$100m ICT loan deal for ONDO MDAs under fire GUBER POLL $200m rural telephony project too 18 A COUNTDOWN TO
October 20, 2012
fresh $100m loan obtained by the Federal Government from China to build Information
and Communication Technology, ICT, infrastructure in the country has come unCONTINUED ON PAGE 50>>
Mimiko has failed Ondo people, says Fashola Gov’s aide, others join PDP
DAYS TO GO
Vol. 1 2 N0. 115 460
Tuesday, October June 7, 2, 2011 2012
ROTIMI FADEYI ABUJA
resident Goodluck Jonathan yesterday said that his administration would not fail Nigerians. The President also assured that the economy was on stable path to growth and development. In his nationwide broadcast on the 52nd indepenCONTINUED ON PAGE 2>>
I won’t fail Nigerians, says Jonathan Ceding of Bakassi, an injustice –CPC
Kidnapping: Fresh fears grip Delta cabinet, family members P.12
President Goodluck Jonathan (middle) flanked by Vice-President Namadi Sambo (3rd left); Senate President David Mark (2nd right); former Vice-President Alex Ekwueme PHOTO: NAN (right) and others cutting the 52nd Independence anniversary cake in Abuja, yesterday.
Why Nigerians are worse off –ACN P.41
Boko Haram threatens more attacks Another set of female pilgrims deported from Saudi Arabia
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Ceding of Bakassi, an injustice –CPC ISE-OLUWA IGE AND OBIORA IFOH
he Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, has berated the Federal Government for its inability to reclaim the disputed Bakassi peninsula despite all the opportunities afforded her by the International Court of Justice, ICJ. CPC in its statement on the 52nd anniversary of the nation’s independence also said that the fact that about 69 per cent of Nigerians “are wallowing in poverty is a pointer to the fact that Nigeria as a nation has failed and that there is no hope in the horizon.” The party, in the statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Rotimi Fashakin, said: “From the outset of the pronouncement of the judgement, there was no doubt that an international conspiracy had firmly brought about the travesty of justice.
“The Green-Tree Treaty entered into by the former President Olusegun Obasanjo does not have any subsisting legality in Nigeria because of Section 12(1) of the Nigerian Constitution states that: ‘No treaty between the federation and any other country shall have the force of law to the extent to which any such treaty has been enacted into law by the National Assembly.’ “Apparently, former President Obasanjo, owing to his absolutist proclivity to governance, spurned the treaty being given legal vim through an act of parliament, thus making the legal instrument of the treaty inchoate in the Nigerian state. “The allowable 10-year window for review of the judgement shall run out in a matter of days. “Owing to the pressure by the Nigerian people in Bakassi (who have come under unfair treatment by the Cameroonian authorities), coupled with new fact of a document by the
British of the ownership of the disputed peninsula belonging to Nigeria, it thus becomes imperative to appeal the judgement. “Quite disappointing is the fact that the Nigerian executive leadership is reticent at exploring this option, despite the Senate’s prodding. “The question is: what does Nigeria lose putting together its case for a re-
view of the judgement?” The party noted that it was time to enforce the sovereignty envisaged by the constitution, which rightfully belongs to citizens. “In so doing, we shall extirpate the debris of indecency that assault our collective psyche and thus bequeath a livable environment for the next generation.”
Citing figures from the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, CPC claimed that the income inequality index of Nigeria had moved from 0.429 in 2004 to 0.447 in 2010. It added that NBS also reported in February 2012 that out of Nigeria’s population of 163 million, a whopping 112.519 million (representing 69.03 per cent) was living in abject
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
He said that the Investment Climate Reform Programme had helped to attract over N6.8trn local and foreign direct investment commitments. “It is also significant that the GDP growth has been driven largely by the non-oil sector. In pursuance of the main goals of the Transformation Agenda, a number of reforms and initiatives are being pursued in key sectors of the economy with a view to consolidating the gains of the economic growth. “Our vision is encapsulated in the Transformation Agenda. We are working hard and making progress on many fronts. We have cleaned up our electoral process; our elections are now globally acclaimed to be free and fair. Nigeria is now on a higher pedestal regarding elections.” The President explained that though the country was going through security challenges in some parts of the country, his administration had taken pro-active measures to check the menace.
CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>
L-R: Ogun State Deputy Governor, Prince Segun Adesegun; Governor Ibikunle Amosun; his wife, Olufunso and Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ogun State chapter, Comrade Akeem Ambali, during the commissioning of the NLC Secretariat in Abeokuta, yesterday.
I won’t fail Nigerians, says Jonathan dence anniversary, Jonathan explained that the transformation agenda of his administration was focused on changing the life of Nigerians for the better. He noted that the Nigerian economy had done appreciably well despite the global financial crisis, stressing that the real Gross Domestic Product, GDP, had grown at a relatively high rate. He said: “Over the past five years, the global economy has been going through a weak and uncertain recovery. “During the same period and particularly in the last two years, the Nigerian economy has done appreciably well despite the global financial crisis. “Nigeria’s real Gross Domestic Product, GDP, has grown by 7.1 per cent on average.” President Jonathan added that there had been improvement in the investment environment and that more corporate bodies were investing in the Nigerian economy.
poverty. The party noted that the recently concluded sale of the state’s electricity infrastructure revealed a noxious desire by the leadership to perpetuate the policy of pauperisation of Nigerians. It also said that the leadership had failed to learn how privatisation, as implemented in other
He explained that the measures include constant consultation and collaboration with neighbouring countries and other friendly nations on issues relating to internal and cross border security and sharing information on smuggling and illegal dealing in small arms and light weapons. “Our security agencies are constantly being strengthened and repositioned for greater efficiency. “Many Nigerians have acknowledged that there has been a significant decline in the spate of security breaches,” President Jonathan said. He, however, assured Nigerians of the commitment of the administration to the safety of lives and property and expressed condolences to the families affected by the campaign of violence mounted by the dreaded Islamic fundamentalist group, Boko Haram President Jonathan also reiterated that his administration was combating corruption on all fronts, stressing that government would not interfere with the work
of the anti-corruption agencies to guarantee their independence. He, therefore, called for the cooperation and support of the civil society and the media in the fight against corruption and the independence of the antigraft agencies. The President said: “Even as we remain focused on the issue of security, the fight against the scourge of corruption is a top priority of our administration. We are fighting corruption in all facets of our economy and we are succeeding. “We have put an end to several decades of endemic corruption associated with fertiliser and tractor procurement and distribution. “We have exposed decades of scams in the management of pensions and fuel subsidy, and ensured that the culprits are being brought to book. “In its latest report, Transparency International, TI, noted that Nigeria was the second most improved country in the efforts to curb corruption. “We will sustain the ef-
fort in this direction with an even stronger determination to strengthen the institutions that are statutorily entrusted with the task of ending this scourge. “I have given my commitment of non-interference in the work of the relevant agencies and I am keeping my word. What we require is the full cooperation of all tiers of government, and the public, especially civil society and the media.” He noted that the crude production volume had witnessed significant improvement, stressing that the 12-month gas supply emergency plan put in place earlier this year had produced more than the targeted volumes of gas for power generation The President also noted that “a robust” Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, had been placed before the National Assembly, saying that its passage into law would ensure far-reaching reforms, transparency, accountability, increased government revenue and predictability for investors in the oil and gas sector.
He also noted that there had been gradual improvement in the power supply, stressing that his administration was successfully implementing a well-integrated Power Sector Reform Programme, including institutional arrangements to facilitate and strengthen private-sector-led power generation, transmission and distribution. “We have also put in place a cost-reflective tariff structure that reduces the cost of power for a majority of electricity consumers. “I am pleased with the feedback from across the country on improvement in power supply,” he said. President Jonathan, however, expressed sadness and grief over the floods ravaging some parts of the country, resulting in the loss of lives and property and the displacement of persons. He stated that his administration had taken measures to assist the affected states, while considering long term measures to check a reoccurrence. CONTINUED ON PAGE 5>>
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Tuesday, October 2, 2012
NIGERIA @ 52
Nigeria’s healthcare: Sick baby at 52 Infant mortality among the highest in the world
• Medical tourism to the rescue
ifty-two years ago when Nigeria became an independent nation, there were no statistics or clear healthcare indices to measure her health status. This was because health services in the preindependence era were not designed to respond to the health needs of Nigerians but were reserved mainly for the colonial officers in the urban areas to the neglect of the rural population. It was clear however that, like every other emerging young African nation, life expectancy was quite low, fertility was very high and well above 8.0 live-births per woman. There was also a high infant and maternal mortality rate while preventable communicable diseases constituted major health problem. However, there was hope about the nation’s healthcare delivery at independence. Though so young, she took off with few infrastructure and facilities such as the University College Hospital in Ibadan which was one of the best at that time in the world. Also, emphasis was placed on disease prevention and this was characterised by the enforcement of environmental laws through the ubiquitous sanitation officers. Today, availability and accessibility to quality health care services in Nigeria remain poor and below global standards. Virtually all health indices have worsened over the last decade. Apart from an incredibly low life expectancy of 49 at birth, health indices for women and children have remained so abysmal and consistently poor over the years. Indeed, statistics from the National Strategic Health Development Plan Framework (2009- 215) adopted by the National Council on Health in 2009 show that infant mortality rate in the country stands at 75 per 1000 live birth while child mortality ratio remains 88 per 1000 live births. Under-5 mortality stands at 186 per 1000 live births and maternal mortality ratio remains 800 per 100,000 live births, contributing a disproportionate 10% of the global burden of maternal and infant mortality. In fact, it is estimated that less than half of deliveries are attended to by skilled health personnel. Primary Health Care (PHC) system, the bedrock of our healthcare delivery system remains too weak to offer cost-effective services for the prevention and management of common health problems, especially at the local government levels. In fact, a 2001 survey of public PHC facilities revealed that most public health facilities across the country are poorly equipped. According to the survey, only onequarter of health facilities had more than 50% of the minimum equipment package and 40% had less than a quarter. Majority of the public health facilities especially PHC centres are in a state of disrepair. Although every state currently has at least one tertiary health facility, most are not functioning at optimal capacities in the provision of quality
Pregnant women at an antenatal clinic ... Nigeria’s maternal mortality still one of the highest in the world
Modern facilities now in Nigeria’s Premier teaching hospital; UCH.
specialist care. The situation is further worsened by the nation’s rapid population growth. At the time of independence in 1960, Nigeria’s population was estimated at 35 million. In 2006 the populations had risen to 140 million according to the National Bureau of Statistics. In mid 2007 the US-based Population Reference Bureau puts Nigeria’s population at 144 million – an increase of over 100 million people in less than 50 years! Here are further instances of the country’s staggering steps at 52: • The WHO 2000 health systems performance ranking – the last by WHO –ranked Nigeria 187 out of 199 countries in all five health indicators: health inequality, responsiveness level, responsiveness distribution and financing. •Health status indicators for Nigeria are among the worst in the world. Life expectance at birth remains 49. •Currently, no fewer than 6.1 million people are reported to be living with HIV/AIDS. Indeed the country is said to have the highest number of HIVinfected persons on the African continent though with declining prevalence rate of 5.6%. •Estimated infant mortality rate stands at 114 per
1000 live birth. Child mortality ratio is 608 deaths per 100,000 live births; Under-5 mortality stands at 142.90 per 1000 live births while maternal mortality ratio remains 545 per 100,000 live births, contributing a disproportionate 10% of the global burden of maternal and infant mortality. •Immunization coverage is 23%. Only 6% of under-5 sleep under ITN while only 20% of children in urban areas and 14% in rural areas are appropriately treated with anti-malarial at home. As a result of all these, Nigerians in recent times have chosen medical tourism as the only option to seek healthcare. Both the followers and leaders now travel out of the country in search of medical treatment, even for the slightest sickness. Consequently, just the health sector alone loses about N81billion annually to foreign countries because of medical tourism. But Nigeria’s picture of health since independence has however not been all glooming as the country joined the rest of the world to eradicate small pox in 1970. At independence, she was one of the most endemic countries with guinea worm and indeed later became the world’s most endemic nation in the 90s. Today, the nation is awaiting certification by WHO as guinea worm-free, having recorded zero cases in almost two years. There has also been a significant improvement in the diagnosis and treatment of non-communicable disorders (NCDs) just as its cancer management has improved remarkably. As Nigeria clocks 52 years today, there is however a dire need for the Federal Government to develop a new approach to healthcare management to ensure that Nigerians reap the benefits of billions of naira spent on health policies and acquisition of skills and knowledge in its healthcare system. Delivering quality healthcare amidst dwindling resources and lack of political will would require the involvement of all stakeholder groups including consumer groups to identify their needs and design new and effective processes to deliver such service.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
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INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION
President Goodluck Jonathan (sitting), signing the anniversary register in Abuja, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
Nasarawa State Governor, Tanko Al-Makura (middle), inspecting a guard of honour in Lafia, yesterday. PHOTO: NAN
Rivers state Governor Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi waving to the crowd in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
The Flamingoes jubilating during Nigeria’s Independence Day celebration in Baku, Azerbaijan, PHOTO: NAN yesterday.
Protesters at Sango UI road, during the 52nd Independence anniversary celebration in Ibadan, yesterday.
Members of the Boys Scouts of Nigeria. PHOTO: ADEMOLA AKINLABI
Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola inspecting a guard of honour at the Police College, Ikeja, Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: ADEMOLA AKINLABI
Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State (middle) taking the salute during the march past to mark Nigeria’s 52nd Independence Day at the Uyo Township Stadium, yesterday.
Students of Lagos State Model School, Meiran, in Lagos.
PHOTO: ADEMOLA AKINLABI
L-R: Enugu State Commissioners for Environment, Mr. John Egbo; Mrs Ndidi Chukwu and Representative of the Enugu State Governor, Mr. Nze Dennis, in Enugu, yesterday.
L-R: Programme Manager, Prevention and Community, Centre for Health Initiative, Dr. Uwem Udoh, Lead Officer, Care and Support CFHI, Ms. Victoria Omoera and Vulnerable Children Officer, CFHI, Mr. Bright Amadi, during the marking of Nigeria’s Independence Day in celebration with vulnerable children in Abuja yesterday. PHOTO: ROTIMI OSASONA
L-R: Abia State Governor Theodore Orji; his wife, Mercy; Deputy Governor, Sir Emeka Ananaba and his wife Lady Nene, during an interdenominational church service in Umuahia, yesterday.
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Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Ceding of Bakassi, an injustice –CPC CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2
climes, had been used for people’s empowerment through ownership of assets of state. CPC added that the sale was made to the cronies of the government. “Corruption, despite the plethora of extant anti-graft legislation, has assumed the dimension of national culture in Nigeria. “It is the reason that the effect of governance does not percolate to the grassroots. “This hydra-headed monster is often accentuated by the impunity embedded in the political comportment of the Nigerian President.
“For instance, N240bn was allocated to fuel subsidy in the 2011 Appropriation Act. As at the last count, over N2.67trn had been expended without any recourse to the legislature for a review of the allocation! “As it is with financial corruption, so is electoral corruption. “Though the shenanigans deployed in the conduct of the 2011 general elections had largely hoodwinked the foreign observers, the unwillingness of the electoral umpire to allow unfettered access, to its process and election register had made the electoral exercise worse than any other
in Nigerian history.” Also, two prominent lawyers, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, and Chief Godwin Obla, have asked the Federal Government to immediately file an appeal before the ICJ at the Hague to challenge the court’s decision on Bakassi. The two legal practitioners, who spoke with National Mirror, urged the government to reapproach the court as a mark of respect for the will of the people. Bakassi peninsula, an oil-rich enclave, was ceded to the Republic of Cameroon vide a controversial ruling of the World Court in 2002 but with a 10-year
window gap for appeal if Nigeria felt aggrieved by the verdict. Although many Nigerians, including international law experts, noted that the judgement was against the weight of evidence available in the matter, the Obasanjo administration accepted the verdict wholly and commenced implementation almost immediately. But as the 10-year window gap for appeal in the matter expires on October 9 this year, the Senate has passed a resolution, asking President Jonathan Goodluck to appeal the verdict. The President Jonathan had, however, argued
L-R: Founder, Akindoye Akinyemi Foundation, Elder Akindoye Akinyemi; guest preacher, Pastor Gabriel Olutuashe and Pastor Ademola PHOTO: OLUFEMI AJASA Adenusi, during the foundation’s empowerment programme and 5th anniversary in Lagos at the weekend.
that there was nothing appealable in the verdict. “I believe the Presidency should definitely reconsider its stand to appeal that judgement of the ICJ. “To start with, the facts are overwhelmingly in favour of Nigeria. “Even under the United Nations declaration, people have a right to determine their ethnic nationality; where they want to belong. “The entire people of Bakassi are people from Cross River State, some of them from Akwa Ibom State. None of them has a single drop of Cameroonian blood in their veins. Ozekhome said: “They are all Nigerians. And by ceding that portion of Nigerian soil to Cameroon, you are more or less telling Nigerians to be annexed into second slavery to another country, slavery that was abolished in 1834 by Abraham Lincoln who proclaimed the Abolition of Slave Trade Act in America. “After 500 years of slavery abolition, you are telling the people to move into another country and become slaves again in the year 2012. “I believe that this case is one of such cases that should be appealed against. And the time is
I won’t fail Nigerians, says Jonathan CONTINUED FROM PAGE 2
President Jonathan said: “I want to reassure all affected Nigerians that I share in their grief and our administration is taking steps to address these incidents in collaboration with the states and local governments. “I have received the interim report of the presidential team set up to assess the flooding situation across the country. “The Federal Government has taken measures to assist the affected states, while considering long term measures to check future reoccurrence. “We must continue to work together, confidently and faithfully, to ensure that our country’s potential are realised to the fullest; that our dreams are translated into reality; and that our goals are achieved.”
While paying glowing tribute to the founding fathers of the nation, President Jonathan noted that the present administration was committed to the pursuit of fundamental objectives of an open society: the pursuit of freedom, security and prosperity for the Nigerian people, and the rule of law. “We weathered the storm of the civil war, we have refused to be broken by sectarian crises, we have remained a strong nation. I bring to you today, a message of renewed hope and faith in the immense possibilities that lie ahead. “I have an unshaken belief in the future of our great country. I consider it a priority and sacred duty to continue to strengthen the bond of unity that holds our nation together and to promote and nourish the
creative energies of our people. This is a central objective of our administration’s Transformation Agenda. “Nigeria, I assure you, will continue to grow from strength to strength,” President Jonathan said. Meanwhile, the Presidency yesterday debunked speculations that the 52nd independence anniversary took place in the Presidential Villa because of security reasons. Speaking with State House correspondents at the presidential change of guards parade at the Presidential Villa, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, noted that this year’s anniversary was low-keyed just like that of last year to save cost and adequately prepare for the big event of 2014, when the na-
tion would mark 100 years of existence since the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorates in 1914. He said: “The anniversary is also low-keyed this year, taking place within the precincts of the State House. “President Jonathan has personally responded to the allegation that the event is being held within the State House by making it clear that in 2014, we will have a big event; the centenary of Nigeria’s celebration since amalgamation. “A few years ago, we have the 50th anniversary of Nigeria’s independence and that was a big event. “The President’s take on this is that between that 50-year anniversary and the centenary of Nigeria’s amalgamation, we should have low keyed celebration.
“Those who are looking for celebration on a grand scale should wait till 2014 when we will have the 100 years of Nigeria amalgamation,” Abati said. Also at the event, the President officially consecrated a newly formed 176 Special Force Battalion to join the already existing 177 and 7 battalions of the Presidential Guards Brigade. The guards brigade is a special unit of the military specifically charged with the responsibility of the security of the President and the seat of government. The Minister of State for Defence, Erelu Olusola Obada, explained that the newly established 176 battalion was to strengthen the guard brigade and to make it more effective in response to security challenges in and around the FCT. Obada said the ceremo-
expiring. “They should quickly take the opportunity of the remaining period and appeal the judgement because we have good ground of appeal. “If for nothing else, the people should determine where they want to belong and these people are Nigerians. Bakassi is Nigerian soil and the issues arising are Nigerian-based and driven. “I believe that the Federal Government has a duty to this country to reconsider it and bring back its citizens into Nigeria.” Oblah, an Abuja-based legal practitioner, said: “The National Assembly represents the voice of the people. If they pass a resolution, I’m sure the President will set up a team of experts to look at it because the Senate may not just have risen to say we want the issue revisited without a concrete reason. “I was watching television and they were making references to certain laws and treaties and things like that. But we must understand that we are referring to a territory that has been ceded. “So if the National Assembly feels that we should reconsider our position, I don’t think there is anything wrong with it.”
nial presentation of colours to the new battalion was symbolic and could only be done by the President and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. The event also witnessed the ceremonial change of guards by the outgoing and incoming quarter and guards brigade and parade and military display by the Brigade of Guards, President Jonathan also released pigeons to signify peace and harmony in the country. He, thereafter, signed the anniversary register and cut the cake decorated in national colours. The event was witnessed by Vice-President Namadi Sambo, Senate President, David Mark, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu and his counterpart in the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Nigerians must remain committed –Fashola MURITALA AYINLA
overnor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State yesterday charged Nigerians to remain resolute and committed to the course of values and ideals on which the country was founded 52 years ago. The governor urged Nigerians not to despair, but to continue to drive the country’s quest for greater tomorrow despite the challenges confronting it. Speaking at the 52nd Independence Anniversary parade at the Police College, Ikeja, he said it was the duty of every citizen to ensure Nigeria achieve the lofty dreams of her founding fathers. Fashola, who spoke shortly after inspecting a colourful parade by voluntary organisations, pupils of various schools and law enforcement agencies, said Nigerians should put all complaints behind them and join hands with the leaders to move the country forward. He said: “I have no doubts at all that October 1, Nigeria’s Independence Day, will be celebrated through the ages and for
all times. I believe that whatever misgivings we have as a people, however legitimate our complains may be, we must continue to acknowledge the significance of this day and the tremendous energy and freedom that was unleashed when the Union Jack was lowered. “That was mere 52 years ago and although we are a nation of many young people, there is no shortage of adults who were witnesses of that glorious event. If you talk to them today, you will see their eyes sparkle, you will see smiles light up on their faces as the memory of what happened on that day at Race Course in 1960.” To reduce the unemployment rate in the country, Fashola disclosed that his administration had provided employment opportunities for the youth, saying about 507 graduate teachers were employed to teach in the state schools. He said that 300 graduates were recently engaged in the health sector and deployed to the Primary Healthcare Centres across the state, adding that the government was at the verge of recruiting 1,000 teachers.
With determination, Nigeria’ll overcome its challenges –Shettima INUSA NDAHI MAIDUGURI
overnor Kashim Shettima has called on Nigerians within and outside Borno State to reaffirm individual and institutional determination to overcome current challenges, especially the security threats in the North, abduction in the South and robberies across the country. Shettima made the call in
JAMES DANJUMA KATSINA
overnor Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State has called on Nigerians to pray for peace to reign in parts of the country faced with security challenges. Shema made the call yesterday during his Independence Anniversary speech and parade held at the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, Orientation Camp in the state capital. He said there was hope
tempo of development, growth, progress, peace and stability within the state borders. He also promised that his government would continue to be vigilant in maintaining peace and security of lives and property of people. The governor acknowledged the contributions of traditional and religious leaders, among other stakeholders, for their support of government policies and programmes. At the end of the event,
Nigeria still crawling, says Ben Murray-Bruce CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI
he Chairman of Silverbird Group, Ben Murray-Bruce, has said the country was 40 years behind time in the provision of basic amenities to its citizenry. Murray-Bruce, who spoke in Owerri, the Imo State capi-
tal at the weekend, blamed the country’s problems on politics and mismanagement, adding that the issue of corruption would take time to be curbed with the type of structures in the country. He said: “Corruption will take awhile to be wiped out with the structures we have in the arena with corruption in politics and government,
an Independence Message issued by his Special Adviser on Communications, Isa Umar Gusau, yesterday. The governor said rather than get despaired; Nigerians should renew their will to live peacefully and united as lawabiding citizens. He also urged government at all levels to continually develop sustainable strategies aimed at regaining lasting peace, especially through resolution of the ongoing insurgency by way of a round-
table discussion, which was achievable with sincere will. Shettima called on government at all levels to take the issue of creating employment opportunities with utmost seriousness. The governor also called for special focus on self-employment while urging citizens to take self-employment opportunities created for them seriously. According to him, the road to individual success first of all lies on self-discipline and
determination. No matter the kind of skills and capital provided by any government, the governor noted, a beneficiary could only succeed with conscious effort made through self-discipline and dogged consistency to withstand conflicting challenges common with early stages of entrepreneurship. Shettima also called on all Nigerians to continue to offer prayers for the restoration of peace in all parts of Nigeria.
A member of the Nigeria Police Force being assisted by officials of the Red Cross after he fainted, during the Independence Day parade in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: ADEMOLA AKINLABI
Let’s pray for peace, Shema urges Nigerians for the country at 52 despite some of the challenges facing her, adding that the insecurity situation would soon become a thing of the past. The governor said his administration had since inception, ensured provision and accessibility to infrastructure, health and educational services as well as maintenance of peace and security in the state. Shema assured that his administration would not rest on its oars but would continue to maintain the
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even in the private sector. “One would have expected a country at 52 to progress beyond where we are right now. I think most of what happens to Nigeria is all political as people in business don’t have a say in what happens in the country, only the politicians have their ways.” The former governorship aspirant in Bayelsa State
Shema and other guests presented prizes to some deserving schools and organisations that participated in the parade. Meanwhile, a Christian cleric, Evangelist Isyaku John Lawal, has called on Nigerians to be patriotic as well as pray for the peace, progress and unity of the country. Lawal made the call yesterday at the Foursquare Gospel Church, Dutsinma, Katsina State during a special prayer session organised by the church to commemorate the county’s independence. said the country still face a serious challenge in terms of constant power supply, pipe borne water, good roads and proper highway codes, adding that even the facilities in prisons were insufficient owing to over congestion. He said it was only when all these infrastructure were in place that the country would become a better place to live.
We’ve reasons to celebrate, says Amosun
FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA
gun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, said that Nigerians had reasons to celebrate Independence Anniversary despite the prevailing national challenges confronting the country. This is contained in an address the governor delivered at the 52nd national day celebration yesterday at the MKO Abiola International Stadium in Abeokuta, the state capital. Noting that despite the security challenges, manifesting as religious, economic or as environmental terrorism, had shaken the country to its foundation, Amosun said Nigeria still remained an important strategic partner to other world powers in strengthening peace and order across the globe. He also argued that the country had featured prominently than any other Af-
rican country in terms of peace-keeping and enforcement in the world, stressing that many Nigerians were now holding responsible and sensitive positions across the world. Amosun also called for a total moral rebirth, value re-orientation and character change as part of efforts to reposition the country. Making reference to the activities of the terrorist group which have claimed many lives, the governor said no reason could justify the destruction of lives and property under the name of religion. He said: “As a nation, we need a total moral rebirth, value re-orientation and character change. We cannot embark on a journey to destruction and expect to make giant strides in development. Our people must show a fresh resolve to be law-abiding and express the readiness to inculcate in our youths the highest level of morality.”
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Tuesday, October 2, 2012
We’re not where we were 52 years ago –Amaechi CHINEDUM EMEANA PORT HARCOURT
ivers State Governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, yesterday said that despite the challenges facing the nation today, the country has not remained stagnant as “we have made tremendous progress in the last 52 years.” His words: “We are certainly not where we were 52 years ago. There are new stories, which we can tell, successes that we can point at, and giant strides,
which we have collectively achieved as a nation. “Our story today is not one of only unmet dreams, but one of passion and of the ‘can do spirit’ that is typically ours. While no one can deny that we have some distance left on our journey to development, we can see the signs of movement and motion,” he said. Governor Amaechi, however, regretted that 52 years after independence, the country is confronted with unfortunate challenges of delayed hope
and rising insecurity; of dreams, some stillborn, others struggling to come to fruition. However, he said that “some of our dreams have come true.” Focusing on the situation in Rivers State, the governor emphasised that the goal of his government is to continue to render accountable and transparent leadership to the people, stressing that he is determined to leave the state greater than he met it. He also added that the government is also
focused on diversifying the economy of the state. “While we understand the need to meet our aspirations as a people we plead for patience and understanding. “Today we restate our commitment to leave Rivers State greater than we met it. Our focus on diversifying the economy is the reason we are embarking on refocusing our people on entrepreneurship and setting new goals. “Besides investing in agriculture, which has huge employment poten-
tials, we are also focusing on technical training and middle level manpower development. “Before the end of the year, we would be concluding discussions with a team from Germany that would be handling vocational training for this segment of our population. The idea would be to guarantee that our people at all levels are equipped with the requisite skills to be global players in all segments of the economy. “We are certain that our focus on diversifying
our economy will bring with it numerous gains, especially in our quest for a productive rather than the rent culture”, the governor added.
Leaders have failed Nigerians –Akpabio TONY ANICHEBE UYO
Empty Eagles Square yesterday as Nigeria celebrates the 52nd Independence Day anniversary in Abuja.
PHOTO ROTIMI OSASONA
Be focused on efforts to make Nigeria great –Ahmed WOLE ADEDEJI ILORIN
wara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, at the independence anniversary celebration yesterday urged Nigerians to focus attention on opportunities that could engender national growth, despite the seemingly unending travails in the country. The governor was addressing citizens of the state and a detachment of
the military, police, paramilitary, school children and voluntary organisations at the Ilorin Metropolitan Park, where he was represented by his deputy, Elder Peter Kisira. Ahmed also recalled that many nations have faced similar challenges in the past and later emerged great from even more daunting predicaments. “Most great nations rose from the ashes of political violence such as the
ones Nigeria is currently faced with. Together we can overcome these problems and build a nation that we will be proud to call ours,” he had said. Ahmed noted that Nigeria at 52 calls for celebration and sober reflection “on our strengths as a nation, our uniqueness as a people and the life-transforming resources that the Almighty has blessed us with.” He advocated for the emergence of a country,
where the well-being of the people would be guaranteed amidst limitless opportunities. The governor also assured the people of the state that his administration’s policy thrust was designed to create jobs for youths, achieve widespread social and physical infrastructural growth and promotion of a vibrant agricultural programme and economy that would be pursued with the desired vigour.
kwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio, has said that the country was going through the present security challenges because its leaders failed to imbibe the nationalistic spirit of its founding fathers. Akpabio stated this in an address to mark the Independence Day celebration which held at the Uyo township stadium yesterday. The governor said Nigeria’s leaders have allowed sectional loyalties to swallow their national pride. His words: “We are in conflict because we have failed to imbibe the spirit of our founding fathers. Somewhere along the line, sectional loyalties swallowed up our national pride. “We have tended to forget that we do not have to see eye-to-eye in order to walk hand-in-hand.” Governor Akpabio said that though religious, re-
Fayemi restates commitment to poverty eradication Al-Makura sets nine inmates free on all of you to join hands the peace being enjoyed in ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI
kiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, yesterday said that Nigeria’s 52nd independence anniversary and the 16th anniversary of his state called for sober reflection which offered opportunities of selfappraisal, reshaping of focus and rebuilding falling walls. His words: “The task of having the Ekiti of our dream is a collective responsibility. I, therefore call
with the government to sustain the tempo of development across the state. We all have a stake in her growth.” Fayemi, in a speech to commemorate the two events, said his administration’s core mission was to overcome poverty and economically empower the people of the state. The governor, who described poverty as the major adversary of the people, said everything possible would be done to ensure that
the state was not disrupted to give way for rapid sociopolitical development. He appealed to stakeholders, including traditional rulers, religious leaders, traders, students, politicians, artisans and workers to maintain peace and security in the state. Fayemi noted that his administration had been able to provide the virile leadership platform needed to win the battle against poverty for the good of the state.
IGBAWASE UKUMBA LAFIA
asarawa State Governor, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, yesterday in Lafia, the state capital, set nine inmates serving various jail terms in prisons across the state, free. Al-Makura exercised this prerogative of mercy as part of activities marking Nigeria’s 52nd independence anniversary and the 16th anni-
versary of the creation of Nasarawa State. Governor Al-Makure, who was vividly sad on sighting the inmates said: “I am sad to see you in the environment you are living in. I am sad because you have no freedom hence freedom is a major prerequisite for human living.” The governor, however, sympathised with the inmates and said being in prison does not mean that society hates them, but that they should strive
gional and political differences exist and will continue to exist but that such differences should not supersede our national call. He charged Nigerians to always remember to celebrate the great men and women who were the fore-runners of the country and who laboured to keep the country together. He urged Nigerians to use the occasion of the 52nd independence anniversary as a time for national consecration and reflection. According to him; “Let us use this occasion to take stock of our national odyssey in order to set a proper course for tomorrow, let us ask and seek answers to tough questions that could help reinvent our nation. “Today we are indeed free and independent but the challenge of freedom is that instead of resting on your oars, you should begin the struggle for liberation, freedom breaks the fetters on your hands, but liberation breaks the fetters of your mind.”
towards reformation in order to contribute their quota to nation building. He called for a total reformation of prison formations across the country and urged prisons authorities to establish television viewing centres for inmates to enable them acquaint with events outside the prison environment. He advised the freed inmates to be good of behavior anywhere they find themselves.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
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Abuja drivers, marketers count losses as Nigeria celebrates OMEIZA AJAYI ABUJA
L-R: Former Senate President, Dr. Joseph Wayas; Chairman, Labour Party, Chief Dan Nwanyanwu and former Governor of Anambra State and founder, PHOTO: NAN Ezeife Leadership Foundation, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife, at the launch of the foundation in Abuja, at the weekend.
Boko Haram admits arrest of Abu Qaqa, promises more attacks AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST KANO
he leadership of the Boko Haram sect yesterday admitted the arrest of its spokesman, Abu Qaqa, by security agents but said he was still alive. The sect also declared that the Federal Government would not know peace at it was planning more attacks in the days ahead. The Joint Task Force, JTF, in Kano State had, two weeks ago, said that the group’s spokesman was killed, while another senior member was arrested. But in a video message to some media houses, the sect said Qaqa and its leader, Abubakar Shekau, were still alive, hale and hearty, adding that its members would continue to fight with the last drop of their blood to protect Islam. It also debunked report of dialogue with the Federal Government, saying it never sought or sat with any government agent or representative for that purpose. The group also alleged that security agents had been arresting wives of their members, pointing out that in the last one week, seven wives of their members had been taken away by the authorities while all efforts
to trace their whereabouts had been fruitless. The message reads in part: “Without wasting much time, we are sending this message to the entire Nigerian people and leaders of pagans in the country; it is a well-known fact that the government is fighting us day and night simply because we are fighting for Islam. “This short message is for the leaders and it is to inform them that they will never know peace with these attacks on our members and they will see more trouble. They have been arresting our women, especially wives of our members and in the last one week, seven wives of our members have been arrested and detained, their whereabouts up to this moment are unknown and God knows how many of such women have been taken away by the security agents, especially the married ones. “The government is saying one thing and doing the contrary at the same time and let it be clear here that we never sought for dialogue or sat with government’s agents or representatives for any form of dialogue; it is all lies. The government is deceiving the Nigerian people on
this issue of dialogue. “Again, let me also state here that our spokesman, Abu Qaqa, is alive but with the security agents. But I believe strongly that after this message from me, they may decide to kill him this night.” “As for our wives who are detained by the authorities, they should
wait and see what happens according to Shariah law. “The leader of the sect, Abubakar Shakau, is alive, hale and hearty, nothing happened to him. I am alive and nothing has happened to me. We will deal with the State Security Service, SSS, and I know I am on their throat.”
Mobil resumes cleaning of spill at Ibeno
he Mobil Producing Nigeria has resumed cleaning of the August 13 oil spill on the Atlantic coastline in Ibeno, Akwa Ibom State. The oil firm suspended the exercise three weeks ago when the contractor could not complete the work on schedule. The firm reportedly declined to extend the contract for the cleanup, thus compelling the contractors to vacate the site. Mobil’s Communications Manager, Mr. Nigel Cookey-Gam, told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, that the cleanup had resumed. “The contractors have been engaged, and they deployed personnel at the weekend,” he said. Mobil is the operator of the Qua Iboe oil fields in Ibeno.
The National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, had directed Mobil to clean the spill, which the company claimed was from an unknown source. Sources at the host community in Ibeno, in southern Akwa Ibom State, said that 60 indigent youths were engaged for the exercise expected to last for 10 days.
t was a case of mixed feelings yesterday for the residents of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja as Nigeria celebrated its 52nd Independence Anniversary. Although the city was calm, security operatives maintained their usual positions, with the Eagle Square, venue of past anniversary celebrations also well guarded. However, it was a mixed feeling for some residents of the city, especially drivers and traders who complained of decline in patronage. Segun Olayinka, a cab operator in the city, said as at 4pm yesterday he had barely made N4,000 in contrast to the usual average of N9,000 that he makes daily. He said: “We were
just doing gentleman’s driving today because we could not afford to be burning our fuel like that. I have made just N4,000 unlike before when I would have made between N8,000 and N10,000. In fact, I will be going home very soon.” At the Utako Market, there was low human traffic even as marketers of food stuff complained of a decline in sales. However, marketers of snacks and decorating items said there was a boost in sales. “Most people did not come to market today. But those that came mainly bought fruits and items for decoration like balloons. Those were the things we sold more probably because of the numerous social activities going on in the city,” Chinenye Oriagu, a trader said.
