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Inflation drops to 8%, lowest in five years

Fitch retains Nigeria’s rating at ‘BB-’, ‘BB’

TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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he nation’s Composite Price Index, CPI, which measures the

Okonjo-Iweala

Vol. 3 N0. 657 702

average change in price level or inflation rate decreased further in September to 8.0 per cent year-on-year, 0.2 percentage points lower from 8.2 per cent recorded in

Airlines increase fares as workers return from Sallah break

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the preceding month. The September inflation rate, which further sustained the single digit trend recorded since the beginCONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

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Oduah

Thursday, October July 4, 2013 17, 2013

N150 N150

Jonathan in trouble over confab outcome comment Afenifere: His statement confirms lack of institutional memory Arewa: He’s only trying to satisfy some interests CNPP: Conference dead on arrival, waste of resources Ekweremadu, Ali: Nothing wrong in sending report to N’Assembly

OUR CORRESPONDENTS

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resident Goodluck Jonathan has run into trouble water over his comment that he will subject the outcome of CONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>

Powerful

UK investigates Nigerian who runs varsity from flat

44 dead as plane crashes into river in Laos P.51,52

Al-Makura indicts predecessors for corruption

...says they were just sharing money

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L-R: Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi; founder, Afe Babalola University, Aare Afe Babalola (SAN); Governors Adams Oshimhole (Edo) and Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), at a mega rally in commemoration of the 3rd anniversary of Fayemi administration in Ado-Ekiti yesterday.

Leading PDP, very challenging, says Tukur

...tells aggrieved govs to embrace reconciliation

Aliyu working against northern unity –CAN

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News

Thursday, October 17, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Jonathan in trouble over confab outcome comment CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

the proposed national conference to the ratification of the National Assembly. Prominent Nigerians and groups yesterday kicked against the decision, describing it as “a poison” that would make the initiative a waste. Others said sceptics of the national dialogue had been vindicated by the President’s decision. But the Senate said the President’s position was in order and constitutional. President Jonathan had on Tuesday said that the recommendations of the planned national conference would be passed to the National Assembly for deliberation, ratification and possible inclusion in the process of amendment of the constitution. National Publicity Secretary of the Yoruba sociopolitical group, Afenifere, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, told National Mirror that the National Assembly had no business with the outcome of the national confab. He said: “The comments by the President that the decisions of the conference would be sent to the National Assembly confirms the view that we have no institutional memory to fall back on as far as a national conference is concerned. “The President may be thinking that this would have the status of a constitutional conference. This is why it is good he did not rush us to a conference without setting up an advisory committee on the modalities for the conference as this may also be a learning curve for all of us. “When the principals of corporate Nigeria are going to the table to draft their memorandum of understanding and articles of association, such documents cannot be subjected to any ratification by their agents who are current managers of the corporation. “All the agents have to do is to implement the decisions of their principals. It is a mute point in law that an agent cannot be greater than the principal. Sovereignty belongs to the people who exercise it indirectly through their elected representatives. But the moment they come to exercise that power directly their representatives have no power over their decisions. The very reason why we have

never had a legitimate constitution is that the people have never been allowed to own the process.” The Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, said the development has only shown that the President is only trying to satisfy some interest. Speaking with National Mirror, ACF National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Anthony Sani, said they have been vindicated by the president’s position. ACF said: “Mr. President’s clarification as reported in newspapers vindicated the wisdom of those who have said the proposed national dialogue/conversation cannot reasonably be a Sovereign National Conference as this amounts to vote of no confidence on our democracy and its institutions, considering the sitting government has been elected by Nigerians and not by ghosts. “It also proves right those who submit that the National Assembly could as well go through recommendations of past conferences together with what they get from their public hearings and use them to inform their constitutional amendments. “We want to believe this government is pandering to the hankering by some groups for conference in order to calm nerves and enable the nation to move forward.” The Conference of Nigerian Political Parties, CNPP, said that the President’s position had shown that the national conference was dead on arrival. CNPP National Publicity Secretary, Osita Okechukwu, criticised the submission, maintaining that it was a sheer waste of resources, time and diversionary. Part of CNPP’s statement reads: “CNPP recalls that since our return to democracy in 1999, the National Assembly at various times had embarked on the process of amendment of the 1999 Constitution and at no time was any of the fundamental issues amended. “We stand to be corrected that handing over the outcome of the proposed national conference report to the National Assembly is better than convening a Sovereign National Conference.

“In other words, the present national and state assemblies lack the political will to insert in a new constitution, critical issues like devolution of powers to the regions; unicameral legislature under a parliamentary system; truly independent INEC, EFCC, ICPC; creation of additional state for South-East; fiscal federalism among other issues. Therefore, the Jonathan’s conference is dead on arrival.” The Coordinator of Voters Assembly, Moshood Erubami, flayed the President’s decision. Speaking with National Mirror, he said this had vindicated their opposition to the national conference of the President that it would not take the country out of its problems. He said: “There is nothing bad in having a national conference, but this one by President Jonathan is unacceptable. And to now say that the outcome of the conference will be sent to the National Assembly which

has failed us can only be the height of insensitivity to the feelings of Nigerians. “To have an idea that some people will have to tinker with what Nigerians decide shows that there is no sincerity behind it.” Erubami stated that anything short of a sovereign national conference is not in the best interest of the country. Speaking with National Mirror yesterday, constitutional lawyer, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN); former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) and human rights activist, Bamidele Aturu condemned the move, saying that it would reduce the conference to a wasteful exercise. According to Sagay, the National Assembly has no role to play in the making of a new constitution, adding that it can only amend existing laws. He said: “It confirms the scepticism of those who are saying that the conference

is diversionary because, if the President was really serious of a national conference that will make the changes this country really need, he would not have planted that poison of sending it to the National Assembly. “So, it’s clear that he is not serious about national conference because the National Assembly has no role in making a new constitution; they can only amend existing laws and the amendment they have done so far have been disastrous and totally irrelevant.” Sagay accused members of the National Assembly of having vested interest and oppose to change because they are benefiting from the faulty system. “They have vested interest in status quo and they don’t want any change because they are benefiting from the misruling of Nigeria. A proper constitution will not benefit them because they will lose out. “So, sending the outcome of a national conference for

their approval is equal to killing it. Jonathan is setting up a National Conference in order to kill it at the same time. So, those who are sceptical are right.” Akeredolu said the statement of the President was uncalled for. He said: “A genuine national confab cannot be subjected to the dictate of anyone or anybody if we seriously want to engage that process. Surreptitious approach of teleguiding the process only leads credence to the fears of those of us who doubt the sincerity of purpose of the President embarking on the confab at this point in time. “The President should be advised to wait for the recommendations of the advisory committee before polluting the waters with his hidden agenda at least to allow for a little credence to be accorded the process.” Aturu said: “As far as I am concerned, what should happen is a referendum. The National Assembly is CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>

L-R: Chairman, Board of Trustees, Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Tony Anenih; daughter of the late Chief Solomon Lar, Hon. Beni Lar, and Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha during a condolence visit to the family of the deceased in Abuja, yesterday.

NNPC allays fears on divestment by IOCs

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he Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mr. Andrew Yakubu, has dismissed insinuations that the recent spate of divestments from certain onshore oil blocks by some international oil companies (IOC) could lead to crisis in the nation’s oil and gas industry. His assurance was contained in a statement by the Group General Manager, Public Affairs of the Corpo-

ration, Ms Tumini Green, yesterday in Abuja. Yakubu gave the assurance at the ongoing World Energy Congress in Daegu, South Korea. According to him, the divestments are not only healthy for the oil and gas industry in Nigeria, but will also go a long way in promoting effective indigenous participation in core upstream activities. “These are not withdrawals in the real sense of with-

drawals. The fact is that a number of these IOCs are moving into more challenging frontiers in the deep offshore and are leaving the onshore blocks which they consider less challenging,” he said. Yakubu said the major players that were divesting had actually been sitting on each of the affected acreage and had allowed them to go fallow for years without significant development. “So, it is only fair for

them to release these blocks so that others, especially the indigenous operators, can have the blocks and grow in the upstream business. This, indeed, is a good development and I think we are moving in the right direction,” he added. He said that the divestment offered immense opportunities for the nation’s indigenous flagship upstream operator, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Thursday, October 17, 2013

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Photo News

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola (left), being presented the African Regional Forum Special Award in recognition of his immeasurable support of and enduring commitment to the forum by the Chairman, Legal Practice Division, International Bar Association (IBA), Michael Greene, at the Africa Regional Forum Lunch as part of the IBA Annual Conference 2013 at the Sheraton Boston Hotel, Boston, United States, recently.

L-R: Mrs. Elisabeth Osibayo; Mrs. Arah Nkiru; Mrs. Grace Odukomaiya; Prince Henry Odukomaiya; Mrs. Remi Abimbola and Engr. Mrs Funmilayo Tetede, during the 14th and 15th graduation ceremony and fund raising by Lagos Anglican Bible College (LABICO), at the Cathedral Church of St. Jude’s, Ebutte Meta, Lagos,yesterday.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

L-R: Chairman, Guild of Medical Laboratory Directors, Lagos State, Mr. Olumuyiwa Onaneye; Chairman, Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN) Festac/Satellite chapter, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo; Chairman, AMLSN Lagos State, Mr. Olawale Oladubu and Gen. Secretary, (AMLSN), Mr. Elochukwu Adibo, at the Free Health Screening and Global Hand Washing Awareness in Lagos, yesterday.

L-R: Book presenter, Mrs. Kemi Ige; author, Mr. Emmanuel Briggs and wife, Stella, during the public presentation of the book, You Can Make It, in Lagos, on Tuesday.

National News

Nigerian military, US, UK, Airlines increase fares as workers other navies hold joint drills return from Sallah SEGUN ADIO

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n a bid to strengthen security operations in the nation’s maritime environment, especially in the Gulf of Guinea, four world navies are currently holding high level multilateral military drills with selected officers and men of the Nigerian Armed Forces. The exercise is codenamed ‘Operation African Winds’ under the United States-led African Partnership Station (APS) programme. The four world navies involved in the exercise are from the Unites States, the United Kingdom, the Spanish navy and the Royal Dutch navy. This was disclosed in Lagos yesterday by the Netherlands envoy in Nigeria, Ambassador John C. M. Groffen while addressing journalists on board a Royal Neth-

erlands warship, HNLMS ROTTERDAM at Apapa Port, Lagos. According to Ambassador Groffen, the Gulf of Guinea region, especially the Nigerian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is too strategic to the global maritime market than allow pirates, sea robbers and economic saboteurs to have their way in the oil rich region. His words; “During my presentation of Letter of Credence to President Jonathan recently, I discussed Dutch/Nigerian relations where I maintained that the smooth bilateral relations between the two nations needed to be strengthened. “The sea exercise involving the other three navies with ours is a strategic programme designed to build the skills, expertise and professionalism of the Nigerian military. The focus is on building maritime ca-

pacity of this great country and increasing the level of cooperation between them to improve maritime safety and security. “The goal is to improve the ability of the nations involved to extend the rule of law within their territorial waters and exclusive economic zones and better combat illegal fishing, human smuggling, drug trafficking, oil theft and piracy,” he said. Speaking on the exercise, Colonel Fred Swat, commander of the exercise, said that the menace of piracy in the country should be curtailed early before it got to the level of what is being witnessed today in Somalia. He said the visitation of the four navies to Nigeria would enhance defence, development and diplomacy of all the countries involved, including Nigeria, and which in effect is to the mutual benefit of all.

OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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irlines operating from the Murtala Mohammed Airport (MMA), Lagos have increased their air fares from about N20, 000 for an hour trip to about N31, 000. This was even as the airlines recorded massive outbound travellers from the state. Our correspondent, who was at the Murtala Mohammed Airport Two (MMA2), Lagos yesterday observed that as travellers return to their various bases from the Sallah holiday, the airlines seized the opportunity to increase their fares. At the MMA2, only four airlines namely; Med-View Air, Aero Airlines and FirstNation Airways were the only carriers operat-

ing from the terminal while Arik Airlines operates from the General Aviation Terminal (GAT), Lagos. The other two carriers operating at MMA2 have since suspended operations for several reasons. While the operations of Dana Air were suspended by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA); IRS Airlines on the other hand stopped operations due to lack of operating equipment. At the ticketing counter of Aero, a one way ticket to Abuja was sold for N31, 600 while FirstNation sold the same ticket for N25, 200. MedView on the other hand sold the ticket at N24, 500. As travellers started coming into the Murtala Muhammed Airport terminal two, which

is usually a beehive of activities, especially at peak periods, airlines staff were seen telling them to hurry for their tickets as increases are by the hour. “You may not get ticket again today (Wednesday) because our last flight to Abuja is 3.45pm and it is already boarding” a staff of a new entrant airline said. At the ticketing counter of Aero, the officer simply said; “If you are travelling now, the fare is N31, 600 but for future trips, you can go online or visit our office upstairs.” Commenting on the situation, a passenger simply known as Iyalla said his trip was important,\ hence he could not afford to miss it even though the fare was relatively on the high side.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

News

Thursday, October 17, 2013

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Inflation drops to 8%, lowest in five years

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ning of this year, represented the lowest year-on-year rate since April 2008 when the rate ebbed to the lowest level at 8.2 per cent. According to the CPI/Inflation Report of the month released by the StatisticianGeneral of the Federation, Dr. Yemi Kale, in Abuja, the decline in the Headline Index when compared with the level of the preceding month was largely as a result of a slower rate of increase in food prices as the recent harvest season continues to constrain rising

food prices. The report stated further that after trending lower in the first half of the year (from 11.3 per cent in January to 5.5 per cent in June), the core sub-index again trended upwards for the third consecutive month. It added that the rate of increase was tempered by moderations in the “Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels” division as well as the “furnishings, household equipment and household maintenance” division. In the month under re-

view, the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, reported that the Headline Index increased by 0.75 per cent month-on-month, an increase of 0.5 percentage points from 0.25 per cent recorded in August, indicating the first uptick in the CPI on a monthly basis in four months. A further analysis indicated that the urban CPI was recorded at 147.9 points in September, indicating an 8.0 per cent increase from levels recorded in September 2012 but 0.4 percentage points lower than the 8.4 per

Empty Sani Abacha Way during Sallah holiday in Abuja yesterday.

PHOTO ROTIMI OSASONA

while the corresponding rural index was recorded at 8.8 per cent. A further analysis of the Food Index showed that in the month under review, the rate of increase in food prices moderated for the second consecutive month as produce from the ongoing harvest continues to put downward pressure on the Food Sub-index with the 9.4 per cent rate recorded in September representing 0.3 percentage points lower than 9.7 per cent recorded in August. On a month-on-month basis, however, the food subindex was reported to have increased by 0.9 per cent in September, up from 0.5 per cent recorded in August by 0.4 percentage points and that the highest price increases were recorded in the oils and fats, and bread and cereals classes. According to the report, the average annual rate of rise of the food sub-index for the 12-month period ending in September 2013 was 10.1 per cent when compared with the same period in 2012. This was marginally lower than the 12 month average year-on-year change for the period ending in August (10.2 per cent) The statistical agency also stated that “All items

less farm produce” or core index, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural products, increased for the second consecutive month in August to 7.2 per cent, up by 0.6 percentage points from the 6.6 per cent recorded in July. A further decomposition of the core sub index of “all items less farm produce” or core index on a month-onmonth basis, showed that it increased for the third consecutive month in September to 7.4 per cent, up by 0.2 percentage points from 7.2 per cent recorded in August compared to the month-onmonth basis which showed that the core sub index was recorded at 0.6 per cent, lower than 1.3 per cent recorded in August by 0.7 percentage points. The Bureau noted that the increase in the core sub-index was as a result of price increases across various class items particularly, Actual and Imputed rental prices, books and stationeries as a result of the start of the new school year and accommodation services. The average 12-month annual rate of rise of the index was recorded at 8.9 per cent in September 2013, down 0.5 percentage points from 9.4 per cent recorded in August 2013.

ratified by the National Assembly, the Deputy Senate President said: “Nigerians said they want to dialogue. President said you should go and do that but whatever you decide will not be binding unless it is legislated upon by the National Assembly. We didn’t set up any conference. We don’t have problem with the process so far.” A member of the House of Representatives from Ebonyi State, Hon. Linus Okorie concurred with Ekweremadu. He said: “Mr. President is simply complying with the provisions of the constitution which empowers the legislature, to the exclusion of all others, to amend it. What the President said remains the only route to legitimizing the decisions of the National Conference. Even if we call it a Sovereign National Conference, which is outside our constitution, we’ll still require the endorsement of the National Assembly to put it to a national referendum as being canvassed by a section of the populace.”

Second Republic Deputy Senate President, Senator John Wash Pam, told National Mirror in Jos, the Plateau State capital, that President Jonathan’s submission was in order. Pam, however, warned that the conference should not be used to cause confusion in the country. He said: “Well, I think President Jonathan’s submission was in order but there is a little confusion there. Don’t forget that the National Assembly is currently working on the amendment of the constitution and we just hope that the outcome of the conference does not conflict with the constitutional amendment especially since we don’t know yet the form which the conference will take eventually; whether sovereign or just dialogue or whatever, that is the confusion.” Former Minister of Information, Alhaji Ibrahim Nakande, cautioned President Jonathan to wait until the modalities set out by the

conference committee are accepted by all Nigerians before talking about what to do with its outcome. His words: “To me, it’s like putting the cart before the horse. Let the committee that was given six weeks first complete their assignment before we decide what to do with the outcome. Unless the modalities have the acceptability of all Nigerians, the conference may be of no benefit at all. “Nigerians first want to see how the committee will do their work; whether people will be nominated, co-opted, elected or chosen on what basis and how. These are the issues. For me talking about sending the outcome to the NASS now when the issues that are germane to the success of the conference have not been trashed is neither here nor there.”

cent recorded in August this year. The Bureau stated that the percentage change in the average CPI for the 12-month period ending in September 2013 over the average of the CPI for the previous 12-month period was recorded at 9.5 per cent, lower than the average 12-month rate of change of 9.8 per cent recorded in August. It also reported that the corresponding 12-month year-on-year average percentage change for the urban index was 10.4 per cent,

Jonathan in trouble over confab outcome comment

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not the same thing as the people of Nigeria. So, for the President to be reducing the whole efforts of the conference to the National Assembly is different from what the people demanded and that has exposed the fraud about it. “But, nevertheless, my position is that, if you’re holding a sovereign national conference, the people must still ratify it in a referendum and anything short of that is a mere waste of time. But, that does not mean that people cannot talk; we have been talking and we will continue to talk. “What is the essence of holding a national conference when at the end of the day you will subject its outcome to the approval of the National Assembly? If National Assembly could do it, then we don’t need a conference. So, I think the President should have a rethink on what he has done; he should revise himself and allow people to endorse whatever the conference

comes up with.” But, a senior lawyer, Mallam Yusuf Ali, SAN, said there was nothing wrong in sending the recommendations of the proposed national conference to the National Assembly for approval. According to him, there was no other body aside the National Assembly saddled with the responsibility of making law for the federation. “Except the constitution is amended to accommodate any other legislative body, today it is only the National Assembly and for the state the State Houses of Assembly that can make law. The constitution assumes that it is the people that elected members of the National Assembly and the Houses,” he argued. A chieftain of Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, told National Mirror that he was more concerned about holding the national dialogue than what to be done with its outcome. “I’m not bothering myself with the end of the conference but the initiative

taking place,” he said. Adebanjo, however, opposed the idea of the National Assembly ratifying the outcome of the confab. He said: “The National Assembly is a product of awkward federation. And many of the members are beneficiaries of the faulty system. “So, how do you submit the decisions of the conference that they are not part of ?” He believed that President Jonathan would have a rethink on the matter. But Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu said the President’s position was in order and constitutional. Agreeing with Jonathan’s submission, Ekweremadu said there was no other legal option to whatever would be the resolution of the dialogue other than getting the sanction of the National Assembly, adding that it’s in accordance with the rule of law. Asked why Nigeria has to waste effort in a national conference that would be

Reports by: Ayodele Ojo, Wale Igbintade, Dennis Agbo, Hakeem Gbadamosi, Kemi Olaitan and James Abraham


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News

Thursday, October 17, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Fitch retains Nigeria’s ratings at ‘BB-’, ‘BB’ TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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itch Ratings, one of the foremost rating agencies in performance of global economies, yesterday affirmed Nigeria’s long-term foreign and local currency IDRs and senior unsecured bond ratings at ‘BB-’ and ‘BB,’ respectively. This is even as it projected that the country’s economic outlook portends stable trend in the months ahead and also affirmed Nigeria’s short-term foreign currency IDR at ‘B’ and country ceiling at ‘BB’. According to the rating outfit, the affirmation reflects the Gross Domestic Product, GDP, growth

slowed to 6.4 per cent in the first half of 2013 but has shown resilience in the face of exogenous shocks: severe floods in 2012 which hit agricultural output; security problems especially in the North earlier this year; and increased oil theft and vandalism and the consequent repair shutdowns which have caused oil output to contract for the second year in a row as the key rating drivers. While noting that the non-oil economy has slowed but still grew by 7.9 per cent in 2012 and 7.6 per cent in the first half of this year, the agency pointed out the non-oil growth should pick-up in the second half of 2013 as normal weather has re-

sumed and the authorities have responded to security problems. According to it, reforms to the electricity and agriculture sectors could start to boost potential growth just as inflation has been in single digits all year - the lowest in five years and the longest stretch of single digit inflation since 2008. Policy rates are unchanged. Fitch added that the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, had the twin aims of achieving single-digit inflation and maintaining exchange rate stability. Public finances, according to it, remain comfortable and estimated a general government deficit of around 1.8 per cent of GDP in 2013 and 2014 financial

years. Reflecting on various monetary and fiscal measures being undertaken by the government to improve the performance of economy, the agency stated that both oil and non-oil revenues were under-budget but that the Excess Crude Account, ECA, had been tapped to compensate for the revenue shortfalls just as capital spending also remained under budget. It added: “The draft 2014 budget plans ambitious fiscal consolidation, with lower oil production and benchmark oil prices and lower spending than the 2013 budget. “However, Fitch expects that oil production will likely fall short again,

Deserted: Empty Marina Road, Lagos as workers observed the Eid-el-Kabir holiday in Lagos, yesterday.

PHOTO:OLUFEMI AJASA

and the final budget that emerges from the National Assembly is likely to be more expansionary. “Nevertheless, Fitch expects general government debt to remain stable at just over 20 per cent of GDP, barely half that of peers. “Nigeria’s sovereign and overall external balance sheets, current account surplus, debt service ratio and external liquidity are all stronger than ‘BB’ category medians. “Foreign reserves rose steadily in early 2013 but have been falling since May due to reduced oil output, prompting ECA drawdown, and global market turbulence, which has reduced foreign appetite for NGN paper (though net inflows have continued).” Other measures noted in the report include CBN’s intervention to support the Naira when it came under pressure mid-year after Fed-tapering turbulence, although reserves have held up much better than many large emerging markets and Nigeria’s effective re-opening the Eurobond market in July, raising USD1 billion in its second issuance. Reform progress remains mixed. Fitch noted also that electricity privatisation has passed a key milestone with generation and distribution now in private hands while output seems to be on a rising trend, although it has been affected by gas pipeline damage and an impact on GDP

growth is hard to discern as agricultural reforms are also gaining traction. It said: “The most obvious benefit to the economy has been a fall in imports last year, due to reduced oil subsidy payments, a crackdown on fraud in the oil subsidy system and substitution in the agricultural sector. “However, the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, remains stalled in the National Assembly. Strong vested interests will make structural reform a continual struggle, especially with elections in 2015. “Nigeria’s ratings remain constrained by weak governance, low per capita income and vulnerability to oil price volatility. “The government is responding to the Boko Haram insurgency mainly with security measures. Data weaknesses hamper the monitoring of economic and fiscal performance and reform progress.” Reacting to the rating, the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said: “This confirms that Nigeria’s economy is resilient just like the Nigerian people are resilient. “What is important about the ratings is that while acknowledging all the challenges the economy faces, it points to and applauds the strengths such as progress in the power sector, increased focus on agriculture, strong investment in local manufacturing and other areas.”

Tribunal’ll check electoral malpractices –Nwodo Oil spill: Eket communities reject ExxonMobil’s

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he National Chairman of the defunct Progressive Action Congress, PAC, Chief Charles Nwodo, said the establishment of an Electoral Offences Tribunal, would help to curb electoral malpractices in the country. Nwodo said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Abuja. He said: “The setting up of the tribunal has become imperative. As it would deter those people who take pleasure in fomenting trouble during elections. “The mere fact that those who commit offences during elections are not punished, the perpetrators and their sponsors see it as an avenue to do whatever they

like. “Those who find it as good business should desist from such in order for the nation’s democracy to thrive.” Nwodo said the tribunal, if set up, would also put an end to the era of “lingering litigations”. He urged the Federal Government to give the call for the setting up of the tribunal total support so that it would see the light of the day. The politician also called on the National Assembly to support any action by the executive towards the setting up of the tribunal. The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega, recently

renewed his call for the establishment of the tribunal before the 2015 general elections. Jega made the call during a debate on ethics and elections organised by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Abuja. He said the tribunal would be saddled with the responsibility of arrest, investigation and prosecution of offenders. The INEC chairman said that in the 2011 general elections, the commission detected 870,000 cases of multiple registrations out of the 73.5 million voters registered. He, however, expressed regrets that only 270 offenders had been prosecuted by the body till date.

N2.5bn compensation

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he Eket Federal Constituency Vanguard has rejected the N2.5 billion oil spill compensation offered by ExxonMobil to affected Eket communities. The oil spill, recorded on November 9, 2012, caused up to 200,000 barrels of oil, spilled on the Atlantic coast. In a communiqué made available to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, yesterday after its town hall meeting in Eket, Akwa Ibom State, the vanguard demanded immediate release of the N26.5 billion earlier promised by ExxonMobil. It condemned alleged lies, insults and abuses on

the community by ExxonMobil in the course of the oil spill. The communities, subsequently gave ExxonMobil seven days ultimatum to meet all its demands or risk an indefinite protest against the company’s operations. It also demanded immediate employment of 100 graduates by the company from the host communities of Eket, Esit Eket, Ibeno and Onna. The communiqué reads in part: “Henceforth, oil spills would be paid in dollars and communities should be allowed to select their projects and consultants.

“The compensation should be made to reach the communities and individuals to make up for their losses.” When contacted, the Public Affairs Manager of Mobil at the Qua Iboe Terminal in Ibeno, Mr. Akaninyene Esiere, said he had noted the inquiry, promising to respond later.

Gov. Akpabio


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

APC woos Nyako LIVINUS MENEDI YOLA

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he All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday wooed Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State to join its fold. APC Vice-Chairman in North-East, Umar Duhu said during a courtesy call to the governor that Adamawa State is more of APC than the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Duhu said the visit to the governor was at the instance of the APC National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande. Duhu said: “Adamawa is an APC state. The governor perhaps might not be a card-carrying member of our party, but all his supporters are members of our party. So, Adamawa State Government is APC controlled-government.” He said before the merger of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) with other political parties to form the APC, many members of the PDP had joined the then ANPP. “Many People in this government left the PDP enmasse; about 300,000 of them to join the ANPP, and I received them as the then chairman of the ANPP and I gave them membership card of the ANPP, except the governor, who said he was still in talks with his colleagues. Very soon he (Nyako) is going to join the ship because he no longer fits into the system of the PDP,” he said. Duhu described political development in the polity as in shambles because the PDP government was trying “to institutionalise impunity.”

News

Thursday, October 17, 2013

He added that the closure of the Adamawa State Government Lodge in Abuja was synonymous to closing the Government Gouse in Yola. Duhu pointed out that there was no moral justification for the Federal Government to shut the lodge whereas the Aso Villa continues to be used for the meeting of the PDP. He called for the closure of the Aso Villa also by the police, even as he asked the Inspector-General of Police to order the reopening of the lodge. In his response, Nyako expressed admiration for the APC and said he would soon make his pronouncement on whether to join the fold public. He, however, said the party has his support. The governor said the people of Adamawa State would not allow “mediocre in Abuja” to determine their political future, noting that the era when few Adamawa indigenes operating from Abuja determining the fate of the state was over. He commended the APC as a political party and the feat achieved by the governors elected on the party platform. Nyako said: “I don’t have your card, yet but I admire your governors for their outstanding performance. In the North-East, Governors of Yobe and Borno state have shown sterling qualities, delivering dividends of democracy to their people despite the security challenges faced by their states. “Also, the South-West governors are doing well on the platform of the same political party.”

Why Osun schools were merged, reclassified –Speaker

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sun House of Assembly Speaker, Hon. Najeem Salaam, yesterday said that the merger and reclassification of public schools by the state government was aimed at improving the standard of education. He spoke in Ejigbo when he paid a courtesy call on the Elejigbo of Ejigbo, Oba Omowonuola Oyesosin. Salaam appealed to the people to support the government’s effort to actual-

ise the policy’s objectives. The Speaker also appealed to religious leaders to refrain from politicising the schools’ merger and reclassification. Salaam said: “There is nothing wrong with merging Christian and Muslim schools together. This is a new government’s policy aimed at improving the standard of education; I think we need to give the government the opportunity to experiment this new idea.’’

According to him, the government was only trying to use its meagre resources to improve the standard of education. In his remarks, Oba Oyesosin urged the people to cooperate with government’s efforts to implement the new policy. He said the policy was aimed to improve the standard of education and not to relegate any religious organisation. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports

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House of Assembly Speaker, Hon. Larry Odey. A copy of the letter seen yesterday by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Calabar quoted Imoke as saying that the fund would sustain the execution of on-going projects at the institution to meet accreditation requirements. The letter reads: “Arising from the urgent need to sustain the execution of on-going projects at the Cross River State Polytechnic, Ugep, to meet the

that the Osun Government introduced the schools’ merger and reclassification programme, which grouped the public schools into three categories. The first category is the elementary school for pupils with ages between six and nine years; the second is the medium school for students with ages between 10 and 14 years, while students within the 15 to 17 age bracket are to attend the high school.

L-R: A Gamai elder, Venerable Selian Miner; Vice-President of Gamai Unity, Mr. Cyril Tsenyil former Deputy Governor of Plateau State, Dame Pauline Tallen and a Taroh elder, Alhaji Ligman Dafan, during a condolence visit by Gamai indigenes to the residence of the late governor of old Plateau State, Chief Solomon Lar, in Jos, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Olumo rock, capricorn cinema host fun seekers

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un seekers yesterday visited various tourism and recreational centres in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, to enjoy themselves in the spirit of the Eid el-Kabir celebration. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the fun seekers visit-

ed tourism and recreation centres like the Olumo Tourist Centre and Capricorn Cinema at the Cultural Centre, Kuto, Abeokuta. Some visitors told NAN that they came as far as from Lagos State to view and climb the legendary Olumo Rock. Mr. Jamal Akintunde,

who came to the tourist centre with his family of five, said that he seized the holiday season to come for the visit. A resident of Abeokuta, Mr. Kayode Kareem, said he brought his family to the tourist centre to recreate and ease tension, after a long week of prepara-

Imoke seeks N800m for newly established poly overnor Liyel Imoke of Cross River has urged the state’s House of Assembly to approve N800 million for the development of newly-established polytechnic at Ugep in the Yakurr Local Government Area. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the money will be sourced from the state’s Reserve Fund for Infrastructure Development, if approved. Imoke made the request in a letter he sent to the

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National Board for Technical Education’s (NBTE’s) requirements for accreditation and early take off of the institution. “Following the dwindling finances of the state, particularly in recent months, it has become imperative to withdraw from the state’s reserve fund to complete these projects.’’ According to Imoke, the state government, in 2006, set up a reserve fund for emergencies and future uses. The governor said the

state government contributed N50 million monthly to the reserve fund while the 18 local government areas jointly contributed N18 million monthly, amounting to N816 million annually. Imoke said the re-enactment of the reserve fund law No. 7 of 2011 gave room for withdrawal upon a concurrent approval by the state executive council and the House of Assembly. According to him, the state government had

been intervening in the education sector and needed the Assembly’s approval to draw from the fund to support funding of education projects. Imoke said that government was poised to providing infrastructure at the polytechnic to meet NBTE requirements for accreditation and take-off. He, however, said that his administration was financially constrained to meet the obligation and sought intervention from the reserve fund.

tions for the Eld el-Kabir. “Most of us have been pre-occupied with preparations for the festival, buying rams and the eventual slaughtering them, there was no time to go out and enjoy.” The Manager of the Olumo Tourist Centre, Mr Kola Anidugbe, gave an assurance that the necessary precaution and manpower requirements had been put in place to ensure the safety of tourists while climbing the rock. NAN reports that at the Capricorn Cinema, Cultural Centre, there were viewers who came to have a feel of indigenous entertainment and cultural movies. Mrs. Suliat Anifowose, who came to watch a movie, said that the facilities in the cinema hall were quite impressive, adding that she was satisfied with the ongoing transformation in the state.


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South-West

Thursday, October 17, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

60-year-old man commits suicide in Ilesa ADEOLU ADEYEMO OSOGBO

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he Eid-El-Kabir celebration ended tragically at Concord Hotel area, Oke-Omiru, Ilesa in Osun State when a 60-yearold man popularly called “Sunre’ reportedly jumped into a well in his house and

claimed his own life. The incident, which happened in the early hours of yesterday, stunned the residents and inhabitants of the area who gathered in groups to discuss. It was not clear why the man committed suicide but it was gathered that the deceased owed somebody

N350,000, which he was unable to pay. The deceased, a popular building materials dealer at Adeti Street in the heart of Ilesa, was said to have attempted to jump into the well on October 15 but was prevented by close associates and kindred. However, there was

no one around yesterday when the man jumped into the well. Sunre’s body was discovered by a resident who wanted to draw water from the well many hours later. The resident raised the alarm which alerted other people in the area. The residents of the area

reported the incident to the police and fire-fighters, later came to remove the body from the well and deposited it in a mortuary in Ilesa. The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mrs. Folasade Odoro, who confirmed

Let’s promote Nigeria’s cultural heritage –OPC

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People wading through flooded area of the bus stop at Orile Iganmu, Lagos, yesterday.

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Osun guber: PDP must be fair to aspirants –Group ADEOLU ADEYEMO OSOGBO

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socio-cultural organisation, the Ijesa Unity Group, IUG, has called on the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to be transparent and fair in picking the party’s candidate in the state governorship election in 2014. The group said in a statement made available to journalists in Osogbo that if this could be done,

there would be harmony, unity and progress in the party. Its President-General, Comrade Jackson Olalekan Ojo, appealed to the leadership of PDP that the only way it could pull surprise in the 2014 governorship election was for the party to be thorough and be up and doing in the selection process of its candidate. He, however, affirmed that an Ijesa man should be made to confront Governor Rauf Aregbesola in

the election for positive results and ‘to continue from where the APC-led government will stop next year’. Ojo then advocated the choice of Hon. Oluwole Oke, former Chairman, House Committee on Defence, representing Obokun/Oriade federal constituency, for the governorship election. He said: “People of the state are yearning for a positive change but our fear is that the PDP in the state is now in the hands

of a few individuals and this will spell doom for the party in the state. “The only solution to this problem is for all of us to come together as one indivisible and united party, which we in the Ijesha Unity Group, IUG, stand for and we have come out clearly to demand for an Ijesha man to be picked as the gubernatorial candidate of PDP so as to continue from where the present APC Governor Rauf Aregbesola will stop next year.”

Commissioner lists ways to improve civil service MURITALA AYINLA

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he Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mr. Olutoyin Ayinde, has highlighted ways of improving civil service in Nigeria. Ayinde said people, particularly those outside government had erroneous impression about civil servants. According to him, the public sees the civil ser-

vants as a bunch of lazy and indolent people, who arrive late to work, and leave early for home. Speaking at a symposium held in honour of the retired Head of Service, Prince Adesegun Ogunlewe, the commissioner disagreed with public perception that civil servants were indolent despite their pivotal efforts at keeping the business of government running He described public service as instrument for good governance and de-

sired change, calling for periodic training of workers to re-brand civil service. Ayinde regretted that most civil servants in the country had forgotten the courtesies which were part of the service, urging them to shun the mentality of immediate gratification which had entrenched bribery in the service. He said: “However, experience has shown that it is not the true reflection of what the civil service

is. There are truly hardworking individuals who are competent on their schedule. Service is an act of help or assistance. Such service is carried out in an organised system where labour and material used to supply the needs of the public are made available.” Explaining the rationale for civil service, the commissioner said there would not have been any need to render such services if there were no demands for them.

the incident, said a team of detectives, led by the divisional police officer, ‘A’ Division, Ilesa, went there to remove the corpse. Odoro assured the public that the police would get to the root of the matter.

he Kwara State Coordinator of the Oodua People’s Congress, OPC, Mr. Olanrewaju Salam, has called on Nigerians to always promote and celebrate the country’s rich cultural heritage. Salam, who made the call in a statement made available to journalists in Ilorin yesterday, said a nation’s cultural heritage was its identity. The OPC coordinator, who is also the state chairman of Olokun Foundation, said this year’s Oya Festival would hold between November 15 and 26, at Ira in Oyun Local Government Area of the state. According to him, the organiser of the Oya Festival - Olokun Festival Foundation - is an organisation promoting the cultural heritage of the Yoruba. He said: “A nation’s culture is the total way of life of the people, hence the need for the Yoruba nation

to always promote its rich cultural heritage.” Salam said that culture had become a global phenomenon where every nation of the world showcased its culture to the outside world. He said: “Festival is a culture and not a religion. Hardly can you see a state without the Ministry of Culture. “At this point, we need to celebrate our heroes/ heroines and deities and showcase them to the outside world for them to see our rich and diverse cultural heritage.’’ The OPC coordinator called on governments of Kwara and Kogi states to collaborate with the organisers of the Oya Festival to make it a grand success. He said: “We hereby call on Kwara and Kogi states, the Ministry of Culture and the National Museum to give total support and fully participate in this year’s edition of Oya Festival.”

