national initiatives for strengthening health systems The Commission believes that it is possible to overcome seemingly entrenched barriers when partners work together. The success in substantially reducing

the price of antiretroviral drugs for HIV is testimony to the effect of partnerships, with 6.6 million people in developing countries receiving these drugs at the end of 2010. Initiatives such as aggregating orders and improving the forecasting, financing and manufacturing capacity of insecticidetreated nets in sub-Saharan Africa, increased their supply from 5.6 million in 2004 to 145 million in 2010, leading to substantial reductions in deaths due to malaria. When auto-disable syringes for immunization were introduced in 1992 to prevent infections from re-use in developing countries, the cost was over six times that of normal syringes. The price difference is now near equal and use

near universal due to sustained increased demand following initial GAVI Alliance support for their use. These previous achievements give us the confidence to call on local communities, national authorities and the global community to once again rally around an initiative that will save millions of lives in the poorest countries of the world, this time by improving the availability, affordability and accessibility of these 13 proven life-saving commodities. Dr. Jonathan, President Federal Republic of Nigeria and Rt. Honourable Jens Stoltenberg, Prime Minister, Norway are cochairs of the UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children.

rebels lack a unified leadership to sign the truce. “There is the state, represented by the government and the army on one front, but who is on the other front?” asked an editorial in the Al-Thawra daily. The scores of rebel units fighting a brutal civil war against the regime have no single leader, and many don’t communicate with each other. Brahimi spoke following meetings with top Lebanese officials as part of a regional tour. He said all countries must work to stop the bloodshed by halting arms shipments so the conflict doesn’t spread. Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are sympathetic to the rebels and are believed to be facilitating their acquisition of weapons or arming them directly. Iran and Russia are Assad’s biggest supporters and provide the Syrian military with most of its advanced weapons. “These countries need to realize, as we heard today in Lebanon, that it is not possible that this crisis will stay inside Syrian border forever,” he said. “Either it has to be taken care of or it will spread and spill over and consume everything.” Rebel leaders were not immediately available for comment on the proposed truce.

National Mirror

Thursday, October 18, 2012




In this insightful piece, HEAD, INVESTIGATIONS DESK, SAM OLUWALANA, writes on the distortions and allegations of fraud and counter allegations that have characterised the Presidential Amnesty Programme.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

National Mirror

Fraud, financial impropriety


orruption and diversion of funds are threatening to derail the successes of the Amnesty Programme introduced by the Federal Government to quell the restiveness in the Niger Delta region, National Mirror investigations have revealed. The programme, that has already cost the country about N30 billion since its inception ($405 million in 2012 alone) is being largely mismanaged as a lot of the former militants, for whom the programme was designed have been left out in the cold while individuals that have nothing to do with the laudable programme are benefitting immensely from it. Another era of militancy may be on the horizon, if these issues are not tackled quickly. National Mirror investigations show that the amnesty fabric is being torn at different parts by greed, inefficiency, cronyism, and corruption. Some former sub-leaders of militant groups, who spoke to National Mirror on condition of anonymity, declared that the amnesty programme is failing because incompetent people are administering it. They said many former militants have not taken part in the rehabilitation arrangement that took place at Obubra, Cross River state, despite submitting their arms to the amnesty committee and were documented. They alleged that the managers shut out genuine ex-militants from the programme, and had their places taken by their cronies, friends and subordinates, who share or forego their monthly stipends with those who fixed them illegally into the amnesty programme. They claimed that many of those sent abroad to acquire skills are not genuine militants and have enjoyed such privilege because of their connections, while genuine former militants have been denied the opportunity. For instance, a popular ex-militant in Diobu area of Port Harcourt, simply called School Boy, has gone out for training abroad twice, while many of his contemporaries are left out in the cold. Still on training, contractors and managers are said to simply ‘package some boys’, take them abroad and subsequently abandon them there, with unpaid allowances. In many instances, ex-militants were forced to take up trainings in areas different from that which they had shown interest in before leaving the country. In most cases, according to the sub leaders who spoke to National Mirror, the trainings both at home and abroad are disjointed and done haphazardly. For instance, there was a case of a fishery training handled by consultants who were not fish farmers and had no access to any fish farm. The ex-militant complained seriously to National Mirror that the training was