Pipeline fire kills 20 in Abia
bout 20 people have been killed in Abia State, while scooping fuel from a broken pipeline. The tragedy occurred on September 23, when the pipeline caught fire, burning those scooping the fuel in a remote village. A spokesman for the Abia State Government, Mr. Ugochukwu Emezue, confirmed the incident yesterday. According to him, it took days for the information to reach the state government because of the remoteness of the scene of the accident. Pipeline rupture is common in the country as militants and criminals routinely tap into lines to steal crude oil and refined gasoline. Fire can be accidentally ignited by those
attempting to scoop the fuel. Thousands of lives have been lost to such fires and activities of vandals. Just last month, three officials of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, were shot dead by vandals at Arepo in Ogun State while trying to repair a ruptured pipeline.
Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Allison-Madueke
Henry Okah’s trial resumes in South Africa
he trial of Nigeria’s Henry Okah, who is accused of masterminding terrorist attacks in Abuja in 2010, has resumed in South Africa. Okah appeared in a Johannesburg courtroom exactly two years after the two car bombs that he was accused to have
staged killed 12 people and injured at least 36 others. Prosecutors said Okah was leader of the Nigerian separatist group Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, which claimed responsibility for the attacks. He faces charges of en-
gaging in terrorist activities, conspiracy to engage in terrorist activities, and delivering, placing, and detonating an explosive device. Okah was arrested in Johannesburg the day after the attacks. In court yesterday, he sat impassively as prosecutors made their opening remarks.
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Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Police arrest suspected terrorist in Jos JAMES A BRAHA JOS
middle-aged man suspected to belong to a terrorist gang was arrested yesterday for allegedly planting an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in Kwararafa area of Jos, the Plateau state capital. National Mirror gathered that the man, whose identity was not immediately known as at the time of filing this report, had allegedly gone to the densely populated Ajayi Junction in the area, in the early hours of yesterday and planted the device which exploded immediately. Spokesman of the Plateau State Police Command, Abu Emmanuel, who confirmed the incident in a statement yesterday, said no
casualty was recorded. According to him, the timely intervention of the police anti-bomb squad led by Abel Mbibi, an ASP, who responded swiftly to the distress call and the cooperation of members of the pub-
yo State Commissioner for Environment and Habitat, Mr. Wasiu Dauda, yesterday assured the people that the state will not witness flood disasters again given the necessary policies put in place by the state government. Dauda, who stated this in Ibadan while speaking with journalists on the level of compliance with the sanitation exercise by the people of the state, said after the flood disaster of last year August, the Abiola Ajimobi administration, has ensured the dredging of not less than 40 streams at the cost of over N500 million. He expressed dissatisfaction over the noncompliance of the people during the September sanitation exercise, stating that there was the need for people of the state to join hands with the present administration in order to make the state clean and healthy. The commissioner declared that henceforth no youth will be allowed to engage in other activities like playing football or roaming the streets while
the device, adding that there was no casualty and damage to property. He lauded the efforts of members of the public, who rose to the challenge and arrested a suspect in connection with the incident and
handed him over to the STF operatives. The statement further urged members of the public to report any suspicious movement to the law enforcement agents for prompt attention.
L-R: Lagos State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire; Vice-President Namadi Sambo and Chairman, Island Club, Prince Ademola Dada, during the club’s Business Lecture in Lagos, at the weekend.
Oyo’ll not witness flood disaster again –Commissioner KEMI OLAITAN
lic, frustrated the evil agenda of the terrorist. The statement said though the device exploded before the arrival of the police, the anti-bomb squad successfully recovered, defused and evacuated
the exercise is going on. His words: “It is not a sin to have created Oyo State and call it a pacesetter state, the issue of environment cannot and should not be politicized. Our people must obey the stay-at-home order every Thursday of the week and the last Saturday of the month sanitation exercises.” Dauda urged the people to stop dumping refuse on the waterways, stating that doing this can result in flooding and render people homeless. He also assured the people that as part of government preventive measures, houses that have been submerged by flood will be demolished. He said all the bridges affected by the August 26, 2011, flood disaster will soon be completed, saying; “We thank God, our efforts yielded positive results, such as the dredging of over 50 streams across the state while the bridges washed away by the heavy downpour are all under construction and will be completed soon. “Quote me anywhere, with our efforts so far on flood prevention, there will be no flood disaster in the state again.”
Another eight female pilgrims sent back from Saudi Arabia PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA
o fewer than eight female pilgrims out of the 461 from Niger State to this year’s hajj were yesterday sent back from Saudi Arabia. The pilgrims, airlifted to the holy land on Sunday, were turned back barely 24 hours after the inaugural flight from Minna Airport. They were brought back by the same flight that conveyed them to the holy land. It will be recalled that the airlift of pilgrims from Minna Airport was earlier
stopped on the directive of the National Hajj Commission (NAHCOM) to resolve the female pilgrims’ crisis, until last Sunday that the state Governor, Dr Muazu Babangida Aliyu, flagged off the inaugural airlift. Of the 461 pilgrims that left on Sunday, 180 of them were women out of which eight were sent back for not having a Marharam, a male guard. Confirming the development, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the state Pilgrims Welfare Commission, Alhaji Awal Sani, said that a total of eight female pilgrims ar-
rived the Minna Airport at about 6.25 am yesterday, “they were sent back by the authorities of the Holy Land for not having a male guardian.” Sani said out of the eight, one had been cleared and is expected to be airlifted with the other pilgrims yesterday evening. The commissions’ spokesman further added that before the commencement of the inaugural flight, the state pilgrim welfare commission has prevented about 38 female pilgrims from being airlifted in the first flight to avoid deportation.
Adegbite, a unifying force, says Senator Adamu
member of the upper chamber, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, yesterday described the death of Dr. Lateef Adegbite, as a great loss, not only to his family and the people of Ogun State, but also to Nigeria. Senator Adamu, who spoke yesterday at the National Assembly in Abuja, noted that the late Dr. Adegbite was a good Muslim, who had worked assiduously alongside other stakeholders to foster unity and understanding between Muslims in the country, thereby serving as a ‘unifying
force’ within the Nigerian Muslim community. The Senator, who represents Nasarawa West Senatorial District in the upper chamber, further noted that the late Secretary-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), would also be remembered “for building bridges of unity among adherents of the two dominant religions in Nigeria - Islam and Christianity.” Senator Adamu, particularly recalled Dr. Adegbite’s remarkable efforts in dousing the religious crisis that
loomed in the country in 2002, following the protests that had trailed an alleged blasphemous publication by ThisDay when Nigeria was about to host the Miss World Beauty Pageant. “Those untiring efforts of his, if we recall very well, earned him wider recognition, accolades, and most probably led to his appointment by the present administration as Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Public Awareness on Security and Civic Responsibilities,” the former Nasarawa State governor added.
Bayelsa unveils coat of arms, flag EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA
ayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, yesterday unveiled the coat of arms and flag of the state shortly after commissioning the magnificent headquarters of the Ijaw National Congress (INC) at Ekeki, Yenagoa. Thy colours of the flag are red, green and blue with the inscription of three white stars on it while the coats of arms contained a crocodile, shark, a tiger’s head, gas flaring, palm tree and two women fishing. The three-storey INC secretariat project was started by the then administration of Diepreye Alamieyeseigha in 2003, but was abandoned due to paucity of funds. Former Governor of the state, Timipre Sylva, continued with the project before he left office in January this year. The present administration in the state completed the project and furnished it, but, the total cost of the project was not disclosed. Dignitaries at the event include President Goodluck Jonathan, represented by his Special Adviser on Research and Documentation, Oronto Douglas, son of the late Head of State, Mohammed Abacha, erstwhile Governor of the state, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, former presidents of INC, Prof. Kimse Okoko and Joshua Fumodoh. In his message, President Goodluck Jonathan, lauded the efforts of the founding fathers of the INC and other Ijaw leaders that have remained committed and resolute on issues bordering on Ijaw nation. Jonathan commended the state government’s support to INC, stressing that the strong and unity of the ethnic group were the hallmarks of its foundation. The governor said the state’s flag and coat of arms meant no harm, but to seek an egalitarian and just society, stressing that his administration believed in the cause of Ijaw nation. Dickson said he had directed that the flag be hoisted in all public places in the state. His words: “The government will be faithful to the fundamental interests of the Ijaw nation.”
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Activists’ protest paralyses Ibadan
•Accuse govt of insensitivity KEMI OLAITAN IBADAN
conomic activities were paralysed yesterday in major parts of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, as members of the Joint Action Front (JAF) led thousands of Nigerians to protest what they termed government’s insensitivity to the plight of the people. The protest, which had in attendance the Academic Staff Union (ASUU), University of Ibadan chapter, led by Dr Segun Ajiboye; the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) led by Mr. Bashir Olanrewaju; the National Socialist Movement, Senior Staff of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and other civil society groups, was led by the state co-ordinator of JAF, Dr Ademola Aremu. As early as 8am, protesters converged on the main gate of the University of Ibadan for the take-off. They moved towards Samonda, Sango, Elewure, Bodija, Housing Estate, Favours, Bodija and back to the university. The protesters carried placards with varying inscriptions like: “Nigeria at 52 still crawling like a toddler,” “Stop unemployment and poverty now,” “We say no to fuel hike and privatisation,” “No to casualization,” “We need good governance,” and “Education must be free.” The protesters also chanted anti-gov-
ernment songs. There was traffic gridlock for several hours even as many pedestrians joined the peaceful protest Aremu, while addressing the mammoth crowd, said the government had been totally insensitive to the issue of flooding, insecurity, infrastructural decay and unofficial hike in the price of petroleum. He said the protest was to sensitise Nigerians to ask the government questions about the fuel subsidy probe, adding that the corruption of the rich and mighty had been the bane of underdevelopment in Nigeria.
Aremu said that JAF would continue to condemn the ongoing artificial scarcity of petrol, unofficial and unwarranted increase in the price in many cities and towns across the country. He said: “We consider these as manifestations of intrigues and game-plan by the Nigeria capitalist thieving elite and their representatives in government to fully implement the lingering deregulation policy of the downstream oil sector. “Why would NNPC abandon repair works because of insecurity? How can a government that has enough armed forces to unleash terror on peaceful
demonstrators protesting the senseless hike in fuel price in January now lack enough armed forces to secure workers and pipeline? Education has not fared better. “The same government that claimed to use the money saved from subsidy to fund social services like education has just recently come-up with a recommendation through one of its constituted committee headed by Mr. Stephen Orasanye that students in Federal Universities should start paying tuition fees ranging from N450, 000 to N500, 000 in the name of full introduction of tuition fee regime into Nigeria universities”
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Ex-minister wants Ogun PDP crisis resolved • Writes Jonathan, Obasanjo, Tukur OBIORA IFOH ABUJA
ormer Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Hon. Sarafa Tunji Isola, is interested in the resolution of the crisis rocking the Ogun State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Isola has written the national leadership of the party and relevant stakeholders to intervene in the crisis ahead of the 2015 general elections. The letter dated September 10, 2012 entitled: ‘’Restoring Harmony to PDP in Ogun State,’’ was
Amosun promises robust ties with NLC FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA
L-R: Zamfara State Governor, Abubakar Yari ; his Oyo State counterpart, Senator Abiola Ajimobi; fellow awardees, representative of Sokoto State Governor, Justice Mohammed Tsamiya and Inspector-General of Police, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar, during the conferment of honorary doctorate degrees on them by Al-Hikmah University in Ilorin, at the weekend.
Party denies sponsoring violence at Ekiti varsity • Blames student’s death on Fayemi’s aide ABIODUN NEJO ADO EKITI
he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State has denied sponsoring students of the Ekiti State University (EKSU) to protest the death, last week, of one of their colleagues hit by a vehicle. It said although it would allow the police to conclude their investigation into the death and accompanying violence that culminated in destruction of public and private property in the school, it was necessary to tell the
addressed to the party’s National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur; President Goodluck Jonathan, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former Speaker of the House Representatives Dimeji Bankole, former Governor Gbenga Daniel, Gen. Adetunji Olurin (rtd) and members of the National Working Committee (NWC). The letter claims that the various groups jostling for the control of the party structure must be appreciated by all noting that: ‘’No group can do it alone, hence the need for all the groups to unite ahead of the 2015 elections.” The letter reads: ‘’Reconciliation and internal democracy are sine qua non for the electoral victory of PDP in Ogun State; we need to forgive, respect and appreciate each order. We need to support the elders and leaders of the party as they embark on reconciliation and resolution of identified conflicts in togetherness.”
public the truth. Speaking at a press conference yesterday in Ado-Ekiti, the PDP Director of Information and Media, Chief Gboyega Aribisogan, alleged that the car that killed the student was driven by an aide of Governor Kayode Fayemi. Aribisogan said: “Two of Fayemi’s aides went in the car to the students’ hostel. The students, who recognised them as people in power gathered to praise-sing them to extort money, but the driver, out of naivety, chose to drive out of the scene and in the
process, hit the final year student, who later died.” The PDP accused the state government of planning to spend N750 million on the celebration of the two years anniversary of the administration, saying there was no need for wasting “such whopping amount on hypocrisy, fraud and ineptitude”. It also accused the government of asset stripping through removal of equipment of Odua Textile Mills, Road Materials Company and Broadcasting Corporation of Ekiti State to certain destinations within and outside
the country for selfish purposes. But the state government denied the allegations, saying it was wrong for the PDP to assume the role of police and start pre-empting investigations. The state Commissioner for Information, Hon Funminiyi Afuye, said the Textile Mills was owned by O’odua Group of Companies and that Governor Fayemi did not, in any way, interfere with the sales of assets removed from the company after its conversion into a Builders’ Mall.
Dismissing the alleged plan to spend N750 million on the anniversary, Afuye said: “They should not be blind to reality. If this is how we have been spending, Fayemi would not have got money to finance all the developmental projects going on in the state”.
he Ogun State Government has assured Labour of its support. Governor Ibikunle Amosun gave the assurance yesterday in Abeokuta, the state capital, while commissioning the Ultra Modern Secretariat Complex of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) donated by his administration. Amosun, who noted that trade unionism began in Ogun State in 1976, emphasised that such support for NLC has proven that it remained an important partner and a potent force in the propagation and execution of grassroot-based policies. He said: “As an administration, we realise that workers are leaders in their spheres of influence. This is the reason why we have continued to support and encourage educated and forward-looking workforce in Ogun State.”
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Tuesday, October 2, 2012
2015: Senators, Reps, others storm Imo for Ihedioha CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI
oliticians and stakeholders at the weekend stormed Mbutu in Aboh Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo State to celebrate with the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, over the 80th birthday of his mother, Mrs. Dorothy Ihedioha.
Ngige seeks FG’s assistance for flood victims CHRIS NJOKU OWERRI
ice-Chairman of the Senate Committee on Power, Senator Chris Ngige, has urged the Federal Government to assist communities sacked by flood in Anambra State. Ngige, who spoke during the 80th birthday ceremony of Mrs. Dorothy Ihedioha, mother of the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives held at the weekend in Mbutu, Aboh Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo State, urged the Federal Government to initiate measures to manage the situation and save lives and property of the flood victims from further destruction. Describing the flood as a calamity, the Senator said that with the intervention of the House through a motion just passed, he was optimistic that Federal Government would make available resources to alleviate the sufferings of victims. According to him, the level of devastation suffered by the affected communities was much more than what the state government could shoulder alone, as many farms were washed off, while houses were submerged.
The birthday bash, which attracted all the members of the House of Representatives and a substantial number of Senators, including the Senate President, David Mark, and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, was said to consolidate the Deputy Speaker’s governorship ambition. It was learnt that immediately the reception com-
menced, the lawmakers and other top ranking members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), including the former National Chairman of the party, Chief Okwesilieze Nwodo, began a closed meeting. A politician, who did not want his name mentioned, said the number of dignitaries that thronged the sleepy town demonstrated that the birthday
celebration was organised to mend broken fences in the PDP ahead of the 2015 general elections. The source said that though neither Ihedioha nor any of his closed associates, had declared their interest in the governorship seat, leaders from Owerri and Okigwe zones had been meeting to ensure power shifts from Orlu to Owerri zone in the next election.
Dignitaries at the occasion include David Mark, House of Representatives Speaker Aminu Tambuwal, Senators Ike Ekweremadu, Andy Uba, Ayogu Eze, Chris Ngige and Hope Uzodimma, Others are Abia State Governor, Chief Theodore Orji; Cross River State Governor, Mr. Liyel Imoke; Chief Okwesilieze Nwodo, Minister of Finance, Dr.
Ngozi Okonjo Iweala; former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Dr. Maurice Iwu; former Minister of Information, Prof Walter Ofonagoro; former Imo State Governor, Chief Ikedia Ohakim, PDP National Woman Leader, Kema Chikwe; Ben Murray-Bruce, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu and Iyom Uche Ekwunife.
Obi asks flood victims to accept evacuation to safer places
overnor Peter Obi of Anambra State yesterday appealed to residents of communities ravaged by flood to relocate to safer places. The governor was at Ogbaru in the early part of the day to appeal to the people directly to leave all their property and be evacuated to safe places. However, when he was coming from Osamalla, flood had already covered the entire road. Obi said he and his team had to wade through the flood, which reached their waists, to safety. At each of the communities - Akili-Ogidi, Akili-Ozizor, Amiyi, Atani, Mputu, Obeagwe, Ochuche, Odekpe, Ogbakuba, Ogwu-Aniocha, Agwuikpele, Ohita, Okpoko, Ossomala, Umunankwo, Umuodu and Umuzu - the governor explained to the residents why they should be evacuated. He promised them that government would continue to assist them till the
flood subsides. Obi also visited parts of Onitsha that were also affected by flood, especially Habour Industrial Area. He waded through flood to visit all the factories affected by flood, some of
which are Pokobros, Krisoral, Bororo pipes and profiling, among others. One of the Chief Executive Officers of the companies visited, Chief Emmanuel Eziokwu, thanked the governor for
coming to sympathise with them and lamented that they suffered heavy losses as the flood had destroyed equipment and products worth billions of naira. The governor also vis-
ited Iyi-owa Odekpe areas of Ogbaru where canoe peddlers are making money evacuating people. He encouraged them to move to camps set up by the government for adequate support.
Anambra State Governor Peter Obi (2nd right) with CEO of Pokobros, Chief Paul Okonkwo, during a tour of places affected by flood in the state, yesterday.
NEMA trains South-East people on disaster management DENNIS AGBO ENUGU
he National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has begun sensitisation and trainings for the people of South-East on disaster management. It therefore called on stakeholders to reduce disaster occurrences through adequate emergency-disaster preparedness at community level. At a one-day stakeholders’ training on Emergency/Disaster Preparedness at Community Level held in Umuahia, the Abia State capital, the SouthEast Zonal Coordinator of NEMA, Dr. Onimode
Bandele, said the training became necessary because the country is facing disasters such as flooding, rainstorm, air crash, building collapse, fire, outbreak of cholera and other diseases. Bandele said that Nigeria is threatened by increasing vulnerabilities related to changing demographics, technological and socio-economic conditions, unplanned urbanisation and environmental degradation. Bandele, who was represented by the SouthEast Zonal Accountant of the agency, Mr. Olatunde Muhammed, named other vulnerabilities to include development within
high risk zones, climate change, geological hazards, competition for scarce resources and the impact of epidemics such as cholera. The NEMA coordinator also reminded the participants that the increasing complexity of emergency
confronting the nation at all levels called for sustained collaboration between stakeholders to strengthen humanitarian operation for the most vulnerable group. Abia State Governor, Chief Theodore Orji, who was represented by
the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Nkpa Agu Nkpa, spoke on global warming and depletion of ozone layer, laying emphasis on how carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are altering the climate system.
Man arrested for allegedly raping donkey DENNIS AGBO ENUGU
middle-aged man, Anayochukwu Okarih, has been arrested for allegedly raping a donkey belonging to one Mrs. Nnedi Moses of Umuhu at Eha-Amufu in Isi-Uzo Local Government
Area of Enugu State. The police spokesman, Ebere Amaraizu, said the suspect was handed over to the police after he was allegedly paraded naked around the town of Eha-Amufu following a report made by Mrs. Moses, alleging that she caught the sus-
pect in the act. Mrs. Moses, who spoke to our correspondent, said that she became apprehensive when she caught the suspect in the act. The police spokesman, however, said the suspect had confessed to the crime, but asked for pardon.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Save Delta from flood, Uduaghan begs FG, Nigerians G overnor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State has appealed to the Federal Government, the private sector, philanthropists and well-meaning Nigerians to save the state from the menace of flood. The governor made the appeal as flood has submerged more communities in the state. Speaking in Asaba while reviewing the damage caused by the flood, Uduaghan said
the scope of the destruction was beyond the capacity of the state. He said the situation on ground was “grave and grim,” as over 100 communities in about 10 local government areas were seriously affected. The affected councils include Patani, Isoko South, Isoko North, Ndokwa East, Bomadi, Burutu, Oshimili North, Oshimili South, Ughelli North and Ughelli South. The governor said River
Niger had over flown its banks and covered about 10 kilometres in the affected communities, adding that the tide was increasing daily. He said: “Within a period of three days the number of communities affected increased astronomically and for now there is fear of total flooding of the affected communities.” Describing the situation as “devastating and a huge challenge,” the governor said most
of the rehabilitation camps were already recording about 100,000 displaced persons. He explained that mattresses, food items and medical facilities were being arranged for the victims in the interim. Uduaghan called on the Federal Government, corporate bodies, Non-Governmental Organisations, NGOs, and public-spirited individuals to partner with his administration to provide succour for the victims.
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Pipeline fire: Shell shuts-in 150,000 barrels CHINEDUM EMEANA PORT HARCOURT
he Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, SPDC, joint venture has shut the 28-inch Bomu Bonny Trunkline, which conveys crude oil to Bonny Terminal, after it discovered a fire on it early Sunday morning. The closure has automatically resulted in deferral of 150,000 barrels of crude oil production per day. According to a statement from the company, a burning vessel, thought to be involved in the theft of crude oil from that pipeline, was sighted near the incident site, close to Okololunch community in the eastern Niger Delta. The company said a helicopter overfly showed the vessel engulfed in raging flames and thick smoke. The statement quoted Shell’s Vice-President
for Health, Safety, Environment and Corporate Affairs, Sub-Saharan Africa, Mr. Tony Attah, as saying that “this incident clearly demonstrates that the scale of the oil theft problem which, alongside the hundreds of illegal refineries in the Delta, is having such a profound effect on the people, communities and the environment.” “Until these activities are brought to a halt, there will be no improvement in the environmental situation. “SPDC is mobilising to fight the fire, investigate the cause and carry out repairs. The Bomu Bonny trunkline is part of the Trans Niger Pipeline, which itself has been repeatedly targeted by crude thieves. Last year, sabotage and crude oil theft were also the cause of 11,806 barrels spilled from SPDC facilities in 118 incidents,” the statement added.
State creation: Bayelsa immortalises Abacha EMMA GBEMUDU YENAGOA Business mogul, Sir Joe Best (right), congratulating Sir and Lady Ego Okafor who were given awards at the Episcopal Synod of Our Saviour’s Anglican Church, TBS, Lagos, recently.
Suspected Fulani herdsmen kill Council chief AMOUR UDEMUDE ASABA
here was confusion at Kwale, headquarters of Ndokwa West Local Government Area of Delta State following the killing of the Head of Personnel Management, HPM, Isoko North council, Mr. Bernard Chigwe, allegedly by armed Fulani herdsmen. According to sources, Chigwe, who hailed from the area, had gone to his farm on Sunday when he saw that cattle were grazing on his farm and he retreated. It was gathered that the HPM went back to the farm with some policemen from the Kwale police station. On arrival, the herdsmen took to their heels when they saw the police, who gave them a hot chase. A source said that as this was going on, one of
the herdsmen allegedly shot the HPM from behind. Chigwe, the source added, gave up the ghost on the way to the hospital. At press time, Chigwe’s corpse had been deposited at one of the hospital mortuaries at Kwale. When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, DSP Chrales Muka, confirmed the incident. Muka said that the police had commenced investigations into the case. He said: “For now, we cannot confidently say whether the HPM was killed by the Fulani herdsmen because investigations are still on and we wouldn’t pre-empt our investigations.” However, before his death, Chigwe was reported to have had disagreement with his staff a few weeks ago following his inability to pay their August salary.
Delta DLA’s workers, DG resolve Labour dispute AMOUR UDEMUDE ASABA
here was wide jubilation yesterday by workers of the Delta State Direct Labour Agency, DLA, following the amicable resolution of the labour dispute being championed by one of the two unions in the agency. The dispute was resolved during an enlarged meeting between staff and the Director-General, DG, of the agency, Mr. Emmanuel Odafe Igbini, in his office. The DG noted that several actions taken by the management were for the interest and growth of the DLA. Igbini added that those who fanned the ember of discord had been put to shame with the resolution of the dispute. He said: “All my effort in bringing sanity, order,
love and unity among workers has been continually frustrated by person or persons who don’t wish the agency well. The duty of this set of persons is to sponsor or instigate staff against one and other and management for selfish interest and greediness.” Assuring staff of payment of salaries towards the end of every month, Igbini appealed for cooperation and support at all times to move the agency forward. Earlier, the state executive of the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees, AUPCTRE, led by its Chairman, Comrade Emeni Fidel, and Secretary, and Comrade Oweijifagha Menome, who visited the agency, could not settle the dispute.
ixteen years after the creation of Bayelsa State, Governor Seriake Dickson has said that his administration had immortalised the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, for the significant step taken in creating a homogenous Ijaw state. Dickson recalled that Abacha was a leader, who was loved by the country and the Ijaw nation and had the courage to do what was right by giving the Ijaw ethnic stock a homogenous state. The governor said this in a broadcast yesterday in Yenagoa in commemoration of the country’s 52nd Independence Anniversary and 16th anniversary of the creation of the state. Dickson said that creating Bayelsa State had earned Abacha a place in the heart of Ijaw people, irrespective of people’s opinion of the late head of state. He said: “General Abacha was one leader who loved Nigeria and the Ijaw nation and had the courage to do what was right by giving the Ijaw a homogenous state.
“Irrespective of whatever opinion people may hold, which is their legitimate right, Gen. Abacha by virtue of the creation of the homogenous state of the Ijaw nation, has earned a place in the heart of the Ijaw people for which we are eternally grateful.” Dickson later commissioned the four-storey building secretariat of the Ijaw National Congress, INC, started by the Diepreye Alamieyeseigha’s administration. Unlike in previous years, the anniversaries were marked in low key, given the current challenges facing the country. The governor commended the founding fathers of the state and all the leaders, past and present, for their years of sacrifice, commitment and valuable service and contributions to the peace and progress of the Ijaw nation. Dickson said government would lay a foundation stone for the construction of a 150-duplex housing estate in Yenagoa named after Abacha and would also name the main auditorium of the INC building after the late head of state.
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We’ve W ’ n not channelled our pot potential in the right d di rectio – Ayoola direction 14&15
Nigeria’ll grow from strengthh to strength, says Jonathan han 16
Landmark cases that shaped democracy military putsch, the independence of judiciary was preserved by the Supreme Military Council (SMC) until it was unsettled in the famous case of Lakanmi vs Attorney General of the West. The Supreme Court had invalidated the Commission of Inquiry decree of the military under which Lakanmi and several others were to be probed. This courageous verdict, which was hailed by legal scholars, rattled the Yakubu Gowon regime to its marrow. In a swift reaction, the FMG promulgated Decree No 28 of 1970 that whittled down the judgement and made the military Decrees superior to the constitution, thereby making the military enactments the grundnorm in Nigeria. The decree had the effect of nullifying the decision of any court in any part of the federation.
As Nigeria celebrates her 52nd independence anniversary, the country’s judiciary appeared to have been bedeviled by some limitations in the administration of justice. FRANCIS FAMOROTI reports the epochal cases that impacted on the polity in the last five decades.
istorically, with the scramble and eventual demarcation of Africa at the Berlin Conference, the English legal system was imported into the territory known as Nigeria as a potent instrument of consolidating and legitimising colonial rule. Back then, the judiciary was not separate from the executive, but was in fact a department of and controlled by the supervisory courts outside the country as appeals from Nigerian courts laid to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council which was the court of last resort. That was basically the setting until Nigeria attained independence in 1960 with a constitution crafted after the Westminster model of government that recognised the Nigerian judiciary as an independent arm of government. The immediate past Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Dahiru Musdapher, in a paper titled: “Challenges of Judicial Reform: The Nigerian experience” delivered recently at a forum, noted that “the judiciary began to have a chequered history in 1966 (with the first military coup), enduring eight military interventions out of 52 years of post-independence in the country’s existence.” The typical behaviour of the military juntas, the past CJN noted, was namely, the suspension of the constitution, proliferation of ouster clauses, fusion of the executive and the legislature – thereby undermining the independence of the judiciary; and the flagrant disobedience of court orders by the executive in what became known as “executive lawlessness.” To emasculate the judiciary further, the military enacted decrees with ouster clauses that sought to deprive the court from looking into acts which were considered as contrary to the tenets of democracy, against the rule of law and offensive to acceptable standards of modern society. Indeed, Nigeria has had a chequered experience with the ballot box. For a country that began having encounters with elections since 1922, it is somewhat ironic that it should still be agonising over democratic praxis.
TOP STORY Undoubtedly, the litigious spirit of the populace has enriched the country’s jurisprudence as litigants, despite all odds, had decided to take their grievances to court rather than resort to the precarious rule of the mob. In the case of Chief T. Adebayo Doherty vs Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and others, the constitutional validity of the Commission and Tribunal of Enquiry Act 1961 was in question. Although the Supreme Court held that the Act was a valid exercise of the legislative power of the Parliament, it declared Section 3(4) of the Act unconstitutional to the extent that it purported to limit the jurisdiction of the courts to hear and determine civil rights and obligations and constitutional issues, contrary to sections 21, 31 and 108 of the Constitution. Gowon’s regime (1960-1975) In pre-independence Nigeria, disagreements over election results were prevalent. Similarly in the immediate post-independence era, politics of bickering and cleavages along ethnic divide worsened the political crises, especially the 1962 crisis in the Western Region. This paved the way for the removal of the late Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola as the Premier of the Western Region, the attendant court action and the consequent appointment of Dr. Adekoyejo Majekodunmi as the Administrator of the region. The rest is history. Mention can also be made of the events during the trial of late leader of the defunct Action Group (AG), Chief Obafemi Awolo-
CONVICTED, PART OF THE PRONOUNCEMENT OF THE TRIAL
JUSTICE GEORGE SODEINDE SOWEMIMO, “MY HANDS ARE TIED” WAS MISCONSTRUED AND IT HAS REMAINED A SUBJECT OF DISCOURSE FOR THE PAST FIVE DECADES IN THE COUNTRY wo for treasonable felony in 1962. Interestingly too, when Awolowo was eventually convicted, part of the pronouncement of the trial judge, Justice George Sodeinde Sowemimo, “my hands are tied” was misconstrued and it has remained a subject of discourse for the past five decades in the country. Another landmark decision of the era was the case of Attorney General of Eastern Nigeria vs Attorney General of the Federation which involved complaints on the 1963 controversial census. But then, the Supreme Court declined jurisdiction in the case on the basis that no enforceable rights of the Eastern Region were infringed. After the January 15, 1966
Second Republic/Buhari and Babangida regimes (1978-1993) A major intervention of the judiciary in Nigeria’s march to democratic experiment in the Second Republic began with the aftermath of the declaration of the presidential candidate of the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN), Alhaji Shehu Shagari, as the winner of the 1979 election by the Michael Ani led-Federal Electoral Commission (FEDECO) on August 17, 1979. The main opposition group, Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) and its presidential candidate, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, rejected the result and on August 19, 1979 filed a petition at the Presidential Election Appeal Tribunal against Shagari’s declaration. At the appeal tribunal comprising a seven-man panel of Supreme Court justices, Awolowo lost and hence, the 12 two-thirds joker crept into the country’s election jurisprudence. Other notable cases of the period included Balarabe Musa vs Auta Hamza and others, on the impeachment of the then governor of Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa by the Kaduna State House of Assembly and the illegal deportation of the former majority leader of the Borno State House of Assembly, Alhaji Abdulrahman Darman Shugaba by immigration authorities to Chad Republic in January 1980. In a trumpet-like verdict, the court declared Shugaba’s deportation as a gross violation of his fundamental right to freedom of movement by the agents of the ruling government. Worthy of note is the case of Tony Momoh vs The Senate of the Federal Republic, where the court held that the National Assembly lacked the power to summon a journalist to come and disclose the source of his information. CONTINUED ON PAGE 44
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
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We’ve not channelled our potential Justice Emmanuel Ayoola, former Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), is a retired justice of the Supreme Court. He speaks with KEMI OLAITAN on corruption in the judiciary, Nigeria at 52 and where we got it wrong. Excerpts: What was your memory of Nigeria at independence in 1960? Nigeria at independence was a nation with great hopes and expectations. In 1960, we were all excited, because we thought then that our progress will be in leaps and bounds. In 1960, Nigeria was a nation of tremendous opportunities. We are talking of a period when unemployment was not talked about because there was reasonably full employment. Education was not much of a challenge, even though, we did not have as many educational institutions as we have now, but things were more orderly. But we thought then that with independence, we will build on the colonial past to usher in a period of regularity, reliability and dependability. That was our expectations in 1960; 1960 was a very exciting year for us. What were you doing at independence in 1960? In 1960, I was already a lawyer, practising. I became a lawyer in Nigeria in 1959. So at independence in 1960, as I said, we were really jubilant, because in those days, your achievement, even becoming a professional, is a celebrated thing and we were celebrating. We did not have any frustration. We did not have any fear of the future. We were very much hopeful for the future. So, we were all celebrating at independence.
Looking back, do you think we have what to celebrate? Looking at history, we can say that we can roll out the drums of celebrations and even if we cannot roll out drums of celebrations, we should not hang our heads in shame and start mourning. The survival of a nation for 52 years after the civil war, after numerous challenges that the nation survived, is worthy of celebration. We must not, because of the challenges of the moment, rule ourselves out as failures. We are not a failure as a nation, we have cause to celebrate, because, we have not disintegrated; because, somehow, by the grace of God, we are coping with our challenges. To say that we shouldn’t celebrate is tantamount to giving up on ourselves, and I won’t give up on Nigeria. I think Nigeria has a promise, and that the promise has not been realised yet does not mean that we have reached the end of our abilities. In your view, how would you describe our indepen-
How would you assess Nigeria in the past five decades? Let me start with the realistic positive side. You see, those of us who were here 52 years ago, will not say that we have not moved forward. At independence, we had just a handful of tertiary institutions, but now we have more. At independence, we did not have a single expressway, now we have several. Now people who did not know where we were coming from saw where we are and believed that we have not moved. But people who knew where we were coming from definitely know that we have not been static. In 2012, 52 years later, there are opportunities. In 1960, you could not talk of private enterprise, but today we have them all over the place. So, I believe that we have moved forward. The only disappointment we have is that we have not moved forward as fast as we should have with the resources available. It is not that we have not moved, we have moved, but we do not want to congratulate ourselves by measuring where we have arrived. We could have gone further, that is the only disappointment one could have.