Glo Lafftafest: International artistes arrive today

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he international comedians billed to perform at this weekend’s Glo Lafftafest mega show tagged Invasion LOL will arrive Nigeria today. Among the international stars expected to arrive today are two prominent American comedians, Tony Roberts and Deeray Davis and two of Africa’s foremost comedians, Ndumiso from South Africa and Salvado from Uganda. The show will hold at Eko Hotel, Lagos on Saturday. The foursome will join Nigeria’s best stand-up comedy acts and musicians such as Alli Baba, Basketmouth, the sensational twins, PSquare, Wande Coal, the great saxophonist, Lagbaja and a host of other talented comedians to delight Nige-

rians as part of activities marking the 10th anniversary of Globacom. Anchor of the event, Basketmouth, said the Glo Lafftafest “is the greatest and biggest comedy show ever staged in this country and this is the first time a corporate body will be assembling the best comedians and musicians from Africa and the United States of America on the soil of Nigeria. “It has never happened before and I can assure all that will attend the Glo Invasion LOL that they will have a fun-filled evening with us”. He recalled that before the Glo Invasion LOL, “the practice has always been for Nigerian artistes to travel abroad to perform while these foreign artistes hardly come to perform in Nigeria.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

South West

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Police arrest ‘Army Colonel’ for attempting to dupe monarch FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

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en of the Ogun State police command have arrested an ‘Army Colonel’ who allegedly was attempting to dupe a monarch in the state. The man, identified as Hassan Ayinde, 50 years old, was said to have hailed from Ifelodun Local Government Area of Osun State and was arrested in the palace of the Alagbado of Agbado, Oba Adedayo Shyllum, while attempting to dupe the monarch. A statement from the command’s Public Relations

Officer (PPRO), Muyiwa Adejobi, said the suspect was picked up on Monday, October 14, at about 2.00pm while he claimed to be a Colonel and the Aide-De-Camp (ADC) to the President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. Adejobi, in the statement, said the monarch became suspicious of the colonel and his claims, believing that anyone who claimed to be a colonel and ADC to the President should not be soliciting for financial assistance to be able to purchase ram for sallah. The PPRO further said that the status of the suspect compelled the traditional ruler to immediately alert

the police in Agbado and the colonel was arrested. “On interrogation, Hassan confessed to be a dismissed Air Force officer, but has been impersonating a colonel to make ends meet.” Adejobi said the suspect claimed to have attended a military school in 1979 and was posted to Zuru in Kebbi State as Lance Corporal before he eventually attended the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA) between 1980 and 1985. “The fake colonel said he worked with the Presidency in 1997 before he was dismissed in the year 1999 as a Wing Commander.” Adejobi added that the contradicting statement

of the suspect, who also claimed to be residing at the National Defence College, gave a clear indication of an impersonator. He also said that Hassan is presently cooling his heels at the police custody in Eleweran, Abeokuta, adding that he would soon be charged to court upon police’s completion of their investigation. The police, however, appealed to members of the general public to beware of such fraudsters, who may want to dupe them of their hard-earned money and always contact the police whenever they observe such.

L-R: Former Secretary to the Federal Government, Chief Olu Falae; Mr. Aluko and President, Campaign for Democracy and Women Arise, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, during a condolence visit to Chief Falae in Ondo State, yesterday.

Osun LG chairmen felicitate with Muslims ADEOLU ADEYEMO OSOGBO

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ocal government chairmen in Osun State yesterday felicitated with Muslim faithful in the state on this year’s Eid-el-Kabir celebration. They also reaffirmed their commitment to the administration of Governor Rauf Aregbesola in its efforts at turning around the fortunes of the state. In a statement issued and signed in Osogbo by the Chairman, Forum of Local Government Chairmen in the state, Kunle Ayantoye, said the government of the state deserves commendation for the purposeful leadership and systematic execution of people-oriented programmes. The forum appreciated the governor and the state House of Assembly for the confidence reposed in them by extending their tenure

for another six months. “We are always proud to be associated with the purposeful and dynamic leadership of Governor Rauf Aregbesola in the last few years. “We have partnered progressively with the state government right from inception. We acknowledged with greater appreciation, the full powers the government accorded us that has translated to unprecedented development at the grassroots level. “The partnership is working; for example, we were able to save in collaboration with the state government to tar 10kms stretch of road in the 30 local government areas of the state. “This is aside the other road projects and infrastructural development embarked upon by each council area. The relationship has been very perfect with

the state legislature that has always provided the necessary and enabling law for our administration.” On recent developments in the education sector of the state, where conventional primary and secondary schools were remodelled into elementary, middle and high schools, the forum pleads for understanding among all stakeholders. “We are confident that the current wind will blow us all well, irrespective of our standing in the society as changes are always accompanied by initial scepticism. “Residents of this state should by now understand and trust the governor for his high level of sincerity. It is important for all school proprietors that are bothered by the new development to continue engaging government in talks for meaningful results.” The forum also extends

greetings to all residents of the state particularly, the Muslim faithful on the occasion of Eid-el-Kabir celebration and sues for continued harmonious coexistence among all religious adherents in the state. “We felicitate with our Muslim brethren on this year’s Eid-el-Kabir celebration, we pray Almighty Allah to continue to bless the state and give her residents good health to enjoy the yields of this people-oriented government. “We have come a long way to determine whatever we see today; never should religious considerations be our problem. Our case is different here; we have always worked together as a people in our efforts to uplift our living conditions. “And in the annals of the state we have never had it so good. We should continue to explore our areas of strength,” the forum said.

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Endorsement galore at Fayemi’s third anniversary ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI

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t was endorsement galore for Ekiti State governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi’s second term ambition all the way yesterday at the mega rally held in Ado Ekiti to commemorate his third year in office. The endorsement came from various associations, including market women, trade associations, youth groups, students, Ekiti State Caucus in the National Assembly and the leadership of All Progressives Congress (APC) in the three senatorial districts of the state, among others. An excited Fayemi, who assumed office exactly three years ago yesterday, told the mammoth crowd that; “I am where the people stand.” Fayemi, who thanked the people, including former Governor Niyi Adebayo and the founder of Afe Babalola University, Chief Afe Babalola and other well meaning Ekiti people for their support said; “I want to tell you

that I am not tired. There is more in the arsenal of development.” He appreciated Ekiti people for always identifying “with peace, progress and development as shown in the testimonies on this occasion”, adding that his administration would continue to make life more meaningful for them; “This is the essence of the eight-point agenda of the administration.” The governor said: “In the struggle ahead, we will prove to the people who think they have the power of the gun. We will not give up, our duty to the people is that we will not relent to make sure that we develop our people and remove them from the shackles of poverty.” Speaking earlier at the occasion, which was attended, among others, by Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, and his Osun State counterpart, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, National Assembly members from the state and the Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adejugbe; Afe Babalola described the occasion as “historic.”

PDP set to send APC packing in Oyo –Folarin KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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ormer Senate Leader, Senator Teslim Folarin, yesterday boasted that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will send Governor Abiola Ajimobi out of office in 2015. He said this while speaking with journalists in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on the state of the nation. Folarin also asked the seven warring PDP governors to allow Nigerians determine the faith of President Goodluck Jonathan at the 2015 polls if he eventually emerged as the party’s candidate. While saying that as a politician he would always want to be relevant, he added that he has commenced consultations with his group, adding that the outcome of the consultations will determine his next political step. He, however, asserted that without “any iota of

doubt, the PDP will defeat APC in Oyo State in 2015,” adding that leaders of the party are putting their acts together ahead of the general elections. He said; “There are so many people in the PDP that are qualified to be the governor, including myself. We are consulting. We have been to Oke-0gun, Oyo and we are still talking quietly. We are interested but the outcome of the consultations will determine the final decision. “Without an iota of doubt, PDP will win Oyo State in 2015.” Speaking on the ASUU strike, Folarin said it was embarrassing on the part of the Federal Government to sign an agreement without looking into the books and consider its ability to fulfil the agreement. He blamed the Federal Government for allowing the academic union to proceed on strike before approaching them with their position.


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South East

Thursday, October 17, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Kingship tussles tear Imo communities apart CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI

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here is disturbing rise in the number of disputes in the various autonomous communities in Imo State as many communities have been torn apart because of imposition of monarchs on the people. Our investigation re-

vealed that these autonomous communities have been reduced to battle grounds by powerful individuals who desired the kingship stools by fair or foul means. As a result of the unhealthy situation, the peace, unity and development of the affected autonomous communities were swept off

by litigations, fractionalisations, division of the town unions and mud-slinging. The unsavoury state of affairs, it was gathered, has dealt a heavy blow on the self-help development culture of the people, who now deploy their megre resources on the tussles. National Mirror investigation revealed further that

protests and fights are common features noticed across the state which had even led to manhandling of some senior government officials. The officials were accused of imposing their candidates on the communities. On Tuesday, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof. Anthony Anwukah, narrowly escaped

being lynched by angry protesters from Umuobiagu autonomous community in Ngor Okpala Local Government Area for allegedly imposing his in-law on them as monarch. But there appears a glimpse of hope for these aggrieved communities as Governor Rochas Okorocha yesterday reaffirmed his commitment to resolving all traditional stool disputes to ensure smooth take-off of the Community Government Council in the state. Governor Okorocha stated this at Ahiajoku Center

while settling some of the cases brought before him by the Ministry of Community Government Council. He noted that Community Government Council had not gained the needed ground because some communities have no traditional rulers to pilot their affairs. Okorocha, while describing the disputes in some communities as a set back to the forth tier government, said his involvement was to ensure that justice prevail in the selection of traditional rulers.

Activities paralysed in Onitsha as Obiano intensifies campaign ctivities almost paralysed yesterday in Onitsha, the commercial hub of Anambra State, as the expansive All Saints field was filled to capacity during the campaign of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) governorship candidate, Dr Willie Obiano in Onitsha. Before arriving at the All Saints field, the campaign team, led by Governor Peter Obi, paid courtesy visit to the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe. Though the traditional ruler was said to have travelled out of the country, members of his council received the campaign team. After the courtesy visit, the campaign team stormed the All Saints field where the governorship candidate, Obiano, was introduced to the people by Governor Peter Obi and APGA National Chairman, Chief Victor Umeh. Promising to serve the people of the state in the best APGA tradition, Obiano anchored his speech on what he called four Cs: con-

tinue, complete, commission and commencement of new projects. He promised to equip hospitals for free medical care for those above 70 years, provide free education in primary and secondary schools, eradicate kidnapping, execute mass housing for civil servants and middle and low income earners, provide free vocational education and free ante- natal care, among others. Obiano, who enumerated the projects being executed by Governor Obi, assured the people that he would complete them. He mentioned Ndiukwuenu, Ebenebe, Atani, Ozubulu roads as specific projects dear to his heart because they would touch the lives of the people. The governorship candidate described Obi’s policy of disbursing money directly to the church and other credible organisations as yielding tremendous fruits, assuring that he would not only continue, but would sustain the practice since it had proved effective in the distribution of resources.

failed to attract government’s attention. “The affected senior citizens of Imo State have suffered untold hardship resulting to the death of six of them. “Some of the retirees are currently sick, bedridden and unable to access medical treatment, due to lack of funds.’’ He said that the group thought they would be

treated alongside the Imo Broadcasting Corporation (IBC), ``but the recent pronouncement by government on IBC retirees excluded newspaper retirees’’. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that efforts to reach the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr Chinedu Offor, to comment on the matter proved abortive.

CHARLES OKEKE AWKA

A Anambra State Governor Peter Obi (3rd right) and APGA National Chairman, Chief Victor Umeh (3rd left), raising the hands of APGA governorship candidate, Dr. Willie Obiano (middle) at the party’s campaign rally in Onitsha, yesterday.

APGA accuses Ngige of defiling Onitsha people’s customs ALIUNA GODWIN EBONYI

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hairman of the All Peoples Grand Alliance (APGA) in Ebonyi State, Mr. Jerry Obasi, has accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the November 16 governorship election in Anambra State, Senator Chris Ngige, of defiling the customs of Onitsha people. Obasi told journalists in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, that Ngige would not win the poll for defiling the people’s customs. He said the APGA-led

government in Anambra State would ensure that the election is free, fair and credible, adding that “not even charms from Okija shrine will manipulate the election.” Dismissing rumours that some eminent personalities are planning to rig the election, the APGA chairman said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other stakeholders would ensure that people’s votes count. Obasi, however, called on the aggrieved members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to support effort aimed at ensuring that

APGA wins the governorship poll free of violence. He said: “APGA has presented the best candidate among other candidates of other parties contesting for the November 16 governorship election. We should give power to a tested technocrat who has no loopholes here and there. “APGA is prepared to win the election in Anambra State. We are prepared to retain Anmabra for APGA. The party’s candidate, Mr. Willie Obiano, will attract investor to the state. Obasi, however, criticised “Ngige for inconsistency.

He said: “Ngige has demonstrated his inconsistency by defiling the custom of his people in Onitsha. He disregarded his people. His inconsistency will not allow him to emerge as the governor of Anambra State again”. Although acknowledging Ngige’s popularity, Obasi urged him to allow Anambra North Senatorial District produce the next governor of the state. In another development, Obasi advocated inclusion of states chairmen of all political parties across the country in the proposed national conference to ensure robust deliberation.

Imo Newspapers retirees send SOS to Okorocha

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mo Newspapers retirees under the aegis of the National Union of Printing, Publishing and Paper Products Workers (NUPPPPROW) yesterday called on Governor Rochas Okorocha to pay their terminal benefits. The retirees made the appeal in Owerri when their executive members, led by Mr Adolphus Ike, visited the Secretariat of the Imo State

Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ). Ike lamented that the retirees had yet to receive their terminal benefits since they retired, adding that this had led to the death of some of them. “We have lost many of our members to death because of hardship, frustration and hunger. Some are bed-ridden.

“Imo Newspapers is not pensionable. What happens is that if one retires, his end of service severance benefits are paid to him once and for all,’’ he said. Ike alleged that other administrations had respected the policy and paid some of the retirees but the present administration had yet to do same, in spite of appeals. He said the group had

no other option than to embark on a peaceful demonstration at the expiration of the seven days grace period, from the day the protest letter was submitted to the State Government. “NUPPPROW regrets that various letters and entreaties made to the government by the affected retirees regarding the unpaid entitlements have


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

South South

Thursday, October 17, 2013

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Family begs Oronto Douglas’ sister’s abductors EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA

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arely three days after Augusta Douglas Ayam was kidnapped at Ogbia town, Bayelsa State, her family yesterday pleaded with the abductors to release her unconditionally based on her poor health. Augusta is the elder sister of the Adviser to the

President on Research and Documentation, Oronto Douglas. Expressing sadness over last Monday’s abduction of Augusta by nine gunmen dressed in military uniform, the family’s spokesman, Samuel Romeo Douglas, said in a statement issued in Yenagoa that the family was yet to establish contact with the kidnappers. He said: “As a family, we

are deeply concerned and worried over the development especially, taken her poor state of health into consideration. “Augusta Douglas Ayam had just visited the hospital a few days back over her health challenges. The family, therefore, wishes to appeal to the kidnappers to release her unconditionally based on humanitarian ground.

“The kidnap of our daughter has increased our pain as a family that is still in mourning. We do hope and pray that those who have kidnapped her will give her the best of treatment deserving of any human being and envision also that they will have a rethink over the matter and release her to reunite with us as a family.” Douglas said the fam-

ily was happy the security agencies were handling the matter in a professional manner to unravel the mystery behind Augusta’s abduction. He said: “The family has given all the necessary details and information to the security agencies to aid their investigation. We believe that the security agents are up to the task and we are counting on their expertise. We ap-

peal to members of public to avail the security agencies and the family of any information that they may have concerning this matter. “As a family we have received goodwill from Nigerians again in our moment of trial. We are grateful for the massive demonstration of concern, solidarity and prayers. It is our sincere prayer for God to reward you all.”

Kidnapped prophet freed after N5m ransom payment EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA

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bducted General Overseer of Divine Winners Ministry International, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Prophet Confidence Ozor, has regained his freedom in Owerri, Imo State, after the payment of N5 million ransom. Ozor was abducted near Owerri last Thursday by some armed men while attending a crusade. The Yenagoa-based man of God was freed on Tuesday after spending five days with his abductors. The cleric said the gunmen confessed to him that they were hired to kill him because of his overwhelming spiritual powers which had attracted many members to his church within his short stay in the state. He said: “I travelled to my village with my team last Thursday. On that day I also stopped by to see my godson in Irete town, it is very close to Owerri, the capital of Imo State. He was preparing for his birthday

that was coming up on October 17. I was supposed to be one of the guest speakers at the event. “As I was looking at the posters, six men just barged on us and forced us into my car but my car did not start; they forced us out to my godson’s car and took us away. “Immediately, they started beating us and collected all our belongings, blindfolded us and took us to a desert. On getting to their destination they started asking us how much we have in our account and all of that. “When we said we did not have any money in our account they continued with the beating. In fact, they fired five shots at us but I don’t know what happened but it did not enter, at that point they asked us what kind of charms we are using. “They went back to search the car and saw bottles of olive oil and the Bible. They broke the olive oil and threw the Bible into the bush, came back to us and started using the head of the gun on us.

L-R: Delta State Deputy Governor, Prof. Amos Utuama; Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, Mr. Ndudi Elumelu; HRM Emmanuel Sideso, Abe I, Ovie of Uvwie Kingdom, and Mrs. Orezi Esievo at the commissioning of Enerhen Junction in Uvwie Council Area of Delta State, recently.

Community development: Agency employs 5,000 youths TONY ANICHEBE UYO

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kwa Ibom State Agency for Community Development has employed 5,000 youths in nine months as part of efforts geared towards community development.

Its General Manager, Mr. Ishmael Akpan, said this in an interview with journalists in Uyo yesterday. Akpan said within the period, the agency released N67 million to the 37 benefitting communities in the state. He said the money was rereleased in instalments

A’Ibom to fish out ghost workers in LGs TONY ANICHEBE UYO

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kwa Ibom State Government said it would soon extend the biometric data capturing system to local government areas. Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Bassey Albert Akpan, made this known during the Supplementary Appropriation Bill defence at the state House of Assembly. Akpan noted that the effective application of the biometric system in the state civil service had brought down the recur-

rent expenditure, saving the state about N12 billion which could take care of other competing demands. The commissioner pointed out that the deployment of this mechanism to local government, state government parastatals, pensions and gratuities was to check ghost workers as well as relatives of deceased pensioners receiving pensions several years after the pensioners’ demise. Akpan also said the N70 billion Supplementary Appropriation Bill was to complete capital projects, some of which were not captured in the 2013 budget.

The capital projects, he said, included the ongoing construction of Eket - Ibeno Road, Eket – Etinan - Uyo Road, and the 20th Anniversary Hospital whose equipment would be imported for installation to prepare it for use by 2014. According to him, the budget is to also take care of backlogs of gratuities and pensions owed retired public servants, as well as intervention in state-owned tertiary institutions like the Akwa Ibom State University and College of Education, Afaha-Nsit. The commissioner lauded the cordial working rela-

tionship between the executive and legislative arms of government, saying it had deepened democracy in the state. On his part, the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation Chairman, Hon. Onofiok Luke, flanked by his deputy, Hon. Nsikak Ekong, and other members, commended Governor Godswill Akpabio for his giant strides in the state. He pledged the collective resolve of the leadership and members of the Assembly to always support and defend what would engender deployment in the state.

for proper monitoring and accountability. The general manager said the youth were engaged in 109 micro-projects established in 15 councils across the state. He said: “Over 5,000 youths have been empowered by the agency in the last nine months because the objective of the programme is to enhance the skill and capacity of the people in the rural areas. “We train at least 20 persons in each community to handle the project and have disbursed a total of N67 million to execute projects scattered across the local government areas.” On why the programme provides for only 15 councils out of the 31 local government areas in the state, Akpan said before the agency started any programme, all the councils would be sensitised to the modalities to go about it. According to him, only 15 councils have shown interest to participate in the project.

He said: “For a local government area to benefit, it must show expression of interest through writing and be willing to contribute 10 per cent of the N10 million earmarked for each participating community.” According to Akpan, before funds are released, the agency has to sensitise the community and identify the project the community wants to establish which must align with the people’s needs. He said: “Our facilitators only assist the community to identify the project but the communities are the originators of the idea of the project which is Community Development Driven Approach.” Akpan said the agency was established to bring development to the grassroots and reduce youths’ restiveness. He expressed appreciation to the state government for paying its counterpart funds of N100 million this year to the World Bank.


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Al-Makura indicts predecessors for corruption IGBAWASE UKUMBA LAFIA

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asarawa State Governor, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, yesterday indicted previous administrations in the state for indulging in what he called money sharing rather than embarking on developmental projects that will lift up the people of the state. He said that was responsible for the poor

provision of basic infrastructure in the state and unemployment in the rank of the teeming youths of the state. Governor Al-makura said this in Lafia, the state capital when interacting with disabled persons and other groups who were at the presidential lodge, Lafia to pay him Sallah homage. The governor also said contract for three special schools has been awarded and work will commence

by January next year and the schools will be located in Keffi, Akwanga and Lafia and will run both primary and secondary curriculum to reintegrate the physically-challenged in the state. His words: “The previous administrations were only sharing money and they could not embark on critical infrastructural development such as roads and I want you to know that one kilometre of road

costs about N100 million to N200 million which can build several schools.” He also decried the money sharing principle of some politicians in the country, saying the trend was deceptive and a deliberate attempt to shield them away from performing. The governor also blamed the state legislature for thwarting his efforts for robust employment policies set up by his government as was manifest in their refus-

al to approve the budgetary proposal to that effect, assuring of his commitment to the cause. In spite of the huge outcry in some quarters of high level unemployment and capital flight with the resultant effect being poverty and insecurity in the state, the Tiv community in the Diaspora yesterday at the occasion vented its support to Al-Makura’s government following what it described as his giant strides in infrastructure.

I resigned for peace to reign, former Plateau Speaker insists JAMES ABRAHAM JOS

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ormer Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Hon. John Clark Dabwan, yesterday insisted that his resignation last week as Speaker was to pave way for peace to reign in the state. Critics of the former Speaker believed that his resignation followed some irreconcilable differences with his colleagues, who accused him of insensitivity and highhandedness. But, Dabwan while addressing a crowd of supporters who thronged the NUT House in his Mangu Local Government Area to receive him back home after resigning as Speaker, said his resignation was devoid of any distraught among his colleagues in the House and insisted that it was done in the interest of peace in the state. He said: “I have held the office of the Speaker of the House of Assembly diligently, honestly and with the fear of God, and I therefore resigned in the interest of the state. “I have driven the House to a greater height. I did not commit any offence. I felt it is good for me to resign for peace to prevail, Plateau State has passed through political and religious turbulent and we do not want a repeat of that.” He said he was ready to offer himself as a sacrificial lamb, “enough of bloodshed, enough of rancour in the House.”

Niger State Governor, Dr Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu (left), receiving Sallah gift from the Emir of Minna, Alhaji Umar Faruk Bahago, during a sallah homage to the governor at the Government House, Minna, yesterday.

2015 guber race: No going back on zoning –Aliyu PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA

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iger State Governor, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, has insisted that the state will not back out of the zoning formula adopted by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 1999 to rotate the governorship seat between the three senatorial zones of the state. He said this to uphold the principles of equity, justice and fair play. The governor argued

that the arrangement has worked so well and of immense benefit to the state, hence it would be maintained, even if the formula has been discarded at the federal level and in some states in the country. Governor Aliyu was reacting to the recent indication of intent by an aspirant from Zone ‘A’, who insisted he will contest the governorship seat, despite the fact that the state party leadership had zone it to Zone ‘C.’ It will be recalled Zone

‘A’ had already held the position between 1999 and 2007; Zone ‘B’ that produced the incumbent governor, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, from 2007 to 2015, while Zone ‘C’ is expected to have its share in 2015. Aliyu, who stated this at the Eid-el-Kabir mini-Durbar and traditional Sallah homage by the Emir of Minna, organized by the state Ministry of Tourism, alleged that some individuals are deliberately out to dislodge the zoning

formula after benefitting from it, using sentiments to confuse the people. Insisting, he said; “We call for peace. I want to say on the zoning, if other states say they have dropped the zoning formula, we in Niger State have not. “We notice that some people are trying to destabilise the zoning arrangement using religion and tribal sentiments. It is wrong; we must stop this politics of religion and tribal sentiments. Zoning is working well in Niger state.”

Labour Party wants Kwara LG poll shifted WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN

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he Labour Party in Kwara State has said it is not comfortable with the October 26 local government election arrangement put in place by the State Independent Electoral Commission (KWASIEC) A governorship aspirant of the party, Alhaji Abdulhakeem Amao, who spoke

on behalf of Labour Party in Ilorin yesterday said; “We in Labour Party at no time did we state with anybody that we are comfortable with the KWASIEC date for the local government election of October 26. “Our party’s Public Relations Officer (PRO) was quoted out of context and we regret any conceivable damage the misquotation may have done to our image and character, our person or our party.

“We are very sorry about that. We are not comfortable with the date. In the Labour Party, we are out for justice and equity. Why are you asking for extension of the election date? The October 26 election will not be suitable for anyone of us, because if you are saying that you want an election, every political party that is registered must have an opportunity of partaking. It is not a thing that

will be a one-sided thing. “Moreover, presently, the Kwara State government is doing the election on that day just to satisfy itself. There is a division even in the PDP, so a lot of people are being sidelined. He added that the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Labour Party are being sidelined saying; “The date is not suitable because we do not have all hands on deck.

ASUU strike: Yar’Adua varsity lecturers may forfeit October salary JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA

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atsina State Governor, Ibrahim Shema, has called on striking lecturers at the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua University (UMYU) to resume academic activities or forfeit their October salaries. Shema was speaking during the annual Sallah Durba event which held in the premises of the Government House yesterday. The governor said UMYU lecturers were only on solidarity strike in support of the industrial action embarked upon by the national body of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and not because they had issues with state government. “I am calling on them to call off their strike action as there is nothing the state government is owning them,” adding that; “I want to remind them that my profession as an international lawyer, does not make me unaware of labour laws.” The governor said labour laws stipulate that though workers were free to embark on strike, they are, however, bound by the ‘no-work no-pay’ aspect of the law. He said; “As state governor, I will not take money belonging to the people of Katsina and pay into the pockets of workers who sit idly at home not doing anything.” He, therefore, called on the striking workers to go back to work this month, or forfeit their October salaries. Shema, who called on the national body, ASUU, to “sympathise with students, whom their own children are also among,” said closing of universities was not the solution to the challenges facing the sector. He said if ASUU has complaints, it should present such to the Federal Government for necessary action, but not completely shut down tertiary institutions in the country.


Thursday, October 17, 2013

14 YOLA

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he National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, has said that leading the ruling party has been very challenging. He added that the challenges have however made him determined to succeed on the job. His words: “I have been challenged, but that is what has made me even feel bet-

ENUGU

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he apex Igbo sociocultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, will on Saturday take consensus position on issues relating to the proposed national conference. The group will on that day harmonise its views to arrive at common position of Ndigbo on the modality for organising the national dialogue which it will present to the Femi Okorunmiled committee when it visits the South-East between October 30 and 31 for collection of memorandum on the proposed conference Ohanaeze has been in the vanguard of agitation for the convocation of a national conference before President Goodluck Jonathan yielded to the idea on October 1st. Ndigbo will also on that day ratify or itemise specific issues of interest it hopes to present at the conference when it is eventually convened.

AWKA

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he Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, yesterday released soft copies of the current voters’ register to 25 political parties billed to take part in the November 16 governorship election. The current voters’ register is made up of 1,784,536 registered voters

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Says, ‘National Conference won’t divide Nigeria’

ter. The more the challenge the more I get determined to face the challenge.” Tukur said that the greatest challenge so far has been the dissention from a segment of the party, adding that “people like to continue the thing they were doing. It is normal. The PDP has been in gov-

A source close to Ohanaeze told National Mirror that the Imeobi or caucus meeting scheduled for that day will deliberate on the group’s earlier positions on issues of federation, geopolitical zones status, fiscal federalism, equality of states per zone among other issues. The source said: “At the Imeobi meeting, we will take positions and of course you know our earlier stand on issues like federalism where we have on many occasions maintained that our position is that the country should federate based on the six geopolitical zones. “Of course, we have not changed from our agitation that the South-East should have more states to keep it at equality with other zones. The issue of fiscal federalism that more allocation should be granted to the states other than the Federal Government and all that will also feature prominently in our discussion on Saturday.”

ernment for the past 14 getting to 15 years now. And to renew and keep deepening democracy, there has to be a change.” Setting a tone for reconciliation with the warring members of the party, Tukur called on aggrieved members of the party to embrace reconciliation without confrontation by their change of attitude. He noted that the resistance to his leadership style was the outcome of years

as against the figure of 2,011,746 recorded in the 2011 register. Copies of the voters’ register were handed over to representatives of the approved parties by the State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof. Chukwuemeka Onukaogu at a ceremony held in Awka. Speaking during the ceremony, Onukaogu said INEC distributed the register to the political parties

of degeneration of values of equity and fairness, a situation which he said has resulted in a preference of selection over election, consensus over imposition and dictatorship rather than deepening democracy. Tukur added: “You must understand that when you want to bring these kind of changes you must have resistance.” He urged the aggrieved governors of the party to handle their disagreement

without confrontation, adding that it behoves on them as loyal party members not to do anything which was inimical to the growth of the party. Meanwhile, Tukur has also berated opponents of the proposed national dialogue, asking them not to hoodwink Nigerians with their views that the national dialogue can bring disunity. Tukur, while speaking at his Yola residence in Adamawa State, yesterday argued against insinuations that the proposed national dialogue would create dis-

unity in the country. He questioned the rationale behind the thinking that the national dialogue would cause disaffection, saying the dialogue should not be construed as “war”. He said: “What do they really want. How can dialogue bring disunity? Anybody who says dialogue can bring disunity has actually missed the point. The national dialogue should not be likened to war. Only war can bring disunity. War and dialogue don’t tally. It is better to jawjaw than war-war.”

All Progressives Congress governorship candidate, Senator Chris Ngige at Nteje, in Oyi Local Government Area.

ASUU strike: APC lambasts President’s wife over honorary degree OLAJIDE OMOJOLOMOJU

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he First Lady, Dame (Dr.) Patience Jonathan has come under criticisms for receiving a honourary doctorate de-

INEC presents voters’ register to parties in Anambra CHARLES OKEKE

Politics

Leading PDP, very challenging, Tukur admits

Ohanaeze takes position on confab Saturday DENNIS AGBO

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You’re insincere, Presidency tells APC leader

Jonathan lacks capacity to organise confab –Tinubu LIVINUS MENEDI

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

to maintain the credibility and integrity of the electoral process. He urged political parties to scrutinise the register thoroughly and raise objections and claim with supporting data later. He disclosed that the reduction in the total number of registered voters was made after the recent voter revalidation and continuous voter registration exercise.

gree in South Korea even as public universities in the country remained closed under the watch of her husband, President Goodluck Jonathan. Describing the acceptance of the doctorate degree as the height of insensitivity, the All Progressives Congress, APC, in a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said that if the First Lady and her advisers had been perceptive enough, they would have known that embarking on such a jamboree at this time is an assault on the sensibilities of Nigerians. Mohammed said: ‘’In their eagerness to gobble

up one spurious award after another, they forgot that if the Hansei University in South Korea had been shut by a strike because the government there has repudiated an agreement it willingly signed with the teachers, the institution would not have been able to give any honorary degree to anyone. “A government that is unwilling to spend the nation’s resources on the education of its youth has no qualms about wasting the same resources for a junket by the First Lady and her cheerleaders halfway around the world for what is nothing more than an ego-massaging award.” The APC said the rea-

sons given for the award of the Honorary Doctorate to the First Lady were particularly interesting, as the university said of the First Lady: “She’s a humanitarian who has dedicated her life to working for the less privileged in Nigeria and Africa especially for women and children. Her vision as the defender of the poor in Nigeria fits into Hansei University’s motto of a practising Christian.” The APC opined that the First Lady, as a mother and a ‘humanitarian’, would have done well to rally women to put pressure on the government led by her husband to quickly reach an agreement that will end the long-drawn ASUU strike.


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NATIONAL CONFERENCE DEBATE

Jonathan lacks capacity to organise confab –Tinubu powers” Abacha had promised. The five political parties that emerged from the constitutional framework designed by the Assembly all ended up endorsing Abacha as their presidential candidate. Abacha’s death ended the charade. Knowing that Nigerians were no longer prepared to put up with military rule, Abacha’s colleagues hastily put together a constitution to serve as the legal framework for the civilian administration inaugurated in 1999. The constitution was not published until it came into effect. It was not debated. Those who took office swore an oath to defend a constitution they had not seen, and the provisions of which they did not know. Soon, it became clear that it was riddled with grave defects. Despite its portentous preface, “We, the People,” it was not a people’s constitution. The people played hardly any role in its writing. It did not reflect their yearnings. Some legal authorities even went so far as to call the document a forgery. And so, demands for a Sovereign National Conference broke out afresh, to design a new constitutional order for Nigeria, one anchored on the core principles of federalism and warranted by the preface, “We the People.” Then came the Obasanjo’s constitutional review process by the National Assembly in the twilight of his administration. The process came up with 118 recommendations most of which were far-reaching and dealt with critical and contentious issues of nationhood. It became ill-fated due to the failure to smuggle in the third term tenure extension provision. The rest as they say, is now history.

Despite being one of the foremost advocates of National Conference, former governor of Lagos State and leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has stridently opposed the confab being proposed by President Goodluck Jonathan. To him, the President does not have the capacity to organise such an important national dialogue. In this piece, Tinubu critically analyse the issues at stake and his submission.

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ince I first made known my initial reaction to President Goodluck Jonathan’s proposed National Dialogue/Conference, the daggers have been out against me. The paid public relations gangs of the administration and some sympathisers have gone into overdrive in the media and public fora to denounce me for the position I have taken. I thought I ought to enjoy the same right they have exercised by supporting Jonathan’s conference to also reject it and make my reaction known. Unfortunately, it does not seem so. But I have news for them. I will not take anything I have said back on the proposed National Dialogue by this present administration. I insist that the planned national dialogue is a ‘Greek’ gift and public deception. I say beware of the Greek gift; let us first of all, ask a series of questions. The government’s proposal is a walk down a back alley that leads only to a dead end. It has the same empty taste as sitting down to dine after all the food has been eaten and the table cleared. I intend to raise fundamental questions/interrogations in the following response. I am known to have always reviewed the message or policy action of government after which I simply proceed to respond to the message and not the messenger. But this time around, my focus and response is to the messenger and not the message essentially. Questioning the messenger and his motives is my mission here as a Nigerian and a political leader. Also in warning against Jonathan’s proposed conference, I will put forward a few practicable suggestions. The core questions to ask here is how credible, reliable and capable is the current President to be able to midwife a critical conference such as this? Will this President be sincere enough to let all the issues that are on the agenda be exhaustively discussed at the conference? Will this President have the guts to implement fully all final resolutions of the conference without fear or favour or any pandering? This is an administration that has been known to have flip-flopped on so many critical issues of national importance. President Jonathan was part of two issues of national importance in the recent past; Amnesty and the Uwais Panel on electoral reform. We all know what has happened to these two issues. The amnesty conceived from inception has been corrupted and hijacked by the President’s clique. It is one of Nigeria’s drain pipes. A slush fund for political expeditions and a conduit to siphon money to the boys. The Uwais Panel report gathers dust and suffers from constant cherry picking. What about the much-publicised SURE-P initiative of this administration? Another ill-conceived and fraudulently implemented programme of this administration. Billions of naira have so far disappeared into private pockets and the treasury still bleeds. I can go on and on. Is this the leader we want to trust with organising a national dialogue or is it conference they call it? Where is the capability? Where is the sincerity? Where is the presence of mind? Recent Nigerian political history bears me out in this instance. Recall the call for a Sovereign National Conference began in earnest in the latter phase of the political transition programme of military president Ibrahim Babangida. Claiming that it was laying a solid foundation for a democracy that will endure, the regime turned Nigeria into a laboratory for all manner of political stunts.

Tinubu

Nigerians came to conclude that the regime was pursuing a not-so-hidden agenda of self-perpetuation and called for a Sovereign National Conference to replace a transition programme that had clearly lost its momentum and its direction.

Beninoise model Next door, in Benin Republic, a Sovereign National Conference was being staged to chart a new course for a country that had virtually come to a standstill. Its crisp, bold and purposeful proceedings resonated in Nigeria, and Nigerians yearning for such a conference embraced the Beninoise model. The military regime seemed at a point to embrace the concept, too, and even tried to enlist some prominent citizens to translate it into practice. But when it appeared those citizens had taken the regime more seriously than it took itself, the regime scuttled the idea and decreed jail sentences for anyone purporting to stage a national conference.

June 12 debacle and the charade Then came the presidential election debacle of June 12, 1993, and with it, renewed calls for a Sovereign National Conference. The election crisis swept out the military regime, but not before it had planted a surrogate, the socalled Interim National Government, a clueless outfit that lasted three months but drove Nigeria to the edge of ruin, until it was overthrown by General Sani Abacha. To win public acceptance, Abacha promised to stage a National Conference with “constituent powers.” This was another act of bad faith, for Abacha packed the assembly with his hand-picked nominees. Those who were not his nominees were products of an election that was widely boycotted, persons who could hardly be described as authentic representatives of their constituencies. The conference exercised nothing close to the “constituent

HE CAN ONLY GIVE US A “JONATHAN CONFERENCE” AS BITTER ICING ON THE SOUR CAKE HIS GOVERNMENT HAS BECOME.

THIS GOVERNMENT LACKS THE PRESENCE OF MIND AND THE DECENCY TO IMPLEMENT A NATIONAL CONFERENCE

Jonathan’s epiphany Now, we are about to embark on a similar futile exercise. And here is why. Until some two to three months back, our demands for a sovereign national conference found little sympathy in the Executive and Legislative branches of government, until some three weeks ago when Senate President David Mark, issued a qualified endorsement. Then, in his National Day Broadcast, President Jonathan, announced to everyone’s surprise that the Federal Government would indeed sponsor National Conference, at which Nigeria’s ethnic nationalists would discuss and negotiate the terms of continued association. Within days, Dr. Jonathan named a chairman and members of a committee to advise on modalities for staging the conference and submit a report within one month. I, like other well-meaning Nigerians must welcome this shift. It is an admission, at last, that the wide cracks in the national fabric can no longer be papered over, and that the time has come for fresh thinking on fundamental problems, the existence of which has for too long been denied. Yet, President Jonathan’s epiphany–if epiphany it is and not an expedient calculated to enhance his 2015 reelection bid – should be subjected to searching questions. It is difficult to lay aside the suspicion that his sudden conversion is all about 2015. Otherwise, why the sudden endorsement of a national conference, not merely in principle, but with a rush toward some form of implementation? What has happened that was not already in play in all those years during which the authorities rejected demands for a national conference? Second, it is also difficult to lay aside the suspicion that the government is now embracing the idea with a view to watering it down, if not smothering it altogether. What its proponents have been canvassing is a Sovereign National Conference organised by the sovereign people of Nigeria, not one staged by the government. Government will figure in that conference only as a facilitator, not as organiser. Many of the ethnic nationalities clamouring for a Sovereign National Conference are contesting nothing less than the legitimacy of the Nigerian State as presently constituted. It cannot be an answer to their misgivings that the Federal Government, the agent of that state, is set to take charge of a Sovereign National Conference designed to chart a new path.

The sovereignty question Third, Dr Jonathan did not indicate whether the Conference will be sovereign or exercise constituent powers. That CONTINUED ON PAGE 16


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Politics

Thursday, October 17, 2013

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NATIONAL CONFERENCE DEBATE

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, has taken a swipe at the criticism of former Governor Bola Tinubu on the proposed national conference. He defended President Goodluck Jonathan’s initiative and bemoans the critics.