Kingsley Kuku

Alabrah, Amnesty Spokesman

conducted from start to finish inside a hotel, without setting foot in a fish farm. It will be recalled that last year, Para Ekiyes, who claims to be chairman of ex-militants in Delta State said that it is important that the government carry every one of them along. He had complained bitterly in a telephone interview that it was important that all those who dropped their guns, even after the government have closed the amnesty register, benefited from the arrangement in order to avoid grumblings that may lead to disquiet and a return to violence in the future. As it turned out, Para Ekiyes is one of the names mentioned by the Joint Military Taskforce (JTF) to be involved in the bombing of an Agip Oil Company facility in Bayelsa state earlier this year. General Tom Bush, a former militant, said originally, the peace was beneficial to all. “It is because of the amnesty they granted us that we decided to leave the violence and embrace the amnesty,” he said. Bush said the amnesty programme could work if it is distributed equitably. He said while the first round of militants who turned in their weapons got cash and job training, the second batch, who were more than 6,000 fighters have not been trained and are getting less money than they were promised. General Don Thomas, another former militant, says this is sparking anger among the former militants against the government, and against the first batch of militants. “The Federal Government recognizes the first phase more than the second phase, which is bad because we are all in the same struggle,” said Thomas. “If today, the

Ex-war lord, Tom Ateke and his group preparing to register for the amnesty progromme.

Federal Government is going to give us jail terms, we are going to face equal charges.” In recent months, there are signs that the Niger Delta region is becoming restive again with increased attacks on oil pipelines. University of Abuja senior lecturer, Abubakar Umar Kari recently said, part of the problem is the governments failure to properly manage the funds for the programme. Another part of the problem, he said, is that with cash payments going to former fighters, anyone can claim to be a fighter to make some money. “A plain, unemployed youth who was never involved in any militancy, realizing that they could easily make money by claiming or pretending to be militants, have been going into the militant camps and so on and demanding that they too should be accommodated within the amnesty programme,” said Kari. The Amnesty office has not been sincere with the way it is running the programme. And there are signs that the programme is heading for the rocks. Of the 90 ex-militants sent to South Africa, 28 were deported recently for raising the alarm about the dehumanising treatment they were getting abroad. According to a reliable on-line publication, Kingsley Kuku, along with other government officials, including Henry Ugbolue, the former spokesperson for the Amnesty Office, days earlier had flown into South Africa to quell a controversy which had threatened to expose the embarrassing dealings within the Amnesty Office. In this case, the ex-combatants had said


FROM THE PROGRAMME, AND HAD THEIR PLACES TAKEN BY THEIR CRONIES they were deceived into believing they were going to South Africa to be trained in Oil and Gas drilling, only to arrive South Africa on March 14, 2012 to be forced to learn carpentry and bricklaying. Mr.Ugbolue denied that the ex-agitators were deported. He said they were returned to Nigeria pending when the government would get a school offering oil and gas drilling for them. “It is not true! They (ex-militants) said they wanted change of courses,” he said. “They have the right to change their mind. So the SA [Mr. Kuku] said okay, we will go back to Nigeria and look out for countries offering these specific courses they want before taking them there.” According to the report, Ugbolue, who could not say how long the returnees would have to wait once back in Nigeria, however, blamed the ex-agitators for their predicament. He said they only declared they wanted to be trained as oil and gas technicians and not specifically stating oil and gas drilling. He also absolved Tubos International Limited, a training partner to the Amnesty Programme, of any wrongdoing in training the ex-militants. Tubos was the company contracted to ensure the ex-militants get their desired