I WON’T GIVE UP ON NIGERIA. I THINK NIGERIA HAS A PROMISE, AND THAT THE PROMISE HAS NOT BEEN REALISED YET DOES NOT MEAN THAT WE HAVE REACHED THE END OF OUR ABILITIES dence; is it political or economical? First we have sovereignty, and sovereignty is the essence of independence. But do not let us forget that the world has become a global village and a global village is a situation of interdependence. It is not possible now for any nation to stand on its own. We have independence of decision, but we have a global community now and for you to say you are independent in a global community, is a deception. The only thing now is that we now have the opportunity to determine for ourselves, how we want to live. If we want to live in isolation, nobody will disturb us. But only a foolish nation will want to live in isolation on the basis of independence. We have political independence but you can never have economic independence, because there are multinational and multilateral treaties that will restrict independence. So, the independence that you have is the ability to
submit yourselves to the will of the community. What do you think is responsible for the under-development of Nigeria? One can write a whole lot of theses on that. Some people will say the problem of development is leadership. I have always believed that the problem of Nigeria is also followership. So, we have a combination of challenges of leadership and followership. Why do I say that? You see over the years, since independence, the quality of followership and the attitude of followership have changed. In the days of people like Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo and Ahmadu Bello, the followership was a trusting followership; a followership that believed in their leaders. But now we have a followership that does not trust their leaders. Maybe thanks to education, may be thanks to some sort of enlightenment, everybody believes that he is a leader and when you believed that you are a leader, you are asking for chaos and confusion and that is where we are now. If we can have some level of trust in our leadership, Nigeria would have moved faster than we are now. Do you think we have utilised our potential as a nation? No. I don’t think we have. We have not channelled our potential in the right direction. And this is because we do not have any coherent policy, either socially, politically or economically. As a result, we have not really harness our potential in any discernable way. Everybody does what he thinks for the moment, the leader decides one thing today, another comes in tomorrow and changes it, and we have not built enough foundations. Can you do a critical analysis of Nigeria’s leadership before and after independence? Before independence, we cannot say that we had political leadership. We had political agitators, who had their
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in the right direction ��� Ayoola followers. Before independence, we were struggling for independence and the entire nation stood behind Herbert Macaulay as the leader of the entire nation fighting for independence. Before independence, we had that type of leadership. On independence, we also have a continuity of dedicated, reliable and trustworthy leaders. So, we had leaders, who were truly allowed to lead. Now, we do not have leaders, who are given the opportunity to lead and those who have leadership potential do not want to come forward, because it is path of destruction in Nigeria. So, everybody decides to be on his own for self-preservation. It is not that we do not have people with leadership qualities. Nigerians thinks of leadership as a conferred status, but leadership is not a conferred status. Leadership is an inherent attitude, attribute. Now when you have an inherent attribute, you do not look at leadership as wanting to be in a position. In Nigeria, we struggle for leadership because we think it is a position. Leadership is a quality, and for your leadership to have quality, it must be value driven. You must have a passion to achieve something, not for yourself but for other people. Now we do not have that type of leadership in Nigeria now. That is why, when we are talking of leadership, we are talking of ethnicity and all sorts of other personal things. We do not have a leader, who is driven by passion for Nigeria. It is not yet there. They are all over the country, but they won’t come forward because they will not want to be destroyed. How do you assess the Nigerian security in relation to the current insurgency? Before independence and at independence, security was not an issue. Maybe if one were to joke about it, many people were not even able to spell security because it’s not something that was on our minds. We were thinking of a period that we felt it was safer to travel in the night. We were thinking of a period when there was no burglar proofing. Let me give you an instance; the first riot that broke out in the University College, which later became University of Ibadan, occurred because, burglar proofing was put in the corridors and the students, (I think late Chief Bola Ige was there then), rioted, pulled down the burglar proofing because they complained that they were being caged like animals and that was the cause of the riot. I think it was the cause of the first students protest. Now compare that with these days. Now students are complaining because of absence of burglar proofing and other things. That explains the difference between now and then. Agriculture was the mainstay in the pre and post-independece era. Despite the oil boom, we are still underdeveloped, why? It is what people call resource curse. You know oil is there and money is flowing in from there. Oil money was utilised for development; I think it is still being utilised for development. Roads were being built and structures were being put up and that account for the drift from the rural areas to the urban areas. And when you come from the village and taste life in Lagos, Ibadan, you will see that it is different from what obtains in the rural areas and that accounts for why people keep drifting to the urban areas. But more fundamental, was that when we struck oil, we now had money we did not need to work for. The foreign investors were there to explore oil; they just give us the money. We did not need to use our intellect to get more money. So we had this deluge of money, which was rolled onto our laps, we did not have any mental inputs into how the money was made. When you are in such a situation, you are likely to waste the money, and that was what we did. If you struggle to make money, you will be more careful in the management of the money that you have. But we have this huge money thrown onto our laps, we put our intellect in sleep mode, so we were just spending money without thinking, and that is why we are where we are today. And unless we realise that the time will come that
not working, but because they are overworked by quantity and it is not because government is not making any effort but because government too is overworked.
I TELL PEOPLE THAT FOR THE PERIOD I WAS IN THE JUDICIARY, NOBODY GAVE ME AN OPPORTUNITY OF REFUSING A BRIBE.
OFFERED ME A BRIBE free flowing money will cease, and we plan for that future, the future, in my own thinking is not very bright. As a retired Justice, how do you assess the nation’s judiciary since independence? You cannot compare the judiciary or stage any comparison between the judiciary then and now, because it is incomparable. Let us start, not with quality but with quantity. Before independence, you know we have the entire Western region which now consists of several states and in the Western region, you had a judicial division in Ibadan, you had one in Benin and of course, one in Lagos. That was about it. When a judiciary division was created in Abeokuta, it was history. In those days we had very few judges, most of them colonial judges, we had few lawyers, magistrate courts and native courts. So, the structure of the judiciary in number was not as much as what we have today. Now we were not litigious people then, so there was not much pressure on the handful of the judges that we had. Now let us fast forward, now in Ibadan alone, I think we have about 20 or so judges, and then you move to Oyo, Saki, Ogbomosho and the other parts of the state. When you get to Ogun, Osun and other states too, the story is the same. So, we have the challenge of numbers; number in terms of courts, judges, litigants, lawyers and everything. And that brings about the problem of management. We were not number-conscious; we were increasing the size, without facing the challenge of management. So, we had the problem of management of sizes of everything and that affected quality and that is why we are in the situation in which we are. I think it will be unfair to start comparing the quality in terms of personnel, but in terms of structure and attitude, the quality has gone down. It is not because the judges are
Of recent the judiciary has come under criticism of being corrupt. Do you agree with this? I, too, hear that the judiciary is corrupt. I have been a judge in Nigeria since 1976, about 36 years ago, and I tell people that for the period I was in the judiciary, nobody gave me an opportunity of refusing a bribe. Nobody even offered me a bribe and I do not think I am different, so the allegation of corruption in the judiciary is usually overblown. I am not saying that there will not be corrupt judges, but they are not as prevalent as people say it. But in addition to that, I should remember up to two years ago, I was the chairman of the ICPC, when people say the judiciary is corrupt, and I keep asking them, how many judges have you reported? Not one. So, corruption in Nigeria is just like the way Nigerians talk about witches and ghost. Everybody talks about witches, but you tell somebody to show you who the witches are and they keep quiet. Everybody say, he cannot go out at night because of ghost and you ask him ‘have you seen a ghost before’ and he tells you ‘no, I haven’t seen a ghost before’. So, it is in the same way we talk about corruption. I think the reason is that the average Nigerian is not interested in acquisition of knowledge. If you are interested in the acquisition of knowledge, you will understand how things work. Let me give you an instance to illustrate my point. In Nigeria, a person who has a blood pressure problem or heart problem knows he has a heart problem, but let us assume that he neglects himself and collapses suddenly and dies. What will Nigerians say? They will say it was a witch that has killed him. It is the work of the enemy. So, it is the same with judiciary; it is the same with corruption. Why is it that we are ruled by emotions and sentiments, rather than real facts? Why don’t we want to tell ourselves the facts first before we base or form opinion or pass judgement? Everybody is saying everybody is corrupt. We say the judiciary is corrupt, the police are corrupt, the teachers are corrupt, and so where is the person with integrity? We are now in a situation where we are all finger pointers. I point fingers at you, you point fingers at me, so where does that leads us? Do you think Nigeria is making any progress in the fight against corruption even with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the ICPC? No nation can rely on institutions to fight corruption and that is why, one of the strategies I choose to adopt when I was the chairman of ICPC was to endeavour to have a clean society first. If you are not clean in your thinking, if you lack integrity in yourself and you say you are fighting corruption, you are deceiving yourself. In the past, we were people with integrity. I always give example of myself. At the age of 20, I was already working with Barclays Bank, here in Ibadan, and I used to go to Ilorin to fetch money in an open vehicle, accompanied by the driver and a messenger, no policeman. I will go to Ilorin with open van, not bullion van, loaded it with money and we would drive back to Ibadan, without any fear of any molestation, we were people with integrity. Now integrity has gone down. In my experience, many people write fictitious petitions, because they want to destroy their enemies. They write and submit fictitious petitions. So, there are many submissions of petitions that lack integrity and when you want to prosecute, you cannot prosecute without witnesses. And when nobody is complaining, what is your business with that, unless you go into the books. And if you are going to fight corruption by going into the books, you need more than 1,000 agencies to do that, because we have 774 local governments. Each institution is a potential centre of corruption, and we have numerous of them, both at the federal and state levels.
An address by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, on the occasion of the Independence Day anniversary on Monday, October 1, 2012
eloved countrymen and women, on this day, fifty-two years ago, our founding fathers brought joy and hope to the hearts of our people when they won independence for our great country. Nigeria made a clean break with more than six decades of colonial rule, and emerged as a truly independent nation. That turning point was a new beginning for our nation. Those who witnessed the lowering of the Union Jack and the emergence of the Green White Green flag continue to relish the memory, because that ceremony was not just about the destiny of a nation, but the future of a people. That future is here; we are the inheritors of a great legacy that goes even much farther into the past. The worthy patriots who made this possible were young men and women in their twenties and thirties. They worked together to restore dignity and honour to the Nigerian people. Their resolve united a multicultural and multilingual nation of diverse peoples, with more than 250 distinct languages and ethnic groups. In 1960, our diversity became a source of strength, and the new leaders resolved to carry the flag of independence for the benefit of future generations. They had their differences, but they placed a greater premium on the need to come together to build a new nation. It is that resolve, and that glorious moment that we celebrate today. We also celebrate the patriotism of our heroes past: Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Sir Michael Okpara, Chief Anthony Enahoro, Herbert Macaulay, and several others who made the case for our independence. We remember as always, their contributions to the making of the Nigerian nation, and the efforts of their successors since 1960. We also celebrate the unfailing optimism and resilience of Nigerians who remain proud of our national identity. On this special day, I call on every Nigerian to remain steadfast, because our nation is indeed making progress. I call on every Nigerian to rediscover that special spirit that enables us to triumph over every adversity as a people: We weathered the storm of the civil war, we have refused to be broken by sectarian crises; we have remained a strong nation. I bring to you today, a message of renewed hope and faith in the immense possibilities that lie ahead. Fellow citizens, I have an unshaken belief in the future of our great country. I consider it a priority and sacred duty to continue to strengthen the bond of unity that holds our nation together and to promote and nourish the creative energies of our people. This is a central objective of our administration’s Transformation Agenda. Nigeria, I assure you, will continue to grow from strength to strength.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
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Nigeria’ll grow from strength to strength, says Jonathan I HAVE AN UNSHAKEN BELIEF IN THE FUTURE OF OUR
I CONSIDER IT A
PRIORITY AND SACRED DUTY TO CONTINUE TO STRENGTHEN THE BOND OF UNITY THAT HOLDS OUR NATION TOGETHER...
Since I assumed office as President of our dear country on the 6th of May 2010, I have continued to work with our countrymen and women to enhance our nation’s growth and development. Our vision is encapsulated in the Transformation Agenda. We are working hard and making progress on many fronts. We have cleaned up our electoral process; our elections are now globally acclaimed to be free and fair. Nigeria is now on a higher pedestal regarding elections. Over the past five years, the global economy has been going through a weak and uncertain recovery. During the same period and particularly in the last two years, the Nigerian economy has done appreciably well despite the global financial crisis. Nigeria’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has grown by 7.1 per cent on average. It is also significant that the GDP growth has been driven largely by the non-oil sector. In pursuance of the main goals of the Transformation Agenda, a number of reforms and initiatives are being pursued in key sectors of the economy with a view to consolidating the gains of the economic growth. Our country’s power supply situation is improving gradually. We are successfully implementing a well-integrated power sector reform programme which includes institutional arrangements to facilitate and strengthen private-sector-led power generation, transmission and distribution. We have also put in place a cost-reflective tariff structure that reduces the cost of power for a majority of electricity consumers. I am pleased with the feedback from across the country, of improvements in power supply. We are continuing to improve and stabilise on our crude production volumes; our 12-month gas supply emergency plan, put in place earlier this year, has produced
more than the targeted volumes of gas for power generation. A robust Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) has been placed before the National Assembly. Its passage into law will ensure far-reaching reforms, transparency, accountability, increased government revenue and predictability for investors in the Oil and Gas sector. Several government programmes and projects are creating wealth and millions of job opportunities for our youth and general population. Such programmes include: You-Win, both for the youth and for the women, Public Works, the Local Content Initiative in the Oil and Gas Sector, and the Agricultural Transformation programme. We have improved on our investment environment; more corporate bodies are investing in the Nigerian economy. Our Investment Climate Reform Programme has helped to attract over N6.8 trillion local and foreign direct investment commitments. Nigeria has become the preferred destination for investment in Africa. It is ranked first in the top five host economies for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Africa, accounting for over 20 per cent of total FDI flows into the continent. We have streamlined bureaucratic activities at the ports to ensure greater efficiency in the handling of ports and port-related businesses. Specifically, we have drastically reduced the goods clearing period in our ports from about six weeks to about one week and under. We have an ultimate target of 48 hours. We have put in place, a new visa policy that makes it easier for legitimate investors to receive long stay visas. We have achieved a 24-hour timeline for registration of new businesses, leading to the registration of close to 7, 000 companies within the second quarter of 2012. The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has disclosed that, as at July 2012, 249 new members across the country had joined the Association, and that capacity utilization has also improved. The multiplier effect of this development on our job creation programme cannot be over-
emphasized. In the last two years, we have put in place structures for an upgrade of the country’s health sector, to promote in every respect, the individual citizen’s right to quality, affordable and accessible healthcare. In this regard, we are devoting resources under the Subsidy Reinvestment Program (SURE-P) to reducing malaria incidents, dramatically reducing maternal and child mortality, and eradicating polio. Fellow Nigerians, in recent times, we have witnessed serious security challenges in parts of our country. We have taken pro-active measures to check the menace. This has included constant consultation and collaboration with our neighbours and other friendly nations on issues relating to internal and cross border security, and the sharing of information on smuggling and illegal dealing in small arms and light weapons. Our security agencies are constantly being strengthened and repositioned for greater efficiency. Many Nigerians have acknowledged that there has been a significant decline in the spate of security breaches. While expressing our condolences to the affected families, let me reiterate the commitment of this administration to ensure the safety of lives and property of all Nigerians. Even as we remain focused on the issue of security, the fight against the scourge of corruption is a top priority of our administration. We are fighting corruption in all facets of our economy, and we are succeeding. We have put an end to several decades of endemic corruption associated with fertilizer and tractor procurement and distribution. We have exposed decades of scam in the management of pensions and fuel subsidy, and ensured that the culprits are being brought to book. In its latest report, Transparency International (TI) noted that Nigeria is the second most improved country in the effort to curb corruption. We will sustain the effort in this direction with an even stronger determination to strengthen the institutions that are statutorily entrusted with the task of ending this scourge. I have given my commitment of non-interference in the work of the relevant agencies and I am keeping my word. What we require is the full cooperation of all tiers of government, and the public, especially civil society and the media. This administration has also introduced for the first time in Nigeria’s history, a Performance Contract System for all Ministers, and other officials of government. This is to further place emphasis on performance, efficiency, and service delivery. CONTINUED ON PAGE 41
MORE POLITICS STORIES ON PAGES 41-44
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Of Edo guber poll, Arhiavbere and PDP THE PAINFUL
BUT TRUE FACT IS
t the PDP National Convention held at the Eagle Square, Abuja on Saturday 24th March, 2012, President Goodluck Jonathan, in his capacity as the National Leader of the party, set a new ethical code for members in his address. The emphasis of his statement was on responsible leadership by example and the subsuming of members’ personal interest into the larger interest of the party; the objective is the consolidation and stability of the nation’s democracy. It is within this context I wish to situate the current push by General Charles Airhiavbere, the PDP governorship candidate in the July 14, 2014 Edo guber election. He and some of his supporters have ignored the sane advice of the President in the way they are pursuing the petition challenging the victory of Comrade Adams Oshimhole, even after the party had directed to the contrary. General Airhiavbere’s action is to say the least, very disappointing. His running mate, Hon. Johnson Abolagba, has distanced himself from the legal action, saying “My loyalty to my party, the PDP has never been in doubt... I am convinced, as a party man that Edo PDP and the position it has taken regarding the election is superior to my individual ambition or the ambition of any member of the party”.
THAT WHATEVER INVARIABLY BECOMES THE OUTCOME OF HIS PETITION WILL NOT IN ANY WAY DETRACT FROM
POPULARITY With his military background of discipline and total submission to authority, his recent behaviour is not at all a good testimony to the Nigerian Armed Forces of which he was once a top officer. The painful but true fact is that whatever invariably becomes the outcome of his petition will not in any way detract from Oshiomole’s popularity in Edo State, a popularity he has earned through hard work and purposeful leadership. The Edo PDP leadership is perceptible enough to appreciate the new dynamics of the state and thus saw it as futile to support the petition challenging the election of Oshiomhole. Let me divulge this little secret. Sometime in May 2012, I was privilege to be in the company of some highly respected
Nigerians in the Abuja private residence of the PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur. Over dinner, Alhaji Tukur wanted to know the exact feelings of Edo people with regard to the forthcoming election. I listened with rapt attention at that informal meeting as an indigene of the state. The National Chairman was told that it would be extremely difficult for his party to re-claim the governorship position from Comrade Oshiomole for now. I must confess that the ACN as a party was not the issue in this matter. Alhaji Tukur was told that Edo people would ensure the reelection of Oshiomole on the basis of his superlative performance. However, Alhaji Tukur, as a true leader, still insisted that everything should be done to support the candidature of General Arhiavbere. Although, Alhaji Tukur, made no further comment, it was obvious that he was ready to accept whatever the outcome of that election would be, so long as the election was free and fair. As far as he was concerned, he and his party were ready to respect the wishes of Edo people. The election is won and lost. But I am worried about the way and manner Airhiavbere and his supporters have been carrying on. They have been deploying all the crudities and banalities that have given Nigerian politics a bad name. My question is what point is the general trying to make? Will his recalcitrant behaviour
make him now and in the future a better politician? Is this not a case of unbridled and rapacious selfishness, which is another name for indiscipline? We all know the most profound preoccupation of the PDP National Chairman now is bringing back the estrange members of his party, a development caused by factional crisis. He instituted the Alabo Tonye Graham-Douglas Committee to reconcile all aggrieved members of the party. This might be a task impossible if party members are not ready to obey the instruction of the leadership of their party. Alhaji Tukur was dead right when he attributed infighting as a factor militating against PDP success in Edo State. “See Edo, why did we lose the election? It was because of factionalisation arising from misunderstanding. It is like big dogs fighting and the lean one came to take the bone away”, was how he put it. Mr. Chairman Sir, reconciliation of the various factions is a good step, but for this to yield dividends, Airhiavbere and his supporters must be prevailed upon to bow to the directive of the party. He should discontinue his petition against Oshiomhole. Reconciliation without obeying party directive will not in any way help PDP. Mr. Omonhinmin is a Lagos-based media consultant
Dana Air: FG’s rescission of suspension in order DANIEL OMALE
can understand the national outcry over the lifting of the suspension order on Dana Air following the June 3, 2012 air crash that claimed many lives and traumatized many families. Such incident is naturally emotionally draining. Air transportation accidents, especially those involving large passenger airplanes, sap the emotions of people. But banning an airline that has been involved in an accident is definitely not the antidote to accidents. The best solution is to find the probable cause(s) and proffer realistic solutions. If Dana Air is banned from operating in our national airspace, it does not mean we have finally prevented future air accidents. The implication of banning is that another airline has been sent into bankruptcy. One of the multiplier effects of the action is condemning many Nigerians to unemployment. What Nigeria needs most at this point is federal government’s resolute determination to unravel the cause(s) of air crashes. This will help the nation’s drive to prevent future mishaps or stem them. This is the most realistic way forward. The aviation minster properly articulated this perspective when she announced the return Dana Air to business. We as a nation have made remarkable progress in air safety. Airplanes are more reliable, more dependable and we now have improved safety measures in place. Human error remains the only setback, and it accounts for more than 80 percent of all glob-
al air crashes. The core issue of air safety is how to overcome or minimize the fallibility of man when operating an aircraft. Human-flight deck problems have dominated aviation safety seminars, are seen as the root of organizational safety management systems, and are the preoccupation of regulation authorities globally. For expert aircraft accident investigators, their concern has always been the factors responsible for the crashes. Generally, there are series of events that lead to air crash; unless these pieces of puzzle are collated, analyzed and synthesized, it becomes difficult to deduce the probable cause of an accident. This is where the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), an independent agency of the federal government, comes into the equation. The agency, which reports directly to the president, according to Nigeria’s Civil Aviation Act 2006, is the sole authority in air crash investigation in the country. The nation should wait patiently for AIB to come out with its report on the cause(s) of an air crash before prematurely suspecting foul play. As bad as the Dana Air accident was, there have been worse fatal accidents in the recent history of aviation. What led to the improved safety records of major airlines like British Airways, KLM-Air France and several American airlines is the high level of professionalism in the investigation of accidents and incidents involving their aircraft and the adoption of safety recommendations. I reiterate that an aircraft accident, most of the time, involves elements of human errors. These errors must be studied
THE MAJOR CHALLENGE FACING AVIATION INDUSTRY IN
NIGERIA TODAY IS
NOT REGULATION OR SAFETY OVERSIGHT,
BUT CRITICAL HUMAN FACTOR ELEMENTS to create reactive, proactive, and preventive regiments of safe aircraft operations. I present below two fatal air crashes involving BA, and the reports of the investigations into the cause(s) of the accidents: • 10 September 1976 British Airways Trident 3B Flight 476 crash near Zagreb, Yugoslavia. The aircraft had a midair collision with an Inex Adria aircraft, DC9-32. All nine crew members and 54 passengers on the Trident were killed. Ditto for all five crew members and 108 passengers on the DC9. The probable cause of this event was failure of the Yugoslavian ATC system to provide adequate separation for the two aircraft! • 22 August 1985 British Airtours 737-200 Flight 28M crash at Manchester Airport, England. The crew rejected the takeoff instruction due to an uncontained engine failure. The failure led to a punctured fuel tank and a subsequent fire that spread to the cabin. The accident killed 53 of the 131 passengers on board and two of six crew members.
British Airways was not banned or suspended by the British government. Today, BA is one of the most celebrated legacy airlines in the world and probably the most patronised airline by Nigerians. It may sound funny to some people in this country, but the major challenge facing aviation industry in Nigeria today is not regulation or safety oversight, but critical human factor elements. Without proper deductive investigation to unveil the causes of aircraft accidents in Nigeria, mere display of public emotions towards Dana Air, the government, or its agencies won’t help to establish a solution. The more Nigerians, after every accident, distort professional investigation into the cause(s) of a crash, the more we dilute the zeal to pursue the facts for future lesson. Unfortunately, Nigeria’s business environment is unhealthy for anyone. Public scorn alone is more than any act of God, an acute social retribution that mitigates a business economic growth. If it can cope with the massive losses, Dana Air should be allowed to operate. Captain Omale, an aviation writer and analyst, was a former instructor at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria 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.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
All the Facts, All the Sides A PUBLICATION OF GLOBAL MEDIA MIRROR LTD BARRISTER JIMOH IBRAHIM, OFR PUBLISHER
COORDINATOR, EDITORIAL BOARD
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR
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SM, STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT
Federal Government and drugs’ importation C ’ FG T he Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMG-MAN) recently kicked against plans by the Federal Government to import anti-retroviral drugs worth over N1 billion. Chairman of the PMG-MAN, Bunmi Olaopa, and the body’s Executive Secretary, Olakunle Okelola in a report they made available to newsmen in Lagos, lamented that Nigerian pharmaceutical manufacturers had the capacity to produce such drugs - ampicillin capsules/powder; amoxillin capsules/powder; clorpheniramine tablets/syrup; abscorbic acid/syrup; tetracyline capsules; ibuprofen tablet/syrup; dextrose, etc. According to the PMG-MAN officials, the sub-sector had been grappling with declining patronage, with the resultant under-utilisation of capacity, rising stocks due to low patronage and other operational and economic challenges. The manufacturers boasted of having the installed capacity to meet over 70 per cent of Nigerian drug needs, including antimalarial and anti-retroviral, but that the installed capacity is currently under-utilised due to the influx of imported and do-
nated drugs from abroad. Poor patronage by both the government and individuals had forced some pharmaceutical companies in the country to shut down production, they said. From all indications, the hues and cries of the PMGMAN seem premised on the fact that the FG has been sinking billions of naira on imported drugs that the country can produce. It is not unlikely that before going public, the PMGMAN had cried to the deaf ears of the relevant authorities for a revision of the trend to no avail, which confirms the suspicion that some dishonest and insensitive public officials saddled with the procurement of such drugs as are in contention might have been exploiting the opportunity to rip off the nation; public sector corruption having become a lucrative business. Indeed, what economic sense does it make, encouraging the donation and importation of drugs from foreign lands, when from what the PMG-MAN officials have said, there are better alternatives at home? Indeed, has the FG, particularly the Federal Ministry of Health, investigated the veracity or otherwise of the PMG-MAN claim? Why do gov-
AN T THE
THE CAMPAIGN FOR A REJUVENATED LOCAL
DRUG MANUFACTURING SECTOR AND INSIST ON IMPROVED QUALITY AND QUANTITY?
ernments at all levels in Nigeria prefer creating jobs and sustaining manufacturers in more advanced foreign countries than doing so at home, despite the lip service and crocodile tears to the contrary? Can’t the FG lead the campaign for a rejuvenated local drug manufacturing sector and insist on improved quality and quantity? The National Procurement Policy (NPP) on drugs is explicit on the required standards; and also demands that the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) shall publish annually, the updated list of manufacturers and suppliers that comply with preferred and fundamental standards; who can be selected for the procurement of their medical products, among others. Has the FG deemed it appropriate to cross-check if the conditions are being met? While we appreciate the fact that some
local manufacturers of pharmaceuticals in the country are brazen crooks notorious for producing fake drugs at prohibitive costs, their Asian counterparts appear smarter with fake drugs, and their products flood the Nigerian drug market sometimes at high costs, too. This, perhaps, should be one of the challenges the FG should use as a spring board to encourage massive, high quality local production of drugs, especially malarial and anti-retroviral that require very high quality. In addition, encouraging investment in local drugs production would generate employment for many Nigerians roaming the streets and, in the long run, lead to a more competitive pharmaceutical manufacturing industry in terms of standard, quality and safe drugs for domestic consumption. Whereas dubious public officials would prefer the rent seeking option of import and even fight for the donation of drugs by well-off nations, some of which they smuggle and sell in the open market, the FG should urgently review its plan of huge import of anti-retroviral and other drugs that can be produced locally. For long, ‘Buy Nigeria’ has been abused as a hollow jargon.
ON THIS DAY October 2, 2007 President Roh Moo-hyun of South Korea walked across the Military Demarcation Line into North Korea on his way to the second Inter-Korean Summit with North Korean leader, Kim Jong Il. The Military Demarcation Line (MDL) is the land border or demarcation line between North Korea and South Korea. On either side of the line is the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). The MDL and DMZ were established by the Armistice at the end of Korean War in 1953.
October 2, 2006 Five school girls were murdered by Charles Carl Roberts in a shooting at an Amish school in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, United States, before Roberts committed suicide. Charles Carl Roberts IV (December 7, 1973 – October 2, 2006) was an American milk truck driver who murdered five Amish girls and injured five others before killing himself in an Amish school in the hamlet of Nickel Mines, in Bart Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
October 2, 2001 The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) backed United States’ military strikes following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks with hijacked air planes on the North and South towers of the World Trade Center complex in New York City. Both towers collapsed within two hours. NATO is an intergovernmental military alliance based on a 1949 treaty. The organization constitutes a system of collective defence by member states.
Aviation industry still in search of redemption
Insurance industry yet to come of age 37
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Banking Sector: Dogged by poor output despite brightening prospects A ssessing the performance of the nation’s financial sector, particularly the overall impact of the banking sector on the real economy, could be likened to rehashing an old song to an audience that has lost interest in the tunes and are no longer excited by the lyrics. At best, it may just be saying what has been said over and over again in a theatre where the actors playing the script without appreciable motion either in terms of projecting the end of the play or measuring its impact on the spectators. But for the Central Bank of Nigeria’s sustained initiatives to refocus the banks towards crucial areas of urgent national need through appropriate monetary instruments, the past 12 months of the industry remained a lacklustre era, with millions of customers having little or nothing to show for their patronage of the banks in real terms as interest on lending rates remained high, while deposit rates still at rock bottom yet poverty-induced socio-economic deprivations of ordinary Nigerians are aggravating by the day. Although the fundamental performance indices in terms of Capital Adequacy Ratio, Quality of Assets, liquidity, management efficiency, earnings and profitability of most banks continue to show some improvements consequent upon the intervention of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) and CBN’s monitoring and evalua-
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Despite the massive intervention by the government in the banking system geared towards positioning it for more effective financial intermediation especially increased support for the real sector, the system appears stuck in the past. TOLA AKINMUTIMI reports.
FLIGHT SCHEDULE Arik Air Los-Abj: 07:15, 09:15, 10:20, 15:20, 16:20, 16:50, 18:45 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun) Abj-Los: 07:15, 09:40, 10:20, 12:15, 15:15, 16:15, 17:10, (Mon-Fri/Sat); 12:15, 15:15, 16:15 (Sun) Los-PH: 07:15, 11:40, 14:00, 16:10, 17:15, (Mon-Fri) 07:30, 11:40, 15:50 (Sat) 11:50, 3:50, 17:05 (Sun) Abj-PH: 07:15, 11:20, 15:30 (Mon-Fri) 07:15, 16:00 (Sat) 13:10, 16:00, (Sun) PH-Abj: 08:45, 12:50, 17:00 (Mon-Fri) 08:45, 17:30 (Sat) 14:40, 17:30 (Sun) Abj-Ben: 08:00, 12:10 (Mon-Fri/Sat) 08:55, 12:10 (Sun) Ben-Abj: 09:55, 13:30 (Mon-Fri/Sat) 10:50, 13:30 (Sun)
Aero Contractors A banking hall
tion activities, the banks are still deficient in the most vital area of their financial intermediation responsibilities – with the real sector generally excluded in their lending activities. Big five lead the way but.... An appraisal of the sector by some experts and financial advi-
sory and consulting companies showed that when viewed based on operational key performance indices, most of the banks are doing better that they were last year, largely because of the support from the AMCON and the CBN which have substantially cleaned their toxic assets and im-
proved their balance sheets. Apart from the big five banks of GTB, First Bank, Zenith, UBA and Access Bank all of which are showing better prospects of performance, other banks, particularly the nationalised banks, are also gradually responding to palliatives measures introduced through the various fund injections and management restructuring measures. Available statistics on the structure of bank credit in the economy clearly shows the trading and commercial customers, whose loans are usually short term, enjoying preferential treatment even as the larger chunk of the banks’ available funds are committed to high-yielding public sector bonds and other debt instruments in a manner that suggests that their only motive for being in business is profit. For instance, the CBN through CONTINUED ON PAGE 20
Los-Abj: 06:50, 13:30, 16:30, 19:45 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun) 12:30 (Sun) 16:45 (Sat). Abj-Los: 07:30, 13:00, 19:00 (Mon-Fri/ Sat) 10:30, 14:30, 19:30 (Sun) 18.30 (Sat) Los-Ben: 07:45, 11:00, 15:30, (Mon-Fri/Sat/ Sun) 12:30 (Sun) 15:30 (Mon-Fri/Sat/Sun) Ben-Los: 09:15, 12:30, 17:00 (Mon-Fri/ Sat/Sun) 17:00 (Sat), 14:00 (Sun)
EXCHANGE RATES WAUA
OIL / GAS FUTURES ICE BRENT
PHCN privatisation: BPE urged to consider experience, financial muscle
Labour movement moving towards defining moment
Lack of political will remains bane of housing sector
Business & Finance
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Banking sector: Dogged by poor output despite brightening prospects CONTINUED FROM 19 its Monetary Policy Committee’s findings noted with serious concern that despite efforts to lower lending rates, the rates remained high, thereby undermining government’s drive towards inclusive growth of the economy. At the conclusion of the MPC meeting in August, the CBN lamented that developments in the interest rate structure indicated that there is need for the banks to adjust in order to impact on the economy positively. As the MPC noted, “Developments in the interest rate structure indicated that the retail lending rates remained high in August 2012. The average maximum lending rate increased marginally to 23.76 per cent in August 2012 from 23.45 per cent in July. “However, the average interest bearing deposit rate declined to 6.24 per cent in August 2012 from 6.64 per cent in July. Thus, the spread between the average maximum lending rate and the average interest-bearing deposit rate widened to 17.53 per cent in August 2012 from 16.81 per cent in July. In its revised forecast on Nigeria’s five biggest banks covering the first half of 2012, which focuses solely on the Tier 1 Nigerian banks defined by asset size and market share, a leading financial advisory firm, Renaissance Capital, projected some positive trends in the affected banks’ relative share price, loan book growth, book quality and impairment costs, cost management and overall returns on investments. On the relative share price performance for the banks, the company noted that “despite global trends and uncertainties overhanging developed market (DM) banks, this has been a good year for Nigerian banks, relatively speaking, in our opinion, pointing out that over the past two months up to June, it was observed that there was some pullback, in line with falling global risk appetite.” It noted further on the book quality and impairment costs of the leading banks and the industry generally that “at the risk of sounding like a broken record, we believe that, from a book quality perspective, 2012 is turning out to be different from 2011. The clean-out in FY11 turned out to be bigger and deeper than even our conservative estimates” adding that with the exception of one of the banks the NPL ratios for the banks are now sitting below the five per cent CBN guideline. The company stated however that while they acknowledged that there had been some improvements in risk management, they were not convinced that these improvements have been sufficiently significant across the entire banking sector. On the projected returns for the FY 2012 Ren Cap concluded, having taking some other issues into proper perspective, that “there is nothing insightful or profound in us saying we believe FY12 returns for Nigeria’s Big Five banks are set to be better than those of FY11. This goes without saying considering the balance-sheet cleanout that occurred last year. “The more interesting question for us is
A banking hall
MANY ENTREPRENEURS CANNOT MEET THE BANKS’ CREDIT REQUIREMENT, ESPECIALLY COLLATERAL; EXPERIENCE OF THE BANKS WITH LOAN QUALITY OF MANUFACTURING AND OTHER REAL SECTOR INVESTORS WOULD NOT DISPOSE THEM TO GIVE FURTHER LOANS whether these returns are sustainable. We believe investors should not confuse some one-off gains with the potential for a sustainable performance. The key factor impacting returns this year, in our view, will be the lower-than-average impairment charges”, it added. Reporting on the interest rates trend in the industry in its June 2012 Economic Monthly Publication, another leading financial consulting entity, Financial Derivatives Company, noted that though there was a slight drop in the nominal interest rates this was partly due to the net inflow of funds, particularly from the public sector monthly allocations to the three tiers of government in May 2012, the interest rates were still relatively high. FDC reported: “Although still relatively high, nominal interest rates have been on a downward trend; with the monetary policy rate (MPR) un-changed at 12 per cent. In the month of May, Nigeria Interbank Offered Rates (NIBOR) declined sharply by 178 basis points (bps), to close at an average of 12.84 per cent; this is 70bps lower than the corresponding period in April. The decline recorded in May was largely due to a net inflow of N229.57bn into the money market system (of which the bulk came from the monthly federal allocation to the three tiers of government). “Furthermore, the Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) disbursement for the month of May declined by 8.14 per cent (month-on-month) to N563bn. The Open Buy Back (OBB) rate traded between a high of 14.5 per cent (May 21) and a low of 10.25 per cent. (May 28). As at May end, the OBB traded at 11.58 per cent. Overnight rates of call and 7-days funds declined by 191bps and 200bps, to 12.17 per cent and 12.67 per cent respectively (as at May 31st)”, it concluded.