You’re insincere, Presidency tells APC leader

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t is heart-warming that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu finally made seeming a volte-face on his initial opposition to the convocation of a national dialogue/conference by President Goodluck Jonathan in his October 1st National Broadcast. It is obvious that his initial reaction on arrival from overseas medical trip was not well thought out and was roundly opposed, rejected and condemned by a clear majority of the Nigerian people, in particular, the authentic Yoruba leadership in the South-West. It is therefore crystal clear and unarguable that whatever position the All Progressives Congress, APC, leader holds on the issue of the national conference does not represent the views of the majority of Yoruba people in the South-West. In his initial reaction, Senator Tinubu rejected the National Dialogue out rightly and called it a “Greek Gift”, diversionary and an act of public deception, which according to him was also ill-timed because of the supposed closeness to the forthcoming 2015 elections. His assertion that there is an ulterior motive for the conference is purely conjectural and speculative; and has no foundation in any reasoning or logic. The onus is heavily on him to prove this; hence we will not dwell too much on this unjustifiable conclusion. We wish to state categorically that President Goodluck Jonathan has shown convincingly that he is a credible, reliable and capable leader by his unprecedented achievements in such a short space of time. He most certainly does not flip flop as the opposition politician insinuates. President Jonathan promised to embark on electoral reforms with the sole aim of giving Nigerians the full value of credible elections. It will be recalled that the very first general elections under the watch of President Jonathan was adjudged by both local and international observers including leaders of foreign nations such as America, Britain and France, as being one of the best ever in Nigerian history. This fact is further confirmed by a monumental reduction of almost 70 per cent of litigations arising from the conduct of elections in Nigeria. Another pointer to his commitment in this regard are the Edo and Ondo state governorship elections where the President’s party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, lost and the entire process was commended by all Nigerians including Bola Tinubu’s party, the then Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN. One therefore wonders the mischief that Tinubu intended to play by the alleged non implementation of reports of the Justice Uwais committee on electoral reforms.

Jonathan

Therefore, contrary to Senator Tinubu’s position, Mr. President has demonstrated reliability and capability in his handling of his electoral reform promise to the Nigerian people. The President promised that he will deliver power to the Nigerian people through a well-planned Power Roadmap. To date, all the 10 previously comatose NIPP Projects capable of adding an additional 5000 megawatts to our national grid have been virtually completed by this administration. Two weeks ago, in order that even the most cynical of all can see and confirm that these are not political gimmicks, the Geregu NIPP Power Plant with 434 Megawatts was commissioned by the President to the admiration and appreciation of the entire citizenry and in a few weeks from now, Omotosho Plant with 450 MW will also be commissioned. Surely and steadily, Nigeria is moving towards the provision of uninterrupted power supply to the citizenry. The seemingly impossible feat of full privatisation of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, which has been on the burner since 2005 was seamlessly and transparently executed within the framework of best international practice. This is currently the largest privatisation exercise in the world today; with potential value in excess of $3 billion. This has been commended by financial experts and investors all over the world. The successes in the transportation sector including revitalisation of collapsed and abandoned railway networks nationwide and the establishment of new modern gauge in Abuja, Kaduna, Ajaokuta and Lagos are self-evident. Road infrastructure has been handled expertly and effectively. These include: Benin – Ore Road; Kano – Maiduguri dual carriage way; Enugu – Port Harcourt; Abuja – Abaji – Lokoja; Apapa – Oshodi Expess way; and the N160 billion Lagos – Ibadan Expressways which is currently under reconstruction. Giant strides are also being recorded in agriculture, industry and aviation. Amazingly, Senator Tinubu spoke ignorantly on the issue of the Sure-P. He

Okupe

DESPERATE

POLITICIANS AND SELFSEEKING POLITICAL LEADERS TEND TO BELIEVE THAT THEIR QUEST FOR POWER OR INSATIABLE APPETITE FOR WEALTH ACCUMULATION THROUGH POLITICS IS SUPERIOR TO THE GENUINE DESIRES AND INNATE ASPIRATION OF THE ORDINARY

NIGERIANS

ought to have been better informed rather than the shameful falsehood he tried to disseminate on the utilisation of the SURE-P funds. We submit for the records, the allocation to SURE-P and the projects to which the Federal Government has applied them. These are verifiable facts. The Federal Government receives 41 per cent of the total SURE-P funds while all the States and Local Governments receive the remaining 59 per cent. Details about the utilisation of the Federal Government SURE-P funds in 2012 and 2013 have been provided. The leader of the APC, should publish the total amount of money received by the APC states and the projects for which they were used for Nigerians to see who is reliable and capable and who is not. The second question raised by Asiwaju Tinubu was the issue of the management of the Amnesty Programme. He claims this has been hijacked by some people and that it constitutes a drain-pipe to the nation’s economy. Nothing exposes Asiwaju Tinubu’s ignorance in matters relating to national affairs than this unsubstantiated and unsustainable criticism of the otherwise

laudable programme which is being well managed and co-ordinated by the Federal Government. Tinubu’s myopia and beclouded diatribe on this matter reveals the narrow mindedness of a local politician totally insensitive to the genuine sensibilities of other sub-nationalities within the polity. The results of the various programmes of the Amnesty Office are self-evident and have definitely impacted positively on the lives and well-being of the youths and communities in the Niger Delta. Finally, the reference to the fact that Mr. President is calling for a national conference at a time when his party, the PDP, seems to be having an internal crisis is plainly mischievous and dishonest. The APC leader, as usual, is completely off target. Desperate politicians and self-seeking political leaders tend to believe that their quest for power or insatiable appetite for wealth accumulation through politics is superior to the genuine desires and innate aspiration of the ordinary Nigerians. While the Bola Tinubus of this world focus only on the 2015 general elections, most patriotic ordinary Nigerians are more concerned with the emergence of a true united nation, based on equity and justice to all its component parts, devoid of schisms and rancour which has made it impossible for us to benefit from the full potential of all the God-given resources of our great nation. Senator Tinubu in his criticism of the conference asked: “Where is the capability, where is the sincerity?” He also queried: “Will this president have the guts to implement fully all final resolutions of the conference without fear or favour?” On all these queries, we state that for the first time in the history of post-independence Nigeria, a Federal Government took a bold initiative to call for a national conference without the obnoxious “nogo-areas” so that Nigerians can once and for all have the opportunity to address all pertinent issues regarding the polity and has also given the advisory committee freewill to determine its nature and/ or structure. This is a definite demonstration of boldness and sincerity by the administration of President Jonathan. Our dear Senator Tinubu wants the Yoruba nation and indeed the people of Lagos State to believe that he is sincere in rendering public service to the state and the people, whereas he has heavily garrisoned the state political apparatus with a sizeable number of his immediate family members. Nigerians should ignore the vituperations of so-called leaders who don’t see anything good in anyone or any programme except they are either in control of it or that it is tailored to satisfy their inordinate desires and greed. Like Mr. President said at the inauguration of the advisory committee on national conference: “Let us move forward with honest conviction and patriotic courage to strengthen this Republic and get it to work better and brighter, for all of us, to the glory of God.”


16

Politics

STAN OKEKE

T

he All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, on October 7 at the Alex Ekwueme Square, flagged off its governorship campaign for the November 16 gubernatorial election which the National Chairman of the party, Chief Victor Umeh, described as Operation Osmosis. The campaign launch can only be described as an eloquent testimony of the followership the APGA has garnered over the years, with the twin approach of Umeh, and the Anambra State governor, Mr. Peter Obi, in ensuring that the party lived up to the expectations of the late APGA leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu. The message appropriately delivered during the presentation of Chief Willy Obiano as the governorship candidate of the party, and his running mate, Dr. Nkem Okeke, was that the good people of Anambra State were once again set to witness the unequalled developmental strides of the Obi era in the state, a feat that was in the years before him, assumed to be impossible. In a grand style and amidst an unprecedented crowd, the APGA National Chairman, Umeh and Governor Obi presented Obiano and Okeke, who also came with their wives, as the standard bearers of the party for the November 16 gubernatorial election, to the good people of Anambra State. Instructively, knowing that they were not in for a tea party, both men athletically jogged up to the podium from where they were seated, to the admiration of the people who applauded them endlessly. Filled

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Anambra stands still for APGA

Umeh

to capacity, with even more supporters outside the venue out-numbering the ones inside the Square, the security agents at the Square, had a herculean task in controlling the crowd who were so excited to behold their candidates for the election. Another historic development at the rally was that all the gubernatorial candidates aspirants who contested the primaries with Obiano, except Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, were present at the event. Of particular mention is Hon. Uche Ekwunife who cheerfully arrived the Square with dozens of her supporters, to show her solidarity for Obiano and the party.

Then came the massive decamping of members of other political parties in Anambra to APGA. First to declare his defection to APGA was the former governorship candidate of Labour Party, LP, in the state, Mr. Peter Nwosu who said he decided to leave LP for APGA, with all his supporters because Obiano is unarguably the best man for the job. He thereafter donated 10 buses and one Armanda vehicle he used for his campaign, as well as his campaign office to APGA. Arch. Arthur Obi Nwandu, one of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governorship aspirants, followed suit with over 1,500 of his supporters. He said that the confusion in PDP was an eloquent testimony that they were not ready for the election and that the Obi administration has delivered democratic dividends to the people of Anambra State. Then came Chief Anayo Obiakor, the State Chairman of Democratic Peoples Party, DPP, who also joined APGA with all members of the party in Anambra. He said his decision to dump DPP was the transparent and able way Obi has steered the ship of state, saying that the governor has transformed the state to an enviable height. Equally, former members of the House of Representatives, Echezona Okechi and Obiajulu Okeke, among others, also decamped to APGA from their former political parties. The major outstanding qualities of the APGA candidate, and that of his running mate, are their family and educational back-

Jonathan’s confab is suspect –Tinubu

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 14 omission is not reassuring. What Nigerians have been demanding is a Sovereign National Conference whose decisions can only be ratified or rejected by the people in a national referendum. There is no room for a Government White Paper of Blue Paper or Paper of any colour whatsoever in such a scheme. Fourth, it must be asked whether this is an opportune moment for the conference, when the ruling party is in disarray, a large portion of the country is convulsed by Boko Haram violence and killings, and permutations over a general election have already taken centre stage in the affairs of the nation two years ahead of schedule. Would staging a National Conference in such a setting not overheat the polity? Would it not be better to defer the Conference until after the general elections? There is still so much to do to ensure that the election is free and fair, conforms to the best practices, and represents the true will of the people.

President’s Confab deceptive Though I remain an unrepentant supporter of a genuinely Sovereign National Conference, I am suspicious of this present concoction because it is half- baked and fully deceptive. Government’s sincerity is questionable, the timing is also suspect. Now that this government is sinking in a pool of political and economic hot water of its own making, it seizes hold of the national conference idea as if it were a life jacket. This government habitually puts the wrong leg forward. In the face of debilitating terrorist attacks by Boko Haram, kidnappings across the country and general

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insecurity, that this government wants to open up another political front by hurriedly organising a national conference rankles the brain. This government has not the honesty, foresight, tolerance and objectivity to hold a national conference of any type. This government is so partisan and parochial that it can’t even hold its own party together, how dare it even think it can organise a national conference that lives up to its name by being truly representative of all the nation’s constituent parts. At most, all they can conduct is a conference comprised of one section of their party and those shell, artificial civil society groups that purport to reflect the public’s mind yet do nothing but spew government propaganda and get paid good naira for their service. This government cannot hold a national conference anymore than a comatose man can stand and hold up a candle that the rest of us might see our way to a better Nigeria. Before embarking on new public relations ploys to whitewash its tarnished record, the government should treat some long outstanding issues and matters. This government cannot give what it does not have.

The way out If the conference must be held now, we must return to the spade work already done by the Olusegun Obasanjo government in the aspect of constitutional review. Let the Jonathan government bring it out, remove the third term toxic component and set up a technical review committee to examine the 118 recommendations therein. We must continue from where we disagreed. Nation building is a progressive work and to to-

tally jettison the considerable spade work already done is to set back the hands of the clock. Time is not on our side. Secondly, this government should implement the Uwais recommendations on electoral reforms. That report was the work of eminent Nigerians and it was done after widespread consultations to constituencies far and wide. We all know that our electoral system is broken and unfair. If the President has done nothing to fully implement this corrective report that would fix a system so blatantly broken, why would he implement recommendations of national conference, if those recommendations do not suit his narrow purposes? The government should first implement this important work in order to demonstrate to Nigerians that it can hold and honour the outcome of a national dialogue. This government should do so to show that it has nothing to hide and is willing to engage in the upcoming electoral contest on a level playing field. This government must first show good faith for Nigerians to believe it. President Jonathan is not the man to give Nigerians a true national conference. He can only give us a “Jonathan conference” as bitter icing on the sour cake his government has become. This government lacks the presence of mind and the decency to implement a national conference. This administration has not achieved any tangible transformation because it has no concrete goals. Now it tilts and staggers under the weight of insecurity. Claims of transformation and of building an economy that is robust and institutions of democracy, by the President shows someone who believes fiction is more important

grounds. Apart from Senator Chris Ngige who is a medical doctor, the other candidates are no match for the duo of Obiano and Okeke. They tower above their other challengers in all ramifications. This seems to give Ngige and All Progressives Congress, APC, the cloak of being the major challengers of APGA and its candidate, Obiano. Delivering his speech at the campaign rally, the National Chairman of APGA, Umeh, said that the major attraction in APGA as a political party was that Governor Obi had delivered dividends of democracy to the people of the state, more than any governor in Nigeria. Emphasising that Obi remained the most faithful member of APGA, who has remained committed to the party, Umeh stated that after eight years in the saddle and setting records in the development of all sectors, it was time to replace him with another person as good as himself. Obi on his part said that the most important thing today in Anambra State is for the people to elect a good person that will continue to build on the achievements of the past. He expressed confidence that Obiano and Okeke were the right people for this assignment, and called on Anambra people to vote them in, and ignore those prancing about without managing their lives, believing erroneously that they can manage a state. • Okeke is a media aide to the National Chairman of APGA, Chief Victor Umeh. than fact and imagination is more genuine than reality. While I would not mind such a person to be a leading figure in our Nollywood film industry, I am frightened that he is the chief resident in Aso Villa. Both in timing and in style, previous administrations adopted the same tricks of national conference as a framework to structure their agenda to which people presented memoranda and attended plenaries before realising it was a trick. This government’s offer of a national conference is a wingless bird. It will not fly. The advisory committee set up to design a framework and come up with recommendations as to the form, structure and mechanism of the process will soon find out they are on a journey with no destination save the wall of futility. Yes, we need to talk. However, we need a national conference that is truly sovereign and not one dictated by the reactionary and regressive elements of the ruling party. This is not the way to clear Nigeria from danger. This is a selfish ploy that will place the nation deeper in darkness and indirection. Nigeria is adrift and unless we start a discourse aimed at updating and improving our political economy and its structures, we might wake up one day from a night devoid of dreams because we have turned into a nation devoid of hope. However, an imposed national conference by individuals who have shown total disdain for anything nationalistic that does not unduly benefit them and who have demonstrated lack of respect for the opinions of others because they are in “Power” will have little success. It will be an empty and expensive futility with no true dividends for a people wanting their leaders to show them a way out of the pit and not a way deeper into it.


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Views

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Conference of hope EXISTENTIAL HUMANISM

FRY

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

T

he call for the convocation of a sovereign national conference is not a recent phenomenon, it only assumed prominence after the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election by the General Ibrahim Babangida military junta. That development eroded some ethnic nationalities’ confidence in Nigerian union, largely perceived as a marriage of convenience, a relationship that is based on injustice, oppression and arrogance. In a relationship of this nature, the sides that are on the receiving end are bound to wake up one day and say enough is enough, and ’to you tenth oh Israel’. The late General Sani Abacha regime organised a semblance of a national dialogue, which ultimately turned out to be a confab of deceit as his intention was to hoodwink Nigerians to give legitimacy to his planned dictatorial reign. The Chief Olusegun Obasanjo administration set up the Justice Chukwudifu Oputa-led Human Rights Investigation Violation Investigation Commission of Nigeria (HRVIC), whose report was eventually

T

abandoned. The abandonment of such useful document is part of the reason the nation’s problems keep on multiplying. The Goodluck Jonathan administration has consistently been inundated with the need for a national dialogue. He resisted the pressure awhile for fear of being accused of presiding over the disintegration of the country. He could have been genuinely scared by such prospect given the breakup of the former Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Sudan, among others after many years of forced cohabitation of the different ethnic nationalities. The anti-national conference coalition has given all kinds of reasons, ranging from the sensible to the mundane, for their opposition. It is salutary that good sense has eventually prevailed. It is the hallmark of statesman for the Jonathan administration to succumb to such popular pressure. He is a product of the mystery of power politics and has also had one of the most opposed governments in Nigerian political history. The proposed conference has been applauded by majority of Nigerians. The Senator Femi Okurounmu Committee has been mandated to work out its modalities. The Senator is a known figure in the struggle for justice and equity in Nigeria. He was a chieftain of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) and Afenifere, the apex Yoruba socio-cultural group. The group has been a persistent and vocal advocate of sovereign national conference; so also is Ohaneze Ndigbo, the highest pan Igbo

IT IS BECOMING

CLEARER THAT THE

NORTH NEEDS THE SOUTH THE SAME WAY THE SOUTH NEEDS THE NORTH

socio-cultural group in the country. The Oodua People’s Congress leader, Ganiyu Adam also applauded the Jonathan administration’s gesture. However, the Arewa Consultative Forum, the apex socio-cultural group in northern Nigeria, has not been too enthusiastic about it, but stated the North was not opposed to any dialogue that will strengthen the country’s unity. Perhaps, the strongest support for the conference from the North came from Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State, who doubles as the chairman of the Northern Nigerian Governors’ Forum. He unequivocally stated that the North would participate fully in the conference. Senator Ahmed Tinubu, former governor of Lagos state and a leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is skeptical on the intention and purpose of the conference. He has read deceit into it. He is cynical on its purpose, timing and the intention. It is gratifying that the National Assembly has thrown its full weight behind it. The Senate president, David Mark, sees it

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as an ample opportunity for Nigerians to resolve all the issues at the centre of the centrifugal forces in the country. That positive voice from the nation’s parliament is critical because there has been insinuation that the conference is an unholy move to hijack the power of the constitutionally elected federal legislators. Now that the lawmakers have acquiesced to it, it is fruitless for anybody to cite them as a stumbling block to the conference. This is the best time for conference. It is as important as the 2015 general elections. It will be disastrous to go into that election without resolving pressing national issues that could tear the nation asunder. It amounts to hypocrisy to pretend that all is well with Nigeria. We need to re-jig the country, dig into the heart of our problems and solve them conctitutionally. It is becoming clearer that the North needs the South the same way the South needs the North. If we agree to stay together for the mutual benefits of all, we must state the modalities of such union. We must avoid arrangement that tends to hide our peculiarities. That is why most Nigerians insist that there should not be ‘no go area’ for the conference delegates. We need to dialogue on all issues including, devolution of power, resource control, fiscal federalism, states police, rotational presidency, indigeneship question, federal character, among others. It behooves on us to make this conference serve as a forum to cement the bond of unity of the nation.

Implications and lessons of Eid-el-Kabir

he celebration of this year Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha, more popularly known as Eid-el-Kabir, started 24 hours ago with Nigerian Islamic faithful joining their counterparts in other parts of the world to mark it. The festival is rooted in scriptural accounts of both the Islamic and Judeo-Christian theology as evinced in the Al Qur’an Kareem (The Glorious Qur’an) and the Old Testament respectively. The homogenous accounts (Qu’ran Chapter 37; Genesis Chapter 22) highlight how, in a singular act of obedience to a divine command, Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham), took Ishmael his son, which was begotten in his old age, to a location and prepared him for ritual of immolation as a piety to God. As he got set to cut the throat of the blindfolded son, behold, a ministration came from heavens; Allah conveyed the good tidings stopping the killing and revealed that a ram had been approved by Him as a vicarious replacement for the sacrifice. God added that Ibrahim had passed the ultimate test of faith and would be amply rewarded. The ram was promptly slaughtered while both father and son returned home in ecstatic joy. This exemplary story of Prophet Ibrahim’s fully manifested intent to sacrifice his most adored progeny is well known, what many do not, however, bother to imbibe is its essence. The demonstration of this sublime virtue of selfless yield to the divine fiat is a reference point in man-God relationship. Ideally, as the embodiment of all knowledge and wielders of all powers, God should be seen as the Guiding Light to the path of redemption. Mortals are finite, while God

LET US REMIND

OURSELVES THAT THE ESSENCE OF THE FESTIVAL WE HAVE JUST CELEBRATED IS TOTAL SUBMISSION TO THE WILL OF

GOD

is infinite; what remains hidden to man is laid completely bare to God, with no more than just a single glance of his famed omniscient eye. Yet, most humans tend to disregard divine guidance through obstinacy borne of selfishness. There are enough injunctions in our religious books that would have made the society better if willingly obeyed, alas, what we often have is a case of selective obedience, if not outright disobedience or crooked manipulative interpretations of God’s words to suit our pre-conceived foibles and whims. Today, God may not require us to kill our children to prove our unconditional submission to his will, but how many are truly eager to comply with even the comparatively easier obligations required of us in this modern times? The two Holy Scriptures are replete with passages urging virtues of honesty, righteousness, integrity, good neighborliness and love. But do we practice them? Underscoring the imperative of yielding to God, The Qur’an, in Chapter 4, verse 125, says: “Who could have a better religion than

someone who submits himself completely to God and is a good-doer, and follows the religion of Abraham, a man of pure natural belief ? God took Abraham as an intimate friend.” Now, if we find it difficult to submit to God in the relatively easier obligations confronting us today, how miserably would we fail if called to make superior sacrifice like Prophet Ibrahim? Superior sacrifice consists of giving away one’s most prized possession. What translates to most prized possession is different from person to person. To some people, their riches, manifested in millions, billions or trillions of money and assets rank supreme; to others, their chain of degrees and other certificates come before everything else; others place the highest premium on looks; some people’s most adored valuables are sporting talents, tribal or national identity, or some other mundane human values. How many Nigerians today can give up their most prized possession in deference to divine commandments? Indeed, most of the problems facing us as a country stem from the people’s attitude of superimposing personal preferences and selfish agenda over all other things, including God acclaimed commandments and directives. God says do not kill, we always find excuses to do so; he says do no steal, we do for personal aggrandizement; he commands we show love to your neighbour, we engage in basest sadism borne of wanton hatred. Politicians who steal with impunity from the public treasury know that God abhors it, yet rather than give up such self-

CRITICAL STROKES

KAYODE

KETEFE

kketefe@nationalmirroronline.net 08032147720 (SMS only)

ish pursuits in the light of the creator’s antipathy to the vice, they expect Him to compromise his standards and overlook the disobedience! What about those who kill and maim other people for money and other selfish or misguided reasons? Let us remind ourselves that the essence of the festival we have just celebrated is total submission to the will of God; it is not reckless bingeing and partying; it is not mere storing of ram meat in cellars for hedonistic purpose of titillating the palate in slow, drawn-out consumption many weeks after the Sallah! The demonstrative purpose of Prophet Ibrahim’s sacrifice story is to underscore the virtue of total submission to the will of Almighty Allah. May Allah allow us to witness many more Eid el Kabir festivals on earth. Amina Yarabi! Send your views by mail or sms to PMB 10001, Ikoyi, or our Email: mail@ nationalmirroronline.net mirrorlagos@ yahoo.com or 08164966858 (SMS only). The Editor reserves the right to edit and reject views or photographs. Pseudonyms may be used but must be clearly marked as such.


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Editorial

Thursday, October 17, 2013

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

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HEAD, GRAPHICS

Nigeria’s Bid for UN Security Council seat

resident Goodluck Jonathan, while addressing world leaders and other delegates at the opening of the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly recently, made a case for the country’s election to a nonpermanent seat in the United Nations Security Council. He stated that the country’s commendable performance on previous occasions when it held a non-permanent seat in the Security Council should assure the global community that Nigeria deserved to be elected to the council for the 2014-2015 session. Presidential spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, had quoted the President as saying: “I am pleased to state that Nigeria has received the endorsement of the Economic Community of West African States and the African Union. We, therefore, urge this August Assembly to endorse Nigeria’s candidature for a non-permanent seat on the Security Council”. Indeed, President Jonathan also called for expedited action on the democratization of the Security Council, stressing that Nigeria and other developing countries were concerned about the lack of progress in the reformation of the UN. He had insisted that the call for democratization worldwide should not be for states

only, but also for international organizations such as the UN. Jonathan noted that the democratization of the Security Council was desirable for the enthronement of justice, equity and fairness; as well as the promotion of a sense of inclusiveness and balance in the world. It is noteworthy that the President’s statement at the last UN General Assembly is a major shift in the country’s demand for a UN Security Council seat on a permanent basis. Nigeria had hitherto canvassed for a non-veto permanent seat at the Security Council, citing its population, contributions to international peace keeping operations and the need to achieve fairness in the UN system. So far, however, the Security Council has five permanent members namely: the United States, Britain, Russia, China and France. The concept of veto power by the permanent members was designed to guarantee international peace and security. But the structure of the UN Security Council as presently constituted has elicited criticisms. The President of South Africa, Mr. Jacob Zuma, has, for instance, criticized what he described as “a situation where those who possess the power of veto talk more war than peace”. He stated

NIGERIAN IS CURRENTLY GRAPPLING WITH DAUNTING INTERNAL SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL CHALLENGES in addition that “you have a minority that has the last word and, unfortunately, it is no longer helping. It is actually becoming a part of the problem”. The demand for the democratization of the UN system, especially the Security Council, to reflect new geo-political realities as canvassed by President Jonathan is a step in the right direction. To this extent, it is imperative to expand the permanent status membership of the UN Security Council to include newly emerging states, including countries from the African region. It is, nevertheless, problematic to canvass for Nigeria’s permanent membership seat. It is common knowledge that the country has dropped the campaign for a permanent seat. Nigerian is currently grappling with daunting internal socioeconomic and political challenges that have reduced its

leadership role in Africa and its perception by other states in the international system. Nigeria’s international relations, especially in Africa, have largely receded as a result of its declining economy, internal leadership struggle, and poor articulation of its foreign policy. It would appear that the country’s demand for a non-permanent seat of a two-year term is a reassessment of its status and new realities in international politics. Nigeria’s foreign policy has retrogressed from an African-centered foreign policy to a sub-regionalbased foreign policy. The country has lost the assertive and leadership role that characterized its foreign policy in the 1970s and early 1980s. Nigerians feel that President Jonathan should concentrate more on local security and addressing the political and economic problems confronting the country instead of funneling Nigeria’s scarce resources into international peace keeping operations. Though the country should always respond to emerging realities in the global system, including participation in peace keeping operations; the real challenge is how best to appropriate advantages from its involvement in conflict zones in the post conflict period.

ON THIS DAY October 17, 1998 On October 18, 1998, a pipeline fire occurred in the community of Jesse near Sapele, Delta State, Nigeria, killing about 1,200 villagers, some of whom were scavenging gasoline. The cause of the fire was debated. The Nigerian government said the incident happened because scavengers intentionally ruptured the pipeline with their tools. Other reports said the pipeline ruptured due to the lack of maintenance.

October 17, 2001 Israeli tourism minister, Rehavam Ze’evi, became the first Israeli minister to be assassinated in a terrorist attack. An Israeli general, politician and historian who founded the right-wing nationalist Moledet party, Ze’evi was assassinated by Hamdi Quran of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). This was one of the few assassinations of an Israeli politician as a result of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

October 17, 2003 The pinnacle fitted on the roof of Taipei 101, a 101-floor skyscraper in Taipei, Taiwan, made it to surpass the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by 56 metres (184 ft). Taipei 101 thus became the World’s tallest high-rise building. Formerly known as the Taipei World Financial Center, the complex is a landmark skyscraper located in the Xinyi District, Taipei, Taiwan.


Thursday, October 17, 2013

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19

Education Today

IN CONJUNCTION WITH

AFE BABALOLA UNIVERSITY, ADO-EKITI (ABUAD) A model, a bench mark and reference point for other universities –NUC

MOJEED ALABI

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he disagreement between the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, and that of the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, over the ongoing 108-day-old industrial action by the teachers’ body almost turned violent last weekend in Kano. A group of students allegedly loyal to ASUU had attempted to disrupt the NANS meeting held in the city. National Mirror learnt that NANS leadership, led by Mr. Yinka Gbadebo, had invited the leadership of the students’ unions in higher institutions within its Zone ‘A’ axis to appraise the ongoing ASUU strike and map out other strategies to ensure the lecturers’ return to classrooms soonest. The meeting, involving students from 11 states in the northern part of the country, including Kano, Kaduna, Zamfara, Sokoto, Jigawa, Gombe, Katsina, Niger, among others, and which was held on Monday afternoon at the Federal College of Education, Kabuga, Kano was allegedly disrupted by other student groups who National Mirror learnt saw NANS as a state agent. In a telephone interview, NANS President said what informed the choice of Kano for the meeting was to use the opportunity to engage the National President of ASUU, Dr. Nassir Issa Fagge, in a debate to explain the union’s side on the lingering crisis, “having listened to the position of the Federal Government on the matter.” Gbadebo said the decision to engage ASUU in an open debate became the last option since the series of letters sent to the union to seek information were never acknowledged or replied. “Aside that, our members from northern states would need to be briefed on the new development regarding the strike so as to accommodate their opinions, we also deem it fit to engage ASUU in a debate having written its leadership to explain to us why they could not call off the strike and allow normalcy to return to our universities. We also wrote to the Federal Government on the issue and we got a reply asking us to meet with the Chairman of the Needs Assessment Report Implementation Committee, that is, Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue State, who put all the facts on the table for us to see. So, I don’t

Strike: ASUU, NANS crisis deepens

•ASUU should come out for debate –NANS •They are sponsored government agents –ASUU

Isa

Gbadebo

Civil society groups protesting ASUU strike in Lagos.

want to be quoting the contents of the agreement because we are yet to hear from ASUU. But when we studied the contents of the agree-

ment, we felt like flogging ASUU members. “For instance, what is ASUU’s business with FG’s landed prop-

ASUU IS FEELING COMFORTABLE BECAUSE MAJORITY OF THEM ARE EITHER TEACHING IN ONE PRIVATE

UNIVERSITY OR THE OTHER, OR EVEN CONSULTING FOR GOVERNMENT AND OTHER INSTITUTIONS

erties that it is claiming should be ceded to it? What about project supervision allowances despite bribes they collect from students? So, many nauseating things like that but we don’t want to jump into conclusion until we hear from ASUU, but unfortunately the leadership of the union has taken us as enemies and therefore would not want to discuss with us. We therefore appeal to Nigerians to tell ASUU to either publish its own signed agreement or agree to discuss its contents with NANS so

that we too would know if the Federal Government is the party that is not sincere,” Gbadebo stated. Meanwhile, efforts to reach the ASUU national president over the allegations proved abortive as calls put through to his mobile telephone line were unanswered. However, in a press release issued by the University of Lagos, UNILAG chapter of ASUU on Tuesday, the lecturers’ body accused NANS of serving the interest of the ruling class and that Gbadebo was not a student. The statement, which was signed by the chapter’s Chairman, Dr. Oghenekaro Ogbinaka, also alleged Gbadebo-led NANS of planning to organise violent protest across the major cities in the country in the name of ASUU and thereby wrote to alert the public to beware of such antics. The union said Gbadebo had in 2009 been rusticated from Ekiti State University but hurriedly applied for a one-year diploma programme at the Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile-Ife, “So that he could be foisted on the genuine undergraduates by his paymasters.” It added that Gbadebo’s classmates had since completed the programme and so the union president could not claim to be in the school. In his response, the NANS president said ASUU was only being diversionary in its argument, saying his studentship and brilliance could not be doubted, but that ASUU was only running away from the real issue. “I am a student of the Department of Local Government Studies at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife in Osun State. Before I joined OAU, I had graduated with Second Class (upper division) at the University of AdoEkiti but my results are yet to be released due to my activism while there. The facts of my brilliance are there and they are verifiable. So let anyone doubting my studentship come open with facts and figures and also addresses the issues of the agreement we are talking about. “ASUU is feeling comfortable because majority of them are either teaching in one private university or the other, or even consulting for government and other institutions. So they are not bothered and they know that no matter how long they stay off work, their salaries would be paid. It is unfair to the students whose future is hinged on their success in schools,” Gbadebo submitted.


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Education Today

Thursday, October 17, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

‘Nothing wrong with merger of schools in Osun’ Professor Olasupo Oyetoro Ladipo is a seasoned educationist, technocrat and former Resident Electoral Commissioner in Gombe State. He spoke with some journalists in Osogbo, the Osun State capital on the ongoing merger of schools by Governor Rauf Aregbesola, the state of education in the country, among other issues. Our Correspondent, ADEOLU ADEYEMO brings excerpts. As an educationist and technocrat, how will you describe the ongoing merger of public secondary schools by the present administration in Osun State? When we talk of merger of schools, what exactly are we merging? In making education functional, you need a lot of tools and equipment which may be very expensive. But if you can have a centre where all these teaching equipment are assembled and you bring the children to learn at that place, if you call that merger, it is. Let’s go back to what we are in the past. When I was in secondary school, there were only 17 secondary schools in the entire south-western region of the country and many of them were actually founded in the 50s. Osogbo Grammar school founded in 1951 was one of them and so also the rest. We students came from every part of the country to seek and obtain knowledge. It was the crop of that generation that we have today. Proliferation of schools without the necessary tools does not really help anybody. What I am saying is that we can have as many secondary schools as possible in every street so far there are enough resources to support them. So, it is economically efficient to have all the tools that make for good secondary education before establishing them. So, can we as a state or a country afford to have schools scattered all over the place? The educational system in the country has gone bad because we had too many schools which we were unable to support them with necessary facilities. Education is expensive and requires enormous resources. So back to your question, if we do not merge schools, we will not be able to afford to give sound education to our children, who are the future of this nation. Nigeria has just celebrated 53rd anniversary of political independence and 14 years of democratic practice, what is your perception about the level of development particularly as regards education in the country? From my own point of view, it is not that we are really doing fine as a country but then, things are not totally bad. We have many problems we are battling with as a

FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA

O

gun State chapter of the Nigerian Library Association (NLA) has called on government at all levels to take urgent steps that would encourage stu-

Ladipo

WE CAN HAVE AS MANY SECONDARY SCHOOLS AS POSSIBLE IN EVERY STREET SO FAR THERE ARE ENOUGH RESOURCES TO SUPPORT THEM country in the education sector. There are problems of infrastructural decay, dearth of qualified teachers, poor salaries and conditions of service, mass failure, exam malpractice, poor facilities and so on. Sadly, these challenges are our own making. Why the country is in its current position is caused largely by greed. One person because of position, especially in government would want to have the whole world under his control. In Nigeria, we allow foreign elements and influences to direct virtually all our activities. The first major error or mistake we have made as a country for instance was that we have failed to promote our own languages. For leaving our languages at the expense of English language, for example, is an indication that we do not promote our culture and also our development. Although, we have been trying to find solu-

tions to our problems we don’t really sit down to consider from where these problems emanated from. We need to do that to be able to get to a desired destination. Lets go back to the 1950s when a farmer who wanted to sell tubers of yam or plantains for instance need not be physically present at the spot. But would just have to put the commodities on the road side and labelled them with their prices to be sold. Anybody who wants to buy any of those items would get there and take his or her choice and left the money there with nobody stealing neither the money nor commodities. Nobody dares do that nowadays. So, we have lost that culture of trust, credibility, brotherhood, faithfulness and other attributes of the past. In receiving foreign cultures whether political or religions, we forgot that the base of our existence is our entity and our culture, and this is embedded in our language which is our means of communication. We are losing this culture; for example, we have lost parenting. We are no longer parenting, and when I hear people talk and I see them and I hear their name, I pity them a lot, because Yorubas make a culture of being able to tell the history of a person by the person’s name. So, our education sector can be developed but we will all need to contribute our own quotas to make things work in this country.

Effective library usage, panacea to mass failure –Library Association dents to make effective use of library services in order to arrest the trend of mass failure at terminal examinations in the country. The state chairman of the association, Mr. Osinu-

lu Lolade made the call in his address which he delivered at the 2013 Library Week held at Simeon Adebo Library in Abeokuta, the state capital during the week. It was themed:

“Arousing reading culture in the technological age.” The librarians, who worried over the growing trend of students’ mass failure, particularly at the West Africa Examination Council

Head of National Office, West Africa Examination Council (WAEC), Mr. Charles Eguridu (middle) with some management staff of the council, representatives from Samsung Electronics West Africa and Sidmach Technologies Nigeria Limited during the presentation of Samsung Printers to WAEC by the latter, recently

(WAEC) and the National Examination Council (NECO) emphasised that the only panacea to arresting the situation and guiding against total collapse of education in the country was for critical stakeholders in the country to promote love for reading and strengthen reading skills. Noting that the “Bring Back Book Project” launched by the Federal Government three years ago was borne out of stakeholders’ lamentation on the mass failure recorded at external exams, the association charged governments at all levels to rise up by ensuring effective library service that would support learning in the country.

The association also identified factors such as inadequate facilities, low reading interest, as well as the use of social media among secondary school students as responsible for students’ poor performance, stressing that they all must be addressed by stakeholders in order to arrest the poor reading culture among Nigerian youths. Speaking further, Ololade expressed concern over low patronage of the library services across the country, noting that the library week was aimed at calling the attention of stakeholders to the need to establish functioning libraries in all secondary schools in the state and equipping them with relevant and new books.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Ogun promises standard education TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE

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he Ogun State government has assured the people of the state that it would continue to improve on the infrastructural development and students’ assessment in all its schools now that the new academic session has just begun. The Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mr. Segun Odubela gave the assurance during the inauguration of projects constructed at Ositelu Memorial College, Ogere-Remo in Ikenne Local Government Area of the state, recently. He said the distribution of educational materials to public primary and secondary schools students, payment of running cost grants to schools, rehabilitation of dilapidated school structures, construction of new blocks of class rooms, laboratories and model colleges in the state so far was a clear indication that government is showing much concern to raise the standard of education in the state. “So, government will do all the needful while the public should also show more commitment to make the objective achievable,” he said. Earlier in his welcome address, President of the Old Students Association of the school, Mr. Awobajo Olakunle lauded government’s commitment to the education sector, saying the level of investment in the sector so far has demonstrated that there is a brighter future for the sector.

Ban Ki-moon tasks govts on girl-child education

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N Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon has urged governments to urgently support girl-child education in their countries. Ban made the call in a message sent to the 2013 International Day of the Girl-Child celebration in Lagos. The secretary general, who was represented by the UN Information Centre (UNIC) National Information Officer, Mr. Oluseyi Soremekun, said the UN recently launched the ``Global Education First Initiative.’’ He said the initiative was meant to increase the number of girls in schools globally, adding that ``too many girls’’ were being deprived of education in their communities.``Let us all work together by supporting and investing in education, so that girls can advance. ``Empowering girls, ensuring their human rights and addressing the discrimination and violence they face are essential to our overall development.