National Mirror


Thursday, October 18, 2012


charaterize FG’s amnesty programme

President Goodluck addressing on amnesty

Allen Onyema





education in South Africa. Contrary to Ugbolue’s claims, some of those deported from South Africa are still in the country. Ugbolue’s efforts at make belief contradicts the opinion of the Amnesty Office and Mr. Kuku. According to a statement released on December 8, 2011, Kuku said: “the placement of the trainees in skills acquisition/vocational programmes is based on their expressed interests in areas such as pipeline welding, underwater welding, ocean diving, crane operations, aviation, boat building, oil drilling, automobile technology, fish farming and entrepreneurship, as well as formal education.” There was no mention of carpentry or bricklaying. The ex-militants had indicated they wanted to study Oil and Gas drilling at the Amnesty rehabilitation and training camp in Obubura, Cross River State. Based on their chosen course, they individually received text messages and phone calls from officials of Tubos International Limited to attend an interview at Grand Montecito Hotel in Rivers State on January 19, 2012. There, they were told the company would facilitate their training in Oil and Gas drilling. They arrived in Cape Town on March 14 and were met by Ms. Alexandra and Mr. Robinson, officials of the Tubos. They were told their induction and orientation would begin the next day at Northlink College, a South African public Further Education and Training centre. But on March 15, they got a nasty shocker.

“The management of the college openly stated that the school has nothing to do with Oil and Gas or intention to train us to become Oil and Gas Technicians,” said several of the ex-militants. “Rather, they are equipped and prepared to train us on brick lying, carpentry, automobile mechanic, wielding and boiler making.” The ex-militants, in a letter jointly signed on March 17, then petitioned Kingsley Kuku, the chairman of the Amnesty Committee and Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on the Niger Delta Amnesty Programme; Ibrahim Bashiru, Nigeria’s Ambassador to South Africa; and Stan Rerri of the Monitoring and Evaluation Committee of the Niger Delta Amnesty Programme, complaining how Ms. Alexandra and Mr. Robinson, supported by the staff of the Niger Delta Amnesty Office, especially one Ms. Ronke working in the Re-integration Department, threatened them with deportation if they refused what Northlink College was offering. They also complained that Tubos forced them to sign an “extraordinarily stringent undertaking” putting them under conditions other lodgers at the hotel were not subjected to.They were also refused any right to create a representative committee amongst themselves. “Mr. Robinson stated that we shall be deported to Nigeria, handed over to the Nigerian law enforcement agencies, our names blacklisted and all our rights as amnesty trainees shall be withdrawn,” the trainees said. “All 90 students were taken to Northlink College under duress and compelled against our wish to register for the above mentioned courses.” By March 19, eleven of them boycotted their training classes in peaceful protest.

By March 20, their number had increased to 40 and then 65, forcing a general meeting between the Nigerian government, Tubos, and the aggrieved trainees. By this time the crisis was starting to get the attention of South African media. Having identified those trainees determined on being trained in oil and gas drilling during the meeting, the Nigerian authorities promised the trainees a quick resolution. In an internal memo from Mr. Kuku’s office, urgent action was mandated. However, insincerity, rather than probity came to fore, as the Amnesty officials hatched a wicked plan to deport the adamant trainees and end their dream of being turned into useful citizens. “We quietly and quickly deported those trainees adamant on studying Oil & Gas related courses back to Nigeria immediately,” read a portion of the memo. “This way, these trainees can wait in Nigeria until they are called for a course that is to their liking, and the other trainees attending classes will not be influenced to join this growing group.” The wicked plot was only stalled by the fact that the officials feared exposure and the resultant embarrassment to the government and country. “Deporting our own trainees over issues not related to violence or serious misconduct back to Nigeria in less than one-week of their arrival to Cape Town could signal some operational lapses on the part of the Amnesty Office’s service provider, Tubos International Nigerian Ltd, or even worse, the Amnesty Office in Abuja,” the memo reasoned. It was not until March 27 that those identified trainees were invited by Mr. Robinson and one Mr. Jones Emeka, the head of Nigeria’s Amnesty Monitoring and Evaluation Committee in Cape Town for a meeting ostensibly between them and the new school sourced to train them in oil and gas drilling. But to their shock, the ex-militants said they were informed