A document sourced from the CBN showed that the lending rates to borrowers in agricultural, oil and gas, manufacturing, mining and quarrying and real estate sectors have risen by three to five per cent in some banks in recent months with potentials that the rates may surge higher in the Q4 of this year. According to the document, prime lending rate for borrowers in these critical sectors have been ranging from 17.56 per cent to about 24 per cent in most part of the year thereby posing serious challenges to manufacturers’ access to funds. Even at the Microfinance banking subsector, investigations showed that with many of the operating entities still contending with the challenges of strong customer base and capital adequacy, access to credit by customers is still a major constraint hampering their service delivery, particularly in the grassroots. The relatively high interest rates as cost of funds contrast sharply with the Bankers’ Committee’s aspiration of reducing lending rates by 30 per cent from January this year. The Committee had last year indicated their readiness to work together with the CBN to drastically reduce lending rates and restructure their loan portfolios to favour of the real sector operators. Real sector bemoans high lending charges. The e-payment initiative involves a transformation of the payment system and the idea is to permit banks to cut cost through moving the country from its present ‘cash-and-carry’ status to one where people will make payments through electronic channels.” Despite the take-off of the Operation Cashless Policy in Lagos a few months ago, the high cost of loans is yet to reduce even as prospects for increasing real sec-
tor lending in the banks’ lending portfolios from less than two per cent ratio now to about six per cent in the medium term remains doubtful. Reflecting on the experiences of real sector operators in the face of high interest rates on bank credit last month, the Director General of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr. Muda Yusuf, decried the dearth of credit facilities to investors, saying that the rather than lend to manufacturers and other real sector operators, the banks believe “it is clearly more attractive now to invest in government securities than to invest in ventures that would create jobs. Yusuf explained further in the banks’ morbid desire for quick money and profitability they “would rather buy treasury bills and government bonds than give loans to investors. This credit and interest rate structure would continue to create distortions in the economy, which will only perpetuate the phenomenon of jobless growth and further depresses the stock market. “Many entrepreneurs cannot meet the banks’ credit requirement, especially collateral; Experience of the banks with loan quality of manufacturing and other real sector investors would not dispose them to give further loans; monetary policy tightening of the CBN has pushed up cost of fund; Risk asset provisioning requirements of the CBN is a disincentive to lending,” he said The Chambers’ President, Mr. Goodie Ibru, also corroborated the pains of the real sector operators a few days ago when he said the interest rates of over 20 per cent were inimical to entrepreneurship development, wealth creation and employment generation and urged the CBN to relax the policy and risk management guidelines to improve access to credit and reduce the cost of funds. Speaking in a similar viewpoint, the Chairman, Rivers/Bayelsa Chapter of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Mrs. Emilia Akpan, who spoke after the association’s council meeting in Port Harcourt, lamented that the high interest rates in the banking sector had thrown many industrialists out of business.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Business & Finance
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
PHCN privatisation: BPE urged to consider experience, financial muscle AYO OLESIN
he National Council for Privatisation has been asked to place experience and financial capability above other considerations in selecting winners of financial bids for the 11 electricity distribution companies slated for privatisation under the Federal Governments Power Sector Privatisation programme. Financial bids for the Discos are expected to be opened on October 10. This comes against the backdrop of arguments that firm commitments to reduce Aggregate Transmission, Commercial and Collection losses, which the government privatisation agency, the Bureau for Public Enterprises, has indicated will be a key determining factor in bid selection may back-fire in the long run. Some of the bidders who spoke with National Mirror at the weekend said that commitments to reduce the so-called ATC and C losses is no measure of the capacity of any bidder to deliver on terms of any post-privatisation agreement. Another issue that is also being thrown up is the ability of bid winners to operate within troubled regions, such as the Niger Delta without government backing. The thinking is that any bid winner that does not have government participation will not likely invest
L-R: Head, Ecosystem and Developer Experience, Nokia West Africa, Mr. Teemu Kiijarvi; Chief Executive Officer, Co-Creation Hub Nigeria, Mr. Bosun Tijani and Senior Lecturer at Tampere University of Applied Sciences, Finland, Mr. Tony Torp, at the Nokia Advanced Java Training for Application Developers in Lagos, recently.
in areas that are not commercially viable such as rural communities while in cases where they may be willing to invest, serious difficulties may be encountered including disputes with local communities. One of the bidders for the Benin Electricity Distribution Company, Southern Electricity Distribution Company, a consortium formed by four state governments – Ekiti, Ondo, Delta and Edo states and offshore and Nigerian technical partners said at the weekend that it was imperative for the government to ensure the long-term success of the disco privatisation by selecting the right bidders.
Giving an insight into the situation, the Chief Press Secretary to the Ekiti State Governor, Mr Yinka Oyebode, who spoke on behalf of the consortium, said that bidders with state participation were in the best position to deliver the objectives of the privatisation programme. According to him, India did a similar exercise several years ago but the foreign investors that bough many of the distribution companies had to walk away when it became obvious that could not recoup investments and meet requirements to pump money into rural areas that have little or no
ability to pay commercial tariffs. He said that Nigeria risked facing a similar situation if those selected did not have the capacity, experience and requisite support from government to operate. Oyebode pointed out that state participation in the privatisation process offered an opportunity for sysnergistic expansion and rehabilitation of the distribution infrastructure, as the state government could ensure that the privatised entity secured Right of Way and could be supported with the required legislation and law enforcement as well as negotiations with communities being
stakeholders. According to him, it would be near impossible for a fully private entity without government backing or stake to operate in volatile areas in the Niger Delta or in the North pointing that there were areas where PHCN staff dare no go to collect money from consumers yet these people cannot even be disconnected for fear of outbreak of violence and safety of lives its and property. He said that the consortiums technical partners – Uttar Gujarat Vij Company Limited of India and Income Electrix Limited are also equity investors with UGVLC operating a distribution network covering 50,000 square kilometres and was currently the utility with the lowest ATC&C losses in India apart from being named best rural distribution company for several years running. Oyebode also said that the Southern Electricity consortium was also supported by a Nigerian partner, Income Electix which has over 20 years of experience in electricity distribution networks in West Africa especially in Niger Delta states that is familiar with stakeholders, communities and community issues in addition to a strong existing relationship with the past and current operations of the management of the Benin Electricity distribution company.
Equities gain N1.75trn by end of Q3 Nigeria can earn N1tr annually from maritime industry-Imoke JOHNSON OKANLAWON
trong earnings and improvements of companies on corporate governance have lifted equities performance on the Nigerian Stock Exchange so far this year, with 5,281.01 points increase, bringing the benchmark index to its year high of 25.47 per cent. Also, analysts expect better performance in the fourth quarter on the premise of impressive third quarter results, macroeconomic stability and reforms on the Exchange. Specifically, the All Share Index had gained 25.47 per cent to close at 26,011.64 points on Friday, from the opening figure of 20,730.63 points on January 4, 2012. Market capitalisation rose by N1.75trn to close at N8.28trn on Friday, an increase by 26.8 per cent when compared to N6.53trn recorded on January 4, 2012. The sectorial indices was led by food and beverages sector with 278.9 per cent increase to close on Friday at 2,234.51 points, followed by banking sector with 38.5 per cent rise to close on Fri-
day at 397.97 points. The NSE 30-Index appreciated by 31.9 per cent to close at 1,219.37 points, while the insurance index gained 5.21 per cent to close at 136.06 points. But the oil and gas index lost 27.3 per cent to close at 159.95 points. The rallies recorded on various stocks have been attributed to relatively low prices of most stocks and the positive performance of companies in the previous quaters of 2012. According to Meristem Securities Limited, an investment firm, macroeconomic and exchange rate stability have also rubbed off on the market as declining yields on fixed income diverts funds to the equities market. “We see the index return converge lower by year end. It has also outperformed its emerging market peers, which gained on average just under seven per cent,” the firm said in a note to investors yesterday. The President of Association of Stockbroking Houses of Nigeria, Mr. Emeka Madubuike said the market is positively responding to various initiatives by the regulators and the operators to reposition the market.
overnor Liyel Imoke of Cross River State has said that if properly positioned, Nigeria could earn over N1tr from her maritime industry just like Singapore and Philippines, which earn huge foreign exchange from the industry. The governor, who spoke in Calabar, observed that Nigeria has great maritime potential that could transform her economy substantially, however regretted
that most of these huge maritime resources are yet to be tapped. “The maritime industry has the potential to be the key driving forces for the Nigerian economy. Countries like Singapore and Philippines, as you all know have become global players due to their specialisation in the maritime industry, which has spurred the growth of finance, tourism and other industries”, he observed. “The economic potential of the maritime industry is significant as a hub for revenue generation
and employment opportunities. The Nigerian maritime industry is capable of generating over N1tr yearly as revenue and could provide employment for millions of youths”, the governor stated. While commenting on the recent Supreme Court judgment, which apart from ceding some oil wells to neighbouring Akwa Ibom State also held that Cross River is not a littoral state, the governor noted that the judgment could have negative implications on Nigeria’s maritime boundaries.
Don identifies corruption as bane of Nigeria’s privatisation OLUSEGUN KOIKI
university lecturer and Professor of Finance, University of Lagos, Prof. Ayo Olowe has identified corruption as a major stumbling block to a successful privatisation exercise in Nigeria. Speaking at a two-day industrial relations workshop for representatives of management and branch trade union leaders in Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) over the weekend, Olowe explained that
privatisation, commercialisation and Build-Own-Operate (BOT) had been a successful scheme in most countries, but failed to live up to expectations in Nigeria. He noted that most of the public assets privatised in Nigeria had failed because they were not done transparently by the government, adding that Nigerians were yet to fully benefit from the scheme yet. According to him, most of the concessionaires in the country had refused to build on the assets concessioned to them by the government, rather,
only interested in profit making at the expense of safety and security of Nigerians. He challenged the government to take a proactive step to tackle fraud in the system most especially the Public Private Partnership (PPP), scheme in the Nigerian aviation industry. He insisted that the country’s aviation industry could not survive with the high level of corruption currently ongoing in the sector, noting that that the sector requires heavy capital investment and high financial discipline.
Business & Finance
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Lack of coordination, bane of Nigeria’s infrastructure devt – Minister OLUFEMI ADEOSUN
ational Planning Minister, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman has blamed lack of coordination among various government agencies for the parlous state of infrastructure development in the country. Usman, who spoke at President’s Dinner and Fellows Night of the Nigeria Institute of Architects at the weekend in Abuja also picked holes in the design and procurement processes of the Nigeria Independent Power Projects (NIPPs) programme. The NPC boss said that as it is being constituted today, there was no proper linkage in infrastructure development in the country. He said, “Nigeria does not currently have an integrated National Infrastructure Development Master Plan. At the national level, a number of infrastructure plans exist, this
includes the Power Sector Roadmap, the National Transport Master Plan, Gas Master Plan. Most of them are well developed, but the problem is that they are not integrated. We are not taking the advantage of the links, especially with the ICT. There is a lot to be benefitted if they are integrated. “Another problem is that some of these sectorial maser plans have limited linkages with other sectors in the Nigerian economy and are formulated with little or no collaboration with the state governments. The Federal Government is doing its own thing and the state governments are doing theirs. Even in the road sector, no state plans to link its road network with that of the Federal Government.” The minister stated that following the directive of President Goodluck Jonathan, the agency had developed a framework for the development of an Integrat-
ed Infrastructure Development Master Plan for the country. He added that the framework is due for presentation to the Project Implementation Management Team of the Federal Government. On while the gains of the NIPPs programme have been slow in coming, he said that it was hurriedly designed with little or no consideration to availability of gas and other useful factors. He said, “The NIPPs that are being built currently were hurriedly designed and procured without paying enough attention to the availability and adequacy of gas to fire the turbines. This is a good example. I remember I was at the CBN at that time. The speed with which that project was put together was incredible. In my position as the deputy governor operations, I was the one who put the last signature for the money to be remitted to order for the turbines.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
CIBN harps on capacity building, partners key stakeholders UDO ONYEKA
he Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), in a bid to ensure the restoration of the Nigerian banking profession to its leading position and also place it at par with other leading economies is partnering with key stakeholders and institutions in the country. The President/Chairman of Council of the Institute, Mr. Segun Aina, has stressed the need to partner with relevant stakeholders on capacity building and training of staff in the banking industry as well as other sectors of the economy in order to enable the country realise her millennium goals aspiration. In a statement to National Mirror, Mr. Aina stated this
Sweet potato flour can replace wheat – Expert MESHACK IDEHEN
L-R: Business Development Manager, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Mr. Emeka Umeh; Consultant Physician, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Dr. Anthonia Ogbera; Commercial Development Manager-Africa, GSK, Mr. Jide Adeosun and Managing Director GSK Consumer Plc, Mr. Chudi Okoro, during the company’s Walk for a Healthy Heart to mark the 2012 World Heart Day in Lagos at the weekend. PHOTO: OLUFEMI AJASA
Why we renewed war against pre-registered SIM sale – NCC KUNLE A ZEEZ
he Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), telecoms industry regulator, said it has renewed its campaign against fraudulent sale and use of pre-registered subscriber Identity Module card, in order to restore sanity in the nation’s telecoms sector. The development came as the Commission tracked phone dealers over pre-registered SIM cards, with the sealing off of about three offices, belonging to mobile phone users in Abuja, while arresting three for their involvement in the illegal deal. The Commission, which
embarked on an enforcement action in Abuja and the North central Zone, arrested three agencies using computers allocated them by the dealers to fraudulently registered SIM Cards which are offered for sale to unsuspecting subscribers. Four offices belonging to mobile phone dealers – Correspondence Ltd, Zeph Associates, Glovic Communications, and Connect Ground Towers, all located in Abuja, were identified as the source of some of the offending machines being used by some of the agents to pre-register SIM cards that are being sold in the streets. It was learnt that during the enforcement exercise to some of these offices, some were unable to bring the agents for ar-
rest and interrogation, leading to the sealing of the offices. Three suspects, a male and two females were arrested and handed over to the police. Involvement in illegal sale and use of pre-registered SIM Card attracts both fine and imprisonment. It was gathered that the offending machines were also impounded. Speaking on the clamp down, the Head of Enforcement of the NCC, Mr. Efosa Idehen, who led the team, including law enforcement officers, said the enforcement against illegal sale and distribution of SIM Card has entered the second stage in which dealers are being tracked and the offending machines impounded. He said such machines will assist in tracking all the illegally registered SIM cards with a view to removing them from the system.
during the Institute’s dialogue with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Central Bank of Nigeria and Unity Bank Plc in Abuja last weekend. Among key organizations the Institute is partnering with include the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC); Central Bank of Nigeria, Unity Bank Plc and other government and private bodies within and outside the country with a view to taking the Institute and the banking profession to greater heights. He encouraged EFCC, CBN and Unity Bank to engage the services of the CIBN Practice License holders and other well experienced professional bankers for their consultancy services, debt recovery, forensic audit, training and other services.
frican nations have been urged to commence the use of sweet potato flour in the production of bread and confectioneries to serve as an alternative to wheat flour currently imported into the country and the continent. Speaking during a paper presentation at the 16th Triennial Symposium of the International Society for Tropical and Root Crops recently, Rwandan Agricultural Scientist, Mr. Kirimi Sindi, said that sweet potato is rich in Vitamin A and other essential nutrients that are also found in wheat. In the paper titled, “What is the consumers’ perception of bakery
products made with Vitamin A rich sweet potato and wheat”? Sindi explained that the consumption of sweet potato could eliminate Vitamin A deficiency common in many parts of the continent. According to him,” Sweet potato is better than wheat because it is cheaper, accessible to many and mainly produced largely on the continent, while imported wheat on the other hand is costly, not produced largely on the continent, and places indigenous farmers on the disadvantage. He added that Nigeria, nay Africa have many local alternatives to wheat flour that could reduce the cost of producing bread and confectioneries products, which in turn will lead to a well fed and nourished citizenry.
Mainstreet Bank commences culture change campaign JOHNSON OKANLAWON
s part of efforts towards repositioning Mainstreet Bank, the bank has launched a culture change campaign initiative with the th eme, A statement from the bank quoted its Group Managing Director, Mrs. Faith TuedorMatthews as saying that the campaign is an internal campaign designed to inspire and motivate the bank’s committed workforce. She said, “Unbeatable Standards is our way of translating our core values into winning advantages. It is our promise to keep investing in the right people for enhanced customer experiences. It means we will never settle for less no matter
how convenient it is; it is all about US because we are setting unbeatable standards”. Emphasising on the need for building the right culture, he explained that to be successful in delivering this exciting future, there is need to build the right culture, climate and behaviour platforms on which the bank will run. “We need to see leaders engage positively with peers, colleagues and immediate reports, ensuring that they not only set clear objectives but also ensure understanding, motivate and inspire performance,” he added. According to her, the bank has engaged experts in the field of culture change to help initiate the desired new culture amongst the bank’s st aff.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Jobs & Career
NIGERIA @ 52
Labour movement moving towards defining moment Interpretations given to the roles organised labour movement have played in Nigeria since independence in 1960 varies and have remained a subject of controversy amongst the populace. However, many analysts believe Labour needs to place nation’s interest above all others. MESHACK IDEHEN writes.
n the independence speech given by the Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa in October 1960 in Lagos, the late Nigerian prime minister barely made mention of any form of labour movement, unions or struggles as some past and present labour unions leadership may want the people of Nigeria to believe. This significant observation is irrespective of the fact that the 1945 strike action of the Nigerian Railway workers spearheaded by the late Pa Michael Imodu had made some significant impression on the minds of Nigerians and the colonial masters alike in the quest to organise a workers group committed to the collective and individual interests of members. Paying critical attention to, and giving mention instead to institutions like those of banking, commerce and the missionaries; (present day equivalent of civil societies groups), Balewa, according to historians, foresaw and tried to avoid a situation where the leadership of the country is subjected to the whims of organised labour unions. “Fifty two years after”, according to the Registrar, Chief Executive Officer and Fellow of the Institute of Strategic Management, Mr. Adeyemi Mapaderun, “What Balewa feared then and tried to avoid for the country is still being experienced in full swing”. Also, the Nigerian civil war, which broke out after the sacking of the First Republic including Balewa himself by the military; (an occurrence the then budding labour body in Nigeria also witnessed firsthand), may actually be responsible for the militant and confrontational options organised labour has since then adopted to pursue its causes from time to time. “Labour unions as presently oriented and operational in the country is engaged in confrontation and struggles on too many fronts”, said economist and industrial security expert, Mr. Jerome Okundia. “To me, this militant attitude is not helping the country or its economy, not in the past 52 years as an independent nation, and certainly not in the last one year either where labour’s activities since January this have brought cause for rethinking by individuals and groups in several quarters. “ Personally theirs (organised labour) is a case of a falling and failing institution, because they are always saying more than they can do, thereby creating more of situations than of solutions to the problems of this country”, he added. Describing the fortunes of organised labour in the past years as “mixed and debateable”, Labour Activist and Leader of Progressive Leadership Organisation International (PLOI), Comrade Emmanuel Ezueme, said unions are involved in certain type of crisis formulation from single units at state to national levels, all in a bid to pursue and push their own interests. Pointing specifically at the yet unresolved issue of the some N18,000 minimum wage partially implemented by some states and some agencies of government, alongside casualisation of workers in Nigeria which experts say is taking its tolls on the nation’s workforce and economy, Ezeume said organised labour has never been able to claim victory in all its years of rallying and campaigning According to him, it is on public record that many labour leaders at both state and national levels have gone visiting without being invited; eating, drinking and making merriment with those they are supposed to be contesting workers welfare and wages dispute with, and that the “sell-out union toga” which organised labour has successfully earned for itself is, and will remain labour’s greatest undoing now and in the years to come.
Protesters against fuel subsidy removal
“We are all agreed here that the fortunes of organised labour can at best be described as mixed since independence in 1960. Most importantly and based on recent development in the last couple of years, it has become imperative that labour in Nigeria ceases using all and every occasion to remind Nigerians of the critical roles it occupies in the economy of the country, and also stop pointing at contributions of development and national liberation in Nigeria it has made, because they (labour) do not count as such in the eyes of the people”. Be that as it may, other analysts said it was important to know that the history of organised trade union movement in Nigeria which dates back to 1912 when workers in the civil service under the then colonial administration organised themselves into workers representatives, has since gone through many evolutions and ideological reformation. The then workers group was known as the Nigeria Civil Service Union later became a pivot of sorts on which workers in other sectors began the agitation for the formation of trade unions before and after independence in 1960. Nevertheless, Industrial Relations Professional, Dr. Peter Okhiria, told National Mirror, that since 1912, this was the first time concrete actions and step are being taken by any government - military or civilian - to legally break up organised labour through the instrumentality of the National Assembly, because of the roles unions are perceived to have assumed. Okhiria said amongst other consequences of the attempt at caging labour, that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), which has more than 29 affiliated unions and can mobilise four million members, and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), which also has considerable followership will become less than a fraction of that, adding that the NLC, which is both the creation and beneficiary of a long history of workers’ struggles has squandered the goodwill of the populace.
President of the NLC, Mr. Abdulwaheed Omar, has openly declared that the Federal Government plotting to destabilise and split the NLC, and that several clandestine meetings had been called by government in that regards. Specifically citing what happened in January over the issue of fuel subsidy, the NLC said that the government now intends to weaken NLC, considering that a serving senator tried to sponsor a bill called Democratisation of Labour Union. Taken together though, the fact that labour has in the past nine months of the year been involved in actions in nearly all critical sectors of the economy; almost halting the economy in the process has not help their cause in the court of public opinion. “From the aviation, manufacturing, construction public service and banking sectors, to those of health, academic and transport unions, the hand of organised labour unions is usually seen directing and coordinating affairs. Even initiatives of government including reforms of the power sector were not spared by unions who have almost truncated the programmes. Those actions in itself are enough to paint them black”, explained President General of Global Peace Movement International, Dr. Mike Uyi. Recalling that in 1976 when the Government established a Commission of Inquiry into the activities of the various unions and appointed an administrator to administer the unions and come up with a structure for the proper administration, Uyi said organised labour can do much better as it gets older as an institution, and that a more proactive method, instead of the fight-to-finish style they have adopted. Indeed, since February 1978, when the NLC was formally formed and inaugurated, it has yet to grapple with the internal and external challenges it is currently grappling with, thus making many believe that another watershed for the modern labour movement is at hand.
Jobs & Career
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
NUPENG seeks FG’s assistance for flood victims MESHACK IDEHEN
he Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), has called on the Federal Government to come to the aid of people displaced by the floods still ravaging parts of the country. Furthermore, NUPENG said a state of emergency should be declared in the affected communities, while relief materials and temporary abode be provided for those affected, and that a supplementary budget to assist the flood victims should be sent to the National Assembly for approval to provide succour for the affected people and their communities. The Secretary General of NUPENG, Mr. Isaac Aberare, in a statement that was made available to National Mirror, said the union is also commiserating with the families of those
who lost their lives in the floods, adding that state governments should desist from allocating and allowing buildings to be erected in flood-prone areas; especially around the river banks. According to the union, the Federal and state governments should as a matter of urgency, dispatch medical teams to the areas to avert epidemic and diseases from ravaging the communities. NUPENG said it is reiterating that the three tiers of government must begin to enlighten the populace on global warming or climate change which is partly responsible for the upsurge, and that agencies of government like the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), should be more alive to their responsibilities. The union said adequate forecast should be made available on extent of such damages when waters are released from
dams so people can move before they are trapped as it is done in advanced countries. “NUPENG wants the Federal Government to assist the
states with funds to ameliorate the sufferings of the affected people. We are calling for better ways to channel excess water from dams and to collaborate
through a joint commission with the Republic of Cameroun where the excess water was first released”, the union leaders said.
Agbesua honoured at NIA forum Tips for employees thinking of switching jobs MESHACK IDEHEN
he Nigeria Institute of Architects, Lagos State Chapter, has honoured Architect Isaac Olusola Agbesua, as its “Architect in Focus” for the month of September, 2012. The NIA said it was recognising Agbesua for numerous reasons, including his long and successful career which has seen him belong for a long time to a generation of Nigeria architects that others in the field can emulate and learn from. Lagos NIA Chairman, Architect Ladipo Lewis, speaking at the event which held on Saturday in Lagos, said the Architect in Focus has been the chapter’s programme to honour, profile, study and learn from senior architects in the generation. According to Lewis, Agbesua’s large body of work on retail should be studied by architects within and outside the country, as the retail sector is still one of the most vibrant sectors and provides great potentials for architectural commission and real estate development. In a chat with National Mirror after the event, Architect Agbesua said the honour done him by the Lagos NIA will spur him the more towards mentoring a new generation of architects that will do the nation and the continent proud before the international community. According to him, architects have a major role to play in the
development of any nation, because architecture has been the major barometer by which human civilisation is assessed, moreso, it was important for Nigerian architects to remain committed to the cause of constructions that can stand the test of time. Advising those in the profession not to give in to any form of compromise that can raise doubt on their professionalism, he said architects must see to the effective and efficient supervision of construction projects, and also consider supervision as extremely crucial considering the spate of building collapse in the country. Agbesua explained that builders, architects and other stakeholders involved in designing and construction, must embrace the use of modern technology, in order to deliver professionally on jobs, and also become aligned with global best practices in the field of building and architecture. He explained that while it is possible for contractors to attempt to cut corners during construction, it was the job of the professionally trained architect to see to it that low quality materials is avoided by all means in building, while urging indigenous practitioners to up their practice, so they can contribute to sustainable national and international socio economic development. Several guests at the event described Agbesua as a consummate professional architect, a mentor to countless architects and a role model in the profession.
any workers have remained stuck on to a job due to fear of finding another one. Expert however said applying some tested tips may come handy for those thinking of moving on. Know your personality type-Stress is inevitable in a major geographic, career, or just about any move. Moving on the scale is considered as one of the biggest life stressors many people will ever face. This needs to be evaluated for anyone else moving with you if you’re not going it alone. Employ techniques to re-
he position for Trainee TPM Coordinators (www.jobberman.com) is available this week on job vacancies. A full time job to be based in Lagos in industry / manufacturing sector, the minimum qualification required, alongside experience includes actively studying and understanding TPM literature and giving support to the implementation of the total productive maintenance best practice master plan. Other requirements are the ability for interpersonal and people skills, communication skills leadership and mentoring skills. A B.Sc or HND in Engineering, Physics or Statistics not below second class upper is necessary. Also on offer is the post of Head, Financial Market
duce stress-Regardless of the potential for stress, mitigate that potential with whatever methods you know of or are willing to learn as far as meditation, visualisation, relaxation, prayer, and having people in your life to be able to just talk it out with who won’t judge you but instead will provide you detached, valid feedback. Learn and live-This one is great before, during, and in the short-term after a move. HALT stands for “Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired.” If you’re any one of those four things in the process you are vulnerable to psychological or emotional
stress implosions. As soon as you have any two or more of those going at once, the potential for an implosion or outburst becomes exponentially more likely. Have a plan-Your particular plan might be simple or complex, short or long. Again, what it looks like is really dependent on your personality type and that of those with you if others are moving with you. The important thing is if you have a plan, it both needs to be recognized that life happens which means be prepared for the unexpected. Which isn’t always a bad thing?
Job vacancies Operations,(www. jobs.vanguardngr.com).The job which is in the banking and financial services sector requires minimum qualification and experience of between 10 and 15 years The job description for the position includes being directly responsible for treasury products delivery, support and treasury investigation functions. Ensures full compliance with treasury operations standards and assist the Head of operations in implementing changes to internal standards /procedures in line with business development Experience required are a degree plus 10 years banking experience, thorough knowledge of banking operations and local regulations, in-depth knowledge of policy and procedures
and excellent written and verbal communications alongside good analytical skills to interpret, resolve and change workflow and improve productivity. Also from (www.jobsvanguard.com),is the position of a Document Controller in the real Estate sector. The minimum qualification an HND or BSC in an engineering field and knowledge of engineering disciplines like Civil, Mechanical, Electrical, alongside a 7 to 10 years . The responsibilities for the position include, coordinating all activities related to the document control procedure, including technical documents, drawings, and commercial correspondence, and the ability to input document data into the standard registers ensuring that the information is accurate and up to date.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
NIGERIA @ 52
Real Estate & Environment firstname.lastname@example.org 08033312578
Units of three bedroom flats at Olaitan Mustapha Housing Estate, Ojokoro
Lack of political will remains bane of housing sector I
f we go by the way of policies’ implementation, Nigerians would have been the most housed in the world. It is unfortunate that such policy papers are gathering dust on the shelves of government’s offices across the country. However, as Nigerians roll out the drums to celebrate the nation’s 52nd years of Independence, one of the problems still confronting the nation is housing shortage. Based on United Nation’s estimate, the housing deficit in Nigeria stands between 16 and 17 million as a today, while it will require the construction of one million houses annually for the next 20 years to bridge the gap. Five decades after independence, some of the problems confronting the sector have not changed except of the fact that scarcity of decent accommodation is becoming more acute in major cities and urban centres due to huge population and high rate of urbanisation with little efforts on the part of government to meet housing and infrastructure needs o the people. The challenges of housing sector are myriad but the key problems remain lack of access to land, high cost of construction, political instability, high interest
As Nigerians celebrate the nation’s 52 years of self rule, one thing that comes to mind is the widening housing shortage in Nigeria now estimated at about 17 million units. Stakeholders say that lack of political will and poor policies implementation has continued to dog the mass housing sector. DAYO AYEYEMI writes.
rate, lack of virile mortgage sector, high cost of development permit/approval, poor saving culture, of the people, poor salary, lack of enabling environment and political will. Despite several policies by successive governments to tackle these issues, lack of political will and poor implementation of strategies have deprived such policies from seeing the light of the day as a larger percentage of Nigerians, especially the low-income earners are still battling with accommodation problem. The cheapest housing unit in the open market in major cities in Nigeria is between N5million and N15million. These are considered to be too expensive for a large proportion of urban households and that governments are unwilling to adopt a continuous process of land acquisition and deposition on a scale which matches
the needs of households excluded from the formal market. According to a survey by UN-Habitat, between 30 per cent and 70 per cent of urban dwellers in Nigeria live in unplanned or informal settlements also called slums The country representative of UN-Habitat, Professor Johnson Falade, had cited overcrowding, poor structural defects and sanitation, lack of potable water supply and lack of security as features of such slums. Falade further highlighted development challenges of rapid urbanisation without adequate city planning, to include emergence of fast growth and ill equipped settlements characterised by factors including inefficient and uncoordinated urban governance, poor economic and resource base of cities, lack of community participation in urban development, poor urban land management, insecurity of tenure, juvenile delinquency and crime, and unsustainable development. Commenting on housing sector 52 years after independence, President, Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB), Mr. Chucks Omeife, recalled that Nigerian housing sector has gone through a lot of reforms. CONTINUED ON PAGE 26
Real Estate & Environment
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
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Lack of political will remains bane of housing sector CONTINUED FROM 25 According to him, what the nation had in the past is not different from what it has now, saying there has been a lot of policy papers made useless by lack of implementation. He stated that the new housing policy is not different from the past ones but that all stakeholders are carried along now, experiencing hope that if the new guideline is implemented fully, housing shortage will be reduced drastically. He said, “So far so good, what we have now in terms of housing policy is not bad, what we have now if it is implemented, housing shortage will be reduced.” On what led to past failed policies, Omeife said that successive governments were not serious about solving the problem; rather their interest was how to get involved in direct construction of houses instead of providing the enabling environment. He blamed lack of political will for the nation, housing shortage, saying the new housing policy has that government will no longer involve in direct construction of houses, rather it would create the enabling environment. Principal Partners, Akin Olawore and Company, Mr. Akin Olawore, said that at independence, there were fewer people requiring housing in the urban centres and that there was no issue with rural housing. “There was fewer and manageable population,” he said, pointing out that the then government rose to the occasion and provided housing, access to affordable finance and such other. But today, he noted that the nation’s population has exploded, while existing infrastructure is failing coupled with global inflation and loss of economic competitive edge. All these factors, he said have enhance combined to overwhelm the government hence, the incoherent policies. He also recalled that though the private
IF THE NATION HAS INFRASTRUCTURE SUCH AS GOOD ROAD, RAIL SYSTEM, IT WILL BE EASY FOR HOUSES TO BE CONSTRUCTED IN THE SUBURBS WHERE LAND IS CHEAP AND MOVE PEOPLE ENMASS TO WORKPLACES TO AND FRO investors provided retail housing, their efforts were only a drop in the ocean. To overcome the problem of housing shortage in Nigeria, Olawore said there is need for political will and love of people to confront the issue. On how to move the sector forward and construct mass housing for Nigerians as enumerated in the new housing policy, President of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), Mr. Emeka Eleh, called on the Federal Government to carry out holistic reforms of the mortgage sector and enhance land accessibility to achieve the set target of construct one million houses per year to bridge the nation’s housing deficit estimated at 16million by United Nations.
For government to realise the one million housing units per year mandate, Eleh, suggested some workable solutions to the Federal Government to make the dream a reality. He pointed out that the policy is achievable if government can reform critical factors militating against mass housing production in the country. According to him, the Federal Government must reform the mortgage sector and make it work so that individuals can access funds easily for home ownership, saying that the idea of paying full money at once to buy a house has made it difficult for people to own a home, restating that government must develop the mortgage sector. Besides, Eleh wants government to
reduce bank’s interest rate on loan so that people can borrow money at a single digit on long-term basis to purchase their houses. He also challenged government and stakeholders on high cost of building materials in the country, saying this has made housing unaffordable to the target groups. According to him, if government is serious about building one million houses yearly, the cost of building materials must be reduced drastically. He expressed concern over the cost of cement at N1,700 per bag despite huge local production, calling on government to see to this by ensuring that manufacturers bring their price down to enhance cheap housing production. Eleh also called on government to develop basic infrastructure, saying that cost of infrastructure couple with its deficit contributes to high cost of housing in the country. He said, “If the nation has infrastructure such as good road, rail system, it will be easy for houses to be constructed in the suburbs where land is cheap and move people enmass to workplaces to and fro.” For government to achieve the dream of constructing one million houses yearly, the president of NIEVS suggested the need for government to accelerate the process of giving title documents to land. According to him, government can create a platform and reform the land policy so that people can get titles, adding that state governments should make consent document less cumbersome. Managing Director of Xpress Property Services Limited, Mr. Olusegun Alli, said housing sector requires subsidy from government to grow. He said the real estate industry in Nigeria has always been that of ’Hope in the horizon’, saying that growth and expansion in the property market has never been virile as it has been in the past decades.
Development of infrastructure, vital to Nigeria’s greatness, says Hamzat DAYO AYEYEMI
ath to Nigeria’s greatness depends on its ability to develop the necessary infrastructure upon which the country’s economy could be grounded. The Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, in Lagos State, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat has stated. Hamzat stated this while on a tour of road projects being undertaken by the state government at Eti-Osa Local Government Area of the state. He noted that Nigeria cannot aspire to fulfill its potential if it is unable to develop its road network, rail system and harness its potential in the aviation and maritime sectors. According to the commissioner, there is abundant evidence all over the world as to the need to build infrastructure. “Brazil recently announced infrastructure development package of
about $63billion and it is not alone in the race,” he said. He noted that Nigeria must have roads linking up all its regions on which citizens can drive easily given its qualities and facilities. The commissioner was of the view that the road construction efforts of the Fashola administration in the state are a result of the realisation that the quantum of economic development of any nation is closely tied to the of its infrastructure. Hamzat stated that concentration on road is reflective of the fact that most of the movement of goods and services within the nation takes place on roads. While stating that time-lines are an issue requiring management in road project, he said most challenges result from Lagos being a built-up area. At the Unity Road in Lekki, the commissioner noted that there was a need to harmonize the interest of residents in the axis with the plan of
government agencies. He promised to facilitate a meeting to resolve all
the grey areas between the Office of Drainage Services, Office of Infrastructure and the residents. While assuring that all projects are on course, the commissioner noted that visible sign of progress especially pedestrian bridges will only be felt when they are to be installed. He added that off-site castings are on-going. He assured that the pedestrian bridges along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway had been stalled by the conflicting information about the expansion of the expressway. Describing the pedestrian bridges as a fallout of non-obedience of traffic laws, the commissioner stated that zebra crossings are used in other climes. He added that even when constructed, many do not use them though they cost a lot to put up. At the alternative road for Toll Plaza II on the Lekki Epe Expressway, the commissioner assured that the project will be delivered before the end of October.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
More ex-Eagles declare for Akpabio 28
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We are entering the decisive days as we step up preparation to face the Lone Star in Calabar - NFF Technical Committee Chairman, Chris Green
Afcon 2013: Reuben, Idris out of Calabar battle
Largesse: Paralympians allege pay cut
ano Pillars duo of midfielder Reuben Gabriel and defender Papa Idris have been ruled out of the African Nations Cup second leg final round qualifier against Lone Star of Liberia scheduled for October 13 in Calabar. National Mirror learnt that both players were not part of the 21-man home-based Eagles that trained in Abuja yesterday. Gabriel suffered a groin injury during the final of the Federations Cup in Lagos in August while Idris, who wedded in Zaria, Kaduna State on Friday, has struggled with a knee injury. Coach Stephen Keshi excused the Pillars players after a lengthy meeting sequel to yesterday’s training, hinging his decision on the crucial nature of the looming encounter where Nigeria needs clear victory a 1-1 or 0-0 score to get a ticket to the Afcon finals in South Africa next January. “It was a painful decision to let the two players go but we have to look at the future at this moment,” Keshi said. The coach also ruled that the players be replaced by Heartland’s Kalu Orji and Stanley Okoronkwo of Sharks of Port Harcourt who are expected in camp today. Meanwhile, Keshi has excused the invited Sunshine players to stay out of camp to prepare for their CAF Champions League first leg semi final
he controversy that trailed the cash donation to Paralympics 2012 heroes has yet to abate as aggrieved officials launched an appeal to President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday to save them from being excluded from the largesse. The President had announced at a dinner in honour of the Paralympians in Abuja last month that N2.5 million be given to each of the officials. But some of them, including the loaders, medical and machine mechanics have alleged in Lagos that the National Sports Commission paid N500, 000 and N1m as against the initial amount announced by the
Maigari advocates players’ status AFOLABI GAMBARI
W Reuben Gabriel has been dogged by injury, but the Eagles’ coaches have stuck with him
clash with Al Ahly this weekend.