Education Today

Thursday, October 17, 2013

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Day Oke Are ex-students honoured eminent alumni KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN

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embers of the Oke Are Old Boys Association of Nigerian (OSOBAN) recently came together at the Church of Ascension, Ibadan, Oyo State for this year awards/ recognition ceremony and fund raising. The event brought camaraderie as most of them relieved their days in the school, calling one another various nick names of the old days. Scheduled to start at 2.00pm, it was however, not to start until some minutes to 3.00pm due to what the Master of Ceremony and National Secretary of the association, Mr. Segun Ogunade, described as circumstances beyond their control. But the ball was to be set rolling after the introduction of guests to the high table with the opening prayer coordinated by the Archbishop of Ibadan Diocese, Most Rev. Dr. Felix Alaba Job. The National President of the association, Mr. Ladi Taiwo, while welcoming those present at the ceremony that included the Metropolitan See of Lagos, Most Rev. Dr. Alfred Adewale Martins; Monsignors, Reverend Fathers, the Longmai of Shendam in Plateau State also an old student, His Royal Highness Hubert Shaldas 11 and many eminent old students, said OSOBAN was the alumni association of St. Theresa’s Catholic Minor Seminary, Oke Are, Ibadan. According to him, the school which has its dates back to 1901 was established mainly to train priests, stating that the biblical injunction of “many are called and few are chosen” has however, led to the old boys association consisting of both priests and lay members. Speaking on why the programme was put together, Taiwo said apart from the school contributing its own quota towards the development of the country through many eminent students that have passed through it, the event was also to honour the old students who had in one way or the other given back to the school. He said, “The main reason for putting together the ceremony can be further broken down into two. One, the National Executive Committee of the association noted that the seminary has produced eminent and distinguished old students both priests and laymen who have made significant strides in life. For too long, the seminary has been closeted with its achievements largely

Most Reverend Alaba Job (left) recneiving his award plaque at the ceremony

YOU CAN NEVER GIVE TOO MUCH TO THE OKE-ARE THAT MOULDED YOU AND EQUIPPED YOU FOR THE LIFE OF TODAY innocuous. And so, the Old Boys reasoned that it is time that the world gets to know of the value and worth of Oke-Are products and their contributions to the church and the nation, hence, the need to celebrate our own. “On the other hand, it was discovered that some of today’s awardees have continued to give back to their alma-mater unsung. In order to encourage them to do more for the seminary and the alumni association, honouring them has therefore become imperative.” However like Oliver Twist, he was to appeal to the old students to continue to do more towards assisting the school, maintaining that with the achievements that the school has recorded in terms of academic excellence, it is incumbent on them to always give helping hands as the church cannot do it alone. “For us as OSOBANs, it is heart-warming that in spite of the decline in educational standards in our clime, Oke Are has continued to post good and enviable results. The sustenance of this standard is the task to which we must all renew our commitment. This is the essence of our association. The school authorities can no longer do it alone, because gone are the days of subvention from Rome. While

the school and OSOBAN commend and appreciate the efforts of those who have always looked back in support, we urge you not to relent as the work is still plenty. You can never give too much to the Oke-Are that moulded you and equipped you for the life of today. Your generous contributions in this quest will be highly rewarding,” he stated. Most Rev. Alaba Job in his words of exhortation charged members of OSOBAN never to see age as a barrier to be themselves, maintaining that what should be important for them is how they would impact positively to the society, no matter their age. The Metropolitan See of Ibadan Diocese said as former students of a seminary, it is incumbent on them to know more about their faith and share it with others. Speaking on what should be the priority in moving the nation forward, the catholic leader enjoined them to champion the crusade against the cankerworm of corruption which has eaten deep into every fabric of the country, saying “as OSOBANs, we must be in the fore front to say no to corruption. I believe that we all owe this as a duty to ourselves and most importantly to the institution that has moulded all of us.”

He nevertheless toed the line of the National President of the association by calling on members to always have it at the back of their minds that they must help their alma mater. “As we all agreed that the seminary has impacted positively on our lives, I want to charge each and every one of us that it is important that we helpe by contributing towards the development of the physical structures in the seminary,” he stated. For giving back to their almamater through various ways and being worthy ambassadors of the school, some old students were conferred with honour and awards. Among those honoured were Most Rev. Alaba Job as Grand OSOBAN; Most Rev. Adewale Martins as OSOBAN Grand Patron; Rev. Monsignor Bernard Okodua as OSOBAN Icon; the Rector of Kogi State Polytechnic, Prof. Matthew Ajibero as OSOBAN Worthy Achiever and Dr. Olajide Adewale as OSOBAN Worthy Achiever. Others are Rt. Monsignor Peter Odetoyinbo as OSOBAN Distinguished Achiever; Dr Olusegun Ashade, OSOBAN Special Achiever; Dejumo Lewis, OSOBAN Worthy Trail Blazer; Chief Olatunde Odugbesan, OSOBAN’s Hall of Honour; Mr. Oluseyi Akinlawon, OSOBAN Highly Valuable Personality; Mr. Olumide Michael Olagunju, OSOBAN Torch Bearer and late Dr. Oluwatoyin Oni, Post Humous Award for Excellence. Other highlights of the event include fund raising and raffle draw.


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Education Today

Thursday, October 17, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Students advised on career choice

Covenant University appoints Pro-Chancellor all resources made avail-

AISHA TITILAYO

MOJEED ALABI

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econdary school students in the country have been advised to make a choice of careers that would meaningfully impact on them and the society. The President of Glorious Islamic Centre (GIC), Mr. Akin Laguda gave the advice recently at an annual career talk organised by the organisation for the stu-

dents of secondary schools in Lagos State. The programme, which was held at Ansar-Ud-Deen Grammar School, Surulere had many professionals from different fields such as medicine, media, engineering and teaching in attendance. The forum, according to Laguda, was put together to educate students on how to make a good career choice and development. “And I observed that so far, the pro-

gramme had yielded fruitful results,” he added. One of the facilitators and a senior lecturer at the Department of Physiology, Lagos State University College of Medicine (LASUTH), Ikeja, Dr. Salahudeen Hussein educated participants on the importance of courses like Medicine, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, Nursing, Dentistry and how to make successful careers in any of them.

He told them that what they needed to do on these was to take their studies very seriously, be committed and focused. Another lecturer, Mrs. Adepate Rahmat Mustapha- Koiki from the Department of Mass Communication, University of Lagos, Akoka also sensitised the students on what to do to make successful career in either journalism, public relations or advertising.

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he Governing Council of the Living Faith Church Worldwide (a.k.a Winners Chapel), the Proprietor base of Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State has approved the appointment of Pastor Abraham Ojeme as ProChancellor of the university. His appointment takes effect from September 2013. This was announced by the Chancellor and Chairman, Board of Regents, Dr. David Oyedepo at a Chancellor’s special meeting with the university’s enlarged management team last month. The chancellor said the appointment would facilitate decision making and approval process in the institution, as well as spiritual oversight of the university community. “He shall also, oversee the proprietors’ investment in the University and ensure efficient utilization of

able to the University,” Dr Oyedepo added. Until his appointment, Pastor Ojeme was the Resident Pastor of Faith Tabernacle, Canaanland and former Vice-President, (Foreign Mission) of the church. A chemist by training, Pastor Ojeme, who holds a Master of Science degree in Chemistry, started his career as a lecturer in the Department of Chemistry, Lagos State University, Ojo, before he joined the services of Nestle Nigeria Plc where he held various strategic positions, including that of the Quality Assurance Manager.

Ojeme

Centre graduates 521 artisans in Bauch

T A cross section of students at the career talk

PZ produces first Chemistry quiz winner TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE

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16-year-old student of Miketoy College, Ikotun, Lagos State, Master Emmanuel Onyekachi has emerged winner of the just concluded Chemistry Quiz competition for secondary school students in Lagos State. The competition, tagged: “PZ Cussons Chemistry Challenge” (PZCCC) was organised by the PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc as part of the company’s corporate social responsibilities to improve not only the study of chemistry but also the education standard in the country. Emmanuel, now in SSS 3 beat other 1,269 contestants from stage one through three to score 83.5 per cent which won him the star prize. He was rewarded for his achievement with N700, 000, a laptop, a trophy and gold medal, while his chemistry teacher, Mr. Jossy Ogunniyi and school was presented with N100, 000 and N100, 000

worth of Chemistry books, respectively. David Obi, 16, from Barachel College, Ifako, Agege, who scored a total of 62.2 per cent came second and he was presented with a cheque of N500, 000, a laptop and silver medal, while his chemistry teacher, Mr. Ojo Sunday went home with N60,000 and his school was presented with Chemistry textbooks that worth N50,000.

With a cumulative score of 56 per cent, Thankgod Mgbemena of Leeland International College, Oregun, Ikeja, finished as second runner-up and got N400,000 cash prize, a laptop and bronze medal for his effort. His chemistry teacher, Mr. Ikenna Ugwoke was given 40, 000 while his school received N50, 000 worth of chemistry textbooks. The competition is open

to students in SS1 and SS2 in all the public and private schools in Lagos State and there is also a plan to make it a national competition in the nearest future. Expressing his appreciation to the organiser of the competition, Emmanuel said he was now better off in chemistry in school. “And I will like to study chemical engineering and win more awards in future,” he added.

Emmanuel Ejiogu Onyekachi receiving his trophy from the Director of Private Education and Special Programmes in the Lagos State Ministry of Education, Mrs. Sewanu Amosu (left) while his school principal, Mrs. Titilade Esther Oke (middle), applauds.

he Skills Upgrading and Training Centre of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity in Bauchi State has graduated 521 trainees. Speaking at the graduation ceremony, the State Controller of Labour, Alhaji Mohammed Sule, said the trainees were groomed in 11 different vocational trades. He said one of the visions of the ministry was to create employment opportunities for the youth through skills acquisition, which also informed the establishment of the centre. “The training they have received is in line with the present administration’s economic empowerment of youths. “It is aimed at making the youth self-reliant and productive to the society.” In his speech at the occasion, the Principal of the centre, Mr. Obed Gbokiss, said the graduation ceremony was the seventh since its establishment in 2009. He stated that one of the objectives of the centre was the upgrading of skills of partially trained artisans to acquire employable skills or be become self-employed. Gbokiss listed the other objectives to include retraining of workers of industries, ministries and

extra-ministerial departments for increased productivity and the training of school leavers and dropouts. He said that from its inception to date, the centre trained 2707 artisans in 11 different trades. “As part of our social responsibility, this centre has collaborated with Non-Governmental Organisations and the Police of Yelwa Division in offering free training to some vulnerable and restive youths in the community. “You will agree with me that this is no mean achievement, which has gone a long way in achieving Federal Government’s objectives of reducing poverty and unemployment among our teeming youths.” Some of the graduating trainees, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria, thanked the centre for providing them with skills that would make them selfreliant. Mohammed Ibrahim, who acquired an auto mechanic skill, said that he had gained a lot from the training and would put the knowledge into practise. Miss Tarima Patience, who trained as a computer operator, said she could now do many things using the computer.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Education Today

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Illegal fees: Obstacle to the UBE scheme Education T he Universal Basic Education (UBE) was launched in Nigeria in 1999 with the aim of providing free and compulsory universal basic education for all Nigerian children of school age. But according to UNESCO figures, approximately 10.5 million Nigerian children are still out of school. Worst still is the fact that among those who managed to complete the universal basic education programme, many can still not read and write. It sounds like a national disaster! Some state governments have intensified efforts to change the situation on ground through reconstruction of primary and secondary schools. The Chibuike Amaechi led administration in Rivers State must go into the record books to have embarked on one of the most ambitious reconstruction programme in an attempt to reposition the UBE programme in the state. Some other state governments have embarked on similar, but may be, not so spectacular programmes. Nonetheless, all is still not well with the UBE scheme. Though the essence of the UBE is to provide free education to all pupils during the first nine years of schooling, the school administrators have consistently thwarted this universal principle by im-

as I see it

by Tosanwumi Otokunefor

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

THE ESSENCE OF THE

UBE IS TO

PROVIDE FREE EDUCATION TO ALL PUPILS DURING THE FIRST NINE YEARS OF SCHOOLING posing and collecting illegal fees. A catalogue of such fees would include tuitions, registration fees, terminal examination fees, mock examination fees, certificate collection fees, chalk fees, broom levies, PTA levies, handicraft and other levies including even examination malpractice fees. The beginning of the school year is usually the most traumatic for parents, guardians and pupils alike. The pupils are sent home when they are unable to pay these illegal fees thereby defeating the idea of universality of the basic education programme. If the idea of the UBE is to provide basic education to all irrespective of the social and economic background and status, then any

obstacle that will militate against this lofty ideal must be removed to prevent the exclusion of the majority of Nigerians that are not so privileged. The governments throughout the federation are aware of this cancer called corruption in our school system. Early this year (2013), the Edo State Commissioner for Education, Ekpenisi Omorotiomwan ordered the ‘removal’ of a principal for collecting the sum of N2, 500 as examination fees from Junior Secondary School students in a school. Just a few weeks ago, the governor of Rivers State Mr. Chibuike Amaechi discovered that students of a community school in Port Harcourt were paying

between N7, 500 and N12, 000 as school fees in this dispensation of free universal basic education. The story is not different in Delta State where the commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education demoted five school principals last year and forced them to refund two million Naira illegally collected from the students. The story is the same from South to north and from East to west of this great country. While there is no doubt that illegal fees are common observations in our basic educational institutions, there are serious doubts about the willingness or the ability of the educational authorities to deal with the problem. In the first place these problems are discovered only accidentally when a high ranking ministry official or the governor makes unscheduled visits to the institutions involved. There are no coordinated attempts to uncover these nefarious activities. One is tempted to ask what the education inspectors are doing if it takes the governor or the commissioner for education to uncover these fraudulent activities. The possibility arises that they are inefficient, quiescent or in league with the perpetrators and therefore culpable. In most cases, a threat by the governor or the commissioner to

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deal severely with anyone caught is the only response to these monumental discoveries. In one significant incidence in Delta State, five school principals were demoted to the rank of ordinary classroom teachers and transferred to other schools, but surprisingly enough, the commissioner disclosed that the erring principals were to retain their existing grade levels and the remuneration attached; a very magnanimous deterrent indeed! The number of school age children that are out of school is growing in spite of the efforts so far made to reverse the trend. The Delta State government has followed up by inaugurating the education marshals charged to ensure that all school-age children attend school compulsorily. It is not clear whether there are legal provisions to cover the activity of these marshals or whether indeed they can bridge one of the great barriers that have kept these children out of school, namely, illegal school fees. It may be more effective if special marshals are charged with the task of arresting and prosecuting anyone involved in these illegal collections rather than pupils that cannot pay these levies. This may be more effective on the long run in reducing the number of “out-of-school” school age children in the country.

ASUU strike hits UNIBEN, Teachers’ roles critical to transformation agenda –Tenebe T O AAU businesses UNBOSUN

SEBASTINE EBHUOMHAN BENIN

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he ongoing nationwide strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has continued to take a huge toll on students and their parents, as well as traders who are engaging in one commercial activity or the other on campuses. Our correspondent who visited University of Benin (UNIBEN), Benin City and Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma has found out that the effects of the strike on commercial activities in both institutions were enormous. In UNIBEN for instance, the effect of the strike is visibly present in all aspects of the university community as the usual rush associated with the movement of people and vehicles into and out of the university community was not there when National Mirror visited the campus last week. As expected, the class-

rooms and lecture halls were empty, although some lecturers were sighted in their offices. National Mirror gathered that they were there on personal arrangement to assist students, who are in final class and being supervised of their thesis. Many shops were locked while a few ones that were opened experienced very low patronage. National Mirror also observed long queues of taxi drivers with owners wearing long faces that tell stories of frustration and confusion. The taxi operators and many shop owners told National Mirror that their businesses had almost grounded due to the strike as they eke-out their living through commercial activities they engage in within the campus. They therefore called on both the Federal Government and ASUU to resolve the crisis without further delay so as to allow normalcy to return to the nation’s ivory towers.

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GUNDARE

he Vice-Chancellor, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Prof. Vincent Tenebe, has said the role of teachers was critical to the attainment of the Federal Government’s transformation agenda. He stated this at the World Teachers’ Day celebration organised by King’s College, Lagos in

conjunction with the institution’s Parent Teacher Association recently. Tenebe, who was a guest speaker at the event, said teachers at all levels deserved honour, recognition and fair treatment from the governments and the society. According to him, teachers are directly responsible for producing the much needed competent manpower for all sectors of the economy.

Represented by Prof. Alphonso Ikeotuonye of the School of Education of NOUN, the VC said teachers could make or mar not only the education system but also the entire economy of a country. He argued that without committed and competent teachers, the much desired restoration of excellence in the education sector would remain a dream for the country. “I want to state that the

L-R: Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), University of Ibadan, Prof. Arinola Sanya; Director -General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr. Paul Orhi and the Dean, Faculty of Pharmacy, UI, Prof. Chinedum Babalola during the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on drug production in Ibadan, recently.

transformation agenda of the Federal Government is a collection of development plan aimed at giving Nigeria and Nigerians, a new life. In achieving this, therefore, we must as a country strive to recognise and appreciate the role of the teachers both at the micro and macro levels and see it as being very crucial in nation building. “We should realise also that without the right kind of teachers to impact the right education, even the best talents will remain under-developed. Today, we can see that all the persons contributing to the achievement of the goals of the transformation agenda are products of teachers,” he said. Tenebe, however, noted that the expectation was that teachers generally must work hard to continue to turn out competent manpower for all sectors of the economy. The don noted that it was the totality of the experience and talents that made an individual to be described as the ‘best mind’.


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Thursday, October 17, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

EDITED BY MOJEED ALABI mojeedalabi2@yahoo.co.uk

UNILORIN VC’s scorecard, one year after Yesterday made it exactly one year when Professor Abdulganiu Ambali assumed office as the Vice- Chancellor of University of Ilorin, Kwara State. BAKARE WALE (400 level, Zoology) examines his administration’s achievement so far.

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ith outstanding performance of the immediate past Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Kwara State, Prof. Isaq Oloyede while in office, one would have wondered if there would still be any other work in the institution for his successor to do. But since Prof. Abdulganiu Ambali assumed office as Oloyede’s successor a year ago, the university has been witnessing activities that have taken the institution one step further. One of these is the completion and inauguration of the university’s Water Factory complex. The multi-million project, started five years ago is now bottling branded table and sachet water for the consumption of people in and outside the university community. The university’s Director of Consultancy Services in charge of the water factory project, Prof. D. S. Ogunniyi said apart from the fact that the project would boost the revenue base of the univer-

HAMMED HAMZAT, 300-L, EDU MGMT, UI

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Prof. Abdulganiu Ambali (right) displays a sample of the new identity card

sity; members of the university community and the public would also have access to safe and hygienic water. Another achievement of the incumbent vice chancellor is the newly introduced identity card, called: “Combo Card” for students and members of staff. The card, which is one-stop smart card, has sophisticated features. Aside from serving as identification card, it is also being used as a security device as only its holders can have unhindered access to key facilities on campus, including the Senate Building, Library, Clinic, classrooms, hostels, offices, and club houses. The card also carries holder’s genotype, among other important features. Also, Prof. Ambali has introduced a live programme on the university’s 89.3 radio station.

The programme is held once in a month, giving students, staff and members of the public the opportunity to ask VC questions about the institution. Similarly, his administration has intensified the exposure of students to entrepreneurial skills that will be of value to them and to the society upon graduation. He said the essence was to produce graduates that would be selfreliant and not those that would be looking for non-existing jobs. The university is also witnessing new building construction even as two additional faculties have been added to the existing 11. Many students of the university lauded the VC’s achievement, urging him not to relent. A 400 level Zoology student, Aroyaya sodiq said he was particularly impressed with the level of develop-

FEDPOLY Ado crowns new beauty pageant YAKUBU TEMITOPE, FEDERAL POLYTECHNIC, ADO EKITI.

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National Diploma 1 student of the Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti, Rosemary Ishiguzor has been crowned Miss Campus of the institution. She beat six others to emerge the winner of the beauty competition held at the school multipurpose hall last Thursday. The event was the grand finale of a week-long annual Ladies Week organised by the female students of the institution. The programme was anchored by MC Small and Miss

NAFDAC partners UI on drug production

Aanu Arobadi and saw upcoming artistes such as Bonz, Mistikay performing live. The newly crowned campus pageant told National Mirror shortly after she was installed that she would use her current status for humanitarian service. She also sought the support of her opponents and other students to ensure she has a successful tenure. The Director of Socials of the institution’s students’ union, Mr. Akomolafe Gbenga thanked members of the Organising Committee of the programme for a job well done while wishing Rosemary a successful tenure.

Rosemary

ment experienced in the last one year. “I like his flexible leadership style and policy. I will want him to continue in that manner so as to further lift up this great institution and I wish him good success,” he said. Another student, Awoniyi Kunle, who is in 300 level, Performing Arts said, “UNILORIN’s environment is more beautiful than how he met it and I commend him for that. But his programme that I like most is the live radio programme, where people have access to information as regards the university and they can also make contributions that can further develop the institution,” he added. Usman Yakubu, a 300 level Geography student also lauded Ambali’s administration and prayed unto God to guide him to do more.

he management of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, and the Centre for Drug Discovery, Development and Production, CDDDP, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ibadan have entered into an agreement aimed at controlling the sharp practices in the drug production sector in the country and improve the quality of drugs. The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), was part of the activities marking a recent three-day-old International Conference on Medicine Regulation organised by the centre in conjunction with United Kingdom-based company, Reckitt Benckiser. The conference, themed: Medicine Regulation of Claims: From Concept to Launch, which held at the university’s Conference Centre, brought together members of the academia, pharmaceutical industry and regulators to chart a way forward in medicine regulation. The Dean, Faculty of Pharmacy, Professor Chinedum Babalola, in her opening address said the conference was in response to the nation’s need to improve the existing linkage between academia and industry, noting that the faculty had always aimed at aiding the development of pharmaceutical industry in the country. The NAFDAC Director General, Dr. Paul Orhi in his keynote address described the conference as historic and a right step in the right direction. He emphasised the need for the gown and town to partner to address health challenges facing the country. He attributed the success of the MoU signed at the event to the commitment and dedication of the leadership of the Pharmacy department and its foresight. The Managing Director of Reckitt Benckiser (West Africa), Rahul Murghai, lauded the industries’ commitment to the production of products capable of enhancing good health among the populace. The Centre for Drug Discovery Development and Production (CDDDP) also used the conference to invite applicants for Postgraduate Diploma in Drug Development (PDDD).


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Campus News

Thursday, October 17, 2013

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Corps members build classrooms, weather station Chidinma Chikwelu and Blessing Daniel, were among the Batch ‘C’ Corps members, who just completed the one-year mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme in Nassarawa State. Although, they are through with the scheme, history would continue to remember them for good in their host community. DAYO OJERINDE and SAMUEL NWOSU (Corps members, Nasarawa State) write on the projects the two super corps members carried out to earn them the state honour.

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he people of Kpembo community in Gadabuke Development Council Area of Nassarawa State will never forget Chidinma Chikwelu, a National Youth Service Corps member, who carried out her one-year mandatory national youth service in the community. The young lady did not only build a new block of five classrooms for Kpembo Primary School, she also renovated the existing dilapidated structures to make teaching and learning friendly to both the teachers and students of the school. Chidinma, who studied Primary Education Studies at the University of Abuja, carried out her primary assignment at the local government secretariat. But what then motivated her to emberk on the projects, she said, “When my attention was drawn to the school environment, I felt like crying. It was horrible and I felt for both the students and teachers of the school, as well as the future of the country’s education. Primary education is the foundation and when this is not properly laid, it will tell on the structures to be built on it.” She further explained, “In Kpembo Primary School, students sit on bare floor under a dilapidated building and tattered roofs. Some of them come to school in mufti and they don’t have writing tools and other basic items that can aid their learning. “I believe if those school chil-

Blessing Daniel (middle, back row), Chidinma Chikwelu (right) with colleagues and top NYSC officials in front of the Weather Station donated by Blessing. Below, a block of classrooms donated by Chidinma to Kpembo Primary School, Nassarawa State.

The classrooms built by the youth corpers

dren could have access to better infrastructure and other basic needs as students, they would perform well in their studies

more so that they are the future of the country,” she stressed. On funding of the project, she said, “After I got approval from

Firm takes Campus Ambassador project to YABATECH, MOCOPED DAYO OJERINDE

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s part of its bid to give back to the society, De United Foods Nigeria Limited, makers of Indomie Instant Noodles has taken its Campus Ambassador project campaign to Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH) and Michael Otedola College of Primary Education (MOCOPED), Epe, both in Lagos. Through the project, five students who may be males or females will volunteer themselves for some social works, including cleaning of lecture halls for a fee for four months when another set will be selected. At YABATECH, the project

was launched inside Yussuf Grillo Auditorium at the School of Arts, Design and Printing. While addressing the students at the event, the Dean of Students’ Affairs, Mr O.T Raheem thanked the food manufacturing company for extending hands of fellowship to the polytechnic. He however, used the medium to advice the students to prepare for their forthcoming examination. At Michael Otedola College of Primary Education (MOCOPED), Epe, Lagos State, a representative of the company, Mr Olajide Maku, launched the project at the Education Trust Fund Hall. In attendance were the Director of Students Affairs, Mr. Adesegun Ayanlaja and some student leaders.

The Indomie Campus Ambassador Project is expected to be launched in all campuses across the country. Under the programme, the successful students would be engaged in a social works outside their studies schedules. They will be paid a minimum of N10, 000 for their service every month throughout the fourth months the programme lasted for each set. The representative of De United Foods, Olajide Maku told National Mirror that the idea was to create a platform for students to make little income while they are studying. He noted that the programme would also encourage entrepreneurship drive among undergraduates.

the NYSC Local Government Inspector, Mr. Damolekun Moses and his Zonal counterpart, Mrs. Jacobs, as well as the State Coordinator of the scheme, Mr. S.A. Alabi, the sourcing for funds began. “I contacted several people and organisations to assist. Some responded positively. The major sponsor of the project was the Abuja branch of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and I am grateful to the institution and others that made the projects a reality.” The project was adjudged the best among the projects carried out by members of Batch ‘C’ corps that served in Nasarawa State this year. Expressing his appreciation to Chidinma, the headmaster of the school, Mr. Samuel Osu said he was particularly impressed by the gesture, saying it would boost both the students and teachers performances. Recalling the beginning, he said, “When Chidinma came to tell me about her intention to carry out the project, I thought she came the same way some of the previous corps members, who had served in the community used to come without any action. I didn’t know that something good would come out of it. But I thank God today that she subjected herself to be used as an agent of change. I tell you the truth that generations yet unborn will never forget what Chidinma has just done for this community. I wish her well in her future endeavours.” He promised that the facili-

ties would be put in good use. The students of the school also expressed happiness for the new face their school now wears. They told National Mirror that they would remain grateful to Chindinma. While inaugurating the project, the representative of the NYSC state coordinator, Mr. Solomon Arumemi thanked Chidinma for carrying out the projects, urging her not to relent in the service of humanity. Chidinma’s colleague, Blessing Daniel, a graduate of geography from the Federal University of Technology, Yola, also carried out a project that stood her out among others. She established a geographic weather station at the place of her primary assignment-Suleiman Memorial Academy (SMA) - also in Gadabuke Development Council Area. She equipped the station with ultra-modern weather control facilities, which now measures the temperature of the day, records the amount of daily and monthly rainfall, wind speed, wind direction, relative humidity and the atmospheric pressure of any particular day. On her motivation for the project, she told National Mirror that, “When I came to this village, I felt the need to leave my footprint on the sands of time not to just come and leave like many of my colleagues, but to make a difference, to impact on people and the society and I am happy that I fulfilled this dream. I can now say boldly that I came, I saw and I conquered.” The Principal/Proprietor of Suleiman Memorial Academy, Hajiya Mairo Suleiman commended Blessing for the project, saying the station would serve as practical for students studying Geography in schools in Nassarawa and outside the state. She however, challenged other corps members to ensure they impact positively their places of primary assignments in the course of their youth service scheme. Also speaking on both projects, the NYSC Inspector at Gadabuke Development Council Area, Mr. Damolekun Moses said, “When some of these corps members came newly to the community, they wept and vowed never to stay in a village like ours where there is no electricity and other social amenities. But I used to pacify them not only to stay but also to do something that can affect the community positively. Some of them yielded to the advice and they can now boldly say to themselves that they have made an impact at Gadabuke.”


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Thursday, October 17, 2013

DAILY SUN of October 9 muddled up one of its headlines: “Protest as police shot dead passenger” Just a rewrite to save time: Protest as police shoot passenger dead First Bank’s full-page advertisement in The PUNCH of October 8 fumbled: “The all new (all-new) account from FirstBank (sic), specially designed for young adults between 18-24 (18 and 24) years old to help them discover not just who they are, but also who they can be.” Does adulthood require categorization? The bank can correctly talk of age brackets—an adult is an adult in our jurisprudence and even globally with slight age variations! Any fully-grown person is legally an adult with its opposite as child. National Mirror of October 3 massacred the English language: “Desist from careless gossips, Lagos APC tells PDP” ‘Gossip’, as an informational mechanism, is non-count—but countable when it refers to purveyors: there are gossips in every workplace. Even where it is countable, it is usually singular. And this: you can have ‘latest, juicy, idle, common, office’ gossip; not ‘careless gossip’ as there is no ‘careful one’! This headline is lousy! The Views page follows: “But he also has the right to repudiate

‘Gossip’ usually uncountable, but… ‘FAR-FETCHED’ IS STRICTLY AN ADJECTIVE WHICH MEANS ‘EXTREMELY UNLIKELY TO BE TRUE OR TO HAPPEN it and seeks (seek) the protection of the laws of the land.” “The tension in the land is palpable, sanctity of life has been violated as deaths stalk menacing (menacingly).” Let us pause for the pluralistic damage from NATIONAL MIRROR Editorial of October 3: “Had the amnesty committee been dealing with the right leadership of the group, damages (damage) to life and property….” Except in legalese, ‘damage’ is uncountable. “Ado poly (sic) sets (set) for pageant show” Most critical: yank off ‘show’ because of its redundancy here. A rewrite: Ado Poly set for pageant “It is their patient (patent) right” And this insight: “One of the healing material (materials)” Finally from the back page of NATIONAL MIRROR under review: “The reason is not far-fetched (far to seek).” ‘Farfetched’ is strictly an adjective which means ‘extremely unlikely

to be true or to happen’. Therefore, we can have something like this: The far-fetched reason he adduced was sheer make-believe. Next comes THE NATION ON SUNDAY of September 29 with many goofs: “APC to INEC: Conduct same day (same-day) elections” “Residents say discovery merely tip of iceberg” Get it right: tip of the iceberg “Pass vote of no confidence on (in) Odimegwu” “Anambra polls: deaf and dumb campaigns (how?) for Ubah” “Obi assures on completion of ongoing projects” Who did he assure? “Your contributions in moving the state to greater heights has (how?) been testified to on many occasion (why?) “…it is always a roiling (boiling) point that they are only onethird minority, dictating (calling) tunes to the two-third majority. (Editorial)”

“Bisi Adebututu’s past time (pastime)” Still on THE NATION ON SUNDAY: “Though she claimed to have had some relationship that should have culminated into (in) marriage….” “It is a sin not to use your potentials (potential)” “…at (on) the occasion” “Continuing, he said that he completely does (did) not agree with the idea of….” “I was the first person who said Obasanjo is (was) the instigator.” “Nigerians, is it good (sauce) for the goose and bad (not sauce) for the gander?” (Full-page advertisement by Alliance for Truth in Defence of Freedom) “Diamond Bank unveils ‘banking in a box’ initiative” (The PUNCH Headline, September 30) Money: banking-in-a-box initiative “The gang-up against Jonathan shall (will) fail!!!” One exclamation mark is enough! Using more than one does not make any difference—rather, it smacks of commercialese! DAILY SUN of September 25 exhibited incautiousness: “2015: Jega warns politicians not to overheat polity” What does this

Yoruba quiz contest winners emerge OLUFEMI AJASA

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wo students of Army Cantonment Junior Secondary School, Ikeja, Lagos, Miss. Busola Aladejana and Akinrole Abiola have emerged winners of this year’s edition of the Yoruba quiz compe-

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

tition among junior secondary school students in Lagos State as part of activities to commemorate the 2013 Olokun Festival in the state. The second and third prize went to Community Junior Secondary School and Oshodi Junior High School respectively.

Speaking on the competition, the Chairman of the Panel of Judges, Mr. Alalade Folarin said the winners showed their vast knowledge in the language, urging them to keep the flag flying. In his remark, the Deputy Director, Basic Education Service, Lagos State

L-R: Deputy Director, Basic Education Service, Lagos State Ministry of Education, Mr. Akintayo Laniyonu; overall winners and students of Army Cantonment Junior Secondary School, Ikeja, Lagos, Miss. Busola Aladejana and Master Abiola Akinrole and Otunba Gani Adams during the presentation of prizes in Lagos.

Ministry of Education, Mr. Akintayo Laniyonu, advised parents who are Yoruba indigenes to continuously engage their wards with mother tongue so as to encourage them to understand and speak the language as they grow older. He said there were many things to benefit from understanding the language very well. On his part, the convener of the contest and National Coordinator, Odua People’s Congress, Otunba Gani Adams, said the quiz competition was to aid the knowledge of students in Yoruba language and culture and by extension, the national development. He said, “Language is very significant in the transmission of knowledge and it is an essential part of education through which a society can be developed. That is why we have chosen the competition to promote the Yoruba language and encourage children to believe in their own culture.”

trite phrase, ‘overheat polity’ mean? “Judges, lawyers pay last respect (respects) to Justice Nwodo” “Navy arrests 61 over (for) oil theft in Bayelsa” “Lagos to introduce computer based (computer-based) examination” Lastly from DAILY SUN under review: “Niger MDGs expends N6.6bn on programmes” It is not the goals that expended the money but the office of the MDGs! THE GUARDIAN of September 24 circulated many errors: “Monarch, others urge govt to restore telecom services in (to) Borno, Yobe, Adamawa” “Volunteers from the Asiancommunity run for cover after hearing a volley of gunshots at the scene of a siege of (to) an upmarket shopping mall….” “Niger task (tasks) financial institutions on CSR” “Nigerian players’ potential thrill (thrills) ITTF….” THISDAY front and inside pages of September 21 did not display truth and reason on many occasions: “Borno lawmakers pass no confidence vote on (in) FG” “Mohammed, who spoke through (how?)an interpreter on (in) his hospital bed at the….”

Okorocha to establish school for the blind

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ov. Rochas Okorocha of Imo said on Tuesday that the state government had concluded arrangements to establish a special school for the blind by 2014. Okorocha said this when members of the Nigeria Association of the Blind, Imo chapter, visited him at the Government House, Owerri. The governor said he was touched by the plight of the blind and the partially sighted persons in the state and promised to provide them with education and employment opportunities, to ameliorate their sufferings. He assured them that his administration would prioritise the welfare of the physically challenged persons, to give them a sense of belonging. Okorocha, according to News Agency of Nigeria, also promised an upward review of the bursary

award to those in institutions of higher learning and to support the association financially, to enable it to successfully host its forthcoming zonal conference. Earlier, the Chairman of the Association, Mr. Clinton Amaechi, appealed to the governor to address some of their pressing needs. Amaechi listed their needs to include regular payment of their bursary, employment opportunities and political appointment to their members. He noted that the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities called for practical and positive approach to the issues raised. While thanking the governor for his concern for the group, Amaechi urged people in authority to grant equal opportunities to both the able bodied and physically challenged persons.


Thursday, October 17, 2013

U-17 World Cup kicks-off in Abu Dhabi 30

Egypt will not sack Bradley after play-off lossgypt will not sack

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coach Bob Bradley after the side’s 6-1 defeat by Ghana in Tuesday’s World Cup play-off in Kumasi. Reports have suggested the American would be asked to resign following the first-leg loss that all-but ends Egypt’s hopes of qualifying for Brazil. Egypt would have to pay Bradley about US$366,000 in compensation. And Egypt Football Association chairman Gamal Allam told BBC Sport: “It is not logical to sack him and pay a big fine for the last match of his contract.” The Pharaohs went into Tuesday’s game with a 100% record in qualifying but they were handed a crushing defeat by the Black Stars that Bradley admitted has made it “nearly impossible” to overturn in the 19 November second leg in Cairo. The humiliating result has led to anger among some Egyptian sports fans and the police took precautions to prevent them from reaching the airport where the Egyptian players were set to return home yesterday. In the past two days the police and the army have clashed with with fans’ group, Ahly Ultras, who tried to attack the Ahly handball team after they were beaten to the gold medal in the Champions Handball League by a Tunisian side.

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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

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Sport

The important thing is we are there. We know it is going to be a very tough task, especially in Brazil where a European team has never succeeded before. -England manager, Roy Hodgson

Ethiopia to probe attack on Eagles’ bus

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he Ethiopian Football Association (EFA) has said it will investigate Nigeria’s claim fans attacked their team bus after the countries’ World Cup play-off in Addis Ababa last Sunday. Nigeria said midfielder Nosa Igiebor was injured when the bus windows were shattered as the Super Eagles left the stadium after 2-1 win -and they have reported the incident to FIFA. Newly elected Ethiopian FA president, Juniedin Basha said, “We saw the reports that Nigeria’s bus was attacked and a player was injured. “Tuesday was a holiday in Ethiopia so we couldn’t do anything about it, but we will work with the security forces to investigate what has actually happened and hopefully respond soon.” The two teams will meet in Calabar for the second leg of the play-off on November 16.

No sentiment in CHAN selection – Keshi

…Walya Antelopes will face fire in Calabar –Imoke

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...camp opens today for Jordan game Super Eagles’ defender, Azubuike Egwuekwe, is among the players entering camp today.

EVEREST ONYEWUCHI

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he home-based Super Eagles enter camp today for the October 26 international friendly match with Jordan, with Coach Stephen Keshi assuring that there will be no sentiment in the selection of players who will make the final cut for the game in Amman and also those that will compete in the African Nations Championship (CHAN) in South Africa. Keshi, who spoke in Abuja, said the match to him, is like a World Cup qualifier or even a final and it effectively kick-starts preparation for the 2014 CHAN holding in January next year. The Super Eagles’ coach said the team for Jordan and CHAN would comprise the old and newly invited home-based players. He lauded the Nigeria Football Fed-

eration (NFF) for its vision to begin early preparations for Nigeria’s maiden appearance in the CHAN. The Big Boss had on Tuesday, released a list of 28 players who will begin camping today, first for the friendly with Jordan and eventually for Africa’s championship made solely for players competing in their domestic leagues. Yesterday, Eagles’ Team Secretary, Dayo Achor, advised all the invited players to come to the Bolton White Apartment camp of the team in Abuja with their valid international passports. “We must thank the NFF for this early call to start camping for the tournament because at the end of the day, this is what counts and the coaching crew and the entire staff of the Super Eagles are totally excited about the development,” Achor said.

ross River State Governor, Mr. Liyel Imoke, has said that Calabar will be too hot for the Walya Antelopes of Ethiopia when they come for return leg match against the Super Eagles on November 16. It was generally assumed that the Ethiopians used the high altitude to their advantage in the game against Nigeria last Sunday and yet lost. But Governor Imoke who spoke through the State Commissioner for Sports, Patrick Ugbe, said the Ethiopians would be well taken care of but there would be no compromise in terms of the result to pick the Brazil 2014 ticket. “I trust the Super Eagles to get the job done and done quickly and after that we will give all our visitors including the Ethiopians the typical Calabar hospitality because we remain the preferred tourism destination not only in Nigeria, but in the entire African continent,” he said. The Commissioner said that Imoke had other plans in stock for the Eagles on the day, but preferred to keep it close to his chest at the moment. “When the time comes we will unveil other things we have in stock for the national team but in the meantime, we wish to say that Calabar will be no hiding place for any Antelopes come November 16.”