by Derby Thompson, a South African and Welfare Officer of Tubos International Limited that they had been expelled from Northlink College. “Mrs. Derby Thompson made it clear to us that she has gone ahead to hold meeting(s) with the school authority to facilitate our expulsion,” said the ex-agitators. They explained, she and Northlink College have started the process to get our visas cancelled, and she promised that she will ensure that we are arrested as illegal immigrants.” One Joseph Penawou, who spoke with journalists on behalf of Tubos International Limited, defended Mrs. Thompson as being an elderly woman not capable of committing any wrong. He said all the allegations against his people were aimed at discrediting the Amnesty Program. “All these are lies, there is no way the Amnesty Programme would deploy students to Cape Town without having gone to inspect the facilities and certified it fit enough to train on skills acquisition programme. People are just trying to discredit the Amnesty programme, so just ignore it,” Mr. Penawou said. One of the trainees deported, Junior Perefa(not real name) told National Mirror that Joseph Penawou, who he claimed, owns Tubos International Limited, is being economical with the truth. According to Junior, who hails from Bayelsa State, Penawou and his managers asked them about their desired training programme and that he and his colleagues took their time to study the trade in the on Google before they settled for these courses especially those of them who wanted Oil and Gas Technical vocation, Thermal technology and similar courses. “Mr Penawou is the boss of that company, Tubos, Mrs Thompson only work for him. He knew what we wanted and he personally promised us that we will be trained in all our areas of desire. He was in the know about what happened to us there and he knew before hand that the school, Northlink did not have the facilities for that sort of training but he still went ahead to send us there. We have documents; he knew and we will reveal this, if he continues to tell lies.’’ Not wanting to be portrayed negatively to the world in order to justify a forceful deportation, as has been the case of deported ex-militants in other countries, the ex-militants, in a signed letter dated March 28, again appealed to Mr. Kuku; Nigerian Ambassador Bashiru; and Mr.Rerri for fair treatment. Afraid of what the government may do next as they have been stripped of their passports, they also addressed their letter to Professor Kimse Okoko and Bristol Alagbariya of the Ijaw Youth Congress; LedumMitee of the Movement of the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP); Joy Imeli, the Public Affairs and programmes director with the Foundation for Ethnic Harmony in Nigeria (FEHN); and Remmy John, the Head of Re-integration under the Niger Delta Amnesty Committee; also copying Derby Thompson. TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK


Longest marathon basketball dribbling Vol. 02 No. 472


Thursday, October 18, 2012

The longest basketball dribbling marathon is 55 hr 26 min by Pawan Kumar Srivastava (India) at Lucknow Public College, Lucknow, India, from 10-12 December 2007.

Saving the lives of women and children


n 2010, the United Nations SecretaryGeneral’s Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health highlighted the suffering of women and children around the world caused by lack of access to life saving commodities. Life in the developing world is filled with stories like that of the woman who, just after child birth, dies from excessive bleeding because the health centre is stocked-out of the medicine to save her life; the child with a simple case of pneumonia, who cannot be treated because the needed antibiotic is not registered for use; and the 45-year old woman who finds out she is pregnant for the seventh time, after almost dying the last time she gave birth because she does not have access to modern methods of family planning. The overarching health system and financial impediments for governments and end-users to access life-saving commodities is made worse by the lack of awareness of how, why and when to use them, preventing


igeria’s trio of Henry Atseye, Onyeka Mbanu and Sani Adamu yesterday crashed out of the second round of the first leg of the 12th Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis Championship taking place at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club. Mbanu was defeated in straight sets of 6-1, 6-1 by men’s top seed, Ka-