…Lone Star ‘hide’ in Accra AFOLABI GAMBARI
layers of the Lone Star of Liberia have opened camp in Accra, Ghana as the Liberia Football Association (LFA) prepares the team for the African Nations Cup 2013 final round second leg qualifier with the Super Eagles on October 13. According to the Chief Media Officer of the LFA, Henry Boy Flomo, the camp will not
president. The aggrieved officials claimed that the NSC paid some of their colleagues but left out others claiming that they were not officials. Meanwhile, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited hosted the athletes at a ceremony in Lagos at the weekend. The athletes received gift items ranging from Plasma television sets to corporate bags and others. Shell’s Managing Director, Mr. Chike Onyejekwe, said the reception was the organization’s gesture of appreciation to the athletes. Nigeria won 6 gold, 5 silver and 2 bronze medals at the London 2012 Paralympic Games last month.
be opened to spectators as the coaches plot what he calls “Operation Shoot Down Nigeria”. “We are aware of our popularity among some Ghanaians fans after we defeated the Black Stars in the recent friendly match and we wish not lose concentration on the huge task ahead for us in Calabar,” Flomo said yesterday. “It will be a close camping starting from when the players in the Liberian league open the
“They will return to camp soon after the match,” he said.
camp till when their foreign counterparts join them later in the week,” he added. Flomo, however, declined comment on the team’s itinerary as well as the date of the contingent’s arrival in Lagos enroute the Calabar venue of the qualifier. “Suffices it that we will remain in Accra and will arrive in Nigeria within the days stipulated by FIFA for the arrival of visiting teams before matches,” he offered.
orried by complaints over unpaid salaries and sign-on fees by players in the Nigeria Premier League, President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Alhaji Aminu Maigari, has called the establishment of Players Status Committee to appropriate coordinate the players’ interest. Maigari, who spoke to National Mirror at the weekend, expressed dismay at the situation where players were owed backlog of salaries and other emoluments. “I think it is inimical to the growth of the league that we all desire, especially as it is a fact that without the players, there cannot be the league,” Maigari remarked. The NFF president said FIFA recognized players’ status owing to the importance that the world football governing body attached to their welfare. “This clearly shows that our
players will have the support of FIFA if they can unite to form the status committee,” he explained, even as he enjoined the players in the domestic league to engage the services of football agents with a view to advancing their interest. “Players in other various leagues, including Nigerian players abroad, have agents who serve as middlemen between them and their clubs and this should also be strictly adopted by the NPL players,” he submitted.
NFF boss, Maigari
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
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Villa seeks Benfica fall
arcelona striker, David Villa, has insisted that the club cannot afford to relax as it prepares to continue its winning start to the Champions League. The Blaugrana came from two goals down to beat Sevilla 3-2 in a dramatic Liga clash on Saturday, with Villa grabbing the winner in the third minute of stoppage time. The 30-year-old admitted he was relieved to have helped
his side earn the victory, and has called on the team to show the same kind of commitment when they take on Benfica tonight. “It’s now time to focus on the Champions League,” the Spain striker said yesterday. “The match in Lisbon is an important and difficult match and that’s why we can’t afford ourselves the luxury to relax because we want the three points.” Michael Carrick is down, and out
UCL: Carrick, Giggs off Romanian trip
anchester United Manager, Alex Ferguson, has left midfield trio Michael Carrick, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes out Manchester United’s squad for the UEFA Champions League clash with CFR Cluj in Romania today. The Red Devils, who suffered a shock 3-2 home defeat at the hands of Tottenham in the Premier League on Saturday evening, have named a number of youngsters in their 21-man party. Ferguson watched his side triumph 1-0 over Galatasaray in their opening Group H encounter and will be keen to build on that success this evening, with their opponents currently top of the
standings after a 2-0 success away to Braga. Injured centre-back Jonny Evans will, however, be available despite taking a knock in the closing stages against Spurs, although Nemanja Vidic, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones remain on the sidelines. Evans and Rio Ferdinand are expected to be paired in the centre of defence, while Michael Keane and Scott Wootton have been included as cover. Antonio Valencia (ankle) and Ashley Young (knee) will not feature, meaning Darren Fletcher, Jesse Lingard, Nick Powell and Ryan Tunnicliffe are among Ferguson’s midfield options.
More ex-Eagles declare for Akpabio AFOLABI GAMBARI
Golf : Scholtysse wins Nigeria Cup
he Nigeria Cup 2012 ended its 16th edition at the weekend with a foreign handicap 21 player, Joachim Scholtysser, emerging winner with 71 net, grabbing giant trophy and a business class ticket to Europe on Lufthansa Airline. Nigerian Bonny Obieze was second with 74 net, Fischer was third with 74 on count back, while Tayo Babalakin was fourth with 75 net. Evenly Oyome, who had
earlier won both the Longest Drive Hole and the Nearest to the Pin Hole, was declared winner of the ladies tournament while Lateef Lasisi won the pro tournament. Organised by the Golf Section of Ikoyi Club 1938 to celebrate the country’s independence, the tournament was sponsored by Heineken, UBA, Access Bank, Diamond Bank, Lithuansa Airline and Bi-Courtney Aviation Service.
he list of former Nigeria internationals expected to grace the novelty match between Team Akpabioism and Ex-internationals increased yesterday as organizers got response from the former stars to participate in the event scheduled for Uyo Township Stadium on November 24. Chancellor of the Akpabio Centre for Leadership Development, Pastor Bassey James, who is coordinating the encounter, told National Mirror that Sunday Oliseh was the latest former Super Eagles star to agree to participation in the event which he said was aimed at propagating the leadership qualities of the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Dr. Godswill Akpabio. “I met with Oliseh during his visit to Lagos last week
for the Soccerex seminar and he immediately accepted my proposal with a promise to be in Uyo,” James disclosed. James, who expressed delight with the development, said Mutiu Adepoju, Bright Omokaro, Samson Ozogula, Edema Benson and Victor Agali had also agreed to participate. Former Eagles’ captains Henry Nwosu, Stephen Keshi, goalkeeper Peter Rufai and Austin Okocha, as well as Yisa Shofoluwe, Friday Ekpo, Etim Esin, Victor Ikpeba, Taribo West, Samson Siasia, Daniel Amokachi and Emmanuel Amunike had already accepted to be in Uyo for the match where the exinternationals will feature against Team Akpabioism that comprises Governor Akpabio, some other state governors and Akwa Ibom’s top government functionaries.
Governor Godswill Akpabio
Akwa Ibom backs scrabble
he Akwa Ibom Government has pledged support for the state’s Scrabble Association on its initiative to introduce scrabble game in secondary schools in the state. Governor Godswill Akpabio, who disclosed this at the 6th Godswill Akpabio International Scrabble Classics in Uyo at the weekend, said: “We will support the Scrabble Association on its initiative to introduce scrabble game in secondary schools in the state.” The Governor, who commended the President of Scrabble Games, Chief Toke Aka, for bringing the competition to the state and for including the game in Olympics Games competition, also thanked Mr. Sam Timer for inventing the scrabble time clock while promising to look into the possibilities of reviewing the prices for the winners. Highlight of the event where about 320 persons including 27 women participated, include presentation of $15,000 to the winner to the Malaysian winner, Mr. Pakorn Nemitramansuk.
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Tuesday, October 2, 2012
How we can redeem our sports image –Amiesimaka Despite the current spirited efforts to redeem Nigeria’s sagging sports image, there are still areas that have been left unattended to and for which the efforts would amount to nothing. In this interview, former Nigeria international, Chief (Barrister) Adokiye Amiesiemaka, one of the products of the country’s Golden Era in sports, bares his mind to AFOLABI GAMBARI on where things went wrong and how they could be fixed How would you say Nigeria’s sports have fared in 52 years of our independence as a nation? When we look at things in terms of achievements, I would say we have not fared really bad. However, we could also have achieved much more in the years under review, considering our potential which has made us dominate certain sports like boxing and table tennis, particularly in Africa. But laxity in sports administration over the years, arising from lack of planning and clear policy, has continuously deprived us of achievable success. In a nutshell, therefore, we have unnecessarily underachieved. Of course, I put all this down to the administrators who have failed to get their acts right. Where did the administrators got things wrong? The truth is that they have hardly gotten anything right in the first place. For instance, the administrators have always treated our sports only in professional manner rather than look at it from the amateur perspectives. Do you mean, they could have segmented the sports administration into amateur and professional cadres, as it were? Yes, they have often looked at sports from professional view only. But as a fact, the amateur aspect is the most important. When you talk of sports development anywhere, you must look at it from the grassroots level where you discover athletes then proceed to nurture them whereupon you begin to see through their psychological upbringing before putting them forward for competitions and then expect results. This practice used to prevail some three decades ago and that was when results could even be determined before the athletes competed because the process of their development was followed religiously and standards adhered to strictly. But what we have today is a situation where we do not know how athletes were discovered and who discovered them, nor the schools they attended, nor the kind of upbringing they had; we only see them competing at the highest level. Things are not done this way. What do you think accounted for this malaise? Well, it arose because of the sports administrators’ negative work ethic. Long term planning was thrown overboard and all that we heard was only participation in events, even as lots of money always went into it to give the impression of adequate preparedness. But the result was never far-fetched, as we witnessed recently at the London 2012 Olympics where the money failed to win us a single medal to our collective embarrassment. You are known to propagate the scrapping of the Ministry of Sports for a competent National Sports Commission… Certainly, I am opposed to the struc-
turing of the ministry as a conveyor belt for sports development because it is more political than professional. A minister so appointed knows his term is limited and will only do all he can to ensure that Nigeria participates in competitions since these are the only avenues where he can achieve his political goals to attain higher offices. We have been through this situation for many years and it has further driven our sports potential underground. In the past 12 years, for instance, we have had about 12 sports ministers! This is why we underachieve all the time as there cannot be adequate planning in this circumstance where our sports is still government-dependent instead of being private sectordriven as it obtains in other nations that we often try to emulate in terms of success pursuit. A Sports Commission will serve professional purpose whereby the chairman, a proven sports administrator, would be appointed and would have a tenure that will be subject to renewal based on performance. The commission will also evolve a comprehensive sports policy and articulate same in view of the urgent need for development, as well as establish a synergy with the Education Ministry to re-invent the days when sports and education correlated. It will also upgrade the National Institute for Sports from its current moribund state, training the coaches and even inviting foreign coaches to train our coaches as this will rub off on our athletes’ development. It will also encourage discovery
CERTAINLY, I AM OPPOSED TO THE STRUCTURING OF THE MINISTRY AS A CONVEYOR BELT FOR SPORTS DEVELOPMENT BECAUSE IT IS MORE POLITICAL THAN PROFESSIONAL of athletes at the grassroots as was done in the past and we can be rescued from the prevailing situation where athletes engage in age cheating across board to the detriment of our future development. The immediate advantage of this is that the long term planning will return immediately and budgeting, which is key to sports development, will take the pride of place instead of what prevails at the moment where money, for an event of the magnitude of London Olympics was released barely four months to the games. Talking about the London Games, so much was expected from Blessing Okagbare in the Women’s 100m but she failed just when least expected. What did you make of that development? Okagbare was a product of bad sports administration and it was obvious she
had depended only on her raw talent to excel, rather than a comprehensive programme organized for her by the sports ministry. For instance, how was she discovered, how was she monitored and what manner of training and competition was she exposed to prior to the Olympics, in comparison with those she competed with at that top level? Of course, the over-dependence on her to win a medal backfired and in the end, all that the raw talent could fetch her was coming last in the 100m final. In the same vein, the administrators ought to have learnt a useful lesson that an athlete raised in the manner of Okagbare’s would only end like that when the stakes are high. But let me insist that only a National Sports Commission can make adequate use of such lesson. Indeed, if I have my way today, the Sports Ministry would be scrapped immediately to pave way for a four-year preparation that Nigeria needs to excel at Rio 2016 Olympics. What do you make of President Goodluck Jonathan’s order to the sports ministry to win at least five gold medals at the Rio 2016 Olympics? With due respect to Mr. President, I think it is a mere political statement. At the end of the day, everything will derive from adequate planning and careful execution of the plan ahead of the next Olympics. Otherwise, we will only be back to the beginning, which I am not expecting because this is a scientific age where planning is no longer negotiable and as a country, we have no choice than to key in. Essentially, what the government needs to do at this time is mainly to provide the sports facility and ensure mass participation through its media organs, borrowing from the effort that the Rivers State government of Chibuike Amaechi has made in the past months. Every other thing, like sourcing sponsorships and so on, will be borne by the National Sports Commission. Do you support that argument that Nigeria should concentrate on sports where it has medal potential than just participating in many sports without winning medals? I totally disagree with such argument and I believe every Nigerian should not support it, as it is a cheap way to get out of a little challenge. It is unquestionable that we are an endowed nation and, as I said earlier, we can achieve whatever we set to achieve if we put our acts right. We have got so much potential in the country than to just allow them to waste all in the name of abridging our events to win medals. With a population of over 150 million, with a landscape so vast and magnificent and with a people who need only the right motivation to reach any height, all that we need to do is appoint competent people who will comb the country and fish for talents in all sporting events, after which the discovered talents will be exposed and prepared to compete among the best in the world. It is not for nothing that the United States of America, China and Great Britain haul medals in many events at major meets every time, even while using talents from other nations.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
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On the track with
YEMI OLUS email@example.com
Gatlin set for return
Bolt’s managers threaten image exploiters
ive-time Olympic medallist, Justin Gatlin who made a remarkable comeback this season following a four-year ban from competition from 2006 to 2010, is set to resume training in November at the National Training Center track facility in Clermont near Orlando in the United States. The 30-year old regained his form with a win the U.S. Olympic Trials where he won both heat races at the Olympics and matched his personal best with a 9.79-second run in the fastest Olympic final in history. He will head into 2013 trying to overtake Jamaican stars Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake who have reset standards for sprint speed. He will skip the indoor track and field season. A year ago, his win in the men’s 60-meter final got him opportunities to compete in major meets prior to the Olympic Trials. He will push toward being in peak form for the U.S. National Championships, then the World Championships in Russia on August 10 to18. After a redeeming experience that led to a pair of Olympic medals, headlined by his bronze medal in the greatest men’s 100-meter race in Olympic history, Gatlin wants to go even further. “I have so much left in the tank, and I am so hungry,” he submitted.
he management of Jamaica track and field sensation, Usain Bolt, has warned persons that they risk of prosecution if they continue to use the image and trademark of the two-time Olympic gold medallist to market their products without the proper licence. In a statement yesterday, UB Management Limited advised the public that the “use of these marks in the course of trade without a licence from Usain Bolt, or his duly authorised representative, amounts to an infringement of his trade rights.” “Bolt also has certain rights in relation to the use of his image. You must not use his image in a way as to falsely infer an endorsement by Usain Bolt of your business or enterprise or falsely represent that your business or enterprise and the goods or services offered are connected in the course of trade with Mr Bolt,” the management added, stressing, “Such activities are resulting in loss and damage to Bolt’s reputation and business.”
Adukwu resumes training
till recovering from a groin injury that dashed his hopes of participating in the Olympics, sprinter Benjamin Adukwu says he has commenced training to attain fitness when the new season begins. The athlete was one of those selected to the training camp located in Atlanta in the USA earlier this year in preparation for the London 2012 Olympics but failed to make the team as he fell below the top three in the men’s 100m event at the National Trials held in Calabar, Cross River State in June. “I was very bitter when I discovered that I would not make the team,” he said. “I actually knew it would be impossible even before the national trials because by then I knew that I was injured. I had worked so hard in preparing for the games so it was very painful missing the Olympics. “I am beginning my training early so that I would be in top shape by the time the season begins.” Adukwu, who made it into the national team not long after placing second behind Ogho-Oghene Egwero at the 2009 edition of the National Sports Festival held in Kaduna, partnered with Obinna Metu, Egwero and Peter Emelieze to win a gold medal in the 4x100m relay at the last All Africa Games in Maputo.
Benjamin Adukwu (in yellow trunk)
I’ll be fit for 2016 –Iyiazi A t age 38, Eucharia Iyiazi was the lone medallist in the athletics event at the recent London 2012 Paralympics Games and the veteran athlete believes that she has more to offer Nigeria at the next games in 2016. Iyiazi was a double gold medallist at the Beijing Paralympics four years ago, a feat she achieved with world records but was a shadow of her former self in London where she salvaged only a bronze medal in the F-57/58 category in the shotput behind Angeles Hernandez of Mexico and Stela Eneva of Bulgaria. She placed seventh in javelin and a distant 13th in discus but queried the logic that age was responsible for her poor performance. “It is not true that age affected me in London because if you look at my performance in the shotput, I placed third with a Regional Record of 11.11m. Age barrier usually affects those who run but for those of us in the throws, but we gain more experience with age. I am still fit so I believe that by the special grace of God, I will be in Rio come 2016,” she tells National Mirror.
The veteran athlete blamed Nigerian authorities for the dismal failure of other members of the athletics team in comparism to the powerlifters who won 12 medals, six of which were gold. “We did not commence preparations on time. We were not exposed to international competitions. We only went for the qualifiers this year and so you cannot blame the athletes. You do not get results by magic. We started preparations few months to the games so by the time it became intense, a number of us were hit with injuries and that affected the team negatively. We need to begin preparations on time if we are expected to do well.”
Mo Farah Somalian-born British star, Mo Farah, was originally based in London and ran for Newham and Essex Beagles athletics club, training at St Mary’s University College, Twickenham’s sports facilities in Strawberry Hill from 2001
This is a fact ! to 2011. In 2011, Farah relocated to Oregon, United States, in order to further his training with coach Alberto Salazar. Farah, who was also voted 2011 European athlete of the year from twelve nominees, with Christophe Lemaitre in 2nd place, is
an ambassador for Bupa, Lucozade Sport and Nike.
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Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Real Estate & Environment
Buy one plot, get half free, developers of Suncity Estate woo home seekers DAYO AYEYEMI
he skyline of real estate along Lagos-Badagry Expressway corridor was further widen at the weekend, no thanks to Messrs Edgefield Limited that disclosed the development of two residential schemes within the corridor. Edgefield, one of the leading real estate developing companies, is the promoter of Suncity Estate along the axis. The new schemes, christened, “Suncity Estate Phase 1 and Suncity Estate Phase 2. They are in Agbara-Igbesa area to provide residential accommodation to upcoming Nigerians looking for investment in property and housing unit they can call their own. Speaking during the media parley organised in Lagos at the weekend, the Managing Director of Edgefield Limited, Mr. Wale Adedara, said anyone that buys one plot of land at Suncity Diamond Estate Phase 2 would get half plot free in one of his estates located in other location. He said, “with just N600,000, the public can access a plot of land at Suncity Diamond at Agbara, Igbesa and also get half plot free in one of our estates, coupled with the different installment payment plan that is available.” The managing director said the company’s core focus is on how to bridge the housing deficit in the country by providing land people to build their house. Justifying the location of the project, he said he specifically selected the location based on the fact that “Agbara- Igbesa is the next Lekki, putting into consideration different ongoing projects by the government on the axis.” He listed the on-going Mile2- Badagry 10-lane road, the construction of light rail and other developments like the free trade zone in the area as additional factors. He said, “The World Bank research says that by 2015, Lagos would be congested, so focus should be shifted to other areas in Lagos. Looking at what the governor is doing, he is trying to change focus to other areas like Agbara Igbesa
L-R: Head of Operations, Mrs. Funlola Olomofe; Managing Director, Mr. Wale Adedara; and Marketing Executive, Ms. Ronke Adeoye, all of Edgefield Ltd; at the media parley organised in Lagos at the weekend.
area of Lagos State. For anyone that purchases property there, when the 10 -lane road is constructed, based on track records on ground, you are going to be reaping about 1000 per cent in the next 10years. “All these and many more are clear indication that the value of property within this axis will surely appreciate, as you will be better for it afterwards.” The Edgefield boss disclosed that Suncity Estate 1 and 2 encompassed over 100 acres each, adding that the third estate, which is located in Shiun on the Mowe-Ofada axis also sits on 100 areas. He said, “In phase 1, we have sold over half of what we have on ground in the estate. We are presently looking for 100 lucky investors who would be part of the home ownership scheme for Suncity phase 2.” The estates come with road network, perimeter fence, electricity supply, security, gardens and street light among others. According to Adedara, a plot of land costs N900,000 in Suncity phase 1, while a plot of land in Phase 2 costs N600,000
enjoining members of the public not to allow the opportunity pass them by. He disclosed that the firm is working on the people who want to have the landed property and build and pay for as long as 30 years, saying it is possible for them to get a loan and spread it with the interest rate of about 6 per cent. He explained that his firm is already talking to a Primary Mortgage Institution to assist would-be subscribers arrange for loan to purchase the land, saying that with equity contribution of 10 per cent of cost of land, the repayment could be spread for a long period of time. He said, “We know what the financial market is saying now and we know that one of the best ways to invest is to invest in property. We have an amazing scheme that avails people to get their property and pay from as low as N10,000; people should be able to spread the money for 30 months. The company’s Financial Director, Mrs. Funke Olomofe, added that if one is paying outrightly, it would get a receipt of purchase and a deed of assignment while people paying installmen-
tally would get receipts of all payments and contract of sale, adding that the deed of assignment will be given at the end of payment. She said the company has global Certificate of Ownership of the land. On how it is easy to access the estate, she said, “For an average Nigerian, in as much as you are paying your tax and you are contributing to the National Housing Fund, the Federal Mortgage Bank gives you the opportunity to own a property and gives you the opportunity to pay for as long as 30 years. “Federal Mortgage Bank gives loanto every Nigerian eligible for loan. You as an individual cannot get the loan unless through a mortgage bank but you have to access it through a primary mortgage which is where we come in,” she said. She urged people to plan for the future of their children by buying into the estate, saying, “planning for the future of our children is one that we must always act upon; investing in a plot at Suncity Estate is another way of ensuring the secured future of our children because over the years, the property will appreciate.”
FG partners Indian firm on road infrastructure OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA
n furtherance of its commitment to transform the nation in the area of road sector development, the Federal Government is collaborating with an Indian conglomerate, Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Limited (IL&FS), for the provision of road infrastructure in the country. The Minister of State for Works, Ambassador Bashir Yuguda, said this
at a meeting with the management of the firm, led by Mr. Ravi Sreehari in Abuja. Yuguda urged the firm to come-up with a detailed proposal on areas the company intended to invest in the country. For instance, the minister told the delegation of government’s commitment to the dualisation of the IlorinMokwa-BirninGwari-Kaduna and many more roads in the six geo-political zones in the country. He implored the firm to take advan-
tage of the Public Private Partnership PPP Act and use their guidelines for smooth execution of proposed investment in the road sector. The minister further stated that the present administration’s Transformation Agenda was irrevocably committed to transparency oriented projects and therefore urged them to imbibe the culture of due process as guidance in their investment drive. Earlier, the leader of the delegation, Mr. Ravi Sreehari noted that his firm had always adopted Inter-
national Industry best practices and complied with a globally accepted project development methodology in executing operations in all their host countries. The firm, which was incorporated since 1987, is a Premier financial services company serving an array of clients in the private, public and joint sectors, which specialises in delivering innovative and practical solutions in the areas of infrastructural development as well as financial services.
Real Estate & Environment
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Creative landscape tips for your home M
aking a plan is of maximum significance: Take a good survey of what you’ve got to work with and make a plan for planning the area. It isn’t a great idea to simply start planting trees or plants or placing ornaments that you purchased rashly, anywhere in the landscape. Even with a DoIt-Yourself (DIY) project, measuring the area, getting an understanding of what you’d like to see and for how you intend to use the space, is important to any plan. Copious use of available resources cost nothing and will most likely be of great help in planning your landscaping project. Collect new and old magazines, visit your local library, peruse the gardening section of bookstores and try the gigantic array of net resources available. It is terribly handy, in this phase, to have a scrap book and a note pad where you might document the styles you want to use. Going for a walk in your own community and making note of the landscaping designs you see is another handy resource. Your garden centre will be ready to
supply you with designs and recommendations for planting and placement of ornaments. Implement your intention in stages: You do not want to do it all at the same time, particularly if you would like to keep inside a budget. When you have a plan, you can move from stage to host easily. As you start your landscaping, remember that patience is of maximum significance. While you might like to have quick results, take some time particularly since you’re the one who will be doing all of the work. If you’d like fast results, hire a landscaper. There are some fun elements you can consider when landscaping: You can choose to have a deck, out of doors furniture, a pool or other water feature, fountain, lighting, a rock garden, plants and trees can all be a part of your landscape. What sort of garden would you like? You might like to consider a rock garden, a themed style garden, and other fascinating garden features. Try hard not to have everything in the landscape as you do not want your landscape to look cluttered and rough.
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Real Estate & Environment
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
NESREA urged to create six additional offices OLUFEMI ADEOSUN ABUJA
he Minister of Environment, Mrs. Hadiza Mailafia has signed performance agreement with heads of departments, agencies and units in the ministry, advising them to tie projects delivery to specific time frame. Specifically, the minister said that the performance of the Director General, National Environment Standard Regulatory and Enforcement Agency (NESREA), Dr. Mrs. Ngeri Benebo, would be assessed against the provision of more environment regulations and six additional offices to boost employment opportunity. Mailafia who gave the charge in Abuja during the performance signing event charged management staff to show greater creativity, innovation and commitment to project delivery, in line with the performance agreements they willingly signed. She stated that greater scrutiny and searchlight would henceforth be directed at directors, to assess their capacity to take initiatives and complete various projects within stated time frames. She emphasized that projects must not remain “on-going” endlessly, but must have a definite terminal date.
“We cannot continue having outstanding debts”, she added. The Minister stated that the performance indicators derived from inputs of the Departments and agencies on their statutory mandates, as well as areas that the Federal Government considered to be important to the populace, adding, that officials must prioritise, and must deliver. She expressed the hope that the quarterly assessments that would ensue subsequently, would be such that all concerned would be proud of their renewed effectiveness and efficiency. Giving an insight into the key performance parameters indicated in the contracts, the Minister also directed that the Director General of National Parks Services must ensure total overhauling of the forest reserves, even as she charged the Environmental Health Officers Regulatory Council to ensure more effective deployment of environmental health officers in the states to ensure cleaner, healthier environmental practices She said,” You will be judged by your ability to deliver. We have defended our projects at the National Planning. You will also be asked by the ministry, what you have done. We must tie project delivery to specific time frame as we cannot continue to have outstanding debt.”
Professionals seek govt’s co-operation to regulate building construction STANLEY IHEDIGBO
rofessionals in the building industries are seeking government supports to intensified regulation in building construction in the country. This aims at bringing lasting solutions to the issue of collapse buildings in the country. The Chairman of Lagos Chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Building, Mr. Jelili Akinpelu, who stressed the importance of the his group to partnered with various government in intensified effort in regulation of the building construction at the Dinner/Award night organized by the institute to honour people who have contributed to the development of building profession in the country. He said that intensified regulation in the sector will bring sanitize and lasting solutions to the issues of collapsed building in the several states in federation. He added that they have keenly observed with interest the current state of health and safely management practices in construction industry, saying it becomes apparent and imperative for a paradigm shift to quickly inject new ideas and to reposition in line with vision of built environment professional for the benefit of our nation. Akinpelu lamented that construction is a very hazardous industry which records every year a lot of workers, both skilled and unskilled lose their lives or many are maimed and injured on construction sites. He called on people and institutions to upgrade their tool like acquiring improved technology equipments, as im-
Building under construction
proved technological development have produced sophisticated site machines, hence special precautions must be taken to protect site workers. One of the recipients of the award and chairman of the event, former Commissioner for Environment, Lagos State, Dr. Muiz Banire, urged the institute to assist various level of government in their quest
to provide affordable houses for its citizen, in researching materials that will contributed in affordable housing in the country. He advised the group to always come up with ideas that government will reckon and seen them as a relevant stakeholders. He encouraged them to increase the awareness in order to propagate their aims and objective to able people and in-
stitutions identified with them as the only professional builders in the country. The national President of the NIOB, Mr. Chucks Omeife , said that the challenges of collapsed build will be things of past if the various government will involved them as the professional in the construction of building in the country.
Real Estate & Environment
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
How more affordable housing could be built in UK
Belgravia property, London
ousing associations could generate £5.6 billion extra a year from their asset bases with no impact on government subsidy costs, it is claimed. According to Property Wire report, the UK government has already boosted the affordable housing sector with its £10 billion guarantee scheme but much more investment is needed in the longer term, according to a report from L&Q and PwC.
It says that higher capital subsidies are more cost effective over the long term, but in an era of limited public investment it suggests that the creation of a Social Equity Fund would generate billions in new financial capacity each year to support higher affordable housing provision. It is estimated that the total amount of investment needed to meet the government’s own ambitions is £39 billion every year.
RICS calls for cut in VAT in property repairs, maintenance and improvements
he Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is calling for a reduction in VAT on home repairs, maintenance and improvement work. It comes as the UK government is about to lift the VAT exemption on listed buildings that is set to put Britain’s 400,000 listed properties under threat. From 01 October 2012, VAT on all alteration and restoration work to listed buildings will be introduced at 20 per cent. The move means owners of listed buildings will face spiralling costs just to maintain their property, whilst investors will be deterred from resorting empty listed properties. Preservation of a listed building involves dedication in time and money due to the more expensive methods and materials involved. Much of the property industry, including RICS, has spoken out against the move which could mean essential works will no longer be financially viable, leaving Britain’s listed properties to fall into disrepair. The lack of funds will also impact negatively on specialist repair and maintenance companies operating in the construction sector. RICS, as part of the ‘Cut the VAT Coalition’, is therefore calling on government to reduce the VAT to 5% across all home repairs maintenance and improvement. It says that this would not only have a far smaller impact on owners of listed properties, but also free up finance for
non listed property owners to pay for residential works. ‘The government has missed a golden opportunity to create a level playing field on all residential works. Reducing the VAT rate to 5 per cent across the board would have helped those who cannot afford vital repairs to their homes. In addition, the reduced costs would prompt investment to bring thousands of empty properties back into use,’ said Peter Bolton King, global residential director at RICS. ‘Crucially, the construction sector would also be given a necessary boost. Research shows that VAT at 5percent on all residential work would create 26,560 jobs in the construction sector with a total economic stimulus of around £1.7 billion in 2012 alone,’ he added. Owners of listed buildings who re-
East London housing estate
Chief executive, David Montague said the report explores a fresh range of options which, crucially, would have no impact on the public purse. ‘With political will and strong partnership working, we can tackle the housing crisis and provide urgently needed new homes for the current and future generations,’ he added. The report says that a Social Equity Fund of £5.6 billion would finance 42,500 affordable homes a year, enough to pro-
vide 25percent of a 170,000 a year homes target. The Social Equity Fund would be created by raising rents for just 5percent of better off, non-benefit dependent tenants, plus increased asset management flexibilities sanctioned by government. The capacity generated would be ring fenced for new affordable housing development. Rents would be kept to an average of 35 per cent of net income for tenants to maintain affordability. Capital subsidies to support ‘safety net’ social rent homes for poorer and more vulnerable tenants would provide an important extra boost to overall affordable homes provision. It also says that a much larger Social Equity Fund of up to £20 billion is possible by increasing rent across the board to a new affordable level above the current average but below the Affordable Rent maximum. The scope to boost the Social Equity Fund further through greater asset management flexibilities, without impacting on government cost, is also strong. An extra £2 billion could be generated for every 1 per cent of tenants allowed to buy their home through shared ownership, for example, and more capacity could come through measures such as selling a modest number of low yielding, high maintenance properties. Similar arrangements for local authorities could potentially double the value of Social Equity Funds, yet they can only provide part of the long term solution, given the huge scale of the overall challenge.
Ireland sees second consecutive monthly rise in property prices
Luxury Irish Property With Sea Views
he slowing of property price falls in Ireland is continuing with the latest data showing they increased by 0.5 per cent last month. This means that in the year to August residential property prices have fall by 11.8 per cent, down from the 13.6 per cent annual fall in July and the 13.9 per cent recorded in the 12months to August 2011. The 0.5 per cent rise, according to Property Wire, adds to the increase of 0.2 per cent recorded in July and is good news for the Irish property market. It was the first consecutive property price rise since the crash over five years ago. But it still has a long way to climb back with overall the national index from the Central Statistical Office 50 per cent lower than its highest level in 2007. Also the Dublin housing market is still struggling. Property prices fell 0.5 per cent
last month and are 13.8 per cent lower. Within that house prices decreased by 0.7 per cent in the month and were 14.4 per cent lower compared to a year earlier while apartment prices were 13.4 per cent lower when compared with the same month of 2011. The price of residential properties in the rest of Ireland rose by 1.3 per cent in August compared with a decline of 0.3 per cent in August last year. Prices were 10.7 per cent lower than in August 2011. It now means that house prices in Dublin are 56 per cent lower than at their highest level in early 2007 and apartments prices 63 per cent lower than they were in February 2007. Overall property prices in Dublin are 57 per cent lower than at their highest level in February 2007. The fall in the price of residential properties in the rest of Ireland is somewhat lower at 46 per cent.
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Murtala Mohammed Airport
he Nigerian aviation industry has its own ups and downs in the past 52 years but had nonetheless seen a very significant expansions in operations and facilities with flights operating in to at least 30 airports spread across the length and breadth of the country. At independence in 1960, Nigeria only had one airline; Nigeria Airways as its national carrier, but 52 years down the lane, the sector has been deregulated to give room for private investors to enter the industry with new service offerings and a spirit of competition that is the hallmark of the aviation sector. While the former national carrier, Nigeria Airways has since closed shop and its assets at the Murtala Mohammed Airport (MMA), Lagos sold for N950m by former President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo to Arik Air in 2006, other privately owned airlines have come and gone as well with most of them forced out of the operations due to several factors. Airlines like Okada, Bellview, Sosoliso, Albarka, Afrijet, Skyline Nigeria, Freedom Air, Merchant Express Aviation Cargo, Fresh Air, Dasab Air Services Chrome Air Services, Premium Air Shuttle, Savannah, EAS and ADC Airlines at one time or the other time registered their presence in the airline industry, but are today relics of a shortlived boom in commercial aviation. The industry has had its own share of disasters including well documented accidents including the Nigeria Airways Fokker 27 crash in the late 70s. More recently, a high succession of crashes between 2005 and 2007 conferred some level of notoriety on the industry. Within that period, five fatal crashes occurred starting from October 22, 2005 with Bellview Airlines aircraft with 117 people on board in Lisa, Ogun State. Another fatal crash was by Sosoliso Airline aircraft that crashed at the Port Harcourt International Airport on December 10, 2005 while October 29, 2006, an ADC aircraft came down in Abuja killing the Sultan of Sokoto. This was followed by Wings Aviation’s Beech aircraft 1900D that crashed in March 15, 2007 in the Obudu Hills in Cross River State.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
NIGERIA @ 52
Aviation industry still in search of redemption
As a result of these crashes, the then President Olusegun Obasanjo-led government after calls from aviation stakeholders and professionals floated the industry N19.5bn aviation intervention fund, to support the airlines suspected to have been cutting corners due to inclement economic conditions but the impact was not felt. The industry received a jolt when on December 25, 2009 when a Nigerian, Mr. Abdul Farouk Mutallab, 23, an alleged member of the dreaded al Qaida and was apprehended mid air on American soil for attempting to detonate an explosive device on an American airline. He had travelled from Nigeria to US en route Holland, where beat security in both airports. His action which would have led to loss of lives of 287 passengers and 11 crew members led to a review of the security operations at Nigerian airports with stricter searches and surveillance system put in place. However, a new era of strict controls was introduced by industry regulators, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority which ensured adherence to safety and other standards resulted in Nigeria being conferred with the coveted Category 1 Status by the US authorities despite the security breach, less than 10 months
later. The CAT One aviation status is a prerequisite for countries to operate direct flights to the USA and it is sanctioned by the American FAA. This is done by meeting the country’s International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) Category One. Also, CAT One is achieved when a country’s civil aviation authority has been assessed by FAA inspectors and has been found to license and oversee air carriers in accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) aviation safety standards. The FAA assessment is a very detailed audit process that spans several visits by the FAA team to the country being assessed. However, when all stakeholders and professionals thought they could heave a sigh of relief, a Dana Air aircraft enroute Abuja to Lagos crashed just 11 nautical miles to the Lagos airports killing all 163 souls onboard and on the ground. Although, the license of the airline has been returned to it by the Federal Government, but it is yet to recommence flight operations. However, recent developments indicate that the industry is undergoing trying times as most carriers are groaning under the weight of huge debts
and harsh operating environment. The national flag carrier Air Nigeria has stopped operations for a year citing poor operating conditions. Arik Air, another big carrier was grounded for two day last week over huge debts owned the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria. Indeed only four carriers remain in the air at present. This is in contrast to the fortunes of international carriers, who now see Nigeria as a prime destination. Last year, international carrier remitted over N200bn back home In recent time, the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah embarked on remodelling and expansion of 11 airports in the country in the first phase of a general infrastructure renewal drive. Although, the exercise has received knocks in some quarters, but most aviation professionals and stakeholders still commend the minister for the step taken so far to redress the situation. The former Airport Manager, Port Harcourt International Airport, Mr. Sam Akerele, has said that the major problem confronting Nigerian airports is lack of adequate infrastructure. He said that without upgrading of the equipment at all the airports, Nigeria would continue to take the back seat in the comity of nations.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Dana crash: Professional urges Nigerians to wait for AIB’s report STORIES: OLUSEGUN KOIKI
Between FAAN and Arik, who is fooling who?