Falconets train in spite of Eid-el-Kabir

he Falconets trained in Abuja yesterday, in spite of the Eidel-Kabir celebrations, in preparation for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup finals qualifier against Sierra Leone. Falconets will face their Sierra Leonean counterparts in the qualifiers for next year’s U-20 Women’s World Cup finals in Canada. Nigeria hosts the first leg game at the Abuja National Stadium on October 26. Coach of the Falconets, Peter Dedevbo, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the team did not

break camp for the Eid-el-Kabir celebrations because of the short time before the qualifier. “Usually, we would have suspended training for Tuesday and Wednesday, but we have so little time on our hands. “We play Sierra Leone in the firstleg of the qualifiers next weekend and so we cannot afford the luxury of celebrating because there is a lot at stake,” Dedevbo said. ``However, we didn’t train in the morning on Tuesday so as to allow about two officials and three players, who are Muslims the time to pray and

celebrate for a short while,” he said. Dedevbo disclosed that he had received video tapes of matches involving the Sierra Leonean team from the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and would use them to prepare adequately for the qualifier. “We have been training very hard and I am happy with the progress of the girls so far. However, we didn’t train in the morning on Tuesday so as to allow about two officials and three players, who are Muslims the time to pray and celebrate for a short while.” Falconets will play the second leg game in Freetown on November 9.

Falconets


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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Özil doubt for Arsenal after bruising knee

Tit bits...

Mata Juan Mata feels he is starting to find his best form for club and country after helping fire Spain to the World Cup finals. Mata bagged the second goal in Spain’s 2-0 win over Georgia on Tuesday as they booked their place in Brazil next summer as Group I winners.

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esut Özil has emerged as a fitness doubt for Arsenal’s Premier League game at home to Norwich City on Saturday, after he limped off towards the end of Germany’s final World Cup qualifier against Sweden in Stockholm on Tuesday night. The Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger hopes the damage to Özil’s knee is nothing more than bruising, as the initial reports have indicated and that the midfielder will be able to continue the fine start that he has made to his career at the club, following his £42.5m move from Real Madrid last month. Özil scored in the tie against the Swedes, as Germa-

Allen

Joe Allen hopes to pick up where he left off after a promising preseason campaign to make an impact in his second season at Liverpool. The Wales midfielder has not featured since suffering a hamstring injury in the Capital One Cup defeat of Notts County seven weeks ago. The 23-year-old, who could be in contention for this weekend’s Barclays Premier League trip to Newcastle, feels he is still to fully establish himself at Anfield following his move from Swansea last year.

Morrison

Ravel Morrison has targeted victory over Manchester City after the latest display of his outstanding natural talent in England U21s 5-0 victory over Lithuania. The West Ham midfielder gave Gareth Southgate’s team a first-minute lead against their U21 opponents before, with England already 3-0 up, in the 71st minute effortlessly dribbling past several players and rounding the goalkeeper to make it four.

Sturridge

Daniel Sturridge says outstanding team spirit will make England competitive at next year’s World Cup in Brazil. Roy Hodgson’s men secured automatic qualification for the tournament next summer as winners of Group H and the Liverpool striker says the tough qualifying campaign has brought the squad close together and that spirit will help them in South America.

Young Arsenal striker Park-Chu Young is struggling to agree terms with Wigan Athletic over a loan move. The Mirror says the South Korean is keen to go to Owen Coyle’s club on loan, with a debut against high-flying Blackpool lined up for Saturday. However, the Gunners’ forgotten star is on close to £3million-ayear - and even with the Premier League giants helping out, will still be expensive.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Gerrar focus

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ny came back from 2-0 down to win 5-3 thanks, in large part, to a hat-trick from Chelsea’s André Schürrle but he felt his knee after a challenge and he had to be replaced in the 82nd minute. Özil flew to London from Stockholm on Wednesday morning and he will be assessed by Arsenal’s medics. Wenger expects to welcome back Santi Cazorla to the squad after an ankle injury while Theo Walcott is close to a return following abdominal surgery. If Walcott does not make it against Norwich, he ought to be back for next Tuesday’s Champions League tie at home to Borussia Dortmund.

Gerrard

Rooney

Rooney ready to play without headband

Kagawa reiterates United frustration

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ayne Rooney believes he will not need to wear his protective headband any more. The striker has been wearing it to cover the gash on his forehead that he sustained when Manchester United and England team-mate Phil Jones caught him accidentally with his boot in training at the end of August. But Rooney headed England into the lead in the 2-0 victory against Poland on Tuesday night without his headband, which had fallen off earlier, and he believes that helped him score. “I went for a header just before I scored and it got knocked off, and then I chased back, so I didn’t have time to go and get it. But it probably helped me in some ways that it was off when the ball came in, because I could direct it better”, Rooney said afterwards. Rooney is optimistic that he will not need the headband when United host Southampton on Saturday. He added: “I think it is the first time I have headed the ball without it on, and hopefully, come the weekend, I won’t have to wear it.”

teven Ge sists his now full erpool after ca England to FI Cup qualificat The Liverp per led Roy H men to a cr qualifying over Poland bley on Tues ing the secon after Wayne had broken t lock. However, insists there time to cele he returns to League action club at Newc Saturday. “As a f there is nev time to enjoy as there is al

Ozil with the ball

Szczesny wins fitness battle

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rsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has eased concerns over his fitness following a minor injury sustained on international duty. Szczesny was a late replacement for Artur Boruc for Poland’s World Cup qualifier against England at Wembley. And the 23-year-old produced an impressive performance despite his country’s 2-0 defeat, a result that clinched England’s place at next summer’s finals in Brazil. Szczesny was involved in a collision with England striker Danny Welbeck, which left the

Szczesny

keeper nursing his arm. “He just stood on my hand, but it was nothing serious”, Szczesny said. Meanwhile, the Gunners stopper is looking for the team to continue their positive start to the campaign when Premier League action returns this weekend. Arsenal host Norwich on Saturday, with Arsene Wenger’s men looking to consolidate their position at the top of the table. “I hope we can keep going the way we have in the past few weeks and will give ourselves the best chance to challenge for a trophy”, Szczesny added.

hinji Kagawa has again used the international break to express disappointment at his lack of first-team football at Manchester United this season, claiming his confinement to the substitutes’ bench is now affecting his performances for Japan. Kagawa, 24, has struggled to get in David Moyes’ team and has only appeared for 45 minutes in the Premier League this season. And the former Borussia Dortmund star felt he was not at his sharpest when he played for Japan in Friday’s 2-0 defeat to Serbia and Tuesday’s 1-0 loss to Belarus as a result of his marginalisation at Old Trafford. Kagawa told the Japanese media after the Belarus game: “Personally, I felt strongly after these two matches that I need to play more and, as a

team, there are many things we need to do. So we all need to go back to our European or J-League clubs and take what we learned in these two matches and work to fix those problems. “There’s a matter of fitness and there’s also that atmosphere of playing for my country. It’s different from the atmosphere at United, but you still get a good feel for being on the pitch when you play regularly. Maybe it’s because I’m not used to being on the pitch of late, but I didn’t feel like I was able to enter these two games properly. During tough times like these I have to improve myself.” Kagawa has only made three starts for his club this season and has not featured since being replaced at half-time in the 2-1 defeat to West Brom on September 28.

Dze

Dz as W

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National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Gerrard e is no ebrate as o Premier n for his castle on

footballer ver much big wins lways an-

other big game around the corner. Now I switch my focus to Newcastle. I’ll park England and get my recovery done. It’s a case of starting where we left off before the international break”, he told the Liverpool Echo. “We’ve started the season tremendously well and Luis Suarez coming back has given everyone a big lift. With some of our big players coming back into the squad like Glen Johnson, Joe Allen and Aly Cissokho, plus Philippe Coutinho not far away, things are looking good. I want three points against Newcastle now.”

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Governor’s Cup: Nigerian players disappoint coach

rd switches to Liverpool

errard ins focus is ly on Livaptaining IFA World tion. pool skipHodgson’s rucial 2-0 victory at Wemday, scornd late on Rooney the dead-

Sport

Thursday, October 17, 2013

YEMI OLUS

C Townsend with England coach, Roy Hodgson

Townsend: World Cup place depends on Tottenham form

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inger Andros Townsend says he will have to maintain his standards with Tottenham this season if he wants to go the World Cup. The Spurs star, 22, was superb on his debut against Montenegro on Friday, scoring a stunning goal in the 4-1 win. And he was impressive again in the 2-0 win over Poland that sealed England’s place at next year’s finals in Brazil, hitting the bar with one fine strike. But he knows he can take nothing for granted over the next seven months as Roy Hodgson looks to select his final group for the trip to South America.

“It was fantastic to help my country get to a World Cup and it’s now up to me to go back to my club and keep playing well and book my place on the plane. I have to keep playing well in every game for Spurs. I can’t think about the World Cup, I have to focus on my Tottenham performances”,he said. “If I have a couple of bad games there are world-class players that can come in. I know if I’m to get on the plane I have to keep playing well, for Tottenham, for England in the friendlies, it’s not going to be easy. I have a tough six months in front of me and hard competition for places, but I am relishing it.”

Gibson may miss zeko overwhelmed remainder of season

hief Coach of the Nigeria Tennis Federation (NTF), Ishicheli Benson, has expressed dismay at the performance of the country’s representatives at the ongoing Governor’s Cup Lagos Tennis tournament, which he termed as below par. The remaining players left in the competition all succumbed to defeat in their second round matches on yesterday. No. 1 seed, Hiroki Kondo from Japan beat Enosoregbe 6-3,6-3 while Borna Coric from Croatia sent Paul packing with a 6-0,6-0 victory. No 3 seed, Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan of India defeated Imeh was bundled out of the competition on Sanni Adamu 6-2, 6-3 and Joseph Imeh lost Wednesday. to India’s Mithun Murali 6-4,4-6,6-0. Benson said, “It has been the same old of Russia was bundled out by Italian Giola story. I’m particularly sad because the NTF Barbieri in a 6-4,6-2 game. Indian Prathaand the Local Organising Committee (LOC) na Thombare also defeated No.3 seed, Eva called the players for camping but the senior Birnerova from Czech 6-1, 6-2. . No.5 seed Christina Duru of Romania ones failed to turn up giving unnecessary beat German Jasmin Steinherr 6-1,6-4, No. 8 excuses. “You can see that those junior players seed Dalila Jakupovic of Slovakia beat Rusthat came for the camping performed very sia Anna Morgina 6-3, 6-1, Austrian Melaine well with some of them fighting their ways Klaffner outstroked Chinese Xi-Yao Wang from the qualifying round to the second 6-4,6-2 while .No.4 seed, South African Charound on Wednesday. It is so sad even with nel Simmonds defeated Michael Frlicka of the promises of the LOC and the sponsors to Germany 6-1,6-1. .No 7 seed, Naomi Broady support any player who performs very well of Germany defeated Zarah Razafimahatrato outside circuits; these players failed to up tra of Madagascar 6-2,3-6,6-1. In the doubles games, Giola Barbieri of Ittheir game when it mattered most.” Meanwhile two major upsets were record- aly and Anna Morgina of Russia beat Ronke ed as women’s No.2 seed, Nina Bratchikova Akingbade and Blessing Anuna 6-2.6-0

eko (right)

s Bosnia seals World Cup place

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anchester City strikEdin Dzeko ke down in rs after Bosbooked their ce in Brazil h a 1-0 victory Lithuania. Several players d to be helped the pitch after dad Ibisevic red a 68thnute winner in nt of more than 00 fans visiting porters. Thousands re took to the eets of Sarao to greet their urning heroes flares and firerks lit up the y sky. The scenes of er joy provided stark contrast

to the brutal 199295 siege of the Bosnian capital, which produced some of the most harrowing images of a conflict that claimed the lives of around 100,000 people in a former Yugoslav republic that remains hostage to nationalist and political interests. Finally it was an opportunity to release an outpouring of elation for Bosnians, who reached their first major soccer tournament as an independent nation when Tuesday’s 1-0 win in Lithuania booked their ticket to next year’s finals in Brazil.

E

verton midfielder Darron Gibson has damaged cruciate ligaments in his right knee and is expected to be out for six to nine months. The club confirmed on Wednesday that he is to undergo surgery on his injured knee. Gibson was carried off during the Republic of Ireland’s 3-1 World Cup qualifying win over Kazakhstan on Tuesday night. A subsequent scan showed he has damaged his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and the midfielder will require an operation. However, the scans did confirm that no additional damage was sustained to the structure of the right knee. It is a huge blow for the Everton manager Roberto Martínez who was in Dublin to

watch the game. Gibson collapsed after a first-half challenge and was treated on the pitch for several minutes before being carried off with his right knee heavily bandaged. The interim Ireland manager Noel King said: “It wasn’t nice.” Gibson missed the start of the season with a knee problem and any extended absence would threaten the strength of Everton’s squad after a positive start to the campaign. He had only just returned to international action after making himself unavailable for Ireland following the former manager Giovanni Trapattoni’s decision to leave him sitting on the bench for the Republic’s entire Euro 2012 finals campaign.

Taekwondo: Niger, Mali arrive as NTF endorses CCSF Open Mali’s Coulibaly (r) in action at a recent competition

YEMI OLUS

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ali and Niger Republic are among the teams from outside Nigeria to have arrived Abuja for the 2nd edition of the Chika Chukwumerije Sports Foundation (CCSF) International Taekwondo Open holding this weekend. Over 340 athletes have been confirmed for the tournament with 36 competitors coming from seven African countries including Gabon, Congo Brazzaville, Ghana, Togo, and Cote D’Ivoire. Also, 24 Nigeria states, Nigeria Police, Nigeria Customs, Nigeria Immigration, six clubs and 23 individual registrations have been listed for the international tournament. President of the Nigeria Taekwondo Federation (NTF), George Ashiru, stated that the federation has sanctioned the tournament, as the quality of organization of the tournament has indeed been impressive. He said, “The CCSF is an affiliate of the

NTF, and so the tournament is sanctioned by the NTF. Beyond this, the NTF provides support equipments and licensed referees and technical support to make this a world-class event. It is in our vision to partner with affiliated Taekwondo NGOs to organise quality programmes to meet international standards. “Our athletes, especially the ones who can’t afford to travel abroad to compete, will have the opportunity of matching their skills with their counterparts from other nations and therefore influence their preparation for the major events like the All Africa Games.” He however, expressed optimism that the CCSF would soon receive the backing of the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF). “My expectation is to improve on last year’s superlative. With more prizes at stake and eight countries, we are gradually getting to the point that we can organise official international championships sanctioned by the WTF. That’s our ultimate goal with this tournament, to host WTF sanctioned events like world and continental championships.”


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Sport

Thursday, October 17, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

FIFA U-17 WORLD CUP UAE 2013 OCTOBER 17-NOVEMBER 8

U-17 World Cup kicks-off in Abu Dhabi …The competition in numbers

Football fanatics across the globe can expect thrills and spills aplenty as the 15th edition of the FIFA U-17 World Cup kicks off today, with dozens of goals, hundreds of piercing dribbles and committed tackles, thousands of spectators and millions of fans all playing their part in the action. As the clock winds down on the opening exchanges in this sun-soaked Gulf state, FIFA.com statistically looks over a few interesting facts and figures from previous editions, as well as the event to come.

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ne million-plus fans turned up two years ago in Mexico as the host nation hoisted their second U-17 title. The final at the Estadio Azteca, venue of two senior World Cup finals and some of international football’s most iconic moments, drew no fewer than 98,943 fans. One set of twins will line up at the 2013 U-17 World Cup. Swedish sibling duo, Sebastian and Johan Ramhorn, both play in defence for the Scandinavian first-timers. But Panama also have a twin on their bench in Jorge Dely Valdes, whose doppelganger Julio coaches the senior Canaleros. When the two were team-mates with the national

Nigeria Golden Eaglets’ top strikers, Kelechi Iheanacho and below, Isaac Success, rearing to go.

team they famously played regular tricks on their teammates, who were none the wiser. Four will be the number of times an Asian nation hosts the FIFA U-17 World Cup once hostilities commence in UAE. The first edition of the ju-

Group A UAE

Honduras

Brazil

Slovakia

Group B Uruguay

New Zealand Cote d’Ivoire

Italy

Group C Croatia

Morocco

Panama

Uzbekistan

Group D Tunisia

Venezuela

Russia

Japan

Group E Canada

Austria

Iran

Argentina

Group F Mexico

Nigeria

Iraq

Sweden

Today’s Matches Abu Dhabi

Brazil

v

Slovakia

Abu Dhabi

UAE

v

Honduras

Ras Al-Khaimah Uruguay

v

New Zealand

Ras Al-Khaima

v

Italy

Cote d’Ivoire

nior showpiece took place in China in 1985, then it went to neighbours Japan in 1993. Korea Republic hosted in 2007. Asia’s four stints as host are a record among the continents, with Europe and CONCACAF both having had the honour on three occasions. Five teams are making their U-17 World Cup debut at UAE 2013: Iraq, Morocco, Slovakia, Sweden and Venezuela. Only the Soviet Union (1987) and Switzerland (2009) have won the tournament when playing in it for the first time. Thirteen is the supposedly unlucky number that haunts Canada. It stands as the longest streak of consecutive losses in tournament history. Coach Sean Fleming – back for his second U-17 finals as Canuck coach – hopes the unwanted run will end in UAE. The North Americans earned their first draws two years ago in Mexico against Rwanda and an England side boasting Liverpool starlet, Raheem Sterling, but a first win still eludes. Fourteen players in Morocco’s 23-man squad ply their club trade abroad, the most of any of the 24 competing nations at UAE 2013. Sixteen was the age (barely) of current Croatia sensation, Alen Halilovic, when he put pen to paper on a professional contract with Dinamo Zagreb. He went on to become the youngest-ever player to appear, and score, in a Croatian top flight game. He’s also the youngest player to represent Croatia’s senior nation-

THE

FIRST

EDITION OF THE JUNIOR SHOWPIECE TOOK PLACE IN

CHINA IN 1985, THEN IT WENT TO NEIGHBOURS

JAPAN IN 1993.

al team. Understandably, the rest of the teams in Fujairah will want to keep an eye on this star-in-the-making. Twenty-four goals were scored by third-place finishers, Germany at Mexico 2011, with seven different players getting in on the action. No

team has ever scored more times at a single tournament than that particular crop of Germans, who averaged a staggering 3.4 goals per game. Forty is the number of games Brazil have won in 13 FIFA U-17 World Cup tournaments, a record among all nations. It’s no wonder then that the South American giants have won three titles and previously reached the final on three consecutive occasions (1995, 1997 and 1999) One thousand, five hundred and thirty-six goals have hit the back of the net at the 14 previous U-17 World Cups. The last one was scored by Mexico’s Giovani Casillas in the dying moments of the 2-0 final win over Uruguay. It was a goal that launched more than a few cups of beer into the humid Mexico City air.


Thursday, October 17, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

31

Business & Finance Over $3bn is expected from the sale of 17 successor companies carved out from the Power Holding Company of Nigeria

As a nation, we have had a difficult history with debt. As such, no one can forget the challenging times we went through from 2003 to 2005 trying, in the end, successfully to get relief on our large external debt. Neither the government nor any Nigerian wants a repeat of the country’s past history of large debts.

Director General , Bureau of Public Enterprises,BPE, Mr. Benjamin Dikki,

MINISTER OF FINANCE, DR. NGOZI OKONJO-IWEALA,

IOC’s divestment not threat to Nigeria – NNPC UDEME AKPAN

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he Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC has dismissed insinuations in some quarters that the recent spate of divestments from certain onshore oil blocks by some international oil companies, IOC may lead to crisis in the nation’s oil and gas industry. The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Engr. Andrew Yakubu, stated in Korea that the reported divestments are not only healthy for the oil and gas industry in Nigeria but would also go a long way in promoting effective indigenous participation in core upstream activities. The Acting Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the Corporation, Ms. Tumini Green stated in a statement that, “These are not withdrawals in the real sense of withdrawals. The fact is that a number of these IOCs are moving into more challenging frontiers in the deep offshore and are leaving the onshore blocks which they consider less challenging.” She quoted the GMD as stating that the major players that are divesting have actually been sitting on those acreages and have allowed them to go fallow for years without significant development.

“So it is only fair for them to release these blocks so that others, especially the indigenous operators can have the blocks and grow in the upstream business. This indeed is a good development and I think we are moving in the right direction,” he said. The GMD hinted that the divestment offers immense opportunities for the nation’s indigenous flagship upstream operator, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC to grow its capacity and capability especially as it strives to meet the

aggressive target of daily crude production of 250, 000 barrels by 2020. Yakubu submitted that the advent of the shale gas and oil revolution in America for now would not have serious negative impact on the nation’s crude oil fortunes as earlier projected by some petroleum analysts. “No doubt the shale gas phenomenon poses a pushback on our oil and gas, but the good news is that as we speak the impact is going to come a very long time from now because a close exami-

nation of the various discoveries of shale gas shows a huge misalignment between what was projected and the actualization of most of the gas projects that would bring shale gas into full maturity,’’ the NNPC GMD noted. He explained that though the shale gas revolution is real, its availability in the global energy market is being hampered by high cost and other infrastructural challenges thus making conventional crude oil a cheaper energy source.

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L-R: First Vice President, Institute of Credit Administration, ICA, Mr. Andy Ojei; MD/ CEO Airtel Nigeria, Mr. Segun Ogunsanya and the Registrar, ICA, Dr Chris Onalo during the presentation of ICA 2013 Credit Personality Award/ Mandatory Credit Management Specialist Conference in Lagos recently.

NEDEP: FG unlocks N3bn for micro enterprises in nine months he Federal Government has unlocked N3bn, through the National Enterprise Development Programme, for micro enterprises across all the states of the federation from January to September 2013. The Minister of Industry, Trade

Arik Air

and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, said the direct micro-enterprise funding further demonstrated the commitment of the current administration to developing enterprises at the grass roots in order to create jobs, enhance growth and ultimately reduce poverty. Aganga spoke through his Senior Special Assistant on Corporate Communications, Mrs. Yemi Kolapo, who received the “Star Ambassador of Nigerian Women Business Journalists” award on the sidelines of the World Bank/Inter-

national Monetary Fund meetings, in Washington, DC, United States. He said NEDEP provided the necessary platform for the sustainable ongoing funding of the micro enterprises, adding that the programme, through the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria’s business development training, also ensured the financial readiness of the micro enterprises and, thus, their ability to repay the disbursed loans. Micro enterprises are businesses with less than 10 employees and

Ex-CIBN boss tasks CBN on abuses, lawlessness in banks

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or less than N5m in assets (excluding land and buildings). They currently represent 99.87 per cent of Nigeria’s MSME population. According to the minister, NEDEP is an initiative spearheaded by the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and its three parastatals – the Bank of Industry, SMEDAN and the Industrial Training Fund. Businesses can benefit from the opportunities the programme provides by getting in touch with any of the three agencies.

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Driving ICT growth via stakeholders’ collaboration

More advertisers buy into reality show to leverage their brands

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Business & Finance

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Ex-CIBN boss tasks CBN on abuses, lawlessness in banks TOLA AKINMUTIMI ABUJA

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financial expert and former President of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), Mazi Okechukwu Unegbu, has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria ,CBN, to intensify its investigations and monitoring roles as a means of averting another abusetriggered crisis in the nation’s banking sector. The banker, who expressed serious concern over rising electronic crime rates and other abuses within the sector which, he said, the regulatory institution appeared not to be doing enough to curb. He pointed out that increasing rate and sophistication of cyber crimes, impunity of operators in circumventing the guidelines as well as weak legal frameworks, pose serious

risk to the sector’s stability than ever. Unegbu also argued that using prescriptions by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank as templates for policy guidelines in the sector would not achieve the desired results, given the peculiarity of the Nigerian financial system and the need to develop solutions that could help in stimulating real sector growth. He therefore advocated a holistic modification of the policy measures, including the legal frameworks, with a view to ensuring that they are strengthened for the purposes of plugging all loopholes cyber crooks and fraudsters are now exploring at the risk of the economy. The former CIBN chief said even when cyber criminals are carrying out their activities to the detriment of the bank-

ing system; the banks do not report these activities because they are benefitting from the proceeds of the crime, alleging that when reports are made, the regulator seems not to bother about such reports. While accusing the CBN of being reactive rather than being proactive in its approach to contain such abuses, he pointed out that with the current level of abuses and impunity within the banking sector, anybody can steal a bank dead through on-line crimes than physically robbing a bank and by so doing, threaten the fragile stability of the financial system. He said: “Impunity of actions have taken strong root in the banks because the regulator lacks the wherewithal to deal with banks impunity of actions. The banks do not care about the customer because if the customer complains,

L-R: the Group Executive Director, Domestic Bank, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated ETI, Patrick Akinwuntan; Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Mr. Jibril Aku; Deputy Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Mr. Anthony Okpanachi and Company Secretary, Adenike Laoye, taking part in CSR activity to mark ‘Ecobank Day’ in Lagos recently.

Reversal of FOB export trade policy may ground Nigeria’s economy-FG FRANCIS EZEM

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trong indications emerged that the Federal Government may be at cross roads over the proposed outright reversal of the current trade policy whereby Nigeria’s crude oil export is carried on the basis of Free On Board ,FOB, while her imports are lifted on the basis of Cost, Insurance and Freight ,CIF. Nigeria had following the discovery of crude oil in commercial quantity operated an imbalance trade policy where her exports are carried on FOB basis, which implies that the buyer of the product determines the vessel for the carriage of the product while under the CIF policy, the seller determines the vessel for the carriage, both of which are unfavourable to Nigeria. Senior Special Adviser to Presi-

dent Goodluck Jonathan on maritime services, Mr. Leke Oyewole, who spoke in an interview, disclosed that moves by the government to reverse this trade imbalance has suffered a major setback following the discovery that policy reversal from FOB to CIF may cripple the economy, as it will delay income from crude oil sales into the Federation Account. According to him, reversal of the trade policy will delay revenue proceed from crude oil sales into the federation account by not less than 40 days after the conclusion of relevant sales documentations, a development that might portend great dangers for the economy, as it may hamper funding of economic activities. He noted that the proposal has been of the President’s table waiting for his consent, after which the new policy would become effective,

but he disclosed that the President is also studying other alternatives or approaches towards the same issue. “The Federal Government is being careful and I think it will be a gradual process because government will not and to do something that will harm the economy in the long run”, Oyewole noted. He also said: “The Presidency is still studying it, if it favourable and sustainable, the president will sign it, it has been on his table while other issues or alternatives are also being examined so that the best option will be adopted in the long last”. The presidential aide, who also admitted that as long as that trade policy is in place, it will be difficult for indigenous shipping companies to participate in the lucrative crude oil lifting business, however said that the government was doing all it could to reverse the policy.

nothing will be done knowing that the regulator will back the banks. Make any complain to the regulator, you are on your own. “Banks manipulate interest rates, violate the contract based on banker-customer relationship, have many hidden charges and there is no charter for the customer to know what to expect from the bank. “There is no more hard work, success is based on good public relations and there is a doubt that the balance sheet represents what the adverts say. All the

banks depend on government deposit, rent collection and therefore, has no interest to develop services that will attract and keep the customer. “Fraud, narcotics, money laundering and impunity of the banks is the order of the period in the banks. The collapse of the banks is due to the criminal action of the banks aided by the regulator. Skewed policy decisions as well as the weak legal environment have helped in the shameless criminal activity of the banks”, Unegbu lamented.

NIA to address IFRS’ implementation challenges M ESHACK I DEHEN

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he Nigerian Insurers Association, NIA said it plans to tackle the observed implementation challenges faced by the insurance companies in getting their International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) based accounts across to the National Insurance Commission, NAICOM, for approval. According to the NIA, the Accounting Technical Committee of the NIA intends to carry out an overview of post IFRS implementation challenges of insurance companies, considering that 21 out of the 60 insurers operating in the country were still having difficulty in submitting their accounts to NAICOM. NIA DG, Mr Sunday Thomas, told journalists the association is concerned that even though Section 26 of the Insurance Act 2003 provides

that every insurer shall not later than 30th June of each year submit in writing to NAICOM a balance sheet duly audited showing the financial position of the insurer at the close of the preceding year, only 10 out of the 60 licensed insurance firms met the deadline of June 30. He explained more than nine months after the close of year 2012; that NAICOM is insisting that only 16 out of the 60 insurance companies operating in the country have got approval for their financial reports, while 21 were yet to submit their accounts to the commission. It would be recalled that NAICOM said this week, that further while the accounts submitted by 13 others have been queried and responses from the affected insurers were being awaited, four other insurers have sent in responses and the remaining five accounts were under review.

ISPON faults 90% focus on telecoms in ICT industry KUNLE A ZEEZ

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he Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria, ISPON, has condemned what it called the ‘90 per cent dominant focus’ of Nigeria on the telecoms segment of the nation’s Information and Communication Technology industry. The President, ISPON, Dr. Chris Uwaje, lamented that Nigeria currently places high emphasis on telecoms sector in lieu of the software sector. Uwaje, in a paper titled ‘Nigeria: A Telecoms Country?”, said that more than 90 per cent of the country’s ICT industry is around telecoms with software sector taking just about 10 per cent attention. He, however, said the development f the software sector holds the key to Nigeria’s competitiveness to be reckoned with in the global ICT market.

According to Uwaje, “Today, the dominance and eminence of our telecommunications mindset, philosophy, mission and implementation model/s as a centralised and omnipotent national development policy as well as core direction for our national development strategy, remains a complex ambiguity, worrisome monumental miracle and by extension a global development misnomer.” He, however, stated that this, in any way, does not rob the Ministry of Communication Technology of its pass mark on efforts to grow the nation’s ICT industry in the past two years. But according to Uwaje, “The positioning and superlative prominence of Telecommunication as the strategic development Domain of Nigeria is in fairness, questionable, in the context of its current and emerging impact on our youth and generations yet unborn.”


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Nigerian aviation is suffering from systemic failure – Odutola Ecobank receives World’s ‘Best Frontier Markets OLUSEGUN KOIKI

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he former Director, Airworthiness and Operations Standards, DAOS, in the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Engr. Folasade Odutola has identified systemic failure in the country’s civil aviation sector as the major bane of the industry. Odutola in an exclusive interview with National mirror said that those at the helm of affairs in the sector are not doing enough to propel the sector forward. Odutola who was also the past Rector of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, NCAT, Zaria said that in order to change the current unpleasant status, the required authorities should improve the principle of granting Air Operator Permit, AOP, or Air Transport Licence, ATL, for operation of non-scheduled air services respectively. She noted that for applicants to be granted the licenses, they must show their abilities to pass the test while periodic review of the licenses should also be conducted by the authorities.

She however decried that political interference has taken the centre stage in the country’s aviation sector, warning that this may spell doom for the industry if not quickly checked. Odutola said that it is pertinent for the regulatory agency to carry out their functions without fear or favour for the growth of the country’s aviation industry. She said, “To put it bluntly, the industry is suffering from systemic failure. This sort of failure points to only one thing; we are not doing things properly. In other to fix this failure, the pertinent authorities must gird their loins. For a start, the basic principle on which grant of AOP or ATL for operation of non-scheduled and scheduled air services respectively, is based, must be nothing else, but the ability of an applicant to pass the “fit, willing and able” test with no compromise of any kind. “And that is not the end. At regular intervals, it must be ensured that the holders of AOPs and ATLs remain able to pass this test. That is with regard to economic regulation and oversight function of NCAA. With respect

to safety, it is of utmost importance that enforcement of safety regulations is devoid of interference. “There is a symbiotic relationship between safety and economy, but putting safety first enhances passengers’ confidence, thereby increasing the level of patronage thus improving the operators’ finances. The aviation agencies must be allowed to function professionally; the regulatory authority regulating the industry without fear or favour, and the service providers among them operating in a business-like manner.” On how to ensure flight safety in the country’s aviation sector, Odutola noted that all the “essential ingredients” would have to be put in place, adding that adequate number of appropriately qualified, dedicated and incorruptible personnel should also be put in strategic places. She said this was necessary in order for them to perform safety oversight functions to the highest ethical standards, maintaining that political interference should equally be eschewed by the Government.

Bank’ award

UDO ONYEKA

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lobal Finance, the worldrenowned magazine that focuses on emerging market insights and intelligence, has named the Ecobank Group as its first-ever ‘World’s Best Frontier Markets Bank’ in 2013. Additionally, the Group has won the magazine’s ‘Best Bank in Africa’ award for the second year running. , Ecobank’s Deputy CEO and Group Head of Corporate and Investment Banking, Mr. Albert Essien accepted both awards on the Group’s behalf at a ceremony held in Washington DC at the weekend, timed to coincide with the Annual Meetings of the World Bank and IMF. According to a statement made available to National Mirror these distinctions were based on Ecobank’s performance over the past year, as well as other subjective criteria, including reputation and management excellence. Global Finance

PIN trains 300 youths on ICT empowerment KUNLE AZEEZ

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aradigm Initiative Nigeria has, through its technology-driven training centre, Ajegunle.org, trained almost 300 Nigerian youths on entrepreneurship leveraging ICT skills development since its establishment of the centre in 2007. This was disclosed by PIN in the 2013 third quarter report of its empowerment activities for young people in within Ajegunle community, Lagos, the lo-

L-R: General Manager, Operations, MultiChoice Nigeria,Miss Kapa Kahumb,; General Manager, GOtv,Mrs. Elizabeth Amkpa, and PR Manager GOtv,Miss. Efe Obiomah, during the GOtv Content Showcasein Lagos, recently.

Nigeria has ability to feed citizens despite looming insecurity – Study UDEME AKPAN

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espite looming food insecurity, an authoritative study has disclosed that Nigeria has the capacity to feed its citizens. The study conducted by NOIPolls, Nigeria’s leading opinion polling organization to mark this year’s World Food Day confirmed that the nation can cultivate sufficient food to feed its people. The group stated, “The study revealed that most Nigerians, including Agricultural Sector Experts, are of the opinion that Nigeria has the ability of adequately feeding its growing population. It stated, “Experts claim that right policies need to be implemented and sustained in order to aver looming food insecurity. The study stated that almost seven in 10 Nigerians ,68 per

cent, as well as Industry experts, affirm their support towards the on-going reforms in the agricultural sector; while acknowledging the contribution of the current Minister for Agriculture and the progress he has made so far. It stated that a combination of research methodologies was adopted for this poll; a nationally representative quantitative survey and a qualitative survey with a panel of experts from the Agricultural Sector. The study stated, “In order to establish the perception of people about the food security situation in Nigeria, respondents were asked: To what extent do you agree or disagree that Nigeria has the ability to adequately feed her citizens? From the responses, the vast majority of Nigerians, about 9 in 10, agree that Nigeria has the ability to adequately feed her citizens (90% total: 32% +

58%). A meagre 7 per cent in total disagree with this statement (6%+1%). It maintained that industry experts interviewed were of the opinion that Nigeria has the ability of feed her citizens. The study stated, “However, they explained that it isn’t enough to have the “ability” to feed the nation; there’s need for the implementation of right agricultural development policies in order to avert the looming food insecurity. It also stated, “They suggested that if right policies are not implemented and sustained over time, Nigeria may be unable to feed its citizens. The Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO of the United Nations, UN announced at the beginning of year that the theme for the World Food Day in 2013 is “Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition”.

made their selections after extensive consultations with bankers, corporate finance executives and analysts worldwide. “In light of the uncertainty facing developed markets, and with emerging markets struggling to maintain their growth rates, the corporate world is beginning to take notice of frontier markets as a new area of opportunity,” said Global Finance’s publisher, Joseph D. Giarraputo. “These markets are in a position comparable to where emerging markets were 20 years ago and they are poised for serious growth. Ecobank has demonstrated vision and confidence in Africa’s longterm growth potential, bringing mobile banking services to previously unbanked frontier markets.” Global Finance also named five Ecobank affiliates as “the Best Emerging Market Banks in Africa”, namely Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea (Conakry), and Togo.

cation of the centre and beyond. At a recent Town Hall Meeting hosted by PIN at the Community Hall of the Ajeromi- Ifelodun Local Government Office on Bale Street in Ajegunle, new 68 trainees of the Ajegunle.org programme were are graduated and received their certificates. The meeting had in attendance ‘Ajegunle.org’ project trainees, their parents and guardians, community members, partners and volunteers of the ‘Ajegunle. org’ project as well as representatives of the local government.

Cashless: EPPAN tasks telcos on robust infrastructures KUNLE A ZEEZ

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he Electronic Payment Providers Association of Nigeria has urged the telecoms operators on more investment to make their telecoms infrastructure more robust to support the cashless economy scheme of the Central bank of Nigeria. Executive Secretary, EPPAN, Mrs. Onajite Regha, made the call while speaking in an interview with National Mirror on the recently a recent sensitisation exercise carried out by EPPAN in the new six states where the scheme has been extended to, after the Lagos experiment. According to Regha, “Electronic payment rides on the backbone of telecommunications infrastructure and we recognise their roles in cashless Nigeria. The banks cannot do it alone without the support of telecoms operators that have the infra-

structure on which mobile money and other forms of cashless initiatives run. “So, if the infrastructure is robust and scalable, cashless Nigeria will soar without technical hitches. In the area of infrastructure challenge as identified by the communities, we would like to encourage telecoms operating companies to strengthen their network infrastructure and make them available in all states, especially in the states that cashless Nigeria is operational.” Regha said, “We want the telecoms firs to provide better service quality that will facilitate seamless transactions, especially when operating mobile or using point of sales (PoS) machines. We have had cases where some of the PoS machines were not working as a result of network collapse, which automatically became impossible to carry out financial transactions using the electronic cards on the PoS to pay bills.”


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Info Tech

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Driving ICT growth via stakeholders’ collaboration Nigeria’s information and Communication technology is faced with many challenges, which are practically impeding the sector’s expansion. However, increased collaboration among stakeholders has been identified as critical to the sector’s growth, reports KUNLE AZEEZ.

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ncreased collaboration among all the stakeholders in the nation’s Information and Communication Technology industry would help in boosting the expansion of ICT services to more Nigerians irrespective of their location in the country. Over the years, industry analysts have called for deeper collaboration among key stakeholders such as the telecoms companies and the regulator and other government authorities. With more than 27, 000 base stations already built by the telecoms companies and the laying of several thousands of kilometers of fibre optic cables across the country and the landing of various international undersea cable such s Main One, Glo 1, West African Cable System, WACS and others, Nigeria is said to have huge potential for rapid ICT revolution. In the area of telephony, more than 120 million active telephone lines are currently in the country with teledensity now above 80 per cent mark, a significant growth from less than 1 per cent as at 2001 before the sector’s liberalisation. Also, with over $25 billion investment which come in form of local and Foreign Direct Investment in the sector and consistent effort by the Federal Government to showcase Nigeria’s ICT industry’s potential to investors in foreign countries, Nigeria is believed to be a haven of investment for wiling investors. The conducive regulatory regime being provided by the industry regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission is another incentive which analysts and various studies have confirmed are favorable for greater investment into the county’s ICT sector. The positive impact of telecoms industry, which provides the backbone connectivity in driving various electronic transactions in the country, albeit not yet adequate and the positive role the sector is playing in e- govern-

GSM base station 2

WE WOULD CONTINUE TO COLLABORATE WITH NECESSARY STAKEHOLDERS IN ORDER TO ENSURE THAT WE PROVIDE CONSISTENT FAVOURABLE REGULATORY ENVIRONMENT THAT WILL ENGENDER FURTHER GROWTH IN THE

ENCOURAGING MORE INVESTMENT ment, e-agriculture, e-health, e-learning and most importantly e-commerce has been rated at promising for Nigeria as an emerging ICTdriven market. However, to further engender impressive growth in the industry, stakeholders say deeper collaborations among stakeholders are critical. The Chief executive Officer of AAA Infotek, Mr. Akin Akinbo, said, “Collaboration in form of ‘coopetition’ and not competition among the telecom operators would be success factor going forward.”