Guest Columnists

Goodluck Jonathan and Jens Stoltenberg



women and children from accessing and using appropriate commodities. Other system’s barriers to these commodities include the severely under-resourced regulatory agencies in low-income countries, which lead to delayed registration of commodities, lack of oversight of product quality and general inefficiencies; market failures, where return on investment is too low to encourage manufacturers to enter the market or produce sufficient quantities; and user supply and demand challenges such as limited demand for the product by end-users, local delivery problems and incorrect prescription and use. The UN Secretary-General’s Global Strategy called on the global community to work together to save 16 million lives by 2015 through increasing access to es-

sential medicines, medical devices and health supplies that effectively address leading avoidable causes of death during pregnancy, childbirth and childhood. This challenge has been taken up by the UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children, with a focus on the world’s 49 poorest countries. The Commission recognises that if the needs for modern contraceptive methods were fully met in these countries, an estimated 53 million unintended pregnancies would be avoided, about 90,000 women’s lives would be saved and an estimated 590,000 newborn deaths would be averted. In addition, many of the over 800,000 deaths of children each year from diarrhea could be prevented with oral rehydration solution and zinc that cost less

than US$0.50 per treatment. The Commission has identified 13 overlooked life saving commodities that, if more widely accessed and used, could save the lives of more than six million women and children. These are maternal health commodities such as Oxytocin and Misoprostol (to prevent and treat post-partum haemorrhage) and Magnesium Sulphate (to prevent and treat eclampsia and severe pre- eclampsia); newborn health commodities such as injectable antibiotics (to treat newborn sepsis), antenatal corticosteroids (to prevent respiratory distress in preterm babies), Chlorhexidine (for newborn cord care) and resuscitation devices (to treat newborn asphyxia); child health commodities amoxicillin (to treat pneumonia) and oral rehydration salts and Zinc (to treat diarrhea); and reproductive health commodities such as female condoms, contraceptive implants and emergency contraception. To deliver on the promise of saving the lives of millions of women and children, the Commission recommends actions which focus on the need for improved global and local markets for life-saving commodities, innovative financing, quality strengthening and regulatory efficiency, improved national delivery of commodities and better integration of private sector and consumer needs. The scaling up of access to and use of these 13 commodities is not only a moral obligation, but one of the most effective ways of getting more health for the money invested. It would make a significant contribution to put maternal and child health in a trajectory to end these preventable and tragic deaths. The Commission estimates that the scale up will cost less than US $2.5 billion over five years and save over six million lives. These estimated costs per lives saved are low and represent excellent global development investments. The Commission has also developed a detailed plan for implementation with cross-cutting and commodity-specific actions and clearly stated national, CONTINUED ON PAGE 50

Sport Extra

Governor’s Cup: Atseye, others out mil Capkovic from Slovakia while Sani Adamu lost 6-6, 6-2 to Alesandro Petrone. The toughest game was between Atseye and third seed Japanese Kento Takeuchi which lasted for about two

hours. Atseye won the first set 6-3 but lost the second 1-6. He eventually lost the third set 5-7 despite the support he received from the home crowd. Interestingly, there will be no Nigerian representation when the quarter-

finals get underway today. Nigeria’s Samuel Omoile and Bayo Phillips of USA defeated the duo of Clayton Gilberton of South Africa and Yu Takahashi of Japan 7-5, 6-2 in the Men’s Doubles.

Henry Atseye

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: Editor: SEYI FASUGBA. All correspondence to PMB 10001, Marina, Lagos.

Thursday, October 18, 2012  

*Labour rejects sale of PHCN to Abdulsalami --Stakeholders call for probe *Jonathan’s wife arrives, denies undergoing cosmetic surgery...

Thursday, October 18, 2012  

*Labour rejects sale of PHCN to Abdulsalami --Stakeholders call for probe *Jonathan’s wife arrives, denies undergoing cosmetic surgery...