L-R: President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Etihad Airways, Mr. James Hogan and a member of the delegate to Boeing’s Everett production facility in the United States of America when the team visited the company last week.
He said, “What Nigeria needs most at this point is to demand from our government the causes of that fatal accident with a view to preventing future mishaps. From knowing the reason for the crash, we can deduce and prevent future similar cases. This is what is important, not an indefinite suspension of Dana Air. The minster of aviation, Princess Stella Oduah properly elaborated this view when she made the announcement of Dana Air’s return to service. “The only setback in flight safety or air transportation is human errors. Human factors account for more than 80 per cent of all aircraft accidents in the modern world. The core issue of air safety is how to overcome or minimise the fallibility of man when operating a machine. Human-flight deck interface problems have been on the forefront of aviation safety seminars, organisational safety management systems, and air regulation authorities the world over.” Omale explained further that
although the Dana air crash was very fatal, but there had been more fatal accidents involving today’s celebrated legacies airlines, noting that despite their fatalities, their governments never banned or suspended their AOCs. He mentioned British Airways, KLM-Airfrance, and American Airline as some of the notable airlines that involved in fatal accident in recent time. “British Airways has not been banned or suspended by the British government. Today, BA is one of the most celebrated legacy airlines, and probably the most loved airline by Nigerians. It may sound funny to some people in this country, but the major challenge facing aviation industry in Nigeria today is not regulation or safety oversight, but critical human factor elements. “Without proper deductive investigation to unveil the causes of aircraft accidents in Nigeria, mere display of public emotions towards Dana Air, the government, or its agencies won’t help to establish a solution.”
SAHCOL to provide ground handling services for 65, 000 pilgrims he Skyway Aviation Handling Company Limited (SAHCOL), said it has received approval to provide ground handling services for the outbound and inbound operations of the 2012 Hajj Operations. By this, SAHCOL said it would be providing total ground handling services, covering ramp, passenger and baggage to the four carriers the hajj exercise, which includes Marx Air, Kabo Air, MedView and Meridian Airlines. A statement signed by the airline’s Head, Communications, Mr. Basil Agboarumi last week stated that these services would be provided at the designated airports for 2012 hajj operations, namely,
he operations of Arik Air was disrupted barely two weeks ago by the industry unions led by the Air Transport Senior Staff Services Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) over an alleged N7.2billion debt owed the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) by the airline. Although the management of FAAN condemned the disruption of service of the airline and described the action as counterproductive, but insisted that the debt of the airline was over N7billion. However, the management
igerians and indeed the world over have been told to wait for the report of the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) on Dana air crash of June 3, 2012 at the Iju-Ishaga area of Lagos State before commenting further on the probable cause of the accident. This is just as the lifting of the airline’s Air Operators’ Certificate (AOC) by the Ministry of Aviation was commended. A former instructor at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria, Capt. Daniel Omale stated these in an interview with journalists last week in Lagos. Omale noted that AIB as the sole authority in air crash investigation in the country should be allowed to carry out its job professionally without any interference from any quarters, stressing that without knowing the root cause of the accident, it would be difficult to prevent recurrence. Omale insisted that banning of an airline that involved in an accident does not solve the problem of a repeated accident, stressing that the only way future occurrence could be avoided was to proffer a solution to future occurrence. He explained that if the airline is banned from operating in the country, it simply means that another airline has been sent into bankruptcy while Nigerians working with the airline have been sent into the unemployment market. Omale emphasised that air safety has improved tremendously over the years with improved technology from the manufacturer, but decried that human errors still play a major role in the causes of accident worldwide, which he said could be checkmated with contributions from all aviation stakeholders and professionals.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Port Harcourt, Maiduguri, Minna, Yola, Sokoto, Katsina, Ilorin, Gombe and Kaduna.
Out of the 85, 000 pilgrims that would go through these airports, SAHCOL is expected to provide handling services to 65, 000 pilgrims. SAHCOL said it has already deployed personnel and equipment to these stations to allow for a hitch free and a successful handling of this year’s hajj operations. The Managing Director, Mr. Oluropo Owolabi stated that the ground handler was geared towards ensuring efficient and speedy delivery of aviation ground handling services to all its customers, thereby making it a reference point where efficiency of a successful flight is born.
of Arik Air led by its Managing Director, Mr. Chris Ndulue explained that it was only indebted to the agency to the tune of N1.6billion, a debt he said it owed before the commencement of the “Pay as You Go’ regime introduced by FAAN over 18 months ago. It is unfortunate that in this era of computerisation, Nigerian companies could still be arguing over appropriate debts owed. Airside believes it is easy to decipher the actual amount of money owed without resulting into accusation and counteraccusation from both parties unless those involved want to play on the citizens’ intelligence.
Who is behind Aviation Square Table?
irside was taken aback last week when it read in the media about a certain Aviation Square Table (AST), which calls itself an association of aviation professionals and stakeholders. The group was led by a certain Capt. Balarabe Usman who was purported to be a director in the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) before his retirement. While Airside sees nothing wrong in forming an association, at least the country’s constitution recognises that, but Airside is curious about those who are behind it and the purpose of setting it up. Airside will like to ask these pertinent questions about the composition; apart from Usman who
is known as its president, who are the other executive members and members of this AST? Where were these ‘professionals’ over the years when reputable professionals in the sector like Capt Dele Ore, Mr. Sam Akerele, Engr. Obadofin, Capt. Omaghomi Tito, Engr. Sheri Kyari and others have been commenting on national and industry issues over the years and put the government on its toes? What is the purpose of setting up this AST at this point in time? Where will AST be in the next two years? Hope its setting up is not to counter the popular and unbiased Aviation Round Table? Airside hopes this is not the Biblical voice of Jacob and hand of Esau? Time will tell.
Etihad Airways to acquire more B777, awaits B787 dreamliner
tihad Airways President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), James Hogan, last week visited Boeing’s Everett production facility, as the United Arab Emirates flag carrier sets to take delivery of more Boeing 777s and awaits the arrival of its first B787 Dreamliner. Hogan led a delegation of the airline and Airberlin to the Boeing Aircraft Manufacturing. Etihad Airways owns almost 30 per cent of Airberlin, Europe’s sixth largest airline. An online statement signed by the airline’s media agents in Nigeria stated that in March this year, the two carriers announced plans to strengthen their partnership by integrating their respective Boeing 787 Dreamliner programmes. With this arrangement, Etihad has now requested for 41 B787 while Airberlin intends to
acquire 15. In all, there are 56 Dreamliners on order. Inspecting the 777 and Dreamliner assembly lines, Hogan said, “It is exciting to see these aircraft take shape and we look forward to taking delivery of nine more 777s over the next 15 months. For both carriers the Dreamliner’s arrival will be a positive milestone for two strategically aligned partners, who are looking to successfully work with Boeing on our integrated fleet programme. “Already, we are sharing infrastructure, streamlining our purchasing activity for engines, rotables, avionics and in-flight entertainment systems, and are also hard at work on common onboard product specifications for our respective brands which will give passengers a consistent product experience.”
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
NIGERIA @ 52
Insurance industry coming of age T
he contribution of insurance to economic growth is huge and unlimited. Insurance is of great importance to a modern society and in fact, economic growth is characterised by the soundness of a national insurance market. Insurance promotes financial stability and reduces anxiety; it can substitute for government security programmes; facilitates trade and commerce; mobilizes savings; enables risk to be managed more efficiently; encourages loss mitigation and fosters a more efficient capital allocation In developed countries like the United States and Europe for instance, insurance is vital and forms the economy in terms of its size, employment, managed assets, and so on. The Nigerian insurance market presents vast opportunities for the citizens, the industry, the financial services sector and the economy. But the market is not efficient, lacks capacity and consumer trust. Experts say the net effect is that it does not grow and makes no meaningful contributions to the macro-economic indicators. The insurance gap in Nigeria is presently put at 94 per cent which implies that less than 10 per cent of Nigerians have any form of insurance. The wide gap is attributable to public inertia and apathy. The insurance density on the other hand is put at N875.00, this means that Nigerians on the average spend less than N1, 000 annually on insurance. Presently, the total industry premium income is about N170billion. According to the National Insurance Commision, for the set target to be achieved, the insurance gap must be lowered to a minimum of 70 per cent, with 2012 as the target date. Globally, the World Insurance Premium Income from 2006 – 2008 as presented by Sigma Publications shows that Life insurance has contributed more premiums, an average of 58.86 percent, than the non-Life business, an average of 41.14 per cent. However, the reverse is the case in Nigeria which contributes 17.90 percent for Life as against 82.10 per cent for Non- Life. At a seminar organised for insurance correspondence recently in Calabar, NAICOM’s Deputy Director, Authorisation & Policy, Mr. Leo Akah noted that the situation calls for serious concern. The turning point for the industry started in August 2008 when the current administration of the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) under the leadership of Mr. Fola Daniel, decided to put in place some measures that will transform the industry. The commissioner while speaking at the 2012 Seminar and Luncheon of
Nigeria’s insurance industry has no doubt made progress in the 52 years since independence. From an industry ridden with poor access to market, ignorance, lack of trust and fraud, the sector now focuses on customer service, trust and confidence of the general public even as efforts still need to be geared towards achieving more. OMOBOLA TOLU-KUSIMO writes
GOVERNMENT RECOGNISES THE IMPORTANCE OF INSURANCE IN THE ECONOMY AND IS TAKING STEPS TO REDRESS ITS CURRENT PERFORMANCE
MD, Mansad Insurance, Yetunde Ilori Daniel
the Financial Services Group of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the importance of insurance to economic growth and development of any nation is huge and cannot be overemphasised Danel said, “Government recognises the importance of insurance in the economy and is taking steps to redress its current performance. “For instance, insurance is one of the critical sectors in the Vision 20:2020 programme and it envision an industry that will rank among the 20 largest markets in the world by year 2020. At the moment, Nigeria is ranked number 60 in the world. “Regrettably however, the realisation of these goals is constrained by poor legal framework; low awareness amongst the populace and poor perception of the industry. A major condition for the development of insurance business is an appropriate regulatory regime. “Meanwhile, the commission has continued to give regulatory guidance and roadmap for the industry in the relevant areas through the issuance of guidelines, circulars and letters. “However, as part of efforts at achieving a measure of efficiency, the commission has since 2011, stopped the issuance of operational guidelines to the industry. Instead, themat-
MD IGI, Remi Olowude
ic guidelines now exist for various segments including under Oil & Gas (in line with local Content Development Act 2010), Risk Management, Claims Management, Takaful, Microinsurance, Anti-Money Laundry and Combating Financing Terrorism and Corporate Governance.” He noted that conscious efforts were made by successive governments and the regulator to improve the insurance market over the years. “One of such efforts was the market consolidation exercise that started in 2005, culminating in the increase of
the industry’s minimum capital requirements. “The minimum capital to operate a Life Insurance business thus increased from N150million to N2billion; Non-Life business moved from N200million to N3billion while for Reinsurance, the minimum capital became N10billion from N350million”, he said. He stated further that the re-insurance industry has come to the fore in the light of its crucial role in supporting catastrophe risks and in maintaining financial stability. Akah, on his part disclosed that there are presently 27 companies writing life insurance business in Nigeria as against 42 companies writing non-life insurance business. He said the commission is presently more disposed considering applications from intending Life companies as against non-life companies and one License has been granted in 2010 for a Life Company. He noted that as part of its transformation agenda, the commission adopted measures to address the critical issues that include the implementation of compulsory insurance in Nigeria; modernisation, sanitisation and standardisation of insurance agency system; wiping out fake insurance institutions in Nigeria and introduction of risk-based supervision. The first three items listed were compressed into a single project code-named “The Nigeria Insurance Market Development and Restructuring Initiative” (MDRI). The MDRI together with other financial inclusion products have been adopted by the FSS 2020 as some of the critical success factors in which the nation’s Vision 2020 is dependent upon. Sixteen insurance products were identified to be directly or indirectly made compulsory in Nigeria. Five out these insurance products are prominent and are capable of generating about 55 percent of the industry premium income. These five were made compulsory. They include, Motor Third Party Insurance; Builder’s Liability Insurance; Occupiers’ Liability Insurance; Health Care Professional Insurance; Statutory Group Life Insurance. Before now, the insurance agency system has been an all-comers affair and a stop-gap arrangement for the job seekers in Nigeria. The number of people engaged in the business is also small compared to the population and the insuring opportunities. Akah said, “The commission has put in place some measures at encouraging and improving the agency system in Nigeria. It is very clear that compulsory insurance products cannot be enforced without an efficient agency system. CONTINUED ON PAGE 37
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‘Insurers need to create innovative investment instruments’ OMOBOLA TOLU-KUSIMO
resident of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Goodie Ibru has said there is need for insurers to create innovative investment instruments that are consistent in terms of rate of yields and repayment modalities for the business community. Ibru made the call during the Financial Services Group Seminar and Launcheon on Repositioning the Insurance
Insurance industry coming of age CONTINUED FROM 37 “In the same vein, the industry is losing so much income to fake insurance institutions, and this has equally contributed to the poor image the industry has. A visit at the Vehicle Inspection Offices and Motor Licensing Offices nationwide reveals that all manner of people issue bogus insurance Certificates to the unsuspecting motorists. On the full implementation of the MDRI project by the end of 2012, the Commission expects increase in Gross Premium Income from N164.5bn in 2008 to N1.01tr by 2012. Akah said, “Though this is by no means a high expectation, it is achievable going by the indices we are receiving. However, a lot still need to be done by all the stakeholders, particularly the operators. “The commission believes that the way of achieving both consumer trust and confidence is by ensuring that the underwriters improve in their claim settlement administration procedure and genuine claims should be paid without undue delay. Akah stated that until this is achieved, it may be practicably difficult to attain the self set goal. Akah added, “With the greater interest the Commission is now showing in the life arm of the insurance business, there will be more premium income being generated and such more funds will be available for long term investment. In every other jurisdiction where the life arm is developed such as in South Africa, it is the Life fund that is made available for long term investment as against that from non-life funds which are short term in nature and cannot be put into long term investment. Most practitioners agree that the industry has come very far since independence.
Managing Director, Global Credit Rating Company, Mr. Adebisi Ajiboye said the industry is better capitalised and has more products than 10 years ago. Companies now respond to claims settlement more than they do in the past but the general problem remains that penetration and public perception is still very low unlike what is witnessed in some other African countries like Kenya and Zimbabwe. “But they still need to brace to the challenges ahead and to do more to complement the work of the regulator. “For instance, NAICOM has opened up the market for them through the MDRI especially compulsory insurances and they need to do more in enlightening the public.” President of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN), Dr. Wole Adetimehin said,, “We have been witnessing positive development and change in line with the transformation policy of the Government. “In the last five years since we engage in reform, companies have recapitalised, their equity base is more robust and their management system has changed for good among other developments. President of the Association of registered Insurance Agents (ARIAN), Mr. Kingsley Obuvie posited that the image of the industry has improved but awareness is still low. Obuvie however wants the Federal Government to patronise the industry by insuring its assets and properties. Managing Director of Scib Insurance Brokers, Mr. Shola Tinubu agreed that there has been a major regulatory shift in the industry with potential for long term growth.
sector held recently in Lagos. He stated that it is also pertinent for the business community to know how dependable, insurance companies are in claims payment and what rates of yields accrues to their insurance policies. He urged the National Insurance Commission to get more involved in ensuring prompt claims payment as this would improve the perception of people about insurance policies in the country. Speaking further, he said,
“I must commend NAICOM’s shift towards risk-based regulatory framework to check companies’ exposure to financial and operational risks, the adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) by the sector and the introduction of new rules and regulations for stricter supervison and regulation. “We are also glad to note that more insurance companies have reported and declared good financial results for the 2011 financial year after some years of los-
es and paper profits in the sector. “It is our hope that the sector would develop the capacity to take better advantage of opportunities in the oil and gas sector of our economy. The emerging opportunities in the power sector should also be of keen interest to insurers”. Ibru noted that insurers must also transform from the traditional areas of coverage to new grounds that have hitherto being the preserve of foreign underwriting firms.
Cornerstone Insurance postpones AGM
nvestigations by National Mirror revealed that the Annual General Meeting of Cornerstone Insurance Plc did not hold on Friday, September 28 as planned. This came as the company’s new Managing Director, Mr. Ganiyu Musa resumed office after the exit of former MD, Mr. Livingstone Mogorimbo who took the position as a result of the contractual technical partnership agreement between the company and TA Holdings of Zimbabwe. Musa who confirmed to National Mirror in a telephone interview yesterday that he has resumed office as MD of the company disclosed that the AGM could not hold due to some logistical reasons. He said the AGM would now hold on October 8 in Lagos. The company in its 2011 au-
dited results presented to the Nigerian Stock Exchange posted a Profit after Tax of N166.5 million a decline from N399.4 million posted in 2010. The result was released recently at the Floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). Its Gross Earnings also dropped to N3.1billion in the
year under review from N3.3 billion recorded in the previous year while the gross premium written stood at N4.2 billion as against N4.022 billion written in 2010, both representing a decline in the company’s financial results. In the same vein, Profit before Tax also decreased from N109.519 million, a decline from the N482.6 million recorded in 2010. The company is however in the process of merging with Linkage Assurance Plc and has informed their shareholders of the plan to merge the entities into one. The merger will thus, result in the transfer of all assets, liabilities and undertakings, including real properties and intellectual property rights of Linkage Insurance Plc to Cornerstone Insurance Plc, and the cancellation of the issued shares of Linkage Insurance Plc.
It’s time to buy insurance stocks-Tinubu
anaging Director of Scib Insurance Brokers, Mr. Shola Tinubu has advised Nigerians to begin to buy into insurance stocks. Tinubu said the major regulatory shift brought about by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), in the industry will soon begin to boost its growth. According to him, NAICOM is directing the industry in a was
that will propel the industry for greatness. He said, “Although the regulation is hard on us but there is a certain direction that this industry must be guided for it to experience the desired growth and that is what the regulator intend to achieve. We the operators have all agreed with the platform and I believe we will all appreciate the outcome in
years to come. “I also believe that people should begin to look at insurance stocks. Presently, insurance stocks are underpriced but very soon, the underlying value will be unlocked. He added that good corporate governance now exists and claims are settled as and when due and everything is falling into place in the industry.
Small business insurance: Insure for the worst, hope for the best
ew things in life are riskier than launching and running your own business. You needn’t compound that risk by neglecting your business insurance needs. Protecting your business from financial ruin will not only preserve all your hard work and long hours, but it will also help you sleep better at night. Cecelia Taylor, a spokesperson for the Small Business Administration, recommends three types of insurance for small businesses.
“Workers compensation is required by state law for persons with one or more employees, but small business owners should, at a minimum, purchase property and liability insurance,” says Taylor. “Small businesses are more at risk because they have far more to lose and do not have the same resources for legal counsel as large companies. A lawsuit would have the potential to wipe out their business completely.” In a litigious society, a business
should not opt to take its chances by deciding to go uninsured for property, equipment and inventory, as well as against a number of potential liabilities. According to the The Hartford, most companies generally purchase a business owners and accidental death and dismemberment policy, in addition to workers compensation and umbrella liability. Small business property insurance Tips by Insure.com
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Oando to raise N35bn by Rights Issue JOHNSON OKANLAWON
ando Plc has said it will raise N35bn through a Rights
Issue. The company had in 2010 made a Rights Issue at N70 per share, which fetched the company N21bn. In a notice to the Nigerian Stock Exchange, it said the right issue will constitute one of the key steps in the group’s strategy to re-enforce its balance sheet, reduce debt, strengthen its long term financing capacity, whilst placing the company in a position to better execute its upstream growth aspirations. The notice said the offer is expected to commence in the fourth quarter of this year and
is subject to approval of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company accessed the capital market in a N21bn Rights Issue exercise in 2010 during the economic downturn. The exercise was a great success and was oversubscribed by 28 per cent. Analysis of the company result showed a turnover of N350.6bn for the half year ended June 30, 2012, an increase by 31 per cent when compared to N267.8bn recorded in the same period of 2011. The gross profit increased by eight per cent in the review period, from N31.5bn in the corresponding period of 2011 to N33.9bn in 2012, while profit after tax fell by four per cent to
N6.6bn, from N6.9bn in 2011 half year. Commenting on the result, the company’s Group Chief Executive, Mr. Wale Tinubu, said the company has experienced significant developments across the oil and gas sector, adding, “We remain steadfast in our commitment to grow our businesses in line with our strategic focus.” According to him, the exploration and production division has been notified of a closing date for the reverse take over transaction. He explained that the division signed a farmin agreement for the acquisition of a 40 per cent participating interest in the Qua Ibo field, which immediately increases the company’s 2P reserves by five million
barrels, while also delivering a successful drilling programme in the Obodeti-Obodugwa field, which promises an imminent increase in the oil reserves and production. “Our fourth swamp rig remains in the United States, undergoing extensive refurbishment, with planned deployment scheduled for early next year. “The three drilling rigs contracted to the IOC’s have maintained high safety standards and a 95 per cent average drilling uptime in their operations. We continue the strive to expand our footprint in the midstream with our dedicated participation in the Federal Government’s privatisation of generating and distribution assets,” he said.
Market indicators All-Share Index 7,342,308 points Market capitalisation 23,066.74 trillion
University Press posts N227m profit JOHNSON OKANLAWON
niversity Press Plc has declared a profit after tax of N227.4m for the financial year ended March 31, 2012, an increase by eight per cent when compared to N211.4m recorded in the same period of 2011. The company’s turnover increased by 11 per cent to N2.08bn in the review period, from N1.86bn recorded in 2011, while taxation stood at N116.1m, from N115.3m recorded in 2011. Speaking at the com-
pany’s Annual General Meeting in Ibadan, the chairman, Dr. Lekan Are, said that the company could have made more profit were there a friendlier business environment to operate. According to him, this is the first time the company hits the N2bn turnover, a feat which he attributed to the company’s determination to surmount challenges in the Nigerian business environment. He said, “Although we faced difficult challenging circumstances that could have hindered the attainment of our
goals/objectives during the reporting year, I am delighted to inform you that your company delivered a good performance in all parametres in the year under review compared to the previous year.” Are pointed out that the bulk purchase of books in the Northern part of the country largely accounted for the profit recorded by the company. The chairman lamented the menace that it piracy has become in the country, saying that piracy is getting worse every year and government is not serious
US stocks rise beyond forecast
nited States stocks rose yesterday, following the biggest weekly decline since June in the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index, after a measure of manufacturing beat economists’ forecasts and concern about Europe’s debt crisis eased. Bank of America Corporation, Hewlett-Packard Company and Alcoa Incorporation rallied at least 1.5 per cent to pace gains among the biggest companies. Goldman Sachs Group Incorporation advanced 4.3 per cent after a report
said the stock will rise as much as 25 per cent within a year, while Ceradyne Incorporation jumped 43 per cent after 3M Company agreed to buy the company for $860m to expand its energy unit. The S&P 500 rose one per cent to 1,454.47 points. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 158.53 points, or 1.2 per cent, to 13,595.66 points as trading in S&P 500 companies was 4.2 per cent above the 30day average. “The fact that manufacturing is beginning to recover will significantly
reduce fears of a potential U.S. recession,” said James Paulsen, the chief investment strategist at Minneapolis- based Wells Capital Management. “Fears regarding the euro zone have been diminishing in recent months and yesterday represent another positive move in that direction.” Stocks extended gains after the figures showed American factories are holding up in the face of a global economic slowdown that’s weakened manufacturing from Asia to Europe.
about curbing it. “Pirates are getting more sophisticated every year in their operations, and we all know pirates do not run overhead costs like us genuine publishers. “All the publishers in Nigeria today only make 30 per cent sales across the country while pirates make as much as 70 per cent sales of pirated books. Although we have done certain things to protect our books from being pirated, the problem still persists and remains a serious and an endemic one”. The company, therefore, approved dividend payment of N150.9m, translating to 35 kobo per share. The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index rose to 51.5 last month from 49.6 in August, the Tempe, Arizona-based group said today. Economists in a Bloomberg survey projected a September reading of 49.7, according to the median forecast. Measures above 50 represent expansion. Earlier gains were driven by a jump in Spanish bonds after stress-test results bolstered confidence in the nation’s banking system. Euro-area manufacturing contracted less than initially estimated in September, Markit Economics said.
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Mimiko has failed Ondo people, says Fashola OJO OYEWAMIDE AKURE
agos State governor, Babatunde Fashola, yesterday lambasted Governor Olusegun Mimiko, saying that he has failed the people of Ondo State. He said: “In Ondo State, the present administration has enough resources to change the living standard of the masses, but he
has failed. He has failed to provide jobs for the unemployed youths. I was really disappointed when I read this in a newspaper that the present ruling Labour Party (LP)’s government promised to revamp all the moribund industries in the state if the people voted for him. My question is what was he doing in the last three and half years? This is political propaganda. The Action Congress of
Nigeria (ACN) will never promise without fulfilling them. “Ondo has oil, gas and cocoa. Ondo is the pillar of cocoa product in the South West. As at now, the state should have been producing chocolates for exportation to other foreign countries. By initiating this, employment opportunities will come in for the benefit of the people.” He assured that Ondo
State would witness a rapid transformation in all sectors if the electorate vote in the ACN flagbearer, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), in the October 20 election, saying: “In Lagos, we have been able to engage our citizenry through creation of jobs. ” He said Akeredolu’s administration would create employment opportunities for the people of the state, most especially the youths. Fashola spoke at the ACN state secretariat in Akure, the state capital, during a prayer session organised by the Muslim members of the party. Fashola, who came to the state in a chopper, de-
scribed Akeredolu as a trustworthy man who was busy defending them at the law court when the ACN was facing injustice from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). His words: “I am highly glad to be in this state today to canvass for votes and mobilise the people for ACN and its candidate. “Akeredolu has demonstrated that he is capable of wiping away tears from the eyes of the masses because throughout his days, he was busy fighting for injustice, defending the masses. He was the one who led the legal team who secured the mandates for the governors of Ekiti, Osun, Edo
and Ondo. “He will never betray the people. Ondo people will smile in his administration. Today, the ACN is the only party that has changed the lives of the masses in the country. I hope you are aware about the transformational projects already executed in Lagos? What Governor Adams Oshiomhole is doing in Edo. Presently, Ekiti State is witnessing rapid transformation. I am highly delighted that my neighbour, the Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, has constructed bridges, six lanes road. And all these states mentioned, none of them has resources up to Ondo State.”
Why Nigerians are worse off, says ACN
T Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson (centre) receiving the Bayelsa State flag as part of activities to mark the Nigeria at 52/Bayelsa at 16 anniversary celebrations at Government House gate in Yenagoa, yesterday.
...Aide, three others join Ondo PDP HAKEEM GBADAMOSI AKURE.
wenty days to the governorship election in Ondo State, the rank of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state was swelled by the defection of some members of the ruling Labour Party (LP) into the party. The defectors are not just ordinary members of the ruling party, but high calibre members including a Special Assistant to Governor Olusegun Mimiko on Special Interest, Jerry
Akinwunmi, a former local government caretaker chairman in Ilaje Local Government Area, Tola Alabere, and a Personal Assistant to Senator Boluwaji Kunlere, the senator representing Ondo South in the upper chamber of the National Assembly, Oluwanbe Olomu. The former LP leaders joined the PDP at a rally organised at Okitipupa last weekend and on hand to receive them was the governorship candidate of the PDP, Olusola Oke. The defectors said that they dumped the LP after
discovering that it had lost relevance in the state, adding that the LP and its leaders do not possess the economic blueprint that could transform the state. Noting that the LP-led government has failed, the decampees said that the Ondo State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (OSOPADEC), under the Mimiko-led government was just an intervention agency for a few leaders of the LP, who are only interested in diverting billions of naira that accrued to the commission.
he Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has urged Nigerians to gird their loins and fight for their independence from those who have assumed the role of ‘internal colonialists’, thus wiping out the gains of the country’s independence from British colonialists in 1960. The party said in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on the occasion of the country’s 52nd independence anniversary yesterday, that incompetent leadership, bad governance, massive corruption and lack of patriotism by successive administrations have made Nigerians worse today than they were shortly after independence. “A country that offered so much hopes and possibilities for its citizens at independence has today become a land of suffering, insecurity and near hopelessness, no thanks to visionless leaders who have failed to lead a well-endowed nation to harness the talents of
its vibrant, energetic and resilient people. The result is what we have today: a country exhibiting all the characteristics of a failed state,” it said. ACN, however, urged Nigerians to keep hope alive and to remember that they hold all the aces in securing their independence from the rapacious, thieving and bumbling class of people masquerading as leaders. The party said while it will be unfair to blame the current leadership of the country for all the woes of post-independence Nigeria, the truth is that the current administration has proved as incompetent and visionless as its predecessors in its fickle efforts to take Nigeria to the promised land. “About 13 years after the PDP took over the reins of power in Nigeria, the people have been left to gnash their teeth and rue lost hopes and opportunities. Over two years of President Goodluck Jonathan being in charge, it has been
a season of cluelessness and the country has been forlorn of hope. “Therefore, we are saying to the good people of Nigeria: Use your power to do away with a party and government that have only enriched their ranks and impoverished the people; that celebrate growth without development and hail so-called job-creating projects without jobs; and a party and government that tout a two-week wonder of rainfall-induced power stability as evidence of a successful power sector reform. “Some 52 years after independence, it is time for Nigerians to say no to a party and government that say the manufacturing environment is improving when factories are either shutting down or functioning far below installed capacity; a party and government presiding over a leading oil-producing nation in which its people are daily searching for kerosene, petrol and diesel.”
Nigeria’ll grow from strength to strength, says Jonathan CONTINUED FROM 16
Fellow Nigerians, our determined efforts on several fronts not-withstanding, our country still faces a number of challenges. Those challenges should not deter us. In the last few weeks, for example, many of our communities have been ravaged by floods, resulting in the loss of lives and property, and the displacement of persons. I want to reassure all affected Nigerians that I share in their grief, and our administration is taking steps to address these incidents, in collaboration with the states
and local governments. I have received the interim report of the presidential team that I set up to assess the flooding situation across the country. The Federal Government has taken measures to assist the affected states, while considering long term measures to check future reoccurrence. We must continue to work together, confidently and faithfully, to ensure that our country’s potentials are realised to the fullest; that our dreams are translated into reality; and that our goals are achieved. Let me reiterate that our administration
is committed to the pursuit of fundamental objectives of an open society: the pursuit of freedom, security and prosperity for the Nigerian people, and the rule of law. In the next few days, I shall lay before the National Assembly the 2013 Federal Budget Proposal so that deliberations can commence in earnest on the key policies, programmes and projects that will mark a decisive year for our development and transformation. I have no doubt that by the time I address you on our next independence anniversary, many of our reform efforts would
have yielded even better results. Over the years, several leaders have built on the foundation laid by our Founding Fathers. The baton is now in our hands. Let me assure all Nigerians that we shall not fail. I am confident that Nigeria will continue to be a source of pride to its citizens; to Africa and the Black Race and to humanity; a land that is known for progress, freedom, peace and the promotion of human dignity. May God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria. May God bless you all.
GEORGE OJI reviews Nigeria’s constitutional and legislative experience since nationhood. Pre-independence (1914-1922) What could be described as the foundation for a regular legislature for Nigeria took place after the amalgamation of the Colony of Nigeria (Lagos), northern and southern protectorates of Nigeria in January 1914 under the then Lord Lugard, the Governor-General and Commander-inChief. While the colony was placed under an administrator and governed under ordinances issued by the governor with the advice of the legislative and executive councils (both of which he can overrule), the north and southern protectorates were ruled by proclamations. That same year saw the introduction of the three arms of government namely, the executive, legislature and the judiciary. The then GovernorGeneral had, following the amalgamation of the protectorates in 1914, established the Nigerian Consultative Assembly, an advisory body of 36 members, known as the Nigeria Council. The council comprised 23 officials, seven nominated unofficial Europeans, two nominated Emirs, one nominated African and three nominated municipals representatives. In 1920, a body known as the National Congress of British West Africa (NCBWA) emerged from a conference in Tura, then Gold Coast, after the death of Lord Lugard. NCBWA emerged out of the agitation by mainly some educated citizens from Lagos, Accra and Calabar, who wanted greater participation in the administration of their countries.
Clifford Constitution 1922 The congress later in 1920 sent a delegation to the Secretary of State for the Colonies in London to submit the outcome of its proposals for implementation. The result was that Sir Hugh Clifford, who was the Governor-General then (1922) introduced a new constitution (the first constitution), which provided for a system of government for the whole country rather than the colony alone. Also the same year, a Legislative Council was established by an order in-council, with a maximum membership of 46. It comprised the governor, 26 officials (23 ex-officio and three nominated), 19 unofficial members (15 nominated, four elected – three for Lagos and one for Calabar).
Richards Constitution 1946 The agitation of increase in the number of Nigerians to participate in the governance of their affairs continued even after the Clifford’s tenure had ended and continued into the tenures of Sir Donald Cameron (1931-35) and Sir Bernard Bourdillon (1935-1943). The two administered the country under the Clifford Constitution. It was not until 1946 that the Sir Arthur Richards came up with a new constitution. The constitution was promulgated with the sole objectives of promoting the unity of the country, to provide adequately for the diverse elements that make up the country and to ensure greater participation by Africans in the discussion of their own affairs. One unique feature of the constitution
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was that it laid the foundation for a federal system of government for the country in the sense that it created the eastern, western and northern regions. It provided for a new Legislative Council for the central government as well as Regional Councils. The Legislative Council for the first time had powers to make laws for the whole country. It was made up of 45 members, comprising the governor, who continued to function as the president, 16 official members (13 exofficio and three nominated members), 28 unofficial members (four directly elected members and 24 indirectly elected or nominated members).
Macpherson Constitution 1951 Sir John Macpherson took over as governor in 1948 and following growing criticisms for the review of the Richards Constitution because stakeholders and members of the political parties in the country were not consulted before it was promulgated, Macpherson pleaded that time should be allowed for the constitution to be experimented before a new one would come into operation. Three years after in 1951 a new constitution, Macpherson Constitution was promulgated. The new constitution, which came under the title “Nigerian (Constitution) Order-in-Council,” was far more acceptable by Nigerians then because it enjoyed wider input of the stakeholders. Besides, it brought into being a Central Legislature known as the House of Representatives, which replaced the Legislative Council, with powers to legislate on any matter and composed of 136 members indirectly elected through the electoral colleges of the regional legislatures (68 from the north, 34 each from the east and west, as well as six ex-officio and six special members appointed by the governor). The governor by now ceased to be a member of the legislature, even though he still appointed the president of the House from outside. Also, the regional legislatures had power to legislate on any matter within their regions without inhibitions. However, while the north and west had bi-cameral legislatures comprising House of Assembly and House of Chiefs, the east had only a House of Assembly.
Constitutional conference 1956 The new constitution, which succeeded the Macpherson Constitution was the product of two constitutional conferences, the first one in 1953 was in London and the second one in 1954 in Lagos. The two conferences agreed on the need for the creation of the fullest possible authority for the regions under a truly federal constitution. Under this constitution, Nigeria was divided into five component parts - eastern, northern, western, southern Cameroons and the Federal Capital Territory of Lagos. It transferred all legislative and executive powers to the regions and provided for the exclusive and concurrent legislative lists. It provide explicitly that federal laws prevailed over regional laws in cases of conflict. The eastern and western regions were slated to have internal self-government in 1957 while the north was to follow in 1959. The constitution also provided for direct election into region-
al legislatures as well as increased membership of the House of Representatives to 184, with three ex-officio members. Also for the first time the House had a Speaker, leading to the production of the first Nigerian Speaker in the person of Jaja Nwachukwu. By 1960, the eastern regional legislature became bi-cameral with the establishment of a House of Chiefs like the north and western regional legislatures.
of 12 members each from each of the regions, who were selected at a joint sitting of their regional Houses from among the list nominated by the governors. Four other senators represented the Federal territory and four others were selected by the Governor-General on the advice of the prime minister. The House of Representatives comprised 312 members who represented the constituencies decided on the basis of approximately equal population per unit constituency. The federal parliament also comprised of the Governor-General (as the representative of the Queen), the Prime Minister and the ministers who were both cabinet and non-cabinet ranks) as well as Parliamentary Secretaries who were first of all legislators before being appointed ministers.