FG sets up governing board for tech centre, others SEYI ANJORIN ABUJA

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he Federal Government has s inaugurated the governing board of the National Centre for Technology Management, NACETEM, in furtherance with the National Development Plan of the Federal Government. The Supervising Minister of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, who set up the NCETEM board, also constituted governing boards for four other parastatals, which include the Sheda Science and Technology Complex, SHESTCO; Nigerian Institute of Trypanosomiasis Research, NITR; Project

ICT SECTOR BY

Development Institute, PRODA, and Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute, NBRRI. The new boards of the five parastatals are expected to function on part time basis. According to Johnson, the implementation of the Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) policy, has begun with the adoption of the “Triple Helix model on Innovation” which promotes linkages and interactions between government, industry and research institutions. The supervising minister also called on the governing bodies of the various parastatals to imbibe the highest level of discipline, ethical and moral standards expected of a public officer.

According to him, “One areas where telecoms firms should be collaborating today is in the area of infrastructure sharing or colocation. It has been said that operators need close to 60, 000 base stations to be able to provide effective services. But if they collaborate well, they can actually effectively share their already installed infrastructures which will lead to cost reduction on capital expenditure and subsequently faster network expansion.” Also speaking at the recently concluded Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) 2013 Forum hosted by the Nigerian government in Abuja, the Director-General of CTO, Prof. Tim Unwin emphasised the place of collaboration in fast-tracking Nigeria’s national broadband plan implementation. Unwin tasked Nigerian government to design a new model of engagement with all concerned stakeholders in order to accelerate ICT infrastructures deployment. Meanwhile, the government, in a presentation last week, listed a number of measures, developed as products of stakeholders’ engagements by to ensure that critical areas of challenges to the industry are addressed. According to the Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, the government’s response has been to facilitate increased confidence in the Nigerian communications sector that has led to a willingness to increase investment, stressing that “This has been done by providing a predictable and stable environment that supports the development of the industry.” She also said, “We have defined and are

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implementing a framework to spearhead and guide the development of the Nigerian ICT industry and are aligning policies and laws to capitalise on opportunities and developments in technology.” The minister, therefore, declared that the ministry has also engaged with industry stakeholders to identify challenges and negotiate solutions. These, according to her, include harmonising regulation of base stations between Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC and the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency, NESREA; working with the Ministry of Works to standardise application process and pricing for right-of-way at Federal level; as well as developing legal instrument to secure Information and Communication Technology infrastructure nationwide. Johnson maintained that the ministry was also securing agreement with state governments via National Economic Council to eliminate multiple taxation, negotiating single tax payment to all state government agencies on annual basis, while streamlining right-of-way applications to be processed in 30 days and revising price downwards from as high as N6.5m per linear km to N145,000 per linear km. “We have also issued an executive order protecting key infrastructure pending passage of Critical Infrastructure Bill. The ministry has also obtained commitment by operators to collaborate with state governments. “Also through our “dig-once policy” we are making all ducts available on an open access basis to eliminate multiple deployments and damages to state infrastructure while we have reached agreements to lay passive fibre to all state institutions within 1km of operator’s proposed rout.” In furtherance of the collaboration, the minister also stated that the government was exploring ways to integrate fibre infrastructure in future state-funded projects. Also stressing the importance of collaboration in a paper entitle “The Vodacom Partnership for a Connected Nigeria”, the Managing Director, Public Enterprises, Vodacom Business Nigeria, Ms Mickey Mashale, said to achieve a connected Nigeria, partnership among all stakeholders was necessary. Mashale said, “Government alone could not achieve the five-year plan of ensuring connectivity by 2018. Also, Private Sector alone could not achieve it plan and neither can citizens alone could achieve the plan.” While stressing that Vodacom has the facility to collaborate with the government in using ICT to change the face of education, government, health, agriculture, commerce and so on, Mashale said, “Through collaborations of government with private sector, it become easier to leverage broadband to turn cities, regions, provinces and countries to smart, connected, chip-based, remotely and pro-actively managed entity with greater efficiency and effectiveness.” Meanwhile, when asked on the role of collaboration in engendering faster ICT development in Abuja recently, the Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah, said, “We cannot do without collaboration. It is through collaboration that ideas and innovative views are shared with aview to addressing critical issues that may be impeding the industry’s development.” According to him, “We have always done this, We are doing it and we would continue to collaborate with necessary stakeholders in order to ensure that we provide consistent favourable regulatory environment that will engender further growth in the ICT sector by encouraging more investment.”


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Info Tech

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Main One says cloud market’ll reach $35.6bn by 2015 KUNLE AZEEZ

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he Chief Executive Officer of MainOne, West Africa’s leading telecommunications services company, Ms. Funke Opeke, has said that available statistics have shown that cloud computing market will grow to reach $35.6 billion by 2015. Opeke, who stated this in a presentation titled: “Cloud, Connectivity and Communications”, said that cloud computing, represents the future in the Information and Communication Technology sector. She explained that cloud computing presents a more economical way of implementing IT services as it enables pay-peruse service model, lower capital costs, predictable recurring expenses, provides business flexibility. “In addition to this, deployment of the service is easy while it utilizes service providers that

are geographically dispersed.” While stating the global market for cloud computing was growing in leaps, Oepeke said, globally, 30 per cent of IT budgets in 2013 will be spent on cloud computing. “By 2014, it would have generated about 14 million jobs. In Africa, the Cloud Market will grow to $35.6 billion by 2015 and Cloud services revenue will reach $148.8 billion worldwide in 2014 of which 60 per cent of this will come from North America.” Opeke further described MainOne as a major driver of cloud computing in West Africa as it carries traffic for the major West African, Nigerian and Ghanaian based telecom operators, Internet Service Providers and enterprise since commencing operation. According o her, MainOne was also the only West Africa Data Center to partner with International Data Center Group of over 200 carriers and over 33

data centers. She highlighted part of MainOne’s contribution to cloud computing to include collaboration with Google. According to her, the collaboration delivers cloud based Google Apps at Nigerian universities enabling students to access documents from the cloud anytime, anywhere. “Another cloud initiative of MainOne is the i-HQ project, an innovation hub in Lagos which has provided connectivity to schools, health centers, businesses and government agencies in Lagos. “MainOne offers telecommunications services which include data center, co-location, global video center, metro ethernet, managed services, global internet services and global IP transit. The MainOne world class data center is Telecommunication Industry Association 942-compliant with 600 rack space and ample work area space,” she added.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Tech Box

Customer service: MTN deploys 500 kiosks

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igeria’s largest telecoms operator, MTN said it is deploying 500 kiosks across the country in a renewed bid to spread its retail outlets across the country. The initiative is coming under a new service channel tagged ‘VISA 3000 Kiosk’ in partnership with Forte Oil, a foremost marketer of refined petroleum products with a strong presence in the 36 states of Nigeria and Abuja. According to MTN, the project aims to help increase visibility and availability of MTN offerings across foot and vehicular traffic channels, whilst providing more impactful merchandise deployment foreasy access of customers. It is expected that the deployment of the kiosks, which would involve the creation of MTN sales and relationship kiosks in the over 500 Forte Oil fuelling

stations throughout the country will provide a platform for the telecoms company to enhance the pervasiveness of its products and services. Commenting on the partnership, MTN’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Michael Ikpoki, said, “This relationship is a strategic one that counts in achieving our vision as a company, and we are convinced that this will help better the lives of our customers.” Highlighting the similarities between both organisations, Ikpoki further, “We are in the same kind of business, which is about brightening the lives of customers; making it more convenient as they go from place to place. “And if you look at what we do in terms of communication and ICT, we help to fuel that because without fuel, people would not move from place to place.

Samsung Note 3 offers premium warranty

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igerians using Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will have access to premium warranty on the purchase of the device, the phone manufacturer, Samsung has said. The company said the new warranty arrangement was in line with its thrust on providing innovative, consumer-oriented service, the world’s largest manufacturer of mobile handsets, Samsung Electronics, has announced that According to the company, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will feature Samsung Premium, an advanced version of the company’s original 24-month accidental damage from L-R: Head, Business Market Segment, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Bidemi Ladipo; Head, Small and Medium Enterprises, Diamond Bank Plc, Mr. Chima Nnadozie; Manager, Content, Enterprise Development Centre, Lagos Business School, handling (ADH) warranty. Under Samsung Premium, conMs Betty Egbuna and Acting Director, Coordination, Small & Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria, Mr. Monday Ewans at the Etisalat Market Access event held in Port Harcourt recently. sumers will receive a replacement device in the event of screen or liquid damage to their Galaxy Note 3, at no extra charge. Speaking at the South Africa ers, it launched Glo 1 in 2010, a Oluwole market in Lagos Island state-of-the-art submarine cable, and at Oyingbo market, we preKUNLE AZEEZ which connects over 17 African sented prizes to many winners and European countries to the including Danladi Adams, an he Information Technoloice-block seller in Ajegunle who he combined subscriber United Kingdom. gy firm, Microsoft Nigeria, “In addition to Glo 1, we invest- won N5 million. We also gave out base of Globacom in three has announced winners countries of operations ed in other high capacity cable N1 million each to Thomas Nanincluding Nigeria, Ghana and systems, providing connectiv- jul, Akinleye Adesina, Moyosola in the Windows Phone category Republic of Benin, has recorded ity to East Africa, United States, Yusuf, Adeyemi Abon, Okiki Ola- of the inaugural 9japps Compeover 35 million, according to the Asia and the rest of the world. jide and many other categories of tition, a local app development Glo 1 has already made an im- winners,” she said. telecoms company. contest for Windows 8 and WinMeanwhile, winners at the dows Phone 8 applications. This was disclosed by the pact in bringing down the cost of Head, Glo World, Mrs. Brernda telecommunications services and prize presentation ceremony The competition aims to embrought a new era of prosperity were a handbag designer, Mrs. power the next generation of Akhigbe, at the presentation of prizes to new winners in the on- to Nigeria and the rest of the con- Obafemi Olayebi, who won N5 Nigerian developers (students, million; a driver, Kazeem Obig- entrepreneurs and independent going Glo “Recharge to Stardom” tinent,” she said. Meanwhile, Akhigbe has stat- besan; a stockbroker, Abolade developers) by helping them promo in Lagos. According to Akhigbe, “Today, ed that the prize presentation cer- Agboola; an engineer, Ayodeji drive innovation and grow the lowe pride ourselves as one of Af- emony was in continuation of the Olatunjoye and a medical rep- cal software ecosystem. rica’s biggest telecoms networks consistent effort by Glo to redeem resentative, Ibikunle Ademoyo, At an event held at Co-Creas we have positively touched its promise to its valued subscrib- who went home with N1 million ation Hub Nigeria in Lagos reeach at the occasion. the lives of our over 35 million ers across the country. cently, winners were announced Other lucky Glo subscribShe pointed out that Glo had subscribers in Nigeria and other for the best locally-relevant apps markets where we have our foot- recently presented prizes to its ers who collected cheques at prints such as Ghana and Benin subscribers in Abuja, Ibadan, the event include Lasaki Ye- in the Windows Phone category. Akinsete Sunday and AdedoOnitsha, Enugu, Benin, Port Har- side, Opeodu Gbolahan, Edun Republic.” yin Kazeem, who both developed Akjigbe said as part of its Pan- court, Kaduna and several times Mojisola, Megwa Mike and ‘CINEMAZ’, an app that enables Okoronkwo Ikenna who collectAfrican vision to provide con- in Lagos. users to buy movie tickets online “A week ago at the popular ed N25,000 each. nectivity for its growing custom-

‘ Glo subscriber base hits 35 million’

unveiling of the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear in Cape Town, Director of Hand Held Products at Samsung Electronics West Africa, Mr. Emmanouil Revmatas, described the premium service as part of Samsung’s efforts at providing its consumers with a worry-free life. “With the original ADH warranty, our consumers got to take their Samsung Galaxy S4 for nomoney and no-questions asked repairs for screen and liquid damage, not once but twice during the first two years of the life of their device. “For the Galaxy Note 3, we have upgraded the service. With the Samsung Premium warranty, instead of two repair claims, users of the device will now get two instant phone replacements over the 24-month warranty period, at no extra charge.

Winners emerge in Microsoft 9japps Challenge

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thereby removing the stress of queuing for such, were named the overall winner and were awarded N750, 000 for their app. The second place winner, Bukola Akinfaderin, also went home with N500, 000 while the third place winners all received Windows Phone devices. Speaking on the development, the Director Developer Platforms for Microsoft Sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands, Mr. Dele Akinsade, said, “I’m excited to see Nigeria’s talented developers showcase their great work and focus on developing locallyrelevant apps.” According to him, “We strongly believe in the potential of Nigerians to not only solve the challenges facing their country, but in doing so, to solve challenges that affect people across the globe”.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Brands & Marketing

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More advertisers buy into reality show to leverage their brands As advertising spending of companies continue to dwindle, advertisers resort to reality shows to engage consumers with their brands, writes ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI.

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oing by recent reports from both local and global ad rating agencies, Mediafacts published by MediaReach OMD Nigeria and Nielsen, a global research firm, advertising budget has continued to take a dip year-on-year. The growing rush by advertisers to reality shows platform has revealed the effectiveness of the shows to engage consumers and perhaps, create high top-of-the-mind awareness for brands in Nigeria. In their report, Mediafact stated that media investment fell by 11 per cent in 2012 while Nelsen revealed that ad revenue dropped in second quarter of 2011 in 16 out of 36 global markets, and this was regarded as the first significant decline since the third quarter of 2009 report when adspend fell in more than half the markets monitored at the height of the global recession. While these reports have become a sensitive document for advertisers and brand management consultants, industry player have continued to search for where ad money would deliver return on investment. With growing complain by newspapers, billboard owners of declining ad insertions, TV reality shows franchisee are smiling to the banks. In a latest move after succeeding in engaging huge consumers via its Malta Guinness Street Dance, Guinness Nigeria have bought into a new reality shows, Nigeria’s Got Talent, which started last year and initially sole-sponsored by Airtel Nigeria.The show is produced by Rapid Blue Format, a global trendsetting and independent production company, but now with a local franchisee in Nigeria to tap into multibillion naira advert budget for reality shows. However, beyond the façade of the excursion into talent discovery, Guinness Nigeria has seen the show as a potential point of engagement to promote the premium products from the staple of Guinness, Malta Guinness. The Director, Marketing and Innovation, Guinness Nigeria, Austin Ufomba said that Malta Guinness’ decision to sponsor Nigeria’s Got Talent is because the show embodies the passion of the brand. Also, Coca-Cola has designed Coke Studio Africa, a new and exciting music television show, to sustain its brand awareness and leadership in the continent where it features musical icons from each participating country to bring every market into consideration. The Brand Manager, Colas, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, Mr. Olufemi Ashipa, said Coke Studio through Coke Studio, fans will be able to access content

Reality shows

from the show on the new Coke Studio Africa while the entire episodes of the show will also be available on the Coca Cola official YouTube channel as viewers across the continent are expected to win various prizes including autographed posters, coke studio kits and branded merchandise through the show. According to a senior lecturer, marketing, Faculty of Business Administration, University of Lagos, Dr. Peter Iyiegbuniwe, “That is a new trend in the marketing communication industry in Nigeria. It is fast becoming a platform to engage consumers because of its entertaining features. It can be used to stimulate the desire of their target market.” A brand analyst, Mr. Tomi Ogunlesi,

said Nigeria as a late adopter of reality and games show, has got to wait after eight decades after an American, Allen Flunt had popularised the concept. According to Ogunlesi, “It seems we’ve been late adopters, however, over the past decade in Nigeria, the association of brand names with popular television shows has become a trend on the ascendancy, particularly by companies and brands in a quest to increase their market share. Flipping past channels on both terrestrial and cable TV channels these days, the sheer avalanche of reality shows that is aired assails one. Contemporary television programming has clearly become incomplete without them, or so it seems!” Flunt launched the first reality show on radio as Candid Microphone in

FOR ANY BRAND-SPONSORED REALITY SHOW

TO MAKE THE DESIRED IMPACT ON CONSUMERS, IT MUST BE LOCALISED. IT MUST REFLECT THE

CULTURE AND VALUES OF THE PEOPLE. IT MUST NOT BE OFFENSIVE AND MUST BE OF QUALITY STANDARD IN PRODUCTION

1947 before he later shot it as theatrical films in 1948 and named it Candid Camera. Allen’s trail blazing concept was later recreated over the years giving birth to legion of world biggest TV reality shows in America and Europe which most Nigerian brands have either bought its patents, localised or adopted in its original form to promote their brands as a result of the success it has recorded abroad. Among the world biggest series of reality shows after Flunt’s ice breaking effort, are Big Brother, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, Dancing with the Stars, Fear Factor, Got Talent, Iron Chef, Just the Two of Us, Pop Idols, Project Runway, Reality Circus, Single Moms, Star Academy, The Amazing Race, The Apprentice, The Bar, The Biggest Loser, The Farm, The Surreal Life, The Voice, The X Factor, Top Model. But the common trend in Nigeria is the adoption of this world renowned shows as more of the local ones both independently or corporately produced bear semblance of those originated from developed countries. And it is very hard to differentiate those claimed to have been created locally from the foreign ones which attests to an expert saying that “think global, act locally.” STARGAME by Nigerian Breweries, Maltina Dance All bore credence to this. Also, a Missouri Western State College researcher, Dr. Erika S. Pontius stated that “Television’s effect on viewers is a subject that has been extensively studied in the last 20 years and whose impact extends farther than most people realize. However, the researcher said recently that a new fad in television has surfaced and it appears to be taking over.” Meanwhile, Dr. Iyiegbuniwe said for any brand-sponsored reality show to make the desired impact on consumers, “it must be localised. It must reflect the culture and values of the people. It must not be offensive and must be of quality standard in production.”

Brand Union Africa advises on building formidable brand ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI

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xperts from Brand Union Africa, a global branding agency with 34 years’ experience and a member of WPP Group, is worried about how certain brands in Nigeria are fast losing their unique identity. After playing significant in building formidable brands in Nigeria since 1999, the group is still afraid that certain Nigerian brands were in danger of losing their unique identity, which if not addressed could saw them slide the market share. While the failure to manage growth within and outside of Nigeria have hampered some Nigeria brands from cross border market penetration, experts says brand owners needs to re-access their val-

ue proposition. During its first Brand Experience Conference in Lagos tagged ‘Own your own brand, the Brand Union’s Regional CEO for Middle East and Africa, Hermann Beherns, explains that for brand custodians to own their brands, they need not only to define what the brand stands for, but the purpose also needs to be brought to life across multiple brand assets. “When these two elements: purpose and assets work together, the result is a seamless brand experience that is bold, differentiating and ownable,” Beherns said. While competitive advantage is one of the drivers brand owners are searching for to overcome market challenges posed by market force, the Business Development Director, The Brand Union Africa, Ricardo Gressel, the Brand Union is keen

to share how their agency’s ethos, ‘the experience of the brand is the brand,’ can differentiate a brand’s offering, proliferate customer favourability and build barriers to competitor in-roads. Gressel who has worked on leading Nigerian brands such as GTbank among others explains that successful brands are brands that are unashamed of who they are, what they do and what they stand for. “This defined sense of purpose sets the strategic foundation for the brand and influences every single brand touch point,” added Gressel. “The conference according to the organizers was fallout from conversations between the Brand Union and one of its local clients. “It emerged that certain Nigerian brands were in danger of losing the very thing that makes their brand unique.


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Chivita leads market on social media STORIES: ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI

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ocial media has become a real-time media platform brands connect with teeming target market. From banking, fast moving consumer goods and other sectors, the platform has become a strong point of engaging consumers with high impact that often time lead to sales. In the fruit juice FMCGs market, yahoo, facebook, twitter among others are common place where some of the brands fight for market share. In market where Five Alive, Fumman among others are major competitors massive market, Chi Limited, makers of Chivita Premium fruit juice, according to National Mirror survey may have become a leading fruit juice brand to get top of the mind awareness against competitors. The brand which entered the Nigerian market nearly three decades ago, earning consumers’ loyalty through its numerous flavours, promotions and cam-

paigns has amassed 76,054 acceptances on facebook while Fumman has 2,874 and Dansa Fruit Juice has four as at last check by National Mirror on Tuesday. The overwhelming response to Chivita’s daily tips on Healthy & Natural Living by visitors to the page has resulted in over 70,000 clicks on the Like button within the short period of its introduction. According to experts, “brand’s equity depends on two things: the level of awareness it commands among consumers in its category and how positive the consumer is about what they know about the brand as perceived by its image.” A follower of the Chivita Premium Page, Mr. Stanley Omeokwe, said, “I have tasted all the flavours in Chivita. The flavours are incomparable with the flavours in other juices. Thumbs up!” Another follower of the page, Miss, Promise Ozioma, said “I cherish Chivita so much because it is so nourishing.” Besides that, site visitors are engaged with tips on health ben-

efits of fruits, which stated: “oranges, like other citrus fruits, are an excellent source of vitamin C (provides 53.2 mg per 100 g, about 90% of DRI); Vitamin C is a powerful natural antioxidant.” Chivita Premium facebook page also rewards visitors to the page through a game known as Chivita Friendometer. A follower of the page who decides to play the game automatically gets a discount on up to five Chivita Premium cartons as winners of games have prizes like iPad 2 or Samsung chat phones as reward. According to Managing Director of Chi Limited, Mr. Roy Deepanjan, “The need to inform consumers on the benefits of consuming 100 percent fruit juice as well as providing useful and life enhancing health tips necessitated our facebook page opening. We want to nurture long-term relationships with our consumers through the Chivita Premium Facebook Page in an engaging and mutually beneficial way.”

L-R; Executive Chef and Head Judge on the show, Dr Davies Roberts; Communications Channel Mager, Unilever Nig Plc, Diran Adenugba; Brand Building Director, David Okeme; Category Manager Savoury, Bolanle Kehinde-Lawal and Brand Manager, Knorr, Abimbola Ogunsemi, all of Unilever at the press briefing to kick of Knorr Taste Quest Season 2 in Lagos recently.

CSR: FinaTrust Mfb supports Modupe Cole orphanage

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s part of its corporate social responsibility efforts, FinaTrust Micro Finance Bank Ltd, a leading microfinance bank, has made donations of food and cheque to Modupe Cole Memorial Child Care and Treatment Home School. During a visit by the key official of FinaTrust Bank led by the Managing Director, Mr. Deji Popoola, the Principal/ Head Teacher of the Homes, Mrs. Florence Kayode said the banks top management including the chairman of the bank, Pastor Ituha Ighodalo, have constantly supported the Homes in various ways in the past. However, Popoola expressed the bank’s commitment to give back to the society as it marks

its four years of growth and operation in the Nigeria micro finance banking sector. “We have observed some of the other challenges being faced by the Homes besides the donations of cheque and foods to the children and we will ensure we continue to give our support in those regards,” said Popoola. A director of the bank, Mr. Kunle Adeoye, also admonished corporate organisations to always understand the need of the community so that people could feel the impact of CSR in the community. He said FinaTrust Bank is committed to the growth of the community where its operates as a standard practice. The Chairman of the bank, Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, how-

ever, said during the fourth year anniversary thanksgiving service held at Fina Trust Micro Finance corporate head office at Toyin Street, Ikeja, Lagos, the confidence reposed in the bank by customers is one of the mark of the bank’s success in the last four years and it cannot be divorced from God’s backing. “We thank God for building the business on solid ground. God has helped us to recruit some of the best staffs,” he said. Ituah said further that the vision of the bank is very clear and with the performance of the bank so far in the last four years, Fina Trust is expected to go far adding that despite closure of micro finance banks, Fina Trust has continued to wax stronger.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

FCMB Launches 30th Anniversary Promo

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irst City Monument Bank Limited has launched a consumer banking promo tagged, ‘’FCMB 30th Anniversary Promo’’ to mark its 30th anniversary as a leading financial service provider in Nigeria. The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive of First City Monument Bank Limited, Mr. Ladi Balogun, said “the promotion is aimed at thanking our current and potential customers and encouraging savings and financial inclusion as we celebrate our 30 years of existence as a financial services provider. The FCMB 30th Anniversary Promo is a simple and risk-free savings and reward initiative that provides opportunity for our customers (current and potential) to own brand new cars, and other exciting but useful prizes through cred-

ible electronic random selection that would be held every month in various locations nationwide. As our retail customer acquisition begins to gather momentum at over half a million new customers annually, we want to provide exciting and rewarding ways to stimulate good banking habits, such as regular savings. ” It was disclosed that the promo is targeted at all segments of the society across all age groups. These include professionals, market men and women, artisans, students, workers among others who have adopted and are enjoying the benefits of FCMB’s banking products and services inherent in Nairawise, Classic Current and Savings Account, Premium Current and Savings Account as well as the Kids Account and FlashWallet accounts.

Marketing Edge relocates to new office

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arketing Edge, Nigeria’s leading brand and marketing focused magazine, has relocated to a new corporate headquarters in the high-end business zone of Fadeyi Aladura Street, in Ikeja area of Lagos. According to the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Mr. John Ajayi, the action became necessary in order to move marketing to the next level and to adequately serve the teeming readers of our-ever-growing magazine. He stated that after almost ten years of building the brand’s equity, the time is right and ripe to expand the coast. He added that these past few years, ‘‘our magazine has imbibed the culture of value adding to all relevant stakeholders. “We have been resolutely committed to the true Ideals of journalism excellence especial-

ly in creating a niche market in the marketing and advertising sector. “We are not just pacesetter in carving a niche in this rare but exciting genre of journalism, we have remained a market leader that is on the one hand passionate about what we do and on the other hand paranoid about our market leadership. “We however assure our teeming readers and esteemed subscribers as well as brand owners of a greater deal ahead in our present endeavour and adventure. “We are strongly positioned to move marketing in Nigeria to the next level and in our self imposed task of expanding the frontiers of marketing knowledge, we are also committed to promoting the business of brand management and the management of brand business,” he said.

GOtv proud of quality contents -GM

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he General Manager, GOtv Nigeria, Mrs Elizabeth Amkpa has assured pay TV audience of quality service and contents on GOtv. With a range of content from pioneering TV brands, channels include SuperSport, M-Net Movies Zone,AfricaMagic, E! Entertainment, Sony Entertainment Television, SonyMax, CNN, Channel O, Style, MTV Base,KidsCo, DisneyJunior andNickelodeon, Amkpa says that GOtv is a product known for quality family entertainment. “GOtv has a wide range of genres! From music, movies, fashion, series, lifestyle and sports; to news, documenta-

ries, current affairs and kids – we have it all. In the past year we’ve brought viewers new channels such as Blackbelt TV, M-Net Movies Zone and SuperSport Select 2. We’ve also brought big events such as the 2013 AFCON Cup and Big Brother, and the month of August kickedoff another exciting season of football. In August also, we launchedPRTV and Telemundo – a channel we are very thrilled to have on our platform,” said Amkpa. Since launch, GOtv has provided entertainment that is relevant, accessible and all about family. In Nigeria, GOtv has three bouquets available: GOtv, GOtv Plus and GOtv Open.


Unilever unveils Knorr Taste Quest Season 2

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Brands & Marketing

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Nigerite wins ‘Best Kept Industrial Premises’ award ADEDEJI ADEMIGBUJI

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ollowing its adoption of environmental friendly practices in its work premise, Nigerite Limited, a building component solution company, has been declared “the Gold Winner 2012/2013 Best Kept Industrial Premises”. The award is the result of the yearly “Best kept industrial premises Competition” among all manufacturing companies including food and beverages, pharmaceuticals in Ikeja. The award organized by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Ikeja branch, has always been the highlight of the annual general meetings of MAN in the last 15 years. The award which was presented to the company by the National President of MAN, Chief Kola Jamodu during the association’s 46th annual general meeting was said to have clearly demonstrated Nigerite’s leadership position on

environmental issues in the sector. Jamodu commended the company for its distinct track record over the years in meeting global environmental friendliness standard in its work place. He stated that the company’s commitment to environmental friendly ideals is a unique selling point that has distinguished Nigerite limited as a responsible corporate citizen. Nigerite’s QSHE Manager, Mr. John Bamigboye said that it was a great achievement that would encourage the company to continue to do more, not only in the area of environment, but in all ramifications, adding that the company was also recently awarded the “Exceptional Safety Culture Company Award” by NECA under the NSITF-NECA Safe workplace intervention Project (SWIP), as one of the leading safety conscious companies in Nigeria. Also, the Human Resource/Corporate Affairs Manager, Alhaji Demola Buraimoh said that it was a

39

Unilever unveils Knorr Taste Quest Season 2

welcome development and a laudable achievement that was made possible by the collective efforts of the entire work force. According to him, the award would encourage both the management and the staff to redouble their efforts in promoting excellence. He added that it would also continue to drive the company to a greater height because of its belief in quality. “It has already shown that all our efforts are being recognised, so , it will continue to keep on driving the work force to improve because quality is not an end, it is a continuous exercise,” he said. Speaking further, he said, “all Nigerite products are environmentally friendly and recyclable, the NT fibre cement products are made from Portland cement, Cellulose and Polyvinyl fibre (a derivation of crude oil), while the compressed sandcrete roofing tiles are made from coarse and soft aggregates mixed with Portland cement and iron oxide pigments.

L-R: Head teacher, Modupe Cole Memorial Child Care School, Akoka, Mrs. Florence Kayode; Managing Director, FinaTrust Micro Finance Bank Ltd, Mr. Deji Popoola and a Director in the bank, Mr. Kunle Adeoye presenting a cheque to the Homes’ head teacher, as part of the company’s CSR to mark the bank’s 4th year anniversary in Lagos recently

U

nilever Nig. Plc has unveiled the Season Two of the Knorr Taske Quest, a cooking TV Show which is a platform for people to showcase their culinary expertise, as well as bring to the homes of consumers the most exhilarating and educational cooking show. According to the Brand Building Director, Unilever Nig. Plc, Mr David Okeme, Season II promises to be more engaging and captivating. “It is no doubt going to be bigger as the show will be having regional auditions in Lagos, Calabar and Abuja. The show is open to individuals who appreciate good food and are passionate about cooking. They need to be able to take up the challenge of exploring creative ways to cooking,” said Okeme. The Category Manager Savoury, Unilever Nigeria, Bolanle Kehinde-Lawal while describing

the modalities for the show, asked interested consumers are to go to the company website and complete the entry form. She said shortlisted participants would be invited for auditions where 50 contestants would emerge. “These 50 would then be whittled down to 28 contestants who would go head to head to compete for the grand prize. Contestants would be eliminated weekly based on how they perform on the various tasks assigned,” said Kehinde-Lawal. The Brand Manager Knorr, Miss Abimbola Ogunsemi, said for the season two, “the winner of the show will walk away with a brand new car, N2m cash prize and brand new kitchen equipments. The first runner up will get N1m cash prize and brand new kitchen equipments. The second runner up will win N500, 000 brand new kitchen equipments.”

Traditional ruler wins in Star National Consumer promo

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n Igbo traditional ruler, Igwe Eze Benjamin Olikeagwu, the Okosisi of Igando, was among the consumers that won various mouth-watering prizes at the Star Win and Shine party recently held at the Aso Rock International Bar, Ikotun. He won a 32 inch TV set, at the on-going Star consumer promotion after his raffle ticket of the traditional ruler was picked and announced as one of the night’s winners. Igwe Eze Benjamin said he was on his way home after a security meeting with the Idimu Police Area Commander, when his younger brother told him about the Star Win and Shine promotion. The Igwe’s younger brother then invited him to attend. He said: “I came here with

N10,000 and I’ve been buying drinks for my people. I bought more than four cartons of Star here today. And I have numerous tickets. I actually did not expect that I will win. I was here on October 1st for one of your competitors’ promotion. I also bought a lot of drinks, for myself and some people close to me. I did not win anything. But I’m happy that I won this TV.” Other winners include Ben Onugbo who won N50,000 winner, he described the cash as a life changer. The 26 year old driver who said he earns N20,000 monthly currently stays with a friend. He however pledged to use the money for accommodation. The big winners of the night were however Allo Temitope, Alabi Ayodeji and Adedamola Olatunde Ola.

Creating a distinctive brand appeal

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have always been fascinated with the enormous potentials that abound through the on-line media platform. Several brands are now coming up with innovative ideas to leverage visibility and deepen penetration. The on-line platform has become strategic in reaching out to the audience and identified customer segments. The need to create a niche and develop a distinct identity has made brands to develop on-line image projection. One of such brands that have attracted my attention is Mamalette.com, a brand that prides itself as Nigeria’s biggest and parenting website. It is a free resource that publishes the latest news and events on parenting and family education. The brand

has carved a niche for itself by defining its unique proposition to communicate its offerings to parents and upcoming parents. The brand intends to be distinctive in its appeal and outlook. Mamalette.com seeks to utilize the on-line platform to connect directly with parents and provide in-depth information on family issues to them. One major attribute that clearly differentiate the website is its interactive nature. It aligns with the yearnings and aspirations of parents to share their experiences. Mamalettes.com leverages the family platform to build strong affinity with parents through its unique brand offerings. The mamalette.com through its creative approach and content style communicates a strong

Brand X-Ray with Ayodeji Ayopo Tel: 08023448199 E-mail: mayomipo@yahoo.com message to the audience. This in essence means that it is not just another on-line platform but a distinct brand feeling the pulse of its identified target audience. The competitive advantage of the mamalette.com brand lies in the strength of the service it offers to target audience-parents. Mamalette.com intends to leverage on the power of communication consistently to engage the parents. It seeks to continuously

update parents on key information on the family and also offer concrete action plan on various issues such as family life, food, health, finance etc. Mamalette.com strives to be that one step on-line platform to expose and educate the audience on a broad spectrum of parenting issues that can help their parenting responsibilities. The interactive approach of the website is a potent tool of net-

working for parents cannot be underestimated. The website is also 100percent Nigerian. Mamalettes.com intends to be the brand that gives voice to Nigerian parents. Several of the websites contents are skewed to address the myriad of challenges parents face in their parental responsibilities. It is a very innovative and creative approach to tap into the enormous potentials that are available through on-line platforms. The brand has also underscored its strong focus through its presence on virtually all social media platforms. Mamalette.com is leveraging its unique offerings on facebook, twitter and pintrest. The YouTube page is undergoing construction.


40

Global Business

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Senate cuts deal to raise U.S. debt ceiling, reopen government

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he U.S. Senate announced a last-minute deal on Wednesday to avert a historic lapse in the government’s borrowing ability and a potentially damaging debt default, and to reopen the government after a two-week shutdown. But even if the Senate and House of Representatives manage to overcome procedural hurdles to seal the deal before Thursday when the Treasury says it will exhaust its borrowing Obama authority - it will only be a temporary solution that publicans over President sets up the prospect of an- Barack Obama’s signature other showdown early next healthcare reform law led to a partial government year. Major U.S. stock indexes shutdown on October 1, rose more than 1 percent on sidelining hundreds of optimism that lawmakers thousands of federal workwere finally reaching a deal ers. Cruz and other Reto end the weeks-long fiscal publicans backed by the conservative, small governimpasse. Senate Majority Leader ment Tea Party movement Harry Reid and Republican want to repeal or delay the leader Mitch McConnell healthcare law. The initial fight over the announced the agreement healthcare law turned into on the Senate floor, where a bigger argument over the it was expected to win swift debt ceiling, threatening approval after a main Republican critic of the deal, a default that would have Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, reverberations around the said he would not use proce- world. “If we don’t get a default, dural moves to delay a vote. it would be like Y2K. People Weeks of bitter fighting were staying up all night among Democrats and Re-

worried about what would happen during that deadline. Then nothing happened,” said David Keeble, global head of interest rate strategy with Credit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank in New York, referring to worries about the millennium computer bug in 2000. Both Democrats and Republicans are confident that the U.S. House of Representatives will have enough votes on Wednesday to pass the bipartisan Senate plan, a top Democratic aide said. Aides to House Speaker John Boehner, the top Republican in Congress, called senior Senate staff to say the House would vote first on the measure, the aide said. The aide said it appears certain to be approved with mostly Democratic votes. Boehner has been under fierce pressure from conservative members of the House not to call a vote relying on Democratic votes, and his job may be on the line if they continue their opposition to the Senate deal. Lawmakers are racing against time. While analysts and U.S. officials say the government will still

have roughly $30 billion in cash to pay many obligations for at least a few days after October 17, the financial sector may begin to seize up if the deal is not finalized in both chambers. “Today is definitely not the day to be conducting any serious business as traders across the globe will be hypnotized by their TVs/terminals and anxiously waiting for something to hit the news wires,” Jonathan Sudaria, a trader at Capital Spreads in London, wrote in a client note. Fitch Ratings has said it could cut the U.S. sovereign credit rating from AAA, citing the political brinkmanship over raising the debt ceiling. The deal that emerged on Wednesday would basically give Obama what he has demanded for months: A straight-forward debt limit hike and government funding bill. The deal would extend U.S. borrowing authority until February 7, although the Treasury Department would have tools to temporarily extend its borrowing capacity beyond that date if Congress failed to act early next year.

Britain’s Cameron attacks EU red tape before reform drive

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uropean Union regulation is strangling economic growth and costing the continent billions of euros, according to a British governmentbacked report on Tuesday that Prime Minister David Cameron hopes will bolster his case for reform of the bloc. Cameron set up the review of EU red tape in June, addressing one of the biggest grievances of British Euroskeptics who complain that the 28-nation bloc’s rules are often petty, interfering and expensive to implement. “All too often, EU rules are a handicap for firms,” Cameron said of the report. “There are lots of simple and practical ways to cut EU red tape and save businesses across Europe tens of billions of euros.” Reducing regulation will be central to Cameron’s campaign to reshape the EU and Britain’s place

in Europe before a promised referendum on its continued membership of the bloc. His hopes of winning the 2015 election depend in part on convincing wavering Conservative voters not to defect to the UK Independence Party, whose call to leave the EU could split the centre-right vote and benefit the opposition Labour party. Across Europe, trust in the EU’s institutions has fallen since the start of the financial crisis. In one recent poll, 60 percent of Europeans “tended not to trust the EU”, up from 32 percent in early 2007 before the crisis. The European Commission, the EU’s executive, said this month it would pare back EU rules to answer critics’ accusations that it over-regulates. Responding to the British report on Tuesday, Commission President

Jose Manuel Barroso said Brussels had scrapped more than 5,000 laws and rules over the past five years. “Common rules are essential to make the single market work properly, but I also want to make sure that the EU does not meddle where it should not,” said Barroso, a Portuguese. Cameron will press his case for reform at next week’s meeting of European leaders in Brussels. ‘POINTLESS, BURDENSOME’ The report, compiled by a panel of six business leaders and chaired by Business Minister Michael Fallon, said there were too many “pointless, burdensome and costly regulations”. It made more than 30 recommendations, in areas from shale gas extraction, licensing medicines and environmental safe-

guards to paid maternity leave and limits on working hours. Scrapping the rule that forces firms to keep health and safety records could save 2.7 billion euros ($3.67 billion), it said. Business lobby groups said the ideas would simplify companies’ operations, make it easier to hire staff and encourage investment. Union leaders, however, said it would erode workers’ rights. “None of these policies have anything to do with economic growth and are instead about certain business leaders’ desire to worsen people’s basic working conditions, egged on by the government,” said Frances O’Grady, head of Britain’s Trades Union Congress. Since joining the EU’s forerunner in 1973, British Euroskeptics have grumbled about “meddling Eurocrats” in Brussels imposing rules.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

GE Money Bank sale to value company at up to $1.67 billion

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eneral Electric’s flotation of its GE Money Bank is expected to value the Swiss consumer finance business at up to 1.53 billion Swiss francs ($1.67 billion), in a further step in the U.S. firm’s retreat from the finance sector. GE Money Bank expects to raise up to 1.05 billion Swiss francs from the share sale it said on Wednesday, in what will be Switzerland’s first flotation in a year. GE Capital, a subsidiary of General Electric, plans to sell up to 18 million shares, or 60 percent of Zurich-based Money Bank. General Electric has said it aims to shift its earnings mix to 70 percent industrial and 30 percent financial. The company has already sold its consumer credit business in Austria and Germany to Spanish bank Santander. GE’s banking business, GE Capital, which has a consumer finance and banking business specialized in credit cards, personal loans, auto financing and savings, contributed 45 percent of GE’s earnings

in 2012. Money Bank said it expects to price each of the shares in the sale, planned for October 30, at between 43 and 51 Swiss francs for a market capitalization of up to 1.53 billion Swiss francs. Shares in financial services peers, such as Close Brothers), Provident Financial or Capital One trade at an average of around 12 times estimated forward earnings, according to Thomson Reuters data. Money Bank’s targeted pricing will put its price/ earnings multiple at around 11 times, thus giving a discount of around 10 percent. Money Bank, which will change its name to Cembra Money Bank at the sale, is aiming to entice investors by proposing a dividend equivalent to between 5 and 7 percent of its share price. “If you are looking for a stock with a yield of 5 percent, then you can’t go wrong here,” one fund manager told Reuters. “I think it’s an interesting alternative to traditional banking shares.”

South African banks hit by Internet card fraud syndicate

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outh African banks have been swindled out of millions of dollars this year by an international fraud syndicate that stole card details from restaurant chains, the Payments Association of South Africa said yesterday. Card fraud has been on the rise in Africa’s biggest economy over the last two years despite efforts to replace magnetic stripe cards with the more secure chip variation, PASA said. The latest scheme, which was devised through a variant of the software virus known as Dexter, most likely originated in Europe. “It was certainly cleverly

Zuma

written. It took a while to detect,” said Walter Volker, chief executive at PASA, adding that all South African banks - including industry leader Standard Bank and smaller rivals FirstRand, Barclays Africa Group and Nedbank - had been affected. The syndicate targeted computers at restaurant chains with a virus that sent back details of customer cards. The information was used to clone cards or sold on to other criminals, PASA said. Standard Group, the continent’s largest bank, said some of its credit, debit and check card customers had been affected. “Immediate and pro-active steps have been taken by Standard Bank and at an industry level to identify and limit the extent of the potential exposure,” it said in a statement. Nedbank also confirmed that some of its customers had been affected, but said the number of incidents was limited.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

41

Thursday, October 17, 2013

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42

Capital Market

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Easy money regime could pose risks for securities markets –IOSCO JOHNSON OKANLAWON

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he spill over effects of expansionary monetary policies to stimulate economic growth might create potential risks for securities markets, the global grouping of capital market regulators has said. The observation is part of IOSCO Securities Markets Risk Outlook for 20132014 released yesterday. Members of IOSCO (International Organisation of Securities Commissions) regulate more than 95 per cent of the world’s securities markets. The Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Comission is also a member of this grouping.

“Expansionary monetary policies have reduced interest rates to the point that real rates are sometimes negative. While these policies may help stimulate the real economy, spill-over effects may create potential risks for securities markets,” IOSCO said. It is uncertain when current policies are phased out and interest rates revert to their historical levels, the report noted. Many nations, especially the United States, have embraced expansionary monetary policies to bolster their sagging economies. However, availability of cheap money has not only resulted in volatile capital flows but has also raised

concerns about possibel asset bubbles in some markets. The regulator noted that emerging market economies have experienced significant capital inflows in the post-crisis era, as debt securities and non-bank lending have overtaken foreign direct investment and banking lending as the main source of these inflows. “After the announcement of the tapering of the expansionary monetary policies of the FED ( US Federal Reserve), a sudden reversal in capital inflow occurred, highlighting the need for further structural reforms aimed at making securities markets more re-

silient,” it said. According to the report, demand from investment firms for high quality collateral has increased significantly. “More generally, bank holding companies with over the counter (OTC) dealer operations must locate high-quality collateral to meet initial and variation margin requirements for their OTC trades. “Additionally, central banks have been absorbing collateral to provide needed bank funding. This growing demand has altered the balance of collateral in the system, diminishing availability of high-quality collateral and could impact pricing,” it noted.

A

$502. “iPhone 5S is the new flagship and if 5S is increasing (its sales) and 5C is decreasing and the fact that 5S production has increased is positive for Apple’s margins,” Susquehanna analyst Chris Caso said. Canaccord Genuity analysts said the iPhone 5S is outselling 5C by 2.5 times to 1, boosting Apple’s margins. Pegatron Corporation, which assembles many of Apple’s iPhone 5Cs, had seen orders reduced by less than 20 per cent, the source told Reuters on Wednesday, declining to be identified because the information is sensitive.

Hon Hai Precision Industry Company, Apple’s other major assembly contractor for the 5C, has had its orders for the same period reduced by a third, the Wall Street Journal reported. However the newspaper, quoting two Hon Hai executives, added that Apple had raised orders for the 5S for the fourth quarter. The 5C and 5S were launched in September ahead of the year-end holiday season when sales tend to peak. In the United States, the 5C is $100 cheaper than the premium 5S, which retails for $649 for the 16 GB model.

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aide told Reuters. “Market participants on balance believe something will get done, and it’s going to get done in typical Washington fashion, at the eleventh hour,” said Art Hogan, Managing Director at Lazard Capital Markets in New York. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 193.43 points, or 1.28 per cent, to 15,361.44 points the S&P 500 gained 22.51 points, or 1.33 per cent, to 1,720.57 points and the Nasdaq Composite added 44.271 points, or 1.17 per cent, to 3,838.281 points. Throughout the debt crisis, many strategists have argued that the brief

sell-offs would be a buying opportunity because Washington would get its act together eventually. That scenario, at the moment, seems to be playing out. On the New York Stock Exchange, more than three stocks were rising for every share that was falling. All ten S&P sectors were up, led by financials on hopes for the debt deal and strong quarterly results. The sector gained 1.8 per cent. Bank of America Corporation reported a thirdquarter profit of $2.22bn, compared with a loss a year earlier, as provisions for credit losses fell.

Market indicators Market capitalisation 11.80 trillion

The cut in 5C orders will reinforce investor sentiment that the plasticbacked 5C phone was overpriced and would not be well-received by consumers, some analysts say. “This reflects a failure in Apple’s pricing strategy,” said Bevan Yeh, a Taipei-based senior fund manager at Prudential Financial Securities Investment Trust. “The price differentiation between 5C and 5S is too small. It’s an iPhone 5 with plastic casing and isn’t worth the price.” Spokesmen at Pegatron and Hon Hai declined to comment, while Apple could not be immediately reached for comment.

Europe shares turn positive on hopes of US debt deal nited States stocks rose yesterday on optimism that lawmakers, with time running out, would agree on a deal to prevent a US debt deault and end a patial federal government shutdown. The gains brought the Standard and Poor 500 index within striking distance of the record 1,725 points set on September 18. US lawmakers were preparing a final push to pass legislation to lift the government’s $16.7trn borrowing limit. The House of Representatives planned to bring up a Senate measure that would reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling, a House leadership

Source: FMDA

All-Share Index 37,051.14 points

Apple rises on iPhone 5C sales

pple Incorporation shares opened 0.8 per cent higher as investors looked to strong sales for the flagship iPhone 5S, shrugging off signs of less-than-stellar orders for the cheaper 5C model. Apple has told manufacturers of the 5C that it will cut orders of the smartphone for the final three months of the year, a source familiar with the supply chain situation said. But analysts said the decision by consumers to spend more and buy the pricier 5S model would benefit Apple and the company’s shares touched a one-month high above

Source: NSE

Shares were up 1.6 per cent at $14.46. “Not a bad quarter given the environment with Bank of America showing impressive capital levels and solid execution.” Jeff Morris, head of US equities at Standard Life Investments. Shares of Yahoo rose one per cent to $33.72 a day after the company reported third-quarter earnings that were slightly above forecasts by analysts. Fitch Ratings late Tuesday said it could cut the sovereign credit rating of the United States from its AAA rating, citing political brinkmanship over raising the federal debt ceiling.

Stock Updates GAINERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

CHANGE

% CHANGE

FO

48.00

52.92

4.92

10.25

CONOIL

28.80

30.24

1.44

5.00

CUSTODYINS

1.62

1.70

0.08

4.94

ACADEMY

1.89

1.98

0.09

4.76

FIDSON

2.10

2.20

0.10

4.76

CADBURY

51.60

53.91

2.31

4.48

UAC-PROP

16.01

16.69

0.68

4.25

AIICO

0.87

0.90

0.03

3.45

DANGFLOUR

9.22

9.50

0.28

3.04

CONTINSURE

1.12

1.15

0.03

2.68

CHANGE

% CHANGE

LOSERS COMPANY

OPENING

CLOSING

UBCAP

1.40

1.33

-0.07

-5.00

TRANSEXPR

1.32

1.26

-0.06

-4.55

COSTAIN

1.10

1.05

-0.05

-4.55

THOMASWY

0.91

0.87

-0.04

-4.40

WAPIC

0.96

0.92

-0.04

-4.17

IKEJAHOTEL

0.75

0.72

-0.03

-4.00

UNITYBNK

0.58

0.56

-0.02

-3.45

AFRIPRUD

1.86

1.80

-0.06

-3.23

LEARNAFRCA

1.70

1.65

-0.05

-2.94

SKYEBANK

4.40

4.30

-0.10

-2.27

Primary Market Auction TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

91-Day

20,159.21

11.80

10-Oct-13

182-Day

43,490.87

11.64

10-Oct-13

364-Day

68,184.89

11.74

10-Oct-13

Open Market Operations TENOR

AMOUNT (N’mn)

RATE (%)

DATE

183-Day

92,995.00

12.00

17-Oct-13

182-Day

63,717.87

12.00

17-Oct-13

-

-

-

-

Wholesale Dutch Auction System AMOUNT OFFERED

MARKET DEMAND

AMOUNT SOLD

DATE

$300m

N/A

$297m

9-Oct-13

$300m

N/A

$231m

7-Oct-13


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Capital Market

Thursday, October 17, 2013

43

Stock exchange daily equities summary Equities as at October 14, 2013 1st Tier Securities

1st Tier Securities Sector

Company name

No Of Deals

Quotation(N)

Quantity Traded

Value of Shares(N)

Sector

Company name

No Of Deals

Quotation(N)

Quantity Traded

Value of Shares(N)


44

Thursday, October 17, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Group initiates youth empowerment project

A

Non-Governmental Organisation, NGO, James Ene Henshaw Foundation, says it is embarking on an empowerment programme for the youth of Cross River State. Initiator of the foundation, Mr. James Henshaw, said in Calabar that more than 2,000 youths were being targeted for the programme. Henshaw said the programme was aimed at developing the creativity and technical skills of talented youths in the state. According to him, the empowerment initiative is part of the foundation’s support to the effort of the Cross River State Government to meaningfully engage the minds of young people. He said the foundation would run courses that will enable talented youths to develop technical abilities in theatre arts, as well as other creative arts. “To do so, the NGO will set up and run a variety of short courses and workshops in script writing and development, acting and play directing. Also to be in the programme are technical courses in production, stage management, lighting and set design,” he said. He added that, aside the empowerment programme, the foundation also had a project known as ‘Africa-to-Schools programme’. “This programme will commission African writers to visit schools and colleges in the United Kingdom, to read and perform their work to young people, ‘’ he said. He commended the state government for developing its culture and tourism sector, noting that it has served as an alternative source of revenue, after losing its oil wells. He said that the foundation would draw notable artists and writers from across the world to the state, to incorporate the rich culture of the people in their works. He said: “To support the state’s culture initiative, the foundation will inaugurate an annual lecture on the arts and culture, especially the James Ene Henshaw lecture. The lecture to be held in Calabar, will provide an international platform for discourse on the place and role of art and culture, in society.” According to him, the proposed lecture would add to the improvement of the tourism and hospitality industry in the state, and increase revenue generation. He said the foundation was a charitable organisation set up to maintain and promote the literary legacy of late James Ene Henshaw, one of the foremost playwrights in Africa.

Kids on stage at the previous edition of the Talent Reel in Lagos.

House of Phoebe set to exhibit creative minds STORIES: LEONARD OKACHIE

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creative organisation in Lagos State, House of Phoebe is set to exhibit creative minds in an art-filled programme tagged ‘Talents Reel’ in November, 2013. The Creative Director, House of Phoebe, Phebian Oguntoyinbo says the organisation is a unique brand with a team of experienced and creative professionals who are set to harness young but creative minds and special talents, through vital skills in arts and culture to include music, poetry, dance, drama, and others. The first edition of the programme, which took place in August, 2013 at the basketball court ground, Ejigbo youth centre, Ejigbo recorded a huge

success as many budding talents were on ground to showcase their potentials. The August event opened on a formal note as Oguntoyinbo and Bob De Poet from Detranformers Ministry spoke on the relevance of creativity to everyone, as a means of exhibiting innovative potentials, which is a vital skill in all engaging endeavours It was a hyped moment, as the versatile anchor, MC Rocafella of Bond fm 92.9 (Gbogbo Ede) thrilled the audience to an all round comic flows,

as well as other performances which include Ewi rendition, Bata dance, hip hop rockers, contemporary performances, and poetry. Also Aparawa GMX, Pacesetter Samuel Akintade and others were on ground to inspire the performers. The event featured creative groups within and outside Lagos like Krazy Twins (the craziest duo in dance), Sholex, S. T. Y, Pacesetters Arts Company, FOS Communicators Club, Ladiezy and the young duo- Oyinkansola Oyelabi and Mowaninu Oluwa. Over 200 audiences had a dose of talented displays and creative signatures. Among the supporters of the programme were the Plain Studios, Lagos State Council for Arts and Culture, Society of Young Nigerian Writers and Arts Beat Concepts.

300 orphans get N5m worth of food, clothing JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA

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Some youths protesting against insecurity in Abuja recently.

ood items and clothing worth N5 million has been distributed to 300 orphans and vulnerable groups in Katsina State for the Sallah celebration. A nongovernmental organisation, NGO, Social Media Friends Foundation, made the donation as part of its effort aimed at assisting the less privileged. Speaking at the occasion, chairman of the organization, Izma Yamadi said the food items and clothing provided to beneficiaries would go long way to enhancing their living standard. Yamadi said the gesture had no po-

litical motive nor was it for personal gain, but that it was part of the foundation’s objective to assist less privileged people. He said the foundation would also train beneficiaries on handcrafts and provide them with kits at the end of the training. He said the foundation had provided similar assistance to 300 other orphans and trained 100 youths on how to effectively use social media to enlighten people to fight for their rights. Yamadi however called on wealthy individuals to provide assistance to orphans in the state, emphasizing that orphans and less the privileged needed such assistance in order to fend for themselves.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Young & Next Generation

‘Girl-child education, tool for societal transformation’

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he President, Abuja chapter of the National Association of Ijaw female students, Mrs. Tubokenimi Ahule, has said that girl-child education is a powerful tool for societal transformation. Ahule made this known at a programme organised by the association to mark this year’s International Day of the Girl-Child with the theme “Innovating for Girls’ Education” in Abuja recently. She said the right of the girl-child to education must be seen as a moral necessity and obligation. “Educating the girl-child is also a pow-

erful force of transformation for societies, leading to development and reduction in mortality and poverty, increase fertility, equitable growth, social norms and democratisation,’’ she said. Ahule noted that in the last two decades, there has been significant progress to improve access of girls to education. She, however, said that many girls were still deprived of the basic right as many were still unable to go to school or complete their education. Ahule, said this was as a result of financial or cultural barriers, stressing “Those that are even in school have rela-

tively low chances of high performance due to household chores, low aspiration and other responsibilities. “So, there is a need for a renewed drive to further propel the education of the girl-child and also lay emphasis on community mobilisation and profitable engagement of these girls.’’ She said that early marriage was also a hindrance to girl-child education, saying that it also predisposes them to diseases. She, however, called on all stakeholders to join hands in ensuring that the girl-child was educated.

Pop star ZAFI debuts with singles album

U

K-based rising, 16-year old AfroPop star, ZAFI B has made a debut with a breakout single Number 1. Having built up massive support for the single over the Summer with constant radio play on Capital Xtra and a resounding live performance at One Mic UK Afrobeats Special, the young singer, songwriter and actress is proud to finally unveil the SnowPix Media directed music video for “Number 1”. Already a consummate actress at just 16 years of age, having played a starring role in Doctor Who when she was just 11 and starred in Holby City at the tender age of 12, Zafi B also starred alongside English football legend Gary Lineker in the famous Walkers advert before she turned 9. Also a student of the renowned Sylvia Young Performing Arts School, where the likes of Amy Winehouse and Rita Ora previously attended, Zafi B’s live music performances have also garnered plaudits from fans, critics and tastemakers in the growing UK AfroPop/ Afrobeats scene, having impressed at the first Afrobeats Special and the legendary Hackney Empire before she even turned 16. Zafi B’s introduction to the African music landscape has begun with much earnest and anticipation with her debut single “Number 1” already conquering UK radio airwaves and taking over dance floors across the country. There is simply no stopping the loveable Zafi B as she ventures to leave a lasting impression on us with her music. Watch and enjoy the visuals for “Number 1” below - the single will be released on iTunes on December 5, 2013.

L-R (Front row) Ada Abiora(Princess), Nkechi Okorie (Queen), Destiny Okpara (King) and Somtochukwu Agu (Prince) and others in a group photograph at the cultural pageant organised by the youths on St. Michael’s Feast Day at St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Ajaguro, Agric, Ikorodu, Lagos recently. PHOTO: LEONARD OKACHIE

Ondo youths pledge to support petro chemical firm HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE

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ouths of Mahin, Etikan and Aheri communities in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State have pledged to support the development of Olokol Free Trade Zone,OTFZ. The youths, who made this known at a press conference in Akure, Ondo State capital also commended the chairman of Dangote group of companies, for his foresight and plan to establish a petrochemical industry and fertiliser plant in the state. Speaking on behalf of the youth, chairman of Mahin, Aheri and Etikan youths organisation,Nelson Ololajulo said the development will create employment opportunities for the youths, even as he noted that the state’s peaceful atmosphere is responsible for building of the industries. He said “It is a fact that Ondo State is the most peaceful in the Niger Delta and we are ready to allow the status quo to remain." The youths however assured the investor of hitch- free operation with a pledge to provide adequate security to the workers and equipment. He said “The youths are assuring Dan-

gote group of companies of a hitch-free operations and secured environment, since the investment will attract rapid development and unprecedented employment generation to the area. We will guard against any breakdown of law and order when plants commence operations. “We will form vigilante groups to ensure nothing untoward happens to the workers and equipment for the actualisation of the project and we also assure the government and investor of a symbiotic relationship as we promise to cooperate with other investors coming to the zone". The youths however commended President Goodluck Jonathan, the state government and attracted the Dangote Group for deeming it necessary to establish a petrochemical industry and a fertilizer plant at the Olokola Free Trade Zone. They said “We recognise and appreciate Chief Sola Ebiseni, the Commissioner for Environment, Hon. Gbenga Edema and Hon. Oyebo Aladetan representing Ilaje Constituencies II and I respectively. Mr. Soji Ayenuro, Interim Chairmanof Ilaje Local Government and other notable leaders who are also instrumental for these laudable projects."

45

SCIENCE FOR KIDS

What makes me sneeze?

I

f you just sneezed, something was probably irritating or tickling the inside of your nose. Sneezing, also called sternutation, is your body's way of removing an irritation from your nose. When the inside of your nose gets a tickle, a message is sent to a special part of your brain called the sneeze centre. The sneeze centre then sends a message to all the muscles that have to work together to create the amazingly complicated process that we call the sneeze. Some of the muscles involved are the abdominal (belly) muscles, the chest muscles, the diaphragm (the large muscle beneath your lungs that makes you breathe), the muscles that control your vocal cords, and muscles in the back of your throat. Don't forget the eyelid muscles! Did you know that you always close your eyes when you sneeze? It is the job of the sneeze centre to make all these muscles work together, in just the right order, to send that irritation flying out of your nose. And fly it does — sneezing can send tiny particles speeding out of your nose at up to 100 miles per hour! Most anything that can irritate the inside of your nose can start a sneeze. Some common things include dust, cold air, or pepper. When you catch a cold in your nose, a virus has made a temporary home there and is causing lots of swelling and irritation. Some people have allergies, and they sneeze when they are exposed to certain things, such as animal dander (which comes from the skin of many common pets) or pollen (which comes from some plants). Do you know anyone who sneezes when they step outside into the sunshine? About 1 out of every 3 people sneezes when exposed to bright light. They are called photic sneezers (photic means light). If you are a photic sneezer, you got it from one of your parents because it is an inherited trait. You could say that it runs in your family. Most people have some sensitivity to light that can trigger a sneeze. Have you ever had the feeling that you are about to sneeze, but it just gets stuck? Next time that happens, try looking toward a bright light briefly (but don't look right into the sun) — see if that doesn't unstick a stuck sneeze! –KidsHealth


46

Media

Thursday, October 17, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Stakeholders task journalists on ethical conduct TONY ANICHEBE UYO

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ournalists in Akwa Ibom State have been charged to uphold the ethics of their profession while discharging their duties. The Speaker, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Sam Ikon; the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mr Aniekan Umana and the Special Adviser, Political and Legislative Affairs Bureau, Akparawa Godwin Ntukudeh, were some of the stakeholders who expressed concern over the shoddy trend of journalism practice in the state. Addressing members of the profession in his office, Hon. Ikon observed that the Fifth Assembly under his leadership had taken decision to stand on the side of the people, thus the need for support from the media. According to him, the House, in the last two years, has intervened in critical areas in the development of the state such as the yearly passage of appropriation bill with 80 percent for capital projects and 20 percent for recurrent expenditures; the passage of a private bill that transformed the status of State Action Committee On Aids, SACA,into an agency capable of accessing funds from international donor agencies for the benefits of the people. He also spoke of the Widow’s Right Law as one of the bills passed by the house. “We need NUJ to help us send this message to the people. It is sad that despite our willingness to partner with journalists, some are still distracting us with misleading captions and cooked up stories”. On his part, Deacon Aniekan Umana expressed concern over the deterioration in practice by journalists and stressed the need to follow professional ethics in reporting events in the state. Mr. Umana said the uncommon transformation carried out in the state by the government is wide enough to engage journalists that are interested in development for a whole year. During a courtesy call on the new leadership of NUJ at the press centre, the Special Adviser, Legislative and Political Affairs Bureau, Akparawa Godwin Ntukudeh, disclosed government’s through the bureau to partner the union to achieve sustainable development. Ntukudeh described as worrisome the new trend in journalism, saying the practice is not helping to deepen democracy. In his response, the NUJ chairman, Elder Patrick Albert spoke of the intention of his executive to expose journalists in the state to local and foreign trainings. He said the union will not fail to wield the big stick against anyone erring in the discharge of his or her duties, maintaining that the union will not close its eyes when a journalist is known to have been man-handled in the discharge of his official duties. He also spoke of the union resolve to build a model press centre that can compete with others in the world.

Ogunseye

Ogunlesi

Ogunlesi, Ogunseye shine at CNN Multichoice African Journalists Awards LEONARD OKACHIE

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ulti-award winning Nigerian journalists, Tolu Ogunlesi , Freelance for Ventures Africa and Oluwatoyosi Ogunseye of Sunday Punch were among the winners of the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards 2013 last Saturday at the CTICC in Cape Town, South Africa. Ogunlesi won in The Coca-Cola Company Economics & Business category, while Ogunseye, clinched the Environment Award. Announcing the 27 finalists from 11 countries in July, chairperson of the independent judging panel, Ferial Haffajee had said "A tough table of judges was often visibly impressed by the range of stories presented to us. African journalists, as represented by our entries, have risen to the challenge of 2012. The big stories were well-covered. The small stories were not forgotten. We commend the dedication of journalists who are very much part of a rising Africa with rising professionalism, increased appetite for tough and investigative journalism, an eye on those left behind

and a deep commitment to telling good stories across many mediums." The competition received entries from 42 countries across the continent, including French and Portuguese speaking Africa. However, South Africans, Msindisi Fengu and Yandisa Monakali from The Daily Dispatch, were named overall winners the 18th edition of the Award. The winning story was a two-month investigation by The Daily Dispatch which investigated the atrocious conditions that thousands of pupils in the Eastern Cape have been subjected to, whilst supposedly under the care of the education system. The twelve-part series, uncovered hygiene and safety risks in school hostels as well as lifting the lid on shocking levels of corruption. Fengu and Monakali's hard work resulted in the suspension of an education department official and government pledge for R13m budget to improve the situation. Other category winners include :Msindisi Fengu & Yandisa Monakali, Print General News Award, South Africa; Nicola de Chaud, Culture, South Africa; Adrian de Kock, Mohamed Amin Photo-

graphic Award, South Africa; Thanduxolo Jika & Media 24 Investigations Team, Digital Platform Award, South Africa; Gifty Andoh Appiah, Television News Bulletin Award, GhanaAxcel Micael Chenney, Francophone General News Award - Electronic Media, Mauritius. The rest in rest of the winners were Florence Dallu, Radio General News Award, Kenya; Selma Inocência, Portuguese Language Television General News Award, Mozambique; Lázaro Mabunda, Portuguese Language Print General News Award, Mozambique Brenda Okoth, MSD Health & Medical Award, Kenya; Nassima Oulebsir, Francophone General News Award - Print, Algeria; Passant Rabie, Sport Award, Egypt and Roseline Wangui & Wambui Kurema, Television Features Award. The following were highly commended by the panel for their works: Lucas Ledwaba, South Africa; Rebekah Adwoa Awuah, Ghana; Domingos Bento, Angola; Thomas Otieno Bwire, Kenya; Ibrahima-Benjamin Diagne, Senegal Geoff Iyatse, Nigeria; Judy Jeptum Kosgei & Mauritius Oduo; Carol Natukunda, Uganda and Amon Ngabo, Uganda.

Gov Obi to speak at Correspondents' Week DENNIS AGBO ENUGU

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nambra State Governor, Mr. Peter Obi is among the dignitaries expected at the Press Week being organised by the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Enugu State Correspondents’ Chapel. According to a programme of activity signed by the Chairman and the Secretary of the organising committee, Ignatius Okpara and Emma Ugwueze, respectively, Governor Obi would deliver a lecture on the topic “The Role of the Media in Ensuring Accountability and Prudent Management of Government Resources- A Case Study of Anambra State”. The Correspondents’ Press Week

holds between Monday November 4 and Sunday November 10, 2013. It was further disclosed that the oneweek long activity shall commence with a novelty football match, which is expected to hold between the members of the Correspondents’ Chapel and the Radio Nigeria, Enugu National Station. “Also as part of this one-week long event, there shall be a workshop for journalists on modern trends in journalism, especially the challenges of the social media. The workshop shall go a long way in building the capacity of members. “Members are also expected to visit some special places in the state, especially the less privileged homes and prisons, after which there shall be an outing thanksgiving service”, the state-

Obi

ment added. It continued that “there shall also be a correspondents’ night, where members are expected to come with their spouses and share some time with colleagues. “Often times, journalists hardly have time for themselves, let alone their spouses, so the chapel has decided to create this avenue where members will have some time to ease off tension”.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Media

Thursday, October 17, 2013

NUJ boss dedicates executive to God

Always be objective in reporting, journalists told

TONY A NICHEBE UYO

J

ournalists in Akwa Ibom State last week Saturday gathered at New Birth Bible Church to thank God for a successful election and to dedicate the new leadership under Elder Patrick Albert to Him. Testifying to the goodness of God, Elder Albert said “the August 1, 2013 election was not meant to break us but to bring us into one united family”. He told guests, friends and colleagues that his victory was predetermined by God. The NUJ boss said his leadership decided to dedicate itself to God because only Him can make the Fourth Estate of the Realm, to measure up with the other arms of government. “We want God to make us measure up with the other realms, forgive us for the things we fail to do and may it please Him to cause men to remember us,” he prayed. In a message, the presiding Bishop, New Birth Bible Church, Bishop Josephine Eggah, charged Journalists to live up to expectation in the new dispensation. Bishop Eggah expressed the

TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE

J NUJ Chairman AKS council, Elder Patrick Albert (middle) deliverying the state of the union address during trhe inaugural congress. He is flanked on the left by the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Deacon Aniekan Umanah and on the right by Comrade Joseph Robert, the state Council Secretary. need to bring God into the affairs of the NUJ, saying “you were elected because your rod budded” drawing inspiration from Numbers Chapter 17. He prayed for the leadership and other members, even as he called on the chairman to walk with Jesus, spread his hands and carry members along. The thanksgiving service featured the maiden outing of the NUJ choral group while the choir coordinator assisted

by wife of the state council, Princess Albert led journalists to a moment of dance to the altar. The list of guests included the zone F chairman of the union, Mr. Usaka Useiyifa, Evangelist Pat. Akpabio, Comrade Joe Effiong, Barr. Daniel Ekanem of AKBC Chapel . Others were Special Assistant to the Governor, Mr. Ita Benedict; Publisher of the Sermon Newspaper, Mr. Bonny

Nyong; Chairman, Federated Chapel, Pastor Emmanuel Effiong; Deacon Emmanuel Ebong of Pioneer Chapel, Lucy Daniel of Consolidated Chapel; Essien Ndueso, Sensor Chapel; Mr. David Augustine, Insight Chapel and Inemesit Akpansoh of the Correspondents Chapel as well as Mr. Ekerette Udosen, Frankly Isong, Nsibiet John, Evangelist Saviour Ekpe, and Alhaji Aninu Ebong among others.

Media Abroad

BBC to appoint controller Facebook takes top place in SA’s social for 'fifth channel'

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47

he BBC is to create another top-level job, controller of BBC iPlayer, with the aim of developing the on-demand TV service into the corporation's "fifth channel". Danny Cohen, the BBC's director of television, said the new controller would have a budget of a "few million pounds" to spend, but the final amount is still to be decided. The announcement comes on the back of BBC director Tony Hall's announcement that an enhanced and personalised iPlayer will pay a central role in the corporation's strategy. "I'm going to create a new role – controller of iPlayer to sit alongside BBC1, 2, 3 and 4," he said, speaking at a Royal Television Society event in London. The former BBC1 controller said he hoped that by creating the role people will "begin to see" iPlayer as a "fifth channel ... [so it] has that status", and the controller will manage programming as well as the budget. Cohen explained that the content side of iPlayer will be run by the television division but that it will "work cleverly" on strategy with the technology departments. Under the BBC's plan, iPlayer will not only allow viewers to watch some content online before it is broadcast, it will also give them access to new iPlayer channels, some of them temporary pop-up ones covering events such as Wimbledon. Cohen said the BBC is still working out the details of how the new iPlayer will work but said that "channels still do matter" and that he thinks viewers will continue to watch a hybrid of on-demand and live television.

Glenn Greenwald announces departure from the Guardian

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media landscape

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acebook has overtaken Mxit to become the biggest social network in South Africa, World Wide Worx and Fuseware report in their ‘South African Social Media Landscape 2014’ research study. Facebook now has 9.4 million active users in South Africa. “The most significant finding, aside from the growth itself, was the extent to which social networks are being used on phones in South Africa, says Arthur Goldstuck, managing director of technology market researchers World Wide Worx. No less than 87% of Facebook users and 85% of Twitter users are accessing these tools on their phones.” The drop in popularity of Mxit, the previous market leader, which fell back to 7.4-million users from 9.5-million is due to competing instant messaging services like WhatsApp and 2Go, as well as from the growth of social networking on phones, according to the report. Twitter has grown a whopping 129% in the last 12 months, from 2.4-million to 5.5-million. Photo-sharing app Instagram has proved a huge hit with social media users, exploding from below 100 000 a year ago to 680 000 in August 2013. “We can expect this number to grow even more dramatical-

ournalists in the country have been advised to always be objective in their reporting. A senior lecturer at PanAtlantic University (PAU), Lagos, Dr. Eugene Ohu gave this advice weekend during his interaction with the students of the institution's School of Media and Communication at the university's main campus on Victoria Island, Lagos. He spoke on "Media Ethics." Ohu, who is also the Managing Director of Netorb Media Limited, a social communication outfit, said journalists, irrespective of their medium of news dissemination, should always seek the truth by ensuring that all sides to a story have fair representations in their reports. Otherwise, he pointed out, their reports may cause them embarrassment and at the same time, irredeemable damage to someone or institution somewhere.

ly in the coming year as Instagram becomes a popular app on Android phones, while Android itself is expected to grow significantly in South Africa in the coming year,” says Mike Wronski, managing director of social network analytics company Fuseware. But Google+ has remained the laggard among social networks, with only 466 000 active users, only marginally higher than a year ago. Both social networking and instant messaging apps are dominant in downloads for smartphones and tablets. WhatsApp is presently the most popular app in the Android, Apple and Windows app stores, with Facebook in second place in the Android and Windows stores, while Instagram takes the Apple store runner-up slot. The impact of BlackBerry extending BBM availability to Samsung devices is reflected in the BBM Android app taking third place in the Google Play Store.

lenn Greenwald, the journalist who broke a string of stories about widespread electronic surveillance by the National Security Agency based on files leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden, has announced that he is leaving the Guardian. In a statement posted on his blog, Greenwald said: "My partnership with the Guardian has been extremely fruitful and fulfilling. I have high regard for the editors and journalists with whom I worked and am incredibly proud of what we achieved. "The decision to leave was not an easy one, but I was presented with a once-in-a-career opportunity that no journalist could possibly decline. "Because this news leaked before we were prepared to announce it, I'm not yet able to provide any details of this momentous new venture, but it will be unveiled very shortly." A Guardian spokesperson said: "Glenn Greenwald is a remarkable journalist and it has been fantastic working with him. Our work together over the past year has demonstrated the crucial role that responsible investigative journalism can play in holding those in power to account. "We are, of course, disappointed by Glenn's decision to move on, but can appreciate the attraction of the new role he has been offered. We wish him all the best." Greenwald


Cocktail

48

Thursday, October 17, 2013

FOR YOUR SUCCESS

WITH DR. DEJI FOLUTILE

Today's Tonic (216)

Motivation is essential for massive production. T.D Jakes Motivate Yourself! No one can live productively without one form of motivation or the other. There are times when the interest will wane and the tasks of the moment will seem too hard to undertake. We need motivation during these times and the best from of motivation is self-motivation. If we leave our motivation for other to do for us, we are only setting ourselves up for discouragement. It is true that people may do or say things to us that will really motivate us to keep pressing on,-but we need to learn early that the best person that can motivate us is ourselves. Self motivation is powerful. If you want to live a real productive living, learn to motivate yourself on constant basis. DR. DEJI FOLUTILE Tel: 08035219966 Email: deji.folutile@gmail.com Follow me on Twitter @folutile

$3 000 offered $3,000 ff d for f return t of WW I statue bayonet

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group of Virginia veterans and citizens are offering a $3,000 reward for the return of a bronze bayonet stolen from a statue at a World War I memorial. A $1,000 reward for the return of the bayonet, which was taken from the “Listening Post” statue at the World War I memorial in Lynchburg earlier in October, was put forward last

week, and two more $1,000 rewards were announced this week, The News & Advance, Lynchburg, reported Tuesday. The donors said the rewards will go to anyone who can return the bayonet and identify the person who took it from the statue. The incident marked the second time the bayonet has been stolen from the statue in as many years.

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Oddities

Clinton’s Mercedes ticketed in London

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ormer U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton got a parking ticket in London while she was being honoured for her diplomatic work, officials said Tuesday. A traffic warden ticketed the Mercedes over the protests of her security detail Friday, The Daily Telegraph reported. Clinton was not present because she was at Chatham House, the Royal Institute for International Affairs, receiving the Chatham House Prize. The ticket could cost Clinton 80 pounds ($128), reduced to 40 pounds if she pays within two weeks. Daniel Astaire, a member of the local council for Westminster, said the traffic warden acted responsibly. “The former U.S. secretary of state was parked for nearly 45 minutes without paying,” he said. “I’m sure she will understand that we have to be fair to everyone, re-

gardless of their status on the world stage.” Astaire said that if Clinton returns to West-

Clinton.

minster, she can download an app that will help her to find an available space in the district.

Of course, if Clinton is elected president in 2016, parking will be the least of her problems.

PHOTO: UPI


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Thursday, October 17, 2013

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Community Mirror “Muslims and Christians should work together for peace and unity in Nigeria ”

Traditiional ruler bemoans disparity 50

IMO STATE GOVERNOR; ROCHAS OKOROCHA

Sallah: Lagos residents attribute low-key celebration to lack of funds

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low turnout of revellers on Wednesday characterised most of the fun spots in Lagos, including the beaches and National Arts Theatre. Correspondents of the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, who monitored activities on the second day of the Eid-el-Kabir celebrations, reported that only a few merry makers visited the fun spots. NAN reports that most roads in the metropolis were also devoid of the heavy vehicular traffic that usually characterised Lagos highways. Alhaji Hassan Sharafadeen, a Software Consultant, who spoke to NAN at the Silverbird Galleria, Victoria Island, said that the

economic situation in the country was responsible for the low keyed celebration. “In Nigeria, we do not know how to relax, so this is an opportunity for me to relax and spend time with my family. “But economically, the situation is not encouraging; spending during this period is hard. Last year, the economy was a little bit better. “Last year, the parking area was filled up and there was hardly any space to park, but today cars parked here are few,” he said. Also, John Richard, a teller at the Box Office, Silverbird Galleria, said that the turnout at the centre was encouraging. “The crowd has been encourag-

ing since yesterday that the Sallah celebration began. We have competitors and I know that some people will be visiting other places. Last year was better because we did not have many competitors, compared to this year,” he said Hajia Barakat Yusuf, a business woman, who was at the Bar Beach with her family, said that she usually travelled to the village during Sallah, but could not, this year. Yusuf said that her family did not travel because there was no money. “To me, last year was better because we travelled. This year, there is no money and the little available, we need to manage for the children’s upkeep.

An exhausted child hawker sleeping at a bus-stop on Marina, Lagos.

“Since we could not travel, we decided to come to the beach to make them happy and feel the mood of the festive period,” she said. Prince Adebayo Adebayo, a fun seeker, said that he and his family were at the Bar Beach to relax. “It is not because we have the money, but we just need to keep our hopes high and believe that the future will be better,” he said. At the National Arts Theatre, Iganmu, Mrs Mariam Salimon, a teacher, however, said that this year’s celebration was better, compared to last year. “To me, this year’s turnout at the theatre is better. I brought my family out here to relax and enjoy the period,” she said.