Independence Constitution 1960 A constitutional conference, which held earlier in 1960 agreed that Nigeria would be independent in October 1, 1960 and also ratified the decision of the Southern Cameroon House of Assembly to cease to be part of Nigeria at independence. The independence constitution retained a federal structure with a bi-cameral legislature at the centre comprising the Senate (44 members) and the House of Representatives (306 members) as well as a House of Assembly and a House of Chiefs in the regions. The Westminister or Parliamentary system of government was adopted while provisions to safeguard important constitutional provisions like those relating to the federal framework, fundamental rights, citizenship, revenue allocation as well as courts were retained. The Senate was composed
Republican Constitution 1963 The Independent Constitution still vested both the federal and regional powers in Her Majesty, the Queen of England. A Constitutional Review Conference, which held in Lagos in July 1963 led to the adoption of the Republican. Safe for the change from monarchy to a constitution republican, the parliamentary system of government was still retained. It provided for the post of a President as the Head of State, who
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on despite challenges passed by the National Assembly to be subjected to the approval of the council. Following the annulment of the June 12, 1993, the stepping-aside of Babangida, the short rule of the Interim National Government of Chief Ernest Shonekon and that of the late Gen. Sani Abacha, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar who took over after the death of Abacha was able to hand over the realm of power to Chief Obasanjo in 1999.
Fourth legislature 1999-2003
was elected by Nigerian members in the parliament, and a governor for each of the regions. The National Assembly comprised the Senate, which had 56 members and the House of Representatives with 312 members. Members of both the regional Houses of Assembly as well as National Assembly were elected by universal adult suffrage.
the states. All members of the legislature were elected for a four year term. The powers of the legislature included the power to make laws for the peace, order and good government with respect to any matter included in the exclusive legislative list.
Military era 1966-1979 The military coup of 1966 and the subsequent civil war that brought the military into power led to the suspension of the parliament at both the regional and federal levels until 1979 when the administration of Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo handed over power to the civilian government headed by President Shehu Shagari.
Second Republic 1979-1983 After about 13 years of military rule, the 1979 Constitution was promulgated to usher in the Second Republic. The constitution was the product of the 1975 constitution drafting committee and the constituent assembly of 202 members (20 nominated, 182 elected), which deliberated on the draft 1975 Constitution. The new constitution adopted a presidential system of government, which still retained a bicameral federal legislature and a unicameral legislature for
Third Republic 1993-1999 The Second Republic lasted for four years and three months when it was terminated in 1983 by another military coup led by Gen. Muhammadu Buhari. That government was in turn later overturned by Gen. Ibrahim Babaginda in August 1985. That greatest victim of that military coup was no doubt the legislature because Babangida sacked the legislature and instituted the Armed Forces ruling Council (AFRC), which became the supreme law and policy making body in the country. The Third Republic as programmed by Babangida went on midway with the election of 91-member Senate (three each from each of the 30 states then and one for the FCT) and 593 members of the House of Representatives. The National Assembly was convened on December 5, 1992 but was allowed limited legislative responsibilities, leaving the National Defence and Security Council to handle the remaining legislative functions. This arrangement saw the bills
The clamour by Nigerians to return to civilian democracy led to the 1999 Constitution, which came into force on May 29, 1999. The general election of that year under the watchful eyes of the then Head of State, Gen. Abubakar led to the emergence of Chief Obasanjo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the President. The 1999 Constitution, which was described by many, particularly the members of the civil society organisations as a military imposition, maintained the federal structure of government. The National Assembly retained its bicameral structure, with Senator Evans Enwerem emerging as the President of the Senate and Hon. Salisu Buhari as the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The National Assembly of the Fourth Republic witnessed a lot of instability in its leadership leading to the Senate churning out three different Presidents in its fouryear span. Besides Enwerem who was later impeached for alleged incompetence, the late Senator Chuba Okadigbo who later took over from him was also impeached for alleged complicity in the award of contract involving some street lighting without due process. Senator Pius Anyim Pius was to complete the tenure of Okadigbo following the latter’s impeachment. In the House, the streak of instability continued as Buhari was shortly upon assumption of office impeached for falsification of age and certificate. Buhari was succeeded by Hon. Ghali Umar Na’Abba. The fourth National Assembly was for the period of its life span characterised by serious acrimony and animosity with the administration of Obasanjo, who was perceived by the lawmakers as being too highhanded and never conceded to the parliament the independence it deserved.
Fifth legislature 2003-2007 The fifth National Assembly, which commenced on June 3, 2003 saw the emergence of Senator Adolphus Wabara as the Senate President and Hon. Aminu Bello Masari as the Speaker of the House of Representatives. However, while Masari completed his tenure in office, in the Senate, Wabara was not as lucky as he was impeached for complicity over allegation of bribery involving the then Minister of Education, Prof. Fabian Osuji. Wabara was succeeded by Senator Ken Nnamani. The bickering with the executive arm of government continued in the fifth legislature but with less veracity. The nagging issue of constitutional amendment, which many Nigerians craved for persistently could not however be achieved. The first attempt at constitutional amendment by members of this as-
sembly was marred by the attempted tenure extension by President Obasanjo, who wanted to seize the opportunity of the constitutional amendment to achieve his ambition. Following spirited battle by members of the civil society organisations and other well-meaning Nigerians, Obasanjo’s ambition of tenure extension was halted. However, the bad end of the battle was that other issues that needed urgent amendment in the constitution had to suffer the same fate.
Sixth legislature 2007-2011 Following the re-zoning of political power arrangement embarked upon by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator David Mark from the North Central geo-political zone of the country emerged President of the Senate, while Hon. Patricia Etteh became the Speaker of the House of Representatives. But while Mark lived out his own tenure, Etteh’s was cut short following her impeachment over allegation of contract award for her official residence, which ran into several millions of naira without due process. She was succeeded by Dimeji Bankole. The sixth Senate was able to achieve two very outstanding tasks in its four-year life span. First, through the doctrine of necessity, the National Assembly was able to successfully handle the very sensitive issue of the succession between the ailing President Umar Yar’Adua, who later died from complicated illness and Goodluck Jonathan who emerged successfully as the President. Also, constitutional amendment was for the first achieved, even though with some limitation. The amendments that were effected in the 1999 Constitution bordered mainly on political and electoral issues. The controversial Section 121 that seeks to confer financial autonomy and independence on state legislatures was among the clauses rejected by majority of the state Assemblies. Only 22 states voted to be independent of their executives. In all, the sixth National Assembly maintained a lot more cordial relationship with the executive arm of government and passed more laws. Public perception of the National Assembly as being very corrupt continued to gain grounds during the sixth legislature. However, one of the issues of disagreement was that the lawmakers continued to accuse the president of failure to assent to bills passed by the National Assembly, while at the same time the president continued to justify his actions on the grounds that such bills did not take into account the reality of governance in the country.
Seventh legislature 2011-2015 The seventh National Assembly commenced with Mark re-elected as the Senate President while Hon. Aminu Tambuwal emerged as Speaker of the House of Representatives. One of the greatest tasks before the present legislature is the comprehensive review of the 1999 Constitution. So far, the lawmakers have shown enough faith and commitment to the task. Both arms of the parliament have undertaken the preliminary processes preparatory for full scale activity for the task. Both have called for public memoranda on the constitution review, both have also undertaken separate retreats to fashion out their modus operandi for the exercise
CONTINUED FROM 13 Indeed, the 1979 Constitution did not save the Nigerian courts and the general populace from the menace of ouster clauses and locus standi throughout the Second Republic. One of the cases that suffered this fate is the case of Abraham Adesanya vs President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, where Senator Adesanya of the UPN sued the Federal Government over the appointment of Justice Victor OvieWhiskey as the Chairman of FEDECO. In what is today still regarded as a landmark pronouncement on the issue of locus standi, the Supreme Court declared that Adesanya had failed to show that his interest would be adversely affected over and above other citizens if Justice OvieWhiskey was confirmed as the FEDECO boss. The termination of the Second Republic on December 31, 1983, ushered in another period of unlimited ouster clauses via military decrees and edicts during the second phase of military rule. In Labiyi vs Anretiola, the Supreme Court had course to pronounce on the hierarchy of superiority of the various sources of law in Nigeria under the military regime. Before the end of this phase came the case of Ojukwu vs Military Governor of Lagos State. In its verdict, the Supreme Court boldly described as “executive lawlessness” the invasion of the Villaska lodge, Ikoyi, Lagos residence of the former Biafra warlord, Chief Emeka Ojukwu by the military government.
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Landmark cases that shaped democracy
THE LITIGIOUS SPIRIT OF THE POPULACE HAS ENRICHED
THE COUNTRY’S JURISPRUDENCE AS
LITIGANTS, DESPITE ALL ODDS, HAD
DECIDED TO TAKE
Abacha and aborted Third Republic
The Option A-4 put in place by the Ibrahim Babangida military junta was highly acclaimed that it served as a template for the conduct of general elections in 1993 by the defunct National Electoral Commission (NEC), and despite the fact that the election was adjudged free and fair, the democratic odyssey of the period was aborted. By the same token, the results of the June 12, 1993 presidential election widely believed to have been won by business mogul and the presidential candidate of the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP), Bashorun Moshood Abiola was annulled by Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, who placed the NEC boss, Prof. Humprey Nwosu under house arrest. There were intermittent crises and widespread protests across the country that appeared to be drifting towards disintegration. Along the line, Babangida stepped aside and handed over to a contraption called the Interim National Government (ING) hurriedly set up by the military regime. Gen. Sani Abacha, masquerading under a pair of dark goggles was part of the arrangement that catapulted the renowned technocrat, Chief Ernest Shonekan from the boardroom to the Presidential Villa as chairman of the ING. But by judicial imprimatur, a Lagos High Court, in its landmark judgement on November 10, 1993, voided the ING. After hearing the suit between Bashorun Abiola vs NEC, Justice Dolapo Akinsanya stood out as a courageous judge of repute and declared the ING illegal and this has remained an epochal decision in
TO COURT RATHER THAN RESORT TO THE PRECARIOUS RULE OF THE MOB Nigerian case law. No sooner was the ING declared illegal by the court than Abacha sacked the Shonekan-led interim government and assumed the mantle of leadership. Abiola was incarcerated for his boldness to declare himself President-elect of the Federal Republic of Nigeria before a gathering of supporters at Epetedo area of Lagos Island on June 11, 1994. The businessman cum politician was later charged with treason. He eventually died in controversial circumstances when Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar took over as the Head of State after Abacha’s demise. Prior to his death, there were dramatic events associated with his trial. For instance, shortly after his arrest on June 23, 1994, there was no division of the Federal High Court in Abuja. The military junta was in a quandary and it never wanted the trial to take place in Lagos. Hence, the Federal Military Government hurriedly created a division of the Federal High Court in Abuja, for the purpose of his trial. Abiola’s arraignment with charge No FHC/A/C/1/94 was thus the first case to be heard by the court on July 6, 1994, when he appeared before Justice Abdullahi Mustapha, who was drafted from the Benin division of the FHC, specifically for that trial.
Certainly, there were mistakes of June 1993 when the courts made inconsistent orders which appeared to the citizens like a cacophony of voices. Thus, this was an era when the judiciary was lampooned for the sins of the political class and the military.
Abdulsalami /Fourth Republic (Obasanjo, Yar’Adua & Jonathan) In the last 13 years of Nigeria’s nascent democracy, there is indeed a direct relationship between democracy, its practice and the judiciary. Right from the judicial intervention in Anambra State that brought in Peter Obi of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA); the declaration that INEC had no power to disqualify former Vice- President Atiku Abubakar from contesting the April 2007 presidential election; the restoration of Senator Ifeanyi Ararume as the candidate of PDP in the April 14, 2007 Imo State governorship election, the declaration that “in the eyes of the law,” Rotimi Amaechi was the candidate of PDP that won the Rivers State April 14, 2007 governorship election thereby enabling him to be sworn in, the declaration that Adams Oshiomhole and Segun Mimiko were the rightful winners of the April 14, 2007 governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states respectively, it was obvious that the judiciary in Nigeria played the role of the proverbial rock of Gibraltar of Nigerian democracy. A close scrutiny of Nigerian constitutional case-law in the recent past shows the floodgate of litigation at the onset of the Fourth Republic. One of such cases is Goodnews Agbi & Anthony Alabi vs Chief Audu Ogbeh (then PDP chairman) and others, which sought to stop the then Delta State Governor, James Ibori from seeking re-election in 2003. The applicants had gone to court claiming that Ibori was not a fit and proper person to contest the governorship election in 2003 within the meaning of Section 182(2) (1) (e ) of the 1999 Constitution, having been convicted by a Bwari Upper Area Court in the FCT in September 1995. Rather surprisingly, the Supreme Court held that the trial court had failed to determine the identity of the person convicted by the Bwari area court. In effect, Ibori scored a major victory at the apex court.
Specifically, other notable pronouncements of the Supreme and Appeal courts in this era included the decision on the immunity of governors arising from the suit filed by the late Lagos lawyer, Gani Fawehinmi In its verdict, the appellate court held that state governors did not enjoy immunity from investigation under Section 308(2) of the 1999 Constitution. The court, however, refused to grant an order of mandamus to compel the Police to investigate Bola Tinubu, adding that he could be investigated after leaving the office. Equally germane is the decision of the Supreme Court in AG Abia State & 35 others vs AG Federation that resolved some issues in the electoral law on March 28, 2002. Justice Muhammadu Uwais presided over the case, but the lead judgement was read by Justice Idris Kutigi. The apex court declared, among others, that the National Assembly could not fix the date of election into local government councils. The AG Federation vs AG Abia State & 35 others represented another epochal case of the period. It dealt with the resource allocation where the apex court declared certain policies of the Federal Government in relation to revenue allocation inconsistent with the 1999 Constitution. In AG Lagos vs AG Federation, the Supreme Court had cause to pronounce that the seizure of the funds of the local government councils in Lagos by the Olusegun Obasanjo administration was unlawful, and hence, ordered the immediate release of the funds. The apex court also stated that “the creation of additional 37 local councils in Lagos State is inchoate” until it was validated by the National Assembly. In another yet interesting case, the Supreme Court, in Inakoju vs Adeleke, determined on December 7, 2007, the illegality of the removal of Alhaji Rashidi Ladoja from office as the Oyo State governor by a faction of the state House of Assembly. It was the court’s intervention that restored Ladoja back to Agodi House, to enable him complete his tenure. Beyond these, it is to the credit of the Lagos judiciary that the lingering trial of the late Gen. Sani Abacha’s former Chief Security Officer, Major Hamza Al-Mustapha and his co-accused ended on January 30, this year with their conviction for the June 4, 1996 murder of Kudirat Abiola. By far, the most embarrassing drama in the judiciary in this last decade, was the unfortunate development that culminated in the series of litigation between the suspended President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami and former CJN, Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu over “an unholy elevation to the Supreme Court Bench.” Obviously, the issue is yet to be resolved. Be that as it may, the ordinary litigants in the society are worried by the limitations that threaten access to justice and speedy disposal of cases, as well as efficient administration of justice. Some practising lawyers have claimed that it takes an average of seven years for cases to be disposed in appellate courts while many often lamented over the escalating cost of litigation in the country.
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“Many of our elected and appointed leaders are so disconnected from the people.”
Lagos allays fears over flooding
CAN PRESIDENT, PASTOR AYO ORITSEJAFOR
Slain groom: DPO was insensitive –Sister FRANCIS SUBERU
lder sister to slain groom, Mrs. Nkechi Nonyelu, has expressed disappointment at the role played by the Divisional Police Officer of Anthony Police Station, Adeola Raji, in the gruesome murder of Ugochukwu Ozuah, five days after his wedding. In an exclusive interview with Community Mirror, she said the DPO who got to the scene minutes after the incident, did nothing for the next 30 minutes and rather watched as the deceased gasped for breath. According to Nkechi, the responsibility of the DPO is to save the life of any victim, saying a dutiful police officer would have immediately helped to convey an injured person to hospital for treatment. She said: “It is the responsibility of the police to take Ugochukwu to the hospital after he was shot. Rather, when the DPO got to scene of the incident and saw Ugochukwu gasping for breath, he did nothing to save him. I asked the DPO, when you saw my brother gasping, what did you do? He never answered me. When asked what led to his being there, he said he got a distress call from the neighbourhood. I think these are some of the issues the police must investigate. I think they should also involve the mobile networks in the process.”
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police (centre) CP Umar Manko with Vehicle Inspection Officers (V.I.O.) at the Police College, Ikeja, Lagos Independence Day parade. PHOTO: FRANCIS SUBERU
She described as diversionary, a statement credited to police spokesperson, Ngozi Braide, that Ugochukwu’s friend, Irifeke Omene is a suspect, saying rather he is the principal witness. The deceased’s sister noted that: “Irifeke is my late brother’s friend and travelled all the way from England to attend his wedding. He arrived on the wedding eve, and was scheduled to go back five days after. “On Thursday, he came to say goodbye and we all know that
Police nab armed robbery suspect FRANCIS SUBERU
t was yet another success story as police detectives attached to the Federal anti robbery squad, Adeniji Adele, arrested an armed robbery suspect, simply identified as Bimbo Balogun, who with a gang robbed people of Oguntedo village area of Satelite town in Lagos State. According to sources, the robbers, numbering 15, swooped on the village before dispossesing inhabitants of their belongings. Commenting on the inci-
dent, the traditional ruler of the community, Oba Latifu Sadiku Olarinde, said he was in his palace when some hoodlums started shooting indiscriminately and causing pandemonium. According to him, one of his tenants, Joseph Albert was shot in the left eye and is now in hospital under intensive care. His words: When I saw the hoodlums, I did not know they were robbers, but when they started shooting, I ran for my dear life, even as they looted houses and carted away properties.
in Lagos, before you get a taxi to your destination, you have to get to the nearest place where it could find one for hire. “So that night, my brother drove his friend to the nearest junction where they saw some policemen checking for car particulars. Usually, such situation did not warrant panic, as they went in search of a taxi cab. Suddenly, a policemen accosted them, shouting, ‘who goes there?’ and then suddenly shot Ugochukwu at close range”
Narrating the sordid saga, she said, Ugochukwu was taken to the hospital after his wife and some relatives arrived at the scene, while Irifeke was whisked to Anthony Police Station to make a formal statement. “After, the DPO drove him to the hospital since Irifeke said he needed to be at the side of his friend. The DPO drove him to the hospital in company of two armed policemen where they met us. I asked Irifeke in the presence
of all, including the DPO, to narrate how it all happened. He told the DPO, “Your men shot my friend”. And there was no reason to disbelieve what he said before everyone. But the DPO countered saying, those responsible couldn’t have been policemen, but Irikefe maintained it was the police as he was a witness to what happened. The DPO was with us in the hospital for more than 30 minutes before Ugochukwu finally gave up the ghost”.
Man jailed for stealing goat WALE FOLARIN OSOGBO
n Osun state Magistrate’s Court, has sentenced a middle aged man, Alabi Wasiu, to six months imprisonment for stealing a goat. The accused was charged on a two-count charge of conspiracy and stealing. He was said to have stolen a brown goat belonging to his neighbour, Mrs Adedokun Olanike, at Halleluyah Estate, Osogbo, thereby committing an offence punishable under the law.
Alabi Wasiu had earlier been granted bail by the court in the sum of N20,000 and two sureties in like sum, but was re- arraigned when he failed to meet the bail condition. He pleaded guilty to the two count charge, while the Prosecutor, Mr Fagboyinbo Abiodun, told the court that the convict and one Mohammed, now at large conspired on June 5, 2012 to steal the goat. Fagboyinbo, explained that the convict had committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 516 of the criminal code cap 34, vol. II, laws of Osun
State 2003. Defence counsel, Mr Taiwo Awokunle, who pleaded for leniency, told the court that the accused had already spent three months in prison custody, resulting in his inability to meet the bail condition earlier granted him. He said the accused had learnt his lessons and is ready to turn a new leaf. However, the presiding Magistrate, Olusola Aluko, sentenced him to three months in prison on each of the two counts or a fine of N1,000 for each of the counts to which he pleaded guilty.
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Lagos allays fears over flooding MURITALA AYINLA
he Lagos State Government has appealed to residents not to panic over the persistent heavy rainfall and attendant flooding, saying it is taking measures to mitigate its negative effect. Addressing journalists after monitoring the monthly sanitation exercise last weekend in Lagos
Island East Local Government Area, the State Head of Service, Mr. Adesegun Ogunlewe, urged residents to join hands with the government in battling the negative impact of global climate change. He said that heavy rainfall would be witnessed in the coming few weeks, even as he assured the safety of residents. He, however said that the heavy downpour recorded across the country would
not have any effect in the state, particularly if residents desist from throwing garbage into drainage channels. He said the government had cleared many of the channels and collector drains, adding that expansion of canals were ongoing to tackle the challenge of flooding. Ogunlewe, who was visibly angered at the blockage of the Dolphin Estate phase 1 canal and others
on Lagos Island, ordered the removal of all illegal structures. According to him, “We are well prepared and the drains have been cleared and we also have ordered that all those living close to the canals evacuate those areas for the government to have easy access. We will work to ensure that flooding is reduced to barest minimum”. He explained that population increase and im-
pact of climate change were among the factors that created the challenges of flooding being witnessed in the state and country. Ogunlewe appealed to residents to use the monthly sanitation exercise to clean their environment, which he said was their civic responsibility. “We always advice people that during the environmental sanitation exer-
cise, they should come out and clear drainages and gutters as it is their civic responsibility; and should not wait until they are told to do so,” he added. The chairman of Lagos Island East Local Council Development Area, Comrade Kamal Salau Bashua, who commended the government’s efforts in checking the flood menace, said the council had stepped up efforts to rid the area of filth.
Suspected gunmen nabbed at Unijos JAMES ABRAHAM JOS
unmen suspected to be cultists have shot two students and injured another at the University of Jos, Plateau State. The incident, which occurred at the Permanent site of the university campus was confirmed by the Financial Secretary of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Zone C, Mr. Adamu Abdullahi. He said:’’ it is true there was shooting at the University of Jos and it happened as we were coming out from the lecture halls. People started running in different directions as the entire campus was thrown into confusion”. Two students were injured, one by a stray bullet and another by a huge stone hauled at one of the fleeing gunmen. Students of the English Department were said to be holding an election of new officers when two pistolwielding men, spotting red dresses came out of the library complex and started firing from behind a tree During the pandemonium, some of the students gave a hot chase, apprehended the gunmen. He was reportedly lynched, while the other was rescued by security men and is now undergoing interrogation. Their presumed target was also reportedly taken into custody by the university’s security personnel apparently for questioning.
A fire brigade personnel trying to tighten the cover of a distressed petrol tanker in Lagos.
Association decries House resolution FEMI OYEWESO ABEOKUTA
he Autobike Owners Association of Nigeria (AOWAN), has kicked against the resolution of the Ogun State House of Assembly demanding they merge with the tricycle association before the association can operate in the state. AOWAN also declared that it would not carry out any directives which compelled it to merge with any other union, as directed by the Parks and Garages Board (PAGADEB). Speaking in Abeokuta, the state capital, chairman of AOWAN, Comrade Tajudeen Odunmbaku, in company of the secretary, Ekundayo Babatunde, maintained that the order negates the provision of the country’s constitution providing for the freedom of association. They stated that AOWAN
was a duly registered association by the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC; hence it would not fuse with any other union before doing business in the state. Community Mirror, gathered that PAGADEB had told AOWAN of a subsisting resolution, which directed Autobike owners to merge with the tricycle association, failure of which it would not be permitted to operate in Ogun State. But speaking, Odunmbaku, who cited example of the commercial motorcycle operators, known as ‘Okada’ which operates both ACOMORAN and AMORAN, also alleged that the resolution of the House is laden with political motive. AOWAN chairman also described statements credited to his association by PAGADEB, as deliberate efforts to discredit it as a trouble maker in the state.
Rampage averted over killing of motorcyclist A ZA MSUE KADUNA
ut for timely intervention of the police, what would have turned into a freefor-all-fight and mayhem, was averted in Kaduna, following the killing of a commercial motorcyclist popularly known as ‘Okada’ by an unidentified policeman on the ever-busy Ahmadu Bello Way. The sad incident generated tension in the city as commercial motorcyclists immediately blocked some major roads leading into the town, even as they were immediately dispersed by police armoured cars firing tear gas canisters. An eye witnesses said the deceased, identified as Umar Danmichika was shot while trying to collect transport fare from his passenger. One of the motorcyclists who spoke in Hausa
said “The boy had just finished having his meal and carried a passenger, when all of a sudden; we heard gun shots, only to discover the victim was Umar, killed while waiting to collect transport fare from his passenger.” He added that the act was deliberate because the boy was not on the highway, at the time, but parked on the side and was sitting on his motorcycle. “How could he have committed any offence that warranted his death?” he asked. The food vendor, Mrs Aderonke Taiwo, collaborated the account of the incident, saying, “The deceased had been a regular customer as he just finished eating his meal and had not even paid for it, with a promise to come back after dropping off a passenger. Suddenly, a shot rang out and on enquiry, I was told it was
Umar who just left my eatery.” However, the scene of the incident has been cordoned off by heavily armed policemen, to prevent any possible break down of law and order in the city. The Kaduna State Commissioner of Police, Adefemi Adenaike, confirmed the incident, as he said the officer responsible for the act has been arrested and would be charged to court for murder as soon as investigations are concluded. “The law must take its course; I have already briefed the Inspector General of Police who has given me the go ahead to investigate the matter. We don’t train officers to kill innocent people nor take laws into their hands. We however, appeal to people to go about their normal activities as we are on top of the matter” he said.
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Suicide bomber “Permanent members of the security council who have launched wars kills 14 in under the excuse of combating terrorism [are] now supporting terrorism Afghanistan
WITH AGENCY REPORTS
he first Somali government and African Union troops are reported to have entered the strategic Somali port of Kismayo, witnesses and officials say. They have been battling the alShabaab militia for control of the city. On Saturday, the al-Qaedaaligned militants said they had withdrawn from Kismayo after an AU military assault. Kenyan and Somali forces had launched a beach assault on the Islamist group’s last major bastion the day before, but had met some resistance. Reports as to the size and make-up of the AU contingent have been mixed. One resident told the BBC Somali Service that a small infantry unit of 11 Somali soldiers had entered the city from the west and were patrolling on foot on the main roads of Kismayo, while another said he had seen both Kenyan and Somali troops entering the city centre from the airport. Around 100 troops were seen by a tribal elder in Kismayo taking over a police station and setting up an outpost on top of a tall building. Meanwhile, Kenya’s main port of Mombasa, East Africa’s chief trade gateway, expects more business after an offensive that has driven rebels out of Somalia’s Kismayu port and is therefore likely to reduce offshore piracy further, the Kenyan transport minister said. Attacks by Somali gangs on commercial cargo vessels destined for Mombasa and beyond had forced some companies to
in my country without any regard to United Nations resolutions”
SYRIAN FOREIGN MINISTER WALID MUALLEM
Somali, AU troops enter Kismayo’s key port
Kenyan soldiers serving with the AMISOM are seen in Saa’moja, near the port city of Kismayo, in southern Somalia, yesterday. PHOTO: AP
re-route their ships from the pirate-infested waters and pushed insurance and security costs skyhigh. Yesterday, hundreds of Somali government forces and allied militia fighters deployed in the centre of Kismayu, a former stronghold of Islamist militant organisation al Shabaab, an army spokesman said. The successful offensive, also involving Kenyan soldiers fighting under the banner of an African Union peacekeeping mission, is a blow to al Shabaab, which has contributed to conditions that let piracy flourish in and around Kismayu, located to the north of Mombasa along the East African
coast. “Mombasa port cannot operate efficiently if ships are avoiding the Indian Ocean because of piracy,” Amos Kimunya, Kenya’s transport minister said over the weekend. Higher insurance costs, private security guards and extra fuel have cost the shipping industry billions of dollars a year. Kimunya said he hoped the recapture of Kismayu would help drive down shipping costs and make Kenya’s trade easier. “These costs have since made shipping an expensive affair, with the (costs) being passed over to the end users...therefore making imported merchandise very ex-
TV critic of Egypt’s Islamist president freed
he owner of a TV station on trial for incitement following his call for the killing of Egypt’s Islamist president has been released after being briefly detained over allegations of theft of electrical power and bounced checks, security officials said yesterday. They said Tawfiq Okasha was released late Sunday after nearly 10 hours of questioning at a police station in Cairo’s Nasr City district. Authorities last month closed Okasha’s TV station — Al-Faraeen,” or “The Pharaohs” — which he used to launch scathing attacks on President Mohammed Morsi and the leader’s Islamist group, the Muslim Brotherhood. News of Okasha’s detention broke on the same day Justice Ministry officials said an
Freed popular Egyptian TV presenter flashing the victory sign as he arrives for the opening of his trial, in Cairo, Egypt, yesterday. PHOTO: AP
investigating judge referred the last prime minister of Egypt’s deposed authoritarian leader Hosni Mubarak to trial on corruption charges arising from the decade he served
pensive,” Kimunya said. Somali government spokesman in Kismayo Mohamed Faarah Daher told the BBC that AU and Somali forces had gone in to the city to establish security for the population, and had also taken up positions at the airport and sea port. Kenyan troops are part of an African force trying to wrest control of Somalia from militants for the new United Nations-backed president. After resisting the AU and Somali advance on Friday, al-Shabaab announced it had shut its five-year administration in Kismayo the next day for strategic reasons.
as civil aviation minister. Besides Ahmed Shafiq, the chairman of national carrier EgyptAir and nine other ministry officials were also referred to trial. The EgyptAir chief, Tawfiq Mohammed Asi, had just been named to his post on Thursday, and a party with hundreds of employees had been given at the company’s headquarters to celebrate the appointment. A career pilot, he was the chairman of the national carrier between 2007 and 2009, when he was fired by Shafiq. Civil Aviation Minister Sameer Imbabi told reporters on Monday that Asi will stay at his job until a final verdict is reached in the case. No date has been announced for the start of the trial. Imbabi’s ministry oversees EgyptAir’s operations.
South Africa opens probe for Marikana mine shootings A judicial commission of inquiry into the fatal shootings of 44 people at a Marikana mine has opened. The inquiry was set up by South African President Jacob Zuma. The investigation will determine the roles played by the police, the management of the platinum mine, Lonmin, the unions and government. Some 34 striking miners were killed in a day of bloodshed on 16 August. Ten others, including two policemen, died during weeks of unrest at the mine. The killings on 16 August were the most deadly police action since the end of apartheid in 1994. The commission, which consists of a three-member panel led by retired Supreme Court of Appeal Judge Ian Farlam, is expected to complete its analysis within four months. It must submit its final report within a month of finishing its investigation.
Sierra Leone president names scandal-hit VP as running mate Sierra Leone’s president named his scandal-hit vice president as his running mate in next month’s election, in a bet Samuel Sam Sumana’s religious and ethnic background will draw votes from the opposition. Broadcaster Al Jazeera reported in November last year members of Vice President Sumana’s office had accepted bribes in return for a promise he would back an illegal logging project, allegations that led to the arrest of two men. Authorities said there was no evidence Sumana knew of the kickbacks and he has denied having any involvement. But the furore around the graft case embarrassed the government of President Ernest Bai Koroma, who had promised to fight rampant corruption in the West African country.
Amplats to fire wildcat strikers
South African platinum producer Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) said yesterday it would fire all strikers who did not attend disciplinary hearings the following day after only 20 percent of staff showed up for work at its Rustenburg mines. The world’s top producer of the white metal and a unit of global mining group Anglo American would begin disciplinary action against illegal strikers on Tuesday, it said. “The company will also be left with no alternative but to dismiss, in their absence, all employees who do not present themselves,” it said in a statement.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
More terror suspects to fight extradition to US
Briefs Russia bans showing of anti-Islam film A court in Moscow ruled yesterday that an anti-Islam film that has sparked violent demonstrations around the world can no longer be shown in Russia. Tverskoi court’s ruling follows a similar local decision taken last week by a court in Grozny, the provincial capital of Russia’s Muslim-dominated province of Chechnya. In Moscow, Justice Ministry spokeswoman Marina Gridneva said the film was deemed extremist because it could incite ethnic and religious hatred. Russia’s communications minister had warned that authorities would bar access to YouTube if its owner, Google Inc., failed to abide by a court order to block access in this nation to the U.S.-produced film, which mocks Muslims and the Prophet Muhammad. Google in Russia has said it could restrict access to the video, if it received a court order outlawing it, but the company declined to discuss that issue with The Associated Press on Monday evening.
20 injured in Hong Kong’s ferry, boat collision A ferry and a tug boat have collided off Hong Kong, injuring more than 20 people, police say. The ferry, which was carrying more than 120 passengers, sank after yesterday night’s collision near Lamma island. Search teams had rescued some 74 people from the water, Reuters news agency reported. More than 20 people had been taken to a hospital on Lamma island with injuries as the rescue operation continued, a police spokesman was quoted as saying. Lamma lies some three kilometres (two miles) south-west of Hong Kong island, and is popular with tourists and expatriates. Hong Kong is one of the world’s busiest shipping channels.
Cambodian broadcaster sentenced to 20 years A Cambodian court yesterday sentenced a dissident radio station owner to 20 years in prison on insurrection charges that critics claim are part of a political vendetta by the government. Judge Chaing Sinat of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court said 71-year-old Mam Sonando was convicted and sentenced on four counts related to an alleged secessionist movement in eastern Cambodia. He was charged with instigating an alleged insurrection in Kratie province in May this year and inciting armed rebellion. Mam Sonando’s Beehive Radio is one of the country’s few radio stations broadcasting criticism of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government. Din Sophanara, the wife of Mam Sonando, told reporters that the verdict will be appealed. She said her husband was not involved in the alleged rebellion and had done nothing wrong.
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Afghan police securing the site of a suicide bombing in Khost, south of Kabul, Afghanistan, yesterday. Photo: AP
Suicide bomber kills 14 in Afghanistan ...including three US soldiers
suicide bomber driving a motorcycle packed with explosives rammed his bike into a patrol of Afghan and international forces on Monday morning in eastern Afghanistan, killing at least 14 people, including three NATO service members and their translator, officials said. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the blast, which came a day after the U.S. death toll in the war in Afghanistan reached 2,000 troops and as relations between international forces and their Afghan partners have been pushed to the breaking point by a surge in insider attacks by Afghan allies. The bomber struck a group of Afghan police and international troops shortly after they got out of their vehicles to walk through a market area in Khost city, the capital of Khost province, said provincial government spokesman Baryalai Wakman. Six civilians and four police officers were killed in the blast, Wakman said. He said the police officers were part of a specialized quick-reaction force. Blood could be seen on the market road as Afghan police and soldiers tried to clean up the area after the blast. Slippers and bicycle parts were strewn about. “I heard the explosion and came right to this area. I saw the dead bodies of policemen and of civilians right here,” said policeman Hashmat
Khan, who ran to the site of the blast from his job as security for a nearby bank. Coalition spokesman Maj. Adam Wojack would only confirm that three NATO service members and their translator died in a bombing in the east on Monday, without giving an exact location or the nationalities of the dead. The international military alliance usually waits for individual nations to announce details on deaths. Most of the troops in the east and in Khost province are American. It was not immediately clear if the translator was an Afghan citizen or a foreigner, Wojack said. Dozens of Afghan civilians were also wounded in the bombing. The city’s hospital alone was treating about 30 people injured in the explosion, said Dr. Amir Pacha, a physician working there. He added there could be other victims being treated at nearby private clinics. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said in text messages to media that the insurgent group was behind the attack. Joint patrols between NATO and Afghan forces have become more limited following a tide of attacks by Afghan soldiers and police on their international allies. Last month, the U.S. military issued new orders that require units to get approval from higher-ups before conducting operations with Afghans. Then, two weeks later, U.S. officials said most missions were
being conducted with Afghans again, though the system of approvals has remained in place. The close contact — coalition forces working side by side with Afghan troops as advisers, mentors and trainers — is a key part of the U.S. strategy for putting the Afghans in the lead as the U.S. and other nations prepare to pull out their last combat troops by the end of 2014.
British man accused of terrorist fundraising yesterday launched a High Court bid to halt his extradition to the United States, mirroring a similar move by radical cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri. Babar Ahmad, 38, has been detained in Britain since 2004 on a U.S. warrant. He is accused of running websites used to raise money for terrorists, and of supplying terrorists with gas masks and nightvision goggles. He has not faced charges in Britain, but has been held without trial for the longest period of any British citizen detained since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Last week, a European court decision appeared to have cleared the way for the extradition of Ahmad and four other terror suspects — including al-Masri — after an eight-year legal battle. Al-Masri, wanted on charges that include helping set up a terrorist training camp in rural Oregon, and Khaled Al-Fawwaz,
a second terror suspect, have since filed challenges against extradition at Britain’s High Court. Britain’s Judicial Office on Monday confirmed Ahmad had joined them and that a fourth man, Adel Abdul Bary, had filed a separate challenge. All four challenges will be heard Tuesday. Authorities in the U.S. have for years asked for the suspects to be handed over, but the process had been delayed because the men raised human rights objections. Prosecutors in Connecticut accused Ahmad in 2004 of running several websites including Azzam.com, which investigators say was used to recruit members for the al-Qaida network, Chechen rebels and the Taliban in Afghanistan. Ahmad was originally arrested in Britain in 2003 on suspicion on terrorism offenses, but did not face charges from U.K. prosecutors and was later released. He was subsequently arrested in 2004 over the U.S. allegations.