PHOTO:ADEMOLA

LAWMA to engage more marine workers to tackle water hyacinth

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he Lagos State Waste Management Authority, LAWMA, has said that more marine workers will be employed, to clear the city lagoon of water hyacinth. The Managing Director of LAWMA, Mr Ola Oresanya who made the disclosure said more harvesters will be acquired to reduce water weeds on the lagoon. Water hyacinth is a freeflowing perennial plant that can grow to a height of three feet,

covering water bodies and impeding navigation. “We know the danger the presence of water hyacinth poses to our waterways, especially to our local fishermen, traders and others travelling by water. We have, therefore, deployed more water weed harvesters and traps to strategic places on our waters. “Also, we are increasing the number of marine workers to enable them cover the `hot’ spots. We strongly believe that with these arrangements on

ground, water hyacinth will be drastically reduced this season.” Oresanya said that the organisation had decided to redouble its efforts at reducing the weeds, to forestall a recurrence of water accidents in the state. The managing director blamed the incidence of boat mishaps in Epe to the large volume of water hyacinth in the area. He said: “The government of Lagos State cannot continue to lose its citizens and residents to accidents caused by water

hyacinth.What happened in Epe recently is enough to make us to be proactive in reducing these dangers associated with its presence. That is why we have decided to put these arrangements on ground, to avert such water accidents.” Oresanya also said that his organisation’s was planning to intensify the awareness campaign in Epe and other communities on the need to desist from dumping solid waste into the water bodies.

Women vow to fight sexual harassment, child labour

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he Women’s Wing of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), on Wednesday, said that it was mobilising to fight sexual harassment targeted at women, child labour, as well as under-age marriage. The Chairperson of the Lagos wing of the congress, Ms Olubunmi Abikoye, stated this in an interview with news men. “We are working on a programme to move against women’s sexual harassment and child labour, including under-age marriage, before the year runs out. We are mobilising support to show that we are not in support of the sexual harassment that is going on both in the public and private sectors, at an alarming rate. We also frown at child marriage and say no to it,” she said. Abikoye said that the union was partnering some NGOs and women’s groups in various organisations, market women and the grassroots, to carry women from all cadres along. She called on both the federal and state governments to revert maternity leave for women back to 84 working days, instead of the current 84 days that included weekends. “The 84 days with weekends are not enough for a woman who has carried a pregnancy for nine months to take care of herself and baby after birth. Government should, therefore, revert to the 84 working days maternity leave,” she said. Abikoye advised women in the private sector to watch out for clauses that peg maternity leave at one month and reject them, while signing employment contracts. She said that the wing was working with various women’s groups to identify other areas where women’s rights were being violated, in order to tackle them. She expressed concern about the violation of women’s rights in the banking and insurance sectors and vowed that the union would tackle them.


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Community Mirror

Ebonyi farmers benefit from GES in 2013 – Commissioner

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o fewer than 57, 000 Ebonyi farmers have benefited from the Federal Government’s Growth Enhancement Support scheme, GES, in 2013, says Chief Romanus Nwasum, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources. Nwasum made this known in Abakaliki during the celebration of this year’s World Food Day in the state. The GES is the flagship programme of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda of the Federal Government under which farmers receive fertilisers and seeds through an electronic system known as the ewallet. Under the programme, a registered farmer receives two bags of fertiliser and maize seeds free of charge. He said: “So far, 92 bags of fertiliser were distributed to farmers in the 20 redemption centres across the 13 local government areas of the state. The state is equally in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to raise more than 70,000 oil palm seedlings to be given to farmers next year.” According to him, the state government has procured 20 new four-wheel tractors under its agricultural revolution programme, to boost mechanised farming in the state. “The government has also revitalised and resuscitated the Ebonyi Poultry Farm through partnership with Cross River International Consulting Inc. “It has also inaugurated three modern rice processing mills across the three Senatorial zones of the state and has distributed improved cassava stems to over 2,000 farmers under the 2013 Cassava Value Chain programme.” He noted that the theme of this year’s celebration which is ‘Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition’ was apt, as it highlights and raises awareness to the existing problems and proffer solutions to issues of global food security. “Ebonyi is on the right track in ensuring food security and nutrition as the farmers trained at Songhai Farms, Benin Republic, have commenced their agricultural ventures and started training others. This ensures the expansion of modern agricultural techniques to a large number of farmers and heightens public awareness on the need to fight hunger in the state,” the commissioner said.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Traditional ruler bemoans disparity between the rich and poor SUBERU FRANCIS

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he traditional ruler and the overlord of Ajah and Okun Ajah, in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos, Chief Fatai Abiodun Olumegbon has bemoaned the disparity between the rich and poor in the country. In his Eid-el-Kabir message to the nation, Olumegbon observed that majority of Nigerians are hungry and urged government at all levels to be sensitive to their plights. He urged government to reflect on the situation and take care of the people saying ‘’ people are hungry and they are begging for alms in order to feed

themselves and their families’’. Chief Olumegbon stated that those in government should know that they are serving the people adding that Nigeria will only excel when those in power realise that they are serving the people and not the other way round. He said ‘’the disparity between the rich and poor is too wide and people are aggrieved. In the past civil servants earned good salaries and trained their children but now things have changed’’. He urged Nigerian to use the Eid-el-Kabir celebration to meditate on the enormous benefits the nation can derive from a greater display of honesty, tolerance and peaceful co-existence

with others. On his achievements since he became a traditional ruler, he said ‘’whether you like me or not you must respect me because I have done my best to liberate people from poverty. “When I came to Ajah, it was in a mess and there was no secondary school but I spoke to the Commissioner of Education in Lagos State who provided a junior secondary school for us. But, up till now we do not have a senior secondary school not talking of a university’’. Chief Olumegbon however debunked the rumour that there is kidnapping in Lagos State saying; ‘’Olofin, our progenitor has promised that there would be no war in Lagos State ,

Dangerous trading: A young boy selling food items on a busy road on Lagos Island, yesterday.

MULAN urges leaders to make sacrifices for the nation

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he Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria (MULAN), Lagos chapter, have urged Nigerian leaders to imbibe the spirit of sacrifice for the good of the nation. Chairman of the chapter, Mr Mussodiq Sanni, stated this in an interview with news men. Sanni said the lessons of obedience and sacrifice exemplified by Prophet Ibrahim-- which led to the celebration of Eid-elKabir-- should be emulated by Nigerian leaders. He said: “The leaders of the people should know what the people want and they should be ready to make sacrifices. When you are elected into an office, you should leave your own selfish interest and

focus on the interest of the masses. That is the type of sacrifice that the office demands.” According to him, Nigeria is blessed with abundant human and natural resources which can be used for the benefit of the people. Sanni commended President Goodluck Jonathan for backing the convocation of a national conference to address the challenges facing the country. He said: “I am happy that the president has accepted what the people want. That shows that he has learnt from Prophet Ibrahim that a leader needs to do what the people want and what is good for the whole nation.”

even the Biafra War of 1967 did not extend to Lagos’’. On the crisis in Ajah, he urged the people in the community to continue to pray for peace in Ajah and tolerate one another. He said ‘’I am a graduate of History. There is something in History we call land tenure system in Africa. This land tenureship in Africa makes it difficult to differentiate the clear owners of land and their tenants. “Within the compound you have the original owners, you have the squatters and the squatters have children, they have grandchildren, they will tell you they are part of the owners. So, it is not peculiar to Nigeria, it is not only in Nigeria that we fight over land.

PHOTO:ADEMOLA AKINLABI

Youths pledge to support petro chemical firm HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE

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ouths of Mahin, Etikan and Aheri communities in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State have pledged to support the development of Olokol Free Trade Zone,OTFZ. The youths, who made this known at a press conference in Akure, Ondo State capital also commended the chairman of Dangote group of companies, for his foresight and plan to establish a petrochemical industry and fertiliser plant in the state. Speaking on behalf of the youth, chairman of Mahin, Aheri and Etikan youths organisation,Nelson Ololajulo said the development will create employment opportunities

for the youths, even as he noted that the state’s peaceful atmosphere is responsible for building of the industries. He said “It is a fact that Ondo State is the most peaceful in the Niger Delta and we are ready to allow the status quo to remain.” The youths however assured the investor of hitch- free operation with a pledge to provide adequate security to the workers and equipment. He said “The youths are assuring Dangote group of companies of a hitch-free operations and secured environment, since the investment will attract rapid development and unprecedented employment generation to the area. We will guard against any breakdown of law and order when plants commence operations.


Thursday, October 17, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

51

World News

US Senate leaders announce deal to end shutdown, raise debt

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PAUL ARHEWE,

WITH AGENCY REPORTS

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he British government has begun a probe of a Nigerian woman, Dr. Tina Beloveth Powerful, whose school is named Havard School UK. She has also been sued by the Harvard University in the United States for using almost the same name. The UK Milton Keynes Trading Standards department is conducting the investigations into the controversy surrounding Powerful’s university that runs from a city centre flat in North Third Street in CMK in the United Kingdom. A spokesman for Trading Standards confirmed that the Nigerian is under investigation but refused to give details. “As it is an ongoing investigation we cannot comment in detail about it,” he said. Media reports, however, suggest the trading standards investigation may involve false claims on Havard’s website that the school is affiliated to the Institute of Administrative Management. The wording on the school’s website has been changed to read “is to be accredited to.” However, Dr. Beloveth Powerful insists she has not done anything wrong, adding that she was on a “mission from God to help people study.” “I have six degrees myself, two of them from Nigeria where I came from,” she said in a report. “I transformed my life and God has given me power to transform others’.” The Nigerian claimed she is

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Mukwege

It will hopefully be the beginning of a new phase” in relations between Iran and the six powers” –EU FOREIGN POLICY CHIEF CATHERINE ASHTON

UK investigates Nigerian who runs university from flat not aware of the trading standards investigations into Havard. Dr. Powerful, whose school is named Havard School of Management and Technology UK, is also being sued by Harvard University of the US. The American university, which name differs from Dr. Powerful’s institution by just a letter, is suing for alleged trademark infringement. But Dr Powerful is counterclaiming for £2 million – the money, she says, she has spent so far on setting up her school. “A good name is better than silver and gold,” she said. “Having said that, we are telling them we want to step aside but we have spent money in advertising, marketing and productions.” The 46-year-old Nigerian also denied claims she caused academic confusion by calling her school Havard, explaining that the name ‘Havard’ was from her grandfather. “My paternal grandfather’s first name was Havard. I chose to immortalise his name. I never thought about Harvard,” she said. After her university degree at the University of Port Harcourt, where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Language, Powerful secured a well-paying, high- brow job with the Banking Industry abroad and rose to become a Strategic Banking Branch

Powerful

Manager. She also obtained a Masters degree in Business Administration Executive (MBA) at the University of Lagos in 1998. This former bank manager recently completed her Master of Laws (LLM) with a merit 2008 and Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from the University of Buckingham respectively, where she won the Universi-

Congolese surgeon awarded civil courage prize

Congolese surgeon who treated tens of thousands of women who were gangraped received a prize honouring his courage. Denis Mukwege accepted the 2013 Civil Courage Prize, awarded by the New York-based Train Foundation, on Tuesday for his work at the Panzi Hospital, which he founded in 1999 in the capital of the war-

“Very intensive and I think a very important meeting.

torn province of South Kivu. “Meeting these women completely changed my life,” Mukwege said. “My profession as a medical doctor led me to become a direct witness to a mass crime that is hard to fully understand. This is because sexual violence targets our most precious resource: our mothers, our wives and our daughters.” The UN has said various armed groups are behind rapes in eastern Congo. The Congolese army and M23 rebels it fights also have been accused of raping civilians. Eastern Congo’s mineral riches have been exploited for years by a myriad of armed rebel groups and militias who have used violence to control the region’s mines.

M23 formally launched its rebellion last year, drawing its name from a failed March 23, 2009 peace agreement with the Congolese government. Mukwege said in his speech that rape is probably “history’s oldest and least condemned crime” and said that struggles over the metals used in cell phones have contributed to the loss of 5 million lives in his country. “There is nothing inevitable about this situation,” he said. “We can bring positive change to the Congo.” Last year, Mukwege in a speech at the United Nations, lashed out at the international community for its inaction on his country’s civil war. He moved to Europe following an assassination attempt against him last October.

ty of Buckingham overall best student award in Jurisprudence (2006). She also obtained a Post Graduate Diploma in the Redeemers School of Discipleship UK in 2009. Her husband, Pastor Emma Powerful, also called as Pastor Uchenna Emmanuel Onyedike is the Senior Pastor of Belovet International Ministries-The City Of God and also a Co-founder Agapelove Stop Youth Crimes Global Network Charity/Welfare Outreach of the Beloveth International Ministries.

South African suspects questioned after toddlers’ murders

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hree people in South Africa have been detained over the murders of two toddlers that have sparked riots in Diepsloot township, police have said. The bodies of two girls, aged two and three, were found dumped in community toilets on Tuesday morning after they went missing on Saturday. Protests then broke out with residents accusing the police of failing to protect the community. President Jacob Zuma urged people not to take the law into their own hands.

WORLD BULLETIN

South African banks hit by Internet card fraud syndicate

South African banks have been swindled out of millions of dollars this year by an international fraud syndicate that stole card details from restaurant chains, the Payments Association of South Africa said yesterday. Card fraud has been on the rise in Africa’s biggest economy over the last two years despite efforts to replace magnetic stripe cards with the more secure chip variation, PASA said. The latest scheme, which was devised through a variant of the software virus known as Dexter, most likely originated in Europe. “It was certainly cleverly written. It took a while to detect,” said Walter Volker, chief executive at PASA, adding that all South African banks - including industry leader Standard Bank and smaller rivals FirstRand, Barclays Africa Group and Nedbank - had been affected. The syndicate targeted computers at restaurant chains with a virus that sent back details of customer cards. The information was used to clone cards or sold on to other criminals, PASA said. Standard Group, the continent’s largest bank, said some of its credit, debit and check card customers had been affected. “Immediate and pro-active steps have been taken by Standard Bank and at an industry level to identify and limit the extent of the potential exposure,” it said in a statement. Nedbank also confirmed that some of its customers had been affected, but said the number of incidents was limited. No one was immediately available for comment at FirstRand or Barclays Africa.

Egypt-US relations in turmoil –Foreign Minister

Relations between the United States and Egypt are now in turmoil and the entire Middle East could suffer, the Egyptian foreign minister said in remarks made a week after Washington moved to curtail military aid to Cairo. Nabil Fahmy told state-run AlAhram newspaper that Egypt had been dependent on U.S. aid for too long but Washington was wrong to assume the Cairo government would always follow its line. “We are now in a delicate state reflecting the turmoil in the relationship and anyone who says otherwise is not speaking honestly,” he said in comments published on Wednesday. U.S. officials said the aid cut reflected Washington’s unhappiness with Egypt’s path since the army overthrew freely-elected President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood on July 3. Egypt has already criticized the decision and suggested it could turn to other countries for military aid, possibly Russia.


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World News

WORLD BULLETIN Iran offers nuclear concessions, next talks set for November Iran appears ready to scale back activity of potential use in making nuclear bombs, suggesting it is willing to compromise for a deal to win relief from harsh economic sanctions, diplomats said yesterday, and follow-up talks will be held on November 7-8. Details of Iran’s proposals, presented during two days of nuclear negotiations in Geneva with six world powers, have not been released, and Western officials were unsure whether Tehran was prepared to go far enough to clinch a breakthrough deal. But, in a clear sign of hope, European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said it was agreed to hold the next round of negotiations in three weeks in Geneva, and Iran’s chief negotiator praised this week’s discussions as “fruitful”. After a six-month hiatus, Iran and the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany began negotiations in earnest on Tuesday to end a long, festering stand-off that could boil over into a new Middle East war.

Minibus blast kills 21 in southern Syria

Twenty-one people, including four children and six women, were killed when a minibus hit a mine in the southern Syrian town of Noa yesterday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said. Opposition activists told the Observatory the minibus drove over a mine planted by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad. There was no immediate comment from the government. The explosion was reported in rebel-held territory in Deraa province but army troops are also stationed in the nearby base of Tel al-Jumaa, which is besieged. Assad’s forces are battling an uprising that grew out of protests against his family’s four-decade grip on the country. Violence has continued in recent days despite pleas from Arab and Muslim organizations for a ceasefire to mark the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha.

Clashes follow peaceful Brazil’s protests

Demonstrations in support of teachers were generally calm, but small groups of activists battled with police at night. Police and small groups of protesters have clashed in Brazil’s two biggest cities at the end of peaceful demonstrations demanding better pay for teachers and affordable housing. I can’t believe this is my Brazil, my city. This isn’t democracy. Most demonstrators headed home in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo on Tuesday night but hundreds of masked members of the so-called Black Bloc anarchist group started hurling petrol bombs, rocks, bottles and pieces of wood at police who had accompanied the protest marches. Police then used tear gas and percussion grenades to disperse the activists. “I can’t believe this is my Brazil, my city,” screamed one man, eyes teared up from floating gas. “This isn’t democracy.”

Thursday, October 17, 2013

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op American senators struck a deal yesterday to reopen the government and extend the federal government’s borrowing authority into next year and both sides of the Capitol are hoping for quick action to reassure nervous financial markets eyeing a Thursday deadline set by the Treasury Department. “The compromise we reached will provide our economy with the stability it desperately needs,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said after him and his GOP counterpart, Sen. Mitch McConnell, struck the deal. For Republicans, the deal was more about getting an embarrassing couple of weeks behind them than in being able to claim victory in a deal that they felt compelled to make. “It’s my hope that today we can put some of those most urgent issues behind us,” McConnell said. The agreement by Reid and McConnell signals the bill should clear the Senate, but it must also survive the House, where Republicans have the majority but leaders have shown little ability to control the floor. The legislation will likely require House Democrats to provide the majority of support. The deal would reopen the government with a stopgap spending bill running to Jan. 15, and would extend the government’s borrowing authority through at least Feb. 7. It would also require both the House and Senate to name negotiators to try to reach a final deal on a 2014 budget, giving them a December deadline. The only major concession Republicans won was to include strict income monitoring of those seeking taxpayer subsidies under Obamacare. Some conservatives in both

US Senate leaders announce deal to end shutdown, raise debt

Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., walks to the Senate floor after agreeing to the framework of a deal to avoid default and reopen the government on Capitol Hill, yesterday. PHOTO: AP

the House and Senate had originally hoped to use the battle over the government shutdown to force spending cuts or even the repeal the president’s health care law. The Treasury Department had said it would run out of manoeuvring room under the $16.7 trillion debt limit on Thursday, leaving it to payout bills only with the cash still coming in from taxes and fees. But Barclays financial services firm said in a memo Wednesday that it believes that cash would be enough to keep the government afloat through the end of the month, buying time for lawmakers to go through the hurdles of passing a bill through both chambers and getting it to President Obama’s desk.

In laying out the deal he struck, McConnell sought to shift the focus to the next battle already looming over the budget sequesters. Democrats have sought to

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It crashed in bad weather just before it was due to land at Pakse airport, Lao Airlines said on its Facebook page. It said there was no news of any survivors so far. Thai foreign ministry spokesman Sek Wannamethee said there were 39 passengers and five crew aboard the plane, citing information from the Thai Embassy in Vientiane. Thai TV pictures show a

The Lao Airlines fleet includes six ATR 72s

undo the cuts, which are set to see a second round go into effect on Jan. 15. But McConnell said the next few months for Republicans will be about defending those cuts.

Sustainable food systems vital to end hunger, malnutrition –UN

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fficient, well-managed and sustainable food systems are essential to end hunger and malnutrition as well as protect the environment, United Nations officials stressed today, marking World Food Day. “The key to better nutrition, and ultimately to ensuring each person’s right to food, lies in better food systems – smarter approaches, policies and investments encompassing the envi-

44 dead as plane crashes into river in Laos t least 44 people aboard a domestic flight in Laos were killed when the plane crashed in the south, officials in neighbouring Thailand said. Seven of the dead are French nationals, officials in Paris said. Thais, Chinese and South Koreans were also killed. The plane belonging to staterun Lao Airlines came down in the Mekong River on a flight from the capital Vientiane.

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

plane half-submerged in the river, a news agency reported. A foreign national living in Pakse told the Bangkok Post by email of chaotic scenes as victims’ bodies were brought in. “The Chinese Temple in front of my house has become an emergency centre,” he said. The crashed plane is believed to be an ATR 72 - a French-Italian manufactured twin-engine plane commonly used by airlines in the region. Those on board are reported to also include five Thai nationals, three South Koreans and two Chinese citizens. The flight between the capital Vientiane and Pakse is frequently used by foreign tourists, says BBC South-East Asia correspondent Jonathan Head. Lao Airlines is small company with just 14 aircraft in its fleet, and until now, a good safety record, BBC added.

ronment, people, institutions and processes by which agricultural products are produced, processed and brought to consumers in a sustainable manner,” SecretaryGeneral Ban Ki-moon said in his message for the Day. “Every day, more than 840 million people go hungry in a world of plenty. This fact alone should be cause for moral outrage and concerted action.” The theme of this year’s Day, which is celebrated on 16 October in honour of the date of the founding of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 1945, is “Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition.” A food system is made up of the environment, people, institutions and processes by which agricultural products are produced, processed and brought to consumers. Every aspect of the food system has an effect on the final availability and accessibility of diverse, nutritious foods – and therefore on consumers’ ability to choose healthy diets. However, policies and interventions on food systems are rarely designed with nutrition as their primary objective. “Addressing malnutrition requires integrated action and complementary interventions in agriculture and the food system, in natural resource management, in public health and education, and in broader policy domains,” FAO said.


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Thursday, October 17, 2013

World News

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Death toll in Philippines quake now 144

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government official said the death toll from the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that hit the Philippines has risen to 144. Civil Defence Director Eduardo del Rosario said yesterday that another 291 people are injured. The central island of Bohol, a popular tourist area, was hit hardest by Tuesday morning’s quake, with widespread damage to houses and historic churches. A day after the quake, Bohol Gov. Edgardo Chatto said that all towns in need had been reached, although landslides and damaged bridges were slowing down road travel. The quake happened at 08:12 (00:12 GMT) on a national holiday. The US Geological Survey said it struck below the island of

Bohol, where officials reported most casualties. People were also killed in the province of Cebu. Historic churches were among the many damaged buildings, and stampedes were reported in two cities. At least 69 of those confirmed dead were from Bohol, according to reports citing disaster management officials. Fifteen people are known to have been killed in Cebu, and another was reported dead on the neighbouring island of Siquijor. Dozens of others are also being treated for injuries. Search and rescue operations are being conducted, with rescuers finding themselves hampered by damaged roads. At least five people died when part of a fishing port collapsed in Cebu, and two others were also reported

dead when a roof fell at a market. At least three people also died during a stampede at a sports complex in Cebu, provincial disaster chief Neil Sanchez said. “There was panic when the quake happened and there was a rush toward the exit,” he told a news agency. The tremor triggered power cuts in parts of Bohol, Cebu and neighbouring areas, say reports citing the country’s disaster management agency. Officials from Bohol and Cebu have declared a state of emergency in their respective provinces, local media said. An official from the government agency which monitors earthquake activity was quoted as saying that this was the strongest tremor felt in the area in the last 23 years.

A huge crack has appeared in a road in Bohol province as a result of the earthquake.

Damage was also reported in neighbouring Cebu, about an hour away by plane from the capital, Manila.

The quake struck underneath Bohol Island, damaging structures like this old church in Loboc town. PHOTOS: REUTERS

Space rock pulled from Russian lake

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ivers working at a Russian lake have recovered a halftonne chunk of the space rock that exploded over Chelyabinsk earlier this year. The object plunged into Lake Chebarkul in central Russia on 15 February, leaving a 6m-wide hole in the ice. Scientists say that it is the largest fragment of the meteorite yet found. More than 1,000 people were injured when a 17m, 10,000-tonne space rock burned up over Central Russia, breaking windows and rocking buildings. Live footage showed a team pull out a 1.5-metrelong (five-foot-long) rock from the lake after first wrapping it in a special

covering and placing it on a metal sheet while it was still underwater. The fragment was then pulled ashore and placed on top of a scale for weighing, an operation that quickly went wrong. The rock broke up into at least three large pieces as it was lifted from the ground with the help of levers and ropes. Then the scale itself broke, the moment it hit the 570kg (1,255lb) mark. Dr Caroline Smith, curator of meteorites at London’s Natural History Museum, confirmed that the object was a meteorite from characteristic features known as fusion crust and regmaglypts, which are obvious in images. She told BBC News:

“Fusion crust forms as the meteoroid is travelling through the atmosphere as a fireball. “The outer surface gets so hot it melts the rock to form a dark, glassy surface crust which we term a fusion crust. Regmaglypts are the indentations, which look a bit like thumbprints, also seen on the surface of the meteorite.” Lake Chebarkul The fragment left a 6m-wide hole in the frozen lake back in February Sergey Zamozdra, an associate professor at Chelyabinsk State University, told the Interfax news agency: “The preliminary examination... shows that this is really a fraction of the Chelyabinsk meteorite.

At least five people died when part of this port building collapsed in Cebu.

Many were also evacuated from buildings, like this hospital in Cebu, where patients were led to safer areas.


54

North

Thursday, October 17, 2013

National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Aliyu working against Northern unity –CAN A ZA MSUE KADUNA

T

he Christian Association of Nigeria in the 19 northern states and the Federal

Capital Territory (FCT) yesterday accused Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu of working against Northern unity. In an interview with journalists in Kaduna,

CAN’s Public Relations Officer, Mr. Sunday Oibe, described Aliyu as one of the major persons working against Northern unity. Oibe said: “There can never be one North when

leaders like the Niger State governor openly discriminates against Christians. “Governor Aliyu, who recently alleged that there were plots to cause disunity among Northerners

National Vice Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in North-East, Alhaji Umar Duhu (right), presenting a gift to Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa during the Sallah homage visit to the Government House in Yola, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Lack of integrity among leaders may spark off revolution –Bishop WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN

T

he seeming lack of integrity among Nigeria’s leaders may lead to a revolution, an Anglican Church Bishop has said. The Diocesan Bishop of Omu Aran in Kwara State, Rt. Revd Philip Adeyemo, stated this during the Second Synod of the Church,

blaming the challenges confronting the country on the leaders’ attitude. The cleric claimed that the Britons who colonised Nigeria failed to solve the country’s diversity in economies, cultures, religions and education and that both the successive military and civilian regimes also failed to tackle the problem. According to him, all

the past nation’s leaders failed simply because they lacked integrity. Revd Adeyemo, however, decried the jumbo pay being given members of the National Assembly at the expense of pressing needs of the masses. The Bishop also did not spare his fellow clergymen who he accused of placing money and material acquisition above their calling. He flayed the attitude of

some clergymen who register churches and make the assets of churches in their names as a way of making their children owners of the belongings of the churches after their death. The cleric, therefore, urged the governments, political leaders, religious leaders and other stakeholders to make integrity their watchword by embracing honesty, seeking wise counsel and pleasing God all the time.

Confusion trails ban on motorcyclists’ activities in Katsina JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA

T

here was confusion during the Sallah break following the dusk-till-dawn ban on the activities of commercial motorcycle and tricycle operators in Katsina State. While police authorities said the ban affected both commercial and private vehicles, the state government insisted the ban affected commercial vehicles only. This is even as motorcycle and tricycle owners lamented indiscriminate arrests by policemen due to what they described as “misleading information

by state government” on the issue. The state government had, shortly before the Sallah break, announced the ban on the activities of the commercial motorcycle and tricycle vehicles from 9:30pm to 6:0am daily. The announcement was contained in a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Press Affairs, Abdulhamid Danjuma, who said that commercial motorcycle and tricycle operators would be affected. But the state Commissioner of Police, Muhammed Hurdi, told journalists that the ban

was enforced because criminals often use motorcycles and tricycles to commit various offences,

adding that members of the violent Boko Haram use motorcycles to launch attacks on people.

and their leaders ahead of the 2015 general elections, was among those working against the unity of the North. “The Niger State governor should stop insinuating that some people are causing division in the North. He is one of those causing the division with his discrimination against Christians. If he truly wants Northern unity, let him start by correcting the imbalance in the political arrangement in Niger State. “Before Aliyu became Niger State governor, there used to be a Christian as deputy governor. But when he became governor, he picked a Muslim as his deputy. Speaker of the state House of Assembly is also a Muslim, in spite of the fact there is a

large number of Christian populations in Niger. “Yet the governor does not see the need to treat Christians fairly and he is shamelessly preaching Northern unity when he is discriminating in his own state. “How can we be talking about one North when people in leadership position openly discriminate against Christians? These so-called leaders are the ones causing division in the North. Let them go and find out how the late Premier of the defunct Northern region, Sir Ahmadu Bello, worked together with people like the late Sunday Awoniyi, the late Ambassador Jolly Tanko Yusuf and several other Christians with their religious and political differences.”

Katsina Emir worried over rustling at Rugu forest JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA

E

mir of Katsina, Alhaji Abdulmumini Kabir Usman, has expressed worry over activities of bandits and cattle rustlers around the Rugu forest area. The forest, located in Faskari Local Government Area, recently witnessed series of nefarious activities in which farmers and herdsmen were killed and dispossessed of their animals and other belongings. Many of the rustlers and bandits, according to reports, often came from neighbouring Zamfara State to perpetrate the attack. It was learnt that the bandits use the forest as hideout or escape route after terrorising commu-

nity members. Speaking yesterday on the issue, Alhaji Usman said traditional chiefs had recently written to him complaining about the atrocities taking place within and around the forest. He said theircomplain had been sent to the governor and that the state’s traditional institution and other stakeholders would soon sit to look at ways to address the issue. The emir, however, called for urgent action tackle the terrorism being perpetrated around the Rugu forest, saying: “Let us do something to overpower the situation before the situation overpowers us.” He also called for more prayers to solve the problem, adding that “prayer is stronger than guns, bows and arrows.”

Group makes case for basic education growth in Kogi WALE IBRAHIM LOKOJA

A

group has called on the Kogi State Government to commit more funds and manpower towards revamping primary education for robust development. The Coordinator of Kogi Economic Literacy for Budget Accountability in Governance (KELBAG), Mr Victor Adejoh, made the call in his opening address at the group’s quarterly

meeting in Lokoja. He explained that the formative stage of an individual’s life was often at the basic education level, stating that quality primary education was fundamental to formation of character for a better society. Adejoh indentified poor reading culture, malpractices and mass failure in public examinations as major challenges threatening the education sector. The coordinator said: “While a lot of resources

have been invested in tertiary education, the government has not paid adequate attention to basic education. This accounts for the many challenges facing the state with youths engagement in examination malpractices, deviant behaviours, dearth of knowledge and skills in reading, writing and spoken English.” Adejoh, however, urged members of the KELBAG, supported by ActionAid Nigeria, not to relent in their

efforts to partner government in the formulation, implementation and monitoring of budget policies. Urging KELBAG members to see themselves as an integral part of government, the coordinator said: “The bedrock of good governance is its accountability and transparency.” Adejoh is also the Director, Participation Initiative for Behavioural Change in Development (PIBCID), a Kogi State-based civil society organisation.


National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

News

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Abuja parks record low turnout of fun seekers

S

ome recreational centres in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, on Wednesday recorded low turnout of fun seekers during the Eid-el Kabir celebrations, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports. Some of the fun seekers who spoke to NAN at the parks, blamed the poor turnout on a lack of money and the current security crisis in the country. Only a few fun seekers could be seen at some of the resorts, including the Millennium Park and Mai-

tama Amusement Park. Mr. Dahiru Isa, who was at the Millennium Park, said that the festivity afforded Muslims and Christians an opportunity to meet at the resorts to celebrate together. Isa said there was need for Christians and Muslims to show love to each other for the unity of the country, expressing satisfaction with security arrangement at the park. “As you can see, many Christians here are having fun, this is a clear demonstration of love. They have

taken out time to join us, their Muslims brothers and friends in celebrating. “It is not out of place, it is the wish of God for this country, otherwise He would not have put us together. So, my appeal is that we should embrace each other in the interest of peace,” he said. Also, Mr. Innocent Oguh, another picnicker, said that he was at the park with his family to have fun and celebrate with Muslims. He called for continued love between Christians

and Muslims for the progress of the country, noting that no meaningful development could be realised in an atmosphere of distrust and fear. Mrs. Zainab Mohammed, who spoke to NAN at the Maitama Amusement Park, however, blamed the poor turnout on inadequate recreational facilities. She urged the management of the parks to put necessary facilities in place to attract good patronage, particularly during festive seasons.

55

Sallah: Kano Emirate Council cancels Durbar over Emir's health

T

he Kano Emirate Council on Wednesday said that the traditional Durbar to commemorate the Eidel-Kabir celebration was cancelled due to the health condition of the Emir, Alhaji Ado Bayero. Briefing journalists in Kano, the District Head of Dala, Alhaji Aminu Bayero, announced the cancellation of all traditional activities planned for the Eid-el-Kabir celebration. Among the traditional Sallah activities are

Hawan Sallah, Hawan Daushe, Hawan Nasarawa and Hawan Dorayi. Aminu, however, did not give details of the health condition of the Emir. The district head also said that the riding of horses in Kano Metropolis by youths had been outlawed. He said the decision was taken because of the manner some of the youths rode the horses, which had endangered lives of the masses, particularly children.

Children having fun at the Maitama Amusement Park in Abuja, during the Eid-el-Kabir holiday, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, felicitating with children, at a party held for children at the Governor’s Office, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta...yesterday

Fun seekers at the Ministry of Education round-about during the Eid-el-Kabir celebration in Bauchi State, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN

Muslim pilgrims performing the ritual of throwing pebbles at three walls – the “Jamarat” (stoning of the devil) – in Mina, Mecca, yesterday. PHOTO: BBC

Youths playing with horns of Eid rams in Lagos, yesterday.

A group entertaining people with hyenas in Yola, Adamawa State, yesterday.

PHOTO: YINKA ADEPARUSI

PHOTO: NAN


WORLD RECORD

Lowest prison rate (country) Vol. 03 No. 722

C

Thursday, October 17, 2013

N150

As of 2008, the country with least prisoners, out of a list of 218 countries for which data was available, was San Marino with only one.

Lessons from Pakistan and China

hildren learn by imitation, nations learn by emulation. Al-Jazeera reported during the week that protesters in Pakistan formed a long human chain around a Catholic Church as a form of human shield after the Taliban bombed a church earlier in the week. Surprisingly, most of the protesters involved were Muslims who said they took the great risk of protecting the church as service went on inside because they believe that every Pakistani should be allowed freedom of worship as guaranteed by their constitution. Even though the country is predominantly Muslim with a strong Taliban presence, it is interesting that youths came out in defence of the Christian minority, who are under siege in that country. We have not seen this kind of patriotic action from our people in the face of Boko Haram’s incessant attacks on places of worship,

THE PRINCE OF NIGERIA PARADIGM Chris

Okotie

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

schools and other public institutions that continue to kill people in their thousands; instead our leaders continue to play politics with this outrageous terror war. That is why it seems to defy solution because there are some people in the corridors of power who profit from this vicious campaign. While President Goodluck Jonathan himself once said that there were Boko Haram sympathisers in his government, it is unfortunate that his Intelligence experts have not been able to fish out these fifth columnists. Despite the declaration of the state of emergency and the subsequent deployment of military force against the insurgents, they have continued their violent campaigns with a new hit and run tactic targeted at schools. What I find most inspiring about the Pakistani example is that it is an inter-faith action by ordinary citizens of that troubled country who are determined to reclaim their country from the Taliban, an external terrorists group which aligns with al-Qaeda to destabilize the Asian nation. Ordinary Nigerians must know that until we say ‘No’ to the Boko Haram elements in our midst this terror war may not end; and there’s the danger it could get even worse. The second lesson from Pakistan also came from a young girl, Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the neck by Taliban forces because of her campaign to get girls into school in the country where the Islamists openly resist such development. After a lifesaving surgery in England, Malala Yousafzia has continued her campaign in the face of a clear and present danger to her life. The

IT IS WORRISOME

THAT OUR YOUTHS, WHO ARE SUPPOSED TO BE THE LEADERS OF TOMORROW,

CONTRIBUTE LITTLE TO NATIONAL DISCOURSE exemplary conduct of this brave teenager has led to her consideration in some influential circles for nomination for the Nobel Peace prize someday. Our venal youths have a lot to learn from this girl whose courage and commitment to so noble a cause is winning the admiration of the world. One expected our youths to have come out and protest attempts to legalise child marriage by the National Assembly in the heat of that debate. For the fourth month now, university students have been at home because of the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). Little has been heard from students and youth groups over this protracted strike which is now deadlocked because government and the striking lectures refused to shift ground. It is worrisome that our youths, who are supposed to be the leaders of tomorrow, contribute little to national discourse. They seem to be preoccupied with Reality Television Shows; various forms of organised crime: kidnapping, cyber fraud, rape and violence. Sometimes, one begins to wonder

how prepared our youths are for the challenges of leadership. At a time when they should be actively participating in the quest for the repositioning of the country, most youths are more interested in working as thugs for politicians of fortunes who are seeking public office by hook or crook. No country can transform without the active involvement of its youths. To appreciate the impact of youths in the development of a country, read this excerpt from a speech in Lagos recently by Dr Liu Xianfa, Consul-General of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to commemorate the founding of modern China. “In these 64 years, especially the past 35 years of reforming and opening-up, the hardworking and creative Chinese people have changed our ancient yet young motherland dramatically. Today, China’s economy ranks second; trade volume, the first; patent applications, the first; and while our international sci-tech papers are the second in the world. At the same time, the well-being of the Chinese people in the fields of culture, education, sports, health and medical care has been greatly improved? For thousands of millions of ordinary Chinese people, a happy life that couldn’t even be imagined in the past has now become a reality. “Late last year, President Xi Jinping and the new leadership set the Two Centennial Goals, that is, completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all aspects by the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party, and building China into a prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious modern socialist country by the 100th anniversary of the founding of the PRC. At the same time, our leaders also put forward the goal of realising the ‘Chinese dream’ of national prosperity, national rejuvenation, and the well-being of people, and outlined a clear roadmap to achieve these great goals.” So much for the PRC. What is Nigeria’s roadmap to greatness? Pastor Okotie, a pastor-politician, wrote from Lagos

Sport Extra

G

ermany’s stars will each receive up to 200 000 euros for helping Joachim Loew’s squad reach next year’s World Cup, with the German Football Federation (DFB) paying out four million euros. Germany qualified for Brazil

W/Cup ticket: Germany stars pocket Є.2m each 2014 as Group C winners having won nine of their 10 matches and eight members of the squad qualify for the maximum amount of 20, 000 euros per game. Curiously, reserve goalkeeper

Ron-Robert Zieler of Hanover 96 collects the maximum sum despite not playing a single minute of the qualifying campaign having been on the bench for every game. Arsenal stars, Mesut Ozil, Per

Mertesacker, plus Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer, Thomas Mueller, Jerome Boateng, Philipp Lahm and Chelsea’s Andre Schuerrle are the other seven to pick up the full amount.

Loew

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Thursday, october, 17, 2013  

*** Jonathan in trouble over confab outcome comment ---- Afenifere: His statement confi rms lack of institutional memory ---- Arewa: H...

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