Georgians vote in parliamentary poll
oters in Georgia are choosing a while all the results are counted and any new parliament in a heated elec- challenges are properly evaluated,” Amtion yesterday that will decide the bassador Richard Norland said. Under Saakashvili, the former Soviet future of the pro-Western government of republic has aligned itself with the UnitPresident Mikhail Saakashvili. Emotions are running high in an ed States, while striving to join the Euroelection that is competitive not only for pean Union and NATO one day. Ivanishvili, who made his money in Georgia but for much of the former Soviet Union. If Saakashvili’s party loses, it Russia, has said he would pursue these would be the first time in Georgia’s post- strategic goals while also seeking to reSoviet history that a government has been store the ties with Moscow that were sevchanged not through revolution but at the ered when the two neighboring countries fought a brief war in 2008. ballot box. Saakashvili has accused Ivanishvili of The governing party, which has dominated parliament, is up against a diverse serving Kremlin interests and intending opposition coalition led by Bidzina Ivan- to put Georgia back under Russian domiishvili, a billionaire businessman who nation, which the opposition leader has has posed the most serious challenge to denied. After casting his vote on Monday, SaaSaakashvili since he came to power alkashvili said the election was important most nine years ago. With the opposition accusing the not only for Georgia. government of violations aimed at manipulating the vote, Saakashvili is under pressure to prove his commitment to democracy by holding a free and fair election. Both sides have promised to respect the results if the election receives the approval of international observers. About 1 million of Georgia’s 3.6 million eligible voters live in Tbilisi, the capital, where opposition support is strongest. Lines formed outside some polling stations in the morning, and the Central Election Commission said turnout in the first four hours of voting had surpassed 25 percent. The U.S. ambassador joined calls for a Georgian President, Mikhail Saakashvili peaceful election. “I encourage the public leaving a voting booth at a polling station in Photo: AP to remain calm, have faith and be patient Tbilisi, Georgia, yesterday.
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FOR YOUR SUCCESS
WITH DR. DEJI FOLUTILE
Today's Tonic (13)
Sowing is usually extremely mundane, boring, and menial. Rarely are the benefits of sowing seen at the time. Usually, it takes a period of time before the benefits of the sowing start to become self evident. Authentic spiritual harvest is rarely instantaneous. **Bob Sorge. * * * Just Keep Sowing The Good! Many times I am tempted to stop sowing. Many times I wonder when the harvest will really come. Many times I want to just quit! But, something within me will not let me. But somehow I kept being assured that harvest is as sure as God. But something keeps urging me on that winners never quit and quitters never win. Here is what I do now whenever I am tempted to stop sowing good: I will deliberately double my efforts. I will ignore the negative feelings and reach out to the Scriptures to encourage and energize me. I will fire myself with the words of those who already possess what I am seeking after. I will deliberately burst into songs of joy and rejoice that I am alive and well. I will revel in sincere and heartfelt gratitude to my Maker. And I will keep pressing forward! Here is my conclusion: harvest is sure for those who will not stop sowing. Stay Great! TEL 08104942999 E-MAIL firstname.lastname@example.org Follow me @TwitterOWOTIDE
C did ’ wife Candidate’s if throws h water on reporter
ne way to get rid of a pesky reporter: Throw a bucket of water on him. That’s what the wife of a failed candidate embroiled in a campaign scandal did to Miami Local 10 senior political reporter Michael Putney. The TV journalist
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
came away drenched, but not any more enlightened than when he knocked on the door. The caught-on-tape moment has made a splash on the Web. But the strangest part of the story is that the soggy reporter isn’t even the weirdest part.
The world’s first faked photo
oger Fenton’s well known photograph, “The Valley of the Shadow of Death” Documentary filmmaker Errol Morris may have uncovered the world’s oldest staged photograph, a wartime image taken in 1855. Radiolab spoke with Morris, who unleashed his legendary attention to detail upon Roger Fenton’s renowned photo, “The Valley of the Shadow of Death,” considered to be one of the oldest known photographic images of warfare. The photo was taken during the Crimean War (18531856) and shows a road littered with cannonballs. The Crimean War was a massive conflict that saw Russia battling with Britain, France, Sardinia and the remnants of the Ottoman Empire for control over the declining Ottoman Empire. The Crimean War itself is arguably history’s first “modern” war, featuring new communications technology (the telegraph) and weaponry, along with the use of photography. And Fenton’s photographs taken dur-
ing the war are considered to be some of the earliest ever to document warfare. “[I]t turns out there were actually two photos--both taken from the same spot over 150 years ago. One image famously shows a road littered with cannonballs, while the other shows the same road with no cannonballs (they’re off to the side in ditches). Which one came first? And why would the cannonballs have been moved?” Morris has written a series of blog posts about his investigation for the New York Times, in which he
explains how the photo’s history first captured his interest after reading a book by Susan Sontag that flatly alleges Fenton staged the photograph. As part of his extensive efforts to uncover whether the photo was staged, Morris traveled to Crimea and consulted with optical engineer Dennis Purcell and five historians. The historians were split on whether the photo was staged, with some arguing that the cannonballs are missing in the second photo because soldiers were re-
cycling them to fire back at Russian forces. Eventually, Purcell and Morris were able to reach a definitive conclusion about whether the photo was faked, by flipping the two photographs over and over. Eventually, they realized that pebbles on the left side of the road appeared to move in the two photographs. From the direction of the rocks falling, Morris was able to sequence the two photographs. “The one with the cannonballs on the road was the second picture,” Morris said.
Roger Fenton’s well known photograph ‘The Valley of the Shadow of Death’
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
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$100m ICT loan deal for MDAs under fire CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
der industry criticisms. National Mirror investigation revealed that industry stakeholders feel that the loan could amount to nothing, pointing to a similar $200m loan taken for the rural telephony project that did not produce a single telephone line while the loan remained on government’s books. The fresh $100m loan was part of the $1.1bn (about N172bn) financing deal sealed about a fortnight ago in Beijing, China, with the EXIM Bank of China for three key projects in the transport and ICT sectors. The projects, referred to as “high priority impact projects,” include the Galaxy Backbone ICT infrastructure upgrade; the Abuja light rail system and four airport terminals in Abuja, Kano, Port Harcourt and Enugu. While the construction of the light rail project, being handled by the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, CCECC, and the four airport terminals will gulp $500m each; the Galaxy Backbone ICT infrastructure will take $100m. Expressing concerns through a credible online media, CyberschuulNews, over possible poor utilisation of the $100m ICT facility, ICT industry stakeholders argued that the actual project for which the loan was secured was unclear and that a thorough explanation was needed on how the ICT investment would achieve its set objectives. According to the immediate past president, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, Mr. Titi Omo-Ettu, “To the extent that the actual project for which the loan is secured is unclear and incomprehensibly described in the report, it is hoped that the Minister of Communications Technology, who indeed was known to have been in China, would take the initiative to explain the true content of the loan to industry players in due course. “With that, the manner of Galaxy Backbone ‘boosting government’s effectiveness in tackling security challenges and improving connectivity to modern technology, especially for Nigerian youths’, would be-
come clearer,” they said. According to them, “Loans under Chinese arrangements have usually been shrouded in secrecy and they have been known to be usually not useful to Nigeria and its citizens. “That explains why interest in this particular loan, if any, should be explained so that Nigerians can be carried along and all strategic interests of the country can be protected by all those playing diverse roles in its implementation.” Referring to the $200m rural telephony project loan was taken from China in 2002 under very similar circumstances and against popular counsel of industry players and opinion leaders, Omo-Ettu said, “While government, as they usually would, said, unconvincingly that the project would make a difference in the lives of Nigerians across socio-economic segments, especially the rural communities of Nigeria, opinion leaders punctured the project with counter-arguments that the loan arrangement was to make Chinese investors participate in telecommunications delivery without obtaining licenses. “It also opened the project to the vagaries of building networks that would have no interconnection since it was planned in isolation of the emerging networks of licensed and private players. “Today, the $200m loan has become a waste with no telephone line provided for anybody but a debt for the future generation to repay.” Another industry analyst, who did not want his name mentioned, said: “The government needs to convince us this time around that it was serious about any ICT projects being financed by Chinese loans because past similar projects financed with taxpayers’ money have failed and the rural telephony project is one of them.” The Minister of Aviation, Mrs. Stella Oduah; her Federal Capital Territory counterpart, Mr. Bala Mohammed; Minister of State for Works, Mr. Bashir Yuguda and the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, signed the financing deals on behalf of the Federal Government. The Managing Director of China EXIM Bank, Mr.
Sun Ping, signed on behalf of the bank in a ceremony held in China. It was gathered that the agreement followed the final details worked out with officials of the bank after several months of negotiations, including the approval by the Federal Executive Council, FEC, after a high-powered government delegation visited the Asian country last February. Okonjo-Iweala had explained that the decision to embrace the financing facility was in line with the Federal Government’s policy of prudence on loans, stressing that it was obtained on highly favourable concessional terms of 2.5 per cent interest over 20 years with a grace period of seven years. The minister added that the three projects were expected to be completed by 2015. She particularly said that the Galaxy Backbone would boost government’s effec-
tiveness in tackling security challenges and improve connectivity to modern technology, especially the youth. Galaxy Backbone is a Federal Government agency under the Ministry of Communications Technology established to operate a unified network of ICT infrastructure platform that would take care of the technology connectivity issues of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, had stated that as part of the eGovernance campaign of the Federal Government, the over 800 MDAs were billed to have a functioning ‘publish and inform’ websites by the end of 2014 to be driven by Galaxy Backbone platform. The move, the minister said, had become imperative to bridge the gap between government and the governed through the Internet, given that most govern-
ment agencies currently did not have effective ICT facilities deployed on a shared infrastructure. She had explained that the Federal Government, through the ministry, was working on the single window portal to facilitate easy access to government information. The minister, who lamented that the poor presence of MDAs on the web, resulting in about 54 per cent of the 810 MDAs currently lacking online presence, however, said her ministry was providing measures to ensure that the MDAs get digital presence with interactive features going forward. Johnson said: “255 or 31.48 per cent are MDAs with information only services; 23 or 2.84 per cent are MDAs with information and interactive services only; another 28 or 3.46 per cent MDAs are with information and transactional services only, while
64 or 7.9 per cent MDAs are with interactive and transactional services only.” On the assessment of the 36 ministries in the country, she noted that there were only 21 ministries, representing 57.5 per cent, with on-line presence while the rest 15, equivalent 41.6 per cent, lack web presence. “Of the 21 ministries with presence, only 18 or 50 per cent are with information-only services; two or 5.56 per cent ministries are with interactive services only while only one or 2.78 per cent is with interactive and transactional services only,” she said. Johnson, however, stated that there were plans to ensure standardised and intuitive domain names for MDAs; ensure standardised design and format with a single point of entry leveraging Nigeria Country Code Top level Domain, ccTLD, .ng., through Galaxy Backbone ICT platform.
Bauchi State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Sagir Saleh (right), congratulating Bauchi State Peoples Democratic Party Organising Secretary, PHOTO: NAN Alhaji Mohammed Sade, after his release by gunmen in Bauchi, yesterday.
Kidnapping: Fresh fears grip Delta cabinet, family members
resh fears have gripped members of Delta State Executive Council due to the unending spate of kidnappings in the state. Also worried by the high rate of insecurity in the state are the cabinet members’ families and other high profile personalities in the state. National Mirror gathered that the concerns of the members of the cabinet were heightened by Sunday’s abduction of a member of the council and Commissioner
for Higher Education, Prof. Hope Eghagha, by some gunmen along Effurun/Agbor highway. The hoodlums also killed Eghagha’s police orderly in the deadly encounter. The whereabouts of Eghagha could not be ascertained as at press time yesterday. National Mirror gathered from reliable government and security sources that the hoodlums had not established contacts with the government and the family over the fate of the
embattled commissioner. It was learnt that members of the cabinet of Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan are apprehensive due to the latest fate of their colleague. National Mirror gathered that the commissioners had intensified request for “massive” security web around themselves and members of their families. Reliable sources in Delta State Police Command told National Mirror yesterday that the demand for police protection by the commissioners was on the increase.
It was also gathered that the commissioners complained that a security detail attached to each of them could not guarantee their security following the unending security breaches in the state. One of the sources said: ‘’The commissioners in the state have been panicking since Sunday when one of them (Eghagha) was abducted. They are afraid that the hoodlums could be after them. In fact, they have been asking for a massive police protection to ward off criminals.
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Flood: Group tasks FG on dredging of River Benue •As churches donate to flood victims
AZA MSUE, ADEMU IDAKWO AND HENRY IYORKASE
he apex Tiv sociocultural organisation, Mzough U Tiv (MUT) Kaduna branch yesterday called on President Goodluck Jonathan to urgently commence the dredging of the River Benue as proposed by his administration to avoid future flooding of Makurdi, the Benue State capital. In a statement signed by MUT President, Mr. Mark Shimbayev and made available to reporters in Kaduna, the association faulted the water release from the Republic of Cameroun that has displaced about 15, 000 Makurdi residents. Mr. Shimbayev appealed to the government, groups and public-spirited individuals for assistance through donation of relief materials. The statement while calling on the Federal Character Commission to address the marginalisa-
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
tion of Tiv sons and daughters in recruitment into the various Federal Government ministries and agencies, also demanded for the creation of Tiv State out of the present Benue State. Shimbayev’s words: “We called on the Federal Character Commission to address the marginalisation of Tiv people in areas of recruitment into the military, police, paramilitary, among others, without further delay.” The statement added: “We also called on the President Goodluck Jonathan-led government to dredge the River Benue to curtail future flood. We condemn the unfortunate flood which displaced thousands of people and destroyed property worth billions of naira in Makurdi, the Benue State capital. We also condemn the release of water from Cameroun Republic,” it said. Meanwhile, over 16 churches have so far donated food items to the victims of the flood that were camped in various schools in Lokoja,
the Kogi State capital. The Camp Manager, Mr. Benjamin Ibrahim, stated this yesterday when he received some food items and drugs on behalf of the state government from the Mountain of Fire Ministries, Lokoja. Ibrahim said the state government has started getting support from various organizations, including churches in a bid to alleviate the suffering of the displaced persons. The Pastor of the church, Mr. Zaccheous Emmanuel, said the church was touched by the disaster which he described as unprecedented.
JTF operative dies, four others injured in Maiduguri explosion I N •As gunmen kill four NUSA
member of the Joint Task Force (JTF) in Borno State was yesterday killed in Maiduguri while about four others were critically injured when an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) which was targeted at their patrol vehicle exploded along Lagos Street in Maiduguri. According to sources, the JTF men were on routine patrol in the area when the bomb went off around 8.00 am. Our correspondent gathered that the patrol vehicle cut fire and was badly damaged as a result of the explosion. A source in the state fire
service told our reporter that he saw a dead body of a soldier lying on the floor when they were called to put out the fire in the patrol vehicle, adding that others were badly injured. But, when the spokesman of the JTF, Lt. Col Sagir Musa, was contacted on phone, he said, he was not aware of the attack but, however, confirmed that there was an explosion in the area and promised to give details later as at the time of filing this report. Shop owners around the place quickly fled the area leaving their shops open for fear the unknown. Fierce looking security operatives’ cordoned off
the area for many hours and prevented vehicles from passing the place. Meanwhile, the streets of Maiduguri were yesterday deserted as people stay in their houses. The roads that were usually busy on working days were deserted as only few vehicles were plying the roads. In another development, four people were said to have been shot dead yesterday night by gunmen in Damboa area in Maiduguri. Residents of the area said the people were shot dead by gunmen who stormed their houses behind the CBN quarters.
Obasanjo killed parties’ internal democracy –Na’Abba AUGUSTINE-WEST KANO
he former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Ghali Umar Na’Abba, yesterday in Kano renewed his attack on the former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, accusing him of destroying internal democracy in political parties during his eightyear tenure as president. He also identified godfatherism as the bane of Nigeria’s political parties, saying that lack of internal democracy in the parties has killed the county’s political system. Na’Abba, who spoke with reporters yesterday at the Kano Press Centre also said sycophancy has stripped Nigeria politics of morality, adding that all the political parties in Nigeria are guilty of this same offence. “Our best brains are becoming causalities; and they are the ones that understand the workings of democracy. People now engage themselves in sycophancy so that they can remain relevant in the scheme of things.”
He noted that the greater number of those in political positions in the country got there through the back door. According to him, “The situation in the country is so bad that people don’t ask who is elected, but who is given the party’s ticket,” adding that brains are no longer tested in the political arrangement in Nigeria. Na’Abba, also took a swipe at the leadership of the PDP, saying that 13 years of the party’s leadership at the federal level were neither here nor there as the party has not been operating with a clear-cut manifesto. “I believe that the missing link is leadership; elections in Nigeria must be free and anybody who wins must be allowed to take his or her mandate.” He added that the issue of the absence of internal democracy portends danger in Nigeria. “You see so much incompetence in the administration of our country from the local government level to the federal level.”
L-R: Kaduna State Governor Patrick Yakowa; his wife, Dame Amina and Deputy Speaker of Kaduna State House of Assembly, Hon. Dogara Mato, at the special prayer to mark the 52nd Independence anniversary at the Cathedral Church of St. Michael, Kaduna, yesterday.
SURE-P spends N5.8bn to revive rail services PRISCILLA DENNIS MINNA
he Subsidy Reinvestment Programme (SURE-P) railway sub-committee said N5.8bn have so far been expended to revive rail line services in the country in order to offer a substitute to road transport services within the next two weeks. The sub-committee said the decision, which is to provide alternative means of transportation was as a result of inability of motorists to ply the Abuja-Lokoja Road occasioned by flood that is ravaging communities in Lokoja, Kogi State. The Chairman, SURE-P
sub-committee on rail line, Mr. Chike Churchhill Okugwu, stated this in Minna, in an interview. He said this after inspecting repairs on the Akere Bridge and the bridge on 73 kilometre at Zungeru along Ilorin-Minna railway line in Wushishi Local Government Area of the state. He said the sum of N2.2bn was released for Idu (Abuja) - Kaduna route, the Eastern line running from Makurdi to Port Harcourt gulped N2.3bn, while N383 million has been spent on the Western route to inject life into the rail transport service. According to him, the sub-committee decided that carrying out repairs
on the two bridges would offer smooth operation of the Lagos-Kano train services, which informed the decision to partner with the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) and the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) to give intermodal transport service to transport passengers across from one end of the dented railway bridge to the other. Okugwu also explained that the shutting of Abuja-Lokoja Road, has now forced many commuters to resort to the Mowka-JebbaIlorin Road that has now become a death trap with series of accidents record-
ed due to the deplorable state of the road. “When the projects takes off, the Lagos-Kano route, which is about to be revived will complement the train services between Zugeru-Ilorin and Ilorin to Lagos currently running thrice a week will be increased to five so that more people can benefit and safe passengers the trouble they currently face.” He further added that another N8bn would soon be released to the companies handling the rail projects based on request, adding that to guarantee that the new partnership work out to the advantage Nigerians, a task force team will be constituted to that effect.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Corruption: Probe AGF’s allegation against SANs –Sofola, others WALE IGBINTADE
he Chairman, Body of Benchers, BoB, Chief Idowu Sofola, SAN, has called for an investigation of the allegation made by the AttorneyGeneral of the Federation, AGF, Mr. Mohammed Bello-Adoke, SAN, that some Senior Advocates of Nigeria were involved in sharp practices. Idowu, who spoke in an interview with National
Mirror, said the AGF must have facts at his disposal before making such serious allegation. Besides Sofola, two other SANs, Mrs. Funke Adekoya and Mr. Mike Igbokwe, also urged Adoke to publish names of corrupt SANs. The AGF had at the inauguration of the new Legal Year and the swearing-in of 25 new SANs in Abuja last month accused lawyers, especially SANs, of corrupt enrichment
through unethical conducts. But Sofola observed that the allegation was serious and weighty and should be investigated. BoB is the highest judicial body in the country, statutorily responsible for the regulations of the legal profession and admitting qualified lawyers to the Nigerian Bar. According to Sofola, all Senior Advocates are expected to show good examples to younger lawyers
and ought not to engage themselves in practices that could tarnish the legal profession. He said: “The statement coming from the AGF is a serious issue, he must have his facts and if they are true, then, it is a disgrace. Being a senior lawyer, you are expected to show good
example to those coming behind you but when you begin to use that position to perpetrate corruption it is very disgraceful. It is a big shame.” Adekoya urged the AGF to be more specific and give names of senior lawyers that were engaged in such practices, adding that
it was not enough to make sweeping-statement. She said: “We hear these allegations and we hear them often enough to believe that there is no smoke without fire. But, the problem with these allegations is the same problem with allegations of corruption among judges.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Kano: Putting up a brave face under fire For centuries, the ancient city of Kano has been known for its enormous socio-economic activities and even as a melting pot for people all over Nigeria. But the continued attacks by religious extremists in the North seem to have slowed this down. Despite that, some of those who fled the mayhem are returning to continue their normal business. In this piece, AUGUSTINE MADU-WEST, takes a look at what is responsible for this new found confidence.
he ancient city of Kano is crawling back to life. Persons of southern origin and other nationals who fled the city in the wake of attacks by extremist religious sects that claimed several lives have returned to commence business. This is even as the residents are excited for the gradual return of peace in the state. Many panic-stricken southerners, especially the Igbo who fled Kano following are back in their shops and other business premises, especially in the Sabon-Gari area, inhabited predominantly by non-Muslims and non-natives. This development has been attributed to improved security lately. Chukwuemeka Ibeh and Ben Okoro, both spare parts dealers, who recently fled Kano city for safety, told National Mirror that they left the town in response to pressure from relatives at home, who feared for their safety. “You don’t leave your place of business for home without making adequate arrangements; it had been a hell while at home doing nothing tangible,” Ibeh said, even as he admitted that most media reports on the conflict did not reflect the true situation on ground. “The reports had generated fear in the minds of people outside Kano and the North generally,” he added. In like manner, Okoro says, “we are happy there is relative peace now and hope the security agencies will sustain it. People’s confidence is gradually being restored. Don’t forget that for most of us Kano is home.” Security agents have intensified efforts aimed at reassuring residents of their resolve to nip any threat from those who specialise in trouble making in the bud. This is what security sources described as “adjustment and readjustment” which has unhindered access to strategic areas, particularly in the state capital that has, for long, become the den of extremists. Incidentally, the state chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Bishop Ransom Bello, corroborates this, given the improved turnout of worshipers in Churches at Sunday services. It was a clear departure from the situation some months back when they boycotted church services for fear of possible attacks. The Bishop commended the police and Joint Task Force for their effort, as more personnel have been deployed to combat Islamic militants. The combatants have been ar-
A crowded street in Kano.
A shopping centre in the city.
IT WAS GATHERED THAT THE GUN BATTLE STARTED IN DALA AND GRADUALLY SPREAD TO SHARADA QUARTERS, WITH THE POLICE STATIONS COMING UNDER HEAVY BOMBARDMENT riving Bukavu barracks, Headquarters of 3 Bridge of Nigerian Army Kano, as part of renewed efforts to deal with the insurgency and in keeping with the promise of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Azubuike Ihejirika. The Kano State Commissioner of Police, Ibrahim Idris, says his command has doubled its efforts and this could be attributed to the support and cooperation they are receiving from the public, traditional rulers and state government. “But of course, we cannot rule out the gallantry, professionalism and commitment of the police. The continued synergy between the various security agencies as reflected in the joint operation of the Joint Task Force, including quasi state security outfits such as Hisbah and Neigbourhood Watch Vigilante Group, is paying off. This had led to drastic reduction of crime as is evidenced is the return of economic and social activities”. “We have continued to adopt strategies at combating crimes, which include visibility policing and raids on criminal hideouts. It has been very successful,
leading to arrests of criminals of different shades. Aside the raids, we have improved vehicular patrol, around the city as well as stop and search and they have proved successful in this campaign. We also have plain cloth personnel at flash points for intelligence gathering and they have lived up to expectations. In the last six months in the state, our bomb experts have been looking out for abandoned explosives and, we have been able to defuse more than 964 assorted high caliber explosives. The exercise is ongoing and we have explained to the public, that whenever they hear the sound of explosives, it should not be interpreted that the state is under attack”, he said. As part of measures to improve security, the state government has donated 55 new vans. The police got 44, while the Army, Air Force, State Security Service (SSS), Civil Defence and Road Safety Corps got one each. The Governor,Rabiu Kwankwaso, promised to work with security agencies to facilitate security and development in the state. The Assistant Inspector General (AIG) of Police in charge of zone 1, Abubakar Muhammad,
promised that the vehicles would be used for the purpose they were provided. The governor said, “Although it is the responsibility of the Federal Government to cater for the logistics needs of security agencies, the government decided to assist so they would cope with the challenge of protecting the people. Handling security is mainly the responsibility of the Federal government but the state has to support the Federal Government,” Kwankwaso said. Kano State had come under attacks by suspected members of some dreaded Islamic sect. Areas affected were Dala and Sharada and Sabon-Gari areas of the metropolis. It was gathered that the gun battle started in Dala and gradually spread to Sharada Quarters, with the police stations coming under heavy bombardment while spreading to the other places. The suspected religious militants were said to have taken over the road linking Dala and Sharada. The militants had also invaded Mandawari police station in Gwale Local Government Area within Kano metropolis. Residents said the attacks spread to other parts until the security operatives engaged them in gun duels. A resident of Tudun Wada area that shares boundary with the military barracks said the death toll recorded were more than 500, saying most of those killed were passersby. This situation made the non-indigenes to flee the city in droves. It was so bad that some public spirited persons had to arrange for buses to convey nonindigenes, especially those for the east back home. The unabated killing of the Igbo in the northern states, particularly in Kano, Borno, Yobe, Bauchi, Adamawa and Niger, had engineered renewed exodus of southerners from the North back to their respective states. Routinely, for two weeks running, buses with people living in that part of the country arrived in eastern cities where refugee camps were set up to temporarily accommodate them as that brought back memories of similar incidents in 1966. As expected, survivors, still live in fear of religious extremists, even when they go about their normal business activities. When the killings were going on, everyone was sad, and emotions ran high. The people were also bitter that the government, which ought to guarantee their security, appeared not to be in control of the situation at the time. Before a return to normalcy some of the victims of the killings, included, Amechi Onwuka, Obinna Okoye Akukwe, Osita Aforka, Mrs. Ukamaka Aforka, Uchenna Okpala, Ugochukwu Ezenweke and Simeon Asoh. Already, the fallout from the incident is that many of the relations of those killed and others residing in the North have relocated and sworn not to return back to Kano again. Apart from these set of people, there were others who have come home for good after years of sojourn in Kano. Among them is one Ogbuefi Nnaemeka Nnanyelugo, who lived in Kano for nearly three decades. He said, he is now relieved that he is back home, adding that he will explore other opportunities of making a living in his home state.
National Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
The rate of accidents involving trains and commuters are becoming commonplace, especially with the lack of metal barriers at major rail line junctions. Both the railway authorities and motorists have blamed each other for the spate of mishaps. FRANCIS SUBERU, visited some of these rail crossings in Lagos and reports.
NRC: Battling to curb accidents at rail crossings
ince the Nigeria Railway Corporation, NRC, decided to improve on his activities and fight for relevance in the country’s transportation industry; there continues to be unremitting and unabated accidents at most of the eleven major level crossings in Lagos State. This is becoming increasingly worrisome to motorists and pedestrians who daily ply routes where there are rail level crossings. These spots including the level crossings at Oyingbo, Ebute-Meta, Jibowu, Iddo, Oshodi, Agbado, Fagba, Iju-Ishaga, Ikeja, Agege and Ilupeju which in recent times, have recorded fatal accidents, resulting in the loss of lives and properties. When National Mirror visited the aforementioned level crossings, it found out that many of them lack the basic metal barriers or even speed breakers to prevent motorists and pedestrians from getting trapped on the rail lines whenever a train is approaching. Contrary to rail safety rules, many of the rail level crossings are bereft of iron railings or hazard lights to indicate whenever a train is approaching. However, when confronted with questions bordering on the increasing rate of accidents at the level crossings, the Assistant Director, Public Relations for Nigeria Railway Corporation, David Ndanusa Ndakotsu, blamed the unruly attitudes of motorists and even pedestrians for being responsible for such fatal crashes. According to him, all the rail level crossings in the state are well manned by flagmen who normally raise red flags whenever a train is approaching but some motorists are fond of disobeying them even when they could hear the blaring horns of an approaching train. He said: “I regret to tell you that the public are being made to believe that whenever there is a rail mishap, it is the fault of the train driver or even the rail authorities, but it is not true. Most times these accidents are the result of impatience and unruly conduct of motorists at these rail crossings,especially at the approach of an incoming train. “Common sense dictates that when a smaller object sees a bigger on approaching, the former should give right of way in order to avoid collision with the bigger and more powerful object. For example, It would be foolhardy for a small car to jostle for road with a trailer or tanker, even if the latter is trying to be offensive. If anything happens at that moment, definitely, the smaller vehicle would bear the brunt, since it was disadvantage from the onset. Even when the bigger vehicle might suffer scratches, they won’t be as fatal and devastating as that of the lesser endowed car. “ Normally, to prevent any fatal accident from happening, a driver would activate the train horns more about 1.2
A busy rail line in Lagos.
CURIOUSLY, MANY MOTORISTS AND EVEN PEDESTRIANS WILL ALWAYS THINK THEY CAN ALWAYS BEAT THE TRAIN SPEED
Typical metal rail barrier
Scene of rail accident at Yaba.
killometres from any rail level approaching as this makes it more loud and audible for anyone one to hear. There is no way anyone within a three kilometre radius of the rail lines will not hear the sound and take precautionary measures. Curiously, many motorists and even pedestrians will always think they can always beat the train speed, especially with a mentality that the speed of our trains is very slow and sluggish”. David Ndanusa, blamed especially commercial car drivers, who often ignore the iron bars and are too impatient to want to break through the queue of other cars in the erroneous belief that they can drive their vehicles across the rail lines before an oncoming train approaches. This, according to him, is very dangerous because
the break system of a train is not built like those of smaller road vehicles. “There are barriers at some major rail level crossings and only at a few that we don’t have. At such spots, we keep our flagmen there to raise the red flags, whenever a train is approaching but the average car driver in Nigeria has a fondness for disobeying traffic rules and regulations. Even when the flag are raised, and the train is still at far distance, some erratic drivers will try to outsmart others that have stopped for the train to pass. That is why we have in the past two months embarked on a campaign through the distribution of pamphlets in all the major Nigerian languages to let people know the dangers inherent in crossing rail levels at the approach of a train. The recent acci-
dents are the reflections of the typical attitudes of the citizens of this country. If not, why do still see commuters perching atop moving trains, even when they know the dangers and consequences of such action? “Most of these people are touts. What they do is to smoke Indian hemp and assault railway security personnel attached to these trains. That is why, whenever they are arrested, we charge them for attempted suicide. As I am talking, there are 23 of such cases in court because only a person who wants to commit suicide will undertake to ride atop of a moving train,” he said. Speaking on the measures put in place to forestall further rail accidents so as to stop the increasing carnage on the road, David Ndanusa, said NRC has set up a task force to arrest erring drivers and touts who violate railway safety rules. He said: “They have embarked on census of all the rail level crossings. In Lagos, there are 11major crossings, manned by our staff because we discovered that many of the accidents are caused by indiscipline.” But a motorist, Adekunle Adedayo, attributed these accidents to the ineptitude and inefficiencies of the railway authorities who have neglected in building these barriers at critical rail junctions and repairing those that have broken down. “The Nigerian Railways is three hundred years behind civilization. Our trains are look like what operated in Victorian era England where linesmen wave red flags to warn on the approach of trains. Sadly, our railways are not keeping abreast of modern technologies that help in the operation of trains and level crossings as obtains in more organized societies”.
Longest solid object swallowed by dog Vol. 02 No. 460
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Kyle, a collie/Staffordshire bull terrier, who is 45.7 cm (18 in) long, swallowed a 38.1 cm (15 in) bread knife in December 2000. The knife was stuck in its stomach, pointing towards its throat. The dog was taken to the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals in Leeds, where Dr. Ann Draper removed the knife.
The kind of revolution we need now
n the euphoria of Nigeria’s 52nd Independence anniversary, there are basic issues that need not be glossed over, but critically looked into as a way of propelling the country to the level expected of her. Five decades in the life of a country are more than enough not only to impact the lives of the citizens, but also to effect a change in all facets of human endeavour. To effectively examine this, one cannot but take an historical journey into the steps taken by nations that had gone ahead and which, today, have become the reference point for others still groping for direction. The road they had travelled to bring about the desired change in their fortunes was not without challenges. As we mark another independence, a peep
ormer world number one, Tiger Woods, yesterday admitted the match was “already over” after he conceded the 18th hole to hand Europe an outright win at Medinah. Francesco Molinari was left needing to hole his putt to ensure his match with Woods-the
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into the challenges confronting this country over the years presents an ideal opportunity to examine the point at which the progress hitherto enjoyed was compromised and why was the country stagnated compared to others who have also had a troubled past but somehow wriggled out of it and are today, a force to reckon with among the comity of nations. The story of Malaysia, Brazil, South Korea and China will remain an interesting piece for experts interested in examining the growth pattern of any developing economy. These are countries who, less than five decades ago, were being treated as inferior nations, but today, have become giants in the world’s emerging economies. Malaysia, for instance, even came to Nigeria to gather information on what was considered Nigeria’s core competence – palm oil. After years of dogged determination, coupled with the zeal to make global impact, Nigeria’s loss has turned out to be Malaysia’s gains. That country is still regarded not only as one of the world’s leading producers, the commodity has also turned out to be major source of revenue. Apart from that instance, among the West African countries, Nigeria used to be the world’s largest producer of cocoa and the impact of this natural endowment on the lives of older generations
GHANA HAS NOT ONLY MAINTAINED HER STATUS AS A LEADING COCOA PRODUCER BUT ALSO ACHIEVED STABILITY IN POWER SUPPLY who were part of early civilization is still visible even till today. Cocoa not only propelled the economy of the former Western Region, but brought about the basic infrastructure some of which are yet to be displaced after other regimes have come and gone. Groundnut made similar impact in boosting the revenue profile of the Northern region and coal achieved same feat for the Eastern Region. The irony of it all is that these commodities are not just still available, but they are also capable of doing almost the same thing they did many years ago, but for the neglect and rejection to embrace the oil. The lure in the new-found love has almost turned to a curse rather than a blessing. It is difficult these days to remember that the country had once depended on non-petroleum resources
in the past and was able to compete effectively among other economies of that period. Apart from abandoning the old path that brought about prosperity for the country at that time, the country has also failed to accept one important reality that there is a need for revolution at this stage of our economic development if we must witness a meaningful progress in our desire to grow above the current challenges. What we need now is revolution. Often, when the word resonates, people are uncomfortable with the attendant uneasiness that come with the process, not minding the abundance of all things that follow almost immediately. The kind that we need now is industrial revolution that will inject life back into the real sector, create jobs and bring about prosperity of the workforce. One major catalyst to ensuring this, however, is power, the monster that stagnated the economy for the greater part of the five decades of independence we celebrate. Political independence devoid of economic emancipation, equals eternal bondage. Perhaps if regimes in the last three decades had focused on ensuring adequate and uninterrupted power supply, the economy would have enjoyed a tremendous leap, such that the effect cannot be denied. A major solution to economic freedom that need and which will eternally guarantee the prosperity of the people to work towards stable electricity. This is, indeed, a non-negotiable factor for the revolution that will provide answers to our unending questions on the economy. Ghana has not only maintained her status as a leading cocoa producer, but also achieved stability in power supply and the economy bounced back into reckoning. This is the kind of revolution that we need now.
Sport Extra Woods concedes Ryder Cup to Europe final of the 12 singles-finished all square. However having missed the chance to win the hole himselfand leave the Ryder Cup tied at 14-14-Woods knew the putt was ir-
relevant and waved Molinari away. “It was already over. We came here as a team and this is a team event,” Woods, who headed to the 18th tee knowing the Europeans had already retained the title cour-
tesy of a stunning fightback, said. “We conceded that the cup was already been retained by Europe. We come here as a team, we win or lose as a team, and it’s pointless to even finish. “Congratulations to the European team. They played fantastic and they deserve the cup.”
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